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).
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).
I’ve written about LP InnerSeal composite siding a bit here on the blog because I encounter it relatively often. As you might know, LP InnerSeal siding is a product that was subject to a class-action lawsuitfor premature failure and elevated maintenance requirements.
Despite these issues, the siding will potentially deliver years of serviceable life if well and proactively maintained (e.g., painted and caulked). However, it does require high maintenance.
I recently came across a home in Freeland that had deteriorated and swelled LP composite siding, together with fungal growth. In my report, I recommended that my clients have the siding further evaluated by a qualified contractor, one familiar with LP InnerSeal siding and its unique painting requirements.
Do you have questions or comments about siding issues? Go “All” in and tweet us (@AIHomeInspect).
“Nail pops” may be unsightly, but they are common and are very rarely of any structural concern. I recently came across a home in Freeland with several nail pops protruding from a sheetrock ceiling.
Understandably, my client wanted to know if there were any underlying issues (such as elevated moisture levels or structural deficiencies) related to these bulging eyesores. Luckily, after probing with a moisture meter, everything appeared to be in order.
Nail pops come often appear when building components shrink after a home is built. In fact, many contractors will have a provision within the first year of a home’s construction to repair nail pops.
For this client, I recommended they contact a qualified sheetrock contractor to make the simple repairs. Bye, bye bulges!
If you have questions or comments about sheetrock repairs, tweet us (@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.
Do you have questions or comments about home inspections in general? Go “All” in and tweet us (@AIHomeInspect).
Anti-tip brackets help prevent range-oven appliances from tipping over, causing potentially serious injury. A falling range can scald, burn or crush anyone caught beneath.
Good news, though: Anti-tip brackets are easily installed. Furthermore, installation is required, and such injuries are entirely unnecessary. A small bracket is simply screwed into the floor or wall, securing the rear leg of the range-oven appliance and keeping it from tipping over if leverage is applied to the opened oven door.
You can confirm the presence of an anti-tip bracket by gripping and pulling forward on the upper-rear section of the range-oven, seeing if it tips forward more than a couple of inches. If it does, the appliance needs an anti-tip bracket installed. Contact the contractor who installed the appliance and request the anti-tip bracket be installed; they should do it for liability reasons, and you should insist the appliance is installed correctly.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) created standards in 1991 requiring all ranges manufactured after that year to be stable while supporting 250 pounds of weight on their open doors. Manufacturers’ instructions require that anti-tip brackets be installed as well. To do it yourself, anti-tip brackets are readily available at hardware stores, with easy-to-follow instructions included. Some manufacturers will send you an anti-tip bracket for no charge. So, check your range and install an anti-tip bracket if one isn’t present!
Do you have questions or comments about anti-tip brackets, range-oven appliances or home inspections in general? Go “All” in and tweet us (@AIHomeInspect).
Are your siding nails inset within the siding boards themselves, like those pictured here? If so, it’s either because (a) the nails were overdriven or more likely (b) the siding is swelling and expanding with moisture. Inset nails need to be sealed to prevent moisture intrusion which can lead to deterioration. For siding discovered at this home inspection in Freeland on Whidbey Island, substantially swelled/deteriorated siding needed to be replaced.
At a recent home inspection in Freeland on Whidbey Island, I discovered apparent mold in the attic. This video explains what I’m looking at and how it’s customarily repaired and remediated. It’s important to look into your attic every once in a while and look for any signs of water intrusion or mold. If noted, I recommend dealing with it as soon as possible as repairs become more expensive with time.
Make sure all gates in the isolation fence for your pool are self-closing and self-latching.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.