Archive for the ‘handyman’ Category

During this home inspection we noticed a few water stains on the 1st floor, then directly above on the 2nd floor and yes, then on the 3rd floor which turned out to be directly below the chimney.

This is a water front property and it was impossible to get a ladder up 4 stories and our drone is not flying. This is what we found in the attic.

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F.Y.I. Using silicone in the attic to stop water leaks does not work! I am not sure what this handyman was thinking.

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Today’s home inspection had a problem with the wiring for a 3 way switch. Wiring a 3 way light switch so that you can an operate a light or fan from two different locations can be tricky. It is my understanding that  most of the time it’s a wiring concern when found not working. Today, I’m not so sure. They will need to hire an electrician and confirm what is going on. I can say that the light switch installed was the wrong type. A 3 way light switch will not have any writing on the switch. A switch not designed for a 3 way will say “ON”

Below is a diagram of things I will never see during a home inspection, as it is concealed inside the walls and ceilings.

3-way light switch

Sample way to quickly identify a proper 3 way switch

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I just finished an inspection that the client didn’t want, at first. Her lending institution told her she needed one to get a loan. (That’s another story) During the course of the inspection things went very well. The house was 30 plus years old and had recently been rehabbed by someone local.

When I got to the heating and cooling I found an item which costs only a few dollars and it was incorrectly installed which could cost someone their life. I found that someone used a clothes dryer vent pipe for a gas flu vent type “b” vent. Needless to say, this won’t work, the back side of the vent was cooked with a large hole in it. Carbon monoxide had been pouring into the house while doing this home inspection until I found this safety issue.

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I immediately turned the heater off and asked the clients and their young kids to go outside and get some fresh air. Fortunately they had not been there but a very short time and fresh air is all they needed and they refused medical treatment. I do carry a small medical bag with me and checked my SPO2 levels which were fine.

Lots of lessons to be learned here. Above all else, GET A HOME INSPECTION!

In the recent past I have started using a full face respirator. Currently model 3m 6898 which gives me lots of protection form respiratory stresses. It feels somewhat claustrophobic at first, but after some time it gets easier to use. Just being in  a crawlspace can be touch enough, it’s dusty, wet, stinky and usually very close quarters. This face mask allows easier breathing, literally. During an inspection last week, the mold was so bad under the home some of the floor, joists and beams were not visible. There is no way I want to breath that stuff! As you may know, all of this “stuff” getting into your eyes can’t be good for you either.

3m respirator

I wear a disposable Tyvek suit, full face mask, gloves and special shoes at almost every crawlspace.

 

 

 

 

 

Mold infested crawlspace

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We found these problems with this chimney during a recent home inspection.

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The base flashing had been removed and someone painted on roofing cement in an ill attempt to stop water leaks. From the ground these repairs looked a little off, but nothing very alarming. My home inspector antennae went up just enough to make sure I got a closer look. These repairs have been leaking for sometime and there is an unknown amount of wood rot surrounding the chimney in the attic.

 

The chimney cap mortar has completely disintegrated and was falling off the chimney while we were there. Rain had been getting inside and causing even more problems. Upon closer examination, we found a crack at the outside of the chimney which carried through to the clay liner inside. This is certainly a fire and safety hazard!

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The buyers are certainly glad we climbed the roof and found these dangerous and very costly problems during our home inspection.

 

 

This may be a little unorthodox for most, but we do live in a country full of inventive people. I kind of think of this as a Redneck Bidet.

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Are you wondering how that cold water feels!

This well meaning home owner didn’t know anything about installing traps under his newly remodeled bathroom sink.

All kinds of problems can arise from this. Including…sewer odors, poor drainage and other unsanitary results.

There are lots of rules to follow when installing sink drains and vents.

For some more basic information I often review ASHI web site

http://www.ashireporter.org/HomeInspection/Articles/The-Word-Plumbing-Vents-Traps/2342

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Newer building dictates that there is a catch pan under the water heater if a leak will damage the interior materials and belongings.

I believe these folks misunderstood and inserted the can under the pipe over the water heater

Maybe they were getting ready to make an MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) and just needed to add some hot water?

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You don’t have to be a Home Inspector to think something might be wrong with this sink drain. Just in case, there is a huge bottle of “Drain O” of some sort under the sink.

These corrugated pipes are becoming popular here. It seems to me it is a great way to create bacteria and other health problems as it can’t drain completely.

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Below is an example what a proper sink drain should look like.

 

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