Home Tech Property Inspections

Website: http://www.reporthost.com/htpi
Email: jcraigmiles@oh.nachi.org
Phone: (740) 354-0035 · (740) 352-6914
Inspector: Mike Craigmiles

  

Thank you for choosing Home Tech Property Inspections for your home inspection needs.
Client(s): Mario Robles
Property address: 364 Bricker Rd.
Waverly, OH
Inspection date: 7-31-2008
This report published on 8/1/2008 10:27:52 AM EDT

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Conditions
Virtually all real estate has problems, regardless of age or usage. It is not our purpose to compile a complete, definitive, or exhaustive list of items that need repair, but to document the general condition of the residence and to note any visible major defects. This is not a comprehensive document about the structure and should not be relied upon as such. Cosmetic considerations (paint, wall covering, carpeting, window coverings, etc.) and minor flaws are not within the scope of the inspection. Although some minor and cosmetic flaws might be noted in this report as a courtesy to you, a list of the minor and cosmetic flaws noted here should not be considered a complete, definitive, or exhaustive list and should not be relied upon as such. Routine maintenance and safety items are not within the scope of this inspection unless they otherwise constitute visible major defects as defined in the Home Inspection Agreement. This report does not include all maintenance items and should not be relied upon for such items.

All conditions are reported as they existed at the time of the inspection. The information contained in this report may be unreliable beyond the date of the inspection due to changing conditions.

Home Inspectors, Licensed Specialists, and Experts
Inspectors are generalists, are not acting as experts in any craft or trade, and are conducting what is essentially a visual inspection. Home inspectors generally know something about everything and everything about nothing. Some state and local laws, therefore, require that inspectors defer to qualified and licensed experts (e.g., plumber, electrician, et al.) in certain instances. If inspectors recommend consulting specialists or experts, Client agrees to do so at Client's expense. Because such qualified personnel are experts, it is possible that they will discover additional problems that a home inspector generalist cannot. Any listed items in this report concerning areas reserved by Ohio law to such licensed experts should not be construed as a detailed, comprehensive, and/or exhaustive list of problems or areas of concern.

Home Tech Property Inspections highly recommends that any additional recommended inspections, evaluations, consultation, repair, and/or replacement, be performed by qualified experts or licensed specialists before close of escrow. For repairs which might require a licensed specialist, Client should request repair and remediation by such licensed specialists in lieu of seller, and Client should request receipts for such work since seller, home owner, and other unlicensed individuals cannot guarantee or warranty their work.

Understanding Your Inspection

Home inspectors- Buying and selling real estate is a complicated process. We highly recommend that you use a Realtor to help you with your transaction. Realtors are like home inspectors. They come from various backgrounds but have had to go through a significant amount of training to enter their chosen profession. Realtors understand buying and selling real estate, including home inspection reports. We believe their knowledge and expertise is invaluable to you in your real estate transaction. However, while Realtors know a lot about home inspections and home inspection reports, they are not home inspectors. And while home inspectors know a lot about real estate, they are not Realtors. Seek help from the appropriate source when you need it. If there is any question about the information in your home inspection report, please call your home inspector first, and then call your Realtor. We usually also touch base with your Realtor whenever you call us with a question.


Home inspection standards- The home inspection industry is relatively young. The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) is a premier home inspection association consisting of master inspectors who have all successfully passed NACHI's Inspector Examination, adhere to Standards of Practice, abide by a Code of Ethics, attend required continuing education courses, and are NACHI Certified.

The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) has inspection standards which list the items to be inspected, and the exclusions there from. The quality of any inspection, however, is the knowledge, skill, and effort the inspector puts into the inspection. Home Tech Property Inspections documents findings in an easy-to-understand report, which is site-specific to each home and may include pictures of areas you can't see or items, which you might not be familiar with. Some of our recommendations will relate to homeowner safety and regular home maintenance, and some will concern improvements or upgrades (without stating them as such). All are intended to give you a better understanding of the condition of your home and how to be safe in it. Please visit www.NACHI.org for a complete list of standards and our Code of Ethics.

