It's not a matter of just shining a flashlight in a hole and saying, "It looks good!" If at all possible we get in the attic. Earlier in the inspection if it was safe to do so, we were on the roof, checking chimney caps and flashings, penetrations, roofing boots, inspecting where walls meet roofs, looking for defects in the homes protective envelope, "thinking like water," and formulating opinions of what we might see once in the attic.
Once in the attic, we test our intuitions. We then begin looking for water intrusion around all penetrations, is there any exposed wiring, how deep is the insulation, have rodents been up there, is the chimney flashing doing it's job? Items like that. We're looking for the things you probably didn't or couldn't see in your walk through.
We want to know what works, what doesn't, and is it safe? So as we go around the home and from room to room, we're testing plugs for grounding and polarity, checking the lights, seeing if the Safety GFCI's work and if they reset properly. We're searching for and testing the homes smoke detectors. Inside the electrical panel, we're checking amperage ratings, looking for corrosion, double tapping, unfinished wiring, melted insulation, signs of scorching, mice nests and a list of other things. It takes awhile.
We're not perfect and we're only at the home a few hours but we give you enough information to really help you make an informed decision. We're yet another tool or resource at your disposal.
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