Home Inspector

A while back, I performed a home inspection and took over 400 digital pictures and identified several major defects at the inspection.  We’re going to perform that home inspection once again, reviewing those pictures, and we’re going to look at my actual inspection report that I handed to my client to go over narratives that I used in the inspection report and also some disclaimers.  So when I go to a home inspection, I carry big ladders.  I carry 28 foot, 32 foot, and 40-foot ladders.  Now, according to SOP, a home inspector is not required to get up on any roof and inspect.  But at least you should get to the edge, the gutter edge.  And this roof is in pretty good shape.  What I like to do is take digital pictures of every plane or field of the roof and then I take pictures like that kind of describes a lot picture’s worth a thousand words that tell your client that you actually were up on the roof and taking your time looking in detail I like that shot about the condition of the roof the shingles this is a three-tab shingle that’s about ten years old it’s in pretty good shape the granular surface is good nothing major no cracking so the roof covering is in good shape I don’t say the roof system is in good shape just the roof covering because the roof system combines multiple components into that system so if you comment upon the system you’re including all of the components of that system so the roof covering here is in good shape and they have some new gutter helmets here’s a defect the neoprene member membrane around the stack the vent stack coming up through the roof is deteriorated it’s in poor shape prone to water penetration.

Here’s a masonry chimney stack this is on the East Coast and the size of the flue tells me it’s probably not a fireplace haven’t been inside yet it’s probably a heating system and in on the East Coast oil-fired heating systems or gas-fired heating systems is pretty common the crown is in poor shape the masonry is cracked it’s been patched poorly improperly in the past with just some silicone and some sealant and caulk all around the cracks and it’s still chipping away and you can actually see some moss growth that’s just going to hold moisture and in the wintertime that moisture is just going to pop and crack this is an area prone to water penetration and moisture intrusion down the chimney stack and masonry loves to wick up moisture and then crack all of these joints here were patched with white silicone I don’t think they expected me to be up on the roof it looks great from the ground and this is the flashing the counter flashing here is in great shape a little rusty but my concern is how the top edge of the counter flashing is connected or secured to the brick masonry especially when it’s brick they didn’t cut a groove do you like to see I like to see a nice quarter inch groove cut into the masonry and then you bend that top edge of the counter flashing in that that detail but right here they don’t have that the top edge is simply sealed and it’s heavily sealed well that requires maintenance and most homeowners are unable to they’re unfamiliar with going up on their roof and doing this kind of maintenance so I tell my client that this is an area that needs to be maintained regularly and that requires a roofer.

The step flashing is not properly installed you really shouldn’t see step flashing maybe an edge here and there but the problem with this is now wind driven rain can go at a diagonal under the step flashing and go where it’s not supposed to go more damage to the masonry now this is the shot of the flue liner home inspectors according to SOP visual inspection only you’re not required to inspect the interior flue but you go as far as you are comfortable or a home inspector only goes as far as they’re trained I guess so I feel comfortable in taking this cap off it’s very easy I carry a some tools some screwdrivers and some wrenches and I pop the cap off and I don’t comment upon the flue system because I can’t see the flue system especially when I don’t find major problems this is a major problem that I can see and so I’m going to comment on it if I can’t see anything wrong I don’t comment upon the condition of the Interior flue but I find that my clients find my inspections valuable when I actually stick my flashlight in and take a peek at the interior flue liner and that is a major problem that’s a chunk of the interior flue terracotta flue liner I just simply reach down with my hand and grab the piece because it was all deteriorated in pieces you zoom in your camera a little bit and sections go halfway and take a picture you can see that there’s missing pieces and cracks this is the first piece coming down three feet down we’re down to six feet and even more deterioration there’s a crack on the edge you see maybe from visually from the top of the flue five percent of the entire flue system so do not comment upon the the interior flue unless you’re able to do something like this and this is what I do when I see a major problem that’s actually brick and mortar you can see that’s the outer wall of the chimney stack so when I find a problem a major problem especially I communicate to my client the importance of getting a professional and so in my inspection report this is the third page I believe this is like the introduction and let me read it to you this is a disclaimer feel free to take any of the words and use it in your own inspection reports but in every inspection report and I’ve been doing this for 15 years never had problems with this advice.

