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All Buildings Inspection LLC

Website: http://www.allbuildingsinspection.com
Email: wlntrdge@mhtc.net
Phone: (608) 732-0359 · (608) 348-9359
FAX: (608) 348-3898
2238 County Rd A 
Platteville WI 53818

  

Home Inspection Report
Client(s): Ima Hombeier
Property address: 123 Wysteria Ln
Southwest, WI 53800 and
East Central, IA 52000
Inspection date: 12/31/2010
This report published on Friday, December 17, 2010 2:30:37 PM CST

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Member in Good Standing of the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI)
Wisconsin Home Inspector License No. 1744-106, expiration date 12/14/2012.

This report is the exclusive property of All Buildings Inspection LLC and the client(s) listed in the report title. Use of this report by any unauthorized persons is prohibited.


This home inspection report includes an inspection of, and report on, all of the following items that are present on the property at the time of the home inspection. This in accordance with Standards of Practice of the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing Chapter 134, and National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI). The report is intended only as a guide to help the property owner/buyer/seller make their own evaluation of the overall condition of the property. This report does not determine market value or marketability of a property, nor does it state whether a property should or should not be purchased.

Basements and Crawlspaces
The inspection includes observation and descriptions of the type and condition of the foundation, columns, and visible flooring systems. Any accessible and visible components in the basement or crawlspace are inspected.

Roofs
The inspection includes observation and descriptions of the type and condition of the roof coverings, drainage systems, flashings, skylights, chimneys, roof penetrations, and a search for signs of leaks and abnormal condensation.

Exteriors
The inspector will operate all entryway doors, garage doors, and at least one window per side of the home.
The inspection includes observation and descriptions of site grading, drainage, driveways, patios, walkways and retaining walls that abut the dwelling unit; wall claddings; flashings and trim; entryway doors and windows; garage door operators, including automatic reverse and stop features; decks, balconies, stoops, steps, porches, and railings; and eaves, soffits, and fascias.

Plumbing Systems
The inspection includes observation and descriptions of
*Interior water supply and distribution systems including piping materials, supports, fixtures, faucets, functional flow and drainage, leaks and cross connections.
*Interior drain waste and vent systems, including sump pumps, traps, DWV piping, piping supports, and leaks.
*Hot water systems, including water heating equipment, normal operating controls, automatic safety controls, and the exterior surfaces of chinmeys, flues, and vents.
*Fuel storage and distribution systems, including interior fuel storage equipment, supply piping, venting, supports, and leaks.
The home inspector will operate all plumbing fixtures, including their faucets and accessible exterior faucets attached to the house.

Electrical Systems
The inspection includes observation and descriptions of the type and condition of the service entrance conductors, service equipment, grounding equipment, the main over current device, main and distribution panels (including their location), amperage, voltage ratings, and type of service, branch circuit conductors, their over current devices, and the compatibility of their ampacities and voltages, including any aluminum branch circuit wiring.
The inspector will also
*Operate a representative number of installed lighting fixtures, switches and receptacles located inside the house, garage and any exterior walls.
*Inspect for proper polarity and grounding of all receptacles withing 6 feet of interior plumbing fixtures, in the garage or carport, and on the exterior of the house, as well as the operation of ground fault circuit interrupters.
*The presence of smoke detectors and the functionality of the power sources will be inspected.

Interiors
The inspection includes observation and descriptions of the type and condition of the walls ceilings and floors, steps stairways balconies and railings, counters and all sink base cabinets, a representative number of doors and windows, separation walls ceilings and doors between a dwelling unit and an attached garage or another dwelling unit, and signs of water penetration into the building or signs of abnormal or harmful condensation on building components.

Heating systems
The inspection includes observation and descriptions of the type and condition of all of the following within a permanently installed heating system:
*Heating equipment and distribution systems and the presence of installed heating sources in each room
*Normal operating controls and energy source
*Automatic safety controls
*Exterior surfaces of chimneys flues and vents
*Solid fuel heating devices
The inspector will operate the systems using normal operating controls and open readily accessible access panels provided by the manufacturer or installer for routine homeowner maintenance.

Central Air Conditioning
The inspection includes observation and descriptions of the type and condition of the cooling and air handling equipment (including the type and energy source), normal operating controls, and the presence of an installed cooling source in each room.
The inspector will operate the systems using normal operating controls (provided weather conditions are suitable for safe operation of units) and open readily accessible access panels provided by the manufacturer or installer for routine homeowner maintenance.

Insulation and Ventilation
The inspection includes observation and descriptions of the type and condition of the presence or absence of insulation in unfinished (observable) spaces, ventilation of attics and foundation areas, and venting systems for kitchen bath and laundry rooms.

The contents of this report are the written opinions of the inspector, based on examinations of the buildings observable systems and components on the date and time of the inspection. The inspection is not intended to be technically exhaustive.
The inspector does not:
*Calculate the strength, adequacy or efficiency of components
*Enter any area or perform any procedure that may cause physical damage to property or cause harm to the inspector or other persons
*Operate any component that is inoperable or that does not respond to normal operating controls
*Disturb insulation or move personal items, furniture, pets, equipment, vegetation, soil, snow, ice, or debris that obstructs access to or visibility of a component
*Inspect for the presence of any hazardous substance
*Determine the effectiveness of components installed to control or remove suspected hazardous substances
*Project or estimate the operating costs of components
*Predict future conditions, including the failure of components
*Inspect cosmetic items, underground items, or items not permanently installed
*Disassemble any component except for removing access panels that are normally removed by occupants

 
How to Read this Report
This report is organized by the property's functional areas.  Within each functional area, descriptive information is listed first and is shown in bold type.  Items of concern follow descriptive information.
Concerns are shown and sorted according to these types:
SafetyPoses a safety risk 
Repair/ReplaceRecommend repairing or replacing 
Repair/MaintainRecommend repair and/or maintenance 
MaintainRecommend ongoing maintenance 
CommentFor your information 

