Pro Home & Diagnostic Inspections

Website: http://www.phdinspections.net
Email: mike@phdinspections.net
Phone: (651) 489-6527 · (651) 246-4943
FAX: (651) 204-6838
1365 Woodbridge Street 
St Paul, MN 55117
Inspector: Michael Kuczaboski

 

Building Diagnostic Analysis
Client(s): Sarah Worms and Phillip Magler
Property address: 2719 2nd Ave E
North St Paul, MN 55109
Inspection date: Wednesday, November 29, 2006
This report published on 11/30/2006 10:30:07 AM CST

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This report is the exclusive property of this inspection company and the client(s) listed in the report title. Use of this report by any unauthorized persons is prohibited.


How to Read this Report
This report is organized by the property's functional areas. Within each functional area, descriptive information is listed first and shown in bold type. Items of concern follow descriptive information and are shown as follows:
SafetyPoses a risk of injury or death 
Major defectCorrection likely involves a significant expense 
Repair/ReplaceRecommend repairing or replacing 
Repair/MaintainRecommend repair and/or maintenance 
MaintainRecommend ongoing maintenance 
EvaluateRecommend evaluation by a specialist 
MonitorRecommend monitoring in the future 
CommentFor your information 
Concern items are sorted by the types listed above.  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
Attic
Electric service
Water heater
Heating and cooling
Plumbing and laundry
Fireplaces, woodstoves and chimneys
Basement
Kitchen
Bathrooms
Interior rooms


General information Return to table of contents  
Report number: 061129/worms
Structures inspected: House , garage and workshop
Type of building: Single family
Age of building: 57
Property owner's name: Ronald Silbaugh
Time started: 10 am
Time finished: 12:30 pm
Inspection Fee: $275
Payment method: Check
Present during inspection: Client(s), Realtor(s) and Mark
Occupied: Yes
Weather conditions: Clear
Temperature: Cold 25 degrees
Ground condition: Damp
Front of structure faces: North
Main entrance faces: North
Foundation type: Finished basement
The following items are excluded from this inspection: Water softener system
1) Structures built prior to 1979 may contain lead-based paint and/or asbestos in various building materials such as insulation, siding, and/or floor and ceiling tiles. Both lead and asbestos are known health hazards. Evaluating for the presence of lead and/or asbestos is not included in this inspection. The client(s) should consult with specialists as necessary, such as industrial hygenists, professional labs and/or abatement contractors for this type of evaluation. For information on lead, asbestos and other hazardous materials in homes, visit these websites:
  • The Environmental Protection Association (http://www.epa.gov)
  • The Consumer Products Safety Commission (http://www.cpsc.gov)
  • The Center for Disease Control (http://www.cdc.gov)
  •  
    Exterior Return to table of contents  
    Footing material: Not visible
    Foundation material: Concrete block
    Apparent wall structure: Wood frame
    Wall covering: Vinyl
    Driveway material: Asphalt
    Sidewalk material: Poured in place concrete
    Exterior door material: Solid core steel
    2) Recommend replace/install ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) electric receptacles all exterior areas. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of fire and/or shock. A qualified electrician should evaluate and make repairs as necessary.
    3) The driveway has significant cracks and/or deterioration in one or more areas. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair or replace driveway sections as necessary.

    Photo 2  
    Asphalt driveway east side front. Asphalts cracked and pulled away from foundation leaving easy access for water intrusion to basement. Owner stated that there is drain tile around perimeter of foundation with sump and pump. Recommend sealer/caulk as added precaution.
     
    4) The driveway is sloped towards the structure or has one or more low spots where drain(s) should be installed. A qualified contractor should evaluate and install drains and drain lines where necessary.
    5) One or more driveway drains appear to be inadequate and may not keep water away from the structure or prevent water from ponding. A qualified contractor should evaluate and make repairs as necessary, such as replacing and/or installing additional drains.
    6) One or more gutters are poorly sloped so that significant amounts of water accumulate in them rather than draining through the downspouts. This can cause gutters to overflow, especially when organic debris such as leaves or needles have accumulated in them. A qualified contractor should evaluate and make repairs as necessary, such as correcting the slope in gutters or installing additional downspouts and extensions if necessary.
    7) One or more large trees are very close the foundation. Tree roots can cause significant structural damage to foundations. Recommend having a qualified tree service contractor or arborist remove trees as necessary to prevent damage to the structure's foundation.
    8) One or more fence gates are difficult to open, close and/or latch, or are damaged and/or deteriorated. Repairs should be made as necessary, and by a qualified contractor if necessary, so gates operate easily.
    9) The perimeter grading slopes towards the structure in one or more areas. This can result in water accumulating around the structure's foundation, or in basements and crawl spaces if they exist. Accumulated water is a conducive condition to wood destroying insects and organisms. Wet soil may also cause the foundation to settle and possibly fail over time. Recommend grading soil so it slopes down and away from the structure with a slope of at least 5% (10% or better is optimal) for at least 6 feet.

