Inspection Professionals, LLC 

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COMMERICAL SITE (WALK-THROUGH) SURVEY

 

6  Site (Walk-through)  survey

6.1  Objective

The objective of the walk-through survey it to allow the inspector to visually observe the subject property, gather information and note items of interest.

6.2  Access responsibility

It is the client's responsibility to arrange for the inspector to receive timely access to the subject property for the walk-through survey portion of the inspection and access to all documents and interviewees needed for the research portion of the inspection.  This includes access to all documents, information, and previously generated reports in the client's possession.  The inspector is not responsible for obtaining, reviewing, or providing information should the source withhold, impede or delay access.   Anything that hinders the inspector's access to should be noted in the report.

6.3  Revisits

It is expected that the inspector will perform only one walk-through survey per inspection report.  However, it may be necessary for the inspector to revisit certain areas of the subject building after performing the research portion of the inspection.

6.4  Inspector safety

It is the responsibility of the inspector to perform the walk-through survey safely.

6.5  Observations

6.5.1  Roof

I. The inspector shall inspect from ground level, or eaves or roof top (if a roof top access door exists):

A. The roof covering.

B. For existence of exposed membrane.

C. Slopes.
D. For evidence of significant ponding.
E. The gutters.
F. The downspouts.
G. The vents, flashings, skylights, chimney and other roof penetrations.
H. The general structure of the roof from the readily accessible panels, doors or stairs.

I.  For the need for repairs.

 

II. The inspector is not required to:

A. Walk on any pitched roof surface.
B. Predict the service life expectancy.
C. Inspect underground downspout diverter drainage pipes.
D. Remove snow, ice, debris or other conditions that prohibit the observation of the roof surfaces.
E. Inspect antennae, lightning arresters, or similar attachments.

F. Walk on any roof areas that appear to be unsafe.

G  Walk on any roofs that lack rooftop access doors.

 

6.5.2  Exterior

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. The siding, flashing and trim.
B. All exterior doors, decks, stoops, steps, stairs, porches, railings, eaves, soffits and fascias.

C. And report as in need of repair any safety issues regarding intermediate balusters, spindles, or rails for steps, stairways, balconies, and railings.

D. A representative number of windows.
E. The vegetation, surface drainage and retaining walls when these are likely to adversely affect the structure.

F. The exterior for accessibility barriers.

G. The storm water drainage system.

H. The general topography. 

I. The parking areas.

J. The sidewalks.

K. Exterior lighting.

L. The landscaping.
M. And describe the exterior wall covering.

 

II. The inspector is not required to:

A. Inspect or operate screens, storm windows, shutters, awnings, fences, outbuildings, or exterior accent lighting.
B. Inspect items, including window and door flashings, which are not visible or readily accessible from the ground.
C. Inspect geological, geotechnical, hydrological and/or soil conditions.
D. Inspect recreational facilities.
E. Inspect seawalls, break-walls and docks.
F. Inspect erosion control and earth stabilization measures.
G. Inspect for safety type glass.
H. Inspect underground utilities.
I. Inspect underground items.
J. Inspect wells or springs.
K. Inspect solar systems.
L. Inspect swimming pools or spas.
M. Inspect septic systems or cesspools.
N. Inspect playground equipment.
O. Inspect sprinkler systems.
P. Inspect drain fields or drywells.

Q. Inspect manhole covers.
R. Determine the integrity of the thermal window seals or damaged glass.

 

6.5.3  Basement, Foundation & Crawlspace

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. The basement.
B. The foundation
C. The crawlspace.
D. The visible structural components.
E. Any present conditions or clear indications of active water penetration observed by the inspector. 

F. And report any general indications of foundation movement that are observed by the inspector, such as but not limited to sheetrock cracks, brick cracks, out-of-square door frames or floor slopes.

 

II. The inspector is not required to:

A. Enter any crawlspaces that are not readily accessible or where entry could cause damage or pose a hazard to the inspector.
B. Move stored items or debris.
C. Operate sump pumps.
D. Identify size, spacing, span, location or determine adequacy of foundation bolting, bracing, joists, joist spans or support systems.
E. Provide any engineering or architectural service.
F. Report on the adequacy of any structural system or component.

 

6.5.4  Heating

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. The heating systems using normal operating controls and describe the energy source and heating method.
B. And report as in need of repair heating systems which do not operate.
C. And report if inspector deemed the heating systems inaccessible.

