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Website: http://www.vertexinspect.com
Email: alan@vertexinspect.com
Inspector's email: alan@vertexinspect.com
Phone: (571) 765-1515
10409 Sorrell Dr 
Manassas VA 20110-2752
Inspector: Alan Steinmetz
InterNACHI Member #: NACHI14031701 ASHI member #: 259108

 

Property Inspection Report

Client(s):  John and Jane Smith
Property address:  123 Main St
Anywhere, VA 54321
Inspection date:  Friday, January 15, 2016

This report published on Thursday, February 25, 2016 12:13:16 PM EST

Thank you for choosing Vertex Home Inspection LLC. We strive to exceed your every expectation. If there are ever any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to call. This report is the exclusive property of Vertex Home Inspection LLC and the client(s) listed in the report title. Use of this report by any unauthorized persons is prohibited.






How to Read this Report
This report is organized by the property's functional areas.  Within each functional area, descriptive information is listed first and is shown in bold type.  Items of concern follow descriptive information. Concerns are shown and sorted according to these types:
Concern typeSafetyPoses a safety hazard
Concern typeMajor defectCorrection likely involves a significant expense
Concern typeRepair/ReplaceRecommend repairing or replacing
Concern typeRepair/MaintainRecommend repair and/or maintenance
Concern typeMaintainRecommend ongoing maintenance
Concern typeEvaluateRecommend evaluation by a specialist
Concern typeCommentFor your information
Concern typeConducive conditionsConditions conducive for wood destroying insects or organisms (Wood-soil contact, shrubs in contact with siding, roof or plumbing leaks, etc.)

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

Table of Contents
General Information
Grounds
Exterior and Foundation
Roof
Attic and Roof Structure
Basement
Electric
Plumbing / Fuel Systems
Water Heater
Heating, Ventilation and Air Condition (HVAC)
Fireplaces, Stoves, Chimneys and Flues
Kitchen
Bathrooms, Laundry and Sinks
Interior, Doors and Windows


General Information
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Report number: 021716AS
Time started: 1430
Time finished: 1800
Present during inspection: Client, Realtor
Client present for discussion at end of inspection: Yes
Weather conditions during inspection: Dry (no rain)
Temperature during inspection: Cold
Type of building: Single family
Buildings inspected: One house
Age of main building: 43
Source for main building age: Municipal records or property listing
Occupied: No

1) Structures built prior to the mid 1980s may contain lead and/or asbestos. Lead is commonly found in paint and in some plumbing components. The EPA does not recognize newer coats of paint as encapsulating older coats of lead-based paint. Asbestos is commonly found in various building materials such as insulation, siding, and/or floor and ceiling tiles. Laws were passed in 1978 to prohibit usage of lead and asbestos, but stocks of materials containing these substances remained in use for a number of years thereafter. Both lead and asbestos are known health hazards. Evaluating for the presence of lead and/or asbestos is beyond the scope of this inspection. Any mention of these materials in this report is made as a courtesy only, and meant to refer the client to a specialist. Consult with specialists as necessary, such as industrial hygienists, professional labs and/or abatement specialists for this type of evaluation. For information on lead, asbestos and other hazardous materials in homes, visit:
http://www.reporthost.com/?EPA
http://www.reporthost.com/?CPSC
http://www.reporthost.com/?CDC

2) Based on substandard construction observed (specifically in the basement), additions and/or modifications to this property may have been made without the owner having attained permits or inspections from the municipality. Work may have been performed by someone other than a qualified contractor or person. Consult with the property owner about this, and if necessary research permits.

At worst case, if substantial work was performed without permits, this knowledge must be disclosed when the building is sold in the future. This can adversely affect future sales. Also, the local municipality could require costly alterations to bring the building into legal compliance or even require that the additions or modifications be removed.

Grounds
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Limitations: Unless specifically included in the inspection, the following items and any related equipment, controls, electric systems and/or plumbing systems are excluded from this inspection: detached buildings or structures; fences and gates; retaining walls; underground drainage systems, catch basins or concealed sump pumps; swimming pools and related safety equipment, spas, hot tubs or saunas; whether deck, balcony and/or stair membranes are watertight; trees, landscaping, properties of soil, soil stability, erosion and erosion control; ponds, water features, irrigation or yard sprinkler systems; sport courts, playground, recreation or leisure equipment; areas below the exterior structures with less than 3 feet of vertical clearance; invisible fencing; sea walls, docks and boathouses; retractable awnings. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only.
Site profile: Steep slope
Condition of driveway: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Driveway material: Poured in place concrete
Condition of sidewalks and/or patios: Appeared serviceable
Sidewalk material: Poured in place concrete
Condition of deck, patio and/or porch covers: Required repairs, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Deck, patio, porch cover material and type: Covered (Refer to Roof section)
Condition of decks, porches and/or balconies: Appeared serviceable
Deck, porch and/or balcony material: Wood
Condition of stairs, handrails and guardrails: Appeared serviceable
Exterior stair material: Wood

