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Elite Home Inspections


182 Christian Ridge Rd 
Ellsworth ME 04605-3211
Inspector: Adam VanWhy

 

150815

Client(s):  Smith,John
Property address:  2 Example St
Inspection date:  Saturday, August 15, 2015

This report published on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 4:43:37 AM EDT

Thank you for choosing Elite home inspections! If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to contact me - for as long you own your home.

Elite home inspections follow the ASHI standards of practice and code of ethics, which can be found here http://www.homeinspector.org/Standards-of-Practice. The inspection process is a lengthy yet non-intrusive, visual check of your home's components for safety and function.

The inspection process can feel like a negative experience since it only highlights defects, flaws, and safety issues. This report is not meant to be the sum of the house's features, only the parts of it that may need maintenance or repair. The house will also have plenty of appealing features, and sometimes the "defects" brought up in the report are exactly what may appeal to the prospective buyer- like exterior walls covered in ivy or an old farmhouse without modern facilities. All houses will have some defects- even new ones typically have issues and can develop more as the house settles during the first few years.

This report is the exclusive property of this inspection company and the client(s) listed in the report title. Use of this report by any unauthorized persons is prohibited.
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:
Concern typeSafetyPoses a safety hazard
Concern typeRepair/ReplaceRecommend repairing or replacing
Concern typeRepair/MaintainRecommend repair and/or maintenance
Concern typeMaintainRecommend ongoing maintenance
Concern typeEvaluateRecommend evaluation by a specialist
Concern typeMonitorRecommend monitoring in the future
Concern typeCommentFor 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 and Foundation
Roof
Garage or Carport
Attic and Roof Structure
Interior, Doors and Windows
Kitchen
Bathrooms, Laundry and Sinks
Fireplaces, Stoves, Chimneys and Flues
Basement
Plumbing / Fuel Systems
Water Heater
Electric
Heating, Ventilation and Air Condition (HVAC)


General Information
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Report number: 150815
Time started: 1030
Time finished: 1330
Present during inspection: Client
Client present for discussion at end of inspection: Yes
Weather conditions during inspection: Dry (no rain)
Temperature during inspection: Hot
Type of building: Single family, Manufactured home, Detached garage
Buildings inspected: One house, One detached garage
Age of main building: 27
Source for main building age: Property owner
Occupied: Yes, Furniture or stored items were present

1) The propane gas supply was not available during the inspection (tank empty, shut-off valve turned off, no tank installed, etc.). The inspector operates only "normal" controls such as thermostats, stove burner knobs, and on/off switches, and does not operate gas shut-off valves or activate pilot lights. As a result, items such as but not limited to the gas supply system, gas-fired water heater(s), gas-fired forced air furnace(s), gas fireplace(s), stove(s), and range(s) weren't fully evaluated. The inspector was unable to test for gas leaks. Recommend that a qualified person make a full evaluation of the gas supply system and gas-fired appliances after the gas supply is turned back on. Any problems that are found after this evaluation should be repaired by a qualified contractor.
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Photo 1-1
Old propane hookup for house.
Photo
Photo 1-2
Empty propane tank for garage heater.

2) Some areas and items at this property were obscured by furniture. This often includes but is not limited to walls, floors, windows, inside and under cabinets, under sinks, on counter tops, in closets, behind window coverings, under rugs or carpets, and under or behind furniture. Areas around the exterior, under the structure, in the garage and in the attic may also be obscured by stored items. The inspector in general does not move personal belongings, furnishings, carpets or appliances. When furnishings, stored items or debris are present, all areas or items that are obscured, concealed or not readily accessible are excluded from the inspection. The client should be aware that when furnishings, stored items or debris are eventually moved, damage or problems that were not noted during the inspection may be found.

3) Evidence of rodent infestation was found in the form of feces in the wall above the electric service panel. Consult with the property owner about this. A qualified person should make repairs to seal openings in the structure, set traps, and clean rodent waste as necessary. Recommend following guidelines in these Center for Disease Control articles:
http://www.reporthost.com/?SEALUP
http://www.reporthost.com/?TRAPUP
http://www.reporthost.com/?CLEANUP
Photo
Photo 3-1
Rodent feces found above main electric service panel.
 

