Mold and Wood Destroying Organisms

70% of homes estimated to have some mold growth

Mold becomes a problem to the structure of your home when it starts to grow on wood.  
An inspector trained in wood destroying organisms can visually identify the growth of fungi/mold.  

Moisture is the culprit to allowing mold growth. Being able to identify the presence of mold and the conditions and causes that lead to mold growth are important in a home inspection.   I am well trained and experienced in assessing the conditions and inspecting for mold, fungi, and other wood destroying organisms.  Please note that no inspector can see inside walls, we can however inspects for conditions that would lead to mold growth, and know how to assess signs of mold growth. 

Inspecting for mold is not an added feature to my inspections, it is always included.

There are over 100,000 species of mold most of which are harmless to people that do not have a sensitivity to mold.  Unless the growth of mold is rampant or has already affected the integrity of the structure, in most cases mold can be remediated. 


The TRUTH about radon in Michigan

I do not currently offer Radon testing as a stand alone service, only as an add on to a full inspection. Radon Test must be requested by customer at time of scheduling if desired.  The Test is an additional $80 and access to the home will be needed between 2 and 4 days later. Please read the following in its entirety before confirming you would like a radon test.

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers.


A:  The best time to test for Radon in Southeastern Michigan is during the winter months.  The test should be conducted when the conditions of the home are stable and will give the most accurate reading possible.  Most homes are closed to outside air in the winter making the conditions much better for testing with accuracy. 


A:  There are several devices and methods for testing.  They are basically broken down into two categories- Long Term Tests and Short Term Tests.  Short Term Test require  "Closed House" conditions for 12 hours prior to the test.  They take 2-4 days.  A Long Term Test typically last 3 months and provides a much more accurate reading of the long term conditions present in a home.


A:  I apologize for the length of the answer but it is a matter of health and a more complex precess than most buyers or agents realize.  Radon Levels Fluctuate Wildly!  During a single day, the concentration of radon gas in indoor air varies and may easily double or triple. It also fluctuates greatly from day to day, week to week, and season to season.  Radon gas is drawn from the ground into homes by differences in concentration, air pressure, and temperature. This force largely depends on the weather and ground conditions outdoors. The indoor radon level is thus affected by barometric pressure, strong winds, rain-soaked ground, snow cover, the season, heating and A/C systems, house construction, open windows, etc.

Radon tests can have two types of error:

  • “False positive” – the test result is above 4 pCi/L although the long-term average is below it. The homeowner may “waste money” on a radon mitigation system. However, EPA recommends that homeowners consider fixing their home if the radon test is above 2 pCi/L and explains that radon gas is unsafe at any level. Therefore, reducing the radon level is not a waste.

  • “False negative” – the test result is below the Action Level but the long-term radon level is above it. The homeowner may decide not to mitigate although he should. This will increase the health risk to the entire family. Therefore, homeowners should follow EPA’s other recommendation to “consider” reducing radon if the test result is above 2 pCi/L.

PLEASE NOTE - I as a home inspector can not be held responsible for false positives or false negatives of a short term test. By the very nature of the test they are not accurate enough to make a decision about your long term health.

As a matter of public health policy, short-term radon tests are valuable for raising public awareness and for screening of the housing stock. They may not provide a clear answer to the individual homeowner but will save lives by encouraging homeowners to reduce the radon concentration in their homes.

Considering the wide fluctuations in radon level, the difference between 3.5 and 4.5 pCi/L short-term results is meaningless. The long-term radon level may easily be a double or a half of that. Then a short-term test result of around 4 pCi/L means that the actual long-term radon level is very likely in the 2 to 8 pCi/L range.

Some Numbers that can guide your decision-

When the short-term result is in the "gray area" of 2 – 8 pCi/L, it is a game of roulette for the home seller and the new homeowner.

If the short-term result is 4.1 pCi/L, the seller of a house may be asked to spend money on radon mitigation although the actual long-term radon level may be below 2 pCi/L. Although this may be unfair to the seller, a reduction in radon concentration to below 2 pCi/L would certainly benefit future homeowners.

