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This picture of an interlocking stone walkway up to the front door of this home illustrates a relatively common error with this type of installation. The interlocking stone has been installed at least 12 to 15 inches above the  home's original brickwork. Not only does it commonly cover the weeping holes in the brick work, which are necessary to ventilate excess moisture from behind the brick, but it also can hold large quantities of moisture against the brickwork. In this case, as is common, the bricks are clay. Clay bricks are vulnerable to rapid deterioration from water saturating the brick and then freezing inside the brick. This freezing water literally bursts the clay brick to pieces. That is why it is so important to NOT cover bricks when doing interlocking stone anywhere near a home.  This home shows some visual evidence of spalling bricks. The extent of the damage can only be determined by removing the interlocking stone and digging down to the lowest bricks on the house. It can be quite costly.
 

 

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The damage to this chimney would be almost totally concealed by the vines in the summer. This November picture allows the inspector to more clearly examine the chimney.  (Look closely and you can see the notable damage) Vines and extensive greenery close to, or against, a house is not really a good idea because they can hold a lot of moisture next to the bricks and/or woodwork. This level of moisture can do an awful lot of  damage to the house while the vines or greenery  conceal the damage until it is quite extensive (and  expensive). 

 

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This set of exterior stairs, apart from being in deteriorated condition, is missing handrails. If somebody falls down these stairs and sues the homeowner, it is a very difficult lawsuit to defend. The courts will ask what a prudent, or reasonable, person would have done, and conclude that a reasonable person would have had proper handrails in place on these stairs. This is apart from the obvious that none of us would want to see anybody hurt by this situation.

 

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This wood window has been capped with aluminum, likely to conceal a rotting window frame. The aluminum capping on this window now makes it impossible to operate this window  (Note the window crank) This was the only operating window in the room.  

 

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This chimney damage could only have been discovered by actually going up on the roof.  The exact cause of this damage remains unknown to the inspector, but the client was able to get it corrected while it was a relatively minor item to fix.

 

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These rusting propane tanks, which are requiredto be at least ten feet from any opening in an exterior wall (Note the kitchen window in the top right of the picture) These tanks should be replaced (because of their rusting condition) and relocated immediately (too close to the kitchen window) for safety sake. These tanks are also supposed to be on a stable base, like concrete pad or patio stones etc.

 

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These tree branches are too close to the roof. Apart from the possibility for them to physically damage the roof.  They can be used by squirrels, raccoons etc. to get on the roof and into the attic or chimney of this home.  Tree branches should be pruned at least six feet away from a roof to allow good ventilation and hinder animal access.

 

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This fractured chimney was discovered behind a seemingly casually placed blanket on this garage work bench. Repair cost for this chimney will be in the +/- $6,000.00 range.

 

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Brick missing in this brand new home. All the other trades came and finished their work. Lack of communication on this project leaves this home vulnerable to squirrels or mice. Finding this and having it brought to the builder's attention is another good reason to have your NEW home inspected.

 

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