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||Recommendation that enhances safety. Not necessarily urgent but, in some instances, it could be|
|Replace-Repair||Plan on replacing, or repairing, with work to be done by qualified parties|
|Repair-Maintain||Recommended repair that may involve ongoing upkeep. Work to be completed by qualified parties|
|Review-Evaluate||Qualified professional to service-repair-evaluate. Or, as applicable, clients to evaluate information and determine their level of concern|
|Maintenance-Service (repair)||Requires maintenance, professional service or repair|
|Onsite notes||Inspector's onsite observations, comments or suggestions|
|Informational||Informational comment, but might include recommendations for small repairs or upgrades|
|Infestation||Evidence of the presence of, or damage from, wood destroying insects|
|Damage||Deterioration, damage or rot as a result of weather exposure or 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
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 carportTime started:
1:30PMPresent during inspection:
YesAge of building:
50 yearsMain entrance faces:
Cold, near freezing temperaturesGround condition:
Damp, partially frozen, minimal snow
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 noted, I recommend correcting any such problems. The WSDA inspection control number, assigned to this inspection, is at the top of the report.
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.
Site and Exterior
Concrete blockApparent wall structure:
Wood frameWall covering:
Wood shingles; T1-11 laminated wood panelsExterior trim:
WoodExterior door material:
Solid core wood 2x; sliding glass, aluminum 1xWindows:
Single pane, woodFront porch/landing, etc:
ConcreteSecondary porch(s)/landing(s), etc:
Concrete (north); Concrete patio (back)Driveway material:
Poured in place concreteSidewalk material:
Poured in place concreteGutter/downspout material:
Wood gutters; Galvanized steel downspouts
The old wood gutters are rotted, leaking and loose. Metal downspouts are rusted and leaking as well. I recommend having a qualified contractor install new gutters and downspouts. Also, I suggest 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. I recommend that a qualified general contractor 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. I 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. I 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 deemed to be necessary. Work to be done by qualified parties.
Broken pane, south
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. I recommend 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. I recommend cutting back 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, cut vegetation completely back from the roof, or prune the vegetation so as to end 10' to 12' above the roof. The suggested 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. I recommend locating and removing all decayed wood, replace with sound material. Work to be done by a qualified party such as a general contractor.
Rot, wood at carport
The carport roof has failed and is in the same condition as the roof at the home. I recommend replacing this roof when the deteriorated house roof is replaced.
Gutters/downspouts: As was the situation at the home, the wood gutters at the attached carport have decayed and there are leaks. I recommend replacing these gutters and downspouts.
Roof inspection method:
Viewed from eaves while standing on a ladderRoof type:
Sloped 4/12 to 5/12 approxRoof covering:
Wood shakesEstimated age of roof:
30 yearsRoof 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. I recommend repairs/alterations, as might be required, with work to be done by a qualified chimney contractor or a mason.
The shake roof is beyond its 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. I recommend tear-off and replacement. 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.
TraversedRoof structure type:
Ceiling joistsRoof/attic ventilation:
See the "roof" section of the reportInsulation material:
Mineral wool loose fillInsulation estimated R value:
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. I recommend repair, work to be completed 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-49. I 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:
OverheadElectric Meter Size:
100-175 AmpPrimary service overload protection type:
Circuit breakersMake of panel:
Federal PacificLocation of main disconnect:
NoneEarth grounding electrode verified:
YesService conductor material:
CopperService amperage (amps):
125 ampService voltage (volts):
120-240Actual on-site service voltage read at 120V circuit (calculated at 240V circuit):
121-242Location of main service panel:
Carport south wallBranch circuit wiring type:
Non-metallic sheathed; Knob and tubeSigns of solid strand aluminum branch circuit wiring visible (Commonly used from 1965-1978):
NoAFCI breakers (protection against fires in bedrooms) installed:
No, recommended at bedroom receptacles and lightsGFCI 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://youtu.be/Gn0NjKKAcVc
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. I 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 onsite. 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.)
An exposed/bare light bulb was mounted at the ceiling over the bathtub-shower. Any bulb located less than 8 ft over the rim of a tub or the threshold of a shower stall must have a "wet location" rating -- typically approved fixtures are covered or enclosed
. I recommend electrician repair, install proper light fixture over tub-shower.
While they were not standard when the home was built, client should 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. 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.
10 yearsEnergy source:
Natural gasGas "on" to the water heater:
YesCapacity (in gallons):
40Make of water heater:
AO SmithWater shut-off valve:
YesFlexible gas line connectors:
No, flex connectors protect against damage to gas lines during a seismic eventFuel/gas shut-off valve at heating appliance:
YesFlame viewed at burner on gas/propane-fired water heater:
No, not accessible or verifiedTemperature pressure relief valve:
YesTemperature pressure relief valve drain line:
YesTemperature pressure relief valve drain line termination point visible:
YesSeismic straps or struts:
No, safety issue, consider installing proper strapsWater 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. I recommend hiring a plumber to install proper earthquake bracing. 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. In light of the safety hazard, and specific prescriptive guidelines for TPRV drain line installation, qualified plumbing contractor to repair. A short video, produced by King of the House Inc., on the topic of TPR valves and drain lines may be accessed at this link: http://youtu.be/iwCfEWvzYds
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. I recommend repair, work to be completed by an HVAC professional or a plumber.
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 its design life.
