Other inspections that may be needed:
Many areas of North Carolina and surrounding the Triangle NC area are outside the municipal water system. This requires a well.
Important questions to ask:
- How many gallons per minute does the well produce? Be careful of a very low flow. We prefer a flow of 5gallons/minute as a minimum flow.
- Does the well have any special filters attached? Ie. Water softeners, silt filters, etc.
- Should I have the water tested for bacterial or other high concentrations of various minerals metals or nitrites?
Water testing can be very important to determine if there might be any high concentrations of metals, minerals or nitrites. Some areas may have high concentrations of iron, it is possible to have radon and nitrites are often found in the farming areas.
These tests can cost as much as $350 but you can select the tests for a reduced cost. If you have health concerns, it is worth your peace of mind.
As with the wells, septic systems are necessary when you are outside the municipal services. Commonly, communities will provide water but do not provide sewer services. Therefore, there are many more septic systems than there are wells in North Carolina.
In the majority of cases the septic systems are gravity systems but it is important to know the type of system that your home has. Many of the systems require maintenance and the type of system will determine the amount of maintenance involved.
The gravity systems are very basic and have no mechanical parts. They require pumping about every 5 years. However, as with every septic system, there are limitations to what you can put down your drains. You are not supposed to have a garbage disposal and certain drain cleaners may kill the bacteria in the septic causing it to malfunction.
Radon is a gas that seeps from rock and high levels have been determined to cause cancer. Many people choose to have their home tested for this gas that seeps through the ground into the home. The Offer to Purchase in NC sets the level of above 4.0 picocurries/liter of air as the level for concern.
There are 2 types of monitoring traditionally used to determine radon levels. The least expensive is the Radon testing Cannister. This is the least accurate as it has the ability for tampering and scewing the results. The electronic monitoring device is the most accurate and is the method recommended by FOR HomeBYERS, Inc.
HVAC (heating and air conditioning system) Inspection
Most home inspectors will check out these systems and will advise further inspection by a licensed HVAC technician if they determine and abnormality in the systems. It is wise to follow through with an additional inspection if it is advised by your home inspector.
Lead based paint/Asbestos
Lead based paint is not considered a problem in homes built after 1976. You can obtain testing kits from the major home improvement stores or hardware stores should you desire to test for lead based paint.
For older homes you should be aware of taking precautions should you decide to sand the paint down to the wood. You could be getting into lead based paint in the bottom layers. Lead based paint is especially toxic to children.
Asbestos was used in the sprayed popcorn ceilings in the early 1970’s. There was asbestos used in vinyl floor tiles and insulation.
Your home inspector should alert you to the possibility of lead based paint and of asbestos in the older homes.
Underground storage tanks
Older homes with oil heating systems could still have oil tanks buried in the yard. These have been determined by the EPA to be environmental hazards. If there is evidence of an older system, it is advised that you try to determine if there might be a tank stored underground somewhere. The home inspector can help investigate this when under the house in the crawl space.