Household Hazard

This list of terms covers most of the common household dangers likely to be encountered by inspectors. algae: microorganisms that may grow to colonies in damp environments, including certain rooftops. They can discolor shingles; often described as “fungus.” alligatoring: a condition of paint or aged asphalt brought about by the loss of volatile oils, and

This list of terms covers most of the common household dangers likely to be encountered by inspectors.

  • algae: microorganisms that may grow to colonies in damp environments, including certain rooftops. They can discolor shingles; often described as "fungus."
  • alligatoring: a condition of paint or aged asphalt brought about by the loss of volatile oils, and the oxidation caused by solar radiation; causes a coarse, "checking" pattern characterized by slipping of the new paint coating over the old coating to the extent that the old coating can be seen through the fissures. "Alligatoring" produces a pattern of cracks resembling an alligator hide, and is ultimately the result of the limited tolerance of paint or asphalt to thermal expansion and contraction.
  • asbestos: a common form of magnesium silicate which was commonly used in various construction products because of its stability and resistance to fire. Asbestos exposure, caused by inhaling loose asbestos fibers, is associated with various forms of lung disease. Asbestos is the name given to certain inorganic minerals when they occur in fibrous form. Though fire-resistant, its extremely fine fibers are easily inhaled, and exposure to them over a period of years has been linked to cancers of the lung and the lung-cavity lining, and to asbestosis, a severe lung impairment. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber sometimes found in older homes. It is hazardous to your health when a possibility exists of exposure to inhalable fibers. Homeowners should be alert for friable (readily crumbled or brittle) asbestos, and always seek professional advice in dealing with it.
  • bleeding: the migration of a liquid to the surface of a component or into/onto an adjacent material.
    blister: an enclosed, raised spot evident on the surface of a building. They are mainly caused by the expansion of trapped air, water vapor, moisture or other gases.
  • blue stain: a bluish or grayish discoloration of the sapwood caused the growth of certain mold-like fungi on the surface and in the interior of a piece, made possible by the same conditions that favor the growth of other fungi.
    bubbling: in glazing, open or closed pockets in a sealant caused by the release, production or expansion of gasses.
    buckling: the bending of a building material as a result of wear and tear, or contact with a substance such as water.
    carbon monoxide (CO): a colorless, odorless, highly poisonous gas formed by the incomplete combustion of carbon.
    cohesive failure: internal splitting of a compound resulting from over-stressing of the compound.
    condensation: water condensing on walls, ceiling and pipes; normal in areas of high humidity, usually controlled by ventilation or a dehumidifier.
  • corrosion: the deterioration of metal by chemical or electrochemical reaction resulting from exposure to weathering, moisture, chemicals and other agents and media.
  • crater: pit in the surface of concrete resulting from cracking of the mortar due to expansive forces associated with a particle of unsound aggregate or a contaminating material, such as wood or glass.
  • crazing: a series of hairline cracks in the surface of weathered materials, having a web-like appearance; also, hairline cracks in pre-finished metals caused by bending or forming; see brake metal.
  • cupping: a type of warping that causes boards to curl up at their edges.
  • damp-proofing: a process used on concrete, masonry and stone surfaces to repel water, the main purpose of which is to prevent the coated surface from absorbing rainwater while still permitting moisture vapor to escape from the structure. Moisture vapor readily penetrates coatings of this type. Damp-proofing generally applies to surfaces above grade; waterproofing generally applies to surfaces below grade.
  • decay: disintegration of wood and other substances through the action of fungi.
    distortion: alteration of viewed images caused by variations in glass flatness or in homogeneous portions within the glass; an inherent characteristic of heat-treated glass.
  • drippage: bitumen material that drips through roof deck joints, or over the edge of a roof deck.
    dry rot: see fungal wood rot.
  • feathering strips: tapered wood filler strips placed along the butt edges of old wood shingles to create a level surface when re-roofing over existing wood shingle roofs; aso called "horsefeathers."
  • fungal wood rot: a common wood-destroying organism which develops when wood-containing material is exposed to moisture and poor air circulation for a long period of time (six-plus months); often and incorrectly referred to as "dry rot."
  • fungi (wood): microscopic plants that live in damp wood and cause mold, stain and decay.
  • incompatibility: descriptive of two or more materials which are not suitable to be used together.
  • lead-based paint: Lead is a highly toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around homes. Lead may cause a range of health problems, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. Children age 6 and under are most at risk because their bodies are growing quickly.
  • migration: spreading or creeping of a constituent of a compound onto/into adjacent surfaces; see bleeding.
  • mud cracks: cracks developing from the normal shrinkage of an emulsion coating when applied too heavily.
  • mushroom: an unacceptable occurrence when the top of a caisson concrete pier spreads out and hardens to become wider than the foundation's wall thickness.
  • photo-oxidation: oxidation caused by rays of the sun.
  • ponding: a condition where water stands on a roof for prolonged periods due to poor drainage and/or deflection of the deck.
  • pop-out: see stucco pop-out.
  • radon: a naturally-occurring, radioactive gas which is heavier than air and is common in many parts of the country. Radon gas exposure is associated with lung cancer. Mitigation measures may involve crawlspace and basement venting and various forms of vapor barriers.
  • scrap out: the removal of all drywall material and debris after the home is "hung out" (installed) with drywall.
  • seasoning: removing moisture from green wood in order to improve its serviceability.
  • settlement: shifts in a structure, usually caused by freeze-thaw cycles underground.
  • sludge: term for the waste material found in sump pump pits, septic systems and gutters.
  • spalling: the chipping and flaking of concrete, bricks and other masonry where improper drainage and venting and freeze/thaw cycling exists.
  • splitting: the formation of long cracks completely through a membrane. Splits are frequently associated with lack of allowance for expansion stresses. They can also be a result of deck deflection and a change in deck direction.
  • ultraviolet degradation: a reduction in certain performance limits caused by exposure to ultraviolet light.
  • UV rays: ultraviolet rays from the sun.
  • veining: in roofing, the characteristic lines or "stretch marks" which develop during the aging process of soft bitumens.
  • warping: any distortion in a material.
  • water vapor: moisture existing as a gas in air.

