This report published on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 7:18:34 PM EDT
"No home is perfect. Keep things in perspective. Do not kill your deal over things that do not matter. It is inappropriate to demand that a seller address deferred maintenance, conditions already listed on the seller's disclosure or nit-picky items."
The above is an excerpt from Sell Your Home For More by Nick Gromicko.
Acceptance of this report and/or relying on the information within constitutes acceptance of the real estate inspection agreement even if the agreement is not signed. Reliance on a home inspection report that was originally performed for a different home buyer removes warranties. Home Inspections are not a pass/fail. The purpose is to identify the condition of the home as much as can be done at the time of the inspection. It is out of the scope of the home inspection to give estimates for repairs. We recommend that contractors be utilized prior to closing to provide repair estimates.
It is not typical to request to remedy those items which are small maintenance items. Your real estate agent will be your best source to help determine which items (if any) are appropriate to request for correction or improvement
1) Repair/Maintain - The perimeter grading around the structure was relatively flat or sloped slightly down towards the home. Recommend grading soil so it slopes down and away from the structure. The grade should drop at least 6 inches within the first 10 feet. http://www.homeinspectionsinohio.com/blog/post/negative-grading
It is common for newer homes to have settling of the exterior soil especially the first several years. Recommend monitoring and adding new soil as needed.
2) Maintain - Window wells for the basement were filled with debris. Recommend removal and also installation of window well covers to prevent water infiltration.
3) Comment, Conducive conditions - Downspouts terminate above roof surfaces rather than being routed to gutters below or to the ground level. This is very common, but it can reduce the life of roof surface materials below due to large amounts of water frequently flowing over the roof surface. Granules typically are washed off of composition shingles as a result, and leaks may occur. Recommend considering installing extensions as necessary so downspouts don't terminate above roof surfaces.
Roof covering: Asphalt or fiberglass composition shingles
Estimated age of roof material: 1-3 years
Gutter & downspout material: Aluminum
Roof ventilation: Adequate
4) Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - Drip edge flashing not installed. Drip edge is used to help prevent water infiltration on to the sheathing and soffit areas. Consider installation.
5) Comment - The insulation was of a good amount providing at least the recommended R30 for the ceilings.
6) Comment - Some attic areas were inaccessible due to stored items, lack of permanently installed walkways, the possibility of damage to loose fill insulation, and/or low height. These areas are excluded from this inspection.
8) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Gaps exist between the garage-house door and the surrounding weatherstrip when the door is closed. Fumes from the garage may enter living spaces as a result. A qualified contractor should evaluate and make repairs as necessary.
9) Safety, Repair/Maintain - Stairs with more than two risers had no handrail installed. This is a safety hazard. Handrails should be installed and be graspable handrails that your hand can completely encircle at stairs where missing.
10) Comment - The automatic garage door operated.
11) Comment - Cracks were found in the concrete floor. However they don't appear to be a structural concern and no trip hazards were found. No immediate action is required, but the client(s) may wish to have repairs made or cracks sealed to prevent further deterioration.
13) Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - The outside condensing unit was not level. Damage may occur if it is more than ten degrees off from level. Recommend repairs as necessary, such as replacing the pad that the condensing unit is installed on so it does not continue to tilt
Unit was also sliding off its pad
14) Serviceable, Comment - The flames on the furnace looked good.
15) Comment - Air conditioner controls and compressor operated at the time of the inspection.
Unable to check unit for condensate drainage and amount of temperature change due to time of year/dryer air/outdoor air temperature.
16) Comment - Our inspection of ducts is naturally limited to observable areas. Therefore large areas of ducts cannot be seen. Since dirt, dust, mold, even toys are commonly found in ducts we recommend that you have the ducts cleaned.
17) Minor Defect, Maintain, Conducive conditions - Caulk was missing or deteriorated around the base of the bathtub spout. It should be replaced where deteriorated and/or applied where missing to prevent water intrusion and damage to wall structures.
18) Serviceable - The electric water heater operated.
19) Comment - "In accordance with industry standards, we do not normally test washing machines and their water connections and drainpipes if present in the home. However, there are a few things of which you should be aware. The water supply to washing machines is usually left on, and their hoses can leak or burst under pressure and continue to flow. Therefore, we recommend replacing the rubber hose type with newer, braided, stainless steel ones that are much more dependable and that they be operated only during times you are home. You should also be aware that the newer washing machines discharge a greater volume of water than many of the older drainpipes can handle, which causes the water to back up and overflow, and the only remedy would be to replace the standpipe and trap with one that is a size larger. Although not required, whenever structural damage may result from an overflow, we recommend a pan with a plumbed drain. An alternative is a flood or leak detection device that will terminate the water supply in a water pipe failure."
