Existing Sample

Existing Sample
Texas Inspector
7401 Vineyard Trail
Garland, TX 75044
214-616-0112
http://www.texasinspector.com
PHOTO REDACTED
AS PER TREC
STANDARDS OF
PRACTICE
PROPERTY INSPECTION REPORT
Prepared For:
Mr. and Ms. Client
(Name of Client)
Concerning:
1234 Existing Home
(Address or Other Identification of Inspected Property)
By:
Aaron D. Miller, ACI, CEI, CMI, CRI, MTI, RCI
Certified Master Inspector,
ICC Residential Combination Inspector R-5,
ICC Residential Building Inspector B-1,
ICC Residential Electrical Inspector E-1,
ICC Residential Mechanical Inspector M-1,
ICC Residential Plumbing Inspector P-1,
HUD 203K Consultant D0981
PTI Level 1 PT Installer 320054833
TREC Professional Inspector 4336
TDA SPCS 11379/40247 Certified Applicator
TRCC Registered Builder 16229
TRCC Dispute Resolution Inspector 1350
ASHI Certified Inspector 203652
07/03/2013
Promulgated by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) P.O. Box 12188, Austin, TX 78711-2188
(512)936-3000 (http://www.trec.texas.gov). REI 7A-1 (10/2008)
Page 1 of 97
TPREIA Master Inspector
INACHI Certified Professional Inspector
City of Garland, TX Building and Fire Codes
Board
(Name and License Number of Inspector)
(Date)
N/A
(Name, License Number and Signature of Sponsoring Inspector, if required)
This property inspection report may include an inspection agreement (contract), addenda, and other information related
to property conditions. If any item or comment is unclear, you should ask the inspector to clarify the findings. It is
important that you carefully read ALL of this information.
This inspection is subject to the rules (“Rules”) of the Texas Real Estate Commission (“TREC”), which can be found at
www.trec.state.tx.us.
The TREC Standards of Practice (Sections 535.227-535.231 of the Rules) are the minimum standards for inspections
by TREC-licensed inspectors. An inspection addresses only those components and conditions that are present,
visible, and accessible at the time of the inspection. While there may be other parts, components or systems present,
only those items specifically noted as being inspected were inspected. The inspector is not required to move
furnishings or stored items. The inspection report may address issues that are code-based or may refer to a particular
code; however, this is NOT a code compliance inspection and does NOT verify compliance with manufacturer’s
installation instructions. The inspection does NOT imply insurability or warrantability of the structure or its components.
Although some safety issues may be addressed in this report, this inspection is NOT a safety/code inspection, and the
inspector is NOT required to identify all potential hazards.
In this report, the inspector will note which systems and components were Inspected (I), Not Inspected (NI), Not
Present (NP), and/or Deficient (D). General deficiencies include inoperability, material distress, water penetration,
damage, deterioration, missing parts, and unsuitable installation. Comments may be provided by the inspector whether
or not an item is deemed deficient. The inspector is not required to prioritize or emphasize the importance of one
deficiency over another.
Some items reported as Deficient may be considered life-safety upgrades to the property. For more information, refer
to Texas Real Estate Consumer Notice Concerning Recognized Hazards, form OP-I.
This property inspection is not an exhaustive inspection of the structure, systems, or components. The inspection may
not reveal all deficiencies. A real estate inspection helps to reduce some of the risk involved in purchasing a home, but
it cannot eliminate these risks, nor can the inspection anticipate future events or changes in performance due to
changes in use or occupancy. It is recommended that you obtain as much information as is available about this
property, including any seller’s disclosures, previous inspection reports, engineering reports, building/remodeling
permits, and reports performed for or by relocation companies, municipal inspection departments, lenders, insurers,
and appraisers. You should also attempt to determine whether repairs, renovation, remodeling, additions, or other
such activities have taken place at this property. It is not the inspector’s responsibility to confirm that information
obtained from these sources is complete or accurate or that this inspection is consistent with the opinions expressed in
previous or future reports.
Items identified in the report do not obligate any party to make repairs or take other action, nor is the purchaser
required to request that the seller take any action. When a deficiency is reported, it is the client’s responsibility to
obtain further evaluations and/or cost estimates from qualified service professionals. Any such follow-up should take
place prior to the expiration of any time limitations such as option periods. Evaluations by qualified tradesmen may
lead to the discovery of additional deficiencies which may involve additional repair costs. Failure to address
deficiencies or comments noted in this report may lead to further damage of the structure or systems and add to the
original repair costs. The inspector is not required to provide follow-up services to verify that proper repairs have been
made.
Property conditions change with time and use. For example, mechanical devices can fail at any time, plumbing gaskets
and seals may crack if the appliance or plumbing fixture is not used often, roof leaks can occur at any time regardless
of the apparent condition of the roof, and the performance of the structure and the systems may change due to
changes in use or occupancy, effects of weather, etc. These changes or repairs made to the structure after the
Promulgated by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) P.O. Box 12188, Austin, TX 78711-2188
(512)936-3000 (http://www.trec.texas.gov). REI 7A-1 (10/2008)
Page 2 of 97
inspection may render information contained herein obsolete or invalid. This report is provided for the specific benefit of
the client named above and is based on observations at the time of the inspection. If you did not hire the inspector
yourself, reliance on this report may provide incomplete or outdated information. Repairs, professional opinions or
additional inspection reports may affect the meaning of the information in this report. It is recommended that you hire a
licensed inspector to perform an inspection to meet your specific needs and to provide you with current information
concerning this property.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PROVIDED BY INSPECTOR
“Under current law, TREC's (the Texas Real Estate Commission’s) jurisdiction extends to any inspection of real
property performed in anticipation of a purchase or sale of real estate. This includes any inspection in connection with
the anticipated purchase of real estate from a builder, including phase inspections (but not the inspection of a structure
being constructed on land already owned by the homeowner-to-be). Likewise, any inspection performed for an owner
in anticipation of selling falls under TREC's jurisdiction, regardless of whether there is a specific buyer in mind at the
time of the inspection.” – Devon Bijansky, Deputy General Counsel, Texas Real Estate Commission.
Additional attachments provided by Aaron’s Home Inspections that make this inspection report complete are listed but
not limited to the following: Property Inspection Agreement, Embedded Links to Additional Information of Systems,
Addenda Attached but not Paginated, et al.
The digital pictures in this report are a random sampling of the conditions or damages in a representative number of
areas chosen and should not be considered to show all of the conditions, damages or deficiencies observed. There will
be some conditions, damages or deficiencies not represented with digital imaging.
The use of “special tools” is at the discretion of the inspector in order to form opinions as he sees fit in certain
instances.
Any suggestions, and recommendations we may provide within our report regarding hazardous and or unsatisfactory
condition should immediately be brought to the attention of a qualified licensed contractor or specialist to provide you
with a full in-depth evaluation to determine if additional areas of concern exist within the building’s components, or
systems, and furnish a written cost estimate for corrective work or replacement that may be suggested within our
report. It is strongly recommended that a competent, bonded, and insured State- or City-Licensed Contractor perform
all corrective work.
You are strongly urged to obtain a C.L.U.E. report on this home in an attempt to discover what, if any, insurance
damage claims have been filed on this property, prior to closing escrow on this property. See:
https://personalreports.lexisnexis.com/
You are strongly urged to ascertain if any hail damages may have been incurred by this property in the past by
referring to:
http://weathersource.com/zip-code-historical-weather
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/climate/
You are strongly urged to locate, acquire, read and thoroughly understand all documentation pertinent to the
construction, remodeling, maintenance and repair of this property including, but not limited to: design drawings,
engineering documents, geo-technical testing documents, building inspection permits, surveys, appraisals,
maintenance schedules, mechanical appliance and systems owner’s manuals, history of wood-destroying insect
activity and treatment reports, et al., prior to the end of any time periods associated with the sale or purchase of this
property.
You are strongly urged to verify that all of the items indicated as in need of repair in this report have been properly
repaired prior to the end of any time periods associated with the sale or purchase of this property. Additionally, you are
strongly urged to have the current owner of the property complete a new and updated Seller’s Disclosure of Property
Condition form: http://www.trec.state.tx.us/pdf/contracts/OP-H.pdf , immediately once the property has been vacated.
Promulgated by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) P.O. Box 12188, Austin, TX 78711-2188
(512)936-3000 (http://www.trec.texas.gov). REI 7A-1 (10/2008)
Page 3 of 97
The Texas residential real estate resale contract states that the home is being purchased in as-is condition. While it is
true that many, if not all, home buyers may negotiate sales prices based upon the condition of the home, ascertaining
repair and remodeling costs of the properties inspected lies outside the scope of a general home inspection. In order to
obtain the most accurate and realistic repair costs you are strongly urged to consult with a licensed tradesperson or
general contractor in the area in which the home is located. Other possible sources for repair costs can be found using
publications such as the current version of RSMeans Contractor's Pricing Guide: Residential Repair & Remodeling.
Alternately, you can find a wealth of information regarding repair and remodeling costs at websites like
http://www.homewyse.com/ .
Visual inspections are considered the start of a due diligence process by the buyer
and not the final or end of due diligence. Prior to closing escrow, you are strongly
urged to require the seller of this property to update the seller’s disclosure form once
the property has been completely vacated to reflect any issues that may have
occurred since the date of this inspection or that were obscured by furnishings,
stored items, etc.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING THE FOLLOWING SYSTEMS AND MATERIALS CONDITION
DESIGNATIONS REQUIRED BY THE TEXAS REAL ESTATE COMMISSION
The definition of Deficient provided by the TREC is as follows: “Deficient - Reported as having one or more
deficiencies.” Additionally, “Deficiency” is: A condition that, in the inspectors reasonable opinion, adversely and
materially affects the performance of a system or component or constitutes a hazard to life, limb, or property as
specified by these standards of practice. General deficiencies include but are not limited to inoperability, material
distress, water penetration, damage, deterioration, missing parts, and unsuitable installation."
Therefore, the definition of "deficiency" by the TREC is a statutory definition (as published in the Texas Register) and
any other definition of "deficient" or "deficiency" would be moot to the inspector in regard to semantics. The previous
"In Need of Repair" designation of parts, components and systems historically used up to Feb. 1, 2009, has been
replaced by "Deficient" (or "Deficiencies") through statutory change BUT DO NOT EXCLUDE OR DIRECT ANY
INTERPRETATION, INTENT OR ACTION OF ANY BUYER EXPECTATIONS OR BUYER DUE DILIGENCE.
According to the TREC, the term “deficiency” better describes the broad category of issues in which repair,
replacement, or an upgrade is recommended. The “D” (“Deficiency”) box on the inspection report should be used just
like the (“R”) (“Not Functioning or In Need of Repair”) box that has been used in the past. It is not the intent of this
inspector to interpret or define the terms "deficient" or "deficiency" outside the statutory definition and requirement. If
you have a question you are strongly urged to consult with a real estate attorney regarding the definition(s) of
“deficient” and “deficiency” as soon as possible during your option period. The responsibility to make a decision as to
further analysis, repair, replace or update any item, material or system based upon the Inspector's reasonable opinion
or designation of “Deficient” is solely yours. According to the TREC, “the ultimate decision what to do with the reported
information, such as making recommended repairs or to simply “live with” a reported deficiency, is a decision to be
made by the person for whom the report is prepared”. The principle of "caveat emptor" (let the buyer beware) should
not be circumvented. (The idea that buyers take responsibility for the condition of the items they purchase and should
examine them before purchase. This is especially true for items that are not covered under a strict warranty. See, e.g.,
SEC v. Zandford, 535 U.S. 813 (2002)). Therefore, visual inspections following the state inspection standards are
considered the beginning of a due diligence process by the client and not considered the final or end of due diligence.
Sole reliance on this limited visual inspection to purchase property is neither recommended nor prudent. A
comprehensive inspection with qualified specialists is available and explained in the first contact.
Promulgated by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) P.O. Box 12188, Austin, TX 78711-2188
(512)936-3000 (http://www.trec.texas.gov). REI 7A-1 (10/2008)
Page 4 of 97
Report Identification: 6318 Vanderbilt Avenue Dallas, TX
I=Inspected
I
NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
D
I. STRUCTURAL SYSTEMS
A. Foundations
Type of Foundation(s): Unbonded Prestressed Post-Tensioned Monolithic Slab On Grade
Comments:
Note: Specific Limitations. There is no single formal universally accepted standard for
residential building foundation performance. Even if there were, an opinion of the performance
of any foundation would necessarily require several pieces of information that are typically not
available to the inspector, e.g. a new construction elevation baseline survey on the date that
the foundation construction was originally substantially completed, et al. Simply put: an
opinion on the performance of a foundation cannot feasibly be based upon a one-time visual
inspection of the structure. One cannot extrapolate long-term trends from a short-term sample
of facts. This is a report of first impression of what was visible and recognized by the inspector
on the date and time of this inspection. The foundation performance opinion stated below
neither in any way addresses future foundation movement or settlement, nor does it certify
floors to be level. Should you have present or future concerns regarding the foundation’s
condition, you are strongly advised to consult with a licensed Professional Structural Engineer
for further evaluation.
Though the TREC requires inspectors to identify the exact type of foundation of the building
being inspected, this is often not practically feasible, e.g. in the case of parged post-tensioned
slabs-on-ground, post-tensioned structurally supported slabs, and proprietary engineered
systems such as suspended foundations, et al. The type of foundation reported will be
reported based solely on the visual cues available and the inspector’s experience in the field.
No warranty is expressed or implied regarding the accuracy of this assessment.
For additional information on foundations go to:
http://www.texasinspector.com/Foundation Book for Buyers.pdf
http://www.texasinspector.com/Foundation%20Design%20Guidelines%20TXASCE.pdf
http://www.texasinspector.com/Foundation%20Repair%20Guidelines%20TXASCE.pdf
http://www.texasinspector.com/Foundations in Expansive Clay Soils.pdf
http://pdf.plano.gov/dhs/hazmit/hazmit12.pdf
http://www.aaronsinspections.com/documents/Soil_Issues.pdf
http://www.texasinspector.com/Living_with_Expansive_Soils.pdf.pdf
Method of Inspection: The Inspector performed a visual inspection of interior and exterior walls
and visible grade beams. There are many limits inherent in this visual inspection as the
Inspector does not move private property, furniture or lift carpeting and padding to look for
cracks, and does not use any specialized measuring devices (e.g. elevation surveying
equipment) to establish relative elevations. These practices are beyond the bounds of the
standards of practice. The condition of concealed or covered floors is specifically excluded
from the inspection standards and report.
In the presence or absence of any visible defects, the Inspector may not recommend that you
consult with a structural engineer or a foundation contractor, but this should not deter you from
seeking the opinion of any such expert prior to continuance under your personal responsibility
of due diligence. This is a report of first impression of what was visible and accessible by the
inspector on the date and time of this inspection. The foundation performance opinion stated
below neither in any way addresses future foundation movement or settlement, nor does it
certify floors to be level. Should you have present or future concerns regarding the
foundation’s condition, you are strongly advised to consult with a licensed Professional
Structural Engineer for further evaluation.
Type of Inspection: Visual Inspection of the Accessible Exterior
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 5 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Grounds for Departure: N/A
The foundation is in need of minor repairs, in my opinion.
FOUNDATION – MAIN HOUSE
The foundation has failed since initial construction. Evidence of this failure includes, but is not
limited to slab edge cracking at the east and west sides, floor tile cracking in the wet bar, et al.
Crack in
west edge
of
foundation.
Crack in
east edge of
foundation.
Evidence of attempted previous repair to the foundation was reported. Please refer to the
structural engineer’s report and the information provided by the foundation repair company for
complete details of this repair work. The list of documents regarding any foundation repair
reads as follows:
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 6 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
(1) A pre-repair structural engineer's report with an elevation survey and repair
recommendations.
(2) A pre-repair plumbing leak test of both the supply and DWV sides of the plumbing system.
(3) A foundation repair company's invoice for the repair work indicating precisely what was
done, to include material lists, repair methods, repair locations, et al..
(4) A post-repair structural engineer's report with an elevation survey and maintenance
recommendations.
(5) A post-repair plumbing leak test of both the supply and DWV sides of the plumbing system.
(6) Proof of termite treatment. Foundation repair creates voids in perimeter treatments and
foundations must be re-treated.
If there is a warranty on the foundation repair company’s work, ascertain if it is transferable. If
so, make arrangements with the owner to have the foundation re-inspected by the foundation
repair company. Procure a written statement from the repair company stating that “no repairs
are required to the foundation at this time”. Then make arrangements to have the warranty
transferred into your name when the property changes hands. Be certain to do this within the
time limit set forth in the fine print of the foundation repair warranty.
If no documentation of the foundation repair work is available, or if the available
documentation is incomplete, you are strongly advised to consult with an independent
licensed Professional Structural Engineer for further evaluation prior to the end of your option
period and close of escrow on this property.
Even in the presence of repair documentation and a transferable warranty on the repair work,
the foundation, grading, and drainage should be meticulously maintained and closely
monitored over time for performance. The rate of movement in areas of expansive clay soils
cannot be predicted during a one-time inspection.
Post-tension tendon strand ends were observed in the tendon pockets at the east side of the
main house. These must be repaired to prevent further corrosion. You are strongly urged to
have this condition further evaluated by a licensed professional structural engineer as per
th
Post-Tensioning Institute’s “Post-Tensioning Manual”, 6 Edition, 20.3: POST
CONSTRUCTION INSPECTION – Inspection of post-tensioned structures during service
should be done on a periodic basis to assess the need for any preventative maintenance . . .
Inspections should focus on concrete deterioration or other conditions that could expose the
prestressing steel or other tendon components to corrosion. Structures with tendons that have
been exposed, or tendons that appear to be corroded or broken, should be evaluated by an
experienced engineer to determine if the structural integrity or capacity of the affected
concrete member has been compromised.”
See: http://www.texasinspector.com/Tendonendrepair.flv
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 7 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Exposed
tendon
ends.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 8 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Exposed
tendon end.
Remove the nails protruding from the foundation edge to prevent pedestrian injury!
Remove all
nails to
prevent
injuries.
FOUNDATION – DETACHED GARAGE
In my opinion, the foundation appears to be deficient as per the TREC Inspector SOP based
on a limited visible observation today. Signs of foundation distress and significant structural
movement of the building has occurred. Signs of this movement include, but are not limited to
large cracks in the garage floor that span the slab from north to south, widening of the north
brick veneer expansion joint at the top and narrowing at the bottom, and brick frieze
separation. The rate of movement cannot be predicted during a one-time inspection. You are
strongly urged to consult with an independent licensed Professional Structural Engineer for
remedial options. For more information visit: http://www.houston-slab-foundations.info/
A post-tension fixed end was observed in the east foundation edge of the detached garage.
These must be repaired to prevent further corrosion. You are strongly urged to have this
condition further evaluated by a licensed professional structural engineer as per PostThis confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 9 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
th
Tensioning Institute’s “Post-Tensioning Manual”, 6 Edition, 20.3: POST CONSTRUCTION
INSPECTION – Inspection of post-tensioned structures during service should be done on a
periodic basis to assess the need for any preventative maintenance . . . Inspections should
focus on concrete deterioration or other conditions that could expose the prestressing steel or
other tendon components to corrosion. Structures with tendons that have been exposed, or
tendons that appear to be corroded or broken, should be evaluated by an experienced
engineer to determine if the structural integrity or capacity of the affected concrete member
has been compromised.”
See: http://www.texasinspector.com/Tendonendrepair.flv
Tendon end
exposed.
SPECIFIC LIMITATIONS: The condition of the edge of the slab foundation could not be
ascertained in areas where the adjacent decks, patios, porches, sidewalks, soil level, stored
items, slab edge parging or vegetation obscured it.
NOTE: Be aware that home inspectors in Texas are presently required by the Texas Real
Estate Commission to render an opinion on the performance of foundations. This requirement
is both incredibly unreasonable and impossible to meet. The performance of any foundation
requires a beginning point of reference with which to compare the current state of the
foundation. In the absence of a complete foundation elevation survey at the time of the
foundation’s construction, an opinion on the performance of a foundation is specious at best.
WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THAT YOU RELY SOLELY UPON THE OPINION STATED
HEREIN REGARDING FOUNDATION PERFORMANCE.
FOUNDATION DESIGN INFORMATION
The Texas Engineering Practice Act requires all Texas homes built on expansive soil to have
engineered slabs. The ability of the foundation to withstand the forces of expansive soils
where expansive soils are present can neither be determined nor opined by a limited visual
inspection. That determination is an act and process of engineering which is beyond the scope
of this inspection and the state inspection standards of practice. If you have a question,
concern or suspected failure contact the certifying designer/engineer of record.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 10 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
B. Grading & Drainage Comments:
GRADING
The grading must be improved to promote the flow of storm water away from the house. This
can usually be accomplished by the addition of topsoil. Grading specifications are spelled out
clearly in International Residential Code (IRC) R401.3, "Surface drainage shall be diverted to
a storm sewer or other approved point of collection so as to not create a hazard. Lots shall be
graded so as to drain surface water away from foundation walls. The grade away from
foundation walls shall fall a minimum of 6 inches (152 mm) within the first 10 feet (3048)".
Where the addition of soil would raise the soil level excessively in relation to the brick ledge,
the installation of underground drainage provisions such as French drains is required. Consult
with a drainage specialist for remedial options.
See: http://www.texasinspector.com/Drainage%20Improvement%20Primer.pdf
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anRdSVc-2X8
The soil level is significantly low at the southeast and southwest corners. Low soil levels at the
edges of foundations allow the soil in the bottom of the footings to dehydrate. This can
adversely affect the foundation performance. The grading requires improvement to prevent
further erosion of soil away from the edge of the foundation. This can usually be
accomplished by the addition of topsoil. The ground should slope away from the house at a
rate of six inches within the first ten feet as per International Residential Code R401.3. Ideally,
at least four (4) inches of clearance should be maintained between soil level and the top of
brick ledge.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 11 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Soil level
too low.
The lot is lower than adjacent lots to the west. Grading improvements should be undertaken
where possible. The general topography of the area is such that it will be difficult to control
storm water entirely. During heavy rains or snow melts, the accumulation of storm water on
the lot may be unavoidable.
DRAINAGE
The swales on the east and west sides of the lot are improperly sloped and will not perform as
intended and required. Swales must slope a minimum of ¼” per foot as per IRC 401.3: Swales
shall be sloped a minimum of 2 percent when located within 10 feet (3048 mm) of the building
foundation.
See: http://www.texasinspector.com/Drainage%20Improvement%20Primer.pdf
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anRdSVc-2X8
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 12 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
SOIL
The soil level near the center support column of the front porch is too high in relation to the
foundation elevation. IRC R404.1.6 requires a minimum of 4” clearance from grade to the
bottom row of bricks or stone and 6” minimum clearance from grade to the bottom row of any
other exterior cladding.
R404.1.6 Height above finished grade. Concrete and masonry foundation walls shall extend
above the finished grade adjacent to the foundation at all points a minimum of 4 inches (102
mm) where masonry veneer is used and a minimum of 6 inches (152 mm) elsewhere. The
minimum distance above adjacent grade to which the foundation must be extended provides
termite protection and minimizes the chance of decay resulting from moisture migrating to the
wood framing. A reduced foundation extension is permitted when masonry veneer is used.
The ground cover is missing from areas adjacent to the east and west sides of the foundation.
This will cause the ground moisture to evaporate at a faster rate than the surrounding areas
where the ground cover is intact, thus creating an imbalance in the soil moisture and the
possibility of differential movement of the foundation. This requires improvement.
Ground
cover
missing.
WARNING: The soil around the perimeter of the foundation is dry and has separated
significantly from the foundation edge. This condition is conducive to foundation failure.
Should the condition persist, foundation distress is imminent. This is an area that is prone to
droughts. You are strongly urged to monitor the weather and soil moisture conditions in order
to maintain moisture equilibrium around the entire perimeter of the foundation.
You should use your soaker hoses, along with your sprinkler system, to concentrate moisture
into the soils that actually support the house. Here are some helpful guidelines for using a
soaker hose:
SOAKER HOSE USE:
1. Use a round, porous hose (not a flat hose). The porous hose allows water to “ooze” out
evenly along the entire length of hose without the concern of uneven water distribution.