AllMax Home inspectors are trained in detecting these and other common household dangers.

We are approved & certified:

NACHI - Blue
Electrical Safety Authority
NACHI - Gold
Canadian Home Builders

Get a quote

I agree


The inspection of the Building or Property by AllMax Home & Property Inspections is subject to the terms, conditions and limitations stated below.

  1. The report, issued by the inspector, is prepared with reasonable skill and care. This consulting service is limited to the physical evidence that was visually accessible at the time of inspection.
  2. The required repairs to the building include, but are not limited to, what is reported herein due to the limitations and restrictive nature of the visual inspection. The client is hereby warned that not all deficiencies will be discovered. 80% of the first year repairs should be revealed; not 100%. The inspection report is an opinion of the present condition of the property. It is based on a visual examination of the readily accessible features of the building. A Home Inspection does not include identifying defects that are hidden behind walls, floors or ceilings. This includes wiring, heating, cooling, structure, plumbing and insulation that are hidden or inaccessible. Some intermittent problems may not be obvious on a Home Inspection because they only happen under certain circumstances. As an example, your Home Inspector may not discover leaks that occur only during certain weather conditions or when a specific tap or appliance is being used in everyday life.
  3. Unless specifically requesting this service the determining the presence of mold, fungi , asbestos and other indoor air quality contaminants are specifically not included in the standard home inspection.
  4. The inspector’s role is principally educational; to provide you with a better understanding of the building.
  5. The inspection is designed to give factual statements of the property’s current and present condition. No personal opinions will be provided regarding value or worthiness of the purchase.
  6. This inspection and /or report are not a guarantee, warranty or insurance policy of any kind. The main objective of the inspection / consultation service is to provide you with a better understanding of the observed condition of the building / property. We caution you that we will not be able to detect all deficiencies or shortcomings with the house due to the restrictiveness of a visual inspection. As such AllMax will not assume your risk associated with buying a “used” house or with the future performance of the house.
  7. Cost estimates, if provided in this report, are minimums and are intended to be a rough guideline only. Estimates are based on the most cost effective solution to address the problem and will not include betterment. If a quotation and/or further assessment is required, the Client agrees to request this from the appropriate specialist prior to finalizing the purchase.
  8. The inspection does not cover code compliance issues set by governments or other regulatory authorities.
  9. The inspection does not take into account eligibility for mortgage insurance, building or home owners insurance.
  10. The purchaser is advised to ask the property owner in writing if they are unaware of any defects that would not normally be detected by a visual inspection.
  11. All booked inspections are subject to a 50% cancellation fee, should formal written notice of cancellation not be received within 48 hrs prior to the confirmed / scheduled appointment.


