Sample Report

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Roof 

Every roof has two basic elements- the deck and the weather resistant covering.  The deck (also called "roof sheathing") serves as a base for supporting the roof covering that, in turn, protects the structure from the weather.  Inspection of the roof covering is done from the outside with a binocular, whereas the only access to actually view the deck is from inside the attic. 

   

Asphalt shingle roofs have a normal life of 15-20 years.  Aluminum is used for flashing material.  Flashing is a term used to describe the metal inserts applied to the areas where a roof meets another component of the structure, or along the eaves.  This is done to protect particularly vulnerable joints from leaking, and various metals are used for this purpose.

Findings 

The house has an asphalt shingles roof.  All the shingles are intact.  The existing shingles are the second layer on the roof.  The horizontal ridge of the roof is in good condition.  There is no indication of sagging at the crown. The metal gutters are heavily damaged, and clogged with ivy. The downspouts are missing at most of the places.  The downspout if there are any, are broken, unsecured and damaged.  No extension or splash plates were seen.

 There is no attic or access to attic inside the house.  Hence the inspection of roof sheathing could not be done.  There is one crawl type attic at the second floor stairway, which is being used as a closet.  No leaks from the roof were noted.   

Periodical visual inspection for shingles should be done.  It is important that the shingles don’t break, split, or crumble.  Yearly cleaning of gutters and downspouts should be done.

 

Conclusion
The roof is within its usable life.  two layers of asphalt shingles were noted on the roof. No leaks at the attic could be seen.  This is due to no access to the attic.
Most of the downspouts are missing and water penetrates inside the foundation.   The gutters are damaged and clogged.  The gutters and downspouts must be replaced around the perimeter of the roof

Garage

Findings

The garage is attached to the house.  The exterior front wall is brick and sidings are cedar shingles.  The cedar shingles are split, cracked and peeling paint.  The garage door is operated electrically.  It was not connected to the electrical supply.  The buyer, no need to test it, informed me.  The door is deteriorated and all the hardware and locks have exceeded its useful life.  

The roof has a second layer of asphalt shingles and is within its useful life.  No leaks inside the garage were noted. However, at the rear of garage in the ceiling, a large hole was seen.  Upon inspection, it was seen that the roof sheathing has deterioration.  But no dampness was seen.  The deterioration is from the previous leak from the roof.  Some holes at the other portion of ceiling were also seen.  The metal gutter under the garage roof is rusted and has holes in it.  The soffit is unsecured and coming apart under the roof. 

The walls are all sheetrock, unfinished and unpainted.  The walls are broken at some places.  The ceiling is sheetrock and has significant size of holes at various places. 

There are 3 electrical outlets; two of them have missing cover plates.  All of them are working.  Four fluorescent light fixtures are at the garage ceiling and all of them are functioning.

The flooring is poured cement concrete and intact.  There are two wooden windows, which has exceeded its useful life.  Deterioration, cracks and paint peeling at the sill and frame were noticed. 

Recommendations 

Since the garage is attached to the house, plenty of precautions should be taken in storing the materials.  No inflammable, hazardous or toxic materials should be stored inside the garage.  Also while repairing the vehicle inside the garage, the garage door should be kept open to ventilate the exhaust fumes.  Periodic inspection for water seepage and termites should be done.

 Foundation and Basement

INTRODUCTION TO FOUNDATIONS

Many soil types lose load-bearing capacity when saturated with water. Other soils expand when wetted. One estimate reports that more than two thirds of U.S. soils are active in this way.   Please note that many foundations develop a few cracks during the first few months after construction. These occur as the soil under the house accommodates itself to new loading (the soil may compress under a heavy house, or billow up if a heavy overburden was Removed to prepare the site). Concrete often shows a few cracks due to shrinkage, and Most building products expand and contract in response to changes in moisture and Temperature. Conclusion: Perfect foundations are about as common as perfect people (if You’re looking for perfection; perhaps you’re on the wrong planet).

Findings

The foundation is basement type constructed of hollow cinder blocks. The house is constructed on a steep.  Half of the foundation is under the ground and half at the ground level.  It was impossible to inspect the foundation due to extensive amount of shrubs, and swamp on the left side.  The right sides of the foundation walls are nailed with the plywood.  There is extensive amount of shrubs, trees and ivy which makes inspection impossible. Extensive amount of wood decay and termite or carpenter ant activity is noticed on the right side of the foundation.  Some of the foundation wall is visible from the garage; it looks intact free from cracks and insect activity.  At the rear side under the deck, the opening is boarded with plywood.  It has significant amount of openings.  Plenty of water is seeping through these openings.  On the right side, a large window is seen.  The lintel above the window is completely damaged due to wood rot and insect infestation.  This might affect the framed structure of the house. An opinion from the structural engineer should be taken. 

