Areas of Inspection
All of our inspections include the following areas:
Grounds: An inspection of the grounds involves determining any effect the landscaping and grading may have on the structure. This includes limbs of bushes and trees rubbing against the house or roof. If root systems are too close they can put pressure on the foundation or invade the plumbing system. The flow of groundwater and rainwater from the roof must be directed away from the foundation to avoid water in basements and crawl spaces. Proper sloping of walkways, driveways, and patios also helps direct water away from foundations.
Exterior: The exterior of a home is like a raincoat. It is designed to be water-resistant and not waterproof. The inspection looks for areas that not only need attention immediately to avoid structural problems but areas that may cause problems later. This includes proper siding attachment and sealing, window flashing, soffit and facia structure, deck structure and porch and balcony safety.
Roof: The roof is designed to shed water and snow. To do this it must be pitched properly and be sealed around all penetrations. The gutters and downspouts are evaluated for function and proper routing away from the foundation.
Structure: The structure is evaluated for design and function. Although loads can not be calculated the structure is evaluated for damage and rot that may make it unsturdy or unsafe.
Plumbing: The plumbing system is evaluated for leaks and function. Water leaks can become structural problems quickly as wood stays wet and begins to rot. Proper drainage and venting are important components of any household plumbing system. The water heater is part of the plumbing evaluation.
Electrical: Electrical systems are evaluated for proper wiring and safe operation. Exposed wiring and temporary wiring such as extension cords is a safety hazard and should be corrected. Improperly wired outlets can be shock hazards and should also be corrected. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters(GFCI) are tested and recommended in all wet areas including exterior, garages, kitchens, bathrooms, and basements.
HVAC: The heating and cooling system is operated(when possible) and evaluated for proper function and safety. Carbon monoxide testing is often part of the HVAC evaluation. The chimney connections are evaluated for proper function.
Attic: The attic should be an extension of the outside, in other words, an ideal attic would always be the same temperature as the outside air. Proper insulation and ventilation are key to preventing ice damming and moisture build-up in the attic.
Foundation: A solid foundation is critical to a home. A foundation can be affected by trees, shrubs, and other exterior forces as well as water pressure. The proper evaluation of a foundation includes the inspection of the exterior influences that can cause problems. Most moisture problems and some foundation issues can be corrected by making changes to the exterior grading and controlling the flow of water away from the foundation.
Call or click today to schedule your comprehensive home inspection!