Why Real Estate Agents Recommend Checking Out The Baseboards During A House Tour

There are so many things to look out for when touring a home. Naturally, what might first catch your eye is the layout of the rooms, followed by the floors and walls. Though the roof and HVAC system are some of the most important things to look out for when buying a home, it's vital to also zone in on the smaller components like baseboards. While baseboards may easily go unnoticed, there are a few reasons why real estate agents recommend scanning them. Baseboards can clue you into the overall condition of the home, potential water damage, and even its pest status.

The state of the baseboards says a lot and inspecting them during a home tour can be quite revealing. First off, the condition of the baseboards can signal maintenance issues. It can be a sign that the homeowner hasn't been attentive to overall care for their home, which can be a problem since it could potentially translate to other problems in the house that haven't been properly maintained. Though this can be a clue, there are other more concrete issues baseboards can reveal.

Baseboards can reveal water damage

Like any other part of the house, baseboards are just as susceptible to regular wear and tear, but major cracks or warping can indicate bigger issues. While some cosmetic problems with baseboards are easy fixes, generally neglected baseboards can sometimes show or even mask signs of water damage. They are often one of the first places where you will see evidence of a leak or moisture problem. Some of the things to look for include discoloration, staining, peeling paint, or buckling of the baseboard. You may also notice a gap between the baseboard and the wall.

If you see any of these signs, it's important to take that into consideration. If you choose to put an offer on the house, make sure your inspector knows of your observations ahead of time. You'll also want them to further investigate to find the source of the problem. However, if the baseboards are brand new, that may also cover up a recent water problem. Consequently, always ask about renovations when touring a home.

Water damage can lead to mold growth, which may very well lie beneath the baseboard. You'll want to know if the damage is extensive or if there is mold growth behind the walls before you say yes to the house. Still, it doesn't have to be a dealbreaker and you can negotiate with the seller on the repair.

Baseboards can reveal a pest problem

Though baseboards may seem to be in decent condition from afar, a closer look can reveal a potential pest problem in a home. In extreme cases, you may easily find clues. Rodents might chew on them to enter walls or for nesting. You may see small holes where the floor meets the baseboards as mice and other rodents try to find the easiest entryway. Small gaps created by pests become convenient entry points for them through or behind baseboards. These holes or gaps aren't always apparent from our human standpoint, but there are also less obvious signs.

Less visible signs may be scratch marks from rodents or trails left by insects as they scurry along baseboards. Additionally, droppings near the baseboards are often left behind by mice, rats, or other pests. Finding dead insects around the baseboards may also indicate an infestation. Baseboards should ideally have no gaps, no holes, and no signs of any dirt, crumbs, scratches, or any other kind of disturbance. A pest infestation may be a bigger problem than you think, and that's important to know before buying a home.