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Website: http://www.hohospec.com
Email: john@hohospec.com
Phone: (518) 421-6069
2214 13th St 
Troy NY 12180-3014
Inspector: John Allison
NYS license #16000067163

   

Property Inspection Report

Client(s):  Rebecca Walker
Property address:  44 Stately Elm Drive
Yourtown, NY
Inspection date:  Sunday, December 13, 2015

This report published on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 7:36:55 AM EST

International Association of Certified Home Inspectors
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 typeMajor DefectCorrection likely involves a significant expense
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
Basement
Roof
Attic and Roof Structure
Garage
Electric
Plumbing / Fuel Systems
Water Heater
Heating, Ventilation and Air Condition (HVAC)
Fireplaces, Stoves, Chimneys and Flues
Kitchen
Bathrooms, Laundry and Sinks
Interior, Doors and Windows
Wood Destroying Organism Findings


General Information
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Neighborhood: Quiet Residential neighborhood
Report number: 2015-12-13-01
Time started: 10:00 am
Time finished: 12:00 pm
Name of Inspector: John H. Allison
Lic #: License # 16000067163
Present during inspection: Client, Realtor
Client present for discussion at end of inspection: Yes
Weather conditions during inspection: Dry (no rain), Overcast
Temperature during inspection: 41-50 degrees Fahrenheit
Ground condition: Dry
Inspection fee: $388
Payment method: Check
Type of building: Single family
Buildings inspected: One house, One detached garage
Number of residential units inspected: 1
Age of main building: C. 1900
Source for main building age: Municipal records or property listing
House Address Number: House number was clearly observed from the street
Front of building faces: Southeast
Main entrance faces: Southeast
Occupied: Yes, Furniture or stored items were present

1) Structures built prior to the mid 1980s may contain lead and/or asbestos. Lead is commonly found in paint and in some plumbing components. The EPA does not recognize newer coats of paint as encapsulating older coats of lead-based paint. Asbestos is commonly found in various building materials such as insulation, siding, and/or floor and ceiling tiles. Laws were passed in 1978 to prohibit usage of lead and asbestos, but stocks of materials containing these substances remained in use for a number of years thereafter. Both lead and asbestos are known health hazards. Evaluating for the presence of lead and/or asbestos is beyond the scope of this inspection. Any mention of these materials in this report is made as a courtesy only, and meant to refer the client to a specialist. Consult with specialists as necessary, such as industrial hygienists, professional labs and/or abatement specialists for this type of evaluation. For information on lead, asbestos and other hazardous materials in homes, visit:
http://www.reporthost.com/?EPA
http://www.reporthost.com/?CPSC
http://www.reporthost.com/?CDC
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2) Evidence of rodent infestation was found in the form of dead rodents in the basement. 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

3) Many areas and items at this property were obscured by furniture and/or stored items. 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.
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4) When purchasing a new home Hollis Home Inspection recommends changing the locks. Over time, previous owners may have distributed keys to family or friends. A new set of locks would help ensure privacy and security.
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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
Condition of driveway: Appeared serviceable
Driveway material: Asphalt
Condition of sidewalks and/or patios: Appeared serviceable
Sidewalk material: Poured in place concrete
Deck Condition: Repair, replace, Evaluate
Condition porches and/or balconies: Appeared serviceable
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

