Inspection Training

How to Inspect the Interior Windows of the Property

While the inspector is inspecting the interior of the home they should check all of the windows around the property. Please review the customer complaint and the entire procedure below.

 

Complaint from Client: “The inspector did not catch a big crack in the window and now it’s too late to put in our inspection objection. Can you pay to replace this window?”

While performing a recent inspection there was a large crack in a window that was missed. It is believed that at the time of the inspection this upper window was covered by blinds, but we did not raise these blinds to inspect the window. When you are inspecting windows you need to make sure to check every window because the one that you don’t check will be the window with the defect. If you are unable to access a window you need to make sure to take pictures and use a “Not Inspected” comment. Please review the pictures of this cracked window that was missed as well as our procedure for inspecting windows from the interior of the home.

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NACHI SOP

International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection


 
3.10. Doors, Windows & Interior
 
I. The inspector shall inspect:
 
A. A representative number of doors and windows by opening and closing them.


 
II. The inspector shall describe:
 
N/A        


 
III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
 
C. Any window that was obviously fogged or displayed other evidence of broken seals.
 
IV. The inspector is not required to:
A. Inspect paint, wallpaper, window treatments or finish treatments.
D. Inspect for safety glazing.
L. Operate or evaluate any security bar release and opening mechanism, whether interior or exterior, including their compliance with local, state or federal standards.
 

Axium SOP Differences


Axium Requires: The inspector shall inspect all accessible doors and windows by visual inspection and by opening and closing them.

Tools Needed

 
No tools required to inspect the interior windows.

Procedure

  • Inspect window frame, casing and sill for damage.
  • Look for signs of moisture intrusion around and under window.
  • If signs of previous leaks test area with moisture meter.
  • Inspect glass for damage, cracks, and evidence of broken seals.
  • Inspect lock and crank mechanisms by locking and unlocking and cranking handles.
  • Make note of missing cranks or other hardware.
  • Open and close window indicating smooth operation, checking spring rails and sash cords.
  • Make sure the window stays in the upright position without assistance.
  • If double sash window – open and close the top sash and verify proper operation.
  • Inspect window tilt mechanisms looking for damage plastic latches.
  • Inspect screens for damage or bent frames, or missing.
  • Inspect for proper egress windows (see full section below).

Common Defects

  • Sash Cords (Severed, Missing, Damaged)
  • Crank Handle (Not Working, Loose, Missing, Damaged)
  • Window Frame (Damaged, Loose, Peeling Paint, Moisture Damage)
  • Window Did Not Close Completely
  • Glass (Broken, Cracked, Missing, Loose at Frame)
  • Glass Not Tempered
  • Glazing Missing
  • Grille (Damaged)
  • Lock (Loose, Not Operating properly, Damaged, Missing)
  • NI – AC Unit in Window
  • Sash (Difficult to Operate, Not Aligned, Rubs or Scrapes, Stuck, Top Slides Down)
  • Screens (Missing, Damaged)
  • Window Thermal Seals (Damaged, Cloudy)
  • Sill, Casing, Frame (Damaged)
  • Spring Rails (Loose, Weak, Missing)
  • Missing Cranks
  • Locks Not Working

Common Mistakes

  • Damaging Blinds – Be very careful when opening and closing blinds. The blind cords can get brittle from being exposed to the sun. Support the blinds with one hand while pulling the cords and opening so all of the weight is not on the pull cords.
  • Returning Blinds to their original position – observe the exact position the blinds are in and return the blinds to the open or closed position as found.
  • Forcing windows open and breaking glass pane – Do not force a window open if it is stuck. Carefully try to open by applying pressure evenly to the top and bottom.
  • Missing Broken Seals – Look at the window from different angles while opening and closing and as you walk up to the window. Observe windows from exterior and interior looking for evidence of broken seals and foggy windows. If the windows are dirty then clean a small area with your towel to distinguish between dirt and condensation between the panes.
  • Not Inspecting Every Accessible Window – The one window you do not inspect is the one window that will have an expensive defect.

Report / Software

IN
  • OK: The windows appeared to be in satisfactory condition at the time of the inspection. Windows are inspected for proper operation, condition of sill, sash, hardware and the condition of weather-sealing components. (Windows in this home may have damaged thermal seals but they may not have been evident at the time of this inspection. Many factors can interfere with accurate evaluation of thermal seals. Dirt on the windows, the presence of window screens, exterior and interior lighting. Evidence of damaged seals can appear and disappear as temperature and humidity changes. For a more thorough evaluation of the thermal seals, the inspector recommends that the windows be professionally cleaned, and then re-inspected by a professional window contractor.)
  • At the time of the inspection, the property had emergency escape and rescue openings which met generally-accepted current standards.

