Author Archives: AIHI

STANDALONE SATURDAYS: WINTER WONDERLAND!

As a home inspector, I’m often on the road, traveling around San Juan, Island, Whatcom, and Skagit counties. Along the way, I’m often awed by what I see. On the first Saturday of the month, I plan to share some of these great scenes with you. 

I invite you to share your Northwest Washington imagery, too! Take your picture or video showing why you appreciate the region, tag it with #AllIslandsLife, and share via social media.

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

STANDALONE SATURDAYS: ON FROZEN POND

As a home inspector, I’m often on the road, traveling around San Juan, Island, Whatcom, and Skagit counties. Along the way, I’m often awed by what I see. On the first Saturday of the month, I plan to share some of these great scenes with you. 

I invite you to share your Northwest Washington imagery, too! Take your picture or video showing why you appreciate the region, tag it with #AllIslandsLife, and share via social media.

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

Originally posted 2020-03-07 08:36:00.

Fun Facts Friday!

Named for the Roman god of war, Mars, March is the third month of the year. It has 31 days and is known as the first month of spring in the Northern Hemisphere due to the vernal equinox which occurs between March 19th and 21st of every year.

Sunday, March 8 is the start of Daylight Saving Time, which begins at 2:00 A.M. that night. Don’t forget to “spring forward” and set your clocks ahead one hour! We prefer to do this before bedtime on Saturday night, just so there’s no existential confusion the next morning.

March 8 is also International Women’s Day, which is a day that not only celebrates the achievements of women and the progress made toward women’s rights, but also brings attention to ongoing struggles for equality around the world.

Originally posted 2020-03-06 08:30:00.

Fun Facts Friday!

March was named for the Latin Martius—aka Mars, the Roman God of war and a mythical ancestor of the Roman people via his sons, Romulus and Remus.

In old Roman calendars, one year used to be ten months long, starting in March and ending in December.

ASBESTOS ANGST? IF IT’S NOT ‘FRIABLE,’ DON’T FRET

While asbestos may sound scary when cited in a home inspection report, it doesn’t have to be.

During my inspections (including one I recently did in Oak Harbor), I encounter textured “popcorn” ceilings that may contain asbestos on a relatively routine basis. This scenario is particularly true for homes with popcorn ceilings installed before 1978 (and sometimes in the early 1980s). 

However, I have good news: this is typically not a concern, provided the ceilings are painted/sealed, and the product does not become airborne or “friable.” As I cite in my reports, if you intend to remodel and remove this ceiling texture, appropriate precautions and testing should be taken by a qualified contractor for safety reasons.  Testing for asbestos can only be done by a qualified laboratory and is beyond the scope of a home inspection. 

The Environmental Protection Agency web site also features additional information at
http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/ashome.html#3.

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

Originally posted 2020-03-04 08:28:00.

DOES YOUR ROOF LOOK A LITTLE LIKE AN ALLIGATOR?

Roofing systems take a beating. After all, they are typically the home’s first line of defense against the elements.

Like all of your home’s elements, roofs will eventually show their age through deterioration. During a recent inspection on Whidbey Island, I came across built-up roof coverings that were cracking—a phenomenon in the industry known as “alligatoring.” As you might guess, this means the roof was starting to resemble reptile skin.

In my report, I recommended further evaluation by a qualified contractor to make repairs as deemed necessary. I also recommended that the clients budget for re-seal coating of the roof coverings.If you have questions or comments about roofing or home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

Originally posted 2020-03-02 08:23:00.

DON´T LOOK UP!

Have you ever walked on a stairway that didn´t have a handrail?  Have you also fallen down unbeknownst to yourself until you found your face two (2) feet from the steps?  I have!  This isn’t a problem that occurs in a vacuum.  

You may think that exterior handrails are more important, but interior grippable handrails are equally as such.  In this day and age of disproportionate elderly persons compared to working age persons in the population pyramid, increased usage of phones taking our attention away from where we step, and a general increase in accessibility/accommodation, handrails have become more important than ever.  It is all of our responsibilities to make sure that everyone is well taken care of and to realize others’ struggles are not so much different than our own.  

Did you know that between 1,000 and 12,000 people die each year from falling down the stairs?  It was also well known that more than 100,000 people are treated for serious injuries following a fall down the stairs each year.  

Still not convinced?  Handrails can be aesthetically pleasing too!  Check out this link for more information: 9 Unique Stair Railings – Dwell  

THE ‘411’ ON ‘DIY’ ELECTRICAL WORK

Surprisingly, electrical issues are common discoveries at home inspections, with the most common being improperly wired switches, outlets, and handyman/unprofessional wiring practices. Purchasing an outlet tester (costs less than $10) is a simple, quick way to determine if your home’s outlets are correctly wired. You’ll probably be surprised to find a few in your home! Unless you’re entirely confident and competent, I recommend hiring a licensed, bonded, and insured electrician to perform any and all electrical work. 

If you DIY and your work doesn’t appear professional (think PERFECT), it will likely be called out by a home inspector when your home is sold. Competent electricians are fastidious and “fussy” with their work (it’s their signature after all), and there’s nothing better than a “fussy” electrician I like to say! 

Be sure to check with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, as most electrical work requires a permit and final inspection. Permits are easily obtainable and inexpensive. Furthermore, having a third-party inspection of electrical work is just another layer of safety and insulation against potential future electrical issues. Plus, it’s the law! Finally, for the DIY homeowners out there, a great book is “For Pros by Pros: Wiring a House by Rex Cauldwell. I’ve relied on this book for years of building and remodeling. It’s excellent!

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

Originally posted 2020-02-29 05:40:00.

Fun Facts Friday

Before glass, windows were commonly made of paper, cloth, animal hide, flattened pieces of animal horn or thin slices of marble.

Glass windows only became common in homes in the early 17th century.

At one point, homes in Amsterdam were taxed based on the number and size of windows on their façade. The larger the windows, the higher the taxes.

Originally posted 2020-02-28 05:36:00.