I tell my client you are advised to seek two professional opinions and acquire estimates of repair as to any defects comments improvements or recommendations mentioned in this report so if I mention anything even commenting on anything anything wrong or major or just something that needs to be improved I’m telling my client you need to professional opinions we recommend that that professional who is making any repairs to inspect the property further in order to discover impaired related problems that weren’t identified in the report take the flu for example I’m able to see only a small proportion of the flu found a major problem I don’t want that professional come and fix the problem that I found I want that professional to inspect further fix the problems I find but also look at the entire flu system drop a camera down all the way and take 336 300 on so have your professional tell your client to have your professional inspect the property further because I’m only doing a visual inspection contractors when they have permission tear things apart and discover we recommend that all repairs Corrections and cost estimates be completed and documented prior to closing or purchasing the property this is really important your recommendations to get professionals to correct a repair is important but the timing of those repairs is even more important if you find a problem your client may say you know what that’s that seems like a minor thing we’ll get that fixed after we buy the property but if they follow your recommendations about having that professional inspect further and looking for more additional related problems they better do it prior to closing because after closing it’s too late and don’t come to me the home inspector because I told you to try to get this done at least fixed or at least negotiated to be fixed prior to purchasing the property and then I just put in some simple basic language feel free to hire other professionals to inspect the property prior to closing like HVAC professionals electricians engineers roofers and that reinforces that you are a home inspector and you are not an expert you’re not an engineer or a professional at electrical work or electrical systems your non electrician you’re just a generalist not an expert so continuing with the inspection more step flashing problems here’s the fireplace chimney same condition washed out cracked crown masonry crown that needs to be chipped away no more sealants on cracks you can’t put sealants on top of the masonry now and that’s a picture really I take pictures for myself more than my client this is a visual record I’m documenting the number of layers so I go in the edge the gable edge and I take a look and there’s one layer of shingles the vents more of the below earth is the lower roof where the roof and wall intersect is critical a lot of water problems and water intrusion problems occur there this is a gable vent in the upper attic section above the second floor bedrooms we have two problems here can you see them one is I don’t think the fans positioned correctly it’s blowing out the siding now a fan here is a ventilation fan a gable vent fan the motor is right about here it’s about that large and the fan blades are probably this big but it’s probably too low and the fan blades are down here and it’s exhausting into the siding and blowing out the siding so it’s not installed properly possibly you haven’t been inside don’t want to draw that conclusion to actually see it and then we have looks like the siding there and some installation board that’s open the water penetration we have this large hole that somebody put in and there’s water coming down through behind the siding you can actually see it dripping down here so we have here’s a cupola most cupola is that I’ve found or decorative they just sit them on top of a roof but when you see copper flashing installed around a cupola you can pretty much bet that it’s an actual functional ventilation cupola when there’s a hole here so when you see damage here it’s not damage on something that’s cosmetic or decorative this isn’t a functional component of the ventilation of the roof system so that’s a major problem try to get to the edge I try not to walk on the edge but try to get to it visually if you can so here I decided to take a look at the edge and there’s no drip edge the flashing is missing.

A lot of local building inspectors do not enforce this with their builders but I put this in the report as a major problem because of this it doesn’t always occur like this but this is what happens when you don’t have drip edge flashing and water has water tension and it can go backwards and run up a roof and deteriorate this plywood sheathing this is the laminated sheathing at the edge this is below just above the gutter gutters down here and there’s no flashing here there’s no ice and water shield either on the East Coast and be a good idea so that’s all deteriorated and it’s hard to describe this condition you can to your client with words a picture is really great you don’t have to be new home buyers who don’t know a lot about sheathing and water damage and what it looks like can actually see you know I’ve got shards pieces of wood in my hand I was able to just reach in for about the first foot and just grab the sheathing and this is the soffit underneath eaves that’s a great shot you don’t have to be an expert in plywood to understand what this is is a great way to communicate to your client the condition of the the property so the roof has a major defect all around the edge that’s too two pieces of plywood because because these are intact actually the edges are good that’s not delaminated but they got wet and swelled and popped so here’s some the actual report that I gave to my client and I like to just read over this small section here you could use this type of language in your inspection report or this is what I use and it’s it’s helped me.

