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HHI-Hews Home Inspections

2120 S Reserve St # 234 
Missoula MT 59801-6451
Inspector: Russell Hews


Client(s):  Mr. & Mrs. Right
Property address:  2345 New Home Place
Darby MT 59829
Inspection date:  Monday, September 24, 2018

This report published on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 5:31:05 PM MDT

This report is the exclusive property of this inspection company and the client(s) listed in the report title. Use of this report by any unauthorized persons is prohibited.

Concerns are shown and sorted according to these types:
Concern typeSafetyPoses a safety hazard
Concern typeMajor DefectCorrection likely involves a significant expense
Concern typeRepair/ReplaceRecommend repairing or replacing
Concern typeRepair/MaintainRecommend repair and/or maintenance
Concern typeMinor DefectCorrection likely involves only a minor expense
Concern typeMaintainRecommend ongoing maintenance
Concern typeEvaluateRecommend evaluation by a specialist
Concern typeMonitorRecommend monitoring in the future
Concern typeServiceableItem or component is in serviceable condition
Concern typeCommentFor your information
Concern typeDamageDamage caused by wood destroying insects or organisms (Rot, carpenter ant galleries, etc.)
Concern typeConducive conditionsConditions conducive for wood destroying insects or organisms (Wood-soil contact, shrubs in contact with siding, roof or plumbing leaks, etc.)

General Information
1) Structures built prior to the mid 1980s may contain lead and/or asbestos. Lead is commonly found in paint and in some plumbing components. The EPA does not recognize newer coats of paint as encapsulating older coats of lead-based paint. Asbestos is commonly found in various building materials such as insulation, siding, and/or floor and ceiling tiles. Laws were passed in 1978 to prohibit usage of lead and asbestos, but stocks of materials containing these substances remained in use for a number of years thereafter. Both lead and asbestos are known health hazards. Evaluating for the presence of lead and/or asbestos is beyond the scope of this inspection. Any mention of these materials in this report is made as a courtesy only, and meant to refer the client to a specialist. Consult with specialists as necessary, such as industrial hygienists, professional labs and/or abatement specialists for this type of evaluation. For information on lead, asbestos and other hazardous materials in homes, visit:

2) Vegetation was overgrown around equipment for one or more utilities such as gas or electric meters. Vegetation should be pruned or removed as necessary to allow unobstructed access.

Exterior and Foundation
5) Some sections of siding and/or trim were loose and/or split. Recommend that a qualified person repair, tighten or caulk gaps & cracks in the siding or trim as necessary.
6) Conducive conditionsSoil was in contact with or less than 6 inches from siding, trim or structural wood. This is a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms. Recommend grading or removing soil as necessary to maintain a 6-inch clearance. If not possible, then recommend replacing untreated wood with pressure-treated wood. Installation of borate-based products such as Impel rods can also reduce the likelihood of rot or infestation if soil cannot be removed. Note that damage from fungal rot and/or insects may be found when soil is removed, and repairs may be necessary.
7) Conducive conditionsVegetation 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.
8) Conducive conditionsThe paint or stain finish in many areas was failing (e.g. peeling, faded, worn, thinning). Siding and trim with a failing finish can be damaged by moisture. Recommend that a qualified contractor prep (e.g. clean, scrape, sand, prime, caulk) and repaint or restain the building exterior where necessary and per standard building practices. Any repairs needed to the siding or trim should be made prior to this.
9) Conducive conditionsCaulk was missing in many areas. For example, around windows and/or at siding-trim junctions. Recommend that a qualified person renew or install caulk as necessary. Where gaps are wider than 1/4 inch, an appropriate material other than caulk should be used. For more information, visit:

13) The current home owner informed the inspector that the old roofing had been removed and new sheathing & roofing had just been installed recently.

Ridge venting was not installed. There was only 2 small gable vents at each end of the house & no soffit venting. The attic space is under vented for the sq. footage of the house. This will cause the attic space to overheat and cause pre-mature wear to the roofing material & sheathing, along with trapping moisture in the attic space.

Recommend that a qualified roofing contractor be contacted to install continuous ridge venting on both sections of the roof peak, to avoid attic, roofing overheating.

