Exterior Review of Home Inspection

The exterior inspection is emphasized due to the harsh weather conditions in the Western New York region. Some of the ares we focus on are land grade,  gutter, and downspouts to insure proper drainage away from the house. Another area we inspect include vegetation/plant roots to ensure they haven’t caused damage to the home. We also inspect the woodwork including the fascias and casings, and area commonly overlooked for rot and decay. The final part of the exterior inspection is the deck/patios, here we check for poor foundations and sagging.

Land Grade, Gutter & Downspout Inspection for Proper Drainage

First, we inspect the grade to check for a proper pitch on the landscape in order to have rainwater drain away from the primary structure and any accessory structures. A back pitched grade is when the landscaping is sloped downward toward the house. This is often a reason for wet basements or crawlspaces and can also lead to foundation cracks and movement during the winter freeze cycles. Freezing water is a very powerful occurrence that has the ability to upheave and displace concrete. Gutters and downspouts also play an important role in the preservation of foundations. Often, we observe downspouts that do not terminate at the grade properly and creates ponding next to the dwelling or is directed toward concrete driveways and sidewalks.

Vegetation and Plant Roots

Vegetation near the structure is also a maintenance item that we check for. When plants, trees and shrubs are growing too closely to the home or are overgrown they can damage the siding and frieze boards which are essential in the protection of the house. In some cases when a tree is too close to the structure the root system can interfere the conductor lines and sewage lines. In severe cases the root systems will damage foundations as well. 

Woodwork, Fascia, & Casing Inspections

The exterior woodwork which includes soffits, fascias, door casings, window casings and sills are also continual maintenance items which are frequently overlooked and begin to rot without the proper care. In general, these items can be easily fixed when they are caught in the early stages. These items need constant attention in the severe climate that occurs in Western New York. The exterior trim woodwork and siding should be painted approximately every 5 years to avoid costly damage.

Deck, Patio & Porch Inspections

Decks are also a part or the exterior inspection which we will take a close look at. Many decks tend to settle over years from their age, poor drainage, or poor workmanship. While it’s often difficult to inspect the underside or framing on the decks due to their concealed designs we will look for sagging or bouncy areas on the surface. Furthermore, we look for the connection to the structure to ensure that the mechanical fasteners are evident, and the deck is not pulling away from the structure when we can witness this. At that same point of attachment to the dwelling we look for signs of water damage on the joist band due to improper flashing of the deck ledger board.