||Thursday, March 29, 2012
This report published on Friday, June 29, 2018 9:13:48 AM PDT
Important: This summary page is not the complete report. Clients should refer to the complete report for evaluating the subject property.
Exterior and Foundation
- Vegetation such as trees, shrubs and/or vines was in contact with or close to the building exterior. 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. 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.
- Standing water was found at one or more locations in the crawl space. Water from crawl spaces can evaporate and enter the structure above causing high levels of moisture in the structure. This is a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms. While a minor amount of seasonal water is commonly found in crawl spaces, significant amounts should not be present.
Rain runoff is the most common cause of wet crawl spaces, but water can come from other sources such as groundwater or underground springs. Recommend that a qualified person correct any issues related to outside perimeter grading and/or roof drainage (see any other comments about this in this report). If standing water persists, then recommend that a qualified contractor who specializes in drainage issues evaluate and repair as necessary. Typically such repairs include:
- Repairing, installing or improving underground footing and/or curtain drains
- Applying waterproof coatings to foundation walls
- Digging trenches in the crawl space to collect or divert water
- Installing sump pumps
- Some sections of under-floor insulation above the crawl space have fallen down, were damaged or deteriorated. This may result in reduced energy efficiency. Recommend that a qualified person install or replace insulation as necessary.
- The roof surface appeared to be near the end of its service life and will likely need replacing in the near future even if repairs are made now. Recommend discussing replacement options with a qualified contractor, and budgeting for a replacement roof surface in the near future. The client may also wish to consider having a qualified contractor attempt to issue a "5 year roof certificate."
- Significant amounts of debris have accumulated in one or more gutters. 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.
- Moss was growing on the roof. As a result, shingles can lift or be damaged. Leaks can result and/or the roof surface can fail prematurely. Efforts should be made to kill the moss during its growing season (wet months). Typically, zinc or phosphate-based chemicals are used for this and must be applied periodically. For information on various moss treatment products and their pros and cons, visit:http://www.google.com/search?q=moss+on+roof
Attic and Roof Structure
- One or more exhaust ducts (e.g. bathroom fan, clothes dryer) in the attic were not insulated. This can result in moisture forming inside the duct or "sweating" on the outside of the duct depending on the surrounding air temperature and the exhaust air temperature. Recommend that a qualified person install insulation on exhaust ducts per standard building practices (typically R-4 rating), or replace uninsulated ducts with insulated ducts.
- Oriented strand board (OSB) roof sheathing at some open soffits was dark in color. This may be due to high moisture levels from overflowing gutters. Recommend maintaining the roof drainage system and monitoring the roof sheathing. Soffit sheathing could be repainted for cosmetic reasons.
- Oriented strand board (OSB) roof sheathing was dark in some areas inside the attic. This may be due to mold growth from substandard ventilation. Mold is not a wood destroying organism like fungal rot. The inspector probed dark areas of sheathing where accessible and found the OSB sheathing to be serviceable. However, recommend consulting with a qualified contractor to determine what repairs may be needed to prevent further deterioration. Note that 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. Additional venting may be needed.
Garage or Carport
- The self-closing device on the door between the garage and the house didn't close and latch the door. These devices are installed to keep the door closed to prevent possible fire and fumes from the garage from spreading to the house. Recommend that a qualified person repair as necessary.
- Weatherstripping around or at the base of the door between the garage and the house was damaged. House to garage doors are prevent fire and fumes from spreading from the garage to the house. Weatherstripping should form a seal around this door. This is a potential safety hazard. Recommend that a qualified person replace or install weatherstripping as necessary.
- One or more extension springs supporting garage vehicle door springs had no safety containment cables installed. These cables prevent injury to people located nearby when springs eventually break. This is a potential safety hazard. Recommend that a qualified contractor install cables where missing per standard building practices. For more information, visit:http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/523.html
- One or more garage vehicle doors weren't balanced. The door(s) wouldn't stay in place when opened half-way, and fell to the ground instead. This is a potential safety hazard since the door(s) can fall when open and cause injury. A qualified contractor should repair as necessary. For more information on garage door safety issues, visit:http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/523.html
- A large hole (for a pet door?) had been cut into the garage exterior wall. Recommend that a qualified contractor repair as necessary.
- A 3-slot receptacle (outlet) was installed for the clothes dryer. Most modern clothes dryers use both 120 and 240 volts (120 for timers and motors, and 240 for heating elements) and either require or are more safely installed with a 4-slot receptacle. With 3-conductor wiring, the ground wire rather than a neutral wire is used to carry the return current back for the 120 volt leg. The clothes dryer's metal frame can become energized if the neutral wire becomes loose at the receptacle or panel. While 3-wire clothes dryer circuits were allowed prior to 1996 and are commonly found, they are considered unsafe due to the risk of shock. Recommend that a qualified electrician convert this to a 4-wire circuit. Note that this may require installing a new circuit wire from the panel to the clothes dryer location.
- Smoke detectors were missing from bedrooms. Additional smoke detectors should be installed as necessary so a functioning detector exists in each hallway leading to bedrooms, in each bedroom, on each level and in any attached garage. For more information, visit:http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5077.html
- This property had one or more fuel-burning appliances and/or an attached garage, and no carbon monoxide detectors were found. This is a safety hazard. Recommend installing one or more carbon monoxide detectors as necessary and per the manufacturer's instructions (normally one per living level and near bedrooms). For more information, visit:http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PREREL/prhtml05/05017.html
- One or more cover plates for switches, receptacles (outlets) or junction boxes were missing or broken. 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.
