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HHI-Hews Home Inspections

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


Client(s):  John & Jane Smith
Property address:  1234 Dream Lane
Pleasantville, MT 59800
Inspection date:  Tuesday, October 30, 2018

This report published on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 1:05:32 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 typeMaintainRecommend ongoing maintenance
Concern typeEvaluateRecommend evaluation by a specialist
Concern typeServiceableItem or component is in serviceable condition
Concern typeCommentFor your information
Concern typeConducive conditionsConditions conducive for wood destroying insects or organisms (Wood-soil contact, shrubs in contact with siding, roof or plumbing leaks, etc.)

2) 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.
3) Handrails at one or more flights of stairs were loose and/or wobbly. This is a safety hazard. Recommend that a qualified person repair as necessary.
4) The wooden decks would benefit greatly from being re-sealed or stained. There was pealing on one or more of the handrail grids. Water can penetrate the wooden decking and hand railing causing damage. Recommend contacting a qualified painting contractor for further evaluation and reseal if deemed necessary.
5) The driveway sloped down towards the garage or house. A drain was installed to prevent water from reaching the garage or house, but it was substandard. Water may accumulate around or inside the garage or house, or under the house as a result. Recommend that a qualified person clear and/or repair drain(s) as necessary.

No drain was present.

Exterior and Foundation
7) The wall flashing near the front entry door does not extend up behind the siding. This could allow water to enter in and cause damage. Recommend contacting a qualified siding contractor for further evaluation and repair as deemed necessary.
8) 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.
9) Conducive conditionsThe 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.
10) Conducive conditionsCaulk was deteriorated in some areas. For example, around windows. 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:

14) Most of the rain gutter down spouts were damaged and without 5 ft. extensions as recommended. This could allow water in and around the foundation. Recommend contacting a qualified rain gutter contractor for further evaluation and repair as deemed necessary.
15) Conducive conditionsOne or more roof flashings were lifting and/or loose. Water leaks can occur as a result. This is a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms and other water damage. Recommend that a qualified person repair as necessary.
16) Conducive conditionsSignificant 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.

Attic and Roof Structure
18) One or more attic access hatches or doors had no weatherstripping, or the weatherstripping was substandard. Weatherstripping should be installed around hatches or doors as necessary to prevent heated interior air from entering the attic. For more information, visit:

Attic access is in the ceiling of the upstairs hallway.

21) Carbon monoxide alarms were missing from one or more sleeping areas and/or 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:

Plumbing / Fuel Systems
23) 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:

Water Heater
27) The hot water heater was plumbed with rigid copper piping, not flexible hose connections. This could be a safety hazard and or cause damage in case of an earthquake or movement. Recommend contacting a licensed plumber for further evaluation and or replacement of the water lines as per current building standards.
28) The water heater's earthquake reinforcement was substandard. For example, struts were used rather than straps, substandard fasteners were used, or they may allow significant movement. This is a potential safety hazard in the event of an earthquake due to the risk of the water heater tipping over, gas lines leaking if gas-fired, or electric wiring being damaged if powered by electricity. Water leaks may also occur. Recommend that a qualified person repair or replace existing earthquake reinforcement per standard building practices.
29) The temperature-pressure relief valve drain line was too short. This is a potential safety hazard due to the risk of scalding if someone is standing next to the water heater when the valve opens. Recommend that a qualified plumber repair per standard building practices. For example, by extending the drain line to within 6 inches of the floor, or routing it to drain outside. For more information, visit:

Heating, Ventilation and Air Condition (HVAC)
31) The estimated useful life for most heat pumps and air conditioning condensing units is 10-15 years. This unit appeared to be near this age and/or its useful lifespan and may need replacing or significant repairs at any time.
Recommend contacting a qualified HVAC contactor for further evaluation & service of the air conditioning unit and budgeting for a replacement in the future.

Fireplaces, Stoves, Chimneys and Flues
35) The only visible gas supply shut-off valve for the fireplace burner was located inside the fireplace's firebox. The valve may be inaccessible in the event of a malfunction or a blaze inside the firebox. This is a potential safety hazard. A shut-off valve should be located outside of the firebox and within 6-10 feet from the fireplace. Recommend that a qualified contractor repair per standard building practices.

Bathrooms, Laundry and Sinks
38) 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: