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HOUSE CALLS INSPECTION, LLC

Website: http://www.housecallsinspection.com
Email: brjhandy@comcast.net
Inspector's email: brjhandy@comcast.net
Phone: (423) 314-2114
Inspector's phone: (423) 314-2114
2322 Pineway Trl 
Soddy Daisy TN 37379-3256
Inspector: Randy Johnson

 

Property Inspection Report # 121101
Inspectors: Randy Johnson and Mike Pendergrass
Structure(s) inspected: Residential dwelling; 1 Level
Year Built: 1979
Start: 1:00pm End: 4:45pm Weather: Clear, 58F
Present: xxx
Client(s): xxx
Property address: xxx
Hixson, TN 37343
Inspection date: 12/19/2011
This report published on Sunday, January 08, 2012 4:21:12 PM EST

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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
Exterior
Roof
Garage
Attic
Electric service
Water heater
Heating and cooling
Plumbing and laundry
Fireplaces, woodstoves and chimneys
Crawl space
Basement
Kitchen
Bathrooms
Interior rooms
 
Exterior Return to table of contents
Footing material: Not visible
Foundation material: Concrete block
Apparent wall structure: Wood frame
Wall covering: Stone veneer, Vinyl
Driveway material: Asphalt
Sidewalk material: Poured in place concrete
Exterior door material: Solid core steel.
1) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One or more open ground, three-pronged grounding type receptacles were found. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. A qualified electrician should evaluate and make repairs as necessary.

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

Location of receptacle: left of the rear sliding glass door.

2) Safety, Repair/Replace - One or more fence gates are difficult to open, close and/or latch, or are damaged and/or deteriorated. Repairs should be made as necessary, and by a qualified contractor if necessary, so gates operate easily.

The fence gate is attached to the vinyl siding, front left. The gate post is not anchored in the ground, and the entire structure is loose.

Photo 45  

Photo 46  

3) Repair/Maintain - Soil is in contact with or less than six inches from siding and/or trim. This is a conducive condition for wood destroying insects and organisms. Soil should be graded and/or removed as necessary so there are at least six inches of space between the siding and trim and the soil below.
4) Repair/Maintain - There is small hole in the stone exterior wall near the garage door. Repair an maintain in order to prevent water, debris and/ or vermin instrusion.

Photo 27  
 
Roof Return to table of contents
Roof inspection method: Traversed
Roof type: Gable
Roof covering: Asphalt or fiberglass composition shingles
Estimated age of roof: 4 years
Gutter & downspout material: Aluminum
Roof ventilation: AdequateRoof vents on both ridges
5) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The chimney flashing appears to be installed improperly, and should be checked by a licensed contractor.

Photo 42  

Photo 43  

6) Maintain, Monitor - Two sections of roof surfaces are sloped towards each other. Debris such as leaves or needles are more likely to accumulate in this area than rest of the roof. Leaks may occur as a result. Recommend monitoring such areas for accumulated debris in the future and cleaning as necessary.
 
Garage Return to table of contents

7) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One or more wall and/or ceiling surfaces between the attached garage and interior living spaces have gaps, holes, or missing or inadequate surface materials. These surfaces are intended to prevent vehicle fumes from entering living spaces, and to slow the spread of fire from the garage to living spaces. A qualified contractor should evaluate and make repairs as necessary so the attached garage wall and ceiling surfaces that adjoin living spaces are tightly sealed and fire rated as per standard building practices. Typically these surfaces require a one-hour fire rating.

Photo 39  

8) Safety, Repair/Replace - One of the receptacles is cracked and broken, and should be replaced.

Photo 40  

9) Safety, Repair/Maintain - The garage door did not reverse upon contact with an object.
10) Major Defect, Evaluate - The main support beam has been notched in the center, and a metal jack post has been installed for additional support in the center of the garage.

Photo 38  

Photo 47  

11) Minor Defect, Monitor - The rear concrete block wall has a number of step cracks, most of which follow the mortar lines. Most of the cracks are minor, but their condition should be monitored.