5) 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.
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6) Guardrails at one or more locations with drop-offs higher than 30 inches had gaps that were too large. This poses a safety hazard for children (e.g. falling, getting stuck in railing). 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 repair or replace guardrails per standard building practices.
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7) One or more open drains or downspouts were noted on grounds. Open drains may allow objects, debris, or vermin to enter and cause problems. Open drains may increase risk of injury to occupants especially children. Recommend having a qualified plumber repair as necessary such as by installing grates or seals.
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8) Tree noted in close proximity to building. Trees in contact with house may damage building components. Tree limbs may threaten utility lines. Tree root systems may threaten integrity of foundation. Trees may deposit debris which may cause roof deterioration or clog gutters. Trees may encourage vermin or pests to burrow near or enter the home. Recommend pruning trees to achieve at least 10' clearance between tree and home.
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9) Front porch may not be properly footed. Porch appeared to have moved and may continue to move. Decking of porch appeared out of plane especially at perimeter. Siding observed with gaps where it abuts house indicating porch sag. Conditions such as lack of proper footing of porch support posts or soil contact with structural wooden components may lead to deterioration or wood destroying organism infestation and subsequent porch movement. Area under porch was not accessible for visual inspection therefore proper footing of porch cold not be verified. recommend evaluation and repair by a qualified contractor.
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10) This property was accessed by a driveway shared with nearby properties. Shared driveways or access roads are excluded from this inspection. Comments in this report related to them are made as a courtesy only and are not meant to be a substitute for a evaluation by a specialist if repairs are needed. Recommend that the client review the recorded agreements regarding the driveway, the deeds of the property owners involved, and easements permitting access to, use of, and maintenance of the driveway.
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11) Area under front porch was not accessible for evaluation. Therefore condition of supporting structure and area under porch could not be thoroughly inspected.
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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: Wood
Condition of foundation and footings: Appeared serviceable
Apparent foundation type: Unfinished basement
Foundation/stem wall material: Stone

12) Some sections of siding and/or trim were deteriorated, loose, split and/or warped. Recommend that a qualified person repair, replace or install siding or trim as necessary.
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13) Basement windows appeared to be installed at or below grade without window well installed. Window well are designed to allow for drainage in front of basement windows. Without window wells installed moisture may accumulate in front of window or find its way into the basement and cause deterioration. Recommend hiring a qualified contractor to install window wells as necessary.
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14) Basement window frames observed with some deterioration. Wooden basement window frames could be probed due to soft wood. In this condition wood may deteriorate more quickly or attract Wood Destroying Organisms. Recommend hiring a qualified contractor to repair as necessary.
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15) Glazing compound noted missing in one or more windows. Glazing compound is designed to retain glass, seal windows, and shed water. Without glazing compound intact windows may deteriorate more quickly. recommend replacing glazing compound as necessary.
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16) Soil was in contact with or less than 6 inches from siding, trim or structural wood. This is a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms. Recommend grading or removing soil as necessary to maintain a 6-inch clearance. If not possible, then recommend replacing untreated wood with pressure-treated wood. Installation of borate-based products such as Impel rods can also reduce the likelihood of rot or infestation if soil cannot be removed. Note that damage from fungal rot and/or insects may be found when soil is removed, and repairs may be necessary.
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17) One or more holes or gaps were found in siding or trim. Vermin, insects or water may enter the structure. Recommend that a qualified contractor repair as necessary.
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18) Unsheathed floor area under porch noted with missing, displaced, or substandard insulation. This may decrease comfort in colder temperatures and increase energy use. Recommend having a qualified contractor to repair as necessary.
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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 floor substructure above: Appeared serviceable
Pier or support post material: Masonry
Beam material: Solid wood
Floor structure above: Solid wood joists
Condition of insulation underneath floor above: Not applicable, none installed
Insulation material underneath floor above: None visible

19) Asbestos like substance was visible in the basement. Asbestos like pipe wrap was observed on 100+ feet of heating system piping. Asbestos like substance was observed encasing the abandoned boiler as well. Asbestos is a known carcinogen as it may cause lung cancer when inhaled. Hollis Home Inspection does not test for asbestos therefore verification of asbestos could not be made by inspector. Recommend hiring a qualified environmental contractor to evaluate and provide remedy. If asbestos remediation is required cost is likely to exceed $1500.
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20) What may be an abandoned oil tank was noted behind concrete block enclosure within basement. Concrete block enclosure had no opening in which to inspect contents inside. Oil plumbing was noted leading from enclosure and joining identified abandoned oil tank. Oil plumbing observed penetration concrete slab floor as well. In this condition neither contents of enclosure nor scope of potential oil contamination could be evaluated. Abandoned oil tank may leak and cause environmental contamination which can be costly to clean up. Recommend having a qualified contractor evaluate and provide necessary remedy. Evaluation, removal and cleanup of oil tank and components may exceed $1500.
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21) 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.
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22) 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. Recommend that a qualified contractor install guardrails where missing and per standard building practices.
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23) No insulation was installed under the floor above the unheated basement. Recommend that a qualified person install insulation for better energy efficiency and per standard building practices. Typically this is R-19 rated fiberglass batt with the attached facing installed against the warm (floor) side.
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24) One or more gaps noted around basement windows. This may allow air, moisture, or vermin infiltration into basement. Recommend having a qualified contractor repair as necessary.
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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. 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 performed adequately or were leak-free.
Roof inspection method: Partially traversed, Viewed from ground, Viewed from windows
Condition of roof surface material: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Roof surface material: Asphalt or fiberglass composition shingles
Roof type: Gambrel
Apparent number of layers of roof surface material: One
Condition of exposed flashings: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Condition of gutters, downspouts and extensions: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)