On the other hand, if the short-term test is 3.9 pCi/L, the actual long-term level may actually be double that. The potential buyer should get a long-term test kit, or better yet, work to reduce the radon level to below 2 pCi/L in order to provide a healthier home for his family.

What Should You Do?

Test the radon level in your home every year or at least every two years, as EPA recommends. The underground flows of radon gas change over time, particularly if there is construction nearby.

If the short-term radon test result is below 2 pCi/L, it is almost certain that your home meets the EPA Action Limit.

If the short-term test is above 8 pCi/L, it is very likely that it exceeds the Action Level and you need radon mitigation.

If the radon test result is in the gray area 2 to 8 pCi/L, you have several options:

  • another short-term test, preferably in another season, but this may be completely useless

  • a long-term radon test over 3 or preferably 6 months which will give you the true picture

  • reduce the radon level to a practical minimum



A: I am sorry to say they are not giving you the whole truth.  Radon and it's effects are nothing to rush through to make an extra quick buck.  If you do go with another inspector please conduct a long term test once you move into the home.  Radon can not be accurately tested with any amount or type of equipment in a few days and absolutely never will you be able to get results on the spot in a few hours of testing.

Good news - The cost to fix is not out of reach.

The optimal testing conditions are really months before the home is about to switch hands, or after the home has switched hands when a long term test can be conducted.   The good news is that even homes with very high levels of Radon can be brought to low levels with Radon Mitigations techniques that usually cost between $500 to $1600.   If your home has elevated levels of Radon it is not unusual.  About 14% of home in Southeast Michigan will have levels above the EPA's suggested actionable levels. 


A:  With 100% accuracy the answer is no.  I can not and neither can any other service.  Please see the chart below comparing short-term and long-term radon test results in a house during a period of two years (courtesy of St. John’s University).

The house has a somewhat elevated radon level above the U.S. EPA’s "Action Limit" of 4 pCi/L as revealed by the two year-long measurements. It should be repaired.

About 40% of the short-term tests incorrectly indicate that the radon level is below the Action Limit (“false negatives”). Although the home should be mitigated, the homeowner may feel confident that there is no radon problem.

Even the 90-day radon tests show false negatives in two out of eight tests (or 25%).

The safety and health of my customers is much more important than making a fast buck or giving a less than truthful answer. Although this information may not have made your concerns dissolve I promise that I have not reshaped the truth in order to sell you a service. Absolutely no equipment can accurately test in one day. The method I use is on par with the highest rated methods for short term radon testing accuracy (as reported by an independent scientific testing firm used by Consumer Reports in a recent study).

Personal opinion (harsh but true)- 

If you care about your health but will not be able to afford the possibility of a need for a radon fix in the near future don't buy a house yet, save your money until a $500-$1600 fix isn't going to break the bank.

14% of homes in SE Michigan have elevated levels of Radon

Radon is relatively easy to alleviate, but you must test to know if it is there.



Water Quality

Well Water and Septic

A drinking water quality test can be conducted at your request for an additional $45.  The service must be requested when scheduling.  To test for bacteria the test takes 48 hours before results can be analyzed and reported.

The test is not exhaustive or cover every possible contaminant.  For an exhaustive level test you should contact a water quality lab licensed in the state of Michigan.

Septic Systems

At this time I do not conduct septic inspections that require taking soil samples of the septic field, digging in the lawn for location of septic components, or opening the septic tank, I do not open the well, or inspect pumps inside of wells. To perform a septic inspection you must be certified in each county you work in separately. As I work in at least 4 counties it is not financially feasible for me to hold certificates for that many counties. All septic and well inspections are best scheduled through a certified company in the county the home is in. A full septic field and well and pumping system inspection can take up to 2.5 hours (typically with two people on the job). The best course of action is to schedule both a home inspection and well inspection at the same time if possible.

