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Safety-Net Inspections
(630) 235-9016
28W151 Robin Ln 
Northwoods IL 60185
Inspector: Charles (Chip) Starkey
Illinois Licensed Home Inspector #450.011885
Safety-Net Inspections Entity License #451.001194
Certified Professional Inspector #NACHI17091925


Client(s):  Mr. & Mrs. John Doe
Property address:  Your Street
Any Town, IL 60000
Inspection date:  Sunday, January 26, 2020

This report published on Saturday, March 28, 2020 2:24:57 PM CDT

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:
SafetyPoses a safety hazard
Repair/ReplaceRecommend repairing or replacing
Repair/MaintainRecommend repair and/or maintenance
Minor DefectCorrection likely involves only a minor expense
MaintainRecommend ongoing maintenance
EvaluateRecommend evaluation by a specialist
MonitorRecommend monitoring in the future
CommentFor your information

1) Safety, Repair/Maintain - Cracks, settlement, heaving and/or deterioration resulting in trip hazards were found in the driveway.
The asphalt has settled below the level of the concrete garage floor creating a trip hazard in one or more areas. For safety reasons, recommend that a qualified contractor repair as necessary.
2) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Cracks, settlement and/or deterioration were found in front concrete porch. The gap between the concrete porch and the base of the homes' brick veneer should be sealed to prevent water intrusion to the area. Recommend that qualified contractor evaluate and repair as necessary.
3) Repair/Replace, Comment - The lattice skirting installed below the rear deck had doors installed for entrance and exit from that area. These doors were deteriorated and could not be opened. Recommend that a qualified contractor repair as needed so that the doors can be used for exit from the basement in case of an emergency.

Exterior and Foundation
4) Safety, Repair/Replace - The window well for the egress window located on the exterior of the house was too deep. Egress window wells deeper than 44 inches require a ladder or rungs to be installed in the well to allow for escape from the window well itself. The egress window needs to be able to be removed in case of an emergency for easy escape.
This window appeared to be permanently held in place by a bracket and screws. Recommend a qualified contractor install or mount a ladder or rungs in the well and attach a latch for securing the window but allows it to be removed easily in case of an emergency.
5) Repair/Replace - Some sections of siding and/or trim were warped and/or damaged. Recommend that a qualified person repair, replace or install siding or trim as necessary.
6) Maintain - 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.

7) Repair/Replace, Evaluate, Monitor - Evidence of water intrusion was found in one section of the basement. Accumulated water is a conducive condition for wood-destroying organisms and should not be present in the basement. Recommend reviewing any disclosure statements available and ask the property owner about past accumulation of water in the basement. The water entry appeared to be coming from an area where the rear deck was attached to the home. Areas like this which are not properly flashed can lead to water entry into the home. Recent snowfall covered much of the deck but the snow closest to the home was melting and dripping from the underside of the deck. Recommend that a qualified contractor evaluate and repair as necessary.

8) Maintain - Debris was found one of the gutters. This debris may be a loose shingle, but this could not be verified.
Gutters can overflow and cause water to come in contact with the building exterior, or water can accumulate around the foundation. Recommend that a roofing contractor be consulted to further evaluate and make repairs if needed. This may require waiting until warmer temperatures are present and snow and/or ice are melted.

Attic and Roof Structure
9) Repair/Replace - No insulation was installed on the attic hatch cover. Recommend installing insulation to at least match the existing attic insulation for better energy efficiency.
10) Evaluate - The ceiling insulation installed in the attic was installed to approximately (R-38). The currently recommended insulation level for this area of the country is R-49. Heating and cooling costs may be slightly higher due to lower energy efficiency.

Garage or Carport
11) Safety, Repair/Replace - The garage entry door did not close automatically. Attached garages are high hazard locations and often have gasoline, solvents, and other hazardous chemicals stored inside. Vehicle exhaust is particularly dirty and heavy with carbon monoxide during cold starts in the garage. Therefore it is recommended that the self-closing hinges installed on the personnel entry door be repaired or replaced.
12) Evaluate, Comment - No remote was found for the automatic garage door opener. Recommend asking the owner if one exists and its location. If none exist recommend purchasing a compatible remote for the LiftMaster opener so that either a hand held unit or an exterior mounted unit can be installed to allow access from the exterior of the garage.

14) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One or more ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) devices protecting receptacles at the exterior wouldn't trip when tested. This is a potential shock hazard. Recommend that a qualified electrician evaluate and repair as necessary.
15) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One or more electric receptacles at the garage 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:
16) Safety, Repair/Replace - One or more light fixtures or fans were controlled by metal pull chains. This is a safety hazard for potential shock. Recommend that strings or plastic isolating links be installed to prevent shock.
17) Safety, Maintain - Based on the age of this structure and the appearance of some of the existing smoke alarms, the alarms may have been installed more than 10 years ago. According to National Fire Protection Association, aging smoke alarms don't operate as efficiently and often are the source for nuisance alarms. Older smoke alarms are estimated to have a 30% probability of failure within the first 10 years. Newer smoke alarms do better, but should be replaced after 10 years. Unless you know that the smoke alarms are new, replacing them when moving into a new residence is also recommended by NFPA.
18) Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - The legend for circuit breakers in panel(s) #A and C was missing, incomplete, illegible or confusing. This is a potential shock or fire hazard in the event of an emergency when power needs to be turned off. Recommend correcting the legend so it's accurate, complete and legible. Evaluation by a qualified electrician may be necessary.
19) Evaluate - One or more light fixtures were inoperable (didn't turn on when nearby switches were operated). Recommend further evaluation by replacing bulbs and/or consulting with the property owner. If replacing bulbs doesn't work and/or no other switch(es) can be found, then recommend that a qualified electrician evaluate and repair or replace light fixtures as necessary.

Plumbing / Fuel Systems
20) Repair/Replace - The sump pumps' ejection pipe was poorly aligned above an underground drain pipe. This can allow water to drain against the foundation. Recommend that an extension be added to the ejection pipe to ensure the water drains properly into the drain pipe.
21) Evaluate, Comment - The sump pump was located in a closet in the basement. A back-up battery operated sump pump was also installed in this area. Both units were tested and were operating properly at the time of the inspection. The battery backup unit should be tested periodically to ensure it is in operable condition. This is for your information.
22) Evaluate - A water softener system as well as a whole house carbon filter and a cartridge style sediment filter were installed on the premises. 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. Water softeners typically work by removing unwanted minerals (e.g. calcium, magnesium) from the water supply. They prevent build-up of scale inside water supply pipes, improve lathering while washing, and prevent spots on dishes. Recommend consulting with the property owner about these units to determine their condition, required maintenance, age, expected remaining life, etc. For more information, visit:
23) Evaluate - A sewage ejector pump was installed on the premises. 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. These systems are typically sealed and involve moving parts. They are subject to clogging and/or damage from disposal of items such as disposable diapers and sanitary napkins. Recommend that this pump and related equipment (piping, valves, etc.) be evaluated by a qualified plumber and repaired if necessary. This should be done per the manufacturer's recommendations in the future, or annually if unable to verify the manufacturer's recommendations. Typically, these pumps have a lifespan of 7-10 years. For more information, visit:

Water Heater
25) Safety - The hot water temperature was greater than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of scalding. The thermostat should be adjusted so the water temperature doesn't exceed 120 degrees. If the water heater is powered by electricity, a qualified person should perform the adjustment, since covers that expose energized equipment normally need to be removed. For more information on scalding dangers, visit:
26) Evaluate, Comment - The estimated useful life for most water heaters is 8-12 years.

The A.O. Smith water heater was manufactured in 2015, it is 5 years old. This is for your information.

Heating, Ventilation and Air Condition (HVAC)
27) Safety, Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - The last service date of the gas or oil-fired forced air furnace appeared to be more than 1 year ago. Recommend that a qualified HVAC contractor 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. Any needed repairs noted in this report should be brought to the attention of the HVAC contractor when it's serviced. For more information visit:
28) Maintain - Recommend that home buyers replace or clean HVAC filters upon taking occupancy depending on the type of filters installed. Regardless of the type, recommend checking filters monthly in the future and replacing or cleaning them as necessary. How frequently they need replacing or cleaning depends on the type and quality of the filter, how the system is configured (e.g. always on vs. "Auto"), and on environmental factors (e.g. pets, smoking, frequency of house cleaning, number of occupants, the season).
29) Evaluate, Comment - The estimated useful life for most heat pumps and air conditioning condensing units is 10-15 years.