I’ve never had any problems I’ve never paid for any repairs on any roofs roofs may have leaked after my inspection but I’ve never had to pay out of my pocket to my client I think it’s because of the narratives and disclaimers I use so it’s basic language we’re not professional roofers feel free to hire one prior to closing we do our best to inspect the roof system within the time allotted I like that I refer to time home inspectors are doing the inspection for what an hour two three at most there is a time restriction it’snot just a visual inspection that’s limited but I’m actually limited all so by time we don’t have all day here the seller has intimate knowledge of the performance of the roof and the other systems in the house home inspectors we go in in and out and you know we’re expected to know everything that has happened about the performance of let’s any system in the house so within the time allotted I did my best we inspect the roof covering drainage systems flashing etc we’re not required to inspect something so I tell them what to I inspect tell them what I don’t inspect so that they understand that oh there are things that my home inspector is not required to inspect and this is not an exhaustive inspection of every installation detail of the roof system according to the manufacturer’s specifications or construction codes I’ve referred to this several times because roofers will go up they know that I was there before them and they try to nail me on you know the manufacturer’s recommendations well that’s not what a home inspection is about I also like this second paragraph it’s visual it’s virtually impossible detect a leak except as it is occurring or by specific water tests which are beyond the scope of a home inspection.

When my client to understand that if I’m doing an inspection it’s a nice summary a stunner sunny day in the summer 75 degrees hasn’t rained for two weeks well you know I’m not going to perform a water test to try to make the roof leak and I can’t tell if the roofs going to leak in the future unless it’s actually dripping down I can’t tell that it’s going to have problems so these are my inspection pages estimated age condition I throw a lot of digital pictures in the report not all of them I give to my client not all of them are inspected and in the inspection report but a lot of them are the important ones like the condition of the flu and the flu liner and the flashing and there’s the fireplace that’s all together so here’s the exterior the downspouts I work with the downspouts and the grading first and also take pictures of inspection restrictions a lot of vegetation up against the side of the house vegetation and bushes and and mulch and landscaping is like sponge sponges they absorb water and they don’t release it they retain it and hold it up against the masonry and masonry can wick can wick moisture in water now it can also hide stuff look at this overgrown dense vegetation you can make a check mark on your inspection report about dense vegetation but I love a picture like this and it’s not just an inspection restriction but it’s also a recommendation for my client home owners need to maintain their home these dense bushes rose bushes their prickly make it hard to give regular inspections on your home and to provide regular maintenance simple maintenance you can’t get around there and that’s a critical area to don’t like the down spout discharging onto the roof sideways it really should be piped into the gutter so grading shots landscaping some mortar joints need to repair that’s a great shot I can’t see what’s going on that’s about as close as I can get to the house so there may be something beyond the scope of my visual inspection still lintels.

When you have a masonry house look for steel lintels above doors and windows sometimes when the mason masonry pops off the rust forces the steel lintel to swell and it actually pushes up on the brick and makes cracks now there’s a whole wall of cracks above the window prone to water penetration it’s not watertight and you can’t patch it with silicone silicone we’ll just done deteriorate over time water faucet in the east where it’s cold or in your cold climates you want a frost free hose bibb this is not this is an older faucet there’s a couple problems here it’s not sealed it’s being pulled down by the hose and there are there two other things in the picture that’s interesting this is a remote read for the water meter water meters inside the house this is a sensor that sends out the signal so that the water company doesn’t have to come into the house to see the meter and there’s another thing in the picture that’s important that I put in the report the mouse trap you’re not required to inspect for mice but if I see evidence of mouse droppings I’m not an expert I do have a disclaimer but if I see a mouse trap I’m telling my client about the mouse traps it’s no big deal I don’t make a big deal out of it but I do put in a report this little guy’s event there’s gas supply to the house then there is where I did inspections on on this house the meters were put inside the house ideally the meter would be on the outside if you have a meat on the inside the house it needs to breathe gas meters have diaphragms they actually flex like that and it needs to breathe and when you have a meter a gas meter on the inside of the house you need a event on the outside electric line exposed a lot of exterior shots even the yard the tree I’m looking for any trees that may have an adverse impact on the house rotten post this is a front porch post this is the ceiling of the front porch this is the gutter here and so we have evidence of water leaking in and causing some cosmetic damage but it’s evidence of a major roof problem that we went over ground faults little tester can test for ground faults some inspectors use something a little bit more expensive my short test the front porch masonry settled a couple inches over the lifetime of the house they’ve been trying to seal it up with some silicone and some foam insulation this is bad because you want hard surfaces one to slope away from the house and if it’s not like this one you don’t want poor sealant or caulking here because it will allow water to go into the house foundation problem is if it’s done by the homeowner it’s probably not attached so grab the edge and this one was loose it could flip and hurt somebody after water spicket it’s coming from the basement down below so they know that if this is going to freeze in the winter time and burst so they try to insulate it with some foam insulation that doesn’t work either bay window copper roof but look at all the silicone so they have problems with whoever did the flashing they didn’t install install to cut the groove into the masonry so they Bend that metal right in there and then put a nice bead of silicone.

