Category Archives: Wildcard Topic


Vermin damaged and displaced insulation under homes is commonplace and a frequent discovery during the home inspection process.  Ensuring that insulation is properly attached to the underside of the home will take care of gravity displaced insulation.  Maintaining a proactive pest control regimen will help prevent vermin damaged insulation.  Check with your local utility provider before reinsulating as they may be offering attractive rebate incentives.  

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


Blah, blah, blah (eye roll)…you’ve heard it once, and you’ll hear it again: “It’s important to service the appliances in your home annually!” However, is this truly necessary? 

Of course, in a perfect world, we’d do so, but in most cases you can probably defer, take your chances, and end up ahead of the game in the long run. 

With your heating system, however, I emphatically say: “Service your heating system(s) annually. NO EXCEPTIONS, even if it’s brand new!” 

Service is vital to extend the serviceable life of the heating system and maintain optimum efficiency (e.g., reduce operating costs), but also for safety reasons. 

 If, for instance, a crack develops in the furnace’s heat exchanger, deadly carbon monoxide can be dispersed throughout the home. Annual heating system inspections and service by qualified HVAC contractors could, in fact, be lifesavers, and they’re inexpensive. 

August (summertime) is a great time to have your heating systems fully serviced before the upcoming busy heating system! 

 TIP: Ask the HVAC contractor to leave a sticker on the appliance with the date and type of service. Then get on their schedule to return again next year (and years following) around the same time. 

 While well-maintained heating systems are essential for you and your family, consistent maintenance also gives confidence to future homeowners (e.g., would-be-buyers will know your home is well and proactively maintained). Finally, please make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout your home; I like the combination smoke-carbon monoxide detectors myself. 

There it is: install CO detectors and get those heating systems serviced! Super simple, super-smart moves.Do you have questions or comments about heating systems or home inspections in general? Go “All” in and tweet us (@AIHomeInspect).


Can you believe it’s already March? Wait, it’s FINALLY spring! Now is a great time to start thinking about the exterior of your home. Is your home protected from Mother Nature? If not, keep in mind that Mother Nature is persistently and consistently trying to bring your home back to Earth, and I mean that literally! The vast majority of costly repairs called out during home inspections are avoidable with some preventative maintenance and common sense.

Don’t let Mother Nature touch or envelop your home (e.g., dirt, vegetative growth, etc.), and, once you’ve put Mother Nature in her place (away from the house), it’s imperative to maintain the home’s exterior paint/stain and caulking details. Painting contractors are super busy during summer months, so getting on their list as soon as possible is strongly advised (some contractors book years in advance for exterior painting!).

This helpful spring home maintenance checklist from the Family Handyman is worth checking out. Taking some of these simple, proactive steps will help ensure a smooth spring and get your home in tip-top shape for summer, which is right around the corner. So, let’s get to it!

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


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).


Have you been feeling stuck during quarantine?  Finding it difficult to get into the season of love this year with all of the worldly changes?  You’re not alone!  There’s even a new term for it called ‘quarantine fatigue.’ 

Even though staying home (yet again) is likely one of the last things you want to be doing right now…keep an open mind!  Staying home is still recommended by the CDC, so let’s make the best of it!

Tip: Streamers are cheap and fun to throw around the house (haphazardly or not), a party in itself and a good accompaniment to an at-home romantic dance!  Just make sure they aren’t near heat sources, such as heaters and/or other heating appliances.  

Tip: Sit down, write that letter and send it by snail mail!  Let your loved ones know that they are cared for this season.  

Tip: Buy/pick flowers (sun permitting), or make them out of origami! 

Tip: Make candles at home!  Put them SAFELY all over your house!

Tip: Get crafty with those ingredients, whip up something delicious in the kitchen together!Check out this link for more DIY ideas for the holiday season: Valentine’s Day Ideas for Decorating, Crafts and Gifts | HGTV


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