25) Some composition shingles were missing and/or damaged. Leaks can occur as a result. This is a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms. Recommend that a qualified contractor repair as necessary. For example, by replacing shingles.
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26) One or more sections of gutters or downspouts were incomplete or missing components. In this condition gutter system may not be carrying water away from house and foundation. This may lead to moist conditions in or around the house. Recommend repairing the downspouts and gutters as necessary.
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27) One or more roof flashings were substandard, missing and/or deteriorated. Leaks can occur as a result. This is a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms. Recommend that a qualified person repair as necessary.
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28) Main area of roof appeared in good overall condition. Architectural composition shingle roof covering installed over gambrel style roof. Age of roof covering appears to be within the 1st 1/4 of 35 year expected useful lifespan. Ridge vent noted installed at peak but no soffit vents were noted. No active leaks were detected underneath. Asphalt shingle installed on steep slope or gambrel roof may be more likely not to have fully sealed self sealing strips which bond shingles together and help prevent tear off in high winds. Recommend monitoring these areas for loose or missing shingles.
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29) Areas of roof over porches were a different type and age than main roof. Asphalt roll roofing observed applied to low slope porch roofs. One or more sections observed with aluminized covering applied. Roll roofing observed intact. No leaks below these areas were noted at time of inspection. Low slope areas of roof may need repair or replacement before main area of gambrel roof and should be evaluated separately. Recommend monitoring roof for necessary repairs.
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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: Partially traversed
Condition of roof structure: Appeared serviceable
Roof structure type: Rafters
Ceiling structure: Ceiling joists
Condition of insulation in attic (ceiling, skylight chase, etc.): Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Ceiling insulation material: Fiberglass loose fill
Vermiculite insulation present: None visible
Vapor retarder: None visible
Condition of roof ventilation: Appeared serviceable
Roof ventilation type: Windows

30) One or more attic access hatches or doors were not insulated, or had substandard insulation. Weatherstripping was also missing or substandard. Recommend installing weatherstripping and insulation per current standards at hatches or doors for better energy efficiency. For more information, visit:
http://www.reporthost.com/?ATTACC

31) The ceiling insulation in one or more areas of the attic was missing and/or substandard. Heating and cooling costs may be higher due to reduced energy efficiency. Recommend that a qualified person repair, replace or install insulation as necessary and per standard building practices (typically R-38).
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32) One or more areas of the attic were observed without insulation installed. Without continuos insulation installed more heat may be lost in the colder months resulting in higher energy bills. Recommend installing insulation as necessary to conserve energy and reduce heating costs.
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33) No ridge access was available from the attic at time of inspection. Finished attic space did not seem to have access hatch installed to allow for ridge area inspection. As a result, ridge area insulation, ridge vent installation and proper operation could not be verified.
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Garage
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Limitations: The inspector does not determine the adequacy of firewall ratings. Requirements for ventilation in garages vary between municipalities.
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
Mechanical auto-reverse operable (reverses when meeting reasonable resistance during closing): No
Condition of garage floor: Appeared serviceable
Condition of garage interior: Appeared serviceable
Garage ventilation: None visible

