Tag Archives: freeland


There are many times when homeowners, electricians, contractors and others (like me) will need to have access to and around the electrical panel for various reasons.  Because of this, it is typically advised to have a 36-inch clearance in front of the panel and a 30-inch clearance on each side.  

I recommend creating/providing clearance adhering to the above standards to allow easier access to electrical panels within your home.  

Pool and deck safety tips

Backyard heated Swimming Pool

  1. Make sure all gates in the isolation fence for your pool are self-closing and self-latching.
  2. Remove all chairs, tables, large toys or other objects that would allow a child to climb up to reach the gate latch or enable the child to climb over the pool isolation fence.
  3. Reaching and throwing aids like poles should be kept on both sides of the pool. These items should remain stationary and not be misplaced through play activities.
  4. All pool and hot tub drains (suction outlets) must have a cover or gate that meets industry standards for suction fittings marked to indicate compliance with ANSI/ASME A112.19.8 2007. Check to see that these covers are not broken or in disrepair, and that they are anchored firmly over the drain openings.
  5. Install a pool alarm to detect accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water. While the alarm provides an immediate warning, it does not substitute for the fences, door alarms and safety covers required by the code.
  6. Install either an automatic or manually operated, approved safety cover to completely block access to water in the pool, spa or hot tub. Never allow anyone to stand or play on a pool cover.
  7. Check for warning signs for an unsafe deck, including loose or wobbly railings or support beams, missing or loose screws that connect a deck to the house, corrosion, rot and cracks.


Homeowners often like to use their appliances well after their statistical life expectancies. While using something that is in perfectly good working order—while perhaps a little on the “old” side—isn’t always a bad thing, I will always recommend that clients budget for appliance replacement based on these average lifespan figures. Obviously, there are many factors that impact how long an appliance will last, such as maintenance (or deferred maintenance). 

During a recent inspection in Freeland, I came across an oil-fired radiant circulating boiler heating appliance in likely need of replacement. I noted the boiler was approaching the end of its statistical expected life of 20-25 years, and that rust and corrosion were noted at many of the appliance fittings.

While the last apparent service for this appliance was recently undertaken, I couldn’t verify as to whether or not this appliance was FULLY serviced (including all related heating system infrastructure). To that end, I highly recommended full service of the boiler, water heater, and all related infrastructure by a qualified HVAC contractor prior to closing.

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

Fun Facts Friday!

Nicknamed “sea bunnies,” Jorunna parva is actually a highly toxic species of sea slug.

The two ears that make the creatures look like bunnies are rhinophores, and they help them to identify chemicals in the water that allow them to find food and mates.

The sea bunny slug has both male and female reproductive organs, and when they mate with one another, both partners will exchange sperm.


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).


If you are looking to save some money on utilities, a wise place to start is with insulation. A properly insulated home can save you coin and keep you warmer during the winter and cooler during the summer. 

All of my inspections included poking around in crawl spaces and attics to check insulation levels. During a recent inspection of a home in Freeland, I came across a house that had adequate insulation levels in the attic, but portions of it were compressed (likely from someone walking on it). 

I recommended my clients insulate these areas for improved thermal efficiency because compressed insulation can reduce the “R” value of insulation (lessening its effectiveness). 

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

Fun Facts Friday

Scotland has 421 words for “snow.” Some examples: sneesl (to start raining or snowing); feefle (to swirl); flinkdrinkin (a light snow).

It’s a myth that no two snowflakes are exactly the same.

Each winter in the United States, at least 1 septillion ice crystals fall from the sky. That’s 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000—24 zeros!


During a recent inspection in Freeland, I noticed condensation and lint accumulation within the electrical panel enclosure—which was installed near open dryer vent ducting.

Savvy homeowners understand that dryer vent ducting should always be routed to the exterior of the home, so it didn’t take a great detective to determine this was a problem. The panel was being coated in moisture and lint, and…do I even need to continue?  

Nope, you know where this is going.

In my report, I recommended fully extending and discharging dryer vent ducting to the exterior to prevent recurrence. I also suggested further evaluation, repair, and cleaning of the electrical panel by a qualified contractor for safety reasons.

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


Win a $20 Starbuck’s gift card, it’s easy!  Simply take your photos and/or videos, and tag them with #AllIslandsLife on Twitter or Facebook. 

Throughout the year, those who tag with #AllIslandsLife will have a chance to win some fun prizes, such as a $20 gift card to Starbucks (which happens to be this month’s prize yet again)! 

To be eligible for this chance to win a whole lot of caffeine, please tag your imagery by March 24, 2019. We’ll announce the winner in the March issue of our new, shiny newsletter, so make sure to subscribe using the signup form below.

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