Standards of Practice

Table of Contents

1. Definitions and Scope

2. Limitations, Exceptions & Exclusions


3. Standards of Practice

3.1.   Roof
3.2.   Exterior
3.3.   Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace
3.4.   Heating
3.5.   Cooling
3.6.   Plumbing
3.7.   Electrical
3.8.   Fireplace
3.9.   Attic, Insulation
3.10. Doors, Windows
4. Glossary of Terms

1. Definitions and Scope

1.1.  A general home inspection is a non-invasive, visual examination of the accessible areas of a residential property (as delineated below), performed for a fee, which is designed to identify defects within specific systems and components defined by these Standards that are both observed and deemed material by the inspector.  The scope of work may be modified by the Client and Inspector prior to the inspection process.

  1. The general home inspection is based on the observations made on the date of the inspection, and not a prediction of future conditions.

  2. The general home inspection will not reveal every issue that exists or ever could exist, but only those material defects observed on the date of the inspection.

1.2.  A material defect is a specific issue with a system or component of a residential property that may have a significant, adverse impact on the value of the property, or that poses an unreasonable risk to people.  The fact that a system or component is near, at or beyond the end of its normal useful life is not, in itself, a material defect.

1.3.  A general home inspection report shall identify, in written format, defects within specific systems and components defined by these Standards that are both observed and deemed material by the inspector.  Inspection reports may include additional comments and recommendations.

2. Limitations, Exceptions & Exclusions


  1. An inspection is not technically exhaustive.

  2. An inspection will not identify concealed or latent defects.

  3. An inspection will not deal with aesthetic concerns or what could be deemed matters of taste, cosmetic defects, etc.

  4. An inspection will not determine the suitability of the property for any use.

  5. An inspection does not determine the market value of the property or its marketability.

  6. An inspection does not determine the insurability of the property.

  7. An inspection does not determine the advisability or inadvisability of the purchase of the inspected property.

  8. An inspection does not determine the life expectancy of the property or any components or systems therein.

  9. An inspection does not include items not permanently installed.

  10. These Standards of Practice apply only to properties with four or fewer residential units.


I. The inspector is not required to determine:

  1. property boundary lines or encroachments.

  2. the condition of any component or system that is not readily accessible.

  3. the service life expectancy of any component or system.

  4. the size, capacity, BTU, performance or efficiency of any component or system.

  5. the cause or reason of any condition.

  6. the cause for the need of correction, repair or replacement of any system or component.

  7. future conditions.

  8. compliance with codes or regulations.

  9. the presence of evidence of rodents, birds, animals, insects, or other pests.

  10. the presence of mold, mildew or fungus.

  11. the presence of airborne hazards, including radon.

  12. the air quality.

  13. the existence of environmental hazards, including lead paint, asbestos or toxic drywall.

  14. the existence of electromagnetic fields.

  15. any hazardous waste conditions.

  16. any manufacturers' recalls or conformance with manufacturer installation, or any information included for consumer protection purposes.

  17. acoustical properties.

  18. correction, replacement or repair cost estimates.

  19. estimates of the cost to operate any given system.

II. The inspector is not required to operate:

  1. any system that is shut down.

  2. any system that does not function properly.

  3. or evaluate low-voltage electrical systems such as, but not limited to:1. phone lines;
    2. cable lines;
    3. satellite dishes;
    4. antennae;
    5. lights; or
    6. remote controls.

  4. any system that does not turn on with the use of normal operating controls.

  5. any shut-off valves or manual stop valves.

  6. any electrical disconnect or over-current protection devices.

  7. any alarm systems.

  8. moisture meters, gas detectors or similar equipment.

III. The inspector is not required to:

  1. move any personal items or other obstructions, such as, but not limited to: throw rugs, carpeting, wall coverings, furniture, ceiling tiles, window coverings, equipment, plants, ice, debris, snow, water, dirt, pets, or anything else that might restrict the visual inspection.

  2. dismantle, open or uncover any system or component.

  3. enter or access any area that may, in the opinion of the inspector, be unsafe.

  4. enter crawlspaces or other areas that may be unsafe or not readily accessible.

  5. inspect underground items, such as, but not limited to: lawn-irrigation systems, or underground storage tanks (or indications of their presence), whether abandoned or actively used.

  6. do anything which may, in the inspector's opinion, be unsafe or dangerous to the inspector or others, or damage property, such as, but not limited to: walking on roof surfaces, climbing ladders, entering attic spaces, or negotiating with pets.

