VIDEO: Standing Water and NON-FUNCTIONAL Sump Pump in Crawl Space!

A non-functional sump pump and standing water conditions were discovered in a crawl space at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands. It’s important to monitor crawl space sump pumps to ensure they’re functioning properly as standing water conditions can lead to structural settlement and insect activity/damage. Inquire with contractors about a remote monitoring system to alert you remotely to a non-functional sump pump; this will keep you from having to go into a dirty crawl space!

Handyman dryer vent ducting

Wow, look at this handyman dryer vent ducting!  I can see two sizes of vinyl, solid metal, flexible metal and- for good measure- let’s couple it with ABS drain pipe.  I’m not making this stuff up, I promise!  This was discovered at recent home inspection in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island.  I always recommend installing solid metal ducting for safety reasons, and annually cleaning/maintaining as lint is flammable and can accumulate in dryer ducting.

VIDEO: Holes in Furnace Flue Pipe SAFETY ISSUE!

Inspecting the furnace at a recent home inspection in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, I noted corrosion, deterioration and holes in the flue pipe which is a clear safety issue. This particular furnace was 15 years old and approaching the end of its expected life. It’s important to service your furnace on an annual basis for optimal performance, longevity and safety reasons.

Temperature-pressure-relief (TPR) valves

The temperature-pressure-relief valve (TPR) on water heaters should be extended with ¾” piping to discharge within six (6) inches of the floor, or outside the building for safety reasons.  This valve is designed to discharge if the water heater temperature or pressure become dangerously high which can prevent the water heater from rupturing/exploding.  It’s important to route this discharge valve away so it doesn’t cause harm to the home’s occupants.  This was discovered at a recent home inspection in Bellingham. 

VIDEO: Mold Discovered in Attic at Freeland Home Inspection!

At a recent home inspection in Freeland on Whidbey Island, I discovered apparent mold in the attic. This video explains what I’m looking at and how it’s customarily repaired and remediated. It’s important to look into your attic every once in a while and look for any signs of water intrusion or mold. If noted, I recommend dealing with it as soon as possible as repairs become more expensive with time.

Video: Deteriorated LP InnerSeal Siding

Deteriorated LP InnerSeal composite siding was discovered at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands. This siding product was subject to class-action lawsuit for premature failure and elevated maintenance requirements. Well maintained, e.g., painted and caulked pursuant to LP’s recommendations, this product will deliver years of serviceable life. But, if it’s not well maintained it will deteriorate quickly and can lead to underlying structural damage. In this case, I recommended further evaluation by a qualified contractor, one familiar with LP InnerSeal composite siding, to further evaluate and make necessary repairs.

Fun Fact Friday!

The average person makes about 1,140 telephone calls each year.

The names of the two stone lions in front of the New York Public Library are Patience and Fortitude. They were named by then-mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.

The sound of E.T. walking was made by someone squishing her hands in jelly.

American car horns beep in the tone of F.

Video: Deteriorated door jamb trim

The most vulnerable portion of trim is where it abuts a horizontal plane, in this case at the door threshold. This is why I always probe the base of door jamb trim for “soft spots.” This deteriorated door jamb was noted at a recent home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island. Keeping the base of these vulnerable elements well sealed (painted and caulked) will help safeguard against deterioration. It’s all about maintenance!

Your vermiculite insulation could contain asbestos

If you have insulation in your attic that looks like this picture, it may be vermiculite insulation. This type of insulation could contain asbestos.  Testing for asbestos is outside the scope of the home inspection and requires laboratory sampling.  Here’s a link (click HERE) to the EPA brochure with more information about vermiculite insulation.  This was discovered at a recent home inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.

Video: Waterbed in crawlspace?!

The crawl space looked great, new vapor barrier installed, nice and clean. However, when I got into the deeper recesses of the crawl space, I noted it was like I was walking on a water bed! 3-4 inches of standing water was under the black plastic vapor barrier in many areas. Standing water and water intrusion in crawl spaces puts the building at risk of water, insect and structural damage and is nothing to be dismissive about. In this case, at this Orcas Island home inspection, I recommended further evaluation by a qualified contractor to make necessary repairs and eliminate water intrusion into the crawl space area.