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): Shoaib Ahmed
Property address: 59 Agnola Street
Tuckahoe, NY
Inspection date: Sunday, October 05, 2008
This report published on 10/6/2008 11:07:26 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 
MonitorRecommend monitoring in the future 
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
Attic
Electric service
Water heater
Heating and air conditioning
Plumbing and laundry
Fireplaces, woodstoves and chimneys
Basement
Kitchen
Bathroom first floor
Bathroom second floor
Bathroom Master
Interior rooms first floor
Interior rooms second floor bedrooms
 
General information Return to table of contents
Structures inspected: Single family house
Type of building: Single family
Age of building: Approximately 11 years old
Time started: 3:00 PM
Time finished: 6:30 PM
Payment method: Check
Present during inspection: Client(s), Property owner(s), Realtor(s)
Occupied: Yes
Weather conditions: Clear
Temperature: Cool
Front of structure faces: East
Main entrance faces: East
Foundation type: Finished basement
The following items are excluded from this inspection: Security system, Irrigation system, Central vacuum system, Intercom system


1) It was indicated that this house was originally built in approx. 1913 and expanded and renovated approximately 11 years ago. Some evidence of the old stone foundation is still visible in some unfinished parts of the basement. The newer foundation is concrete block and appears to be in good condition.
 
Exterior Return to table of contents
Foundation material: Concrete block
Apparent wall structure: Wood frame
Wall covering: Wood clapboard, Vertical wood
Driveway material: Asphalt
Sidewalk material: Poured in place concrete
2) Wooden timbers in one or more landscape railroad ties are rotten or damaged by wood destroying insects and or water damage. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair or replace timbers as necessary.
Some additional wood rot located in the base of door trim in various locations.

Photo 7  
wood rot at foot of door trim
basement entrance front of house

Photo 30  
Rear door trim rot

Photo 31  
Partial rear view
Some wood rot found along patio and various locations of railroad timbers
 

3) One or more gutters are poorly sloped so that significant amounts of water accumulate in them rather than draining through the downspouts. This can cause gutters to overflow, especially when organic debris such as leaves or needles have accumulated in them. A qualified contractor should evaluate and make repairs as necessary, such as correcting the slope in gutters or installing additional downspouts and extensions if necessary.
The gutter in rear that services the large multi pane window appears to be pitched improperly and has caused some of the window wood trim to rot in some areas.

Photo 39  
Damage to wood trim around some windows
 

4) Cracks, deterioration and/or damage were found in one or more areas of the stucco foundation. A qualified contractor should evaluate and make repairs and/or replace stucco as necessary.

Photo 34  
Areas of stucco damage by front porch
 

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 22  
Gutter leader extension removed and underground pipe appears clogged
 

6) Gaps exist at one or more openings around the exterior, such as those where outside faucets, refrigerant lines, and/or gas supply pipes penetrate the exterior. Gaps should be sealed as necessary to prevent moisture intrusion and entry by vermin.
7) One or more exhaust duct end caps are missing. Their purpose is to prevent unconditioned air from entering the house, and keep out birds, rodents and insects. Blocked ducts can cause fan motors and/or clothes dryers to overheat and may pose a fire hazard. Vent cap(s) should be installed where necessary.

Photo 14  
Dryer vent loose and on the ground
 

8) Minor cracks and/or deterioration were found in one or more retaining walls. Recommend repairing cracks with mortar, elastomeric sealant, or other suitable material to prevent water intrusion and further deterioration. The client(s) should monitor such walls in the future for continued deterioration (cracking, leaning, bowing, etc.). Repairs and/or replacement by a qualified contractor may be necessary in the future.
9) Trees and/or shrubs are in contact with or are close to the roof edge(s) in one or more areas. Damage to the roof may result, especially during high winds. Vegetation can also act as a conduit for wood destroying insects. Vegetation should be pruned back and/or removed as necessary to prevent damage and infestation by wood destroying insects.
10) 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.
11) 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.
12) 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.
13) One or more light fixtures have missing bulbs and could not be fully evaluated. Bulbs may simply need to be installed, or repairs or replacement may be necessary.
14) The first floor bathroom plumbing is located under an unheated portion of the front porch. Heater is located in this area indicated past freezing of unprotected water lines. This area should be properly insulated to protect pipes from freezing.
Additionally, electric wiring was found laying on the ground, it should be secured to the house framing.
Plumbing vent pipe should be screened to prevent entry of vermin into the house.

