Home Inspection

Water Intrusion

There are two seasons in San Francisco, rainy season and non-rainy season. Buyers should employ a qualified home inspector to examine the entire property for susceptibility to or history of water damage.  Particular attention should be given to basements, garages, crawl spaces, and any area below ground level.  Buyers should inquire about the homes location in relation to flood zones or running water.

Unreinforced Masonry Buildings

Un-reinforced masonry buildings (UMB’s) are buildings with exterior walls made of brick, stone, concrete, or similar materials and slab floors. They are considered “un-reinforced” because their masonry walls do not have reinforcement –typically steel- anchoring them to the floor.  They are designed to support gravity pressure (vertical) as opposed to side to side pressure.

Spark Arresters

California State law (Uniform Building Code 3703) requires that all chimneys be equipped with spark arresters.  As San Francisco homes sit so close to one another and the fire risk therefore being quite high, a home buyer is wise to consult with a certified home inspector to determine the requirements and risks associated with any functioning chimney.

Smoke Detectors

Both San Francisco and California State law have requirements regarding smoke detectors in homes.  In San Francisco, every dwelling unit must be equipped with smoke detectors which receive power from the electrical system.  Battery operated smoke detectors are permitted in single or two family dwellings.

Sidewalk Repair

The upkeep and maintenance of sidewalks, public or otherwise, adjacent to a property is the responsibility of the home owner. As such, a buyer is advised to have a qualified professional examine the sidewalks for cracking, settling, or any other potentially hazardous conditions.