View as PDF

View summary

Habitation Investigation LLC
(614) 413-0075
Inspector: Jim Troth

Home Inspection Report

Client(s):  Sample report of older duplex
Property address:  xxxx and xxxx Sample St
Columbus, Ohio
Inspection date:  Friday, September 1, 2017

This report published on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 7:18:05 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

Table of Contents

General information
Exterior and Foundation
Electric service and Branch Wiring
Heating and cooling
Plumbing, Toilets, Water Heater
Fireplaces, woodstoves and chimneys
Kitchen / Appliances
Interior rooms
Gas pipe

View summary

General information
Table of contents
Type of building: Duplex
Year built: 1954
Present during inspection: Tenant(s)
Occupied: Yes
Weather conditions: Cloudy
Temperature: 50's
Ground condition: Wet
Foundation type: Unfinished basement
1) Repair/Replace, Comment - Electricity was not available during the inspection (service turned off or not fully installed, main disconnect tripped, etc.). As a result, branch circuit wiring, fixtures such as lights and fans, switches, ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) devices, arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) devices, and some appliances such as water heaters, forced air furnaces, heat pump or air conditioning units, and kitchen appliances weren't fully evaluated.

Unit xxx 2nd and 3rd floors had no power due to the breaker being off because of the fire.
2) Comment - Some wall, floor and/or ceiling surfaces were obscured by furniture and/or stored items. Some areas couldn't be fully evaluated.

Unit xxx
Photo 2-1 
3) Comment - Older home—We expect homes to be built according to the standard practices and building codes, if any, that were in use at the date of construction. Older homes often have areas or systems that do not comply with current building codes. While this inspection makes every effort to point out safety concerns, it does not inspect for building code compliance. It is common for homes of any age to have had repairs done, and some repairs may appear less than standard. This inspection looks for items that are not functioning as intended. It does not grade the quality of the repairs. In older homes, the inspector reviewed the structure from the standpoint of how it has fared through the years with the materials that were used. You can expect problems to become apparent as time passes. The inspector will not be able to find all deficiencies in and around a property, especially concerning construction techniques of the past.
4) Comment - Note - We have attempted to inform you of as many of the visible repairs as time permitted us. This property is in need of obvious cosmetic and deferred maintenance repair. Due to the condition of this property, there may be other repairs needed which we did not report or were unable to observe.
Exterior and Foundation
Table of contents
Foundation material: Concrete block
Apparent wall structure: Wood frame
Wall covering: Vinyl, Stone veneer
Driveway material: Asphalt
Sidewalk material: Poured in place concrete
5) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Sidewalks and/or patios have significant cracks and/or deterioration in all area(s). Recommend evaluation and repair or replace sidewalk and/or patio sections as necessary.
Photo 5-1 
Photo 5-2 
Photo 5-3 
Photo 5-4 
Photo 5-5 
Photo 5-6 
Photo 5-7 
Photo 5-8 
Photo 5-9 
Photo 5-10 
6) Repair/Replace, Conducive conditions - The perimeter grading sloped towards the structure in areas. This can result in water accumulating around the structure's foundation, or in basements and crawl spaces if they exist. Accumulated water is a conducive condition to wood destroying insects and organisms. Wet soil may also cause the foundation to settle and possibly fail over time. 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. Correct any negative slope of brick/concrete areas as well to direct water away from structure.

Where the site does not allow for the necessary fall away from the structure, drains or swales could be used.
Photo 6-1 
7) Repair/Replace - Observed damaged foundation blocks. Recommend repair/replacement to help ensure proper foundation support.

Basement of xxx
Photo 7-1 
8) Repair/Maintain, Minor Defect, Conducive conditions - At least one downspout had no extensions, or had extensions that were ineffective. This can result in water accumulating around the structure's foundation, or in basements and crawl spaces if they exist. 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. Repairs should be made as necessary, such as installing or repositioning splash blocks, 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 8-1 
Photo 8-2 
9) 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.

