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VIII. WHAT WE LOOK FOR ON MECHANICAL & STRUCTURAL INSPECTIONS

IX. Structural Systems

Foundation - Foundations (if all crawl space areas are not inspected, provide an explanation). A visible foundation should be maintained completely around the home at all times. At least 4-6" of foundation should be visible to deter water penetration into the home. Slab-on-ground foundations are the most common type of foundation in the Greater Houston Area for residential foundations.

Grading and Draining - The area around the home was inspected for proper grading and drainage. Ideally, the grade away from foundations should fall a minimum of 6" within the first 10'. Grading on many older homes does not meet this standard.

Roof Covering Materials - Roof surface was viewed from ground level and from attic space unless noted otherwise due to possible roof surface damage caused by walking on roof and damage to inspector. The roof was visually inspected for excessive wear, damaged or lifted shingles, unusual or abnormal deflection and sagging or roof surface. Flashing and roof jacks were inspected for proper installation, damage and deterioration.

Roof Structures and Attics - The roof structure was visually inspected from attic walkways and areas deemed to be safe by the inspector. Some areas of attic space were inaccessible.

Walls (Interior & Exterior) - The interior and exterior wall surfaces of the home were visually inspected from ground level. Interior walls were checked for sheet rock damage, cracking and signs of water penetration. Minor cosmetic flaws and deficiencies are not normally noted. Exterior walls were inspected for deteriorated wood, brick cracks, warping, levelness, proper flashing, caulking and proper installation of materials.

Ceilings and Floors - The ceilings throughout the home were visually inspected for damage, water stains, sagging and previous repair. Minor sheet rock cracks or minor cosmetic deficiencies are not normally noted.

Doors (Interior & Exterior) - All interior and exterior doors were checked for proper latching and proper fit and operation in door frames. Attic and exterior doors were inspected for proper weather-stripping. Installation of safety glass in exterior doors was verified.

Windows - All easily accessible windows throughout house were manually operated. The type of windows installed were identified. Windows were visually inspected for breakage, water penetration and caulking. Locks and latches on easily accessible windows were inspected. Double pane windows were visually inspected for signs of fogging between panes.

Stairways (Interior & Exterior) - Stairways were inspected for proper installation and location of handrails, baluster installation and spacing and proper dimension of stair tread.

Fireplaces and Chimneys - The fireplace was inspected visually from the interior of the home, attic space and exterior ground level. The firebox, visual flue, damper mechanism, hearth and chimney were inspected.

Porches, Balconies, Decks, & Carports

Driveways & Sidewalks

X. Electrical Systems

  • Service Entrance and Panels – The breaker box was visually inspected. The location, brand and amperage of the panel are noted. The panel was checked for deficiencies related to proper breaker sizing, grounding, physical damage, proper access and clearances, absence of trip ties on 240V circuits, missing knock outs, labeling and loose or missing dead front panels. Overhead services are inspected for proper height, clearances, condition of overhead wiring and condition of weatherhead.            
  • Branch Circuits, Connected Devices, and Fixtures - Electrical outlets, switches, fixtures and fans were inspected throughout house where readily accessible. Furniture and household items were not moved in order to check electrical items. Electrical outlets were checked for proper wiring relating to grounding, polarity and power to outlets. Presence of ground fault protection (GFCI)  at kitchen counter, bathroom, exterior, laundry sink, wet bar, and jacuzzi tub locations were verified. All GFCI circuits were inspected for proper function.

XI. Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems

  • Heating Equipment - The type of heating systems and energy sources of units is noted. Heating systems were inspected for proper operation, physical damage, proper location and clearances, venting, proper gas line installation, proper access and walkways. Gas furnaces were inspected for obvious gas leaks, rusted burner chambers, gas shut off valve, vent pipe termination and vibration
  • Cooling Equipment - The type of A/C units and sizes of units is noted. The number of A/C systems and areas of the home the systems are zoned to is also noted. A/C systems are operated when the external ambient temperature exceeds 60 degrees. The systems are inspected for adequate cooling and performance as determined by the inspector.

  • Duct Systems, Chases, and Vents - Duct systems are inspected for general condition, damage, missing insulation, proper elevation and strapping. The type of ductwork is noted. Improper sizing of ductwork or return air openings may also be noted. Air filters and air registers are also inspected.

