Exterior Home Inspection
The Exterior Home Inspection is an important part of protecting your home. The exterior cladding of your home is like a skin, it provides an aesthetic look for your home and also provides a protective layer between your home and the elements. Typically, the exterior cladding will be made up of several layers, including the outer surface of a wall, a plastic wrap to keep out moisture, insulation, and vapor barriers, among others. Plastic siding and brick are two of the most commonly used exterior cladding materials. Choices of material will vary depending on your climate.
Exterior – List of Inspection Items
Some other items covered on the Exterior Home Inspection includes Wall Surfaces, Soffits and Fascia, Windows and Doors and the Trim, Flashings and Caulking. Two important items that are not visible during an inspection are wall sheathing and building wrap. You sheathing may be an insulating material or just wood type product. You building wrap provides protecting from moisture that by passes exterior cladding and prevents the wind from blowing into insulated wall system. Roof coverings, flashings and gutters are also inspected as part of Roof Inspection
Exterior Home Inspection – Water Damage
Most damage to the exterior cladding is typically related to water. Landscaping for proper water drainage is often an overlooked item in many homes. Allowing water to gather against your homes foundation or collect in planters build against your exterior cladding can caused expensive damage in a very short time. The Ontario Building Code requires 8 inches for wood products and six inches of exposed foundation between cladding and ground level. Many homes have Brick Veneer that is in contact with soil or landscape material. When clay bricks become wet and absorb moisture freezing will cause brick finish to spall. Typically a product such as Thompson’s Brick Seal can provide some protection against moisture penetration.
The Exterior Home Inspection includes checking caulking on all joints, windows and doors. Preventing water from entering in these areas will preserve the integrity of your building envelope and save you money on needless repairs. Brick window sills are another area where moisture can cause damage. The mortar joints between the vertical brick can crack allowing water to penetrate. In the winter the freezing action can cause further cracking of mortar and eventually lead to brick spalling.
Exterior Home Inspection – Exposed Foundation
Many home owners replace their original entrance with concrete pavers which will often be expanded to contact wood or brick cladding. The constant contact with water or moisture will cause Brick Spalling or Wood Rot. Not allowing the required amount of exposed foundation can cause expensive repairs in the future. Read our Frequently Asked Questions page for answers to common questions regarding your home.
The chart below indicates the Pro’s and Con’s of some common cladding products.