Grounds
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Limitations: Unless specifically included in the inspection, the following items and any related equipment, controls, electric systems and/or plumbing systems are excluded from this inspection: detached buildings or structures; fences and gates; retaining walls; underground drainage systems, catch basins or concealed sump pumps; swimming pools and related safety equipment, spas, hot tubs or saunas; whether deck, balcony and/or stair membranes are watertight; trees, landscaping, properties of soil, soil stability, erosion and erosion control; ponds, water features, irrigation or yard sprinkler systems; sport courts, playground, recreation or leisure equipment; areas below the exterior structures with less than 3 feet of vertical clearance; invisible fencing; sea walls, docks and boathouses; retractable awnings. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only.
Site profile: Level
Driveway material: Asphalt
Sidewalk material: Brick
Deck, porch and/or balcony material: Wood
Condition of stairs, handrails and guardrails: Required repairs, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Exterior stair material: Wood

4) Guardrails at one or more locations with drop-offs higher than 30 inches were missing. This poses a fall hazard. Guardrails should be installed where walking surfaces are more than 30 inches above the surrounding grade or surfaces below. Guardrails should not have gaps or voids that allow passage of a sphere equal to or greater than 4 inches in diameter, or 6 inches in diameter at triangular spaces between stair edges and guardrails. Recommend that a qualified contractor install guardrails where missing and per standard building practices.
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Photo 4-1
No guardrails present on steps and ramp at rear of house.
 

5) Minor deterioration (e.g. cracks, holes, settlement, heaving) was found in the driveway, but no trip hazards were found. The client may wish to have repairs made for cosmetic reasons.
Photo
Photo 5-1
 

Exterior and Foundation
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Limitations: The inspector performs a visual inspection of accessible components or systems at the exterior. Items excluded from this inspection include below-grade foundation walls and footings; foundations, exterior surfaces or components obscured by vegetation, stored items or debris; wall structures obscured by coverings such as siding or trim. Some items such as siding, trim, soffits, vents and windows are often high off the ground, and may be viewed using binoculars from the ground or from a ladder. This may limit a full evaluation. Regarding foundations, some amount of cracking is normal in concrete slabs and foundation walls due to shrinkage and drying. Note that the inspector does not determine the adequacy of seismic reinforcement.
Wall inspection method: Viewed from ground
Condition of wall exterior covering: Appeared serviceable
Apparent wall structure: Wood frame
Wall covering: Vinyl
Condition of foundation and footings: Appeared serviceable
Apparent foundation type: Finished basement
Foundation/stem wall material: Poured in place concrete

6) One or more holes or gaps were found in siding or trim. Vermin, insects or water may enter the structure. Recommend that a qualified person repair as necessary.
Photo
Photo 6-1
Crack near rear entrance, above ramp.
Photo
Photo 6-2
Electric conduit to garage needs to be resealed.
Photo
Photo 6-3
Cracked sealant on front door exterior light.
 

7) Vegetation such as trees, shrubs and/or vines was in contact with or close to the building exterior. Vegetation can serve as a pathway for wood-destroying insects and can retain moisture against the exterior after it rains. This is a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms. Recommend pruning, moving or removing vegetation as necessary to maintain at least 6 inches of space between it and the building exterior. A 1-foot clearance is better.
Photo
Photo 7-1
Front of house
Photo
Photo 7-2
Side of garage

8) One or more minor cracks (1/8 inch or less) were found in the foundation. These didn't appear to be a structural concern, but recommend sealing them to prevent water infiltration and monitor them in the future. Numerous products exist to seal such cracks including hydraulic cement, non-shrinking grout, resilient caulks and epoxy sealants.
Photo
Photo 8-1
 

Roof
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Limitations: The following items or areas are not included in this inspection: areas that could not be traversed or viewed clearly due to lack of access; solar roofing components. Any comments made regarding these items are made as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not provide an estimate of remaining life on the roof surface material, nor guarantee that leaks have not occurred in the roof surface, skylights or roof penetrations in the past. Regarding roof leaks, only active leaks, visible evidence of possible sources of leaks, and evidence of past leaks observed during the inspection are reported on as part of this inspection. The inspector does not guarantee or warrant that leaks will not occur in the future. Complete access to all roof and attic spaces during all seasons and during prolonged periods of all types of weather conditions (e.g. high wind and rain, melting snow) would be needed to do so. Occupants should monitor the condition of roofing materials in the future. For older roofs, recommend that a professional inspect the roof surface, flashings, appurtenances, etc. annually and maintain/repair as might be required. If needed, the roofer should enter attic space(s). Regarding the roof drainage system, unless the inspection was conducted during and after prolonged periods of heavy rain, the inspector was unable to determine if gutters, downspouts and extensions perform adequately or are leak-free.
Roof inspection method: Traversed
Condition of roof surface material: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Roof surface material: Asphalt or fiberglass composition shingles
Roof type: Gable
Apparent number of layers of roof surface material: One
Condition of exposed flashings: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)

9) The roof surface on the south side of the basement entrance was significantly deteriorated and appeared to be at or beyond its service life. It needs replacing now.Consult with a qualified contractor to determine replacement options. The garage roof is also showing signs of wear along the ridge and should be replaced. Note that some structural repairs are often needed after old roof surfaces are removed and the structure becomes fully visible. Related roofing components such as flashings and vents should be replaced or installed as needed and per standard building practices.
Photo
Photo 9-1
Basement entrance
Photo
Photo 9-2
Basement entrance as seen from garage roof
Photo
Photo 9-3
Worn ridge shingles on garage
 

10) Nail heads were exposed at one or more shingles along the ridge of the house. More than just a few exposed nail heads may indicate a substandard roof installation. Recommend applying an approved sealant over exposed nail heads now and as necessary in the future to prevent leaks.
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Photo 10-1
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Photo 10-2

11) One or more roof flashings were corroded. Leaks can occur as a result. This is a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms. Recommend that a qualified person repair as necessary.

