Plumbing, including Bathrooms and Laundry
Look for signs of leaks in all exposed pipes, and in areas where pipes run through the walls or foundation.
Look for signs of corrosion, which could indicate a problem with the water, or with the pipe itself. Watch for green stains around brass and copper fittings and on shutoff valves, a sign of either corrosion or electrolysis caused by mismatched metals. This will cause leaks and bad connections if left uncorrected.
Check the water pressure. Low pressure could mean a problem with the line or just sediment buildup in the faucet aerator or shower head.
Check drains for speed of drainage - a slow drain may have a clog or a blocked vent pipe. Look for a full swirling drain; bubbling drains are a sign of a problem.
Flush the toilets to make sure they operate properly. Open their tanks and look for worn or missing parts. Then wait around for a few minutes to see if the toilet runs after a pause, a sign of a slow leak.
Look inside the burner chamber of the water heater for rust flakes. Check the flame; it should be an even blue, with no yellow. A yellow flame indicates soot or a problem with the gas-air mixture, meaning the jets need cleaning.
Drain the water heater to remove sediment that has settled to the bottom. Sometimes leaks in faucets are caused by hard water wearing out the washers.
Watch out for cracked tiles in the shower area or around sinks. Tap on tiles looking for loose or hollow ones, which could be masking rotted backerboard behind them.
Check on the state of the tub and shower caulking to see if its time to replace it.
Look for evidence of mildew where water has a chance to stand for longer periods.
Manipulate the toilet base to be sure it doesn't rock, which might mean a leak has damaged the floor around it.
Look for cracks on the toilet tank or bowl or on sinks.
Slide shower doors do check for sticking, rust, or obstructions. Examine the gaskets around the door glass for gaps and tears.
Turn on the shower and bath faucets and check for leaks around handles and valves. Are they easy to use, or harder to turn on and off? Check set screws around escutcheon plates.
Unscrew the shower head and look for collected sediment in it that could be lowering the water pressure.
Examine vent fans for obstructions or dust. Turn them on: If it sounds really loud, the bearings may be worn out or a flapper may have gotten stuck.
Check washer hoses for signs of aging (cracks or brittleness) or leaks.
Check dryer vents for tears. Vacuum or brush out lint in hose and around lint screen inside unit. Look for link around the floor or on the wall, indicating a clog in the vent hose.

Download a printable version of the entire Yearly Inspection Checklist here.

See some of the crazy things house inspectors find in Home Inspection Nightmares.
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