Click here for a glossary of building construction terms.  Contact your inspector if there are terms that you do not understand, or visit the glossary of construction terms at http://www.reporthost.com/glossary.asp

Table of Contents
General information
Grounds
Exterior
Decks, porches, balconies, stoops, and steps
Interior Systems
Kitchen
Stairway to basement
Laundry area
Dining room
Living room and main entry
Hallway
Bedroom northwest
Bedroom northeast
Lower level den
Lower level bedroom
Bath Room on main floor
Bath Room, basement
Attic
Basement
Heating
Air conditioning
Electric service
Plumbing and Drain Waste Vent Systems
Garage
Roof
 
General information Return to table of contents
Overview: Typical house in the Tri-State area.
Buildings inspected include: House, Garage
Client's name: Ima Hombeier
Report number: 00ST0000T
Signed: Charles J Staab, manager All Buildings Inspection LLC. Wisconsin license no 1744-106, expiration date 12/14/2012
Time started: 2:00 pm
Time finished: 4:45 pm
Inspection fee: $325.00 for the home inspection, Paid in full. Thank you
Present during inspection: Buyer, Realtor
State of Occupancy: Occupied
Age of building: About 50 years old
Type of building: Single family
Weather conditions: Overcast
Recent precipitation: Rain the past week
Temperature: Chilly, in the 40's
Ground condition: Damp
Main entrance faces: East
Basement conditions: Partially finished, Walk-out into the garage
The following items are excluded from this inspection: Water filtration system
1) Definitions of common terms in this report:

  1. Apparent Condition: Systems and components are rated as follows:
    Satisfactory - Indicates the component is functionally consistent with its original purpose but may show signs of normal wear and tear and deterioration.
    Marginal - Indicates the component will probably require repair or replacement anytime within 5 years.
    Poor - indicates the component will need repair or replacement now or in the very near future.
    Significant Issue - A system or component that is considered significantly deficient, inoperable or is unsafe.
    Safety Hazard - Denotes a condition that is unsafe and in need of prompt attention.
  2. Installed systems and components: structural components; exterior; interior; roofing; plumbing; electrical; heating; central air-conditioning (weather permitting); visible insulation and ventilation.
  3. Readily accessible systems and components: only those systems and componenets where Inspector is not required to remove personal items, furniture, equipment, soil, snow, or other items which obstruct access or visibility.
  4. Any component not listed as being deficient in some manner is assumed to be satisfactory.

2) Recommend that all repairs to the home's structure or grounds be performed by an experienced, qualified, insured (and licensed if required) tradesperson.
3) Some interior surfaces were obscured by furniture and/or stored items, preventing a full evaluation of these areas.
4) This home was built before 1978, when laws were enacted in the US preventing the use of lead paint in residential structures. Lead paint may be present, and is a known safety hazard, especially to children but also to adults. The paint found in and around this structure appeared to be intact and and most likely encapsulated by more recent layers of paint that's not lead-based.
Additional information regarding lead paint and personal safety can be found on the web at www.epa.gov/lead

5) The level of insulation in the side walls cannot be determined through the normal scope of a home inspection. Insulation may or may not be present in the side walls. If desired, recommend consulting with a qualified insured insulation contractor to determine the level (if any) of insulation present, and to provide appropriate recommendations.
 
Grounds Return to table of contents
Service walks:
Public sidewalks: None
Private walks: Poured concrete, Uneven sections are present, creating a tripping or stumbling hazard, Marginal condition
Driveway and parking area: Concrete, Typical cracks are present, Uneven sections are present, creating a tripping or stumbling hazard, Marginal condition
Fences and retaining walls: The fence is not an integral part of the house or garage, Wooden fence, Satisfactory condition
Landscape and grading: Several areas next to the foundation (north, east, and the rear stairwell) dip down, allowing water and snow to pool, and potentially saturate the ground next to the foundation. No moisture was detected in the basement. Recommend filling in low areas to prevent pooling of rain and snow melt.
Observed fuel tanks: No visible evidence of fuel tanks
Natural gas meter and regulator: Rated at 250 cu ft per hour, suitable for combined appliance ratings of up to 250,000 BTU's, Satisfactory condition
Electric service conductors on the outside of the building: Overhead service drops, The overhead service conductors travel through tree branches. Trees can damage and/or break conductors. Recommend a utility company representative evaluate the situation and make corrections or recommendations
Meter box: The meter box is not properly secured to the wall or post. Recommend an electrician evaluate and make necessary correction, See comment below
Condition of electric service mast above the meter: The conductors are enclosed in metal conduit, See comment below
Service entrance conductors from the meter to the house: Service entrance conductors are housed in electric metal conduit, See comment below
Exterior Air Conditioner Unit or Heat Pump:
Location of condensor/compressor unit: Outside the home, along the north wall
Approximate age: Less than 5 years old
Brand: Kelvinator
Model: JS4BD-018KA
Serial number: JSD090900871
Outside electric disconnect: An electric disconnect is present, Satisfactory condition
Condensor and compressor unit: Satisfactory condition
6) The electric meter box is not properly secured to the wall, and the masts above and below the meter are also not secured to the wall. This has resulted in the meter box being kicked to the right as the service drop conductors pull on the top of the mast. If not corrected, the fittings connecting the masts to the meter box will fail, resulting in an electric short-out, service disconnection, and/or fire.

Recommend a qualified electrician evaluate and make necessary corrections as soon as possible.

Photo 1  
 
 
Exterior Return to table of contents
Footing material: Not visible for evaluation
Foundation material: Concrete block, The mortar in places is deteriorating. It is natural for mortar to deteriorate over time. The purpose of mortar is to provide a natural way for moisture to exit the masonry wall, and to keep the weather and pests out of the structure. Recommend all loose and deteriorated mortar be properly repointed (also known as tuckpointing), Satisfactory condition once recommended maintenance is performed. Such maintenance can wait for a season (or two at most).
Exterior wall structure: Wood frame, Satisfactory condition
Wall covering (siding): Vinyl, Brick, The mortar in places is deteriorated and cracked. It is natural for mortar to deteriorate over time. The purpose of mortar is to provide a natural way for moisture to exit the masonry wall, and to keep the weather and pests out of the structure. Recommend all loose and deteriorated mortar be properly repointed (also known as tuckpointing) on the brick wall beneath the front porch pad. Satisfactory condition for vinyl siding.
Exterior trimming:
Soffit description and condition: Metal, Vented
Fascia and rake description and condition: Wood. The corner miter at the southeast corner (behind the rain gutters) has opened, and rotten boards ends are probable. Recommend a qualified carpenter evaluate and make necessary maintenance or repairs after winter is over. Other areas are satisfactory.
Corner trimming: Vinyl corners, Satisfactory condition
Window and door casing (trim): Vinyl, Metal wrapping is covering wood trim. There is always a possibility of the wood beneath the metal to be wet, with rotten wood the end result. Recommend keeping the seams properly caulked to prevent this from occuring, Visible surfaces are in satisfactory condition
Wall penetrations: Typical utility penetrations, such as electric, TV, phone, and gas lines, Typical vents, such as for driers and room exhausts, Satisfactory condition
Caulk and sealants: Caulk or other appropriate sealants are necessary at all seams and penetration points on the exterior of the home. It prevents water, insects, and pests from entering the wall system and the home. Sealants also reduce the amount of energy loss through the exterior wall envelope of the home. Caulk has a relatively short life. Regular maintenance to caulk is recommended, Metal wrapping on window and door casing is often overlooked. The seams on metal wrapping do allow water to readily penetrate beneath, ultimately rotting the underlying wood, Recommend these areas be regularly re-caulked. With recommended periodic maintenance to caulk, condition is satisfactory.
Paint or stain coverings: Regular maintenance to paint is recommended. Paint protects the underlying material from premature deterioration due to sunlight and moisture, Recommend repainting where deteriorating now and as necessary in the future
Exterior portion of door and window systems:
Main windows: Wood, Aluminum, Vinyl, Storm/screen combination units, Satisfactory condition
Basement window units: Metal, Window is set in a well, With a well cover. The acrylic cover is broken. The window is satisfactory.
Exterior portion of door systems: Combination storm screen door, Satisfactory condition
Exterior threshold: Metal. There is no spacer under the metal threshhold extension. Such spacers add stability to the metal plate. Recommend a qualified carpenter add proper filler material, and proper caulk (to prevent water entry) under the main entry threshhold.
Electrical Receptacles: Receptacles are not GFCI protected. Recommend upgrading to GFI receptacles for better protection from electric shock for receptacles within 6 feet of a water source, and other areas where water is likely to be present
Exterior light fixtures: Incandescent fixtures, Spot lights, Satisfactory condition
Light switches: None
Water faucets: No water flow from faucet, may be shut off from interior valve, could not fully evaluate
 
Decks, porches, balconies, stoops, and steps Return to table of contents
Steps on the grounds: Front yard
Construction material: Poured concrete
Condition of the steps: Satisfactory condition
Stair handrail and guards: None present, but recommended with more than three steps. Lack of a handrail can result in tripping or falling. Recommend adding an appropriate handrail system
Steps on the grounds: Rear, to the garage
Construction material: Poured concrete
Condition of the steps: Satisfactory condition
Stair handrail and guards: None present, but recommended with more than three steps. Lack of a handrail can result in tripping or falling. Recommend adding an appropriate handrail system, See comment below regarding water control.
Front deck or porch:
Steps: Poured concrete, Satisfactory condition
Stair handrail and guards: Vinyl, Satisfactory condition
Flooring: Concrete, Marginal condition. Corners and the old railing support holes are cracking out and deteriorating.
Guard rails: Vinyl, Satisfactory condition
7) The rear stairwell leading down to the garage has two holes at the base of the retaining wall. These are probably intended to drain water out of the well. The outlet of the drain is not known. The drains may be clogged.

There is a probability that water flowing into the stairwell will not be handled adequately by the drain holes, and will enter the garage.

If this is problematic, recommend a qualifed contractor evaluate the stairwell and make recommendations for water control.

Photo 4  
 
 
Interior Systems Return to table of contents

8) A few of the window sashes in the home are in need of maintenance to the finish. This is normal maintenance, usually required every 5 - 10 years. The finish deteriorates from the effects of normal condensation and sunlight. Recommend lightly sanding and refinishing.
Such maintenance will prolong the life of the wood sashes and frames.

9) Mildew has formed on the edges of some windows. They are identified in upcoming sections. This mildew formation is due to normal condensation in the room.

Recommendations from the EPA and University of Minnesota Building Sciences department is to clean the affected areas with normal household detergent, and not to use bleach unless other mitigating circumstances dictate its use.

10) Some older single pane windows are in this home. The windows may feel cold and/or drafty.
Options for reducing heat loss through and around the windows include the following:
-) Sealing exterior seams around the windows, storm units, and trim with a good quality urethane based caulk.
-) Latching the window sashes toghether with the sash lock. If sash locks are missing, recommend installing them. If existing sash locks are in poor condition, recommend they be adjusted or replaced so the sashes fit snuggly together.
-) Adding a storm window unit on the exterior, with proper seals around the perimeter.
-) Adding weather seal material over the window during the heating seasons.
Consultation with qualified window and door contractors may result in additional recommendations.
Replacement of windows is recommended if unacceptable drafts and heat loss persist after corrective measures or if such measures are determined to be ineffective or inappropriate.

