Since 1994, A-Pro has been helping its clients make smarter, better and more informed decisions as they buy or sell a home. As one of the leading Aurora Colorado Home Inspection service companies, A-Pro not only offers you the best possible home inspection, service, and value, but also provides you with the peace of mind that your investment is protected through our iron-clad 120-day assurance guarantee.
A home should be a place of safety and comfort. For an excited family that believes they have just found their dream home, the thought that inherent dangers lurk inside may be far out of the picture.
But for too many individuals, the homes they cherish become the sites of tragedy. Statistics from the National Safety Council place stairway injuries just below vehicle-related mishaps as the leading causes of accidents. Every year thousands of fatalities and trips to the emergency room can be attributed to stairway tumbles. Many home-shoppers don’t realize that home inspections include a thorough assessment of a building’s stairways.
During a comprehensive home inspection, the inspector will identify stairway attributes that pose a safety risk. The following represents only the most basic evaluations made during a typical residential home inspection:
Too Narrow: After careful evaluation, the home inspector will report on stairways that are less than the required 36 inches wide (26 inches for spiral staircases) above the handrail and 31-1/2 inches measured at the handrail. This deficiency will be noted in the home inspection report.
Too short: The home inspection will include measurements to see if the stairway meets the 80 inches in height safety standard.
Insufficient Landings: Landings should be at least as wide as the stairway (36 inches).
Risers Too High or Uneven: During the inspection, the home inspector will measure to see if risers are taller than the 7-3/4 minimum and if they maintain an even height (no more than 3/8-inch variation between them).
Inadequate Treads: For safe ascending and descending, treads should be at least 10 inches deep.
No Handrails: Stairways with at least four risers should have a minimum of one handrail. During the home inspection, it will also be determined if handrails and guardrails meet height standards and are strong enough to withstand typical force.
Lighting Concerns: The home inspector will report on whether there are enough light switches, as well as note if they are operational and provide enough illumination.
Home Inspection Safety Tip: Avoid using cleaning products that leave a slippery residue on bare wood treads. Your stairway may sparkle, but you will increase the risk of falling.
Stairway assessments are just one important part of an A-Pro 500-point home inspection. To hire a certified local A-Pro home inspector, visit here or call 1(303) 557-0033.
When looking at a house you wish to buy, you may observe that its masonry chimney appears to be in excellent condition, with every brick in place and no signs of deterioration. However, it takes a professional home inspection by a certified inspector to tell the whole story.
One of the key parts of a chimney structure is its flashings – a sheet metal installation designed to create a water-resistant barrier between the chimney and roof. When poorly installed or failing for other reasons, the result can be severe leaking and costly damage to interior walls. Here’s what your home inspection will include in terms of chimney flashing, courtesy of your friends at A-Pro Home Inspection:
Rust: When constructed from tin-coated or galvanized steel, chimney flashing can be prone to rusting, which will be noted in a home inspection report. This can occur for several reasons, including:
failure to paint flashing material
not applying primer before painting or not putting on enough finishing coats
use of aluminum flashing on brick, which cannot be soldered and is known to corrode
Damaged Flashing: Roof/chimney movement, animal activity, harsh weather, or installation which was not performed with necessary precision can all lead to cracked, open, or loose flashing. A professional home inspection will let you know the extent of the chimney flashing damage.
During the home inspection, the inspector will assess whether all pieces of a two-part flashing system are in place: the base flashing and counterflashing, which overlaps but is not attached to the base material. The home inspection will note dubious use of flashing substitutes, such as caulking or roof cement, which can crack due to heat exposure. Among other checks, home inspectors will see if the top of cap flashing is correctly set, as well as examine side base flashings. Any harder-to-see issues as well as obvious problems, such as loose material and gaps, will be recorded in the home inspection report.
Finally, the home inspection will include an evaluation of the attic and rooms which would be directly affected by compromised flashing. Signs of roof leaking will be noted in the home inspection report.
Home Inspection Tip: It is a good idea to have a regular home inspection to evaluate the health of your roof, including chimney flashing. Small problems can be rectified before they blossom into costly repairs.
Roof and chimney flashing evaluations are just one important part of an A-Pro 500-point home inspection. To hire a certified local A-Pro home inspector, visit here or call 1(303) 557-0033.
For individuals immersed in the task of shopping for a home, vinyl siding can be a major selling point. When correctly installed, it can last for many years and is relatively easy to maintain. Besides, it looks great. So there should be no problems, right?
Wrong. Certified home inspectors are experienced at spotting vinyl siding issues that may not be apparent to the untrained eye. Before you buy, it’s important to know the condition of the siding and whether improper installation may lead to future trouble.
Here are six common areas of concern that may be observed by your home inspector, courtesy of your friends at A-Pro Home Inspection:
Loose Panels: One of the more obvious signs of compromised vinyl siding, panels that have pulled away from a house may be completely ripped off in a windstorm.
Panel Buckling and Warping: Properly installed vinyl siding will “hang” from fasteners. When nailed correctly, panels can easily move from side to side about ¼ to ½ inch. This allows for thermal expansion and contraction. When nails are fully driven against the hem, movement is impossible, causing the restricted panels to buckle over time. This is a condition your home inspector will note in the report.
