Guardrails at one or more locations with drop-offs higher than 30 inches had gaps that were too large. This poses a safety hazard for children (e.g. falling, getting stuck in railing). Guardrails should not have gaps or voids that allow passage of a sphere equal to or greater than 4 inches in diameter, or 6 inches in diameter at triangular spaces between stair edges and guardrails. At a minimum, the client should be aware of this hazard. Recommend that a qualified contractor repair or replace guardrails per standard building practices.
Cracks, holes, settlement, heaving and/or deterioration resulting in trip hazards were found in the sidewalks or patios. For safety reasons, recommend that a qualified contractor repair as necessary to eliminate trip hazards.
More than one connecting brackets and or fasteners for the deck, porch, such as joist hangers, support post/beam brackets and or fasteners were missing. Approved deck connecting brackets such as Simpson Strong Tie should be installed; along with fasteners such as Teco nails should be installed in every nail hole in hardware. Recommend that a qualified person install approved brackets & fasteners where necessary.
Soil was in contact with one or more wooden deck, porch or balcony support posts. This is a conducive condition for wood destroying organisms. Even if posts are made of treated wood, the cut ends below soil may not have been field treated. Recommend grading soil or repairing as necessary to prevent wood-soil contact.
Wooden deck or porch surfaces and/or railings were overdue for normal maintenance. Recommend that a qualified person clean and preserve as necessary. Where decks have been coated with a finish such as opaque stains or paint, it may be too difficult to strip the finish and apply anything but paint or opaque stain. Where transparent stain or penetrating oil has been applied in the past, recommend that a penetrating oil be used. For more information, visit:http://www.reporthost.com/?PENOILhttp://www.reporthost.com/?DKMAIN
Exterior and Foundation
There were several basement window well covers was missing. This is a potential fall/trip hazard. Recommend having a qualified person install approved window well covers.
Some sections of siding or trim were loose or damaged, including trim on exterior door(s). Recommend that a qualified person repair, replace or install siding or trim as deemed necessary.
This property was clad with composition wood-fiber siding. Various manufacturers (e.g. Louisiana Pacific, Weyerhaeuser and Masonite) have produced this type of siding, which is made from oriented strand board (OSB) or "hardboard." It is prone to deteriorate and/or fail prematurely due to moisture penetration, especially when the paint coating is substandard or has not been maintained. Failure is typically visible in the form of swelling, cracking, buckling, wafer pops, delamination and fungal growth.
Some areas of siding or trim on this structure showed symptoms described above and need replacement and/or maintenance. Some manufacturers (e.g. Louisiana Pacific) recommend a repair process for this siding where affected areas are sealed with Permanizer Plus, a flexible primer made by Pittsburgh Paint, followed by two coats of 100% acrylic latex paint. This sealant must be applied to the bottom edges using a brush. The face of the siding can be sprayed. The Permanizer Plus sealer isn't required for edges that aren't swollen, cracked or deteriorated, but the acrylic latex should still be brushed on these edges.
Recommend that a qualified contractor evaluate and replace any siding or trim as deemed necessary, and/or seal and repaint as necessary. Repairs should be made per the siding and/or sealant manufacturer's installation instructions, and per standard building practices.
For more information, visit:http://www.reporthost.com/?PERMPLUShttp://www.reporthost.com/?COMPSDNG
One or more minor cracks (1/8 inch or less) were found in the foundation. These didn't appear to be a structural concern, but recommend sealing them to prevent water infiltration and monitor them in the future. Numerous products exist to seal such cracks including hydraulic cement, non-shrinking grout, resilient caulks and epoxy sealants.
Vegetation such as trees, shrubs and/or vines was in contact with or close to the building exterior. Vegetation can serve as a pathway for wood-destroying insects and can retain moisture against the exterior after it rains. This is a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms. Recommend pruning, moving or removing vegetation as necessary to maintain at least 6 inches of space between it and the building exterior. A 1-foot clearance is better.
The paint or stain finish in some 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.
Caulk was missing and/or deteriorated in some areas. For example, around doors 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:http://www.reporthost.com/?CAULK
Extensions such as splash blocks or drain pipes for one or more downspouts were missing. Water can accumulate around the building foundation or inside crawl spaces or basements as a result. Recommend that a qualified person install, replace or repair extensions as necessary so rainwater drains away from the structure.
Significant amounts of debris have accumulated in one or more gutters or downspouts. Gutters can overflow and cause water to come in contact with the building exterior, or water can accumulate around the foundation. This is a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms. Recommend cleaning gutters and downspouts now and as necessary in the future.