 
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 
Repair/ReplaceRecommend repairing or replacing 
Minor DefectCorrection likely involves only a minor expense 
MaintainRecommend ongoing maintenance 
EvaluateRecommend evaluation by a specialist 
MonitorRecommend monitoring in the future 
CommentFor your information 

Structural Pest Inspection Concerns
Items of concern relating to the structural pest inspection are shown as follows:
WDO/WDI InfestationEvidence of infestation of wood destroying insects or organisms (Live or dead insect bodies, fungal growth, etc.) 
WDO/WDI DamageDamage caused by wood destroying insects or organisms (Rot, carpenter ant galleries, etc.) 
WDO/WDI Conducive
conditions
Conditions conducive for wood destroying insects or organisms (Wood-soil contact, shrubs in contact with siding, roof or plumbing leaks, etc.) 

Click here for a glossary of building construction terms.  Contact your inspector if there are terms that you do not understand, or visit the glossary of construction terms at http://www.reporthost.com/glossary.asp

Table of Contents
General information
Exterior
Roof
Garage
Electric service
Water heater
Heating and cooling
Plumbing and laundry
Fireplaces, wood stoves and chimneys
Basement
Kitchen
Bathrooms
Interior rooms
 
General information Return to table of contents
Report number: 080731
Type of building: Single family
Inspection Fee: 250
Occupied: Yes
Weather conditions: Clear
Temperature: Hot
Ground condition: Dry
Front of structure faces: North
Main entrance faces: North
Foundation type: Finished basement
The following items are excluded from this inspection: Hot tub


1)   Many wall, floor and/or ceiling surfaces were obscured by large amounts of furniture and/or stored items. Many areas couldn't be evaluated.
 
Exterior Return to table of contents
Foundation material: Concrete block
Apparent wall structure: Wood frame
Wall covering: Wood clapboard
Driveway material: Asphalt
Exterior door material: Solid core wood, Sliding glass
2)   250 or 500 gallon propane tank(s) are less than 10 feet from the structure. This is a safety hazard. The client(s) should consult with the property owner(s) and/or propane supplier, and have tank(s) moved as necessary, at least 10 feet from the structure. Bird nest inside lid of propane tank.

Photo 19  
 

3)   One or more outdoor electric receptacles appear to have no ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. A qualified electrician should evaluate to determine if GFCI protection exists, and if not, repairs should be made so that all outdoor receptacles within six feet six inches of ground level have GFCI protection. For example, install GFCI receptacles or circuit breaker(s) as needed.

Photo 16  
 

4) 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. Wood siding and/or trim is rotten in some areas as a result. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair as necessary, replacing all rotten wood. Also, the 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. Live termites were noticed in this area.

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5) Siding is damaged and/or deteriorated in one or more areas, such as where boards were installed over the windows and doors to divert water away from these areas. A qualified contractor should evaluate and make repairs and/or replace siding as necessary to prevent water and vermin intrusion.

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6) One or more landscaping timbers are rotten or damaged. Landscaping timbers should be replaced as necessary.

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7) One or more wooden deck support posts are in contact with soil. This is a conducive condition for wood destroying insects and organisms. However no damage from wood destroying insects or organisms was found. Standard building practices require that there be at least 6" of space between any wood and the soil below, even if the wood is treated. If possible, soil should be removed or graded so a 6" clearance is maintained. Otherwise recommend installing borate based Impel rods to prevent rot.

Photo 11  
 

8) Trees and/or shrubs are in contact with or are close to the roof edge(s) in one or more areas. Damage to the roof may result, especially during high winds. Vegetation can also act as a conduit for wood destroying insects. Vegetation should be pruned back and/or removed as necessary to prevent damage and infestation by wood destroying insects.

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9) The finish on the deck(s) and railing(s) is worn and/or deteriorated. Recommend cleaning and refinishing as necessary.

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10)   Wooden timbers in one or more retaining walls have minor amounts of rot and/or damage. The client(s) should monitor such walls in the future for continued rotting and/or damage. Repairs and/or replacement by a qualified contractor may be necessary in the future.

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11) One or more downspouts terminate above roof surfaces rather than being routed to gutters below or to the ground level. This is very common, but it can reduce the life of roof surface materials below due to large amounts of water frequently flowing over the roof surface. Granules typically are washed off of composition shingles as a result, and leaks may occur. Recommend considering having a qualified contractor install extensions as necessary so downspouts don't terminate above roof surfaces.

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12)   Minor cracks were found in the driveway. However they don't appear to be a structural concern and no trip hazards were found. No immediate action is recommended, but the client(s) may wish to have repairs made or have cracked sections replaced for aesthetic reasons.