Photo 29  
Under porch bathroom pipes and heater

Photo 37  
Plumbing vent pipe should have screening
and loose electric wire should be stapled to floor joists above

15) The front yard slopes towards the basement door entrance at the front of the house. Care should be taken to try and reduce steep slopes and the basin drain at the entrance of the basement should be kept clear of debris to prevent clogging of this drain.

Photo 13  
Drain at foot of basement steps
Pipe drains catch basin - keep clean

Photo 19  
Front yard slope towards basement door

16)   The sprinkler system was not evaluated. The buyer should consult with the homeowner on the operation of the sprinkler system. Currently, a broken sprinkler head and exposed wiring and manifold should be corrected and repaired prior to operation.

Photo 32  
Damaged sprinkler head

Photo 33  
Sprinker manifold( cover removed)
 
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: Approximately 11 years old.
Gutter & downspout material: Aluminum
Roof ventilation: Adequate
17) Standing water was found on the flat roof. It should evaporate within 48 hours after it rains. If standing water remains after 48 hours, then the roof installation is likely substandard. A qualified roofing contractor should evaluate and repair if necessary to prevent prolonged standing water.
This pertains to the roof deck off the master bedroom. Standing water is seeping into the closet area below. This roof needs to be evaluated by a qualified roofer and repaired as necessary.

18) Trees are overhanging roof and are within 10 feet of roof vertically. This is a conducive condition for wood destroying insects and organisms since organic debris such as leaves or needles are more likely to accumulate on the roof surface. Accumulated debris may cause water to enter gaps in the roof surface and leak into attic and/or interior spaces. Trees should be pruned so they are at least 10 feet above roof, or don't overhang the roof.
 
Attic Return to table of contents
Inspection method: Partially traversed
Roof structure type: Rafters
Ceiling structure: Ceiling beams
Insulation material: Fiberglass roll or batt
19) Some light fixtures are loose, unsupported, or inadequately supported.
Fixtures should be properly mounted to their box and all splice boxes should have covers.

Photo 6  
Attic dangling light fixture
 

20) Ceiling insulation is missing in some areas. Recommend installing insulation where missing for better energy efficiency.
21) 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.

22) There is a whole house exhaust fan installed in the attic that can be utilized during the summer months to vent the attic and the house.

Photo 5  
Attic vent fan
 
 
Electric service Return to table of contents
Primary service type: Underground
Primary service overload protection type: Circuit breakers
Service amperage (amps): 100
Service voltage (volts): 120/240
Location of main service switch: Basement closet
Location of main disconnect: Breaker at top of main service panel
Service entrance conductor material: Copper
System ground: Ground rod(s) in soil, Cold water supply pipes
Main disconnect rating (amps): 100
Branch circuit wiring type: Non-metallic sheathed, (BX) Armor clad
Smoke detectors present: Yes
23) The main service panel cover is installed so it is not flush with the surface of the panel box and disconnect devices. Gaps exist, resulting in exposed wiring. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. A qualified contractor and/or electrician should evaluate and repair so the panel cover fits on the panel box as the manufacturer intended.
24) 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.
25) 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  
electric meter

Photo 16  
100 amp electric panel
 
Water heater Return to table of contents
Estimated age: Approximately 10 years old
Type: Tank
Energy source: Natural gas
Capacity (in gallons): 50
Manufacturer: Lochinvar
26) No drain line is installed for the temperature-pressure relief valve. This is a potential safety hazard due to the risk of scalding if someone is standing next to the water heater when the valve opens. A qualified plumber should install a drain line as per standard building practices. For example, extending to 6 inches from the floor, or routed so as to drain outside.
27) Based on the capacity of the water heater, the number of bedrooms in this structure and the number of occupants expected to live in this structure, this water heater may be undersized. The clients should consult with a qualified plumbing contractor or water heater distributor for more information, and may wish to upgrade the size of the water heater.

