Inspector's email: email@example.com
Phone: (360) 676-6908
This report published on Monday, July 09, 2012 8:38:22 AM PDT
||John Q. Public
||4300 Mayne Street
View report summary
King of the House, Inc
Steven L. Smith, President
Washington State Licensed Home Inspector #207
Washington State Licensed Structural Pest Inspector #69078
Thank you for using King of the House, Inc. for your home inspection. I know your home inspection is very important to you. And your business is very important to me. If I can help in anyway after the inspection, please call or Email me at the Email address or telephone number provided on this report. And, if you are happy with King of the House, Inc. please refer my company to your friends, your realtor and anyone you believe could benefit from my services. King of the House, Inc. not only performs inspections for purchasers, but also for people planning to sell a home who wish to estimate the amount of work that needs to be completed before listing the house.
A home inspection is a visual, and not an exhaustive or invasive, inspection of a home by a trained and impartial inspector. Your King of the House inspection adheres to the standards of the practice of the state of Washington.
Steven L. Smith is the lead instructor for the state approved Fundamentals ofl Home Inspection Training Program taught by Bellingham Technical College, an accredited state college. Smith has, also, been appointed by the Governor to serve on the Washington State Home Inspector Licensing Board.
This report includes an inspection for wood destroying organisms (WDO'S). More detailed information on this topic, and a suggestion as to how to more effectively use Form 17, the Real Property Transfer Disclosure Statement, is provided under general information. By law the State of Washington mandates that I inspect for, and report on, WDO infestations or conditions that are conducive to attracting WDO's.
Every King of the House, Inc. report includes photos and descriptions detailing the locations of areas of concern as noted by the inspector. Despite the photos and specific information provided, if during this inspection wood destroying organisms or conditions conducive to wood destroying organisms were found, I want you to know: WAC 16-228-2045 REQUIRES THAT A DIAGRAM BE PREPARED FOR WDO INSPECTION REPORTS. A COPY IS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST.
SUMMARY: NEAR THE TOP OF THE REPORT, ABOVE GEORGE WASHINGTON'S HEAD, CLICK ON THE "SUMMARY". THIS WILL LIST THE MOST SIGNIFICANT ISSUES WHICH ARE TAKEN FROM THE MAIN REPORT BASED ON PRIORITY. THE SUMMARY LEAVES CONCERNS NUMBERED AS THEY WERE IN THE FULL REPORT, SO THEY ARE EASY TO LOCATE IN THE BODY OF THE REPORT. FOR THIS REASON, THE SUMMARY WILL NOT BE SEQUENTIALLY NUMBERED.
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:
|Cautionary||A recommendation to enhance safety. Not necessarily urgent but, in some instances, it might be |
|Replace/Repair||Plan on replacement, or repair, with work to be done by qualified parties |
|Repair/Maintain||A recommended repair that might involve ongoing upkeep with work to be done by qualified parties |
|Review/Evaluate||Qualified professional to service/repair/evaluate or, as applicable, clients to determine their level of personal concern |
|Maintenance/Service (repair)||Requires maintenance, professional service or appropriate repair |
|On-site notes||Observations, comments or suggestions noted by the inspector |
|Informational||Informational in nature but might include recommendations for small repairs or upgrades |
Wood Destroying Organism Concerns
Concerns relating to wood destroying organisms are shown as follows:
|Infestation||Evidence of the presence of, or damage from, wood destroying insects |
|Damage||Damage caused by weathering, deterioration, delamination, wood decay or other wood destroying organisms |
|Conducive conditions||A condition that may attract wood destroying organisms (Wood-soil contact, water 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
Inspection overview: This is a standard visual home inspection performed to meet the applicable standards of practice and state guidelines. There are limitations and exclusions as described in the inspection contract and the report. All issues, concerns or recommendations that are noted will be described in appropriate sections of the report.
