Items that our
Apex Real Estate Home Inspectors look at:
Interior of the property
23 - Main Water Line
The main water supply pipe brings water from the street to the home. Older pipe materials may be 1/2" or 3/4" galvanized steel.
This type of pipe corrodes internally and may not deliver the volume of water now needed throughout the house. 3/4" copper or plastic pipe
is the minimum currently used in modern construction. Normal water
pressure is between 35 and 80 PSL. Excessive pressure can wear on
valves, fittings, fixtures and appliances.
24 - Water Supply Lines
Copper, galvanized, plastic and lead piping have all been used at
some time for water systems of residences. Old galvanized piping
typically requires replacement due to internal restriction. Lead pipes
present a possible health hazard if the lead leaks into the drinking
water. A form o plastic piping called "polybutylene" has shown
defects from the manufacturing and installation process that can cause
leaks. Your inspector is only able to tell you of the condition of the
visible piping. No water quality tests are performed during this
25 - Waste Lines
These pipes carry the waste from the house to the sewer system. It
is impossible to predict waste line blockages as these can occur at any
time during use. Some plastic, "ABS" pipes have shown defects
from the manufacturing process and can become weak and break.
26 - Fuel System
Natural gall is delivered to the house through underground pipes.
On-site fuel storage may consist of oil or propane fuels. Some homes
have been converted to natural gas from oil fuel. These homes may have
underground fuel tanks still in place which may contaminate the soil.
Your inspector is unable to determine the presence of buried fuel tanks.
27 - Water Heater
Water heaters are sealed systems which contain a great deal of
pressure. The TPR (Temperature & Pressure Relief) valve is a device
designed to release excessive pressure from the system. There should be
a drain pipe attached to this valve which terminates at a safe location
away from body contact. Water heaters sometimes make gurgling noises
which are typically the result of built up calcium inside the tank.
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28 - Description
Our description of the heating system includes where the unit is
located and the fuel used to generate the heat. Forced air furnaces and
water boilers can operate on gas, oil or electricity. Heat pumps utilize
electricity to drive the motors and compressors. Furnace size is listed
for reference only, if available, and no calculations are performed
during this inspection to determine the adequacy or efficiency of the
29 - Condition
Systems are tested using normal homeowner operating controls. If
pilots or circuit breakers are off at the time of the inspection, the
inspector will not ignite or activate the system. You can contact the
utility provider for evaluation of the heating system.
30 - Venting
Fuel burning appliances exhaust the products of combustion to the
exterior through vent pipes. Vent pipes utilize caps to prevent moisture
entry and to stop back drafting. Back drafting means that the products
of combustion are escaping into the home instead of venting to the
31 - Combustion Air
When fires burn, they consume oxygen. Fuel that burns completely is
harmless and creates only carbon dioxide. Fuel burning appliances must
be provided with a constant source of fresh air for the fuels to burn
properly. If air is not provided to the fire, incomplete combustion may
occur which could produce carbon monoxide. Be sure not to block any air
vents around or near your heating systems. Also be advised that
maintaining clean air filters is important not only to the air you
breathe, but to the operation of the unit as well.
32 - Burners
It is impossible to see an entire heat exchanger inside most
furnaces, so this inspection does not comment on this component. If
there is an uneven or unusual flame pattern or there is rust, charring
or deterioration in the burner chamber, we recommend a further
investigation of the unit.
33 - Distribution
Most heaters utilize some method of moving the furnace generated
heat to the rooms which need the heat. Forced air heaters use ducts and
registers. Water heating systems use pipes and radiators or convectors.
Radiant systems may use pipes or wires if electric. Much of the
distribution system will not be visible during this inspection and
cannot be judged. For instance, water piping that is buried below or in
the concrete floor slab may have leaks that are not detectable without
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34 - Normal Controls
Normal operating controls are homeowner operated devices such as a
thermostat, wall switch or safety switch. Loose thermostats should be
secured and thermostats that are not centrally located or on outside
walls should be relocated for better furnace performance.
35 - Air Filters
Regular cleaning or changing of air filters is important for proper
furnace performance. Dirty filters can cause damage to the heater and
waste energy dollars. We do not evaluate the operation of electronic air
cleaners but will comment on cleanliness if present.
36 - Heating Notes
Our evaluation of the heating system is visual only and does not
include dismantling the unit. A service technician should be consulted
for an in-depth evaluation, cleaning and adjustment of the furnace for
optimum performance and safety. Most local gas companies will perform a
safety check and light gas pilots for their customers prior to the
heating season. We also do not evaluate humidifiers built onto the
37 - Evaporative Cooler
Evaporative coolers (commonly called swamp coolers) utilize air
flowing across moving water to humidify and cool the house air. Standing
water that is left in the unit for extended periods of time can breed
bacteria. Evaporative coolers should be drained at the end of each
cooling season and cleaned prior to use.