    Photo 5  
    Soil within 6" of siding. Regrade to slope away from foundation for proper drainage on all sides of structure where needed.
     
    10) One or more downspouts are loose or detached. This can result in water accumulating around the structure's foundation, or in basements and crawl spaces if they exist. Accumulated water is a conducive condition to wood destroying insects and organisms, and may also cause the foundation to settle and possibly fail over time. Repairs should be made as necessary so downspouts are securely anchored and functional.
    11) One or more downspouts have no extensions, or have extensions that are ineffective. This can result in water accumulating around the structure's foundation, or in basements and crawl spaces if they exist. Accumulated water is a conducive condition to wood destroying insects and organisms, and may also cause the foundation to settle and possibly fail over time. Repairs should be made as necessary, such as installing or repositioning splash blocks, or installing and/or repairing tie-ins to underground drain lines, so rain water is carried at least several feet away from the structure to soil that slopes down and away from the structure.

    Photo 10  
    Missing downspout and extension front entry
     
    12) Soil is in contact with or less than six inches from siding and/or trim. This is a conducive condition for wood destroying insects and organisms. Soil should be graded and/or removed as necessary so there are at least six inches of space between the siding and trim and the soil below.
    13) One or more outside faucets were not evaluated due to their being winterized, and are excluded from this inspection.
     
    Roof Return to table of contents  
    Roof inspection method: Traversed
    Roof type: Gable
    Roof covering: Asphalt or fiberglass composition shingles
    Estimated age of roof: 6 Years
    Gutter & downspout material: Aluminum, Plastic
    Roof ventilation: Adequate
    14) Debris has accumulated in one or more gutters. This is a conducive condition for wood destroying insects since gutters may overflow and cause water to come in contact with the structure's exterior or make water accumulate around the foundation. Gutters should be cleaned now and as necessary in the future.
    15) 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.

    Photo 10  
    Missing downspout and extension front entry
     
     
    Garage Return to table of contents  
    16) 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
    17) Non-metallic sheathed wiring is routed in one or more areas so it is subject to damage, such as on wall or ceiling surfaces. The insulation can be damaged by objects coming in contact with it and/or it being repeatedly moved. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock and fire. A qualified electrician should evaluate and repair as necessary. For example, rewire using conduit, or re-routing through wall cavities.
    18) Exterior entrance door is of hollow-core construction rather than solid core. This may represent a security hazard since these doors are easily broken especially in its damaged and/or deteriorated condition and should be replaced with solid core door by a qualified contractor.

    Photo 8  
    Garage entry hollow core door recommend replacing with solid core.
     
    19) Recommend ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) electric receptacles to be installed all exterior areas. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of fire and/or shock. A qualified electrician should evaluate and make repairs as necessary.
    20) Garage wall south side adjacent to alley is bowed and appears to have significantly settled and footing failure possibly do in part to installing at an improper depth above frost line and/or soil erosion from water runoff from roof with no gutter. Recommend having a qualified licensed contractor evaluate and make repairs/replace as necessary.

    Photo 4  
    Garage south wall bowed and severely settled. Failed footing. Recommend qualified licensed contractor to evaluate, repair or replace.

    Photo 7  
    Garage slab severe settlement and wide crackes.
    South wall failed footing.
    21) Exterior entrance door is damaged and/or deteriorated and should be repaired or replaced by a qualified contractor.
     
    Attic Return to table of contents  
    Inspection method: Viewed from hatch
    Roof structure type: Rafters
    Ceiling structure: Ceiling beams
    Insulation material: Mineral wool loose fill
    Insulation depth: 12"
    Insulation estimated R value: 42
    22) Some wiring is non-metallic sheathed wiring and exposed at hatch area. A qualified, licensed electrician should evaluate and repair as necessary.

    Photo 12  
    Exposed romex wiring to close to hatch entrance to attic.
     
