Author Archives: AIHI

UNCONVENTIONAL VENTING: PLUMBING ISSUES NEED FURTHER EVALUATION

Recently, I inspected a house in Ferndale where I noted handyman drain-waste-vent plumbing practices at the exterior. 

The property owner had installed an exposed ABS drain line, and the laundry room utility sink was unconventionally vented adjacent to an exterior wall. A qualified contractor should always evaluate these types of unorthodox issues, which I cited in the report.

If you have questions or comments about plumbing issues or home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

AN EASY WAY TO START A MOLD FARM IN YOUR ATTIC

Do we have any attic mold farmers out there? Trying to raise some mold, and don’t know where to start?

Good news: I’ve got a very efficient, straightforward solution: direct your bathroom vent ducting into your space! Make sure that the ducting does NOT vent to the outside. Then, before you know it, you’ve got an excellent crop of mold!

Okay, you know I’m kidding. I recently came across disconnected bathroom vent fan ducting (and mold-farming techniques) in an attic space on Lopez, which I cited in my report. 

Remember: If you are going to grow something, grow it outside of the attic.

If you have questions or comments about ventilation issues or home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

STANDALONE SATURDAYS: HEY, I RECOGNIZE THAT TRUCK!

On Saturdays throughout the year, I hope to give you a peek of what I see as a home inspector traveling around San Juan, Island, Whatcom, and Skagit counties through photos and videos I’ve taken along the way.

I’m sure if you know or live in Northwest Washington, you probably feel the same about how special it is here. That’s why I invite you to share your Northwest Washington imagery! Simply take your picture or video showing why you appreciate the region, and tag it with #AllIslandsLife on Twitter or Facebook.

If you have questions or comments about home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

Fun Facts Friday!

  • More people visit France than any other country.
  • France spans twelve different time zones – more than any other country in the world – thanks to its overseas territories, which are dotted round the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, as well as the South American continent.
  • France boasts more roundabouts than any other country. 30,000 in fact – which represents over half of all the roundabouts in the world.

IS YOUR WINDOW GASKET A BUDDING ARTIST?

You know them as the world’s greatest artists. Van Gogh. Monet. Rembrandt. Da Vinci. And…your window?  

Yes, it seems windows are not immune to creating art (albeit without intention). 

In this case, the canvas is the walls of your house, and the paintbrush refers to deteriorating window gaskets. As you can see in our example pictures from a recent inspection in Sedro-Woolley, the seals have gone full Jackson Pollock.

Unlike most art, however, this piece has only critics because window gaskets perform an essential function: they help to keep the cold and the heat out of your house. Gaskets are typically comprised of neoprene or butyl rubber and are installed to seal and lock windows in place.

If the seals do deteriorate, air and water can also breach the window elements. While the scene may look dramatic, keep in mind these windows may not have reached the end of their serviceable life, and there may be options for repair.

If you have questions or comments about windows or home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

LIVING ON THE EDGE: DRIP-EDGE FLASHING DETAILS PLAY A BIG PART IN PROTECTING ROOFS

In my reports, I address flashing details (or the lack, thereof) quite often. Considering we live in a very wet environment, this makes perfect sense.

Today, I’d like to discuss metal drip-edge flashing details briefly. A drip-edge flashing detail is a material applied on a roof’s edge that gives the roof system more capacity to direct water away from the system.

Why is drip-edge flashing important? Well, lots of reasons, including:

• Insects and small pests are better deterred from infesting a roof system

• Water is better directed into building gutter systems and away from exteriors and foundations

• Shingles are better shielded from water damage

• Underlying rooflines are better protected from rot

I recently came across a home in Langley that was lacking drip-edge flashing. As a result, some of the roof system’s OSB sheathing was swelled and deteriorated. I advised them to address this as soon as possible.

If you have questions or comments about roofing systems or home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

STANDALONE SATURDAYS: BUSY BEES

On Saturdays throughout the year, I hope to give you a peek of what I see as a home inspector traveling around San Juan, Island, Whatcom, and Skagit counties through photos and videos I’ve taken along the way.

I’m sure if you know or live in Northwest Washington, you probably feel the same about how special it is here. That’s why I invite you to share your Northwest Washington imagery! Simply take your picture or video showing why you appreciate the region, and tag it with #AllIslandsLife on Twitter or Facebook.

If you have questions or comments about home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

3 QUESTIONS: FLOORING WITH WOODCRAFT WOOD FLOORS

Every month, we seek to bring our readers insight from the worlds of home construction, home repair, and home maintenance straight from local Northwest Washington contractors in a segment we call “3 Questions.” Yep, you guessed it: we ask three questions, and the contractors answer them.

This month, we talk about flooring issues with WoodCraft Wood Floors, Inc. in Mount Vernon.

Q1: Oftentimes, home inspectors observe and report water-damaged or cupped wood flooring in kitchens, bathrooms, or adjacent exterior doors.  Can this be repaired and restored?

Floors that are water damaged can be replaced and refinished, or if the floor is not too far damaged by water, they can be dried and re-sanded. This must be determined by a hardwood flooring professional.

Q2:  In older homes, with original wood flooring, can the floors typically be refinished and restored?  Any advice or pointers for DIY weekend warriors thinking about restoring old wood floors?

Yes, old homes that have wood floors can be refinished. We typically don’t recommend DIY sanding floors because—if you do not know what you are doing—you can damage the floor and sand down too much of the surface, which can sand all the life left on the wear surface.

Q3: What’s your favorite type(s) of wood flooring, and why?

Red and white oak flooring is still a classic that does not go out of style.  It is a stable wood that is not susceptible to a lot of movement.

Bonus Q: Having floors refinished professionally vs. the DIY weekend warrior: what’s the typical cost difference one can expect?

Professional refinishing can run approximately $4.50 per square feet and up. DIY will cost rental, sanding materials (paper, wood filler, sealer, finish, applicators), time and labor.

About WoodCraft Wood Floors, Inc.
Woodcraft Wood Floors, Inc has been serving Skagit, Whatcom, Island, San Juan and part of Snohomish Counties since 1980. In the 1980s, the company operated under the name of Woodcraft Construction, and focused on design and building construction with a wood flooring division. Over the years, its wood floors became so popular that the business decided to close the design-build portion of its business and concentrate on only wood flooring. In 1991, it became Woodcraft Wood Floors, Inc. Woodcraft Wood Floors is also a member of the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), which sets the standards for the wood flooring industry. For more information, visit https://www.woodcraftwoodfloors.com.


A big “thanks” to Woodcraft Wood Floors for their responses.

If you have questions or comments about home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

BOO! HOME INPSECTION HORROR STORIES

In the spirit of the spooky season, I’ve compiled a few home inspection-related stories to get you in the mood. Just remember: home inspection reports don’t have to be scary as long as you keep them in context. 

Happy (scary) reading! Boo!

Author: Family Handyman

Title: “110 Super Scary Home Inspector Nightmare Photos

Recommended Because: When you are a seasoned home inspector, you see it all. This is a catalog of some seriously scary things—including many examples of things I’ve come across in my career (I’m not kidding).

Author: Realtor.com

Title: “10 Scariest Things a Home Inspector Might Find in Your House

Recommended Because: A nice rundown of things that go bump…in your bank account.

Author: InspectorPro Insurance

Title: “Top 3 Scary Home Inspection Stories

Recommended Because: Snakes. Rats. Haunted houses. Home inspectors share their scary stories. 

If you have questions or comments about home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).