Building plans should have clear details for controlling moisture. Moisture-control details should be called out in building plans and be easily readable and understood.
Contractors should clearly understand material specs and details that are consistent with the building plans. Contractors should be able to address tasks that can be overlooked or dismissed between different subcontractors, such asinsulating under a bay window, or air-sealing trunk duct penetrations.
Ensure that critical slab features are in place prior to pouring. Prior to slabs being poured, check that poly, gravel beds, insulation, and reinforcement are installed as specified. Poly should be directly beneath the slab, and be continuous and without tears.
Check treated lumber's certificates and labels. When preservative-treated wood is used, check that lumber with the specified level of treatment has been delivered.
Protection of moisture-sensitive materials: Check for proper storage of framing materials already on site, and check forproper storage practices as soon as new materials arrive on site.
Framingand Weather- Barrier Installation
Check key features of the weather-resistant envelope before siding is installed. The key features of the building envelope designed to hold moisture out (such asshingle-style, lapped seams on housewrap,and the integration of a weather barrier with flashing details at windows/doors) need to be checked before siding is applied and covers up these details.
Windowand Door Installation
Inspect window and door installation procedures. Because penetrations in the building envelope are a common cause of water problems, inspections of window and door installations are needed. Ensure that the flashing is installed properly.
Verify window ratings from product labels and certifications. Window ratings for wind pressure and impact-resistance (if applicable) could be checked on site.
Prior to Foundation Backfill
Inspect the foundation walls for waterproofing and unsealed penetrations. Prior to backfill, the foundation walls should be inspected for waterproofing to specifications, and for penetrations due to voids or other problem areas (such as form ties). Voids in the waterproofing should be appropriately repaired and sealed to create a waterproof face.
Prior to Backfill
Inspect backfill and grading for compliance with plans. Proper backfill practices and finish grading are extremely importantfor keeping a foundation dry over the long term, and should be inspected and checked against specifications.
Roofing: during or just after roof sheathing is installed
Inspect roof sheathing installation in high-wind areas. Because underlayment is sometimes installed by the framing contractor immediately after completion of roof sheathing, a timely inspection of the sheathing for proper fastening is critical.
Roofing: prior to underlayment
Verify installation of eave ice-dam flashing 24 inchesbeyond exterior walls. For regions prone to ice dams, periodically inspect for the presence of ice-dam flashing, and ensure that it extends 24 incheshorizontally beyond the plane of the exterior wall.
Inspect exhaust ducts. Check that exhaust ducts are vented to the outdoors and run in straight, direct lengths.
Inspect and/or test the central duct system. Verify that the central duct system is sealed with adequate materials at all joints.
Check for proper operation of the ventilation system. Operate the mechanical ventilation system to confirm that controls, dampers and other features work.
Check that supplemental dehumidification equipment is plumbed to a drain. In cases where a permanent, supplemental dehumidification system is used, verify that it can be plumbed to a water drain line.
After Mechanical Rough-In
Check for adequate ground cover in the crawlspace. Once mechanical systemsare installed, check that a continuous and lapped ground cover is installed in the crawlspace. The ground cover should not be torn.
Insulating and Air-Sealing
Inspect envelope air-sealing details. A quick visual inspection should be conducted to verify that major air-leakage areas are corrected. Blower-door testing can be performed by a professional before building assemblies are closed in to identify and address leakage points.
Insulation in Attic and Walls
Inspect wall and attic insulation. Confirm that insulated areas are free of voids and points of compressed insulation. Also make sure that attic insulation does not cover eave vents, and that cathedral ceilings are insulated as specified.
Confirm attic R-values when insulating for ice-dam prevention. Verify attic insulation R-value, especially when insulating beyond local code requirements for enhanced ice-dam prevention.
Confirm basement finishes for moisture-resistance. Verify that basement wall gypsum is not in direct contact with the slab, and that insulation details meet specifications.
Certificate of occupancy will be posted by AHJ.
Herbert (Allen) Anderson is a Houston, Texas based REALTOR® I Trusted Advisor with an immensity of experience and core understanding of how to deliver first class client service.