34) The auto-reverse mechanism on one or more automatic openers for garage vehicle doors was inoperable. 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
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35) One or more extension springs supporting garage vehicle doors had no safety containment cables installed. These cables prevent injury to people located nearby when springs eventually break. This is a potential safety hazard. Recommend that a qualified contractor install cables where missing per standard building practices. For more information, visit:
http://www.reporthost.com/?GDSC
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36) Garage roof appeared to be near the end of its useful life. Older asphalt shingles were noted curling and deteriorated. No roof leaks were noted in garage roof at time of inspection. However, replacement of garage roof appeared to be necessary. Recommend consulting with a a qualified roofer to evaluate and repair as necessary. Roof replacement of garage is likely to exceed $1500.
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37) Floor drain of garage noted as clogged. Floor appeared to be cracked and heaved upwards in the center. This may be a result of trapped moisture under slab which froze and heaved slab. Maintaining functional drainage under slab may help prevent frost heaving. Recommend having a qualified contractor repair as necessary.
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38) No gutters were installed on garage roof. Gutters are designed to carry rainwater away from garage and foundation. Without gutters installed garage may be more prone to moisture damage and deterioration. Recommend hiring a qualified contractor to install gutters as necessary.
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39) One or more areas of deteriorated garage siding or trim were observed. Deterioration may spread and allow moisture behind surfaces if not addressed. Recommend hiring a qualified contractor to replace all rotten wood and repair as necessary.
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40) Sill plate of garage noted as soft and deteriorated in one or more areas. This may be due to close proximity of surrounding soil and/or backsplash from roof runoff. This condition os conducive to wood destroying organisms. Recommend hiring a qualified contractor to repair as necessary.
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41) Significant gaps were found below or around one or more garage vehicle doors. Vermin and insects can enter the garage as a result. Recommend that a qualified person repair as necessary to eliminate or minimize gaps.
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42) Chimney existed in garage but did not appear to be in use. Chimney appeared to be designed for use with wood stove. If use of chimney is desired it is recommended to have chimney cleaned and inspected (known as a Level 2 inspection) by a qualified chimney sweep in order to ensure safe and proper operation.
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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: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Primary service type: Overhead
Number of service conductors: 2
Service voltage (volts): 120-240
Estimated service amperage: 150
Primary service overload protection type: Circuit breakers
Service entrance conductor material: Stranded aluminum
Main disconnect rating (amps): Not applicable, no single main disconnect
System ground: Cold water supply pipes
Condition of main service panel: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Condition of sub-panel(s): Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Location of main service panel #A: Basement
Location of sub-panel #C: Near kitchen
Location of main disconnect: Not determined (inaccessible or obscured, or not readily apparent)
Condition of branch circuit wiring: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Branch circuit wiring type: Non-metallic sheathed, (BX) Armor clad flexible, Knob and tube, Copper
Solid strand aluminum branch circuit wiring present: None visible
Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection present: No
Arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) protection present: No
Smoke alarms installed: Yes, but not tested

43) Both electric panel and sub-panel appeared to be in need of replacement. Older electric service panel observed with rust/corrosion within electrical panel which is a safety hazard. Older sub-panel was fused type circuit protection which can be unsafe when modified and may require replacement for insurance coverage. Recommend evaluation and repair by a qualified electrical contractor. Replacement of both panels may be necessary in which case cost is likely to exceed $1500.
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44) Panel(s) #C used screw-in fuses for the over-current protection devices. Fuses are prone to tampering and over-fusing, which can damage wiring and cause fire hazards. Insurance companies may deny coverage for homes with fused panels. Modern panels use circuit breakers for over-current protection devices, which can be reset easily after tripping rather than needing to replace fuses. Modern panels also offer more flexibility for new, safer protective technologies like ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCls) and arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCls). Consult with a qualified electrician about replacement options for fused panels, and about other system upgrades as necessary.
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45) Substandard wiring was found at the building exterior. For example, exposed wiring and/or loose or substandard conduit. This is a safety hazard. Recommend that a qualified electrician evaluate and repair as necessary and per standard building practices.
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46) Energized "knob and tube" wiring was found at one or more locations. This type of wiring was commonly installed prior to 1950. It is ungrounded and considered unsafe by today's standards. Over time, the wire's insulation can become brittle and fall apart or wear thin, resulting in exposed conductors and a risk of shock and/or fire. This wiring is also easily damaged by covering it with insulation (a common practice), and incorrectly tapping new wiring into it.

It is not within the scope of this inspection to determine what percentage of this property's wiring is of the knob-and-tube type, or to determine what percentage of the knob and tube wiring is energized versus abandoned. Recommend that a qualified electrician evaluate this wiring and make repairs or replace wiring as necessary.