The house has a large jet tub in the master bedroom. Filling this tub would eliminate any reserve hot water in the tank and require time for hot water to be restored.

28) The estimated useful life for most water heaters is 8 to 12 years. The inspector was unable to determine the age of the water heater due to the manufacturer's label being obscured, no serial number being visible, or the serial number not clearly indicating the age. The clients should be aware that this water heater may be near, at, or beyond its useful life and may need replacing at any time. Recommend attempting to determine the water heater's age, and budgeting for a replacement if necessary.
Assuming this water heater was installed when the house was renovated in 1999, it appears to be about 11 years old and will need replacing in the near future.
 
Heating and air conditioning Return to table of contents
Estimated age: Approximately 10 years old
Primary heating system energy source: Natural gas
Primary heat system type: Forced air
Primary A/C energy source: Electric
Primary Air conditioning type: Split system
Distribution system: Sheet metal ducts, Flexible ducts, Metal pipe
Filter location: Each air handler has filter located at the return side.
29) The heating/cooling system's air handler is installed in an attic space, and no auxiliary catch pan and drain are installed below. Condensation may leak onto finished living spaces below and cause damage. A qualified heating and cooling contractor should install a catch pan and drain as per standard building practices.

Photo 4  
Air Handler in Attic
Needs safety pan installed under unit
 

30) The last service date of this system appears to be more than two years 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 two years ago, a qualified heating and cooling contractor should inspect, clean, and service this system, and make repairs if necessary. This servicing should be performed every few years in the future, or as per the contractor's recommendations.
31) The estimated useful life for air conditioning compressors is 8 to 15 years. These units appears to be approaching this age and may need replacing at any time. Recommend budgeting for a replacement in the near future.
These units appear to have been installed at the time of the renovation and are judged to be approximately 10 years old. They should be maintained to help extend there service life.

Photo 3  
A/C units
Remove Ivy attached to house
 

32) Air handler filter(s) should be checked monthly in the future and replaced or washed as necessary.
33) This house has three zone heating that operates in the following manner:
1) Dining room thermostat controls the furnace from the original house. It is a combination furnace and a/c blower unit and heats and cools a portion of the first floor.
2) Living room thermostat controls basement air handler that utilizes a hydro-air boiler to provide hot water to the air handler and blower distributes heat through the ductwork. This air handler also works with outdoors condensing unit to provide a/c for the first floor and primarily services the first floor.
3) The upstairs thermostat controls and attic air handler that utilizes the hydro-air boiler to provide hot water to the air handler and blower distributes heat through the upstairs ductwork. This air handler also provides a/c for the second floor.

Photo 10  
Air Handler for first floor new part of house

Photo 20  
Furnace and air handler for original part of the house
needs some cleaning

Photo 23  
Hydro air boiler utilized in newer house with two zones for the first and second floor
 
 
Plumbing and laundry Return to table of contents
Location of main water shut-off valve: Basement utility closet
Location of main water meter: Basement utility closet
Location of main fuel shut-off: Gas meter and shut off valve located in basement utility closet
Water service: Public
Service pipe material: Copper
Supply pipe material: Copper
Vent pipe material: Cast iron
Drain pipe material: Plastic, Copper
Waste pipe material: Cast iron
34) 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
Also the vent cap is missing on the outside for this pipe.

35) 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
36) No check valve is visible on the sump pump's discharge pipe. While not every installation requires a check valve, they are recommended where the discharge pipe is long, the vertical discharge is more than seven or eight feet, or the sump pump has a small pit. Check valves prevent water in the discharge pipe from flowing back down into the sump pit after the pump shuts off. Recommend having a qualified contractor install a check valve. For more information on sump pump installations, visit http://www.hometips.com/cs-protected/guides/sumps.html or http://www.plumbingsupply.com/drainsysteminstall.html

Photo 35  
Sump pump pit in basement
 

37) The laundry sink has cut off valves with handles missing. They should be replaced so that water to the sink can be cutoff if the need arises.

