8 - Exterior Stairs

Uneven steps are a trip hazard which should be corrected. The difference in the distance between one step and another should be no greater than 3/8 inch. Handrails should be secure and have a grippable surface. Two by four inch or two by six inch boards are not considered appropriate for handrails unless they are routed with a grip. Current standards call for narrow clearances between rails such that a 4 inch sphere may not pass through. Older rails had larger openings when installed and upgrading should be considered for child safety.

9 - Exterior Walls

Exterior wall coverings protect the wall framing and interior finishes from the weather. Any openings or penetrations in the covering should be properly sealed. Earth should not touch the wall covering and a clearance of approximately 4 to 6 inches should be maintained. Firewood should not be stored against wood framed walls. Planters that are against the house walls can promote rot and should be corrected. If the wall system is E.I.F.S., we recommend a fully certified inspection fur further information.

- Trim

Trim includes the eaves, soffits, facia and moldings around the exterior. The eave is the portion of the roof that overhangs the wall. Soffits are enclosed caves and should be properly vented to prevent moisture damage. Facia is the board installed at the end of the eave to give the house a finished appearance. Many times, water running off the roof flows onto this board causing damage.

- Chimney

In this section of the report you will find our evaluation of the exterior of the chimney. Spark screens and rain caps are used over the chimney flue to prevent sparks escaping and water entering the fireplace. The top cement covering of the brick also diverts water from damaging the masonry and cracks should be sealed for protection.

- Sprinklers

Our check of the sprinklers is limited to only those found around the house and does not include groves, orchards or electronic sprinkler systems.

- Hose Faucets

If hose faucets are winterized and shut off, they cannot be inspected. Anti-siphon devices for hose faucets prevent any contaminated water From being siphoned back into the house supply These are easily installed if none are provided.

- Gutters & Downspouts

Water tests are not performed during this inspection. Downspouts should lead well away from the house foundation. Gutters should be cleared regularly to avoid damage to the structure and prevent blockages. Flat roofs that drain into area drains should be provided with a second drain system that will operate should the primary drain become blocked.
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