This article is the last in the series that actually follows the home inspection process as we go through the property. We started with the Grounds with Article 2 and will finish up with the bath rooms and kitchen. Future articles will be topic specific but still related to home inspections and the real estate process.

The first thing you have to do when inspecting bath rooms is to identify which one you are talking about. Sink faucets, drains, water shut-offs, are inspected for proper operation and any leaking. All faucets are also checked to be sure the hot and cold water are not reversed and that there is sufficient water flow to all fixtures. Loose sinks can cause water leaks and actually move out of position if not properly fastened and sealed. Toilets have to be sufficiently secured to prevent movement. Fittings and the surrounding flooring are checked for evidence of leaking. Sufficient water flow is checked and also that the fill kit shuts the water off when the storage tank is full.

Grout and caulking around tubs and showers are checked for wear and cracking. Do the shower head or faucets leak? Is there sufficient water flow? If the shower has a tile base, does the shower pan appear to be doing its job of directing leaks toward the shower drain? Is safety glass installed where required? If the bath has a jetted tub, does it function and drain properly? Is the jetted tub motor GFCI protected and is there access to the motor? Ground Fault Circuit Interruption (GFCI) receptacles are required in most baths with the exception of older homes. The topic of GFCIs will be discussed in our next article.

Bathroom ventilation is important to reduce the effects of moisture accumulation. Air removal is accomplished in either of two ways, an operating bathroom exhaust fan that terminates to the exterior or an operable window. Depending on the age of the house, either is acceptable although most agree that the window option is not desirable during either hot or cold times of the year.

Although the ASHI Standards do not cover the kitchen appliances, most home inspectors do check the built-in appliances. The plumbing and electrical items are included in the Standards and are part of the inspection. Edifice will also check the clothes washer and dryer if asked buy the customer. All built-in appliances are checked for proper operation, food disposal, dish washer, cook top, ovens, microwave, trash compactor, etc.Is there an exhaust vent or one that simply recirculates the air? Does it work properly or just make noise and not move the air? The kitchen sink is inspected as any other plumbing fixture for proper operation and leaks. The kitchen counter top and cabinet materials are identified and also checked for their condition. The laundry location and condition is also reported in the kitchen section of the Edifice inspection report.

This article was the least exciting to write and will probably be the most boring to read. Baths and kitchens, however, can involve water issues and expensive repairs. Replacing plumbing fixtures, piping, damaged flooring or kitchen appliances does not fall under the typical home owner repair expertise. This is why a thorough inspection is important to identify any issues that could be an expensive surprise to the home buyer.

Article 14 (GFCI, AFCI, AFLAC )will try to clear up the confusion that can happen when arc faults and ground faults are discussed in an inspection report.

This and all previous articles can be found on our website:

Jeff Nichols

Edifice Inspections, Inc.