20) Comment - It is beyond the scope of the inspection to confirm if the structure uses a septic or a publc sewer system. Recommend confirming with seller.
21) Comment - Your water meter and main water shut off location.
Insulation material underneath floor above: Fiberglass roll or batt
Pier or support post material: Steel
Beam material: Steel
Floor structure above: Solid wood joists
23) Repair/Maintain - The pit for the sump pump was not sealed. When a radon system is installed a sealed cover for the sump pump pit should be installed to better mitigate radon gas/soil gas to the exterior. Recommend installing a sealed cover.
24) Comment - Sump pump operated as designed when tested.
25) Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - The dishwasher drain line was not configured with a "high loop" or "air gap". A high loop is created by routing the drain line up to the bottom surface of the counter top above, and securely fastening it to that surface. It is meant to prevent water from siphoning out of the dishwasher, and to prevent water from the sink drain or food disposal from entering the dishwasher. Some dishwashers have a built-in high loop where one is not required to be configured in the drain line. The clients should try to determine if a high loop is required for this brand and model of dishwasher (review installation instructions, etc.). If one is required, or it cannot be determined if one is not required, then a qualified contractor should install a high loop as per standard building practices.
Also, no "air gap" was installed. Air gaps are another device meant to prevent water from the sink drain or food disposal from entering the dishwasher. These are required in some municipalities for new construction and when remodeling. The client(s) should consult with a qualified contractor to determine if an air gap should be installed.
26) Comment - The range hood fan vented into the kitchen rather than outdoors (this is common). Moisture may accumulate indoors. Consider modifications so the range hood fan vents outdoors. At minimum keep pots covered when cooking to reduce moisture.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION CONTINUES You should not regard this inspection and report as a guarantee or warranty of the property and its components. It is not. It is simply a report on the general condition of the property at a given point in time. Furthermore, as a homeowner, you should expect problems to occur; roofs will leak, drain pipes will become blocked, and components and systems will fail without warning. For these reasons, you should take into consideration the age of the house and its components and keep a comprehensive insurance policy current. If you have been provided with a home protection policy, read it carefully. Such policies usually only cover insignificant costs, such as that of rooter service, and the representatives of some insurance companies are very likely to charge you for a service call and then deny coverage on the grounds that a given condition was preexisting or not covered because of an alleged code violation or a manufacturers defect. Therefore, you should read such policies very carefully, and depend upon our company for any assistance and consultation that you may need.
Heating and Cooling systems Furnaces typically will last 15-20 years. With proper maintenance they can last longer. Air conditioners also have a typical life expectancy of 8-15 years. Heat pumps typically last 15-20 years. The estimated useful life for boiler system is 25-40 years. It is normal to have issues with systems as they age. Be sure to have regular maintenance done.
Crawl Spaces Crawl spaces should all be viewed periodically. Although not desirable it is common for moisture levels to be higher here than in other areas of the home. Recommend quarterly viewing so as to catch water intrusion and moisture related issues quickly.
Roof materials It is beyond the scope of the inspection to give the life expectation of roofing materials. There are many factors that effect the aging process such as color, angle, orientation, ventilation and type of material. Any mention of age is a rough estimate based upon experience and is in no way an guarantee of the actual age. We recommend asking seller if you want specific age information.
Rodents Please be aware that inspecting for rodents is outside the scope of home inspections. If we see obvious indications of activity we will note it. If we note it that should not be taken that we conducted a pest inspection. It is also very common for mice and similar sized critters to enter all homes at sometime. Please do not be alarmed if you have such house guests at sometime.
