This page contains some typical problems or occurrences to inspect for in the major components and systems of the home:
Is the ridge (peak) showing sag, or is it straight and level? Is the roof sagging between the rafters or trusses? Are there any signs of deterioration of asphalt shingles, such as curling, warping, broken edges, rounded corners or key holes (slits) becoming wider that normal? Any loose flashings, at the chimney, roof-to-wall connection or elsewhere? Does the wooden roof deck appear rotted or delaminated under the last row of shingles? Are there any roof vents visible?
Is the masonry cap cracked or broken? Are any bricks flaking or missing? Mortar missing? Is the chimney leaning?
SOFFITS AND FASCIA
Note whether the soffits and fascia are wood, vinyl, aluminum or plastic. Any loose or missing sections? Is workmanship up to standards? If wood, are there any paint problems? Any visible rot?
GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS
Ensure gutters are pitched toward downspouts. Any rust or peeling paint? Any apparent leaks or loose/sagging sections? Are the downspouts extended away from the foundations?
Inspect for missing mortar. Bricks loose, missing, flaking or cracking? Loose, missing or rotted siding, deteriorated paint. Does the siding appear new? Does it hide the foundation wall? Exterior walls bowed, bulged or leaning?
WINDOWS AND DOORS
Inspect for problems with paint or caulking, and rotted wood components. Are the windows new or older? Are they airtight? Are they the original windows? How old are they?
PORCHES AND DECKS
Inspect for cracking or flaking masonry? Check for paint problems, rotted wood, and wood-earth contact. Any code violations? Improper installation?
Note any settlement or separation from the house. Inspect the underside, if accessible.
Check for cracks, flaking or damaged masonry. Note any water markings and efflorescence (whitish, chalky substance) any bowing, bulging or other irregularities? Soft mortar?
DRIVEWAY / LOT AREA
Does the grade slope away from the house? Any settled/low areas next to the foundation, or cracked walks/driveway? Is the property lower than the street or neighboring properties? Any water ponding?
Note any evidence of water penetration (stains, mildew/odors, efflorescence, loose tiles etc.)
Check for deteriorated coverings or cracked ceramics. Any water staining or other damage? Sloping or sagging?
Randomly sample to check that the windows and doors work. Are the walls straight vertically and horizontally? Look for cracked or loose plaster. Look for stains, physical damage or previous repair evidence. Any drywall tape seams or nails showing?
Assess for cracks in the plaster or loose, sagging plaster. Looks for stains, mechanical damage or evidence of previous repair. Tape Seams or nails showing?
BATHROOMS AND KITCHENS
Check that all fixtures work and are secure. Are there any cracks in the fixtures? Note the condition of the tiles and caulking in the tub/shower area. Are the faucets working? Do they leak? Sufficient water pressure? Look for staining and rot under the counter-tops Randomly sample the operation of the cabinet doors and drawers. Runs hot water to test water temperature and temperature continuity.
Type, style and age of heating & cooling systems. When were they last inspected or serviced? Type of water supply? Type and condition of piping and drains — any visible rust and corrosion? Size, age and Amps of electrical service — are the outlets grounded? Two wire or three wire? Visible wiring in good condition? Have there been any upgrades?