Author Archives: Sara Radka

VIDEO: Huge Open Seams in Siding!

Failed caulking details and huge vulnerable seams between siding abutments at the exterior of a home in Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands were discovered at a recent home inspection. It’s very important to protect open seams at the building’s exterior from water intrusion which can, and will, lead to water/insect damage in short time. Caulking abutments is advised, or installing a metal flashing detail behind open seams does the trick too.

VIDEO: Unsafe deck structure

At a recent home inspection in Anacortes, I recently discovered beetle exit holes in one of the deck support posts. When I probed the post, my screw driver went directly into the heart of the post! I discovered several other deteriorated posts and beams, together with some unconventional deck construction practices, which warranted further evaluation and repair by a contractor for safety reasons

VIDEO: Moldlike growth in attic!

At a recent home inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, I discovered plywood sheathing in the attic that was stained with a mold-like growth. This typically, almost always, indicates an insufficient ventilation or elevated moisture issue within the attic. Vents could be restricted, vent ducts may be discharging into the attic, or the interface between the main home and attic may need to be better sealed. In any event, a contractor needs to first resolve the underlying cause of elevated moisture and make necessary repairs. The mold-like growth is then typically remediated with a mildicide and then painted with mildicide paint to encapsulate historic mold growth. I recommend tinting the paint TAN because white or black mold growth will be obvious if it returns (e.g., you’ll see it on tan paint). If the attic is forever tan, you know the issue has been addressed satisfactorily. Because most home buyers want this issue addressed prior to closing, and remediation can be expensive, I recommend peeking into your attic on an annual basis and dealing with any apparent mold-like growth sooner than later if noted.

How to deal with mice

Eek! There’s a mouse in the house!

Mice have been cohabiting with humans as long as humans have been cohabiting. They figured out millennia ago that our homes are a good place for them to live. Warm, dry, plenty of food – all a mouse (and hence mice) could want. Popular Mechanics says, “There are plenty more ways beyond the traditional mousetrap to get the rodents infesting your house.” Here is their survey of the best ways homeowners and exterminators can solve a mouse problem.

Hope you find this interesting and timely informative! If you’re looking for a top notch Home Inspection and Home Inspector in Friday Harbor, Washington or the San Juan Islands (including Orcas Island, Friday Harbor, Lopez Island, and Shaw Island) to keep you from buying “The Money Pit,” then you need Board Certified Master Home Inspector Tim Hance of All Islands Home Inspections working for you! Over the past 8 years, we’ve protected over 3,200 home buyers, just like you, from unexpected post-closing expenses. Call (360) 298-1163 to schedule your Friday Harbor, WA or San Juan Islands Home Inspection today! I look forward to working with you soon and exceeding your expectations!

Fun Fact Friday!

Sharks evolved about 450 million years ago about 3 times ago longer than dinosaurs.

Every person has a unique tongue print.

Pandas have lived on Earth for two to three million years.

In ten years, the average man shaves off a pound of whiskers.

The technical term for a cat’s hairball is a “bezoar.”

VIDEO: Install Chimney Cap / Rusted Flashings!

At a recent home inspection on San Juan Island, I discovered rusting/corroding flashing details at the chimney that should be further evaluated and repaired to help prevent potential leaks to the interior. Also, the installation of chimney caps is advised over open flues to prevent water intrusion which can reduce the life expectancy of masonry fireplaces. Finally, treating and removing organic growth from masonry is advised, together with applying a masonry sealant to properly maintain your exterior masonry elements.

Could occupancy sensors save you money?

Indoor lighting occupancy sensors detect activity within an area. They turn lights on automatically when someone enters a room. They reduce lighting energy use by turning lights off soon after the last occupant has left the room. The sensors must be located where they will detect occupants or activity in all parts of the room.

There are two types of occupancy sensors: Ultrasonic sensors detect sound, while infrared sensors detect heat and motion. In addition to controlling ambient lighting in a room, they are useful for task lighting applications, such as over kitchen counters. In such applications, task lights are turned on by the motion of a person washing dishes, for instance, and automatically turn off a few minutes after the person stops.

Both are readily available online and at retail stores.

VIDEO: Deteriorated Composite Siding Discovered!

Completely deteriorated composite exterior siding was discovered adjacent the window at the upper level of a home at a recent home inspection on San Juan Island (Friday Harbor). Keeping exterior elements properly sealed (painted and caulked) is critical to helping prevent siding/trim damage and water intrusion. In this case, repair and replacement of deteriorated siding was warranted, recognizing the possibility of underlying damage not visible without invasive inspection.

Is your chimney leaking?

One thing that brick chimneys, stone chimneys and fireplaces have in common is that eventually most will require some type of maintenance to keep a water tight seal. Leaks into a chimney can cause unsafe heating equipment as well as costly damage to the chimney, the appliances connected to it, and to the building itself. Is your chimney leaking? Are you experiencing water marks on the ceiling or walls near your chimney? Is there water appearing in the firebox? Similarly, are you experiencing cracks on the exterior of the chimney which seem to keep getting bigger or are bricks actually flaking off from your chimney? Water is the common thread between all of these problems (for the most part) and following this checklist should help you to be able to arrest water infiltration or prevent further damage.

Safety: Secure loose exterior light fixtures!

It’s important to secure loose exterior light and electrical fixtures to prevent water intrusion and mechanical damage to underlying wiring. This was discovered at a recent home inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island where there were three (3) loose exterior light fixtures and four (4) very loose, dangling, exterior outlets which needed securing. Some of the underlying wiring was beginning to corrode from water intrusion.