What is Inspected During A Home Inspection?

(Reference for this publication comes from the “Uniform Building Inspection Report”)

Grounds | Exterior/Roof | Heating/Air Conditioning | Plumbing | Electrical | Bathrooms | General Interior | Kitchen and Appliances | Structure

Grounds

The following items are not conclusive to the inspection, but are some of the major items of interest for the home inspector. You can expect some conversation about these areas when you have your final review of the inspection with your home inspector.

The inspector will be noting the condition of the building site. Areas of particular interest to him will be the grade of the land or concrete in relationship to the building, erosion potential, drainage near the building, retaining wall components, yard drains, rain gutter downspouts, and general landscaping placement near the building.

The condition of any decking, walks, driveways, parking areas and planters will also be noted. Although the inspector is also looking for condition and maintenance of these items, trip and safety hazards are a major concern for the inspector when these components are being inspected.

All types of fencing and gates, wood, stucco, metal, concrete, or masonry are checked for condition and maintenance. image010[1]

An outbuilding or a shed is a normal part of the inspection process, however, if there is more than one outbuilding, the inspector may require an extra fee.

Although sprinkler systems and landscape low voltage electrical components are a normal part of the landscape, they may not be a viable part of the inspection process. There are so many variables with these components that inspection is not always practical. The inspector will turn them on to see if they operate, but cannot always determine why they are inoperable. It may be due to inaccurate timer settings, underground installation condition, or electric valve control condition. Above ground installation can be inspected, however, these components are exposed to weather and normal outside exposure and will sustain damage typical to outdoor wear and which is usually easily repairable by the homeowner or a handyman.

If there are also a barn and animal enclosures those would probably be an extra charge. It is always wise to mention these components prior to the inspection so there are no surprises for you or the inspector. Any other dwellings on the property, such as guest houses or “mother-in-law” cottages are always an extra fee according to square footage of the extra dwelling. All outbuildings and their components are given the same close scrutiny as the main dwelling.

Any line voltage components such as yard lights, post lights, and GFCI protection for exterior outlets will be inspected for condition and maintenance. Any exterior high voltage electrical components are of particular interest to the inspector. Health and safety issues are utmost in his mind.

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Exterior/Roof

The following items are not conclusive to the inspection, but are some of the major items of interest for the home inspector. You can expect some conversation about these areas when you have your final review of the inspection with your home inspector.

The roof can be structured with an angle or a “pitch”, or it can be a flat roof and be referred to as the “roof deck” or “deck-floor”. Each has it’s own inspection criteria and areas of importance. You can expect the inspector to note if any general repairs or general maintenance is needed to the roof regardless of the way it is structured. However, a flat roof will be inspected for water pooling potential, debris buildup, tar repairs, flashing, roof drains, jacks, gutters, and other possible critical items. An angled or pitched roof will be examined for shingles missing or loose, shingle damage and weathering, flashing, jacks, gutters, downspouts, debris, fungus or moss growth, vegetation and tree limbs, and other possible critical items.

A roof will usually be examined by the inspector climbing upon the surface and making a close inspection of the condition. However, if the conditions are such that the roof cannot be accessed in that manner other measures will be taken for the roof inspection. The inspector may view the roof using binoculars, view it from the eaves only, or from the ground. In any event, you will be apprised of the manner and extent to which it was examined.

Skylights will be examined on the exterior as well as the interior. The inspector will look at the flashing and other components of the sky for frame condition, leakage, and seal condition.A Copy of 2710.02 (1)

Although rain gutters are mentioned in the first paragraph, it is important to note they are in themselves an integral part of the inspection. Flashing around the roof jacks, chimney, and roof drains are also separate components to the inspection.

The building siding will be inspected for general condition and maintenance. This is particularly important as the inspector will need to determine if the condition is detrimental to the structure whether cosmetic or otherwise. He will be looking for warped or buckled wood siding, cracked stucco, cracked or loose masonry siding, or corroded and rusted metal siding. Paint and exterior caulking maintenance will also be noted. Any paint conditions of peeling, flaking, blistering, mildew, etc. will be noted by the inspector.