2. Place the soaker hose approximately 18-24 inches away from the foundation – not right
against the home. Watering across driveways or patios is not needed, but watering around
patios can help to keep them more stable.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 13 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
3. Use during the coolest part of the day to prevent large amounts of evaporation. Battery
powered timers (available in the garden center at your local home improvement store) are an
inexpensive way to “remember” to water, especially when it's cool.
4. Let run for 1 to 2 hours (increase by 30 minutes in areas with large bushes or heavy
foliage) all the way around the home under the following schedule:
- Below 60° days:
usually unnecessary, unless during a drought.
- 60-75° days:
1 time per week
- 75-95° days:
2 times per week (staggered)
- 95° and higher:
3 times per week (staggered)
Remember, these are guidelines only, and may need to be changed based on rain fall, wind
conditions and the overall reaction of your home.
See:
http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/DM_state.htm?TX,S
http://www.aaronsinspections.com/HUD%20Site%20Grading%20and%20Drainage%20Guideli
nes.pdf
http://www.aaronsinspections.com/Foundation%20Maintenance%20and%20Inspection%20Gu
ide.pdf
It is a commonly-heard myth that homeowners can prevent foundation failures by watering the
lawn properly and not allowing standing water to pool at the foundation. While that’s good
advice, it’s a gross oversimplification because even the best engineers at Texas A&M can’t tell
us how to do that. And even with expertly programmed automatic sprinkler systems, the soil
around foundations can dry out faster on the sunny side of a house than on the shaded side.
So in reality, it should be the responsibility of the builder, and not the homeowner, to prevent
foundation failures – by designing and building them correctly in the first place.
The plain truth is that it costs more to build sound homes on expansive soils. Part of the cost
is for the professional skill and judgment needed. Experience also shows that the cost of
repair is very much higher than the cost of a proper initial design, and the results are much
less satisfactory.
RETAINING WALLS
The retaining wall at the northeast corner of the house is, in essence, an extension of the
foundation of the house. As such, it should be well maintained and monitored closely over
time for performance.
Water is destructive. It can flow through fissures in the soil, rise under hydrostatic pressure
or capillary action, and even find a path through solid surfaces, and few structures may be
immune to its power. Grading and drainage are probably the most significant aspects of a
property, simply because of the direct and indirect damage that moisture can have on
structures. More damage has probably resulted from moisture and expansive soils than from
most natural disasters, and for this reason we are particularly diligent when we evaluate site
conditions. In fact, we compare all sites to an ideal.
In short, the ideal foundation placed on expansive and contractive earth will have soils that
slope away from the house [ref: R401.3 and the typical on grade foundation design], and the
interior floors will be at least 4-6 inches higher than the exterior grade [ref: R404.1.6]. Also, the
residence will have gutters and downspouts that discharge into area drains with catch basins
that carry water away to hard surfaces. If a property does not meet this ideal, we will not
endorse it, even though there may be no readily visible evidence of moisture intrusion, and
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 14 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
recommend that you consult with a qualified grading and drainage contractor or geotechnical
engineer.
Additionally, grading and drainage cannot be adequately inspected under a visual inspection
unless done so in a hard rain. We have discovered evidence of moisture intrusion inside
homes when it was raining that would not have been apparent otherwise. Grading and
drainage that does not measure up to this ideal condition is more likely to affect foundation
performance, exacerbate water ponding and allow moisture intrusion into any hairline cracks
that may be present in the foundation. Also, in conjunction with the cellulose materials found in
most modern homes, moisture can facilitate the growth of biological organisms that can
compromise building materials and produce microorganism like substances that can have an
adverse affect on health; and encourage wood-destroying insects.
The sellers or occupants will obviously have a more intimate knowledge and experience of the
site than we could possible hope to have during our one time visit so it is recommended that
you review the seller disclosure or ask for disclosure under your personal responsibility of due
diligence.
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to inspect flatwork or detention/ retention
pond (expect as related to slope and drainage); determine area hydrology or the presence or
underground water; or determine the efficiency or operation of underground or surface
drainage systems.
C. Roof Covering Materials
Type(s) of Roof Covering: Asphalt Composition Roofing Material – Tab Shingles Over Roof
Sheathing
Standing Seam Metal at the Front Porch
Viewed From: Viewed From Ladder At Eave
Grounds for Departure: Upper Roof Edge Inaccessible with 17' Ladder
Roof Pitch > 6/12
Comments:
Note: Specific Limitations. The Inspector is not required to and does not physically walk on
roof surfaces in excess of a 6/12 slope, roofs inaccessible by a 17 ft. ladder, covered with
moisture, moss, debris or frost, loose aggregate, or of any type not intended to be walked
upon (e.g. slate, clay tile, concrete tile, aluminum, wood shingles, wood shakes, et al. The
Inspector is not required to determine or report the age or life expectancy of any roof
coverings. Roofs that cannot be accessed directly by the inspector may have defects that are
not visible from the ground or roof’s edge. The roof covering opinion stated below in no way
addresses the property’s insurability. This report neither addresses future roof leaks nor does
it certify that the roof is leak-free. It is unreasonable to expect that it can be ascertained if a
roof leaks under any weather conditions based upon a limited visual inspection during a onetime site visit. You are strongly advised to consult with a shingle or roof covering
manufacturer-certified roofing contractor for further in-depth evaluations during every
conceivable weather condition prior to the end of any time periods associated with the sale or
purchase of this property.
You are strongly urged to have an adjustor from your homeowner’s insurance carrier
inspect and verify that this roof meets their current underwriting criteria prior to the
end of any time periods associated with the sale or purchase of this property.
SLOPED ROOFING
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 15 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Trim all tree and shrub limbs a minimum of eight (8) feet away from the surface of the roof to
avoid abrasion of the roof surface.
GUTTERS/DOWNSPOUTS
The downspout underground extension is damaged at the north side of the detached garage.
Spout
extension
damaged.
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to determine the remaining life expectancy
of the roof covering; inspect the roof from the roof level if, in the inspector’s reasonable
judgment, the inspector cannot safely reach or stay on the roof, or significant damage to the
roof covering materials may result from walking on the roof; determine the number of layers of
roof covering material; identify latent hail damage; or provide an exhaustive list of locations of
water penetrations or previous repairs.
D. Roof Structure & Attic
Viewed From: Entered Attic and Performed a Visual Inspection of the Accessible Portions of
the Attic
Grounds for Departure: N/A
Approximate Average Depth of Insulation: 12 inches
Approximate Average Thickness of Vertical Insulation: Vertical insulation in houses is
commonly installed within the covered walls and not visible during a visual inspection.
Comments:
Attic Ventilation Type: Roof Vents Static
Soffit Vents
Insulation Types: Blown-In Fiberglass
RAFTERS
A rafter was observed to not be in full contact with an adjacent rafter. This requires
improvement as per IRC 801.2 and 802.6.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 16 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Rafter not in
contact with
ridge.
RIDGE BRACES
No gusset plates were observed at some of the connections of the ridge braces with the
ridgeboards.
Gusset
plate
required.
ATTIC STAIR UNIT 1 – MASTER CLOSET
The attic stair unit is not properly mounted. Either 16d nails or ¼” X 3” lag screws are required
to be used on a fastener pattern as prescribed by the stair manufacturer. Staples, finishing
nails and drywall/deck screws are not adequate as fasteners. All holes in pivot plate and
header plates are to be filled as per the manufacturer's installation instructions. This is a fall
hazard.
See: http://www.texasinspector.com/Attic%20Stair%20Installation%20Instructions.pdf
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=V20IF7YYhPw
ATTIC STAIR UNIT 2 – DETACHED GARAGE
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 17 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
The attic stair unit is not properly mounted. Either 16d nails or ¼” X 3” lag screws are required
to be used on a fastener pattern as prescribed by the stair manufacturer. Staples, finishing
nails and drywall/deck screws are not adequate as fasteners. All holes in pivot plate and
header plates are to be filled as per the manufacturer's installation instructions. This is a fall
hazard.
See: http://www.texasinspector.com/Attic%20Stair%20Installation%20Instructions.pdf
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=V20IF7YYhPw
ATTIC INSULATION / VENTILATION
The attic is insulated with approximately 12” of blown-in fiberglass insulation material. This
material cannot be installed under the existing attic service floor. The insulation batts that have
been installed beneath this floor do not have the same R-value as the blown-in insulation, thus
reducing the overall R-value of the attic. This must be improved as per IECC 1102.2.3
Insulation improvements may be cost effective, depending on the anticipated term of
ownership.
The attic stairs in the master closet must be insulated and gasketed as per N1102.2.3 Access
hatches and doors. Access doors from conditioned spaces to unconditioned spaces (e.g.,
attics and crawl spaces) shall be weatherstripped and insulated to a level equivalent to the
insulation on the surrounding surfaces. Access shall be provided to all equipment which
prevents damaging or compressing the insulation. A wood framed or equivalent baffle or
retainer is required to be provided when loose fill insulation is installed, the purpose of which is
to prevent the loose fill insulation from spilling into the living space when the attic access is
opened and to provide a permanent means of maintaining the installed R-value of the loose fill
insulation.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 18 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Recent research by the U.S. Department of Energy shows that the lack of insulation in these
places effectively decreases the R-value of the entire attic by as much as 30%. So this attic Rvalue is now effectively R-26, which is below the standard required by the 2009 IECC.
See: http://www.energyvanguard.com/blog-building-science-HERS-BPI/bid/34932/Attic-StairsA-Mind-Blowing-Hole-in-Your-Building-Envelope
Extensive evidence of vermin activity was observed in the attic. Apparent rodent feces
observed in the attic and/or rodent trails were observed through and across attic insulation.
Rodents are known to chew on electrical wiring which is considered a fire hazard, and PEX
water lines which may be the cause of water piping leaks and resulting water damages. It
cannot be determined during a visual inspection if electrical wiring or PEX water lines under or
through insulation has been chewed or as we do not disturb or move any portion of insulation.
Insulation both of the blown-in, batt type, spray-on foam, and pipe-wrap variety typically
obscures water pipes and framing components which we cannot visually inspect and hence,
are specifically excluded in accordance with the state inspection standards of practice.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 19 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Signs of
vermin
activity.
Unlike the teeth of other mammals, the front incisors of rodents never stop growing. Because
their teeth are constantly growing, they need to gnaw to keep their teeth filed down. They will
chew on virtually anything available. One of the side effects of popular rodenticides is acute
dehydration. This makes the water within the PEX piping attractive to the rodents.
It's estimated that more than 25% of all house fires that are labeled “unknown origin” are
caused by rodent damage. Rodents are known to cause in excess of $1 billion in damages
each year in the USA alone.
A pest control specializing in rodent exclusion should be consulted in this regard.
SPECIFIC LIMITATIONS: Some portions of the attic were inaccessible. These areas were not
inspected. All systems and materials located in these inaccessible areas are excluded from
this report.
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to:
(1) Operate powered ventilators.
(2) Provide an exhaustive list of locations of water penetrations.
E. Walls (Interior & Exterior) Comments:
Note: Specific Limitations. The Inspector is not required to determine the condition of interior
wall coverings except as they pertain to structural performance or moisture penetration;
identify obvious damaged wall coverings or determine the conditions of paints, stains or other
surface coatings whether interior or exterior; determine the condition of built-in cabinets or
shelves; inspect for the presence of safety glass where the glazing is not clearly labeled as
such; or determine the presence, extent or type of vapor barriers or insulation in any walls.
Furnishings, personal items and stored items are not moved by the Inspector during the
inspection. If areas are inaccessible or obstructed you are strongly urged to have the house
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 20 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
professionally re-inspected once the furnishings and/or stored items have been removed and
prior to closing escrow.
Exterior Wall Claddings: Brick Veneer
Stone Veneer
Fiber-cement Siding
Fiber-cement Trim
Cast Stone Trim
Interior Wall Claddings: Drywall
COUNTER TOPS
The granite countertop in the kitchen is cantilevered more than the maximum of 10” as set
forth in Marble Institute of America’s “Residential Stone Countertop Installation.”
CABINETS
A musty or moldy odor was detected beneath the kitchen sink.
EXTERIOR WALLS
Slightly larger than typical exterior wall cracking was observed at the northwest corner of the
house. The amount of movement does not suggest a serious structural problem. This area
should, of course, be monitored. The rate of movement cannot be predicted during a one-time
inspection.
Veneer
crack.
Exterior wall cracks above the patio door lintel (in effect, a beam supporting the brickwork
above an opening in the wall) suggests that the lintel may be marginally adequate or
improperly installed. This condition is not uncommon.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 21 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Crack
above patio
door lintel.
Rust is bleeding through the paint on the window and door lintels. This is a result of the builder
omitting the primer prior to painting. While it is true that these lintels are pre-primed for
protection during storage, shipment and handling, the primer’s integrity is nearly always
compromised during the construction process. These should be stripped, primed with a highgrade alkyd exterior primer and re-painted. Rust causes the metal lintels to expand and results
in mortar cracking. This requires repair.
Items, i.e. firewood, bricks, lumber, etc., should not be stored against the exterior walls of the
house. This is conducive to the attraction of wood destroying insects and the collection of
excess moisture on the walls.
All utility penetrations of the exterior walls require sealing with a high quality low modulus
sealant.
All failed caulking or voids in caulking at window and doorframes, siding and trim, and
junctions of dissimilar materials (penetrations, transitions, and terminations) must be improved
in order to prevent moisture penetration. This is not a suggestion, but rather a requirement of
the building code adopted by the municipality. It is also not a minor issue, but rather one that
is of utmost importance. The major function of a building is to isolate its inhabitants from the
elements. This means that it must be sealed so as to prevent moisture (which causes mold
and rot) and vermin (rats, mice, insects, spiders, snakes, et al.) intrusion. This is the purpose
of caulking or sealing all joints and penetrations.
The exact locations of the missing or failed sealants are not stated in this report due to the
logistical infeasibility of accurately describing them. It is the builder’s or owner’s responsibility
to ensure that the exterior is properly sealed and his responsibility to locate each and every
location where sealants are not code compliant, not the inspector’s.
Joints, penetrations, and all other such openings in the building envelope must be sealed,
caulked, gasketed, weatherstripped or covered with moisture vapor-impermeable house-wrap
in order to create the water-resistant barrier required by IRC R703.1 General. Exterior walls
shall provide the building with a weather-resistant exterior wall envelope. The exterior wall
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 22 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
envelope shall include flashing as described in Section R703.8. The exterior wall envelope
shall be designed and constructed in a manner that prevents the accumulation of water within
the wall assembly by providing a water-resistant barrier behind the exterior veneer as required
by Section R703.2. and a means of draining water that enters the assembly to the exterior.
Protection against condensation in the exterior wall assembly shall be provided in accordance
with Chapter 11 of this code.
In poorly designed barrier and drainage systems, sealant joints are relied upon as the primary
means to resist water infiltration. Any breach of the sealant joints can trigger leakage to the
interior at interruptions in the wall assembly. In most cases, the field of the wall will probably
perform very well, but the interruptions in the wall assembly are where water-leakage trouble
is usually found.
Penetrations. Besides an entrance/exit, most buildings have additional doors, windows, etc.
that create holes or openings in the exterior cladding system. Infiltration through the joint
between the wall opening and the element that is set inside it will occur if not properly detailed.
As water flows over the outside surface of the wall, there needs to be a means for letting this
water continue to flow down when it comes to the top or side of a penetration through the wall.
For barrier systems, this is usually the only consideration. For drainage systems, water flowing
down and coming in contact with the penetrating element must be considered. Additionally,
any water that has entered into the drainage cavity must be able to flow past or around
penetrations without migrating through the weather-resistive barrier and flashings. The
interface of the penetrating element through the entire depth of the wall has to be protected to
keep water from infiltrating further into the wall assembly.
Transitions. Transitions are an interruption in the exterior wall system or a horizontal change in
the wall (like an intersecting parapet wall with a taller wall, a ledge, or a soffit). They also
include intersecting building elements. These conditions must also be addressed in the design
and construction of the exterior wall system to keep water flowing down the wall and draining
out of the system.
Terminations. Terminations are the locations where the system ends at the top, bottom, or
side. Water should not be allowed to enter an assembly at its top or sides. If it is a drainage
system, it should be allowed to drain at its base. If two or more types of wall systems adjoin,
control of water infiltration and/or drainage must be integrated or handled independently.
Additionally, this is an energy code requirement: IECC 402.4. Air leakage – The building
thermal envelope shall be durably sealed to limit air infiltration. The sealing methods between
dissimilar materials shall include installation of air barriers, flashed, caulked, gasketed, or
weather-stripped.
Sealing the building properly reduces air movement into and out of the building. Uncontrolled
air movement negatively impacts the heating and cooling systems, resulting in higher initial
and on-going maintenance costs.
SIDING/TRIM
Kick-out flashing is required on both sides of the chimney chase and in every location where
the roof eave terminates in the field of a knee wall. This requires repair as per both the siding
manufacturer and IRC R703.8:
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 23 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
R703.8 Flashing.
Approved corrosion-resistive flashing shall be provided in the exterior wall envelope in such a
manner as to prevent entry of water into the wall cavity or penetration of water to the building
structural framing components. The flashing shall extend to the surface of the exterior wall
finish and shall be installed to prevent water from reentering the exterior wall envelope.
Approved corrosion-resistant flashings shall be installed at all of the following locations:
6. At wall and roof intersections.
Kickout
flashing
required.
Openings in the eave returns (areas where the soffit meets an adjoining roof surface) shall not
be large enough to allow entry by pests as per industry standards. Eave returns, truss blocks,
attic vents and roof vent openings shall not allow rodents, birds, and other similar pests into
home or attic space. If an eave return, truss block, attic vent or roof vent opening that allows
rodents, birds, and other similar pests into home or attic space, the builder shall take such
action as is necessary to bring the variance within the standard state in this section. The
industry standard is 5-6-1 of the NAHB Residential Construction Performance Guidelines,
upon which most builder warranties are based.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 24 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Vermin
entry points.
Flashing is required atop all window and door trim.
IRC R703.8 Flashing. Approved corrosion-resistive flashing shall be provided in the exterior
wall envelope in such a manner as to prevent entry of water into the wall cavity or
penetration of water to the building structural framing components. The flashing shall extend
to the surface of the exterior wall finish and shall be installed to prevent water from reentering
the exterior wall envelope. Approved corrosion resistant flashings shall be installed at all of
the following locations:
4. Continuously above all projecting wood trim.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 25 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
The exterior of the house requires re-painting.
BRICKS
Blocked weep holes (openings in the mortar joints, typically found at foundation level) in the
brick and stone veneer wall structure must be cleared at the front porch and other locations
where they are either closed or only partially opened as per International Residential, sections
R703.7.5 and R703.7.6 and numerous other industry standards. The minimum size of weep
hole that must be provided is a 3/16” round hole.
Weep holes
required @
33” o.c.
Weep holes and flashing material are required above and below all windows and above all
doors with lintel-supported brick veneer. International Residential Code sections R703.7.5 and
R703.7.6 requires this detail not only on the first course of masonry above finish grade, but
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 26 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
also at the tops and bottoms of windows and doors and above knee wall flashings where the
brick is supported by a roof structure.
Weep Holes and a Clear Air Space
Wind striking a masonry wall causes a positive pressure on the wetted stone surface. If one
can equalize the pressure on either side of the masonry veneer, the force is substantially
reduced, hence there is a reduction in the amount of water entering into the wall system.
This “pressure equalization” is accomplished by using a combination of weep holes and
having a clear air space directly behind the unit masonry. This cavity needs to act as a
chamber; therefore it must incorporate some form of air barrier and also be
compartmentalized to obtain optimum pressure equalization. The air barrier can range from
simply being the interior backup wall surface (though this can still be quite air permeable) to
something achieving better performance using independent membranes adhered to the
backup wall.
The air space must be unobstructed. Effort must be made to keep the space clear of mortar
when the unit masonry is being laid. A mortar-filled space allows direct routes for water to
enter into the backup wall and into the interior of the building, as well as impeding water flow
out of the weep holes.
The weep holes also provide a means of drainage for any water that does get past the unit
masonry veneer. These are located at the veneer supports, such as at shelf angles or at
foundation walls.
The pest control company or individual responsible for inserting steel wool in the weep holes
should know that steel wool rusts, rusting metal expands, and this blocks the weep holes.
Insect entry can be eliminated by the use of weep hole covers or inserts or the use of stainless
steel or bronze wool.
CAST STONE
Screws are protruding from the cast stone window sill of the northeast bedroom.
Screw in
cast stone.
Maintenance of Exterior Walls
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 27 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Understanding the function of exterior wall systems is key to identifying and correcting
problems. A good maintenance program includes regular inspections. Proactive maintenance
that addresses deteriorating conditions before large-scale failures develop helps minimize
damage caused by component failure and is critical in insuring that the home’s water-resistive
barrier remains intact and functions as intended.
This list features components that undergo weathering, wear and tear, and deterioration, as
well as typical conditions to watch for:
•
Sealant joints.
•
Weatherstripping at the perimeter of operable windows and doors.
•
Gaskets between the exterior glazing and window frame.
•
Sealers (typically a clear material applied to the surface of the exterior wall system).
Since sealers are generally not visible, testing the portions of the exterior wall system
where the sealer is known to have been applied may be necessary to ensure it's
performing as intended.
•
Waterproof coverings such as paints and elastomeric coatings.
•
The exterior cladding component itself.
•
Debris and biological growth accumulation at drainage points (gutters, downspouts,
and flashings).
•
Landscaping adjacent to the base of the exterior wall system and foundation. Maintain
a minimum distance of 6 inches between the base of the system and the earth,
including landscaping build-up along foundations. Also, make sure that sprinklers
adjacent to the building are positioned to spray water away from the exterior wall
system to prevent moisture infiltration.
•
Cracking, deterioration of mortar joints, peeling paint, efflorescence, and any form of
distress.
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to do the following:
(1) determine the condition of wall coverings unless such conditions affect structural
performance or indicate water penetration;
(2) report obvious damage to wall coverings;
(3) determine the condition of paints, stains and other surface coatings;
(4) determine condition of cabinets.
(5) determine the presence of, or extent or type of, insulation or vapor barriers in exterior
walls.
F. Ceilings & Floors Comments:
Note: Specific Limitations. The Inspector is not required to determine the condition of interior
ceiling or floor coverings except as they pertain to structural performance or moisture
penetration; identify obvious damaged ceiling or floor coverings or determine the conditions of
paints, stains, vinyls, ceramics, woods, carpets, marbles, stones or other surface coatings
whether interior or exterior; or determine the presence of or damage from animal urine or
other substances to ceilings or floors.
Ceiling Claddings: Drywall
Floor Coverings: Carpet
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 28 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Tile
Wood
TILE
The tile floor is cracked in the wet bar, master bathroom and powder room and requires repair.
Bar tile
telegraphing
slab crack.
WOOD FLOORS
The joints in the wood flooring are loose in the foyer.
SPECIFIC LIMITATIONS: Some tiles in the tile floors of this house may exhibit a hollow sound
when being walked upon or tapped. Floor tile is typically bonded to the concrete slab surface
with what is called thin-set cement or mortar. This material does an excellent job of binding the
tile to the slab surface if it is applied properly. The key is for the both the slab concrete slab
surface and the underside of the tile to be clean and free of any contaminants. During the
course of normal construction operations, the slab surface will get material on it that prevents
a good, permanent bond. If it is not thoroughly cleaned the tile may eventually come loose.
Occasionally, a floor will sound hollow even when the tile is well bonded. This can occur when
a mortar bed method is used and the mortar has delaminated from the supporting layer or
when the subfloor itself is not sufficiently thick or well attached. Other systems that
intentionally separate the tile layer from the substrate (such as the mortar bed with a cleavage
membrane (slip sheet, or isolation membrane) system like the Tile Council of America
Handbook detail F111 should be closely examined to ascertain if hollow sounds necessarily
imply that the tile is not bonded.
While a tile floor with hollow spots is not ideal, it does not necessarily mean that floor failure is
imminent. On the contrary, over concrete if there is no significant deflection in the floor; grout
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 29 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
and gravity will help keep the floor in place (as long as there are sufficient movement joints in
the tile and minimal shear forces). Over wood, floor failure is more likely - movement in the
subfloor could cause grout to break away from the tile, compounding the instability of the
flooring.
Some contractors have tried to inject epoxy to re-bond tile without reinstalling it. While this
may work in a small area, it is not practical over a large area. Further, any repair that does not
address the cause of the failure may not last very long.
