This report published on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 7:19:03 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) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One trip hazards were/were found in the driveway due to cracks, settlement and/or heaving. Recommend having a qualified contractor evaluate and repair or replace driveway sections as necessary to eliminate trip hazards.
2) Safety, Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - Guardrails/handrails were missing from sections of elevated surfaces with "high" drop-offs. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of falling. Guardrails should be installed at drop-offs higher than 30 inches, but in some cases it is advised to install them at shorter drop-offs. Recommend installing as necessary.
3) Repair/Maintain, 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 in all areas to help prevent water infiltration. The grade should drop at least 6 inches within the first 10 feet. http://www.homeinspectionsinohio.com/blog/post/negative-grading
Where the site does not allow for the necessary fall away from the structure, drains or swales could be used.
4) Repair/Maintain, Evaluate, Conducive conditions - Siding was damaged and/or deteriorated in small areas. Recommend evaluation and correction as necessary to help prevent water intrusion.
5) Repair/Maintain, Conducive conditions - 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. Numerous products exist to seal such cracks including:
Hydraulic cement. Requires chiseling a channel in the crack to apply.
Resilient caulks (easy to apply).
Epoxy sealants (both a waterproof and structural repair).
6) Repair/Maintain, Conducive conditions - Vegetation such as trees, shrubs and/or vines are in contact with or less than one foot from the structure's exterior. Vegetation can serve as a conduit for wood destroying insects and may retain moisture against the exterior after it rains. Vegetation should be pruned and/or removed as necessary to maintain a one foot clearance between it and the structure's exterior.
7) Repair/Maintain - 2 downspout(s) were barely connected/not connected to the buried drain line. Recommend extending them to help ensure connection and proper routing of water away from the home.
8) Repair/Maintain - Sump discharge pipe was not connected or not connected well. Recommend connecting to ensure water is directed away from the foundation. Often these get routed into buried drain lines.
9) Repair/Maintain - Downspout support strap was detached. Recommend securing to prevent damage to downspout.
10) 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: 4-8 years
Gutter & downspout material: Aluminum
Roof ventilation: Adequate
11) Repair/Replace, Evaluate, Conducive conditions - Gaps were found in 1 roof surface seams. These may result in leaks. Recommend evaluation and repair/sealing as necessary.
12) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The siding/trim on one exterior walls above lower roof sections was in contact with or had less than a one inch gap between it and the roof surface below. A gap is recommended so water isn't wicked up into the siding from the shingles below (important mainly if wood siding/trim is used). The gap is also to provide room for additional layers of roofing materials when the current roof surface fails. Consider improving.
deterioration found, recommend repair, rear upper
13) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Damaged/lifted flashing at flat roof. Recommend evaluation and improvement by a qualified roofer.
14) Repair/Maintain, Minor Defect - Ceiling insulation was uneven in some areas. Recommend installing additional insulation where necessary to restore the original R rating.
Small area near hatch
15) Repair/Maintain - One rubber boot flashing was installed incorrectly (inverted). Recommend repair/improvement to prevent leaks.
16) Repair/Maintain - Four shingles were damaged, deteriorated and/or missing, and should be corrected to help prevent leaks.
17) Minor Defect, Maintain - Roofing nails in areas had exposed nail heads. Recommend tapping down nails if needed and applying sealant to help prevent leaks.
18) Minor Defect - No weatherstrip was installed around the attic access hatch. Weatherstrip should be installed around the hatch to prevent heated interior air from entering attic.
19) Maintain, Comment - Rubber membrane roofs require periodic maintenance typically every 4-5 years. Consider this product when the time arises.
20) Comment - The attic access hatch was inaccessible due to stored items, debris, or the hatch being permanently closed. The inspector was unable to evaluate the attic, and it's excluded from this inspection. Recommend moving items or modifying hatch(es) as necessary to allow periodic evaluation of attic spaces.
21) 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.
22) Comment - The level of insulation was good for this area (R factor of 30 or higher)
23) Comment - Attic structure looked good. And there are no indications of leaks
24) Comment - Generally the roof covering was in good condition
25) Comment - Past repairs observed. Recommend asking sellers for information.
27) Safety, Repair/Maintain - The auto-reverse mechanism on both vehicle door openers were inoperable or required too much force to activate. This is a safety hazard. Recommend correction. (This is typically a simple adjustment on the opener)
Note, the amount of pressure is subjective. Since the garage door manufactures will not establish a "pound per inch" limit, we recommend that you determine yourself what a safe amount of pressure is.
28) Safety, Repair/Maintain - The infared "photo eye" devices that trigger the vehicle door opener's auto-reverse feature were located higher than 4 to 6 inches from the floor. This is a safety hazard, especially for small children. Recommend relocating these devices so they're 4 to 6 inches from the floor.
Primary service overload protection type: Circuit breakers
Service amperage (amps): 200
Service voltage (volts): 120/240
Location of Main Service Switch: Basement
Location of Sub panel: Basement, Garage
Location of main disconnect: Breaker at top of main service panel
Service entrance conductor material: Aluminum
System ground: Ground rod(s) in soil
Main disconnect rating (amps): 200
Branch circuit wiring type: Non-metallic sheathed
Solid strand aluminum branch circuit wiring present: No
30) Safety, Minor Defect - One knockout(s) had been removed inside the main service panel where no wires and bushings are installed, and no cover(s) have been installed to seal the hole(s). This is a safety hazard. Recommend installing knockout covers where missing.
31) Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - The legend for overcurrent protection devices (breakers or fuses) in the sub panel was incomplete. Recommend updating / completing the legend as necessary so it's accurate.
