Interior Remarks

Plaster on wood lath is an old technique and is no longer in general use. Wood lath shrinks with time and the nails rust and loosen. As a result, the plaster may become fragile and caution is needed in working with this type of plastering system. Sagging ceilings are best repaired by laminating drywall over the existing plaster and screwing it to the ceiling joists.

Plaster on gypsum lath will sometimes show the seams of the 16" wide gypsum lath, but this does not indicate a structural fault. The scalloping appearance can be leveled with drywall joint compound and fiberglass mesh joint tape or drywall can be laminated over the existing plaster on the ceiling.

Always attempt to clean wood floors first before making the decision to refinish the floor. Wax removers and other mild stripping agents plus a good waxing and buffing will usually produce satisfactory results. Mild bleaching agents help remove deep stains. Sanding removes some of the wood in the floor and can usually be done safely only once or twice in the life of the floor.

Drywall nail pops are due to normal expansion and contraction of the wood members to which the drywall is nailed and are usually of no structural significance.

Where carpeting has been installed, the materials and condition of the floor underneath cannot be determined.

(If report indicated appliances were operated, the following applies) dishwashers are tested to see if the motor operates and water sprays properly. Stoves are tested to see that burners are working and oven and broiler get hot. Timer and controls are not tested. Refrigerators are not tested. Most new dishwashers have the drain line looped automatically and may not be visible on the day of inspection. It is essential for the dishwasher drain line to have an anti-siphon break to prevent backflow. A drain line loop or Dishwasher air gap should be installed if found to be missing. No representation is made to continued life expectancy of any appliance.

Asbestos fibers in some form are present in many homes, but are often not visible and cannot be identified without testing. If there is reason to suspect that asbestos may be present and if it is of particular concern, a sample of the material in question may be removed and analyzed in a laboratory. However, detecting or inspecting for the presence or absence of asbestos is not a part of our inspection. Also excluded from this inspection and report are the possible presence of, or danger from, radon gas, lead-based paint, urea formaldehyde, toxic or flammable chemicals and all other similar or potentially harmful substances and environmental hazards.

A representative number of windows are inspected.

All swinging doors should be checked for door stops. Broken or missing door stops can result in door knobs breaking through drywall or plaster.

Sliding closet doors should be checked to see that closet guides are in place. Missing or broken closet guides can cause scratches and damage to doors.

Bedrooms that do not have cold air returns in them should have a 3/4" gap under the doors to allow cold air to be drawn into the hall return.

A home inspection is just what the name indicates, an inspection of a home...usually a home that is being purchased. The purpose of the inspection is to determine the condition of the various systems and structures of the home. While an inspection performed by a competent inspection company will determine the condition of the major components of the home, no inspection will pick up every minute latent defect. The inspectors ability to find all defects is limited by access to various parts of the property, lack of information about the property and many other factors. A good inspector will do his or her level best to determine the condition of the home and to report it accurately. The report that is issued is an opinion as to the condition of the home. This opinion is arrived at by the best technical methods available to the home inspection industry. It is still only an opinion. A warranty is a policy sold to the buyer that warrants that specific items in the home are in sound condition and will remain in sound condition for a specified period of time. Typically, the warranty company never inspects the home. The warranty company uses actuarial tables to determine the expected life of the warranted items and charges the customer a fee for the warranty that will hopefully cover any projected loss and make a profit for the warranty seller. It is essentially an insurance policy. The service that we have provided you is an inspection. We make no warranty of this property. If you desire warranty coverage, please see your real estate agent for details about any warranty plan to which their firm may have access.

Window frames and sills are often found to have surface deterioration due to condensation that has run off the window and damaged the varnish. Usually this can be repaired with a solvent style refinisher and fine steel wool. This is sometimes a sign of excess humidity in the house. See comments regarding caulking doors and windows, page 8.

