Tim Hance, owner of All Islands Home Inspections, recently discovered a “fogged” window at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island. “Fogged” windows have lost their seals and exhibit a “foggy” appearance; this is considered a cosmetic issue in the home inspection industry and doesn’t mean that water is coming into the home or putting the home at risk of water or insect damage. That said, you can expect “fogged” windows to become progressively “foggier” with time and most homeowners want them replaced. Window contractors can replace most “fogged” windows by simply replacing the glass panes, e.g., without needing to remove the entire window and trim.
If you look closely at this picture, you’ll see little holes in the wood. These are anobiid beetle exit holes. Elevated moisture conditions in wood leads to WDO (wood destroying organism) activity and damage. Insect damaged structural elements like these are typically replaced, depending on the severity of damage. When replacing exterior deck structural elements, I highly recommend using pressure-treated wood products to prevent WDO activity and extend serviceable life. Untreated exterior elements will deteriorate over time and are at risk of WDO damage. This was discovered at a recent home inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.
Are your siding nails inset within the siding boards themselves, like those pictured here? If so, it’s either because (a) the nails were overdriven or more likely (b) the siding is swelling and expanding with moisture. Inset nails need to be sealed to prevent moisture intrusion which can lead to deterioration. For siding discovered at this home inspection in Freeland on Whidbey Island, substantially swelled/deteriorated siding needed to be replaced.
At an older home inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, the home was advertised with “updated wiring.” Unfortunately, when I got into the crawl space and attic areas, I noted numerous unprofessional wire splices like that pictured here which are signs of handyman wiring practices and a definite safety issue. I recommend further evaluation and repair by a qualified electrician.
At a recent Oak Harbor home inspection, I discovered deterioration, rot and water damage at the interface between the deck and exterior siding. This interface really should be flashed with a metal flashing detail to prevent water intrusion which can lead to WDO (wood destroying insect) activity and water damage. When deterioration is presenting at this interface, there’s always the possibility of underlying structural damage not visible without invasive inspection. A qualified contractor should further evaluate, invasively, to determine the extent of deterioration and make necessary repairs.
Electrical wiring needs to be protected where it enters junction boxes for appliances and fixtures. Pictured here is wiring vulnerable to mechanical damage, a safety issue. A simple bushing can be installed in this application to protect wiring and keep the house safe. Wiring practices like these suggest the fixture wasn’t professionally installed and should be further evaluated and repaired by a qualified electrician. This photograph was taken at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands.
With modern technology- moisture meters and infrared thermography- home inspectors can find water issues that aren’t visible with the naked eye. This photograph shows underlying saturation adjacent a toilet that needs to be reset with a new wax ring. Hopefully there isn’t underlying damage; they’ll find out when the toilet is pulled. I use moisture meters to probe around toilets, showers, sinks, dishwashers, and any suspicious areas to confirm elevated moisture conditions. It’s a valuable tool for sure. This photograph was taken at a recent home inspection in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island.
At a recent home inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, I discovered a substantial amount of corrosion presenting at standing seam metal roof coverings. Of course, rust and corrosion will only worsen over time with exposure to the elements, so I advised further evaluation by a qualified roofing contractor to make necessary repairs. Fortunately, there was no evidence (yet) of water intrusion to the interior at the time of inspection, but this is another great reason that it’s important to annually inspect and maintain your roof, even a metal roof.
Gutter downspouts should be extended to discharge water away from the home’s building envelope. In this picture, while it’s great that there’s a downspout extension, it discharges directly adjacent the home which is, frankly, pointless. Direct water away from your home. Failure to do so can lead to crawl space water intrusion, wood destroying insect activity and structural issues, so it’s an important simple step you can take to protect your home. This was discovered at a recent home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island.
Standing water was discovered at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands. If you see standing water or water intrusion in your crawl space, it’s important to deal with it sooner than later as standing water can lead to structural settling and WDO (wood destroying insect) activity/damage in the home, together with moisture related issues within. The longer water intrusion persists, the more expensive the fix typically becomes.