1. BEFORE starting an inspection of
your home, you should read the Ritz-Craft homeowner’s packet, the
Barclay Farms homeowner’s packet, and the various homeowner manuals
for the appliances installed in your home.
When you begin your inspection, it
is suggested that you write out a complete description of the
discrepancy along with the date found plus take a picture.
You will have four opportunities to
report discrepancies to Barclay Farms for correction. The details of
these should be located in the “New Home Warranty Procedures”
section of the Barclay Farms homeowner’s packet that was given to
you at the closing for your home.
Finally, you might want to consider
hiring a home inspector. If you do, then suggest this “look-for”
list be used to supplement his check-off list.
What follows are specific areas
that should be checked.
The vast majority of the homes in Barclay Farms don’t
have an access to their attic. One can gain access to the attic by
cutting through the drywall in the garage and then cutting an access
entrance through the house roof. One should put plywood runners
across the joists particularly for homes with cathedral ceilings.
Things to look for are water stains around vents in the roof,
improperly placed insulation (it is very likely that you do not have
insulation rating in your attic that you paid for), “hot”
covered restricting ventilation, exhaust vents from inside of the
directly into the attic instead of to the outside, signs of
improper ventilation of the attic space.
Turn on each exhaust fan. Next, go outside and feel
the exhaust outlet to see if, in fact, air is exiting. Sometimes
these exhaust hoses are left unattached and they exhaust the humid
bathroom air into the attic instead of to the outside.
Tub not draining properly - if your drain plug is the
snap down type, then, you need to screw off the top turning counter
clockwise. Next, take a large slotted screwdriver and unscrew the
stem turning counter-clockwise.
There may be air infiltration into your house from the
crawlspace through penetrations of the vapor seal beneath your home.
To eliminate this problem, all vapor barrier tears must be sealed.
The most likely vapor seal areas needing repair are where:
the air-conditioning piping enters your home.
the gas piping enters your home.
the main water supply line enters your home.
the electrical cable enters your home.
the electrical wiring between both halves of the home is
the water hoses between both halves of the home are
the electrical outlet for the sump pump is installed.
the sewer PVC piping enters your home.
the natural gas piping enters your home.
the cable television connections enter your home.
the dryer hose enters your home.
other miscellaneous tears were made by workmen.
To properly seal these openings the surrounding vapor
seal must be cleaned of all grime and allowed to thoroughly dry.
Next, an aerosol adhesive should be sprayed on the vapor seal and on
the patch. Third, these two are married together. Finally, the black
adhesive taper is put over the edges of the patch.
Sources of water entering your crawlspace can be from
any or all of the following. They are:
the crawlspace vents may be below the grade of the
the air-conditioning condensation drain pipe is emptying
directly on your crawlspace floor rather than into the sump
hole or to the outside.
the hole through which the irrigation PVC pipe is passing
hasn’t been sealed on either side of the crawlspace cinderblock
the hole through which the electrical cable for your outside
night light hasn’t been sealed on either side of the cinderblock
a tar sealant hasn’t been placed on the outside of your
cinderblock retaining wall.
cool air from the air-conditioning unit might be coming
through the vapor seal into your crawlspace leading to condensation
dripping from your vapor seal.
the crawlspace entrance door is leaking when it rains.
rain, rain water from the gutter, and the water from the
permanent garden hose for watering plants against the house might
not be draining away from the house due to poor grading.
Consider slicing a one-quarter inch hole into the vapor seal
on both sides of the air-conditioner to detect any accumulation of
water from a faulty drip pan or the “A” unit evaporator below the
Make sure that your sump pump is plugged in to the
electrical outlet & the sump hole has a plastic cover over it. It
might be wise to consider the installation of a water alarm system
that will notify you in case your sump pump fails and water begins
to flood your crawlspace.
Make sure that your main water line is insulated with
a neoprene rubber covering and a low voltage heating tape is wrapped
around this water line and is plugged in.
Make sure that the irrigation pipe has a gate valve to
turn off the water plus an air fitting to winterize the irrigation
system by blowing out all of the water.
Make sure that all piping and electrical cables are
tied up properly.
Make sure that the gas line has the two wooden
supports where the 2 halves of the house are joined.
Make sure all debris such as pieces of carpeting,
cardboard boxes, plastic, pieces of broken cinder blocks is removed
from the crawlspace. If these get wet, they might retain water and
begin producing mold and mildew and/or invite insects.