Photo 23  

Photo 24  

Photo 3  

12) Minor Defect - The entry door has a small crack in the frame.

Photo 41  
 
Attic Return to table of contents
Inspection method: Partially traversed
Roof structure type: Rafters
Ceiling structure: Trusses
Insulation material: Cellulose loose fill. Insulation not adequate
Insulation depth: <3"
13) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Wire splices are exposed due to not being contained in a covered junction box. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock and fire. A qualified electrician should evaluate and make repairs as necessary. For example, install securely mounted junction boxes with cover plates where needed to contain wiring splices.

Photo 49  

14) Repair/Replace - The ceiling insulation's R rating is significantly less than what's recommended for this area. Recommend having a qualified contractor install additional insulation as per standard building practices for better energy efficiency.
15) Repair/Maintain, Minor Defect - Neither of the bathroom exhaust fans is vented properly to the outside.

Photo 19  

Photo 20  

16) Minor Defect - No insulation is installed over the attic access hatch. Recommend installing insulation above hatch for better energy efficiency.
17) Minor Defect - No weatherstrip is installed around the attic access hatch. Weatherstrip should be installed around the hatch to prevent heated interior air from entering attic.
18) Evaluate - The attic insulation is inadequate-less than 3" in most areas.

Photo 21  

Photo 22  
 
Electric service Return to table of contents
Primary service type: Overhead
Primary service overload protection type: Circuit breakers
Service amperage (amps): 200
Service voltage (volts): 120/240
Location of main service switch: Main panel
Location of main disconnect: Breaker at top of main service panel
Service entrance conductor material: Aluminum
System ground: Ground rod(s) in soil
Main disconnect rating (amps): 200
Branch circuit wiring type: Aluminum multi-strand
Solid strand aluminum branch circuit wiring present: No
Smoke detectors present: Yes
19) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The service drop wires are less than 10 feet above ground or walkways. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. A qualified electrician and/or the utility company should evaluate and repair as necessary.
20) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One or more overcurrent protection devices (circuit breakers or fuses) are "double tapped", where 2 or more wires are clamped in a terminal designed for only one wire. This is a safety hazard since the bolt or screw may tighten securely against one wire, but leave others loose. Arcing, sparks and fires may result. A qualified electrician should evaluate and repair as necessary.

Photo 1  
Main service panel-one circuit breaker has a double tap (two wires connected to the same breaker)

21) Safety, Repair/Replace - The service drop wires are in contact with trees or vegetation. Recommend having a qualified tree service company or arborist prune or remove trees as necessary to prevent straining or abrading the service drop wires.
The service drop wire has been anchored/ attached to a tree, presumably to raise the height of the wire. Recommend that utility company be contacted to evaluate the problem.

Photo 25  

22) Safety, Repair/Maintain - There is an open splice inside the main panel. Spliced wiring should be enclosed within a junction box.

Photo 2  
Open splice in the electrical service panel.

23) Safety, Minor Defect - One or more screws are missing from the main service panel cover and should be replaced. Because energized wiring may exist behind the holes with the missing screws, recommend that a qualified, licensed electrician replace these screws, or that care be taken to ensure that the new screws do not come in contact with wiring inside the panel when they are installed. Stock screws from the panel manufacturer should be used, or their equivalent.
 
Water heater Return to table of contents
Estimated age: 6 years
Type: Tank
Energy source: Electricity
Capacity (in gallons): 50
Manufacturer: U.S. Craftmaster
Model: E1F50RD045
Estimated age: 6 years
Type: Tank
Energy source: Electricity
Capacity (in gallons): 50
Manufacturer: U.S. Craftmaster
Model: E1F50RD045V
Water temperature (degrees Fahrenheit): 119.3 degrees
24) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The unit wiring has an open splice that should be enclosed within a junction box. A qualified electrician should evaluate and repair as necessary.

Photo 48  
( The lower arrow points to the pressure relief valve that has no extender drain pipe. That concern is discussed below)

25) Safety, Repair/Replace - The water heater does not have seismic straps or struts installed. This is a potential safety hazard since movement can cause leaks in the gas supply lines or damage wiring. Leaks may also occur in water supply pipes. A qualified contractor should install seismic straps or struts as necessary and as per standard building practices.
26) Safety, Repair/Replace - 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.

Photo 7  

27) Repair/Replace, Minor Defect - A water heater is installed and has no catch pan and drain. Recommend having a qualified contractor install a catch pan and drain to prevent water damage inside the garage if/when the water heater develops a leak or is drained.
 
Heating and cooling Return to table of contents
Estimated age: 16 years
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
Manufacturer: Carrier
Model: CD5AXA030000AAAA
Filter location: In return air duct above furnace
28) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Some rust and/or corrosion was found on one or more gas supply pipes. Based on this deterioration, the wrong materials may have been used. For example, black iron pipe may have been used where galvanized iron pipe should have been used instead. Leaks may occur as a result. This is a safety hazard. A qualified heating and cooling contractor should evaluate and make repairs as necessary.

Photo 5  

Photo 6  

29) Safety, Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - The furnace is equipped with a power venting system that does not appear to vented to the outside.The manufacturer, Field Controls, Inc., indicates on their website that devices outfitted with their units must still be vented outside in order to prevent accumulation of noxious/ dangerous gases within a closed space/ lving areas. Recommend that a qualified HVAC technician evauate the venting system and properly configure it, if necessary.

Field Controls, Inc.
2630 Airport Rd.
Kinston, N.C. 28504
252-522-3031
www.fieldcontrols.com

Photo 4  

30) Major Defect, Comment - The estimated useful life for most forced air furnaces is 15 to 20 years. This furnace appears to be approaching this age and may need replacing at any time. Recommend budgeting for a replacement in the near future.
31) Major Defect, Comment - The estimated useful life for air conditioning compressors is 8 to 15 years. This unit appears to be approaching this age and may need replacing at any time. Recommend budgeting for a replacement in the near future.
32) Maintain - Air handler filter(s) are dirty and should be replaced now. They should be checked monthly in the future and replaced as necessary.

Photo 33  

33) Comment - The outdoor air temperature was below 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the inspection. Because of this, the inspector was unable to operate and fully evaluate the cooling system.
 
Plumbing and laundry Return to table of contents
Water pressure (psi):
Location of main water shut-off valve: Meter box at street
Location of main water meter: Near street
Water service: Public
Service pipe material: Not visible
Supply pipe material: Copper
Vent pipe material: Plastic
Drain pipe material: Plastic
Waste pipe material: Plastic
34) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The clothes dryer exhaust duct is too long, or has too many bends. This may reduce the air flow through the duct, resulting in overheating, reduced efficiency and/or difficulty in cleaning the duct. Standard building practices limit clothes dryer exhaust ducts to 25 feet, and less when bends are present (2.5 feet for each 45-degree bend and 5 feet for each 90-degree bend). A qualified contractor should evaluate and modify the exhaust duct as per standard building practices.
We could only observe the duct between the dryer and the wall (approximately 6" of length), and where the duct terminates above the garage door. There was also no cover on the end of the duct, which prevents intrusion by vermin or debris.

Photo 26  

35) Repair/Maintain, Minor Defect - One of the laundry room closet doors is partially detached from the frame.

Photo 13  

Photo 14  

36) Comment - 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
Fireplace type: Masonry
Chimney type: Metal
37) Safety - The chimney should be cleaned and evaluated before using.
38) Monitor - Minor cracks, pitting and/or deterioration were found in some fireplace firebrick. However the bricks were not loose and appear to be serviceable. The clients should monitor the condition of the firebricks in the fireplace's firebox in the future. If significant deterioration occurs or if bricks become loose, then a qualified chimney service contractor should evaluate and make repairs as necessary.

Photo 9  

39) Monitor - A capped gas supply line, presumably installed for a conversion, extends through the interior wall.