On top of side porch side stoop at the side door settled cause of trip hazard so I take a lot of pictures to describe the condition of the house so I can communicate to my client appropriately and also it’s a visual record of what I did like testing the photoelectric eyes on the garage door I like these shots because it can tell somebody that there’s a visual inspection these were the actual restrictions I don’t know of any inspection report software system or by hand pencil and paper that can describe all the inspection restrictions even though all the little components and in an efficient amount of time you can’t describe that there’s a ladder garbage can wheelbarrow other garbage can apply wood up against the wall a digital picture does it all very quickly the concrete is settling is the garage concrete and there’s moisture percolating up from the ground wasn’t coming in from the sides so this garage floor probably wasn’t poured it’s probably not very thick it may have been poured on sand concrete shouldn’t be poured on scene maybe there’s no vapor barrier missing handrail going up those steps from the garage to the interior missing firewall garage door new electric line new service drip loops secured and attached there’s the grounding wire going the electrode the grounding rod new electric panel 200 amps I like to take a picture of the panel for a few reasons one is a record all of the breakers that were in the on position and off position because sometimes I’ve taken the covers off and I flick one of the breakers by mistake and I want to make sure that I reset it so we have room for expansion that’s the 200 amp main disconnect we have older wiring some newer wire romax wiring this should be sealed to stop air flow water vapor intrusion and insects and there is no labeling every breaker in an electrical panel must have specific identification of its purpose and location there’s nothing here and there are no art faults or ground faults and that panel either there’s some loose wiring all about the house in the garage is wire there why are there why are going across the window wire lying in the corner of the garage going up the wall no ground faults in the garage loose wiring loose.

Romex now again you don’t you have to know your SOP you’re not required to take the electrical panel off an inspector only goes as far as they’ve been trained I encourage as much training in education as possible and if you’re not confident in taking off the electrical panel do not do it I love this shot because it tells me what breakers are on and off again if in the general condition do I have water penetration scorching over wired heaters I see that I don’t have any double taps the wires look really great nothing scorched nothing over refused this is a double pole breaker I like to see some black tape on the the white wire they poured asphalt new asphalt about 2 or 3 inches of new asphalt on top of the old stuff that’s how they did it to make it look nice but the asphalt surface the hard surface of the absolute driveway is actually higher than the garage door which is okay if you insert a drainage system ideally all hard surfaces slope away from the house to stop water intrusion and this hard surface is above and directed towards so you need to catch that water and they actually sell this type of system at Home Depot you groove out the asphalt you dig a trench and you put it right back in water main coming in waterline through a shut off valve I think this is in the crawlspace goes into a water meter sorry it’s a little out of focus goes up and through a check valve and pressure regulator I like to have the pressure regulator before the water meter I don’t know why this was on the downstream side of the water meter and I have a bonding wire coming from the electrical panel to the copper waterline but no jumper now if you remove I have friends in the East who have removed water meters and they didn’t pay attention to the jumper missing and they got a little electric shock.

