Limitations to Inspections
The most common purpose of an inspection of a property is to determine general conditions rather than to define all defects, which often would not be possible. There are exceptions where a special purpose and scope are defined prior to the start of work. For a typical building inspection is not possible for an inspection contractor to find every problem or defect that may exist on a property as part of a visual inspection, nor is it always possible for an inspection contractor to necessarily understand the full scope of a potential problem even if identified. If you have special needs regarding the scope of your inspection, you should consult with our office prior to setting up an inspection to ensure that any special needs or concerns you have can be met since, in some cases, it may be possible to arrange for testing or more exhaustive evaluations for an additional fee. Some of the most common limitations to our inspection include, but may not be limited to:
- Roof Access is limited to roof systems which can be reached using a 22 foot ladder and are normally restricted to roofs within 18 foot of the ground and those which can be safely accessed by the inspector at the time of the inspection. The determination as to whether the roof or other areas of the building is accessible is at the discretion of the inspector or engineer on site, who can assess conditions for safety.
- Professional Engineering Inspections does not provide inspection for hazardous gases or materials, such as radon or asbestos or mold. If special testing is desired, it should be obtained from an independent laboratory who can provide interpretation of results.
- Unless otherwise defined at the time the inspection is ordered, our inspections are visual and do not include inspection for latent defects in the roof, foundation, or structure, or other systems which are considered beyond the scope of a typical inspection. In most cases, our inspectors have not been trained to detect latent defects, hazardous materials and do not perform special tests to discover these concerns that may become evident after taking possession of the building.
- Unless otherwise defined at the time the inspection is ordered, Professional Engineering Inspections does not provide special testing to determine if leaks exist in the plumbing system below a building’s foundation. Below the foundation plumbing leaks are not normally detectable as part of a cursory inspection but have been attributed to differential movement in the foundation of some buildings in the past. In some cases, the effects of plumbing leaks below a foundation can result in a need for repair of the foundation. If it is determined by the client that they wish to have the plumbing systems tested, then testing should be performed by a qualified plumber who can provide cost estimates for repair if it is found to be necessary.
- Where the water supply for buildings is provided from a well, inspection of the well is beyond the scope of our inspections. It is recommended that a qualified well servicing company be employed to check the well for proper flow and performance and water quality.
- Where sewage disposal systems for buildings are provide for by an on-site septic system, inspection of the septic system is beyond the scope of our inspections. It is recommended that a qualified septic system servicing company be employed to check all aspects of the system and ensure it is in good condition. Repair could be relatively expensive if defects in installation or deterioration of components in the system exist.