The cinder blocks on the inside of the cinderblock
retaining wall surrounding your house may have numerous sections
without mortar. These should be filled with crack filler that comes
in an aerosol bottle to discourage insect infestation.
All penetrations through the cinder block retaining
wall surrounding your house should be sealed.
Check the supporting columns (piers) for your house to
ensure that they haven’t begun to crack from the weight of your
home. Make sure there are two (no more or less) wooden wedges
between the bottom of your house & and the top of each column.
Check to ensure that anchoring straps aren’t in
contact with supporting piers.
Read the anchor manufacturer’s instructions to be
familiar with how these should be embedded into the concrete slab
beneath your home.
Your crawlspace might be harboring a large number of
insects (water bugs, spiders, crickets, millipedes). This is
particularly true if you have a porch that allows insects and water
to have easy access to your crawlspace. You might consider having
your crawlspace sprayed by an exterminator. However, if one has had
his porch enclosed, one will want to proceed with caution. In these
cases, it might be advisable to only have the outside of your house
On the center line, one will find at several locations
two orange 2” by 6” by 24” boards nails to the bottom of the house.
These are locations for heating/air-conditioning ducting cross
connections. One will usually find a piece of insulation stuck up
between these boards. If this insulation is pulled out, one will
often find that heated air or cooled air will escape. This indicates
that these cross connections aren’t sealed properly and air is
escaping. One can insist that these connections be made tight or
simply tightly seal the opening between and around the boards.
Unsealed results in either heated air or cooled air dumping into the
crawlspace instead of within the home.
Might not be sealing properly. At night, turn off the
lights to your home. Next, have someone outside these doors shine a
flashlight all the way around the outside edge of each door. Light
will easily be seen through any area that isn’t sealing correctly.
Look for hinges and strike plates that aren’t
Look for doors rubbing against frame.
Look for doors not square within their frames.
Electrical panel boxes:
On the outside of your house, there is a panel box.
This is right where the electric meter is located. If there are any
trip fuses other than the main trip switch, then, it needs to be
labeled. Be aware that the circuit breaker for the light in your
garage, the garage door opener and your outside night lamp are
probably on the electrical panel OUTSIDE of your home.
One is usually located in the utility room or a
bedroom. Open the door and read the index for each numbered switch.
Turn off the switch to ensure that it is properly labeled. Many
times there will be confusing abbreviations written for a particular
switch. If you don’t know what the switch identifies. ASK!
Unsealed floor penetrations beneath the sinks in the
kitchen, bathrooms, and utility room might invite unwanted insects,
moisture, mold spores, & cold air plus allow water from an uninvited
source to flow into the sub-flooring with possible serious
consequences to the integrity of the materials between your floor
and vapor barrier beneath your home.
Depending on its location, this condition might be due
to nails being used to attach a wall to the floor instead of wood
screws /or/ lag screws beneath your home becoming loose. This
problem can usually be fixed.
Remove the door holding filter. Check this filter, the
fan and its housing for dust and debris. Look to see if the space
between the wall and furnace are free of excessive debris.
Is the furnace exhaust flue sealed where it penetrates
the ceiling? As stated Also refer to page
Ask a Barclay Farms representative to explain the
Take off the bottom door to the furnace and inspect
for signs of water plus see if all penetrations through the floor
have been sealed.
Page 34 of the Ritz-Craft Homeowner’s Manual is a page
titled “Alternate Construction Instructions and Checklist for
Shipping the Furnace, Water Heater, or Fireplace Flue Assembly
Partially Disassembled.” In accordance with the information on this
page, a HUD representative should come to your home within a short
period of time after you move in to check the features on this page.
Ground water should not enter your crawlspace. Ensure
that all ground water flows away from you house plus there shouldn’t
be an area that holds standing water for more than a two day period.
Use certified letters.
Again, read the manuals that were given to you at
closing to learn of all the rights and procedures to follow if you
have an issue that isn’t being resolved.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s
click “complaints” and then “manufactured housing” where you will
find recommended procedures to follow for any complaint to be filed
with your home’s manufacturer.
contact the Barclay Farms Homeowner’s Association if
it is felt that your problem/s is/are a community-wide issue/s.
