Serving Houston & Surrounding Areas

Inspected Items

Home Inspection Inspected Items:

Structural Systems:

Foundation:

  • Identify the type of foundation and determine if the foundation is performing properly.
  • Inspect Slab Surface, foundation, framing components, sub flooring and related structural components.
  • Check the crawl space area of pier and beam construction to determine the condition of the foundations structural components.
  • Pier and beam homes for adequate crawl space ventilation.
  • Conditions of the property which may adversely affect the foundations performance, such as improper grading and drainage, ponding water, and plumbing leaks that are visible.

Grading and Drainage:

  • Improper or adequate grading around the foundation and flatwork.
  • Soil erosion and ponding water.
  • Deficiencies in gutters and downspouts.

Roof Covering:

  • Evidence of previous repairs to roof covering materials, flashing details, skylights, and other roof penetrations.
  • Evidence of water penetration, roof coverings that are not appropriate for the slope.
  • Roof covering materials for deficiencies such as damaged, missing, or lifted shingles.
  • All flashing details, skylights, and other penetrations.

Roof Structure and Attic:

  • Attic space that does not appear to be adequately ventilated.
  • Deficiencies in installed framing members and decking.
  • Deflections or depressions in the roof surface as related to the adverse performance of the framing and the roof deck.
  • Missing or in adequate insulation.
  • Deficiencies in attic access ladder and access opening; and deficiencies in attic vents.
  • Condition of the roof structure and sheathing, observing for evidence of moisture penetrations.
  • Proper bracing for the roof structure in the attic area.
  • Separations at the rafters and ridge that may have been caused by foundation settlement.
  • Observe the presence and approximate depth of insulation.

Interior and Exterior Walls, Doors, & Windows:

  • Evidence of water penetration.
  • Doors and hardware that do not operate properly;
  • Deficiencies related to structural performance or water penetration; and
  • Lack of fire separation between the garage and the residence and its attic space.
  • Lack of functional emergency escape and rescue openings in all sleeping rooms;
  • Lack of a solid wood door not less than 1-3/8 inches in thickness, a solid or honeycomb core steel door not less than 1-3/8 inches thick, or a 20-minute fire-rated door between the residence and an attached garage.
  • Missing or damaged window screens.
  • Deficiencies related to structural performance or water penetration.
  • Deficiencies in exterior wall claddings.
  • Water resistant materials and coatings.
  • Flashing details and terminations.
  • The condition and operation of exterior doors, garage doors, and hardware.
  • Window operation and components.
  • Inspect the window and door glazing.
  • Insulated windows that are obviously fogged or display other evidence of broken seals.
  • Deficiencies in glazing, weather stripping, and glazing compound in windows and exterior doors.
  • The absence of safety glass in hazardous locations.

 Interior and Exterior Stairways:

  • Spacing between intermediate balusters, spindles, or rails for steps, stairways, guards, and railings that permit passage of an object greater than 4 inches in diameter, except that on the open side of the staircase treads, spheres less than 4-3/8 inches in diameter may pass through the guard rail balusters or spindles.
  • Deficiencies in steps, stairways, landings, guardrails, and handrails.

 Fireplace and Chimney:

  • Built-up creosote in visible areas of the firebox and flue.
  • The presence of combustible materials in near proximity to the firebox opening.
  • The absence of fire blocking at the attic penetration of the chimney flue, where accessible, an inoperative circulating fan.
  • Deficiencies in the damper, lintel, hearth, hearth extension, and firebox, gas log lighter valve and location, combustion air vents, chimney structure, termination, coping, crown, caps, and spark arrestor.

 Porches, Balconies, Decks, and Carports:

  • Inspect balconies, attached carports, and attached porches and abutting porches, decks, and balconies that are used for ingress and egress.
  • Deficiencies on decks 30 inches or higher above the adjacent grade, spacing between intermediate balusters, spindles, or rails that permit passage of an object greater than four inches in diameter.
  • Deficiencies in visible footings, piers, posts, pilings, beams, joists, decking, water proofing at interfaces, flashing, surface coverings, and attachment points of porches, decks, balconies, and carports; and
  • Deficiencies in or absence of required, guardrails and handrails.

