We thoroughly inspect the exterior elements of the property, including slope of the ground, retaining walls, fences, gates, driveways and walkways, decks and patios, porches and porch structures (including foundations and mechanical connections), steps and stairs, walls, trim, fascia and soffit, doors, and windows. We also note the presence of trees and tree roots that may cause damage to structures, and look at neighboring properties for similar threats during the home inspection.
If the house has an elevated first floor with an accessible crawl space, our inspectors enter the crawl space and inspect the foundation piers, structural connections, beams and floor joists, exposed utilities, insulation, and ventilation. We also look for signs of water damage and damage caused by insects.
We conduct a thorough visual inspection of the complete structure. The inspection includes signs of water intrusion at walls, windows, and eaves. The inspectors also determine the extent and seriousness of cracks and other visible defects. We are fully equipped and use an infrared camera and moisture meter during this process, as well as a video borescope to view confined spaces.
Our inspectors check every room for signs of water damage or other issues and also examine and test all the windows, doors, and screens. We also perform a cursory test of any major appliances included in the sale.
An exterior and interior inspection of the garage is performed, and he operation of the garage door opener and required safety controls are tested.
If the attic is accessible, our inspectors enter and look for structural issues, including damaged trusses, undersized structural components, and damaged sheathing. We record roof tie-down connections, type of insulation and R-value, and ventilation system. We also examine the attic stairs for adequate insulation and functionality, and look for signs of rodent infestation.
The roof is normally the most important concern when buying a home. Our inspectors get on top of the roof if possible and carry out a visual inspection for condition, probable age, and any obvious defects. We inspect asphalt shingle roofs for correct slope, granule loss, and tab adhesion. Flashings at skylights are inspected for correct installation, as well as roof-to-wall junctions, chimneys, and roof edges. Furthermore, we check the waterproofing of electrical service masts and plumbing vent pipes. Panel installation on metal roofs is checked for correct installation, including edge overhang, penetration waterproofing, screw spacing, and dissimilar metals. The age of the roof and its probable lifespan are estimated. As licensed inspectors, we can also issue a “roof letter” that certifies the condition of the roof if it is required by your insurance company, at no additional cost. Finally, we look for signs of insufficient drainage, leakage, and debris in gutters and downspouts.
We check inside the electrical panel for signs of defective or incorrect wiring. The inspection is extended to wiring and fixtures throughout the house using a circuit analyzer to check for any ungrounded or reverse polarity outlets and defective or damaged wiring. We also test ground-fault-circuit-interrupters, switches, smoke alarms, ceiling fans, AFCIs, and GFCIs.
Our inspectors check water supply, waste, and vent piping for leakage or other defects. We check the safety and condition of the water heater and verify its age, capacity, and possible problems. We verify that there is sufficient water pressure to the house for normal use and check kitchen and bathroom fixtures for condition and operation.
Air Conditioning and Heating
We check the operation of the system, and inspect the filters, ducts, and registers. We then verify proper installation, age, capacity, and condition of the HVAC system. Lastly, we measure both the minimum and maximum temperatures.
We examine all the main laundry and kitchen appliances included in the sale and run them through a short cycle to check their operation and safety features.
A visual inspection of the above-ground equipment is carried out, and a water sample is taken and tested on site for hardness, ph, and iron.
Our inspectors test the system in its manual mode in each zone to check that there is no broken, damaged or leaking heads and no overspray onto any walls.