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6 Items we inspect on the exterior of your home?

Updated: May 6, 2021

Items that a home inspector looks for on the exterior of your home?

1: Grading and Drainage

When approaching the home we will inspect the lot grading and how it slopes away from the foundation.

Insufficient slope(grade)will lead to moisture intrusion. What is the minimum slope required for proper drainage? It is recommended there be a minimum slope of 5 degrees from all foundation walls. This will prevent water from backflowing or puddling near foundation walls.

We look for:

  • Standing water on the property

  • Any visible streams, springs, damp low lying areas

  • Are there surface grains on the lot

  • Does water run towards the house at any point

  • Any septic smells

  • Is it in or near a flood plain

2: Sidewalks and paths

Sidewalks and pathways should be free of any large cracks of areas of lifting that can cause a tripping hazard. In most jurisdictions if the sidewalk is located in front of the house on city land it is still the responsibly of he home owner to maintain it.

Is there vegetation growing through the concrete or interlocking? Pay close attention to any mortar brick pathways are these are difficult to repair. Sidewalks and pathways should have sufficient drainage so we'll check for any ponding that might be present.

3:Eaves and downspouts

Eaves and downspouts should be free of cracks, be properly secured and have the correct slope. Downspouts must direct water away from the foundation at a minimum of 4 feet.

4:Exterior house finish

Homes come with a wide variety of different exterior finishes.

Common house finishes

  • wood

  • brick

  • stone,

  • vinyl/wood siding

  • stucco

Brick & Stone- check for mortar cracking, leaning and drainage

Wood siding- check for paint condition, joints are caulked and sealed, rotted wood, splitting and cracking

Stucco- check for cracks, condition of paint

Siding should have be a minimum of 6 inches above the lot grade and 2 inches above sidewalks, pathways and driveways.

5:Windows and Doors

Windows and doors have to put up with a lot of extremes. We'll check the condition of windows and doors from the outside. Checking for and wood rot, cracking peeling paint. The exterior doors should open and close freely. When inspecting the interior we'll get a closer look at the windows and their operation.


We could write a whole separate article on roofs and the many details we must inspect. Roofs can come with asphalt shingles, clay tiles, wood shakes, metal, slate to name a few. Each roof covering offers it's own advantages and disadvantages. We will inspect the general condition, check for proper flashings, and observable leaks and estimate the remaining age of the roof.


This list in an outline of most common items (but not complete) of what we will inspect on any given inspection. Each house is different and presents its own unique circumstances. As certified inspectors we must adjust and at times research when special conditions present themselves.

Blog by:

Andrew Weaver

Certified home inspector


Solid Ground Inspections

Serving Barrie, Wasaga Beach, Collingwood and surrounding areas

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