In summary, this problem is almost always a bonding failure issue and not a foundation
movement issue. Visual inspections cannot predict adequacy of hard tile bonding to
foundations. It is beyond the scope of this inspection to forensically test each individual tile in
any given house for hollow sounds or to determine the causes for these hollow sounds. If you
are concerned about hollow sounding tile you are strongly urged to consult with a certified
ceramic tile specialist prior to the end of any time periods associated with the sale of this
property.
NOTE: WOOD FLOOR INSTALLATION IN AREAS WITH WATER SUPPLIES, E.G. KITCHEN
AND BATHROOMS, WHILE PERHAPS IN FASHION, IS A VERY POOR CHOICE.
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to report cosmetic damage or the condition
of floor, wall, or ceiling coverings; paints, stains, or other surface coatings; cabinets; or
countertops, or provide an exhaustive list of locations of water penetrations.
G. Doors (Interior & Exterior) Comments:
INTERIOR DOORS
The doors in the south side of the media room and in the east side of the Jack and Jill
bathroom must be trimmed or adjusted as necessary to work properly as per industry
standards.
The door between the northwest bedroom and Jack and Jill bathroom is hinge-bound and
requires re-hanging by a skilled carpenter.
All missing doorstops require replacement.
Door hardware is missing in the northwest bedroom and requires replacement.
The ball catches for the east media room doors require adjustment or replacement.
EXTERIOR DOORS
The corner seal pads are missing from the strike and/or hinge jamb bottoms of the exterior
doors. These require replacement to complete the door weather stripping.
The weather stripping material is missing form the garage entry door.
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to report the condition or presence of
awnings, shutters, security devices, or systems; determine the cosmetic condition of paints,
stains, or other surface coatings; or operate a lock if the key is not available.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 30 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
H. Windows Comments:
Note: Specific Limitations. The Inspector is not required to inspect or comment on the
presence or condition of storm windows, awnings, shutters, or other security devices or
systems. Only readily accessible windows are checked for operation during this inspection.
“Failed thermal pane seals” (in actuality, failed desiccant inserts) in insulated glass windows
are not always readily visually detectable. The visible moisture between panes in a “failed
seal” situation may be apparent or not due to variations in atmospheric conditions. Windows
are reported as they are observed at the time of the inspection only. No attempt to quantify the
number of defective windows is made. No warranty is implied. If you have present or future
concerns regarding the integrity of “thermal pane seals”, it is strongly suggested that you
consult with a Professional Fenestration Specialist for further evaluation. See the addendum
at the end of this report regarding this issue.
The AAMA- certified windows cannot be determined at this stage of construction to be flashed
and installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s installation instructions and AAMA 2400
or ASTM E211-012 to prevent water penetration.
Note: Windows that are closer than 18 inches to the floor pose a safety hazard, especially
upstairs windows that are low to the floor. We strongly recommend that all windows in these
areas be upgraded to double paned windows that are constructed with tempered safety glass.
Window Types: Single Hung
Double Hung
Fixed Pane
Casement
Glazing Types: Double Glazed
WINDOWS
The center window in the main floor northwest bedroom will not close sufficiently for the lock
to engage. Adjustment is required.
Window hardware is damaged at the casement window in the Jack and Jill bathroom and
should be repaired or replaced.
The bottom of the breakfast room window frame is damaged.
The security system contacts in the bottoms of the window frames void the window
manufacturer’s warranty. You are strongly urged to have the builder supply you with a
notarized affidavit from the window manufacturer on their company letterhead stating that your
window warranty is intact given this incorrect installation. Additionally, obtain a separate
notarized affidavit on the builder’s company letterhead warranting the windows to be leakproof and stipulating that any structural damage occurring due to this installation will be
repaired for the duration of the home’s structural warranty. Ideally, the windows should all be
replaced.
It may be desirable to replace window screens where missing. The owner should be
consulted regarding any screens that may be in storage.
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to report the condition or presence of
awnings, shutters, security devices, or systems; determine the cosmetic condition of paints,
stains, or other surface coatings; or operate a lock if the key is not available.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 31 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
I.
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Stairways (Interior & Exterior) Comments:
STAIRWAYS
The stairway appears to be in satisfactory condition.
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to exhaustively measure every stairway
component.
J. Fireplace/Chimney Comments:
Note: Specific Limitations. The Inspector is not required to inspect or comment on the
adequacy of the draft or performance of a chimney, or chimney structures located more than
eight (8) feet above any accessible roofline. Freestanding wood burning stoves are beyond
the scope of this inspection. Should you have present or future concerns regarding fireplace
draft performance, inaccessible chimney structures or freestanding wood burning stoves,
consult with a Professional Chimney Sweep for further evaluation.
Fireplace Types: Gas Log Only Unit – Gas Appliance in the Family Room
Steel Firebox at the Patio
Chimney Types: Metal at the Family Room
Metal Below Siding at the Patio
WARNING: Burning wood fires in your house is hazardous on more levels than one. Aside
from the obvious fire issue, inhalation of woodsmoke is tantamount to inhalation of cigarette
smoke. Not a smoker? Use gas logs.
See: http://www.texasinspector.com/documents/Woodsmoke.pdf
FIREPLACE UNIT 1 – FAMILY ROOM
The fireplace and chimney appear to be in satisfactory condition.
FIREPLACE UNIT 2 – PATIO
The gas log starter piping must be sealed with a non-combustible sealant where it enters the
wall of the firebox as per IRC 1002.1 and the manufacturer’s installation instructions, “The side
refractories are designed to allow 1/2 in . iron pipe to pass through. Use a noncombustible
sealant to seal any opening between the gas pipe and refractory on the inside. Repack the
insulation removed to seal around the gas pipe where it exits the side of the fireplace.”
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 32 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Fireproof
sealant
required.
NOTICE: The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requires a Level 2 inspection of
fireplaces upon resale of the property in NFPA 211 14.4.1(3). This should be performed by a
professional chimney sweep who is a member of the Chimney Safety Institute of America and
the National Chimney Sweep Guild.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 33 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
LEVEL 1 INSPECTIONS If your appliance or your venting system has not changed and you plan to use your system as
you have in the past, then a Level 1 inspection is a minimum requirement. A Level 1
inspection is recommended for a chimney under continued service under the same conditions
and with the continued use of the same appliance. Most chimney sweeps include a Level 1
inspection during a routine cleaning.
In a Level 1 inspection, your chimney service technician should examine the readily
accessible portions of the chimney exterior, interior and accessible portions of the appliance
and the chimney connection. Your technician will be looking for the basic soundness of the
chimney structure and flue as well as the basic appliance installation and connections. The
technician will also verify the chimney is free of obstruction and deposits.
LEVEL 2 INSPECTIONS A Level 2 inspection is required when any changes are made to the system. Changes can
include a changes in the fuel type, changes to the shape of, or material in, the flue (I.E.
Relining), or the replacement or addition of an appliance of a dissimilar type, input rating or
efficiency. Additionally, a Level 2 inspection is required upon the sale or transfer of a property
or after an operating malfunction or external event that is likely to have caused damage to the
chimney. Building fires, chimney fires, seismic events as well as weather events are all
indicators that this level of inspection is warranted. A Level 2 inspection is a more in-depth
inspection then a Level 1 inspection.
A Level 2 inspection includes everything in a Level 1 inspection, plus the accessible portions
of the chimney exterior and interior including attics, crawl spaces and basements. It will
address proper clearances from combustibles in accessible locations. There are no specialty
tools (i.e. demolitions equipment) required to open doors, panels or coverings in performing a
Level 2 inspection. A Level 2 inspection shall also include a visual inspection by video
scanning or other means in order to examine the internal surfaces and joints of all flue liners
incorporated within the chimney. No removal or destruction of permanently attached portions
of the chimney or building structure or finish shall be required by a Level 2 inspection.
LEVEL 3 INSPECTIONS When a Level 1 or a Level 2 inspections suggests a hidden hazard and the evaluation cannot
be performed without special tools to access concealed areas of the chimney or flue, a Level 3
inspection is recommended. A Level 3 inspection addresses the proper construction and
condition of concealed portions of the chimney structure and the flue. Removal or destruction,
as necessary, of permanently attached portions of the chimney or building structure will be
required for the completion of a Level 2 inspection.
A Level 3 inspection includes all the areas and items checked in a Level 1 and a Level 2
inspection, as well as the removal of certain components of the building or chimney where
necessary. Removal of components (i.e. chimney crown, interior chimney wall) shall be
required only when necessary to gain access to areas that are the subject of the inspection.
When serious hazards are suspected, a Level 3 inspection may well be required to determine
the condition of the chimney system.
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to determine the adequacy of the draft or
perform a chimney smoke test. The inspector is not required to inspect wood-burning stoves.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 34 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
K. Porches, Balconies, Decks, and Carports Comments:
Note: Specific Limitations. The Inspector is not required to inspect or report on detached
structures or waterfront structures and equipment (i.e. boathouses or boat docks).
FLATWORK
The accessible and visible flatwork appears to be satisfactory.
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to exhaustively measure the porch,
balcony, deck, or attach carport components; or enter any area where the headroom is less
than 18 inches or the access opening is less than 24 inches wide and 18 inches high.
II. ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS
A. Service Entrance and Panels Comments:
Note: Specific Limitations. The Inspector is not required to determine the service capacity
amperage or voltage or the capacity of the electrical system relative to present or future use or
requirements; conduct voltage drop calculations; determine the accuracy of breaker labeling;
or determine the insurability of the property. The Inspector does not test any electrical or
lighting systems not directly mounted on or attached to the house.
Type of Service: Overhead
Size of Service: 120/240 Volt Main Service
Type of Grounding: Copper (Where Observed)
Ground Rod Connection (Where Observed)
Main Distribution Panelboard Location: Exterior Wall East
Panel Rating: Main Service Rating 200 Amps
Grounds for Departure: N/A
Disconnect Type: Breakers
SERVICE/ENTRANCE
The conduit at the east side of the detached garage has settled at the service entry and has
become disconnected from the meter enclosure. This requires improvement.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 35 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Conduit
loose.
The ground rods at the main house and detached garage are required by NEC 250.53(G) to
be driven flush with the surface of the grade. There are a number of deficiencies often found
with the installation of ground rods. NEC 250.53(G) requires that the rod be installed so that at
least 8' of length is in contact with the soil and the upper end of the electrode must be flush
with or below ground level unless the aboveground end and grounding electrode conductor
attachment is protected against physical damage. The most common deficiency found is that
the 8' rod has been installed so that the upper end of the rod has been left above grade. In
this case the rod is not in contact with the soil for the full eight feet. This problem also occurs
when rod electrodes are installed inside through concrete slabs. Usually the rod has been left
so the upper end and grounding electrode connection are just above the slab. Again, the rod
is not in contact with the soil for the full eight feet and it is very likely that the grounding
electrode connection is subject to physical damage.
Drive rods
completely.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 36 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
NEC 250.53(G) Rod and Pipe Electrodes. The electrode shall be installed such that at least
2.44 m (8 ft) of length is in contact with the soil. It shall be driven to a depth of not less than
2.44 m (8 ft) except that, where rock bottom is encountered, the electrode shall be driven at an
oblique angle not to exceed 45 degrees from the vertical or, where rock bottom is encountered
at an angle up to 45 degrees, the electrode shall be permitted to be buried in a trench that is
at least 750 mm (30 in.) deep. The upper end of the electrode shall be flush with or below
ground level unless the aboveground end and the grounding electrode conductor attachment
are protected against physical damage as specified in 250.10.
MAIN DISTRIBUTION PANELBOARD
No more than one (1) neutral (grounded) conductor shall be placed under each lug (screw) of
the bus bar in the panelboard. This requires repair as per NEC 408.41 Grounded Conductor
Terminations.
Each grounded conductor shall terminate within the panelboard in an individual terminal that is
not also used for another conductor.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 37 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Only 1
common
per lug.
In accordance with their listing and the requirement of 110.14(A), conductor terminations are
suitable for a single conductor unless the terminal is marked or otherwise identified as suitable
for more than one conductor. This requirement applies to the termination of grounded
conductors in panelboards. The use of a single termination point within a panelboard to
connect more than one grounded conductor or to connect a grounded conductor and an
equipment grounding conductor can be problematic when it is necessary to isolate a particular
grounded conductor for testing purposes. For example, if the grounded conductors of two
branch circuits were terminated at a single connection point and it were necessary to isolate
one branch circuit for the purposes of troubleshooting, the fact that the circuit not being tested
remained energized could create an unsafe working condition for service personnel
disconnecting the grounded conductor of the circuit being tested. In some cases, panelboard
instructions are provided that permit the use of a single conductor termination for more than
one equipment grounding conductor.
The commons and grounds must be isolated in the main distribution panelboard (subpanel) at
the east exterior of the main house. This has long been a requirement and is currently
required by NEC 250.24(A)5.
Why isolate the neutral in a sub panel?...
The neutral is only bonded to ground at your service panel. At all other points throughout your
house, there is no connection between the bare (or green) grounding conductor and the white
neutral conductor. Under normal conditions, the grounding conductor carries no current. No
current means there is no voltage drop along it, therefore anything "grounded" to this
conductor is at the same potential (voltage) as ground. If you bond the neutral and ground at
the sub panel, than stray currents from the neutral return could go thru the equipment ground
on the electrical devices fed from this sub panel. If you isolate the neutral and ground at the
sub panel, than any currents would go back to the main panel, and go to the service ground.
The main panel is where the neutral and equipment ground should be bonded.
SPECIFIC LIMITATIONS: Visual inspections do not test for resistance to ground of 25 ohms
or less. You are strongly urged to obtain a notarized affidavit containing his license number
from a licensed electrical contractor verifying that the grounding of this electrical system has
been done in strict accordance with NEC 250.56 - Resistance of rod, pipe and plate
electrodes. A single electrode consisting of a rod, pipe or plate that does not have a resistance
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 38 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
to ground of 25 ohms or less shall be augmented by one additional electrode of any of the
types specified by 250.52(A)(2) through (A)(7). Where multiple rod, pipe or plate electrodes
are installed to meet the requirements of this section, they shall be not less than 6 feet (1829
mm) apart.
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to determine present or future sufficiency
of service capacity amperage, voltage, or the capacity of the electrical system; test arc-fault
circuit interrupter devices when the property is occupied or damage to personal property may
result, in the inspector’s reasonable judgment; report the lack of arc-fault circuit interrupter
protection when the circuits are in conduit; conduct voltage drop calculations; determine the
accuracy of overcurrent devices labeling; remove covers where hazardous as judged by the
inspector; verify the effectiveness of overcurrent devices; or operate overcurrent devices.
B. Branch Circuits, Connected Devices, and Fixtures
Type of Wiring: Copper (Where Observed)
Comments:
DISTRIBUTION WIRING
Electrical cables must not be installed within three inches (3”) of the bottom of the roof decking
as per NEC 334.15(B) Protection from Physical Damage. Cable shall be protected from
physical damage where necessary by rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit,
electrical metallic tubing, Schedule 80 PVC conduit, or other approved means. These shall be
relocated.
Cable too
close to
roof.
Conduit separation was observed at the junction box on the east exterior of the detached
garage.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 39 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Junction
box conduit
loose.
The exterior wiring at the drive gate operator is not suited to this application. It must be
replaced with wiring that is listed and labeled for exterior use.
Not for
exterior use.
Some electrical cables are located within 6’-0” of the attic stairs. All electrical cables located
within 6’-0” vertically and horizontally of the attic stair opening are required by NEC 334.23:
334.23 In Accessible Attics.
The installation of cable in accessible attics or roof spaces shall also comply with 320.23:
320.23 In Accessible Attics.
Type AC cables in accessible attics or roof spaces shall be installed as specified in 320.23(A)
and (B).
(A) Where Run Across the Top of Floor Joists. Where run across the top of floor joists, or
within 2.1 m (7 ft) of floor or floor joists across the face of rafters or studding, in attics and roof
spaces that are accessible, the cable shall be protected by substantial guard strips that are at
least as high as the cable. Where this space is not accessible by permanent stairs or ladders,
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 40 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
protection shall only be required within 1.8 m (6 ft) of the nearest edge of the scuttle hole or
attic entrance.
In accessible attics, Type AC cable installed across the top of floor joists or within 7 ft of the
floor or floor joists across the face of rafters or studs must be protected by guard strips. Where
the attic is not accessible by a permanent ladder or stairs, guard strips are required only within
6 ft of the scuttle hole or opening.
(B) Cable Installed Parallel to Framing Members. Where the cable is installed parallel to the
sides of rafters, studs, or floor joists, neither guard strips nor running boards shall be required,
and the installation shall also comply with 300.4(D).
The installation of arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) in most of the branch circuit locations is
required. As per 2008 NEC 210.12(B), all branch circuits that supply 125 volt, 15, and 20
ampere receptacles in dwelling unit family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries,
dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas
shall be protected by a listed arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI), combination-type, installed to
provide protection for the branch circuit. An arc-fault circuit-interrupter is a device intended to
provide protection from the effects of arcing faults by recognizing characteristics unique to
both series and parallel arcing and by functioning to de-energize the circuit when an arc-fault
is detected. An AFCI is designed to make a distinction between an unwanted, potentially
damaging arc, and a condition necessary for continuation of power, such as the arc created
when unplugging an appliance under load.
NOTE: TREC requires that inspector licensees use the 2008 version of NEC for a benchmark
regardless of what TDLR, the Electrical Safety and Licensing Board, or the municipal AHJ
mandates.
See: http://www.aaronsinspections.com/Luxury-vs-Safety-Upgrades.pdf
http://www.texasinspector.com/documents/AFCIsComeOfAge.pdf
http://www.texasinspector.com/documents/2008NECAFCIRequiredLocations.pdf
The electrical disconnect panel for the north air conditioner condenser unit must be moved to
an appropriate location. This is required by NEC 110.26 generally and in NEC 440.14
specifically which states in part:
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 41 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
NEC 440.14 Disconnecting Means. Disconnecting means shall be located within sight and
readily accessible from the air conditioning or refrigeration equipment.
The term “readily accessible” is further defined in NEC 100.1 Definitions:
Accessible, Readily (Readily Accessible). Capable of being reached quickly for operation,
renewal, or inspection without requiring those to who ready access is requisite to climb over or
remove obstacles or resort to portable ladders, and so forth.
Relocate
this panel.
RECEPTACLES
Loose receptacles in various locations must be re-secured.
COVER PLATES
Damaged receptacle cover plates must be replaced.
GFCI RECEPTACLES
As per 2008 NEC 210.8, the installation of ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacles is
required in all kitchen, bathrooms, garage, basement, wet bar (within 6ft. of sink), laundry
room (within 6 ft. of sink), crawl space, and all exterior locations. A ground fault circuit
interrupter (GFCI) offers protection from shock or electrocution. NOTE: TREC requires that
inspector licensees use the 2008 version of NEC for a benchmark regardless of what TDLR,
the Electrical Safety and Licensing Board, or the municipal AHJ mandates.
See: http://www.aaronsinspections.com/Luxury-vs-Safety-Upgrades.pdf
See: http://www.texasinspector.com/documents/GFCILocations.pdf
NOTE: We strongly recommend installing GFCI protection to meet, at a minimum, the latest
and most current edition of the National Electrical Code, and additionally, at all wet areas or
areas that could potentially become wet areas. This is a requirement set forth by TAC
535.230(c)(2)(G). See: http://www.aaronsinspections.com/Luxury-vs-Safety-Upgrades.pdf
FIXTURES (LUMINAIRES)
The light fixtures (luminaires) are inoperative at the master bathroom shower stall, stair treads,
and pantry. If the bulbs are not blown, the circuits should be investigated and repaired as
required.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 42 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
The recessed fixtures at the patio soffit do not appear to be listed and labeled for exterior use.
The globe is missing from the carriage light fixture at the detached garage.
Sealant
required.
Globe
missing.
All exterior light fixtures (luminaires) must be sealed where they meet the brick veneer or the
siding as per NEC 410.10(A).
SWITCHES
The switch for the light fixture in the closet of the second floor northwest bedroom is
inoperable. Improvement is required.
SMOKE DETECTORS
The smoke detector in the foyer does not actuate the other units when tested.
The smoke detector in the northwest bedroom did not actuate using the test button.
SPECIFIC LIMITATIONS: It is generally infeasible for the inspector to ascertain the presence
or appropriateness of ceiling fan mounting boxes or brackets. You are strongly urged to have
a manufacturer’s representative and a licensed master electrician inspect and assess these
installations.
SPECIFIC LIMITATIONS: The AFCI breakers in this house were not tested or inspected for
operation due to the house being occupied. Testing of AFCI breakers with electronic
equipment attached to the circuits can cause damage to the equipment. You are strongly
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 43 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
urged to have these AFCI breakers inspected for proper operation once all equipment has
been removed from the circuits and prior to closing escrow on this home.
NOTICE: Due to the age of the home and the possibility of hidden wiring issues, e.g. knob and
tube installations, concealed amateur repairs, et al, you are strongly urged to have a licensed
electrician inspect the system and make all necessary repairs prior to the purchase of the
home.
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to determine present or future sufficiency
of service capacity amperage, voltage, or the capacity of the electrical system; test arc-fault
circuit interrupter devices when the property is occupied or damage to personal property may
result, in the inspector’s reasonable judgment; report the lack of arc-fault circuit interrupter
protection when the circuits are in conduit; conduct voltage drop calculations; determine the
accuracy of overcurrent devices labeling; remove covers where hazardous as judged by the
inspector; verify the effectiveness of overcurrent devices; or operate overcurrent devices.
III. HEATING, VENTILATION AND AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEMS
A. Heating Equipment
Type of System: Central Forced Air Furnaces
Energy Source: Gas
Comments:
Note: Specific Limitations. The system fan, burner and heat exchanger were not readily
accessible for inspection without disassembly of the unit. Because we do not disassemble
equipment the condition of the system interior is unknown. If the system does not have a
documented history of regular (annual) cleaning and maintenance since its installation,
servicing by a licensed professional HVAC technician is required. Heat pumps are not
operated at an ambient temperature of 60 degrees F. or more and are never operated in
emergency mode. WARNING: This inspection will likely not meet the underwriting
requirements of a home warranty (residential service contract) company. Many of these
companies have been known to decline coverage due to subjective and often specious
code compliance and maintenance arguments. You are strongly advised to ask your
“home warranty” (residential service contract) provider to assure that the system
meets their underwriting requirements prior to contracting for their services or closing
escrow on the property. Failure to do so may result in future claim denial.
FURNACE
No sediment traps were observed at these units. A sediment trap, not a drip or drip leg – the
two terms are not synonymous - is required on the gas line of each unit. A drip or drip leg is
the container placed at a low point in a system of piping using “wet” gas to collect condensate
and from which the condensate is removable. Most gas supplies currently use dry gas thus
eliminating the need for drips or drip legs.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 44 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Sediment traps, on the other hand, are required at all gas appliance installation except for
illuminating appliances, ranges, clothes dryers and outdoor grills. In addition to the code
requirement, most appliance manufacturers require the installation of a sediment trap (dirt leg)
to protect the appliance from debris in the gas. Sediment traps are necessary to protect
appliance gas controls from the dirt, soil, pipe chips, pipe joint tapes and compounds and
construction site debris that enters the piping during installation and repairs. Hazardous
appliance operation could result from debris entering gas controls and burners. Despite the
fact that utilities supply clean gas, debris can enter the piping prior to and during installation on
the utility side of the system and on the customer side.
Sediment traps are designed to cause the gas flow to change direction 90 degrees (1.57 rad)
at the sediment collection point, thus causing the solid or liquid contaminants to drop out of the
gas flow. The nipple and cap must not be placed in the branch opening of a tee fitting because
this would not create a change in direction of flow and would allow debris to pass over the
collection point. Failure to install this sediment trap will result in invalidation of the unit’s
manufacturer’s warranty.
G2419.4 (408.4) Sediment trap.
Where a sediment trap is not incorporated as part of the gas utilization equipment, a sediment
trap shall be installed downstream of the equipment shutoff valve as close to the inlet of the
equipment as practical. The sediment trap shall be either a tee fitting with a capped nipple in
the bottom opening of the run of the tee or other device approved as an effective sediment
trap. Illuminating appliances, ranges, clothes dryers and outdoor grills need not be so
equipped.
Grommets or cable clamps are required to protect the electrical wiring where it enters the unit
cabinets as per NEC 300.4B1.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 45 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Grommet
required.