Significant amounts of debris such as leaves, needles, seeds, etc. have accumulated on the roof surface. Water may not flow easily off the roof, and can enter gaps in the roof surface. Leaks can occur as a result. This is a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms. Recommend cleaning debris from the roof surface now and as necessary in the future.
Nail heads were exposed on one or more ridge shingles. This could lead to water leaking. Recommend applying an approved sealant over exposed nail heads now and as necessary in the future to prevent leaks.
One or more electric receptacles at the exterior had no visible ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection, or the inspector was unable to determine if GFCI protection was present. If not GFCI-protected, receptacles in wet areas pose a shock hazard. Recommend that a qualified electrician evaluate and install GFCI protection if necessary and per standard building practices. General guidelines for GFCI-protected receptacles include the following locations:
- Outdoors (since 1973)
- Bathrooms (since 1975)
- Garages (since 1978)
- Kitchens (since 1987)
- Crawl spaces and unfinished basements (since 1990)
- Wet bar sinks (since 1993)
- Laundry and utility sinks (since 2005)
For more information, visit:http://www.reporthost.com/?GFCI
Bare wire ends, or wires with a substandard termination, were found at one or more locations. This is a potential shock hazard. Recommend that a qualified electrician repair as necessary. For example, by cutting wires to length and terminating with wire nuts in a permanently mounted, covered junction box.
Several electric receptacles in the basement were incorrectly wired with an open neutral. This is a potential shock hazard. Recommend that a qualified electrician repair as deemed necessary.
One cover plates for switches, receptacles or junction boxes were missing or broken in the garage. These plates are intended to contain fire and prevent electric shock from occurring due to exposed wires. Recommend that a qualified person install cover plates where necessary.
Carbon monoxide alarms were missing on one or more levels. This is a potential safety hazard. Some states and/or municipalities require CO alarms to be installed in the vicinity of each sleeping area, on each level and in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations. Recommend installing additional carbon monoxide alarms per these standards. For more information, visit:http://www.reporthost.com/?COALRM
One or more globes or covers for light fixtures were missing or damaged. Recommend replacing as necessary to avoid exposed bulbs. With closet lighting or where flammable stored objects are near light fixtures, missing or broken covers can be a fire hazard.
Plumbing / Fuel Systems
Based on visible equipment or information provided to the inspector, this property appeared to have a yard irrigation (sprinkler) system. These are specialty systems and are excluded from this inspection. Comments in this report related to this system are made as a courtesy only and are not meant to be a substitute for a full evaluation by a qualified specialist. When this system is operated, recommend verifying that water is not directed at building exteriors, or directed so water accumulates around building foundations. Sprinkler heads may need to be adjusted, replaced or disabled. Consider having a qualified plumber verify that a backflow prevention device is installed per standard building practices to prevent cross-contamination of potable water. Recommend that a qualified specialist evaluate the irrigation system for other defects (e.g. leaks, damaged or malfunctioning sprinkler heads) and repair if necessary.
Based on visible components or information provided to the inspector, this property appeared to have a private sewage disposal (septic) system. These are specialty systems and are excluded from this inspection. Comments in this report related to this system are made as a courtesy only and are not meant to be a substitute for a full evaluation by a qualified specialist. Generally, septic tanks should be pumped and inspected every 3 years. Depending on the type of system and municipal regulations, inspection and maintenance may be required more frequently, often annually. Recommend the following:
- Consult with the property owner about this system's maintenance and repair history
- Review any documentation available for this system
- Review inspection and maintenance requirements for this system
- That a qualified specialist evaluate, perform maintenance and make repairs if necessary
For more information, visit:http://www.reporthost.com/?SEPTIC
Bathrooms, Laundry and Sinks
The clothes dryer was equipped with a vinyl or mylar, accordion-type, flexible exhaust duct. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission considers these types of ducts to be unsafe, and a fire hazard. They can trap lint and are susceptible to kinks or crushing, which can greatly reduce the air flow and cause overheating. Recommend that such ducts be replaced with a rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct, and by a qualified contractor if necessary. For more information, visit:http://www.reporthost.com/?DRYER
Gaps, no caulk, or substandard caulking were found between the shower enclosure and the floor and/or walls at location(s) #A and B. Water can penetrate these areas and cause damage. Recommend that a qualified person re-caulk or install caulking as necessary.
Caulk around the base of the toilet at location(s) #A and B 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.