As defined by InterNACHI the General Home Inspection is a non-invasive, visual examination of the accessible areas of a residential property.
The home inspection summarizes the overall condition of a property, lists needed repairs, identifies potential future problems, and may recommend further evaluation done by professional services.
Rooftop inspections will be performed by walking the roof unless it is determined that it will cause damage to the roofing materials or the conditions are unsafe. If the conditions are not permitted then the inspection can be performed at eves level.
Your inspection report will be broken down into four categories:
Cosmetic defect: An irregularity or imperfection in something, which could be corrected, but is not required.
Functional defect: A lack of or an abnormality in something that is necessary for normal and proper functioning and operation, therefore requires further evaluation and correction.
Material defect: A specific issue with a system or component of a residential property that may have a significant, adverse impact on the value of the property, or that poses an unreasonable risk to people. The fact that a system or component is near, at, or beyond the end of its normal useful life is not in itself, a material defect.
Major Defect:* An example of this would be a structural failure. Things that lead to major defects, such as a small roof-flashing leak. Safety hazards, such as exposed, live electrical wiring or a gas leak. Things that may hinder your ability to finance, legally occupy, or insure the home.
*Items indicated as Major should be addressed to protect both life and property. For sellers, an inspection can reveal defects that could negatively impact your home's sale. Buyers must realize that sellers are under no obligation to repair everything mentioned in the report, deferred cost items, conditions already listed on the disclosure statement, or minor items.