The Daikin AC unit was manufactured in 2018, it is 2 years old. This is for your information.
30) Monitor, Comment - The estimated useful life for most forced air furnaces is 15-20 years.

The Lennox furnace was manufactured in 2013, it is 7 years old. This is for your information.

Fireplaces, Stoves, Chimneys and Flues
33) Safety, Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - A solid fuel-burning fireplace was found at the property. When such devices are used, they should be professionally inspected and cleaned annually to prevent creosote build-up and to determine if repairs are needed. The National Fire Protection Association states that a "Level 2" chimney inspection should be performed with every sale or transfer of property with a wood-burning device. Recommend consulting with the property owner about recent and past servicing and repairs to all wood-burning devices and chimneys or flues at this property. Recommend that a qualified specialist evaluate all solid fuel-burning devices and chimneys, and clean and repair as necessary. For more information, search for "chimney inspection" at:

The client asked the inspector about installing an enclosed gas log set and was advised to seek information from a reputable fireplace installation company.

34) Repair/Replace - One or more cabinets, drawers and/or cabinet doors were . Recommend that a qualified person repair or replace as necessary.

The cabinet false front was loose and needs to be secured properly.

Bathrooms, Laundry and Sinks
35) Safety, Repair/Replace - 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. The exterior dryer vent cap was nearly blocked by accumulated lint which can also reduce air flow. Recommend that such ducts and vents caps be replaced. A rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct should be installed by a qualified contractor if necessary. For more information, visit:
36) Repair/Maintain - Tile and/or grout in the bathtub surround at location(s) #C was deteriorated (e.g. loose or cracked tiles, missing grout) or substandard. Water can damage the wall structure as a result. Recommend that a qualified contractor repair as necessary.
37) Repair/Maintain - The shower at location # B had two shower heads which could be used. One of these heads leaked water from its control valve spraying the walls when in use. Recommend that a qualified person repair or replace as necessary.

Interior, Doors and Windows
38) Repair/Replace - The lockset in the handle of one of the bedrooms was inoperable. Recommend that a qualified person repair or replace as necessary.
39) Repair/Replace - One or more window screens were damaged or missing. These window(s) may not provide ventilation during months when insects are active. Recommend replacing window screens as necessary.
40) Repair/Maintain - The skylight well (the inside structure around the skylight) appeared to have been recently painted covering past water stains. The window in this skylight is prone to water collection during cold winter months. High levels of humidity may be present from use of the shower or jetted bathtub. The exhaust vent is located in the water closet rather than in the main area of the bathroom. If the door is closed or if the fan is not turned on this warm humid air will rise, collect on the glass window and can run down the wall. Recommend reviewing the any disclosure documents concerning window or ceiling leaks and asking the owner if leaks were ever noted in this area. This area should be monitored after prolonged or heavy rains for evidence of water leaks. The client should also ensure that the door to the water closet is open and that the fan is on when showering or bathing. If leaks are found then a qualified contractor will need to make repairs to the roof flashing or to the window itself. If condensation becomes an issue a new fan may need to be installed in the main bathroom ceiling.
41) Repair/Maintain - Wood flooring in one or more areas was significantly worn, deteriorated or damaged. Recommend that a qualified contractor refinish wood flooring as necessary.
42) Minor Defect - Minor cracks, nail pops, blemishes or holes were found in walls and/or ceilings in one or more areas. Cracks and nail pops are common, are often caused by lumber shrinkage or minor settlement, and can be more or less noticeable depending on changes in humidity. The holes observed appeared to have supported a speaker system no longer in place. These did not appear to be a structural concern, but the client may wish to repair these for aesthetic reasons. For recurring cracks, consider using an elastic crack covering product:
43) Maintain - Several windows have a wood finish that has been damaged or deteriorated. Recommend that the window's finish be sanded, stained and sealed to prevent further damage.