Photo 10  
 
Crawl space Return to table of contents
Inspection method: Partially traversed
Insulation material underneath floor above: None visible
Pier or support post material: ConcreteConcrete block piers
Beam material: Solid wood
Floor structure above: Solid wood joists
Vapor barrier present: Some areas not covered.
40) Safety, Repair/Replace - An opening under the front porch where the exterior wall meets the foundation allows leaves and debris into the deeper crawl space area adjacent to the basement wall. Recommend that the opening be repaired to prevent further intrusions from the outside.

Photo 15  
Inside crawl space.

Photo 18  
Under front porch.

41) Major Defect, Repair/Replace - No insulation is installed under the floor in the crawl space. Recommend that a qualified contractor install R19 or better (6" thick fiberglass batt) insulation under the floor for better energy efficiency.
42) Repair/Replace, Evaluate, Monitor - Evidence of prior water intrusion was found in one or more sections of the crawl space. For example, sediment stains on the vapor barrier or foundation, and/or efflorescence on the foundation. Accumulated water is a conducive condition for wood destroying insects and organisms and should not be present in the crawl space. The client(s) should review any disclosure statements available and ask the property owner(s) about past accumulation of water in the crawl space. The crawl space should be monitored in the future for accumulated water, especially after heavy and/or prolonged periods of rain. If water is found to accumulate, a qualified contractor who specializes in drainage issues should evaluate and repair as necessary. Typical repairs for preventing water from accumulating in crawl spaces include:

  • Repairing, installing or improving rain run-off systems (gutters, downspouts and extensions or drain lines)
  • Improving perimeter grading
  • Repairing, installing or improving underground footing and/or curtain drains

    Ideally, water should not enter crawl spaces, but if water must be controlled after it enters the crawl space, then typical repairs include installing trenches, gravity drains and/or sump pump(s) in the crawl space.
    43) Repair/Replace - No vapor barrier is installed in some areas. This is a conducive condition for wood destroying insects and organisms due to the likelihood of water evaporating into the structure from the soil. A qualified contractor should install a vapor barrier where missing. Standard building practices require the following:

  • The soil below the vapor barrier should be smooth and free from sharp objects.
  • Seams should overlap a minimum of 12 inches.
  • The vapor barrier should lap up onto the foundation side walls.

    Better building practices require that:

  • Seams and protrusions should be sealed with a pressure sensitive tape.
  • The vapor barrier should be caulked and attached tightly to the foundation side walls. For example, with furring strips and masonry nails.

    Photo 17  

    44) Repair/Replace - Water supply pipes are uninsulated. Recommend insulating pipes as necessary for better energy efficiency and to prevent water pipes from freezing.
    45) Repair/Maintain, Minor Defect - One of the crawl space vents, left side, is loose.

    Photo 44  

    46) Maintain, Evaluate, Monitor - The rear crawl space wall has stains that indicate the possibility of past water intrusion. No water, however, was detected in the crawl space.

    Photo 16  
     
    Basement Return to table of contents
    Insulation material underneath floor above: Fiberglass roll or batt
    Pier or support post material: Bearing wall, Steel
    Beam material: Built up wood
    Floor structure above: Solid wood joists
    47) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One or more notches are cut into the middle third of joist(s), as discussed above in Garage section. This is substandard construction and has damaged the joist(s). A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair as necessary.
     
    Kitchen Return to table of contents

    48) Repair/Replace, Minor Defect - Dining Room- The cable receptacle is loose.

    Photo 37  

    49) Repair/Maintain, Minor Defect - The door between the garage steps and the kitchen will not open fully without rubbing the floor.
     
    Bathrooms Return to table of contents

    50) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One or more open ground, three-pronged electric receptacles were found. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. A qualified electrician should evaluate and make repairs as necessary. For example, replacing receptacles or correcting wiring circuits.