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to do the following:
(1) inspect accessories such as humidifiers, air purifiers, motorized dampers, heat reclaimers,
electronic air filters or wood-burning stoves;
(2) determine the efficiency or adequacy of a system;
(3) program digital-type thermostats or controls; or
(4) operate radiant heaters, steam heat systems or unvented gas-fired heating appliances.
B. Cooling Equipment
Type of System: Central Forced Air Compressed Gas Split Systems
Comments:
Note: Specific Limitations. The system fan and evaporator coil was not readily accessible for
inspection without disassembly of the unit. Because we do not disassemble equipment the
condition of the system interior is unknown. If the system does not have a documented history
of regular cleaning and maintenance since its installation, servicing by a licensed professional
HVAC technician is required. Previous repairs to the system may have resulted in
mismatching of the condenser and evaporator units. You are strongly advised to have an
HVAC technician inspect this system and verify that it has been installed in strict accordance
with the manufacturer’s installation instructions and the Air Conditioning Contractors of
America (ACCA) Manuals D, J, and S, prior to closing escrow on this home. WARNING: This
inspection will likely not meet the underwriting requirements of a home warranty
(residential service contract) company. Many of these companies have been known to
decline coverage due to subjective and often specious code compliance and
maintenance arguments. You are strongly advised to ask your “home warranty”
(residential service contract) provider to assure that the system meets their
underwriting requirements prior to contracting for their services or closing escrow on
the property. Failure to do so may result in future claim denial.
AIR CONDITIONER UNIT 1 – 26.3° F. ∆T
The temperature drop measured across the evaporator coil of the air conditioning system was
observed to be greater than what is commonly considered normal. This indicates that air flow
across the evaporator coil is too low. Low air flow could be the result of redundant filtration, a
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 46 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
dirty filter, dirty or obstructed evaporator coil fins, or insufficient blower and/or ductwork sizing.
This condition can lead to ice build-up on the coil. A qualified heating and cooling technician
must be consulted to further evaluate this condition and the remedies available for correction.
The air conditioning system requires servicing. A licensed HVAC technician should be
employed to inspect and clean the unit, including the A-coil or flat coil, and the condenser coil.
The unit and the system should also be tested for coolant leaks. This process should then be
repeated annually for the duration of your occupancy of the house.
The condensate drain line for this unit requires a proper (not a running) trap adjacent to the
auxiliary drain pan as per the manufacturer and IRC M1401 Installation. Heating and cooling
equipment and appliances shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s
installation instructions and the requirements of this code.
See: http://www.texasinspector.com/documents/CondensateArticle-ASHI.pdf
http://www.aaronsinspections.com/documents/condensatetraps.pdf
Trap
required.
The primary and secondary condensate drain lines require insulation as per IRC N1103.5
Piping insulation. All mechanical system piping shall be insulated in accordance with Table
N1103.5.
Exceptions: Piping installed within appliances and equipment or piping serving fluids between
55°F (13°C) and 120°F (49°C).
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 47 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
AIR CONDITIONER UNIT 2 – 20.9° F. ∆T
The condensate drain line for this unit requires a proper (not a running) trap adjacent to the
auxiliary drain pan as per the manufacturer and IRC M1401 Installation. Heating and cooling
equipment and appliances shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s
installation instructions and the requirements of this code.
See: http://www.texasinspector.com/documents/CondensateArticle-ASHI.pdf
http://www.aaronsinspections.com/documents/condensatetraps.pdf
The primary and secondary condensate drain lines require insulation as per IRC N1103.5
Piping insulation. All mechanical system piping shall be insulated in accordance with Table
N1103.5.
Exceptions: Piping installed within appliances and equipment or piping serving fluids between
55°F (13°C) and 120°F (49°C).
The auxiliary drain pan installed below the evaporator coil of the air conditioning system
contains is significantly rusted. This requires repair or replacement.
SPECIFIC LIMITATIONS: The state standards require a limited cursory visual inspection of
HVAC systems but do not sanction any specific diagnostic testing or research as would be
required or expected to be done by a qualified licensed HVAC contractor (e.g.: specific
equipment model amperage and electrical testing or BTU/tonnage sizing; refrigerant level
check for proper charge, restrictions or leaks; proper sizing or compatibility of equipment, or
efficiency). Sole reliance on differential temperature readings is neither recommended nor
prudent. It is illegal in Texas for anyone other than a licensed HVAC contractor to connect
diagnostic gages to refrigerant lines for diagnostic testing. Improper refrigerant levels may
indicate a leak, directly affect compressor pressures, affect serviceable life/early failure,
electrical amperage and electrical usage. Hence, any discrepancy or deficiency should be
further evaluated by a qualified and licensed HVAC contractor prior to the expiration of any
time limitations associated with the purchase of this home. We do not recommend that anyone
rely on a home inspection of the HVAC system as a sole basis of purchase.
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to do the following:
(1) inspect for the pressure of the system coolant or determine the presence of leaks;
(2) program digital-type thermostats or controls; or
(3) operate setback features on thermostats or controls.
C. Duct System, Chases, and Vents Comments:
SUPPLY AIR DUCTWORK
The accessible ducts and vents appear to be satisfactory.
SPECIFIC LIMITATIONS: Not all ducts or gas appliance vents were accessible or visible
during this inspection. Ducts and gas appliance vents in inaccessible areas of the attic, those
concealed by insulation or stored items, and those enclosed in chases, walls, et al. were not
inspected. You are strongly urged to have a licensed HVAC technician or engineer conduct a
thorough duct pressure test to insure that all ducts are properly sealed and functional prior to
purchasing the home.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 48 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to do the following:
(1) determine the efficiency, adequacy or capacity of the systems;
(2) determine the uniformity of the supply of conditioned air to the various parts of the
structure;
(3) determine the types of materials contained in insulation, wrapping of pipes, ducts, jackets,
boilers and wiring;
(4) operate venting systems unless ambient temperatures or other circumstances, in the
reasonable opinion of the inspector, are conducive to safe operation without damage to the
equipment; or
(5) operate a unit outside its normal operating range as reasonably determined by the
inspector.
IV. PLUMBING SYSTEM
A. Water Supply System and Fixtures
Location of water meter: Front Sidewalk or Curb (Meter)
Location of main water supply valve: Front Flower Bed
Static water pressure reading: 55 psi
Type of Supply Piping Where Visible: Copper (Where Observed)
Gas Meter Location: Alley
Type of Gas Piping: Threaded Steel (Where Observed)
Type of Gas: Natural (Assumed not Verified)
Comments:
Note: Specific limitations. A visual inspection by a home inspector does not address slab leaks
as per the Texas Administrative Code, Title 22, Part 33, Chapter 535, Subchapter R, Rule
535.227(b)(3)(A)(iv) General Limitations. This inspector is not required to inspect anything
buried, hidden, latent, or concealed. These are plumbing leaks which occur either in or under
the concrete foundation. Slab leaks can only be discovered and ascertained by a licensed
plumber using specialized tools and skills. Because they are a common problem in the North
Central Texas area you are strongly urged to have the supply and drain piping of this
house leak tested by a licensed master plumber prior to the end of any time periods
associated with the sale or purchase of this home.
Slab leaks can occur in your home’s potable water line or in your outgoing sanitary sewer line;
both of which may be embedded in or under the foundation of the building. Leaks in either set
of lines can cause large amounts of damage to the foundation and each has its own list of
causes, some are shared. Slab leaks in the potable water line can potentially be more
destructive because the supply water is under pressure. It runs through or under the concrete
slab, then to the water heater where copper pipes split off and carry water to all the hot and
cold water fixtures in your house.
There are four main causes of slab leaks in a houses incoming water lines. Chemistry is the
first, either the chemical interaction between copper water pipes or the water running though
them (copper pipe is very susceptible to pinhole leaks caused by the chemical composition of
your water), or electrolysis from the copper pipe coming into contact with soil. The second is
that due to the foundation shifting (because of poor design or installation, or a change in the
moisture of the expansive clay soil) and pull your pipes apart. The third is water pressure that
is too high (the diameter of the pipes installed may be too small) will corrode copper pipe.
Leaks will also form at points where the pipes bend or change direction. The fourth cause may
just be poor craftsmanship or workmanship: inferior plumbing supplies or materials (e.g. pipes,
soldering) or a plumber that rushes or isn’t experienced. It could also be a kinked line (a piece
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 49 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
of pipe with an imperfection) or nicked by another (non-plumbing) workman, such as those
that pour the concrete.
Unlike those in incoming water lines which will continuously leak because of the continuous
flow and pressure, slab leaks in sanitary sewer lines only leak when a toilet is flushed,
someone takes a shower or bath, or faucet is turned on. There are four main causes of slab
leaks in sanitary sewer lines. The first is a crack or break in the cast iron, galvanized steel, or
PVC sewer pipes, caused by shifting of the foundation. The second is, in the case of cast iron
or galvanized steel pipes, parts of the pipe may be exposed to soil, sand, or gravel which are
porous to water -this can lead to rusting. The third cause is the chemicals, solvents, and
cleaning solutions that are poured down the drain which interact and corrode the metal pipes.
The fourth cause is poor craftsmanship or workmanship, inferior plumbing supplies or
materials, or a plumber that rushes or isn’t experienced.
Your homeowners insurance is not likely to cover slab leaks. This sort of coverage varies from
company to company. Even if they do, they will not usually cover all of the expenses to make
the necessary repairs.
There are essentially two methods for making these kinds of repairs. The traditional method
involves finding the leaks and then cutting or breaking out the concrete slab in order to make
the repairs and afterwards repairing the concrete. This is a tremendously invasive and
expensive procedure that, depending on the number of leaks involved and the size of the
house, can cost anywhere from $20K - $50K.
The latest method on the scene involves lining the piping with food grade epoxy. This is a
nearly non-invasive procedure. The cost is also less than the traditional methods, but will still
be in the $10K - $15K range.
In addition to the expense and inconvenience of the actual leak repairs, slab leaks are a
leading cause of foundation damage.
SUPPLY PLUMBING
The supply piping that exits the exterior wall of the powder room requires insulation in order to
protect it from freeze damage as per IRC P2603.6 and/or the PEX manufacturer. P2603.6
Freezing. In localities having a winter design temperature of 32°F (0°C) or lower as shown in
Table R301.2(1) of this code, a water, soil or waste pipe shall not be installed outside of a
building, in exterior walls, in attics or crawl spaces, or in any other place subjected to freezing
temperature unless adequate provision is made to protect it from freezing by insulation or heat
or both. Water service pipe shall be installed not less than 12 inches (305 mm) deep and not
less than 6 inches (152 mm) below the frost line.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 50 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Supply
piping
subject to
damage
and
freezing.
COMMENTARY: Water, soil or waste pipes must be protected from freezing, whether installed
inside or outside the building. Where pipe installation occurs in an exterior wall or unheated
space, such as a crawl space or attic, adequate protection must be provided in the form of
insulation or heat or both. Where the temperature of the air surrounding the insulation remains
low for a significant period, insulation alone will not provide adequate protection from freezing
without the addition of heat. In such conditions, the water in the pipe will freeze regardless of
the amount of insulation used. Conditions differ significantly between occupied and
unoccupied buildings because of heat added in occupied buildings for the comfort of the
occupants. When a building remains vacant for an extended period, heat from another source
must be supplied to offset heat loss.
Where piping is not directly adjacent to heated spaces in a building, electric resistance heat
tapes or cables can be used to supply heat to the piping. Some types of heat tapes should not
be used on piping in concealed spaces as the tapes can burn out and require replacement.
Plastic piping requires self-limiting type heat tape to prevent overheating of the pipe.
Hose bibbs and wall hydrants located on the exterior wall must be protected from freezing
when installed in areas subject to freezing temperatures. This protection can be accomplished
by installing devices such as freezeproof hose bibbs that locate the valve seat within the
heated space and allow residual water within the hydrant to drain after the valve is closed.
Freezeproof hose bibbs cannot be installed where the valve seat is located in an unheated
garage or storage room. The valve seat must extend through to the heated side of the exterior
wall. The valve assembly on these devices is available in different lengths to accommodate
various wall thicknesses (see commentary, Section P2903.10). Table R301.2(1) supplies a
method for determining areas that have a winter-design temperature of 32°F (0°C) or less.
Water service pipe installed outdoors underground must be at least 12 inches (305 mm) below
grade or 6 inches (152 mm) below the frost depth, whichever is greater, to protect against
freezing. The 12-inch (305 mm) minimum cover above the pipe protects it from external
damage (see Commentary Figure P2603.6).
WATER FIXTURES
The toilets have not been caulked where they meet the floor tiles as required by IRC
P2705.1(3) : P2705.1 General. The installation of fixtures shall conform to the following: 3.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 51 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Where fixtures come in contact with walls and floors, the contact area shall be watertight.
Caulking here will prevent dirt buildup, insect access and leakage in the event of wax rings
damage in the future.
Cracked, deteriorated and/or missing shower stall sealant and/or caulk requires replacement
in the main floor bathroom.
The shower seat in the main floor bathroom must slope in order to properly drain as per IRC
2709.3.
The tile shower stall in the master bathroom requires repair. Loose or damaged tile, grout and
sealant must be repaired or replaced as necessary. Any damage to the wall behind the tile
should also be repaired (if found to be damaged). Further investigation may reveal the need
to rebuild a portion of the shower stall.
The shower seat in the master bathroom must slope in order to properly drain as per IRC
2709.3.
Cracked, deteriorated and/or missing bathtub enclosure grout and sealant in the master
bathroom requires replacement.
The faucet handles are loose at the master bathtub.
Cracked, deteriorated and/or missing bathtub enclosure grout and sealant in the Jack and Jill
bathroom requires replacement.
The west sink in the Jack and Jill bathroom was observed to drain slowly, suggesting that an
obstruction may exist. Improvement is required.
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to do the following:
(1) operate any main, branch or shut-off valves;
(2) inspect any system that has been shut down or otherwise secured;
(3) inspect any components that are not visible or accessible;
(4) inspect any exterior plumbing components such as water mains, private sewer systems,
water wells, sprinkler systems or swimming pools;
(5) inspect fire sprinkler systems;
(6) inspect the quality or the volume of well water;
(7) determine the potability of any water supply;
(8) inspect water-conditioning equipment, such as softeners or filter systems;
(9) inspect solar water heating systems;
(10) determine the effectiveness of anti-siphon devices on appropriate fixtures or systems;
(11) operate free-standing appliances;
(12) inspect private water supply systems, swimming pools, or pressure tanks;
(13) inspect the gas supply system for leaks;
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 52 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
B. Drains, Wastes, and Vents Comments:
Type of Sewer System: Public Sewer System (Assumed but not verfied)
Type of Sewer (DWV) Piping: PVC (Where Observed)
DRAIN/WASTE / VENT (DWV)
The DWV cleanout plug or cap is missing at the east exterior wall and requires replacement.
Cap or plug
DWV
opening.
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to operate any main, branch, or shut-off
valves; operate or inspect sump pumps or waste ejector pumps; inspect any system that has
been winterized, shut down, or otherwise secured; circulating pumps, free-standing
appliances, solar water heating systems, water conditioning equipment, filter systems, water
mains, private water supply systems, water wells, pressure tanks, sprinkler systems,
swimming pools, or fire sprinkler systems; the inaccessible gas supply system for leaks; for
sewer clean-outs; or for the presence or operation of private sewage disposal systems;
determine quality, potability, or volume of the water supply; or effectiveness of back flow or
anti-siphon devices; or verify the functionality of clothes washing drains or floor drains.
C. Water Heating Equipment
Energy Source: Gas
Capacity: 2 Each At 50 Gallons
Comments:
WATER HEATERS
The water heaters are older units that are approaching the end of their useful lives. It would
be wise to budget for new units. One cannot predict with certainty when replacement will
become necessary.
TPR VALVES
The temperature and pressure relief valve discharge tubing is not allowed to bend more than
four (4) times prior to its terminus. The additional bends present must be removed. This is the
valve manufacturer’s requirement, as well as a requirement of every major water heater
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 53 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
manufacturer in the world. Additionally, this is required by IRC R102.4 Referenced codes and
standards. The codes and standards referenced in this code shall be considered part of the
requirements of this code to the prescribed extent of each such reference. Where differences
occur between provisions of this code and referenced codes and standards, the provisions of
this code shall apply.
Exception: Where enforcement of a code provision would violate the conditions of the
listing of the equipment or appliance, the conditions of the listing and manufacturer’s
instructions shall apply.
See more at: http://www.aaronsinspections.com/documents/WattsTPRLabelandLetter.pdf
http://www.watts.com/pages/support/tp.asp?catId=64
EXHAUST VENT
Loose or misaligned connections in the venting system of both units require immediate
improvement. This is a CO poisoning hazard.
Vents are
disconnected.
CO hazard!
Sheet metal screws are required to connect the vent to the water heater unit. As per
G2427.10.7: G2427.10.7 (503.10.7) Joints. Joints between sections of connector
piping and connections to flue collars and draft hood outlets shall be fastened by one of the
following methods:
1. Sheet metal screws.
2. Vent connectors of listed vent material assembled and connected to flue collars or draft
hood outlets in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions.
3. Other approved means.
Single-wall connectors (unlisted) have been traditionally fastened with sheet metal screws and
rivets. All connector joints must be fastened, including the joint at the appliance draft hood or
flue collar. A displaced connector could result in a life-threatening condition; therefore,
connectors must be fastened and supported well. Appliance connectors are often located
where they can be impacted or otherwise disturbed by building occupants, making proper
fastening even more important. Item 2 speaks of listed connectors such as Type B vent
material and factory-built corrugated (bendable) connectors, which use adapter fittings or
integral collars that are mechanically fastened to the appliance with screws or rivets (see
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 54 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Commentary Figure G2427.10.2.2)., and the manufacturer of the type B vent pipe material,
the vents must be connected to the draft hood of the water heater with sheet metal screws.
http://www.texasinspector.com/Duravent%20Type%20B%20Installation%20Instrcutions.pdf
http://www.texasinspector.com/Amerivent%20Type%20B%20Installation%20Instructions.pdf
GAS LINE
No sediment traps were observed at these units. A sediment trap, not a drip or drip leg – the
two terms are not synonymous - is required on the gas line of each unit. A drip or drip leg is
the container placed at a low point in a system of piping using “wet” gas to collect condensate
and from which the condensate is removable. Most gas supplies currently use dry gas thus
eliminating the need for drips or drip legs.
Sediment traps, on the other hand, are required at all gas appliance installation except for
illuminating appliances, ranges, clothes dryers and outdoor grills. In addition to the code
requirement, most appliance manufacturers require the installation of a sediment trap (dirt leg)
to protect the appliance from debris in the gas. Sediment traps are necessary to protect
appliance gas controls from the dirt, soil, pipe chips, pipe joint tapes and compounds and
construction site debris that enters the piping during installation and repairs. Hazardous
appliance operation could result from debris entering gas controls and burners. Despite the
fact that utilities supply clean gas, debris can enter the piping prior to and during installation on
the utility side of the system and on the customer side.
Sediment traps are designed to cause the gas flow to change direction 90 degrees (1.57 rad)
at the sediment collection point, thus causing the solid or liquid contaminants to drop out of the
gas flow. The nipple and cap must not be placed in the branch opening of a tee fitting because
this would not create a change in direction of flow and would allow debris to pass over the
collection point. Failure to install this sediment trap will result in invalidation of the unit’s
manufacturer’s warranty.
G2419.4 (408.4) Sediment trap.
Where a sediment trap is not incorporated as part of the gas utilization equipment, a sediment
trap shall be installed downstream of the equipment shutoff valve as close to the inlet of the
equipment as practical. The sediment trap shall be either a tee fitting with a capped nipple in
the bottom opening of the run of the tee or other device approved as an effective sediment
trap. Illuminating appliances, ranges, clothes dryers and outdoor grills need not be so
equipped.
The manufacturers of all water heater temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valves require
that these valves be professionally tested on a periodic basis (usually every three years). No
certificate or proof of this required testing was observed at the water heater(s) or at the home
and none was provided to this inspector by the owner, his agent, the client, or his agent. In the
absence of proof of required servicing of this essential safety device(s) you are strongly urged
to have this (these) valve(s) replaced prior to the end of any time limits associated with the
purchase of this home. Failure to do so could result in devastating property and/or personnel
damage.
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to verify the effectiveness of the
temperature and pressure relief valve, discharge piping, or pan drain pipes; operate the
temperature and pressure relief valve if the operation of the valve may, in the inspector’s
reasonable judgment, cause damage to persons or property; or determine the efficiency or
adequacy of the unit.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 55 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
D. Hydro-Massage Therapy Equipment Comments:
HYDRO-MASSAGE THERAPY EQUIPMENT
The hydro-therapy equipment appears to be satisfactory.
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to verify the effectiveness of the
temperature and pressure relief valve, discharge piping, or pan drain pipes; operate the
temperature and pressure relief valve if the operation of the valve may, in the inspector’s
reasonable judgment, cause damage to persons or property; or determine the efficiency or
adequacy of the unit.
V. APPLIANCES
Note: Specific Limitations. It is both generally infeasible and not required by the TREC for the
inspector to be qualified to inspect appliances to manufacturers’ installation or performance
standards.
A
Dishwasher Comments:
DISHWASHER
The dishwasher appears to be in satisfactory condition.
SPECIFIC LIMITATIONS: The dishwasher contained dishes at the time of this inspection
which prevented a thorough inspection of the interior of the unit. You are strongly urged to
have this unit inspected once the unit is empty and prior to closing escrow on this home.
B. Food Waste Disposer Comments:
FOOD WASTE DISPOSER
The food waste disposer appears to be in satisfactory condition.
C. Range Exhaust Vent Comments:
Type of Unit: Updraft Vented
RANGE HOOD
The range hood appears to be in satisfactory condition.
D. Ranges, Cooktops, and Ovens Comments:
OVEN
The oven appears to be in satisfactory condition.
GAS COOKTOP
The gas cooktop appears to be in satisfactory condition.
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to inspect self-cleaning functions.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 56 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
E. Microwave Oven Comments:
MICROWAVE OVEN
The microwave cooking equipment appears to be in satisfactory condition.
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to test for radiation
F. Trash Compactor Comments:
There is no trash compactor present.
G. Mechanical Exhaust Vents and Bathroom Heaters Comments:
BATHROOM EXHAUST FANS
The second floor exhaust fan duct appears to be improperly terminated. Each exhaust fan
must have an internal flapper damper that is designed to block cold outside air, but these
dampers usually fit poorly inside the fan housing and air can seep by them. For this reason fan
manufacturers require the installation a roof, wall, or soffit cap on each exhaust duct. These
exit caps have gravity or spring dampers that close tightly when the fans are not in use.
Virtually no air works its way back down the exhaust duct so long as the flapper is checked
annually for dirt and debris buildup.
All of the exhaust fans must be repaired so as to discharge to the building exterior and
terminate at dampered hoods as per the manufacturer’s installation instructions NEC
110.3(B), and IRC 102.4, and 303.3.
NEC 110.3(B): Installation and Use. Listed or labeled equipment shall be installed and used in
accordance with any instructions included in the listing or labeling.
IRC R102.4 Referenced codes and standards. The codes and standards referenced in this
code shall be considered part of the requirements of this code to the prescribed extent of each
such reference. Where differences occur between provisions of this code and referenced
codes and standards, the provisions of this code shall apply.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 57 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Exception: Where enforcement of a code provision would violate the conditions of the listing of
the equipment or appliance, the conditions of the listing and manufacturer’s instructions shall
apply.
R303.3 Bathrooms. Bathrooms, water closet compartments and other similar rooms shall be
provided with aggregate glazing area in windows of not less than 3 square feet (0.3 m2),
one-half of which must be openable.
Exception: The glazed areas shall not be required where artificial light and a mechanical
ventilation system are provided. The minimum ventilation rates shall be 50 cubic feet per
minute (24 L/s) for intermittent ventilation or 20 cubic feet per minute (10 L/s) for continuous
ventilation. Ventilation air from the space shall be exhausted directly to the outside.
Throughout the IRC, the code directs that materials or equipment be installed in accordance
with the manufacturer’s installation instructions. The code recognizes that the manufacturer
can best relate the specific installation requirements applicable to its specific product.
An appliance shall be vented according to the manufacturer's specifications. If an appliance is
not vented in accordance with the standard stated in this paragraph, the builder shall take
such action as is necessary to bring the variance within the standard.
