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At Home Inspections, Inc.

Phone: (718) 877-9745
Inspector: Debra Monte


Client(s): Nina Sell-My-House
Property address: 123 For Sale Ln
Walden, NY 12586
Inspection date: Wednesday, January 7, 2009
This report published on 5/30/2009 11:31:36 AM EDT

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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.

This inspection and report was completed by Debra Monte, New York State Home Inspector, License Number 16000040194, an InterNACHI member, #0910302 in good standing.

How to Read this Report
This report is organized by the property's functional areas.  Within each functional area, descriptive information is listed first and is shown in bold type.  Items of concern follow descriptive information. Concerns are shown and sorted according to these types:
SafetyPoses a risk of injury or death 
Major DefectCorrection likely involves a significant expense 
Repair/ReplaceRecommend repairing or replacing 
Repair/MaintainRecommend repair and/or maintenance 
Minor DefectCorrection likely involves only a minor expense 
MaintainRecommend ongoing maintenance 
EvaluateRecommend evaluation by a specialist 
MonitorRecommend monitoring in the future 
CommentFor your information 

Structural Pest Inspection Concerns
Items of concern relating to the structural pest inspection are shown as follows:
WDO/WDI InfestationEvidence of infestation of wood destroying insects or organisms (Live or dead insect bodies, fungal growth, etc.) 
WDO/WDI DamageDamage caused by wood destroying insects or organisms (Rot, carpenter ant galleries, etc.) 
WDO/WDI Conducive
Conditions 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

Table of Contents
General information
Electric service
Water heater
Heating and cooling
Plumbing and laundry
Fireplace & chimney
Interior rooms

General information Return to table of contents
Report number: 2009-06
Inspector: Debra Monte
Structures inspected: Interior, exterior, basement and attached garage.
Type of building: Single family, 2 story
Age of building: 7 years
Property owner's name: Nina Sell-My-House
Time started: 1 pm
Time finished: 5 pm
Inspection Fee: None
Present during inspection: Client/Property owner and Realtor
Occupied: Yes
Weather conditions: Cloudy, light rain.
Temperature: Cold
Ground condition: Damp, Frozen
Front of structure faces: West
Main entrance faces: West
Foundation type: Finished basement
The following items are excluded from this inspection: Private sewage disposal system, Security system, Private well, Playground equipment, Water filtration system, Water softener system and whirlpool tub
1)   Some wall, floor and/or ceiling surfaces were obscured by furniture and/or stored items. Some areas couldn't be evaluated.
Exterior Return to table of contents
Footing material: Not visible
Foundation material: Poured in place concrete.
Apparent wall structure: Wood frame
Wall covering: Vinyl
Driveway material: Asphalt; obscured by snow and ice.
Exterior door material: Solid core wood and glass sliders.
Sidewalk material: not visible, snow/ice covered.
2)   Trip hazards found on right side (south) of house from exposed metal grounding rods sticking out of ground. This poses safety hazards since they can cause impalement and serious injury if someone were to trip near and/or fall onto the exposed ground rod(s). A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair or cver ground rod to eliminate trip and safety hazards.

Photo 5  
Metal rod sticking out of ground.

Photo 6  
Exposed grounding rod extending ~ 1 ft out of ground.

3) 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. In this particular case, the water is flowing toward the area of the stored fire wood and the air conditioner condensing unit.
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, in addition to corrosion of the air conditioning condensing unit.
Repairs should be made as necessary, such as installing or repositioning splash blocks, extensions 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 3  
Missing downspout extension.

4) One or more minor cracks (1/8 inch or less) were found in the foundation. These don't appear to be a structural concern, but recommend sealing them to prevent water infiltration and monitoring them in the future for increasing width/depth and/or displacement of foundation.
Numerous products exist to seal such cracks including:
  • Hydraulic cement. Requires chiseling a channel in the crack to apply. See for an example.
  • Resilient caulks (easy to apply). See for an example.
  • Epoxy sealants (both a waterproof and structural repair). See for examples of these products.