Heating and air conditioning
Heat system type:
Electric, fan-assisted, in-wall heatersA/C energy source:
The heaters operated when they were tested but the home has Cadet model FX in-wall heaters. These heaters 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. I recommend that a licensed electrician replace, further evaluate, the electric heaters. In general, clean electric heaters on a periodic basis. When cleaning heaters, first turn off, and lockout, breakers to heaters at the electric panel. Ascertain that all power is "off" prior to cleaning.
Recalled Cadet heater
Fireplaces and solid fuel burning appliances
Wood burning stove type:
Wood burning stove hearth is less than 18" deep to the combustible floor. This creates a risk of fire, as a result of falling embers, when the door to the fire chamber is opened. I 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 and creosote) are evident in the chimney up above and trash has been burned, obviously on a frequent basis, inside the wood burning stove. 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. The Level 2 inspection might reveal defects that were not apparent to the inspector who is a generalist. I recommend cleaning and further evaluation, Level 2 inspection, with work to be completed by a qualified chimney sweep. For detailed information on chimney inspections, please visit: http://www.kingofthehouse.com/blogs/Level2ChimneyInspections.htm
Plumbing and laundry
Gas meter location:
Exterior northLocation of main water shut-off valve:
N/W corner in crawlspaceWater service:
PublicService pipe material:
Not visible, below soilSupply pipe material:
CopperPlumbing vent stack(s) present:
YesVent pipe material:
Plastic, Cast ironDrain/waste pipe material:
Plastic, Cast ironWater pressure (normal is 40 to 80 psi):
60Water pressure reducer in system:
Not seen or verified by inspectorWater shutoff valves for sink(s):
YesProper P-traps present at sinks:
YesWater shut-off valves for toilet(s):
YesLocation of readily visible plumbing cleanout(s):
There is not an outside dryer vent hood. 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. I recommend installing a proper duct to the outside. Work to be completed, utilizing approved materials, by a qualified appliance installation 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. I recommend repair, installation of a proper drain, with work to be completed by a qualified plumber.
Copper water supply pipes under the house are insulated, or wrapped, with rolled-up newspapers. The newspapers are crumbling. I recommend wrapping supply pipes to protect them from freezing in cold weather.
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 its 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. I recommend further assessment, estimate of repair or replacement cost, work to be completed by a qualified plumber.
Crawl space pipes
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.
TraversedInsulation material (type) underneath floor above:
Fiberglass roll or batt (Typically R-11 to R-19)Footing material:
Poured concreteFoundation/stem wall material:
Concrete blockSupport post and pier materials:
Wood posts & concrete piersStructural components:
Joists and beams (wood)Beam material:
Solid woodFloor structure above:
Solid wood joistsVapor barrier present:
NoBolts present at sill/foundation:
NoCrawl space design/venting:
Unconditioned (ventilated) spaceFoundation vents at crawl space:
YesFoundation vents in crawl space open:
No, presently blocked by insulation on the insideLocation of crawl space hatch(s):
There is no plastic vapor barrier ground cover over 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. I recommend installing 6 mil black polyethylene with seams overlapped at least 24" so crawl space soil is covered. Hold plastic down with stones or bricks, not wood. Work to be completed by qualified party.
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. The built-in hollow channels should be vertically positioned. When channels are placed horizontally, a block has little strength and the concrete may be crushed. Whether or not this will become a problem depends on distribution of the load and future seismic events. As a precaution, I recommend repair, re-installing block. Work to be done by licensed general contractor. To see an example of an improperly positioned block, that was damaged at the time of a seismic event, please follow this link: http://www.kingofthehouse.com/_p/blocks.jpg
Block incorrectly installed
The door over the crawlspace entry is decayed. I recommend door replacement. New door to be made of metal or a cement-based materials 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, I 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. A short video, produced by King of the House Inc., on the topic of carpenter ants may be accessed at this link: http://youtu.be/mJ0WeumpF9U
Distinctive frass and carpenter ants under insulation
Wood scraps have been discarded in the crawl space. To avoid attracting wood destroying organisms, I recommend removing and disposing of all non-structural cellulose materials including cardboard.
Crawl space vent screen(s) are blocked by underfloor insulation. To establish cross-ventilation, I recommend pulling back the insulation so the vents are all 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.
Carpet, HardwoodSmoke detectors present:
No -- install smoke detectorsCarbon monoxide alarms present:
Smoke detectors: There are no smoke detectors on premises. I 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. The gap has been plugged with a paper towel. This deficiency can allow moisture entry into the wall. Repair accordingly, work to be done by a general contractor.
The refrigerator/freezer is Amana brand. It was inspected. Results:
Interior damage to shelves, torn gasket at refrigerator. I 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 odors into the home. The bath sink (pop-up) stopper is nonfunctional. Plumber to further assess issues and repair accordingly. For information on S-trap deficiencies, 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. An approved carbon monoxide (CO) alarm should be installed outside each separate sleeping area. These devices may be portable plug-in type, hardwired or built into smoke detectors. I recommend installing a suitable number of CO alarms.
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 and the window is "fixed" -- does not open. I recommend installation of an exhaust fan so as to vent steam and humidity from baths and showers to the outdoors.
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, I recommend that buyer ascertain prior to closing that the interior -- floor coverings, cabinets, cupboards, etc -- meet with personal expectations.
No dishwasher on premises.
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
(360) 676-6908 www.kingofthehouse.com