Exterior components of the personal, patio, and security doors, and all windows will be examined. (These will be examined under the interior inspection phase as well.) Glazing, framing, seals, and general condition of the windows will be noted. The condition and installation of the door’s surfaces, frames, thresholds, and screens will be examined.

Vehicle doors for the garage are major concerns for the inspector. He will determine the condition of all of the components. Safety and health are utmost in his mind. The condition of the springs, hinges, tracks, and containment devices will be noted. If an automatic garage door opener is installed, the inspector will be noting whether or not it is in good operating condition and if a safety reverse switch and/or electric eye is installed and operable. If any adjustments need to be made on these components, he will make note.

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Heating/Air Conditioning

The following items are not conclusive to the inspection, but are some of the major items of interest for the home inspector. Heating and air conditioning components are the major health and safety items in your home. You can expect a lot conversation about these areas when you have your final review of the inspection with your home inspector.

Heating/Air Conditioning Units have many components and are complicated appliances. The inspector will review the unit for proper system installation, design specifications, and the condition of the parts. He will also attempt test the output from the units provided the ambient temperature allows him to. For instance, if the outside temperature is below 60 degrees, he will not be able to test the air conditioning output at that time as doing so could damage the unit. It is also the same situation with the Heat Pump, if the outside temperature is over 75 degrees he will not be able to test the heating system at that time as doing so could damage the unit. Bear in mind that one or the other of the components can be tested in most cases. There are other options for making sure both the heating and air components are tested. You can arrange for a re-inspection with the inspector to check the other component at a time when temperature allows. Often, operation of the thermostat will give an indication of whether or not the unit is operable.

Wall or floor furnace components will be reviewed for proper installation, design specifications, condition, venting, and operability. The pilot and safety shut-off valves will be closely examined for proper operability.

Wall or floor furnace components will be reviewed for proper installation, design specifications, condition, venting, and operability. The pilot and safety shut-off valves will be closely examined for proper operability.

Evaporative coolers will be reviewed for rusted, or damaged components and general maintenance items. It if needs cleaning, new pads, or other maintenance the inspector will note those items.

Whole house fan installations will be reviewed. The fan will be operated by the inspector and he will be noting unusual noise or other operational defects.A Copy of 2850.02 (4)

Duct work for the heating and air components will be reviewed by the inspector. Use over time, from heating and cooling expansion and contraction, even small animal entry, can damage seams and support joints. This can have an effect on the efficiency of any unit.

The electrical components and wiring for these units will be reviewed very carefully. If the inspector sees loose or frayed wires either inside or outside the unit or if any connection boxes are improper, he will make note of the issue. He will also be looking for the recommended wiring size and correct fusing for the unit. and comparing that to the size of the wiring and fuses.

Gas fired units are checked for odors from the gas piping and plumbing components. The condition of all of these components will be carefully checked and any abnormalities or maintenance items will be noted.
IF APPLICABLE, YOU ARE ADVISED TO HAVE YOUR GAS OR LPG SUPPLIER PERFORM A GAS SAFETY CHECK BEFORE TAKING POSSESSION OF THE PROPERTY. THE SUPPLIERS MAY USE INSPECTION METHODS THAT ARE NOT ALLOWED BY GENERAL HOME INSPECTION COMPANIES.

Please note: LPG and fuel oil tanks are installed under strict guidelines according to the rules and regulations of the area in which the property resides. Although the inspector can advise you on whether or not fuel tanks are properly supported, damaged, or leaking, the inspector cannot determine whether the tanks are installed to code. It is advised that your supply dealer be contacted for a safety check and assistance with the condition and maintenance of your tanks, lines, and gauges prior to using it for the first time.

