Independent Home Inspections and Consulting LLC

                                                                              

                      Sample Inspection Report

 

Client Name(s):

IHIC Account No.:

Richard Blane and Ilsa Lund

0701001

 

 

Mailing Address:

Property Inspected:

123 Your Street

123 Any Street

Your City, Michigan 48456

Any City, Michigan 48123

 

 

Date and Time:

Weather Conditions:

Date of inspection:      January 6, 2007

Conditions:        Overcast sky

Time of inspection:     11:00 a.m..

Temperature:     27° F

 

 

Inspection Performed By:

People Present:

Eric Batke

Buyers

 

Broker

 

 

Other Information:

 

House is occupied

Inspection Fee:  $ _ _ _

 

 

 

 

Dear Client, thank you for asking me to inspect the property that is the subject of this report.  The inspection was performed according to standards of practice of the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI). See NACHI Standards of Practice for a copy.  The report does not represent a warranty, expressed or implied, or an endorsement for or against the purchase of the property.  The report is for the sole, confidential and exclusive use of the client and is not assignable to third parties.  I urge you to take the time to read through and understand the contents of the report; the “Definition of Key Terms”, plus all findings, recommendations and remarks to ensure it accurately reflects all the conditions that were disclosed to you during the inspection.  If you have any questions or need further clarification on any items, please feel free to call my office.

 

In order to prevent false expectations, it is important to understand that a home inspection should not be considered an insurance policy designed to eliminate all risk.  The inspector is a generalist with limited access and time and will not find every little problem during the several hours spent at the site.  The task of the inspector is to identify major problems or potential problems through visual inspection of certain components and advise the client as to condition or when a licensed specialists, should be called in for further examination.  In many cases, further examination involves disassembly or destructive measures which require licensed specialists.  The inspector cannot predict the future or see through walls or under floor covering; nor does the inspector dismantle items, perform destructive testing or excavation, move furniture or stored property.  For that reason, undisclosed problems are often revealed during repairs or after further evaluation by a tradesperson.  Therefore, defects hidden or concealed at the time of inspection are excluded from this report.  The State of Michigan “Seller Disclosure Act” requires a prescribed written “Sellers Disclosure Statement” be provided by the owners of the property to the buyer prior to purchase.  This is your best source of information regarding the history of the home and any known problems.  Be sure to get and keep a signed copy of the disclosure statement.  It is essential; you carefully review the disclosure statement and address any questions or concerns with the owner prior to purchase.

 

 

 

 


Table of Contents

 

Definition of Key Terms_ 4

Major systems life expectancies for the next 5 years_ 5

Detailed Report 6

Structure_ 6

Building_ 6

Building Orientation_ 6

Roof Framing_ 7

Outside Wall Framing_ 7

Foundation_ 7

Main Floor Structure * 7

Beams and Columns_ 8

Exterior 9

Roof Covering_ 9

Exposed Flashing_ 10

Gutters & Downspouts * 10

Roof Ventilation_ 11

Chimney(s) 12

Chimney located within structure_ 12

Exterior Wall Covering_ 12

House Trim * 13

Entrance Doors_ 13

Front door 13

Right side door - Basement/Kitchen landing entrance_ 13

Left side door – Sunroom entrance_ 14

Back left side door – Living room entrance_ 14

Second floor balcony – Master bedroom_ 14

Utilities Service Entrance_ 14

Gas Service Entrance_ 14

Electrical Service Entrance * 15

Porch / Deck / Stairs_ 15

Front porch_ 15

Left side stairs * 16

Back left side deck 16

Garage_ 17

Garage Structure * 17

Garage Interior * 18

Garage Door 19

Exterior Door 19

Grounds_ 20

Driveway * 20

Sidewalks 21

Grading * 21

Foliage * 22

Interior Areas_ 24

General Findings and Remarks_ 24

Attic * 24

Insulation (Attic) * 25

Hallways and Stairways_ 26

Foyer/First Floor Hallway_ 26

Second Floor Hallway_ 26

Main Floor Stairway_ 27

Basement Stairway * 27

Bathrooms_ 28

Main bathroom * 28

Half bathroom_ 29

Master bedroom bathroom * 30

Basement bathroom * 31

Bedrooms_ 33

Bedroom 1 – Northwest corner * 33

Bedroom 2 – Southwest corner * 34

Bedroom 3 – Master bedroom_ 35

Living / Great Room_ 35

Dining Room * 36

Sunroom * 37

Kitchen * 38

Laundry Area * 39

Basement * 40

Mechanical Systems_ 44

Plumbing * 44

Water Heater 45

Electrical * 47

Heating * 48

Cooling_ 50

Closing Remarks_ 52

 

* Items with an asterisk indicate a condition exists that warrants awareness or correction.

 

 

 

 


Definition of Key Terms

 

The access or condition of a given item will be labeled with one or more of the following terms.

 

Appears functional:  Items that appear to be performing their intended purpose or function(s) in full.  No indications of nonperformance or need for repairs were observed at the time of inspection.  (Note: An item may work well, be near the end of its lifespan and still be rated as Appears Functional)  The term Appears functional will appear in black type.

 

Appears functional with minor exceptions:  Items that appear functional, however, have cosmetic or minor deficiencies or may not meet professional standards.  The intent is to make the client aware of the deficiency, though the degree of deficiency is such that no action is required or is optional.  Because of their low importance, these items will not be highlighted with an asterisk.  The term Appears functional with minor exceptions will appear in black type.

 

Not visible:  Items that cannot be visually examined.  The term Not visible will appear in black type.

 

Appears functional with exceptions:  Items performing only part, but not all of their intended function.  Continued monitoring or repairs or corrections are needed to restore the items full function or normal life expectancy.  The term Appears functional with exceptions will appear in dark red type to help easily identify items with this condition.

 

Not accessible:  Items that were concealed at the time of inspection and require further research by the client.  The term Not accessible will appear in dark red type to help easily identify items with this condition.

 

Shutdown:  A piece of equipment or system is shutdown when it cannot be operated by the device or control, which a homeowner would use to normally operate it.  The true functional condition of the equipment or system in a shutdown condition is undetermined.  Further research is advised.  The term Shutdown will appear in dark red type to help easily identify items with this condition.

 

Not functional:  Item not performing its intended function and may include unsafe conditions.  Repairs, corrections or replacement are needed to restore safety and function.  The term Not functional will appear in red type to help easily identify items with this severe deficiency.

 

Unsafe:  A condition that may cause property damage, personal injury or threatens the life or health of the occupants.  Urgent repairs, corrections or replacement are needed for safety.  The term Unsafe will appear in red type to help easily identify items with this severe deficiency.

Back to Table of Contents

 

 

 

 


Major systems life expectancies for the next 5 years

 

The following summary is, in the opinion of the inspector, a reasonable expectation for replacement or repairs of key major systems over the next 5 years.  It is not a guarantee or warranty of their future useful life expectancies.  It is an opinion based on their condition at the time of inspection and normal life expectancies of a given system.

 

Roof:

The roof covering is only 2 years old and appears functional; Replacement is unlikely.

 

Structural:

The overall structure appears functional; Repairs are unlikely.

 

Foundation:

The foundation appears functional; Repairs are unlikely.

 

Plumbing:

The plumbing is a series of additions and modifications to the original plumbing that has become overly complicated with many obsolete components left in place.  This includes supply, drain and vent lines.  The original supply lines are galvanized steel and near the end of their useful life.  It is likely repairs will be required.

 

Heating / Cooling:

The boiler is approaching the end of its useful life and has some problems.  Repair or replacement is likely.

 

Electrical:

The electrical system appears functional; Repairs are unlikely.

Back to Table of Contents

 

 

 

 


Detailed Report

 

Structure

 

Building

Findings

Type:                     Single family dwelling

Age:                      59 Years old (Original structure built in 1948, substantial renovations in 2005)

Construction:       Original structure is masonry; Subsequent additions are wood frame.

Back to Table of Contents

 

Building Orientation

Findings

 

Front faces east.

 

 

Building Orientation Remarks

While all sides of the building are exposed to the elements, the sides of the building that are exposed to the north and south are subject to more harsh conditions that can result in wear and deterioration in exterior wall, trim and roof coverings long before the east/west sides show any problems.

 

The north side of the building will always be in shade.  This shaded area will take longer to dry resulting in a higher risk of water damage such as; cracked, rotted or damaged mortar and bricks – rotted wood – mildew, mold or moss growing on wall, trim and roof coverings.

 

The south side of the building will be exposed to excessive heat and constant ultra violate rays (UV) from the sun, even on overcast days.  UV rays will prematurely break down and dry out many building materials such as paint, vinyl, caulking, roof shingles, etc.

