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Hidden Kitchen Dangers Every Homeowner Needs To Know

While overloaded electrical plugs are easy to spot, many of the dangers in your kitchen take a trained professional eye and tools to spot.

April 19, 2018
4 min read

Four Potential Threats Lurking in Your Kitchen

The kitchen is a focal point where food is prepared and often serves as a social center for the family. Your home inspector will check many items in your kitchen but not everything. For example, freestanding and “built in” appliances. They’re looking for details in the big picture of the structure and systems of your home.

Kitchen Dangers to Eliminate

As your home inspector opens cupboards, checks under the sink, and pokes around in your kitchen they’re looking for health and safety indicators that can harm the home or potentially threaten you and your family.

Water Leaks

Tiny leaks can lead to big problems. Under the sink or behind your dishwater small leaks can seep into floors and walls causing rot and structural damage. Common leaks are from the faucet, a hose connection from the dishwasher, pipes under the sink, and rusted garbage disposal units.

Surface moisture is also a host for toxic black mold. Mold remediation can require tearing out floors and walls. Eliminating the mold, and replacing the floor, flooring, walls and wall coverings can be costly. It is also potentially deadly, so you want all of it gone from your house.

Mold In Kitchen Cabinet


Water and electricity are a dangerous combination which can lead to shock and sparks that can cause a fire. Exposed wiring next to garbage disposals and under sink pipes is one of the most common danger findings. Your inspector will recommend conduit to cover exposed wires.

In older kitchens with few electrical outlets, it’s easy to overload the outlet with extensions or multiple plugs outlets inserted into one socket. These overloads can trip a circuit off or worse yet spark a fire. Faulty wiring accounts for over 33 percent of home fires. Plug heat producing cooking appliances like toaster ovens or standalone convection ovens, into one socket without extension cords or power strips.

Outlet Wire Color Coding

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is an odorless and tasteless gas that can cause death. Leaks from a gas stove and oven appliances as well as gas fueled water heaters can be a deadly threat to you and your family. Your home inspector will test for leaks, but your safest assurance is to install a carbon monoxide monitor in your house.  

Inoperative Detector

Radon Gas

Radon is a gas that forms as uranium decomposes in soil, rocks, and water.  The invisible gas enters the air and can put you at risk for cancer and other radiation illnesses. The Surgeon General has named radon the second leading cause of lung cancer. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), The San Francisco Bay Area and Alameda County are at moderate risk for radon in the home.

Granite countertops (rock) can be a source of radon, and holes in walls, foundation cracks, and wall holes, and gaps in suspended floors.

Risk increases if your water source is a well. And just when you think you are protecting your family by washing dishes, the agitation of vigorous scrubbing or in the dishwasher releases radon from the water.

At Inspect.net, because radon testing is not part of our home inspection service, we recommend that you test for radon if you’re in a high risk area.

Granite May Contain Radon

Keep Your Kitchen Safe

While overloaded electrical plugs are easy to spot, many of the dangers in your kitchen take a trained professional eye and tools to spot.

A home inspection is an investment in peace of mind. Your inspection includes a complete look from roof to foundation. We’ll alert you to trouble spots if we find them. If we don’t, you’ll rest easy knowing your home and your family are safe. Calls us schedule your home inspection today at (510) 200-7555.

TIPS … for home owners & buyers 🙂

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