38 - Air Conditioner
Air conditioning systems rely on a constant flow of air through the
system to properly operate. Restricted air flow from dirty filters or
blocked coils can cause icing on the evaporator coil. This may make the
air from the unit appear to be colder but is actually harmful for the
system. Compressor units located outside should also be kept clear of
air restriction. Trim back shrubs and grasses and don' place anything
over the tip of the unit that blocks air flow.
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39 - Electric Service
The electrical service refers to the wires that run from the street
or main pole and enter the house either underground or through the
rooftop. The number of wires that enter the panel determine the voltage
of the service: 2 wires = 120 volt, 3 wires = 240 volt. A home that has
only a 120 volt service would be considered out of date by today's
standards because larger appliances that operate at 240 volts cannot be
utilized. Electrical load and demand calculations are not performed
during this inspection.
40 - Main Panel
The capacity of the system is determined by the size of the service
wires, the rating of the panel and the size o the main fuse or breaker.
Some older panels will have fuses while newer systems use breakers. The
main disconnect is used to shut the entire electrical system in the
house off in case of emergency. If no main shutoff is provided, no more
than six breakers are allowed to be installed.
41 - Conductors
Conductor is the term used for the wires used for electrical
installations. Copper and aluminum are common materials used for
electrical wiring. The U.S. Product Consumer Safety Commission issues a
booklet on the hazards of aluminum wire installations made in the early
1960's to the mid 1970's. Please obtain this information if aluminum is
42 - Sub-Panel
Electrical panels that do not contain the mail service wiring are
called sub-panels. Sub-panels are used for a variety of reasons ranging
from house size to ease of accessibility. During inspections of homes
that are occupied it is possible that a sub-panel might be hidden by
pictures or furniture. Please check carefully during your final walk-through of the house after all belongings are removed.
43 - Panel Notes
This section of the report notes conditions found inside the
electrical panels. Repairs to wiring conditions should be performed by
qualified trades people due to the inherent hazards.
44 - Wiring Notes
Our inspection of the electrical wiring and fixtures throughout the
house will include random testing of outlets and lights. At least one
outlet per room, all accessible outlets in the garage and on the
exterior, and all outlets within six feet of sinks will be tested for grounding
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45 - Entry Doors
Weather-stripping around the entry door keeps cold air from entering
the house. If no weather-stripping is provided we recommend it be
46 - Interior Doors
Doors that stick, bind or won't close properly can be adjusted or
trimmed to fit. Sometimes however, when doors are out of square and
other related conditions are present, it may be an indication of
movement in the structure or foundations. If these notes are made, a
qualified civil, structural or geo-technical engineer should be
47 - Exterior Doors
Non-safety glass has been used for years in the sliding glass doors
of older homes. You should consider upgrading any non-tempered glass
doors throughout your home. At times, it is not possible to determine if
glass is tempered.
48 - Windows
Windows are checked during out inspection. The condition of winter
storm windows and doors are not part of this inspection. It is not
possible to evaluate the seal on thermo pane windows as conditions
change from morning to night and season to season.
49 - Interior Walls
In occupied homes, not all portions of all walls will be exposed to
view. After the occupants remove all of their belongings, it is wise for
you to conduct a final walk-through of the home. look carefully at areas
that were not visible during this inspection.
50 - Ceilings
Moisture stains on ceilings can come from a variety of sources:
plumbing leaks, roof leaks and condensation to name a few. At times it
is not possible to determine the cause of a stain. Some older acoustic
sprayed ceilings have contained asbestos in the past. Only laboratory testing
will accurately reveal asbestos and this testing is not included in the
51 - Floors
Our evaluation of the floors in the home is to identify major
defects where visible. Stains or odors may be hidden and are not part of
this inspection. Once furniture and belongings are removed you will be
able to view the condition of floor coverings. Do a careful check on
your final walk-through.
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52 - Fireplace
Our evaluation of the fireplace does not include a smoke test. Some
fireplaces emit smoke into the house during use. If this occurs, a
qualified chimney sweep should be contacted for remedy.
