Archive for the ‘home inspection’ Category

Kevin did this home inspection on a brand new home in the Foley, AL area. While traversing the attic he found this damaged structural framing member a.k.a. a Truss

Damaged truss new home

You can clearly see the break in the truss and someone attempted to fix it with 2 nails, then bent the nails over to hold it together.

All repairs to engineered lumber must have a letter or engineering stamp indicating that the repair has been approved.

Advertisements

And, what is engineered wood flooring?  I Googled up “Engineered flooring” and got About 30,900,000 results (0.98 seconds)

Technically, engineered wood is any wood product that is not solid wood. Producers of wood panel products like to call plywood the first engineered product. Plywood consists of thin veneers of wood that are stacked so that the grain of one layer, or ply, runs perpendicular to the plies above and below it. An adhesive is applied between the plies and they’re bonded together on a hot press.

engineered-wood-sheathing

It is nearly impossible for a home inspector to know how many layers of laminate flooring are involved or how many times it can sanded (if any). Sometimes we might find a left over piece of flooring somewhere on site. If we are really lucky there might be a box of it sitting around. Then, you can do some research to find out general care instructions.

 

 

Thanks to Home Inspector Kevin Rose for sharing this photo.

” The ENTIRE plumbing system was updated about 20 years ago” says the seller!
Bay Minette, 1950’s house.

Yet another good reason to get a home inspection. Are you going to go into the crawlspace under the home to inspect it?

Old drain pipes

 

The home inspection we did the other day had a beautiful looking pool with an interesting deck surrounding it. As we were inspecting the pool, we couldn’t help but notice the deck sagging with a few broken boards in a few areas.

The deck was built so low to the ground complete viewing was not possible. Much of the deck had been shimmed with left over pieces of 2×4’s and larger.

It’s time to rebuild the deck!

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.

rimg0585

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

It is very rare I enter a crawlspace under a home and don’t find some sort of concerns. Let’s face it, it’s nasty underneath most homes. Therefor, homeowners typically don’t go under often and this allows small problems to turn into potentially larger issues.

In our local area we have a large coverage area of good draining sand (close to the beach) and poor draining dirt.

We have entered into a rainy season and the grounds are soaked, thus creating even more problems. More research is being done in closing in crawlspaces and making them essentially “conditioned” spaces, similar to our homes. I really like the idea and have seen only a few homes that are employing this method. These few that I have seen were relatively dry and had few problems.

Some building codes are starting to adopt these changes and I, for one am looking forward to seeing more upgrades to these areas. I recently attended a spray foam school where they showed their approach to keeping a crawlspace dry. It looks like it will work well, time will tell for sure.

I did a home inspection recently and the buyers wanted a thermal image of the crawlspace, so here it is…Remember warmer temperatures are brighter in color. This crawlspace had a very good vapor barrier with open air vents.

 

Below is one of the building guidelines for closing in a crawlspace. Remember every home and situation is different, do lots of research before making any changes to your home.

Traditional crawlspace designs include passive foundations # wall vents that are supposed to let moisture and contaminants escape outside. Yet field research shows that wall vents may make moisture problems worse. Replacing crawlspace vents with an exhaust fan and drawing house air in to condition the crawlspace reduces moisture problems and can increase energy efficiency. The International Residential Code (IRC) specifically allows crawlspace designs with an exhaust ventilation system instead of fixed ventilation openings through the foundation walls. To comply, a mechanically vented crawlspace design must have a continuously sealed, vapor-retarding ground cover, have no fixed ventilation openings to the outdoors, and be supplied with a continuously operating exhaust fan.

With the cold winter Holidays here, brings a time for celebration, and that means more cooking, home decorating, entertaining, and an increased risk of fire and accidents.

christmas-lights

 

You probably remember the movie “Christmas Vacation” Every home inspector and firefighter will tell you not to let your lights, plugs and outlets look like theirs did!

Please be safe

Merry Christmas

 

Lots of savings are available when making our homes more energy efficient.

The Department of Energy has lots of ideas and programs available. Some coming soon will include lower interest rates when purchasing efficient homes and you may even qualify for higher amounts of loans if a home meets certain requirements.

ultraefficient_20154

 

Our homes are a major source of energy use in the U.S. Improving the efficiency of new and existing homes while educating consumers about their energy use will help consumers save money and increase the nation’s energy security.

The Energy Department supports research and development on innovative technologies that save energy and money while also working with local governments, utilities and nonprofits to provide opportunities for families to make smart, cost-effective energy upgrades to their homes. From basic information on water heaters and insulation to home energy audits and appliances, the Department’s Energy Saver website provides consumers with practical tips and advice on ways to cut their energy use.

For more information go to http://www.energy.gov/public-services/homes

 

As you are getting ready to decorate for the holidays:

Remember to check the amperage, use compatibility (indoor or outdoor) and the physical condition of extension cords. Is it frayed, worn and the proper size.

After a rainstorm look for water puddling near your foundation.  If there are puddles you need to re-grade, install a moisture barrier, french drain, cut a swale, gutters, etc.

Ideally water will drain 3″+ away from the foundation of your home