Note that some insurance companies may be unwilling to offer homeowner's insurance for properties with knob and tube wiring. Consult with your insurance carrier regarding this. For more information, visit:
http://www.reporthost.com/?KNOBTUBE
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47) One or more electric receptacles (outlets) at the kitchen, bathroom(s) and/or basement 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
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48) A significant amount of rust was noted in or on electric service panel. This is an indication of the presence of moisture which is unsafe around live electrical components. This may be due to inadequate seal of the electric service line penetration into house. In this condition, arcing and fire may be more likely. Recommend hiring a qualified electrician to repair as necessary.
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49) The electric service was configured so that too many hand movements were necessary to turn off all power for the service. Six or fewer circuit breakers should be required to turn off all power to a residence. This is a potential safety hazard during an emergency when the power needs to be turned off quickly. Recommend that a qualified electrician repair per standard building practices.
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50) One or more outlets were observed with open grounds. This may be due to 2 prong outlets being replaced with 3 prong outlets without properly grounding the outlet. Open grounds may not protect occupants or appliances from electric surges or electric shock. Recommend hiring a qualified electrical contractor to repair as necessary.
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51) One or more electric receptacles (outlets) had reverse-polarity wiring, where the hot and neutral wires were reversed. This is a shock hazard. Recommend that a qualified electrician repair as necessary. For more information, visit:
http://www.reporthost.com/?RPR
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52) One or more cover plates for switches, receptacles (outlets) or junction boxes were missing or broken. 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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53) Carbon monoxide alarms were missing from one or more sleeping areas and/or on one or more levels. This is a potential safety hazard. Some states and/or municipalities require CO alarms to be installed in the vicinity of each sleeping area, on each level and in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations. Recommend installing additional carbon monoxide alarms per these standards. For more information, visit:
http://www.reporthost.com/?COALRM
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54) 2-slot receptacles (outlets) rather than 3-slot, grounded receptacles were installed in one or more areas. These do not have an equipment ground and are considered unsafe by today's standards. Appliances that require a ground should not be used with 2-slot receptacles. Examples of such appliances include computers and related hardware, refrigerators, freezers, portable air conditioners, clothes washers, aquarium pumps, and electrically operated gardening tools. The client should be aware of this limitation when planning use for various rooms, such as an office. Upgrading to grounded receptacles typically requires installing new wiring from the main service panel or sub-panel to the receptacle(s), in addition to replacing the receptacle(s). Consult with a qualified electrician about upgrading to 3-wire, grounded circuits.
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55) One or more electric receptacles (outlets) appeared to have no power. Recommend asking the property owner about this. Switches may need to be operated to make some receptacles energized. If necessary, recommend that a qualified electrician evaluate and repair.
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56) One or more switches were taped so that they're inoperable. Consult with the property owner regarding this. If necessary, recommend that a qualified electrician repair.
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57) Bulbs in one or more light fixtures were missing or broken. These light fixtures couldn't be fully evaluated. If replacement bulbs are inoperable, then recommend that a qualified electrician evaluate and repair or replace light fixtures as necessary.
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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: Public
Location of main water shut-off: Basement
Condition of supply lines: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Supply pipe material: Copper, Galvanized steel
Condition of drain pipes: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Drain pipe material: Galvanized steel
Condition of waste lines: Appeared serviceable
Waste pipe material: Cast iron
Vent pipe condition: Appeared serviceable
Vent pipe material: Cast iron
Sump pump installed: None visible
Sewage ejector pump installed: None visible
Condition of fuel system: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Visible fuel storage systems: oil tank, in basement
Location of main fuel shut-off valve: At oil tank

