Frequently Asked Questions

Does my inspector have to be licensed by TREC to inspect my home?
Yes, all home inspectors in Texas must obtain a license from the Texas Real Estate Commission prior to conducting a home inspection. LICENSE# 24469

Can I make payments for my home inspection?

No, but we can arrange for your realtor to have it paid at closing. 


Will I be charged a fee for my home inspection?
Yes, there will be a nominal fee based on the service selected and size of the property

Are you certified to conduct Termite Inspections?
Yes. Technician# 0841085

Are you licensed POOL inspector?
I am not a TREC Pool Inspector. The limitations of that license would prevent me from performing certain types of inspections.

I am an NSPF Certified Pool & Spa Inspector.


Do you inspect the pool equipment?

Yes. The performance, material condition, safety, and proper installation of components.

Is the inspector required to inspect to manufacturer requirements, specifications or instructions?
Pursuant to Section 535.227(b)(3)(C)(i) of the Standards of Practice, inspectors are not required to report manufacturer requirements except as specifically required by the Standards. Section 535.227(b)(3)(H) further provides that inspectors are not required to review installation instructions.

Are inspectors required to mark and or comment as deficient the absence of tamper resistant receptacles?
No. The Standards of Practice do not address tamper-resistant receptacles.

Is observance of gas shut-off valves and connections with a digital camera placed behind or under appliances considered a reasonable method for discovering deficiencies in inaccessible areas?
Pursuant to Section 535.227(a)(1) of the Standards of Practice, inspectors are not required to move appliances in order to inspect behind them. However, it is often possible to locate gas shut-off valves either behind or near appliances (such as in the cabinet next to the range). If a gas shut-off valve cannot be located, this should be reported. As the question suggests, it is sometimes also possible to use a digital camera to “see” in areas that are not otherwise accessible and there are multiple means of detection of gas leaks in existence, such as through the use of hand held detectors (however, these would be considered specialized tools and are not required to be used in performing inspections).

Is olfactory detection of methane/natural gas odorant the only reasonable method of discovering gas leaks when the connectors are not accessible?
Pursuant to Section 535.227(a)(1) of the Standards of Practice, inspectors are not required to move appliances in order to inspect behind them. However, it is often possible to locate gas shut-off valves either behind or near appliances (such as in the cabinet next to the range). If a gas shut-off valve cannot be located, this should be reported. As the question suggests, it is sometimes also possible to use a digital camera to “see” in areas that are not otherwise accessible and there are multiple means of detection of gas leaks in existence, such as through the use of hand held detectors (however, these would be considered specialized tools and are not required to be used in performing inspections).

Is the inspector required to comment on or report as deficient those gas appliance shut-off valves and connectors not visible or accessible without moving the gas appliances?
Pursuant to Section 535.227(a)(1) of the Standards of Practice, inspectors are not required to move appliances in order to inspect behind them. However, it is often possible to locate gas shut-off valves either behind or near appliances (such as in the cabinet next to the range). If a gas shut-off valve cannot be located, this should be reported. As the question suggests, it is sometimes also possible to use a digital camera to “see” in areas that are not otherwise accessible and there are multiple means of detection of gas leaks in existence, such as through the use of hand held detectors (however, these would be considered specialized tools and are not required to be used in performing inspections).

Are gas ranges, built-in wall ovens, or clothes dryers considered to be large, heavy, fragile objects which could be damaged or cause damage while being moved, and an undue hazard and risk to the inspector?
Pursuant to Section 535.227(a)(1) of the Standards of Practice, inspectors are not required to move appliances in order to inspect behind them. However, it is often possible to locate gas shut-off valves either behind or near appliances (such as in the cabinet next to the range). If a gas shut-off valve cannot be located, this should be reported. As the question suggests, it is sometimes also possible to use a digital camera to “see” in areas that are not otherwise accessible and there are multiple means of detection of gas leaks in existence, such as through the use of hand held detectors (however, these would be considered specialized tools and are not required to be used in performing inspections).