53 - Interior Features
A - Central vacuum
B - Ceiling fan
C - Interior stairs
D - Stair handrail
E - Wet bar faucet
F - Wet bar counter
G - Plumbing
53 - Smoke Detector
Smoke detectors are most effective when located on each floor, in
bedrooms and in hallways outside of bedrooms. These units are tested by
pushing the test button. Carbon monoxide detectors are new devices that
should be considered if fuel burning appliances are installed in the
55 - Laundry
Washing machines and dryers are not moved or operated during our
inspection of the laundry area. Areas behind and under the machines
cannot be judged.
56 - Attic
A - Roof framing
B - Ceiling framing
C - Ventilation
D - Insulation
E - Plumbing vent pipe
F - Recesses ceiling light
G - Attic access
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57 - Floor
Garage floors should be constructed of non-flammable materials.
Carpeting or other floor coverings should be removed. The floor should
also be sloped to drain out the overhead door.
58 - Firewall/Ceiling
A wall or ceiling that separates the garage from the house is
considered a fire separation. The coverings of these areas should not
have large holes. It is typically not possible to determine the rating
of these coverings.
59 - Ventilation
Ventilation for the garage becomes critical when fuel burning
appliances are installed in the garage. These appliances require air for
60 - Door to Living
The door that enters the house from the garage is considered a fire
separation door and should be solid wood, solid core or rated for that
location. Pet doors are not allowed.
61 - Exterior Door
Sometimes hollow core doors are installed in this location and moisture
will delaminate the door skin at the bottom.
62 - Vehicle Door
Garage vehicle door types vary from roll-up to tilt-up to sliding.
Older door hardware springs are considered unsafe if safety catches arm
wires are not provided. For safety, upgrading is recommended for older
63 - Automatic Opener
Garage door opener remote controls are not tested. If a door hits an
obstruction during closing is should reverse automatically for safety.
Older openers were not equipped with this safety function.
64 - Electrical
The garage is a common area for electrical wiring, lights and
outlets to be added. All added electrical requires a permit. One of the
most common mistakes is using extension cords to power lights or garage
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66 - Kitchen Sink
Our evaluation of the sink includes turning on the faucet. We check
functional flow and look for obvious leaks at the handle and spout. We
also run water looking for functional drainage; however, drain lines can
become blocked at anytime, and this condition cannot be predicted. Under
the sink we check for leaks, rust and corrosion of the sink, drain and
67 - General Features
General features include: condition of counters, cabinets, flooring,
windows, ceiling and light fixtures. Many times dishes and belongings
will block view of counters and cabinets. These items are not moved
during this inspection and you should check these areas during your
final walk-through, and after the occupants have moved out.
68 - Garbage Disposal
Garbage disposals can rust and corrode internally. It is difficult
to verify the condition of the interior of the unit. If the unit
vibrates excessively or makes unusual noises, matter may be lodged
inside or blades may be damaged. Sometimes repair is simple, while other
times replacement may be required.
69 - Range/Oven/Cook top
The elements and burners of ovens, ranges and cook tops are checked
for functionality only. Calibration of thermostats is beyond the scope
of this inspection.
70 - Dishwasher
Our inspection of the dishwasher includes the general condition of
the unit, dish racks and door seals. The condition of the pump and motor
is not determined since the dishwasher is not disassembled. Racks that
are rusted can usually be replaced.
71 - Special Features
Special features, if inspected, are tested just as any homeowner
would use the device or appliance. No disassembly or special test
equipment is used. If there is no trash in a compactor we turn the unit
on; however, this does not verify compacting ability. If we operated a
microwave we will heat a glass of water for one minute although heating
ability varies between units.
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72 - Toilet
Toilets that are loose at the base or at the tank connection pose
the possibility of leaking. Sometimes the wax seal at the floor must be
replaced to prevent leakage on the floor or below the house.
73 - Sink
The water shutoff valves below the sink are not tested during this
inspection. Many times these valves have not been used for some time and
can leak if turned. This is a common occurrence.
74 - Ventilation/Heat
Bathrooms that contain a tub or shower need ventilation either
through a window or mechanical exhaust vented through the roof or wall.
75 - Bathtub
Our evaluation of the bathtub consists of the visible and accessible
areas only. Many times the drain and supply piping are not accessible
and cannot be judged. Maintaining the caulk and grout in good condition
is important to avoid leakage. We do not fill the tub to overflowing to
check the overflow drain connection. If a whirlpool is installed we test
the equipment using normal operating controls. Sometimes access to the
pump and jet piping is not possible and they cannot be inspected.
76 - Shower
Shower enclosures should be properly caulked and maintained to avoid
leakage. It is often difficult to determine if glass enclosures are
tempered safety glass. All non-safety glass is considered a potential hazard
and upgrades should be considered.
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