Featuring some of our favorite home inspection photos from the past 12 months…

We are often asked, “Can a home fail an inspection?”

No. A professional inspection is simply an examination of the current condition of your house. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal code inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A professional inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but will describe its current condition and report those items that are deficient. The following photos illustrate deficiencies found in homes we’ve inspected in 2018 (some are common and some are not so common). However, all of these photos are examples of documentation provided by the home inspector to help the client make an informed decision.

Abandoned Vent Pipe

To what did this vent pipe once connect? We don’t know. But the end of this vent terminates outside the roof, so this pipe needs to be properly capped to prevent possible water intrusion.

Drainage Issues

The inspector observed rust and standing water in an emergency pan indicating a previous or active leak. PLUS the secondary drain line appeared to be draining onto the roof, indicating a possible primary drain line clog.

Defying Gravity

This drainage line ran from the home’s gutters above, down the side of the house, up and over lines from the HVAC system, then back down before terminating in the grass. The problem? Water won’t drain uphill.

Bad Seal

In multi-pane windows, a foggy or hazy window may be the result of a failed seal, allowing moisture to enter and condense between the panes of glass. 

Nowhere to Go

In this home, a new microwave with venting capabilities had been installed above the stove, however, the exhaust had never been connected to the existing vent. This is going nowhere fast!

Flex Plumbing Lines

Never a good idea in this application… These lines are designed to, well, FLEX. The major problem with them is that they collect the dirt and grime that’s supposed to flow down the drain. The accordian-like sides are great for slowing down the flow of water and letting the gunk pool and settle.

Long Way Down

All decks greater than 30″ above grade must have a guardrail. At this condo, the back deck was missing any sort of safety railing – guardrail and handrail.

Extra Large Splinter

This purlin (or bracing element) in the attic was obviously quite significantly split.

Creative Wiring

The satellite wiring on these two homes had been routed either 1) under vent flashing on top of the roof or 2) through the soffit vents – both deficiencies. Think about this…flashing around vents on the roof is there to prevent water intrusion. If the flashing is lifted in order to run something underneath, there is a greater possibility of water intrusion. 

Functionally speaking, soffit vents protect your rafters from the weather elements. These vents also help your home breathe. With vented soffits, air can flow through the vents to provide regular air circulation to your attic while limiting the moisture that can enter through the vents. Opening a vent will increase the chance for water intrusion or other weather damages.

Mystery Valve

What happened when this valve was turned? It’s still a mystery…

Stab-Lok or Zinsco Panels

If you see the words “Federal Pacific Electric”, “Stab-Lok”, or “Zinsco” anywhere on the panel, you’re looking at a potential safety hazard. Replacement of this panel would be something that needs to be done immediately. Also, keep an eye out for wiring that looks crude. Note if the wiring appears old and worn out as it may need some maintenance. The electrical panel may be just the first sign of underlying wiring or electrical issues.

Previous WDI Treatment

Sometimes, evidence of previous wood-destroying insect (WDI or “termite”) treatment can be easily seen. Sometimes, the only way you will know about a previous termite infestation is to ask the seller or seller’s agent. To buy a house with termite damage, do so only after you have paperwork from the termite company stating that the house now has a termite warranty.

There. Fixed it.

Duct tape will fix anything.

Defying Gravity…Again.

Two of the above water heater TPR discharge pipes are attempting to defy the law of gravity. Let’s review…water will not run uphill.

Bad Planning



SafeShield Inspections Provides Clients with a Complimentary Home Maintenance Tool

SafeShield Inspections, LLC gives every client their own HomeBinder. HomeBinder allows you to organize and save all related home information in a convenient online application. From storing paint colors to getting maintenance reminders, HomeBinder will help get your home ownership off to a great start. It will ensure you have all the details you need in the future right at your fingertips. Best of all, we’ll get it setup for you to minimize the effort to begin managing your greatest asset. Although you’ll probably not think about selling for some time, when you do, your HomeBinder will help with buyers, your accountant and the appraiser. We will give you lifetime of ownership access to HomeBinder Homeowner Edition (otherwise $12/year) as part of your inspection. You can learn more at www.homebinder.com.


Don’t forget to schedule your Annual Home Maintenance Inspection!

Even the most vigilant homeowner can, from time to time, miss small problems or forget about performing some routine home repairs and seasonal maintenance. That’s why an Annual Home Maintenance Inspection will keep you aware of your home’s condition and help you prevent it from suffering serious, long-term, and expensive damage from minor issues that should be addressed now.

Just as you regularly maintain your vehicle, consider getting an Annual Home Maintenance Inspection as part of the cost of upkeep for your most valuable investment…your home.

Your future deserves the attention of a professional. If you have questions or would like more information on a Home Maintenance Inspection, please contact Micah Stephens with SafeShield Inspections, LLC at (832) 953-6992 or email Micah@SafeShieldInspections.com. CLICK HERE for a free quote.


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Alli Stephens is a marketing and communications professional who works to ensure the highest level of service for clients. Alli believes that a wise customer is an informed customer, and she knows that a home inspection provides clients with important details about the current condition of a home.