House Detective of Westchester, Inc.

Website: http://www.reporthost.com/hdwestchester
Email: Jdellamura@aol.com
Phone: (914) 934-9030

 

The House Detective of Westchester, Inc.
Home Inspection Report
License # 16000011212
Client(s): Nick Pasquale
Property address: 1595 Haight Ave.
Bronx, NY 10461
Inspection date: Thursday, September 10, 2009
This report published on 9/11/2009 9:21:45 PM EDT

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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:
SafetyPoses a risk of injury or death 
Major DefectCorrection likely involves a significant expense 
Repair/ReplaceRecommend repairing or replacing 
Repair/MaintainRecommend repair and/or maintenance 
Minor DefectCorrection likely involves only a minor expense 
MaintainRecommend ongoing maintenance 
EvaluateRecommend evaluation by a specialist 
ServiceableItem or component is in servicable condition 
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
Exterior
Roof
Garage
Attic
Electric service
Water heater
Heating
Plumbing and laundry
Fireplaces, woodstoves and chimneys
Basement
Kitchen Basement
Kitchen Main
Bathroom Basement
Bathroom Main
Interior room First Floor
Interior room Second Floor
 
General information Return to table of contents
Structures inspected: Single family frame house
Type of building: Single family
Time started: 4:30 PM
Time finished: 7:00 PM
Payment method: Check
Present during inspection: Client(s), Property owner(s)
Occupied: Yes
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy
Temperature: Warm
Ground condition: Dry
Front of structure faces: North, East
Main entrance faces: North, East
Foundation type: Finished basement
The following items are excluded from this inspection: Swimming pool, alarm system
1) This property has one or more fuel burning appliances, and no carbon monoxide alarms are visible. This is a safety hazard. Recommend installing one or more carbon monoxide alarms as necessary and as per the manufacturer's instructions. For more information, visit http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PREREL/prhtml05/05017.html
 
Exterior Return to table of contents
Foundation material: Poured in place concrete, Stone
Apparent wall structure: Wood frame
Wall covering: Vinyl
Driveway material: Asphalt
Sidewalk material: Poured in place concrete
Exterior door material: insulated steel
2) One or more electric receptacles have reverse-polarity wiring, where the hot and neutral wires are reversed. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. A qualified electrician should evaluate and make repairs as necessary.
3) Non-metallic sheathed wiring is routed in one or more areas so it is subject to damage, such as on wall or ceiling surfaces. The insulation can be damaged by objects coming in contact with it and/or it being repeatedly moved. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock and fire. A qualified electrician should evaluate and repair as necessary. For example, rewire using conduit, or re-routing through wall cavities.

Photo 33  
Electric wiring outdoors not in conduit.
Note: water valve needs to be shut during winter months.
 

4) One or more open ground, three-pronged grounding type receptacles were found. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. A qualified electrician should evaluate and make repairs as necessary.

Grounding type receptacles were first required in residential structures during the 1960s. Based on the age of this structure and/or the absence of 2-pronged receptacles, repairs should be made by correcting wiring circuits as necessary so all receptacles are grounded as per standard building practices. Replacement of three-pronged receptacles with 2-pronged receptacles is not an acceptable solution.

5) One or more downspouts are loose or detached. This can result in water accumulating around the structure's foundation, or in basements and crawl spaces if they exist. Accumulated water is a conducive condition to wood destroying insects and organisms, and may also cause the foundation to settle and possibly fail over time. Repairs should be made as necessary so downspouts are securely anchored and functional.

Photo 18  
Rear deck roof gutter leader needs proper bracing and slight hole in the leader.
 

6) Vegetation such as trees, shrubs and/or vines are in contact with or less than one foot from the structure's exterior. Vegetation can serve as a conduit for wood destroying insects and may retain moisture against the exterior after it rains. Vegetation should be pruned and/or removed as necessary to maintain a one foot clearance between it and the structure's exterior.

Photo 26  
Shrubs very close to the house.
 

