Home Inspections: Defects found on Troy Ny Brownstones

Brownstones are structures that are unique when compared to your regular 2 x 4 stick-built homes that you typically see around Troy NY. I always enjoy inspecting brownstones in the Troy NY area - as every cluster of brownstones contain their own unique features such as the brownstones located in Troy New York. Additionally, the defects found during the home inspection take a little more critical thinking.


Here are some defects found on Troy NY brownstones when performing a home inspection


General Exterior Terminology


Brownstones at their core are typically made of brick and or stone. The brownstone is a veneer and a kind of sandstone that is attached to the structure core constructed of brick or stone. Brownstones vary in color depending on where it was quarried.


Below are some pictures of defects that come along with purchasing a brownstone.



Cracking and delamination may occur on Troy NY brownstones. This occurs when the surface area of the stone starts to peel off and or crack. Although cosmetic in nature - this is the beginning of slow deterioration. The good news is you have time to make repairs. The spalling and or delamination typically does not pose a structural concern.


Most of the time this can be repaired by exfoliating the exterior of loose sandstone and skim coating the exterior. An experienced mason should make said repairs. Poor craftsmanship in this line of work will lead to needing to make repairs within a few years. Most brownstones are regulated by a local historic foundation and repairs usually need approval.






The wood trim and or other wooden decorative components especially the cornice area tend to contain wood rot. It's best to replace the wood rot as soon as possible to prevent the entry of vermin. The wood rot can be expensive to repair just as the brownstone portion as the wood needs to be approved by the local authority having jurisdiction.





The front steps on a brownstone are notorious for cracking and overall containing displacement. Keep an eye out for cracks that penetrate the steps. Separation cracks will allow water intrusion and further cracking and or displacement. Additionally, where the steps are anchored into the structure, at times I've discovered water intrusion into the basement apartment.





If you are looking to purchase a brown stone in the Troy NY area its best to research local home inspection companies and ask if they have experience with inspecting brownstones. Some home inspection companies have been exposed to and more experience than others.


Brownstones can be found all over New York. Shield Guard Home Inspections has performed thousands of inspections on brownstones located in Troy NY, Albany NY, Schenectady NY.


For more information regarding brownstones within upstate NY check out: 6 Facts About Brownstones .



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