Photo 9-1 
10) Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - Bowing was found in the foundation. This may be a structural concern, and an indication that settlement is ongoing. The client(s) should consider hiring qualified contractors and/or engineers as necessary for further evaluation of all areas of the foundation. Such contractors may include:
  • Foundation repair contractors who may prescribe repairs, and will give cost estimates for prescribed repairs
  • Masonry contractors who repair and/or replace brick veneer
  • Geotechnical engineers who attempt to determine if settlement is ongoing, and what the cause of the settlement is
  • Structural engineers who determine if repairs are necessary, and prescribe those repairs

Basement of xxx has slight bowing on the side of the home with the driveway.
Photo 10-1 
11) 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).
Photo 11-1 
Photo 11-2 
12) Maintain, Conducive conditions - Caulk was missing or deteriorated in some areas and should be replaced and/or applied where necessary. For more information on caulking, visit The Ins and Outs of Caulking.
Photo 12-1 
13) Maintain - Recommend resealing asphalt driveway.
14) Maintain - Small gaps exist at openings around the exterior, such as those where outside faucets, refrigerant lines, and/or gas supply pipes penetrate the exterior. Gaps should be sealed as necessary to prevent moisture intrusion and conditioned air loss.
Photo 14-1 
Photo 14-2 
Photo 14-3 
Photo 14-4 
Photo 14-5 
Table of contents
Attic Inspection method: Partially traversed
Roof structure type: Rafters
Ceiling structure: Ceiling beams
Insulation material: Fiberglass roll or batt
Estimated R value of Insulation: 10-15
Roof inspection method: Viewed from ground with camera lens
Roof type: Gable
Roof covering: Asphalt or fiberglass composition shingles
Estimated age of roof material: 8-12 years
Gutter & downspout material: Aluminum
Roof ventilation: Adequate
15) Safety, Repair/Replace - Fire wall between units was missing/not installed. Recommend closing off to prevent the spread of fire if that were to ever occur.
16) Repair/Replace, Conducive conditions - One exhaust fan had no duct and terminated in the attic. This is a conducive condition for wood destroying insects and organisms due to increased moisture levels in the attic from the exhaust air. A contractor should install ducts and vent caps as necessary and as per standard building practices so exhaust air is vented outside. Better building practices call for R8 rated insulation on these ducts.

Bathroom exhaust for unit xxx
17) Repair/Replace - The ceiling insulation's R rating was less than what's recommended for this area (R30). Recommend having a qualified contractor install additional insulation as per standard building practices for better energy efficiency.
18) Repair/Replace - Ceiling insulation was missing in some areas. Recommend installing insulation where missing for better energy efficiency.
Photo 18-1 
19) Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - Insulation was installed on the underside of the roof. The exposed paper facing on insulation is often flammable. Flammable facing should be located towards an interior surface and covered with a nonflammable material such as sheetrock to prevent the spread of fire.

Recommend improvement. Sometimes simple removal of the facing is all that is needed

Insulation on underside of roof often corresponds to inadequate ventilation in attic space.
Photo 19-1 
20) Repair/Maintain - Some metal flashing was beginning to rust. The flashing was not significantly deteriorated evident by no indications of water infiltration in those areas. Recommend painting with a rust inhibiting paint to ensure long life of the flashings.
Photo 20-1 
Photo 20-2 
21) Comment - Attic structure looked good.
Photo 21-1 
Photo 21-2 
Photo 21-3 
Photo 21-4 
Photo 21-5 
Photo 21-6 
Photo 21-7 
22) Comment - Generally the roof covering was in good condition
Photo 22-1 
Photo 22-2 
Photo 22-3 
Photo 22-4 
23) Comment - Rubber boot(s) were in good condition.
Photo 23-1 
Electric service and Branch Wiring
Table of contents
Primary service type: Overhead
Primary service overload protection type: Circuit breakers
Service amperage (amps): 100
Service voltage (volts): 120/240
Location of Main Service Switch: Basement
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): 100
Branch circuit wiring type: Non-metallic sheathed (BX) Armor clad
Solid strand aluminum branch circuit wiring present: Can't verify
24) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Neutral wires were doubled or bundled together on the neutral bus bar. This is unsafe due to the need to turn off multiple circuit breakers to work on any of the circuits using these wires. A qualified electrician should evaluate and repair as necessary.

Unit xxx
Photo 24-1 
25) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - 6 open ground, three-pronged electric receptacles were found. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. Recommend consulting with a qualified electrical contractor to determine alternatives to grounding the branch circuits in specific areas, and for bringing the receptacles into compliance with current safety standards. Some possibilities:

(1) Establishing a grounding connection for the circuits (rewiring is at times not practical)
(2) Installation of ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection at the branch circuits and affixing warning labels to the receptacles.
(3) Replacing the improperly installed grounding-type receptacles with a 2-prong type receptacle.

