Clearwater, FL 33761 Page 1 of 44 Affordable Inspections, Inc.
HOME & BUILDING INSPECTIONS
1155 Jackson Road Clearwater Florida 33755 (727) 224-0837
Michael D. Potts, Inspector and General Contractor, CGC#051083
Florida State Certified Class “A” General Contractor
Florida State Certified Home Inspector
B.S. Degree Building Engineering, Michigan State
Over 20 Years of Inspection and Construction Knowledge
“YOUR INSPECTION TODAY IS YOUR PEACE OF MIND TOMORROW”
INSPECTED FOR XXXXXXXX
@ CLEARWATER, FL 33761
Date: Thursday, May 19, 2011, 2:00 pm
Weather: sunny and warm
A Beautiful Clearwater Home
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A quick synopsis: The above Clearwater home was built in 1994 and has 3,058 sq ft of air conditioned space
per the Pinellas County Property Appraiser’s office. It is a two-story home consisting of applied paint and stucco
over concrete block on the first floor and wood frame with sheathing and applied paint and stucco on the
second floor. Roof structure is primarily pre-engineered wood trusses. All exterior walls bear on concrete slab
on grade with monolithic footings. The roof system of the home is a combination of hip, flat and gable design
with dimensional asphalt shingles and asphalt roll roofing and was in good condition at the time of the
inspection. The main electrical panel system, plumbing system and HVAC system were functioning at time of
inspection. The water source (potable) is supplied by the municipality. Overall the main home is in habitable
Roofing, Fascia and Soffits
Dimensional asphalt shingle roof appeared in fair condition at time of inspection. Roll-roofing over flat area
was also in fair condition at time of inspection.
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Proper pest screening was found at vent.
Evidence of rodent chewing was observed on lead vent stack.
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Numerous ridge vent screws were loose and caulking/sealant has deteriorated and is missing in many places.
Center portion of flat area of roof was “springy”. Cause is unknown and this area of the attic was not
Gutter at rear of home has been damaged and patched.
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Gutter at rear of home was extremely clogged with debris. Gutter should be cleaned out immediately and then
periodically thereafter to mitigate possible back-ups and water intrusion/rot.
Due to different coloration of shingles, it appears as though roof
has been patched in area around chimney.
Spark arrestor was rusted but appeared in fair condition at time
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Metal soffit exhibited corrosion in numerous areas and had corroded through at the area adjacent to the front
Metal drip edge and metal fascia were bent/damaged in this area but damage appeared to be cosmetic only at
time of inspection.
Soffit trim has come loose in back patio area.
The fascia, drip flashing and soffit were found to be in fair to good condition.
Although the majority of the attic space was not physically accessible, observable portions of plywood roof
sheathing were in fair to good condition at time of inspection. Observable portions of roof structure were in fair
to good condition at time of inspection.
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Roofing, Fascia and Soffit Summary
The primary roof system is a dimensional asphalt shingle roofing in fair condition applied over a bituminous
underlayment system with flat area having an asphalt roll-roof system. The metal flashings, fascia and soffit are
in fair condition. Numerous areas of soffit and fascia should be addressed regarding surface rust and “rust-thru”
areas. The approximate age of the shingle roof is 17 years old. (1994). An estimated 0 years of statistical life
expectancy is remaining on this roof system if properly serviced, cleaned and maintained.
Water pressure at laundry tub faucet was 48 psi.
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Water heater is a Rheem Rheemglas Fury model manufactured in 2003, located in downstairs closet under
stairwell. The unit is 80 gallon capacity, dual element. Shut-off for water supply to heater is located in closet
behind the unit.
The water heater heated the water to 126.4°F as measured at the
Water meter and main shut-off are located on front lawn of the property near the sidewalk on the northeast
corner of property.
Secondary water shut-off is located outside on east side of home.
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Sanitary sewer cleanout is located on north side of home
adjacent to front entrance.
A water softening system was present but did not appear
operational at the time of inspection. We recommend any
necessary repairs, service or maintenance be performed by a
licensed professional water softener company.
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The garbage disposal at the kitchen sink was operational at
time of inspection.
