Inspection Tips

Starting at the foundation

  • Examine for cracks, damage to footing, undermining, trip hazards, raising/settling, slippage, etc…
  • Proper grading and drainage – What type of soil does the house sit on? Does water drain away from the foundation or are there drains in the yard? Do they work?
  • Check the eves, the walls: stucco/wood siding/stone or masonry cladding for cracks, moisture intrusion, staining or damage.
  • Examine all windows, sills, and flashings; door casings, doors and weather stripping. What types of windows are there? Do the windows operate? Any damage or broken seals? Water stains or blistering noted? Do all exterior doors operate easily, have weather stripping installed and a sealed threshold?
  • Then examine the roof, its style and type of material used. What is the condition of the surface and sheathing underneath? Any recent repairs or staining/moisture intrusion? Are the vents and skylights sealed or damaged? Any staining or debris lying about?
  • Check the rain gutters and downspouts for debris and animals nesting.
  • Enter the attic. Are there walking boards so you may examine the entire attic or are you restricted to viewing from the hatch? Is there any type of ventilation?
  • What type of insulation is there? What density?
  • Are there any exposed wires or open junction boxes, boot-legged wiring or can lights covered?
  • Are the heater/air conditioners in the attic? How old are they? Typical lifecycle is 10-15 years. What is the power source – gas, propane or electric? Check the venting for proper clearances and any damage. What type of ductwork? Do both units effectively function or are there damages?
  • Examine the electrical service – overhead or underground? How many amp service? What type of wiring is used? Is there aluminum wiring – Does it have NoLux anti-oxidant paste applied? Are there any damages or double lugging? Is the system grounded? Are any breakers damaged or missing? Any inoperative switches, outlets, lights or appliances? Any do-it-yourselfer or handyman workmanship (bootlegged wiring)? Are there GFCI outlets?
  • Examine the plumbing starting with the water meter and service to the house. Does the shut off valve operate? What is the water pressure? Should be between 60-80 PSI. If not adjust the pressure control valve. What type of pipe is used for your supply side and your waste side? Cast iron, galvanized, copper, stainless steel, pot metal, plastic, or polybutylene?
  • Examine the water heater. How old is it? Typical lifecycle is 6-9 years. Is it gas or electric? How many gallons? Consider how many people will use the water heater. Does it have an energy blanket? Is it strapped to California Earthquake Standards? Does it have an operative pressure release valve and overflow line exiting the building? What condition are the vent and the platform the water heater sits on? Are there any water stains or mold?
  • Test all sinks, toilets, tubs, showers, garbage disposal, dishwasher, washer, laundry sinks, etc…Does the dishwasher have any overflow installed? Any water stains, previous leaks or mold noted?
  • Is the laundry on the first or second floor? Are there any water leaks or stains? Is there an overflow device present? Are there electric or gas hookups? Is there an operative GFCI outlet or a 220 electric outlet and is it grounded? Is there a dryer vent to the exterior of the building? Is there any damage to the vent line?
  • Check all grounds, driveways, fences, gates, decks, patios, patio covers and sidewalks for damages…

To see the full list of components inspected by our certified inspectors click on the link above.