"How to Inspect the Exterior" Course

Wood siding is one of the most commonly used materials in building it’s durable and long-lasting if sealed right and maintained. Upon inspecting wood siding u must check for the presence of termites, wood decay, and other wood destroying organisms.

In this photo, we have vinyl siding. well, vinyl siding is a very good material for covering an exterior wall. The only problem is u can not see behind it therefor on an inspection report i would say vinyl siding in good condition but other problems may be concealed.

This is a picture of a egress window below grade that meets code. The horizontal surface area meets minimum 3 foot by 3 foot surface area and has an attached ladder that projects at least 3 inches away from the wall, but less than 6 inches. Permanent ladders are required anytime the well is greater than 44 inches deep.

Decks come in all shapes and sizes. There are as many uses for decks as there are shapes. When inspecting a deck the inspector must inspect top and bottom of the decking. Taking care to inspect all joist, beams and columns.

While there are many reasons to put carpet in a bathroom, the disadvantages are also many. Carpet holds moisture and the bathroom has more moisture than any other room in the home. Mold can easily form under the carpet and reach dangerous levels before being discovered.

For my inspection and writing assignment I selected a picture of an exterior staircase. This picture is of a typical multi-family wooden back staircase. If inspecting this property I would look for items such as stinger span of no more than 36", what the riser height variance is if any, if the handrail height is between 34"-38",the spacing of the balusters, and the weather the handrail is graspable or not.

These are items are just of a few of the inspections requirements for an exterior staircase.

For this assignment, I read the article Pull-Down Ladders for attic access.
Since most pull-down ladders are installed by homeowners rather than professional carpenters, they are at high risk of being unsafe. Inspectors should look for any modifications to the building structure, the use of 1/4"x3" lag bolts or 16d penny nails in the proper locations, the correct length of the ladder, the presence of a fire barrier (1/2" drywall on the ceiling side), a maximum of 1/8" gap around the opening, proper sealing and insulation, the pull cord should be at least 6’ from the floor, and the overall condition of the function and material noting any damage of worn out components.

Here are pics of an attic pull-down ladder located in the garage. It is lacking the fire barrier. It appears to be original to the house and installed by the builder due to the joists design. The ladder is of the correct length. All components are solid and working as they should. The fasteners are a combination of nails and lag bolts.

Sump pumps are great way to keep flood prone areas in your home dry. But to ensure that your home stays dry you must regularly check your sump pump is clean and clear of any debris. Make sure it works from time to time and that the water is pumping away from your home.

This essay is on buttress walls there is a example of a brick building with buttress brick walls that are decorative there is waterline at the building indicating that they are for aesthetic purposes only not incorporated into the main wall

This essay is on sediment traps they can be installed on the gas fired furnace or a gas-fired heating up lines and has a drip leg right before the appliance to catch vapor or debris keeping it from clogging the Jets

The outside of the house is the most time consuming part of the home inspection. It has a lot of different components that interact with each other. It is important to take your time with the exterior of the home. Check for water intrusion and previous repairs.

This picture shows the ridge and soffet that is used for ventilation on this house. both of these vent appears to clear and flowing correctly. In the attack space I didn’t see any signs of vapor buildup around other vent.

I read the article Edisons Early Accident" A article on Edisons process and accomplishments. By 879 he had created a electrical powered light . A vacuumed glass bulb with a carbonized filament powered by a low level electric current. Pretty cool history on a great modern inventor.

During my inspection of the home’s garage, I found that this area was in compliance. The garage floor was concrete, with only small, typical surface cracks observed. There was proper fire resistant drywall installed between the garage and home, and no portion of the garage bordered a sleeping area. There were no air ducts penetrating the common wall between the garage and home.

The entry way from the garage to the kitchen utilized a solid wooden door, greater than 1 3/8" thick, and was properly weather stripped to create an airtight barrier. In addition, a door self closer was installed to comply with the local building code.

The two electrical outlets were GCFI type, and were tested and found to be operating properly.

Defensible Space

Defensible space is maintained in areas prone to wildfire. This is space that is mitigated to protect a home from wildfire. Characteristics of this space are that it should be clear as possible of ‘fuel’ to feed a wildfire- this will help slow a wildfire down, it should be accessible to firetrucks, and allow space for firemen to fight a structure fire, and trees and shrubs should be maintained by trimming and pruning, set apart, and lower limbs and branches should be removed to clear away ground level combustibles.

There can also be zones established in the defensible space. Zone 1 would consist of the first 15’ around the structure, and would be devoid of flammable vegetation. Zone 2 would consist of the area 15’ to 75’, or 125’, of the structure. In this zone, trees should be no less than 10’ apart and 10’in height, vertical vegetation should be removed, and dying vegetation on the ground should be cleared away. Zone 3 would extend from zone 2 to the property line. Here, one should maintain good health of all trees.

The attached image is of siding and the edge of a roof system. The siding appears to be in good shape. The attic vent appears to be clear and unobstructed. The eaves and soffit are well maintained. Flashing appears to be proper off the edge of the eave. This side of the roof is steep enough to shed water without gutters.

I read the article about ice dams. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of the roof that prevents proper shedding of water. This can lead to moisture intrusion and can cause damage and even rot in roofing systems. A good way to help prevent this is to install a metal roof. The cooler temperature can help to make ice damming less common. It is also important to remove snow from the roof in areas with excessive snowfall. The will also reduce the likelihood of ice damming.

Exterior grading should make sure that the moisture is not able to come back towards the foundation of the house. You do not want pooling of water near the side of the building at all. It may wick up into the exterior siding and deteriorate it or get down beside the foundation and penetrate the wall into the home.

Defensible space would not have a enough vegetation around the property to allow the fire to spread quickly. It will slow the rate of fire so that firetrucks would be able to put the fire out. It would have enough clearance so that the firetrucks would be able to park and fight the fires.