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13)     One or more areas of the wood soffit area has minor damage from carpenter bees. Recommend treating these areas to prevent further damage in the future.

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Roof Return to table of contents
Roof inspection method: Traversed
Roof type: Gable
Roof covering: Asphalt or fiberglass composition shingles
Gutter & downspout material: Aluminum
14)   One or more plumbing vent pipes terminate less than six inches above the roof surface below. Debris or snow may block openings, and may result in sewer gases entering living spaces. A qualified contractor should evaluate and make repairs as necessary so vent pipes terminate at least six inches above roof surfaces.

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15)   The ridge cap of the roof is made of wood. Some of the wood in this area is deteriorated. Recommend having a qualified roofing contractor evaluate and repair as necessary.

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16) Debris such as leaves, needles, seeds, etc. have accumulated on the roof. This is a conducive condition for wood destroying insects and organisms since water may not flow easily off the roof, and may enter gaps in the roof surface. Leaks may occur as a result. Debris should be cleaned from the roof now and as necessary in the future.
17) Moss is growing on the roof. As a result, shingles may lift or be damaged. Leaks may result and/or the roof surface may fail prematurely. This is a conducive condition for wood destroying insects and organisms. Efforts should be taken to kill the moss during its growing season (wet months). Typically zinc-based chemicals are used for this, and must be applied periodically. For information on various moss treatment products and their pros and cons, visit http://bryophytes.science.oregonstate.edu/page24.htm

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18)   Flashing around the chimney. No problems were noticed in this area.

Photo 9  
 
 
Garage Return to table of contents

19)   The auto-reverse mechanism on the vehicle door opener is inoperable or requires too much force to activate. This is a safety hazard, especially for small children. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair as necessary. For more information on garage door safety issues, visit: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/523.html or http://www.ohdstl.com/safety.html

Photo 33  
 

20)   The infrared "photo eye" devices that trigger the vehicle door opener's auto-reverse feature were inoperable during the inspection. This is a safety hazard, especially for small children. A qualified contractor should evaluate and make repairs or replace components as necessary. For more information on garage door safety issues, visit: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/523.html or http://www.ohdstl.com/safety.html

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21)   Much of the garage, including areas around the interior perimeter and in the center are excluded from this inspection due to lack of access from stored items.
 
Electric service Return to table of contents
Primary service type: Underground
Primary service overload protection type: Circuit breakers
Service amperage (amps): 200
Service voltage (volts): 120/240
Location of main service switch: utility room in the back of the basement next to water heater
Location of main disconnect: Breaker at top of main service panel
System ground: Ground rod(s) in soil
Main disconnect rating (amps): 200
22)   Exposed wiring and/or bus bars exist in the main service panel due to closure covers missing (slots where circuit breakers fit through the panel cover). This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. Closure covers should be installed where missing to eliminate exposed wiring, and by a qualified electrician if necessary.

Photo 46  
 

23)   Inadequate working space exists for the main service panel. Standard building practices require the following clearances:

  • An area 30 inches wide by 3 feet deep exists in front of the panel
  • The panel is at least 5 1/2 feet above the floor
  • There is at least 6 feet 6 inches of headroom in front of the panel
  • The wall below the panel is clear to the floor

    A qualified contractor and/or electrician should evaluate and make modifications as necessary.
    24)   The main service panel cover couldn't be removed due to lack of access from shelving, cabinets, walls and/or ceilings. This panel wasn't fully evaluated. Repairs should be made so the panel cover can be easily removed.

    Photo 47  
     

    25)   Electric meter located at the rear of the house.

    Photo 22  
     
     
    Water heater Return to table of contents
    Estimated age: 1999
    Type: Tank
    Energy source: Electricity
    Capacity (in gallons): 80
    26)   No drain line is installed for the temperature-pressure relief valve. This is a potential safety hazard due to the risk of scalding if someone is standing next to the water heater when the valve opens. A qualified plumber should install a drain line as per standard building practices. For example, extending to 6 inches from the floor, or routed so as to drain outside.

    Photo 44  
     

    27)   Main water shut off valve located next to the water heater.

    Photo 45  
     
     
    Heating and cooling Return to table of contents
    Estimated age: 2006
    Primary heating system energy source: Electric
    Primary heat system type: Forced air
    Primary A/C energy source: Electric
    Distribution system: Sheet metal ducts, Flexible ducts
    Manufacturer: York
    28)   Air handler filter(s) should be checked monthly in the future and replaced or washed as necessary. The inspector could not locate the filter do to stored items around the furnace, recommend consulting with the owner about the location of the filter

    Photo 42  
     

    29)     Air conditioning unit located at the rear of the house.

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    Plumbing and laundry Return to table of contents
    Location of main water shut-off valve: back room of basement next to water heater
    Water service: Public
    Service pipe material: Copper
    Supply pipe material: Copper, CPVC
    30) The laundry sink is not anchored to the wall or floor. A qualified contractor should securely anchor the sink to the wall and/or floor to prevent damage to and leaks in the water supply and/or drain pipes due to the sink being moved.

    Photo 48  
     

    31)   The inspector was not able to find the water meter. Recommend that the client(s) attempt to find the water meter by consulting with the property owner(s), searching for it themselves, or consulting with the local water municipality. It is especially important to find the meter if no main shut-off valve is found because the meter may be the only way to turn off the water supply in the event of an emergency, such as when a supply pipe bursts.
    32)   Neither the clothes washer nor dryer were operated or evaluated. They are excluded from this inspection.
    33)   The handle on the shut off valve located in the pit outside the garage has been broken.

    Photo 34  
     
     
    Fireplaces, wood stoves and chimneys Return to table of contents
    Fireplace type: Masonry
    Chimney type: Masonry
    34)   One or more chimney flues do not have a rainproof cover installed. They prevent the following:

  • Rainwater entering flues and mixing with combustion deposits, creating caustic chemicals which can corrode flues
  • Rainwater entering flues and causing damage to terracotta flue tiles from freeze-thaw cycles

    A qualified chimney service contractor should install rainproof cover(s) where missing.
    35)   The gas supply for one or more gas fireplaces and/or stoves was turned off. As per the Standards of Practice for both the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) and the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) the inspector does not operate gas shut off valves or light pilot lights during inspections. These appliances were not fully evaluated.

    Photo 38  
     

    36)   No controls were found to operate one or more gas fireplaces and/or stoves. For example, a thermostat or on-off switch. These appliance were not fully evaluated. Recommend consulting with the property owner(s) as to how they operate, and/or having a gas appliance contractor evaluate and repair if necessary.

    Photo 37  
     

    37)   A "Vent-free" gas fireplace is installed. While these are legal in some municipalities, the client(s) should be aware that exhaust gases from these appliances are vented directly into the living space where they are located. Exhaust gases may contain very high levels of moisture (up to 25%), which can be be detrimental to a house over time. Additionally, some unpleasant odors may be emitted.
    38)   Inside the flue of the chimney. No cracks in the liner were noticed at the time of the inspection.

    Photo 36  
     
     
    Basement Return to table of contents
    Pier or support post material: Bearing wall
    Beam material: Solid wood
    Floor structure above: Solid wood joists
    39)   Cover plate(s) are missing from one or more electric boxes, such as for receptacles, switches and/or junction boxes. They are intended to contain fire and prevent electric shock from exposed wires. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of fire and shock. Cover plates should be installed where missing.

    Photo 41  
     
     
    Kitchen Return to table of contents

    40)   One or more electric receptacles that serve counter top surfaces within six feet of a sink appear to have no ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. A qualified electrician should evaluate to determine if GFCI protection exists, and if not, repairs should be made so that all receptacles that serve counter top surfaces within six feet of sinks have GFCI protection. For example, install GFCI receptacles or circuit breaker(s) as needed.

    Photo 50  
     

    41)    

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    Bathrooms Return to table of contents

    42)   One or more electric receptacles that serve counter top surfaces within six feet of a sink appear to have no ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. A qualified electrician should evaluate to determine if GFCI protection exists, and if not, repairs should be made so that all receptacles that serve counter top surfaces within six feet of sinks have GFCI protection. For example, install GFCI receptacles or circuit breaker(s) as needed.

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    43)   One or more toilets "run" after being flushed (master bath), where water leaks from the tank into the bowl. Significant amounts of water can be lost through such leaks. A qualified plumber should evaluate and repair or replace components as necessary.

    Photo 54  
     

    44)   One or more light fixtures (master bath) that are operated by 2 separate switches does not operate properly. Recommend further evaluation by a qualified electrician.