All plumbing fixtures performed satisfactorily and exhibited good flow and drainage at the time of the
inspection with the exception of those noted below.
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Spa tub in upstairs master bath exhibited slow drainage.
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Pump for spa tub was not mounted/seated properly. Vibration
and movement of pump could lead to eventual failure of piping.
Sink stopper mechanism on left sink of master bath did not
operate properly at time of inspection.
Tub faucet should be caulked to prevent water intrusion behind
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Sink at outdoor grilling area exhibited slow drainage at the time of inspection.
Polybutylene piping was observed under certain vanities, being utilized as supply lines for both hot and cold
water. Although some polybutylene piping problems stem from improper installation, most complaints are with
the integrity of the piping itself. Polybutylene pipe is known to deteriorate due to contact with oxidants
normally found in public water supplies. The failure can occur in the plastic fittings or in the pipe itself. A main
concern regarding polybutylene (PB) pipe is that, since the oxidants are carried in the water, the pipe
deteriorates from the inside. This makes it very difficult to determine if the pipe is truly in good condition.
Home inspectors cannot give a reliable assessment on the condition of PB piping unless there is a visible problem
with the exterior of the pipe or its installation. In addition, when a leak occurs, it may be extremely severe
because the deterioration occurs from within.
PB pipe leaks are unpredictable and there are no symptoms to warn of an impending leak. Some factors that
affect polybutylene piping adversely can include:
• Poor installation
• Water quality
• Pipe age
• Chlorine levels
• Deterioration of fittings (both metal and plastic)
When PB pipe reacts with the oxidants in normal tap water, it becomes brittle, sometimes scaling or flaking. This
results in a fracturing of the interior surface of the pipe, which allows for more deterioration. Eventually the
pipe will begin to leak, causing damage throughout a home. PB pipe with plastic fittings or with metal fittings
will eventually incur damage; PB piping is not a reliable piping under any circumstances.
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Additionally, it is unknown if PB piping exists elsewhere in the home. PB piping could exist inside the walls or
in inaccessible areas of the attic spaces, etc. It is impossible to tell without the use of destructive investigation
(tearing down drywall, etc.).
Plumbing System Summary
Overall, the plumbing system was in fair to good working condition at time of inspection. The water heater is a
Rheem 80 gallon dual element electric unit manufactured in 2003. Unit’s approximate age is 8 years and has an
estimated total remaining life expectancy of 2-5 years if properly serviced and maintained. The “accessible to
view” supply, drainage, water closets, hose bibs and shower areas were all functional at time of inspection.
Water shutoff is located at water meter at the front of the property. Please note that polybutylene piping was
observed under some of the vanities. It is unknown if PB piping exists elsewhere in the home. PB piping could
exist inside the walls or in inaccessible areas of the attic spaces, etc. We recommend that the plumbing system
be inspected, reviewed and repaired as necessary by a licensed, professional plumber.
HVAC- Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning
The HVAC system for this home consists of two separate split systems. The system for the upper level of the
home is a 2-1/2 ton system manufactured by Goodman in 2003. The system for the lower level of the home is
a 3-1/2 ton system manufactured by York in 1994. Both systems performed nominally per their intended design
use at time of inspection.
Air handling units for both systems are located in upper level hallway closet.
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The air temperature differential (difference in degrees between supply and return air temperature) was 18.0° F
for the upper level unit (77°/59°F) and 12.0°F for the lower level unit (77°/65° F). 12°-15° is preferred as a
minimum. Lower differentials could be due to a number of factors including, but not limited to, low refrigerant
levels, dirty or clogged air filter, leaky ductwork, dirty or clogged evaporator coils, etc.
Damaged/deteriorated insulation was noted on refrigerant line near condensing unit on west side of home.
Insulation should be repaired or replaced to help maximize efficiency of HVAC system.
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Insulation missing from condensate drain.
Numerous leaks in the ductwork were detected at time of inspection. Of particular note were the leaks found in
the ductwork in the upper level hall closet near the air handling units. Ambient temperature of the space was
between 75°F and 77°F. Measurements taken at taped joints in ductwork measured between 66°F and 73°F
indicating air leakage.
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Ceiling penetrations for refrigerant lines and ductwork should be sealed.