    23) Some attic areas were inaccessible due to lack of permanently installed walkways, the possibility of damage to loose fill insulation, and/or low height. These areas are excluded from this inspection.

    Photo 11  
    Adequate 12" of insulation in attic
     
     
    Electric service Return to table of contents  
    Primary service type: Overhead
    Primary service overload protection type: Circuit breakers
    Service amperage (amps): 100
    Service voltage (volts): 120/240
    Location of main service switch: Basement laundry room south wall.
    Location of sub panels: Garage and work shop.
    Location of main disconnect: Breaker at top of main service panel
    Service entrance conductor material: Aluminum
    System ground: Cold water supply pipes
    Main disconnect rating (amps): 100
    Branch circuit wiring type: Copper
    Solid strand aluminum branch circuit wiring present: No
    Smoke detectors present: Yes
    Water heater Return to table of contents  
    Estimated age: 2 years
    Type: Tank
    Energy source: Natural gas
    Capacity (in gallons): 40
    Heating and cooling Return to table of contents  
    Estimated age: 2 Years
    Primary heating system energy source: Natural gas
    Primary heat system type: Forced air
    Primary A/C energy source: Electric
    Primary Air conditioning type: Split system
    Distribution system: Sheet metal ducts
    Filter location: At the base of the furnace
    24) The last service date of this system appears to be more than one year ago, or the inspector was unable to determine the last service date. The client(s) should ask the property owner(s) when it was last serviced. If unable to determine the last service date, or if this system was serviced more than one year ago, a qualified heating and cooling contractor should inspect, clean, and service this system, and make repairs if necessary. For safety reasons, and because this system is fueled by gas or oil, this servicing should be performed annually in the future. For more information visit: http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PREREL/prhtml05/05017.html
    25) The estimated useful life for air conditioning compressors is 8 to 15 years. This unit appears to be approaching this age and may need replacing at any time. Recommend budgeting for a replacement in the near future.
    26) The outside condensing unit is not level. Damage may occur if it is more than ten degrees off from level. Appears to have pulled copper tubing, blocking access to disconnect. A qualified contractor should evaluate and make repairs as necessary, such as replacing the pad that the condensing unit is installed on.

    Photo 9  
    AC copper tubing blocking easy access to disconnect.
     
    27) Air handler filter(s) should be checked monthly in the future and replaced or washed as necessary.
    28) The outdoor air temperature was below 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the inspection. Because of this, the inspector was unable to operate and fully evaluate the cooling system.
    29) Adequate supply of combustion and/or dilution air provided to furnace with flexible duct. Recommend terminating duct into a 5 gallon bucket.

    Photo 13  
    Have fresh air duct terminate into a 5 gallon bucket
     
     
    Plumbing and laundry Return to table of contents  
    Water pressure (psi): 65
    Location of main water shut-off valve: Basement north wall in rec room.
    Location of main water meter: Basement north wall in rec room.
    Location of main fuel shut-off: Basement north wall in rec room.
    Water service: Public
    Service pipe material: Not visible
    Supply pipe material: Galvanized steel
    Vent pipe material: Galvanized steel
    Drain pipe material: Cast iron
    Waste pipe material: Cast iron
    30) No ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection device is visible for the sump pump electric supply. A qualified electrician should determine if a GFCI protection device (receptacle or circuit breaker) exists for the sump pump and install one if missing to reduce the danger of electric shock.
    31) The sump pump's power supply appears to be on a circuit shared with other receptacles or fixtures. Sump pumps should be on a dedicated circuit so it doesn't stop working when other equipment malfunctions. A qualified electrician should evaluate and make repairs as necessary.
    32) The inspector was unable to test the sump pump for one or more reasons (no source of water, appeared unsafe, no power, etc.). The sump pump was not fully evaluated.
    33) A sump pump is installed on the premises. This may indicate that water accumulates inside or below the structure. Recommend asking the property owners how often the sump pump operates and for how long at different times of the year. Also, the clients should be aware that the service life of most sump pumps is between five and seven years, and that the pump may need replacing soon depending on its age and how much it operates.
    34) Neither the clothes washer nor dryer were operated or evaluated. They are excluded from this inspection.
     
    Fireplaces, woodstoves and chimneys Return to table of contents  
    Chimney type: Masonry
    35) The masonry chimney's mortar is deteriorated and should be repaired to prevent further, significant deterioration. Recommend having a qualified chimney service contractor or mason evaluate chimney and repair as necessary. This will likely require repointing the mortar.