Attic and Roof Structure
14) The ceiling insulation installed in the attic was substandard and appeared to have an R rating of about R-6, that's significantly less than current standards (R-38). Heating and cooling costs will likely be higher due to poor energy efficiency. Recommend that a qualified contractor remove existing wood chip ceiling insulation and install modern insulation for better energy efficiency and per standard building practices.
15) Conducive conditionsOne or more sections of the roof structure appeared to have substandard ventilation, soffit or lower vents were missing and/or ridge or upper vents were missing. This can result in high attic and roof surface temperatures, reduce the life of the roof covering materials, and/or increase cooling costs. High levels of moisture are also likely to accumulate in the roof structure or attic, and can be a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms. 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. Often this means that both soffit vents and ridge or gable end vents are installed. Recommend that a qualified contractor evaluate and repair per standard building practices.
16) Conducive conditionsOne or more exhaust ducts (e.g. bathroom fan, clothes dryer) in the attic have come apart, were loose or have fallen down. This can result in increased moisture levels inside the structure and is a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms. Recommend that a qualified person make permanent repairs as necessary.
17) One or more attic access hatches or doors were not insulated, or had substandard insulation. Recommend installing insulation as necessary and per current standards at hatches or doors for better energy efficiency. For more information, visit:

Garage / Shop
22) There are many defects and sub-standard electrical work in the garage, shop area. Several areas with exposed unprotected wiring, unattached boxes, covers plates missing, broken conduit, splices not in boxes, etc. This is a possible safety & fire hazard.

Recommend contacting a licensed electrician for further evaluation and to make all repairs deemed necessary.
23) Wood burning stove with rusted single wall pipe is to close to combustible. This is a safety & fire hazard.

Recommend contacting a qualified woodstove contractor to further evaluate the wood burning stove, replace the rusted stove pipe, install proper roof jack & cap. Along with removing combustibles around ceiling/pipe areas, Before using the woodstove.
24) Stairs missing handrails, handrail loose or wobbly and low, balisters missing or greater than a 4" gap. This is a safety & fall hazard.
Recommend a qualified contractor make necessary repairs.
25) DamageWide spread siding deteriorated, dry rot, cracks, holes & gaps, mold & or mildew. Most of the exterior wood & metal siding was in poor condition. In need of repairs or replacement. In the areas of the walls that the inspector could view, there was No sub-siding or vapor barrier. The siding appeared to be at or near it's useful life expectancy. The client should begin budgeting for siding repairs and or replacement in the near future.

Recommend contacting a qualified contractor for further evaluation and recommendations.
26) The unfinished interior walls showed that there was no sub-siding or vapor barrier installed to the exterior. This is sub-standard construction. Gaps and holes were present in one or more areas in the siding. This will allow water, insects and vermin to penetrate the walls of the building potentially causing further damage to the structure.

Refer to recommendation above.
27) Foundation had major cracking & settling issues. There were No visible footings and the foundation/stem walls were undermined in one or more areas. Settling & cracking will probably continue to worsen. This could lead to serious structural damage or failure at anytime.

Recommend contacting a qualified foundation contractor or structural engineer for further evaluation and recommendations.
28) Significant cracks, heaving and/or settlement were found in one or more sections of concrete slab floors. Uneven surfaces can pose a trip hazard. Refer to recommendations section under foundation.
29) One or more garage vehicle doors wouldn't close with the automatic opener because the opener auto-reversed while the door was closing. This can be caused by photoelectric sensors being out of adjustment, the door binding, the mechanical auto-reverse sensor having problems, etc. Note that because of this, the inspector was unable to verify that the auto-reverse functions for the automatic opener were operable. A qualified person should evaluate, repair as necessary and verify that auto-reverse functions are working.
30) Rust and corrosion was on the galvanize roofing panels in the lower sloped roof area. It appears that the roofing may be at or near it's useful life. This may result in leaking, it was dry at the time of the inspection, no rain.
Recommend a qualified roofing contractor be contacted for further evaluation and or repair & replacements.
31) Signs of precious water leaks under the lower pitched roof.
Refer to recommendations above.

37) "Knob and tube" wiring or related components such as porcelain insulators were found. This type of wiring was commonly installed prior to 1950. It is ungrounded, and considered unsafe by today's standards. Over time, the wire's insulation can become brittle and fall apart or wear thin, resulting in exposed conductors and a risk of shock and/or fire. This wiring is also easily damaged by covering it with insulation (a common practice), and incorrectly tapping new wiring into it.

The inspector did not find any energized knob and tube wiring during the inspection. However, this is no indication that all the knob and tube wiring has been abandoned. It is not within the scope of this inspection to determine what percentage of this property's wiring is of the knob-and-tube type, or to determine what percentage of the knob and tube wiring is energized versus abandoned. Recommend that a qualified electrician evaluate this wiring and make repairs or replace wiring as necessary.