Free standing fireplaces, wood or pellet stoves, and fireplaces will be reviewed for condition and placement from combustibles. The condition of the fire chamber and chimney components will be closely reviewed. The hearth, mantle and other components will also be reviewed. If you have a gas burning fireplace, the inspector will be reviewing it much the same as any other gas appliance in that he will be checking the ignition system, the gas plumbing condition, and the operability and safety components.

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Plumbing

The following items are not conclusive to the inspection, but are some of the major items of interest for the home inspector. Plumbing is a major component for any household. If the plumbing has problems, most daily living is affected in one way or another. You can expect some conversation about these areas when you have your final review of the inspection with your home inspector.

The water source will be determined as to whether it is municipal or a well. The backflow devices will be reviewed for adequacy.

Only the visible portions of the water main and supply lines into the house will be reviewed. For obvious reasons, the inspector cannot review the underground components. However, water pressure will be tested. If the water pressure is low, the reason will be investigated. If there are no visible indications for the low flow it will be recommended that a qualified plumbing contractor be contacted.

Water heaters are essential to the operation of the home, and it is important to the inspector to review the operability of this appliance. He will be checking for proper installation for health and safety reasons. Of course he will be looking at the overall condition and maintenance of this appliance. Be aware that the inspector does not check the temperature of the water or the accuracy of the thermostat. Anyone, especially small children, can be badly burned by water heated to an extreme temperature. Anti-scald valves and faucets are readily available at any home improvement or plumbing supply. However, the inspector cannot report on these as their operation characteristics may not be dependable. Ensuring that the water heater thermostat is set to a temperature of approximately 120 degrees is advised.

Visible water pipes and fittings will be reviewed. They will be checked for leaks and corrosion. The type of pipes will be reviewed for proper use. For instance, a plastic water pipe exposed above ground can be an issue and should be noted.A Copy of 4320.02 (1)

Water discoloration will be noted. The most common cause for discoloration is from a faucet or water system that has not been used for some time, for instance if the property has been vacant over a long period.

The laundry area will be examined for proper plumbing and drainage facility.

Fixtures in the bathrooms and kitchen will be operated to determine condition and maintenance. The supply pipes and drainage pipes under sinks will be reviewed. Any leakage or other issues will be reported.

Toilet mechanisms will be operated and reviewed. The floor area around the toilet will be reviewed for proper fittings, caulking, and maintenance. If any leakage, past or present, is noted it will be reported.

Private sewer systems are not inspected by the inspector due to health risks and licensing requirements. The inspector can check the item but there will be no guarantee of accuracy. It is advised that the sewage disposal method be checked and serviced by a qualified Septic Tank Pumping Service. As a general rule, the septic systems should be checked, pumped and certified by a pumping service before the buyer takes possession of the property.

The inspector will indicate whether or not the sewer is hooked to a municipal system only when the seller or real estate agent provides that information. It would be impossible for the inspector to determine what system the sewage is transferred to without excavation. Check with the seller and/or real estate agent for additional information.

Gas lines are also considered plumbing. These will be given rigorous review by the inspector due to the health and safety considerations involved with any gas delivery system.

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Electrical

The following items are not conclusive to the inspection, but are some of the major items of interest for the home inspector. The electrical system in a home is the nerve center of the household. The inspector will be paying particular attention to this system for health and safety reasons. You can expect some conversation about these areas when you have your final review of the inspection with your home inspector.

Always turn the electricity off at the meter or service panel before attempting to make any repairs. It is important to note that any work performed on an electrical system should only be performed by a professional. Some portions of an electrical panel or circuitry will remain electrified even if the power is turned off and can be deadly if contacted.

The inspector will review the incoming service to determine the condition and location of the service drop from the public utility to the dwelling. It is important to note the security of the wires and the environment where they are located. For instance, does the service drop pass through trees, too close to the ground or other buildings, and is it properly secured. If any of the conditions are adverse, the inspector will recommend action to correct the situation.A Copy of 5230 (1)

The main and sub-panels will be inspected for proper installation, fuses, connections, breaker switches and grounds. Labeling of these panels will be noted. If the main and sub-panel box shows signs of corrosion, damage, or missing parts, the inspector will recommend what needs to be done to correct the situation. Any disconnected or loose wire in the panel will be noted and reported.