Delaware Manufactured Homeowner’s Association (www.dmhoa.org)
– This is an outstanding website for many topics pertaining to
manufactured housing but particularly the “links” for access to a
lot of good advice pertaining to filing grievances.
Delaware Consumer Protection Agency.
When it rains, look at your guttering to ensure that
water draining from your roof isn’t coming between your home and the
guttering itself or through seams. In many cases the roof shingles
have been trimmed to closely.
There are third party
inspectors that can inspect the workmanship of your house from the
roof to the crawlspace. Ensure that they are licensed and insured.
What follows are the names of two national organizations wherein one
consider stating his or her search. They are:
American Society of Home Inspectors (www.ashi.org)
Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. (www.nahi.org)
Before hiring a home
inspector, ensure that they will get up on your roof and crawl
beneath your home as part of their inspection process.
Hot Water Heater:
The homeowner’s manual that came with your hot water
heater will probably state that a drip pan should be installed
beneath it with a drain hose extending to some outside source. See
if your hot water heater has this. Caution! Make sure that your
drain pan isn’t so close to the drain valve that you can’t attach a
garden hose to it.
Further, read the literature that came with your hot
water heater for important information about the anode rod and
frequency that the sediment should be drained.
Irrigation control box:
This is most likely located on a garage wall. Make
sure you are shown how to operate these controls. Water is expensive
from the Town of Camden. You don’t want to use water if it isn’t
Periodic Re-leveling of your home:
Carefully read page 7 of the Ritz-Craft Homeowner’s
Manual under the sub-title “Periodic Re-leveling of the Home.
Check to ensure that the Venetian blinds, cabinet
tops, overhead light globes, and heat/air-conditioning vents were
cleaned. Take off the vent grating covers, place a mirror down into
the opening, and look for debris left there by those who installed
the ventilation piping.
Roof: (Walk on it with soft sole shoes, during warm
weather in the early morning hours.
Make sure the garage roof vent is open. Roofing tar
paper could be blocking this opening from the inside.
Look for shingles that are not flat due to raised nail
heads. Inspect the roof carefully for exposed nail heads. These
could leak in the future.
Look for shingles that are cracked.
Inspect vent and exhaust pipe penetrations to ensure
that all boots and caulking are sealed tight.
Check that the nails holding down the ridge vent are
long enough to do the job.
Sheet Metal Screws:
Carefully look under all of your guttering to ensure
there are no sheet metal screws left by construction personnel.
Look for severe bowing of the siding particularly your
garage. This is often due to studs being used that are not straight.
Wall molding and floor:
You might consider caulking the space between the wall
molding and the floor to prevent any water spillage from going under
Whole house water shut-off value.
Every home should have one. It is usually located on
the wall in the utility room close to the hot water heater or in the
room opposite of the hot water heater.
Look for obvious cracks not so obvious cracks usually
found in the corners of a window pane plus look for bowing windows
or window frames.
Summary of the suggested check list for home
-Sufficient insulation depth for R-30 rating.
-No signs of water leakage through roof
-Bathroom exhaust piping venting to the outside
and not into the attic space.
-No “hot” electrical cables lying on the attic
-No tears through the vapor barrier. This
includes along the extreme edges.
-No gaps between vapor barrier and any
penetrations through this vapor barrier.
-No holes or unsealed PVC pipe through the
-Electrical cables tied up correctly and with
the correct strapping.
-Natural gas line tied up correctly and with
the correct strapping.
-Dryer hose connected at both ends and not
-No debris that can mold left in the
-No mud and water in the crawlspace.
-Retaining wall properly mortared.
-Fresh water supply line has a heating tape and
it is plugged in to an outlet.
-Air-conditioning condensation drain pipe is
emptying into the sump pump hole.
-Electrical cable going through retaining wall
beneath the ground is protected by conduit.
-Open a small area around the air-conditioning
piping penetrating the vapor barrier to ensure the
furnace/air-conditioner is seating properly
on the ducting for the house.
-Check for piers that are cracking.
-Check for “two” oak wedges at the top of each
-Check if the monolithic concrete slab is
-Check to ensure that the anchors for holding
down the house are properly embedded.
-Check to ensure that the anchoring straps
aren’t in contact with the piers.
-Ensure that all crawlspace vents open and
-Crawlspace vents should not be below the grade
of the surrounding land.
-Water should drain away from the house.
-There shouldn’t be any standing water or mushy
ground after several days if the grade of the
land is proper.