Flashing along the basement entrance area has surface rust. Recommend you monitor it and repair or replace if the rust develops further.
Photo
Photo 11-1
 

Garage or Carport
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Type: Detached
Condition of garage vehicle door(s): Appeared serviceable
Type of garage vehicle door: Sectional
Number of vehicle doors: 1
Condition of automatic opener(s): Appeared serviceable

12) The auto-reverse mechanism on one or more automatic openers for garage vehicle doors required excessive force. This is a potential safety hazard. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair as necessary. For more information on garage door safety issues, visit:
http://www.reporthost.com/?NRGD

13) Minor cracks were found in the concrete slab floor. These are common and appeared to be only a cosmetic issue.
Photo
Photo 13-1
 

14) Propane heater installed in garage was not evaluated.
Photo
Photo 14-1
 

15) There was a generator installed in the garage. This was not evaluated. Consult the property owner for more information.
Photo
Photo 15-1
 

Attic and Roof Structure
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Limitations: The following items or areas are not included in this inspection: areas that could not be traversed or viewed clearly due to lack of access; areas and components obscured by insulation. Any comments made regarding these items are made as a courtesy only. The inspector does not determine the adequacy of the attic ventilation system. Complete access to all roof and attic spaces during all seasons and during prolonged periods of all types of weather conditions (e.g. high/low temperatures, high/low humidity, high wind and rain, melting snow) would be needed to do so. The inspector is not a licensed engineer and does not determine the adequacy of roof structure components such as trusses, rafters or ceiling beams, or their spacing or sizing.
Attic inspection method: Traversed
Condition of roof structure: Appeared serviceable
Roof structure type: Trusses
Ceiling structure: Trusses
Condition of insulation in attic (ceiling, skylight chase, etc.): Appeared serviceable
Ceiling insulation material: Fiberglass roll or batt
Approximate attic insulation R value (may vary in areas): R-38
Vapor retarder: Installed
Condition of roof ventilation: Appeared serviceable
Roof ventilation type: Ridge vent(s), Enclosed soffit vents

16) Vent screens for both bathroom vents were missing, deteriorated or substandard. Recommend that a qualified person replace or repair screens as necessary to prevent birds or vermin from entering the attic.
Photo
Photo 16-1
Master Bathroom vent exit.
Photo
Photo 16-2
Main bathroom vent exit.

17) One or more exhaust ducts (e.g. bathroom fan, clothes dryer) in the attic have come apart, were loose or have fallen down. This can result in increased moisture levels inside the structure and is a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms. Recommend that a qualified person make permanent repairs as necessary.

Unable to determine where the vent for the main bathroom goes.
Photo
Photo 17-1
 

Interior, Doors and Windows
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Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: security, intercom and sound systems; communications wiring; central vacuum systems; elevators and stair lifts; cosmetic deficiencies such as nail-pops, scuff marks, dents, dings, blemishes or issues due to normal wear and tear in wall, floor and ceiling surfaces and coverings, or in equipment; deficiencies relating to interior decorating; low voltage and gas lighting systems. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not evaluate any areas or items which require moving stored items, furnishings, debris, equipment, floor coverings, insulation or similar materials. The inspector does not test for asbestos, lead, radon, mold, hazardous waste, urea formaldehyde urethane, or any other toxic substance. Some items such as window, drawer, cabinet door or closet door operability are tested on a sampled basis. The client should be aware that paint may obscure wall and ceiling defects, floor coverings may obscure floor defects, and furnishings may obscure wall, floor and floor covering defects. If furnishings were present during the inspection, recommend a full evaluation of walls, floors and ceilings that were previously obscured when possible. Determining the cause and/or source of odors is not within the scope of this inspection.
Condition of exterior entry doors: Appeared serviceable
Condition of interior doors: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Condition of windows and skylights: Appeared serviceable
Type(s) of windows: Vinyl, Wood
Condition of walls and ceilings: Appeared serviceable
Wall type or covering: Drywall
Flooring type or covering: Carpet, Vinyl, linoleum or marmoleum
Condition of stairs, handrails and guardrails: Required repairs, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)

18) Handrails at one or more flights of stairs were missing. This is a potential fall hazard. Handrails should be installed at stairs with four or more risers or where stairs are greater than 30 inches high. Recommend that a qualified contractor install handrails where missing and per standard building practices.
Photo
Photo 18-1
 

19) Some interior door hardware (locksets) were loose. Recommend that a qualified person repair or replace as necessary.
Photo
Photo 19-1
Main bathroom door.
 

