Inspect the electric service to the house, identify the location of the service panel and the main disconnect; determine the grounding system method and the overcurrent protection devices used; determine if the main service panel amperage rating is sufficient; identify the predominant branch circuit wiring method; test a representative amount of receptacles; check switches and lighting fixtures; inspect the electric service panel for issues such as burned wires, rust and overcurrent protection; test ground fault receptacles (GFI) for proper function.
Test the plumbing system by checking fixtures, flushing toilets and running faucets; check for leaks and water flow; drain operation; inspect toilets, sinks, showers, and major appliances for leaks; describe the main water entry pipe material and identify the main water valve location; determine the materials used for the water, drain and waste pipes; inspect the water heater, determine its approximate age and service life; identify gas pipe materials and fuel shut off valve locations; identify gas venting methods.
Test the heating system response to the thermostat control; inspect the heating equipment and heat distribution; inspect vents, flues, and chimneys for any obvious defects; identify the fuel source and heating system type; determine the approximate age of the heating equipment and average service life.
Air Conditioning Inspection
Test the air conditioning system response to the thermostat control in temperatures above 60 degrees; describe the cooling distribution; determine the approximate age of the cooling equipment and average service life; air filters; identify the location of the condensation water drain; check to make sure that the exterior unit is level, clear of obstructions and the refrigerant line insulation is in place; check to ensure that each room has air conditioning vents; test the temperature split or delta between the supply air temperature and intake air temperature.
Foundation and Framing Inspection
Inspect the foundation and identify the type of materials used; check for cracks and visible deficiencies; check for water seepage, moisture marks and stains; inspect the framing and identify the components used for the floor structure, wall structure, and framing; identify observed wood boring insects; determine if there is a sump pump system; check for insulation, vapor barriers and ventilation methods.
Test the kitchen appliances by using normal operating controls to activate the primary function of each appliance; determine the kitchen ventilation method; evaluate the cabinets and countertops for significant issues; test each receptacle and determine if there is GFI protection and function; identify the GFI re-set location.
Operate the washer and dryer by using normal operating controls to activate the primary function of each; identify the laundry location; determine the exit location and condition of the dryer vent; identify the type of dryer exhaust vent pipe material; check for the presence of a leak containment system or water shut off system; test the laundry sink; identify the dryer fuel source; identify the type of washer supply hoses.
Check a representative sampling of window operation; walls and ceilings are inspected for water stains and leaks under bathrooms, kitchens, roof coverings and flashing areas albeit there may be a leak not observed or concealed; check for wall and ceiling damage; check door operation; Identify the presence of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms; check stairways and railings; check floor coverings for significant deficiencies.
Fireplace and Chimney Inspection
Identify the locations and types of wood burning fireplaces, gas fireplaces, chimneys; check mortar condition; check the chimney for significant issues; check the fireplace for loose mortar; operate the damper; determine venting methods for gas fireplaces.
Test the bathroom fixtures by running water for a period of time through each fixture in each bath; toilets are flushed; drainage and water flow are observed and evaluated; check for faucets and fixture leaks; check drainage; check caulking and grouting at tubs, showers and floors; test GFCI protected receptacles and identify the GFI re-set location; check conditions of tub and shower walls and surrounds. Identify ventilation type and function; determine heat source presence.
Describe the type of attic inspection method; identify the type of attic access and the attic, sheathing, framing methods and materials; check for leaks albeit there may be leaks not observed or concealed; check the insulation; identify the insulation materials; identify the absence of insulation; describe the attic ventilation system; identify the presence of vapor barriers; identify the type of townhouse fire separation walls; check for pest intrusion evidence.
Inspect and describe the wall covering materials; check the eaves, fascia, soffits and trim for deficiencies; check protection, painting, sealants and caulking for deficiencies and maintenance requirements; identify the presence and locations of exterior doors, light fixtures, and faucets; test GFI receptacles and identify GFI re-set locations.
Roof and Flashing Inspection
Describe the roof inspection method; describe the roof type; inspect the roof coverings; identify the roof covering material; approximate the age of the roof coverings and average service life; check flashings; check roof penetrations, vent pipe collars, skylights and flues; check sealants and caulking.
Grounds and Attachments Inspection
Inspect the entry walks, steps, stoops and railings; inspect the rear and side steps and railings; describe type and location of porches; check decks and railings for significant deficiencies; check driveway and retaining walls for significant issues and describes materials for each; check vegetation for adverse conditions to home.
Grading and Drainage Inspection
Describe the grading and drainage observations; check for significant deficiencies; identify the presence of window wells; describe the optimum specifications for grading against the foundation.
Thermal imaging allows a vision of an object’s heat radiating off itself. Thermal cameras record the temperature of various objects in the frame. We use this tool in certain circumstances to help evaluate a condition.
An imaging moisture meter is similar to thermal imaging but is specific to moisture detection and in many cases a more valuable evaluation tool specifically related to moisture conditions.