The report is intended only as a general guide to help the client make their own evaluation of the overall condition of the home, based on their own personal preferences and expectations. It is not intended to reflect the value of the premises, nor make any representation as to the advisability of purchase. The report expresses the personal opinions of the inspector, based upon his visual impressions of the conditions that existed at the time of the inspection only. The inspection and report are not intended to be technically exhaustive, or to imply that every component was inspected, or that every possible defect was discovered. The fee charged for this general inspection is less than that of a technically exhaustive inspection, which would involve a number of specialists, a longer inspection time and a significant increase in the cost of the inspection. If the client requires AllMax Home and Property to proceed with a more comprehensive inspection, the client would be required to pay additional fees for those services with the appropriate specialists, independently of this agreement. In order to prevent potential property damage on the premises and personal injury to the inspector, the inspection will not turn power and gas or on/off, disassemble equipment, move furniture, appliances and stored items, excavate the grounds, or board roof surfaces. Excluded from the report are all components and conditions which by the nature of their location are concealed, such as behind walls, camouflaged or difficult to inspect. Some problems can only be discovered by living in a house and cannot be detected during a few hours of a home inspection. A roof, foundation or shower enclosure leak, for example, may only occur during specific conditions (water running for at least 5 minutes, wind driven/heavy rain, etc.). For these reasons, the client or their representative must obtain prior to completing the purchase agreement, a legal disclosure from the vendor regarding their knowledge of any history of leakage or major structural and electrical modifications during or prior to their possession of the inspected property. Confirmation of environmental hazards is beyond the expertise and scope of a professional home inspection. Some of these conditions include, but are not limited to: formaldehyde, lead paint, asbestos, toxic or flammable materials, soil contamination, mould or mildew, and underground fuel oil storage tanks. If, while inspecting the home, a condition is observed which is suspected to be an environmental hazard, we will make every effort to bring this to your attention as a courtesy to you. We therefore will not accept responsibility or liability for any environmental hazards or issues that are discovered after the inspection, whether they are concealed or in plain view. If your inspector identifies any concerns or if you have any concerns yourself about potential environmental hazards, it is your responsibility to engage the services of a qualified environmental specialist to provide a full environmental of the house and property before proceeding with the purchase of the home. Other systems and conditions which are not within the scope of the building inspection include, but are not limited to: pest infestation, playground equipment, efficiency measurement of insulation or heating and cooling equipment;internal or underground drainage or plumbing, water treatment systems, swimming pools, hot tubs, septic systems, sprinkler systems and any systems which are shut down or otherwise secured; water well quality, quantity or zoning ordinances; intercoms and security systems; heat sensors; or cosmetics. Any general comments about these systems and conditions are informational only and do not represent an inspection.

Testing of household appliances are not within the standards of practice of a home inspection.