 

Therefore it is advised that a little more attention be paid to the homes north/south exposures, especially if they are sides of the building not normally seen when in the yard.

Back to Table of Contents

 

Roof Framing

Findings

Type:                            Combination of wood rafters and wood trusses.

Condition:                   Appears functional

Back to Table of Contents

 

Outside Wall Framing

Findings

Condition:                   Appears functional

Back to Table of Contents

 

Foundation

Findings

Type:                            Masonry block

Condition:                   Appears functional

 

 

Foundation Remarks

Cracks in Foundation Walls

Hairline cracks in poured concrete or masonry walls are typical and occur when the concrete/mortar shrinks as it cures.  These are normal and pose no major concern.  However, vertical or step cracks should be a concern because they usually occur due to heaving caused by frost penetration or expansive clay soils, settling caused by inadequate footers, shifted ground or incorrectly compacted soil.  Horizontal cracks can be caused by lateral pressure on the outside wall from frost or incorrectly backfilled excavations.  In any case, cracks wider than one-eighth inch may warrant further investigation by a structural engineer.

Back to Table of Contents

 

Main Floor Structure *

Floor Joist

Findings

Type:                            Wood joist

Condition:                   Appears functional with exceptions

-   Joists have holes that are too close to edges and each other.

 

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants awareness and monitoring.  If cracks in joist develop condition warrants evaluation by a structural engineer.

 

Sub-flooring

Type:                            Plywood

Condition:                   Appears functional

Back to Table of Contents

 

Beams and Columns

Beams

Findings

Type:                            Steel

Condition:                   Appears functional

 

Piers/Columns

Findings

Type:                            Steel

Condition:                   Appears functional

Back to Table of Contents

 


 

Exterior

 

Roof Covering

Findings

Method used
to observe:                   From ground with binoculars

Roof style:                  Gable and hip

Pitch:                           Appears functional

Roof covering:            Asphalt/Fiberglass shingle over main structure with build-up roofing over sun room.

Layers of covering:    One layer of shingles

Approximate age
of covering:             2 Years

Condition:                   Appears functional

 

 

Roof Covering Remarks

Pitch

Pitch is a term used to describe the steepness of a roofs angle and is important because the pitch of a roof determines the permissible roof coverings.

 

Asphalt/Fiberglass Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the least expensive type of shingle and are also the most common. These shingles are thin and can last from 15 to 20 years.

 

Fiberglass shingles are made like asphalt shingles and contain the same materials. However, they’re thicker and give a more textured look to your roof. They cost at least twice as much as the common asphalt shingle, but can last longer, up to 30 years.

 

Asphalt/Fiberglass shingles are composed of asphalt saturated mats made from organic felts or fiberglass. The asphalt is protected from the sun's UV light by roofing granules pressed into the shingle while it is hot (and soft). The roofing granules are 1 millimeter-sized stones (e.g., of crushed granite), which are coated with an inorganic silicate material. The coating contains microscopic pigment particles, similar to those used in paint, to provide color.

 

Build-up roofing

All shingle type roof covering systems (asphalt, tile, wood etc.) protect the home by utilizing the pitch of the roof to shed water away.  Shingle type covering systems are not water proof.  In a flat roof there is no pitch to aid in shedding water so their roofing system must be waterproof.  The most common method used to achieve a waterproof covering is a built-up roofing system.  It consists of plies or layers of roofing felt bonded together on site with hot bitumen (asphalt or coal-tar pitch).  It is laid down to conform to the roof deck and to seal all angles formed by projecting surfaces so that it constitutes a single-unit flexible waterproof membrane.  The typical life expectancy of a build-up type roof covering is 10 to 20 years.

 

Roof Covering Life Expectancy

It is impossible for anyone to predict exactly when any roof covering system may fail.  The most reliable method for determining the useful life left in an apparently functional roof covering system is to take the life expectancy of the covering system, less the length of time the roof system has been installed to get the estimated remaining life expectancy.  This remaining life expectancy is also subject to variables that can cause durability issues, wear-out or material failures earlier than expected.  Those being:

·        type, quality, and rated or design-life of roofing material selected

·        roofing material color

·        roofing material storage condition before & during installation

·        installation/workmanship details such as underlayment, flashing

·        installation/workmanship details errors such as nailing, insufficient, improper pattern, or improper location

·        building factors: roof slope, problem areas in roof shape & design, and orientation towards sunlight

·        attic or under-roof ventilation

·        exposure to damage (wind, tree limbs, hail, snow, ice, foot traffic)

·        technical material and design details (roofing material components, manufacturing process, wind-uplift prevention)

·        marketing and economic considerations (aggressive sale of new roofing material by some contractors, reluctance to or economic reasonableness of patching damaged areas on older roofs)

·        variations in climate and other local weather conditions.  Higher thermal load (hotter climates) means shorter life.  For example, the typical life expectancy of asphalt shingle in hotter climates such as Yuma, AZ is 12.6 years and Ft. Meyer FL is 14.1 years, while a cooler climate such as Chicago, IL is 19.7 years and Erie, PA is 20.7 years.

 

The important thing to remember is that replacement of a roof system should be made as it nears it estimated useful life prior to its failure.  There is no cost advantage in trying to squeeze every bit of life out of a roof system until a failure occurs.  This can result in significantly higher costs due to water damage to the interior as a result of leaks.

Back to Table of Contents

 

Exposed Flashing

Findings

Material:                      Aluminum

Condition:                   Appears functional

 

 

Exposed Flashing Remarks

All metal flashing should be painted (and the painting maintained periodically) in order to prevent corrosion and extend the life of the flashing.  In addition, areas where there are separations or the caulking has dried out, cracked or are missing, should be re-caulked.  Never caulk or seal along the bottom of flashing as it can trap water behind the flashing causing moisture damage.

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Gutters & Downspouts *

Findings

Material:                      Aluminum

Condition:                   Appears functional with exceptions

-   Gutters on garage have negative fall.*

-   Debris in gutter.**

-   Downspout extension opening below grade (opening blocked by earth).***

 

 

Recommendation:

·   *Condition warrants correction.

·   **Large trees nearby warrants the installation of gutter screens.

·   ****Raise downspout extensions by adding splash blocks and ensure water runoff is at least six feet from foundation.

 

 

Gutter & Downspout Remarks

It’s easy to underestimate the important roll gutters and downspouts play in protecting the home’s structure and foundation from water damage because we don’t realize the amount of rainwater they collect and divert away from the house.  Roofs collect an enormous amount of rainwater.  To illustrate this, take a relatively modest twenty by thirty foot gabled roof home with two foot eves.  The surface area of the roof would be at a minimum 884 square feet.  For each inch of rainfall, that roof will shed over 552 gallons of rainwater.  If the average rainfall for the area is 32 inches per year that roof will shed 17,680 gallons per year.  That is a lot of water to just let run down the sides of the house and accumulate at the foundation.  It is important to understand, that houses are not waterproof; they are water resistant and rainwater shed from a roof can easily overwhelm any exterior covering or foundation drainage system.  Therefore, properly installed, maintained and operating gutter and downspout systems are essential.

 

A properly installed system will have a gutter running along the base of each slope of a roof.  Each gutter will have a gradual pitch towards a downspout.  There should be 50 feet or less gutter length for each downspout.  The gutters and downspouts should be firmly supported and attached to the house.  The seams at the connection of gutter sections should be sealed to prevent leakage.  All gutter and downspout component connections should be fastened only with rivets.  Screws would protrude into the water flow and can snag debris often causing debris accumulation and blockage.

 

Because the gutters and downspouts are highly vulnerable to weather damage caused by high winds, ice and snow or blockage from tree sticks, seeds, leaves and other blowing debris, they should be inspected at least twice a year.  If you have large trees near by, then you may need to check more often to ensure there is no blockage.  It is also wise to inspect the entire gutter and downspout system after a severe storm.

 

Gutter screens are helpful in reducing debris accumulation in the gutters but they themselves can become blocked, so periodic inspections are still needed even if you have gutter screens.

 

It is imperative that gutters and downspouts are keep free flowing and clean of debris, and that water run off from the downspouts be directed away from the house foundation by ensuring downspout extensions or splash blocks (sloped away from the foundation) of six feet or more are in place and maintained.

Back to Table of Contents

 

Roof Ventilation

Findings

Type:                            Roof vents in combination with gable vents.

Condition:                   Appears functional

 

 

Roof Ventilation Remarks

In a properly ventilated roof, soffit vents or drip edge vents along the eves work in conjunction with the upper roof, ridge or gable vents to provide the necessary venting to create a current of air flow up, into and then out of the attic.  Proper ventilation that provides sufficient air current will carry away any warm moisture laden air infiltration from the house below before it can accumulate and cause problems.