H. Garage Door Operator(s) Comments:
GARAGE DOOR OPERATORS
The garage overhead door openers require adjustment or repair so that they open and close
completely without the need to continually depress the control buttons.
The electronic sensors for the garage door openers were found to be installed at an improper
height from the garage floor. These sensors should be located between 4-1/2” and 6” above
the garage floor. This must be repaired as it poses a safety concern.
SPECIFIC LIMITATIONS: Some garage vehicle door automatic operators (automatic openers)
are equipped with downward force resistance-sensing auto-reversing capabilities and some
may also incorporate upward force resistance-sensing auto-reversing capabilities as well.
When downward force and/or upward force resistance-sensing auto-reversing capabilities are
provided, they can reduce the potential for both personal injury and damage to personal
property.
However, due to the potential for personal injury and for damage to garage door components,
automatic operator components, and to both real and personal property, any evaluation of
garage vehicle door automatic operators for any resistance-sensing auto-reversing capabilities
is specifically excluded in this inspection and report. If photoelectric obstruction-sensing autoreversing devices are present, they will be evaluated for their height above the garage floor
and to determine whether they will reverse the downward movement of the garage door upon
sensing an obstruction.
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that any
automatic operator which does not have resistance-sensing auto-reversing capabilities be
disconnected from its power supply and replaced immediately with a new unit which conforms
to or exceeds current requirements for automatic operator; therefore, it is recommended that
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 58 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
measures be taken as soon as possible to determine if such capabilities are incorporated into
automatic operators.
This information may be determined by the presence of visible adjustment controls for
resistance sensing auto-reversing capabilities on the automatic operator unit, by obtaining the
manufacturer’s literature for the operator, or by contacting the manufacturer, the
manufacturer’s distributor, or a qualified garage door automatic operator service technician.
If it is determined that resistance-sensing auto-reversing capability is incorporated into an
automatic operator, it is recommended that a qualified garage door automatic operator service
technician be retained to evaluate the automatic operator for proper adjustment and function
of such resistance-sensing auto-reversing functions.
Additional information regarding garage vehicle door automatic operators can be found on the
CPSC website at: www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/523.html
I.
Doorbell and Chimes Comments:
DOORBELL
The doorbell appears to be in satisfactory condition.
J. Dryer Vents Comments:
DRYER VENT (DUCT)
The clothes dryer vent (duct) must terminate at a wall or roof hood with a damper as per all
dryer manufacturers’ installation instructions and IRC 1502.2 M1502.3 Duct termination.
Exhaust ducts shall terminate on the outside of the building. Exhaust duct terminations shall
be in accordance with the dryer manufacturer’s installation instructions. If the manufacturer’s
instructions do not specify a termination location, the exhaust duct shall terminate not less
than 3 feet (914 mm) in any direction from openings into buildings. Exhaust duct terminations
shall be equipped with a backdraft damper. Screens shall not be installed at the duct
termination.
Backdraft dampers must be installed in dryer exhaust ducts to avoid outdoor air infiltration
during periods when the dryer is not operating and to prevent the entry of animals. These
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 59 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
dampers should be designed and installed to provide an adequate seal when in a closed
position to minimize air leakage (infiltration). Backdraft dampers are typically of the gravity
type, which are opened by the energy of the exhaust discharge. Some dryer manufacturers
prohibit the use of magnetically held backdraft dampers because of the extra resistance that
the exhaust flow must overcome.
VI. OPTIONAL SYSTEMS
A. Lawn and Garden Sprinkler Systems
Comments:
Type of Inspection: Visual and Operation of Irrigation System via Manual Controls
Grounds for Departure: Backflow Device was not Inspected for Proper Installation or
Operation. In accordance with state law, Texas Water Code Chapter 37, Title 30 Texas
Administrative Code, Chapter 30 and Chapter 290, a person who repairs or tests the
installation or operation of backflow prevention assemblies must hold a license issued by the
TCEQ. This inspector holds no such license.
LAWN SPRINKLER SYSTEM
The water spray from the irrigation system must be re-directed away from the structure and/or
any fencing, decks, etc., to decrease the possibility of damage as per the City of Dallas
Municipal Ordinances 24745 and 26518.
The rain sensor is not installed according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions and
will not function properly. Improvement is required.
Unit will not
function
unless
vertical.
Spray coverage for the irrigation system was not verified as part of this inspection. Coverage
should be monitored for the system and adjusted accordingly to ensure even watering of the
landscaping.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 60 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
TREC LIMITATIONS: The inspector is not required to inspect the automatic function of the
timer or control box, the rain sensor or the effectiveness and sizing of anti-siphon valves or
backflow preventers.
B. Other Built-in Appliances Comments:
REFRIGERATOR – KITCHEN
This unit appears to be in satisfactory condition.
REFRIGERATOR – WET BAR
This unit appears to be in satisfactory condition.
REFRIGERATOR – OUTDOOR KITCHEN
This unit appears to be inoperable.
BBQ GRILL – OUTDOOR KITCHEN
The igniter is inoperable on this unit.
DRIVE GATE OPERATOR – SLIDE TYPE
The UL 325-required entrapment signage and drive gate sensors are not installed. This is an
entrapment safety hazard.
See:
http://www.dasma.com/PDF/Publications/TechDataSheets/OperatorElectronics/TDS353.pdf
http://www.dasma.com/pdf/publications/brochures/GateSystemsSafetyBrochure6-23-11.pdf
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 61 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
ADDENDUM: REPORT OVERVIEW
If you’ve come away from the reading of this report regarding your new home with a feeling of surprise or
disappointment due to the number of items marked as “deficient”, please consider the following:
The International Residential Code allows for what is commonly referred to as “grandfathering”. That is, the house can
legally be occupied without the owner being responsible for making on-going changes to comply with newer versions
of the building code as they are adopted. Another phrase to describe this situation is “pre-existing and non-compliant
conditions”.
“IRC R102.7 Existing structures.
The legal occupancy of any structure existing on the date of adoption of this code shall be permitted to continue
without change, except as is specifically covered in this code, the International Property Maintenance Code or the
International Fire Code, or as is deemed necessary by the building official for the general safety and welfare of the
occupants and the public.”
The Texas Real Estate Commission, which licenses home inspectors, makes the following statement in its publication
OP-I, TEXAS REAL ESTATE CONSUMER NOTICE CONCERNING RECOGNIZED HAZARDS:
Each year, Texans sustain property damage and are injured by accidents in the home. While some accidents may not
be avoidable, many other accidents, injuries, and deaths may be avoided through the identification and repair of
certain hazardous conditions. Examples of such hazards include:
• improperly installed or missing ground fault circuit protection (GFCI) devices for electrical receptacles in garages,
bathrooms, kitchens, and exterior areas;
• improperly installed or missing arc fault protection (AFCI) devices for electrical receptacles in family rooms, dining
rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreations rooms, closets, hallways, or similar
rooms or areas;
• ordinary glass in locations where modern construction techniques call for safety glass; • the lack of fire safety
features such as smoke alarms, fire-rated doors in certain locations, and functional emergency escape and rescue
openings in bedrooms; • excessive spacing between balusters on stairways and porches;
• improperly installed appliances;
• improperly installed or defective safety devices; and
• lack of electrical bonding and grounding.
To ensure that consumers are informed of hazards such as these, the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) has
adopted Standards of Practice requiring licensed inspectors to report these conditions as “Deficient” when performing
an inspection for a buyer or seller, if they can be reasonably determined.
These conditions may not have violated building codes or common practices at the time of the construction of the
home, or they may have been “grandfathered” because they were present prior to the adoption of codes prohibiting
such conditions. While the TREC Standards of Practice do not require inspectors to perform a code compliance
inspection, TREC considers the potential for injury or property loss from the hazards addressed in the Standards of
Practice to be significant enough to warrant this notice.
Contract forms developed by TREC for use by its real estate licensees also inform the buyer of the right to have the
home inspected and can provide an option clause permitting the buyer to terminate the contract within a specified time.
Neither the Standards of Practice nor the TREC contract forms requires a seller to remedy conditions revealed by an
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 62 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
inspection. The decision to correct a hazard or any deficiency identified in an inspection report is left to the parties to
the contract for the sale or purchase of the home.
Though not specifically required by the Texas Real Estate Commission, Aaron’s Home Inspections attempts to
compare the construction of the houses we inspect with the “ideal house” that is constructed in strict accordance with
the current building codes, presently the 2006 International Residential Code and the 2008 National Electrical Code.
The reasons for this are as follows: (1) As of January 1, 2002, all municipalities in the State of Texas with populations
in excess of 5,000 must adopt the International Residential Code as their building standard. With the advent of the
Texas Residential Construction Commission in 2003, Texas House Bill 730, Section 430.001 requires that all
residential construction in the State of Texas adhere to the International Residential Code and the National Electrical
Code, regardless of incorporation or population. This code not only pertains to new construction, but also to the “. .
.alteration, movement, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, removal and
demolition of detached one- and two-family dwellings and multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses) not more than
three stories in height with separate means of egress and their accessory structures.” (2) The purpose of the model
code is to “. . . provide minimum requirements to safeguard life or limb, health and public welfare.” Our reports do not
presume to address all code-related issues in any given house, but rather aim to provide building code information
concerning the items on which we report. We have found this information to be useful to homeowners, homebuyers,
and the workers who may be summoned to repair the issues noted. (3) The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC)
requires its property inspector licensees to report all “recognized hazards” as in need of repair. Any situation that is
covered in a building code, which only addresses areas of construction in which “life, limb, health and public welfare”
are at risk, constitutes a “recognized hazard”. Therefore home inspections are, at least in part, for all practical
purposes code inspections.
Because homebuilders in the State of Texas are not licensed there is little or no governmental oversight of their
building practices. The local city building inspectors are more often than not overworked and underpaid municipal
employees. They haven’t the available time to perform thorough inspections of houses as they are being constructed.
This results in a situation where the minimal building code standards are never fully met. Another way of stating this
would be: In our many years of inspection experience and after inspecting several thousand houses, we have never –
N-E-V-E-R – seen a house in the 16-county area comprising the D/FW Metroplex that is, in our opinion, fully in
compliance with existing codes. This statement includes houses in all price ranges, of all ages, of all different designs,
and by all builders.
This house is no exception. It is not the ideal house. The ideal house would be located on the ideal site that has nonexpansive, non-compressive, non-subsiding soil, and a solid substrate that is relatively close to the surface and fully
capable of supporting the structure indefinitely. It would have a complete set of roof gutters, area drains, soil that is
properly graded away from the foundation, and a significant difference between the elevation of the finish grade and
interior floors. The site would be fully irrigated, with no shrubs, trees or swimming pools within 25 feet of the
foundation. This house would, of course, be constructed of quality, time-proven materials in both strict compliance with
the minimal building standards set forth in the latest versions of the International Residential Code and the National
Electrical Code and all materials manufacturer’s installation instructions. Additionally, the house would be built in
accordance with a multitude of other references and standards in existence that specify best practice scenarios for all
facets of residential constructions. (A comprehensive list of these publications is available on request.) The lot and
structure would have been both mechanically outfitted and chemically treated with all available options to prevent
wood destroying insect activity. For an existing home, the residence would have been meticulously maintained by the
homeowners through the services of licensed and qualified professionals in every field.
Even if the “ideal builder” were to build the “ideal house”, both the normal atrophy of construction materials and
subsequent deferred maintenance on the part of nearly every homeowner would likely spoil the picture of the “perfect
home”. Due in great part to the builders’ lack of ability to educate homebuyers, today’s homeowners tend to treat their
houses a bit like their automobiles: as disposable commodities. The tendency nowadays is for people to move every
five years. With no expectation of any appreciable degree of occupancy comes a decreased, if not nonexistent, feeling
of obligation to maintain.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 63 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Having said these things, it might at first blush, seem unreasonable to attempt to hold houses to such a high standard.
We believe this is the only way for you to get a clear and concise overall picture of the house’s condition and the
improvements that could be made over time to both enhance the building’s performance and possibly increase its
value in the marketplace.
SEE: http://www.texasinspector.com/Luxury-vs-Safety-Upgrades.pdf
THE HOUSE IN PERSPECTIVE
This is an average quality 8 year old (approximate age) home that has been lacking maintenance somewhat. Apart
from the short term need to deal with this lacking maintenance, the improvements that are recommended in this report
are not considered unusual for a home of this age and location. Please remember that there is no such thing as a
perfect home.
NOTE: For the purpose of this report, it is assumed that the house faces north.
THE SCOPE OF THE INSPECTION
All components designated for inspection in accordance with the rules of the TEXAS REAL ESTATE COMMISSION
(TREC) are inspected, except as may be noted by the “Not Inspected” or “Not Present” check boxes. Explanations for
items not inspected may be in the “TREC Limitations” sections within this report.
This inspection is visual only. A representative sample of building components are viewed in areas that are accessible
at the time of the inspection. No destructive testing or dismantling of building components is performed.
It is the goal of the inspection to put a home buyer in a better position to make a buying decision. Not all
improvements will be identified during this inspection. Unexpected repairs should still be anticipated. The inspection
should not be considered a guarantee or warranty of any kind.
Please refer to the pre-inspection contract for a full explanation of the scope of the inspection.
WEATHER CONDITIONS DURING INSPECTION
Dry weather conditions prevailed at the time of the inspection. The estimated outside temperature was 73 degrees F.
Weather conditions leading up to the inspection have been relatively dry.
ADDENDUM: RADON INFORMATION
EPA Radon Risk Information
Fifty-five percent of our exposure to natural sources of radiation usually comes from radon. Radon is a colorless,
tasteless, and odorless gas that comes from the decay of uranium found in nearly all soils. Levels of radon vary
throughout the country. Radon is found all over the United States and scientists estimate that nearly one out of every
15 homes in this country has radon levels above recommended action levels.
Radon usually moves from the ground up and migrates into homes and other buildings through cracks and other holes
in their foundations. The buildings trap radon inside, where it accumulates and may become a health hazard if the
building is not properly ventilated.
When you breathe air containing a large amount of radon, the radiation can damage your lungs and eventually cause
lung cancer. Scientists believe that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. It is
estimated that 7,000 to 30,000 Americans die each year from radon-induced lung cancer. Only smoking causes more
lung cancer deaths and smokers exposed to radon are at higher risk than nonsmokers. Testing your home is the only
way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon.
Testing for Radon
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 64 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Should you have your home tested, use the chart below to compare your radon test results with the EPA guideline.
The higher a home’s radon level, the greater the health risk to you and your family.
Picocuries of Radon Per Liter of Air (pCi/L)
0
5
10
15
20
25 or greater
↑ 4.0 pCi/L - EPA RECOMMENDED ACTION GUIDELINE
↑ 1.3 pCi/L - Average indoor radon concentration
↑ 0.4 pCi/L - Average outdoor radon concentration
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Surgeon General Strongly recommend taking further action
when the home’s radon test results are 4.0 pCi/L or greater. The concentration of radon in the home is measured in
picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L). Radon levels less than 4.0 pCi/L still pose some risk and in many cases may be
reduced. If the radon level in your home is between 2.0 and 4.0 pCi/L, EPA recommends that you consider fixing your
home. The national average indoor radon level is about 1.3 pCi/L. The higher a home’s radon level, the greater the
health risk to you and your family. Smokers and former smokers are at especially high risk. There are straightforward
ways to fix a home’s radon problem that are not too costly. Even homes with very high levels can be reduced to below
4.0 pCi/L. EPA recommends that you use an EPA or State-approved contractor trained to fix radon problems.
What do radon test results mean?
If your radon level is below 4 pCi/L, you do not need to take action.
If you radon level is 4 pCi/L or greater, use the following charts to determine what your test results mean. Depending
upon the type of test(s) you took, you will have to either test again or fix the home.
NOTE: All tests should meet EPA technical protocols.
Chart 1: Radon Test Conducted Outside Real Estate Transaction
Type of Test(s)
If Radon Level Is 4.0 pCi/L or Greater
Single Short-Term Test
Average of Short-Term Tests
One Long-Term Test
Test Again*
Fix The Home
Fix The Home
* If your first short term test is several times greater that 4.0 pCi/L - for example,
about 10.0 pCi/L or higher - you should take a second short-term test immediately.
Chart 1: Radon Test Conducted During a Real Estate Transaction (Buying or Selling a Home)
Type of Test(s)
If Radon Level Is 4.0 pCi/L or Greater
Single Active Short-Term Test
Fix The Home
(this test requires a machine)
Average of 2 Passive Short-Term Tests*
Fix The Home
(these tests do not require machines)
One Long-Term Test
Fix The Home
* Use two passive short-term tests and average the results.
What should I do after testing?
If your radon level is 4.0 pCi/L or greater, you can call your State radon office to obtain more information, including a
list of EPA or State-approved radon contractors who can fix or can help you develop a plan for fixing the radon
problem. Reduction methods can be as simple as sealing cracks in floors and walls or as complex as installing
systems that use pipes and fans to draw radon out of the building.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 65 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
EPA has a National Radon Program to inform the public about radon risks, train radon mitigation contractors, provide
grants for state radon programs, and develop standards for radon-resistant buildings. EPA works with health
organizations, state radon programs, and other federal agencies to make the program as effective as possible.
For more information about radon, its risks and what you can do to protect yourself, call 1-800-SOS-RADON and request a free
copy of EPA's A Citizen's Guide to Radon. You may also call the Radon Fix-It Line at 1-800-644-6999 between noon and 8pm
Monday through Friday, EST/EDT, for information and assistance. This toll-free line is operated by Consumer Federation of
America, a nonprofit consumer organization.
NOTE FROM AARON: And it does not just come from the ground. Do you have or are you considering purchasing
granite counter tops? Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD0ln4zxMK0&feature=email
ADDENDUM: MOLD AND MOISTURE
Many homes have excessive moisture issues that might lead to mold growth, but the ability to detect the presence of
mold is beyond the scope of this inspection. If you are concerned about the presence of mold you are strongly urged to
consult with a qualified professional microbiologist, mycologist or mold inspector prior to purchasing this home.
Remember this:
Mold has been around since the beginning of time. Mold needs moisture to grow; if you don't have moisture, you don't
have mold.
Translation: Treat all moisture problems, water damages, and condensation issues in the same manner as you would
a fire. Most mold problems are caused by a lack of urgency for a moisture problem.
Mold begins to grow in wetted building materials as soon as 48 hours. It is vital that the material be dried as quickly as
possible.
Fix the leaks, or source of water, don't ignore, or delay, but fix right away.
Read this for our company’s opinion on the mold issue: http://forensic-applications.com/moulds/habits.html
Read all of these as well:
http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/mold/
http://www.epa.gov/mold/
http://www.cdc.gov/mold/
http://www.cdc.gov/mold/cleanup.htm
http://www.responsiblemoldsolutions.org/index1.htm
http://oehc.uchc.edu/CIEH.asp
http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.html
http://www.epa.gov/iaq/
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 66 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Mold assessment must be performed by a licensed technician. See:
http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/mold/pdf/MoldAssessmentTechnician.pdf
Mold abatement must be performed by a licensed abatement company. See:
http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/mold/pdf/MoldRemediationCompany.pdf
Texans' Worries About Mold Are Way Out Of Hand
By Gailen D. Marshall, director of the Division of Allergy & Clinical Immunology at the University of Texas Medical
School at Houston
What do these things have in common: wine, penicillin, cheese, beer and mushrooms? Can't guess? Here is a big hint:
It also is the latest dubious health scare costing Texas consumers millions of dollars in higher insurance premiums and
needless home "health" testing, and it is being used as a get-rich-quick scheme for some personal injury lawyers. Ah,
now you know – it is called mold.
So how did this very common type of fungus, present in all sorts of good things we use on a daily basis and ever
present in our environment, grow into a major consumer crisis? The answer may surprise you.
As a board-certified allergist-immunologist, I have taught, done research and seen patients with a variety of immunebased medical conditions for 14 years. In the past several years, my clinical office has become increasingly populated
by very frightened, sometimes angry individuals. They believe, or have been told, they have "toxic mold disease." But
do they really?
First, let's examine some facts about mold. There are many different kinds of mold – at least 10,000 common types.
Mold is everywhere, because it simply requires a source of water, sugar and oxygen along with a friendly surface to
thrive and grow. In places where a lot of water is in the air itself (like Texas), mold easily finds comfortable growth sites
and is especially prosperous.
Is mold harmful to people? Can molds cause memory loss, fatigue or brain damage? For most people, the answer is a
resounding, and hopefully reassuring, "no!" The world is filled with mold – we breathe it, we eat it, and we drink it every
day with no ill effects. Some people do develop allergies and experience symptoms of asthma or hay fever when
exposed to some mold spores. There also are a few mold-related diseases that can be serious, but those are rare. So
what about the "experts" who claim to diagnose all sorts of mold-related illnesses such as memory loss or learning
disabilities? There is no proof to support those claims.
Still, even though health risks may be vastly exaggerated, most people would rather not have excess, visible mold in
their homes. If there is a lot of mold, it looks bad, and it has an unpleasant odor. But removing mold is relatively simple.
If you have mold, you have excess moisture, and that needs to be eliminated, whether it is a roof leak, a shower leak
or condensation. Often, the mold simply can be cleaned off and won't return if the moisture is removed. (more)
Should you pay for a "mold test"? No. The nation's most reputable experts, including the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention and the reigning mold expert from Harvard's School of Public Health, don't support most home mold
testing. If you see or smell mold in your home, clean it up and stop the source of water. It is that simple.
Should you panic? To me, this is the most important issue of all. You need to react to mold based on the facts, not on
the hysteria and hype you may have heard or read. The mold scare already is having a troubling effect on the Texas
economy and on individual lives. Texas insurance rates already are more than double the national average and are
continuing to rise based in large part on mold-related claims. Moreover, families are being moved out of their homes by
testers and remediators and having their lives disrupted – most for no legitimate reason whatsoever.
The bottom line is this: If you are ill, see a physician. If he thinks you may have mold allergies, ask to be tested by a
reputable specialist who has the credentials to provide calm, reliable medical information – then follow your doctor's
direction for treatment. Don't be afraid to discuss with him why he thinks mold is causing your problems.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 67 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
If you see or smell mold in your home, simply clean it up and plug the water leak. If you need an expert to help, find a
reputable person or company trained in moisture management to find and fix the water source. And perhaps most
important, if someone comes to you to try to assess blame for the mold "exposure," ask yourself whether you want the
aggravation, expense and frustration associated with trying to get compensated for the everyday risks associated with
living on our planet.
Gailen D. Marshall Jr. is director of the Division of Allergy & Clinical Immunology at the University of Texas Medical
School at Houston.
Editor’s Note: This article appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Sunday, July 14, 2002, and is now available for
distribution.
ADDENDUM: EMF
Typical residential exposures, not close to operating appliances or household wiring, are about 1 mG. A milligauss
(mG) is the unit of magnetic field intensity.
Intensity is considered to be related to the potential for risk. Exposure intensity decreases as distance from power lines
increases. If there is a risk, then increased distance from power lines would be expected to reduce risk.
Other factors may contribute to exposure intensity in a residence. A magnetic field exposure measurement is best way
to assess the exposure situation. Many power companies provide this service.
So far,EPA has not issued an official statement on the issue of EMF exposure and health risk. However, other credible
organizations have evaluated information about exposure and effects and have come to conclusions about risk. The
conclusions of two of these assessments follow.
In June , 2001, an expert scientific working group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a World
Health Organization agency, concluded that ELF magnetic fields are possibly carcinogenic to humans, based on
consistent statistical associations of high level residential magnetic fields with a doubling of risk of childhood leukemia.
Analyses of data from a number of well-conducted studies show a fairly consistent statistical association between a
doubling of risk of childhood leukemia and power-frequency (50 or 60 Hz) residential extremely-low frequency (ELF)
magnetic field strengths above 0.4 microTesla (4 milligauss). No consistent evidence was found that childhood
exposures to ELF electric or magnetic fields are associated with brain tumours or any other kinds of solid tumors. The
epidemiological studies included in the IARC evaluation found that children who are exposed to residential (ELF)
magnetic fields less than 0.3 to 0.4 microTesla (3 to 4 milligauss) have no increased risk for leukemia. No consistent
evidence was found that residential or occupational exposures of adults to ELF magnetic fields increase risk for any
kind of cancer.