7) Recommend cleaning deck(s) and railing(s) and treating with a preservative claiming to waterproof, block ultraviolet light, and stop mildew. Consumer Reports recommends these products:

  • Cabot Decking Stain and PTW Stain
  • Olympic Water Repellent Deck Stain
  • Thompson's House and Deck Stain
  • Wolman PTW Deck Stain
  • Akzo Sikkens Cetol DEK
  • Benjamin Moore Moorwood Clear Wood Finish
  • DAP Woodlife Premium
  • Olympic Natural Look Protector Plus

    Photo 13  
    Roof over back deck

    Photo 28  
    Under rear deck view

    8) Caulk is missing or deteriorated in some areas and should be replaced and/or applied where necessary. For more information on caulking, visit The Ins and Outs of Caulking.
    9) The exterior finish in some areas is failing. A qualified contractor should prep (pressure wash, scrape, sand, prime caulk, etc.) and repaint or restain areas as needed and as per standard building practices.

    Photo 14  
    Single pane double hung window needs maintenance and paint.
     

    10) Minor cracks were found in the driveway. However they don't appear to be a structural concern and no trip hazards were found. No immediate action is recommended, but the client(s) may wish to have repairs made or have cracked sections replaced for aesthetic reasons.
    11) Minor cracks were found in one or more sidewalk or patio sections. However they don't appear to be a structural concern and no trip hazards were found. No immediate action is recommended, but the client(s) may wish to have repairs made or have cracked sections replaced for aesthetic reasons.
    12) The side door on the right side of the house has a cement block step. This could become unstable. It is recommended that a permanent step be constructed for this opening.

    Photo 27  
    Side door cement block step.
     
     
    Roof Return to table of contents
    Roof inspection method: Viewed from ground with binoculars
    Roof type: Gable
    Roof covering: Asphalt or fiberglass composition shingles
    Estimated age of roof: 15 plus years
    Gutter & downspout material: Aluminum
    13) The roof in front of the house has some damage due to water cause prior to adding leader pipe extension. Also some mold is visible on the roof. There are companies that specialize in cleaning mold from roofs.

    Photo 24  
    Rear roof view
    Note: Antenna mast should be removed and damaged roof areas patched.

    Photo 25  
    Front roof water damage
     
    Garage Return to table of contents

    14) The garage is a converted metal shed that is being used as a one car garage. The structure has a steel roof. No apparent leaks were found at the time of this inspection.
    The exterior wood siding and wood trim is failing in some locations and should be repaired or replaced as necessary by a qualified contractor.
    The gutters for this structure need to be properly pitched and repaired as necessary.

    Photo 16  
    garage and storage shed.

    Photo 17  
    Right side of garage wood rot and damage.
     
    Attic Return to table of contents
    Inspection method: Traversed
    Roof structure type: Rafters
    Ceiling structure: Ceiling beams
    Insulation material: Fiberglass roll or batt
    Insulation depth: 6 inches
    Insulation estimated R value: R19
    15) Fiberglas batt insulation is installed upside down so its vapor barrier is installed away from the interior, heated space. This creates a cavity between the interior surface and the vapor barrier where moisture can accumulate and result in conducive conditions for wood destroying insects and organisms. The inspector was unable to determine if damage to the structure has resulted because the insulation obscures these cavities.

    Also, the facing on this insulation is flammable, as indicated by the warning statements printed on the facing. Flammable facing should be located towards an interior surface to prevent the spread of fire.

    A qualified contractor should reinstall this insulation or install new insulation as per the manufacturer's recommendations to eliminate the fire hazard and conducive conditions for wood destroying insects. When the old insulation is removed, the exposed structure should be evaluated for damage by wood destroying insects and/or organisms, and repairs should be made if necessary.

    16) Pull-down stairs are installed for the attic access. No insulation is installed above the stairs and no weatherstripping is installed around the hatch perimeter. To reduce air leakage, recommend installing weatherstripping and an insulated hatch cover. An example of one can be seen at http://www.batticdoor.com/.

    Interior air leaking into the attic results in heating and cooling losses, increased energy costs, and a possible increase in moisture levels in the attic due condensation forming on the underside of the roof sheathing during cold weather.

    17) The attic vent fan was disconnected and not installed in the opening. It is recommended that a new vent fan be installed and proper screening material be utilized to prevent the entrance of bees or other wildlife into the attic.
    18) The attic pull downstairs are damaged and should be replaced.

    Photo 2  
    Attic stairs
    Note: Stairs are wobbly and dangerous to climb and should be replaced.
     