58) Abandoned oil tank noted in basement. Oil tank appeared to be empty however some residual oil may be contained inside oil tank or related components. Oil tank appeared to be intact with no major rust or leaks. If oil tank remains unused it is recommended to remove it. If not, it is recommended to at least remove the oil fill tubes routed to the exterior in order to prevent accidental filling and subsequent potential hazards.
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59) One or more leaks were found in water supply pipes or fittings. A qualified plumber should evaluate and repair as necessary.
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60) The handles at one or more water shut-off valves were missing. Recommend that a qualified person repair or replace as necessary.
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61) One or more drain line traps were substandard (e.g. "S", "U" or drum traps). Traps can siphon or run dry and cause sewer gases to enter living spaces. Recommend that a qualified plumber repair per standard building practices. For example, by replacing with modern "P" traps. For more information, visit:
http://www.reporthost.com/?TRAPS
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62) Some or all of the water supply and drain or vent pipes were made of galvanized steel. Based on the age of this structure and the 40-60 year useful life of this piping, it will likely need replacing in the future. Leaks can develop, flooding and/or water damage may occur, flow can be restricted due to scale accumulating inside the piping, and water may be rusty. Note that it is beyond the scope of this inspection to determine what percentage of the piping is older, galvanized steel, as much of it is concealed in wall, floor and/or ceiling cavities. Recommend the following:
  • That a qualified plumber evaluate to better understand or estimate the remaining life
  • Consulting with a qualified plumber about replacement options and costs
  • Budget for replacement in the future
  • Monitor these pipes for leaks and decreased flow in the future
  • Consider replacing old, galvanized steel piping proactively
For more information, visit:
http://www.reporthost.com/?GALVPIPE
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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
Capacity (in gallons): 40
Location of water heater: Basement

63) Water heater operated and provided hot water which was received at one or more fixtures at time of inspection. American brand electric 40 gallon water heater noted in good condition. Water supply valve, TPR valve, TPR extension and/or ground screw securing ground wire and drain cock noted installed on unit. Age of water heater was referenced from serial number as 6 years old (c. 2009). This puts water heater at approximately 1/2 of the way through its expected useful lifespan. Recommend performing maintenance as necessary as suggested by manufacturer in order to promote safe, efficient, and continued operation.
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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): Radiant
General heating distribution type(s): Pipes and radiators
Condition of hydronic or steam heat system: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Type of hydronic or steam heat: Steam
Hydronic or steam heat fuel type: Natural gas
Condition of burners: Appeared serviceable
Type of combustion air supply: No dedicated source visible, uses room air
Condition of venting system: Appeared serviceable
Condition of controls: Appeared serviceable

64) Steam boiler noted with leaky fitting. Valve on right side of boiler observed with slight drip and bucket underneath. Bucket appeared to have yellow/green glycol-like substance within. Recommend having a qualified HVAC technician evaluate and repair as necessary.
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65) Steam boiler noted in fair condition. Boiler fired and provided heat which was received at one or more radiators. Smith brand cast iron gas fired steam boiler noted with Gas supply valve, drip leg, pressure gauge, TPR valve and extension, sight glass, and drain cock. Water level could not be verified through sight glass as sight glass was observed with a significant amount of rust/dirt obscuring view. Age of boiler was referenced from serial number as 11 years old (c. 2004). This puts boiler at least than 1/2way through its 25 year expected useful lifespan. Recommend having steam boiler serviced as necessary now and annually by a qualified HVAC technician in order to promote safe, efficient and continued function.
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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 wood-burning fireplaces, stoves: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Wood-burning fireplace type: Masonry
Condition of chimneys and flues: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Wood-burning chimney type: Masonry
Gas-fired flue type: B-vent

66) No spark screen or rain cap was installed at one or more chimney flue terminations. Spark screens reduce the chance of embers exiting the flue and causing fires. They also prevent wildlife (e.g. birds, rodents, raccoons) from entering flues. Rain caps prevent water from entering flues, mixing with combustion deposits and creating caustic chemicals which can corrode flues. They also prevent damage to masonry from freeze-thaw cycles and prevent metal components (e.g. dampers, metal firebox liners) from rusting. Recommend that a qualified person install rain caps with spark screens per standard building practices where missing.
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67) One or more wood-burning fireplaces or stoves were found at the property. When such devices are used, they should be professionally inspected and cleaned annually to prevent creosote build-up and to determine if repairs are needed. The National Fire Protection Association states that a "Level 2" chimney inspection should be performed with every sale or transfer of property with a wood-burning device. Recommend consulting with the property owner about recent and past servicing and repairs to all wood-burning devices and chimneys or flues at this property. Recommend that a qualified specialist evaluate all wood-burning devices and chimneys, and clean and repair as necessary. Note that if a wood stove insert is installed, it may need to be removed for such an evaluation. For more information, search for "chimney inspection" at:
http://www.reporthost.com/?CSIA
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68) One or more fireplace dampers were inoperable. Recommend that a qualified contractor repair or replace dampers as necessary.
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69) One or more masonry chimney crowns were missing and/or substandard. 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.
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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: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Condition of cabinets: Appeared serviceable
Condition of sinks and related plumbing: Appeared serviceable
Condition of under-sink food disposal: N/A (none installed)
Condition of dishwasher: Not tested
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
Condition of refrigerator: Appeared serviceable

