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Washington Home Inspection Company

214 S Washington St 
Spokane WA 99201-4318
Inspector: Gregg Morin
Washington State Home Inspector License # 1137


Client(s):  James and Olivia Swarthout
Property address:  1965 W. Sylvester St.
Spokane, WA 99027
Inspection date:  Friday, April 19, 2019

This report published on Monday, May 6, 2019 8:02:00 PM PDT

This report has been prepared for the sole and exclusive use of the client indicated above and is limited to an impartial opinion which is not a warranty that the items inspected are defect-free, or that latent or concealed defects may exist as of the date of this inspection or which may have existed in the past or may exist in the future. The report is limited to the components of the property which were visible to the inspector on the date of the inspection and his opinion of their condition at the time of the inspection.

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 typeMonitorRecommend monitoring in the future
Concern typeCommentFor your information

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) Cracks, holes, settlement, heaving and/or deterioration resulting in trip hazards were found in the back patio. For safety reasons, recommend that a qualified contractor repair as necessary to eliminate trip hazards.

Back patio area has had some sections of concrete replaced but there continues to be heaving sections.

Exterior and Foundation
5) Signs of settlement and structural repairs was found in the foundation, there was a steel angle installed at the back foundation wall and cracks along the length of the steel angle. These appear to be a structural concern and may indicate that settlement is ongoing. Recommend hiring qualified contractors and/or engineers as necessary for further evaluation. Such contractors may include:
  • Foundation repair contractors who may prescribe repairs, and will give cost estimates for such repairs
  • Masonry contractors who repair and/or replace brick veneer
  • Geotechnical engineers who attempt to determine if settlement is ongoing, and the cause of the settlement
  • Structural engineers who determine if repairs are necessary, and prescribe those repairs
Repairs should be made by a qualified contractor.

Reference the Garage section below for further information that may be related to this issue.
6) Some sections of siding and/or trim were split and/or missing. Recommend that a qualified person repair, replace or install siding or trim as necessary.

The small dormer on the roof as shown below has no exterior grade siding, merely plywood. This area is not visible from the ground and partially shielded from the elements by the soffits overhang. There is some visible evidence of past moisture intrusion in the attic on the back side of this area.
7) One or more holes or gaps were found in siding or trim. Vermin, insects or water may enter the structure. Recommend that a qualified person repair as necessary.
8) 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.
9) 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.
10) Some areas of the exterior paint or stain finish were incomplete and/or substandard (e.g. primed only, too few coats). Recommend that a qualified contractor prep (e.g. clean, scrape, sand, prime, caulk) and repaint or restain the exterior where necessary and per standard building practices. Any repairs needed to the siding or trim should be made prior to this.

This refers to the facials, soffits and siding areas on the roof, there are 3 or 4 of these areas.

11) The is a roof vent that has sealant that has deteriorated. Recommend that a qualified contractor evaluate and repair as necessary.
12) Moss was growing on the roof. As a result, shingles can lift or be damaged. Leaks can result and/or the roof surface can fail prematurely. Efforts should be made to kill the moss during its growing season (wet months). Typically, zinc or phosphate-based chemicals are used for this and must be applied periodically. For information on various moss treatment products and their pros and cons, visit:

Garage or Carport
13) Significant cracks, heaving and/or settlement were found in one or more sections of concrete slab floors. Uneven surfaces can pose a trip hazard. Recommend that a qualified contractor repair or replace concrete slab floors where necessary.

The first picture below shows the slab settlement directly over the foundation repaired area discussed above. This area has settled quite a bit, many if not all cracks in the garage have been patched with some sort of sealant or grout product. Recommend asking the sellers what information they have concerning these areas.
14) One or more automatic door openers were malfunctioning. Recommend that a qualified contractor evaluate and repair or replace opener(s) as necessary.

The automatic garage door opened properly but when trying to close the door stopped and reversed. Upon closer examination the door track roller shown below came out of the track when the door opened. In order to get the door closed the inspector puled the door back into the tack and it functioned properly. Opening and attempting to close it 4 or 5 more times the door functioned properly about half the time.
15) One or more garage vehicle doors were damaged or deteriorated, in this case the side and door bottom weather stripping was both damaged. Recommend that a qualified contractor replace door(s) as necessary.
16) Gaps were found below or around one or more garage vehicle doors. Vermin and insects can enter the garage as a result. Recommend that a qualified person repair as necessary to eliminate or minimize gaps. This is due to the settlement of the concrete slab on the left and right side of the slab.