A note about window replacement and resultant enery savings:
An article on page 59 of the June 2008 issue of "The Journal of Light Construction" titled "A Close Look at Common Energy Claims" states the following:
"...installing all new double-pane low-e windows in a typical 2000-square-foot single story house that previously had single-pane units will result in annual energy savings of ... $340 (in northern climates). If the old windows had storms, the savings dropped to $70 per year. .... The most cost-effective window retrofit measure is the installation of low-e storms windows. Although many storm window supppliers are unfamiliar with the product, low-e storms can be ordered. Suitable glass with a pyrolitic (hard-coat) low-e coating is available from most glass ditributors. According to a recent study, the payback period for installing low-e storm windows on older houses in Chicago averaged just 4.3 years."

11) GFCI protected receptacles are recommended (required for new construction and remodels) when the receptacle is within 6 feet of a water source, and all areas where moisture may be present, such as exterior, garages, and wet basements.

"GFCI" stand for ground fault circuit interrupter. These receptacles have two buttons on the face, one for TEST and one for RESET. They are usually refered to simply as GFI's or GFI receptacles (or circuit breakers). A ground fault circuit interrupter is an inexpensive (around $10.00) electrical device that, if installed correctly in household branch circuits, could prevent over two-thirds of the approximately 300 electrocutions still occurring each year in and around the home. Installation of the device could also prevent thousands of burn and electric shock injuries each year.

The GFCI is designed to protect people from severe or fatal electric shocks. Because a GFCI detects ground faults, it can also prevent some electrical fires and reduce the severity of others by interrupting the flow of electric current.

GFI's constantly monitor electricity flowing in the circuit, to sense any loss of current. If the current flowing through the circuit differs by a small amount from that returning, the GFCI quickly switches off power to that circuit. The GFCI interrupts power in a fraction of a second, preventing a lethal dose of electricity. A small shock may result, but there would be no electrocution or serious shock injury.

GFI receptacles and circuit breakers do have a history of failure. It is important to test them once a month. To do so, simply depress the TEST button. Doing so should shut off electric current to the outlet (if not, have the device replaced immediately). Then depress the RESET button. Electric current should be restored right away (if not, have the device replaced immediately).

GFI's are frequently installed improperly. If the TEST and/or RESET buttons do not work properly, improper connections may be the cause.

Recommend a qualifed electrician evaluate any faulty GFI devices and perform necessary corrections if required.

12) Styrofoam insulation is installed on some of the exterior walls in the basement (including the finished rooms). Styrofoam is highly flammable. Styrofoam does not allow fires to start easier, but it does allow flames to spread more quickly in the house, if a fire were to start.

The recommendation, for best personal safety, is to properly cover the styrofaom with a non-flammable finish material, such as sheetrock.
 
Kitchen Return to table of contents
Light switches: Satisfactory condition
Electrical Receptacles: Receptacles are not GFCI protected. Recommend upgrading to GFI receptacles for better protection from electric shock for receptacles within 6 feet of a water source, and other areas where water is likely to be present, Other 3-slot receptacles are properly grounded
Light fixtures: Satisfactory condition
Ceiling fan: Satisfactory condition
Heat source units: Floor registers, Satisfactory condition
Air conditioning source in the room: The same ones that are used for heating
Cabinets: Satisfactory condition
Cabinet belneath sink: Satisfactory condition
Countertops: Satisfactory condition
Sink and plumbing: Satisfactory condition
Garbage disposal: Satisfactory condition
Condition of faucets and spouts: Satisfactory condition
Water suppy lines and valves beneath the sink: Satisfactory condition
Drain systems: Satisfactory condition
Room exhaust: Satisfactory condition
Smoke detectors present: No
Window units: Double hung, Vinyl or vinyl clad, Satisfactory condition
Window glass: Double pane thermoglass, Satisfactory condition
Floor: Satisfactory condition
Trim at floor, ceiling, walls, windows, and doors: Satisfactory condition
Walls and ceiling: Satisfactory condition
Appliances that are present: Dishwasher does operate, Range top burners do operate, Oven does operate
 
Stairway to basement Return to table of contents
Light switches: Satisfactory condition
Light fixtures: Satisfactory condition
Steps: Wood, Satisfactory condition
Smoke detectors present: Yes, Satisfactory condition
Head room: Satisfactory condition
Handrails (and guards if applicable): Satisfactory condition
 
Laundry area Return to table of contents
Light switches: Satisfactory condition
Electrical Receptacles: Receptacles are not GFCI protected. Recommend upgrading to GFI receptacles for better protection from electric shock for receptacles within 6 feet of a water source, and other areas where water is likely to be present
Light fixtures: Satisfactory condition
Cabinets: Satisfactory condition
Utility sink: Satisfactory condition
Condition of faucets and spouts: Satisfactory condition
Water suppy lines and valves beneath the sink: No supply valves are present. Supply valves allow for shutting off the water supply line at the sink for easier repairs and replacements
Drain systems: Satisfactory condition
Cross contamination points observed: No
Smoke detectors present: No
Dryer vent: Satisfactory condition
Washing machine hook up water lines and valves: Satisfactory condition
Washing machine drainage: The washer had clothing in it. The machine was therefore not operated. The functionality of the drain was not tested, The visible configuration of the drain system is satisfactory
Gas shut-off valve: Not applicable
Floor: Satisfactory condition
Window units: Double hung, Vinyl or vinyl clad, Satisfactory condition
Window glass: Double pane thermoglass, Satisfactory condition
 
Dining room Return to table of contents
Light switches: Satisfactory condition
Electrical Receptacles: Satisfactory condition
Light fixtures: Satisfactory condition
Heat source units: Floor registers, Satisfactory condition
Air conditioning source in the room: The same ones that are used for heating
Smoke detectors present: No
Window units: Double hung, Vinyl or vinyl clad, Satisfactory condition
Window glass: Double pane thermoglass, Satisfactory condition
Floor: Cosmetic blemishes are present, Satisfactory condition overall
Trim at floor, ceiling, walls, windows, and doors: Satisfactory condition
Walls and ceiling: Typical cracks and blemishes are present, Satisfactory condition
Closets: None present
 