32) Serviceable, Comment - No observable concerns with the electric panel wiring.
33) Comment - Generator are not within the scope of the inspection. We noticed one was at the home. Here are key things to ask the sellers regarding it. Ask for the manual. Many generators will automatically start up once every two weeks as a way to check itself ask if this one will do that. Some also will start up automatically if power goes out for 30 seconds, ask if this unit does that as well. It is also great to know if it supplies the entire home with power or just a few key rooms such as the kitchen, etc Ask when the oil was last changed in it and the schedule for that.
34) Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - An active leak of condensation was observed. Recommend evaluation and repair / improvement.
35) 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
it was not off by 10 degrees,
36) Repair/Maintain - The cooling fins on the outdoor condensing unit's evaporator coils are dirty. This may result in reduced efficiency and higher energy costs. A qualified heating and cooling contractor should clean the evaporator coils as necessary.
37) Monitor - Rust/stains observed in/on the furnace cabinet. Active leaking did not occur during time of inspection. Recommend monitoring for leaks from condensation.
2nd floor furnace
38) Serviceable, Comment - The flames on the furnace looked good.
39) Comment - All 3 air conditioner controls and compressors 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.
40) 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.
41) Repair/Maintain, Minor Defect, Evaluate - The shower diverter valve for the bathtub faucet was defective. A significant amount of water comes out of the bathtub spout when the shower is turned on. Water will be wasted as a result. Recommend replace components or make repairs as necessary.
42) Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - Elevated level of moisture and/or dark staining at flooring around the base of the bathroom toilet(s) was found. Recommend removing toilet where necessary for further evaluation and repairs (wax ring replacement). Adequate time should be allowed for enclosed, wet floor structures to dry out after repairs are made and before floor cavities are closed off to prevent mold growth.
43) Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - Due to panels being fixed in place, there was no access to the underside of the master bathroom tub to check for leaks. Recommend improving/opening so that periodic inspection for leaks can be made. Consider also having it opened up now for inspection
The jetted tub did operate.
44) Repair/Maintain, Comment - The washing machine was installed over or next to a finished living space and had no catch pan or drain installed. These are recommended to prevent water damage to finished interior spaces below if or when the washing machine leaks, overflows or is drained. Recommend having a qualified contractor install both a catch pan and drain.
1st and 2nd floors
45) Serviceable, Comment - The flames on the water heater looked good.
46) Serviceable - The electric water heater operated.
47) 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."
48) 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.
Insulation material underneath floor above: Fiberglass roll or batt
Pier or support post material: Steel
Beam material: Steel
Floor structure above: Engineered wood joists
51) Repair/Replace - The check valve was not working on the sump pump's discharge pipe. As a result of this water in the discharge pipe was flowing back down into the sump tank after the pump shuts off. Recommend replacing the check valve. For more information on sump pump installations, visit http://www.hometips.com/cs-protected/guides/sumps.html
Rear sump near furnace
52) Minor Defect, Maintain, Comment - Minor cracks were found in the concrete slab. However they don't appear to be a structural concern and no trip hazards were found. This is common for large sections of cement. Recommend sealing to help prevent water infiltration and for aesthetic reasons.
53) Comment - A moisture meter was taken to the interior of the finished portion of the basement and no elevated levels of moisture were present.
54) Comment - Sump pump operated as designed when tested. Both units
55) 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.
Basement and first floor
56) Repair/Maintain, Comment - No range hood was installed over the range or cook top. Ventilation and/or lighting may be inadequate and moisture may accumulate indoors Consider installing a vented and lighted range hood, with the exhaust fan configured so as to vent outdoors.
It is common for range hoods to vent to the interior when installed or part of over the range microwaves. If this is the case then keep lids on when cooking to reduce moisture/steam.
57) Repair/Maintain - Damage/cracks were found in walls in areas. They do not appear to be a structural concern, but the client(s) may wish to repair these for aesthetic reasons. Areas: entry door by dining room
58) Repair/Maintain - 10 windows that were built to open, will not open, or open only minimally due to their being painted shut, damaged and/or deteriorated in some way. Repairs should be made as necessary, and by a qualified contractor if necessary so windows open fully, and open and close easily. Area: 2 living room by kitchen, all 3 in master bedroom, master closet right side, 2 in 2nd floor laundry, 2 in back bedroom
59) Repair/Maintain - Window opening mechanism on 2 windows did not function as designed to. Recommend repair.
marked with blue dot
Living room by kitchen, guest suite bonus room
60) Repair/Maintain - 4 doors would not latch when closed. Recommend correction such as, aligning strike plates with latch bolts and/or replacing locksets. Marked with a blue dots on the latch plates
Basketball court closet, 1st floor laundry room, guest suite bathroom, front bedroom
61) Repair/Maintain - The weatherstrip around the entry door was missing/deteriorated or had gaps to allow air leakage or water infiltration. Weatherstrip should be installed where missing and/or replaced where needed.
Court entry, mud room entry
62) Minor Defect, Maintain - Weatherstrip was loose or somehow deteriorated at 6 window(s). Recommend repair to help reduce air leaks.
Rooms: living room by kitchen, dining area by kitchen, large living room, front bedroom, 2 in front bedroom 'office'
63) Comment - Minor cracks were found in ceilings in one area(s). They do not appear to be a structural concern, but the client(s) may wish to repair these for aesthetic reasons.
66) Comment - The corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) was properly bonded for safety in the rare instance in which lightening strikes have resulted in energized gas line and fires.
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.