Is the definition of accessible, as applied to gas appliance connections, left to the reasonable judgment of the inspector?
Pursuant to Section 535.227(a)(1) of the Standards of Practice, inspectors are not required to move appliances in order to inspect behind them. However, it is often possible to locate gas shut-off valves either behind or near appliances (such as in the cabinet next to the range). If a gas shut-off valve cannot be located, this should be reported. As the question suggests, it is sometimes also possible to use a digital camera to “see” in areas that are not otherwise accessible and there are multiple means of detection of gas leaks in existence, such as through the use of hand held detectors (however, these would be considered specialized tools and are not required to be used in performing inspections).

Is the presence of a gas shut off valve that requires a tool to turn off deficient?
Question is not clear. Some gas shut off valves are safety or emergency shut off devices and some are not. As the type of valve in question is not defined, no answer can be provided. 
Is the inspector required to warn or advise of the alleged risks if TREC determines the panel is not required to be reported as deficient?
No. The standards of practice do not address this condition.


Do the Standards of Practice require inspectors to report double-tapped neutral wires on a panel box terminal as deficient?
Yes, double-tapped grounded conductors (neutrals) are a deficiency and must be reported as such, unless otherwise approved and listed by the manufacturer.

Is the absence of weather-strip on the door a required reporting deficiency?
Yes, Section 535.228(f)(2)(E)(i) requires inspectors to report deficiencies in weather stripping.

The Standards of Practice require inspectors to inspect attic ventilators and report deficiencies but do not require that they be operated. How should an inspector identify deficiencies in the power ventilators without operating them?
n inspecting an attic with a powered ventilator, which is not required to be operated, the inspector should perform a visual inspection and consider the totality of the ventilation system.

Does TREC consider a roof with roofing felt ending short of the drip edge and the rake not overlapped over the drip edge a required reporting deficiency? If yes, is the inspector required to inspect 100% of the materials under the edge of the roof? If no, is the inspector allowed to inspect in a representative manner?
Section 535.228(c)(3)(D) of the Standards of Practice requires inspectors to report as deficient deficiencies in flashing details. Drip and rake edge flashing materials are recommended by most shingle manufacturers but are not required. If installed and if visible, the installation described in your question is required to be reported as a deficiency. However, the inspector is not required to inspect every inch of the material under the roof and may “spot check” for this condition.


Is the absence of combustion air in the bottom of the closet a required reporting deficiency?
Section 535.230(2)(J)(vi)(I)of the Standards of Practice requires inspectors to report as deficient, in gas HVAC units, deficiencies in combustion, and dilution air. None of the issues you listed would necessarily be required to be reported as deficiencies; this determination depends on several factors, such as the design of the system.

Is the inspector required by the Standards to state or explain a condition as a hazard to the consumer?
It is up to the “reasonable judgment” of the inspector to determine if the situation encountered during the inspection is or is not a hazard for the inspector’s client.

Is a TREC inspector required to report the presence of CSST as a deficiency? Is the TREC inspector required to inform the client of the CSST litigation history?
The mere presence of corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) is not, in itself, required to be reported as a deficiency, nor are inspectors required to notify the client of the litigation history or the risks associated with CSST.

The Standards of Practice require inspectors to report as deficient the lack of a 1-3/8” solid wood or fire-rated door between a house and garage. How should an inspector positively identify fire-rated doors when the markings are covered by paint?
Information regarding fire ratings of doors is often obscured by paint. In that case, inspectors are required to do their best to determine whether the door is fire-rated and to report accordingly. In some instances, the inspector will only be able to report that he or she was not able to determine whether the door was fire-rated or that the door appeared to be (or did not appear to be) fire-rated.


Is an egress window with a sill greater than 44 inches from the floor a required reporting item and deficient? Will advising the client to place a climbable object (such as the chest) supersede the need to identify the item as deficient?
The answer to the first question is “No”. The standards of practice are not based on a specific requirement such as those promulgated by model building codes. The requirements for emergency escape and rescue openings in sleeping rooms and the sill heights and sizes of the emergency escape openings in sleeping rooms have varied through the years. The inspector must use “reasonable judgment” in determining if the emergency escape and rescue openings are sufficient for the intended purpose of the openings for the inspector’s client. In response to the 2nd question, an inspector must keep in mind that his role is primarily to document the condition of the home at the time of the inspection per §535.227(b)(1). An inspector is not required to recommend “fixes”. 

