The following will be the exact method our inspector will use to perform an A1 home inspection:
GROUNDS - The inspector will look at the grounds to make sure that the rain water is being drain away from the house not towards the house. This is very important with the older homes where the grounds and the house has settled. The inspector will inspect the driveway, sidewalks, patios and anything else on the grounds that the inspector may discover that needs repair. The grounds inspection is very important, some grounds repairs can be very expensive.
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EXTERIOR OF HOME - On the house exterior inspection, the inspector will be inspecting the siding, foundation, roof, chimney, decks, porches, patios, and anything else located on the exterior of the home, Particular attention will paid to chimney inspection of older homes. To repair or replace a damaged chimney is very expensive.
GARAGE - The inspector will inspect the garage before he goes into the home. In the garage he will inspect and test the overhead garage door for condition and operation. With the garage inspection, the inspector will inspect the floor, walls, ceiling, windows and anything else that may be in the garage. The door leading into the house from the garage will be given special attention, the door should be a fire door that can retard a garage fire from entering the house for at least 15 minutes.
KITCHEN - Everything in the kitchen will be inspected, including structure, countertops, cabinet doors and drawers In a standard home inspection, only the stove and dishwasher are tested and inspected. However, with our high-tech A to Z inspection all appliances will be tested and inspected. This includes stove and ventilator, dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, garbage disposal and any other appliance that may be in the kitchen.
LIVING SPACE ROOMS- The inspector will start inspecting all rooms on the first floor. The inspection includes floor, walls, ceiling for structure and damage. Believe it or not, the next thing to be inspected is the heat and A/C supply to the room. The inspector will make sure there is a functional heat and A//C supply to every room. From experience we have noted that some small remodeling jobs done by a do-it-yourself owner can mess up the heat supply.
ROOM ELECTRIC INSPECTION - All the electrical outlets that are accessible will be tested. All outlets should be three prong outlets to meet modern day electrical requirements.
WINDOWS - Whether the windows are old original sash type or the newer thermo type windows, this inspection is very important. With the older windows, if it’s just the pane that must be repaired, usually it’s no problem. If the whole wood frame type window must be replaced it could be expensive. The newer style thermo windows have two panes of glass with argon gas in between the panes to keep the window nice and clear. If the seal gets damaged or dried out and the argon gas leaks out and moisture gets in between the panes of glass, the window must be replaced. It cannot be repaired. At this point in time, the cost to replace an average size thermo window is about $ 200 to $300 dollars.
SLIDING THERMO DOORS - Inspection of sliding thermo doors is very important aspect of the inspection. Damaged thermo sliding doors, like thermal windows, can’t be fixed. New sliding doors are needed. Another problem with damaged thermo sliding doors is that many times there is no manufacturer’s identification tag on the old door, so a new original type door can’t be purchased. In this situation, when the manufacture can’t be identified, or they are out of business, a completely new style door and frame must be installed. This can be very expensive. To reiterate, the inspection of thermo windows and thermo sliding doors is a very important part of the home inspection.
BATHROOMS - This is a very important part of the inspection because water rots wood and in the bathroom is where there is heavy use of water. With the bathroom inspection, first the inspector would check the floor make sure it’s solid and not soft from water damage. Then he inspects the following: (a) tile work, looking for loose or damaged tile. (b) Toilet will be inspected for condition and function making sure the toilet is tight to the floor and flushing properly. (c), Sink, inspect the cabinet and sink or sinks, inspecting condition and looking for leaks or damage. (d), Shower and bathtub, the shower and the bathtub is a special inspection. Wherever there is a showerhead the inspector will conduct a special test for water flow and pressure, that tells the inspector how good the plumbing in the walls is that you cannot see.
- Everything the inspector inspected on the first floor will be done to inspect the second floor. Then he will move to the attic area for the attic inspection.
ATTIC AREA - If the attic is floored, the inspector will go into the attic and examine the attic, but the attic must be floored for the inspector to enter. If the attic is not floored the inspector cannot enter for safety reasons. With unfloored attics, the attic is inspected by using a high-tech camera inspection from the hatch opening. This type of inspection is conducted by using a high-tech camera that gives detailed photos. We won’t miss anything, but the inspector cannot go into unfloored attics. To enter an unfloored attic, one must walk on open beams which is a dangerous.