Structures inspected: Home and carport
Time started: 10:00AM
Time finished: 1:30PM
Present during inspection: Owner
Age of building: 50 years
Main entrance faces: West
Weather conditions: Cold, near freezing temperatures
Ground condition: Damp, partially frozen
This is an older home, 50 years of age. Therefore, since it was built long before 1982 -- when a number of regulations went into effect -- it may contain paint with some lead, asbestos products or knob and tube wiring. For additional information on asbestos and lead, please follow this link: http://www.kingofthehouse.com/arblogs/OldPaintAsbestos.pdf
Professional qualifications of workers: In most reports, I recommend that upgrades or repair work be performed by a "qualified person" or "qualified parties". I consider qualified parties, in the licensed trades and professions, to be those individuals who hold the necessary state or local licenses or permits to legally work in their field -- licensed electricians, licensed pest control applicators, licensed plumbers, licensed HVAC technicians, licensed engineers, licensed general contractors, licensed building architects, licensed landscape architects, etc. In instances where repair work may be legally done by an unlicensed party, it is my recommendation that the repair person be, based on past training, experience or expertise, "qualified" to complete the job at hand and to, at that time, also be capable of further evaluating the situation and making further recommendations and completing any related repairs or upgrades. Any work performed by licensed and/or qualified parties should include, as is required, obtaining permits from the state, the county or the city.
Form 17/Limitations: Form 17 is a required disclosure statement at all real estate transactions conducted in the State of Washington. King of the House, Inc. encourages you to read Form 17, as it is frequently not provided to the home inspector. This crucial disclosure consists of about eighty questions pertaining to the home. By law, a seller is required to disclose on this form many details about the home and property, which may or may not be observable at the time of inspection. For example, the seller's disclosure could reveal hidden but known defects in materials or products used in construction of the home; well or water supply problems; known health or environmental concerns such as mold, underground fuel storage tanks, chemical pollutants, or a history of seasonal water, flooding, pest infestations or fire damage, etc.
Wood Destroying Organisms: This report will conform to the standards of practice for home inspection. Evidence of wood destroying insects, or related activity, was seen on-site, therefore, the report will, also, conform to Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) rules, which regulate structural pest inspections. This is a complete wood destroying organism (WDO) inspection -- a good faith effort on the part of the inspector to report visual signs of wood decay fungi and wood destroying insects. "Conducive conditions", deficiencies that the State of Washington has defined, can contribute to the likelihood of WDO infestations on the premises and will also be reported. When conducive conditions are reported, such as wood to soil contact, recommend that any such problems be corrected. The inspection report only refers to issues seen at the home at the time of the inspection. The WSDA inspection control number assigned to this report is at the top of the report, above the client's name.
Furnished home/general limitations: This home is furnished; therefore, numerous counter, under sink, closet, window, wall, floor, and/or ceiling surfaces were obscured by personal effects, window coverings, rugs, carpets, collectibles, furniture and other items, limiting the inspection of some areas. Appliances and furniture are not moved. Belongings stored on window sills are not moved to operate windows. Significant storage or personal items, under sinks and cabinets, will not be moved to gain access. Insulation, when present in crawl space and attic areas, obstructs visibility. In general, areas that are blocked or not readily visible or accessible because of belongings, storage or objects are excluded from the inspection. A representative number of structural components are viewed, not every area. The high exterior locations at the home, such as siding, trim or soffit areas below eaves, due to safety and typical access issues, may be viewed from the ground and not from a ladder. High electrical receptacles, under eaves, may not be evaluated.
Foundation material: Concrete block
Apparent wall structure: Wood frame
Wall covering: Wood shingles; T1-11 laminated wood panels
Exterior trim: Wood
Exterior door material: Solid core wood 2x; sliding glass, aluminum 1x
Windows: Single pane, wood
Front porch/landing, etc: Concrete
Secondary porch(s)/landing(s), etc: Concrete (north); Concrete patio (back)
Driveway material: Poured in place concrete
Sidewalk material: Poured in place concrete
Gutter/downspout material: Wood gutters; Galvanized steel downspouts
The old wood gutters are rotted, leaking and loose. Metal downspouts are rusted and leaking as well. Recommend having a qualified gutter and downspout contractor install new gutters and downspouts. Also recommend installing extensions such as splashblocks, where necessary at downspouts, to carry rain water away from the house.
Some areas of structural material, under the soffit, siding and trim are decayed and the paint is failing in a number of locations. Recommend that a qualified party locate and remove all damaged wood. Replace it with sound material. Then have a qualified painting contractor prep (scrape, sand, prime and caulk) and repaint the entire home.
The corrugated overhang/roof that covers the back patio has inadequate slope toward the front. Instead of runoff being routed to the front, water is being diverted back against the house. This condition has caused staining and decay of the structural lumber and siding where the corrugated roof attaches to the house. Recommend that a qualified party remove all decayed material and replace it with sound wood. When work is complete, paint the surface to protect it from moisture. Additionally, have the improper slope of the roof altered so runoff water drains and is no longer diverted toward the house.