What level of precision is expected for the “approximation” of average insulation depth?
Do the Standards of Practice require inspectors to report as deficient evidence of a past attic fire?
Section 535.228(d)(1)(B) requires an inspector to report “approximate average depth of attic insulation.” We are unable to prescribe a certain "level of precision” that would satisfy this requirement; any of the examples you presented would satisfy the requirement to report the depth of insulation, as long as they accurately reflect the conditions.


Is wrinkled loose carpet a defect and required reporting item per TREC? 2. Presuming an upstairs floor or the ceiling below does not exhibit obvious evidence of failure, is a squeaky floor a defect and required reporting item per TREC?
Section 535.228(e)(3)(A) of the Standards of Practice states that inspectors are not required to report cosmetic damage or the condition of floor, wall, or ceiling coverings. Neither loose carpet nor floor squeaks, without further evidence of deficient conditions, is required to be reported as deficient.

Do the Standards of Practice require inspectors to report as deficient the absence of weep holes along the bottom course of brick and above steel lintels?
Lack of weep holes is only required to be reported as a deficiency when there is visible evidence of water penetration or a structural issue that may be related to the lack of weep holes.

What are inspectors required to report regarding AFCI’s?
Section 535.229(a)(1)(G)(vii) requires an inspector to report a deficiency in the operation of an installed ground-fault or arc-fault circuit interrupter device. Section 535.229(a)(2)(B) states that an inspector is not required to test an arc-fault circuit interrupter device when the property is occupied or when damage to personal property may result, in the inspector’s reasonable judgment.

Is the absence of gutters a defect and required reporting item per TREC?
No. Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the Standards of Practice only address items that are present at the time of the inspection. If gutters are present, they are required to be inspected under §535.228(b)(1)(C).

Do the Standards of Practice require inspectors to report as deficient a gas log fireplace with a damper that has not been blocked open? If so, what is the minimum distance the damper should be open?
The lack of a damper clamp is required to be reported as a deficiency when a gas appliance or artificial gas logs (but not merely a log lighter pipe) is present. The Standards of Practice do not establish a minimum distance that the clamp should hold the damper open.

What are inspectors required to report regarding gas supply lines?
Section 535.231(a)(2)(E)(ix) requires inspectors to report deficiencies in the condition of the gas distribution system. Section 535.231(a)(3)(D)(iii) does not require inspectors to inspect inaccessible gas supply system components for leaks. Section 535.231(a)(3)(A) states that inspectors are not required to operate any main, branch, or shut-off valves.

Is the absence of an anti-entrapment cover in a spa deficient and a required reporting item per TREC? 2. Is the presence of a single drain or suction opening in a pool spa deficient and a required reporting item per TREC?
The absence of an anti-entrapment cover in a spa is not a required reporting item. Section 535.233(2)(B)(i), however, requires an inspector to report as deficient the presence of a single blockable main drain.

Are inspectors required to inspect underground drainage systems or to test gutters or downspouts?
Inspectors are not required to inspect anything buried, hidden, latent, or concealed. Accordingly, the requirement that inspectors report deficiencies in installed gutter and downspout systems applies only to visible deficiencies in above-ground gutter and downspout systems and not to underground drain piping, cisterns, or other buried components. Furthermore, there is no requirement that inspectors test gutters or downspouts (by pouring water into them or through other means).

Is the inspector required to inspect a water metering device to determine if a leak may exist? Is the inspector required to perform any inspection of the meter?
Pursuant to Section 535.227(b)(3)(A)(vi) of the Standards of Practice, an inspector is not required to inspect or test metering devices.

Is a corroded bathroom fixture that remains operable a defect and required reporting item per TREC?
Purely cosmetic corrosion is not required to be reported as a deficiency.

Is an inspector required to report as deficient an electronic sensor in a garage door that is more than six inches above the garage floor even though the general limitations section states that an inspector is not required to inspect a photoelectric sens
Yes. The specific requirement to report the deficiency takes precedence over the general limitation against inspecting an photoelectric sensor.

Is the inspector required to determine the presence of Chinese drywall? Is the inspector required to report the symptoms of Chinese drywall? Is the inspector required to warn of the risk of Chinese drywall?
Pursuant to the general limitations in the Standards of Practice, inspectors are not required to determine the presence of “Chinese drywall” or to report its symptoms or risks. As an example, if corrosion to copper tubing lines or copper wires were found, that could in the opinion of the inspector constitute a deficiency, the inspector is not required to determine or report the cause of the corrosion, such as from “Chinese drywall."