3) There was a significant amount of debris in the back yard, including a paint can lid, a piece of carpet, a large amount of broken glass throughout the yard, a shattered light bulb, rotting wood, and beverage cans. This is extremely dangerous to people and pets and should be thoroughly searched and all debris removed.
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4) The front porch cover was supported by a beam with significant wood rot on the top of it. As a result the joists supporting the roof above were uneven causing a wave like pattern in the roof area. It appears that an attempt at repairs has been made, but the workmanship is substandard and the beam is still deteriorating. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair as required to ensure the long term structural integrity of this area.
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5) The fence in the back yard is leaning at the gate. The gate does not close properly as a result. A qualified person should repair as required.
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6) Conducive conditions Soil was in contact with or too close to wooden deck substructures. This is a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms. Clearances to soil should be as follows:
  • 12 inches below beams
  • 18 inches below joists
  • 6 inches below support post bases and other wood components
Pressure treated wood is typically rated for 25 year contact with soil, but the cut ends hidden below grade may not have been treated and can rot quickly. Support posts should be elevated above grade on concrete piers or footings, and be separated from the concrete by metal brackets or an impermeable membrane such as shingle scraps. For other components, soil should be graded and/or removed to maintain these clearances if possible. Otherwise, replacing non-treated wood with treated wood, or installing borate-based products such as Impel rods may help to prevent infestation and damage. For more information, visit:
http://www.reporthost.com/?IMPEL
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7) There was a large crack running across the lower portion of the driveway. In addition, the initial ramp up to the driveway has an excessive slope and can cause vehicles to scrape when turning in or departing. Recommend that qualified contractor repair as necessary.

Exterior and Foundation
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Limitations: The inspector performs a visual inspection of accessible components or systems at the exterior. Items excluded from this inspection include below-grade foundation walls and footings; foundations, exterior surfaces or components obscured by vegetation, stored items or debris; wall structures obscured by coverings such as siding or trim. Some items such as siding, trim, soffits, vents and windows are often high off the ground, and may be viewed using binoculars from the ground or from a ladder. This may limit a full evaluation. Regarding foundations, some amount of cracking is normal in concrete slabs and foundation walls due to shrinkage and drying. Note that the inspector does not determine the adequacy of seismic reinforcement.
Wall inspection method: Viewed from ground
Condition of wall exterior covering: Appeared serviceable
Apparent wall structure: Wood frame
Wall covering: Vinyl
Condition of foundation and footings: Required repairs, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Apparent foundation type: Finished basement
Foundation/stem wall material: Concrete block
Footing material (under foundation stem wall): Not determined (inaccessible or obscured)

8) Conducive conditions The attached shed in the rear of the home has multiple issues as follows:
  • There is significant wood rot in many of the shed's components including the flooring, fascia board, thresholds, and trim
  • The roof is well beyond its lifespan and covered in moss.
  • The wood footing is in contact with the soil below and provides a pathway for wood destroying organisms under the home
  • There is NM type electrical wiring (romex) that is exposed and subject to damage, not rated for outdoor use, and improperly secured. This wiring should be protected with outdoor rated conduit.
  • The metal chimney is in too close proximity to the combustible roof (1 in clearance required with proper flashing)

In light of the numerous issues as well as the poor overall condition, the most prudent and economical course of action would be for a qualified contractor to remove the shed and substandard wiring, and secure the electrical outlet in an approved outdoor cover.

The alternative would be to have the entire structure evaluated by a qualified general contractor and each of the issues repaired by their respective trades. All rotten wood should be replaced, a proper foundation should be poured, the electrical work should be rewired by a qualified electrical contractor, The roof should be replaced and properly sloped, and the interior structure should be cleaned and preserved. Further damage will likely be found when rotten components are removed.
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Photo 8-1
Wood Rot from contact with vegetation and moisture intrusion
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Photo 8-2
Apparent microbial growth and damaged shelving
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Wood Rot, Microbial Growth, Damaged flooring
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Photo 8-4
Soil contact between the homes foundation and the shed. This is a habitat for wood destroying organisms
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Damaged wood and unsecured exposed NM wiring
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Added unprotected wiring to original electrical outlet
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Chimney in contact with combustible materials
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Rotting wood, improper repair of previous door
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Wood rot in the exterior lower portion of the shed
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Damaged shingles and moss growth
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9) Conducive conditions Flashing at one or more locations was missing. Leaks can occur as a result. Recommend that a qualified person repair, replace or install flashing as necessary, and per standard building practices.
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Photo 9-1
 

10) Conducive conditions The flooring in the freestanding shed in the backyard has significant wood rot and a couple rodent nests. This can cause failure of the structure and also serves as a habitat for rodents and wood destroying organisms. This shed should be removed, or all of the flooring replaced and treated by a pest professional. Further evaluation of structural components may be needed as well when the flooring is removed
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Nest and Dead Mouse
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Damaged Flooring
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11) Fungal rot was found at multiple window sills and/or window frames. Conducive conditions for rot should be corrected (e.g. wood-soil contact, reverse perimeter slope). Recommend that a qualified contractor repair as necessary. All rotten wood should be replaced.
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upper and lower windows
 

