Building Exterior Structural Defects List & Home Inspection Education

  • EXTERIOR STRUCTURAL DEFECTS LIST - CONTENTS: - Structural defects visible at building exteriors: inspection and defects list. Lists of important defects for residential buildings. What does a home inspector need to know? Home inspection training and education curriculum recommendations
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about home & building inspection courses, standards, & defect checklists for structural defects

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This article lists significant building structural defects visible from outside, including definitions of common structural defect terms, and related home inspection education topics.

This article series, beginning at BUILDING DEFECTS LISTS, provides lists of common building defects and basic defect knowledge that also outline recommended curriculum content for home inspector education.

The building defects and inspection points listed in these articles also guide homeowners and home buyers to building areas that merit careful attention and often point areas of safety concern or important maintenance and repair tasks.

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Home Inspection Education Curriculum - Exterior Roof Structure Inspection

7.2   Exterior structures: inspeting for defects

7.2.1 Knowledge Base

1.    Describe the function of exterior structures including porches, decks, balconies, garages and carports, basement walk-outs.

2.    List the materials and components of each of the structures listed above.

3.    Describe the features of  adequate installation and repair technique for each of the structures listed above.

4.    Define the following terms:

Porch, deck, balcony, eaves, steps (rise, run, tread, landing, wood/soil contact, handrail, guardrail), cantilever, ledgerboard, gasproofing garages, fireproofing garages, man-door on garage, auto closer on garage door, pressure grouting, mud jacking, vehicle door on garages, counter-balance on garage doors, auto reverse on garage door openers.

5.    Identify the codes or standards which apply to exterior structures in your area.

7.2.2 `Inspection Skills:

1.    Describe the inspection procedure for all the exterior structures listed above.  Include testing of auto reverse mechanisms for overhead garage doors.

2.    Identify the common defects listed on the next page.

3.    Describe the implication of each defect.

4.    Identify the safety issues for the inspector and occupant of the home (fall hazard, trapping children under garage doors, trip hazard on stairs).

5.    Communicate findings to client verbally and in writing, recommending corrective action where needed.



STEPS AND LANDINGS                        BEAMS

• Carpet over wood steps or landing       • End support inadequate

• Landings missing or undersized                • Rot, insect damage, wood/soil contact

• Masonry or concrete spalling or cracking      • Rotation

• Rot                                     • Sag

• Stair rise too big or not uniform

• Stair run too small or not uniform                  JOISTS

• Steps slope

• Steps or landings settling or heaving         • Cantilevered joist problems

• Steps spring, loose or sagging                • End bearing inadequate

• Tread widths too small or not uniform         • Fastener problems

• Wood/soil contact                             • Ledgerboard problems

• Rot, insect damage or wood/soil contact

HANDRAILS AND GUARDS                • Rotation

• Sag (undersized, overspanned, damaged, overloaded)  missing  JDG

• Loose

• Missing                                 FLOORS

• Rot

• Spindles missing, too far apart, climbable    • Carpet

• Concrete cracked or spalled

COLUMNS                                   • No step up into house

• Paint or stain needed

• Leaning, settled, heaved                      • Poor quality materials

• Rot, insect damage                      • Rot, insect damage or wood/soil contact

• Rust                                          • Rust

• Spalling, cracked or damaged                  • Sag

• Wood/soil contact



• Fastener problems

• Mechanical damage                       • Mechanical damage

• Rot, insect damage                      • Paint or stain needed

• Settlement or other movement                  • Rot, insect damage or wood/soil contact

Also see HOME & BUILDING INSPECTORS & INSPECTION METHODS. Use the Search Box at the top or bottom of these pages to find in-depth information about building, energy savings, and indoor environment inspection, diagnosis and repair at this website.

Watch out: these inspection lists do not list all possible defects for the systems discussed, and not all home or building inspectors will examine all of the items listed here. CONTACT us to suggest corrections or additions to articles at this website.

FEAR-O-METER a promotion theory to convert risk of hidden defects & hazards into action thresholds, for a discussion of how an accumulation of inspection evidence leads to a rational decision to perform invasive or desctructive inspection measures.

These curriculae and building defect lists are based on smilar curriculum documents first prepared by Joe Scaduto, an ASHI member who prepared course material for Northeastern University's Building Inspection Certificate program in 1988, subsequently by DF, InspectApedia's editor, for New York University ca 1988 and later, with others, recommended to ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. ASHI did not adopt this material though currently that association as well as others offer extensive HOME INSPECTOR EDUCATION material. The curriculum and lists of defects are informed by additional analysis of the process of home inspection that was developed beginning Calgary, AB for Canadian and U.S. home inspector education and certification examinations in 1997. Other early contributors to home inspection education in the U.S. and Canada include Dr. Jess Aronstein, Alan Carson, Mike Casey, Mark Cramer, John Cox, Dwight Barnett, Douglas Hansen, Rick Heyl, Larry Hoytt, Bill Merrill, Kevin O'Malley, Dennis Robitalille, Keith Peddie, Pat Porzio, Roger Robinson.


Continue reading at ARTICLE INDEX to BUILDING DAMAGE, DISASTER, REPAIR or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.





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EXTERIOR STRUCTURAL DEFECTS LIST at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.


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