Axium SOP

Topic Progress:

GARAGE 

GENERAL INFO:

Go to the Garage section and it’s going to come up to your 2 cover pictures. Your 2 cover pictures for the Garage should be two representative pictures of the inside of the garage showing the space that is going to be inspected. We will always inspect the garage, even if it is detached. We do not inspect any other unattached structure unless they are really concerned about it and want to pay an additional fee for that inspection.

As you walk around, be looking at the walls and ceilings to make sure that they are of fire-rated construction if there is a living space on the other side of the walls or ceilings. Also be sure to check the garage floor for cracks and heaving/settling.

REMEMBER: Before you are done, always check and make sure that everything on screen is green. When you think you are done with the Garage, scroll through and make sure everything is green. Don’t move on to the next step or section until you are done so you don’t have to waste your time to go back into the garage and get a picture to complete the section.

Radon Mitigation System (in Garage):

Exhaust discharge pipe should be ten feet from any window. If not the system needs to be modified, which could include an extension over the eave of the home. If we do see a Radon Mitigation System, take a couple of pictures of it and put into the report, just so they know they have one. Make sure we explain to clients that they need to test every 2 to 3 years, even if there is a system in place.

Tools Needed: GFCI Receptacle Tester, Tape Measure, 24” inch Level, Flashlight, LED Light Bulb, and possibly a Ladder.

4.01 Garage Description

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector should describe the type of garage door, the number of cars that can fit into the garage, and the location of the garage.

Tools Needed

There are no tools required to inspect the garage door description.

Procedure

  • While the inspector is observing the garage they will describe the features of that garage by the type, number of cars, and the location. There are no pictures required for this section.

Common Defects

There are no defects for this section.

Common Mistakes

Not describing the garage correctly.

4.02 Occupant Door to Garage

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will check the door to the home to evaluate if it is of fire- resistive construction and is a self-closing door.

Tools Needed

There are no tools required to inspect the door to the home or the door to the exterior.

Procedure

  • The inspector will check all the doors that are present in the garage for general damage. The door to the home should be inspected to see if it is a fire-rated door and is self-closing. If this is the case, there is one picture that should be taken and that is of the label on the door.
  • If the door is not fire-rated the inspector should take a picture of the door where the label would normally be present. If the door is not self-closing the inspector should take a picture of the hinges of the door.  Both of these would be called out as defects.

Common Defects

  • The door to the home not being fire-rated or self-closing.
  • The door being damaged, warped, or rubbing at the top/bottom/jamb.
  • Damaged weather stripping and/or daylight coming through the door.
  • Handle that is loose, damaged, or does not latch/lock properly.
  • Multiple other door defects can be seen in the R&R section below.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking the door to make sure it is fire-rated or self-closing.
  • Not taking correct and clear pictures of the label on the door.
  • Not checking every door that is connected to the garage for general damage.

4.03 Garage Ceilings

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will check the ceilings in the garage for any firewall compromises. Also make sure to check for any other defects with the ceiling.

Tools Needed

The inspector might need to use the flashlight in order to see the entire garage ceiling and inspect for any damage and firewall compromises.

Procedure

  • While the inspector is in the garage they should observe the ceilings for any damage or firewall compromises. If the space above the garage is a living space the ceilings should be fire-rated. We want to make sure that there are no holes cut and all the seams are sealed on the ceiling.
  • If the ceiling is not finished check for notches in rafters or trusses.

Common Defects

  • Compromised firewall at the ceiling.
  • Ceiling is cracked, damaged, or missing.
  • There is a hole or leak at the ceiling.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking the entire ceiling in the garage for firewall compromises. Make sure to check the ceiling with the garage door in the down position since it blocks a portion of the ceiling while it is in the up position.

4.04 Garage Walls

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will check the walls in the garage for any firewall compromises. Also make sure to check for any other defects with the walls.

Tools Needed

The inspector might need to use the flashlight in order to see the entire garage walls and inspect for any damage and firewall compromises.