    Photo 7  

    5) a. Firewood is stored so that it's either in contact with the structure or very close to it. This is a conducive condition for wood destroying insects. Recommend storing firewood outdoors in an open area, as far away from the house as practical, to keep away insects. For more information visit

    b. Stain/mold on vinyl siding (chimney area). This is the north side of the structure, which is conducive to higher moisture content because of the lack of sunlight.

    Photo 2  
    a. (red arrow) Fire wood stored next to structure.
    b. (yellow arrow) Stain, possibly mold on vinyl siding (chimney) area.

    Roof Return to table of contents
    Roof inspection method: Viewed from ground with binoculars
    Roof covering: Asphalt or fiberglass composition shingles
    Estimated age of roof: 7 years
    Gutter & downspout material: Aluminum
    Roof ventilation: Unable to determine (no access to attic spaces)
    Roof type: Cross gable
    6)   The roof was completely obscured by snow and couldn't be fully evaluated.
    Attic Return to table of contents
    Inspection method: Scuttle attic not inspected; not accessible.
    Electric service Return to table of contents
    Primary service type: Underground; Service lateral.
    Primary service overload protection type: Circuit breakers
    Service amperage (amps): 200
    Service voltage (volts): 120/240
    Location of main service switch: South wall inside basement.
    Location of main disconnect: Breaker at top of main service panel
    Service entrance conductor material: Aluminum
    System ground: Ground rod(s) in soil
    Branch circuit wiring type: Copper
    Solid strand aluminum branch circuit wiring present: No
    Smoke detectors present: Yes, hard wired.
    7)   One or more white/neutral wires are being used as black/hot legs inside the panel without being marked as black or hot. This may be a potential safety hazard. A qualified electrician should evaluate and correct the situation as necessary.

    Photo 13  
    White/neutral wires used as unmarked black/hot wires.

    Water heater Return to table of contents
    Estimated age: 7 years
    Type: Tank
    Energy source: Oil fueled boiler operates water tank with expansion tank.
    Capacity (in gallons): 65
    Manufacturer: Bradford White
    Model: M2P65R1013
    Water temperature (degrees Fahrenheit): 120
    8)   The estimated useful life for most water heaters is 8 to 12 years. This model's estimated useful life is 6 to 10 years, as per the manufacturer. This water heater appears to be approaching or is at this age and may need replacing at any time. Recommend budgeting for a replacement in the near future.
    9)   A water supply shut-off valve was leaking. A qualified plumbing contractor should evaluate and repair/replace this valve.

    Photo 11  
    Leak at one or more shut off valves.

    Heating and cooling Return to table of contents
    Estimated age: 7 years
    Primary heating system energy source: Oil
    Primary heat system type: Hot water/Hydronic three-zoned system.
    Primary A/C energy source: Electric
    Primary Air conditioning type: Standalone Air Cooled Unit
    Distribution system: ducts/vents
    Manufacturer: not visible
    Model: not visible
    10)   Ceiling above boiler has large opening/not finished. Ashes from fireplace above it on first floor found on top of boiler cabinet and immediate area. Section 16 recommended proper cleaning of fireplace and chimney by qualified professional at least annually. Also recommended is the evaluation and repair of the ceiling by a qualified contractor.

    Photo 10  
    Ashes found from opening in ceiling; fireplace above it on first floor.

