Items We Inspect during a Typical Home Inspection
The items below are the among the areas of inspection:
Our inspection includes inspection of entry ways, foundations, siding and porches looking for such symptoms of trouble as sagging roof lines, gaps in or damage to the siding, porches pulling away from the building, obvious signs of rot or insect damage, settlement, visible cracks in foundations. As part of exterior inspection we will probe any exposed wood that appears suspect or deformed indicating patching or repair. Any structural movement in roof, foundation or walls will be a major concern for home buyers. As a Certified Building Code Official we have the training and knowledge to identify causes and problems associated with structural movement.
An exterior inspection will include a visual assessment of decks, balconies, eaves, soffits and fascias. An inspector will look at the grading of the land around the house for obvious drainage problems, and check walkways and driveways for apparent deterioration or safety concerns. He will also visually inspect vegetation surrounding the house for obvious problems such as the intrusion of roots near the foundation or buried utilities or overgrowth that might promote excess humidity or contribute to security issues. Automatic garage door openers should be checked to confirm they are in compliance with current safety standards. Fume barrier in garage is checked for conformance.
When safe to do so we access roof by ladder and take pictures of all roof deficiencies. The age of a roof might be as good an indicator of its condition as an actual visual check and a home with builders grade fiberglass shingles can only expect about 15 to 18 years life expectancy. We also report on roof drainage systems, flashings, skylights, chimneys, and roof penetrations (for vents and flues). Note: South side of roof will always show more deterioration. Expense of replacing roof is one of the top ten concerns home buyers have.
Our plumbing inspection consists of testing the interior water supply and distribution system including visual assessment of water pressure, water heating equipment (estimating age and capacity) and the required vents, flues, and chimneys are properly installed . We will flush every toilet to check for leaks and run all faucets to assess water pressure and the presence of available hot water. Bathtubs are partially filled and jet tubs are filled and operated.
The Barrie Home Inspector will check for over current protections, grounding, and the presence of any aluminum wiring (some insurance companies will not insure a home with aluminum wiring). If wiring has been added we will remove the face of the electrical box if it is safe to do so. We also check a representative number of switches and outlets in the house and observe the required smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detector is present and in working order.
Heating and Air Conditioning Systems
Furnace covers are removed and interior is checked for any deficiencies, rust or visible water leaks. Older furnaces have flame colour checked looking for signs of poor combustion. Filter is checked and cover plate for filter. Distribution ducts and B vents are also checked.
An inspection will include a visual scan of floors, walls and ceilings for signs of water intrusion, or sagging. Stairways and railings will be checked for safety and code compliance and a sample of windows and doors inspected for condition and ease of operation. Kitchen counter tops and cupboards are visually inspected for any finish defects. The basement should be checked for indications of previous water intrusion in addition to signs of structural problems. Having a wet basement is probably number one concern of home buyers. We use both Infrared Camera and Moisture meter to verify any signs of moisture in basements.
Poor ventilation can lead to rot, mold, poor air quality or excessive energy consumption. We check insulation and vapor barriers in unfinished areas of the attic and in the foundation area and look for the presence and operation of any mechanical ventilation systems in the attic and other high humidity areas such as kitchens and bath.
We do not check appliances for working condition. Appliances can stop working without any warning and it is impossible to determine when this may happen. We always recommend that you run every appliance and fixture in the home during you final walk through. Getting money back for broken appliances or systems after money changes hands can be very difficult and expensive.
Fireplaces and Wood Stoves
The Barrie Home Inspector has been WETT Certified for over 15 years and will inspect a single wood burning appliance for $50.00 when included as part of home inspection.
Thermal Imaging Scan of Home
Free Thermal Imaging scan of your entire home is included in every home inspection. Infrared camera’s can help find hidden moisture, electrical hot spots, missing insulation and leaks in building envelope.
Part of our home inspection service is to alert home buyers when failure to meet installation requirements for electrical, plumbing, structural or deck construction indicate work was done with a Building Permit. If you buy a home which has had work done without a Building Permit, you will be assuming responsibility for any future repairs or upgrades that maybe required. The danger of buying a property that has had work done without a required permit is that systems were installed that could be hidden behind floors and walls that have never been properly inspected.
A professional home inspection results in a lot of information. When buying a home the Rule of Caveat Emptor – Buyer Beware always applies. An educated consumer is a smart consumer. Do your home work when hiring a Realtor and Home Inspector. Always have an independant Realtor represent you who has no connection to sellers agent. Conflict of interest is very expensive and hard to prove in court, find someone who only represents you and your interests.