XII. Plumbing Systems

  • Plumbing Supply, Distribution Systems and Fixtures
  • Sinks or Vanities

  • Kitchen Sink

  • Bathrooms

  • Bathtubs and Showers

  • Commodes

  • Washing Machine Connections

  • Exterior Plumbing

  • The location of the water meter, location of the house shut off valve, water pressure to the house and type of plumbing piping is noted. All faucets and plumbing fixtures  were operated manually and inspected for proper operation and leakage where accessible. Visible plumbing beneath sinks or vanities was also inspected for general condition and leakage. In most cases shut-off valves beneath sinks were not operated due to the risk of causing leakage. Tub and shower enclosures were inspected for proper caulking, condition of tiles and water penetration

  • Drains, Wastes, and Vents - Drains are tested by running a normal amount of water from associated fixtures. Underground or under-slab drain systems were not inspected.

  • Water Heating Equipment – The location, capacity and energy source of water heaters is noted. Water heaters were inspected for general physical condition, obvious leakage, proper operation, appropriate locations and proper clearances. Units are also inspected for presence of drain pans and drain lines, presence of temperature and pressure relief valve, proper type of vent pipes and termination of vent pipes. Gas lines and Gas shut-off valves were also inspected.

  • Hydro-Massage Therapy Equipment - Jacuzzi tubs were inspected for proper operation and obvious active leakage. Absence of visible access for service and absence of GFCI protection is noted if applicable.

XIII. Appliances

  • Dishwashers – Dishwasher was operated through a complete normal cycle during the time of inspection. The unit was inspected for deficiencies in mounting, performance and general condition. The presence of a back-flow prevention device is also inspected.
  • Food Waste Disposers - The garbage disposal was inspected for proper operation, physical condition, rust, vibration, mounting, leakage and damage to components.

  • Range Hood Exhaust Systems - Vent hoods and exhaust systems were inspected for proper operation, mounting, and physical condition. The type, condition and termination point of the vent pipe was also inspected

  • Rangers, Cooktops, and Ovens - Gas or Electric cook-tops are inspected for proper function and physical condition. Burners are checked on both High and Low settings. Ranges are inspected for presence of an anti-tip device. Ovens are operated on both bake and broil settings and are pre-heated to 350 degrees. Self-cleaning and timer operations are not inspected. Proper function of oven doors and mounting of unit is also inspected.

  • Microwave Ovens - Microwave ovens are inspected for proper operation by boiling a small amount of water. The unit is checked for proper mounting and physical condition.

  • Mechanical Exhaust Vents and Bathroom Heaters - Exhaust fans are operated and checked for proper function, vibration and vent pipe termination.

  • Garage Door Openers - Garage door openers are inspected for proper mounting, function and presence of photo electric sensors. Doors are opened and closed using the manual button. In most cases remote control units are not inspected.

  • Dryer Exhaust Systems - Dryer vents are inspected for missing or damaged components, termination to exterior, a screened exterior cover and presence of smooth metal duct.

  • Other

  • Doorbell and Chimes

XIV. Optional Systems

  • Landscape Irrigation (Sprinkler) Systems – Sprinkler systems are inspected by operating the system manually on all zones. The system is checked for presence of a rain sensor, back-flow device and shut-off valve. All zones operated in manual mode only - Timers not checked for automatic operation
  • Swimming Pools, Spas, Hot Tubs, and Equipment - The type of pool and type of filter is noted. Pumps, pool cleaner pumps, lights, blowers and heaters are operated and inspected for proper function. Deficiencies in drains, motor grounding, GFCI circuits, piping leaks and pool surface and structure are inspected.

  • Outbuildings

  • Private Water Wells

  • Private Sewage Disposal (Septic) Systems

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Excellent service and no nonsense. You will feel comfortable with them in your home and confident in their work. I'd recommend them to anyone!

arian55 - Google

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ABET inspections was able to work around my schedule, which was awesome! I work out of town a lot and was only available on the weekends. They scheduled me on a time that they normally don’t conduct business, and I was able to get a thorough and professional inspection. Austin Messina was in, on, and around every nook and cranny of my soon to be home. He was able to point out miner details that I would have not been able to catch. Yes, I would certainly recommend ABET to friends and family. A special thanks to Katie for making my appointment happen in a resiculously timely manner.

Homer C.

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Alway professional, on time, thorough, and so friendly. Have used them for 2 homes.

Jasmine N.

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Eric was professional and courteous. He answered questions I had about the inspection process and findings.

Rene G.

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Thank you so much for amazing service!!!! Jim was way beyond amazing. He answered everything that my husband and I had questions on and he was straight on everything with us.

Shannon D.

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Excellent command of inspection process, good demeanor and knowledgeable - gave good report out with helpful explanations

Rob M.

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Jim was an oustanding inspector and informed me of everything he was doing and invited questions—very professional!

Michael S.

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