 

All vents should have some type of screen or mesh to prevent pest infestation.  While stains or discoloration around vents in the soffit may be unattractive, they are good in that they are an indication that the ventilation is working properly.  Air is flowing through them.  Ensure this screen or mesh is not blocked by debris or thick layers of paint.

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Chimney(s)

Chimney located within structure

Findings

Material:                      Brick

Rain cap:                      Missing*

Flue liner:                    Present

Condition:                   Appears functional with minor exceptions

Recommendation:

·   *Rain cap should be installed to prevent not only rain, but small animals, rodents and birds from entering the chimney.

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Exterior Wall Covering

Findings

Covering Type:            Vinyl

Condition:                   Appears functional

 

 

Exterior Wall Remarks

Aluminum, Vinyl or Fibrous Siding

Aluminum, vinyl or fibrous siding may be waterproof, long lasting and offer low maintenance, however, continued exposure to UV from the sun, wind, rain, snow or ice, or hot and cold temperature extremes will take their toll.  Therefore, periodic inspection is necessary to ensure timely discovery of items such as damage from weather, failure of mechanical attachment, failure of caulking or problems from improper installation.  Prompt action will minimize further damage to the exterior covering and the underlying structure.

 

Promptly repair or replace damaged, separated or missing siding and trim.

 

Ensure caulking around windows and doors and along trim is in good repair.  Remove and replace dried, cracked or missing caulk with a quality exterior grade caulk.

 

Fill any small nail or screw holes left from previous attachments to the siding with caulk.

 

Exterior stucco is a very durable material; however, regular maintenance is required to prevent excessive water penetration.  Because stucco is brittle, it is prone to developing cracks.  If small cracks are not repaired they can allow excessive amounts of water penetration that can result in further break down of the stucco and subsequent water damage to the underlying structure.

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House Trim *

Findings

Material:                      Aluminum

 

Roof Trim:                 Box cornice (Roof that extends out past the house walls with the underside enclosed).

Condition:

Rake:             Appears functional

Fascia:           Appears functional

Soffits:          Appears functional with exceptions

-   Caulking needed under gable peaks.

Frieze:           Appears functional

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants correction.

 

Window Trim:

Condition:            Appears functional

Back to Table of Contents

 

Entrance Doors

Front door

Findings

Type:                            Single swing door

Material:                      Metal

Condition:                   Appears functional

 

Doorbell:                   Appears functional

 

Storm/Screen Door:               None

 

Outdoor Light:         Appears functional

 

 

Right side door - Basement/Kitchen landing entrance

Findings

Type:                            Single swing door

Material:                      Metal

Condition:                   Appears functional

 

Doorbell:                   None

 

Storm/Screen Door:               None

 

Outdoor Light:         Appears functional

 

 

Left side door – Sunroom entrance

Findings

Type:                            Single swing door

Material:                      Metal and glass

Condition:                   Appears functional

 

Doorbell:                   None

 

Storm/Screen Door:               None

 

Outdoor Light:         Appears functional

 

 

Back left side door – Living room entrance

Findings

Type:                            French doors

Material:                      Vinyl and glass

Condition:                   Appears functional

 

Screen Door:             Present

Material:              Vinyl

Condition:            Appears functional

 

 

Second floor balcony – Master bedroom

Findings

Type:                            French doors

Material:                      Metal and glass

Condition:                   Appears functional

 

Storm/Screen Door:               None

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Utilities Service Entrance

Gas Service Entrance

Findings

Location:                     Front

Condition:                   Appears functional

 

 

Gas Service Entrance Remarks

Know Where The Main Gas Shutoff Is And How To Turn It Off

The gas supply to your home is under constant pressure and if there is a failure in a pipe, valve, or an appliance then the uninterrupted flow of gas can pose serious threat to your home and its occupants with lethal consequences.  In case of an emergency it is essential all responsible adults in the home know where and how to operate the main gas shutoff.

 

Complimentary Instructional Main Gas Shutoff Tag

Because of the importance of knowing where the gas main is and how to shut it off, a tag with pictorial and written instruction on shutting down the gas main has been provided to you during the inspection as a safety service.  See the Emergency Utility Shutoff Instructions that are included on this CD for additional important information.

 

 

Electrical Service Entrance *

Findings

Type:                            Overhead

Location:                     Back

Condition:                   Appears functional

Earthing:                      Present

Clearance:                   Appears functional with exceptions

-   Conductor wires touching trees†

 

 

Recommendation:

·   †Have tree limbs trimmed back to allow sufficient clearance.

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Porch / Deck / Stairs

Front porch

Findings

Type:                            Concrete over masonry

Condition:                   Appears functional

 

Guard Railing:

Type:                     Metal

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Stairs:

Type:                     Concrete

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Hand Rail:

Type:                     Metal

Condition:            Appears functional

 

 

Left side stairs *

Findings

 

Stairs:

Type:                     Concrete

Condition:            Appears functional with exceptions

-   Steps have deteriorated concrete.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants correction.

 

Hand Rail:

Condition:            Not functional - Unsafe

-   Hand rail is missing.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants correction.  See Safety in Porch, Deck and Stairs Remarks section below.

 

 

Back left side deck

Findings

Access                         Not fully visible - Underside not fully accessible.

Type:                            Wood

Condition:                   Visible / accessible portions appear functional

 

Guard Railing:

Type:                     Wood

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Stairs:

Type:                     Wood

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Hand Rail:

Type:                     Wood

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Outdoor Electrical Receptacle:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

 

Porch, Deck and Stairs Remarks

Periodic inspection and maintenance of porches, decks and exterior stairs is important since damaged or deteriorated members can pose a safety hazard.  In addition, settlement can cause improper drainage and damage to the house.

 

Safety

To ensure safety, it is important that porches, decks and stairs around your home have the following safety features in their designs and function:

·        All raised porches and decks that are higher than 30 inches from the ground should have guard railings around them.  The height of the guard railing should be a minimum of 36 inches.

·        To minimize trip hazards the height of the steps of a staircase should be 8 ¼ inches or less with all the steps having a uniform height with no more than a 3/8 inch variance between steps.

·        Stairs with two or more steps should have a handrail that is between 34 and 36 inches high; also with balustrade spacing of no more then 4 inches.

·        The following is necessary to minimize the risk of injury (sometimes fatal) to small children by preventing them from squeezing through or getting their head stuck in between larger spaces:

-        Guardrail balustrade spacing (the vertical members supporting the top rail) should be no more than 4 inches.

-        The space between the porch or deck surface and the bottom rail of the guardrail should be no more than 4 inches.

-        Stair, porch or deck guardrails should not be climbable.  Guardrails with horizontal or diagonal members that allow a foothold at any point above the bottom rail can pose a safety hazard for children.

-        The riser openings (back of stairs) should not have any openings larger than 4 inches.

 

                              

Back to Table of Contents

 

Garage

Findings

Type:                            Detached

 

Garage Structure *

 

Construction:        Wood frame

 

Garage Roof Structure:

Condition:            Appears functional with exceptions

-   Roof has slight sagging.

-   Joist removed to allow clearance for rollback garage door and automatic opener.

 

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants evaluation and repairs by a licensed contractor.

 

Garage Roof Covering:

Type                      Same Asphalt/Fiberglass shingles as house

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Exterior Garage Walls:

Covering Type:    Same as the house - Vinyl

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Garage Interior *

Interior Garage Wall Covering:

Type:                     None - Exposed studs with some pegboard

Condition:            Appears functional with exceptions

-   Interior has moister stains.  The stains are dry and may be from a previous condition that has been corrected.

 

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants awareness and monitoring.

 

Garage Floor

Condition:            Appears functional with minor exceptions

-   Common cracks present.

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants awareness.

 

Garage Electrical:             

Condition:            Appears functional with exceptions - Unsafe

-   Electrical receptacles not GFCI protected.

-   Electrical receptacle(s) loose.

-   Electrical receptacle(s) missing cover.

-   Electrical wiring below ceiling and along wall not in conduit subject to damage.

 

                                                  

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants evaluation and repairs by a licensed electrical contractor.

·   GFCI protection is needed.  See the GFCI remarks in the Electrical Remarks section for additional information regarding GFCI.

 

 

Garage Door

Type:                     Double

Style:                    Overhead.  See Overhead Garage Door below in the Garage Remarks section for important information.

Material:              Metal

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Automatic Opener: 

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Recommendation:

·   See Automatic Garage Door Openers below in the Garage Remarks section for important information.