Service entrance and panels:

  • Deficiencies in a drop, weather head, or mast that is not securely fastened to the structure;
  • The lack of a grounding electrode system, the lack of a grounding electrode conductor, the lack of a secure connection to the grounding electrode system.
  • Deficiencies in the insulation of the service entrance conductors, drip loop, separation of conductors at weather heads, and clearances;
  • Electrical cabinets, gutters, meter cans, and panel boards that are not secured to the structure and that are not appropriate for their location.
  • Deficiencies in clearances and accessibility, missing knockouts, or are not bonded and grounded.
  • Cabinets, disconnects, cutout boxes, and panel boards that do not have dead fronts secured in place with proper fasteners.
  • Conductors not protected from the edges of electrical cabinets, gutters, or cutout boxes, trip ties not installed on 240 volt circuits.
  • Deficiencies in the type and condition of the wiring in the cutout boxes, cabinets, or gutters.
  • Deficiencies in the compatibility of overcurrent devices and conductors.
  • Deficiencies in the overcurrent device and circuit for labeled and listed 240 volt appliances.
  • A panel that is installed in a hazardous location, such as a clothes closet, a bathroom, where there are corrosive or easily ignitable materials, or where the panel is exposed to physical damage.
  • The absence of appropriate connections, such as copper/aluminum-approved devices.
  • The absence of anti-oxidants on aluminum conductor terminations.
  • The lack of a main disconnecting means.
  • The lack of arc-fault circuit interrupting devices serving family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreations rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas and failure of operation of installed arc-fault circuit interrupter devices.

Branch circuits, connected devices, and fixtures:

  • Report the type of branch circuit conductors.
  • Manually test the accessible smoke alarms by use of the manufacturer’s approved test or by the use of canned smoke.
  • The lack of ground-fault circuit interrupter protection in all bathroom receptacles, garage receptacles, outdoor receptacles, crawl space receptacles, unfinished basement receptacles, kitchen countertop receptacles; and laundry, utility, and wet bar sink receptacles located within 6 feet of the outside edge of a laundry, utility, or wet bar sink.
  • The failure of operation of ground-fault circuit interrupter protection devices.
  • Receptacles that are damaged, inoperative, have incorrect polarity, are not grounded, if applicable, display evidence of arcing or excessive heat, are not securely mounted; or have missing or damaged covers.
  • Switches that are damaged, are inoperative, display evidence of arcing or excessive heat, are not securely mounted; or have missing or damaged covers.
  • Deficiencies in or absences of conduit, where applicable.
  • Appliances and metal pipes that are not bonded or grounded.
  • Deficiencies in wiring, wiring terminations, junctions, junction boxes, devices, and fixtures, including improper location.
  • The lack of equipment disconnects.
  • The absence of appropriate connections, such as copper/aluminum approved devices, if branch circuit aluminum conductors are discovered in the main or sub-panel based on a random sampling of accessible receptacles and switches;
  • Improper use of extension cords.
  • Deficiencies in smoke alarms that are not connected to a central alarm system; and
  • The lack of smoke alarms in each sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the sleeping rooms, on each additional story of the dwelling, including basements but excluding crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics (in dwellings with split levels and without an intervening door between the levels, a smoke alarm installed on the upper level and the adjacent lower level shall suffice provided that the lower level is less than one full story below the upper level.