Is the inspector required to report water heaters that are covered with an insulation blanket as obstructed if they did not remove the blanket?
Yes. The Standards of Practice do not address insulating covers or blankets on water heaters. Inspectors are not required to remove water heater covers to inspect the water heater. However, if the cover is not removed, and its presence interferes with the inspection of any part of the water heater, the inspector must advise the client and report the resulting limitations of the inspection in accordance with the departure provision, Section 535.227(b)(5).

Do the Standards of Practice require inspectors to report as deficient the presence of a transite pipe to be reported?
Inspectors are not required to report the presence of transite pipe as a deficiency.

Do the Standards of Practice require inspectors to comment on the way a gas pipe enters a crawl space?
The Standards of Practice require only that the pipe entry be reported as deficient when the gas piping is concealed in a duct, plenum, or chase. See Section 535.230(d)(4).

Do the Standards of Practice require inspectors to report copper gas lines as deficient?
Inspectors are not required to determine utility sources or to research codes and ordinances related to this issue. As copper gas line material is only a concern in areas where there may be corrosive additives in the gas supply, the presence of copper gas line material is not required to be reported as deficient.

Is a water heater covered by an insulation cover deficient and a required reporting item?
​No.

The Standards of Practice require inspectors to report as deficient the lack of exhaust ventilators in required areas. What are the required areas for exhaust ventilators?
At a minimum, bathrooms and water closets that that do not have an operative window must be reported as deficient if they lack an exhaust fan that vents to outside air.

Is a receptacle on a garage ceiling that is not GFCI protected deficient and a required reporting item per TREC?
Pursuant to Section 535.229(b)(3)(A)(ii), a garage receptacle that does not have GFCI protection is deficient and must be reported as such. Note, however, that the Inspector Committee may consider a change to the Standards to create an exception for garage ceiling receptacles serving garage door openers.

Is a hand rail that is not continuously deficient a required reporting item per TREC?
Section 535.228(h)(1)(B) of the Standards of Practice requires inspectors to report deficiencies in steps, stairways, landings, guardrails, and handrails as deficient. In some circumstances, a break in a handrail would be considered a deficiency; however, this would depend on the specific design of a particular set of stairs (e.g., a landing in the middle of a flight of stairs would not be considered deficient simply because it lacked a continuous handrail).

Do the Standards of Practice require inspectors to report as deficient a plumbing fixture that does not fully drain, retaining a slight amount (such as a few cups) of residual water?
A properly constructed and properly functioning bathtub or shower should drain virtually all water (with the exception of minimal amounts that remain due to the surface tension of the water). Amounts beyond this that remain due to indentations or improper slope in the tub or shower (including shelves, ledges, etc.) constitute deficiencies and should be reported as such.

Is an inspector required to determine if a light fixture is approved for its location over a bathtub or shower?
The Standards of Practice do not require inspectors to determine if light fixtures are approved for wet locations or to report such installations as a deficiency.

Do the Standards of Practice require inspectors to report as deficient the lack of a dishwasher power receptacle in an adjacent cabinet (for example, under a kitchen sink)?
No.

Is a keyed deadbolt on the interior of an exterior egress door deficient and a required reporting item per TREC?
The Standards of Practice do not require double-cylinder deadbolts to be reported as deficient unless such a deadbolt would impede functional emergency escape from a sleeping room.

Do the Standards of Practice require inspectors to determine the headroom clearance on stairs or to report inadequate clearance as a deficiency?
Inspectors are not required to measure the headroom clearance of every flight of stairs. The Standards of Practice do not establish a minimum headroom clearance height. Whether to report inadequate headroom clearance as a deficiency is up to the reasonable judgment of the inspector.

Is
the presence of carpet on an attached garage floor deficient and a required reporting item per TREC?
The presence of carpet in a garage is not required to be reported as a deficiency.

How shall an inspector ascertain with any degree of accuracy if the fire separation between a residence and its attached garage is in place?
The Standards of Practice require inspectors to perform a visual inspection. If it is not visibly apparent whether proper fire separation is present, the inspector must make clear to the client that he or she was not able to ascertain whether proper fire separation was in place.