12) There were multiple defects pointing to a structural concern that needs further evaluation in the foundation.
  1. Moderate cracks (1/8 inch - 3/4 inch) were found on the side of the foundation.
  2. There was a moderate drop (approximately 1 inch) in the flooring in the middle of the home, where the foundation shifts to the basement.
  3. The basement door (in line with the other indications) has shifted and the door does not properly close in the frame
  4. There was evidence of horizontal cracking in the wall around the same frame that had been repaired
  5. There is a shift in the roof line across this same area
  6. There is evidence of shifting in the concrete block under the stairs directly below the drop in the floor
  7. The subflooring in the back bedrooms is slightly uneven and has squeaks in multiple areas
This may be a structural concern or an indication that settlement is ongoing. The client should consider hiring qualified contractors and/or engineers as necessary for further evaluation. Such contractors may include:
  • Structural engineers who determine if repairs are necessary, and prescribe those repairs
  • Geotechnical engineers who attempt to determine if settlement is ongoing, and the cause of the settlement
  • Foundation repair contractors who may prescribe repairs, and will give cost estimates for such repairs
At a minimum, each of these items should be addressed individually by a qualified contractor and repaired to current building standards.
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Photo 12-1
Cracks in masonry foundation
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Shift in roof line
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Drop in sub-flooring
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Concrete Block under stairs
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Photo 12-5
Minor shift in concrete block under the stairs
 

13) Conducive conditions Vines and other similar vegetation were in contact with or close to the building exterior on all sides of the home. There were multiple areas that appeared to have had vines removed, but there was still vegetiation present under the siding. The full extent of this growth can not be determined visually.

Vegetation can serve as a pathway for wood-destroying insects and can retain moisture against the exterior after it rains. This is a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms, moisture intrusion, and wood decay. Recommend pruning, moving, or removing vegetation as necessary to maintain at least 6 inches of space between it and the building exterior. A 1-foot clearance is better. All vegitation should be removed from under the siding.
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14) Conducive conditions Trees were close to the building and hanging over the roof at multiple locations. Damage to the building can occur, especially during high winds, or may have already occurred (see other comments in this report). Recommend that a qualified tree service contractor or certified arborist trim or remove trees as necessary to prevent damage to the building exterior.
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Roof
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Limitations: The following items or areas are not included in this inspection: areas that could not be traversed or viewed clearly due to lack of access; solar roofing components. Any comments made regarding these items are made as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not provide an estimate of remaining life on the roof surface material, nor guarantee that leaks have not occurred in the roof surface, skylights or roof penetrations in the past. Regarding roof leaks, only active leaks, visible evidence of possible sources of leaks, and evidence of past leaks observed during the inspection are reported on as part of this inspection. The inspector does not guarantee or warrant that leaks will not occur in the future. Complete access to all roof and attic spaces during all seasons and during prolonged periods of all types of weather conditions (e.g. high wind and rain, melting snow) would be needed to do so. Occupants should monitor the condition of roofing materials in the future. For older roofs, recommend that a professional inspect the roof surface, flashings, appurtenances, etc. annually and maintain/repair as might be required. If needed, the roofer should enter attic space(s). Regarding the roof drainage system, unless the inspection was conducted during and after prolonged periods of heavy rain, the inspector was unable to determine if gutters, downspouts and extensions perform adequately or are leak-free.
Roof inspection method: Viewed from eaves on ladder
Condition of roof surface material: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Roof surface material: Asphalt or fiberglass composition shingles
Roof type: Gable
Apparent number of layers of roof surface material: One
Condition of exposed flashings: Appeared serviceable
Condition of gutters, downspouts and extensions: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)

15) Conducive conditions The roof surface was significantly deteriorated and appeared to be at or beyond its service life. There is significant algae and moss growth as well as multiple substandard repairs. This is a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms. Consult with a qualified contractor to determine replacement options. Note that some structural repairs are often needed after old roof surfaces are removed and the structure becomes fully visible. Much of the sheathing shows signs of moisture damage and deterioration underneath as well. Related roofing components such as flashings and vents should be replaced or installed as needed and per standard building practices.
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16) Conducive conditions Gutters on both sides of the home had multiple defects.
  • The gutter over the main entrance had fallen off of the mounts. The mounts also appeared to be pulling out of the wood and hung with substandard screws. Nails were coming out of the adjacent gutter sections
  • The gutter on the fenced side of the house is too long to handle the full water flow from the roof through one downspout. In addition, the slope of this gutter does not appear adequate for proper drainage in the current configuration. Standard building practices generally place a downspout for every 20-30 feet of gutter. This gutter should be pitched in the middle at an adequate slope with downspouts at each end. If proper drainage is needed for the runoff on the uphill side, there are multiple solutions including french drains, buried PVC, or any number of alternative extension methods.
  • The downspout extensions are currently inadequate. Rainwater should be able to flow freely at least 6 feet away from the foundation.

Without proper drainage rainwater can come in contact with the building exterior or accumulate around the foundation. This is a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms, and can cause damage to the foundation. Recommend that a qualified person repair as necessary. For example, by correcting the slope in gutters or installing additional downspouts and extensions.
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17) There appear to be 2 satellite dishes and 2 more mounting posts mounted to the roof. These can cause leaks at the roof penetration for the bolts if they are not kept properly sealed and maintained. There are also a large number of wires hanging off the roof here as well. Recommend removing the satellite dishes and brackets. Replace any damaged shingles to prevent further damage to the roof. If the dish must be installed a qualified person should evaluate and properly seal each roof penetration as required.
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Photo 17-1
 

18) Conducive conditions Debris has accumulated in the gutter on the fenced side of the house. This is due to excessive abandoned satellite wiring hanging over the gutter. Gutters can overflow and cause water to come in contact with the building exterior, or water can accumulate around the foundation. This is a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms. Recommend cleaning gutters now and as necessary in the future and removing all abandoned cable/satellite wiring.
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Photo 18-1
 