Area behind ductwork leading from the York unit is open to the attic space which is allowing hot air into the
room and decreasing efficiency. Measurements indicated that the air coming down from the attic was between
93°F and 96°F. This area should be properly sealed.
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Note: Dryer vents and traps should be cleaned and cleared of lint to minimize potential fire hazard.
HVAC- Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning Summary
Overall, the two split AC systems performed satisfactorily at the time of inspection. Temperature differential
between return and supply air was measured at 18.0° F for the upper level unit (77°/59°F) and 12.0°F for the
lower level unit (77°/65° F). 12-15°F or higher is preferred. Manufactured in 2003 and 1994, the 2-1/2 and 3-
1/2 ton split systems have remaining life expectancies of 1-7 years and 0-1 years, respectively if properly serviced
and maintained. The 6-ton combined tonnage of both systems is of sufficient capacity for a home of this size.
Inspection, evaluation, servicing and any necessary repairs is recommended by a licensed professional HVAC
The electrical service feed is brought in underground to the west side of the home with the meter located on the
west outside garage wall and main circuit breaker panel mounted on the west wall inside the garage.
The electrical main service is 225 amp. No knob and tube system was found. The current panel system has
sufficient power capacity for the current and anticipated modern load requirements of the home. The primary
feed was copper and branch circuits were copper.
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One slot in breaker panel requires proper blank-off.
All accessible outlets were tested for polarity and proper grounding.
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Cover plates and
were loose in many
Doorbell was operational at time of inspection.
All ceiling fans and attached light fixtures were operational at time of inspection though many bulbs were
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Extension cord was run through wiremold and not terminated properly to any device. Inspector unplugged
extension cord for safety.
Overall, the current electrical system is in good working condition. The electrical service feed (225 amp) is
brought in underground to the west side of the home with the meter located on the west outside wall and main
circuit breaker panel mounted on the west wall inside the garage. No knob and tube system was found. The
current panel system has sufficient power capacity for the current and anticipated modern load requirements of
the home. Primary feeds were copper and branch circuits were copper. No major unsafe conditions were
observed at time of the inspection. There no observable or apparent updates to the electrical system. We
recommend that the panels and entire system be inspected, reviewed and serviced as necessary by a licensed,
This is a two story home consisting of concrete block with applied paint and stucco on the first floor with wood
framing on the second floor and a pre-engineered truss roof structure. The observable home’s roof structure was
in fair to good condition for its age at time of inspection.
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One “stair-step” crack was noted in exterior wall on east side of home.
A crack in the slab on grade was observed in the crawlspace under the front stairs.
With the exception of the gas stove (gas was turned off), all kitchen and laundry appliances were operational at
time of inspection.
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During testing of the dishwasher, a leak became apparent and was emanating from under the unit. Source of
leak (supply, drain, dishwasher tub, etc.) could not be determined at time of inspection.
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Doors & Windows
All doors and hardware remain operational. Windows appear to be original and are not Miami-Dade
compliant for missile impact. We suggest maintenance and adjustment to all doors, windows and hardware to
achieve optimal performance.
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Door jamb at front entry was rotted at bottom on both sides.
Sliding mirror door in master bath was cracked.
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Both the single and double garage doors were operational at time of inspection. Safety eyes were tested and
operated as expected. No handheld remote units were available at time of inspection.
One screen on east side of home was torn.
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Weatherstripping at front door was badly deteriorated.
The kitchen and bath cabinets are consistent with the age and upkeep of the home and appear to be original
(1994). Kitchen and bath cabinets and components are worn appropriately for their age and may require
proper adjustments and remedial work to be perfect.
A gas system was present but not turned on at time of inspection. We recommend inspection, review and any
necessary repairs be performed by a licensed, professional gas service contractor prior to operating the system.
Pool enclosure screens were torn in numerous areas.
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Mold was observed in many areas, both inside and outside the home.
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Mold in and under carpet in upstairs closet containing air handlers. Moldy areas were tested for moisture and
tested “dry” (6-8% moisture content) at time of inspection.
Mold on ceiling of air handler closet. This area also tested “dry” (6% moisture content) at time of inspection.