Photo 36  
Utility sink in the basement laundry area
 

38) The sump pump and the footing drains pump are located in a common area and separated by a metal access panel. It is recommended that the basement sump pump have a pvc pipe installed for its discharge in a permanent fashion. Currently the flex pipe discharge hose drains to the backyard and the installation is awkward. The access panel should be able to close and only require access when maintaining the footing drain pump on the other side.

Photo 18  
Footing Drains pit
 

39) Neither the clothes washer nor dryer were operated or evaluated. They are excluded from this inspection.
 
Fireplaces, woodstoves and chimneys Return to table of contents
Chimney type: Masonry
40) The chimney flue does not have a screened cover installed. Screened covers prevent the following:

  • Fire hazard from wood fire sparks and embers exiting flues
  • Wildlife (birds, rodents, raccoons, etc.) entering flues
  • Rainwater entering flues and mixing with combustion deposits, creating caustic chemicals which can corrode flues
  • Rainwater entering flues and causing damage to terracotta flue tiles from freeze-thaw cycles

    A qualified chimney service contractor should install screened cover(s) where missing. Screens should have holes 1/4 inch or larger.
    41) The gas supply for one or more gas fireplaces and/or stoves was turned off. As per the Standards of Practice for both the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) and the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) the inspector does not operate gas shut off valves or light pilot lights during inspections. These appliances were not fully evaluated.
     
    Basement Return to table of contents
    Beam material: Solid wood
    Floor structure above: Solid wood joists
    42) The basement for this house married the old stone foundation with a new expanded cement block foundation. Most of the basement was finished. Some utility rooms where unfinished and allowed inspector to view stone foundation and cement block foundation of both the old and new sections. The old stone foundation where visible should be cleaned of any loose debris and the sealed with a product such as Thoroseal.
    43) The water meter and gas meters are located in the basement utility closets.

    Photo 21  
    Gas meter in basement closet

    Photo 38  
    Water meter in basement closet

    44)   This house has a central vacuum system located in basement closet. Buyer should consult with home owner on proper operation of this unit as well as clean out and location of attachments. It was not evaluated during this inspection.

    Photo 11  
    Central Vacuum basement closet
     
     
    Kitchen Return to table of contents

    45) 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.
    46) Recommend cleaning and sealing grout in tile or stone flooring now and in the future as necessary to prevent staining and to improve waterproofing.
    47) Home owner should explain the use of the garbage disposal to buyer as well as the proper use of trash compactor. These are appliances that are not commonly installed in all homes.

    Photo 24  
    Kitchen area
     
     
    Bathroom first floor Return to table of contents

    48) One or more ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) electric receptacles are still energized after being tripped. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. A qualified electrician should evaluate and make repairs as necessary.
    49) Caulk is missing and/or deteriorated at one or more showers. For example, where the shower base meets the floor below and/or around the shower surround. Caulk should be replaced where deteriorated and/or applied where missing to prevent water intrusion and damage to wall and floor structures.

    Photo 17  
    First floor bathroom shower
    Caulk all corner joints
     

    50) Recommend cleaning and sealing grout in tile or stone flooring now and in the future as necessary to prevent staining and to improve waterproofing.
     
    Bathroom second floor Return to table of contents

    51) One or more sink stopper mechanisms are missing, or need adjustment or repair. Stopper mechanisms should be installed where missing and/or repairs should be made so sink stoppers open and close easily.
    52) Handles and/or drawer pulls are not installed on one or more cabinets, where the drawers and/or doors are difficult to open without them. Recommend installing handles and/or pulls as necessary.
    53) 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.
    54) Recommend cleaning and sealing grout in tile or stone flooring now and in the future as necessary to prevent staining and to improve waterproofing.