    Grounding type receptacles began being required in residential structures during the 1960s. Based on the age of this structure and the presence of 2-pronged receptacles in some areas of this structure, an acceptable repair may be to simply replace the ungrounded 3-pronged receptacles with 2-pronged receptacles. However the following appliances require grounding type receptacles:

  • Computer hardware
  • Refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Air conditioners
  • Clothes washers
  • Clothes dryers
  • Dishwashers
  • Kitchen food waste disposers
  • Information technology equipment
  • Sump pumps
  • Electrical aquarium equipment
  • Hand-held motor-operated tools
  • Stationary and fixed motor-operated tools
  • Light industrial motor-operated tools
  • Hedge clippers
  • Lawn mowers

    This list is not exhaustive. Grounded circuits and receptacles should be installed in locations where such appliances will be used.
    51) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One or more electric receptacles have reverse-polarity wiring, where the hot and neutral wires are reversed. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. A qualified electrician should evaluate and make repairs as necessary.

    Photo 28  
    Receptacle above sink.

    52) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One or more electric receptacles and/or the boxes they are installed in are loose and/or not securely anchored. Wire conductors may be damaged due to repeated movement and/or tension on wires, or insulation may be damaged. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock and fire. A qualified electrician should evaluate and repair as necessary.

    Photo 29  
    Adjacent to tub.

    53) Safety - The single receptacle(which is OK) in the master bath is on the same circuit as the incorrectly wired receptacle in the hall bath. When the incorrectly wired hall bath receptacle trips the breaker, the master bath receptacle will likewise be inoperative if the breaker is tripped.
    54) Repair/Replace - The hall bath faucet and palte is loose and should be repaired or replaced as necessary.

    Photo 31  

    55) Repair/Replace - 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.

    Photo 32  
    The hall bath sink stopper is not connected.

    56) Repair/Replace - The hall bathroom tub drain is clogged or drains slowly. Drain(s) should be cleared as necessary, and by a qualified plumber if necessary.
    57) Minor Defect, Monitor - Both the master and hall bathrooms have small patched or damaged areas, possibly the result of condensation.

    Photo 30  
    Hall bathroom above shower.

    Photo 34  
    Master bathroom.

    Photo 35  
    Master bathroom.

    Photo 36  
    Hall bathroom.
     
    Interior rooms Return to table of contents

    58) Safety, Maintain - The smoke detector would not test properly for us. 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

    59) Repair/Replace, Minor Defect - The dimmer switch in the living room does not appear to be working.

    Photo 12  

    60) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The sash spring mechanism(s) in one or more windows are broken or loose. A qualified contractor or service technician should evaluate and make repairs as necessary so the window(s) operate as intended (open easily, stay open without support, close easily, etc.).
    Some of the windows would remain in the raised position, and at least two
    two windows could not be opened at all without force. One window in the living room is cracked.

    Photo 8  

    61) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Screen(s) in one or more windows are missing. The client(s) should ask the property owner(s) about this. Screens are often removed for window cleaning and they may be stored somewhere. If not, then recommend installing screens where missing.
    62) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The lock mechanisms on one or more sliding glass doors are inoperable and/or difficult to operate. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair as necessary.
    63) Repair/Replace - The front entry door will not latch when closed. Repairs should be made as necessary, and by a qualified contractor if necessary. For example, aligning strike plates with latch bolts and/or replacing locksets.

    Photo 11  

    64) Repair/Replace - The master bedroom closet door knob is missing.

    Photo 50  

    65) Evaluate, Monitor - The ceiling in the dining room has a small area of damage, cause unknown.

    Photo 51  

     
    Summary:
    All houses, regardless of age or conditon, have both positive qualities to recommend them and negative features which require definiton and evaluation. Below are the primary concerns, as well as a list of the best attributes.
    PRIMARY CONCERNS:
    1) The middle steel jack post on the main beam in the garage, and the notch in that beam.
    2) The lack of fire wall protection between the garage and the lving area .
    3) The lack of outside venting for the furnace.
    4) The electrical service wire anchored on the tree in the yard, and the clearance of less than 10' ( about 8'6" at its lowest point.
    5) The hot-neutral reverse polarity receptacle in the hall bathroom.

    POSITIVE ATTRIBUTES:
    1) The sidng is in excellent condition.
    2) The roof is in good shape.
    3) The gable and roof vents provide for appropriate ventilation.
    4) The flooring and carpeting are in good condition.
    5) The foundation and roof structure appear to be sound.