  7. inspect decorative items.

  8. inspect common elements or areas in multi-unit housing.

  9. inspect intercoms, speaker systems or security systems.

  10. offer guarantees or warranties.

  11. offer or perform any engineering services.

  12. offer or perform any trade or professional service other than general home inspection.

  13. research the history of the property, or report on its potential for alteration, modification, extendibility or suitability for a specific or proposed use for occupancy.

  14. determine the age of construction or installation of any system, structure or component of a building, or differentiate between original construction and subsequent additions, improvements, renovations or replacements.

  15. determine the insurability of a property.

  16. perform or offer Phase 1 or environmental audits.

  17. inspect any system or component that is not included in these Standards.

3. Standards of Practice



3.1 Roof


I. The inspector shall inspect from ground level or the eaves:

  1. the roof-covering materials;

  2. the gutters;

  3. the downspouts;

  4. the vents, flashing, skylights, chimney, and other roof penetrations; and

  5. the general structure of the roof from the readily accessible panels, doors or stairs.

II. The inspector shall describe:

  1. the type of roof-covering materials.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:


  1. observed indications of active roof leaks.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

  1. walk on any roof surface.

  2. predict the service life expectancy.

  3. inspect underground downspout diverter drainage pipes.

  4. remove snow, ice, debris or other conditions that prohibit the observation of the roof surfaces.

  5. move insulation.

  6. inspect antennae, satellite dishes, lightning arresters, de-icing equipment, or similar attachments.

  7. walk on any roof areas that appear, in the opinion of the inspector, to be unsafe.

  8. walk on any roof areas if it might, in the opinion of the inspector, cause damage.

  9. perform a water test.

  10. warrant or certify the roof.

  11. confirm proper fastening or installation of any roof-covering material.


3.2 Exterior


I. The inspector shall inspect:

  1. the exterior wall-covering materials, flashing and trim;

  2. all exterior doors;

  3. adjacent walkways and driveways;

  4. stairs, steps, stoops, stairways and ramps;

  5. porches, patios, decks, balconies and carports;

  6. railings, guards and handrails;

  7. the eaves, soffits and fascia;

  8. a representative number of windows; and

  9. vegetation, surface drainage, retaining walls and grading of the property, where they may adversely affect the structure due to moisture intrusion.

II. The inspector shall describe:


  1. the type of exterior wall-covering materials.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:


  1. any improper spacing between intermediate balusters, spindles and rails.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

  1. inspect or operate screens, storm windows, shutters, awnings, fences, outbuildings, or exterior accent lighting.

  2. inspect items that are not visible or readily accessible from the ground, including window and door flashing.

  3. inspect or identify geological, geotechnical, hydrological or soil conditions.

  4. inspect recreational facilities or playground equipment.

  5. inspect seawalls, breakwalls or docks.

  6. inspect erosion-control or earth-stabilization measures.

  7. inspect for safety-type glass.

  8. inspect underground utilities.

  9. inspect underground items.

  10. inspect wells or springs.

  11. inspect solar, wind or geothermal systems.

  12. inspect swimming pools or spas.

  13. inspect wastewater treatment systems, septic systems or cesspools.

  14. inspect irrigation or sprinkler systems.

  15. inspect drainfields or dry wells.

  16. determine the integrity of multiple-pane window glazing or thermal window seals.

 3.3 Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace & Structure

 I. The inspector shall inspect:

  1. the foundation;

  2. the basement;

  3. the crawlspace; and

  4. structural components.

II. The inspector shall describe:

  1. the type of foundation; and

  2. the location of the access to the under-floor space.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

  1. observed indications of wood in contact with or near soil;

  2. observed indications of active water penetration;

  3. observed indications of possible foundation movement, such as sheetrock cracks, brick cracks, out-of-square door frames, and unlevel floors; and

  4. any observed cutting, notching and boring of framing members that may, in the inspector's opinion, present a structural or safety concern.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

  1. enter any crawlspace that is not readily accessible, or where entry could cause damage or pose a hazard to the inspector.

  2. move stored items or debris.

  3. operate sump pumps with inaccessible floats.

  4. identify the size, spacing, span or location or determine the adequacy of foundation bolting, bracing, joists, joist spans or support systems.

  5. provide any engineering or architectural service.

  6. report on the adequacy of any structural system or component.

 3.4 Heating

I. The inspector shall inspect:

  1. the heating system, using normal operating controls.

II. The inspector shall describe:

  1. the location of the thermostat for the heating system;

  2. the energy source; and

  3. the heating method.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

  1. any heating system that did not operate; and

  2. if the heating system was deemed inaccessible.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

  1. inspect or evaluate the interior of flues or chimneys, fire chambers, heat exchangers, combustion air systems, fresh-air intakes, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, electronic air filters, geothermal systems, or solar heating systems.

  2. inspect fuel tanks or underground or concealed fuel supply systems.

  3. determine the uniformity, temperature, flow, balance, distribution, size, capacity, BTU, or supply adequacy of the heating system.

  4. light or ignite pilot flames.

  5. activate heating, heat pump systems, or other heating systems when ambient temperatures or other circumstances are not conducive to safe operation or may damage the equipment.

  6. override electronic thermostats.

  7. evaluate fuel quality.

  8. verify thermostat calibration, heat anticipation, or automatic setbacks, timers, programs or clocks.

 3.5 Cooling

 I. The inspector shall inspect:

  1. the cooling system using normal operating controls.

II. The inspector shall describe:

  1. the location of the thermostat for the cooling system; and

  2. the cooling method.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

  1. any cooling system that did not operate; and

  2. if the cooling system was deemed inaccessible.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

  1. determine the uniformity, temperature, flow, balance, distribution, size, capacity, BTU, or supply adequacy of the cooling system.

  2. inspect portable window units, through-wall units, or electronic air filters.

  3. operate equipment or systems if the exterior temperature is below 65° Fahrenheit, or when other circumstances are not conducive to safe operation or may damage the equipment.

  4. inspect or determine thermostat calibration, cooling anticipation, or automatic setbacks or clocks.

  5. examine electrical current, coolant fluids or gases, or coolant leakage.



3.6 Plumbing


I. The inspector shall inspect:

  1. the main water supply shut-off valve;

  2. the main fuel supply shut-off valve;

  3. the water heating equipment, including the energy source, venting connections, temperature/pressure-relief (TPR) valves, Watts 210 valves, and seismic bracing;

  4. interior water supply, including all fixtures and faucets, by running the water;

  5. all toilets for proper operation by flushing;

  6. all sinks, tubs and showers for functional drainage;

  7. the drain, waste and vent system; and

  8. drainage sump pumps with accessible floats.

II. The inspector shall describe:

  1. whether the water supply is public or private based upon observed evidence;

  2. the location of the main water supply shut-off valve;

  3. the location of the main fuel supply shut-off valve;

  4. the location of any observed fuel-storage system; and

  5. the capacity of the water heating equipment, if labeled.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

  1. deficiencies in the water supply by viewing the functional flow in two fixtures operated simultaneously;

  2. deficiencies in the installation of hot and cold water faucets;

  3. mechanical drain stops that were missing or did not operate if installed in sinks, lavatories and tubs; and

  4. toilets that were damaged, had loose connections to the floor, were leaking, or had tank components that did not operate.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

  1. light or ignite pilot flames.

  2. measure the capacity, temperature, age, life expectancy or adequacy of the water heater.

  3. inspect the interior of flues or chimneys, combustion air systems, water softener or filtering systems, well pumps or tanks, safety or shut-off valves, floor drains, lawn sprinkler systems, or fire sprinkler systems.

  4. determine the exact flow rate, volume, pressure, temperature or adequacy of the water supply.

  5. determine the water quality, potability or reliability of the water supply or source.

  6. open sealed plumbing access panels.

  7. inspect clothes washing machines or their connections.

  8. operate any valve.

  9. test shower pans, tub and shower surrounds or enclosures for leakage or functional overflow protection.

  10. evaluate the compliance with conservation, energy or building standards, or the proper design or sizing of any water, waste or venting components, fixtures or piping.