Under patio overhang
Windows: The windows are single pane glass and some window panes are broken. Also, window glazing compound has deteriorated and there is rot at wood trim around the windows. Recommend that clients have these windows replaced with new, energy efficient, thermal pane windows. At that time, any decayed materials to be removed and replaced as required. Work to be done by qualified parties.
Arrow=broken pane, south side
Soil is against siding and/or trim at the front of the house. This has been defined by the State of Washington as a conducive condition since soil against wood or any structure, except for the concrete foundation, is likely to lead to wood decay. Recommend, when found, removing soil from contact with structure and grading it at a slope ratio of 1" per foot, for at least 6 feet out from the building, so water is directed away from the structure. It is not always attainable but 6" of clearance from earth is recommended for wood siding/trim. If, when work is done, any decay is discovered then repair damage at that time.
Earth to wood contact, front side
Vegetation (plants, trees, shrubs, vines) is in contact with the building's exterior at the front and the back. This obscures the view of some areas and it has been defined by the State of Washington as a conducive condition. Recommend pruning vegetation so there's at least a 2 " gap (more space is better still) between plants and the exterior of the structure. When trees encroach on roof areas, recommend pruning vegetation completely back from the roof, or pruning vegetation to end 10' to 12' above the roof. The recommended guidelines allow exterior building materials, or roofing, to dry quickly after rainfall and eliminate pathways that might be used by pests.
The cracks and slight height variations in the concrete flat surfaces, driveway and the sidewalk, are cosmetic in nature and not tripping concerns at this time.
There is decay (rot) at structural lumber at the N/E corner of the sill where the wood attaches to the concrete footing. Recommend that all decayed wood at the attached carport be located and removed. Replace damaged wood with sound material. Work to be done by a qualified party.
The carport roof has failed and is in the same condition as the roof at the home. Recommend that it be replaced at the same time the main roof at the house is replaced.
Gutters/downspouts: As was the situation at the home, the wood gutters at the attached carport have decayed and there are leaks. Recommend replacing these gutters and downspouts at the same time similar upgrades are made at the house.
Roof inspection method: Viewed from eaves while standing on a ladder
Roof type: Sloped 4/12 to 5/12 approx
Roof covering: Wood shakes
Estimated age of roof: 30 years
Roof ventilation system(s): Skip-sheathing; Gable vents
Fire safety: The chimney, center of the house at the ridge, is too low, too close to the roof. A chimney crown should be at least 3 feet above the roof surface. This chimney is only 18" over this wood roof. Additionally, where the chimney passes through the roof, the metal chimney flashing is heavily rusted and prone to leakage. Spalling, a form of deterioration, is present at the bricks and the mortar has deteriorated. Recommend repairs/alterations, as required, with work to be done by a qualified chimney contractor or a mason.
The shake roof is beyond it's useful life. The shakes have decayed and the roof is leaking -- no longer keeping water out of the home. It was raining at the time of the inspection and obvious leaks, dripping water, from the roof up above were apparent in the attic. Recommend that this roof be torn-off and that a new roof/sheathing be put on the home. Work to be done by a qualified roofing contractor. At that time, the roofer should calculate and establish proper roof/attic venting.
Roof leaks, from decayed shakes above, visible in the attic
Plumbing stack flashing leak: There is a hole in the roof where there used to be a plumbing stack, north end of the house. The stack is no longer protruding through the flashing, filling the hole, so water is now entering the attic. This is, also, referenced in the "attic" section of the report.
When it is possible to do so, safely and without damage to roofing materials or components, a home inspector will traverse the roof. The roof was wet, obviously slippery and wood decay was present. Therefore, this roof was not traversed because, in the inspector's opinion, trying to do so would be hazardous to the health and safety of the inspector. This is a necessary limitation to the inspection.
Inspection method: Traversed
Roof structure type: Rafters
Ceiling structure: Ceiling joists
Roof/attic ventilation: See the "roof" section of the report
Insulation material: Mineral wool loose fill
Insulation estimated R value: R-12
Plumbing stack safety: A sewer vent stack, north end, is cut too short and it terminates in the attic. This is an active vent, therefore, it will result in sewer gas being vented into the attic which is an unsafe condition. Such a stack MUST be vented to the outdoors. In a related matter, previously referenced in the "roof" section of the report, there is an open hole in the roof above this stack so rain is coming down into the attic. Recommend repair by qualified parties, such as a plumber and a roofer.
