Following is the current Maryland Home Inspectors Minimum Standards of Practice as appearing on the State's DLLR website on 6/30/08, exclusive of sections .01 - Definitions, .02 - General Information, and .03 - Limitations and Exclusions.  To view these sections visit the State website at: http://www.dllr.state.md.us/license/occprof/reappr.html
 
MARYLAND HOME INSPECTORS STANDARDS OF PRACTICE
 
.04  Structural System
 
  1. A home inspector shall visually inspect the structural system, including the structural components including foundation and framing.
 
  1. Probing
 
(1)       A home inspector shall probe a representative number of structural components where deterioration is suspected or where clear indications of possible deterioration exist.
 
(2)       Probing is not required:
 
a.        If it will damage any finished surface; or
 
b.       Where no deterioration is visible.
 
  1. A home inspector shall describe the structural system, including the:
 
(1)     Foundation, and report the methods used to inspect the under-floor crawl spaces and basements;
 
(2)     Floor structure;
 
(3)     Wall structure;
 
(4)     Ceiling structure; and
 
(5)     Roof structure, and report the methods used to inspect the attic.
 
  1. A home inspector is not required to:
 
(1)     Provide any engineering service; or
 
(2)     Offer any opinion as to the adequacy of any structural system or component.
 
.05  Exterior
 
  1. A home inspector shall visually inspect the home exterior, including:
 
(1)     Exterior wall covering, flashing and trim;
 
(2)     All attached doors;
 
(3)     Attached decks, balconies, stoops, steps, porches, and their associated railings;
 
(4)     Eaves, soffits, and fascias that are accessible from the ground level;
 
(5)     Vegetation, grading, surface drainage, and retaining walls on the property if any of these may adversely affect the building; and
 
(6)     Walkways, patios, and driveways leading to dwelling entrances.
 
  1. A home inspector shall describe the exterior wall covering.
  2. A home inspector is not required to inspect any of the following:
 
(1)     Screening, shutters, awnings, and similar seasonal accessories;
 
(2)     Fences;
 
(3)     Geological, geotechnical, or hydrological conditions;
 
(4)     Recreational facilities;
 
(5)     Outbuildings;
 
(6)     Seawalls, break-walls, and docks; or
 
(7)     Erosion control and earth stabilization measures.
 
.06  Roof System
 
  1. A home inspector shall visually inspect a roof system, including:
 
(1)     The roof covering;
 
(2)     Roof drainage systems;
 
(3)     Flashings; and
 
(4)     Skylights, chimneys, and exterior and roof penetrations.
 
  1. A home inspector shall describe the roof covering and report the methods used to inspect the roof.
 
  1. A home inspector is not required to:
 
(1)     Inspect:
 
a.        Antennae;
 
b.       Interior of flues or chimneys that are not readily accessible; or
 
c.        Other installed accessories.
 
(2)     Walk on or access a roof where it could damage the roof or roofing material or be unsafe for the home inspector;
 
(3)     Remove snow, ice, debris, or other conditions that prohibit the observation of the roof surfaces; or
 
(4)     Determine:
 
a.        The remaining life expectancy of roof coverings;
 
b.       The presence or absence of hail damage;
 
c.        Manufacturer?s defects;
 
d.       Installation methods; or
 
e.        The number of layers of roofing material.
 
.07  Plumbing System
 
  1. A home inspector shall visually inspect the plumbing system, including:
 
(1)     Interior water supply and distribution systems, including all fixtures and faucets;
 
(2)     Drain, waste, and vent systems, including all fixtures;
 
(3)     Water heating equipment;
 
(4)     Vent systems, flues, and chimneys;
 
(5)     Fuel storage and fuel distribution systems;
 
(6)     Drainage sumps, sump pumps, and related piping;
 
(7)     The functional flow of all fixtures and faucets; and
 
(8)     The functional drainage of all fixtures.
 
  1. A home inspector shall describe the plumbing system, including:
 
(1)     Water supply, drain, waste, and vent piping materials;
 
(2)     Water heating equipment, including the energy source; and
 
(3)     The location of the main water and main fuel shut-off valves.
 
  1. A home inspector is not required to:
 
(1)     Inspect any of the following:
 
a.        Clothes washing machine connections;
 
b.       Interiors of flues or chimneys that are not readily accessible;
 
c.        Wells, well pumps, or water storage related equipment;
 
d.       Water conditioning systems;
 
e.        Solar water heating systems;
 
f.         Fire and lawn sprinkler systems; or
 
g.       Private waste disposal systems;
 
(2)     Determine:
 
a.        Whether water supply and waste disposal systems are public or private; or
 
b.       The quantity of the water supply; or
 
(3)     Operate safety valves or shut-off valves.
 