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Mold on bottom of garage door (inside face).
Under-counter refrigerator at outdoor grilling area showed significant amounts of mold.
The causes of the mold cannot be determined at this time due to concealed conditions and inaccessible areas.
We highly recommend review and remediation of all mold by a licensed professional mold remediation
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Numerous areas of vegetation were severely overgrown and encroaching on home and pool enclosure. We
recommend trimming of trees and shrubs away from home and pool enclosure to mitigate potential damage
and to permit airflow in order to minimize potential for mold, mildew and fungi growth.
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Both ceiling access panels (garage and upstairs closet) were broken at time of inspection.
Numerous water stains were observed on ceiling but did not appear to be recent. No observable signs of water
intrusion were seen in accessible and observable areas of the attic. Ceiling stains could not be moisture tested at
time of inspection due to height of cathedral ceiling.
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Numerous areas of cracked and missing grout were observed in both laundry room and master bath/shower
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Edge trim at wood soffit in patio area was coming loose in multiple areas
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Pool pump was not operating at time of inspection. We
recommend inspection, review and any necessary repairs be
performed by a licensed, professional pool company.
We recommend that the fireplace and chimney system be inspected, reviewed, repaired and cleaned as
necessary by a licensed, professional fireplace and chimney company prior to use.
Tile on front entry stoop was chipped.
Many of the irrigation heads observed did not operate at all or did not operate properly or were broken off
completely. Review, repair and necessary maintenance by a licensed, professional irrigation contractor is
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Congratulations on a Beautiful Home!
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
• This Inspection Report excludes the following and is NOT to be interpreted as a punch list, work completion list,
building code compliance report, mold report, air quality report, hazardous material analysis report, Fire Marshall or
aesthetic (drywall imperfections, paint touch ups etc.) conditions report.
• Air quality control, hygiene and or other testing is not part of this Inspection. If mold, mildew or other fungi/wood
damaging organisms were noted in this or accompanying reports for the property, we highly recommended these
evaluations be completed. The airborne spores of Cladosporium species are significant allergens, and in large amounts
they can severely affect asthmatics and people with respiratory diseases. Prolonged exposure may weaken the immune
system. Cladosporium species produce no major micro-toxins of concern, but do produce volatile organic compounds
(VOCs) associated with odors. Cladosporium species are rarely pathogenic to humans, but have been reported to cause
infections of the skin and toenails, as well as sinusitis and pulmonary infections. If left untreated, these infections could
turn into respiratory infections like pneumonia. We highly recommend that an Air Quality Control testing company be
employed to confirm all air quality locations of the home if you or a family is highly prone to the above mentioned
Home inspectors are not required to report on the following:
• Life expectancy of any component or system;
• The causes of the need for repair nor the methods, materials and costs of corrections.
• The suitability of the property for any specialized use
• Compliance or non-compliance with codes, ordinances, statutes, regulatory requirements or restrictions
• The market value of the property or its marketability
• The advisability or inadvisability of the purchase of the property
• Any component or system that was not observed
• The presence or absence of pests such as wood damaging organisms, rodents, insects or cosmetic items,
underground items, or items not permanently installed
Home inspectors are not required to:
• Offer warranties or guarantees of any kind
• Calculate the strength, adequacy, or efficiency of any system or component
• Enter any area or perform any procedure that may damage the property or its components or be dangerous to the
home inspector or other persons
• Operate any system or component that is shut down or otherwise inoperable
• Operate any system or component that does not respond to normal operating controls
• Disturb insulation, move personal items, panels, furniture, equipment, plant life, soil, snow, ice, or debris that
obstructs access or visibility
• Determine the presence or absence of any suspected adverse environmental condition or hazardous substance,
including but not limited to mold, toxins, carcinogens, noise, lead, asbestos, or other contaminants
• Since this report is provided for the specific and sole benefit of the customer(s) listed on the report, any secondary
readers of this information should hire a licensed inspector to perform an inspection to meet their specific needs and to
obtain current information concerning this property.
• This report is not a compliance inspection or certification for past or present governmental codes regulations of any
kind nor does it address the suitability of the structure or components regarding their resistance to unusually high winds
and other abnormal conditions or the existence of sinkholes.
