How to Inspect the Exterior Course

Welcome to InterNACHI's free, online How to Inspect the Exterior Course.


The goal of this course is to teach the student how to inspect the exterior systems and components of a home.


Upon successful completion of this course, the student will learn how to perform an inspection of the exterior of a home. The student will be able to:
  • identify the components of the exterior;
  • inspect and evaluate each component for its performance;
  • understand how moisture, heat, and energy move through a home;
  • describe to clients defects observed at the exterior systems. 

Course includes:

  • 16 InterNACHI® CE credit hours;
  • 59,375 words;
  • 53 minutes of training video;
  • inspection and writing assignment;
  • research and writing assignment;
  • 127 quiz questions in 18 quizzes; 
  • 60-question final exam (drawn from a larger pool); 
  • instant grading; and
  • a downloadable, printable Certificate of Completion. 

You will learn the following:

  • Learning Objectives
  • Inspection Tools
  • Inspection Procedure
  • Residential Standards of Practice
  • Identification
  • Doors
    • Common Problems with Doors
    • Egress Doors
  • Windows
    • Common Problems with Windows
    • Windowsills
    • Putty
    • Weatherstripping
    • Shutters
    • Awnings
    • Fogged Windows
    • Window Wells
  • Siding
  • Insulation Value of Siding
  • Siding Materials Chart
  • Siding Types
  • Wood Siding
  • Solid Wood and Lumber Siding
  • Plywood Siding
  • Shingles and Shakes
  • Hardboard
  • OSB Siding
  • Particleboard Siding
  • Considerations
  • Finish Problems
  • Chalking
  • Rot
  • Aluminum and Steel Siding
  • Grounding Metal Siding
  • Vinyl Siding
  • SIPs
  • Brick
  • Stone
  • Stucco and EIFS
  • Asbestos Cement-Based Siding
  • Clay and Slate Shingles
  • Asphalt Shingles
  • Masonry Exterior Wall Covering
  • Concrete Blocks
  • Manufactured Stone
  • Load-Bearing or Veneer?
  • Common Problems with Masonry Exterior
  • Foundation Cracks and Water
  • Inspecting the Visible Masonry and Foundation
  • Checking the Masonry
  • Masonry Foundation and Piers
  • Shrinkage Cracking
  • Sweeping or Horizontal Cracking
  • Above-Ground Masonry Walls
  • Eaves, Soffits and Fasciae
  • Wall Assembly
  • Housewrap
  • Waterproofing and Damp-Proofing
  • Permanent Wood Foundations
  • Common Problems with Walls
  • Inadequate Clearance from the Roof Cover
  • Dense Vegetation
  • Wood and Soil Contact
  • Water Intrusion
  • Flashing of Wall Components and Moisture Problems
  • Understanding and Inspecting Flashing
  • Flashing
  • Flashing and Caulking
  • Sealants for Through-Wall Penetrations
  • Kickout Flashing
  • Exterior Drainage Systems
  • Site Surface Drainage
  • Foundation Drainage
  • Roof and Surface Drainage
  • Roof Overhangs and Projections
  • Roof Drainage, Gutters and Downspouts
  • Checking the Site and Foundation
  • Inspection of Drainage Slope
  • Property Drainage
  • Sump Pumps
  • Landscaping
  • Fences
  • Ramps
  • Stairways
  • Risers and Treads
  • Guards
  • Spheres
  • Handgrips
  • Attachment
  • Emergency Escape and Rescue Openings
  • Basement Walkouts
  • Exterior Decks
  • Inspecting a Garage
  • Garage Door Opener Inspection
  • Chimneys
  • Defensible Space
  • Retaining Walls
  • Driveway, Walkways and Pavements
  • Buried Oil Tanks
  • Other Exterior Considerations
  • Additional Exterior Systems and Structures
  • Yards and Courts
  • Flood Zones
  • Exterior Water
  • GFCI-Protection for the Exterior
  • Clothes Dryer Exhaust
  • Private Wells
  • Septic Systems
  • Other Exterior Factors
  • Guide for Homeowners: Water Management and Water Damage Prevention