All visible circuit wiring, junction boxes, and conduits will be reviewed throughout the house and in the attic and/or sub-floor areas. The inspector will be looking for missing cover plates on junction boxes, loose wires, damaged components, exposed wires, improper installation, and other critical components such as these.

All lighting, receptacle outlets, and switches will be reviewed for operability. Condition, installation, and maintenance items will be noted. The standard building codes specify placement of plugs and switches must be at specific intervals in a room. These placements will be reviewed by the inspector.

System grounding, and ground fault circuit interrupt devices (GFCI) will be closely examined. Particular attention will be paid to the installation of GFCI protection devices and outlets. These items will all be tested by the inspector.

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Bathrooms

The following items are not conclusive to the inspection, but are some of the major items of interest for the home inspector. You can expect some conversation about these areas when you have your final review of the inspection with your home inspector.

IMG_0002All components of the bathroom will be reviewed by the inspector separately. If there is a tub and shower combination in the room the inspector will test the faucet mechanism. He will be looking at the installation, condition, and operability of the components. He will turn on the water to the tub and shower to test the water flow from the faucet on the tub and the transfer of the water flow to the shower head. He will also note the water pressure at that time. He will apply the stop to the drain to ensure the tub will retain water properly. If there is only a tub, or only a shower, the same components will be checked for each.

The tub and/or shower enclosure will be reviewed. All components will be reviewed for condition, installation, and maintenance. There are several types of materials used for tub and shower enclosures, such as tile, fiberglass, glass, concrete, stone, etc., which will be noted on the report by the inspector. These will all have maintenance items the inspector will review. If there are cracks, damaged grout or caulking, these items will be noted. Any stains or fungus growth will also be noted.

Toilets and bidets will be reviewed for operability, condition, and installation. Any leaks or water stains around the base of the toilet or bidet, or at the wall water supply will be noted. The inspector will flush the toilet to determine if the action is proper and it shuts off as normal. Any cracks in the water closet or base will be noted.

The lavatory, (sink or wash basin), and vanity will be reviewed for operability, condition, and installation. The faucet and drain mechanisms will be checked to ensure they do not leak and operate properly. The pipes under the sink for the water supply and drainage will be checked for proper operation. The vanity cabinet will be reviewed for condition and installation. All maintenance items for the counter top, drawers, doors, and finish will be noted. The same is true for medicine cabinets and mirrors.

Lighting, ventilation, and electrical components are a major part of the inspection process. The inspector will test GFCI components for operability and installation. He will review whether or not the ventilation and lighting are adequate for the size of the room.

IMG_0003The ceiling, walls, floors, and trim pieces will be reviewed. He will be reviewing for condition of the materials and general maintenance. Some items are cosmetic in nature with no effect on the health and safety of the occupants, however, these may be noted by the inspector if his opinion is that it could have an underlying issue. For instance, if the paint is bubbling or lifting from the wall it would need to be investigated further so would be reported by the inspector. But if a piece of trim board is missing, it can simply be replaced by the home owner with no ill effects to the occupants or the structure.

Caulking, sealants, and grout have been mentioned in the above paragraphs, however, it is important to note that the inspector will be checking these items as they are important to the overall health of the room. If these items are not properly maintained, there is the possibility of water intrusion into the walls and floor which can cause deterioration of wood and other materials.

Towel bars, toilet paper holders, built-in soap dishes, and other miscellaneous items will be reviewed by the inspector. If there are issues, they will most likely be cosmetic in nature and easily repaired by the home owner.

Be aware that the inspector does not check the temperature of the water or the accuracy of the water heater thermostat. Anyone, especially small children, can be badly burned by water heated to an extreme temperature. Anti-scald valves and faucets are readily available at any home improvement or plumbing supply. However, the inspector cannot report on these as their operation characteristics may not be dependable. Ensuring that the water heater thermostat is set to a temperature of approximately 120 degrees is advised.