 

Outdoor Light(s): Appears functional

 

 

Exterior Door

Condition:            Appears functional

 

 

Garage Remarks

Overhead Garage Door

Overhead garage doors are much heavier than you might think.  They can weigh in excess of 400 pounds.  It is easy to underestimate the weight and potential danger since all overhead systems have two large springs that counter balance the weight of the door and allow you to easily open and close it manually.  These springs are typically under an enormous amount o f tension and when they break, damage to the door, property or injury to individuals can result if they fail while in use.  You should note that garage door springs have a typical life expectancy of about 10,000 cycles after which failure is inevitable.  Depending on daily usage, you can expect springs to last about 7 to 10 years.  Therefore, you should never allow people or pets to run under a garage door while it is operating.  Unfortunately, you will not be able to detect the amount of wear or remaining life left in the springs.  When a spring breaks, you should have both springs replaced at the same time because the second spring is only a matter of months away from breaking.

 

Garage doors have a number of moving parts (hinges, rollers, pulleys, cables etc.) that require periodic inspection and maintenance.  Lubricate door track wheels and hardware with 30SAE weight motor oil on all bearing surfaces.  Use lithium or silicone spray on the vertical and horizontal tracks.

 

If parts need replacement or the door is not operating properly, have the door inspected and repaired by a reputable and experienced professional.  Most garage door installation companies offer reasonably priced garage door inspection and tune-up services.  Even if you are mechanically inclined and are handy with tools, you should never try to service the springs or any parts under tension yourself because of the high risk of serious injury.

 

Automatic Garage Door Openers

To ensure safety, all automatic openers should have the three safety features listed below installed:

·        Automatic Reverse Mechanism

All automatic openers manufactured and installed after 1982 have an auto reverse safety mechanism that stops the door from closing and automatically reverses and opens the door if it should hit something as it is coming down.  If your automatic opener does not have this feature or it is not functioning, then it is essential that the opener be repaired or replaced.  Failure of this safety feature could result in property damage or serious injury, possibly fatal, to people or pets.  It is not unusual for these mechanisms to be improperly adjusted or not functional at all.  Periodic testing is essential and very easy to perform.  Simply place a 2”X4” board on the driveway in the path of the garage door.  As the door closes and makes contact with the 2”X4” board it should reverse immediately without significant pressure.  If you have a photo electric beam (explained below) it will be necessary to place the 2”X4” board either below the beam or on blocks above the beam so as not to block the beam and allow operation.

 

·        Release Cord

A second safety feature you should have on your automatic opener is a quick release device with a cord you can easily reach.  This allows you to quickly disengage the door from the automatic opener with a simple pull from the cord allowing you to override the system and operate the door manually in the event of an emergency, malfunction or power outage.  Ensure you can reach the cord when the door is in the open position and that the device both disengages and reengages the automatic opener to the door.

 

·        Safety Photo Electric Beam Mechanism

A third safety feature is now standard on all automatic garage door openers manufactured and installed after 1993.  It employs a photo electric beam positioned at the base of the garage door.  If the beam is broken while the door is closing it will also automatically stop and reverse the door.  What makes this safer is that no contact with the door is needed to trip the system.  Moreover, if there is anything (car, pet, person, bike, etc.) blocking the beam while the door is open, the opener will not start and the door will not move.  If you have pets or small children and your opener does not have a photo electric beam safety system, then I highly recommended that one be installed.  For testing photo electric beam reversing mechanisms, place the 2”X4”board such that it breaks the beam.  Then attempt to close the door.  It should not move at all and if the beam is broken while the door is closing, it should reverse immediately.

 

If your automatic opener does not have these safety features or any one of them fail to work properly, have them installed, repaired or replaced immediately.

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Grounds

Driveway *

Findings

Type:                            Concrete

Condition:                   Appears functional with exceptions

-   Property has two driveways.  The front drive is recently installed and appears functional.  The driveway on the north side of the house is very old and has major cracks with the surface raised and settled creating trip hazards.

 

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants correction.

 

 

Driveway Remarks:

Concrete Pavement

Minor cracks without differential settlement are normal.  Minor cracks should be filled with an epoxy-based sealant.  Wide cracks or cracks with differential movement may require replacement of the damaged portion.  This is especially true if the differential movement poses a tripping hazard.  Spalled concrete cannot be effectively repaired and will need to be removed and replaced.

 

 

Sidewalks

Findings

Type:                            Concrete

Condition:                   Appears functional

 

 

Grading *

Findings

Type:                            Level

Condition:                   Appears functional with exceptions

-   Insufficient slope away from the foundation at front basement windows.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

 

Grading Remarks

Maintaining proper grading around the house is essential to protect the homes foundation from the damages caused by excessive water.  Ensure soil is graded down to form a slope directed away from the foundation for at least six feet.  Maintain a minimum drop of 6 inches in six feet.  Do not use loose topsoil or mulch as it will absorb the water and allow it to drain down to the foundation.  Driveways, walkways and patios that slope toward the foundation walls should be repaired or replaced.  Replacement is expensive so if the condition and slope of the pavement permits, use a high quality silicone or concrete caulk to seal the joint where the pavement meets the foundation.  Monitor the repairs and reapply caulk if settlement cracking occurs.

 

 

Foliage *

Findings

Condition:                   Appears functional with exceptions

-   Shrubs planted too close to garage wall.

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants correction.

 

 

Landscaping and Foliage Remarks:

Landscaping is an important part of surface grade protection and enhances the appeal and value of a home.  Moreover, it is often a source of much pride and enjoyment for many homeowners.  It can also be a source of many problems for the home.  Awareness of the potential problems various landscaping practices pose for the structure will help you employ landscaping designs that minimize or avoid unnecessary damage to your home.

 

Often plants mature very slowly and water damage sometimes takes years to appear, so it’s easy to not notice or to underestimate the amount of undetected damage that poor landscaping practices can pose.  Listed below are some common landscaping practices that pose a risk for your home with a brief explanation of why.  Keeping these in mind will help you protect your home.

 

Raised Planting Beds Abutting the House

Raised planting beds, where the soil is near or past the top of the foundation can significantly reduce the life expectancy of all wall coverings including brick or stone.  In addition, raised beds increase the risk of water penetration and can cause severe damage and rot to the wood framing of the walls behind them.  It may also lead to leaky basements.

 

Tiered planting beds against masonry or poured concrete foundation walls that are at least eight inched below the top of the foundation walls are okay.  However, the foundation walls must have protective water dampening or waterproofing coatings and footing drain pipes/tiles.

 

Planter Boxes and Pots

Planter boxes, pots or hanging plants that are attached or rest against the structure can cause moisture damage to all wall coverings and should be avoided.  In particular, attached planter boxes along window sills can penetrate all type of wall coverings and cause extensive damage to wood framing members.

 

Creeping Plants

Creeping plants that are allowed to grow up the side of a house pose a number of threats to the house and will significantly reduce the life expectancy of all wall coverings.  Threats posed by creeping plants:

·        They will find their way into even the smallest openings and increase any cracks or gaps that exist as they grows and infiltrate the inside wall cavities.

·        They retain moisture against the wall covering that will lead to moisture damage.

·        They provide food and nesting for insects and pests that easily migrate into the house.

 

Wood Chips

Wood Chips provide food and nesting for insects and pests that can easily migrate into the house and therefore should not be used up against the foundation of the house.  In addition wood chips hold moisture that can lead to mildew, mold and fungi growth.

 

Large or Overgrown Trees and Shrubs

The roots of large trees and shrubs situated close to the house can damage the foundation or concrete sidewalks and driveways.  In addition, they can spread into the house drain pipes/tiles and sewer drains causing damage and blockage.

 

Overgrown branches from large trees and shrubs that touch or overhang the house also pose a threat.  Branches and leaves brushing against the roof or wall covering can cause excessive wear to the coverings, retain moisture and significantly reduce the life expectancy of the coverings, as well as provide access for insect and pests to the roof and walls of the house.

 

Broken branches or fallen trees from severe wind or ice storms can damage the roof, walls or windows of a house.  Moreover, damage to the house is usually compounded by the rain, snow or cold of the severe weather entering the home as well.  Broken branches or fallen trees also pose a risk of damage to any nearby overhead power, cable or phone lines.

 

Smaller Trees and Shrubs

Smaller trees or shrubs close to the house, that are non-dwarf species, will become a problem with growth.  See Large Trees and Shrubs above.

 

Dead Trees

Dead trees pose a threat and should be removed promptly, especially large ones where the tree or its branches can reach the house or a neighbor’s house if it fell.

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Interior Areas

 

General Findings and Remarks

Listed below are the typical construction materials used throughout the interior of the house plus any general findings or conditions that warrant comment.  Specific conditions if appropriate and any exceptions to the type of materials used will be reported in the detailed report of the room.