The inside of the foundation is in very poor condition.  The handrail is missing at the stairway to the basement from the Dinning Room.  The entire basement is partitioned in sections.  At the front of the house, the sub flooring of 1st floor bathroom and kitchen floor is deteriorated.  This is due to leak coming from the deck faucet of kitchen sink and leak from the bathroom.  The waste pipes are also leaking at the plug. The shutoff valves of the water lines are rusted and corroded.  The bx cables are loose. very insufficient electrical light fixtures were noticed in the basement. front.

The section of the basement where the boiler and water heater is placed is also in very poor condition.  The water is seeping from the outside yard through the walls.  All the wooden members of the wall and wall paneling are rotted.  Significant size of gap was noticed at the base.

The rear room in the basement is fully loaded with household goods and junk.  It made impossible to enter that room and perform the inspection.  There is no lights in this room.  There is 2” to 3” of water in the basement floor.  The wood decay due to water  and weather is seen all around the perimeter.

In the rear of the basement the wooden members are affected by wood destroying insects and water.  There are large openings in the rear wall and the rear yard is exposed.

In the north side of the basement, there is no light.  An inspection was performed using a flash light.  The support under the girder is twisted and should be re secured.  The entire area is badly water damaged.  All the wooden members and wooden paneling is badly water rotted.  Heavy carpenter ants activity is noticed on the lintel over the window. 

Conclusion and Recommendations

The exterior and interior of the foundation walls could not be thoroughly inspected, due to blockage from bushes, trees, swamp, poor lighting and other obstacles.  Heavy wood destroying insect infestation is noticed in some of the areas.  There is plenty of water seepage from outside.  The entire basement is very humid and musty.  The entire house should be immediately treated for Wood Destroying Insects.  Since the house is on the steep and the grade is against the house, an opinion from the structural engineer should be taken.

Exterior

Findings

This is a wooden framed structure constructed on the top of cinder block foundation.  The exterior is covered with cedar shingles sidings.  The front wall at the garage is brick wall. The visual inspection of the exterior walls was done, by standing approx. 20 feet away.  No sags or out of plumb line was noted.  The soffits under the roof are coming apart under the garage roof. 

All the cedar shingles have split, crack and peeling paint.  At some location, the siding is touching the ground and hence are rotted and water damaged.  on the rear  and right side of the house, a proper inspection could not be done, due to obstacles from bushes, trees, ivy and swamp. On the north side, the cedar shingles have termite or carpenter ants infestation.  This should be treated immediately by the pest control.  The ventilation to the exterior of the house is very poor due to trees and high bushes.  Since the downspouts are missing at many location and the gutters are damaged, the rain water falls on the cedar shingles siding.  As a result the shingles has faded, and badly damaged.

The windows are wooden and are in poor condition.  All the windows have exceeded their useful life.  All the frames and sills are lots of cracks and peeling paint.

The wooden deck at the rear of the house appears serviceable.  However, a wooden support under the deck will increase the stability.

The front entrance door is solid core and has a gap under.  The rubber door sweep is missing, which allows the draft to enter.  The storm door is sagging and detached from the upper hinge

Conclusion and Recommendation

The overall exterior is in poor condition.   Vegetation should not be on or near the house.

Vegetation can encourage mold/mildew, interior rot, termites, attic rats and squirrels, and other

undesirable guests. The weight of vegetation can even dislodge siding. Moreover, the tendrils

from some vines can actually dissolve mortar joints in masonry walls. Do not pull on vegetation that is so tightly attached that pulling can damage the wall.  Instead, cut it off. Then, with a stiff brush, brush off the dried tendrils about two weeks later. Don’t wait more than about four weeks or the tendrils may become so hard that they damage the siding when removed.  The windows are rotted and hence are less energy efficient.  The cracks and splits in the cedar shingle siding allows moisture to attack the wooden supports and framing.

Lots and Grounds

Findings

The driveway is made of asphalt.  The entire driveway appears to be serviceable.  The patio in the front of the house is stone and appears serviceable.  The side and rear lawn was trimmed.  The entire rear yard has very uneven slope.  All the water enters inside the basement from the rear and side yards.  Large quantity of vegetation, broken pieces of wood stumps and trees reside on the right side of yard.  The slope is very steep and towards the house.

 

Electrical 

 The following large drawings depict the evolution of residential electrical systems.