In addition, an assessment of health effects from exposure to ELF electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) by an expert
working group, organized by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)/National Institutes of
Health, found that that EMFs are possible carcinogens for children exposed to EMFs at home (June 1998) based on
epidemiological studies of residential exposure and childhood leukemia. The NIEHS working group also concluded that
the results of in animal, cellular, and mechanistic studies do not confirm or refute the finding of the epidemiological
studies. The NIEHS Working Group Report is available on the EMFRAPID Program website,
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/emf/index.cfm
ADDENDUM: CHINESE DRYWALL
The introduction of Chinese drywall into the United States came about as a result of the need for drywall in many
states affected by storm damage and the growth of the new housing market in the boom years of 2004 - 2007. The
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 68 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
inability of Mexico and Canada to keep pace with the need for drywall in the US led some leading suppliers to look to
China to fill the shortfall.
Unfortunately, drywall from China is not made from traditional gypsum but from fly ash, a waste product from coal-fired
plants introduced into the air through chimneys. These toxic sulfur compounds when made into drywall emit corrosive
agents with potential health risks.
It is believed that almost 60% of Chinese drywall has been installed in homes built in Florida. Most of the remaining
installations have been in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Virginia, Wisconsin, California, Ohio, Arizona, Washington,
Wyoming, Tennessee and Washington DC. There have been complaints about the installation of Chinese drywall in
Texas, North and South Carolina, New Jersey, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico.
Since 2006, and estimated 550 million pounds of Chinese drywall has been exported to the United States. Sulfurous
acids in the form of gases, smelling like rotten eggs, are emitted when Chinese drywall comes into contact with
moisture, heat and humidity. The toxic sulfur compounds can cause extensive damage by corroding copper wiring, air
conditioners and other electrical appliances. Exposure to the sulfur-based gases can cause adverse health conditions
such as eye irritation, headaches, bloody nose, respiratory problems and other conditions similar to bronchitis and
asthma.
So be on the lookout for:
1) A smell or odor similar to rotten eggs? It is important to pay attention to what you smell the moment you enter the
house.
2) The corrosion of copper, so check the copper in electrical outlets, AC and refrigerator coils for black corrosion. If
the copper is black, then Chinese drywall is likely present.
3) The words China, Knauf or Tainjin on the back of un-insulated drywall walls. Knauf and Tainjin are manufacturers
of Chinese drywall. Your suspicions can be verified by laboratory testing for sulfides.
Labeling example, not visible after installation.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 69 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Coil Corrosion
Copper wire corrosion
http://chinesedrywallcomplaintcenter.com/
http://www.chinesedrywall.com/
http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/03/18/chinese.drywall/
http://www.nbc-2.com/Articles/readarticle.asp?articleid=24416&z=3
The lead agency for the Chinese Drywall investigation is the Consumer Protection Agency where information can be
found.
http://www.CPSC.gov/info/drywall/index.html
But the most active role is being played, right now, in the state of Florida.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 70 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/community/indoor-air/drywall.html
Additional Bulletin
Defective Chinese Drywall/Drywall is beginning to be part of a national investigation, due to reported health issues and
rapid corrosive damage to any metal in the home including electrical wiring, plumbing, and HVAC units. There has
been a flood of law suits filed or pending and many more to follow.
Chinese drywall:
During the big housing boom in late 2003, a mass quantity of drywall was shipped to the US from China. Chinese
drywall has been reported to have unusually high levels of hydrogen sulphide and ammonia that can cause health
issues and rapid corrosive damage to any metal in the home including electrical wiring, plumbing, and HVAC units.
Timeline:
Any house built or remodeled between 2003 to present.
Where:
According to Americas Watchdog, "we will find the imported toxic Chinese drywall in every US State, with the heaviest
concentrations in the US Southeast, the Gulf States, the US Southwest, Texas, the Mountain West, the DC Metro
areas & throughout the Western Provinces of Canada. We think there are at least 300,000 new US homes that contain
the imported Chinese drywall, & probably 10,000 to 15,000 homes throughout the Western Provinces of Canada."
Problems:
Possible health issues for the Occupants of the home
_ Rapid corrosion of the HVAC unit components
_All copper tubing in unit has turned black as a result of being exposed to the high levels of hydrogen sulphide found in
the drywall
_ Rapid corrosive damage to electrical system
_ Exposed ground wire corroded
_ Rapid corrosive damage to copper plumbing systems
_ Rotten egg or spent firecracker smell in the home
Identification:
Words on the back of the drywall; "CHINA" in red ink or "KNAUF" in black ink, Stamp on the back of the edge tape;
C36, if available.
Inspection Protocol:
Indicators we look for to determine if the house may have Chinese drywall:
_ The house was built or remodeled between 2003 to present
_ Rotten egg or sulfur-type smell in the home
_ Corrosion on air conditioning coils, or HVAC units
_ Corroded, or black electrical wiring
_ Corroded, or black copper pipes
_ Corroded or tarnished plumbing fixtures
If any of these symptoms are noticeable, if possible, look at the back of drywall possibly in the attic or garage. Look for
the words; "CHINA" in red ink or "KNAUF" in black ink, also look for the Stamp on the back of the edge tape C36.
It is important to note that the detection of the presence of tainted drywall is beyond the scope of a home
inspection. This requires destructive, invasive and laboratory testing which are not required by the Texas Real
Estate Commission’s standards of practice for property inspectors. You are strongly urged to have the
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 71 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
drywall in this home professionally tested for toxic sulfur compounds prior to the end of any time limits
associated with the sale of this home.
ADDENDUM: Foundation Design on Expansive Soils
Designing foundations to perform as intended on the undulating expansive clay soils of North Central Texas is an
exacting task. It is estimated by the International Association of Foundation Drilling that these types of soils are
responsible for $12.5 billion of damages throughout the country each year. Because of this, extreme care must be
taken in both the design and construction of such foundations in order to prevent poor performance and failure. The
degree of care required is such that the applicable building code, the International Residential Code, defers to the
more restrictive International Building Code, usually reserved for commercial structures.
Along with the regulating organizations specified by the design engineer, each of these regulations requires thorough
documentation of the procedures outlined for the design and construction of foundations. Engineered systems
designed to withstand extraordinary building site conditions also require extraordinary attention to detail in their
design, documentation and implementation. Clear and concise communication between the designer, the
geotechnical engineer, the builder, the materials suppliers, and the contractors involved in the construction is
imperative. This communication is necessarily required to be accurately recorded so that the construction process
can be clearly understood and executed by everyone from the designer to the contractors in the field.
SOILS
Because the expansive clay soil is at the heart of the matter the pertinent building codes and the regulations of the
other organizations referenced therein require thorough site-specific soil (geotechnical) testing in order to ascertain
the bearing strength and other properties of the soil so that the foundation is designed accordingly. These tests
require, among others, soil boring, sampling, and laboratory testing by a licensed professional geotechnical
engineer. The requirements for detailed documentation of this process are spelled out in great detail in the many
different applicable regulations.
The Wire Reinforcement Institute (WRI) states in part, “It is considered imperative that a soils investigation be made
on any site on which a design is to (be) prepared. For a small site with one structure, the minimum is obviously one
test boring, which should be made where the worst soil condition is anticipated; i.e., where fill is located, or where
the worst clay is suspected. If it is not obvious, then more than one test hole is indicated. In no case should a design
be attempted without an adequate soils investigation of the site. For large sites with large structures or more than
one structure, several test holes must be used. In planning the investigation, plan for the worst.”, and “The ultimate
performance of a slab reflects how well the soil analysis was done. Slab design is only as good as the soil data on
which it is based.”
SOIL COMPACTION
The geotechnical engineer is also required to oversee the removal of any existing structures or vegetation from and
specify any fill soils required to be added to any given site. Removal of underground structures and vegetation
results in voids in the grade which must be filled with soil that is both tested and approved by a geotechnical
engineer.
The fill soils must also be compacted in order to approximate the consistency of the adjacent undisturbed or native
soils. This compaction is also required to be both specified, overseen, and documented by the geotechnical
engineer.
FOUNDATION REINFORCEMENT
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 72 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
The foundation itself must adhere to myriad specifications in order to withstand the movement of the soil upon which
it is built and to properly maintain the structure which it carries. Concrete’s natural lack of tensile strength is
overcome by the addition of reinforcement. In order to overcome the extreme bending which is experienced in
expansive soils the prestressed post-tensioning method of reinforcement, in which tensile steel cables are put under
enormous stress after concrete curing to produce a clamping load, was developed and is used in most residential
construction in the North Central Texas area. This system consists of a number of components which are required to
be designed and specified by a licensed professional engineer.
The Post-Tensioning Institute regulates the design and construction of post-tensioned foundations and requires
exacting oversight of the process as well as full documentation of every stage of the project from the design, to the
list of components to their prescriptive installation instructions in order to ensure conformance with the engineer’s
specifications and the eventual performance of the structure. This oversight and documentation includes, but is not
limited to, inspection and reporting at every stage of construction, detailed materials lists and invoices, stressing
equipment calibration logs, tendon stressing logs, etc.
CONCRETE
The final stage in the construction of the foundation is the placement of the concrete. This process also requires
painstaking oversight and documentation in order to achieve the desired results. Concrete is produced through a
chemical process called hydration which requires extremely exact measurement and mixing of the various materials
of which it is composed. All along the route from the design engineer’s specification to the concrete plant batch
master to the cement truck to the placement in the forms by the concrete contractor this building material must be
closely observed, tested and documented. These tests and documentation include, but are not limited to logs kept by
the concrete plant, the concrete truck driver and the placement contractor, as well as slump tests and core sampling.
All of these procedures are intended to ensure the quality of the concrete and its performance over time.
CONCLUSION
On any construction project the collection and maintenance of thorough documentation is imperative to ensure
building code compliance, proper construction and adequate performance of the structure over time. Without this
documentation the materials employed and the steps taken during construction cannot be ascertained and the
structure cannot reasonably be depended on to serve its intended function. You are strongly urged to obtain all
required documentation pertaining to the design and construction of this foundation prior to closing escrow
on this home.
ADDENDUM: Property Owner Site Consideration for Foundation
Performance
Construction and Maintenance
The performance of residential structures built on ground supported concrete foundations depend not only on proper
design and construction, but also on proper foundation environment maintenance performed by the occupant or owner
of the property. Many residential foundations have experienced problems as a result of improper installation,
maintenance or alterations of the drainage system and landscaping.
A properly designed and constructed foundation may still experience distress from soils which undergo volume
changes caused by non-climatic moisture sources such as leaking pipes or irrigation.
Initial site grading shall provide positive drainage away from the foundation perimeter. The site drainage plan
developed by the civil engineer should be maintained during the design life of the structure. Positive drainage, to
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 73 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
prevent water from ponding next to foundations, is imperative in minimizing soil related foundation problems. Drainage
or other discharge channels should be kept clear at all times of all debris in order to allow water discharge away from
the building footprint.
The most commonly used technique for positive drainage is grading away from the foundation to promote rapid runoff
and to avoid ponding water near the foundation. Poor drainage or ponding water can cause a change in soil moisture
content, resulting in swelling of the supporting soils, causing foundation movements. Recommendation for positive
drainage is 3% to 5% slope for a minimum distance of 10 feet from the edge of the foundation. Berming of landscape
beds, while visually appealing, can create a damming effect between the berm and the foundation that may prevent
water from draining away. Special attention must be paid to these areas by providing additional precautions, such as
area drains. Area drains must be checked periodically to ensure that they are functional.
Should the site drainage be inadequate, properly compacted select fill material can be provided to reestablish positive
drainage. The builder can be contacted to obtain information from the geotechnical engineer’s report regarding the
type of select fill material and the degree of compaction necessary to provide adequate drainage. Proper compaction is
required to minimize subgrade settlements near the foundations and to prevent subsequent ponding of surface water.
Improper fill materials and/or compaction may result in the appearance of positive drainage; however, the drainage
may not be effective as in the case of permeable sands placed on top of an expansive clay layer that is not sloped
away from the foundation. If the reestablishment of positive drainage is not possible, and alternate area drain system
may be provided.
Foundation design for sites with greater than 9% slope should insure that ground water is not trapped on the cut
(uphill) side of the foundation and that the drainage provided to remove this water from around the structure is far
enough away, (minimum 5 feet from the edge of the structure) as to prevent the undermining of the foundation by the
water flow. This drainage can also minimize the seepage through backfills into adjacent basement walls.
Subsurface drains may be used to control a rising water table, groundwater, underground streams, and surface water
penetrating through pervious, fissured or highly permeable soil; however, drains cannot stop the migration of moisture
into the soil beneath the foundation. Moisture barriers, while expensive, can be effective if placed near the edge of the
foundation to minimize moisture migration. The geotechnical engineer can recommend the proper depth for a moisture
barrier system depending upon the type of soil and the climatic conditions prevalent in the area where the foundation is
constructed.
Roof drains should be tied into the area drainage system (where present) or direct water away from the foundations.
Property owners should also be aware of the potential hazard of leaky swimming pools, irrigation systems, or
plumbing. A noticeable increase in monthly water bills can indicate a problem that should be corrected immediately.
It is important to note that consistent moisture content of the supporting soils is the key to proper foundation
performance. In areas where silt or sandy material is present, excessive water can cause the soil to loose bearing
capacity. In areas where expansive clays are present, excessive water can increase swelling and insufficient moisture
will cause the shrinkage of the supporting soils.
The following is a list of items to be considered when planning proper foundation maintenance:
(1) Maintain positive drainage away from the foundation and install drainpipes (if applicable). Never allow water to
pond near or against the foundation.
(2) Replace and compact any loose fill adjacent to the foundation with native soil; do not use sand or a granular
material.
(3) Check gutters and downspouts to be sure that they are clear and that the water is discharged away from the
foundation area.
(4) Avoid seasonal drying around the perimeter of the foundation.
(5) Existing vegetation near the foundation typically draws added water from the adjacent soil towards the
foundation, thus causing added soil movement.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 74 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
The objective of a proper maintenance program is to maintain as near constant moisture content as possible for the
soil around the perimeter and under the foundation.
It is recommended that all property owners conduct a yearly survey of their foundation and perform any maintenance
necessary to improve drainage and prevent ponding of water adjacent to these structures. This is especially important
during the first ten (10) years after construction because this is usually the time when the most severe adjustment
between the new foundation and its support soil occurs.
Property owners should also be made aware of the precautions that are to be taken when modifying or cutting holes in
foundation slabs reinforced with unbonded post-tensioning tendons. An expert should only ever accomplish this.
Landscaping
Ground supported slabs constructed using proper foundation design, construction techniques and adequate drainage
systems can still experience distress if the site slope, type of vegetation, surrounding landscape and irrigation water
supply is not properly selected and maintained. One of the most critical aspects of landscaping is the continuous
maintenance of properly designed slopes. Installing flowerbeds or shrubs next to the foundation and keeping the area
flooded will result in localized swelling. This expansion may result in added edge lift of the foundation system.
It is recommended that initial landscaping or hardscape be done on all sides and that drainage away from the
foundation be provided and maintained. Partial landscaping on one side of the foundation may result in swelling on the
landscaped side due to added non-climatic irrigation water. This can cause differential movements resulting in nonserviceable slabs or foundations.
Landscaping is often overlooked by property owners as an area that may contribute to possible foundation problems.
When planning flowerbeds or locations of trees and shrubs, consideration must be given to the effect that vegetation
may have on existing drainage patterns. Landscaping should be installed so as to avoid water ponding or standing at
any location around the perimeter of the foundation. Positive drainage away from all foundations and off the property is
critical to the performance of any slab foundation supported on the ground. Landscaping and ground cover can help
prevent erosion and, if properly maintained, protect the ground from loss of moisture.
Caution must also be taken when new patios and fences are installed. Water must at all times drain away from such
structures and follow the drainage pattern previously established. Remember that any changes in the exterior layout of
the property, flowerbeds, decks, patios, fences, trees and shrubs, must be planned such that positive drainage away
from any foundation structure and off the property is provided at all times.
Sprinkler systems are beneficial in maintaining uniform moisture content in the soils that surround the foundation slab;
however, they should be placed around the entire perimeter of the foundation. Precautions, such as the proper
backfilling of excavations form the sprinkler lines, location of valve boxes a minimum of five feet (5’) away from the
foundation edge, monitoring for leaks and setting controls so that a uniform amount of water is achieved for all areas
are important factors to consider if a sprinkler system is to be beneficial.
Trees located near a foundation can be a potential contributing factor to foundation distress. Experience has shown
that the presence of or the removal of large trees that are in close proximity to residential foundations can cause longterm problems. Depending on the type of tree, proximity to the edge of the foundation and its size, vertical movements
in the foundation by as much as 3 – 5 inches are not uncommon.
This problem can be aggravated in most areas by cyclic wet and dry seasons; however, the condition will be most
severe during extreme droughts. Trees that require large amounts of water or that have large surface roof systems
such as willow, elm or oak are the most detrimental to foundation performance. It is recommended that trees not be
planted closer than half of the anticipated canopy diameter of the mature tree or 20 feet from the edge of the
foundation, whichever is the larger distance. Existing trees that are closer than this should be thoroughly soaked at
least twice each week during dry periods and once each week during periods of moderate rainfall. Close monitoring of
the surface root system may indicate that more frequent watering is required. Root barriers are effective in protecting
foundation while preserving the beauty of mature trees. The system should be placed adjacent to the foundation, be
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 75 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
constructed of monolithic concrete or other impermeable solid material, be a minimum of36 inches deep and extend
the full length of the tree canopy. Whether the barrier will be truly permanent is questionable because the roots may be
able to grow around or under the trench; however, it should at least increase the time it takes for the roots to grow
back. In all cases you should check first with a certified arborists before installing root barriers.
In areas with expansive soil conditions, the root systems of trees and large bushes tend to dry up the soil. When they
are removed, soil swelling or heaving of the soil may occur. Studies have shown that this swelling can last as long as
20 years depending on the size and extent of the root system. Foundations that are built in heavily wooded areas on
expansive clay soil should be designed with this anticipated vertical expansion considered. Alternatively, the site can
be left alone for several years after removal of the trees and/or large bushes to allow the moisture of the desiccated
area to stabilize; however, this option is not generally considered practical. Tree removal can be safely accomplished
provided that the tree is no older than any part of the house since the subsequent heave can only return the foundation
to its original level. There is no advantage to staged reduction in the size of the tree; therefore, if a tree is to be
removed, it should be removed completely at the earliest possible opportunity. When a tree is older than the
foundation, it is not considered advisable to remove the tree because of the danger of inducing damaging heave,
unless the foundation was designed for the total computed vertical movement. This process does not occur for
foundations built on non-expansive sandy soil conditions.
If the anticipated heave caused by the removal of a tree is too large, some kind of pruning, such as crown thinning or
crown reduction can be considered. Pollarding, where most of the branches are removed and the height of the main
trunk is reduced, though often mistakenly specified, is not a viable option. Most published advise links the height of the
tree to the likelihood of damage when in fact it is the leaf area that is most important; therefore, crown thinning or
reduction in which some branches are shortened or removed is the preferred method. Pruning should be done in such
a way as to minimize future growth while maintaining shape and without leaving the tree vulnerable to disease. I all
cases this should be done by a qualified arborists (preferable), or a tree surgeon or landscaping contractor under the
supervision of an arborist. In some cases there may be some opposition to the removal or reduction of size of an
offending tree. The property owner, a neighbor, local authorities or a Tree Preservation Order may require that
alternate methods, such as root barriers, be utilized. In this case, the property owner needs to be made aware of the
risk of property damage that can result from leaving the tree.
Every property owner should conduct a yearly survey of the foundation and perform any preventative maintenance
necessary to improve drainage and minimize the effects of landscaping and existing vegetation on the foundation.
Special attention is important during the first 10 years after the foundation is constructed as this is the time of the most
severe adjustment between the new construction and the environment; however, this condition can change yearly for
the life of the foundation.
ADDENDUM: CARBON MONOXIDE INFORMATION
What is carbon monoxide (CO) and how is it produced in the home?
CO is a colorless, odorless, toxic gas. It is produced by the incomplete combustion of solid, liquid and gaseous fuels.
Appliances fueled with gas, oil, kerosene, or wood may produce CO. If such appliances ar not installed, maintained,
and used properly, CO may accumulate to dangerous levels.
What are the symptoms of CO poisoning and why are these symptoms particularly dangerous?
Breathing CO causes symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and weakness in healthy people. CO also causes
sleepiness, nausea, vomiting, confusion and disorientation. At very high levels, it causes loss of consciousness and
death.
This is particularly dangerous because CO effects often are not recognized. CO is odorless and some of the symptoms
of CO poisoning are similar to the flu or other common illnesses.
Are some people more affected by exposure to CO than others?
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 76 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
CO exposures especially affect unborn babies, infants, and people with anemia or a history of heart disease. Breathing
low levels of the chemical can cause fatigue and increase chest pain in people with chronic heart disease.
How many people die from CO poisoning each year?
In 1989, the most recent year for which statistics are available, thee were about 220 deaths from CO poisoning
associated with gas-fired appliances, about 30 CO deaths associated with solid-fueled appliances (including charcoal
grills), and about 45 CO deaths associated with liquid- fueled heaters.
How many people are poisoned from CO each year?
Nearly 5,000 people in the United States are treated in hospital emergency rooms for CO poisoning; this number is
believed to be an underestimate because many people with CO symptoms mistake the symptoms for the flu or are
misdiagnosed and never get treated.
How can production of dangerous levels of CO be prevented?
Dangerous levels of CO can be prevented by proper appliance maintenance, installation, and use:
Maintenance:
•
•
•
•
A qualified service technician should check your home's central and room heating appliances (including water
heaters and gas dryers) annually. The technician should look at the electrical and mechanical components of
appliances, such as thermostat controls and automatic safety devices.
Chimneys and flues should be checked for blockages, corrosion, and loose connections.
Individual appliances should be serviced regularly. Kerosene and gas space heaters (vented and unvented)
should be cleaned and inspected to insure proper operation.
CPSC recommends finding a reputable service company in the phone book or asking your utility company to
suggest a qualified service technician.
Installation:
•
•
•
•
Proper installation is critical to the safe operation of combustion appliances. All new appliances have
installation instructions that should be followed exactly. Local building codes should be followed as well.
Vented appliances should be vented properly, according to manufacturer's instructions.
Adequate combustion air should be provided to assure complete combustion.
All combustion appliances should be installed by professionals.
Appliance Use:
Follow manufacturer's directions for safe operation.
• Make sure the room where an unvented gas or kerosene space heater is used is well ventilated; doors leading
to another room should be open to insure proper ventilation.
• Never use an unvented combustion heater overnight or in a room where you are sleeping.
Are there signs that might indicate improper appliance operation?
Yes, these are:
• Decreasing hot water supply
• Furnace unable to heat house or runs constantly
• Sooting, especially on appliances
• Unfamiliar or burning odor
• Increased condensation inside windows
Are there visible signs that might indicate a CO problem?
Yes, these are:
• Improper connections on vents and chimneys
• Visible rust or stains on vents and chimneys
• An appliance that makes unusual sounds or emits an unusual smell
• An appliance that keeps shutting off (Many new appliances have safety components attached that prevent
operation if an unsafe condition exists. If an appliance stops operating, it may be because a safety device is
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 77 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
preventing a dangerous condition. Therefore, don't try to operate an appliance that keeps shutting off; call a
service person instead.)
Are there other ways to prevent CO poisoning?
Yes, these are:
• Never use a range or oven to heat the living areas of the home
• Never use a charcoal grill or hibachi in the home
• Never keep a car running in an attached garage
Can Carbon Monoxide be detected?
Yes, carbon monoxide can be detected with CO detectors that meet the requirements of Underwriters Laboratories
(UL) standard 2034.
Since the toxic effect of CO is dependent upon both CO concentration and length of exposure, long-term exposure to a
low concentration can produce effects similar to short term exposure to a high concentration.
Detectors should measure both high CO concentrations over short periods of time and low CO concentrations over
long periods of time - the effects of CO can be cumulative over time. The detectors also sound an alarm before the
level of CO in a person's blood would become crippling. CO detectors that meet the UL 2034 standard currently cost
between $35 and $80.
Where should the detector be installed?
CO gases distribute evenly and fairly quickly throughout the house; therefore, a CO detector should be installed on the
wall or ceiling in sleeping area/s but outside individual bedrooms to alert occupants who are sleeping.
Aren't there safety devices already on some appliances? And if so, why is a CO detector needed?