Attic and Roof Structure
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Limitations: The following items or areas are not included in this inspection: areas that could not be traversed or viewed clearly due to lack of access; areas and components obscured by insulation. Any comments made regarding these items are made as a courtesy only. The inspector does not determine the adequacy of the attic ventilation system. Complete access to all roof and attic spaces during all seasons and during prolonged periods of all types of weather conditions (e.g. high/low temperatures, high/low humidity, high wind and rain, melting snow) would be needed to do so. The inspector is not a licensed engineer and does not determine the adequacy of roof structure components such as trusses, rafters or ceiling beams, or their spacing or sizing.
Attic inspection method: Viewed from hatch(es)
Condition of roof structure: Appeared serviceable
Roof structure type: Trusses
Ceiling structure: Ceiling joists
Condition of insulation in attic (ceiling, skylight chase, etc.): Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Ceiling insulation material: Fiberglass loose fill
Approximate Average Depth of Insulation: 4-5
Approximate attic insulation R value (may vary in areas): R-15
Vermiculite insulation present: None visible
Vapor retarder: None visible
Condition of roof ventilation: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Roof ventilation type: Gable end vents

19) Conducive conditions One or more sections of the roof structure appeared to have substandard ventilation, there were too few vents. This can result in high attic and roof surface temperatures, reduce the life of the roof covering materials, and/or increase cooling costs. High levels of moisture are also likely to accumulate in the roof structure or attic, and can be a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms. Standard building practices require one free square foot of ventilation for every 150 square feet of attic space, and that vents be evenly distributed between the lowest points of the roof structure and the highest points to promote air circulation. Often this means that both soffit vents and ridge or gable end vents are installed. Recommend that a qualified contractor evaluate and repair per standard building practices.

20) The ceiling insulation installed in the attic appeared to have an R rating that's significantly less than current standards (R-38). The insulation is appropriate for the time the house was built however, heating and cooling costs will likely be higher than a more modern home due to poor energy efficiency. Recommend that a qualified contractor install insulation for better energy efficiency and per standard building practices.
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21) The attic access hatch was not insulated. Recommend installing insulation as necessary and per current standards for better energy efficiency. For more information, visit:
http://www.reporthost.com/?ATTACC

Basement
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Limitations: Structural components such as joists and beams, and other components such as piping, wiring and/or ducting that are obscured by under-floor insulation are also excluded from this inspection. Note that the inspector does not determine if support posts, columns, beams, joists, studs, trusses, etc. are of adequate size, spanning or spacing.

The inspector does not guarantee or warrant that water will not accumulate in the basement in the future. Access to the basement during all seasons and during prolonged periods of all types of weather conditions (e.g. heavy rain, melting snow) would be needed to do so. The inspector does not determine the adequacy of basement floor or stairwell drains, or determine if such drains are clear or clogged.

Note that all basement areas should be checked periodically for water intrusion, plumbing leaks and pest activity.
Condition of exterior entry doors: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Exterior door material: Sliding glass
Condition of floor substructure above: Appeared serviceable
Pier or support post material: Bearing wall
Condition of insulation underneath floor above: Not applicable, none installed

22) One or more exterior doors were difficult to open or close. Recommend that a qualified person repair as necessary.

Cleaning the track and repairing any damaged hardware (rollers, track, frame, etc...) should significantly improve performance
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Electric
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Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: generator systems, transfer switches, surge suppressors, inaccessible or concealed wiring; underground utilities and systems; low-voltage lighting or lighting on timers or sensors. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not determine the adequacy of grounding or bonding, if this system has an adequate capacity for the client's specific or anticipated needs, or if this system has any reserve capacity for additions or expansion. The inspector does not operate circuit breakers as part of the inspection, and does not install or change light bulbs. The inspector does not evaluate every wall switch or receptacle, but instead tests a representative number of them per various standards of practice. Receptacles that are not of standard 110 volt configuration, including 240-volt dryer receptacles, are not tested and are excluded. The inspector attempts to locate and evaluate all main and sub-panels. However, panels are often concealed. If panels are found after the inspection, a qualified electrician should evaluate and repair if necessary. The inspector attempts to determine the overall electrical service size, but such estimates are not guaranteed because the overall capacity may be diminished by lesser-rated components in the system. Any repairs recommended should be made by a licensed electrician.
Electric service condition: Appeared serviceable
Primary service type: Underground
Number of service conductors: Not determined (components inaccessible or obscured)
Service voltage (volts): 120-240
Estimated service amperage: 200
Primary service overload protection type: Circuit breakers
Service entrance conductor material: Not determined (components inaccessible or obscured)
Main disconnect rating (amps): 200
System ground: Cold water supply pipes
Condition of main service panel: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Location of main service panel #A: Laundry room, Basement
Location of main disconnect: Breaker at top of main service panel
Condition of branch circuit wiring: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Branch circuit wiring type: Non-metallic sheathed
Solid strand aluminum branch circuit wiring present: None visible
Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection present: Yes
Arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) protection present: No

23) None of the electric receptacles at the kitchen had no visible ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection, or the inspector was unable to determine if GFCI protection was present. If not GFCI-protected, receptacles in wet areas pose a shock hazard. Recommend that a qualified electrician evaluate and install GFCI protection if necessary and per standard building practices. General guidelines for GFCI-protected receptacles include the following locations:
  • Outdoors (since 1973)
  • Bathrooms (since 1975)
  • Garages (since 1978)
  • Kitchens (since 1987)
  • Crawl spaces and unfinished basements (since 1990)
  • Wet bar sinks (since 1993)
  • Laundry and utility sinks (since 2005)
For more information, visit:
http://www.reporthost.com/?GFCI

The fact that there has been a remodel generally requires that the electrical systems are updated in the areas remodeled.