Insulation in the attic is approximately R-12 which is minimal by today's standards. Today an attic, typically, is insulated to R-38. Recommend, after roof has been replaced, that client consider installing additional insulation for better energy efficiency.
The inspector does not enter into the field of engineering and does not calculate if rafters and the roof and/or ceiling structure are of sufficient size, spanning or spacing. The inspector looks for obviously damaged, rotted or loose structural components, within the limitations of the attic inspection.
Skip-sheathing: At this roof, spaced plank or "skip-sheathing" is used. This is visible from the attic and it is a common way of venting shake roofs. With skip sheathing, 1" thick planks, with spaces between them, are the sheathing. The design allows the wood roof to dry from below. To view a schematic drawing of a common method of skip-sheathing, please follow the link: http://www.kingofthehouse.com/_p/scan/atticskipsheathing.jpg
Primary service type: Overhead
Electric Meter Size: 100-175 Amp
Primary service overload protection type: Circuit breakers
Make of panel: Federal Pacific
Location of main disconnect: None
Earth grounding electrode verified: Yes
Service conductor material: Copper
Service amperage (amps): 125 amp
Service voltage (volts): 120-240
Actual on-site service voltage read at 120V circuit (calculated at 240V circuit): 121-242
Location of main service panel: Carport south wall
Branch circuit wiring type: Non-metallic sheathed; Knob and tube
Signs of solid strand aluminum branch circuit wiring visible (Commonly used from 1965-1978): No
AFCI breakers (protection against fires in bedrooms) installed: No, recommended at bedroom receptacles and lights
GFCI protected receptacles (protection against shocks in damp areas) installed: No, recommended in certain locations, upgrade to meet present safety guidelines
Knob and tube wiring system: While much of it appears to have been replaced, energized knob and tube wiring was found in the attic. "Knob and tube" wiring was commonly installed until the 1950's. The circuits do not have an equipment ground and it is considered outdated by today's standards. The wire's insulation may become brittle and, as is the case here, often new circuits have been incorrectly tapped into the old wiring. It varies but some insurance companies may be unwilling to insure a home with knob and tube wiring. While energized circuits are present, it is not within the scope of the inspection to determine what percentage of wiring is knob and tube or to determine what percentage of the knob and tube wiring is energized vs abandoned. An electrician should evaluate knob and tube wiring and the electrical system and make repairs, or replace this wiring, as is required.To see a short video, produced by King of the House Inc., on the history and implications of knob and tube wiring, please follow this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54F6aOYDe_s
The main panel was made by Federal Pacific Electric and it utilizes "Stab-Lok" circuit breakers. These circuit breakers are known to fail and they are considered to be unsafe and a potential fire hazard. Additionally, there is no main shut-off in this electrical panel. To turn off the circuits would require tripping more than six circuit breakers. This is a safety concern. The panel shows signs of past water intrusion. Recommend replacement of this electric panel with work to be done by a licensed electrician.
Receptacles are not GFCI protected at the kitchen countertop. Other receptacles near water areas -- outside and baths -- are GFCI protected. GFCI protected receptacles reduce the likelihood of serious electrical shocks in wet environments. Licensed electrician to repair/replace as required. GFCI protected receptacles should be, periodically, tested for function since they may fail unexpectedly. General guidelines for GFCI protection are included below:
* All outdoor receptacles located at grade level and at decks and porches
* Receptacles in garages and any other out buildings with a floor at or below grade level
* All receptacles, no exceptions, that are installed in bathrooms
* All receptacles installed to service kitchen countertop areas
* All receptacles within 6 ft of the outside edge of laundry, wet bar or utility sinks
* All receptacles located in crawl spaces, unfinished basements or mechanical rooms at grade level or below
* Receptacles supplying power to jetted tubs and pumps (ejector pumps and grinders, well pumps, outdoor pumps, etc.)
While they were not standard when the home was built, client might consider an upgrade to "Arc fault" or AFCI breakers for the bedroom circuits. These devices, which would be installed in the electrical panel, are not costly and reduce the risk of a fire by protecting against overheating or arcing of receptacles (outlets) or light fixtures in bedrooms. Recommend that all electrical work be done by a qualified party, such as a licensed electrician.
I operated or tested a representative number of wall switches and receptacles. No defects noted. The inspector operates or checks a number of switches and receptacles but there is not a detailed analysis of the performance of three-way switches or switched receptacles.