    Photo 55  
     

    45)    

    Photo 43  

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    Interior rooms Return to table of contents

    46)   Guardrails are missing from one or more sections of decks or elevated surfaces with high drop-offs. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of falling. Standard building practices require guardrails to be installed at drop-offs higher than 30 inches, but in some cases it is advised to install them at shorter drop-offs. A qualified contractor should evaluate and install guardrails as necessary and as per standard building practices.

    Photo 56  

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    47)   An insufficient number of smoke alarms are installed. Additional smoke alarms should be installed as necessary so a functioning one exists in each hallway leading to bedrooms, and in each bedroom. For more information, visit http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5077.html
    48)   One or more flights of stairs with more than two risers have no handrail installed. This is a safety hazard. A qualified contractor should install graspable handrails that your hand can completely encircle at stairs where missing, and as per standard building practices.

    Photo 39  
     

    49)   One or more open ground, three-pronged electric receptacles were found. 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.

    Photo 51  
     

    50)   One or more ceiling fans appear to be inoperable. Recommend asking the property owner(s) about this, and if necessary, having a qualified electrician evaluate and repair as necessary.

    Photo 62  
     

    51)   The walls in the laundry room are not completely finished.

    Photo 49  
     

    52)   One or more doors 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 lock sets.

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    Building codes- A home inspection is not a substitute document for a building inspection or a code compliance inspection, nor do home inspectors interpret or cite building codes. Inspecting for code compliance and interpreting building codes is the sole and legal responsibility of municipal authorities. A home inspector inspects the visible and accessible areas of a home in accordance with generally accepted national home inspection standards (see Home Inspection Standards).

    Municipalities use a combination of the International Residential Code, the Uniform Building Code, the International Plumbing Code, the Uniform Plumbing Code, and the National Electrical Code (Ohio also has its own codes). General guidelines typically state that building codes are not retroactive. In most situations, buildings are required to be maintained under the code that was in effect at the time of original construction, and that such requirements remain true as long as the building is used for its original intended purpose. General guidelines also state that alterations or repairs must conform to that required for a new structure without requiring the existing structure to comply with all of the requirements of the codes, and that additions, alterations, or repairs must not cause an existing structure to become unsafe or adversely affect the performance of the building.

    If you or your Realtor's response to an area of concern or a recommendation in our report is, "Well, they didn't have that (or they didn't do that) when the house was built," we know that. However, during the ensuing years, our knowledge has increased considerably concerning safety in the home, and we believe that you should be safe in your home or that taking care of your home should be as easy as possible. So we will recommend things that they didn't have or do years ago simply to keep you safe or help you take care of your home. A good example of a safety item is the installation of GFCI safety outlets (those electric outlets typically with the red and black buttons on them; see GFCI outlets later in this section). They are inexpensive, life-saving devices that have only been around for about twenty years.

    Your home inspection report- The primary objective of a home inspection is to provide you with information about the home and any major defects before you buy it. All homes have defects; the perfect home does not exist. Potential home buyers often incorrectly view an inspection report as a mandatory repair list for the seller. The fact is that sellers are not required to produce a flawless house. They have no such obligation by law or by contract; therefore, most repairs are subject to negotiation between the buyer and seller. Typically, buyers will request that various conditions be repaired before the close of escrow, and sellers will usually agree to some of those demands. But with most building defects, sellers make repairs as a matter of choice, not obligation, in order to foster good will or to help accomplish the sale. Sellers can refuse any repair demands except where requirements are set forth by state law, local ordinance, or the real estate purchase contract. Purchase contracts usually stipulate that fixtures be working, that windows not be broken, and that there be no leaks in the roof or plumbing.

    Before you make any demands of the seller, try to evaluate the inspection report with an eye toward problems of greatest significance (see "What Really Matters"). Look for conditions that compromise health and safety or involve potential or active leaks in the plumbing or the roof. Most sellers will address problems affecting crucial areas or items- such as the roof, electrical, and plumbing problems- and big-ticket items such as the furnace and water heater. Please consult with your Realtor to help you work through an appropriate repair request list to present to the seller.

