"Fundamentals of Inspecting the Exterior" online video course

For this assignment I inspected an electric HVAC system. As you can see, this is a zero clearance application and there are no fuel gasses to contend with. The return in this updraft model is adequately sized, filtered and in a large room. The flex ducts in the attic are all R8 and are undamaged, not restricted by unnecessary bends, and have the ends sealed with mastic and zip ties. This unit contains an ultraviolet lamp which is primarily designed to kill mold, bacteria, viruses, and allergens.

For this assignment I read “Ant Inspection” and “Termite Inspection”. The insects and the damages caused are similar and can be confusing in the absence of live or dead bodies. Shelter tubes are the best visual that they are Subterranean termites. Large sawdust piles are the best visual that they are ants yet small sawdust piles signify drywood termites. The best clues are usually outdoors. Firewood stacked against the home and grade levels at or above the top of the slab or footing are excellent places to inspect first. If bodies are visible, ants have a 3-piece sectional body with tiny waistlines while termites have a long body with a thick waistline. Look inside kitchen cabinet doors, inside electrical panels and on water heaters for termite inspection and/or treatment stickers.

Tree.JPG This tree may be causing a little issue with the front fascia. As it is growing into the house. This should be addressed quickly. I would say that a pro tree company be hired to clear this issue.

Factory-Built Fireplaces
Good product to have and if maintained will last a long time. I don’t like the fire chimney’s that come off the side wall. Most are to low and kids could touch them and be burned. The homeowner as well if they are not thinking about it and working near them.

Fire Safety for the Home
Fire safety should be gone over a couple of times a year with the family. I know the kids say why do we need to do this we know what to do. Then pull a fire at night and watch how they don’t know what to do. This should be done by all family’s.

Deep window wells without safety covers is something our clients should be aware of. Pay attention to the terrain around the window wells, uneven grade, pathways and trees or shrubbery may create a potential trip hazard. These conditions maybe a concern for our clients especially if they have young children.

I inspected the exterior of a residential property in Florida. The weather was clear and there was no significant rain in the area in recent days. The exterior of the home was covered with brick veneer.

There were a few cracks that were observed and documented in the report. At the time of inspection, ALL of the weep holes on the exterior were filled with mortar. This was also noted in the report. The downspouts terminated away from the home, which was good, but there gutter missing in the front of the home across the entire south side span. I recommend that a gutter be installed here to prevent rainwater from pooling at the front of the property which slopes toward the rear of the property.

Pictured is a photo taken of an exterior window. This window, along with numerous others, shows signs of deferred maintenance. I recommend the sealant be evaluated and repaired by a licensed contractor to prevent moisture and air intrusion into the home.

Thomas Ailstock
Blue Bear Home Inspection, LLC

Defensible space refers the the area surrounding a home which is managed in an effort to protect the structure in the event of an event which could cause harm; such as a wildfire. This space can be divided into zones. It is important to keep this area clear of debris and allow room for emergency vehicles in the event there is a fire. It is advantageous to remove certain vegetation from the home’s perimeter, but this should be done with caution and a bit of research. Gromicko (n.d.) states that removing certain trees and plants can effect the soil and therefore the foundation and drainage. Also, some species may be endangered.

Thomas Ailstock
Blue Bear Home Inspection, LLC

Gromicko, N., Shepard, K. (n.d.) Defensible space. InterNACHI. Retrieved from http://www.nachi.org/defensible-space.htm

Here’s a portion of an exterior inspection I just did. See attached image.


this is an image I loaded to google photos it may not work. If not, I’ll try again.
This image shows my hand used as a measuring tool for the spacing of the deck balusters (<4"). I wish InterNACHI had a ring we could wear so the client can see the ring in any photo you’ve put your hand in. I added a caption to the photo in my report mentioning that the spacing was within accepted building practices.

  • Bob

attempt #2 on Google Photo:


Looks like it worked this time YAY!

  • Later Bob

The home inspected has a tree causing an issue with the rear fascia, as it is growing onto the house. This should be addressed as soon as possible. A professional in that trade should be hired to clear this issue.

Trees and foliage are not only problems for the homeowner as far as maintenance and possible moisture issues, but insurance companies will “rate” a home for lack of maintaining the landscape as well. Where I live in NW Fla, trees are a common issue and cause a lot of damage.

Inspection of exterior:

Inspection obstructions such as these storage boxes pictured should be noted in your report if they impede your ability to provide a complete inspection. Items such as these are likely to be taken with a seller when they move. Having photos and written documentation may save you from litigation if there happens to be damage that was hidden.

Reading and writing assignment:

Exterior Design Features
by Nick Gromicko

Exterior design features of homes come in many different styles. The terminology can be confusing but knowing things like their history, design and use will make it easier to explain to clients.

Fire Safety for the Home
by Nick Gromicko and Kate Tarasenko

Fire safety for the home is a very important topic. My family has personally been affected by fire with both my Grandmothers home burning down before I was born and my Mothers home needing nearly a total rebuild after a fire. I had talked her into a smoke and heat sensor for her central alarm and it is likely the thing that saved her husband who was asleep in the home at the time and awaken by the call from the alarm company.
The article itself is very informative and should be shared with family members and clients.

This photo of the grounding rod of the electrical service should be all the way inserted into the ground. Although it’s not I wouldn’t deem it as an inadequate installation. But I would call it out as a potential trip hazard and would recommend it be protected so to keep it from damage. Also there has been an additional ground wire added that grounds the tv cable in which might take away the proper performance of the acorn clip since it may have only been designed for the electrical ground connection only.

H clips: It is a good practice to use H clips when to panels of wood butt together for ex. when sheathing a roof. This helps reduce the deflection in the joints of the sheathing. Although not all jurisdictions reguire the use of the H clips an inspector should at least call out the absence of there use.

While inspecting the back of this home i used the procedure of looking up at the roof and working my way down the same way of the path of water. Sure enough i found a problem rite away. The first photo shows a proper installation of a kick-out flashing on the one side of a small protruding hip roof.Though the second photo shows the other side of the same roof with no flashing at all, even though there is a roof above covering it, the roof below pitches at an angle that allows rain water to drain at the roof/wall intersection.Following the wall downwards it was pretty obvious that moisture was getting behind the hard coat stucco and traveling down cracking the stucco and rusting the metal corner casing bead accessory which in time will also expand and crack the stucco shown in the last picture.This should be noted on the inspection report as it is a sign of moisture intrusion damage that could and most likely will get worse with time causing the home owner added expenses. by the way sorry for the picture angles!

After reading the article on drones i was surprised to find out that you couldn’t use them as a tool in home inspection because its a commercial application. Although the body responsible for the rules regarding the commercial use is in the process of writing new rules , so we just have to wait and see.On another note the use of google earth to examine a property that you will be inspecting before hand is a great tool, you just need the correct full address and you can get a birds eye view of that property to study and give you an advantage.

Fundamental of inspecting the exterior here we go.

In our specific locale the most common deck installation issues are the attachment of ledger boards to house structure, either placement or size of bolts, the inadequacy of properly sized posts (especially elevated decks over one story) and inadequacy of the attachment of center beams, not having proper bearing and often just toe nailed to post. Handrails and guardrails often are short or have climable spindles and then elevated screened in porches not having any guard in the lower panels that are greater than 30 inches above grade.

Calling out cracking on an inspection should be done in a manner of simply stating that it has occurred, rather than focusing heavily on how or why it occurred. Some cracks will be obvious of settling, others will be obvious of compression while others could be during the curing process of certain material and others being the result of simple settling.

If the crack is a safety issue, it should be noted as such.