Author Archives: Sara Radka

Fun Facts Friday

  • In 2012, the Smithsonian officially recognized video games as an art form and had an exhibit to “comprehensively examine the evolution of video games as an artistic medium.”
  • The only word that rhymes with “purple” is “hirple,” which means “to limp awkwardly.” Nothing rhymes with “woman.”
  • An 8-week meditation course will cause the amygdala, associated with fear and other emotions, to shrink while the prefrontal cortex, associated with awareness, concentration and decision-making, will thicken.

ENCAPSULATION CONSTERNATION: INSULATION CONCEALS CRAWL SPACE PIPE CORROSION

So, you’ve done the right thing in your crawl space and insulated water supply pipes. All is good, right?

Not so fast. 

During a recent visit to a home on Lopez Island, I came across this unfortunate issue: copper water pipes showing substantial corrosion—such as calcification deposits—despite the fact they were tucked into insulation. 

However, insulation is useless and even harmful when it displays signs of moisture intrusion. In this case, that’s the precise scenario I encountered.

The prognosis wasn’t good because the majority of the water supply piping was concealed behind pipe insulation. Therefore, much to my dismay, I had to recommend that all the water supply piping underneath the home be further evaluated by a qualified plumbing contractor to make repairs as deemed necessary. The only way to do that is to remove the insulation and take a look.

To learn more about protecting your pipes, Home Depot recently created a “how-to” video on the topic. Hope it helps you!

Questions or comments about plumbing or home inspections in general? Go “All” in and tweet us (@AIHomeInspect).

Fun Facts Friday

The first U.S. town to be completely lit by electric streetlights was Wabash, Indiana, in 1880. It had a population of 320 at the time.

New York City’s oldest house is a cottage in Queens near LaGuardia Airport. It was built in 1654 by the Rikers family (the same family that gave Rikers Island its name) and even has a family cemetery in the backyard.

The Waldorf Astoria hotel once had its own private railroad track at Grand Central so that its guests could clandestinely enter and exit New York City. Largely abandoned now, it operates only when the president is in town, in case the need arises for an emergency exit.

STANDALONE SATURDAYS: HORSE HOUSING

Share your Northwest Washington imagery with the All Islands Home Inspections community. Simply take your photo and/or videos, and tag it with #AllIslandsLife on Twitter or Facebook. 

Throughout the year, those who tag with #AllIslandsLife will have a chance to win some fun prizes, such as a $20 gift card to Starbucks (which happens to be this month’s prize)! 

To be eligible for this first contest and a chance to win a whole lot of caffeine, please tag your imagery by Feb. 25, 2019. We’ll announce the winner in our new, shiny newsletter, so make sure to subscribe using the signup form below.

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Do you have questions or comments about island living or home inspections in general? Go “All” in and tweet us (@AIHomeInspect).

Standalone Saturdays: Sunrise on Orcas

Share your Northwest Washington imagery with the All Islands Home Inspections community. Simply take your photo and/or videos, and tag it with #AllIslandsLife on Twitter or Facebook. 

Throughout the year, those who tag their photos will have a chance to win some fun prizes. 

Do you have questions or comments about San Juan Island living or home inspections in general? Go “All” in and let us know at @AIHomeInspect

VIDEO: Pond Under Home!

Inspecting a home in the San Juan Islands, I recently discovered at least one (1) foot of water throughout the crawl space! This, of course, rendered the crawl space inaccessible to inspection. Standing water in crawl spaces, regardless of season, puts the building’s structure at risk of settlement, water and insect damage. If you have standing water conditions in your crawl space, you should have them addressed promptly; the longer you wait, the more expensive the repair becomes.

Friday Harbor Home Inspection Discovers DETERIORATED OSB Sheathing!

Tim Hance discovered deteriorated OSB eave (soffit) sheathing at a recent inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. In this case, the lack of a metal drip-edge flashing detail at the edge of OSB sheathing (under the gutter) appears to be the contributing factor. Amazingly, installing such a drip-edge flashing detail isn’t required. If you intend to re-roof your home, I recommend having the roofing contractor install drip edge flashing everywhere, e.g., at all edges of the roof. This will help prevent potential water damage. Here, this owner will need to replace a fairly significant amount of sheathing, together with some roof work, which might prove expensive.

Selecting a heating system

Selecting a new heating system can be complex. However, if you do your homework and talk to licensed heating/cooling professionals, a new system can make your home more comfortable and reduce energy costs.

Hints:

  • Usually it is more energy- and cost-efficient to replace systems older than about 15 years.
  • The system you choose will depend on local climate, home size, amount of insulation, and the heating/cooling usage patterns.
  • Look for an ENERGY STAR® label.
  • Furnaces are rated by annual fuel-utilization efficiency (AFUE). High-efficiency units are rated above 90 percent.
  • If choosing an air-source heat pump, look for one with a SEER of 13 or greater and a heating season performance factor (HSPF) of 7 or more.

Orcas Island Home Inspection Discovers Improperly Installed Roof Coverings!

Tim Hance with All Islands Home Inspections discovers improperly installed roof coverings at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island. Without sufficient eave overlap, the underlying fascia trim, sheathing, and rafters are vulnerable to water and insect damage. Water and insect damage were presenting in many areas of this particular home. A qualified roofing contractor will likely advise the installation of a metal drip-edge flashing detail, installed under the roof coverings and overlapping the wood fascia board to help prevent water and insect damage; a roofing contractor may also want to improve the roof covering overlap/overhang as well.