 

Findings

Ceilings and Walls:       

Material:                  Drywall

 

Floor Covering:             

Material:                  Wood and carpet

 

Trim:                                Wood

 

Windows:                       

Type:                        Double hung and sliding.

Material:                  Vinyl

Insulated:                 Double glazing

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Attic *

Findings

Access Type:               Pull down stairs

Location:                     Hall

Observation
method:                    Walked - Percentage 75 %

 

Sheathing:                  Plywood and OSB

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Storage:                      Flooring capable of Heavy storage.  Noted some loose floor panels.

 

Bathroom vent piping:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Plumbing vent stack:

Condition:            Appears functional with exceptions

-   Two plumbing vent stacks were found.  One appears functional and properly terminates outside above the roof.  The other terminates inside below the roof.  Cannot determine if it is old plumbing that is no longer connected.

 

 

Recommendation:

·   The plumbing vent stack ventilates the sewer/drain system.  Terminating the vent stack in the attic allows unhealthy sewer gases to vent into the attic.  To protect the occupants of the house the stack vent needs be ventilated to the exterior of the house.  This item is a safety hazard - correction is needed.

Back to Table of Contents

 

Insulation (Attic) *

Findings

Material:                      Fiberglass

Type:                            Roll/Batt

Average depth:            4 to 6 inches

Condition:                   Appears functional with exceptions

-   Poor coverage

R-Value:                      Approximate R rating:  R13 - R19

Vapor Retarder:          Present

 

Recommendation:

·   Add additional insulation.

 

 

Insulation Remarks

Lack of adequate insulation wastes energy and costs you money.  If your home lacks adequate insulation (see adequate insulation chart below) then it is one of the wisest expenditures you can make because the return is cost savings that pay for the insulation in a relatively short time.

 

Heat rises, so increasing insulation in the attic will provide the largest return for the lowest cost.  Also, since attics are relatively accessible and the procedure is simple requiring no special tools, many homeowners can substantially reduce the costs by performing the work themselves.  Follow the manufactures safety and installation instructions and take care to ensure the ventilation paths from the soffits to the roof vents are not blocked.

 

Adding insulation to sealed walls requires specialized techniques and equipment and should be performed by a licensed professional.

 

The following table is intended to provide adequate insulation R-values in existing construction.

Ceilings below ventilated attics

R-22 Minimum   R-30 Adequate  R-38 Preferred

Floors over unheated crawl spaces

R-19

2x4 exterior walls

R-11

2x6 exterior walls

R-19

 

Note: When adding insulation to existing insulation, never use insulation that has a vapor barrier (i.e. foil or kraft paper) and take care not to block the ventilation path of soffit vents by installing rigid ventilation baffles/channels within the roof rafters/trusses ate each soffit.

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Hallways and Stairways

Foyer/First Floor Hallway

Findings

Walls:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Ceiling:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Floor:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Electrical:

Lighting

Condition:        Appears functional

 

Electrical receptacles

Condition:        No electrical receptacles found.

 

Smoke Detector:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

 

Second Floor Hallway

Findings

Walls:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Ceiling:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Floor:

Condition:            Appears functional with minor exceptions

-   Floor squeaks.

 

Electrical:

Lighting

Condition:        Appears functional

 

Electrical receptacles

Condition:        No electrical receptacles found.

 

Smoke Detector:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

 

Main Floor Stairway

Findings

Stair structure:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Stair covering:         Carpet

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Handrail:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Guardrail:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Electrical:

Lighting

Condition:        Appears functional

 

Closet Door:

Condition:            Appears functional with minor exceptions

-   Closet door in stairwell opens out partially onto top stair landing.  Landing area is insufficient to safely accommodate this access.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants extra care when using closet to avoid stepping back too far and possibility falling down stairs.

 

Windows:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

 

Basement Stairway *

Findings

Stair structure:

Condition:            Appears functional with exceptions

-   Plumbing drain pipe enters through second riser causing a trip hazard.

-   Ceiling too low.  Should be 6’8” actual 5’11”.

 

                

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants awareness and care in the area.

 

Stair covering:         Carpet

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Handrail:

Condition:            Appears functional with minor exceptions

-   Stairway handrail has open ends.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition presents a trip hazard and warrants awareness and care to not catch clothing or bags in the open rail ends.

 

Guardrail:

Condition:            Not functional - Unsafe

-   Open side of stairway missing guardrail.  See photo above.

 

Recommendation:

·   This item is a safety hazard - correction is needed.

 

Electrical:

Lighting

Condition:        Appears functional

 

Stairway Door:

Condition:            Appears functional with exceptions

-   Stairwell door casing missing.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants correction.

Back to Table of Contents

 

Bathrooms

Main bathroom *

Findings

Walls:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Ceiling:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Floor:

Type:                     Tile

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Toilet:                        

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Sink(s):                     

Condition:            Appears functional

Sink Faucet:         Appears functional

Sink Drain:           Appears functional

 

Bathtub:                   

Condition:            Appears functional with exceptions

-   Caulking needed at tub to wall.

Bathtub Faucet:    Appears functional

Shower Head:      Appears functional

Bathtub Drain:     Appears functional

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants correction.

 

Room Door:

Condition:            Appears functional with exceptions

-   Door stop partially missing.

 

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants correction.

 

Electrical:

Lighting               

Condition:        Appears functional

 

Electrical receptacles

Condition:        Appears functional

 

Heat Source:

Distribution
Type:                 Baseboard

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Ventilation:               Appears functional

 

 

Half bathroom

Findings

Walls:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Ceiling:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Floor:

Type:                     Wood

Condition:            Appears functional with minor exceptions

-   Wood flooring is inappropriate to the typical bathroom environment.  It is highly susceptible to water/moisture damage and provides limited hygiene protection.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants awareness and monitoring.

 

Toilet:                        

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Sink(s):                     

Condition:            Appears functional

Sink Faucet:         Appears functional

Sink Drain:           Appears functional

 

Room Door:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Windows:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Electrical:

Lighting               

Condition:        Appears functional with minor exceptions

-   Light switch(s) located behind the door making access upon entering inconvenient.  The homeowner has installed a motion sensor to help minimize the problem.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants awareness.

 

Electrical receptacles

Condition:        Appears functional

 

 

Master bedroom bathroom *

Findings

Walls:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Ceiling:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Floor:

Type:                     Tile

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Toilet:                        

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Sink(s):                     

Condition:            Appears functional

Sink Faucet:         Appears functional

Sink Drain:           Appears functional with exceptions

-   Two sinks; drain stopper on right sink non-functional.

-   Left sink overflow drain leaks.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants correction.

 

Bathtub:                   

Condition:            Appears functional

Bathtub Faucet:    Appears functional with exceptions

-   Bathtub faucet has low water volume.

Bathtub Drain:     Appears functional

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants evaluation and repairs by a licensed plumbing contractor.

 

Shower:                    

Condition:            Appears functional

Shower Fixture:   Appears functional with exceptions

-   Low water volume at shower.

Shower Drain:      Appears functional

Enclosure:            Appears functional

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants evaluation and repairs by a licensed plumbing contractor.

 

Room Door:

Condition:            Not functional

-   Bathroom door is missing.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants correction.

 

Windows:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Electrical:

Lighting               

Condition:        Appears functional

 

Electrical receptacles

Condition:        Appears functional

 

Heat Source:

Distribution
Type:                 Baseboard

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Ventilation:               Appears functional

 

 

Basement bathroom *

Findings

Walls:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Ceiling:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Floor:

Type:                     Vinyl

Condition:            Appears functional with exceptions

-   Crack(s) in vinyl flooring.

-   Worn vinyl flooring.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants correction.

 

Toilet:                        

Condition:            Appears functional with minor exceptions

-   Toilet seat loose.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants awareness.

 

Sink(s):                     

Condition:            Appears functional

Sink Faucet:         Appears functional

Sink Drain:           Appears functional

Counter &
Cabinets:         
Appears functional

 

Bathtub:                   

Condition:            Appears functional

Bathtub Faucet:    Appears functional

Shower Head:      Appears functional

Bathtub Drain:     Appears functional

 

Room Door:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Electrical:

Lighting               

Condition:        Appears functional

 

Electrical receptacles

Condition:        Appears functional with exceptions

-   Electrical receptacle(s) not GFCI protected.

 

Recommendation:

·   GFCI protection was not required at the time of the homes construction, however installation of a GFCI receptacle on all bathroom circuits is highly recommended.  See the GFCI in the Electrical Remarks section for additional information regarding GFCI.

 

Heat Source:

Condition:            Not functional - No heat source provided

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants awareness.

 

Ventilation:               Appears functional with exceptions

-   Exhaust fan makes unusual noise.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants awareness and monitoring.

Back to Table of Contents

 

Bedrooms

Bedroom 1 – Northwest corner *

Findings

Walls:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Ceiling:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Room Door:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Closet Door:

Condition:            Appears functional with exceptions

-   Closet door pull knob missing.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants correction.

 

Floor:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Electrical:

Lighting               

Condition:        Appears functional

 

Electrical receptacles

Condition:        Sampling appears functional

 

Windows:

Emergency
egress:              Window(s) meet emergency egress requirement.

Condition:            Appears functional with minor exceptions

-   Window screen(s) worn.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants awareness.

 

Heat Source:

Distribution
Type:                 Baseboard

Condition:            Visible / accessible portions appear functional

 

Ceiling Fan:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Smoke Detector:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

 

Bedroom 2 – Southwest corner *

Findings

Walls:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Ceiling:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Room Door:

Condition:            Appears functional with exceptions

-   Casing around room door is missing.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants correction.

 

Closet Door:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Floor:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Electrical:

Lighting               

Condition:        Appears functional

 

Electrical receptacles

Condition:        Sampling appears functional

 

Windows:

Emergency
egress:              Window(s) meet emergency egress requirement.

Condition:            Appears functional with minor exceptions

-   Window screen(s) damaged / worn.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants awareness.

 

Heat Source:

Distribution
Type:                 Baseboard

Condition:            Visible / accessible portions appear functional

 

Ceiling Fan:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Smoke Detector:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

 

Bedroom 3 – Master bedroom  

Findings

Walls:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Ceiling:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Room Door:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Closet Door:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Floor:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Electrical:

Lighting               

Condition:        Appears functional

 

Electrical receptacles

Condition:        Sampling appears functional

 

Windows:  (located in walk-in closet)

Emergency
egress:              Room has exterior door that meets emergency egress requirement.

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Heat Source:

Distribution
Type:                 Baseboard

Condition:            Visible / accessible portions appear functional

 

Ceiling Fan:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Smoke Detector:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Carbon Monoxide Detector:

Condition:            None found

 

·   Suggest installing carbon monoxide detector in adult’s room See Carbon Monoxide Detectors in the Heating Remarks section.

Back to Table of Contents

 

Living Room

Findings

Walls:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Ceiling:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Floor:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Electrical:

Lighting                Room has switched outlets as primary lighting source.

Condition:        Appears functional

 

Electrical receptacles

Condition:        Sampling appears functional

 

Heat Source:

Distribution
Type:                 Baseboard

Condition:            Appears functional

Back to Table of Contents

 

Dining Room *

Findings

Walls:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Ceiling:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Floor:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Trim:

Condition:        Appears functional with exceptions

-   Sections of baseboard are missing.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants correction.

 

Electrical:

Lighting               

Condition:        Appears functional with minor exceptions

-   Light switch(s) located behind the door making access upon entering inconvenient.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants awareness.

 

Electrical receptacles

Condition:        Sampling appears functional

 

Windows:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Heat Source:

Distribution
Type:                 Baseboard

Condition:            Appears functional

Back to Table of Contents

 

Sunroom *

Findings

Walls:

Type:                     Painted  wood.

Condition:            Visible / accessible portions appear functional

 

Ceiling:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Floor:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Electrical:

Lighting               

Condition:        Appears functional

 

Electrical receptacles

Condition:        Appears functional with exceptions

-   Electrical receptacle(s) above heater baseboards.

 

Recommendation:

·   The location of electrical receptacles can allow electrical cords to drape across metal heated baseboards posing a risk for heat damage to cords and provides an electrical conductor in the event of a ground fault.  Condition warrants evaluation and repairs by a licensed electrical contractor.

 

Windows:

Type:                     Sliding

Material:              Aluminum

Insulated:              None; single pane glazing.

Condition:            Appears functional with exceptions

-   Cracked glass.

-   Window screen(s) worn.

 

Recommendation:

·   Conditions warrant correction..

 

Heat Source:

Distribution
Type:                 Baseboard

Condition:            Visible / accessible portions appear functional with exceptions

-   Homeowner has a portable electric space heater in the room indicating inadequate central heating in that area.

 

 

Recommendation:

·   Question the homeowner.  Condition may warrant evaluation and enhancements or modifications by a licensed heating contractor.

Back to Table of Contents

 

Kitchen *

Findings

Walls:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Ceiling:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Floor:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Sink(s):

Sink Condition:   Appears functional

Sink Faucet:         Appears functional

Sink Drain:           Appears functional

Disposal               Appears functional

 

Counter

Type:                     Laminate

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Cabinets

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Pantry Door

Condition:            Not functional

-   Pantry door is missing.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants correction.

 

Electrical:

Lighting:

Condition:        Appears functional

 

Electrical receptacles

Condition:        Appears functional

 

Windows:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Utility supply:

Gas Piping:          Not accessible – Range/Cook-top appliance prevents inspection.

240-volt outlet:   None Provided.

 

Icemaker
supply line:
           Not provided

Back to Table of Contents

 

Laundry Area *

Findings

Location:                   Service area on first floor

 

Washer Hook-up:

Discharge Type:      Tub

Open Plumbing        Appears functional

·   #

 

Electrical:

Outlet(s) – 120 Volt:

Condition:        Appears functional

Lighting:

 

240 Volt outlet:      None provided

 

Gas piping:              

Condition:                Appears functional with exceptions

-   Flexible gas hookup line touches dryer vent.

 

Recommendation:

·   Reroute gas hookup line to not come in contact with dryer vent.  Condition warrants correction.

 

Dryer vent:

Condition:                Appears functional with exceptions

-   Flexible aluminum foil used in dryer venting.  Should use rigid metal piping.

 

Recommendation:

·   Flexible piping is highly susceptible to trapping and collecting lint, making it more vulnerable to fire hazards.  Highly recommend replacing with ridged metal piping.

 

Laundry tub:         

Tub Condition:        Appears functional

Faucet:                     Appears functional

Drain:                       Appears functional

Plumbing
below tub:           
Appears functional

Counter & Cabinet      Appears functional

 

Walls & Ceiling:

Condition:                Appears functional

 

Floor:

Type:                        Wood

Condition:                Appears functional with minor exceptions

-   Wood flooring is inappropriate for the typical laundry area environment.  It is highly susceptible to water/moisture damage.  A catch pan with plumbing drain should be place under the washer.

Floor drain:              Present

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants awareness and monitoring.

 

Door:

Type:                        Bi-fold

Condition:                Appears functional

 

Windows:

Condition:                Appears functional with minor exceptions

-   Window screen(s) worn.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants awareness.

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Basement *

Findings

Type:                            Full basement

 

Wall:

Condition:            Appears functional with exceptions

-   Obsolete dryer vent hole in basement wall covered with aluminum foil and not properly sealed.

 

 

Recommendation:

·   The aluminum foil can be easily removed by small animals or rodents allowing access inside the house.

·   Condition warrants correction.

 

Floor:

Type                      Concrete

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Floor Drain:              Appears functional

 

Dampness:                None observed

 

Windows:

Type:                     Swing out

Material:              Steel

Insulated:              None; single pane glazing.

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Sump Pump:           

Type                      Pedestal

Condition             Appears functional

Discharge             Exterior surface

Check Valve:        Not functional - Missing*

Sump Pit
Covered:           No

 

Recommendation:

·   *Proper installation requires a check valve be present to reduce the sump pump run cycles and promote longer pump life.

 

Electrical:                 

Lighting:

Condition:        Appears functional

 

Electrical receptacles

Condition:        Sampling appears functional with exceptions

-   Open ground on some electrical receptacle(s).

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants evaluation and repairs by a licensed electrical contractor.

 

Wiring:

Condition:        Appears functional with exceptions - Unsafe

-   Open electrical junction boxes.

-   Open splices in electrical wiring.

-   Electrical wiring below ceiling not in conduit.

-   Electrical wiring along wall not in conduit.

 

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants evaluation and repairs by a licensed electrical contractor.

·   This item is a safety hazard - correction is needed.

 

Smoke Detector:

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Carbon Monoxide Detector:

Condition:            None found

 

Recommendation:

·   Suggest installing carbon monoxide detector in areas where fossil fuel burning appliances such as furnace or hot water tank exist.  See Carbon Monoxide Detectors in the Heating Remarks section.

