4-Point Inspection

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4-Point Inspection

A 4-point inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house or condominium, reviewing four major systems: roofing, electrical, plumbing and HVAC. 

This specific inspection is requested by homeowners’ insurance companies before someone can renew or be eligible for their desired coverage plan. 

What Does A 4-Point Inspection Cover? 

When having a 4-point inspection completed, the licensed inspector will examine the following systems:

  1. HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning): Does your home have air conditioning and central heating? If so, what condition are the units in and are there obvious signs of leakage? 
  2. Electrical: Do you know the type of wiring running throughout your house? Homes with aluminum, knob-and-tube and copper wiring present increased fire hazard risks and are commonly uninsurable. 
  3. Plumbing: Are the pipes in your home made of polybutylene, which is known to cause leakage problems? Inspectors will examine pipes to gauge their likelihood of bursting, which could lead to water damage. 
  4. Roofing: Is there apparent shingle damage or cracked tiling on your roof? Inspectors will be looking to determine the age, material and life expectancy of the roofing system. 

1. Heating, Ventilation And Air Conditioning (HVAC)

HVAC, which stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, can be considered one of the most integral systems, as it regulates the climate control within your home. Improperly installed or outdated HVAC systems elevate the risk of poor air quality and dust accumulation, potentially leading to unwanted health complications if left unchecked.

As the licensed inspector examines the HVAC unit, they will be looking for the following:

  • Fully Functioning Heating And Cooling Unit 

A homeowner must have an appropriately-sized, fully functioning heating and cooling unit installed in their home. It’s important to note that fireplaces, oil furnaces and window AC units are not considered primary heating and cooling units for a home due to safety concerns and energy inefficiency. 

  • Condition And Age Of The HVAC System

Although not seen as pass/fail criteria for the inspection, the condition and age of the HVAC unit is reviewed during the inspection. The inspector will be able to get a better idea of the life expectancy of the unit when examining these factors, while also gauging how well-maintained the system is. As long as there are no apparent system issues, you should be fine. 

Note: If an HVAC unit is over 20 years old, you will likely be advised to replace the system for an updated model.

2. Electrical Wiring And Panels

When it comes to the inspection of your electrical system, inspectors will mainly be looking to make sure that all electrical outlets are properly grounded, and that the system’s size is appropriate for the size of the house.

If an inspector discovers an issue with your electrical system, your insurance company may still accept the inspection. It is really dependent on the severity of the violation and the potential risk associated with it. However, there are some components of an electrical system that may make it uninsurable. These include:

  • Aluminum branch wiring 
  • Knob-and-tube wiring 
  • Fuses/fuse boxes 
  • A double-tapped breaker 
  • Cloth and sheath wiring 

3. Plumbing Connections And Fixtures

During the inspection of the home’s plumbing system, the licensed inspector will evaluate the material and age of the drain and supply lines throughout the house, looking for signs of leakage. They will also look at the current condition of the water heater, ensuring it effectively distributes water throughout the home.

4. Roofing

The roof inspection is known for being the most comprehensive portion. The roof design of a home is not only integral to the entire building structure, but it also impacts factors like energy efficiency and mold accumulation. Inspectors look closely for potential health and safety risks that may compromise the structure of the home and the safety of those living within.

The following are factors evaluated during the roofing inspection:

  • Age: Roofs have life spans just like every other component of a house. Whether your roof has shingles or tiles, or is made of metal, there are recommended life expectancies and various factors that contribute to that expectancy. Inspectors will take into consideration the weathering, care, and age of the roof. 
  • Signs of deterioration: Poorly designed or older roofs will allow pools of water to form on the surface, leading to water damage. Inspectors will look for apparent signs of roofing damage that would compromise the safety of the home. 
  • Leakage: Inspectors will be sure to check for potential leakage issues. Roof deterioration can lead to leakage in your home, causing even more costly damage. 
  • Roof shaping: The shape of your roof affects your home’s ability to withstand common weather conditions. Today, hip roofs are most common for protection against high winds. 

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