70) Kitchen counter was not securely attached to cabinet. Counter could be lifted off cabinet which may allow movement of counter, pinching, or other hazard. Recommend having a qualified contractor secure counter as necessary.
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71) Water damage was found in shelving or cabinets below the sink. Recommend that a qualified contractor repair as necessary after any plumbing leaks have been repaired. If moisture is present then concealed areas should be dried thoroughly.
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72) One or more sink water shut-off valve handles were missing. Recommend that a qualified person replace or repair as necessary.
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73) The cooktop exhaust fan was inoperable. Recommend that a qualified person repair or replace as necessary.
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74) The sink drained slowly. Recommend clearing drain and/or having a qualified plumber repair if necessary.
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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, third floor
Location #B: Full bath, second floor
Location #C: Full bath, second floor
Location #D: Half bath, first floor
Location #E: Half bath, basement
Location #F: Laundry room/area, first floor
Condition of counters: Appeared serviceable
Condition of cabinets: Appeared serviceable
Condition of flooring: Required repairs, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Condition of sinks and related plumbing: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
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: Windows
Gas supply for laundry equipment present: No
240 volt receptacle for laundry equipment present: Yes

75) Dryer vent termination observed with a significant amount of lint within. Lint may collect inside dryer vent which can clog, overheat, catch fire, or at least reduce dryer efficiency. Recommend clearing lint from dryer vent now and in the future as necessary.
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76) Proximity between water source and live electric components appeared to be a less than safe distance. This may increase risk of fire, arcing, or electric shock. Recommend repair as necessary by qualified contractor.
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77) The toilet at location(s) #B was loose where it attached to the floor. Leaks can occur. Flooring, the sub-floor or areas below may get damaged. Sewer gases can enter living spaces. Recommend that a qualified contractor remove the toilet(s) for further evaluation and repair if necessary. A new wax ring should be installed and toilet(s) should be securely anchored to the floor to prevent movement and leaking.
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78) Vinyl flooring in bathroom at location(s) #A was deteriorated, loose and/or curling. Water can damage the the sub-floor as a result. Recommend that a qualified contractor replace or repair flooring as necessary.
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79) The sink drain pipe at location(s) #C, D and E used an S-trap rather than a P-trap, or no P-trap was visible. Siphons and sudden flows of water in S-Traps can drain all the water out of the trap, leaving it dry. Sewer gases can then enter living areas. Recommend that a qualified plumber repair per standard building practices.
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80) The bathroom with a shower or bathtub at location(s) #A, B and C didn't have an exhaust fan installed. Moisture can accumulate and result in mold, bacteria or fungal growth. Even if the bathroom has a window that opens, it may not provide adequate ventilation, especially during cold weather when windows are closed or when wind blows air into the bathroom. Recommend that a qualified contractor install exhaust fans per standard building practices where missing in bathrooms with showers or bathtubs.
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81) Bathroom sink observed with chrome trap installed for drain. Chrome traps are more prone to corrosion which was visible. Corroded chrome trap may eventually leak. Recommend hiring a qualified plumber to repair as necessary.
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82) No shutoffs noted installed on tub supply plumbing. Shutoffs are designed to isolate plumbing fixtures in the event of necessary maintenance. Without shutoffs installed repair or replacing tub or plumbing components may be more difficult. Recommend having a qualified plumber install shutoffs or repair as necessary.
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83) Multiple sinks drained slowly. Recommend clearing drain and/or having a qualified plumber repair if necessary.
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84) Gaps, no caulk, or substandard caulking were found between the bathtub and the walls at location(s) #B. Water may penetrate these areas and cause damage. Recommend that a qualified person re-caulk or install caulking as necessary.
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85) One or more pedestal sinks noted as loose. This may allow sink to move which can put stress on plumbing connections and cause leaks. Recommend having a qualified contractor secure sink as necessary.
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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: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Exterior door material: Wood
Condition of interior doors: Appeared serviceable
Condition of windows and skylights: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Type(s) of windows: Wood, Single-pane, Double-hung
Condition of walls and ceilings: Appeared serviceable, Required repairs, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Wall type or covering: Plaster, Fabric
Ceiling type or covering: Plaster, Tiles
Condition of flooring: Appeared serviceable
Flooring type or covering: Vinyl, linoleum or marmoleum, Wood or wood products
Condition of stairs, handrails and guardrails: Required repairs, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)

