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Home Inspection Articals

96 East Main Street Rockaway , NJ 07866           888-US-INSPECT

Home Inspector Of Record: Daniel Helmstetter NJ Licensed Home Inspector Lic. # 24GI00012800

Understanding The Home Inspection in New Jersey

First it is important to understand what information an inspection will generally provide as well as its limitations. U.S. Inspect's inspectors perform New Jersey inspections in accordance with NJ State regulations as set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:40-15. This legislation clearly describes what is included and what is not included in a home inspection and defines it as such:

A home inspection is "a visual, functional, non-invasive inspection conducted without moving property, furniture, equipment, plants, soil, snow, ice, or debris, using the mandatory equipment and including the preparation of a home inspection report of the readily accessible elements of the following components of a residential building: structural components, exterior components, roofing system, plumbing system, electrical system, heating system, cooling systems, interior components, insulation components and ventilation system fireplaces and solid fuel burning appliances or any other related residential housing component as determined by the Board, in consultation with the Committee, by rule, but excluding recreational facilities and outbuildings other than garage or carports."

You can anticipate the inspection will identify material defects that are visibly present at the time of inspection. Inspections do not include cosmetic aspects of the home.

What is a Material Defect?

According to the State of NJ, a material defect is a condition, or functional aspect, of a structural component or system that is readily ascertainable during a home inspection that substantially affects the value, habitability or safety of the dwelling, but does not include decorative, stylistic, cosmetic, or aesthetic aspects of the system, structure or component.

How Long Will The Home Inspection Take?

The average home inspection usually requires about two to three hours.

Item Inspected

The purpose of a home inspection is to complete a visual evaluation of the accessible major structural and functional components of the building that are the following: roofing system, foundation and framework, the major plumbing, heating, electrical systems; and an evaluation of the interior and exterior surface and functional components. major structural and functional components of the building that are the following: roofing system, foundation and framework, the major plumbing, heating, electrical systems; and an evaluation of the interior and exterior surface and functional components.

Estimated Life Spans  

    • There is no accurate method to determine exactly how long a particular system or component is going to last.  This is due to a number of reasons: the geographic area; the physical location of the units; and the climate and weather.  This is similar to asking how long a car lasts.  There are too many variables to determine the life span of items that need maintenance and have thousands of integral components.

      For example, with heating systems, many factors can directly affect the life span of the appliance.  If the furnace is located in an unconditioned
      crawlspace or in the attic, the elevated humidity levels can rapidly cause heat exchangers to prematurely rust.  In addition, when furnaces are used in the colder months, the differences between the low air temperature and the high temperature of the heat exchanger can cause expansion/contraction cracking that can lead to leaks in the heat exchanger.

      Roofs, on the other hand, can be affected by factors like the amount of direct sunlight, adequacy of
      attic ventilation, number of layers of roofing material, as well as the quality of the roofing material itself. Climate and weather can affect the life of the roof also.  For instance, in the west and southwest parts of the
      U.S., asphalt composition shingles have a tendency to last no more than 10 to 15 years on average, whereas in the northeastern states and around the Great Lakes area, the same roofing material can last 18 to 22 years or longer.



Estimated Design Life


Asphalt Composition Shingle

18 - 22 Years


Asphalt Composition Rolled Roofing

10 - 15 Years


Built-Up Roofing

10 - 15 Years


Elastomeric / Rubber Roofing

10 - 15 Years


Wood Shakes / Shingles

15 - 25 Years


Clay / Terra Cotta Tiles

25 Plus Years


Concrete / Asbestos Cement Tiles

25 Plus Years


Slate Roofing

50 Plus Years


Metal Roofing (flat, standing-seam, corrugated)



Plastic / Fiberglass corrugated panels

15 Plus Years


Glass Panels (sun rooms, etc.)

15 Plus Years


Gutters and Downspouts

15 - 20 Years


Boiler (Steam / Hydronic)

25 - 40 Years


Forced Air Furnace - Gas / Oil

15 - 35 Years


Forced Air Furnace - Electric

15 - 25 Years


Electric Resistance, Baseboard

15 - 25 Years


Heat Pump

10 - 15 Years


Central Split System

10 - 15 Years


A/C Compressor

10 - 15 Years


Window A/C Unit

10 - 15 Years


Evaporative (Swamp) Cooler

10 - 20 Years


Water Heater - Electric

12 - 18 Years


Water Heater - Gas / Oil

10 - 15 Years


Solid Waste Pump

5 - 10 Years


Sump Pump

5 - 8 Years


Submersible Well Pump

10 - 15 Years


Shallow or Deep well Jet Pump

10 - 15 Years

Kitchen / Appliances


5 - 10 Years


Garbage Disposal

5 - 10 Years


Cook Top - (Electric / Gas)

15 - 20 Years


Range / Oven

15 - 20 Years



5 - 25 Years


Trash Compactor

5 - 10 Years


Ventilator / Draft Hood

8 - 12 Years


Washing Machine / Clothes Dryer

8 - 12 Years


Chemical Termite Treatment (subterranean)

5 Years


Fumigation for Drywood Termites

2 Years


Radon Mitigation System

Life of the fan


Free Home Inspection Reports from US  Inspect

The Consumer Guide to the Home Inspection
This informative booklet highlights the consumer protection aspects of the State of NJ Home Inspection Law NJ:NJAC13:40-15. Published 1/3/2007
Do Your Homework
A short flyer on choosing a Home Inspector. Published 1/3/2007

Changes to these reports and other information on this web site can be added, changed, outdated, or deleted at anytime.