Elements of Inspection

Exterior

The exterior inspection reviews elements outside the home that protect the inside structure. The review criteria are based on our experience and understanding of common building materials and methods. Screens, barbeques, play equipment, pools, spas and sheds/outbuildings are considered ancillary and are not inspected by AmeriSpec during a typical home inspection.

Foundation

The foundation of a house transmits the weight of the house from the above-ground walls and floors down to the footings. It accommodates changes in soil pressure, weather changes, and wet/dry conditions. Foundations can shift or crack under these conditions, which is normal.
Any spaces below ground level can develop leaks, even if they’ve been dry for years. Evidence of leaking may be noted during a home inspection. However, some leaks occur only under certain circumstances and can be identified only while they are happening.

  • General: Inspect and describe the foundation and framing.
  • Footing: Inspect property components (exterior walls, doors, windows) for signs of movement.
  • Basement floor slab: Cracking, evidence of leaking, settlement.
  • Sump pit: Proper cover, debris, condition. Inspect the drainage sumps, sump pumps and related piping.
  • Sump pump: Proper operation/installation/drainage. Inspect the drainage sumps, sump pumps and related piping.
  • Bridging: Verify bridging is provided and properly installed.
  • Perimeter drain tile: Inspect the vegetation, grading, surface drainage and retaining walls on the property when any of these are likely to adversely affect the building.
  • Foundation water proofing: Unable to view (usually underground). Will review area around foundation for efflorescence or water entry.
  • Bottom plate: Moisture damage and deterioration. Inspect the structural components, including foundation and framing.
  • Porch footing: Unable to view. Inspect porch components for signs of movement.

Garage area

  • Garage: Driveway and walkways, garage slab/floor, garage car doors, garage door opener, fire separation, walls and ceiling, stairs/steps, side/rear door, windows.
  • Asphalt driveway: Proper slope, damage, settlement, trip hazards.
  • Sidewalk to garage: Proper slope, damage, trip hazards, settlement.
  • Garage door: Loose/damaged hardware, operation, safety reverse (if present),
  • Gravel/soil: Proper slope, depressions, wood to earth contact.

Windows

  • Window sills: Proper slope, deterioration, caulking.
  • Window muntin: Deterioration, damage, glazing.
  • Window frame: Damage, deterioration, caulking, operation, deferred maintenance.
  • Window panes: Cracked or damaged window panes, breached seals, safety glass where required.
  • Shutters: Proper operation, deterioration, installation.

Siding

  • Wood siding (horizontal): Proper installation, wood deterioration, deferred maintenance.
  • Metal siding: Damage, proper installation, loose pieces.

Gutters

  • Gutters: Proper slope, damage, rust, downspout extensions, deferred maintenance.
  • Downspouts: Proper connection, damage, proper connection and support of downspout straps.

Deck

  • Deck boards: Damage and deterioration, trip or safety issues. We will inspect attached decks, balconies, stoops, steps, porches and their associated railings.
  • Deck beam: Damage, sagging.
  • Deck pier: Damage, deterioration.
  • Hose bib: Proper operation and flow.
  • Ledger board: Proper installation, damage, deterioration, structural components including foundation and framing.

Porch

  • Porch area: Ceiling, walls, electrical, doors.
  • Porch railing: Proper connection, deterioration, safety issues.
  • Steel lintel: Rust, deterioration, sagging, damage.
  • Weep hole: Ensure weep holes are provided and that the opening is not restricted.
  • Exterior light fixture: Proper and safe operation and installation of a representative number of installed lighting fixtures, switches and receptacles.