 

 

Basement Remarks

Dampness

Basement dampness is a normal phenomenon that occurs in late spring and continues throughout the summer.  It is caused by warmer moisture laden air from the outside infiltrating into the cooler basement resulting in condensation.  If the relative humidity is high enough and basement air temperature low enough, water droplets can form on cooler walls and cold water pipes.  Basements dampness can be minimized or eliminated with one or more dehumidifiers depending on the capacity of the dehumidifiers, the size of the area and any rooms or partitions.  At minimum, moisture can cause mildew and a musty smell; worse it can cause mold, peeling paint, rust, wood rot, warping and other damages.  Therefore, use of a dehumidifier is highly recommended; especially if there are finished areas in the basement or it is used as a storage place for your valuables.

 

Detecting Water Penetration

Basements that leak and the conditions that cause it are usually capable of determination by the home inspector.  Often, however, the visible signs that would indicate a past or present problem are concealed.  The current homeowner may paint over a problem area or block visibility and access with piled storage.  In such cases the inspector may not be able to detect the signs of basement dampness or water penetration.  Moreover, if there has been a dry period prior to the time of inspection, signs of past water penetration may not be visible.  Also, when dry, it is impossible to determine if any causes or repairs of past problems that are visible have actually been corrected.

 

Water Penetration

Often minor water penetration can be corrected by performing following easy and mostly inexpensive suggestions:

·        Keep the gutters clear of debris and properly aligned so that they can carry water runoff to the downspouts.  Clogged gutters will allow the sometimes-substantial amount of water a roof collects, to overflow and run down the side of the house into the foundation.

·        Keep downspouts clear of debris and free flowing.  Sections and elbows that are secured with nails or screws that protrude into the downspout can cause debris to snag and accumulate.  These fasteners should be replaced with rivets.

·        Downspouts in combination with splash blocks should extend at least six feet from the foundation.

·        Use a clay-based soil tamped down to form a slope directed away from the foundation for at least six feet.  Maintain a minimum drop of 6 inches in six feet.  Do not use loose topsoil or mulch as it will absorb the water and allow it to drain down to the foundation.

·        Driveways, walkways and patios that slope toward the foundation walls should be repaired or replaced.  Replacement is expensive so if the condition and slope of the pavement permits, use a high quality silicone or concrete caulk to seal the joint where the pavement meets the foundation.  Monitor the repairs and reapply caulk if settlement cracking occurs.

 

Major water penetration can be difficult to correct and will be very expensive.  There are various approaches for dealing with water penetration and one should be weary of the many professional companies that attempt to correct the symptom rather then correct the problem.  One such method is to remove the overt presence of the water by trenching the concrete basement floor and installing a system of drains and sump pumps in floor near the foundation.  This does not actually fix the leak, it only controls the water once it has entered the home and may provide unsatisfactory results.  Another approach is to chemically treat the soil around the foundation.  This has been found to be of little value.  The most reliable solution is the have the perimeter of the foundation excavated, then repairs made and waterproofing membrane applied to the exterior basement walls and finally a system of exterior foundation drains installed with one or more sump pumps.

 

Cracks in Basement Floors

Fine-line cracks in poured concrete floors are typical and occur when the concrete shrinks as it cures.  These are normal and pose no major concern.  When cracks exceed a sixteenth of an inch they should be sealed with a quality sealant.  Cracks that exceed an eighth of an inch or in cases where there is differential settlement may warrant further investigation by a structural engineer.

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Mechanical Systems

 

Plumbing *

Findings

Source of
water supply:
       Public

 

Sewer system:         Public

 

Service entrance
and main valve
location:
             Basement

 

Main Line Piping:

Type:                     Plastic

Size:                      One inch

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Supply Lines:

Type:                     Copper and galvanized pipe

Size:   Trunk:        Three quarter inch

           Branch:      One half inch

Condition:            Appears functional with exceptions

-   Galvanized piping has moderate to heavy corrosion.

-   Galvanized piping appears to be near end of useful lifespan.

-   Supply line pipes lack proper support.

-   Old obsolete plumbing supply lines left in place.  All obsolete plumbing should be identified and removed to allow easy identification of active plumbing.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants awareness and monitoring.  See Galvanized Water Pipes in the Plumbing Remarks section below.

 

Drain / Vent Lines:

Type:                     Plastic and cast iron

Condition:            Appears functional with exceptions - Unsafe

-   An old washing machine standing drain pipe has been left in place in the basement.  This pipe has been left open ended.

-   Also note, the standing drain pipe has an improper trap.

Cleanouts:            Present

 

 

Recommendation:

·   Eventually the water in the trap will evaporate and allow unhealthy sewer gases into the house.  To protect the occupants of the house the old plumbing should be removed and capped.  This item is a safety hazard - correction is needed.

 

Vent Stack Pipe Above Roof:

Type:                     Plastic

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Hose Bibbs:

Location:              Left side and right side

Type:                     Standard

Interior shutoff
valve:                 Present on right hose bibb; Missing on left hose bibb.

Condition:            Shutdown – Winterized; not tested.

 

Recommendation:

·   See Hose Bibbs in the Plumbing Remarks section below for maintenance information.

 

Fuel System:

Type:                     Gas

Main shutoff
valve location:  Outside at gas meter

Condition:            Appears functional with exceptions - Unsafe

-   Gas pipe leaks at union on main line.  Leak flagged with warning tag during inspection.

-   Gas piping lacks proper support.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants evaluation and repairs by a licensed contractor.

·   This item is a safety hazard - correction is needed.

 

 

Water Heater

Type:                     Gas

Brand:                   A.O. Smith

Size:                      50 Gallons

Approximate
age:                   13 Years

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Recommendation:

·   Unit near end of useful lifespan.  See Water Heater Life Expectancy in the Plumbing Remarks section below.

Supply water
shutoff valve:   Installed

TPR Valve:           Temperature & Pressure Relief valve installed

TPR Pipe:             Appears functional

Gas shutoff
valve:                 Installed

Gas piping:           Appears functional

Vent Flue:            Appears functional

 

 

Plumbing Remarks

Know Where The Water Main Shutoff Is And How To Turn It Off

The water supply to your home is under constant pressure and if there is a failure in a pipe, hose, valve, or plumbing fixture then the uninterrupted flow of water can cause enormous damage to your home and its contents.  In case of an emergency it is essential all responsible adults in the home know where and how to operate the water main shutoff.

 

Complimentary Instructional Main Water Shutoff Tag

Because of the importance of knowing where the main water shutoff is and how to shut it off, a tag with pictorial and written instruction on shutting down the water main has been provided to you during the inspection as a safety service.  See the Emergency Utility Shutoff Instructions that are included on this CD for additional important information.

 

Hose Bibbs

Hose bibbs (outside faucets) must be shut off and drained during freezing weather.  This is done by first closing the inside shutoff valves and then opening the outside bibb to allow drainage.  The inside shutoff valves are usually located in the basement near the wall the hose bibb supply line exits the house.  Failure to close and drain the hose bibbs can result in costly freeze damage.

 

Water Heater Life Expectancy

The typical life expectancy of a water heater is 8 to 12 years, although units have been known to last many more years.  You cannot tell by looking at a unit when it will start leaking.  As the unit ages make frequent inspections for signs of leakage.  Early replacement of aged heaters may prevent major flooding and costly water damage.  To prevent scalding hazards set the hot water temperature to 120 degrees or less.

 

Galvanized Water Pipes

Galvanized pipe rusts from the inside out and you cannot determine the condition or the remaining life expectancy by observation alone.  The age of the pipe is the most reliable method of determining life expectancy.  Typically galvanized pip has a useful life expectancy of between 40 and 60 years, however, it has as been known to need replacement in as little as 20 to 30 years.  Replacement is very costly and can be done in stages starting with the horizontal piping first and then vertical pipes throughout the house later as needed.

 

The important thing to keep in mind galvanized pipe should be replaced prior to its failure.  There is no cost advantage in trying to squeeze every bit of life out this or any plumbing system component since a failure can result in substantially higher costs due to water damage to the interior as a result of leaks.

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Electrical *

Findings

Service Entrance

Location:             

Cable Type:          Aluminum

Amps:                   100

 

Main Panel

Type:                     Breakers

Room for additional

  Circuits?:           No

Branch Wiring:    2 wire copper with equipment ground

Wiring Method    Non-metallic

Condition:            Appears functional

 

Bonding

Condition:            Appears functional with exceptions

-   No visual evidence of bonding to gas piping system.

-   No visual evidence of bonding to hot water supply lines.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants correction.

 

 

Electrical Remarks

Know Where The Main Electrical Shutoff Is And How To Turn It Off

The electrical supply to your home is constant and an electrical fault or failure in the wiring, outlets, or an appliance that allows electricity to escape from its intended path can pose a serious threat to your home and its occupants with lethal consequences.  In case of an emergency it is essential all responsible adults in the home know where and how to operate the electrical main shutoff.