How to Perform Exterior Inspections Course 

Course # 3600



Estimated hours for the average student

Academic Engagement

Reading online course instructional material at 140 words per minute


Watching, listening, and studying instructional video


Taking quizzes


Taking the exam


Conducting a directed and independent inspection study performed according to the Standards of Practice, including the development of an inspection report


Submitting an inspection and writing assignment


Submitting a research and writing assignment0.5




Studying & reviewing instructional material in preparation for taking quizzes and exam


Reading the downloaded student course book including taking the quizzes with the book


Reading, research, and studying related to completing the research and writing assignment4.0
Studying and preparing for inspection processes according to a Standards of Practice, including capturing and storing digital images with a camera or device, making observations, evaluating conditions, deducing, formulating opinions, communicating observations in written form, attaining competency in performing inspections and using an inspection checklist or software and other inspection tools in producing a report.



Sub Total


Overall Total

  • 59.0 clock hours
  • 59.0 InterNACHI CE credit hours 
  • 5.9 CEU

This course is free to all InterNACHI members and can be taken again and again, without limit.
Reminder to members: InterNACHI's Code of Ethics 1.10 requires that you comply with all government rules and licensing requirements of the jurisdiction where you conduct business. InterNACHI's courses and Standards generally exceed the Standards of Practice that you are required to abide by locally. 
This course has been approved by:

Upon completion of this course and passing of the 60-question final exam, the student can download and print their own Certificate of Completion which is auto-generated in their own name.
The student's (InterNACHI member's) information is recorded on InterNACHI's servers for membership compliance verification and automatically logs completion into InterNACHI's online Continuing Education log. 
Members will need their username and password. If you have forgotten your password, CLICK HERE (instant response) or email and request it (don't forget your name). 
InterNACHI... #1 in inspection education. 

InterNACHI® Members:


Not a member yet?

Join today for access to this and thousands of other InterNACHI® membership benefits.
Some features which make InterNACHI's courses superior to existing continuing education options:
  • The course is free for all InterNACHI members. 
  • The course is written in pure XHTML code for quick loading. The course loads fine on old computers and loads fast, even with dial-up. 
  • The course is designed using a hierarchal menu coupled with a sequential page navigation. This provides the student with the option to easily repeat areas of weakness. 
  • The course permits the student to start, stop and restart any part of the course as often as desired. 
  • There are a variety of images within the course, including diagrams, illustrations and photos. 
  • The illustrations can be enlarged for clearer viewing by clicking on them. 
  • The text is integrated into InterNACHI's Inspector Glossary. Rolling over blue-colored terms provides their definition. 
  • The final exam uses multiple-choice questions that reference the images. 
  • The course's quizzes and final exam have numerous advantages over traditional exam systems: 
    1. The course, quizzes and final exam incorporate built-in intelligence which identifies and strengthens each student's unique subject weaknesses. 
    2. Not only is each question weighted with regard to score, but each answer is weighted, as well as the correctness of each answer being weighted. 
      1. Answers to easy questions are weighted such that the student is penalized, in terms of score, for answering incorrectly, but rewarded modestly for answering correctly. 
      2. Answers to difficult questions are weighted such that the student is rewarded, in terms of score, for answering correctly, but not penalized for answering incorrectly. 
      3. Answers to questions regarding basic safety, or questions every inspector should know the answer to, are weighted such that the student is severely penalized, in terms of score, for answering incorrectly. 
  • Upon passing the final exam, the student can print out a Certificate of Completion which is auto-generated in their own name.
The student's (InterNACHI member's) information is recorded on InterNACHI's servers for membership compliance verification, and automatically logs completion into InterNACHI's online Continuing Education log.


InterNACHI® Members:


Not a member yet?

Join today for access to this and thousands of other InterNACHI® membership benefits.