Author Archives: AIHI

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.

Flooring 101: How to care for wood flooring

Wood flooring in homes is certainly a beautiful feature, but it’s important to keep it dry. Pay particular attention to wood flooring in bathrooms, kitchens and adjacent exterior doors. Signs of water intrusion include staining and cupping (warping) of wood floors. Even if you notice subtle cupping or staining of your wood floors, take action as soon as possible; water damage only gets worse with time. I use a high-quality moisture meter at inspections which reveals underlying moisture not visible to the naked eye. 

This tool has saved countless homeowners from costly water damage, catching it before the problem becomes quite expensive and extensive. Well-maintained, wood floors will provide years of lasting beauty and value to your home. My personal favorite type of wood flooring is distressed or historic/reclaimed clear vertical grain (CVG) fir. It’s a Pacific Northwest classic!

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

Originally posted 2018-09-24 09:16:37.

COME ON NOW, GIVE ME A CHALLENGE, THAT’S TOO EASY A DEFECT TO SPOT! OR, MAYBE THEY WERE TRYING TO HIGHLIGHT IT?

Sometimes, home inspection problems can be hard to spot. And other times…

A recent inspection in Bow provided one of these “other times,” when I discovered an active plumbing leak in the bathroom. It was kind of impossible to miss the bright, yellow bucket that had been installed to catch the dripping water. 

It certainly made my job easier. 

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

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.

Originally posted 2018-08-31 11:56:50.

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.

Originally posted 2018-08-29 10:48:31.

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.

Originally posted 2018-08-27 13:55:50.

Cleaning burners on electric stoves

The burners on an electric range get dirty with caked-on messes, often after a single use. The best way to keep your burners clean is to clean them after every use. Messes are much easier to remove when they are fresh. Make sure the burners have sufficiently cooled before attempting to clean. Use a kitchen towel to wipe the cool burners clean of any spills after use. Rubbing alcohol will remove caked-on messes and sanitize. For more difficult messes, soak a kitchen towel with rubbing alcohol and set it on top of the stain for an hour or two. This will soften the mess and make it easier to wipe away. For a detailed, soap-and-soda approach to clean the burners, see this Ehow article.

Originally posted 2018-08-24 09:46:08.