  11. determine the effectiveness of anti-siphon, back-flow prevention or drain-stop devices.

  12. determine whether there are sufficient cleanouts for effective cleaning of drains.

  13. evaluate fuel storage tanks or supply systems.

  14. inspect wastewater treatment systems.

  15. inspect water treatment systems or water filters.

  16. inspect water storage tanks, pressure pumps, or bladder tanks.

  17. evaluate wait time to obtain hot water at fixtures, or perform testing of any kind to water heater elements.

  18. evaluate or determine the adequacy of combustion air.

  19. test, operate, open or close: safety controls, manual stop valves, temperature/pressure-relief valves, control valves, or check valves.

  20. examine ancillary or auxiliary systems or components, such as, but not limited to, those related to solar water heating and hot water circulation.

  21. determine the existence or condition of polybutylene plumbing.



3.7 Electrical


I. The inspector shall inspect:

  1. the service drop;

  2. the overhead service conductors and attachment point;

  3. the service head, gooseneck and drip loops;

  4. the service mast, service conduit and raceway;

  5. the electric meter and base;

  6. service-entrance conductors;

  7. the main service disconnect;

  8. panelboards and over-current protection devices (circuit breakers and fuses);

  9. service grounding and bonding;

  10. a representative number of switches, lighting fixtures and receptacles, including receptacles observed and deemed to be arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI)-protected using the AFCI test button, where possible;

  11. all ground-fault circuit interrupter receptacles and circuit breakers observed and deemed to be GFCIs using a GFCI tester, where possible; and

  12. smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors.

II. The inspector shall describe:


  1. the main service disconnect's amperage rating, if labeled; and

  2. the type of wiring observed.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:


  1. deficiencies in the integrity of the service-entrance conductors’ insulation, drip loop, and vertical clearances from grade and roofs;

  2. any unused circuit-breaker panel opening that was not filled;

  3. the presence of solid conductor aluminum branch-circuit wiring, if readily visible;

  4. any tested receptacle in which power was not present, polarity was incorrect, the cover was not in place, the GFCI devices were not properly installed or did not operate properly, evidence of arcing or excessive heat, and where the receptacle was not grounded or was not secured to the wall; and

  5. the absence of smoke detectors.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

  1. insert any tool, probe or device into the main panelboard, sub-panels, distribution panelboards, or electrical fixtures.

  2. operate electrical systems that are shut down.

  3. remove panelboard cabinet covers or dead fronts.

  4. operate or re-set over-current protection devices or overload devices.

  5. operate smoke or carbon-monoxide detectors.

  6. measure or determine the amperage or voltage of the main service equipment, if not visibly labeled.

  7. inspect the fire and alarm system or components.

  8. inspect the ancillary wiring or remote-control devices.

  9. activate any electrical systems or branch circuits that are not energized.

  10. inspect low-voltage systems, electrical de-icing tapes, swimming pool wiring, or any time-controlled devices.

  11. verify the service ground.

  12. inspect private or emergency electrical supply sources, including, but not limited to: generators, windmills, photovoltaic solar collectors, or battery or electrical storage facility.

  13. inspect spark or lightning arrestors.

  14. inspect or test de-icing equipment.

  15. conduct voltage-drop calculations.

  16. determine the accuracy of labeling.

  17. inspect exterior lighting.


3.8 Fireplace


I. The inspector shall inspect:

  1. readily accessible and visible portions of the fireplaces and chimneys;

  2. lintels above the fireplace openings;

  3. damper doors by opening and closing them, if readily accessible and manually operable; and

  4. cleanout doors and frames.

II. The inspector shall describe:


  1. the type of fireplace.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:


  1. evidence of joint separation, damage or deterioration of the hearth, hearth extension or chambers;

  2. manually operated dampers that did not open and close;

  3. the lack of a smoke detector in the same room as the fireplace;

  4. the lack of a carbon-monoxide detector in the same room as the fireplace; and

  5. cleanouts not made of metal, pre-cast cement, or other non-combustible material.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

  1. inspect the flue or vent system.