Three prong receptacles without an equipment ground that are protected by a GFCI should be labeled as such and any receptacle downstream of the GFCI as well. A qualified electrician should always provide additional information to you and complete the repairs that involve wiring.

Locations were identified with blue dot(s) with "OG"

Grounding type receptacles began being required in residential structures during the 1960s. Based on the age of this structure an acceptable repair may be to simply replace the ungrounded 3-pronged receptacles with 2-pronged receptacles. However the following appliances require grounding type receptacles:
Computer hardware
Air conditioners
Clothes washers
Clothes dryers
Kitchen food waste disposers
Information technology equipment
Sump pumps
Electrical aquarium equipment
Hand-held motor-operated tools
Stationary and fixed motor-operated tools
Light industrial motor-operated tools
Hedge clippers
Lawn mowers

This list is not exhaustive. Grounded circuits and receptacles should be installed in locations where such appliances will be used.
26) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One open ground, three-pronged grounding type receptacle(s) were found. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. An electrician should evaluate and make repairs as necessary.

Identified with blue dot(s) with "OG"

Grounding type receptacles were first required in residential structures during the 1960s. Based on the age of this structure and/or the absence of 2-pronged receptacles, repairs should be made by correcting wiring circuits as necessary so all receptacles are grounded as per standard building practices. Replacement of three-pronged receptacles with 2-pronged receptacles is not an acceptable solution.

One above kitchen counter
27) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One section of wiring that was not terminated was found. This is a potential safety hazard due to the risk of shock. A qualified electrician should evaluate and repair as necessary. For example, cutting the wire to length and terminating the wire with wire nuts in a securely anchored, covered, properly sized junction box.

Basement of xxx
Photo 27-1 
28) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Two-pronged electric receptacles rather than three-pronged, grounded receptacles are installed in interior rooms. They are commonly found in older homes (pre mid 60's). They are considered to be unsafe by today's standards and limit the ability to use appliances that require a ground in these rooms. Examples of appliances that require grounded receptacles include:
  • Computer hardware
  • Refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Air conditioners
  • Clothes washers
  • Clothes dryers
  • Dishwashers
  • Kitchen food waste disposers
  • Information technology equipment
  • Sump pumps
  • Electrical aquarium equipment
  • Hand-held motor-operated tools
  • Stationary and fixed motor-operated tools
  • Light industrial motor-operated tools
  • Hedge clippers
  • Lawn mowers

This list is not exhaustive. A qualified electrian should evaluate and install grounded receptacles as per the client(s)' needs and standard building practices.
Photo 28-1 
29) Safety, Repair/Replace - One bushing was/were missing from where wires enter holes in the main service panel. This is a safety hazard since the wiring insulation can be cut or abraded on the metal edge of the hole(s). A qualified electrician should install bushings where missing.

Unit xxx
Photo 29-1 
30) Safety, Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - One electric receptacle(s) and/or the boxes they are installed in were loose and/or not securely anchored. Wire conductors may be damaged due to repeated movement and/or tension on wires, or insulation may be damaged. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock and fire. A qualified electrician should evaluate and repair as necessary.

Unit xxx
Photo 30-1 
31) Safety, Repair/Maintain - This property had at least one fuel burning appliance, and no carbon monoxide alarms are visible. This is a safety hazard. Recommend installing carbon monoxide alarms as necessary and as per the manufacturer's instructions. For more information, visit

An insufficient number of smoke alarms were installed. Additional smoke alarms should be installed as necessary so a functioning one exists in each hallway leading to bedrooms, and in each bedroom.

Both units
32) Safety, Minor Defect - Cover plates were missing from one or more electric box(s), such as for receptacles, switches and/or junction boxes. They are intended to contain fire and prevent electric shock from exposed wires. Cover plates should be installed where missing.

Unit xxx
Photo 32-1 
33) Safety, Minor Defect - Cover plate(s) were broken at one electric boxes, such as for receptacles, switches and/or junction boxes. They are intended to contain fire and prevent electric shock from exposed wires. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of fire and shock. Cover plates should be replaced where necessary.

Kitchen of xxx
Photo 33-1 
34) Repair/Maintain, Evaluate, Monitor - Rusting observed in the panel, this indicates past moisture intrusion or high humidity levels. Recommend evaluation for water entry points and monitoring especially after rains.