Estimated age: 10 years
Energy source: Natural gas
Gas "on" to the water heater: Yes
Capacity (in gallons): 40
Make of water heater: AO Smith
Water shut-off valve: Yes
Flexible gas line connectors: No, flex connectors protect against damage to gas lines during a seismic event
Fuel/gas shut-off valve at heating appliance: Yes
Flame viewed at burner on gas/propane-fired water heater: No, not accessible or verified
Temperature pressure relief valve: Yes
Temperature pressure relief valve drain line: Yes
Temperature pressure relief valve drain line termination point visible: Yes
Seismic straps or struts: No, safety issue, consider installing proper straps
Water temperature degrees Fahrenheit (keep at/under 120 degrees to reduce the chances of scalding burns): 119 degrees F
Hot water heater has no earthquake straps. This makes it vulnerable in the event of seismic activity. Although earthquake straps are recommended for gas, propane and electric hot water heaters, clearly the risk of injury or damage, if such straps are missing, is greater should a gas or propane tank tip over. Recommend that client be aware of this, evaluate information, and consider installation of proper earthquake bracing. Suggest that plumber install such strapping, to meet modern guidelines and, while on site, evaluate system and make additional recommendations for repairs or improvements. For a diagram of the standard, and the presently recommended, means of earthquake bracing, please visit: http://www.kingofthehouse.com/_p/waterheatersafetyscan/waterheaterdiagram.jpg
The water heater's temperature-pressure relief valve drain line is routed upward. This valve is an emergency device, but periodically small amounts of water could be discharged. If the drain is routed up, water can collect near the valve and that can lead to corrosion and impair the operation of the valve during an emergency. Therefore, drain line must be routed either down or horizontally. Recommend having a qualified plumbing contractor repair. Suggest that plumber, while on site, evaluate system and make additional recommendations for improvements. The TPR valve must be routed into a minimum of 3/4" diameter rigid copper, steel, CPVC plastic pipe or another approved tubing and it may not include any sections of flex pipe. To see a short video on this topic, produced by King of the House Home Inspection, please visit: http://youtu.be/ndzXVW5VVeA
The gas supply to the hot water heater is "hard" piped in. In the event of seismic activity, it is better to have an approved flex connector between the tank and the gas piping. That, typically uncomplicated, modification makes it less likely that the pipe will break loose from the tank if the tank is jostled during an earthquake. Recommend that client evaluate this information and consider having a flex connector installed by a qualified party.
The estimated useful life for water heaters is 8 to 12 years. This water heater is ten years of age so it is nearing the end of it's design life.
Heat system type: Electric, fan-assisted, in-wall heaters
A/C energy source: Electricity
The heaters operated when they were tested but the home has Cadet model FX in-wall heaters. These have been recalled, due to safety issues, by the Consumer Products Safety Commission. In addition to this immediate concern, many of the heaters require cleaning. Recommend that a licensed electrician replace, further evaluate, the electric heaters. Clean electric heaters, as required, now and in the future.
Wood stove type: Metal
Recalled Cadet heater
Chimney type: Masonry
Wood stove hearth is less than 18" deep to combustibles such as the floor. This creates a risk of fire, as a result of falling embers, when the door to the fire chamber is opened. Recommend purchasing a non-combustible hearth pad, the simple remedy, or extending the non-combustible hearth so it is at least 18" deep.
By-products of burning (soot or creosote) are evident in the chimney up above and trash has been burned inside the wood stove. That tends to cause soot or creosote. Recommend that the chimney and the stove be cleaned and serviced by a qualified chimney sweep or a professional chimney contractor. Recommend, if the wood burning device is used frequently, that there be an annual cleaning by a professional. The quality and type of wood burned has a significant impact on how frequently this has to be done. A home 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. Detailed information on chimney inspections, that will help you determine if you wish to have such an inspection, is available at the Chimney Safety Institute of America's website: www.csia.org/homeowner-resources/chimney_inspections.aspx
Gas meter location: Exterior north
Location of main water shut-off valve: N/W corner in crawlspace
Water service: Public
Service pipe material: Not visible, below soil
Supply pipe material: Copper
Plumbing vent stack(s) present: Yes
Vent pipe material: Plastic, Cast iron
Drain/waste pipe material: Plastic, Cast iron
Water pressure (normal is 40 to 80 psi): 60
Water pressure reducer in system: Not seen or verified by inspector
Water shutoff valves for sink(s): Yes
Proper P-traps present at sinks: Yes
Water shut-off valves for toilet(s): Yes
Location of readily visible plumbing cleanout(s): Crawl space
There is not an outside dryer vent cap. The duct from behind the dryer terminates in the kitchen -- where the dryer is located. This results in excess humidity and moisture being discharged into the home. Recommend installing a proper duct to the outside. Where the duct runs under the floor, or into the crawl space, it should be made of approved metal ducting. Accordion type flex-duct is only suitable if used in short sections and if used in visible locations, such as behind the dryer. Repair work to be done by a qualified appliance professional.