Living room and main entry Return to table of contents
Light switches: Satisfactory condition
Electrical Receptacles: Satisfactory condition
Light fixtures: Satisfactory condition
Ceiling fan: Satisfactory condition
Heat source units: Floor registers, Satisfactory condition
Air conditioning source in the room: The same ones that are used for heating
Smoke detectors present: No
Window units: Double hung, Fixed units, Wood sashes, Vinyl or vinyl clad, Satisfactory condition
Window glass: Single pane, Double pane thermoglass, Satisfactory condition
Doors: Exterior, Satisfactory condition
Exterior door glass: Double pane thermoglass, Satisfactory condition
Floor: Satisfactory condition
Trim at floor, ceiling, walls, windows, and doors: Loose sections are present - the window sills on the north double hung windows are loose. Recommend they be properly secured. Other trim is satisfactory.
Walls and ceiling: Typical cracks and blemishes are present, Satisfactory condition
Closets: This particular type of light fixture is no longer recommended. An estimated 12% of house fires start in the closets when fabrics fall against lit incandescent bulbs. Recommend this fixture be replaced with a proper flourescent bulb fixture.
 
Hallway Return to table of contents
Light switches: Satisfactory condition
Electrical Receptacles: Satisfactory condition
Light fixtures: Satisfactory condition
Smoke detectors present: Yes, Satisfactory condition
Doors: Interior, Satisfactory condition
Floor: Satisfactory condition
Trim at floor, ceiling, walls, windows, and doors: Satisfactory condition
Walls and ceiling: Satisfactory condition
Closets: Satisfactory condition
 
Bedroom northwest Return to table of contents
Light switches: Satisfactory condition
Electrical Receptacles: Satisfactory condition
Light fixtures: Satisfactory condition
Heat source units: Floor registers, Satisfactory condition
Air conditioning source in the room: The same ones that are used for heating
Smoke detectors present: No
Window units: Double hung, Vinyl or vinyl clad, Satisfactory condition
Window glass: Double pane thermoglass, Satisfactory condition
Doors: Interior, Satisfactory condition
Floor: Cosmetic blemishes are present, Squeaks are present, Satisfactory condition
Trim at floor, ceiling, walls, windows, and doors: Satisfactory condition
Walls and ceiling: Satisfactory condition
Closets: This particular type of light fixture is no longer recommended. Recommend this fixture be replaced with a proper flourescent bulb fixture. The door panels are damaged.
 
Bedroom northeast Return to table of contents
Light switches: Satisfactory condition
Electrical Receptacles: Satisfactory condition
Light fixtures: Satisfactory condition
Heat source units: Floor registers, Satisfactory condition
Air conditioning source in the room: The same ones that are used for heating
Smoke detectors present: No
Window units: Double hung, Vinyl or vinyl clad, Satisfactory condition
Window glass: Double pane thermoglass, Satisfactory condition
Doors: Interior, Satisfactory condition
Floor: Squeaks are present, Satisfactory condition
Trim at floor, ceiling, walls, windows, and doors: Satisfactory condition
Walls and ceiling: Satisfactory condition
Closets: This particular type of light fixture is no longer recommended. Recommend this fixture be replaced with a proper flourescent bulb fixture.
 
Lower level den Return to table of contents
Light switches: Satisfactory condition
Electrical Receptacles: Located above the ceiling. See comment below.
Light fixtures: Satisfactory condition, See comment below regarding older fixtures located above the ceiling.
Heat source units: Wall registers, Satisfactory condition
Air conditioning source in the room: The same ones that are used for heating
Smoke detectors present: No
Window units: Metal framed unit, Satisfactory condition
Window glass: Single pane, Satisfactory condition. The window on the west wall has only one layer of glass. Recommend insulating the window, or adding one more layer of glazing for improved energy savings.
Floor: Cosmetic blemishes are present, Satisfactory condition
Trim at floor, ceiling, walls, windows, and doors: Satisfactory condition
Walls and ceiling: Typical cracks and blemishes are present, Satisfactory condition
Closets: None present
13) An electric receptacle and several light fixtures are located above the drop ceiling, out of sight. This is an improper practice, and has never been an approved practice by the National Electric Code (NEC). Electric junction and device boxes cannot be located behind finish materials.

Recommend a qualified electrician properly relocate all device boxes so they are properly accessible.
This recommendation is not urgent, but should be done within the next year so it is not overlooked.

Photo 5  

Photo 6  
 
Lower level bedroom Return to table of contents
Light switches: Satisfactory condition
Electrical Receptacles: Satisfactory condition
Light fixtures: Satisfactory condition
Heat source units: Ceiling diffusers, Satisfactory condition
Air conditioning source in the room: The same ones that are used for heating
Smoke detectors present: No
Window units: Slide-by, Wood sashes, Satisfactory condition
Window glass: Double pane non-thermal glass, Satisfactory condition
Doors: Interior, Satisfactory condition
Floor: Satisfactory condition
Trim at floor, ceiling, walls, windows, and doors: Satisfactory condition
Walls and ceiling: Styrofoam material is present on the wall. See comment in the Interior Systems Section.
Closets: Satisfactory condition
14) An insufficient number of smoke detectors are installed. Recommend installing additional smoke detectors as necessary so a functioning one exists in each hallway leading to bedrooms, and in each bedroom.

Also recommend installing a carbon monoxide detector on each level of the home. In halls connecting bedrooms, the recommendation is to place it within 21' of all bedroom doors.
 