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• Latent and concealed defects and deficiencies (areas painted over, boarded over, hidden by furniture, hidden by wall
hangings, covered by carpeting or rugs, etc.) are excluded from the Inspection. The Inspection is limited to readily
visible conditions at time of the Inspection ONLY. Cosmetic, aesthetic or poor finish workmanship conditions (or
repairs) are not part of the Home Inspection report. When specific areas of a home are “Painted Over” (camouflaged),
the true condition can be left dormant and suppressed until the condition bleeds through or otherwise becomes visible
at a later date.
• Unless otherwise noted, the home’s appliances (stove, refrigerator, etc.) operated per their design intent at time of
• We provide NO representation, guarantee or warranty, expressed or implied on the condition or (operating life) of
any of the home’s appliances, plumbing, electrical or mechanical system components.
• Not all areas or devices were accessible to view, inspected or tested.(inside walls, ceilings under concrete slabs, etc).
• Client understands and agrees that any claim for failure to accurately report the visually discernible conditions at the
Subject Property, as listed herein, shall be made in writing to the inspector within 5 calendar days of taking possession
of the this Inspection report. The inspector must respond within 21 days offering compromise, settlement, or refusal to
remedy claim if deemed that it is not within the guidelines of the (AHI) standards for inspection(s). Homeowner(s)
must provide written factual and verifiable data/information on the item(s) claimed to be missed and that they are
within the (AHI) standards of Inspection to the home inspector or company within 30 days from the refusal date of
remedy by inspector(s) or company. Client further agrees that, with the exception of emergency conditions, Client or
Client's agents, employees or independent contractors will make no alterations, modifications or repairs to the claimed
discrepancy prior to a reinspection by the inspector(s) or Company. Client understands and agrees that any failure to
notify the Inspector as stated above shall constitute a waiver of any and all claims for said failure to accurately report
the condition in question.
• Inspector's liability for mistakes or omissions in this inspection report is limited to a refund of the fee paid for this
inspection and report ONLY. Termite Report Not Included. The liability of inspector's principals, agents, and employees
is also limited to the fee paid.
• This limitation applies to anyone who is damaged or has to pay expenses of any kind because of mistakes or omissions
in this inspection and report. This liability limitation is binding on client and client's spouses, heirs, principals, assigns
and anyone else who may otherwise claim through client.
• Client agrees to immediately accept a refund of the report fee only as full settlement of any and all claims which may
ever arise from this inspection. If this contract/report is not signed by the client or the clients representative for
whatever reason at the time, prior or after the inspection, for this transaction, it shall be considered signed, reviewed,
and agreed to; Along with all conditions, limitations, and liability, should any part of this inspection report be
referenced or referred to in any way, for any reason for any part of this real-estate transaction.
• The Home Inspection is limited to visual observations made of apparent conditions, in readily accessible areas, existing
at that time, and is for the purpose of alerting the client to major deficiencies which could significantly affect the value
of the property. Items which are considered "cosmetic" may be included for informational purposes only.
• We make no representation, guarantee or warranty, expressed or implied, concerning the accuracy of this report and
assume no liability beyond the cost of this report. The limitation of liability shall include and apply to all consequential
damages, bodily injury and property damage of any nature. All information in this report is based on the opinion of
the inspector, and is not intended to be technically exhaustive.
• The information provided by this report is for the exclusive use by the above named client. It is not intended for use by
any other third party without the express consent of the aforementioned client.
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• The purpose of this inspection is to make known those matters not previously discovered as defects in the subject
• The inspection covers only matters that are visible and accessible, and neither explicitly nor implicitly does it guarantee
or warrant the conditions described herein. The inspection does not treat lead-based paints, polychlorinated biphenyl's,
hazardous wastes, asbestos, or other matters requiring sophisticated scientific or technical expertise.
• The purchaser of this inspection report understands that the inspector's opinion of the conditions existing in the subject
premises is based upon findings at the time of the inspection. The inspector cannot guarantee future conditions of the
• This is not a building code Inspection Report.