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning System:

  • Report the type of heating system(s) and the energy source(s).
  • An inoperative unit.
  • Deficiencies in the controls and operating components of the system.
  • The lack of protection from physical damage.
  • Burners, burner ignition devices or heating elements, switches, and thermostats that are not a minimum of 18 inches above the lowest garage floor elevation, unless the unit is listed for garage floor installation.
  • Inappropriate location, inadequate access and clearances.
  • Deficiencies in mounting and operation of window units.
  • Deficiencies in thermostats.
  • In electric units, report as deficient, deficiencies in operation of heating elements; and condition of conductors.
  • In gas units, report gas leaks, the presence of forced air in the burner compartment, flame impingement, uplifting flame, improper flame color, or excessive scale buildup, the lack of a gas shut-off valve.
  • Deficiencies in conditioned, combustion, and dilution air,  gas shut-off valves and locations, gas connector materials and connections; and the vent pipe, draft hood, draft, proximity to combustibles, and vent termination point and clearances.
  • Cooling equipment other than evaporative coolers, report the type of system(s); and report as Deficient: inoperative unit(s), inadequate cooling as demonstrated by its performance in the reasonable judgment of the inspector, inadequate access and clearances, noticeable vibration of the blower fan or condensing fan, deficiencies in the condensate drain and auxiliary/secondary pan and drain system, water in the auxiliary/secondary drain pan, a primary drain pipe that terminates in a sewer vent, missing or deficient refrigerant pipe insulation, dirty evaporator or condensing coils, where accessible, damaged casings on the coils, a condensing unit lacking adequate clearances or air circulation or that has deficiencies in the condition of fins, location, levelness, or elevation above ground surfaces.
  • Deficiencies in mounting and operation of window or wall units; and
  • Deficiencies in thermostats.
  • Evaporative coolers, type of system(s) (one- or two-speed), the type of water supply line; and winterized units that are drained and shut down.
  • Report as Deficient, inoperative units, inadequate access and clearances, corrosive and mineral build-up or rust damage/decay at the pump, louvered panels, water trays, exterior housing, or the roof frame, less than a one-inch air gap between the water discharge at the float and water level in the reservoir, corrosion, decay, or rust on the pulleys of the motor or blower, the lack of a damper.
  • Deficiencies in the function of the pump, interior housing, the spider tubes, tube clips, bleeder system, blower and bearings, float bracket, fan belt, evaporative pad(s), installation and condition of the legs on the roof rails and fasteners to the roof structure and the unit, roof jack, and thermostats.

 Duct system, chases, and vents:

  • Damaged ducting or insulation, improper material, or improper routing of ducts.
  • The absence of air flow at accessible supply registers in the habitable areas of the structure.
  • Improper or inadequate clearance from the earth.
  • Deficiencies in duct fans, filters, grills or registers, the location of return air openings; and gas piping, sewer vents, electrical wiring, or junction boxes in the duct system, plenum(s), and chase(s).

Plumbing systems:

  • Report static water pressure.
  • Location of water meter and location of main water supply valve.
  • Presence of active leaks.
  • The lack of fixture shut-off valves.
  • The lack of dielectric unions, when applicable.
  • The lack of back-flow devices, anti-siphon devices, or air gaps at the flow end of fixtures.
  • Water pressure below 40 psi or above 80 psi static.
  • The lack of a pressure reducing valve when the water pressure exceeds 80 PSI.
  • The lack of an expansion tank at the water heater(s) when a pressure reducing valve is in place at the water supply line/system.
  • Deficiencies in water supply pipes and waste pipes.
  • The installation and termination of the vent system.
  • The operation of fixtures and faucets not connected to an appliaances.
  • Water supply, as determined by viewing functional flow in two fixtures operated simultaneously.
  • Functional drainage at fixtures, orientation of hot and cold faucets, installed mechanical drain stops, installation, condition, and operation of commode, fixtures, showers, tubs, and enclosures; and the condition of the gas distribution system.