Shots of the crawl space

I like take a lot of shots of the crawl space the cross by sealing the floor system above the crawl space was insulated which is really nice but it’s an inspection restriction for me so actually bring don’t have it with me I have a bring a gardening tool it’s a three tine hoe has three tines on the end of it I bend them one straight once curved ones really curved and it’s extendable from 2 feet to 4 feet and I push the insulation around and I want to tell my client that I did the best that I can by pushing the insulation around with my instruments and I take a lot of pictures of different spots of the floor joists we have some efflorescence because the foundation on this old house is probably not waterproofed there’s no drainage system on the outside so it’s probably concrete block right upon fill I doubt that they have even gravel out there drainage gravel and so that block it might be parts with some tar but it gets wet and absorbs moisture and leaves the salt deposits behind but no structural problems in the crawlspace drainage pipes look good this is a gas pipe with a valve flex line and the strap that held it in place has broken and so then all the gas line is just hanging I think it’s hanging on a bonding wire if that wire wasn’t there it probably would have just fallen and there would have been a gas leak so again that’s the hot water tank sometimes I just put my screwdriver in areas where there is a high probability of infestation subterranean Eastern submarine termite infestation this is in the crawl space have you ever been in a crawl space with some new walls or walls to the finished area this is the back side of it this is a steel plate it’s not treated stud gumming up right there is usually where the termite infestation starts because this is food for termites that’s food that’s food that’s food and this is some mold infant state mold deposits here well suspected mold you never know that it’s mold until you test it so we carry some swabs you swab it a little bit send it to the lab and confirm that it’s mold there’s drainage pipes is the hot water tank amazing hot water tank I’ll show you why take a picture of the manufacturing plate we have the model number BTU a recovery rate by gallons capacity serial number here’s the reason why it’s an amazing tank it was built in 1976 and I just inspected this house a little while ago we have scorching and so something’s wrong with the vent pipe maybe there’s a block the draft is wrong I understand that this shield is missing but this flame shield of the combustion chamber is in place but we have scorching that’s really really dangerous and there’s the gas line this is dangerous to the gas line has fallen to the hot water tank the main shutoff valve the cold water line on the to the tank has dripped and rusted out completely the top of the tank the vent pipe carrying the exhaust gasses into the chimney stack is loose not sealed where it enters the chimney pressure relief valve it could be dripping but it’s missing extension pipe AC unit is new take a picture of the manufacturing plate get your camera and set it it’s very easy to take hundreds of digital pictures if you set your quality too low that’s all you need for reports and set it to macro to get in nice and close within a few inches get pictures of the date that helps me it’s only a few years old 2002 electric disconnect there’s a HVAC system same manufacturer and same date as the airconditioning unit and we’re good with this no major defects real quick what’s the efficiency of this heating system if you can’t tell within you can’t say within the first few seconds possibly I recommend taking some training HVAC we have an HVAC training course internachi and HGTV has one of the best training videos for HVAC training for inspectors we don’t have a gravity system is so it’s not low it’s not 60 to 65% and so we we have things that can tell you the efficiency real quick we have a draft inducer fan when you have a draft inducer fan that brings you up from 60-65 now we’re thinking the 80-85 or maybe more 1995 we have a valve the structure of the valve you’ll get used to seeing this this is in the standing pilot light mechanisms look different and if we keep going that’s electric shutoff switch I take pictures of all the components gas shutoff this is the draft fan again how many fans are here actually you say draft fan but there are actually two fans one it makes the draft and one cools off the fan one’s actually just cooling off here’s the valve sorry the light the pilot light so you have a draft inducer fan that raises up the efficiency and you have an intermediate intermittent pilot light this one actually is a glow plug like a diesel engine it glows red hot the gas valve opens up and that glow plug lights up the the fuel it ignites it and shoots them in these burner ports did you know you can tell roughly by general rule of thumb the BTU system the BTU capacity by counting the number of burners in HVAC system here’s a- see depleted media air filter check out the airflow arrow it’s in good shape take pictures of both sides this is the dirty side but it’s clean so it’s new.