24) Panel(s) #A had inadequate working space. This is a safety hazard when opening or working in panels. Electric panels should have the following clearances:
  • An open area 30 inches wide by 3 feet deep in front of the panel
  • 6 feet 6 inches of headroom in front of the panel
  • The wall below the panel is clear to the floor
  • The center of the grip of the operating handle of the switch or circuit breaker not more than 6 feet 7 inches above the floor or working platform
Recommend that a qualified contractor repair or make modifications per standard building practices. If panels must be opened for repairs, then a qualified electrician should perform repairs.

There is a wall for the closet built in the basement bedroom that is covering the right half of the panel. The panel cannot be opened, and the interior of the panel is excluded from the inspection as a result.

There is also a Clothes dryer below the panel. Either the panel should be moved, or the closet should be rebuilt to allow the required 30 inches on the wall for the panel, while also uncovering the screws. The clothes dryer should be moved to a different location to get the required 36" in front of the panel.
This panel could
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25) Flexible lamp or appliance cord was being used for permanent wiring for the lighting under the stairs. Such wiring is not intended to be used as permanent wiring and poses a safety hazard of shock and fire. Recommend that a qualified electrician repair per standard building practices.
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26) The exterior 3-slot electric receptacle on the fenced side of the house was found with an open ground. This is a shock hazard when appliances that require a ground are used with these receptacles. Recommend that a qualified electrician repair as necessary so all receptacles are grounded per standard building practices.
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27) The microwave appears to have been installed after original construction and there is no sign of a separate circuit being installed for this appliance. Modern microwaves use large amounts of power and often require their own 20 amp circuit. Frequently, homeowners install the appliance on the same electrical wire as the previously installed vent fan and this can overload the circuit creating a fire hazard, and at a minimum will cause the circuit breaker to trip when other items are in use. A qualified electrical contractor should evaluate and repair as required.

Also recommend consulting with the current owner as to the nature of the remodel and the electrical wiring for this appliance, especially with the inability to inspect the electrical panel and lack of a legend.

28) One or more slots where circuit breakers are normally installed were open in panel(s) #A. Energized equipment was exposed and is a shock hazard. Recommend that a qualified person install closure covers where missing.
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29) There is a switch up high on the side of the fireplace wall that has no apparent use, however the cover plate is missing. These plates are intended to contain fire and prevent electric shock from occurring due to exposed wires. Recommend that a qualified person install cover plates where necessary.

Consult with the current owner as to the use of this switch.
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30) Branch circuit wiring installed in buildings built prior to the mid 1980s is typically rated for a maximum temperature of only 60 degrees Celsius. This includes non-metallic sheathed (Romex) wiring, and both BX and AC metal-clad flexible wiring. Knob and tube wiring, typically installed in homes built prior to 1950, may be rated for even lower maximum temperatures. Newer electric fixtures including lighting and fans typically require wiring rated for 90 degrees Celsius. Connecting newer fixtures to older, 60-degree-rated wiring is a potential fire hazard. Repairs for such conditions may involve replacing the last few feet of wiring to newer fixtures with new 90-degree-rated wire, and installing a junction box to join the old and new wiring.

It is beyond the scope of this inspection to determine if such incompatible components are installed, or to determine the extent to which they're installed. Based on the age of this building, the client should be aware of this safety hazard, both for existing fixtures and when planning to upgrade with newer fixtures. Consult with a qualified electrician for repairs as necessary.

31) The functionality of, power source for and placement of smoke alarms is not determined as part of this inspection. Smoke alarms should be installed in each bedroom, in hallways leading to bedrooms, on each level and in attached garages. They have a limited lifespan and should be replaced every 10 years. Batteries in smoke alarms should be changed when taking occupancy and annually in the future. Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed near sleeping areas and on each level in homes with a fuel-burning appliance or attached garage. For more information, visit:
http://www.reporthost.com/?SMKALRM
http://www.reporthost.com/?COALRM

32) The legend for circuit breakers or fuses in panel(s) #A was missing, incomplete, illegible or confusing. This is a potential shock or fire hazard in the event of an emergency when power needs to be turned off. Recommend correcting the legend so it's accurate, complete and legible. Evaluation by a qualified electrician may be necessary.

33) Bulbs in multiple light fixtures were missing or broken. These light fixtures couldn't be fully evaluated. If replacement bulbs are inoperable, then recommend that a qualified electrician evaluate and repair or replace light fixtures as necessary.