     
    Electric service Return to table of contents
    Primary service type: Overhead
    Primary service overload protection type: Fuses
    Service amperage (amps): 100
    Location of main service switch: basement closet
    Location of main disconnect: Breaker at top of main service panel
    Main disconnect rating (amps): 100
    Branch circuit wiring type: Non-metallic sheathed, (BX) Armor clad
    Smoke detectors present: No
    19) The electric service to this property appears to be rated at substantially less than 200 amps, and may be inadequate for the client(s) needs. Recommend consulting with a qualified electrician about upgrading to a 200 amp service if necessary.
    20) The legend for overcurrent protection devices (breakers or fuses) in the main service panel is missing, unreadable or incomplete. Recommend installing, updating or correcting the legend as necessary so it's accurate. Evaluation by a qualified electrician may be necessary.

    Photo 15  
    100 amp electric panel circuit breakers.

    Photo 22  
    Electric overhead drop
     
    Water heater Return to table of contents
    Estimated age: Under two years old.
    Type: Tank
    Energy source: Natural gas
    Capacity (in gallons): 50
    Manufacturer: A.O. Smith
    21) The pressure relief valve extension pipe is missing and should be installed.

    Photo 19  
    Hot water heater
    Note: Needs Pressure relief valve extension pipe.
     
     
    Heating Return to table of contents
    Primary heating system energy source: Natural gas
    Primary heat system type: radiators
    22) The last service date of this system appears to be more than one year ago, or the inspector was unable to determine the last service date. The client(s) should ask the property owner(s) when it was last serviced. If unable to determine the last service date, or if this system was serviced more than one year ago, a qualified heating and cooling contractor should inspect, clean, and service this system, and make repairs if necessary. For safety reasons, and because this system is fueled by gas or oil, this servicing should be performed annually in the future. For more information visit: http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PREREL/prhtml05/05017.html
    This unit needs a complete cleaning and the burner flame needs to be adjusted.

    Photo 8  
    Boiler pilot light and burner
    Note: Very dirty and burner flame needs to be adjusted.

    Photo 9  
    Boiler front view with cover removed.
    Note: System does not have automatic water feed and rusty water needs to be drained periodically.

    23) This boiler is over 30 years old and should be considered at the end of its useful life. It is recommended that home buyer budget for a replacement boiler as it may be necessary to replace at any time. The current boiler is being serviced by Pat Sementa Plumbing and Heating. It is recommended to continue with a service contract for this boiler until a replacement boiler can be purchased. A replacement boiler will yield tremendous gas and energy savings due to the greater efficiencies of a modern boiler.
     
    Plumbing and laundry Return to table of contents
    Location of main water shut-off valve: Basement utility room
    Location of main water meter: Basement utility room
    Location of main fuel shut-off: Basement closet
    Water service: Public
    Service pipe material: Not visible
    Supply pipe material: Galvanized steel
    Vent pipe material: Cast iron
    Drain pipe material: Plastic, Galvanized steel
    Waste pipe material: Cast iron
    24) One or more waste pipe clean-outs are poorly sealed where the cap is installed. This is a safety hazard because sewer gases may vent into the structure. A qualified plumber should evaluate and make repairs as necessary.

    Photo 23  
    Plumbing cleanout.
     

    25) The clothes dryer is equipped with a vinyl or foil, accordion-type, flexible exhaust duct. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission considers these types of ducts to be unsafe, and a fire hazard. These types of ducts can trap lint and are susceptible to kinks or crushing, which can greatly reduce the air flow. This duct should be replaced with a rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct, and by a qualified contractor if necessary. Most clothes dryer manufacturers specify the use of a rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct. For more information on dryer safety issues, see http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/5022.html
    26) The clothes dryer exhaust duct is kinked, crushed and/or damaged. Air flow is restricted as a result. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of fire. The exhaust duct should be replaced or repaired, and by a qualified contractor if necessary. For more information, visit http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/5022.html or http://chimneykeepers.com/dryerclean.html
    27) The clothes dryer exhaust duct appears to need cleaning. Significant amounts of lint build up was found. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of fire from decreased air flow. This duct should be cleaned now and annually, or more often if necessary in the future. Some chimney sweeps or heating/cooling duct cleaners perform this service. For more information, visit http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/5022.html or http://chimneykeepers.com/dryerclean.html
    28) The washer drains into the sink drain just above the trap. This sometimes causes washer drain water to back flow into the sink. It is possible to avoid this by rerouting the way the washer drain pipes connects into the sink drain. A qualified plumber may be able to advise as to a solution to this situation.