20) One or more windows that were designed to open and close were difficult to open and close. Recommend that a qualified person repair windows as necessary so they open and close easily.

The master bathroom window's hardware was not connected to the window.
Photo
Photo 20-1
 

21) One bedroom door was rubbing against carpeting, which will eventually damage the door's bottom. Recommend trimming bottom of current door or replacing.
Photo
Photo 21-1
 

22) The floor in the living room was not level. This can be caused by foundation settlement or movement of the foundation, posts and/or beams. Significant repairs may be needed to make floors level. Recommend that a qualified contractor and/or engineer evaluate further. Repairs should be performed by a qualified contractor.
Photo
Photo 22-1
There is a noticeable bump across the length of the living room.
 

23) Stains were found in one or more ceiling areas. However, no elevated levels of moisture were found. The stain(s) may be due to past roof and/or plumbing leaks.Consult with the property owner and monitor the stained area(s) in the future, especially after heavy or prolonged rain. If elevated moisture is found in the future, then recommend that a qualified contractor evaluate and repair as necessary.
Photo
Photo 23-1
Photo
Photo 23-2

24) Screens were missing from a few windows. These windows may not provide ventilation during months when insects are active.

Kitchen
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Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: household appliances such as stoves, ovens, cook tops, ranges, warming ovens, griddles, broilers, dishwashers, trash compactors, refrigerators, freezers, ice makers, hot water dispensers and water filters; appliance timers, clocks, cook functions, self and/or continuous cleaning operations, thermostat or temperature control accuracy, and lights. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not provide an estimate of the remaining life of appliances, and does not determine the adequacy of operation of appliances. The inspector does not note appliance manufacturers, models or serial numbers and does not determine if appliances are subject to recalls. Areas and components behind and obscured by appliances are inaccessible and excluded from this inspection.
Condition of counters: Appeared serviceable
Condition of cabinets: Appeared serviceable
Condition of sinks and related plumbing: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Condition of under-sink food disposal: N/A (none installed)
Condition of dishwasher: Appeared serviceable
Condition of range, cooktop or oven: Appeared serviceable
Range, cooktop or oven type: Electric
Type of ventilation: Hood or built into microwave over range or cooktop

25) The sink faucet was dripping. Recommend that a qualified person repair as necessary.
Photo
Photo 25-1
 

Bathrooms, Laundry and Sinks
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Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: overflow drains for tubs and sinks; heated towel racks, saunas, steam generators, clothes washers, clothes dryers. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not determine the adequacy of washing machine drain lines, washing machine catch pan drain lines, or clothes dryer exhaust ducts. The inspector does not operate water supply or shut-off valves for sinks, toilets, bidets, clothes washers, etc. due to the possibility of valves leaking or breaking when operated. The inspector does not determine if shower pans or tub and shower enclosures are water tight, or determine the completeness or operability of any gas piping to laundry appliances.
Location #A: Full bath
Location #B: Full bath
Condition of counters: Appeared serviceable
Condition of cabinets: Appeared serviceable
Condition of flooring: Appeared serviceable
Condition of sinks and related plumbing: Appeared serviceable
Condition of toilets: Appeared serviceable
Condition of bathtubs and related plumbing: Appeared serviceable
Condition of shower(s) and related plumbing: Appeared serviceable
Condition of ventilation systems: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Bathroom and laundry ventilation type: Spot exhaust fans, with individual ducts
240 volt receptacle for laundry equipment present: Yes

26) Tile and/or grout in the bathtub surround at location(s) #A was deteriorated (e.g. loose or cracked tiles, missing grout) or substandard. Water can damage the wall structure as a result. Recommend that a qualified contractor repair as necessary.
Photo
Photo 26-1
 

27) The exhaust fan at location(s) #B was weak or slow. Moisture may accumulate and result in mold, bacteria or fungal growth. Recommend that a qualified person clean, repair or replace fans as necessary.

