Tag Archives: bellingham


Hello, All Islands blog readers! I want to extend a special invitation to you today: if you ever think of any topics you’d like me to cover or questions you’d like me to answer, please let me know. I mean it. My goal is to provide you with the most helpful information possible.

Additionally, I invite you to connect with me in other ways, too. I’ve listed my social media channels below. Please take a look. Thanks for reading!

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

Fun Facts Friday

The Great Pyramid of Giza was the tallest building in the world for more than 3,800 years.

The Hoover Dam is constructed from 3,250,000 cubic yards of concrete. This is enough material to build a two-and highway between San Fransisco and New York City, covering almost 3,000 miles.

During peak construction periods, there were more than 12,000 people working on the Burj Khalifa every day. The building is the tallest man-made thing the world.

Fun Facts Friday

Orcas are considered the largest species of the dolphin family. They weigh up to 6 tons (5,443 kilograms) and grow to 23 to 32 feet (7 to 9.7 meters).

Orcas are very social and live in groups called pods, which usually have up to 40 members.

Orcas are black and white for a reason; their coloring helps to camouflage them by obscuring their outline in the water.


Electricity and flammable objects don’t play well together—unless you define “playing well together” as starting a house fire.

If you take the traditional view on what “playing well together” means, however, I would suggest you pay attention to vegetative overgrowth in direct contact with overhead electrical service entrance conductors. Allowing this type of contact is a bad idea. 

I came across this issue recently on a home inspection in Bellingham, and I noted in my report to provide proper clearance for safety reasons.

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


On Saturdays throughout the year, I hope to give you a peek of what I see as a home inspector traveling around San Juan, Island, Whatcom, and Skagit counties through photos and videos I’ve taken along the way.

I’m sure if you know or live in Northwest Washington, you probably feel the same about how special it is here. That’s why I invite you to share your Northwest Washington imagery!  Simply take your picture or video showing why you appreciate the region, and tag it with #AllIslandsLife on Twitteror Facebook.

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


The removal of organic growth from chimney systems is critical when it comes to preventing water damage and extending the serviceable life of chimney infrastructure. In the wet climate of the Pacific Northwest, this is especially pertinent.

During a recent inspection in Bellingham, I came across a chimney system with extensive organic growth. In this case, I recommended improving the system with a masonry sealant/water repellent, once organic growth had been removed.  There are differing industry opinions about waterproofing masonry elements; some contractors argue that applying a sealant can make the issue worse and lead to masonry damage, others say that it’s absolutely necessary to prevent water damage.  At a minimum, in my opinion, it’s imperative to keep moss growth maintained and prevent its growth on expensive masonry elements which can lead to costly repairs down the road.  

Check out the video below to see how one chimney sweep company uses a waterproofing agent to protect chimney systems. Thanks for watching!

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


I use the word “unconventional” in my home inspection reports quite often when it comes to an assortment of issues. While “unconventional” may be a positive attribute in certain circumstances and specific industries (such as successful marketing or sales campaigns), it’s virtually always considered a negative adjective for home inspectors. In my field, uniformity is king!

This week, our “unconventional” examples originated during a recent inspection I conducted in Bellingham. I noticed an unconventional vent pipe protruding through a master bathroom toilet tank, and—admittedly—I had no idea as to its function. Funnily enough, I saw an identical issue in a separate bathroom toilet. 

In my report, I recommended the clients (potential buyers) inquire with the seller or a qualified plumbing contractor as to the function of the protrusion.

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

Deteriorated and water-damaged door jamb and trim

Tim Hance of All Islands Home Inspections discusses a door jamb that has seen better days during a recent home inspection in Bellingham. Unfortunately, this type of damage may mean there is underlying damage not visible without invasive inspection. Whenever homeowners start to see deterioration, it’s always best to address the issue as soon as possible. Thanks for watching, and enjoy!

Temperature-pressure-relief (TPR) valves

The temperature-pressure-relief valve (TPR) on water heaters should be extended with ¾” piping to discharge within six (6) inches of the floor, or outside the building for safety reasons.  This valve is designed to discharge if the water heater temperature or pressure become dangerously high which can prevent the water heater from rupturing/exploding.  It’s important to route this discharge valve away so it doesn’t cause harm to the home’s occupants.  This was discovered at a recent home inspection in Bellingham. 

Ten mistakes people make with heat

Opening up Floor Vent HeaterWant a little straight talk on saving money and energy? Don’t believe all you have heard about ways to improve efficiency and lower heating costs. Steve Graham, Networx, says, “Even with a constant flow of information about energy efficiency, homeowners make major heating mistakes that end in higher electric bills and larger environmental footprints.” Here are 10 of those errors, with the cause and effect of each decision.