Vent safety shutoff systems have been required on furnaces and vented heaters sine the late 1980s. They protect
against blocked or disconnected vents or chimneys. Oxygen depletion sensors (ODS) have also been installed on
unvented gas space heaters since the 1980s. ODS protect against the production of CO caused by insufficient oxygen
for proper combustion. These devices (ODSs and vent safety shutoff systems) are not a substitute for regular
professional servicing, and many older, potentially CO-producing appliances may not have such devices. Therefore, a
CO detector is still important in any home as another line of defense.
Are there other CO detectors that are less expensive?
There are inexpensive cardboard or plastic detectors that change color and do not sound an alarm and have a limited
useful life. They require the occupant to look at the device to determine if CO is present. CO concentrations can build
up rapidly while occupants are asleep, and these devices would not sound an alarm to wake them.
For additional information, write to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, D.C., 20207, call the tollfree hotline at 1-800-638-2772, or visit: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml01/01069.html and
http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/FIRE/fmcoalarms.html , and
http://www.ul.com/global/eng/pages/offerings/perspectives/consumer/productsafety/co/.
ADDENDUM – HVAC Systems
Residential heating and air conditioning systems are almost without exception improperly designed and installed. In
fact, most builders do not have the systems professionally designed. In reality, little thought is given to the proper
installation of the system in your home which will use the most energy. Though the information on proper installation
has been readily available to builders and contractors for decades, it is rarely heeded. The result is that the heating,
cooling and ventilating systems in most homes are very inefficient and unnecessarily costly to operate.
At a minimum your system should be designed by a licensed professional HVAC engineer and installed by a
licensed HVAC contractor in strict accordance with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and AirThis confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 78 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Conditioning Engineers’ specifications as set forth in ASHRAE Manual J, Residential Load Calculation; Manual S,
Residential Equipment Selection; and Manual D, Residential Duct Systems. Because the design and installation of a
home’s heating and cooling system requires the efforts of several different specialists beginning with the system
design by an HVAC engineer and ending with the proper installation by a licensed HVAC contractor, it is beyond the
scope of this inspection to ascertain with a great degree of accuracy its correct design, installation and performance.
Critical issues that must be properly addressed on most existing systems, but cannot be addressed within the scope
of a general home inspection, are:
(1) Verification of proper airflow in the system
(2) Verification of proper refrigerant charge.
(3) Verification of properly sealed ducts.
Air handler and furnace units should be installed in conditioned air, that is, they should be installed within the interior
of the home, such as in an interior closet. Common installations in unconditioned attics and crawl spaces do not
allow for optimum performance and can prematurely age systems.
The use of flexible ductwork is widespread, but not suggested. Smooth sheet metal ducts are required for optimal
performance and durability.
Load calculations should be performed for each room of the house, instead, when practiced at all, of the common
whole house calculation approach.
You are strongly urged to have your new or existing home’s HVAC system further analyzed by a licensed
professional HVAC engineer who can provide you with remedial options.
See:
http://www.bestofbuildingscience.com/videos.html
http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/
http://www.toolbase.org/Technology-Inventory/HVAC/hvac-sizing-practice
ADDENDUM: Clothes Dryer Ducts
The decrease in efficiency due to friction losses in an excessively long dryer duct system will reduce the system’s
ability to convey the warm, moist air from the dryer to the exterior duct outlet. This will require the clothes dryer to be
operated for longer periods to dry clothes. The reduced air flow velocity and greater potential for condensation in
excessively long dryer duct systems may also initiate a cycle of lint build-up inside and along the developed length of
the duct which, in turn, will restrict air flow through the duct and create an additional load on the dryer. Clothes dryer
lint is extremely flammable. Lint accumulation around clothes dryer heating elements or burners creates a very real fire
hazard. Therefore, not only does an excessively long and/or restricted dryer duct reduce the serviceable life of the
appliance, it also increases the potential for ignition of dryer lint.
An excessively long dryer duct system for exhausting an electric dryer can result in overheating of the dryer and an
increased potential for a fire to occur in the appliance. In a dryer duct system exhausting a gas-fired dryer an
excessively long dryer duct system can lead to corrosion of the duct, back-drafting of or leaking of combustion byproducts, and an increased potential for the introduction of CO (carbon monoxide) into the air in the interior of the
home. It may also create an increased potential for a fire to occur in the appliance. Since dryer lint is extremely
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 79 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
flammable, if it cannot be properly exhausted and it builds up around and inside the dryer, the potential for a fire at the
appliance is increased.
It is often not practically feasible for an inspector to determine with any degree of accuracy the configuration of dryer
ducts enclosed in walls and ceilings, or covered with insulation in attics. Additionally, different dryer models have
different venting requirements. You are strongly urged to have this dryer ducting system inspected by an HVAC
technician to determine if it is adequate for use with your particular model of clothes dryer.
See: http://preview.cpsc.gov/Regulations-Laws--Standards/Voluntary-Standards/Voluntary-Standards-Topics/ClothesDryers/
http://vcisafety.org/dryer_vent_fires.cfm
ADDENDUM: GROUND FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTER (GFCI)
DEVICES
I have received quite a few questions about grounded circuits and ground fault circuit interrupters. The normal home
circuits have a hot leg, usually a dark color wire, black, blue, red (anything except green); a neutral leg, usually a white
or light grey wire and, in a grounded circuit, a green grounding wire. To better understand how it works, imagine
electrons running along the hot wire into the appliance providing energy then along the white wire back to the power
company's pole, where it is grounded. Electricity runs along the wires trying to go back to the ground. Naturally, the
electricity will seek the shortest path with the least resistance to ground. When you come in contact with a live wire,
you become the white current carrying wire to the ground. The electric current runs through your body, "short circuits"
your heart and causes ventricular fibrillation and death. The green ground wire is there to provide a second shorter
path to ground, with less resistance than the white wire provides. It also provides a constant path for the appliance,
improving safety over a two-wire ungrounded system. Technology has provided us with GFCI (ground fault circuit
interrupters) to break the circuit. GFCIs contain a small current transformer. The circuit conductors pass through the
transformer, creating equal magnetic fields that balance. If the circuits become different, the transformer amplifies the
difference and sends a signal to a solid-state control circuit that activates a trip mechanism to break the circuit. At onefourth of a milliamp, you can feel the current. At 8 milliamps, death can occur if the duration is longer than 15 percent
of the heart's cycle. At 10 milliamps, you can't let go, and respiratory paralysis can occur. At 30 milliamps, you go into
ventricular fibrillation and death. Remember, we are talking about milliamps. The branch circuits in your home are 15
or 20 amps. When a home is inspected, the certified home inspector should test all GFCI (ground fault circuit
interrupter circuits) not only for correct polarity and that they trip, but also that they trip below 8 milliamps and within
milliseconds. Having the advanced equipment to thoroughly and accurately test your circuits can save lives.
WARNING: Sever electric shock or death can occur if a person touches the energized (line or hot) conductor and
neutral conductor at the same time, even if the circuit is GFCI protected. This is because the current transformer within
the GFCI protection device doesn’t sense any imbalance between the departing and returning current. Therefore, the
switching contacts remain closed.
When a GFCI protection device fails, the switching contacts remain closed and the device continues to provide
power—providing no GFCI protection.
A new study from the Leviton Institute, the educational and training arm of Leviton Manufacturing, has found that a
high percentage of ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) installed in homes didn't work when they were tested, and
might not protect people from an electrical ground fault.
A ground-fault can occur when current leaks from an electrical circuit, for example, through damaged wiring or a
defective appliance. GFCIs are designed to detect ground faults and shut down the circuit if they occur. The GFCI
Circuit Breaker Field Study, sponsored by The Leviton Institute, reviewed data from 13,380 building inspections and
found that on average, 15% of GFCIs were inoperative when tested. The study found a much higher incidence of
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 80 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
failure in areas where lightning is prevalent. In those regions, as many as 58.2% of GFCIs were found to be
inoperative.
"GFCIs don't last forever," said Steve Campolo, lead investigator in the study. "Voltage surges from lightning, utility
switching and other sources all take their toll on the devices. That's why Underwriters Laboratories requires that GFCIs
be tested monthly." The results from the study additionally suggest that many homeowners either aren't testing the
devices or are ignoring the results.
Traditional GFCI designs may compound the problem. For example, most GFCIs will continue to deliver power even if
ground-fault protection has been compromised. "It's natural for users to assume that all is well if the GFCI is still
delivering power," Campolo said. New "lockout-action" GFCI receptacles now coming on the market offer greater
protection. If the GFCI is tripped, it can't be reset unless it's working properly.
The study used data collected by home inspectors who met membership requirements of the American Society of
Home Inspectors. The Leviton Institute is the educational arm of The Leviton Manufacturing Co., Little Neck, N.Y. Its
mission is to educate consumers, specifiers and others about the benefits of today's electrical wiring devices and
systems and to promote the safe use of electrical devices in the home. Leviton Manufacturing Co. offers a wide variety
of industrial, commercial and residential wiring products and offers its distributor customers a full range of training,
education, marketing, merchandising and other customer-driven support programs. Equipped with the latest in R&D
and design and testing facilities, Leviton continually introduces high-quality devices that set the pace of progress in the
industry.
For more information, contact Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc., 59-25 Little Neck Parkway, Little Neck, N.Y., 113622591; Phone: (800) 323-8920; Tech Line: (800) 824-3005; Fax: (800) 832-9538.
These failures were primarily attributed to damage from short circuits and voltage surges (lightning and other
transients) to the metal oxide varistors (MOVs) used for built-in surge suppression. In areas of high lightning activity
(such as Southwest Florida), the failure rate for GFCI circuit breakers was more than 57%.
For these reasons the manufacturers of GFCI devices recommend that the devices be tested every 30 days.
1. Visually inspect the device for obvious defects and broken parts (do not continue if the device is broken!).
2. Press the reset button (or check for voltage at the device) to determine if it is tripped.
3. If device was found in a tripped state (no voltage, or you hear or feel a "click" when you press the reset
button), be suspicious - ground fault protection may be inoperative when voltage is present after the device is
reset - DO NOT USE until you complete the following test sequence!
4. Press the test button and observe that the device trips (hear or feel a "click").
5. Verify no voltage at the outlet (a voltage meter, load device, or trouble light will work).
6. Press the reset button and verify that power is restored.
If the device fails to respond in the expected manner at any stage of the test, then it should not be used. Call an
electrician to replace the device.
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/099.pdf
http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/SectionDisplay.jsp?section=42316&minisite=10251
ADDENDUM: ARC FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTER (AFCI) DEVICES
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 81 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
THE AFCI
The “AFCI” is an arc fault circuit interrupter. AFCIs are newly developed electrical devices designed to protect against
fires caused by arcing faults in the home electrical wiring.
THE FIRE PROBLEM
Annually, over 40,000 fires are attributed to home electrical wiring. These fires result in over 350 deaths and over
1,400 injuries each year1. Arcing faults are one of the major causes of these fires. When unwanted arcing occurs, it
generates high temperatures that can ignite nearby combustibles such as wood, paper, and carpets. Arcing faults
often occur in damaged or deteriorated wires and cords. Some causes of damaged and deteriorated wiring include
puncturing of wire insulation from picture hanging or cable staples, poorly installed outlets or switches, cords caught in
doors or under furniture, furniture pushed against plugs in an outlet, natural aging, and cord exposure to heat vents
and sunlight.
HOW THE AFCI WORKS
Conventional circuit breakers only respond to overloads and short circuits; so they do not protect against arcing
conditions that produce erratic current flow. An AFCI is selective so that normal arcs do not cause it to trip.
The AFCI circuitry continuously monitors current flow through the AFCI. AFCIs use unique current sensing circuitry to
discriminate between normal and unwanted arcing conditions. Once an unwanted arcing condition is detected, the
control circuitry in the Ault, Singh, and Smith, “1996 Residential Fire Loss Estimates”, October 1998, U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission, Directorate for Epidemiology and Health Sciences.
AFCI trips the internal contacts, thus de-energizing the circuit and reducing the potential for a fire to occur. An AFCI
should not trip during normal arcing conditions, which can occur when a switch is opened or a plug is pulled from a
receptacle.
Presently, AFCIs are designed into conventional circuit breakers combining traditional overload and short-circuit
protection with arc fault protection. AFCI circuit breakers (AFCIs) have a test button and look similar to ground fault
circuit interrupter (GFCI) circuit breakers. Some designs combine GFCI and AFCI protection. Additional AFCI design
configurations are anticipated in the near future.
It is important to note that AFCIs are designed to mitigate the effects of arcing faults but cannot eliminate them
completely. In some cases, the initial arc may cause ignition prior to detection and circuit interruption by the AFCI.
The AFCI circuit breaker serves a dual purpose – not only will it shut off electricity in the event of an “arcing fault”, but it
will also trip when a short circuit or an overload occurs. The AFCI circuit breaker provides protection for the branch
circuit wiring and limited protection for power cords and extension cords. Single-pole, 15- and 20- ampere AFCI circuit
breakers are presently available.
WHERE AFCIs SHOULD BE USED
The 1999 edition of the National Electrical Code, the model code for electrical wiring adopted by many local
jurisdictions, requires AFCIs for receptacle outlets in bedrooms, effective January 1, 2002. Although the requirement is
limited to only certain circuits in new residential construction, AFCIs should be considered for added protection in other
circuits and for existing homes as well. Older homes with aging and deteriorating wiring systems can especially benefit
from the added protection of AFCIs. AFCIs should also be considered whenever adding or upgrading a panel box
while using existing branch circuit conductors.
INSTALLING AFCIs
AFCI circuit breakers should be installed by a qualified electrician. The installer should follow the instructions
accompanying the device and the panel box. In homes equipped with conventional circuit breakers rather than fuses,
an AFCI circuit breaker may be installed in the panel box in place of the conventional circuit breaker to add arc
protection to a branch circuit. Homes with fuses are limited to receptacle or portable-type AFCIs, which are expected to
be available in the near future, or AFCI circuit breakers can be added in separate panel boxes next to the fuse panel
box.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 82 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
TESTING AN AFCI
AFCIs should be tested after installation to make sure they are working properly and protecting the circuit.
Subsequently, AFCIs should be tested once a month to make sure they are working properly and providing protection
from fires initiated by arcing faults. A test button is located on the front of the device. The user should follow the
instructions accompanying the device. If the device does not trip when tested, the AFCI is defective and should be
replaced.
AFCIs vs. GFCIs
The AFCI should not be confused with the GFCI or ground fault circuit interrupter. The GFCI is designed to protect
people from severe or fatal electric shocks while the AFCI protects against fires caused by arcing faults. The GFCI
also can protect against some electrical fires by detecting arcing and other faults to ground but cannot detect
hazardous across-the-line arcing faults that can cause fires.
A ground fault is an unintentional electric path diverting current to ground. Ground faults occur when current leaks from
a circuit. How the current leaks is very important. If a person’s body provides a path to ground for this leakage, the
person could be injured, burned, severely shocked, or electrocuted.
The National Electrical Code requires GFCI protection for receptacles located outdoors; in bathrooms, garages,
kitchens, crawl spaces and unfinished basements; and at certain locations such as near swimming pools. A
combination AFCI and GFCI can be used to satisfy the NEC requirement for GFCI protection only if specifically
marked as a combination device.
NUISANCE TRIPPING
Another argument against the use of AFCIs is over the issue of nuisance tripping. However, consistent findings
throughout the AFCI implementation process have revealed that the majority of the nuisance trip issues are related to
installation problems specifically the wiring practices of some electricians. Specific examples include reversing neutral
and ground wires, shared neutral wiring on single-pole circuits, and ground wires touching neutral wires.
Electrical contractors have been very active in providing information about these types of wiring problems. Many
contractors indicate that the initial installation issues associated with wiring errors have disappeared as the installers
become more familiar with the installation and operation of AFCIs.
One common misconception is that AFCIs are not tested for nuisance tripping on real-world products and circuits.
Between all of the AFCI manufacturers' products, there are now millions of operating hours with AFCIs (both in field
tests and in new and existing homes) that showcase the successful performance of AFCIs in protecting new and old
appliances. These tests include the new combination AFCI.
Nuisance tripping is a random occurrence that is practically infeasible for a home inspector to discover in the course of
a one-time visual inspection of a property. If you are experiencing nuisance tripping of you AFCI breakers, contact a
licensed electrician to do a thorough evaluation of the installation and make repairs or replacements as he deems
necessary.
ADDENDUM: Warning Concerning Utility Lines Near Roof Decks
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 83 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
The Roofing Contractors Association of Texas has issued the following warning to persons who have service lines
installed in proximity to the underside of roof decks:
CAUTION: ACCIDENTAL PUNCTURING OF SERVICE LINES INSTALLED NEAR THE UNDERSIDE OF ROOF
DECKS MAY POSE A RISK OF GAS LEAKS, ELECTRIC SHOCK, WIRING SHORTS, FIRE HAZARDS, CABLE
AND SATELLITE RECEPTION PROBLEMS, WATER AND HVAC CONDENSATE LEAKS. ROOFING
INSTALLERS ARE NOT ABLE TO SEE THROUGH PLYWOOD OR OTHER TYPES OF ROOF DECKING TO
CHECK FOR IMPROPERLY-INSTALLED SERVICE LINES.
The International Residential Code requires that service lines such as plumbing, electrical, water, condensate, cable,
satellite, gas lines (including freon and other refrigerants) as well as other service lines be installed where they are not
likely to be hit by nails. Roofers nailing through a plywood deck are unable to see or to know that one of these lines
might be installed in an unsuitable way or in an unsuitable area since they are not visible even with the roofing material
removed from the deck.
The IRC calls for installing these type lines far enough away from surfaces that may be subject to nailing to prevent
nails from reaching them. In the rare cases where space limitations do not permit enough space, the lines are
supposed to then be installed with appropriate “nail shields” that will divert nails to one side or the other of a line.
In the vast majority of the cases where a puncture occurs, lines have been found to be improperly “tucked” or ‘nested’
into an area near the junction of a rafter and the roof deck. This is an improper installation of the line in most cases
since a rafter is 5 ¼ inches in height where it meets the decking. The proper place for the line to have been run and
secured is at least 2 ½ inches below the roof deck or about halfway in between the bottom and top edges of the rafter.
Those lines could also be installed underneath the rafter and moved slightly upward where the rafter meets a top plate.
Nails that secure roofing to plywood decking are REQUIRED to penetrate that sheathing PAST the point of the nail so
they MUST be nailed all the way through the plywood until part of the straight shank of the nail is exposed. This is a
must for proper fastening of the roofing material. In the case of open soffits, an exception can be made for cosmetic
reasons that might splinter tongue and groove wood that shows on the exterior of the home but inside the attic, this
exception is not allowed unless the nail penetrates at least ¾ of an inch into SOLID sheathing (not recommended for
plywood).
Fires can also result from nails penetrating electrical lines and junction boxes that are hidden by decking but that are
installed in inappropriate places where nails might be used. These service lines and junction boxes should always be
positioned in areas where there is little likelihood of nails ever reaching them. Just as wiring in walls is not run at the
height that would make it vulnerable to nails used to hang pictures or other decorations inside the home, similar care
should be taken in both new construction and in adding rooms during a remodeling project.
By far, the biggest reason causing the accidental and unavoidable puncturing of freon and coolant lines is in the
tendency of the original installer of the line to want to “nest” the line in the corner between the decking and the rafter.
Some installers then secure it there by nailing a nail halfway into the rafter and then bending it over the line to “trap”
the line in that corner. The correct positioning should be to affix the line halfway down the rafter’s height and to clip it
in place there where there is no risk of future nail puncture during roof replacement or other expected construction
activities.
If you suspect that your freon line or any other type of line has been run incorrectly, contact a licensed professional
and ask him to look at the line’s location and to move it away from the roof deck if it has been installed near the
decking, in the corner created by the rafter and the decking or has been run in any other place that is in danger of
being hit by the normal nailing associated with re-roofing or other types of remodeling projects.
ADDENDUM: TAMPER-RESISTANT ELECTRICAL RECEPTACLES
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 84 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
What are tamper-resistant electrical receptacles and what is the new requirement?
The 2008 National Electrical Code® (NEC®) will require new and renovated dwellings to have tamper-resistant (TR)
receptacles. These receptacles have spring-loaded shutters that close off the contact openings, or slots, of the
receptacles. When a plug is inserted into the receptacle, both springs are compressed and the shutters then open,
allowing for the metal prongs to make contact to create an electrical circuit. Because both springs must be compressed
at the same time, the shutters do not open when a child attempts to insert an object into only one contact opening, and
there is no contact with electricity. Tamper- resistant receptacles are an important next step to making the home a
safer place for children.
Why require tamper-resistant electrical receptacles?
Each year, approximately 2,400 children suffer severe shock and burns when they stick items into the slots of electrical
receptacles. It is estimated that there are six to 12 child fatalities a year related to this.
If homeowners do not have children, are TR receptacles required?
Yes. Owners or tenants of homes and apartments change frequently. In addition, exposure to electrical shock and
burn accidents are not limited to a child’s own home. Children visit homes of relatives and friends who don't have
children of their own. This requirement ensures all new homes and apartments are safe for children, whether the home
is their own or they are there on a temporary basis.
Do TR receptacles require greater insertion strength than standard receptacles?
TR receptacles require comparable force to other receptacles. The insertion force may vary depending on the
newness of the device to the shape or style of the plug being inserted.
Are TR receptacles costly?
No. The projected cost of a TR receptacle adds about $0.50 to the cost of an unprotected receptacle. Based on current
statistics, the average home has about 75 receptacles resulting in an overall added cost of under $40. This amount
may vary slightly based on the type and style of TR receptacle used. This minimal increase in cost buys a significant
increase in electrical safety for children.
Shouldn’t people accept responsibility for their children and teach their children not to stick items in receptacles?
Accidents involving children and receptacles cannot be blamed entirely on poor parenting. They involve people who
look away for a moment, only to face undue tragedy and pain as the result of a child's curiosity. The NEC’s mission is
to provide electrical safety in the home. TR receptacles are a simple and easy way to protect children from serious
injuries that continue to happen every year.
Why are TR receptacles preferred over products such as receptacles with caps or with sliding receptacle covers?
Receptacle caps may be lost and also may be a choking hazard for some ages. Children can learn to defeat sliding
receptacle covers when they watch their parents. TR receptacles provide security against the insertion of objects other
than cord plugs into the energized parts.
What is the NEC?
The NEC is the National Electrical Code. The NEC’s mission is to provide practical safeguards from the hazards that
arise from using electricity. It is the most widely adopted safety code in the United States and the world, and it is the
benchmark for safe electrical installations. The NEC is an evolving document, developed through an open consensus
process. A new edition is issued every three years.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 85 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
For more information, visit:
www.nfpa.org
http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ibeCCtpSctDspRte.jsp?section=23899&minisite=10021
http://www.childoutletsafety.org/video.html
http://www.childoutletsafety.org/
http://www.passandseymour.com/?content=pstr/index2.cfm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7KEcLhlZ60
ADDENDUM: Whole House Surge Protection
Recommended Client Improvement: Modern home electronic devices and systems - computers, audio and video
equipment, security systems, structured wiring, home appliances, heating and cooling systems as well as the electrical
system itself are susceptible to unpredictable and unavoidable destructive power surges. Without adequate electrical
surge protection they may have or can experience shortened lives or potential sudden failure. A whole house surge
protector is recommended in addition to any other individual device or system protection. Standard circuit breakers are
not designed to protect from electrical surges. Electrical or mechanical equipment can fail at any time, therefore, there
is no warranty, express or implied.
ADDENDUM: ANTI-SCALD DEVICES
Many well-meaning organizations tell consumers to lower the thermostat on their boilers to below 120° F. 30% of all
burns treated in hospital emergency rooms are related to scalding which can occur at higher temperatures. The elderly
and babies are especially vulnerable. It is estimated that up to 24,000 children younger than 14 are burned by scalding
ever year. Some of these victims’ injuries result in death.
With statistics like that, lowering the water temperature in water heaters sounds like a no-brainer. Luke warm water
can't burn anyone, and it even conserves energy. Unfortunately, Legionella bacteria thrive at 120 º F. If you want to
keep your hot water tank safe from this bacterium the water has to be at least 140 º F.
Water is a very legitimate safety issue. Water heated more than 120 F can scald a person, resulting in emergency
rooms treatments. If water is really hot, it doesn't take more than a second or two for a person to get a burn that will
scar them for the rest of their life.