Unable to locate termination of bathroom vent in attic. Note that this bathroom does not have a shower, only a bathtub.
Photo
Photo 27-1
 

Fireplaces, Stoves, Chimneys and Flues
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Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: coal stoves, gas logs, chimney flues (except where visible). Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not determine the adequacy of drafting or sizing in fireplace and stove flues, and also does not determine if prefabricated or zero-clearance fireplaces are installed in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications. The inspector does not perform any evaluations that require a pilot light to be lit, and does not light fires. The inspector provides a basic visual examination of a chimney and any associated wood burning device. The National Fire Protection Association has stated that an in-depth Level 2 chimney inspection should be part of every sale or transfer of property with a wood-burning device. Such an inspection may reveal defects that are not apparent to the home inspector who is a generalist.
Condition of chimneys and flues: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)

28) One or more masonry chimney crowns were deteriorated. Crowns are meant to keep water off of the chimney structure and prevent damage from freeze-thaw cycles. Chimney crowns are commonly constructed by mounding concrete or mortar on the top chimney surface, however this is substandard. A properly constructed chimney crown should:
  • Be constructed using either precast concrete slabs, cast-in-place steel reinforced concrete, solid stone, or metal
  • Be sloped down from the flue a minimum of 3 inches of fall per foot of run
  • Extend a minimum of 2 1/2 inches beyond the face of the chimney on all sides
  • Not directly contact the flue liner (if installed), with the gap filled with flexible caulk
  • Have flashing installed between the bottom of the crown and the top of the brick chimney
Recommend that a qualified contractor repair or replace crowns as necessary, and per standard building practices.
Photo
Photo 28-1
 

Basement
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Limitations: Structural components such as joists and beams, and other components such as piping, wiring and/or ducting that are obscured by under-floor insulation are also excluded from this inspection. Note that the inspector does not determine if support posts, columns, beams, joists, studs, trusses, etc. are of adequate size, spanning or spacing.

The inspector does not guarantee or warrant that water will not accumulate in the basement in the future. Access to the basement during all seasons and during prolonged periods of all types of weather conditions (e.g. heavy rain, melting snow) would be needed to do so. The inspector does not determine the adequacy of basement floor or stairwell drains, or determine if such drains are clear or clogged.

Note that all basement areas should be checked periodically for water intrusion, plumbing leaks and pest activity.
Condition of exterior entry doors: Appeared serviceable
Condition of floor substructure above: Not determined (inaccessible or obscured)
Condition of insulation underneath floor above: Appeared serviceable
Insulation material underneath floor above: Fiberglass roll or batt

29) The ceiling height over stairs at the rear basement exit was too low and poses a safety hazard, especially for tall people. Ceilings over stairs should be at least 6 feet 8 inches high. At a minimum, be aware of this hazard, especially when guests who are not familiar with the stairs are present.
Photo
Photo 29-1
 

Plumbing / Fuel Systems
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Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: private/shared wells and related equipment; private sewage disposal systems; hot tubs or spas; main, side and lateral sewer lines; gray water systems; pressure boosting systems; trap primers; incinerating or composting toilets; fire suppression systems; water softeners, conditioners or filtering systems; plumbing components concealed within the foundation or building structure, or in inaccessible areas such as below tubs; underground utilities and systems; overflow drains for tubs and sinks; backflow prevention devices. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not operate water supply or shut-off valves due to the possibility of valves leaking or breaking when operated. The inspector does not test for lead in the water supply, the water pipes or solder, does not determine if plumbing and fuel lines are adequately sized, and does not determine the existence or condition of underground or above-ground fuel tanks.
Condition of service and main line: Appeared serviceable
Water service: Private well
Location of main water shut-off: Basement
Condition of supply lines: Appeared serviceable
Supply pipe material: Copper
Condition of drain pipes: Appeared serviceable
Drain pipe material: Plastic
Condition of waste lines: Appeared serviceable
Waste pipe material: Plastic
Vent pipe condition: Appeared serviceable
Vent pipe material: Plastic
Sump pump installed: Yes
Condition of sump pump: Appeared serviceable
Sewage ejector pump installed: Yes
Condition of sewage ejector pump: Appeared serviceable

30) No vacuum breaker for the faucet at the rear of the house. This can cause a cross connection and contaminate clean water if there is a loss of water pressure. Recommend repairing or replacing.
Photo
Photo 30-1
 

31) Corrosion was found at the supply pipe above the water heater. There was signs of recent repair work along this pipe. Recommend checking with homeowner to see if there was a leak, and what steps were taken to repair the leak, if any.
Photo
Photo 31-1
Photo
Photo 31-2

32) A sump pump was installed in the basement. These are specialty systems and only a limited evaluation was performed as part of this inspection. The inspector does not determine the adequacy of sump pumps and their associated drainage systems. The presence of a sump pump may indicate that water routinely accumulates below or inside the structure. Recommend asking the property owner how often the sump pump operates and for how long at different times of the year. The client should be aware that the service life of most sump pumps is 5-7 years, and that the pump may need replacing soon depending on its age and how often it operates.