Egress opening requirements:
For safety reasons, all sleeping room and basements greater than 200 square feet and new properties should meet the generally-accepted current standards for emergency escape and rescue openings, which include the following requirements:
1. Sill height shall not exceed 44 inches above the floor.
2. Minimum net clear opening shall be 5.7 square feet; exception – grade level windows may have a minimum clear opening of 5 square feet.
3. Minimum net clear opening height shall be 24 inches.
4. Minimum net clear opening width shall be 20 inches.


NI
  • The windows were dirty at the time of the inspection. It was not possible to accurately determine which windows were dirty, and which windows, if any, had broken thermal seals. The inspector recommends that the windows be professionally cleaned, and then re-inspected by a professional window contractor.

NP
  • N/A

RR
  • [word 1] [word 3] [word 2]. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair or replace as necessary.

-Cord (Severed)
-Crank Handle (Not Working)
-Crank Handle (Damaged)
-Crank Handle Loose
-Crank Handle Missing
-Did Not Close Completely
-Frame Damaged
-Glass (Broken)
-Glass (Cracked)
-Glass (Missing)
-Glass Not Tempered
-Glazing Missing
-Grille (Damaged)
-Had Peeling Paint
-Have Pulled Loose at Frame
-Lock (Loose)
-Lock (Not Properly)
-Lock Damaged
-Lock Missing
-NI (AC Unit)
-Sash (Difficult to Operate)
-Sash (Not Aligned)
-Sash (Rubs or Scrapes)
-Sash (Stuck)
-Sash (Top Slides Down)
-Sash Cord(s) (Damaged)
-Sash Cords Missing
-Screens (Damaged)
-Screens (Missing)
-Seals (Damaged/Cloudy)
-Sill (Damaged)
-Spring Rails Loose
-Spring Weak
-Springs Weak
-Was exposed to moisture intrusion and damage in the bathtub/shower enclosure.
-Water Penetration
-Window (Not Fit Opening)
-Window (Not Functional)
-Won’t Open

  • At the time of the inspection, the property did not have emergency escape and rescue openings which met generally-accepted current standards.

Egress opening requirements:
For safety reasons, all sleeping room and basements greater than 200 square feet and new properties should meet the generally-accepted current standards for emergency escape and rescue openings, which include the following requirements:
1. Sill height shall not exceed 44 inches above the floor.
2. Minimum net clear opening shall be 5.7 square feet; exception – grade level windows may have a minimum clear opening of 5 square feet.
3. Minimum net clear opening height shall be 24 inches.
4. Minimum net clear opening width shall be 20 inches.

  • [[word1]] appeared to have a thermal seal that has been compromised. Condensation and/or cloudiness between the panes was observed. This will have a negative effect on energy efficiency. Also, because there is moisture between the panes with no ventilation, mold can eventually develop. (Since some compromised seals were noted, it is strongly recommended that all windows be inspected by a professional window contractor for additional compromised seals. Many times the cloudiness or condensation cannot be seen if conditions are not right, but they may be defective anyway. Thermal pane windows have a lifespan, and many times they begin failing at about the same time.)

-Identify Number of Windows

 
 
EGRESS
IBC Code 2015 information about proper window dimensions for egress:
1030.1 Sleeping rooms below the 4th story, above grade plane, shall have at least one exterior emergency escape and rescue opening. 
 
1030.2 Emergency escape and rescue openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet. Net clear opening refers to the actual free and clear space that exists when the window is open. It is not the rough opening size or the glass panel size or any other size, but the actual opening a person can crawl through. Code officials want the opening large enough so firefighters can comfortably crawl through the window in full protective gear with an air tank on their back.
 
Ground-floor windows only need a net clear opening of 5 sq. ft.; they can be smaller because a rescue ladder doesn’t take up part of the opening. 
 
1030.2.1 The minimum net clear opening height dimension shall be 24 inches. The minimum net clear opening width dimension shall be 20 inches.
 
(A window opening that’s the bare minimum of 24 in. high and 20 in. wide does not meet egress requirements, since its net clear opening is only 3.33 sq. ft. A window has to be taller and/or wider than these minimums to meet the 5.7-sq.-ft.-opening requirement.)

1030.3 The bottom of the clear opening should not be greater than 44 inches measured from the floor.
 
1030.4 The opening shall be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys or tools.