• Any dispute, controversy or claim arising out of or relating to the pre-inspection agreement, the services provided by
the Inspector or the Inspection Report shall be submitted to final and binding arbitration under the Home Inspection
Arbitration Rules of the National Academy of Conciliators. Judgement on the Award of the arbitrator may be entered
in any court of competent jurisdiction.
GENERAL REMARKS ABOUT HOME COMPONENTS:
Exterior Walls - Concrete Block:
Wall cracking in concrete block construction is normal; minor cracks are present in virtually all homes, regardless of age,
which are built in this manner. In most cases these cracks are not considered to be a structural defect and can be properly
maintained by caulking or sealing on a periodic basis. If the cracks exceed 1/8" in width, there is a need to determine the
cause and some type of re-enforcement of the walls and foundation may be required. Minor cracking around door and
window openings is also common, indicating typical settlement of the structure. If it is determined that these cracks are the
result of causes other than normal settlement, your inspector may advise you as to what procedure can be taken to correct
Exterior Walls - Wood Frames:
Wood walls which are covered with stucco will occasionally crack due to settlement or warpage and shrinkage of the
wood. These cracks must be sealed to prevent water from collecting behind the stucco, resulting in potentially serious
problems. If the exterior wood walls are covered with siding, care should be taken to prevent water from intruding behind
the siding and creating potentially serious problems. Exterior walls with composition wood siding should be inspected
annually to prevent deterioration from water damage.
Concrete slabs crack. In most cases these cracks are due to normal settlement and do not indicate structural problems. Little
or no corrective measures are required for this type of cracking. If abnormal cracks are detected your inspector may advise
you as to proper action to be taken.
Insect Activity, Boring and Rot:
If the crawl space, attic or roof areas are inaccessible, there is a possibility that past or present termite activity and/or rot
exists in these areas. Since no visible inspections can be made, it is not possible to make a determination of this damage if it
Insect Boring Inspection:
No inspection is made by this company to detect past or present insect boring activity or rot. Your inspector will however
advise you if any such conditions were evident during the building inspection.
This report does not address the presence of potentially hazardous materials, such as radon gas, asbestos, lead paint,
flammable or toxic substances, urea formaldehyde, or any other hazardous substance. Testing for these or any other
hazardous substances must be made by specialist trained in those fields.
This report does not address the condition or usability of any underground plumbing, gas lines, or electrical service.
Asphalt Shingles / Fiberglass Shingles:
Properly installed shingle roofs have a normal life of 10-15 years. If a new roof is required, it may be installed over the
original roof unless prohibited by local building codes. If two layers of roofing have already been installed, both layers must
be removed before installing a new roof.
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Properly installed four ply built-up roofs have a normal life of 8-12 years if they drain properly. If there is standing water on
the roof, the rate of deterioration is doubled. Built-up roofs should be inspected annually. Leakage usually occurs at the
outer edges or at the connection to the house first, although leakage can occur at any time.
Properly installed stale roofs have a normal life of 30-75 years depending on the grade of slate. Slate roofs do need annual
maintenance and it is necessary to replace defective individual slates and tar ridges from time to time. If improperly
installed, the nails fastening the slates will sometimes rust through; individual slates can be lifted and re-laid with copper
slating nails. When one set of nails rust through it is likely it will happen soon to other slates, so lifting and relaying of all
the slates may be required in the near future.
Clay Tile Roof / Cement Tile Roof:
Properly installed tiled roofs have a normal life of 20-30 years or longer, but individual pieces can become cracked or
broken if the nails rust out. Tiles may have to be replaced periodically. The underlayment of this type of roof cannot be
inspected nor its condition determined. Cement clay tiles are sometimes installed using mortar as bonding agent. This
mortar can, at times, become loose and allow slippage to occur. If slipped tiles are present or indicated, it will be necessary
to have the entire roof inspected for loose tiles for loose tiles may not have moved but have become loose.
Asbestos Cement Shingles:
Asbestos cement shingles have a normal life of 30-50 years, but they are brittle and individual shingles should be replaced
as needed, using professional assistance. Repair or replacement of this type of roof can be costly due to environmental
Wood Shake Shingles:
Roof and surface water must be controlled. This means keeping gutters cleaned out and aligned, extending downspouts,
installing splashblocks and building up the grade so that roof and surface water are diverted away from building.