The washing machine is installed in the kitchen and, to drain the unit, a hose has been routed through a hole in the wall and into a nearby closet which has had a drain pipe installed. Flexible hoses should not be routed through, inside, walls. Recommend repair, installation of a proper drain, with work to be done by a qualified plumber.
Copper water supply pipes under the house are insulated, or wrapped, with rolled-up newspapers. The newspapers are crumbling. Recommend that modern pipe-wrap be put on the water pipes to protect them from freezing.
Some of the plumbing drain and vent pipes at the home are old galvanized or cast iron piping. Other sections are plastic. Old metal pipe rusts and the material is, at this point, near the end of it's design life. It is not within the scope of the inspection to determine what percentage of piping, much of which is concealed in walls or under insulation, is old metal pipe. Recommend that the condition of the drain and vent piping be further evaluated by a plumber when other plumbing issues, described in this report, are resolved.
Pipes in crawl space
Shut-off valve exclusions: Water shutoff valves, including the "main" and any such valves at sinks, toilets, dishwashers, washing machines, water heaters are never routinely operated by a home inspector. Only normal controls are tested for functionality. Recommend that client(s) verify, prior to moving in large amounts of storage or belongings, that all shutoffs are fully functional, properly located and easily accessible at standard and critical areas. It is not uncommon to find that shutoff valves are difficult to operate or they may have leaks around the valve stems when operated. This problem, when present, can often be corrected by tightening the appropriate part of the valve. Regardless, if problems are noted or plumbing work is required, consult with a plumber.
There is not a dedicated laundry area. The laundry appliances are located in the kitchen. There is no catch pan and drain under the washing machine so, if there should be a leak, water would run onto the floor.
Laundry appliances, and accompanying faucets and connections behind the appliances, are not part of a standard home inspection and the devices are not routinely operated, nor are they moved, during the course of a home inspection. They are excluded from the inspection. Often laundry appliances are not part of a real estate sale and, regardless, running either a washer or a dryer through a single cycle does not reliably establish functionality. Function of the appliances is excluded, however, a brief description of the appliances and/or laundry facility is provided here. Both the washing machine and the dryer are Kenmore brand, the dryer is 240V electric. Appliances are located in the kitchen.
Inspection method: Traversed
Insulation material (type) underneath floor above: Fiberglass roll or batt (Typically R-11 to R-19)
Footing material: Poured concrete
Foundation/stem wall material: Concrete block
Support post and pier materials: Wood posts & concrete piers
Structural components: Joists and beams (wood)
Beam material: Solid wood
Floor structure above: Solid wood joists
Vapor barrier present: No
Bolts present at sill/foundation: No
Crawl space design/venting: Unconditioned (ventilated) space
Foundation vents at crawl space: Yes
Foundation vents in crawl space open: No, presently blocked by insulation on the inside
Location of crawl space hatch(s): Backyard
There is no plastic vapor barrier over the soil in the crawl space. This condition allows moisture in the soil to condense up into the crawl space or even into the home. That can lead to wood decay or other undesirable fungal issues. Recommend installing 6 mil black polyethylene with seams overlapped at least 24" so no soil is exposed in the crawlspace. Hold plastic down with stones or bricks, not wood.
At the north side, a concrete pier block is incorrectly installed. The block is designed to be installed with the opening in a vertical, not a horizontal, position. Installed as it is, the block has little strength and could be crushed should there be a seismic event. Recommend that this pier be re-positioned or replaced with work to be done by a qualified party.
Block incorrectly installed
The door over the crawlspace entry is decayed. Recommend that the door be replaced. Recommend that the door be made of metal or a cement-based product that will not decay.