I take a picture of the service record that tells me a lot humidifier it’s a bypass humidifier I can tell that real quick because it’s installed on the cold air return and there’s a big duct going to the supply return it’s called a bypass to bypass the critical part the HVAC the heating system in an airconditioning system especially the heat exchanger you don’t want this humidifier which has a lot of water in it dripping water to be installed on top of the heating system control there’s the shot I open these up you’re not required to inspect the components of them inside but I do take some training to learn how humidifiers work but they’re all based upon either a filter like this that can be replaced when it gets all funky with calcium or a drum and water is the waterline comes up here it trickles down this filter gets wet air comes through it gets humidified and picks that moist air into the supply and circulates it waterline here’s the evaporator coil for the air conditioner unit two lines which one’s the suction line which one’s the liquid line suction line is larger it should be cool to the touch it’s insulated liquid line is warm to the touch condensate air conditioners evaporator coils produce condensate this is the main condensate drain line and this one is a secondary backup usually installed when there’s air handler in the Attic just in case this gets clogged this one drains into a catch pan and why are these two here what are these these two are being is why are these here because you can tip it this is a universal system you can tip the evaporator condensate pump plugged in shot of the fluid going up we know we have major problems with the flue liner and so here’s the report nothing really to go over no major problems just identifying the components every picture it has something like this is the humidifier I have three pictures of the humidifier three pictures of the air filter we have an awesome training article for home inspectors HVAC training for inspectors on each TV it’s all online and it’s all video so if you need some more experience or more confidence in inspecting your clients heating system you don’t know exactly like the refrigerant cycle refrigerant cycle is described really well in the training video we do it about three times after you watch the video you’ll be able to tell your your client how their air conditioner system or heat pump works the pump just as an air conditioner system in Reverse so I take pictures of the rest of the room in the rest of the rooms in the house all the rooms and in this particular room we have some water stains we have I have a moisture meter probe a lot of inspectors use the handheld ones this one is extendable so I don’t have to reach down and get the ceilings or the low spots but this is active water penetration and I’m not sure why all of that baseboard and carpeting and wall is wet so I take a picture on the outside and that’s where the water is coming from this dense vegetation area there could be some kind of drainage problem here there could be water puddling up and it goes down the brick wall or it could be from that bay window we have that poor flashing in connection to the masonry water could becoming down the masonry wall it’s unable to drain out maybe no weep holes or they’re blocked and goes down into the basement take pictures of all the fixtures in the house the ceilings open and close the windows and doors I don’t do all the windows and doors within the time allotted laundry black rubber hoses the not pressure tested these break open and they they wait until you’re on vacation they burst open house floods with water that’s one of the number one claims of homeowners insurance policies those hoses bursting open so they make pressure tested hoses braided mesh hoses and high-quality hoses missing ground-fault at the laundry area dryer vent pipes should never be plastic the dryer is hardwired there’s no outlet the dryer appliance should have a pigtail and a pronged outlet and a wall-mounted outlet.

I didn’t do a termite inspection here but I should can say all home inspectors in my opinion should be trained on identifying wood destroying organisms insects carpenter ants and they fell behind this is a window blocked with some foam insulation for the winter I think I opened that up and they fell down you should be able to identify so you don’t have to do a termite inspection but if you see a big pile of insects your client may say what do you think those are those were carpenter ants the thermostats in the house is the attic shot no structural problems no roof leaks nothing active be careful with the recessed ceiling lights these can lights the old ones they’re not supposed to be in direct contact with the insulation so they did a nice thing they put it away push it away and blew the cellulose insulation in and but the problem is this creates paper problems creates a stack effect in cold climates in the winter time you heat up the air in your house you pay for a lot of heat in your house and it goes up right through the attic floor right here and there’s moisture being carried by that warm air and there’s also a heat loss area for so you’re wasting energy I love those shots of the insulation thickness is not too much insulation cellulose insulation only about five inches thick not very thick at all about half of what it should be this is the access door to the attic access panels access doors scuttles in the ceiling if they’re not insulated its equivalent to having about 100 cubic feet per minute of warm air that you’ve paid a lot of money to heatup just go right through it’s equivalent to having a supply register in a bedroom an uninsulated attic door is just a huge hole and you’ve got to inform your client about that you should have some knowledge of the stack effect of homes and energy loss and water vapor how water vapor moves in the house when there’s air flow plumbing light fixture sold LED fixtures with the little plug electric outlet those should be disconnected or protected by a ground fault or just removed and replaced with a new one I pound the tiles with my hand and take pictures of them I did everything I could to see if these old tiles with the old grout lines have allowed water to penetrate through and behind this is a shower pan below it is a ceiling that had no water marks but these old shower pans some of them were made out of lead and with some thick masonry they sometimes crack and you can never tell a shower pans leaking until it actually drips just like a roof system take some pictures of other windows second-floor windows receptacles they’re 2 prong no grounding prong little tester that I have just to see if it’s live – all the windows and doors that I can is a safety hazard for children railings should not have openings that would allow a four inch in diameter sphere to pass through looking for water marks water penetration anywhere any nook and cranny I’m trying to take a picture of it there’s a fireplace the fireplace door handle and the glass front is broken the masonry interior looks good I’m not a fireplace certified chimney sweep.

