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.
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, 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 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.
The most vulnerable portion of trim is where it abuts a horizontal plane, in this case at the door threshold. This is why I always probe the base of door jamb trim for “soft spots.” This deteriorated door jamb was noted at a recent home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island. Keeping the base of these vulnerable elements well sealed (painted and caulked) will help safeguard against deterioration. It’s all about maintenance!
Handyman framing practices, rafters heavily shimmed at their bases, was noted in the attic of a recent home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island. While there weren’t any visible issues presenting within the home at the time of inspection, this really should be corrected by a qualified framing contractor to ensure the roof’s structural integrity is maintained over time.
Typical failed caulking details were noted at a recent home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island. These are so commonly called out at my home inspections, that I have a “script” detailing what the issue is and how to fix it. This video shows failed caulking at siding abutments and talks a little about installing a back-flashing detail behind the abutments to eliminate the need to caulk and monitor into the future. In fact, homes built today with cement-fiber siding typically back-flash siding abutments.
At a recent home inspection this week in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island I discovered, to my complete and utter dismay, original (old) knob-and-tube electrical wiring in an attic BURIED underneath fiberglass insulation and in direct contact with framing members, clear and well known safety issues. It’s imperative to maintain proper clearances around this old wiring as it can overheat causing a possible fire. Please don’t insulate your attic if you have old knob-and-tube wiring! The insulation looked professionally installed, which is why I was completely baffled to see such an egregious, irresponsible apparent contractor oversight. The insulation will need to be removed and proper clearance around all old, original knob-and-tube wiring provided for safety reasons. Better yet, upgrade the old wiring and be done with it!