SPECIAL NOTICE TO BUYERS
- Once you buy the house if you need repairs in a non-floored attic and you must hire a contractor to make repairs, make sure he has insurance and temporary flooring to do the repair. Do not let a contractor go in the attic and walk on the beams because if he falls through the ceiling into the room below you may be into a lawsuit. Caution, most of the contractors that are LLC type companies do not carry Workmen’s Compensation.
ROOF, DECKING & STRUCTURE - Most modern roof decking is plywood, however, there are many types of older roof decking. Whatever type of decking, the inspector will inspect both the roof decking and structural components for wood rot, cracks and several other types of wood damage special attention will be paid to the area around the chimney for roof leaks and damage. The chimney area where it goes through the roof or contacts the roof is a red flag area for roof leaks, wood rot, and structural damage.ct the
attic ladder, if any, to assure that it is properly installed
INSULATION, VENTILATION & MOISTURE - Besides inspecting for leaks and wood structural damage, the inspector will be looking for heavy moisture penetration and quality and condition of the insulation Another important aspect of the attic inspection is the functionality of the ventilation. Poor ventilation in New Jersey over time can cause some serious attic damage by having attic temperatures over 100 degrees in the hot summertime.
MOLD - Even though it’s not included in a home inspection, if we see any mold, it will be reported it in the home inspection report with photos. Our inspectors are there to protect you not hurt you and mold problems can be not only a costly repair but detrimental to one’s health.
BASEMENT - Our inspectors do the basement last because we’re going to run a lot of water in the bathrooms and the kitchen’s and by doing the basement last if there’s any leaks on the pipes it will be noticeable. The areas covered in the basement inspection will be foundation main beams and floor joists and structural components. Finished basements, are a real challenge to inspect because the foundation and plumbing is concealed. However, don’t panic if you’re buying a house with a finished basement, from our twenty years of experience inspecting houses, if there is a serious problem, it will be evident. There will be water stains, loose paneling, buckled or water damaged wall, water stained ceilings and a host of other red flag signs. In the basement is another area where mold is found.
CRAWL SPACES - If the space can be entered, the home inspector and the termite inspector enter for a close-up inspection. If the space cannot be entered a high tech camera inspection will be conducted that gives high quality detail photos.
PLUMBING INSPECTION - Our inspectors will test all the faucets and drains throughout the house. A major area of concern with the plumbing inspection is the basement where the drain lines and supply lines are visible. With a finished basement or a slab type foundation where the pipes are covered with finished materials, if there is a serious problem usually it will show up with stains on the finished material. The inspector will inspect all the supply pipes looking for leaks, rust and deterioration. Next, he will inspect the drain lines looking for leaks rust and deterioration and pinholes that are common in cast iron type pipes. Note, if it’s a very old house the inspector will call for an inground sewer camera inspection. Experience has taught us that in a 60-year-old house you can flush the toilet and the water flows out perfectly, but the minute you start putting solid waste through, the pipe it blocks up. The reason would be that the pipes are damaged in the ground. It’s worth the sewer line camera inspection to be in sure that you have a good main sewer. Note, to replace a damaged main sewer line can cost thousands of dollars.
SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECTION -Septic systems can be very costly especially if the fields are not functional. Our recommendation to a buyer of the house that has a septic system is to hire a professional septic inspection company that is going to really inspect and test the fields with water. Note, a poor septic system can cost anywhere from $40,000 to $60,000 or more.
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM - The inspector will test all the outlets that are available for testing throughout the house and garage, mainly looking for function and hopefully they’re all three prong outlets that are necessary for today’s modern computer equipment and other modern-day equipment. He will also inspect the electrical panel box looking for proper copper wiring and looking for aluminum wiring which is noted as a safety hazard by todays electrical standards. A major part of the electrical inspection is the electrical panel box. The inspector will make sure it’s not a Federal Pacific panel box which is considered a dangerous type of panel box. The reason Federal Pacific panel boxes are considered a safety hazard is because the electrical breakers have a history of not tripping when overloaded which can heat the wire hot enough to cause a fire.