 

Complimentary Instructional Electrical Main Shutoff Tag

Because of the importance of knowing where the electrical main is and how to shut it off, a magnetic tag with pictorial and written instruction on shutting down the electrical main has been provided to you during the inspection as a safety service.  See the Emergency Utility Shutoff Instructions that are included on this CD for additional important information.

 

GFCI

GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) protect against electrical shocks in kitchens, baths, garages, outside locations and any areas that may be wet.  If your home is not properly equipped with GFCI receptacles, then have them installed as soon as possible.  This includes homes with two-wire circuits.  GFCI receptacles will work just as well with older ungrounded two-wire electrical circuits as with modern three-wire grounded circuits.

 

Test the GFCI receptacles frequently (Underwriters Laboratories, Inc . recommends monthly testing) by pressing the test button on the face of the GFCI receptacle.  Be aware that other standard receptacles may be connected to wires leading from the GFCI receptacle and testing or a tripped GFCI will affect these connected receptacles.

 

AFCI

Your home is equipped with AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters) breakers in the electrical panel.  AFCI breakers protect against possible electrical arc faults.  These are fire hazards that can occur in hidden wiring within ceilings and walls.  Code now requires AFCI circuit breakers be installed for all electrical wiring to bedrooms only.

 

Test the AFCI circuit breakers frequently (Underwriters Laboratories, Inc . recommends monthly testing) by pressing the green test button on the face of the AFCI circuit breaker.

 

Adequacy of Electrical Systems Capacity:

The adequacy of an electrical systems capacity will vary somewhat depending on the number of electrical appliances an owner intends to use.  A home with 100 amps service may provided adequate service for the current owner because they use relatively few high amperage electrical appliances while the new owner may find it unsatisfactory because they have a need for more electrical appliances.  This inspection observes the overall electrical systems condition, however, for the reason mentioned above cannot determine the adequacy of its capacity for a given owner.  If a decision is made to upgrade a systems capacity, a minimum of 150 amps or preferably 200amps service should be installed.  Also, additional branch circuits should be installed to provide adequate and safe service.  An inadequate number of branch circuits, especially at the kitchen, can pose fire and safety hazards.  This can also lead to the indiscriminate use of extension cords as a means of compensation for inadequate branch circuits and outlets, which is also unsafe.

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Heating *

Findings

Findings

Location:                     Basement

Approximate BTU’s:  97,000

Brand:                          Utica

Approximate age:        30 Years

Type:                            Forced water

Fuel Type:                    Natural Gas

 

Boiler:

Exchanger Type:      Cast Iron.

Ignition Type:          Standing pilot

Automatic Gas
Valve:                   Appears functional

Safety
Thermocouple:    Appears functional

Condition:                Appears functional with exceptions

-   Burner flam pattern not normal - Flame has yellow tips.*

-   Rust flakes in burn chamber*

-   Boiler has restricted combustion air – unit is enclosed in closet.**

 

Recommendation:

·   *Condition warrants evaluation and repairs by a licensed heating contractor.

·   **Remove doors around boiler to allow improved combustion air.

·   Unit near end of useful lifespan.  See Heating Systems Life Expectancy in the Plumbing Remarks section below.

 

 

Venting:                     Appears functional

 

Expansion Tank:

System Type:           Closed system

Condition                 Appears functional

 

Circulation Pump:  Appears functional

 

Unit Controls:          Appears functional

 

Drain Valve:              Appears functional

 

Pressure and Temperature Readings:

Pressure:                  24psi

Temperature:           140°

Condition                 Appears functional with exceptions

-   Boiler pressure too high – should be 17psi or less.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants evaluation and repairs by a licensed heating contractor.

 

Relief Valve:              Appears functional with exceptions

-   Leaks

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants evaluation and repairs by a licensed heating contractor.

 

Water Pressure
Regulator:
             Appears functional

 

Back Flow
Preventer:
             Appears functional

 

Distribution

Type of Pipes:         Copper and galvanized steel.

Condition                 Appears functional with exceptions

-   Galvanized distribution pipes corroded and rusting.  Near end of useful life.

 

Recommendation:

·   Condition warrants evaluation and repairs by a licensed heating contractor.

 

 

Heating Remarks

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

All heating systems that utilize fossil fuels produce poisonous carbon monoxide gas.  Properly installed, functioning and well maintained appliances and fireplaces/stoves vent this gas to the exterior thus providing a safe environment for the occupants.  Improper installation or failures due to the age of the system or lack of maintenance can allow unsafe levels of carbon monoxide into the home.  Carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless and deadly, and it cannot be detected by our senses.  Carbon monoxide detectors are inexpensive devices that provide early detection and warning of this deadly gases presence and should be installed in every home.  At a minimum two carbon monoxide detectors should be install, one in the area of the fossil fuel burning system (i.e. basement) and one in the sleeping area of the home.  The plug-in 120-volt units seem to be the most reliable.  Kidde carbon monoxide detectors have electrochemical sensors, are highly rated and have 120-volt plug-in units with battery backup to provide the best of both worlds.  Test the carbon monoxide detectors frequently (monthly is recommended) by pressing the test button on the face of the detector to ensure it is operating properly.

 

Replace the battery annually and test carbon monoxide detectors at least quarterly (monthly is best) by pressing the test button on the face of the detector to ensure it is operating properly.

 

Important:  The sensor of a carbon monoxide detector has a limited useful life expectancy.  Its ability to detect unsafe levels of carbon monoxide will fail at some point and pressing the test button is not a reliable measure of the accuracy of the sensor.  The useful life will range between three and six years depending on the type and quality of sensor used by the manufacturer.  Consult the manufactures instructions for maintenance and recommended replacement interval.

 

Boiler Heating Systems

A boiler heats water at a central location.  The heated water is distributed throughout the house to various rooms by a circulating pump through supply piping.  The supply piping brings the hot water to terminal devices such as radiators, which extract the heat from the water and in turn warms the rooms.  The water then returns, through the return piping, to the boiler.  There are two types of boiler, cast iron and steel.  The typical estimated life expectancy for a cast iron boiler is 30-50+ years.  The typical estimated life expectancy for a steel boiler is 15-20 years.

 

Note , If the home has boiler heating and no central air conditioning system in place, be aware that adding a central air conditioning system to the home will be very costly because there is no ductwork in place to carry the cool air.

 

Heating Systems Life Expectancy

It is impossible to accurately predict how long a heating system and its components will last.  However, one can determine how much more time a system can be reasonably expected to function when the system is properly used and maintained under normal conditions by subtracting its age from the estimate life expectancy to derive the remaining useful life expectancy of the system.  Also note that once a system or a component approaches its final years, its performance decreases and the resulting loss in efficiency usually dictates updating or replacement prior to the systems failure.

 

Heat Exchangers

In most heating systems the heat exchanger is partially hidden from view; it cannot be fully examined and its condition determined without the furnace being disassembled.  Since this is not possible in a visual inspection, it is recommended that the condition of the heat exchanger be check by a licensed HVAC professional prior to the settlement.

 

Heating  Service Contracts

Because of possible carbon monoxide emission, all fossil burning equipment should be checked annually to ensure safe and proper operation.  This is especially important if the unit is more than a third past its estimated useful life.  A licensed professional that specializes in your brand or type of equipment can provide a service contract that helps assure the equipment is checked on an annual basis.  If costly repairs or replacement is recommended and you have any doubts then it is always a good idea to get a second opinion from another licensed professional with the understanding they will not be doing the repairs.  For gas furnaces, some local gas supplier offers inspection services.  These suppliers typically do not sell furnaces and will not recommend replacing a safe unit just because a trace of gas has been found to get through the heat exchanger in a gas tracer test.

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Cooling

Findings                  No central air conditioning

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Closing Remarks

 

Building Permits

All modifications to the building such as electrical, plumbing, heating/cooling, additions, decks, finished basements or attics, pools, fences and outbuildings require permits from the local code jurisdiction.  It is recommended that the client verify that permits were received for modifications made to ensure safety and compliance to local code requirements.

 

 

Realities of Home Ownership

All homes, whether new or aged, including this one, will require ongoing maintenance and repair.  Every system and component of a home has a finite life.  By maintaining a homes systems and components you can maximize their life expectancies, and by making timely repairs, avoid costly damage involving other components, however, eventually things will fail, sometimes unexpectedly.  Unexpected problems and cost will happen and are part of homeownership.  Setting aside contingency funds can cushion the impact when the unexpected happens.

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