Water heaters:

  • Report the energy source and capacity of the unit(s).
  • Inoperative unit(s).
  • Leaking or corroded fittings or tank(s), broken or missing parts or controls, the lack of a cold water shut-off valve,  if applicable, the lack of a pan and drain system and the improper termination of the pan drain line, an unsafe location, burners, burner ignition devices or heating elements, switches, or thermostats that are not a minimum of 18 inches above the lowest garage floor elevation, unless the unit is listed for garage floor installation, inappropriate location, inadequate access and clearances, the lack of protection from physical damage.
  • A temperature and pressure relief valve that does not operate manually, leaks, is damaged,  cannot be tested due to obstructions, is corroded; or is improperly located.
  • Temperature and pressure relief valve discharge piping that lacks gravity drainage, is improperly sized, has inadequate material; or lacks proper termination.
  • In electric units, report deficiencies in operation of heating elements; and condition of conductors.
  • In gas units, report gas leaks, flame impingement, uplifting flame, improper flame color, or excessive scale build-up, the lack of a gas shut-off valve.
  • Deficiencies in combustion and dilution air, gas shut-off valve(s) and location(s), gas connector materials and connections; and vent pipe, draft hood, draft, proximity to combustibles, and vent termination point and clearances.

 Hydro-massage therapy equipment:

  • Inoperative unit(s) and controls, the presence of active leaks, inaccessible pump(s) or motor(s), the lack or failure of required ground-fault circuit interrupter protection.
  • Deficiencies in the ports, valves, grates, and covers.

Appliances:

Dishwasher:

  • Inoperative unit, rust on the interior of the cabinet or components, failure to drain properly, the presence of active water leaks.
  • Deficiencies in the door gasket, control and control panels, dish racks, rollers, spray arms, operation of the soap dispenser, door springs, dryer element, door latch and door disconnect,  rinse cap,  secure mounting of the unit; and backflow prevention.

Food waste disposer:

  • Inoperative unit(s), unusual sounds or vibration level, the presence of active water leaks.
  • Deficiencies in the splash guard, grinding components, exterior casing, and secure mounting of the unit.

Range exhaust vent:

  • Inoperative unit(s), a vent pipe that does not terminate outside the structure, if the unit is not of a re-circulating type or configuration,  inadequate vent pipe material, unusual sounds or vibration levels from the blower fan(s), blower(s) that do not operate at all speeds.
  • Deficiencies in the filter, vent pipe, light and lens, secure mounting of the unit; and switches.

Electric or gas ranges, cooktops, and ovens:

  • Inoperative unit(s), the lack of a gas shut-off valve, gas leaks.
  • Deficiencies in the controls and control panels, thermostat(s) sensor support,  glass panels, door gasket(s), hinges, springs, closure, and handles, door latch, heating elements or burners, thermostat accuracy (within 25 degrees at a setting of 350°F), drip pans,  lights and lenses,  clearance to combustible material, anti-tip device,  gas shut-off valve(s) and location(s), gas connector materials and connections; and secure mounting of the unit.

 Microwave oven:

  • Inspect built-in units, inoperative unit(s).
  • Deficiencies in the controls and control panels, handles, the turn table, interior surfaces, door and door seal, glass panels, lights and lenses, secure mounting of the unit, and operation, as determined by heating a container of water or with other means of testing.

Trash compactor:

  • Inoperative unit(s), unusual sounds or vibration levels.
  • Deficiencies in the secure mounting of the unit.

 Mechanical exhaust vents and bathroom heaters:

  • Inoperative unit(s), unusual sounds, speed, and vibration levels, vent pipes that do not terminate outside the structure, a gas heater that is not vented to the exterior of the structure; and the lack of an exhaust ventilator in required areas.

Garage door operators:

  • Inoperative unit(s), door locks or side ropes that have not been removed or disabled.
  • Deficiencies in installation, condition and operation of the garage door operator, automatic reversal during the closing cycle,  electronic sensors, the control button; and the emergency release components.

Doorbell and chimes:

  • Inoperable unit(s).
  • Deficiencies in components.

Dryer vents:

  • Improper routing and length of vent pipe, inadequate vent pipe material, improper termination, the lack of a dryer vent system when provisions are present for a dryer; and  damaged or missing exterior cover.

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