Floor coverings in the bathroom laid over a wood sub-floor will prevent the inspector from making a visual determination of it’s condition. A wood sub-floor can indicate the house is on a raised foundation. If that is the case, the inspector will make a visual inspection of the sub-areas of the home by crawling under the structure. He will report any areas of material deterioration from this review of the structure.

The floor covering materials in the bathroom are important to note. Carpeting installed directly over a wood sub-floor can be damaging to the sub-floor through the normal use of a bathroom. Water spills and drips from the tub, shower, sink, or toilet will soak through the carpeting and keep the sub-floor wet which will mean deterioration can be present. Other materials have their own set of maintenance issues, however, most hard surfaces are durable and not damaging to the sub-floor if installed and maintained properly.

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General Interior

The following items are not conclusive to the inspection, but are some of the major items of interest for the home inspector. You can expect some conversation about these areas when you have your final review of the inspection with your home inspector.

Ceilings and walls in the interior of the home will be reviewed by the inspector. The typical material for walls and ceilings is drywall coated with a taping and texture compound. This material may be painted, or it can be covered with wall paper, paneling, masonry, or other decorative materials. The inspector will be looking at the general condition of these materials. He will note any discoloration, stains, or damage as these can have underlying causes. The items that are cosmetic in nature may be mentioned, however, the focus of the inspector will be on those items that are detrimental to the structure, durability, and serviceability of the home.

Ceiling and walls can be constructed of materials other than drywall, such as brick, concrete, stone, etc. The same review will apply to these materials in that the inspector will be looking for the general condition of the materials and installation. He will note any conditions that may have underlying structural causes.

Some interior walls and ceilings will have typical settlement cracks which are in themselves no cause for concern. However, the inspector will be able to tell if they are not typical and will report them as such.

Most of the interior walls and ceilings will have building standard codes requiring specific fire rated drywall material be installed. The inspector will be able to determine if these are adequately installed. Typically, between the garage and the dwelling and some attic access areas, there will need to be fire resistant materials known as a “fire wall” present. The inspector will review the adequacy of this installation.A Copy of 7010 (1)

Trim boards, such as base boards have little to do with the actual condition of the structure and are not usually a cause for concern if they are missing. They do lend some wall protection from cleaning the floor and sealing air and insect gaps, but are mostly decorative. The inspector will note their condition if there appears to be an abnormal number missing or damaged.

Floors on the interior will be inspected as to the condition of the materials covering them. Any cracks in the material, or otherwise damaged material will be noted on the report. If these can cause damage to the sub-floor the inspector will recommend review by a contractor.

A major concern for the inspector will be whether or not the floor is even, sloped, or is solid. A floor with creaks or up and down movement can have underlying issues. The inspector will be making a visual inspection of the interior floors, but will also review the under-structure if the foundation is raised. If the house is on a slab, the condition of the floors is dependant upon the quality of the concrete slab. This component cannot be viewed by the inspector unless there are no floor coverings.

Although the windows are reviewed from the outside when the building exterior is inspected, they are an important part of the interior inspection. The inspector will be reviewing the general condition of the mechanisms for opening the windows, whether or not they will open, whether or not they will lock, and whether or not they are safety glass. He will also be reviewing the installation to determine if it is sufficient for escape or rescue in the event that should become necessary. If windows are equipped with security bars, a quick release should be installed on them. If it is not, the inspector will make recommendations for one to be installed.

The windows will be reviewed for installation components such as weather stripping, glazing, and caulking maintenance. Windows can leak, and there can be signs of condensation accumulation on them. These conditions often have underlying causes and the inspector will be able to determine if there are issues and make recommendations for correction.

Functional window trims will be reviewed for adequate installation and maintenance. Decorative window trims are cosmetic in nature and the condition will be noted by the inspector, however, they will not be the focus of the inspectors review.