 

II. The inspector is not required to:

A. Inspect or evaluate interiors of flues or chimneys, fire chambers, heat exchangers, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, electronic air filters, solar heating systems or fuel tanks.
B. Inspect underground fuel tanks.
C. Determine the uniformity, temperature, flow, balance, distribution, size, capacity, BTU, or supply adequacy of the heating system.
D. Light or ignite pilot flames.
E. Activate heating, heat pump systems, or other heating systems when ambient temperatures or when other circumstances are not conducive to safe operation or may damage the equipment.
F. Override electronic thermostats.
G. Evaluate fuel quality.

H. Verify thermostat calibration, heat anticipation or automatic setbacks, timers, programs or clocks.

I.  Inspect tenant owned or maintained heating equipment.

 

6.5.5  Cooling

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. The central cooling equipment using normal operating controls.

 

II. The inspector is not required to:

A. Determine the uniformity, temperature, flow, balance, distribution, size, capacity, BTU, or supply adequacy of the cooling system.
B. Inspect window units, through-wall units, or electronic air filters.
C. Operate equipment or systems if exterior temperature is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit or when other circumstances are not conducive to safe operation or may damage the equipment.
D. Inspect or determine thermostat calibration, heat anticipation or automatic setbacks or clocks.
E. Examine electrical current, coolant fluids or gases, or coolant leakage.

F.  Inspect tenant owned or maintained cooling equipment.

 

6.5.6  Plumbing

I. The inspector shall:

A. Verify the presence of and identify the location of the main water shutoff valve to each building.
B. Inspect the water heating equipment, including combustion air, venting, connections, energy sources, seismic bracing, and verify the presence or absence of temperature-pressure relief valves and/or Watts 210 valves.
C. Flush a representative number of toilets.
D. Run water in a representative number of sinks, tubs, and showers.
E. Inspect the interior water supply including a representative number of fixtures and faucets.
F. Inspect the drain, waste and vent systems, including a representative number of fixtures.
G. Describe any visible fuel storage systems.
H. Inspect the drainage sump pumps testing sumps with accessible floats.
I. Inspect and describe the water supply, drain, waste and main fuel shut-off valves, as well as the location of the water main and main fuel shut-off valves.
J. Inspect and determine if the water supply is public or private.
K. Inspect the water supply by viewing the functional flow in several fixtures operated simultaneously and report any deficiencies as in need of repair.
L. Inspect and report as in need of repair deficiencies in installation and identification of hot and cold faucets.
M. Inspect and report as in need of repair mechanical drain-stops that are missing or do not operate if installed in sinks, lavatories and tubs.
N. Inspect and report as in need of repair commodes that have cracks in the ceramic material, are improperly mounted on the floor, leak, or have tank components which do not operate.

 

II. The inspector is not required to:

A. Ignite pilot flames.
B. Determine the size, temperature, age, life expectancy or adequacy of the water heater.
C. Inspect interiors of flues or chimneys, water softening or filtering systems, well pumps or tanks, safety or shut-of valves, floor drains, lawn sprinkler systems or fire sprinkler systems.
D. Determine the exact flow rate, volume, pressure, temperature, or adequacy of the water supply.
E. Determine the water quality or potability or the reliability of the water supply or source.
F. Open sealed plumbing access panels.
G. Inspect clothes washing machines or their connections.
H. Operate any main, branch or fixture valve.

I. Test shower pans, tub and shower surrounds or enclosures for leakage.

J. Evaluate the compliance with local or state conservation or energy standards, or the proper design or sizing of any water, waste or venting components, fixtures or piping.
K. Determine the effectiveness of anti-siphon, back-flow prevention or drain-stop devices.
L. Determine whether there are sufficient clean-outs for effective cleaning of drains.
M. Evaluate gas, liquid propane or oil storage tanks.
N. Inspect any private sewage waste disposal system or component within such a system.

O. Inspect water treatment systems or water filters.
P. Inspect water storage tanks, pressure pumps or bladder tanks.

Q. Evaluate wait time for hot water at fixtures, or perform testing of any kind on water heater elements.

R. Evaluate or determine the adequacy of combustion air.

S. Test, operate, open or close safety controls, manual stop valves and/or temperature or pressure relief valves.

T. Examine ancillary systems or components, such as, but not limited to those relating to solar water heating or hot water circulation.

U. Determine the existence or condition of polybutylene plumbing.

 

6.5.7  Electrical

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. The service drop/lateral.
B. The meter socket enclosures.

C. The service entrance conductors and report on any noted conductor insulation or cable sheath deterioration.

D. The service main disconnecting means.

E. The service entrance equipment and report on any noted physical damage, overheating, or corrosion.
F. And determine the rating of the service amperage.
G. Panelboards and overcurrent devices and report on on any noted physical damage, overheating, corrosion, or lack of accessibility that would permit safe operation and maintenance.
H. The service grounding and bonding.
I. A representative number of switches, receptacles, lighting fixtures and AFCI receptacles.  Although a visual inspection, the removal of faceplates or other covers or luminaires (fixtures) to identify suspected hazards is permitted.

J. And report on any noted missing or damaged faceplates and box covers.

K. And report on any noted switches and receptacles that are painted.

L. And test a representative sample of GFCI devices and GFCI circuit breakers observed and deemed to be GFCI's during the inspection.

M. And report the presence of solid conductor aluminum branch circuit wiring if readily visible.

N. And report on any GFCI-tested receptacles in which power was not present, polarity is incorrect, the receptacle is not grounded or, is not secured to the wall, the cover is not in place, the ground fault circuit interrupter devices are not installed properly or do not operate properly, or any evidence of arcing or excessive heat.  

O. And report the absence of smoke detectors.

P. And report on the existance of flexible cords being improperly used  as substitutes for the fixed wiring of a structure or running through walls, ceilings, floors, doorways, windows, or under carpets.

 

II. The inspector is not required to:

A. Insert any tool, probe or device into the main panelboard, sub-panels, subpanels, distribution panelboards, or electrical fixtures.
B. Operate electrical systems that are shut down.
C. Remove panelboard cabinet covers or dead front covers if they are not readily accessible.
D. Operate overcurrent protection devices.
E. Operate non-accessible smoke detectors.
F. Measure or determine the amperage or voltage of the main service equipment if not visibly labeled.
G. Inspect the fire or alarm system and components.
H. Inspect the ancillary wiring or remote control devices.
I. Activate any electrical systems or branch circuits which are not energized.
J. Operate or reset overload devices.
K. Inspect low voltage systems, electrical de-icing tapes, swimming pool wiring or any time-controlled devices.
L. Verify the service ground.
M. Inspect private or emergency electrical supply sources, including but not limited to generators, windmills, photovoltaic solar collectors, or battery or electrical storage facility.
N. Inspect spark or lightning arrestors.
O. Conduct voltage drop calculations.
P. Determine the accuracy of labeling.

I.  Inspect tenant owned equipment.

 

6.5.8  Fireplaces

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. Fireplaces, and open and close the damper doors if readily accessible and operable.
B. Hearth extensions and other permanently installed components.
C. And report as in need of repair deficiencies in the lintel, hearth and material surrounding the fireplace, including clearance from combustible materials

 

II. The inspector is not required to:

A. Inspect the flue or vent system.
B. Inspect the interior of chimneys or flues, fire doors or screens, seals or gaskets, or mantels.
C. Determine the need for a chimney sweep.
D. Operate gas fireplace inserts.
E. Light pilot flames.
F. Inspect automatic fuel feed devices.
G. Inspect combustion and/or make-up air devices.
H. Inspect heat distribution assists whether gravity controlled or fan assisted.
I. Ignite or extinguish fires.
J. Determine draft characteristics.
K. Move fireplace inserts, stoves, or firebox contents.
L. Determine adequacy of draft, perform a smoke test or dismantle or remove any fireplace component.

M. Perform an NFPA inspection.

 

6.5.9  Attic, Ventilation & Insulation

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. The insulation in unfinished spaces.
B. The ventilation of attic spaces.
C. Mechanical ventilation systems.
D. And report on the general absence or lack of insulation.

 

II. The inspector is not required to:

A. Enter the attic or unfinished spaces that are not readily accessible or where entry could cause damage or pose a safety hazard to the inspector in his or her opinion.
B. Move, touch, or disturb insulation.
C. Move, touch or disturb vapor retarders.
D. Break or otherwise damage the surface finish or weather seal on or around access panels and covers. 
E. Identify the composition of or the exact R-value of insulation material.
F. Activate thermostatically operated fans.
G. Determine the types of materials used in insulation/wrapping of pipes, ducts, jackets, boilers, and wiring.

H. Determine adequacy of ventilation.

 

6.5.10  Doors, Windows & Interior

I. The inspector shall:

A. Open and close a representative number of doors and windows.
B. Inspect the walls, ceilings, steps, stairways, and railings.
C. Inspect garage doors and garage door openers.