  2. inspect the interior of chimneys or flues, fire doors or screens, seals or gaskets, or mantels.

  3. determine the need for a chimney sweep.

  4. operate gas fireplace inserts.

  5. light pilot flames.

  6. determine the appropriateness of any installation.

  7. inspect automatic fuel-fed devices.

  8. inspect combustion and/or make-up air devices.

  9. inspect heat-distribution assists, whether gravity-controlled or fan-assisted.

  10. ignite or extinguish fires.

  11. determine the adequacy of drafts or draft characteristics.

  12. move fireplace inserts, stoves or firebox contents.

  13. perform a smoke test.

  14. dismantle or remove any component.

  15. perform a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)-style inspection.

  16. perform a Phase I fireplace and chimney inspection.



3.9 Attic, Insulation & Ventilation


I. The inspector shall inspect:

  1. insulation in unfinished spaces, including attics, crawlspaces and foundation areas;

  2. ventilation of unfinished spaces, including attics, crawlspaces and foundation areas; and

  3. mechanical exhaust systems in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry area.

II. The inspector shall describe:

  1. the type of insulation observed; and

  2. the approximate average depth of insulation observed at the unfinished attic floor area or roof structure.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:


  1. the general absence of insulation or ventilation in unfinished spaces.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

  1. enter the attic or any unfinished spaces that are not readily accessible, or where entry could cause damage or, in the inspector's opinion, pose a safety hazard.

  2. move, touch or disturb insulation.

  3. move, touch or disturb vapor retarders.

  4. break or otherwise damage the surface finish or weather seal on or around access panels or covers.

  5. identify the composition or R-value of insulation material.

  6. activate thermostatically operated fans.

  7. determine the types of materials used in insulation or wrapping of pipes, ducts, jackets, boilers or wiring.

  8. determine the adequacy of ventilation.



3.10.Doors, Windows & Interior


I. The inspector shall inspect:

  1. a representative number of doors and windows by opening and closing them;

  2. floors, walls and ceilings;

  3. stairs, steps, landings, stairways and ramps;

  4. railings, guards and handrails; and

  5. garage vehicle doors and the operation of garage vehicle door openers, using normal operating controls.

II. The inspector shall describe:


  1. a garage vehicle door as manually-operated or installed with a garage door opener.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:


  1. improper spacing between intermediate balusters, spindles and rails for steps, stairways, guards and railings;

  2. photo-electric safety sensors that did not operate properly; and

  3. any window that was obviously fogged or displayed other evidence of broken seals.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

  1. inspect paint, wallpaper, window treatments or finish treatments.

  2. inspect floor coverings or carpeting.

  3. inspect central vacuum systems.

  4. inspect for safety glazing.

  5. inspect security systems or components.

  6. evaluate the fastening of islands, countertops, cabinets, sink tops or fixtures.

  7. move furniture, stored items, or any coverings, such as carpets or rugs, in order to inspect the concealed floor structure.

  8. move suspended-ceiling tiles.

  9. inspect or move any household appliances.

  10. inspect or operate equipment housed in the garage, except as otherwise noted.

  11. verify or certify the proper operation of any pressure-activated auto-reverse or related safety feature of a garage door.

  12. operate or evaluate any security bar release and opening mechanisms, whether interior or exterior, including their compliance with local, state or federal standards.

  13. operate any system, appliance or component that requires the use of special keys, codes, combinations or devices.

  14. operate or evaluate self-cleaning oven cycles, tilt guards/latches, or signal lights.

  15. inspect microwave ovens or test leakage from microwave ovens.

  16. operate or examine any sauna, steam-generating equipment, kiln, toaster, ice maker, coffee maker, can opener, bread warmer, blender, instant hot-water dispenser, or other small, ancillary appliances or devices.

  17. inspect elevators.

  18. inspect remote controls.

  19. inspect appliances.

  20. inspect items not permanently installed.

  21. discover firewall compromises.

  22. inspect pools, spas or fountains.

  23. determine the adequacy of whirlpool or spa jets, water force, or bubble effects.

  24. determine the structural integrity or leakage of pools or spas.