So, the Koi Pond in the backyard isn’t enough, and you want to create an underfloor lake in your home as well? We have an easy solution: consider removing your washing machine’s drain pan!
However, if an in-home body of water isn’t part of your home renovation plans, the installation of a drain pan may be in order. Recently, during an inspection on Orcas Island, Washington, I came across this relatively common issue. Drain pans can help safeguard against water damage in the event of a future potential leak in laundry rooms.
I’ve seen plenty of occurrences where this small, preventative measure could have saved homeowners lots of cash and peace of mind. Pans are readily available at home improvement stores, in plumbing supply outlets and online, and are simple to install.
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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.
Tim Hance of All Islands Home Inspections discovered two (2) or more vapor barriers in a crawl space filled with water at a recent Anacortes, WA home inspection. The reason that two (2) or more vapor barriers is frowned upon is because water, if it enters the crawl space, can become entrapped between vapor barriers, prolonging evaporation time and leading to stagnant water conditions. Here in the Pacific NW, water intrusion into a crawl space or basement should be dealt with promptly as it can lead to structural damage/settling and insect activity (e.g., carpenter ants, anobiid beetles and Pacific Dampwood termites are attracted to moist areas). In this particular case, the installation of a perimeter curtain drain was recommended to the clients by a licensed contractor.
Tim Hance with All Islands Home Inspections discovered completely deteriorated OSB eave sheathing at a recent home inspection in Anacortes, WA. If your soffit sheathing is discolored, particularly adjacent the gutters, you may very well have water and insect damage requiring your attention and repair. Left unchecked, deterioration will continue and become more expensive with time. Keeping gutters clean and installing a metal drip-edge flashing detail will help prevent recurrence into the future.
At a recent Anacortes Home Inspection, I discovered an oddly situated exterior hose bib located directly above a crawl space foundation vent. Running the bib, as you can see in the video below, completely filled the vent well which eventually would run water into the crawl space. Evidence of historic water intrusion was noted in the crawl space, this being the likely historic contributing factor. Standing water in crawl spaces puts the building at risk of structural settlement, moisture related issues and WDO (wood destroying insect) activity and damage. If you see standing water in your crawl space, deal with it sooner than later.
At a recent home inspection in Anacortes, I recently discovered beetle exit holes in one of the deck support posts. When I probed the post, my screw driver went directly into the heart of the post! I discovered several other deteriorated posts and beams, together with some unconventional deck construction practices, which warranted further evaluation and repair by a contractor for safety reasons
It’s important to insulate any and all exposed water supply piping- whether it be in the crawl space, attic, or garage- as freezing weather conditions can lead to breakage in unconditioned (unheated) spaces of the home. Water pipe insulation is readily available at hardware stores and is easily installed. This video was taken at a recent home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island.
I discovered what appear to be abandoned oil supply and return lines in the attic of a recent home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island. This suggests there was an oil fired appliance in the home, historically, likely an oil furnace, subsequently removed. Typically, when oil tanks and appliances are removed, so too are the oil supply and return lines. In this case, while I didn’t see any visible evidence of an underground historic oil tank on the property- originally constructed in 1957- I recommended verifying that the previous oil tank had been properly removed and/or decommissioned. Decommissioning oil tanks, especially if underground storage tanks, can be costly, so it was important to follow up on this detail for my clients.
Why isn’t there snow on the deck in that spot? Looking closer, you see that the deck membrane has failed, together with the underlying structure. If you note any seams or openings in your flat roof membrane, it’s important to seal them right away. Water is unforgiving and leads to structural and insect damage if left unchecked. This was discovered at a home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island.
Close, but not close enough! Bathroom vent ducting shouldn’t discharge into the attic. Instead, it needs to be routed all the way to the exterior to help prevent elevated moisture conditions in the attic area that can lead to mold growth. I also recommend insulating vent ducting in the unconditioned (unheated) attic area to help prevent condensation within the ducting itself. This was discovered at a recent home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island.