I’m not going to say anything that I’m not trained to do and so I just do the functional damper opening closing and take some pictures here and there I’m looking for a major major defects didn’t see any interior key dead bolts interior keyed dead bolts can make an emergency exit difficult where I did inspections in Pennsylvania that’s not allowed it has to be removed for the house to be sold and here’s the kitchen no ground faults in the kitchen take a picture of the inside this tells you a lot about damaged or stained dishwashers dishwasher to stain I don’t know why when the new homeowner moves in so things not working I turned them on by credit for courtesy to my client home inspectors are not required to turn on dishwashers and kitchen appliances but I do had a courtesy see if they turn on and the last thing in the kitchen was the edge of the vinyl they put down some vinyl but they didn’t mechanically attach it or glue it down so here’s the report conclusion just before I get to a summary I put this up and I tell my clients this we’re proud of our service and trust that you will be happy with the quality of our report we’ve made every effort to provide you with an accurate assessment of the condition of the property and its components and to alert you of any significant defects or adverse conditions however this is the important part we may not have tested every outlet and opened every window indoor or identified every problem for the numerous reasons the instructions the limitations the exclusions so when they find an outlet that’s dead well it’s not an exhaustive inspection I don’t test every outlet I don’t open and close every door and there are going to be problems that a new homeowner will find basic simple language tell me how it is also because our inspection is essentially visual latent defects could exist so when the new contractor comes in because they’re going to replace some cabinets in the kitchen and they take it off and they see who knows some structural problems or water problems or termites well that was latent hidden not visual we cannot see behind walls I love that little sentence I say that often I sometimes I meet with clients who have problems and I highlight this with a little highlighter marker and you know just to describe in basic language the home inspections responsibilities and limitations therefore you should not regard our inspection as a guarantee or warranty it’s simply report on the general condition of a property of it as it at a given point in time as a homeowner you should expect problems to occur it’s an amazing sentence because a lot of new homeowners assume that everything’s going to be hunky-dory for the whole house and that if a problem occurs it’s not their fault or responsibility it’s got to be somebody else’s well that’s not true roofs will leak basements may have water problems systems may fail without warning we cannot predict future events for some reason they think a home inspection is a warranty into the future or you can see what’s going to happen into the future a year from now.

I have no idea what’s going to happen to the roof a year from now for these reasons you should keep a comprehensive insurance policy current that’s where you go if you have your clothes washer lines burst open don’t come to the home inspector inspector make sure your house is covered with the an insurance policy and then I thought of walk throughs pre closing walk throughs last chance effort for the your client to look at the house before they sign on the dotted line and so I put this in my inspection report all my inspection reports have this pre closing walk through a walk through prior to closing is the time for the client to inspect the property some clients don’t even realize that they have this right to go into the property before they purchase it and take a look one last time conditions can change between the time of a home inspection and the time of closing they can change things can happen restrictions that existed during the inspection may have been removed for the walk through so a living room carpet may have been pulled up and then revealed let’s say a big hole in the floor well at the time my digital pictures will show that this living room carpet was over that hole and there’s no way to see it but just before closing you may be able to come in that carpet may have been removed prior to closing and then that hole is visual whoever is walking through hopefully my client defects or problems that were not found during the home inspection may be discovered during the walk through that carpet may be pulled up and that hole may be revealed therefore the client should be thorough during the walk through and any defect or problem discovered during the walk through should be negotiated with the owner or seller of the property prior to closing that’s essential again it’s it’s refers back to that chimney problem I discovered a problem with the chimney I expect my client to get a couple estimates and a professional to inspect the property even further and make those Corrections prior to closing or at least negotiate about those problems prior to closing if you find something during the walk through in the morning of just before you sign on the dotted line you should get that fixed or at least negotiated prior to closing purchasing the property with a known defect or problem releases me the inspector of all responsibility client assumes responsibility for all known defects after the settlement if you during the inspection I didn’t see that hole that was covered up by the carpet in the living room prior to closing conditions have changed that carpet is pulled up a hole is revealed you go through prior to closing before you sign on the dotted line through your walk through you see the hole you say well you know we’ll talk about that that later after we buy the house we’ll call up the home inspector and he’ll handle that well know you saw the defect prior to closing you had your chance that’s what the purpose of the pre closing walk through is all about to look for the condition again if you know that there’s a hole in the living room and you buy the house you bought a hole so I love this paragraph it gives you it reinforces again the limits of the inspection that you do the time limits and it gives your client this idea of yeah I can go through before I purchase the house and look for any kind of problems and if if there is a problem I have the time and the ability and the right to negotiate over that problem prior to closing.