17) Panel(s) #A and B were manufactured by the Zinsco company. These panels and their circuit breakers have a history of problems including bus bars made from aluminum that oxidize and corrode, breakers that don't trip under normal overload conditions, and breakers that appear to be tripped when they're not. This is a potential safety hazard for shock and/or fire. Recommend that a qualified electrician carefully evaluate all Zinsco brand panels and components and make repairs as necessary. Consider replacing Zinsco panels with modern panels that offer more flexibility for new, safer protective technologies like arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCls). For more information, visit:
18) Substandard wiring was found at the attic. For example, missing or broken cover plates. This is a safety hazard. Recommend that a qualified electrician evaluate and repair as necessary and per standard building practices.
19) One or more ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacles (outlets) wouldn't reset at the bathroom(s). This is a potential shock hazard. Recommend that a qualified electrician evaluate and repair as necessary.
20) One or more electric receptacles (outlets) at the kitchen and/or wet bar 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:
21) The electrical panel on the left was found in the exact location as it is shown in the first picture, hanging off the breakers with no screws securing it to the box. The metal panel hanging on the breakers is an unsafe condition as it could prevent a breaker from tripping in the event of a short. After inspecting the panel the screws laying on the shelf under the panel were too small to fit the holes in the box and so for safety reasons the panel cover on the right was left as shown in the second picture below. A licensed electrician should take corrective measures to secure the panel to the box. Having an open panel like this also poses a safety risk.
22) One or more electric receptacles (outlets) and/or the boxes in which they were installed were loose and/or not securely anchored. Wire conductors can be damaged due to repeated movement and/or tension on wires, or insulation can be damaged. This is a shock and fire hazard. Recommend that a qualified electrician repair as necessary.

The GFCI receptacle at the master bathroom on the right was very loose, the same outlet that wouldn’t reset.

Additionally there is an outlet laying on top of the electric steam boiler that services the steam shower in the master bathroom. All outlets should be securely attached to wall studs.

Video Link:
23) One or more cover plates for switches, receptacles (outlets) or junction boxes were missing or broken. 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.
24) The legend for circuit breakers or fuses in panel(s) #A and B 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.

Water Heater
26) 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:

Heating, Ventilation and Air Condition (HVAC)
28) The last service date of the gas or oil-fired forced air furnace appeared to be more than 1 year ago, or the inspector was unable to determine the last service date. Ask the property owner when it was last serviced. If unable to determine the last service date, or if this system was serviced 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:
29) The forced air heating or cooling system was noisy. Recommend that a qualified HVAC contractor evaluate and repair as necessary.

Video Link:
30) An electronic air filter was installed. Recommend checking filters upon taking occupancy and monthly in the future. Guidelines vary depending on the manufacturer, but when the filters are dirty, the following steps should normally be performed:
  • Turn off filter and wait 30 seconds before pulling off cover
  • Note direction arrow on cells is oriented and positions of pre-filters and cells
  • Remove cells and pre-filters
  • Clean pre-filters with a vacuum cleaner and brush attachment
  • Wash cells in a dishwasher, in a tub or with a garden hose
  • Be careful not to break ionizing wires or bend collector plates
  • Use only soaps that are safe for aluminum (e.g. dishwasher soap)
  • When using a dishwasher, support cells with 4 glasses, and don't use the drying cycle
  • When using a bathtub, soak cells for 15-20 minutes and then agitate them
  • Let cells air-dry
  • Reinstall cells and filters in the correct position and orientation and turn filter back on
Note that how often filters need cleaning depends on how the system is configured (e.g. always on versus "auto"), and on environmental factors (e.g. pets, smoking, frequency of house cleaning, number of occupants, the season). For more information, visit:

Fireplaces, Stoves, Chimneys and Flues
32) One or more wood-burning fireplaces or stoves were 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 wood-burning devices and chimneys, and clean and repair as necessary. Note that if a wood stove insert is installed, it may need to be removed for such an evaluation. For more information, search for "chimney inspection" at:

Bathrooms, Laundry and Sinks
34) The bathroom with a shower or bathtub at location(s) #B didn't have an exhaust fan installed. Moisture can accumulate and result in mold, bacteria or fungal growth. Even if the bathroom has a window that opens, it may not provide adequate ventilation, especially during cold weather when windows are closed or when wind blows air into the bathroom. Recommend that a qualified contractor install exhaust fans per standard building practices where missing in bathrooms with showers or bathtubs.
35) The exhaust fan at location(s) #A was noisy or vibrated excessively. Moisture may accumulate and result in mold, bacteria or fungal growth. Recommend that a qualified person clean, repair or replace fans as necessary.

Video Link:
36) Water was leaking at the sink faucet base or handles at location(s) #lower level craft room. Recommend that a qualified plumber repair as necessary.

Interior, Doors and Windows
38) Stains and elevated levels of moisture were found in one or more ceiling areas. The stains appear to be due to an active plumbing leak. Recommend that a qualified contractor evaluate and repair as necessary.

Above the lower level bathroom toilet, the moisture meter levels were 100%. Directly above this is the master bathroom and other main floor bathroom. Prior to closing the source of the leak should be identified and repairs including cei ling and any other saturated areas.
39) One or more interior doors wouldn't latch or were difficult to latch. Recommend that a qualified person repair as necessary. For example, by adjusting latch plates or locksets. Lower level bedroom door.
40) One or more interior doors were sticking in the door jamb and were difficult to operate. Recommend that a qualified person repair as necessary. For example, by trimming doors.

Lower level closet door with the homes water shut off inside.