We closely inspect a home’s exterior to make certain that the outside of the home is functionally how you want it. You may or may not choose to request repairs from the seller, but our job is for you to be fully informed about what you’re buying. We look for damage or conditions that may invite infestation or leaks. Exterior elements included in your inspection report:
- Windows & doors – Are the seals tight and do all windows and doors hang and work properly?
- Siding or trim – If there is siding, is it secure?
- Garages – Does the garage door open and close easily, and is it up to code for safety? Are the electrical and/or gas connections up to code? No exposed wires?
- Decks or porches – If they are wood, is the wood in good shape? Rotten wood is an accident waiting to happen.
- Stairs or railings – Any evidence of damage?
Many Bakersfield homes have issues with the roof. Because roof repair costs a lot of money, you want to make certain that the roof is in good condition when you’re buying a new home. And while the roof is not necessarily a ‘health and safety’ issue, the condition of the roof provides leverage for the purchase price. Here are the roofing elements we inspect and what’s important:
- Shingles or tiles – How old is the roof? Are shingles or tiles missing? Are tiles broken or cracked beyond repair?
- Flashings at roof penetrations and valleys – Inadequate flashing may create opportunities for a leak when it rains.
- Skylights – Is the seal around the skylight water-tight?
- Chimneys – Flashing must be secure and complete.
- Gutters and downspouts – Are the gutters securely attached? This is a small issue that could create an unwanted problem during a rain storm.
Structural issues are a primary concern for a home’s interior. We look for any and all indications that there may be issues that could cause unwanted surprises:
- Walls, ceilings, stairways – Are there any cracks? Evidence of water damage? Previous leaks may or may not have been fixed at the source. Any sags in the ceiling that need support?
- Windows & doors – Are all windows and doors functioning properly? Will you need weather stripping to make them air-tight and preserve energy usage?
- Attics – What is the status of insulation? Is it adequate, or old and flat? Is the attic properly ventilated?
Foundation & Substructure
The foundation is a critical component of a house inspection. Inspection of a home’s interior may be the first clue about the foundation. The presence of cracks indicates shifting. It takes an expert, qualified inspector to know the difference between a crack that is harmless, and a crack that indicates a problem. We look for damage and/or decay that may require a foundation expert to fix. We also inspect foundations for water penetration below the grade. Here are elements of a foundation inspection:
- Foundation slabs – Are there cracks that extend from the house?
- Foundation walls, pier and beam – This isn’t common in Bakersfield, but we know what conditions to watch for problems.
Get ready for us to turn on every appliance in your house. Because the kitchen in a home gets a lot of wear and tear, it’s a place where there may be problems that need fixing. We look closely for water damage in kitchens that may have turned into a mold issue. Here’s a list of what we look for when inspecting a kitchen:
- Faucets and dishwasher hoses – What is the condition of anything that could leak? Are the connections secure? Are there water pressure or drainage issues?
- Appliances – Do the ovens, cooktop, vent, and dishwasher work properly?
- Cabinets and countertops – Should be in adequate condition for the age of the house.
Air conditioning and heating systems are another trigger point for a home inspection. This is an area where it is especially important to have a qualified inspector for your home. Here’s what we look for with HVAC units:
- Condenser, air handler, distribution system ductwork – How does the unit perform? Does it cool quickly? Is the cooling evenly distributed throughout the house? Does it look like the system has been well-maintained, or neglected?
- Compressor – Is the unit level? Is the refrigerated tubing fully insulated? Is the space clear of debris?
- Furnace, heat pump, fuel-supply piping, venting, ductwork – How does the unit perform? Is heat evenly distributed throughout the house?
- Fireplace(s) – If it is a gas fireplace, is it in working order? What is the condition of the ventilation?
A thorough inspection report includes the location of essential items such as the electrical distribution panel(s). We inspect all aspects of a house that have anything to do with electricity. Examples include:
- Inside the panel – Is there is any water, rust, or corrosion? Is wiring the proper size for the breaker? Are there any loose or broken wires? Are all of the knockout holes filled?
- GFCIs – Certain kitchen, bath, and garage outlets must have an automatic shut-off, or GFCI. Are the required GFCIs in place? Do they trip when tested?
- Smoke alarms, CO2 alarm – Are smoke detectors working properly? Does each structure have a CO2 monitor?
- Light switches/fixtures – Do the switches work properly?
Accurate inspection of all plumbing-related fixtures is important because water damage is so devastating to a home. Your home inspector must be very picky about looking for evidence of leaks, corrosion, or faulty operations. Here are the plumbing items to expect on an inspection check list:
- Bathroom fixtures such as faucets, tubs, showers, sinks, toilets – Is everything in working order? Any lingering running water after turning off the fixture? Is the flow adequate? What about drainage? Any sign of leakage? Do stoppers work correctly?
- Hot water heaters – Identify the type of water heater – gas, electric, or tankless. Are they properly installed, such as with double straps? Do they have proper flashing into the ceiling? Are the supply pipes in good order? Does the water heater vent to the exterior of the house?
- Piping – Is the piping made of the proper materials? Are the fittings good? Everything tight?
- Tile – We make sure that tile or grouting isn’t cracked. Is the tile and grout on the floor secure, or may water get under the shower pan?