Sidewalks and Driveway:
Spalling concrete cannot be patched with concrete because the new will not bond with the old. Water will freeze between
the two layers, or the concrete will break up from movement of wear. Replacement of the damaged section is
Retaining walls deteriorate because of excessive pressure build-up behind them, generally due to water accumulation. Often
conditions can be improved by excavating a trench behind the retaining wall and filling it with coarse gravel. Drain holes
through the wall will then be able to relieve the water pressure.
Retaining walls sometimes suffer from tree root pressure or from general movement of top soil down the slope. Normally
these conditions require rebuilding the retaining wall.
Exterior Wood Surfaces:
All surfaces of untreated wood need regular application of oil based paint or special chemicals to resist rot. Porch of deck
columns and fence posts which are buried in the ground and made of untreated wood will rot within a year or two. All
posts and wood members with ground contact should be treated wood or constructed of wood which has natural
resistance to rot, such as redwood. Decks should always be nailed with galvanized or aluminum nails.
Pool / Jacuzzis / Equipment:
Visual inspections are made as to conditions of pool equipment, condition of marcite, and all related items. Pressure testing
or other specific testing procedures are not a part of this report, nor are motorized or suction type pool sweeps or cleaners.
Examination of wells is not included in this visual inspection. It is recommended that you have well water checked for
purity by the local health authorities and, if possible, a check on the flow of the well in periods of drought.
The check of septic systems is not included in our visual inspection. It is recommended that you have the local health
authorities check the condition of a septic system as part of the "plumbing in working order" clause in your contract prior to
settlement. In order for the septic system to be checked, the house must have been occupied within the last 30 days.
Galvanized water pipes rust from the inside out and may have to be replaced within 20-30 years. This is usually done in
two stages; horizontal piping first and vertical pipes throughout the house later as needed.
Copper pipes usually have more life expectancy and may last as long as 60 years before needing to be replaced.
Specific evaluation of water softeners is not possible due to the need of special testing procedures to determine water
Hot Water Heater:
The life expectancy of a hot water heater is 8-12 years. Hot water heaters generally need not be replaced unless they leak.
If a bathroom has a leg tub, it is possible that the waste lines are lead. In many jurisdictions, the lead waste pipe must be
changed to copper or PVC pipes when remodeling work is performed in the bathroom.
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Bathroom tile installed in a mortar bed is excellent. It is necessary to keep the joint between the tile and the tub/shower
caulked or sealed to prevent spillage from leaking through and damaging the floors or ceiling below. Ceramic tile is often
installed in mastic. It is important to keep the tile caulked or water will seep behind the tile and cause deterioration in the
wallboard. Special attention should be paid to the area around faucets and other tile penetrations. Leakage at or around
bathroom tiles or shower pans is generally not visible during this type of inspection and is not a part of this report. If there
is reason to believe that leakage is present, it will be necessary to remove the tiles to make proper repairs.
Drywall nail pops are due to normal expansion and contraction of the wood members to which the drywall is nailed and
are generally of no structural significance.
It is important that a fireplace be cleaned on a routine basis to prevent the build-up of creosote in the flue, which can cause
a chimney fire. Masonry fireplace chimneys are normally required to have a terra cotta flue inner or 8 inches of masonry
surrounding each flue in order to be considered safe and to conform with most building codes. During a visual inspection it
is not uncommon to be unable to detect the absence of a flue liner either because of stoppage at the firebox, a defective
damper or lack of access from the roof.
Asbestos fiber in some form is present in many homes, but it is often not visible or cannot be identified.
If there is reason to suspect that asbestos fiber may be present and if it is of particular concern, a sample of the material in
question may be removed and examined in a testing laboratory.
Plaster on Wood Lath:
Plaster on wood lath is an old technique, and is no longer in general use. Wood lath shrinks with time and the nails rust
and loosen. As a result the plaster will be fragile and caution is needed in working with this type of plastering system.
Sagging ceilings are best repaired by laminating drywall over the existing plaster and screwing it to the ceiling joists.