KNOB AND TUBE WIRING - At this point I must mention one other thing about wiring in older houses. If the house is 80 years old or older, it may still have what is called knob and tube wiring. This type of old wiring is considered a safety hazard by today’s standards. If the inspector sees any knob and tubes wiring, he will report it as a safety hazard and call for a complete inspection by a licensed electrician before closing. Note, not all insurance companies that cover home owner’s insurance will insure houses with knob and tube wiring.
HEATING SYSTEM - The inspector will test the heating system to assure it’s functional, and hopefully be able determine the age and whether it has been serviced as per the manufacturer’s requirements. The inspector, will, if possible, open the covers and look directly into the furnace to determine condition. Very important with any heating system is the vent pipes. They should vent to the chimney or some modern type exhaust pipes vent through the side of the house.
STEAM HEATING SYSTEM - These systems cannot be given a thorough inspection in the summer time. Steam systems must run 3 to 4 hours to get the complete system up to maximum heating efficiency. With the summertime temperatures and short time frame in a standard home inspection inspecting a steam system is not possible. In the cold weather with the steam system running, a thorough inspection is no problem, however, with a summertime inspection our inspector will conduct a short test of the boiler and conduct a visible evaluation of the boiler and the steam distribution system.
HOT WATER HEATER - The hot water heater is usually located close to the furnace and will be inspected for condition and age. As per the manufacturer, the estimated functional life of a heater is 10 to 12 years. From experience, I say that’s a pretty accurate figure. More than once we have reported that the heater was near the end of life because of age and client informed us that it had to be replaced right after they moved into their new home..
AC SYSTEMS - In the summertime it is no problem to check the central air conditioning system. We have high tech thermometers and other equipment to test the A/C system. However, it must be at least 65° degrees outside temperature. If it’s below 65 degrees outside, no inspector will test the A/C because the manufacturer instructions say if one runs the unit under 65 degrees it could damage the unit. In this situation, our company will protect the buyer when the A/C unit cannot be tested by the following. We will put in the report that the unit could not be tested, and we recommend that the buyer obtain from the seller a homeowner’s warranty on the AC. That way if the unit doesn’t function next summer the buyer has recourse.
TERMITE INSPECTION - Our company uses an outside termite company to do our termite inspections. They have been in business for over 40 years and they are very efficient. We use a professional termite company for a very good reason, if you ever get sued in this business it’s over termites. You will never see a worker termite. If they go into the air they die. Termites are hard to detect because they stay right in the middle of the wood and eat away. The average person would look at that piece of wood and say it looks perfect and yet it’s hollow. Many home inspection companies use their home inspector to do the termite inspection and sooner or later get into trouble because of missing a termite problem. With our affiliate termite inspection company, if there is termite infestation, the inspector will break open the wood and show them to the buyer.
RADON INSPECTION - Radon is a natural gas that comes from granite rock and certain soils. As per the EPA if it gets in the living area and it’s over 4.0 PCi/L, the EPA has determined that it’s dangerous to your health. All our inspectors are a certified radon technicians and we recommended that you have a radon test conducted particularly in houses with basements. Most high radon reading are from houses with basements. It seems that if there is radon gas problem under the foundation, the gas lingers in the basement because of low air circulation. However, if there is high radon problem in the soil under the house it doesn’t matter what kind of foundation there is, radon will get into the house. For this reason, we recommend that all houses have a radon inspection before purchase.
HIGH RADON READINGS -If the test reading comes in high for radon, don’t lose a good house over high radon. Request to have the sellers install a radon venting system and that the end of the high radon problem. I must say at this point; radon venting systems are very reliable and require more visible monitoring than mechanical maintenance. Venting systems cost at least a couple thousand dollars if it’s a small house so it’s very important that you know whether the house has a radon problem before closing.
Counties Served in New Jersey |
Monmouth County, and
G WARREN HOME INSPECTION COVERAGE AREAS
Middlesex County - All towns in
Union County - All towns
in Union County
Somerset County - All towns in Somerset County
Essex County - All towns in Essex County
Hunterdon County - Most towns in Hunterdon County
Monmouth County - Most towns in Monmouth County
Morris County - Most towns in Morris County
Bergen County - Most towns in Bergen County