Bath Room on main floor Return to table of contents
Light switches: Satisfactory condition
Electrical Receptacles: GFCI receptacles operate correctly, Satisfactory condition
Light fixtures: Satisfactory condition
Heat source units: Floor registers, Satisfactory condition
Air conditioning source in the room: The same ones that are used for heating
Cabinets: Satisfactory condition
Countertops: Satisfactory condition
Sink and plumbing: Satisfactory condition
Condition of faucets and spouts: Satisfactory condition
Water suppy lines and valves beneath the sink: Satisfactory condition
Drain systems: Satisfactory condition
Condition of toilets: Satisfactory condition
Tub and shower combination: Satisfactory condition
Condition of faucets and spouts: Satisfactory condition
Drain systems: Satisfactory condition
Bathroom ventilation: Through the ceiling, Cannot locate exhaust point under the attic insulation. See comment below
Window units: Awning, Wood sashes, The finish is showing damage from glass condensation and sunlight. Mildew is present on the window sash. See comments in Interior Systems section.
Window glass: Double pane non-thermal glass, Satisfactory condition
Doors: Interior, Satisfactory condition
Floor: Squeaks are present, Satisfactory condition
Trim at floor, ceiling, walls, windows, and doors: Satisfactory condition
Walls and ceiling: Satisfactory condition
15) The bathroom ceiling vent does not extend through the roof or side wall. The termination point is probably under the insulation in the attic. The bath vents are designed to remove moisture from the air in the bathroom to an exterior point. If the vents have no duct, or the duct terminates in the attic or soffit region (without a fixed exterior soffit vent), the introduction of moisture into the attic spaces can cause damage such as delamination of sheathing, mold, and/or mildew.
No such deterioration or mold was observed in this attic.
Recommend extending the vent duct to a point through the roof or side wall.
 
Bath Room, basement Return to table of contents
Light switches: Satisfactory condition
Electrical Receptacles: None present
Light fixtures: Satisfactory condition
Heat source units: None present
Air conditioning source in the room: No air conditioning source
Cabinets: Satisfactory condition
Countertops: No functional counter exists
Sink and plumbing: Satisfactory condition
Condition of faucets and spouts: Satisfactory condition
Water suppy lines and valves beneath the sink: No supply valves are present. Supply valves allow for shutting off the water supply line at the sink for easier repairs and replacements
Drain systems: Satisfactory condition
Condition of toilets: Satisfactory condition
Tub and shower combination: None present
Bathroom ventilation: None present
Window units: None present
Doors: Interior, Satisfactory condition
Floor: The vinyl is torn in the center of the room
Trim at floor, ceiling, walls, windows, and doors: Marginal condition
Walls and ceiling: Typical cracks and blemishes are present, Satisfactory condition
 
Attic Return to table of contents
Inspection method: Viewed from hatch
Roof structure type: Rafters, Satisfactory condition
Structure for ceiling below: Not visible beneath insulation
Attic ventilation: Soffit vents, Continuous ridge vent, Satisfactory condition
Insulation material: Fiberglass loose fill, Satisfactory condition
Insulation depth: 12" or more. Satisfactory.
If additional energy savings are desired, recommend consulting with an energy auditor prior to adding additional insulation:
 
Basement Return to table of contents
Foundation material and condition: Concrete blocks, Satisfactory condition
Foundation wall conditions: No moisture apparent. The exterior walls are covered with styrofaom insulation. See comment in Interior Systems Section.
Floor: Poured concrete, Much of the base flooring was not visible under finish flooring. Those areas could not be fully evaluated, The areas of the base flooring which are visible are in satisfactory condition
Basement drainage: Floor drain is present, Satisfactory condition
Joists: Wood, Satisfactory condition where visible.
Sub floor condition: Satisfactory condition where visible.
Walk-out doorway: Wood hinged door to the garage is not fire rated. Recommend replacing this door with a proper fire-rated door for best personal safety from a garage fire.
Electrical Receptacles: Satisfactory condition where properly visible and accessible.
Smoke detectors present: Yes, Satisfactory condition
Insulation in the basement: Insulation is present in the box sill areas where visible.
16) It is possible for water to enter any basement or crawl space at times.

Factors contributing to water in other-wise dry basements include unusual weather patterns, changes to storm drainage systems controled by the local city or municipality, tree roots doing damage to foundations, rain gutters leaking or overflowing, and drainage systems in the basement failing.

Sump pumps have a life expectancy of about 10 years. Battery backup systems for sump pumps have a history of failing when called upon.

Unusual weather can force water to follow unusual paths.

To reduce the potential for wet basements, recommend keeping the outside perimeter of the house free of shrubs, trees, and thick vegetation. Recommend all landscaping, stoops, and walkways be set so water is channeled away from the house. Recommend rain gutters and downspouts be cleaned semi-annually. Also recommend downspout extensions be placed so all roof water is diverted properly away from the building.
 
Heating Return to table of contents
Location: Basement
Brand: York Diamond 80
Model: P4HUA12N064013
Serial number: WCNM032758
BTU/Kw: 80,000
Approximate age: The serial number indicates it was manufactured in 1983 or 2004. The appearance indicates 2004 is more likely than 1983. However, appearances can be deceiving. Recommend asking seller for information regarding which date is correct.
Heating system energy source: Natural gas
Warm air systems: Direct drive, Central system
Heat exchanger: No abnormal conditions are visible
Carbon monoxide: Recommend installation of a carbon monoxide detector for all homes
Exhaust and flue piping: Draft is fan induced, Satisfactory condition
Combustion air and venting: Satisfactory condition
Distribution system: Metal ducts, Cold air returns are present, Satisfactory condition
System controls: Serviceman switch is satisfactory, Other normal operating and safety controls were observed and were in satisfactory condition
Filter: Disposable filter in use. Recommend it be changed every 2 months during the cooling and/or heating seasons, Satisfactory condition, The filter size is 14x20x1
Thermostat locations: Living room
Thermostat: Electronic or programable, Satisfactory condition
Operation of the unit by normal controls: The system did respond as intended, The unit 's operation was satisfactory
Condensation control: See comment below.
17) Recommend that this system be inspected, cleaned, serviced and repaired if necessary by a qualified heating and cooling technician annually in the future.
18) The furnace has no drain for combustion condensation. Furnaces manufactured in the last 20 years typically do require drainage of condensation which results from drawing as much heat from the combustion gasses as possible.