    Photo 30  
    Washer connection into sink drain.
     

    29) Neither the clothes washer nor dryer were operated or evaluated. They are excluded from this inspection.
    30) The water meter and water supply cutoff valves are located in the basement utility room.

    Photo 31  
    Main water line shut off valve.

    Photo 32  
    Water meter
     
    Fireplaces, woodstoves and chimneys Return to table of contents
    Fireplace type: Masonry
    Chimney type: Masonry
    31) All solid fuel burning appliances (woodstoves and fireplaces, etc.) should be inspected annually by a qualified chimney service contractor, cleaned and repaired as necessary.

    Photo 10  
    Chimney
    Note: Screen cap and rust stains

    Photo 11  
    fireplace cleanout is dirty
     
    Basement Return to table of contents
    Insulation material underneath floor above: None visible
    Beam material: Solid wood
    Floor structure above: Solid wood joists
    32) One or more electric receptacles have reverse-polarity wiring, where the hot and neutral wires are reversed. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. A qualified electrician should evaluate and make repairs as necessary.
    33) One or more electric receptacles and/or the boxes they are installed in are loose and/or not securely anchored. Wire conductors may be damaged due to repeated movement and/or tension on wires, or insulation may be damaged. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock and fire. A qualified electrician should evaluate and repair as necessary.
    34) The basement closet floor has rotted due to past water infiltration. Moisture meter testing indicates the presence of moisture in this wood. Examination of the walkway and concrete outside this areas indicates large gaps that can cause water to funnel into the basement in this area. It is recommended to reseal these gaps and to repair current damaged wood. This condition is conducive to attracting insects and mold.

    Photo 12  
    Cracks along walkway on right side of the house near side door.

    Photo 29  
    Gaps along walkway on right side were sidewalk meets foundation.

    Photo 34  
    Wood rot to floor in basement closet

    Photo 35  
    Wood rot found in basement closet.

    35)   Basement closet door is in need of repair.
     
    Kitchen Basement Return to table of contents

    36) One or more electric receptacles that serve countertop surfaces within six feet of a sink appear to have no ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. A qualified electrician should evaluate to determine if GFCI protection exists, and if not, repairs should be made so that all receptacles that serve countertop surfaces within six feet of sinks have GFCI protection. For example, install GFCI receptacles or circuit breaker(s) as needed.
    37) One or more sink drains have substandard repairs, such as tape, sealant and/or non-standard components. A qualified plumber should evaluate and repair as necessary.

    Photo 4  
    Basement kitchen sink under cabinet view
     

    38) One or more cabinets and/or drawers are damaged and/or deteriorated. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair or replace cabinets and/or components as necessary.
    39) Vinyl flooring is damaged and/or deteriorated in one or more areas. A qualified contractor should replace or repair the damaged flooring.
    40) The sink hot and cold water lines have been reversed allowing hot water to come out of the cold water side of the faucet. This should be corrected for proper operation of the faucet and to prevent anyone unaware from being scalded by hot water on the cold water side.
    41) This is not a fully functional kitchen as it only contains a sink and stove.
     
    Kitchen Main Return to table of contents

    42) One or more electric receptacles that serve countertop surfaces within six feet of a sink appear to have no ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. A qualified electrician should evaluate to determine if GFCI protection exists, and if not, repairs should be made so that all receptacles that serve countertop surfaces within six feet of sinks have GFCI protection. For example, install GFCI receptacles or circuit breaker(s) as needed.
    43) Cover plate(s) are missing from one or more electric boxes, such as for receptacles, switches and/or junction boxes. They are intended to contain fire and prevent electric shock from exposed wires. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of fire and shock. Cover plates should be installed where missing.
    44) One or more sink drains have substandard repairs, such as scissor jack is being used to support sink drain line. Also, water lines are not secured. A qualified plumber should evaluate and repair as necessary.