Plumbing / Fuel Systems
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Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: private/shared wells and related equipment; private sewage disposal systems; hot tubs or spas; main, side and lateral sewer lines; gray water systems; pressure boosting systems; trap primers; incinerating or composting toilets; fire suppression systems; water softeners, conditioners or filtering systems; plumbing components concealed within the foundation or building structure, or in inaccessible areas such as below tubs; underground utilities and systems; overflow drains for tubs and sinks; backflow prevention devices. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not operate water supply or shut-off valves due to the possibility of valves leaking or breaking when operated. The inspector does not test for lead in the water supply, the water pipes or solder, does not determine if plumbing and fuel lines are adequately sized, and does not determine the existence or condition of underground or above-ground fuel tanks.
Condition of service and main line: Appeared serviceable
Water service: Public
Location of main water shut-off: Basement
Condition of supply lines: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Supply pipe material: Copper
Condition of drain pipes: Appeared serviceable
Drain pipe material: Plastic
Condition of waste lines: Appeared serviceable
Waste pipe material: Plastic
Vent pipe condition: Appeared serviceable
Vent pipe material: Plastic
Sump pump installed: None visible
Sewage ejector pump installed: None visible
Condition of fuel system: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Location of main fuel shut-off valve: At gas meter

34) Copper water supply pipes were installed. Copper pipes installed prior to the late 1980s may be joined with solder that contains lead, which is a known health hazard especially for children. Laws were passed in 1985 prohibiting the use of lead in solder, but prior to that solder normally contained approximately 50% lead. The client should be aware of this, especially if children will be using this water supply system. Note that the inspector does not test for toxic materials such as lead. The client should consider having a qualified lab test for lead, and if necessary take steps to reduce or remove lead from the water supply. Various solutions include:
  • Flush water taps or faucets. Do not drink water that has been sitting in the plumbing lines for more than 6 hours
  • Install appropriate filters at points of use
  • Use only cold water for cooking and drinking, as hot water dissolves lead more quickly than cold water
  • Use bottled or distilled water
  • Treat well water to make it less corrosive
  • Have a qualified plumber replace supply pipes and/or plumbing components as necessary
For more information visit:
http://www.reporthost.com/?LEADDW
http://www.reporthost.com/?LEAD

35) Conducive conditions The dishwasher water hookup water supply valve was leaking. A qualified plumber should repair as necessary.
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Photo 35-2

36) One or more hose bibs leaked while off. When hose bibs leak while turned off, it's often caused by a worn valve seat or a loose bonnet. When hose bibs leak while turned on, it may be due to worn "packing" around the stem or a defective backflow prevention device. Recommend that a qualified plumber repair as necessary.
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Photo 36-1
 

37) Steel piping for the gas service located outside was significantly corroded. Gas leaks can result. Recommend evaluation by a qualified contractor to determine if piping needs replacing. If not, then a qualified person should prep and paint lines as necessary with a rust-preventative paint. Very corroded pipes should be replaced by a qualified contractor.
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Photo 37-1
 

Water Heater
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Limitations: Evaluation of and determining the adequacy or completeness of the following items are not included in this inspection: water recirculation pumps; solar water heating systems; Energy Smart or energy saver controls; catch pan drains. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not provide an estimate of remaining life on water heaters, does not determine if water heaters are appropriately sized, or perform any evaluations that require a pilot light to be lit or a shut-off valve to be operated.
Condition of water heater: Appeared serviceable
Type: Tank
Location of water heater: Basement

Heating, Ventilation and Air Condition (HVAC)
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Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: humidifiers, dehumidifiers, electronic air filters; solar, coal or wood-fired heat systems; thermostat or temperature control accuracy and timed functions; heating components concealed within the building structure or in inaccessible areas; underground utilities and systems; safety devices and controls (due to automatic operation). Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not provide an estimate of remaining life on heating or cooling system components, does not determine if heating or cooling systems are appropriately sized, does not test coolant pressure, or perform any evaluations that require a pilot light to be lit, a shut-off valve to be operated, a circuit breaker to be turned "on" or a serviceman's or oil emergency switch to be operated. It is beyond the scope of this inspection to determine if furnace heat exchangers are intact and free of leaks. Condensation pans and drain lines may clog or leak at any time and should be monitored while in operation in the future. Where buildings contain furnishings or stored items, the inspector may not be able to verify that a heat source is present in all "liveable" rooms (e.g. bedrooms, kitchens and living/dining rooms).
General heating system type(s): Forced air, Furnace
General heating distribution type(s): Ducts and registers
Thermostat Location(s): 1st floor, Hall
Last service date of primary heat source: unknown
Condition of forced air heating/(cooling) system: Appeared serviceable
Forced air heating system fuel type: Electric
Location of forced air furnace: Basement
Condition of furnace filters: Required replacement
Location for forced air filter(s): At base of air handler
Condition of forced air ducts and registers: Appeared serviceable
Condition of burners: Appeared serviceable
Condition of venting system: Appeared serviceable
Condition of cooling system and/or heat pump: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Cooling system and/or heat pump fuel type: Electric
Type: Split system
Condition of controls: Appeared serviceable

38) Based on the location and the visible venting, the furnace had a substandard source of combustion and/or dilution air. All gas and oil-fired appliances require adequate air for combustion, dilution and ventilation. This is a potential safety hazard and may result in combustion fumes entering living spaces. Recommend that a qualified HVAC contractor evaluate and repair per standard building practices

39) The estimated useful life for most heat pumps and air conditioning condensing units is 10-15 years. This unit appeared to be near this age and/or its useful lifespan and may need replacing or significant repairs at any time. Recommend budgeting for a replacement in the near future.

40) The last service date of the forced air heating/cooling system appeared to be more than 1 year ago, or the inspector was unable to determine the last service date. Ask the property owner when it was last serviced. If unable to determine the last service date, or if this system was serviced more than 1 year ago, recommend that a qualified HVAC contractor service this system and make repairs if necessary. Because this system has a compressor and refrigerant system, this servicing should be performed annually in the future. Any needed repairs noted in this report should be brought to the attention of the contractor when it's serviced.