.08  Electrical Systems
 
  1. A home inspector shall visually inspect an electrical system, including:
 
(1)     The service drop
 
(2)     Service entrance conductors, cables, and raceways;
 
(3)     Service equipment and main disconnects;
 
(4)     Service grounding;
 
(5)     Interior components of service panels and sub-panels;
 
(6)     Conductors;
 
(7)     Overcurrent protection devices;
 
(8)     A representative number of installed lighting fixtures, switches and receptacles;
 
(9)     Ground fault and arc fault circuit interrupter; and
 
(10)  The general condition of visible branch circuit conductors that may constitute a hazard to the occupant or the structure by reason of improper use or installation of electrical components.
 
  1. A home inspector shall describe the electrical system, including:
 
(1)     Amperage and voltage rating of the service;
 
(2)     Location of main disconnect and sub-panels; and
 
(3)     Wiring methods.
 
  1. If applicable, a home inspector shall include in a written report the:
 
(1)     Presence of solid conductor aluminum branch circuit wiring; and
 
(2)     Absence of smoke detectors.
 
  1. A home inspector is not required to:
 
(1)     Inspect:
 
a.        Remote control devices, unless the device is the only control device;
 
b.       Alarm systems and components;
 
c.        Low voltage wiring systems and components; or
 
d.       Ancillary wiring, systems, and components that are not part of the primary electrical power distribution system; or
 
(2)     Measure amperage, voltage or impedance. 
 
 
 
.09  Heating System
 
  1. A home inspector shall visually inspect:
 
(1)     Installed heating equipment;
 
(2)     Vent systems, flues, and chimneys; and
 
(3)     Heating distribution.
 
  1. A home inspector shall describe energy sources and heating methods by distinguishing characteristics and means of distribution.
 
  1. A home inspector is not required to:
 
(1)     Inspect:
 
a.        Flue or chimney interiors that are not readily accessible;
 
b.       Heat exchangers;
 
c.        Humidifiers or dehumidifiers;
 
d.       Electronic air filters; or
 
e.        Solar space heating systems; or
 
(2)     Determine the adequacy of the heat system or the distribution balance.
 
.10  Air-Conditioning System
 
  1. A home inspector shall inspect the installed central and through-wall cooling equipment.
 
  1. A home inspector shall describe the energy sources and cooling methods by distinguishing characteristics and means of distribution.
 
  1. A home inspector is not required to:
 
(1)     Inspect electronic air filters; or
 
(2)     Determine the adequacy of the cooling system or the distribution balance.
 
.11  Interior
 
  1. A home inspector shall visually inspect:
 
(1)     Walls, ceilings, and floors;
 
(2)     Steps, stairways, and railings;
 
(3)     Countertops and a representative number of installed cabinets;
 
(4)     A representative number of doors and windows; and
 
(5)     Garage doors and garage door openers.
  1. A home inspector is not required to inspect:
 
(1)     Paint, wallpaper,  and other finish treatments;
 
(2)     Carpeting;
 
(3)     Window treatments;
 
(4)     Central vacuum systems;
 
(5)     Household appliances; or
 
(6)     Recreational facilities.
 
.12  Insulation and Ventilation
 
  1. A home inspector shall visually inspect:
 
(1)     Insulation and vapor retarders in unfinished spaces;
 
(2)     Ventilation of attics and foundation areas; and
 
(3)     Mechanical ventilation systems.
 
  1. A home inspector shall describe:
 
(1)     Insulation and vapor retarders in unfinished spaces; and
 
(2)     If applicable, the absence of insulation in unfinished spaces at conditioned surfaces.
 
  1. A home inspector is not required to:
 
(1)     Disturb insulation or vapor retarders; or
 
(2)     Determine indoor air quality.
 
.13  Fireplaces and Solid Fuel Burning Appliances
 
  1. A home inspector shall visually inspect:
 
(1)     System components of fireplaces and solid fuel burning appliances; and
 
(2)     Vent systems, flues, and chimneys.
 
  1. A home inspector shall describe:
 
(1)     Fireplaces and solid fuel burning appliances; and
 
(2)     Chimneys.
 
  1. A home inspector is not required to:
 
(1)     Inspect any of the following:
 
a.        Interiors of flues or chimneys;
b.       Fire screens and doors;
 
c.        Seals and gaskets;
 
d.       Automatic fuel feed devices;
 
e.        Mantles and fireplace surrounds;
 
f.         Combustion make-up air devices; or
 
g.       Gravity-controlled and fan-assisted heat distribution assists;
 
(2)     Ignite or extinguish fires;
 
(3)     Determine draft characteristics; or
 
(4)     Move fireplace inserts or stove or firebox contents.