Fun Fact Friday

If you lift a kangaroo’s tail off the ground, it cannot hop.

Movie trailers were originally shown after the feature film, which is why they are called “trailers.”

Heart attacks are more likely to happen on a Monday.

In 2017, more people were killed from injuries caused by taking selfies than by shark attacks.

10 Rental Tools for DIY Home Projects

If you don’t own the right tools for tackling a remodeling or maintenance project, you have the option of renting them or buying them outright. The decision is usually based on how often the tool will be used and its cost. If you need something like a drill, it makes more sense to buy one because it is a good basic tool that will be used over and over. If the project is a one-time occurrence, such as installing large porcelain tiles, you may want to rent a large tile saw instead of buying one. Here are some other projects for when rental tools can help make the job a success. Continue reading

VIDEO: Discovering Deteriorated OSB Eave Sheathing Behind Gutters!

Tim Hance with All Islands Home Inspections recently discovered deterioration and fungal growth at OSB roof sheathing immediately behind gutters at a recent Oak Harbor, WA home inspection. It is important to keep gutters clear and free of debris to help prevent spillage that can lead to sheathing deterioration. Also, although not per se required, I always recommend installing a metal drip-edge flashing detail at all eaves (e.g., behind gutters) that is run underneath the roof coverings and over the fascia trim to further prevent water damage in the event that gutters overflow or water is introduced.

Home maintenance for September

Here are some great suggestions for September home maintenance tasks!

  • Clean and vacuum dust from vents, baseboard heaters and cold-air returns.
  • Check the heating system (include filters, pilot lights and burners) and have it serviced by a qualified professional.
  • Inspect storm windows for deterioration and repair as necessary.
  • While it’s still warm enough to leave the windows open, it’s a good time to paint indoor rooms and shampoo or replace carpets.
  • If you have window air-conditioning units, remove and store them. If they are not removable, cover them to protect them over the winter.
  • Check to make sure that soil around the foundation slopes four to six inches for a distance of three feet out from the foundation.
  • There are often year-end close-out sales on lawn and garden equipment in the fall. Look for a few bargains.

Roof maintenance

If your roof isn’t too steeply pitched and has material that won’t be damaged by walking on it, AND you are mentally and physically fit to do so, carefully inspect it in good weather. Look for broken or missing shingles, missing or damaged flashing and seals around vent pipes and chimneys and damage to boards along the eaves. Shingle damage up-slope will often cause water damage far downhill. Check the chimney cap and screen and look down the flues for obstructions or animal nests. If you can’t or don’t want to get on the roof, you might want to use a ladder around the perimeter. Pay close attention to valleys and flashings; these are the primary leak-generators. Some simple, easy fixes now can prevent thousands of dollars of water damage later.

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.

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.