Many new homes have pressure-balancing systems that should eliminate this problem. Unfortunately, a majority of us
have older houses with systems that do not have these safeguards. The dilemma is that we have to keep people from
being scalded, yet retain the ability to have scalding hot water when needed. It doesn't matter if you are young or old, if
you are going to use water heated above 114 degrees F, some type of anti-scalding device should be retrofitted into
every home.
•
About 112,000 people are scalded every year.
•
90% of all scald injuries occur in the bathroom.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 86 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
•
Tap water scald injuries are the second most common cause of serious burn injuries in all age groups.
•
The disabled and the elderly have delayed reactions to sudden rise in water temperature.
•
With assisted bathing, temperature changes are not felt by the person controlling them.
•
Bathers may be left unattended for extended periods of time, even though they are unable to change the water
temperature.
All worldwide safety organizations recommend anti-scald devices. We strongly urge the installation of these devices.
ADDENDUM: Cleaning Hydro-Massage Therapy Equipment
Most owners of hydro-massage bathtubs, often referred to as jetted, whirlpool, or Jacuzzi tubs, know these tubs can
not only provide therapeutic relief for minor aches and pains, they feel good and help alleviate stress. What many
owners of such tubs don’t know is that units which utilize piping to deliver the circulated water to the jets can also be
breeding grounds for bacteria – bacteria that can cause everything from skin rashes to pulmonary disease.
When such piped units are used and then drained, water remains in the piping and this water contains body oils, dead
skin flakes, soap, and the residue of any bath salts or bath oils which may have been added to the bathwater. Because
the inside of the piping is warm, wet, and dark, it provides a perfect environment for fostering the growth of bacteria.
This means that the next time the tub is filled and the pump is turned on, any bacterial growth is circulated in the tub
water.
Fortunately, there is something that owners of these tubs can do to clean out and sanitize the piping to reduce the
potential for bacterial infection. The following information outlines one method for cleaning and sanitizing hydromassage tub piping.
• After each time the tub is used and drained, immediately refill the tub with COLD water to a
minimum of 2’’ above the highest jet and make sure that all of the jet nozzles are all pointing
downward. Then, turn on the system and allow it to run for two to three (2 - 3) minutes to rinse
most of the soap, bath oils and salts, and body oils out of the piping.
• Once a month or after any long period of nonuse, disinfect the system by doing the following:
• Fill the tub with HOT water to a minimum of 2’’ above the highest jet and aim all of the jet
nozzles downward. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of powdered or liquid dishwasher detergent and a
maximum of 4 ounces of household bleach directly to the water (Caution: too much bleach
may cause staining or dull spots on the tub surface). Then, run the system for at least ten (10)
minutes.
• After turning the system off, drain the tub and fill it with COLD water to a minimum of 2’’ above
the highest jet and with all of the jet nozzles aimed downward. Then, run the system for ten (10)
minutes to rinse it out. Finally, drain the tub and wipe it dry.
ADDENDUM: Thermal Pane (Insulated Glass Unit) Fogging
Most people do not know it, but the cause of fogging in thermal pane window units is not so much due to a loss of
seal, as it is to a failure of desiccant placed within the units to absorb moisture. It is incorrect to think that there is a
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 87 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
hermetic seal drawn on these windows. This is an impossibility (nature abhors a vacuum). So then, the seal that is
initially accomplished is imperfect and leaks from the very beginning. That's right, they leak straight out of the factory.
All of them leak. Thinking that thermal windows are not leaking is just plain mistaken thinking. It’s a bit like thinking
that a house in an area with known expansive soils has a stable foundation. Mythology.
As soon as a thermal pane unit leaves the shop, it is destined for failure. Moisture diffusion into a sealed unit is
impossible to avoid and continuous. Manufacturers deal with this reality by loading absorption material, or "desiccant"
(usually a silica gel or similar material), in the spacer bar construction of every unit. This material has one job - to
bond with water molecules. The material comes in the form of beads, similar to those you find accompanying new
leather and electronic products, or as a blended compound, often a black butyl or cork-like wafer.
Every insulated glass unit (IGU) has a finite capacity for how much water it can hold ("hide"). Over time, as moisture
accumulates, the unit finally reaches a threshold saturation point, it becomes visible as condensation between the
panes of glass (this is directly associated to the falling dew point between the panes of glass).
The options available for fogging IGUs are:
(1) Replacement of the thermal panes. This is the most expensive option. Prices vary greatly due to types and shapes
of panes. Replacement costs begin at about $75 per small rectangular pane and rise sharply.
(2) Repair of the thermal panes. This option is about half as expensive as replacement. See:
http://www.wefixfoggywindows.com/
http://www.crystalclearwindowworks.com/
http://www.windowmedicsoftexas.com/windowconden.htm
(3) Do nothing about the thermal panes. This is the most frugal option.
ADDENDUM: Native Subterranean Termites (Reticulitermes spp.)
Subterranean termites are the most destructive insect pests of wood in the United States. They cause billions of
dollars in damage each year and have a negative impact on a family's most valuable possession - the home.
In nature, subterranean termites are beneficial because they break down cellulose into usable nutrients. The biomass
resulting from this process is recycled to the soil as humus. Subterranean termites are, therefore, considered important
to our ecosystem.
Problems occur when termites attack the wooden elements of homes, businesses and warehouses built by humans.
The presence of termites is often not readily noticed because their activity is hidden behind wallboards, siding or wood
trim. Homeowners in all areas of Texas should watch for subterranean termites and take precautions against
infestations. To minimize damage from termites, it is helpful to know the description, life cycle and signs of infestation
of termites as well as preventive and control measures.
Identification
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 88 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Subterranean termites are social insects that live in nests or colonies in the soil. They contain three forms or castes:
reproductives, workers (pseudergates) and soldiers. Individuals of each caste have several stages: the egg; the larva
that develops into a pseudergate and eventually into a brachypterous nymph or soldier; and the adult. There are three
forms of adult reproductive termites including primary, secondary and tertiary.
Reproductive males and females can be winged (primary) or wingless (secondary or
tertiary). Females of each can lay eggs and produce offspring. The bodies of winged primary reproductives, also called
swarmers or alates, vary by species from coal black to pale yellow-brown. Wings may be pale or smoky gray to brown
and have distinct vein patterns used in identification. Reticulitermes swarmer termites are about 1/4 to 3/8 inch long.
Secondary and tertiary reproductives live within the colony and are white to cream-colored. These termites form a
backup for the primary queen and may replace her if she is injured or dies. These termites mate within the colony and
lay viable eggs. If supplementary reproductives and worker termites become isolated from the main colony, they can
establish a new sub-colony.
Termite workers (pseudergates) make up the largest number of individuals within a colony and do
all the work. They are wingless, white to creamy white and 1/4 to 3/8 inch long. They forage for
food, feed the other castes, groom the queen and maintain and build tunnels and shelter tubes.
Their mouthparts are very hard and adapted for chewing through wood or other cellulose
materials. The worker caste is responsible for the damage that makes termites an economically
important problem.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 89 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Soldiers resemble workers in color and general appearance, except they have welldeveloped brownish heads with strong mandibles or jaws. Soldiers defend the colony against invaders, primarily ants
and other termites. They cannot forage for food or feed themselves, and they depend on the workers to care for them.
Ants and termites often swarm at about the same time of year but control measures for each differ greatly. It is
therefore, important to be able to distinguish between swarming termites and ants.
Biology and habits
After 2 to 4 years a subterranean termite colony is mature and produces "swarmers" (winged primary reproductives).
Termite swarmers leave the colony in large numbers during the spring and early summer. Swarming begins in South
Texas in January and February; in the Panhandle region of Texas, swarms do not occur until April and May.
Environmental factors such as heat, light, and moisture trigger the emergence of swarmers, with each species having
its own set of requirements. The number of swarmers produced is proportional to the age and size of the colony.
Both male and female swarmers fly from the colony and travel short distances. Termites are weak fliers and must rely
on wind currents to carry them to new habitats. Only a small percentage of swarmers survive to develop colonies; most
fall prey to birds, toads, insects and other predators, and many die from dehydration or injury.
During the swarming process, males (kings) and females (queens) pair off using pheromones. Successful reproductive
pairs land, lose their wings and seek cover under rocks or other moist materials. A pair will make a very small nest
before mating. Initially, the new queen termite lays only a few eggs. The male remains with the female and helps care
for developing eggs and the larva that hatch.
Eggs are not deposited continuously. In fact, only a few hundred are deposited during the first year. As the young
queen grows larger, she lays more eggs. The king and queen care for the young larvae that hatch from the eggs
because they cannot care for themselves. The larvae then molt into pseudergate workers, which in turn, can molt into
presoldiers or brachypterous nymphs (with wing pads). These nymphs will eventually molt to become primary
reproductives. The colony stabilizes when the queen reaches her maximum egg production. If the queen dies,
supplemental reproductives take over the queen's duties.
The maximum size of a termite colony depends on location, food availability and environmental conditions, especially
temperature and moisture. Some colonies remain small; others contain up to several thousand individuals. New
colonies form when groups of termites become isolated from the main colony and establish sub-colonies. This is called
"colony splitting" or "budding." These sub-colonies may exist independently or reunite with the main colony.
Subterranean termites get their nutrition from wood and other material containing cellulose. Paper, cotton, burlap or
other plant products often are actively consumed by termites. Sometimes termites will even tunnel into the dead
heartwood or pith of living plants. Most species of subterranean termites cannot digest cellulose directly and depend
on single celled protozoans and bacteria living in their hindguts to help digest the cellulose. Digested cellulose is then
shared with the developing larvae, other workers, soldiers and reproductives.
Termites are attracted to certain odors of wood-decaying fungi that make the wood more palatable and easier to
penetrate. In some instances, the fungi provide a source of nitrogen in the termite diet.
Moisture is important to subterranean termites as they have very little resistance to dehydration. To survive, termites
must maintain contact with the soil (their primary source of moisture) or other above-ground moisture sources, such as
defective plumbing, leaky roofs, leaks from air conditioning condensers or poorly maintained gutters.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 90 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Subterranean termites also must protect themselves from temperature extremes and attack by ants and other insects.
Termites that forage for food above ground protect themselves with shelter tubes or "mud tubes". Worker termites
build shelter tubes from particles of soil or wood and bits of debris held together by salivary and fecal secretions. Mud
tubes may be thinly constructed or can be large with thick walls to accommodate many termites moving vertically
between the soil and their food source.
Subterranean termites also transport moist soil into the structures they infest. The presence of shelter tubes and mud
within galleries is used to identify termite damaged wood. Shelter tubes are often used to bridge across masonry or
other objects, allowing termites access to a food source (wood) above ground. Inspecting of structures for termite
damage may identify these tubes which indicate an ongoing infestation.
Damage
Dead trees and brush provide a natural food source for foraging subterranean termites. When natural vegetation is
cleared and houses are built, termites often switch to feeding on wooden structures. Termites enter buildings through
wood that is in direct contact with the soil and by building shelter tubes over or through cracks in foundations. Any
cellulose material in direct contact with the soil, such as trees, vines or plumbing fixtures, can serve as an avenue of
infestation.
Signs of infestation
Active termite infestations can be difficult to detect. To find out if a home is infested, the structure should be checked
for evidence of swarmers (including wings or dead termites in windows), mud tubes or damaged wood inside or around
a structure
Swarmers: Generally, the first sign of infestation homeowners notice is swarming reproductives on windowsills or near
indoor lights. Swarming termites inside the house usually indicate an active infestation in the structure. Termite wings
may be found on windowsills or stuck to cobwebs indoors. Though swarmers outdoors are a natural phenomenon,
they indicate that termites are present and may be attacking nearby structures.
Mud tubes: Mud shelter tubes on crawl space piers, utility penetrations or on foundation walls and slabs are a sign of
termite infestation. Termite shelter tubes can blend in well with the soil or concrete, making them difficult to see. To
make inspecting the home for termites easier, prune vegetation away from the house walls. The soil line should be
several inches below the top of slabs or foundation walls. An inspector should look for mud tubes carefully along
cracks, in corners or where the top of the foundation is close to the ground. A screwdriver is useful to break open
suspected termite tubes and detect live termites.
Wood damage often is not found initially, but is positive indication of a current or past termite
infestation. Wherever wood comes in contact with the soil there is a high risk for termite entry.
Carefully examine any wood that thuds or sounds dull when struck by a screwdriver or hammer.
Probing suspected areas with sharp instrument such as a screwdriver or an ice pick will often
disclose termite galleries or damage.
Characteristics of damaged wood
Subterranean termite damage is usually confined to the soft, spring-growth of wood. Termite
tunnels and galleries tend to follow the wood grain and are lined with mud or may have a pale,
spotted appearance resulting from soft fecal material plastered on tunnel surfaces. Moisture
sources may cause wood decay and can encourage subterranean termite infestation. Deterioration caused by wooddestroying fungi can be confused with termite damage.
Distribution
Several species of subterranean termites are found in the United States; they live in every state except Alaska. Two
major types of subterranean termites are commonly found in Texas. They are the native subterranean termite and
Formosan subterranean termite, and both are serious threats to wooden structures.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 91 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Native subterranean termite species in the Genus Reticulitermes are found throughout the United States. Because
they are so broadly distributed they are considered the most economically important.
The second and increasingly important termite is the introduced Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermies
formosanus. The Formosan termite is easily transported from one infested area to another in landscape timbers,
railroad cross-timbers, mulch and wooden pallets. Isolated infestations of Formosan termites have been reported in
many areas of the state.
Texas A&M University
Department of Entomology
Center for Urban & Structural Entomology
ADDENDUM: Nothing Lasts Forever
Other than energy itself, nothing lasts forever. Many of the components and systems of the average house are not
expected to last more than a decade or so at best. End use appliances are the least durable of all, some lasting a
mere 5-8 years. It is far beyond the scope of this inspection to ascertain the age of each component and system in the
house or to speculate as to their remaining useful lives. Please inquire of the current homeowner as to the ages of the
component(s) in question and then refer to the Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components published by the
National Association of Home Builders and the Bank of America Home Equity for the average lifespan that can be
expected.
ADDENDUM: (Some of) the Real Truth about Home Warranty Companies
A home warranty may be a good idea when buying an existing home, especially if the home has aging mechanical
equipment such as water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners, et al. However, you must be certain that your
expectations are in line with reality. Home warranty companies are notoriously difficult to deal with, especially for
homeowners with misconceptions about what their home warranty will and will not cover.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 92 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
What is a home warranty? First of all, it is not really a warranty, but rather a service policy. For X amount of your
money the company promises to have its often unskilled subcontractors repair any covered system or appliance in
your home during the period of coverage. Not all systems are included. Some systems that are not included under the
standard policy may be added at additional cost.
Does this sound more like insurance than a warranty? That’s because it is insurance, and not a warranty. How do
insurance companies make money? They do so by denying claims.
Begin with the fine print in the contract. The devil is always in these details. Many conditions that will immediately
cause a claim denial are pre-existing conditions, improper installation, abuse, etc. Most of the contracts I have read,
and I have read many, are written in such a nebulous fashion that attorneys have problems interpreting them.
Obviously, they are written this way for a reason. Like the old X-Files tagline “Deceive, Inveigle, Obfuscate”, they want
you venturing into this relationship with them completely unaware and with open wallet. So, at the risk of repeating
myself, read the fine print.
In the State of Texas these types of companies are not, for some unknown (but understandable if you really think
about it) reason, regulated by the Texas Department of Insurance. Instead, they are regulated the Texas Real Estate
Commission. Go figure. That’s Austin, TX for you – 20 square miles surrounded by reality. For this reason, information
about these companies can be found at: http://www.trec.state.tx.us/licenses/rsc_info.asp
There is also a list of companies that are allowed to operate in Texas available here:
http://www.trec.state.tx.us/licenses/rsc_licensed.asp
Angie’s list reports that home warranty companies secured the infamous number 1 position in the number of
complaints filed in 2011:
Angie’s List 2011 Most Complained-About Companies
1. Home warranty companies
2. Internet service providers
3. Banks/Credit unions
4. Property management companies
5. Auction services
6. Boating sales and service
7. Mattress sales
8. Mobile and landline phone providers
9. Wedding professionals – bridal and tuxedo shops, planners
10. Travel agencies
How to think all of this through?
1. Do you have aging systems and equipment in your home that are not still under a manufacturer’s warranty? If yes,
then maybe a home warranty is for you.
2. Get copies of the contracts from the companies you are considering and READ THE FINE PRINT (that’s the third
and last time I will say this). If you do not understand everything in the contract, ask questions and get answers from
the company.
3. Check the companies out on Angie’s List, the Better Business Bureau, www.ripoffreport.com, and anywhere else
you can think of.
4. Ask your friends about any experiences they may have had with these companies.
4. Ask your real estate agent. Agents often have a lot of experience with these firms.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 93 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
5. Ask yourself if you are bordering on having a Type-A personality, the type you will need when dealing with these
companies. If you are non-confrontational and/or prefer to avoid conflict, a home warranty may not be for you. You
may be better off budgeting and setting aside funds for future repairs and replacements.
ADDENDUM: MAINTENANCE ADVICE
Upon Taking Ownership
After taking possession of a new home, there are some maintenance and safety issues that should be addressed
immediately. The following checklist should help you undertake these improvements:
Complete all of the improvements recommended in this inspection report.
Obtain, read, and completely familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s installation instructions, owner’s manuals,
and care manuals of all materials and systems of which this house is comprised. Do not assume that, because you
have seen or owned similar systems or materials, that you are familiar with the proper operation and maintenance
of those present in this house. Incomplete and/or improper understanding is imprudent and hazardous.
Inquire of the previous owner regarding any alterations which have been made to the property during his/her
ownership, or which he/she is aware of, and obtain all pertinent documentation, e.g. building permits, contractor
invoices, et al.
Change the locks on all exterior entrances, for improved security.
Check that all windows and doors are secure. Improve window hardware as necessary. Security rods can be
added to sliding windows and doors. Consideration could also be given to a security system.
Install interconnected smoke detectors on each level of the home. Ensure that there is a smoke detector in and
outside all sleeping areas. Replace batteries on any existing smoke detectors and test them. Make a note to
replace batteries again in one year.
Create a plan of action in the event of a fire in your home. Ensure that there is an operable window or door in
every room of the house. Consult with your local fire department regarding fire safety issues and what to do in the
event of fire.
Examine driveways and walkways for trip hazards. Undertake repairs where necessary.
Examine the interior of the home for trip hazards. Loose or torn carpeting and flooring should be repaired.
Undertake improvements to all stairways, decks, porches and landings where there is a risk of falling or stumbling.
Review your home inspection report for any items that require immediate improvement or further investigation.
Address these areas as required.
Install rain caps and vermin screens on all chimney flues, as necessary.
Investigate and familiarize yourself with the location of the main shut-offs for the plumbing, heating and electrical
systems. If you attended the home inspection, these items would have been pointed out to you. If not, they will be
identified in this report.
Regular Maintenance
EVERY WEEK
Check that the soil around the perimeter of the house is clinging tightly to the edge of the foundation. If there is any
space between the soil and the concrete, the soil is too dry and you should increase the frequency with which you
water. The foremost cause of foundation failure in the Metroplex is lack of soil moisture control and maintenance
by homeowners. Periods of dry weather occur in all seasons. Inspect this item weekly.
EVERY MONTH
Test all smoke alarms, as per NFPA, according to the system manufacturer’s instructions.
Check that fire extinguishers are fully charged and not out-of date. Re-charge or replace as necessary.
Replace heating/cooling air filters.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 94 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
Inspect and clean humidifiers and electronic air cleaners.
Test the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve(s) on the Water Heater(s) for proper operation. Replace if
defective.
Clean gutters and downspouts. Ensure that downspouts are secure, and that the discharge of the downspouts is
appropriate. Remove debris from window wells.
Carefully inspect the condition of shower enclosures. Repair or replace deteriorated grout and caulk. Ensure that
water is not escaping the enclosure during showering. Check below all plumbing fixtures for evidence of leakage.
Repair or replace leaking faucets or showerheads.
Secure loose toilets, or repair flush mechanisms that become troublesome.
Operate all of the doors in the house to insure that none is sticking or binding at the jambs. Door frames out of
square is an indication of excessive foundation movement.
SPRING AND FALL
Examine the roof for evidence of damage to roof coverings, flashings and chimneys.
Look in the attic (if accessible) to ensure that roof vents are not obstructed. Check for evidence of leakage,
condensation or vermin activity. Level out insulation if needed.
Trim back tree branches and shrubs to ensure that they are not in contact with the house.
Inspect the exterior walls and foundation for evidence of damage, cracking or movement. Watch for bird nests or
other vermin or insect activity.
Survey the basement and/or crawl space walls for evidence of moisture seepage.
Look at overhead wires coming to the house. They should be secure and clear of trees or other obstructions.
Ensure that the grade of the land around the house encourages water to flow away from the foundation.
Inspect all driveways, walkways, decks, porches, and landscape components for evidence of deterioration,
movement or safety hazards.
Clean windows and test their operation. Improve caulking and weather-stripping as necessary. Watch for
evidence of rot in wood window frames. Paint and repair window sills and frames as necessary.
Test all ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) and arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) devices, as identified in the
inspection report. If these devices do not trip or reset properly, they should be replaced immediately.
Shut off isolating valves for exterior hose bibs in the fall, if below freezing temperatures are anticipated. Also
disconnect and store all water hoses during cold weather.
Have a licensed pesticide applicator inspect for evidence of wood-destroying insect activity. Eliminate any
wood/soil contact around the perimeter of the home.
Test the overhead garage door opener, to ensure that the auto-reverse mechanism is responding properly. Clean
and lubricate hinges, rollers and tracks on overhead doors.
Replace or clean exhaust hood filters.
Clean, inspect and/or service all appliances as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Have the heating, cooling and water heater systems cleaned and serviced.
ANNUALLY
Replace smoke detector batteries.
Have chimneys professionally inspected and cleaned. Ensure that rain caps and vermin screens are secured.
Examine the electrical panels, wiring and electrical components for evidence of overheating. Ensure that all
components are secure. Flip the breakers on and off to ensure that they are not sticky.
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 95 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
If the house utilizes a well, check and service the pump and holding tank. Have the water quality tested. If the
property has a septic system, have the tank inspected (and pumped as needed).
Have the home inspected by a licensed wood-destroying insect specialist (Certified Applicator). Preventative
treatments may be recommended in some cases.
Have the water heater anode rods inspected by a licensed plumber once the unit(s) are out of warranty.
Inspect all gas appliance vents as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Have all backflow prevention devices professionally inspected as per Texas law.
EVERY TWO YEARS
Have the water heater anode rods inspected by a licensed plumber while the unit(s) are still under warranty.
EVERY THREE YEARS
Remove, inspect and replace, if necessary, water heater temperature and pressure relief valves.
ADDENDUM: INSPECTOR QUALIFICATIONS
International Code Council (ICC) Residential Combination Inspector
International Code Council (ICC) Residential Building Inspector 5082671-B1
International Code Council (ICC) Residential Electrical Inspector 508267 E-1
International Code Council (ICC) Residential Mechanical Inspector 5082671-M1
International Code Council (ICC) Residential Plumbing Inspector 5082671-P1
American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) Certified Inspector No. 203652
National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) Certified Real Estate Inspector, CRI 200353
Master Inspector Certification Board, Certified Master Inspector
Texas Professional Real Estate Inspectors Association (TPREIA) Master TPREIA Inspector (MTI)
Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) Professional Inspector 4336
Texas Department of Agriculture, Structural Pest Control Service (SPCS) License No. 11379
SPCS Certified Applicator No. 40247
HUD 203K Consultant D0981
Exterior Design Institute (EDI/EIMA) EIFS Third Party Inspector and Moisture Analyst (CEI)
Post-Tensioning Institute Level One Certificate for Unbonded Prestressed Post-Tensioned Concrete Installer No.
320054833
CertainTeed® Master Shingle Applicator
Building Officials Association of Texas (BOAT)
City of Garland, Texas Building and Fire Codes Board
Preservation Dallas, Advanced Historic Home Specialist
Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC), Registered Builder No. 16229
Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC), Registered Third-Party Inspector 1350
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 96 of 97
Report Identification: 1234 Existing Home
I=Inspected
I NI
NP
NI=Not Inspected
D
NP=Not Present
D=Deficiency
Inspection Item
This confidential report is prepared exclusively for Mr. and Ms. Client
© 2013 Aaron's Home Inspections
Page 97 of 97
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF

advertisement