    Photo 6  
    Loose mortar and cracked concrete cap. Repoint and caulk as needed.
     
     
    Basement Return to table of contents  
    Insulation material underneath floor above: None visible
    Pier or support post material: Steel
    Beam material: Steel
    Floor structure above: Solid wood joists
    36) One or more open ground, three-pronged electric receptacles were found. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. A qualified electrician should evaluate and make repairs as necessary. For example, replacing receptacles or correcting wiring circuits.

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

  • Computer hardware
  • Refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Air conditioners
  • Clothes washers
  • Clothes dryers
  • Dishwashers
  • Kitchen food waste disposer
  • 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.
  • 37) Basement flight of stair with more than two risers has 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.
     
    Kitchen Return to table of contents  
    38) One or more electric receptacles that serve countertop 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 countertop surfaces within six feet of sinks have GFCI protection. For example, install GFCI receptacles or circuit breaker(s) as needed.

    Photo 14  
    Install GFIC outlet.
     
    39) Caulk is missing and/or deteriorated where countertops meet backsplashes in wet areas, such as around sinks. Caulk should be replaced where deteriorated and/or applied where missing to prevent water damage.
     
    Bathrooms Return to table of contents  
    40) One or more ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) electric receptacles did not trip when tested with the inspector's test instrument. These devices should trip when tested with a test instrument in addition to tripping via the test buttons on the receptacles. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. A qualified electrician should evaluate and repair as necessary.
    41) Caulk is missing or deteriorated around basement shower surround. It should be replaced where deteriorated and/or applied where missing to prevent water intrusion and damage to the wall structure.
    42) Recommend cleaning and sealing grout in tile or stone flooring now and in the future as necessary to prevent staining and to improve waterproofing.
     
    Interior rooms Return to table of contents  
    43) Two-pronged electric receptacles rather than three-pronged, grounded receptacles are installed in one or more interior rooms. They are considered to be unsafe by today's standards and limit the ability to use appliances that require a ground in these rooms. Examples of appliances that require grounded receptacles include:

  • Computer hardware
  • Refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Air conditioners
  • Clothes washers
  • Clothes dryers
  • Dishwashers
  • Kitchen food waste disposer
  • 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. A qualified electrian should evaluate and install grounded receptacles as per the client(s)' needs and standard building practices.
  • 44) Based on the age of this structure and the appearance of existing smoke alarms, the alarms may be older than 10 years old. According to National Fire Protection Association, aging smoke alarms don't operate as efficiently and often are the source for nuisance alarms. Older smoke alarms are estimated to have a 30% probability of failure within the first 10 years. Newer smoke alarms do better, but should be replaced after 10 years. Unless you know that the smoke alarms are new, replacing them when moving into a new residence is also recommended by NFPA. For more information, visit this article: NFPA urges replacing home smoke alarms after 10 years.
    45) Batteries in all the smoke alarms should be replaced after taking occupancy, and annually in the future. "Chirping" noises emitted from smoke alarms typically indicate that batteries need replacing. For more information, visit http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5077.html
    46) This structure was built prior to 1979 and may contain lead paint. Laws were enacted in 1978 in the US preventing the use of lead paint in residential structures. Lead is a known safety hazard, especially to children but also to adults. The paint found in and around this structure appeared to be intact and may be encapsulated by more recent layers of paint that are not lead-based. Regardless, recommend following precautions as described in the following links to Consumer Products Safety Commission website articles regarding possible lead paint.

    What You Should Know About Lead Based Paint in Your Home: Safety Alert - CPSC Document #5054

    CPSC Warns About Hazards of "Do lt Yourself" Removal of Lead Based Paint: Safety Alert - CPSC Document #5055
    47) Lock mechanisms on one or more windows are missing and/or damaged so that they are inoperable. Repairs should be made by a qualified contractor or service technician so that windows lock and unlock easily.
    48) Glass in one or more windows is broken. A qualified contractor should replace glass where necessary.
    49) Screen(s) in one or more windows are torn or have holes in them. Screens should be replaced where necessary.

    Photo 16  
    Some missing screens, broken glass and binding frames on at least 4 exterior storms. Recommend repair or replace.
     
     

    Photo 3  
    East side of workshop. Slope will be problematic for proper water drainage away from slab. Recommend drain tile to divert water.

    Photo 15  
    Recommend having electrician install additional outlets

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