Both units
Photo 34-1 
Photo 34-2 
35) Comment - Newer constructions approx 2009 and after began requiring newer circuit breakers called an arc-fault circuit interrupter or AFCI (these trip off the power in response to sparks)-- first required on circuits for bedrooms, and then on to living rooms, dining rooms, sun rooms and other areas where families gather or sleep. These standards change over time and vary from one jurisdiction to another.

There are no requirements to upgrade if AFCI outlets or AFCI breakers are not present. Consider installing for increased safety and as an upgrade.

Here is a video showing how to install
Heating and cooling
Table of contents
Estimated Furnace age: 1995, 2008
Primary heating system energy source: Natural gas
Primary heat system type: Forced air
Distribution system: Metal pipe
Manufacturer(s): Intertherm
Filter location: In return air duct below furnace
Thermostat Location: Front Room
36) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - What appears to be asbestos was visible on some ductwork. It was significantly deteriorated in some areas, and if it is asbestos, it may pose a health hazard and require abatement. Recommend having this material tested at a qualified lab. If the material is found to contain asbestos, recommend consulting with a qualified asbestos abatement contractor or industrial hygenist. For information on asbestos hazards in the home, visit

Unit xxx
Unit xxx
Photo 36-1 
Photo 36-2 
37) Safety, Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - The last service date of the heating system appeared 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 heating and cooling contractor should inspect, clean, and service this system, and make repairs if necessary. For safety reasons, and because this system is fueled by gas or oil, this servicing should be performed annually in the future. For more information visit:
38) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One or more air ducts were rusted,damaged or deteriorated. A contractor should evaluate and make permanent repairs as necessary to help ensure proper air movement.
Photo 38-1 
39) Maintain - The filter(s) for the heating/cooling system should be checked monthly and replaced or washed as necessary.

short video:
40) Serviceable, Comment - The flames on the furnace looked good.
Photo 40-1 
Photo 40-2 
41) Comment - Be aware that window air conditioners and portable heating and cooling systems are not included in the scope of home inspections.
42) 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.
Plumbing, Toilets, Water Heater
Table of contents
Location of main water shut off: Basement
Location of main water meter: Basement
Location of main fuel shut off: Exterior
Water service: Public
Service pipe material: Polyethelene
Supply pipe material: Copper
Vent pipe material: Cast iron
Drain pipe material: Plastic
Waste pipe material: Plastic, Cast iron
Estimated Year of water Heater: 2017, 2015
Type: Tank
Energy source: Natural gas
Capacity (in gallons): 40, 40
Manufacturer: Envi-Ro-Temp, Rheem, Whirlpool
43) Safety, Minor Defect - The clothes dryer was equipped with a vinyl or foil, accordion-type, flexible exhaust duct. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission considers these types of ducts to be unsafe, and a fire hazard. These types of ducts can trap lint and are susceptible to kinks or crushing, which can greatly reduce the air flow. This duct should be replaced with a rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct. Most clothes dryer manufacturers specify the use of a rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct.
44) Safety, Comment - Water supply pipes in homes built prior to 1986 may be joined with solder that contains lead. Lead 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 about 50 percent lead. The client(s) should be aware of this, especially if children will be living in this structure. Evaluating for the presence of lead in this structure is not included in this inspection. The client(s) 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 such as these may be advised:
  • Flush water taps or faucets. Do not drink water that has been sitting in the plumbing lines for more than six hours.
  • Install appropriate filters at points of use.
  • Use only cold water for cooking and drinking. 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 plumbing contractor replace supply pipes and/or plumbing components as necessary.

For more information visit:
45) Repair/Replace, Evaluate, Conducive conditions - One active leak was found in drain and/or waste pipes or fittings. A qualified plumber should evaluate and repair as necessary.

Unit xxx near main waste line
Photo 45-1 
46) Repair/Replace, Conducive conditions - The bathroom with a shower did not have an exhaust fan installed. Moisture accumulation will occur and may damage the structure. Even if the bathroom has a window that opens, it likely does not provide adequate ventilation, especially during cold weather when the window is closed. A qualified contractor should install exhaust fans as per standard building practices where missing in bathrooms with showers.

Unit xxx
47) 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.

Here is a video showing how it can be done

Unit xxx
Unit xxx
48) Repair/Maintain, Evaluate, Conducive conditions - The sink drain had an active leak. For example, at pipe fittings and/or junctions between pipe and sink. Recommend repair as necessary.