Note that some insurance companies may be unwilling to offer homeowner's insurance for properties with knob and tube wiring. Consult with your insurance carrier regarding this. For more information, visit:
38) One or more electric receptacles were incorrectly wired with an open neutral. Recommend that a qualified electrician repair as necessary.
39) No permanently installed carbon monoxide alarms were found. This is a potential safety hazard. Some states and/or municipalities require CO alarms to be installed for new construction and/or for homes being sold. Recommend installing approved CO alarms outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms on each level and in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations. For more information, visit:
40) 2-slot receptacles rather than 3-slot, grounded receptacles were installed in one or more areas. These do not have an equipment ground and are considered unsafe by today's standards. Appliances that require a ground should not be used with 2-slot receptacles. Examples of such appliances include computers and related hardware, refrigerators, freezers, portable air conditioners, clothes washers, aquarium pumps, and electrically operated gardening tools. The client should be aware of this limitation when planning use for various rooms, such as an office. Upgrading to grounded receptacles typically requires installing new wiring from the main service panel or sub-panel to the receptacle(s), in addition to replacing the receptacle(s). Consult with a qualified electrician about upgrading to 3-wire, grounded circuits.

Plumbing / Fuel Systems
42) The copper propane supply line is exposed and unprotected in two areas. This could be a potential safety concern, as if the copper line were damaged a propane leak could occur.
Recommend contacting the propane supply company for further evaluations and repair as deemed necessary.
43) The propane tank is rusty and in need of maintenance. Recommend contacting a qualified painter to make to proper repairs to prevent further deterioration.

Fireplaces, Gas Stoves, Chimneys and Flues
48) The house only had one heating source, a freestanding propane stove. Client should be aware that this is below current standards for a home heating system. The home is in need of stove replacement and or upgrading.

The stove was manufactured in 1992 and is 26 yrs. old, well beyond it's useful life expectancy and may need major repairs or replacing in the very near further. It could fail at anytime. The manufacture only warrants the "combustion camber" on this unit for 10 yrs. The combustion camber could crack at anytime releasing carbon monoxide gas into the living area, this is a serious safety and health issue.

Recommend that the client budget for furnace/stove replacement and contact a qualified HVAC contractor for servicing the current unit and for further evaluation and replacement options.

Empire Comfort System Mod. # RH-50-2 Ser. # K 46 59391 Input BTU 50,000
49) Metal chimney/flue rusted or corroded. Recommend that a qualified HVAC contractor be contacted for further evaluation and repair as deemed necessary.

Bathrooms, Laundry and Sinks
51) The bathtub had minor ware & blemishes. Recommend having the cracked drain replaced by a qualified plumber.
52) The hot and cold water supplies appeared to be reversed at the sink at location(s) #A. Normally, cold water is controlled by the right faucet handle and hot by the left. For mixing faucets, cold is supplied with the handle to the right and hot when when the handle is to the left, or as indicated by the faucet's markings. At a minimum this is an inconvenience, but it can also result in accidental scalding. Recommend that a qualified plumber repair as necessary.
53) Conducive conditionsCaulk was missing around the base of the bathtub spout, or there was a gap behind it, at location(s) #A. Water may enter the wall structure behind the bathtub. Recommend that a qualified person repair as necessary to eliminate the gap. For example, by installing or replacing caulk if the gap is small enough. For larger gaps, a shorter spout nipple or an escutcheon plate can be installed.
54) Caulk was needed in seem on bathroom counter. Water can penetrate these areas and cause damage. Recommend that a qualified person re-caulk.
55) The toilet fill valve or float mechanism in the toilet did not operate properly and was broken. Recommend that a qualified person repair as necessary.
56) Caulk around the base of the toilet at location(s) #A was missing, substandard and/or deteriorated. Modern standards require caulk to be installed around the entire toilet base where it meets the floor for sanitary reasons. Without it, soiled water can soak into flooring and sub-floor materials if the toilet overflows. Condensation from the toilet can also soak into the flooring. Recommend that a qualified person caulk around toilet bases per standard building practices.
57) One bathtub faucet handles at location(s) #A were loose. Recommend that a qualified person repair or replace handles as necessary.

Interior, Doors and Windows
60) One or more bedrooms had windows that were too high above the floor and or did not have the proper size window pane to qualify as an egress window. Unless a bedroom has an exterior entry door, at least one window requires adequate egress in the event of a fire or emergency to allow escape or to allow access by emergency personnel. The base of openings for egress windows should be a maximum of 44 inches above the floor and the opening should be at least 5 sq. ft. At a minimum, keep a chair or something that serves as a ladder below the window at all times. If concerned, have a qualified contractor repair or make modifications per standard building practices. For more information, visit:
61) One or more windows that were designed to open and close were stuck shut. Recommend that a qualified person repair windows as necessary so they open and close easily.