The exterior is inspected visually at grade level. The inspector’s evaluation is based on generally accepted building practices and the age of the components.
- Windows can be single pane, single pane with storm systems, or have double or triple insulated glazings. Styles can be fixed, double hung, casement or sliding. They can be wood or metal and should operate easily and close securely. Insulated windows may suffer from moisture condensation between panes indicating broken thermal seals, which does not significantly affect its insulating quality.
- Exterior trim, eaves, fascias and soffits should be dry and painted to protect it from the elements. Siding should be free of contact with the grade and/or trees and shrubs. Moisture conditions that continually affect exterior siding should be corrected. Caulking and/or flashing should be applied where building materials intersect.
- Veneer is porous and can be damaged by water penetration, freezing and subsequent thawing. Bricks, stones, or blocks, and other masonry can be severely damaged and need replacement when moisture is allowed to remain over a period of time. Space between the veneer and the insulating sheathing is required, and is accomplished with the use of “brick ties”. Veneer also requires a proper footing to carry its weight. Movement caused by improper ties or footings are detected by the presence of cracks in mortar or waves in walls.
- Doors may be wood or insulated metal. Most exterior doors are three feet wide and have three solid hinges, positive air tight weather seals and dead bolt locking capabilities.
- All exterior electrical wires and outlets should be weatherproof. Outside circuits (i.e. outlets, switches, fixtures) should be GFCI protected. Underground branch wiring should be appropriately installed.
- Either underground or overhead electric cable is provided by a pubic utility. Service entrance conductors should be encased in protective material to avoid hazards.
- Exterior hose faucets should be checked for leakage and loose fittings. In colder climates hose faucets should be winterized to avoid freezing damage and garden hoses should removed.