Right kitchen sink in unit xxx

Kitchen sink in xxx
Photo 48-1 
Photo 48-2 
49) Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - The kitchen faucet leaked at its handle(s) or at its base when turned on. Recommend evaluate and repair as necessary.
Photo 49-1 
50) Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - The bathroom sink was loose, or not securely attached to the wall behind it. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair as necessary to help prevent damage to supply and drain lines due to movement.

If moisture is found underneath then 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 and damage.

Unit xxx
Photo 50-1 
51) Repair/Maintain, Conducive conditions - Caulk was missing or deteriorated at the bathtub, where the tub surround meets the tub. It should be replaced where deteriorated and/or applied where missing to prevent water intrusion and damage to the wall structure.

Unit xxx
Photo 51-1 
52) Repair/Maintain - Tub stopper mechanism needed adjustment or repair. Stopper mechanisms should be installed where missing and/or repairs should be made so sink stoppers open and close easily.

Unit xxx
53) Minor Defect, Comment - An expansion tank was not installed. These are recommended to help relieve pressure in water line from getting too high due to the heating of water. Too high of water pressure can result in plumbing issues such as a leaking TPR valve. Recommend checking with local plumber to determine if needed or required by the municipality.

more more informantion
54) Maintain, Comment - No access to the underside of the tub to check for leaks. Recommend improving so that periodic inspection can be made.

Unit xxx panel would not move once screws were removed.

Unit xxx panel blocked
Photo 54-1 
Photo 54-2 
55) Serviceable, Comment - The flames on the water heater looked good.
Photo 55-1 
56) 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."
57) 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.
58) Comment - Your water meter and main water shut off location.
Photo 58-1 
Photo 58-2 
Photo 58-3 
Fireplaces, woodstoves and chimneys
Table of contents
Chimney type: Masonry
59) Safety, Repair/Replace - Chimney flue(s) did not have a screened cover installed. Screened covers prevent the following:
  • Fire hazard from wood fire sparks and embers exiting flues
  • Wildlife (birds, rodents, raccoons, etc.) entering flues
  • Rainwater entering flues and mixing with combustion deposits, creating caustic chemicals which can corrode flues
  • Rainwater entering flues and causing damage to terracotta flue tiles from freeze-thaw cycles

Recommend installing screened cover(s) where missing. Screens should have holes 1/4 inch or larger.
60) Safety, Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - The masonry chimney's terracotta flue tiles were cracked and/or had gaps between sections. This is a fire hazard since these cracks can become much wider when the flue tiles are hot. Recommend having a qualified chimney service contractor evaluate and repair as necessary. Because of this damage, also recommend that the chimney service contractor perform a Level 2 inspection as per the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines.
Photo 60-1 
Photo 60-2 
Photo 60-3 
61) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The masonry chimney's mortar was deteriorated/had gaps and should be repaired to prevent further, significant deterioration. Recommend having a qualified chimney service contractor or mason evaluate chimney and repair as necessary. This will likely require repointing the mortar.
62) Comment - The crown of the chimney was not visually accessible and was not inspected.
It is common for small cracks to form on crowns. Recommend evaluation and correction once access is possible.
Insulation material underneath floor above: None visible
Pier or support post material: Bearing wall
Beam material: Steel
Floor structure above: Solid wood joists
63) Safety, Repair/Replace - Handrail(s) at some stairs are ungraspable and are a safety hazard. Handrails should be sized and shaped so your hand can encircle them. A qualified contractor should make repairs or modifications as necessary. For example, replacing existing handrails or installing additional handrails.
Photo 63-1 
64) 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.
65) Safety, Repair/Maintain - Gaps larger than four inches were found in handrail/guardrails and /or a triangular space where a 6 inch sphere could pass through. This is a safety hazard, especially for small children. Recommend modifications as necessary so gaps do not exceed these limits. For example, installing additional balusters or railing components.

Both units
Photo 65-1 
Photo 65-2 
66) Repair/Replace, Evaluate, Monitor, Conducive conditions - Evidence of prior water intrusion was found in at least one section of the basement. For example, water stains and/or efflorescence on the foundation or floor, water stains at bases of support posts, etc. Accumulated water is a conducive condition for wood destroying insects and organisms and should not be present in the basement. The client(s) should review any disclosure statements available and ask the property owner(s) about past accumulation of water in the basement. The basement should be monitored in the future for accumulated water, especially after heavy and/or prolonged periods of rain. If water is found to accumulate, a qualified contractor who specializes in drainage issues should evaluate and repair as necessary. Typical repairs for preventing water from accumulating in the basement include:
  • Repairing, installing or improving rain run-off systems (gutters, downspouts and extensions or drain lines)
  • Improving perimeter grading
  • Repairing, installing or improving underground footing and/or curtain drains

Ideally, water should not enter the basement, but if water must be controlled after it enters the basement, then typical repairs include installing sump pump(s) or interior perimeter drains.