    11)   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 hydronic heating specialist should service this system and make repairs if necessary. This servicing should be performed annually in the future.
    12)   The outdoor air temperature was below 60 degrees Fahrenheit and the air conditioning system's condensing unit was shut off at the time of the inspection (winter). Therefore, the inspector was unable to operate and fully evaluate the cooling system.
    13)   Recommend buying oil tank replacement insurance, available from many full-service oil providers. This can cover up to 100% of the replacement costs of an oil tank and usually costs less than a few dollars per month.
    Plumbing and laundry Return to table of contents
    Water service: Private, drilled well.
    Service pipe material: Copper
    Supply pipe material: Copper
    Vent pipe material: Plastic
    Drain pipe material: plastic (PB, ABS & PVC)
    Waste pipe material: Cast iron
    Water pressure (psi): Adequate
    Location of main fuel shut-off: Next to boiler.
    Visible fuel storage systems: Oil tank near east wall of basement in boiler room.
    Location of main water shut-off valve: Near well equipment in southeast corner of basement.
    14)   The clothes dryer exhaust duct appears to need cleaning; moderate amount of lint build up was found. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of fire from decreased air flow. This duct should be cleaned now and annually, or more often if necessary in the future. Some chimney sweeps or heating/cooling duct cleaners perform this service. For more information, visit or
    15)   Recommend having the septic tank inspected. Recommend having the tank pumped if it was last pumped more than 3 years ago.
    Fireplace & chimney Return to table of contents
    Fireplace type: Prefabricated with metal liner
    Chimney type: Metal flue. Chimney covered by vinyl siding, unable to observe material.
    16)   All solid fuel burning appliances (woodstoves and fireplaces, etc.) should be inspected annually by a qualified chimney service contractor, cleaned and repaired as necessary.
    Basement Return to table of contents
    Insulation material underneath floor above: Fiberglass roll or batt
    Pier or support post material: Steel lally columns.
    Beam material: Solid wood
    Floor structure above: Solid wood joists
    17)   All the electric receptacles in the basement have reverse-polarity wiring, where the hot and neutral wires are reversed. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. A qualified electrician should evaluate and make repairs as necessary.

    Photo 9  
    Reversed polarity (hot/neutral).

    18)   Areas of basement have exposed fiberglass insulation: boiler room ceiling, well equipment area ceiling, laundry water and drain/waste area and wall of storage room under steps. This is a potential safety hazard. Recommend a qualified contractor evaluate and repair/finish off the areas of exposed insulation.

    Photo 8  
    Exposed fiberglass insulation.

    Photo 12  
    Exposed fiberglass insulation by laundry water supply and drain.

    Photo 14  
    Exposed fiberglass insulation in storage area beneath stairs. Walls and ceiling unfinished.

    Well Return to table of contents
    Location of well equipment: East wall of basement near southeast corner, enclosed area near wet bar and refrigerator.
    Location of tank shut off valve: Southeast corner of basement
    19)   Recommend having the well water tested for coliform bacteria, nitrates, and anything else of local concern, by a qualified lab. For more information, visit
    Kitchen Return to table of contents
    Appliances: All appliances are in good working order and are approximately 7 years old: Refrigerator, range/oven, range hood, dishwasher and refrigerator in basement.
    20)   The range can tip forward, and no anti-tip bracket appears to be installed. This is a safety hazard since the range may tip forward when weight is applied to the open door, such as when a small child climbs on it, or if heavy objects are dropped on it. Anti-tip brackets have been sold with all free standing ranges since 1985. An anti-tip bracket should be installed to eliminate this safety hazard. For more information, visit,1797,HGTV_3659_2017492,00.html
    Bathrooms Return to table of contents

    21)   Sink in first floor bathroom drains slowly. Drain(s) should be cleared by a qualified plumber if necessary.
    Garage Return to table of contents

    22)   Stairs with more than two risers have no handrail installed. This is a safety hazard. A qualified contractor should install graspable handrails that your hand can completely encircle at stairs where missing, and as per standard building practices.

    Photo 4  

    Interior rooms Return to table of contents

    23)   Windows in bedroom (front southwest corner): the sash spring mechanisms in one or more windows are broken or loose. One window sticks and the other falls down. A qualified contractor or service technician should evaluate and make repairs as necessary so the window(s) operate as intended (open easily, stay open without support, close easily, etc.).
    Thank you for choosing At Home Inspections to perform your pre-listing home inspection. The referral of your friends and family is greatly appreciated.