D. Inspect interior steps, stairs, and railings.

E. Inspect all loading docks.

F. Ride all elevators and escalators.

G. And report as in need of repair any windows that are obviously fogged or display other evidence of broken seals.

 

II. The inspector is not required to:

A. Inspect paint, wallpaper, window treatments or finish treatments.
B. Inspect central vacuum systems.
C. Inspect safety glazing.
D. Inspect security systems or components.
E. Evaluate the fastening of countertops, cabinets, sink tops and fixtures, or firewall compromises.
F. Move furniture, stored items, or any coverings like carpets or rugs in order to inspect the concealed floor structure.
G. Move drop ceiling tiles.
H. Inspect or move any household appliances..
I. Inspect or operate equipment housed in the garage except as otherwise noted.
J. Verify or certify safe operation of any auto reverse or related safety function of a garage door.
K. Operate or evaluate security bar release and opening mechanisms, whether interior or exterior, including determining compliance with local, state, or federal standards.
L. Operate any system, appliance or component that requires the use of special keys, codes, combinations, or devices.
M. Operate or evaluate self-cleaning oven cycles, tilt guards/latches or signal lights.
N. Inspect microwave ovens or test leakage from microwave ovens.
O. Operate or examine any sauna, steam-jenny, kiln, toaster, ice-maker, coffee-maker, can-opener, bread-warmer, blender, instant hot water dispenser, or other small, ancillary devices. 
P. Inspect elevators.
Q. Inspect remote controls.
R. Inspect appliances.
S. Inspect items not permanently installed.
T. Examine or operate any above-ground, movable, freestanding, or otherwise non-permanently installed pool/spa, recreational equipment or self-contained equipment.
U. Come into contact with any pool or spa water in order to determine the system structure or components.
V. Determine the adequacy of spa jet water force or bubble effect.
W. Determine the structural integrity or leakage of a pool or spa.

X. Determine combustibility or flammability.

Y. Inspect tenant owned equipment or personal property.

 

6.5.11  Life-Safety

 

I. The inspector shall:

A.  Inspect the address or street number to determine that it is visible from the outside with numbers in contrast to their background.

B.  Look for the existence of fire alarm systems.

C.  Inspect for alarm panel accessibility.

D.  Inspect for the existence of portable dry chemical extinguishers and their accessibility.

E.  Inspect for the existence sprinkler systems.

F.  Inspect for the existence of emergency lighting systems.

G.  Inspect for exit signs at all exits and inspect for independent power sources such as batteries.

H.  Inspect for the existence of directional signs where exit location is not obvious.

I.  Inspect for the existence of signs over lockable exit doors stating "This Door Must Remain Unlocked During Business Hours."

J.  Inspect for penetrations in any walls or ceilings that separate the exit corridors and/or stairwells from the rest of the building.

K.  Inspect for fire separation doors that appear to have been blocked or wedged open or that do not automatically close and latch.

L.  Inspect exit stairwell handrails.

M.  Inspect for exit trip hazards.

N.  Inspect for the existence of at least two exits to outside.

O.  Inspect to determine that the exit doors were not locked from the inside, chained, bolted, barred, latched or otherwise rendered unusable at the time of the inspection.

P.  Inspect the storage at the time of the inspections to determine if it is potentially obstructing access to fire extinguishers, alarm panels, or electric panel boards, or if it is obstructing aisles, corridors, stairways or exit doors, or if it is within 18 inches of sprinkler heads or if it is within 3 feet of heat generating appliances or electrical panel boards at the time of the inspection.

 

II. The inspector is not required to:

A.  Test alarm systems or determine if alarms systems have been tested.

B.  Inspect or test heat detectors or sprinkler systems.

C.  Determine combustibility or flammability of materials or storage.

D.  Determine the adequate number of fire extinguishers needed or their ratings.

E.  Test or inspect fire extinguishers, their pressure, or for the existence of extinguisher inspection tags and/or tamper seals.

F.  Inspect or test fire pumps or Fire Department connections.

G.  Inspect or test cooking equipment suppression systems.

H.  Determine the operational time of emergency lighting or exist signs.

I.  Determine fire ratings of walls, ceilings, doors, etc.

J.  Inspect, test, or determine the adequacy of fire escapes or ladders.

K.  Inspect Fire Department lock boxes or keys.

L.  Inspect fire hydrants or fire lanes.

M.  Inspect parking and/or outdoor lighting.

N.  Inspect for unauthorized entry and/or crime issues.

O.  Inspect or test security systems.

P.  Inspect for pet or livestock safety issues.

 


 

PLEASE READ “COMMERICAL SOP” for more details.

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