86) 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.
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87) Guardrails at one or more locations with drop-offs higher than 30 inches had gaps that were too large. This poses a safety hazard for children (e.g. falling, getting stuck in railing). 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 repair or replace guardrails per standard building practices.
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88) One or more windows that were designed to open and close were stuck shut and/or difficult to open and close. Recommend that a qualified person repair windows as necessary so they open and close easily.
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89) Glass in one or more windows was cracked, broken and/or missing. Recommend that a qualified contractor replace glass where necessary.
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90) One or more windows noted with a gap at the top of the window. Top sash of double hung windows had dropped down. This may allow air infiltration and reduce energy efficiency. Recommend having a qualified contractor repair as necessary.
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91) One or more exterior doors were difficult to open or close and/or were damaged. Recommend that a qualified person repair as necessary.
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92) One or more window sills noted worn with cracked or missing paint. This may allow moisture to enter sill surface and cause deterioration to wooden sill. Recommend scraping and painting sills as necessary. If rotten wood is discovered it is recommended to have it replaced.
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93) Lock mechanisms on one or more windows were loose, missing and/or inoperable. This can pose a security risk. Recommend that a qualified person repair as necessary.
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94) One or more wooded windows observed with missing, detached, or severed sash cords. Sash cords attach window sash to hidden counter balance. Without sash cords installed windows may not operated properly, may not stay open, or may be difficult to operate. Recommend hiring a qualified contractor to repair as necessary.
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95) Interior door observed making contact with toilet when opened. This may cause damage to door or toilet. Recommend having a qualified contractor repair as necessary.
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96) Peeling paint noted on one or more ceilings. Recommend scraping and repainting as necessary.
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97) 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.
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98) Screens were missing from some windows. These windows may not provide ventilation during months when insects are active.
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99) One or more rooms or hallways had ceilings that were too low. Standards vary for minimum ceiling heights, but generally they should be at least 7 feet high except in areas with sloped ceilings where at least half of the area should have 7 foot or higher ceilings. This may pose a safety hazard to tall people.
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Wood Destroying Organism Findings
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Limitations: This report only includes findings from accessible and visible areas on the day of the inspection. In addition to the inaccessible areas documented in this report, examples of other inaccessible areas include: sub areas less than 18 inches in height; attic areas less than 5 feet in height, areas blocked by ducts, pipes or insulation; areas where locks or permanently attached covers prevent access; areas where insulation would be damaged if traversed; areas obscured by vegetation. All inaccessible areas are subject to infestation or damage from wood-destroying organisms. The inspector does not move furnishings, stored items, debris, floor or wall coverings, insulation, or other materials as part of the inspection, nor perform destructive testing. Wood-destroying organisms may infest, re-infest or become active at any time. No warranty is provided as part of this inspection.
Visible evidence of active wood-destroying insects: No
Visible evidence of active wood decay fungi: No
Visible evidence of past wood-destroying insects: No
Visible evidence of past wood decay fungi: No
Visible evidence of damage by wood-destroying insects: No
Visible evidence of damage by wood decay fungi: No
Visible evidence of conditions conducive to wood-destroying organisms: Yes


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Thank you for hiring Hollis Home Inspection LLC. It is our honor to be a part of your home buying process. Our goal is to communicate our findings clearly and concisely. We encourage our clients to contact us with any questions or concerns. Please call/text us: (518) 421-6069 of emails us: john@hohospec.com. We look forward to hearing from you.