Tag Archives: bellingham

STANDALONE SATURDAYS: MARITIME MUTTS

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).

ORGANIC FOOD = GOOD; ORGANIC GROWTH = BAD

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).

‘UNCONVENTIONAL’ + HOME INSPECTION = TROUBLE

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.

Is your chimney leaking?

Chimney and roofOne thing that brick chimneys, stone chimneys and fireplaces have in common is that eventually most will require some type of maintenance to keep a water tight seal. Leaks into a chimney can cause unsafe heating equipment as well as costly damage to the chimney, the appliances connected to it, and to the building itself. Is your chimney leaking? Are you experiencing water marks on the ceiling or walls near your chimney? Is there water appearing in the firebox? Similarly, are you experiencing cracks on the exterior of the chimney which seem to keep getting bigger or are bricks actually flaking off from your chimney? Water is the common thread between all of these problems (for the most part) and following this checklist should help you to be able to arrest water infiltration or prevent further damage.