    Unplugging equipment, testing outlets, or dismantling equipment- We do not unplug any item to test an outlet. We have a choice of unplugging every item or unplugging no items. Making decisions on a case-by-case, site-specific, or equipment-specific basis on what to unplug would not be fair to all Clients, and unplugging every item presents problems when there is programmable equipment, sensitive equipment that could be damaged by power surges when plugging the equipment back in or turning it on, lost data from programs running on computers, and safety concerns. In many cases, looking at the equipment's switches and lights tells us whether the outlet is functioning, although looking at equipment will not tell us if the outlets are wired or grounded properly. If you have any concerns about any specific outlet, particularly if it is going to be used for sensitive equipment, have the outlet tested by a qualified electrician. We also do not disassemble or dismantle items, such as furnaces, cooling condensers, water heaters, etc. We will remove the outer and inner covers of electric panels that are safely accessible to look at the wiring inside; we will not remove any circuit breakers to look for bad contact points, rust, or corrosion since doing so would require disconnecting electric service to the structure. Our methods are consistent with generally accepted home inspection standards.

    Shutoff valves, circuit breakers, electric outlets, and gas pilots- Only a visual inspection of shutoff valves and circuit breakers is done. We not only want you to be safe in your new home, we want to be safe while we are inspecting your new home. Therefore, we do not turn any water or gas shutoff valves on, move any electric circuit breakers to the "on" position, plug in anything that has been unplugged, or light any gas pilots, simply because we do not know why the valves or breakers were off, why the equipment was unplugged, or why the gas pilots were turned off. Turning valves and breakers on, plugging in equipment, or trying to light gas pilots without such knowledge can cause property damage, personal injury, and, in a worst case scenario, loss of life. We also do not do any of the opposite functions, i.e., turning water or gas shutoff valves off, moving electric circuit breakers to the "off" position, unplug anything that is plugged in, or extinguish any gas pilots. The function of the water heater TPR discharge pipe cannot be determined since it is connected to a valve; it is given a visual inspection only. Any circuit breakers that were in the "off" position are noted as such and are not switched to the "on" position. If breaker-tripping problems are detected, you should seek the guidance of a qualified electrician; circuits might be overloaded or a short might have been caused at an outlet or switch during the move-out/move-in process.

    Cracks- It is the nature of many construction materials to crack as they expand and contract, particularly with exposure to moisture as they get wet and dry out, and as they age. The more common of these materials include concrete, asphalt, stucco, brick, mortar, concrete block, plaster, sheetrock (also known as Gypsum(TM) and drywall), and stone.

    Common cracks are typically, but not always, defined as hairline cracks less than one-eighth inch wide or less than twelve inches in length. Almost by definition, concrete and stucco will crack, simply because the material shrinks and cracks as it dries, cures, and ages. Common cracks in concrete and stucco are also called shrinkage cracks. Common cracks can appear at any time in the life of a structure, typically running diagonally from door and window corners where they typically are of least concern.

    Major cracks are typically defined as more than one-eighth inch wide, more than twelve inches in length, excessive in number, unusual (stair-step, V shaped, straight horizontal, or straight vertical), or in unusual locations (such as middle of a wall with no doors or windows nearby). If major cracks are present or appear, Client should seek additional evaluation from a qualified civil engineer specializing in foundations and structures. Some major cracks occur simply due to neglect and ignorance about how to take care of common cracks. In other words, a common crack can become a major crack if it is ignored.

    If the affected structure is over ten years of age, cracks PROBABLY do not pose any threat of significant additional short-term damage with NORMAL CLIMATE, NORMAL RAINFALL, and NORMAL SEISMIC ACTIVITY. However, cracks and areas around all cracks should be repaired and monitored on a regular basis, especially during periods of high rainfall or immediately after seismic activity, and a qualified civil engineer should evaluate any additional damage. If Client is unfamiliar with common cracks, Client should seek the specialized services of a qualified civil engineer for further evaluation and information. Major settlement cracks, particularly in the foundation, walls, ceilings, and/or attached porches/patios, should be inspected BEFORE CLOSE OF ESCROW to help protect your investment in this piece of real estate. Major settlement cracks in driveways, walkways, and other areas typically are more cosmetic than of a critical failure nature but should still be evaluated by a qualified professional. Recommend repair and/or replacement of affected components and regular monitoring and maintenance to seal and weatherproof cracks to help prevent additional damage and accelerated deterioration.

    Although you might be willing to accept a house with more than its fair share of common and major cracks in various areas, the person who seeks to purchase your house somewhere down the road may not be so accepting, thereby leaving you to make repairs then, at which time additional damage might have occurred due to ongoing neglect. It is in your best interest to take care of both common and major cracks now.