Dangling, loose exterior outlets were discovered at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands. When new siding is installed on a home, sometimes over existing (original) siding, it’s important to properly re-secure exterior outlets and fixtures to the (thicker) new siding and perimeter envelope. Securing loose electrical fixtures and appliances is important for safety reasons because (1) it’s important to keep rain out of electrical connections and (2) as wires move back and forth with use, because they’re not secured, they can become mechanically damaged and wiring connections can be compromised.
It’s important to insulate any and all exposed water supply piping- whether it be in the crawl space, attic, or garage- as freezing weather conditions can lead to breakage in unconditioned (unheated) spaces of the home. Water pipe insulation is readily available at hardware stores and is easily installed. This video was taken at a recent home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island.
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!
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.
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!
Water intrusion and fungal growth were noted at a recent home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island. Fungal growth and water intrusion lead to structural deterioration and insect activity/damage. I recommended further evaluation and repair of the underlying cause of water intrusion and then repair and replacement of deteriorated structural elements, as necessary. Water is the enemy! Keep it away and your structure will be happy!
How long do you think it took to piece this floor system insulation together? I don’t know the answer to that, but I can tell you it does very little from a thermal efficiency standpoint. Insulation efficiency is about thickness, but just as importantly, it’s about how well it’s installed. Did you know, for instance, that a 1/4″ gap in ceiling insulation between the ceiling joist and R30 insulation can reduce the insulation R-value to around R-11? That’s a huge breach in thermal efficiency. In this particular case, I don’t even know where to start, but I’d judge the insulation value as negligible.
Handyman roof repairs and displaced, missing roofing shingles were noted at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands. Exposed nails and handyman repairs along with missing shingles put this roof system at clear risk of water intrusion. Amazingly, no evidence of water intrusion was presenting at the time of inspection. In this case, I recommended further evaluation by a qualified roofing contractor to make necessary repairs. Continue reading
Inspecting a home in Friday Harbor on beautiful San Juan Island, I initially thought these covers were for water shutoff valves. Looking closer, they’re actually buried garbage cans! Really cool concept, keeps garbage out of sight and mind, easily accessible. You probably have to replace the cans from time to time as they deteriorate and the garbage collector may take issue, but this was unique to me so I thought I’d share!