Findings 

The local power company provides the electrical service with a capacity of 120v/220v; the service main is 100 amps., which is inadequate for a single family house now a days. Electrical circuits are rated by Amps and designate the amount of power available to serve the various needs of the fixtures and outlets connected to it.

The service main is not protected in the conduit pipe.  The insulation is badly deterioration and can prove hazardous.

The water main is in the adjacent house, hence no electrical grounding is seen.  In my opinion a electrical inspection, by a licensed electrician should be done.

 Inside the house, the following were noted.

  • The outlet in the 1st floor bathroom is not GFI
  • The outlet in the 2nd floor bathroom is not GFI
  • The outlet in the kitchen, which is close to sink ins not GFI
  • At several places, the outlet covers are missing.

Ground Fault Circuit Interpreter

ADDING GFIs IN EXISTING HOUSES:

Houses built before the mid-1970s are unlikely to have any GFI devices. Codes do not retroactively require installation of GFIs in existing houses (unless a receptacle is replaced in a location that requires a GFI in new construction; per 1996 NEC), and many states do not get around to adopting new model codes until years after they are published.  However, GFIs are especially recommended in old houses that lack grounding circuits and/or use receptacles that lack the third hole for grounding-type plugs (the use of grounding-type receptacles has long been illegal where they cannot be connected to a grounding circuit– see .08 herein). Grounding-type receptacles can be fed by GFIs even if not connected to a ground (a wire must not be connected from the ungrounded GFI to the downstream receptacles). And because GFIs provide much better protection against electrocution than a grounding circuit, they are a good improvement in all homes for circuits that are in close proximity to water or grounds (radiators, plumbing fixtures, masonry in contact with earth, heating registers, etc.), regardless of whether those circuits provide grounding. If a GFI-protected receptacle is installed without grounding, it must be marked “No equipment ground,” as of adoption of the 1996 NEC.

Termite and Wood Decay

 A visual inspection for termites and wood decay is done from outside and inside.  Evidences like mud tunnels along the perimeter of foundation, wings, termite-damaged wood indicate the presence of termite.

Findings

Significant amount of wood destroying insects infestation is seen, both outside and inside the basement..  The inside of the basement is divided into several sections.  Plenty of humidity, water and wood rot is seen inside the basement.  The termites and carpenter ants breed in humidity.  Plenty of vegetation and decaying wood is lying in the right side yard, very close to the house. This gives access to the termites and carpenter ants.  The insect infestation is also seen at the wooden members located inside the basement.

Heating, Air Conditioning and Chimney

Findings

 The heat is two zones, gas fires and works on hot water circulation system.  The thermostat was turned on to 80 degrees.  The furnace is placed on the loose cinder blocks.  The hot water circulating motor is badly rusted.  The water feeder is also rusted.  The hot water pipes are not insulated.  Corrosion and efflorescence is seen at the pipes and shut off valves. The system has seven burners, which are producing blue flame.  The system was working at the time of inspection.  All the radiators were inspected and appears to be serviceable. 

Water Heater

Findings

The water heater is gas fired and has a capacity of 32gals.  The size is inadequate for a one family  House with two bathrooms.  The water heater is close to the end of its useful life. The pressure relief valve is working and is pressure sensitive.  The drain pipe at pressure relief valve is high.  This can cause burns when the valve is released. The drain valve is corroded and could not be inspected. Normally the life expectancy of a water heater is 7 to 10 years, but need not be replaced unless they leak.  Cross connection, between hot and cold water pipe is seen. Both pipes were hot at the time of inspection. The water heater is sitting at the higher level. The water heater should be wrapped with the insulated blanket for energy efficiency.  All the pipes should be insulated.         

 

The hot water pressure in all bathrooms and kitchen is good.  In order to increase the efficiency of the water heater, it is recommended that the heater should be wrapped with the blanket.  All the hot water pipes should be insulated.

Chimney and Flues

All the boilers, furnaces, water heaters and fireplaces must be connected with a flue pipe to the chimney.  This flue pipe exhausts dangerous and toxic gases to the atmosphere.  Leakage of these gases inside the house can be fatal 

Findings 

The furnace and water heater is properly connected to the chimney via metal flue pipe.  The metal flue pipe is properly pitched and has a draft diverter.  The draft hood was also seen at the draft diverter. The chimney is stone and extends up to the roof.  There should be no antenna connected to the chimney.  The chimney should be cleaned every year for any soot or carbon dioxide deposits.

Plumbing

 The major portion of the plumbing system is concealed behind the walls and below the floors.  Nevertheless, the part of the plumbing system that is accessible for inspection is sufficient to make a meaningful evaluation of its condition.  A basic plumbing system consists of a water supply source distribution piping, fixtures, drainage piping, and a waste disposal system.  Water is supplied to the property line from the street water mains of the local water company through iron pipe.