    Photo 20  
    Kitchen
     

    45) One or more cabinets and/or drawers are damaged and/or deteriorated. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair or replace cabinets and/or components as necessary.
    46) The range hood fan vents into the kitchen rather than outdoors. Ventilation may be inadequate and moisture may accumulate indoors. Recommend having a qualified contractor make modifications as necessary as per standard building practices so the range hood fan vents outdoors.
    The filters are greasy and dirty and require cleaning or replacement.
     
    Bathroom Basement Return to table of contents

    47) The toilet fill valve has a slight leak as it fills the tank and may require repair or replacement in the future.

    Photo 3  
    Basement 1/2 Bathroom
     
     
    Bathroom Main Return to table of contents

    48) One or more electric receptacles that serve countertop surfaces within six feet of a sink appear to have no ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. A qualified electrician should evaluate to determine if GFCI protection exists, and if not, repairs should be made so that all receptacles that serve countertop surfaces within six feet of sinks have GFCI protection. For example, install GFCI receptacles or circuit breaker(s) as needed.
    49) One or more faucets leak by handle(s) or at their base when turned on. A qualified plumber should evaluate and repair as necessary.
    The shower cold water valve needs repair.

    50) Tile and/or grout around one or more bathtubs is damaged or deteriorated. For example, deteriorated or missing grout, cracked, missing or loose tiles, etc. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair tile and/or grout as necessary.
    51) One or more handles are missing from water shut-off valves. Handles should be replaced where missing.

    Photo 5  
    Main bathroom sink under cabinet
    Note: Missing valve handle and cold water valve hard to close.
     

    52) Caulk is missing and/or deteriorated at one or more bathtubs. For example, where the tub base meets the floor below, where the tub surround meets the tub, and/or around the base of the tub spout. Caulk should be replaced where deteriorated and/or applied where missing to prevent water intrusion and damage to wall and floor structures.
    53) Recommend cleaning and sealing grout in tile or stone flooring now and in the future as necessary to prevent staining and to improve waterproofing.
     
    Interior room First Floor Return to table of contents

    54) No smoke alarms are visible. This is a safety hazard. A qualified electrician should install smoke alarms as per standard building practices (functioning one exists in hallways leading to bedrooms, and in each bedroom, etc.). For more information, visit http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5077.html
    55) The doorbell appears to be inoperable. Recommend having a qualified electrician evaluate and repair as necessary.
    56) Buyer should determine from homeowner if alarms system is working. If operational, how to operate system and if central station monitoring is used.
    57)   The first floor walls and ceilings appear to be plumb and level and free of any or many stress cracks. The floors appear to be level and sound with no noticeable weak or soft spots.
     
    Interior room Second Floor Return to table of contents

    58) No smoke alarms are visible. This is a safety hazard. A qualified electrician should install smoke alarms as per standard building practices (functioning one exists in hallways leading to bedrooms, and in each bedroom, etc.). For more information, visit http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5077.html

    Photo 6  
    Bedroom

    Photo 7  
    bedroom 2

    Photo 21  
    Master Bedroom
     

    59) Relatively few electric receptacles are installed in one or more interior rooms. This can result in "octopus" wiring with extension cords, which is a fire hazard. A qualified electrician should evaluate and install additional receptacles as necessary and as per standard building practices.
    60) One or more doors bind in their jamb and cannot be closed and latched, or are difficult to open and close. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair as necessary. For example, adjusting jambs or trimming doors.
    61) The second floor walls and ceilings appear to be free from any or many stress cracks. The floors appear to be plumb and level and free from squeaks and soft spots.
    Also, lifting the carpeting in a closet reveals hardwood flooring which may run throughout the rooms of the second floor. It is advisable to ask homeowner if hardwood flooring exists under all the carpeting.

     
    This inspection report is not an appraisal of value or survey. This is not a compliance report for past or present code violations or regulations of any kind. It is merely an accounting of visible observations made at this location.
    The house inspected is generally in good condition. It appears to have had recurring maintenance. There are some difficiencies as noted through this report. Of importance is the garage exterior, the boiler is very old and inefficient and should be upgraded, the gaps along the foundation and walkway on the left side of the house has allowed water to rot the closet floor in the basement and it is in need of repair and other repairs as mentioned above.
    It is recommended to use this report as a guide when making repairs to your home. Repairs can be performed in order of importance and necessity as suggested in this report.