    Photo 1  
    2nd floor bathroom
     
     
    Bathroom Master Return to table of contents

    55) The inspector was unable to determine if ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection is installed for the jetted tub's electric supply due to lack of access to the equipment below the tub. If no GFCI protection is installed, then this is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. A qualified contractor and/or electrician should evaluate and install GFCI protection if none exists. If necessary, modifications should be made to allow access to the GFCI device for periodic evaluation and to reset it when it trips.
    56) Caulk is missing and/or deteriorated at one or more showers. For example, where the shower base meets the floor below and/or around the shower surround. Caulk should be replaced where deteriorated and/or applied where missing to prevent water intrusion and damage to wall and floor structures.
    57) Recommend cleaning and sealing grout in tile or stone flooring now and in the future as necessary to prevent staining and to improve waterproofing.

    Photo 26  
    Master Bathroom
     
     
    Interior rooms first floor Return to table of contents

    58) One or more smoke alarms are damaged or missing from their mounting brackets, and an insufficient number of smoke alarms are installed. Damaged and/or missing smoke alarms should be replaced as necessary so a functioning one exists in each hallway leading to bedrooms, and in each bedroom. For more information, visit http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5077.html
    59) Batteries in all the smoke alarms should be replaced after taking occupancy, and annually in the future. "Chirping" noises emitted from smoke alarms typically indicate that batteries need replacing. For more information, visit http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5077.html
    60) Seals between double-pane glass in one or more windows appear to have failed based on condensation or stains between the panes of glass. A qualified contractor should evaluate and replace glass where necessary.

    The client(s) should be aware that evidence of broken seals may be more or less visible from one day to the next depending on the temperature, humidity, sunlight, etc. Windows or glass doors other than those that the inspector identified may also have failed seals and need glass replaced too.

    This damage is visible in some of the panes located in the large overhead windows on the front and back of the house that are incorporated into the roof.

    61) Glass in one or more windows is broken. A qualified contractor should replace glass where necessary.

    Approximately 5 panes are broken in each set of divided light windows that are installed in the overhead windows that are part of the roof structure at the front and rear of the house. This should be repaired by a qualified window company. The cost of this repair may be substantial due to the location of the broken panes.

    62) Recommend cleaning and sealing grout in tile or stone flooring now and in the future as necessary to prevent staining and to improve waterproofing.
    63) Minor cracks were found in ceilings in one or more areas. They do not appear to be a structural concern, but the client(s) may wish to repair these for aesthetic reasons.
    64) Minor cracks were found in walls in one or more areas. They do not appear to be a structural concern, but the client(s) may wish to repair these for aesthetic reasons.
    65) Generally speaking the transition between the old and new parts of the house are indistinguishable. Floors are in good to excellent condition as well as walls and ceilings.

    Photo 12  
    Dining room

    Photo 25  
    Living room
     
    Interior rooms second floor bedrooms Return to table of contents

    66) One or more smoke alarms are damaged or missing from their mounting brackets, and an insufficient number of smoke alarms are installed. Damaged and/or missing smoke alarms should be replaced as necessary so a functioning one exists in each hallway leading to bedrooms, and in each bedroom. For more information, visit http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5077.html
    67) Batteries in all the smoke alarms should be replaced after taking occupancy, and annually in the future. "Chirping" noises emitted from smoke alarms typically indicate that batteries need replacing. For more information, visit http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5077.html
    68) Recommend cleaning and sealing grout in tile or stone flooring now and in the future as necessary to prevent staining and to improve waterproofing.
    69) Minor cracks were found in ceilings in one or more areas. They do not appear to be a structural concern, but the client(s) may wish to repair these for aesthetic reasons.
    70) Minor cracks were found in walls in one or more areas. They do not appear to be a structural concern, but the client(s) may wish to repair these for aesthetic reasons.

    Photo 8  
    bedroom

    Photo 9  
    bedroom

    Photo 27  
    Master Bedroom
     

    71) Upper area in master bedroom should have a railing as required by code.

    Photo 28  
    Master bedroom upper area
    Railing required for this area
     

     
    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 for the most part appears to be in good overall condition with exceptions noted throughout this report. This report can be used as a guide to aid the home buyer to determine areas of deficiency and to determine repairs and maintenance requirements deemed most necessary and in order of importance.