Distribution piping supplies water to the various fixtures by means of a two component system; supply mains and fixture risers.  The risers, for the most part, are concealed behind walls.  The visible portions of these systems are made of copper.  Plumbing fixtures are located at the end of distribution pipes and the beginning of the drainage system.

The interior drain line is a series of cast iron or vinyl pipes which are connected to the various fixtures.  The waste is channeled through the discharge drainpipes. 

Findings

The water main is located in the adjacent house. The water main is 1” copper connected to the water meter.  The shutoff valve regulates it.  No leaks at the water main or water meter was noted. All the distribution and branch lines are concealed and hidden behind walls and ceiling.  No inspection to the waste pipes was done due any visibility.  No leaks in the ceiling were observed.

Bathrooms

Findings

There is a full bathroom on the 1st floor, with a standard toilet, bathtub and a vanity.  The walls are tiled on sheetrock. The flooring is ceramic tiled.  All walls and flooring are intact and sound, when tapped.  The water pressure is good at all fixtures.  The water drains properly and no gurgling sound is heard.  This means that the vent pipes are clear.  The faucet at the vanity is leaking.  The caulking is cracked around bathtub.  Some leak at the shower body is seen. 

A full bathroom also exists on the 2nd floor.  This bathroom is located in the Master Bedroom and has a standard toilet, vanity and a shower stall.  The bathroom floor and walls have ceramic tiles.  Some ceramic tiles at the floor near shower stalls are loose.  There is no window and the  vent is not working.  The hot and cold water pressure is good at all bathroom fixtures.  The water drains properly and no gurgling sound is heard.  This means that the vent pipes are clear.  The electrical outlet in bathroom is non-GFI.  Mildew is seen at the bottom of tiles in shower stall.  The caulking is also cracked at the bottom of shower stall.  Some corrosion is also seen at the vanity faucets. 

Conclusion

Over all both bathrooms are serviceable.  Corrosion is seen at the bathroom fixtures.  This may be due to the hardness in the water.  The cracks at the bathtub and shower stalled should be filled with caulking. The electrical outlet should be changed to GFI.

Kitchen

Findings

The kitchen is on the first floor.  The counter top and cabinets appears serviceable.  The kitchen counter top is slightly loose at one location, which  can be secured, by using wood glue and finishing nails.  The deck faucet is leaking badly.  As a result the cabinet under sink is rotted. The sub flooring in the kitchen is also rotted. The water in the kitchen sink drains properly and no leaks at the waste pipe and shut off valve were noted.  All electrical outlets and light switches are functioning properly.  The electrical outlet near kitchen sink is non GFI.  The range hood, light and switches were operating satisfactorily at the time of inspection.  The range hood filter is in need of replacement.  The kitchen cabinets are close to the end of its useful life.  The flooring is ceramic tiles and is intact.

Interior

Most houses built since the 1950s use plasterboard (known as drywall, gypsum board, sheetrock, rock, etc.) on walls and ceilings. Plasterboard is made by fabricating a sandwich of the gypsum mineral between two layers of paper. Usually it is 4' wide and either 8' or 12' long. Thickness ranges from 1/4" to 5/8". Fire-rated and moisture-resistant plasterboard also are available.

 Plasterboard is durable and will accommodate considerable flexing when the house settles if movement is slow. A number of improved varieties of plasterboard are beginning to appear that promise to make the material even more durable and exceptionally fireproof.  Plaster (as distinguished from plasterboard) may be gypsum plaster, but walls and ceilings in the United States usually were plastered with lime plaster before about 1920. Portland cement-based compounds are used for stucco, but rarely are used to plaster the interior of homes in the U.S. Repair of large surface areas should use patching compounds that are Compatible with the original materials.  Plaster was applied over thin boards in the old days. Such wood-lath plaster almost always cracks and the cracks usually cannot be permanently repaired.

Plaster can be several times as strong as typical concrete. However, usually it is much weaker, and even a 2% moisture content can reduce its strength by half. If wetted by a leak in the roof, it can fail quickly, so keep it dry. If wood-lath plaster pulls loose from the ceiling, total removal and replacement probably will be necessary. Loose plaster on the ceiling is a safety hazard. Failing ceilings sometimes are hidden with drop ceilings using metal rails that hold acoustical panel inserts. They aren’t strong and will allow failing plaster to fall through to the floor (or your head, which ever comes first).  Moisture changes also cause expansion and contraction of wood framing, a common cause of “nail pops” of the nails used to fasten plasterboard to the structure. A nail pop is a bump where the nail head stays out (and ugly) when the wood underneath dries and shrinks. Expansion and contraction of finish materials also may cause nail pops. Nail pops are especially common in new houses that use juvenile wood or wood that was not thoroughly dried prior to use. Poorly braced houses that shake in the wind may produce excessive nail pops, but most nail pops do not indicate significant structural distress.