Plaster on Gypsum Lath (Rock Lath):
Plaster on gypsum lath will sometimes show the seams of the 16" wide gypsum lath, but this does not indicate a structural
fault. The scalloping appearance can be leveled with drywall joint compound, or drywall can be laminated over the
existing plaster on the ceiling.
Always attempt to clean wood floors first before making the decision to refinish the floor. Wax removers and other mild
stripping agents plus a good waxing and buffing will usually produce satisfactory results. Mild bleaching agents help remove
deep stains. Sanding removes some of the wood in the floor and can usually be done safely only once or twice in the life of
Where carpeting has been installed, the materials and condition of the floor underneath cannot be determined.
Most homes in Florida require a minimum of 150 amps of electrical service if they are centrally heated and cooled. A
service of less than 150 amps may indicate that additional electrical power is needed.
Ground fault interrupters, if present, should be tested monthly to help insure proper operation and protection. If GFI
outlets are not present, it is recommended that they be installed in each bathroom and for all exterior outlets. It may also
be desirable to install one or more of these outlets in the kitchen.
Some homes built in the late 1960's through the early 1970's were wired with aluminum wiring. If solid aluminum wiring is
present, maintenance procedures for the wiring should be obtained from a licensed electrician as a safety precaution.
Homes built prior to 1940's were primarily wired with the "knob and tube" circuitry. If this type of wiring is present it is
advisable to have it fully inspected by a licensed electrician to ensure that the wiring insulation is still functional. Upgrading
this type of wiring to meet today's standards is recommended.
If no smoke detectors are presently installed in the building it is recommended that at a minimum smoke detectors be
installed in the ceiling of the hallway outside sleeping rooms. Smoke detectors installed in the house should be checked
every 2-3 weeks to insure that they are functioning.
Dishwashers and Disposals:
Dishwashers and disposals have a normal life of 5 to 12 years.
Ranges, Ovens and Refrigerators:
Ranges, ovens, cook tops and refrigerators have a normal life of 20 years.
Clothes Washers and Dryers:
Clothes washers and dryers cannot be properly inspected without a load of laundry, so these appliances are tested to
determine operating condition only. A washer has an average life of 6-12 years. When hooking up a dryer, make sure it is
kept vented to the exterior to prevent excessive moisture from building up in the house. Washers and dryers often are not
included in the sales contract or included in an "as is" condition.
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Security systems are not included as a part of this inspection. Evaluation and operation of these systems should be made in
conjunction with the previous owner or with the manufacturer of the system. Codes and operational features may need to
be tailored to each owner's specific needs.
Testing the Air Conditioning System:
If the outside temperature has not been at least 60 degrees for the last 24 hours, an air conditioning system cannot be
checked without possible damaging the compressor. In this situation, it is suggested that the present owner of the property
warrant the operational status of the unit on a one-time start-up and cool-down basis when warmer weather allows.
Internal conditions of the units are not inspected. This type of inspection should be done by licensed HVAC personnel.
Air Conditioning Compressor:
An air conditioning compressor has a normal life of 8 - 15 years.
Electric furnaces have a normal life of 15 - 20 years, although at times the heating elements have to be replaced.
Oil and Gas Furnaces:
Oil and gas forced air furnaces have a normal life of 20 – 30 years.
The heat exchanger in a gas or oil furnace is hidden from view; it cannot be examined and it's condition determined
without being disassembled. Since this is not possible during a visual inspection, it is recommended that a service contract be
placed on the unit and a service call made prior to settlement to check the condition of a heat exchanger.
Air filters should be changed once every 30 - 60 days to provide proper air circulation throughout the house.
Circulating pumps have a normal life of 10 - 15 years.
Operation of heat pumps in warm weather is limited to verifying that the reversing cycle activates. Extended operation in
warm conditions can severely damage the equipment. Outside units have a normal life of 8 -10 years. Heat pumps need to
be serviced at least once a year. The air flow is more critical than with other forced air systems, the filter should be kept
clean. It is not advisable to shut off supply grilles to rooms except as required to balance heat and cooling.
Electric Baseboard Heater:
Electric baseboard heaters have a normal life of 10 -15 years.
The Inspection is a snap shot in time of conditions that existed only at the time of the inspection.