Exterior doors and interior doors and their components will be reviewed by the inspector for general condition and maintenance. The general condition of the mechanisms for opening, closing and locking the door from the inside as well as the outside will be reviewed. The exterior doors are reviewed during both the exterior and interior phases of the inspection. Weather stripping, door jambs, thresholds, and other components will be reviewed for efficiency and proper installation.

There are several types of doors that can be installed on a dwelling interior such as sliding doors, pocket doors, and bi-fold doors. Each type has unique components and will be reviewed by the inspector for general condition and maintenance

There are various building standards regarding room ventilation and natural lighting required for interior rooms. Exhaust fans are required in areas that do not meet these requirements, and the inspector will report on these conditions.

Closets are reviewed for the functionality of the doors, the condition of the rod and shelves, and the condition of the walls, ceiling and flooring. In some occupied homes, the inspector may not be able to adequately determine the condition of the closet interior due to the contents. In this case, he will report that the closet was access impaired and he could not make a visual determination on the condition.

Stairways are reviewed for the condition of the steps, the railings, and the floor coverings. Safety issues are of a major concern for the inspector so any loose steps, railings, or tread condition will be reported. The size of the landing, and the riser height will be reviewed. Any doors or entrances near the top of the stairs will be reviewed for traffic safety.

Other interior components the inspector will review if they are installed include alarms (fire and entry), carbon monoxide alarms, fire sprinklers, central vacuum systems, ceiling fans, cabinets, wet bars, etc. Some of these components cannot be operated and tested by the inspector. Fire sprinklers, for example, cannot be feasibly operated, but the inspector will look for obvious damage such as blocked heads and possibly recommend testing by a qualified contractor.

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Kitchen and Appliances

The following items are not conclusive to the inspection, but are some of the major items of interest for the home inspector. You can expect some conversation about these areas when you have your final review of the inspection with your home inspector. It is important to be aware that the inspector will be checking the appliances for condition, operability, and maintenance. However, he will not be able to determine whether any of the appliances have been installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications without the availability of those documents. If they can be supplied he will be happy to assist in determining if they are installed according to manufacturer recommendations.

IMG_0004

The oven(s), range top, and microwave oven(s) will be reviewed for condition, operability, and maintenance by the inspector. He will operate each appliance to test the components. Most inspectors use an oven thermometer to test the accuracy of the oven thermostat. If the oven is self cleaning, that function may not be tested due to the time it takes and is impractical during the course of an inspection.

Microwave ovens are not as easily tested, however, many inspectors will test how long it takes the appliance to boil water in a cup. The result is often inconclusive, but it does validate the appliance is operational.

Each of the range top burners will be tested to ensure they are operational. The condition of the control knobs, clocks, and timers will be noted.

Range hoods, exhaust fans, lighting, and electrical components will be reviewed in conjunction with the oven(s), range, and microwave(s). The inspector will note whether or not the lighting, ventilation, and exhaust systems are in good operating condition, noisy, adequate, or need maintenance. GFCI outlets will all be noted and tested.

Dishwasher components will be reviewed and tested. The condition and operability of the appliance will be noted. The inspector will operate the appliance to determine it’s efficiency and noise level. Any damaged or missing racks, leaks, or seals will be reported. The dishwasher installation will also be reviewed to ascertain that the air gap is proper, the electrical components are correct, and that it is attached to the cabinetry properly.

The refrigerator does not generally stay with the property. If the inspector is informed that it will remain he will test the appliance for condition and operability. If the refrigerator is built in, it will usually remain on the property and will be inspected along with the other appliances. He will check the door gaskets, the sound of the motor, and the condition of the interior of the appliance. Since icemakers take several hours to recycle the inspector will not test this feature of the appliance for operability. The inspector will not test the accuracy of the temperature of the refrigerator. It is advisable to ask the seller for any information regarding the temperature detection devices on the appliance.

Be aware that the inspector is not allowed to pull the refrigerator out of position. If there is water damage, stains, or damage to the floors and/or walls the inspector will not be able to note them and they will go unreported. It would be advisable to review this area during the final walk through and contact the inspector for re-inspection if necessary.