It is important that a fireplace be cleaned on a routine basis to prevent the buildup of creosote in the flue, which can cause a chimney fire. Masonry fireplace chimneys are normally required to have a terra cotta flue liner or 8 inches of masonry surrounding each flue in order to be considered safe and to conform with most building codes. During visual inspections, it is not uncommon to be unable to detect the absence of a flue liner either because of stoppage at the firebox, a defective damper or lack of access from the roof.

Once installed, it can be difficult to determine proper clearances for woodburning stoves. Manufacturer specifications, which are not usually available to the inspector, determine the proper installation. We recommend you ask the owner for paperwork, verifying that it was installed by a professional contractor.

Ventilation is recommended at the rate of one square foot of vent area to 300 square feet of attic floor space, this being divided between soffit and rooftop. Power vents should ideally have both a humidistat and a thermostat, since ventilation is needed to remove winter moisture as well as summer heat. Evidence of condensation such as blackened roof sheathing, frost on nail heads, etc. is an indication that ventilation may have been or is blocked or inadequate.

The recommended insulation in the attic area is R-38, approximately 12". If insulation is added, it is important that the ventilation is proper.

Smoke detectors should be tested monthly. At least one detector should be on each level. CO detectors are not required by most states, but for safety reasons, are highly recommended.

The vapor barrier should be on the warm side of the surface. Most older homes were built without vapor barriers. If the vapor barrier is towards the cold side of the surface, it should be sliced or removed. Most vapor barriers in the attic are covered by insulation and therefore, not visible.

Safety glazing requirements vary depending on the age of the home. Every attempt is made to identify areas where the lack of safety glazing presents an immediate safety hazard, such as a shower door. In some older homes it is difficult to determine if safety glazing is present, since the glass is not marked. Therefore, no representation is made that safety glazing exists in all appropriate areas.

Broken seal in thermopane/insulated windows are not always visible nor detectible due to humidity and temperature changes during the day. Other factors such as window covering, dirty windows, and lack of accessibility, personal property placed in front of the windows all affect the view of the windows at the time of the inspection.

The metal shower pan in a stall shower has a potential or probable life of 10-20 years depending on quality of the pan installed. Although a visible inspection is made to determine whether a shower pan is currently leaking, it cannot be stated with certainty that no defect is present or that one may not soon develop. Shower pan leaks often do not show except when the shower is in actual use.

Bathroom tile installed in a mortar bed is excellent. It is still necessary to keep the joint between the tile and the tub/shower caulked or sealed to prevent water spillage from leaking through and damaging the ceilings below. Ceramic tile is often installed in mastic. It is important to keep the tile caulked or water will seep behind the tile and cause deterioration in the wallboard. Special attention should be paid to the area around faucets and other tile penetrations.

Bathrooms with a shower should have exhaust fans when possible. This helps to remove excess moisture from the room, preventing damage to the ceiling and walls and wood finishes. The exhaust fan should not be vented into the attic. The proper way to vent the fan(s) is to the outside. Running the vent pipe horizontally and venting into a gable end or soffit is preferred. Running the vent pipe vertically through the roof may cause condensation to run down the vent pipe, rusting the fan and damaging the wallboard. Insulating the vent pipe in the attic will help to reduce this problem.

Slow drains on sinks, tubs, and showers are usually due to build up of hair and soap scum. Most sink popups can be easily removed for cleaning. Some tubs have a spring attached to the closing lever that acts as a catch for hair. It may require removing a couple of screws to disassemble. If you cannot mechanically remove the obstruction, be kind to your pipes. Don't use a caustic cleaner. There are several bacteria drain cleaners available. They are available at hardware stores in areas where septic tanks are used.

Typical safety hazards found in bathrooms are open grounds or reverse polarity by water. Replacing these outlets with G.F.C.I.'s are recommended.

This relates to interior tubs hooked up to interior plumbing. Where possible, the motor will be operated to see that the jets are working. Hot tubs are not tested or inspected.