Both units
67) Repair/Replace, Evaluate, Monitor - Area(s) of damaged band board was observed. The area was currently dry. Recommend evaluation and repair of damaged section(s).

Inspector is unable to determine condition of any underlying materials.

Ask present owner details as to the past water intrusion and if if had been repaired. At minimum monitor.

Unit xxx
Photo 67-1 
68) Repair/Replace, Evaluate, Comment - Organic growth /mold like substance observed. Unable to determine type of growth without lab testing. Recommend evaluation/ testing.
Photo 68-1 
69) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Area of the kitchens had damaged subflooring and/or band board. Recommend evaluation of moisture intrusion and repair of damaged sections.
Photo 69-1 
70) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Termite damage observed. Recommend evaluation and repairs as needed.

Back of home in unit xxx
Photo 70-1 
Photo 70-2 
71) Minor Defect - Insulation was missing in areas along the sill plate. Recommend installing/replacing for energy efficiency.

Both units
72) Monitor - Foundation walls were newly painted. This can be an indication of past moisture intrusion and/or a method to help prevent moisture intrusion. Recommend monitoring and correcting any negative grading on the exterior if present.
Photo 72-1 
Kitchen / Appliances
Table of contents
73) 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.
Interior rooms
Table of contents
74) Repair/Replace, Evaluate, Comment - Fire damage in 2nd floor bedroom was localized on the area of the receptacle. No structurally significant damage was observed. Both windows in this room were broken

According to tenant, a restoration company has been contacted and will be repairing damaged area and wiring, as well as cleaning and painting other rooms and carpet. Recommend verifying with the seller.
Photo 74-1 
Photo 74-2 
Photo 74-3 
Photo 74-4 
Photo 74-5 
Photo 74-6 
75) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The sash spring mechanism in one window(s) was/were broken or loose. 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.).

Unit 767 2nd floor bedroom on the back side of the home. Window on back of home.
Photo 75-1 
76) Repair/Replace - Damaged ceiling/wall areas observed. Though not a structural concern recommend repairs for aesthetic reasons and for energy efficiency.

Unit xxx
Photo 76-1 
Photo 76-2 
77) Repair/Replace - Two or more interior doors were damaged and/or deteriorated and should be repaired or replaced.

Unit xxx
Photo 77-1 
Photo 77-2 
78) Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - Door hinge on one door was not tightly secured in place. Recommend evaluation and repairs as needed.

If the screw holes are stripped here is how to repair them.

2nd floor front bedroom in unit xxx
Photo 78-1 
79) Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - Squeaking or creaking noises occur when walking on sections of flooring. This is usually caused where the subfloor decking is not adequately fastened to the framing below. For example, not enough glue was used and/or nails were used rather than screws. In most cases, this is only an annoyance rather than a structural problem. Various solutions such as Squeeeeek No More and Counter Snap fasteners exist to correct this. Repairs to eliminate the squeaks or creaks may be more or less difficult depending on the floor covering, and the access to the underside of the subfloor. Recommend having a qualified contractor evaluate and repair as necessary.

Area(s) mainly were:
80) Repair/Maintain - 9 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.

All windows in unit xxx (excluding bathroom window)

On in 2nd floor front bedroom in unit xxx
Photo 80-1 
81) Repair/Maintain - Glass in 2 windows were cracked/broken. Recommend replacing glass where necessary.
82) Minor Defect, Comment - Windows were older with wear and tear.
83) Safety, Repair/Maintain, Minor Defect, Evaluate - Inspector did not see where the corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) was bonded properly. In rare cases lightening strikes have resulted in damaged CSST and fires. Recommend verifying if the CSST is bonded to the electrical system if it is not then recommend having it done for increased safety.

Bonding of CSST is something that came about approx 2008
Improvement is typically done simply by connecting a bare copper wire to the electrical panel and to the csst connector by an electrician.

Yellow flexible gas line

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.

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.