Procedure

  • While the inspector is in the garage they should observe the walls for any damage or firewall compromises. If the space around the garage is a living space, the walls should be fire-rated. We want to make sure that there are no holes cut and all the seams are sealed on the walls.
  • If a firewall is breached by pipes there should be a metal washer with foam that can be installed to seal the opening. Red caulking is fire caulking and it will not burn.

Common Defects

  • Compromised firewall at the walls.
  • There is an access hole, bulge, crack, or damage at the garage walls.
  • There is a leak and/or moisture intrusion at the garage walls.
  • The garage walls have nail pops, peeling paint, or has signs of repair.
  • There was mold present at the garage walls.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking the entire wall in the garage for firewall compromises and damage. Make sure that if you can’t observe the entire wall due to stored items you document that with a picture and a comment.

4.05 Garage Floor

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: Same as NACHI Standards of Practice.

Tools Needed

The inspector might need to use the 24” inch level and the tape measure to show any heaving or cracking on the garage floor.

Procedure

  • While the inspector is in the garage they should observe the floors for any cracks, heaving/settling, and make sure the floor is sloping outwards (away from the home).

Common Defects

  • Heaving/Settling
  • Minor Cracking
  • Spalling

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking to make sure that the floor is sloping away from the home.
  • Not checking the entire garage floor.
  • If there are portions of the garage floor that can’t be inspected due to restricted access (stored items, car) make sure to make a note in the report about not being able to inspect certain areas of the garage floor.

4.06 Garage Vehicle Door(s)

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: Same as NACHI Standards of Practice.

Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the garage vehicle door.

Procedure

  • When inspecting the garage vehicle door, the inspector should manually operate the door using safety release cords to to test the tension springs and make sure they are adjusted correctly and are smooth. Look at all the hinges and make sure it aligns properly. It is important to first examine the garage door this way before using the automatic garage door opener to test these springs because if they are damaged or not working properly it could cost $500 to replace. It is also important to operate the door manually because the garage door could be locked and if the inspector operates the automatic garage door without checking it could damage and break the door. There is one picture required for this section and it should be of the garage door in the up position after it has been opened manually.
  • If inspecting a condo unit this is one of the only times that we will actually hit the button and use the garage door opener prior to opening it up manually, because we can’t get into the garage unless we hit the opener button, so that is the one exception.
  • If the Garage Door is hitting something as you raise it up, this is a common defect, or a hint to fix. Sometimes it’s due to the angle that the actual garage door arm is pulling, so if the actual garage door arm is pulling it, sometimes it won’t open at all.
  • The inspector should learn how to reconnect all types of garage doors after operating the door manually. There are 4-5 different types of latches, sometimes you have to re- latch it and sometimes you send the trolley back and forth to attach it.

Common Defects

  • The garage vehicle door beginning to delaminate.
  • Door not staying open after the safety release cord was pulled.
  • Garage vehicle door having a damaged frame.
  • Glass being broken, cracked, or missing.
  • Hinges that are damaged or loose.
  • Signs of moisture/water intrusion on the interior of the garage vehicle door.
  • Not connected to the opener or not operating properly.
  • Not sealed at the floor.
  • Panels that are damaged or deteriorated.
  • Safety cord that is missing.
  • Signs of repair on the garage vehicle door.
  • Support brace that is damaged or loose.
  • Track wheel that is damaged or loose.
  • Garage vehicle door that is weathered or has weather stripping that is damaged, loose, or missing.

Common Mistakes

  • Not manually operating the garage door first before using the automatic button.
  • Not checking the tension springs from operating the door manually.
  • Not checking all of the components of the garage vehicle door for damage.

4.07 Garage Door Operator(s)

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector to measure the height of the safety sensors and determine if they are properly installed 6” inches from the ground.

Tools Needed

The inspector will require the tape measure in order to show the height of the safety sensors.