33) Based on visible components or information provided to the inspector, this property appeared to have a private sewage disposal (septic) system. These are specialty systems and are excluded from this inspection. Comments in this report related to this system are made as a courtesy only and are not meant to be a substitute for a full evaluation by a qualified specialist. Generally, septic tanks should be pumped and inspected every 3 years. Depending on the type of system and municipal regulations, inspection and maintenance may be required more frequently, often annually. Recommend the following:
  • Consult with the property owner about this system's maintenance and repair history
  • Review any documentation available for this system
  • Review inspection and maintenance requirements for this system
  • That a qualified specialist evaluate, perform maintenance and make repairs if necessary
For more information, visit:
http://www.reporthost.com/?SEPTIC

Water Heater
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Limitations: Evaluation of and determining the adequacy or completeness of the following items are not included in this inspection: water recirculation pumps; solar water heating systems; Energy Smart or energy saver controls; catch pan drains. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not provide an estimate of remaining life on water heaters, does not determine if water heaters are appropriately sized, or perform any evaluations that require a pilot light to be lit or a shut-off valve to be operated.
Condition of water heater: Appeared serviceable
Type: Tank
Energy source: Electricity
Estimated age: 7 years
Capacity (in gallons): 40
Temperature-pressure relief valve installed: Yes
Location of water heater: Basement
Hot water temperature tested: Yes
Water temperature (degrees Fahrenheit): 115

Electric
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Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: generator systems, transfer switches, surge suppressors, inaccessible or concealed wiring; underground utilities and systems; low-voltage lighting or lighting on timers or sensors. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not determine the adequacy of grounding or bonding, if this system has an adequate capacity for the client's specific or anticipated needs, or if this system has any reserve capacity for additions or expansion. The inspector does not operate circuit breakers as part of the inspection, and does not install or change light bulbs. The inspector does not evaluate every wall switch or receptacle, but instead tests a representative number of them per various standards of practice. When furnishings, stored items or child-protective caps are present some receptacles are usually inaccessible and are not tested; these are excluded from this inspection. Receptacles that are not of standard 110 volt configuration, including 240-volt dryer receptacles, are not tested and are excluded. The functionality of, power source for and placement of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms is not determined as part of this inspection. Upon taking occupancy, proper operating and placement of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should be verified and batteries should be changed. These devices have a limited lifespan and should be replaced every 10 years. The inspector attempts to locate and evaluate all main and sub-panels. However, panels are often concealed. If panels are found after the inspection, a qualified electrician should evaluate and repair if necessary. The inspector attempts to determine the overall electrical service size, but such estimates are not guaranteed because the overall capacity may be diminished by lesser-rated components in the system. Any repairs recommended should be made by a licensed electrician.
Electric service condition: Appeared serviceable
Primary service type: Overhead
Number of service conductors: 3
Service voltage (volts): 120-240
Estimated service amperage: 100
Primary service overload protection type: Circuit breakers
Service entrance conductor material: Stranded aluminum
Main disconnect rating (amps): 100
System ground: Cold water supply pipes
Condition of main service panel: Appeared serviceable
Location of main service panel #A: Laundry room
Location of main disconnect: Breaker at top of main service panel
Condition of branch circuit wiring: Serviceable
Branch circuit wiring type: Non-metallic sheathed
Solid strand aluminum branch circuit wiring present: None visible
Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection present: Yes
Arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) protection present: No
Smoke alarms installed: Yes, but not tested
Carbon monoxide alarms installed: Yes, but not tested

34) Neutral and ground wires did not appear to be bonded together at the main service panel. In the main service panel, neutrals and grounds should be connected (bonded) to each other and to the metal panel housing. This is a safety hazard for shock. Recommend that a qualified electrician evaluate and repair per standard building practices.

35) One or more ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) devices protecting receptacles at the kitchen wouldn't trip with a test instrument. This is a potential shock hazard. Recommend that a qualified electrician evaluate and repair as necessary.
Photo
Photo 35-1
Neither GFCI device installed in the kitchen tripped with my tester, but it did trip using the button on the receptacle. This suggests the GFCI devices are not properly grounded.
 

36) One or more electric receptacles at the kitchen and/or bathroom(s) had no visible ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection, or the inspector was unable to determine if GFCI protection was present. If not GFCI-protected, receptacles in wet areas pose a shock hazard. Recommend that a qualified electrician evaluate and install GFCI protection if necessary and per standard building practices. General guidelines for GFCI-protected receptacles include the following locations:
  • Outdoors (since 1973)
  • Bathrooms (since 1975)
  • Garages (since 1978)
  • Kitchens (since 1987)
  • Crawl spaces and unfinished basements (since 1990)
  • Wet bar sinks (since 1993)
  • Laundry and utility sinks (since 2005)
For more information, visit:
http://www.reporthost.com/?GFCI

No GFCI devises installed in the basement kitchen, the main bathroom, or outdoors.
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Photo 36-1
Main Bathroom lacking GFCI device.
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Photo 36-2
Downstairs kitchen lacking GFCI device.