- Based on the age of this structure and the appearance of existing smoke alarms, the alarms may have been installed more than 10 years ago. 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:http://www.google.com/search?q=old+smoke+alarms
- What appeared to be abandoned wiring was found in the main service panel and crawl space. Labeling on the panel cover indicated that wiring has been installed for a hot tub. Recommend that this wiring be removed and that the knockout hole in the main service panel cover have a cover installed.
- One or more light fixtures were inoperable (didn't turn on when nearby switches were operated). Recommend further evaluation by replacing bulbs and/or consulting with the property owner. If replacing bulbs doesn't work and/or no other switch(es) can be found, then recommend that a qualified electrician evaluate and repair or replace light fixtures as necessary.
- Bulbs in one or more light fixtures were missing, inoperable 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
- One or more hose bibs (outside faucets) were missing backflow prevention devices. These devices reduce the likelihood of gray water entering the potable water supply. Recommend installing backflow prevention devices on all hose bibs where missing. They are available at most home improvement stores and are easily installed. For more information, visit:http://www.google.com/search?q=why+hose+bib+backflow+preventor
- Water was discolored when bathtubs or sinks were filled, or when showers were operated. This can be caused by water stagnating in water supply pipes, rust accumulating in pipes or in the water heater, or sediment being present in the water supply. Recommend flushing the water supply piping and the water heater. If that fails to resolve the issue, then have a qualified plumber evaluate and repair as necessary.
- Water supply pipes in the crawl space were not insulated. Recommend insulating pipes per standard building practices to prevent them from freezing during cold weather, and for better energy efficiency with hot water supply pipes.
- Based on information provided to the inspector, the water supply to this property is from a shared or community well. These are specialty systems and are excluded from this inspection. Comments in this report related to this system are made as a courtesy only and are not meant to be a substitute for a full evaluation by a qualified specialist. Recommend that the client review the recorded agreements regarding the well, the deeds of the property owners involved, and easements permitting access to, use of, and maintenance of the water system. If no shared well agreement exists, access to the well water supply will be uncertain. Also recommend the following:
- That a qualified well contractor fully evaluate the well, including a conducting a pump/flow test
- That the well water be tested per the client's concerns (e.g. coliforms, pH, contaminants)
- Research the well's history (e.g. how/when constructed, how/when maintained or repaired)
- If the well is not on the client's property, verify that the well's property owner does not harm the well water's quality through land use practices
- Document the current well capacity and water quality for future reference
- The inspector did not determine the location of the main water shut-off valve, or verify that a readily accessible shut-off valve in the building exists. Recommend consulting with the property owner to determine if a main shut-off valve exists, locating it yourself, or that a qualified plumber find it if necessary. If no readily accessible main shut-off valve is found in the building, then recommend that a qualified plumber install one so the water supply can be quickly turned off in the event of an emergency, such as when a supply pipe bursts.
- The water heater did not have earthquake straps or struts installed. This is a potential safety hazard in the event of an earthquake due to the risk of the water heater tipping over, gas lines breaking if it's gas-fired, or electric wiring being damaged if powered by electricity. Leaks can also occur in water-supply pipes. Recommend that a qualified person install earthquake straps or struts as necessary and per standard building practices.
Heating and Cooling
- One or more heating or cooling ducts in an unconditioned space (e.g. crawl space, attic or basement) have come apart, or have significant gaps at junctions. This will result in reduced energy efficiency, and possibly increased moisture in surrounding spaces. A qualified contractor should make permanent repair as necessary. For example, by securely supporting ducts and installing approved tape or mastic at seams.
- One or more heating or cooling ducts in an unconditioned space (e.g. crawl space, attic or basement) were not insulated, or the insulation was damaged or deteriorated. This can result in reduced energy efficiency, moisture inside heating ducts, and/or "sweating" on cooling ducts". Recommend that a qualified person repair as per standard building practices. For example, by wrapping ducts in insulation with an R-value of R-8.
- The last service date of this system appeared to be more than two years ago, or the inspector was unable to determine the last service date. The client should 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 two years ago, a qualified heating and cooling contractor should inspect, clean, and service this system, and make repairs if necessary. This servicing should be performed every few years in the future, or per the contractor's recommendations.
- One or more air filters were dirty. A qualified person should replace filter(s) as necessary. Filters should be checked monthly and maintained as necessary in the future.
Fireplaces, Stoves and Inserts
- 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.
- An exhaust hood was installed over the cook top or range, but the fan recirculated the exhaust air back into the kitchen. This may be due to no duct being installed, baffles at the front of the hood not being installed, or a problem with the duct. This can be a nuisance for odor and grease accumulation. Where a gas-fired range or cook top 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.
- The clearance between the stove top and the base of the exhaust hood above was too low. While the recommended height varies per the hood manufacturer, standards usually call for a minimum of 24 inches of clearance. A low hood height can restrict visibility of the stove top. Recommend that a qualified contractor repair per standard building practices.
Bathrooms, Laundry and Sinks
- The clothes dryer was equipped with 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. For more information, visit:http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/5022.pdf
- No caulk was installed around the base of the toilet at location(s) #A, B where fastened to the floor. Caulk should be applied approximately 3/4 of the way around the toilet base at the front for sanitary purposes and to prevent water intrusion. The back should be left uncaulked so water can escape if a leak ever occurs. Recommend that a qualified person caulk around the toilet base(s) per standard building practices.
Interior, Doors and Windows
- The lock mechanisms on one or more sliding glass doors were inoperable. A qualified person should repair as necessary.
- One or more interior doors wouldn't latch or were difficult to latch. Recommend that a qualified person repair as necessary. For example, by adjusting latch plates or locksets.