What are Molds? Molds are simple, microscopic organisms, present virtually everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Molds, along with mushrooms and yeasts, are fungi and are needed to break down dead material and recycle nutrients in the environment. For molds to grow and reproduce, they need only a food source and any organic material, such as leaves, wood, paper, or dirt and moisture. Because molds grow by digesting the organic material, they gradually destroy whatever they grow on. Sometimes, new molds grow on old mold colonies. Mold growth on surfaces can often be seen in the form of discoloration, frequently green, gray, brown, or black but also white and other colors. Molds release countless tiny, lightweight spores, which travel through the air. Everyone is exposed to some mold on a daily basis without evident harm. It is common to find mold spores in the air inside homes, and most of the airborne spores found indoors come from outdoor sources. Mold spores primarily cause health problems when they are present in large numbers and people inhale many of them. This occurs primarily when there is active mold growth within home, office or school where people live or work. People can also be exposed to mold by touching contaminated materials and by eating contaminated foods. Molds produce health effects through inflammation, allergy, or infection. Allergic reactions (often referred to as hay fever) are most common following mold exposure. Typical symptoms that mold-exposed persons report (alone or in combination) include: Respiratory problems, such as wheezing, difficulty breathing, and shortness of breath Nasal and sinus congestion, Eye irritation (burning, watery, or reddened eyes) Dry, hacking cough, Nose or throat irritation, Skin rashes or irritation Headaches, memory problems, mood swings, nosebleeds, body aches and pains, and fevers are occasionally reported in mold cases, but their cause is not understood. Molds will grow and multiply whenever conditions are right and sufficient moisture is available and organic material is present. Be on the lookout in your home for common sources of indoor moisture that may lead to mold problems: If you suspect that you may have mold, contact a specialist.
When Things Go Wrong There may come a time that you discover something wrong with the house, and you may be upset or disappointed with your home inspection.
Intermittent Or Concealed Problems. Some problems can only be discovered by living in a house. They cannot be discovered during the few hours of a home inspection. For example, some shower stalls leak when people are in the shower, but do not leak when you simply turn on the tap. Some roofs and basements only leak when specific conditions exist. Some problems will only be discovered when carpets were lifted, furniture is moved or finishes are removed.
No Clues. These problems may have existed at the time of the inspection but there were no clues as to their existence. Our inspections are based on the past performance of the house. If there are no clues of a past problem, it is unfair to assume we should foresee a future problem.
We Always Miss Some Minor Things Some might say we are inconsistent because our reports identify some minor problems but not others. The minor problems that are identified were discovered while looking for more significant problems. We note them simply as a courtesy. The intent of the inspection is not to find the $200 problems; it is to find the $2,000 problems. These are the things that affect people's decisions to purchase.
Contractors' Advice The main source of dissatisfaction with home inspectors comes from comments made by contractors. Contractors' opinions often differ from ours. Don't be surprised when three roofers all say the roof needs replacement when we said that, with some minor repairs, the roof will last a few more years.
Last Man In Theory While our advice represents the most prudent thing to do, many contractors are reluctant to undertake these repairs. This is because of the "Last Man In Theory". The contractor fears that if he is the last person to work on the roof, he will get blamed if the roof leaks, regardless of whether the roof leak is his fault or not. Consequently, he won't want to do a minor repair with high liability when he could re-roof the entire house for more money and reduce the likelihood of a callback. This is understandable.
Most Recent Advice Is Best There is more to the "Last Man In Theory". It suggests that it is human nature for homeowners to believe the last bit of "expert" advice they receive, even if it is contrary to previous advice. As home inspectors, we unfortunately find ourselves in the position of "First Man In" and consequently it is our advice that is often disbelieved.
Why Didn't We See It Contractors may say "I can't believe you had this house inspected, and they didn't find this problem". There are several reasons for these apparent oversights:
1. Conditions During Inspection It is difficult for homeowners to remember the circumstances in the house, at the time of the inspection. Homeowners seldom remember that it was snowing, there was storage everywhere in the basement or that the furnace could not be turned on because the air conditioning was operating, et cetera. It's impossible for contractors to know what the circumstances were when the inspection was performed. Contractors also rarely understand the standards home inspectors are to follow.
2. The Wisdom Of Hindsight When the problem manifests itself, it is very easy to have 20/20 hindsight. Anybody can say that the basement is wet when there is 2 inches of water on the floor. Predicting the problem is a different story.
3. A Long Look If we spent 1/2 an hour under the kitchen sink or 45 minutes disassembling the furnace, we'd find more problems too. Unfortunately, the inspection would take several days and would cost considerably more.
4. We're Generalists We are generalists; we are not specialists. The heating contractor may indeed have more heating expertise than we do.
5. An Invasive Look Problems often become apparent when carpets or plaster are removed, when fixtures or cabinets are pulled out, and so on. A home inspection is a visual examination. We don't perform any invasive or destructive tests.
6. Taking advantage of a situation Contractors may be desperate or eager for extra work. Is is too tempting for some to attempt to get work approval asap by telling the home owner that someone else will be paying for it.
Not Insurance In conclusion, a home inspection is designed to better your odds. It is not designed to eliminate all risk. For that reason, a home inspection should not be considered an insurance policy. The premium that an insurance company would have to charge for a policy with no deductible, no limit and an indefinite policy period would be considerably more than the fee we charge. It would also not include the value added by the inspection.