37) A white colored wire, which is designated as a "neutral" wire, was wired into a breaker. This is a safety hazard if someone assumes it is a neutral and treats it as such. Recommend evaluation by a qualified electrician.
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Photo 37-1
 

38) One or more circuit breakers in panel(s) #A were "double tapped," where two or more wires were installed in the breaker's lug. Most breakers are designed for only one wire to be connected. This is a safety hazard since the lug bolt can tighten securely against one wire but leave other(s) loose. Arcing, sparks and fires can result. Recommend that a qualified electrician repair as necessary. For more information, visit:
http://www.reporthost.com/?DBLTAP
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Photo 38-1
 

39) Neutral wires were doubled or bundled together under the same lug on the neutral bus bar in panel(s) #A. This is a potential safety hazard in the event that one of the circuits needs to be isolated during servicing. For one neutral to be disconnected, other neutrals from energized circuits sharing the same lug will be loosened. Power surges may result on the energized circuits and result in damage or fire. Also, multiple wires under the same lug may not be secure, resulting in loose wires, arcing, sparks and fire. Recommend that a qualified electrician repair per standard building practices. For more information, visit:
http://www.reporthost.com/?DTNB

40) Wire splices were exposed and were not contained in a covered junction box. This is a potential shock or fire hazard. Recommend that a qualified electrician repair per standard building practices. For example, by installing permanently mounted junction boxes with cover plates where needed to contain wiring splices.
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Photo 40-1
Junction boxes by furnace need covers. Also shown is the outlet used for the installed generator. In case of a power outage, you can plug the furnace into the generator as labelled, for heat.
 

41) One cover plate for a receptacle was broken, in the basement living room. These plates are intended to contain fire and prevent electric shock from occurring due to exposed wires. Recommend that a qualified person install cover plates where necessary.
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Photo 41-1
 

42) Based on the age of this structure and the appearance of existing smoke alarms, the alarms may have been installed more than 10 years ago. According to National Fire Protection Association, aging smoke alarms don't operate as efficiently and often are the source for nuisance alarms. Older smoke alarms are estimated to have a 30% probability of failure within the first 10 years. Newer smoke alarms do better, but should be replaced after 10 years. Unless you know that the smoke alarms are new, replacing them when moving into a new residence is also recommended by NFPA. For more information, visit:
http://www.reporthost.com/?SMKALRMLS

43) Unsupported conduit pipe for wires in the basement. This could cause the electric wires to arc, which is a fire and safety hazard, if the wires contained inside should pull loose or fall down. Recommend installing supporting hangers.
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Photo 43-1
 

44) One or more globes or covers for light fixtures were missing or damaged. Recommend replacing as necessary to avoid exposed bulbs. With closet lighting or where flammable stored objects are near light fixtures, missing or broken covers can be a fire hazard.
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Photo 44-1
Main bathroom light fixture needs a cover.
 

Heating, Ventilation and Air Condition (HVAC)
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Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: humidifiers, dehumidifiers, electronic air filters; solar, coal or wood-fired heat systems; thermostat or temperature control accuracy and timed functions; heating components concealed within the building structure or in inaccessible areas; underground utilities and systems; safety devices and controls (due to automatic operation). Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not provide an estimate of remaining life on heating or cooling system components, does not determine if heating or cooling systems are appropriately sized, does not test coolant pressure, or perform any evaluations that require a pilot light to be lit, a shut-off valve to be operated, a circuit breaker to be turned "on" or a serviceman's or oil emergency switch to be operated. It is beyond the scope of this inspection to determine if furnace heat exchangers are intact and free of leaks. Condensation pans and drain lines may clog or leak at any time and should be monitored while in operation in the future. Where buildings contain furnishings or stored items, the inspector may not be able to verify that a heat source is present in all "liveable" rooms (e.g. bedrooms, kitchens and living/dining rooms).
General heating system type(s): Furnace
Last service date of primary heat source: 7/2015
Source for last service date of primary heat source: Service receipt
Condition of hydronic or steam heat system: Appeared serviceable
Type of hydronic or steam heat: Hydronic (hot water)
Hydronic or steam heat fuel type: Oil
Condition of burners: Not determined (inaccessible, obscured, or gas or oil service off)
Type of combustion air supply: No dedicated source visible, uses room air
Condition of venting system: Appeared serviceable
Condition of controls: Appeared serviceable


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Photo X-1
This is the outlet powering the well. In case of a power outage you can plug the well into the labelled generator outlet to get running water.
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Photo X-2
This is the well and the main water shut-off for the house.
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Photo X-3
Rear exterior door in the laundry room, showing the emergency furnace switch and the electric service panel containing the emergency electric shut-off.
 