Procedure

  • After the inspector has inspected the garage vehicle door using the safety release cord they need to reconnect the cord to the garage door.
  • Before operating the garage door using the button we want to look at the operator to check if it is secure at the brackets and plugged into an actual outlet and not just using the extension cord.
  • Use the button to operate the garage door to lift it into the up position. Make sure to observe for anything out of the ordinary like excessive vibration or noise. Go ahead and hit the button again so you can go test the safety reverse sensors (use your foot to set off the sensors to reverse the door). We do not perform any sort of pressure test to reverse the garage door.
  • Check to make sure the light (if present) inside the garage door operator is working after we open the garage door. Sometimes this light turns on after operating the door, sometimes it is motion activated, and sometimes it needs to be turned on by a button.
  • There are two pictures that are required for this section. The first picture will be of the garage door operator which should clearly show the brand name of the garage door operator, the brackets that have it secured to the ceiling, and the cord plugged into the outlet. The second picture should be using your tape measure to show the safety reverse sensors are below 6” inches (if higher than 6” inches or no sensors are present/working this would be a defect).

Common Defects

  • Garage door did not operate, was disconnected, or had excessive vibration/noise.
  • Garage door operator was bent, damaged, or not secure.
  • The button was loose/damaged or had to be held in order to close.
  • Garage door operator was improperly plugged into outlet using extension cord.
  • Door sensor was damaged, not present, installed at the ceiling, or greater than 6” inches.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking to make sure that the garage door is locked. If we operate a garage door that is locked it could damage the door and/or operator and we would have to purchase a new garage door system.
  • Not checking to make sure that the operator is properly installed and not using an extension cord.
  • Forgetting to check if the safety reverse sensors work to reverse the garage door if an object is in its path (use your foot).
  • Not checking the height of the safety sensors and having the tape measure in the second picture we take to clearly show the height of the sensors.

4.08 Electrical Outlets

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: Same as NACHI Standards of Practice.

Tools Needed

The inspector will need to use the GFCI receptacle tester to test all outlets in the garage.

Procedure

  • Plug GFCI tester into garage outlets and use the reset button to trip the outlet. If all the electrical outlets in the garage are not working, that should tell you there could be a GFCI outlet tripped somewhere or not resetting properly. So you just want to make sure you look for double GFCI’s on a circuit.
  • Make sure to trip every GFCI outlet that is accessible and document in the report by taking a picture of the GFCI receptacle tester plugged into the outlet with the proper light on. All garage outlets should be GFCI protected.
  • If the garage outlet is not working the code for that is a finger on the test button of the outlet tester showing that it didn’t trip properly. If there is another defect, like reverse polarity, you would point to the lights of the GFCI tester indicating that it is a defect. If the lights aren’t working properly or the picture doesn’t show the lights on the tester, use both fingers to point to the lights that should be on, indicating the defect.
  • Testing the garage outlet should not be done while you are inspecting the garage, instead save that for the end of the inspection so you can confirm that the GFCI has been reset. If there is a refrigerator or freezer plugged into the GFCI outlet take an additional picture with the doors open showing that the lights are on and that it is working.

Common Defects

  • No GFCI protection.
  • Damaged or missing faceplate – Damaged or missing weatherproof cover.
  • GFCI has multiple on one circuit, not grounded, will not reset, will not trip, or is not present.
  • Open Neutral – Reverse Polarity – Obstructed – Not Working – Not Grounded – Obstructed – Wired to Light.
  • Outlet has knockouts/gaps, is loose, or has loose contacts.

