People often ask me “what are the things that fail a home inspection?”. Well, truth be told, home inspections are not a pass or fail inspection. They are designed to provide the buyer with a detailed report about the condition of the home they are purchasing. A home is full of Systems. As Home Inspectors, we endeavor to educate buyers about those systems.
If your Home Inspector inspects a classic home for you, built pre-1975, you may come across a lot of outdated but very vintage appliances and systems. Being the owner of a multi-inspector company since 2015 and doing an average of over 800 inspections per year exposes our inspectors and company to a lot of novel features we need to be able to inspect and provide accurate information on.
One of the more common features is a Gas Wall Heater in a bathroom. These units provide a nice and toasty bathroom in the winter, but they present a significant hazard to the resident. They are ventless, so carbon monoxide flue gases are discharged into the room. In addition, these bathrooms rarely had a good ventilation system other than the window which is often either not used, sealed shut, or missing due to later home modifications. This creates a very unsafe situation that should be addressed. A similar type of heater might also be found in a garage or workshop.
Our Home Inspection Report will recommend the removal of this type of heater; although, a home owner might be inclined to keep it for its vintage aesthetic. I have been blessed to have owned a few different homes in my life and would be hesitant to remove a vintage wall heater. An alternative to removing the heater is to have it disconnected from the gas source. Once disconnected, the unit is safe and looks vintage groovy. I’m sure one could find some unique ways to decorate it on Pinterest or some other social media outlet.
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