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Standards of Practice


3.1. Roof

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

the roof-covering materials;

A. the gutters;

B. the downspouts;

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

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

II. The inspector shall describe:

A. the type of roof-covering materials.

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

A. observed indications of active roof leaks.


3.2. Exterior

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. the exterior wall-covering materials; 

B. the eaves, soffits and fascia;

C. a representative number of windows;

D. all exterior doors;

E. flashing and trim;

F. adjacent walkways and driveways;

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

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

I. railings, guards and handrails; and 

J. 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:

A. the type of exterior wall-covering materials.

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

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


3.3. Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace & Structure 

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. the foundation;

B. the basement;

C. the crawlspace; and

D. structural components.

II. The inspector shall describe:

A. the type of foundation; and

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

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

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

B. observed indications of active water penetration; 

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

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


3.4. Heating 

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. the heating system, using normal operating controls.

II. The inspector shall describe:

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

B. the energy source; and

C. the heating method.

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

A. any heating system that did not operate; and

B. if the heating system was deemed inaccessible.


3.5. Cooling

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. the cooling system, using normal operating controls.

II. The inspector shall describe:

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

B. the cooling method.

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

A. any cooling system that did not operate; and

B. if the cooling system was deemed inaccessible.


3.6. Plumbing 

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. the main water supply shut-off valve;

B. the main fuel supply shut-off valve;

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

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

E. all toilets for proper operation by flushing;

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

G. the drain, waste and vent system; and

H. drainage sump pumps with accessible floats.

II. The inspector shall describe:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

C. active plumbing water leaks that were observed during the inspection; and  

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


3.7. Electrical 

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. the service drop;

B. the overhead service conductors and attachment point;

C. the service head, gooseneck and drip loops;

D. the service mast, service conduit and raceway;

E. the electric meter and base;

F. service-entrance conductors;

G. the main service disconnect;

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

I. service grounding and bonding;

J. 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;

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

L. for the presence of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

II. The inspector shall describe:

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

B. the type of wiring observed.

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

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

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

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

D. 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

E. the absence of smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors.


3.8. Fireplace   

I. The inspector shall inspect:

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

B. lintels above the fireplace openings;

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

D. cleanout doors and frames.

II. The inspector shall describe:

A. the type of fireplace.

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

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

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

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

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

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


3.9. Attic, Insulation & Ventilation

I. The inspector shall inspect:

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

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

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

II. The inspector shall describe:

A. the type of insulation observed; and

B. 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:

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


3.10. Doors, Windows & Interior 

I. The inspector shall inspect:

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

B. floors, walls and ceilings;

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

D. railings, guards and handrails; and

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

II. The inspector shall describe:

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

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

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

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

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



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