Common Mistakes

  • Not resetting the GFCI after it has been tripped:
  • For a garage outlet the reset button will either be on the outlet that we are tripping, or it could be anywhere on any of the other exterior outlets, so you will continue to look as you go around the home.
  • In some older homes, it could actually be on a bathroom GFCI outlet, so all the bathrooms, garage and exterior could all be on one GFCI circuit.
  • On newer homes, sometimes it could be on a basement circuit, so the garage, the outside and the basement circuit could all be on one circuit, so you would look in the basement for GFCI circuit. The primary place to look in a basement for a GFCI is somewhere around the stairs. The stairs were built at the time the home was built, even if the basement was finished or unfinished, so usually under the stairs, they will put the GFCI circuit.
  • Inspector should always re-check to make sure any GFCI’s are reset after they test them. Make sure the inspector finds the reset and they do not just leave the property. That’s a number one complaint that we get is that the GFCI is not working or outlet is not working when people come home, after we have been at the property. This is especially true if the GFCI is connected to a refrigerator or freezer because we don’t want to ruin the food. The garage door opener might also be connected to it and if the GFCI is off, the owners won’t be able to open the garage door remotely when they return home.

4.09 Electrical Switches and Fixtures

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will check all light fixtures in the garage to make sure that they are working.

Tools Needed

The inspector might need to use the LED light bulb to test a light fixture where the bulb is missing and the client wants to know if a fixture is operational.

Procedure

  • While the inspector is in the garage all of the lights should be turned on and checked to see if they are working.
  • Also make sure to check the garage door operator light and that it has a proper cover.

Common Defects

  • Light socket adapter is being used and it should have its own outlet.
  • Light bulb that is missing or not working, or can’t find light switch.
  • Has a chain that is missing or stuck.
  • Light fixture is loose or hanging from electrical wiring.
  • The light fixture cover is cracked, damaged, or missing.
  • Light fixture has exposed splices and/or electrical conductors.
  • Light fixture is using extension cord as permanent wiring and needs its own outlet.
  • Light fixture is flickering or has broken glass.
  • Light fixture is missing a cover, glass, globe, part, is old/rusty, or is not working.
  • Light switch is wired wrong, buzzes, is damaged/defective, is loose, or missing.
  • Light switch is missing cover plate, knob, or screw.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking every light fixture in the garage for operation.

4.10 Garage Steps

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: Same as NACHI Standards of Practice.

Tools Needed

The inspector might need to use the tape measure to make sure that the stairs are the proper height and balusters have proper spacing.

Procedure

  • While the inspector is in the garage the garage steps should be observed for any defects.

Common Defects

  • Steps that are damaged, loose, sloped, or were not installed properly.
  • Steps where there is no headroom, risers are too high, or tread is too short.
  • Handrail that is loose, missing, or the rail is lower than 32” inches.
  • Handrail that has spindles that are greater than 4” inches wide.
  • Handrail that has no return at the railing ends.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking the handrail and stairs to see if they are loose. If there are four or more risers a handrail must be present.

4.11 Garage Windows

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will inspect every window that is in the garage by opening and closing it. Also, check to make sure that it locks and that the thermal seal isn’t broken.

Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the windows in the garage.

Procedure

  • While the inspector is in the garage they will operate all windows by opening and closing them.
  • Check the locks on the windows and check for any broken thermal seals.

Common Defects

  • Cord is severed.
  • Crank handle is not working, damaged, loose, or missing.
  • Did not close completely or the frame is damaged.
  • Glass is broken, cracked, missing, or not tempered.
  • Glazing is missing or grille is damaged.
  • Had peeling paint or has been pulled loose at the frame.
  • Lock is loose, damaged, missing, or not working properly.
  • Not able to inspect due to an AC unit being in the window.
  • Sash is difficult to operate, not aligned, rubs/scrapes, is stuck, or the top slides down.
  • Sash cord is damaged or missing.
  • Screens missing or damaged.
  • Seals are damaged/cloudy.
  • Window sill is damaged.
  • Spring rails are loose or the springs are weak.
  • Window is stuck or has been exposed to moisture intrusion/water penetration.
  • The window won’t open, is not functional, or does not fit in the opening.

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking the windows for broken thermal seals.
  • Not checking every window that is accessible in the garage. If a window is not accessible due to restricted access, make sure to take a picture and make note of it in the report