Carpenter ants: Carpenter ants, live ants and distinctive wood frass, were seen under the fiberglass batt insulation at the N/W corner of the crawl space. Due to insulation being in place, the view was limited and it is not possible to find all areas of carpenter ant activity or potential damage without removing insulation. Therefore, recommend that a qualified party remove the insulation and that any structurally compromised wood be located and replaced. Then have a licensed pest control operator/applicator further evaluate the home and, if necessary, perform a chemical treatment with a product that has been approved for the control of carpenter ants. Furthermore, eliminate conducive conditions. For a video on the topic of carpenter ants, produced by King of the House, please follow this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzMtkfJLMc4
Distinctive frass and carpenter ants under insulation
Wood scraps have been discarded in the crawl space. To avoid attracting wood destroying organisms, recommend removing and disposing of all non-structural cellulose materials including cardboard.
Crawl space vent screen(s) are blocked by underfloor insulation on the inside. To establish cross-ventilation, recommend pulling back the insulation so the vents are open.
The fiberglass batt insulation under the floor in the crawl space limits the inspector's view of many areas. That is a limitation to the inspection.
Floor surfaces/finishes: Carpet, Hardwood
Smoke detectors present: No -- install smoke detectors
Smoke detectors: There are no smoke detectors on premises. Recommend installing smoke detectors so a functioning one exists (as applicable) on every floor and in each hallway leading to any bedrooms and in each bedroom. When gas appliances or wood or coal burning devices are present, there should also be a working carbon monoxide detector. Today's smoke detectors are inexpensive, effective and can be installed by almost anyone. Some also have carbon monoxide detectors built into them. Regardless, residents should test the functionality of detectors, upgrade from older units and replace batteries regularly. As is applicable, install a carbon monoxide detector.
There was one tub/shower inspected. Results:
There is a wide gap, a water entry point at the wall, next to the tub. Currently an effort was made to fill this by inserting a paper towel. This defect can allow moisture into the wall and that could cause concealed damage. Recommend that a licensed contractor make repairs as are required.
The refrigerator/freezer is Amana brand. It was inspected. Results:
Interior damage to shelves, torn gasket at refrigerator. Recommend repairs or replacement.
The two sinks were inspected. Results:
There is an S-trap, instead of a proper P-trap, under the kitchen sink. This type of trap can siphon and allow sewer gas into the home. The bath sink (pop-up) stopper does not operate which makes the sink drain slowly. Recommend that plumbing repairs be performed by a qualified party such as a plumber. For information on S-traps, please follow this link: http://www.kingofthehouse.com/arblogs/improperplumbing.pdf
Carbon monoxide alarms: A preliminary overview indicates that there are an insufficient number, or no, carbon monoxide (CO) alarms installed on premises. The home inspector is not a code enforcement official and it is possible that additional CO alarms were present but that they were not observed by the inspector. An approved carbon monoxide (CO) alarm must be installed outside each separate sleeping area and (as applicable) on each level of the home. These devices may be portable plug-in type, hardwired or built into smoke detectors. A home inspector does not test, or determine the functionality of, or the suitability of placement for, consumer alarms (carbon monoxide alarms or smoke detectors). Therefore, I recommend that clients further review the interior of the home and, as/if required, install or re-position alarms so as to comply with state guidelines and manufacturer's recommendations. Occupants should regularly test and replace batteries in alarms and replace any old or non-operational alarms (10 years is the maximum estimated design life).
The Broan exhaust fan in the kitchen was operable when tested. It appears that the unit/motor requires cleaning. All small household exhaust fans require periodic maintenance -- cleaning, oiling of motors or eventual replacement.
The range is electric, Maytag brand. It was inspected. Results:
All burners operated, as did the broiler and oven (elements as applicable). It is noted that it is small, an apartment sized unit.
Bathroom has no exhaust fan. It does have a window that opens. Recommend that client have an exhaust fan installed. A fan is more practical, for venting steam and humidity from baths and showers, in cold weather when opening a window is impractical.
There was one toilet inspected. Results:
No defects noted. Moisture readings, read with a pinless meter after the toilet was flushed, were normal. This is an indication that there is not a leak at the wax ring and the flange.
There was wear, a tear in the carpet in the living room.
The microwave oven was portable, not built-in, and it was not inspected.
Inspector has viewed walls, ceilings, doors, carpets, floors, cupboards, countertops, cabinets, closets, sinks, tubs, etc. Normally a home will show signs of past use so, unless specifically noted, the features appear to be typical. Some areas may be obscured by belongings, furniture, drapes, wall hangings or other storage. A home inspector is looking for significant issues and it is not the focus of the report to comment extensively on cosmetic matters (nail-pops, scuffs, blemishes, sliding drawers, etc), normal wear, minor mechanical wear or damage. Since the design and appearance of interior decor is important to a buyer and largely a matter of personal taste, recommend that buyer ascertain prior to closing that the interior -- floor coverings, cabinets, cupboards, etc -- meets personal expectations.