Buying a new house can be a very stressful time. In order to help you during this transition, here are a few things to keep in mind when occupying your new home, with an emphasis on function and safety.

Security.
Replace all the locks on your house. Make this a priority, since you never know who might have a spare key from the previous owners. Make sure all exterior doors have a deadbolt, and that all doors are solid core wood or metal. Deadbolts should not have a keyed interior- that could prevent you from getting out of the house quickly in an emergency.
Make sure all windows are locked as well. Check them periodically to ensure the windows open and close smoothly. Plant a large thorny bush beneath windows if you prefer an extra layer of security.
Install exterior lights with motion sensors. Criminals like it dark, but you and your family will appreciate the light so you don't trip.
The best security comes from your neighbors, so invite them over and get to know them. I've had countless calls where a good neighbor alerted me to an issue when the homeowners weren't home, from burglaries to fires, gas leaks, and even sick pets.
Check these web sites for more security tips:
http://www.crimedoctor.com/home.htm
http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/household-safety/security/home-security-tips.htm

Fire/EMS Safety.
Its a good idea to replace all the smoke detectors upon moving into your new place. The typical smoke detector lasts 10 years so you might as well start your new home off with a current detector. Don't forget carbon monoxide detectors as well. Many detectors include both. See these web sites for more information:
http://www.firesafetytips.com/
http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/fire-and-safety-equipment/smoke-alarms
Call your local police/fire department, on their business line, and give them your information so that they can respond quickly in an emergency. If your town doesn't have their own police/fire agency, then call the Hancock Ccounty RCC at 667-7575. This is especially important for those of you who don't have a land line and use cell phones only. Give them your address, directions if needed, and any special issues you might have. Also let them know someone to contact in an emergency, and where a spare key might be found. Ask a neighbor to hold a sparer key if you trust them. It's so much easier to do these things before you have a life threatening emergency!
Make sure your home's street number is visible from the road. Write it on your mailbox too.

Children.
Children, especially infants, are at risk for swallowing most anything, and that can obviously create problems. Batteries, medications, cleaning and household supplies, and laundry products are among the biggest concerns. Keep all of these items out of reach and locked away from your kids. Make sure that any battery powered toy or device is screwed down tightly and keep a close eye on them when in use. Coin type batteries are the worst offender, if you think someone swallowed a coin type battery don't make them vomit since it is so caustic it will cause more damage, get to the E/R immediately. Otherwise call the poison control center at 1800-222-1222. While you are at it, why not add this number to speed dial right now?
The yard of your home has it share of dangers as well. Check your backyard for any possible risks. The poison control center also has information on common poisonous plants. Always lock your car, even at home. Besides preventing strangers from stealing it, it prevents your kids from getting locked inside or shifting the car into neutral.
Anchor any tall furniture and appliances to prevent tipping and falling. See this website for more information: http://www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Tipover-Information-Center/
Keep window shade cords out of reach of kids, to prevent strangulation.
http://www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Window-Covering/
Another great website for safety information is http://www.safekids.org/ , check it out!


Home Maintenance
Yes its boring, but read the manuals for your new home's systems. If you don't have the manuals, they can typically be found online searching with the manufacturer's name and model number. Manuals can contain important information like special features, safety concerns, energy conservation, maintenance tips, and warranty information.

Annual maintenance list. Once a year (at least) you should be sure to do the following:
Clean your heating and air conditioning systems, and any wood burning chimneys.
Clean gutters, downspouts, and roofs.
Seal any foundation cracks.
Inspect exterior siding. Repaint, caulk and/or reseal as needed.
Repaint/reseal all decks, patios, walkways, and drives as needed.
Inspect basement/foundation/crawlspace and attic areas for rot, moisture, mold, insects, and animals.
Clean or replace any and all exhaust fans and filters for A/C, heating, water, etc.
Test smoke/ CO detectors, check fire extinguishers, and monitor any other safety devices.

Here is a list of typical design lifespans for the components of a home. Note that this can vary widely depending on many factors, such as the quality of the materials and design of the product, and the quality of the installation. This is provided simply to help you the homeowner plan for and budget against possible replacement of these systems.
Asphalt shingles: 20-25 years
Metal seam roofing: 20-75 years
Rolled roofing: 5-10 years
Vinyl siding: 50 years
Wood siding: 10 – 100+ years
Asphalt drive: 10 years
Wooden deck: 15 years
Brick or concrete Patio: 25 years
Fence: 12 years
Forced air furnace: 20 years
Heat pump: 15 years.
Boiler: 20-30 years.
Central air conditioning: 15 years
Tank Water heater: 8-12 years