41) Vines were too close to the air conditioning condensing unit. There were some growing through the fins. There should be at least 12 inches of clearance on all sides and at least 4-6 feet above. Inadequate clearance around and above can result in reduced efficiency, increased energy costs and/or damage to equipment. Recommend pruning and/or removing vegetation as necessary.
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42) Recommend replacing or washing HVAC filters upon taking occupancy depending on the type of filters installed. Regardless of the type, recommend checking filters monthly in the future and replacing or washing them as necessary. How frequently they need replacing or washing depends on the type and quality of the filter, how the system is configured (e.g. always on vs. "Auto"), and on environmental factors (e.g. pets, smoking, frequency of house cleaning, number of occupants, the season).

43) The outdoor air temperature was below 65 degrees Fahrenheit during the inspection. Air conditioning systems can be damaged if operated during such low temperatures. Because of this, the inspector was unable to operate and fully evaluate the cooling system.

Fireplaces, Stoves, Chimneys and Flues
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Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: coal stoves, gas logs, chimney flues (except where visible). Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not determine the adequacy of drafting or sizing in fireplace and stove flues, and also does not determine if prefabricated or zero-clearance fireplaces are installed in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications. The inspector does not perform any evaluations that require a pilot light to be lit, and does not light fires. The 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.
Condition of wood-burning fireplaces, stoves: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Wood-burning fireplace type: Metal pre-fab
Condition of chimneys and flues: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Wood-burning chimney type: Metal

44) The metal chimney for the wood stove or fireplace was too close to combustible materials such as wood or insulation. This is a fire hazard. Minimum clearances vary by chimney type, but general guidelines require the following clearances:
  • 2 inches around masonry, metalbestos or triple-wall metal chimneys
  • 6-9 inches around double-wall metal chimneys, or single-wall with shield
  • 18 inches around single-wall metal chimneys
Recommend that a qualified contractor evaluate and make repairs or modifications as necessary so minimum clearances from combustibles are maintained around all chimney and flue pipes, per the manufacturer's specifications.
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Photo 44-1
 

45) The fireplace hearth was trimmed with combustible materials. Embers may ignite combustible surfaces nearby. This is a fire hazard. For fireplaces with a firebox less than 6 square feet in size, hearths should be at least 16 inches deep in front and extend at least 8 inches to the sides. made with non-combustible materials. Recommend that a qualified person make repairs or modifications per standard building practices if necessary.
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Photo 45-1
 

46) One or more metal chimneys extended higher than 5 feet above the roof surface, and supports for the flue(s) were missing and/or substandard. This is a potential safety hazard due to the risk of the flue pipe moving and possibly being damaged or becoming loose. Surrounding flashing, roof sheathing and/or roof surface materials may also be overstressed during chimney movement. Recommend that a qualified person install bracing per standard building practices.
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Photo 46-1
 

47) One or more wood-burning fireplaces or stoves were found at the property. The fireplace was stuffed with a comforter. When such devices are used, they should be professionally inspected and cleaned annually to prevent creosote build-up and to determine if repairs are needed. The National Fire Protection Association states that a "Level 2" chimney inspection should be performed with every sale or transfer of property with a wood-burning device. Recommend consulting with the property owner about recent and past servicing and repairs to all wood-burning devices and chimneys or flues at this property. Recommend that a qualified specialist evaluate all wood-burning devices and chimneys, and clean and repair as necessary. Note that if a wood stove insert is installed, it may need to be removed for such an evaluation. For more information, search for "chimney inspection" at:
http://www.reporthost.com/?CSIA
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Photo 47-1
 

Kitchen
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Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: household appliances such as stoves, ovens, cook tops, ranges, warming ovens, griddles, broilers, dishwashers, trash compactors, refrigerators, freezers, ice makers, hot water dispensers and water filters; appliance timers, clocks, cook functions, self and/or continuous cleaning operations, thermostat or temperature control accuracy, and lights. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not provide an estimate of the remaining life of appliances, and does not determine the adequacy of operation of appliances. The inspector does not note appliance manufacturers, models or serial numbers and does not determine if appliances are subject to recalls. Areas and components behind and obscured by appliances are inaccessible and excluded from this inspection.
Condition of counters: Appeared serviceable
Condition of cabinets: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Condition of sinks and related plumbing: Appeared serviceable
Condition of under-sink food disposal: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Condition of dishwasher: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Condition of range, cooktop or oven: Appeared serviceable
Range, cooktop or oven type: Natural gas
Type of ventilation: Hood or built into microwave over range or cooktop
Condition of refrigerator: Appeared serviceable
Condition of built-in microwave oven: Appeared serviceable

48) Electrical wiring for the under-sink food disposal was substandard. Non-metallic sheathed wiring was exposed and subject to damage. The wiring can be damaged by repeated bending or contact with sharp objects. BX-armored conduit should be installed to protect wiring, or a flexible appliance cable should be installed. This is a potential shock hazard. Recommend that a qualified contractor repair per standard building practices.
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Photo 48-1
 

49) The dishwasher was inoperable. The water line was not installed, and the valve for this connection was leaking. Recommend that a qualified specialist evaluate and repair or replace as necessary.
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Photo 49-1
 

50) The exhaust fan over the range recirculated the exhaust air back into the kitchen. This appeared to be no ducting installed. This can be a nuisance for odor and grease accumulation. Where a gas-fired range or cooktop is installed, carbon monoxide and excessive levels of moisture can accumulate in living spaces. Recommend that a qualified contractor evaluate and repair as necessary so exhaust air is ducted outdoors.