Recommend a qualified heating contractor evaluate this furnace to determine if a condensate drainage system is required, or if not.

If one is required, recommend one be properly added as soon as possible to prevent damage to the furnace.

19) The average life expectancy for furnaces is 15 - 20 years. The serial number on this furnace indicates it was manufactured in either 1983 or 2004. The appearance of the furnace indicates 2004 is more likely than 1983. However, appearances can be deceiving. Recommend asking seller for information regarding which date is correct.
 
Air conditioning Return to table of contents
AC energy source: Electric
Type of system: Split system
Location of evaporator coils: Furnace supply plenum
Condensation control: See comment below.
Method of cold air distribution: Furnace ducts
Location of condensate coils and compressor: Outside along north wall
Thermostat: Electronic or programable, Satisfactory condition
Operation of the unit by normal controls: The air conditioning system was not turned on due to cold outside temperature
20) Outdoor air temperature below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, unable to operate and/or fully evaluate cooling system. Operation of air conditioners when outside temperatures are below 60, or when the previous night temperatures were below 60F, may result in irreparable damage to the compressor motor.
21) The condensate drain pipe for the air conditioner unit is coiled around the furnace cabinet. The condensate hose must be routed to a proper drain, such as the floor drain near the laundry area.

Also note the white verticle section of pipe. This is the overflow pipe, placed to prevent flooding of the furnace plenum should the drain become clogged. This pipe appears to extend too high. A service call just for this condition is not recommended, however, during the first annual furnace/ac checkup (prior to the next cooling season), ask the technician to evaluate the height of this pipe and cut it down if necessary.

Photo 7  
 
 
Electric service Return to table of contents
Primary service type: Overhead
Primary service overload protection type: Fuses
Service amperage (amps): Probably 100, but not able to verify this.
Service voltage (volts): 120-240
Location of main service panel: Basement, north wall
Obstructed access?: Yes, but not by permanent fixtures.
Service entrance panel description: Fuse panel
Main service panel's amperage rating: Unable to determine the amperage rating of the service entrance panel
Condition of main service panel: Satisfactory condition
Location of main disconnect: Fuse block at the top of the panel
Service conductor material: Copper, Satisfactory condition
Bonding of neutral conductors and panel to grounding conductors: Proper and satisfactory
Grounding systems: Proper and satisfactory
Main disconnect rating (amps): Unable to verify.
Branch circuit wiring type: Non-metallic sheathed
Legend for breakers or fuses: Legends tell which breakers or fuses protect which circuits. Legends allow for rapid shut-off of breakers in case of an emergency or during service calls, Legend for circuit breakers or fuses in the main service panel is incomplete. Recommend completing the legend
Location of sub panels: The one next to the main panel, labeled for the air conditioner, is satisfactory.
The one next to the furnace is improperly bonded. See comment below regarding bonding.

22) Correction in the main service panel recommended for safety reason:
14 awg conductors exist in the basement, and all fuses are rated for 20 amps. 14 guage (awg) conductors must have no more than 15 amp protection via fuses or circuit breakers.

If the circuit(s) with 14 awg conductors should carry more than 15 amps, the fuse(s) will not close the circuit, which could cause the conductors to overheat or arc, potentially resulting in a fire.

A number of appliance/light extension cords are used for permanent wiring in the basement walls and ceiling. Such cords may only be used in approved settings, not as permanent circuit conductors in concealed areas. Proper electric conductors are strongly recommended for permanent circuitry,

Recommend a qualified electrician evaluate and make necessary correction for safety as soon as possible.

23) Neutral and equipment ground conductors are combined at the sub-panel next to the furnace. This should only occur in the main service panel. When certain rare circumstances are present, this condition can result in severe electric shock. Neutral conductors should be attached to a "floating" neutral bar not bonded to the panel, while grounding conductors should be attached to a separate grounding bar bonded to the sub panel. Recommend an electrician evaluate and make necessary correction.
24) Several fuse block terminals in the panel have two conductors attached to them. This is a poor electrical practice. These terminals are designed for only one conductor.
When more than one conductor is in the terminal, it is very difficult to apply the correct amount of torque to the terminal screw. The conductors can loosen, resulting in arching and potentially a closed circuit, or in rare situations, a fire.
Recommend an electrician evaluate and make necessary correction.
 
Plumbing and Drain Waste Vent Systems Return to table of contents
Location of main water shut-off valve: Basement, right side of the laundry machines.
Water service: Public
Water entry piping: Copper, Satisfactory condition
Main shut-off valves: Leaking from the primary valve next to the meter when it is turned. See commend below.
Visible water distribution piping: Copper, Satisfactory condition where visible.
Visible valves and joints: The fittings above the water heater on the left side have significant corrosion and deposits. This indicates a potential leak. If moisture becomes apparent, then recommend a plumber evaluate and make necessary correction. Other valves and fittings are satisfactory where visible.
Pipe supports and hangers: Satisfactory condition
Functional flow: Satisfactory
Cross contamination points observed: No
Drain waste and vent pipes: Cast iron, PVC, Galvanized, Satisfactory condition where visible
Traps: Not visible for evaluation
Functional drainage: Satisfactory
Water softener. The functionality of the unit is not evaluated: None present
Interior fuel storage system: None
Fuel line: Natural gas, Black iron, Satisfactory condition
Main fuel shut-off location: Valve on pipe entering exterior gas meter. A wrench is required to turn the valve
Fuel line hangers and protection: Satisfactory condition
Water Heater #1:
Type: Tank, Natural gas
Approximate age: 1997
Brand name: Unable to read the name plate
Model No: PRV40 NOCT 970 42W
Serial No: K9755 0658
BTU's per hour: 40,000
Capacity in gallons: 40
Tank conditions: Satisfactory condition
Temperature Pressure (TP) relief valve: The extension tube is satisfactory
Vent pipe and connections: Draft hood, Satisfactory condition
25) The photo below shows the main water shut-off valves. In the event of a water leak, turn off either valve, then call a plumber.

