Author Archives: Tim Hance

Vinyl dryer ducting

While you can still purchase vinyl dryer ducting at most hardware stores, one of my personal “peeves” is to have it replaced with metal ducting, ideally smooth metal ducting.  Dryer lint is highly flammable and vinyl burns, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense- at least to me- to use vinyl dryer ducting.  Smooth metal is best because it doesn’t have corrugated folds that can catch lint and cause it to build up, but flexible metal is good if smooth metal isn’t practical.  I always recommend replacing vinyl dryer ducting when I see it.  This was noted at a recent home inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.

Damage to roofing due to pressure washing

Colored granules on your roof coverings are what protect the roof coverings themselves from the elements.  This is why it’s important to NOT pressure wash your roof as doing so can lead to granular loss and reduce the roof’s life expectancy. In fact, I’ve seen newer roofs completely destroyed by pressure washing (treatment with zinc granules is the most common way to keep moss off your roof).  Pictured here is substantial granular loss and exposed underlying fiberglass underlayment.  These roof coverings were in poor condition, clearly due for replacement.  This was discovered at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands.

VIDEO: Fogged windows

Tim Hance, owner of All Islands Home Inspections, recently discovered a “fogged” window at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island. “Fogged” windows have lost their seals and exhibit a “foggy” appearance; this is considered a cosmetic issue in the home inspection industry and doesn’t mean that water is coming into the home or putting the home at risk of water or insect damage. That said, you can expect “fogged” windows to become progressively “foggier” with time and most homeowners want them replaced. Window contractors can replace most “fogged” windows by simply replacing the glass panes, e.g., without needing to remove the entire window and trim.

Incorrectly attached metal deck joist hangers

Metal deck joist hangers should NOT be fastened directly to exterior siding, as pictured here.  It’s important to fasten deck joist hangers to a bolted ledger for safety reasons.  Amazingly, this is discovered quite frequently.   The easiest “fix” for this is to install a bolted ledger directly underneath the deck joists.  This photograph was taken at a recent home inspection in Bellingham.

Anobiid beetle damage

If you look closely at this picture, you’ll see little holes in the wood. These are anobiid beetle exit holes. Elevated moisture conditions in wood leads to WDO (wood destroying organism) activity and damage.  Insect damaged structural elements like these are typically replaced, depending on the severity of damage.  When replacing exterior deck structural elements, I highly recommend using pressure-treated wood products to prevent WDO activity and extend serviceable life.  Untreated exterior elements will deteriorate over time and are at risk of WDO damage. This was discovered at a recent home inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.

Inset siding nails

Are your siding nails inset within the siding boards themselves, like those pictured here?  If so, it’s either because (a) the nails were overdriven or more likely (b) the siding is swelling and expanding with moisture.  Inset nails need to be sealed to prevent moisture intrusion which can lead to deterioration.  For siding discovered at this home inspection in Freeland on Whidbey Island, substantially swelled/deteriorated siding needed to be replaced.

“Updated” wiring?

At an older home inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, the home was advertised with “updated wiring.”  Unfortunately, when I got into the crawl space and attic areas, I noted numerous unprofessional wire splices like that pictured here which are signs of handyman wiring practices and a definite safety issue.  I recommend further evaluation and repair by a qualified electrician.

VIDEO: Discovering ROT at Deck/Siding Interface

At a recent Oak Harbor home inspection, I discovered deterioration, rot and water damage at the interface between the deck and exterior siding. This interface really should be flashed with a metal flashing detail to prevent water intrusion which can lead to WDO (wood destroying insect) activity and water damage. When deterioration is presenting at this interface, there’s always the possibility of underlying structural damage not visible without invasive inspection. A qualified contractor should further evaluate, invasively, to determine the extent of deterioration and make necessary repairs.

Lack of safe electrical wiring protection

Electrical wiring needs to be protected where it enters junction boxes for appliances and fixtures.  Pictured here is wiring vulnerable to mechanical damage, a safety issue.  A simple bushing can be installed in this application to protect wiring and keep the house safe.  Wiring practices like these suggest the fixture wasn’t professionally installed and should be further evaluated and repaired by a qualified electrician. This photograph was taken at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands.