A home inspection report is not an easy read. There’s technical jargon written in a format which is not commonly known to the layman, yet makes sense to the professional. However, it does make sense and with a little knowledge you can interpret it and understand the report.
The Report starts with a key, which actually tells you the meanings of the various codes contained in the report. It then describes the inspector’s certifications along with the weather conditions at the time of the inspection and what tests are being run. After these definitions, the report moves on to explain the detailed results of the tests, whether elements of the home are okay or need to repaired or replaced, and an explanation of why circumstances meant certain tests had to be skipped.
The roofing inspection is fairly straight forward. The roofing materials, shingles in most cases, are defined and receive a report as to their current conditions. Flashing for chimneys, exhaust vents, and skylights are checked for proper installation and function. Finally, the drainage system or gutters are checked to make sure they are functioning as they should to remove water to the proper place. Behind the checklist of inspection is an area for the inspector to freely write any comments or notes about the general condition of the roof and describe any specific repairs which need to be made in order to keep it up to code standards.
The exterior inspection goes over the entire outside of your home checking for any and everything that can possibly be wrong. The siding, soffits and fascias, windows and doors, decks, even the driveway and walkways are inspected thoroughly for any existing or potential problems. In some cases, something as minor as a missing nail may be reported. In other cases, rot or mold may be found. Again, after the checklist is completed as the standard portion of the inspection, a comments section is filled out with more detailed explanations of what the inspector determined as he went over the house.
Inspections aren’t just for when the house is being sold. Ongoing inspections are an important part of the maintenance routine. Whether you realize it or not, you and your contractor have been conducting informal inspections already. The formal one validates the results and proves the continued value of your investment in the house.