Georgia's Professional Residential Inspector

Paris Pressley 260 Peachtree St. Ste 2200, Atlanta, GA.  404-755-9556

Home Inspection Information and Maintenance Tips for Atlanta Home Buyers



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Home Inspector For Metro Atlanta 404-755-9556 West Georgia 770-252-6700  Email:

I do home inspections from Decatur to Douglasville and Alpharetta to College Park, Georgia, including many areas in between. These are communities that have grown with Atlanta. College Park is seeing a lot of new growth which means new home inspections are common throughout the South Fulton area. The Roswell area is seeing new growth, housing replacement and rebuilding also. A home inspection in Roswell, Douglasville or Alpharetta, Georgia requires a wide range of experience. Homes in these areas can be custom built or standard construction. In any of these homes there can be maintenance conditions that can go unnoticed below floors, behind walls and above the living space ceilings. If those spaces can be accessed I will inspect them.

When a home is first built in Atlanta or the Metro Area some settling can be expected and there can be settling cracks in exterior and interior finishes. Primarily, settling cracks in a new or existing home occur in drywall at the seams and joints. Elements like humidity and sunlight can cause unprotected wood surfaces to deteriorate or rot at a slow rate. This is why thorough exterior painting is very important. However, there are two things that can cause serious damage in the Atlanta region. Termites and water can destroy wood components in a short amount of time if allowed to go unchecked. Damage to any part of the structural systems or building materials by water or termites can be expensive to repair and labor intensive.

Lets start with termites. Whenever I get a call for a home inspection in Atlanta or to estimate a home or property for termite damage, the first things that come to mind are non-treated wood is coming in contact with the ground, improper or defective coatings and finishes are on exterior wood, no termite shield was used at the foundation and wood seal plates, water is getting into the wood components of the structure, improper stucco applications were used, termite treatment is past due or moisture is allowing termites to travel above the soil by way of tunnels. Any masonry resting on soil and directly contacting the wood components or the structure may increase the chance of infestation. It appears that newer homes are seeing more termite damage than older ones. Because of tighter construction and using vapor barriers, caulks and sealants, water and air can't get in but high humidity and moisture can't get out of these spaces also. Ventilation in walls and concealed spaces can be poor.

Water is the other destroyer of homes and buildings. Whenever a customer calls Atlanta House Surgeons to repair and replace wood damage caused by water, the four common problems are roof leaks, plumbing leaks, water intrusion at penetrations like doors or windows and gutter malfunction. The cost to make repairs to these components or items are low when compared to the structual damage and cost of professionals to make repairs. Also, clogged, improper or damaged gutters have been identified as a main cause of settling foundations, cracking in walls and brick veneer.

These are some of the best home protection measures I've seen in 35 years  

(1). There should always be a complete seperation between wood and masonry using air space, a termite shield and or treated lumber. Even walls and ceilings should have seperation from masonry.

(2). Any wood materials (floor joist, seals, beams, girders and supports) should be 24 inches above the crawlspace dirt  floor to prevent fungus, mold spores and moisture penetration. Dirt floors should be covered with plastic to reduce moisture content in crawlspaces.  

(3). Any type of stucco or EIFS has specific concerns: (a) window and door openings allow water in at cracks between the wood and stucco; (b) water intrusion combined with stucco in contact with soil will allow termites to travel up into the home so caulk all cracks at windows and doors, maintain a water tight seal; (c) synthetic stucco and scratch coat stucco should not contact soil and should terminate 6 inches above the soil also. If your stucco is contacting soil on hard surfaces there are ways to correct the problem.

(4). Try to keep the soil moisture around and under the home below normal or as dry as possible. I don't promote chemical termite treatments because of GREEN BUILDING but this is a choice.

(5). Gutters and downspouts that deliver water away from the building foundation will help keep basements and crawlspaces dry and lessen the chance of unstable soil and differential settling.  

These are a few maintenance ideas to keep a home tip top. Keeping an eye on the exterior and interior for early signs of a issue is the best way to have low maintenance.

Knowing How to Inspect Large Properties is Important

Depending on the materials and design, a home can last a hundred years or more. You can see this in many existing structures and buildings throughout Atlanta and Georgia. You can find very old homes in Grant Park, West End, East Atlanta, MidTown Atlanta and South West Atlanta. There are many historic homes in Atlanta built a century ago. Farmland is also locations that have very old buildings such as below.

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Experience in Home Building is The Base of a Home Inspection

Many types of buildings and structures in Atlanta and Metro Atlanta become historical sites because they were built professionally by craftsman, maintained correctly by repair persons over the years and stood the test of time. These buildings have good foundations on stable and well drained soils, exterior coverings that protect all windows and doors, properly flashed penetrations though walls, floors and roofs, and quality framing elements that resist live and dead loads.

Thorough Home Inspections Identify The Home's Condition

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In most cases, a home located on well drained soil, no roof leaks or roof damage, no gutter system malfunctions or plumbing leaks and a basement or crawlspace that is well ventilated should provide first-level water intrusion and termite protection. Georgia has a high termite infestation rate because of weather and soil conditions. Georgia also has a high wood rot classification because of  high humidity. A location with constant rain and sun cycles is ideal for causing damage or wood rot to unprotected and exposed  wood surfaces. All exterior wood components should be protected with oil, latex or acrylic paint or sealers and stains. The constant wet dry process causes decay. During any home inspection in Atlanta I look and test for moisture intrusion, termite infestation and wood rot.


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Metro Atlanta/Newnan South Metro

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Paris Pressley Real Estate Inspector 260 Peachtree Street, Suite 2200, Atlanta, GA. 30303   Ph. 404-755-9556 

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