Lap Joint Bulging: Your home inspector will observe siding bulges in cases where a ½-inch gap has not been provided between the boards’ nailing strips.
J-Channel Issues: Around windows, doors, dryer vents, and other exterior features, J-channel trim abuts siding courses, providing water protection and expansion capabilities. Due to improper cutting and installation of the J-channel, water intrusion and subsequent wood rot – particularly on the sides of windows, corners, and above windows and doors – can result. This issue will be recorded by the home inspector.
Cracks and Breakage: This is more commonly reported by a home inspector when checking less durable, older vinyl siding products that are more prone to impact damage, such as stones kicked up by a lawn mower.
Presence of Exterior Sheathing: A home inspector will check to see if building paper or housewrap is installed beneath siding as protection against water damage.
Home Inspector Maintenance Tip: Tree limbs and shrubbery too close to a home can damage vinyl siding. Keep your greenery neat and tidy to protect your investment from punctures and larger holes.
The above is only a sampling of vinyl siding assessments performed by a home inspector. A thorough vinyl siding evaluation is included in an A-Pro 500-point home inspection. To hire a certified local A-Pro home inspector, visit here or call 1(303) 557-0033.
For some families, a front porch tops the list of “must-haves” when searching for a home. Home-shoppers may envision lazy summer days sipping lemonade on an old-fashioned swing, or talking with neighbors while watching hummingbirds drink from a feeder.
Your home inspector will see the porch from a much different perspective. Before signing on the dotted line, make sure you have a home inspector examine all aspects of the porch, pointing out defects, elements that may fail soon, and safety concerns that warrant immediate attention.
Here’s what you can expect from a porch inspection executed by an experienced home inspector, courtesy of your friends at A-Pro Home Inspection:
Columns and Posts: A home inspector will visually assess and make recommendations on the condition of the structures supporting the roof and floor. This includes reporting on signs of rotting wood, settling, concrete deterioration, loose or missing bricks/stones, and other situations which may compromise the porch’s integrity. Remember that the ability to gain access underneath a porch allows for a more extensive visual assessment, but this isn’t always possible.
Railings: Loose handrails, bottom rails, and balusters can be dangerous. Your home inspector will evaluate whether these items are secure. The column which supports the railing will also be checked by the home inspector. When railings are not present, your home inspector will note if they are required under building code regulations. Further, the inspector will determine if spacing between balusters meets safety guidelines.
Stairs: The home inspector will examine the stairs for loose or missing boards, rotting wood, uneven concrete, or cracked mortar.
Roof: Signs of sagging, separation from the house, rotting wood, missing tiles, and leaks will be reported by the home inspector.
Floors: Pooling water due to poor drainage can damage porch flooring over time. Your home inspector will check for wood rot; loose, broken, and cracked boards which present safety hazards; sagging; and improper spanning of joists, which raises concerns about the floor’s ability to support loads.
Home Inspector Maintenance Tip: Never install carpeting on open porches. Carpeting retains moisture that could lead to hidden wood rot.
Porch inspections are just one important part of an A-Pro 500-point home inspection. To hire a certified local A-Pro home inspector, visit here or call 1(303) 557-0033.
Interior Wall Cracks: What a Home Inspector in Aurora CO Will Tell You Before You Buy a Home
When a crack develops in plaster or drywall, putting a framed picture over the offending imperfection may hide it from view, but it won’t make the problem disappear. In addition to being unsightly, wall and ceiling cracks may indicate serious structural issues.
Before deciding on purchasing a home, it is advised to have those cracks checked by an experienced home inspector in Aurora CO. In addition to noting the presence of cracks in the home inspection report, the home inspector will be able to let you know if they are merely cosmetic concerns or red flags of more costly damage.
Why does plaster and drywall crack?
Interior wall cracks may appear for a number of reasons, including aging plaster, poor workmanship, normal frame shrinkage, or structural problems due to movement.
In drywall, for example, small vertical settlement cracks (caused by frame shrinkage and fluctuating seasonal temperatures) that run along abutted joints generally do not warrant too much concern by a home inspector unless combined with other factors, such as water damage and foundational problems. The home inspector will note the presence of these “hairline” cracks in the report.
On the other hand, stress cracks may be an indication that structural movement has occurred. If larger than ¼ inch in width, running diagonally across a wall (often originating in corners of wall openings), and tapered from large to small, wall cracks take on a heightened sense of urgency to a home inspector in Aurora CO.
If these internal stress cracks are accompanied by external cracks in the same area, this will call for further evaluation of the home’s foundation. Other tests, such as checking for sticking bathroom and bedroom doors and measuring to determine if floor joists are sagging, can help the home inspector in Aurora CO gauge the seriousness of a situation.
Home Inspector Tip: Examine the area around a drywall crack. If you see nail or screw heads which have popped out of their wood studs, this may be an indication of structural movement.
The above is only a sampling of interior wall crack assessments performed by a home inspector. A thorough interior wall evaluation is included in an A-Pro 500-point home inspection. To hire a certified local A-Pro home inspector, click here or 1(303) 557-0033