Tag Archives: Fidalgo Island

STANDALONE SATURDAYS: WHATCHA LOOKING AT?

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 me (@AIHomeInspect).

WATCH YOUR STEP: HANDYMAN RAMP NEEDS REPAIR

Frequently, handyman construction practices are undertaken to make life easier for home residents. A lot of the time, these “fixes” work just fine. Occasionally, however, there needs to be corrective action taken because of safety concerns.

I encountered just such a scenario during a recent home inspection on Fidalgo Island. I noticed handyman construction practices at a ramp from the garage interior to the home, which I considered a potential safety issue because the boards deflected a lot when I walked on them. When I note these types of things, I always recommend further evaluation and repair by a qualified contractor in my reports.

If you have questions or comments about handyman construction practices, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

VIDEO: DON’T GET ‘TRAPPED’ WITH THIS PLUMBING PROBLEM

Today, I’m going to write about a plumbing issue that is as easy to diagnose as counting “1-2-3,” or—more aptly—“A-B-C.”

I’m talking about “S-traps” and “P-traps.”  If you don’t know what these are, this video gives a nice overview. After watching this, you’ll better understand why you may want to consider making the switch from “S” to “P” in your home’s sinks.

I recently came across this very issue during an inspection on Fidalgo Island, where I found an “S-Trap” installed under the kitchen sink. As a result, I recommended the homeowner install a “P-Trap” in my report.

If you have questions or comments about plumbing issues, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

TPR VALVES: HELPING YOUR HOME NOT TO EXPLODE (YAY!)

In the world of water heaters, temperature/pressure-relief valves (TPR valves) are essential. If you are a homeowner, you probably are well aware of this. 

However, for those new to TPR valves, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors provides a clear, succinct definition of what TPR valves are: “Temperature/pressure-relief or TPR valves are safety devices installed on water heating appliances, such as boilers and domestic water supply heaters. TPRs are designed to automatically release water in the event that pressure or temperature in the water tank exceeds safe levels.”

In other words, TPR valves can prevent catastrophe. What kind of potential disasters? Well, the following (fortunately humorous) video may give you an indication of the sort of damage that can occur without them.

To learn more about TPR valves, please take a look at the informational video I’ve prepared below. Thanks for watching!

Questions or comments about water heaters or home inspections in general? Go “All” in and let us know at @AIHomeInspect

Deteriorated wood gutters

Wood gutters are cool, but they definitely require maintenance and are, from my perspective, a bit impractical.  Pictured here are substantially deteriorated wood gutters requiring replacement.  Many homeowners with wooden gutter systems will flash the interiors of the gutters (sometimes even with copper!) to help prevent water damage and extend serviceable life.  But the reality is that wood gutters are generally not painted/sealed (e.g., to maintain that cool wood look) so they will deteriorate over time from moisture which leads to WDO (wood destroying organism) damage.  Most gutter systems today are constructed with aluminum, metal, copper or plastic.  Gutters aren’t just to keep rain off your head as you enter your house!  They’re important to divert rain/storm water away from the building envelope.  This was discovered at a recent home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island.

Active water intrusion

Pictured here is active water intrusion (wet spot) and historic water intrusion (water stains) discovered within a side attic at a recent home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island.  Obviously, a roofing contractor will need to further evaluate and make necessary repairs.  The issue at this home, unfortunately, is that the ceilings were vaulted (e.g., no attic access) so without invasive inspection, one really doesn’t know what’s going on behind ceiling finishes.  With water intrusion, water related issues like mold, deterioration and insect activity should be suspected.  Ultimately, I’m not sure if this client heeded my advice to invasive inspect, but I’m hopeful he did.

Open wires

Open wires, like those pictured here, need to be secured and properly terminated/enclosed in a covered junction box or have the appropriate fixture installed for obvious safety reasons.  This is called out frequently at home inspections and with real estate appraisals.  It’s a simple, straightforward repair.  These pictures were taken at a recent home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island. 

Gutter downspout extensions

Gutter downspouts should be extended to discharge water away from the home’s building envelope.  In this picture, while it’s great that there’s a downspout extension, it discharges directly adjacent the home which is, frankly, pointless.  Direct water away from your home.  Failure to do so can lead to crawl space water intrusion, wood destroying insect activity and structural issues, so it’s an important simple step you can take to protect your home.  This was discovered at a recent home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island.