Question Hello - hope the weather there is better than here! Anyway, I bought a house last fall. Had an inspection by a licensed (MA) ASHI inspector. He said heating systems was OK. He recommended getting a service contract and annual maintenance. I did that with the gas company. Tech came out to do service and said he could not do the maintenance. The furnace is installed so that the access panel can barely be opened and is so close to the wall that one can't see inside. The tech's supervisor also came out. Gas company canceled the contract. My only solution is a new furnace or just sit and wait for a problem. Also, the garage floods. Inspector said lot was flat. After a heavy rainstorm, I watched water from the street flow down the driveway and into the garage. Not just a small puddle - several inches at times. There is evidence of water damage in the garage. Have called the inspector and he just blows me off. Wouldn't these items generally be identified by a competent home inspector? Thanks in advance!
Answer This is always a difficult question to answer as every home inspector has different inspection protocols and different State and association SOP's. Regarding the furnace it is hard to imagine how any inspector could say the furnace was "OK" without having access to it. If the gas company couldn't get into it, how did the inspector? You would have to check the State of Massachusett's Standards of Practice to see what is required of home inspectors regarding the furnace. It is not usually possible to find out how old the furnace is or assess the condition around the burners and other aspects of the furnace without taking the access panel off. Because proper access (minimum 24") to the furnace is required by code, not mentioning this seems a bit inconsistent with saying the furnace was "OK."
Regarding the flooding issue, most inspectors would note (some would check the stains with a moisture meter to see if they were wet at the time of inspection) any staining that might be signs of flooding and would note any drainage that would likely carry water toward the house whether it is surface conditions around the home or driveways.
Hope this helps
I can answer most questions about homes and home inspections, especially as related to the NE and NW regions of the country. I can answer many questions related to plumbing, electrical, roofing, structural, HVAC, insulation & ventilation (especially as applicable to energy efficient homes) and wood destroying organisms.
Licensed Structural Pest Inspector #67488
Licensed Home Inspector #220
I had been a design/build general contractor for over 33 yrs prior to my current 5 yrs as a home inspector. I also teach the Electrical, Plumbing, and Insulation/Ventilation portions of the Residential Home Inspection Course at Bellingham Technical College, Bellingham, Washington. As a builder, I specialized in Super Insulated, Energy Efficient Homes. I specialized in Pressure Treated Wood Foundations.
Organizations ASHI---American Society of Home Inspectors.
Publications ActiveRain Real Estate Network
Education/Credentials BA from SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY
Awards and Honors 1979 NY State ERDA Award---$10,000 (Design of an energy efficient home)