Findings 

This house has a Living Room, Dinning room, Family room, Bedroom, Kitchen and bathroom on the first floor.  The second floor has two bedrooms,  and the hallway.

 The living room ceiling is sheetrock and is in good condition.  The flooring is hardwood which is also intact. No squeakiness or springiness on the floor was noticed, when walked through.    The walls are sheetrock and intact.  No bulging or sag or dampness in the walls was found.  The entrance door is solid core.  The storm door is detached at the upper hinge. The closet in the living room appears to be in good condition.  The ceiling light fixture is not secured and hanging.  All the electrical switches and outlets are functioning. The screen is missing in the window.

 The Dinning room ceiling is sheetrock and is in good condition.  The flooring is hardwood, which is also intact. No squeakiness or springiness on the floor was noticed, when walked through.    The walls are sheetrock and intact.  No bulging or sag or dampness in the walls was found.  All the electrical switches and outlets are functioning. The screen is missing in the window.

The family room is in good condition. The sheetrock ceiling and walls are in good condition.   The walls are all intact when tapped.  The floor is hardwood floor and is in good condition. All the light fixtures, switches and outlets are functioning.  There is a large glass sliding door for the exit to the deck.  The door and screen both appears serviceable.  The wooden frame outside the door has cracks.  The fire place located in family room is wood fired. No cracks, or soot was seen inside the fire chamber.  The chimney appears to be clear. 

The bedroom on the first floor is in good condition.  The sheetrock ceiling and walls are in good condition.   The walls are all intact when tapped.  The flooring is hardwood.  All the electrical outlets and switches are working properly.  The bedroom has two closets, which are in good condition.  All the three wooden windows are functioning properly. The screen is missing at one window. 

The handrail is missing at the stairway going to the second floor.  One window is sealed in the hallway and shows evidence of water stains.  Wooden rot at window sill at the window in the hallway. The heater in the  hallway is functioning.  The sheetrock ceiling and walls appears good.  The floor is hardwood and in good condition. The closet has a missing knob. 

The bedroom on the second floor is Master bedroom and is in good condition.  The ceiling is paneled.  The walls are wooden paneled. The flooring is hardwood and appears to be in good condition.  There are three wooden windows all functioning.  The window screen is missing at one window. 

The Third bedroom is also in good condition.  The sheetrock ceiling in good condition.  No stains by the leaks from the roof were noted.  The walls have wooden paneling and  intact when tapped.  The flooring is hardwood.  All the electrical outlets and switches are working properly.  the bedroom has one closets, which is in good condition.  All the windows are functioning properly. Two wooden windows are functioning.  The screen is missing at one window.

Smoke Detectors

Findings 

Only one smoke detector at the hallway was seen.  It was not functioning at the time of inspection.

 Radon

 Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive soil gas. It may be the greatest cause of cancer Among nonsmokers and is estimated to cause up to 20,000 deaths each year.

 Radon is found in nearly all homes, mainly in the lowest floor level. Concentrations can be nearly as bad in old, drafty homes as in tight homes, for rising hot air that departs through cracks creates a “chimney effect” (“stack effect”) in cold weather that sucks the radon-bearing soil gas into the house from the foundation. Some studies have estimated that perhaps 20% of the replacement air is soil gas. Recent data show that about 6% of all homes studied contained radon levels that exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency’s “action level” of four  PicoCuries of radiation per liter of air (pCi/l). (“Pico” means one-trillionth and a Curie is a unit of radiation.) Outdoor air contains only about 1/10th as much radon. At present, it is believed that lifetime exposure to 4 pCi/l would result in about 2 lung cancers per 1000 among nonsmokers. For smokers with the same exposure, the radon risk jumps to about 29 per 1000, according to the Consumer Reports article. In 1994, the EPA published a map showing relative radon risks by county (you may call your local EPA office and ask for a copy, or get it from their web site). Regardless of the map’s indication, all states have some homes with excessive radon, and yours may be one of them even if the house next door has little radon.

 

Findings

The radon test was conducted in the basement using Charcoal canister.  A separate report from the laboratory will be mailed to you.  If your radon level is below 4.0pcil, then no remediation is required.