IMG_0006If garbage disposals and trash compactors are installed, the inspector will review all of the components of these appliances for condition, maintenance, and operability. The inspector will not be able to determine the effectiveness of these devices, only whether or not they operate.

There are safety issues with both of these appliances that are noteworthy:

  1. Never leave the trash compactor unlocked if small children are present. Always keep the unit locked and the keys out of reach of children.
  2. Never put your hand down the neck of the disposal without the power disconnected or off at the breaker.

Sinks, faucets, valves, drains, and under sink plumbing will be reviewed for condition. These are mentioned in the plumbing section, however, they are a integral part of the kitchen and need to be mentioned as such. The inspector will note the condition of these items in the kitchen section of your report as well. He will test the spray diverter on the sink to make sure it operates as intended. The water pressure flow and sink drainage rate will be noted. Any leaks from the faucet, handles, or under the sink will be reviewed and reported.

Counters and cabinets will be reviewed for condition, installation, maintenance, and durability. Counter top materials will be noted and the condition of these materials will be reviewed. The cabinetry will be reviewed to determine the condition of the doors and drawers and the surface finish condition.

The flooring, walls, and ceiling conditions in the kitchen will be observed and any conditions that are present will be noted and reviewed.

Miscellaneous appliances such as instant hot water devices can be checked for proper operation, however, like the other appliances the installation requirements cannot be checked without the manufacturer’s specifications. If those are available, the inspector can check the appliance according to those. Water filters are not inspected for operability or filtering operations. The inspector will report there is a filter present if it is visible. Having a water filter company check the appliance would be recommended.

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Structure

The following items are not conclusive to the inspection, but are some of the major items of interest for the home inspector. You can expect some conversation about these areas when you have your final review of the inspection with your home inspector.

Foundations for structures are usually described as a raised foundation or a slab foundation. A raised foundation will usually require an extra fee because the inspector will do a “crawl” under the house to inspect the sub-structure of the building. He will be looking for structural components and their installation and condition. These components will include any framing members that are visible from the sub-area such as the foundation “cripple wall”. He will also note any earth to wood contact, water stains, or signs of damage on the components of the sub-structure. In addition to the structural aspects, he will note the condition of any plumbing or electrical components that are visible from this vantage point.

If the structure has a basement, all of the above components will be observed as they would be in a structure with a raised foundation. Basements may include pumping devices such as sump-pumps. These devices will be reviewed for operability and condition. A Copy of 0960.02 (2)

A slab foundation will be reviewed as to the condition of the visible areas. The inspector will be checking primarily for uneven surfaces, sloped or slanting areas, cracks, and the presence of efflorescence. (FYI: efflorescence is a white colored substance that will appear on the surface if water is penetrating through the concrete or masonry material.) Please bear in mind that the inspector cannot report what he cannot see. Flooring materials, furnishing, or other materials will be covering parts of the slab and will obstruct his ability to review the entire surface.

Visible building framing members of the walls, ceilings, and roofs will be reviewed. The inspector will also do a “crawl” in the attic of the building. In this area he will be observing the condition and installation of the rafters, ridges, joists, beams, and other frame members visible from the attic. He will note any water stains, past or present, or other signs of damage on the components of the attic structure. In addition, he will note the condition of any wiring or plumbing that are visible in the attic.

The sub-area and attic areas of a home require ventilation. The inspector will be determining the condition, adequacy, and maintenance of the ventilation components of each of these areas. The inspector will also report the presence of any debris in these areas.

Insulation in both the attic and sub area will be reviewed and it’s presence, rating, positioning, and installation will be noted.

Porches, decking, carports, patio covers, and stairways will be reviewed by the inspector. He will be looking for the framing, support, installation, condition, maintenance, and safety of each of the components.

If the inspector finds major structural issues, he will recommend that a qualified, licensed general contractor be contacted to review the situation.

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