Tag Archives: Fidalgo Island

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.

Video: Deteriorated door jamb trim

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 Roof Rafters in Attic

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.

Video: FAILED Caulking at Siding Abutments!

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.