51) The cabinet door above the microwave does not open properly and rubs on the top of the microwave. Recommend that a qualified person adjust the door as required.
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52) The under-sink food disposal was noisy or vibrated excessively. There appears to be crab claws stuck in the unit. The rubber splashguard in the drain is deteriorated as well and needs to be replaced. Recommend that a qualified contractor repair or replace as necessary.
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Photo 52-1
 

Bathrooms, Laundry and Sinks
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Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: overflow drains for tubs and sinks; heated towel racks, saunas, steam generators, clothes washers, clothes dryers. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not determine the adequacy of washing machine drain lines, washing machine catch pan drain lines, or clothes dryer exhaust ducts. The inspector does not operate water supply or shut-off valves for sinks, toilets, bidets, clothes washers, etc. due to the possibility of valves leaking or breaking when operated. The inspector does not determine if shower pans or tub and shower enclosures are water tight, or determine the completeness or operability of any gas piping to laundry appliances.
Location #A: Full bath, Master bath
Location #B: Full bath, first floor
Location #C: Full bath, basement
Condition of counters: Appeared serviceable
Condition of cabinets: Appeared serviceable
Condition of flooring: Appeared serviceable
Condition of sinks and related plumbing: Appeared serviceable
Condition of toilets: Appeared serviceable
Condition of bathtubs and related plumbing: Appeared serviceable
Condition of shower(s) and related plumbing: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Condition of ventilation systems: Appeared serviceable
Bathroom and laundry ventilation type: Spot exhaust fans
Gas supply for laundry equipment present: No
240 volt receptacle for laundry equipment present: No

53) The clothes dryer exhaust duct was disconnected from the dryer. Clothes dryers produce large amounts of moisture which should not enter structure interiors.

The duct that was installed was a vinyl or mylar, accordion-type, flexible exhaust duct. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission considers these types of ducts to be unsafe, and a fire hazard. They can trap lint and are susceptible to kinks or crushing, which can greatly reduce the air flow and cause overheating.

Recommend that such ducts be replaced with a rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct, and by a qualified contractor if necessary. Ensure that after moving the dryer there is a permanently installed dryer duct available and connected to the dryer.For more information, visit:
http://www.reporthost.com/?DRYER

54) There was no visible 240 V power source for the dryer. The dryer cannot be operated as a result. A qualified electrical contractor should install the plug in a area that allows the dryer to be installed in a different area than under the electric panel. The rebuild of the closet blocking the panel that was previously mentioned will need to be completed first.

55) One or more handles for the clothes washer water shut-off valves were not connected to the washer. Recommend that a qualified person replace or repair handles as necessary.

These valves were not operated and showed signs of corrosion. If leaks are present, a qualified plumber should replace as required.

56) The shower at location(s) #C was clogged and would not drain at all. There was already standing water at the time of the inspection. Recommend clearing drain and/or that a qualified plumber repair if necessary.
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Photo 56-1
 

Interior, Doors and Windows
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Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: security, intercom and sound systems; communications wiring; central vacuum systems; elevators and stair lifts; cosmetic deficiencies such as nail-pops, scuff marks, dents, dings, blemishes or issues due to normal wear and tear in wall, floor and ceiling surfaces and coverings, or in equipment; deficiencies relating to interior decorating; low voltage and gas lighting systems. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not evaluate any areas or items which require moving stored items, furnishings, debris, equipment, floor coverings, insulation or similar materials. The inspector does not test for asbestos, lead, radon, mold, hazardous waste, urea formaldehyde urethane, or any other toxic substance. Some items such as window, drawer, cabinet door or closet door operability are tested on a sampled basis. The client should be aware that paint may obscure wall and ceiling defects, floor coverings may obscure floor defects, and furnishings may obscure wall, floor and floor covering defects. If furnishings were present during the inspection, recommend a full evaluation of walls, floors and ceilings that were previously obscured when possible. Determining the cause and/or source of odors is not within the scope of this inspection.
Condition of exterior entry doors: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Condition of interior doors: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Condition of windows and skylights: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Type(s) of windows: Vinyl, Metal, Multi-pane, Single-pane, Sliding, Single-hung, Double-hung

57) The kitchen sliding glass door was difficult to open or close. The door appeared to be damaged and inoperable. Recommend that a qualified person maintain, repair or replace door(s) as necessary.
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Photo 57-1
 

58) One or more interior doors were sticking in the door jamb and were difficult to operate. Recommend that a qualified person repair as necessary. For example, by trimming doors. (previously mentioned in the structural concern)

59) The windows had multiple defects as listed below:
  • The basement sliding window at the bottom of the stairs would not latch. This is a security concern
  • There were some windows with holes/chips in them. This was on multiple single pane windows. The glass or window should be replaced by a qualified contractor
  • There was glazing material and caulk on the glass of multiple windows. This should be cleaned up by a qualified person
  • There was significant wood rot in window sills as previously mentioned. When this wood rot is repaired, the windows effected will need to be replaced
Due to the widespread issues with the windows and sliding glass doors, a qualified window replacement contractor should evaluate the property and establish a plan for completion of the project.

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