Note, the valve in photo 9 leaks when turned. If it is bumped, or turning is required, it will leak. Recommend a plumber evaluate and make necessary corrections during a service call for other matters.

The other valve in photo 8 is satisfactory.

Photo 8  

Photo 9  

26) The average life expectancy for water heaters is about 15 years, more or less. This heater is near this age. It will likely require replacement within the next 5 years.
 
Garage Return to table of contents
Type of garage: Attached, 1-car
Foundation material: Concrete block, The mortar in places is deteriorating. It is natural for mortar to deteriorate over time. The purpose of mortar is to provide a natural way for moisture to exit the masonry wall, and to keep the weather and pests out of the structure. Recommend all loose and deteriorated mortar be properly repointed (also known as tuckpointing), Satisfactory condition with recommended maintenance
Automatic opener: Operable
Safety Reverse: Operable, Electric eyes are present
Floor: Concrete, Satisfactory condition, with typical spalling of the surface. Recommend sealing the surface now and as necessary in the future to prolong the life of the concrete surface.
Sill plates: Elevated above floor level, Satisfactory condition
Vehicle doors: Overhead track, Motorized, Satisfactory condition
Vehicle door frame: Metal clad, Satisfactory condition with cosmetic blemishes and prior repairs.
Weatherstripping: Missing. Weatherstripping around the perimeter is suggested to reduce weather and pest infiltration.
Exterior service door: Wood, Marginal condition on the rear. The front door is metal clad and in satisfactory condition.
Electrical systems: Light switches, Electric receptacles, Lights
Light switches: Satisfactory condition
Electrical Receptacles: Receptacles are not GFCI protected. Recommend upgrading to GFI receptacles for better protection from electric shock for receptacles within 6 feet of a water source, and other areas where water is likely to be present
Lights: Satisfactory condition
Fire separation systems: The door leading to the interior of the home is not a proper fire-rated door. For best protection from garage fumes and fire, recommend replacing the door with a proper self-closing fire-rated door
Window units: Fixed units, Wood sashes, Satisfactory condition
Window glass: Single pane, Satisfactory condition
Walls and ceiling: Typical cracks and blemishes are present, Satisfactory condition
Utility sink: None present
27) Repairs to the mortar joints have been done in the past. Repairs to mortar with caulk or expanding foam is a poor practice. Caulk and foam can trap moisture in, which will cause damage to the surrounding masonry units. For proper repairs, recommend removing all caulk and/or expanding foam, and inserting appropriately mixed and colored mortar.
 
Roof Return to table of contents
Roof inspection method: Traversed
Roof type: Hipped
Roof #1 Area: garage
Type of material for exposed roofing: Fiberglass asphalt composition shingles
Number of Layers: 2
Approximate age: early life
Condition of Roof #1: Satisfactory condition
Roof #2 Area: house
Type of material for exposed roofing: Fiberglass asphalt composition shingles
Number of Layers: 1
Approximate age: early life
Condition of Roof #2: Satisfactory condition
Roof penetrations: Plumbing vent stack, Electrical supply, Attic vents, Chimneys/combustion exhaust, Some sealants are deteriorating around the electric mast. See comment below. Other sealants are satisfactory, but do require periodic maintenance every few years.
Condition of boots: Satisfactory condition
Flashing: Roof to wall. See comment below
Rain gutters: Painted steel, Satisfactory condition
Downspouts: Satisfactory condition
28) The roof to wall flashing above the garage roof is not proper.

Step flashing may be present, but if so, it is placed behind the fibered wall sheathing. This placement will cause the fibered sheathing to wick water up and into the wall system. If step flashing is not present, or only partially present, water will enter into the wall system.

If left uncorrected, the wall system can start rotting in a short time. Prolonged moisture can allow molds to form, which does result in rotting wood.

Recommend a qualified roofer evaluate and make necessary corrections as soon as possible.

Photo 2  
 

29) Tree branches are near the roof. Tree branches can shorten the life of the shingles by preventing rapid drying of the shingles, and by dropping branches, leaves, and other debris on the surface of the roof. Recommend pruning trees so they're at least 10 feet away from the roof, or don't overhang the roof.
30) The photo below shows the poor sealant around the electric mast. Once the masts and meter box are properly secured to the house wall, then recommend the sealant be properly re-applied to prevent water entering the roof assembly and attic.

Photo 3  
 

31) The asphalt or fiberglass composition roof over the garage has two layers of shingles. When this roof is next replaced, recommend a complete "tear off", where all existing layers of roofing are removed before installing new roofing materials. With each layer of material added to a roof, the new roof material's lifespan is reduced.

Removing existing roofing materials will increase the cost of the next roof.

32) Ice dams can occur on almost any home in the winter if certain unique weather conditions are present.
Ice dams occur when snow accumulates on the roof to such an extent that it creates an insulating blanket over the roof and attic. They can also occur during minimal snowfall if the attic has insulation which is insufficient or improperly applied, and if there is insufficient ventilation in the attic. Proper ventilation can be blocked by heavy snow.
If the attic becomes warm enough to heat the roof deck to 32F or above, snow will melt. If the soffit regions (roof overhangs) are cooler than 32F, the melting snow will re-freeze over the soffits, creating ice, which will grow into a mass similar to a dam, blocking melted snow from running down the slope. This snow melt will then back up, usually finding its way into the home through the smallest openings in the roof structure.
There are ways to eliminate or greatly reduce ice dams. Methods include properly insulating and ventilating the attic, and removing snow from the roof as it accumulates. Snow removal should be performed with proper snow roof rakes, and always from the ground.
Recommendations include consulting with roofing and/or insulation contractors for more information and possible courses of action for the prevention of ice dams.

 
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