There is not a dishwasher at the home.
There is not a food disposal at the kitchen sink.
Home appliance estimated design life:
1. Gas furnace: 15-20 years
2. Gas boiler: 17-24 years
3. Oil furnace: 18-25 years
4. Electric furnace: 18-25 years
5. Heat pump: 15 years
6. Central air conditioning: 15 years
7. Water heater (tank): 8-12 years
8. Water heater (tankless): 20+ years
9. Range and oven: 18-20 years
10. Refrigerator/Freezer: 18-20 years
11. Dishwasher: 9-11 years
12. Microwave oven: 10 years
13. Range hood and fan: 14 years
14. Food disposal: 10-12 years
15. Garage door opener: 10 years
16. Laundry washing machine: 14 years
17. Laundry dryer: 14 years
18. Bathtub/Sink: 10-30 years
19. Smoke or CO detector: 8-10 years
20. Exhaust fans: 10 years
Home Maintenance Check List
1. Clean any removable dishwasher filters.
2. Purge food disposal by filling the kitchen sink with clean water, then turn on the device until the water drains through.
3. Wash refrigerator/freezer interior walls and door gaskets with a solution of one quart of warm water to two tablespoons of baking soda and wipe dry.
4. Vacuum and clean "return" air ducts/grills.
5. Inspect lighting fixtures and replace any burned-out bulbs.
6. Clean clothes dryer lint trap and/or duct for better energy efficiency and to decrease the risk of fire.
1. Inspect and service doors by cleaning and lubricating latches, hinges or replacing weatherstrippings as might be required.
2. Inspect and repair, if necessary, exterior caulking and finish around windows, doors, and siding.
3. Replace/clean, at least quarterly, furnace, heating and cooling system filters.
4. Re-tighten knobs and pulls on cabinets. Clean and lubricate drawer tracks and guides.
1. Inspect and test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Replace backup batteries as might be required.
2. Test (GFCI) ground fault circuit interrupters and (AFCI) arc fault breakers.
3. Inspect and maintain/clean gutters and downspouts. Runoff water must be directed away from the home.
4. Inspect attics and substructure areas for rodent droppings or other signs of pests or leaks/standing water, etc.
5. Prior to the beginning of the rainy season, test sump pumps for adequacy and function.
6. Look for moisture or decay, outside and inside the house, where flat surface decks and landings attach to the home. This is especially important if the landings do not have proper flashings.
7. Clean range hood fan grills and housings.
8. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust on coils behind the refrigerator/freezer.
1. Licensed contractor to inspect and service heating and air conditioning systems.
2. Professional contractor to inspect and service wood burning appliances and chimneys.
3. Seal any foundation cracks.
4. Inspect, clean and lubricate garage vehicle door tracks and test auto-reverse functions.
5. Clean and lubricate sliding glass door and window tracks.
6. Inspect exterior paint for cracking and wear. Repaint, caulk and seal as needed.
7. Reseal, as required, wood decks and landings.
8. Inspect, for water damage, pests or rot, any substructure and attic areas.
9. Inspect roof flashings, chimney caps, shingles.
10. Inspect outside electrical service lines for damage, exposed wires or proximity to tree limbs.
11. Inspect all supply hoses at sinks, toilets and washing machines.
12. Clean and repair caulking or grout in bathrooms or kitchens.
13. Clean bathroom exhaust fan blades and grills.
14. Inspect all electric cords and replace as needed.
15. Change water filters and have fresh water systems professionally serviced.
Tips for keeping drains clear:
1. Pour a pot of hot water down the drain once a week to help clear away fat or grease that may have built-up in the drain line or the P-trap.
2. If a drain is clogged, try pouring 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of white vinegar down the drain. Cover the drain and let the mixture sit for a few minutes. Then pour a pot of water down the drain.
General safety tips:
Ensure that you know where the following items are located:
1. Emergency contact telephone numbers.
2. Fire extinguishers and water hose pipes.
3. Heating gas/fuel main shutoff valve.
4. Main electrical disconnect circuit breaker(breaker box/service panel).
5. Main drain line clean-out.
6. Main water shut-off valve.
7. All window and door exits.
King of the House, Inc
Steven L. Smith, President