Tag Archives: friday harbor

STANDALONE SATURDAYS: EARLY MORNING VIEW

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 Twitter or Facebook.

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

CUT IT OUT: SUPPORT COLUMNS NOT PROPERLY INSTALLED

At times, handyman repairs in crawl spaces can be quite, well, interesting. This especially rings true for older homes, which frequently showcase repairs made decades earlier using a variety of methods and materials.

Even relatively newer homes can surprise as well. Recently, during an inspection in Friday Harbor, I came across unconventionally shimmed support columns in a 1995-built home. The columns were likely incorrectly cut when installed, so shimming had to compensate for the issue. There was also some minor settling that may have contributed to the situation as well.

I recommended the potential buyer bring in a qualified contractor to further evaluate and make necessary repairs. Furthermore, because we live in a seismically active area, I encouraged them to consider installing metal support hardware for improved security. 

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

GHOSTING: NOT JUST SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS AFTER A BAD DATE

If you own a wood stove and live in an under-insulated house, there is a good chance you’ve seen mysterious-looking stains on your walls and ceilings. This “sooting”— a phenomenon known as “ghosting”— typically suggests incomplete combustion byproducts condensing upon cooler framing members. 

In other words, hot meets cold, and then invites dust and/or soot particles to the party. While it may resemble mold, it’s usually not.

I recently noted this during a visit to a home in Friday Harbor where visible soot outlined underlying framing elements. As you can see in the picture, ghosting can sometimes create unique patterns. 

If your home is experiencing “ghosting,” learn about addressing the possible causes

If you have questions or comments about “ghosting”-related issues, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

PRETTY IN PINK? NOT SO MUCH

Occasionally, I come across pink foam insulation in crawl spaces. This scenario most recently occurred during a home inspection in Friday Harbor. 

Whenever I see it, I recommend that my clients cover it with a non-combustible material for safety reasons.

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

WHEN IN ROME(X): HANDYMAN WIRING PRACTICES NEED TO BE ADDRESSED

During a recent inspection in Friday Harbor, I came across handyman electrical wiring practices serving garage ceiling light fixtures. In this case, homeowners had unconventionally routed Romex electrical wiring and open wire splicing.

I recommended that my clients consult with a qualified electrician to address the issue.

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

Fun Facts Friday

Bees have five eyes.

If you somehow found a way to extract all of the gold from the bubbling core of our lovely little planet, you would be able to cover all of the land in a layer of gold up to your knees.

You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television.

The average person walks the equivalent of three times around the world in a lifetime.

Men are 6 times more likely to be struck by lightning than women.

3 QUESTIONS: EXTERIOR PAINT WITH STEGMAN PAINTING LLC

Every month, we seek to bring our readers insight from the worlds of home construction, home repair, and home maintenance straight from local Northwest Washington contractors in a segment we call “3 Questions.” Yep, you guessed it: we ask three questions, and the contractors answer them.

This month, we talk exterior paint with David Stegman, Owner of Stegman Painting in Friday Harbor.

Q1: How often is it necessary to paint the home’s exterior? 

“With paint being the most durable of the options for a finish on the typical wood-sided home, you can expect to get eight to 12 years from properly applied quality paint. Higher sheen paints such as a semi-gloss will last a few years longer because some of the sun’s energy is reflected away from the paint. Sun is what most damages a paint, so areas such as fascia board and the sunny sides of buildings will likely wear out first.”

Q2: Caulking often fails. What’s the best quality caulking you recommend for exterior applications?

“Caulking has the number of months it should be good for on the side of the tube. The better caulks are rated for 45 years or more. One of the things I look for is caulk that contains Elastomeric. Elastomeric additives make the caulk very good at expanding and contracting as the building warms and cools.”

Q3: Do you have any pet peeves or advice for our audience about exterior paint issues and maintenance?

“I often hear from homeowners that they have been told they must repaint because they see black and green stains on the walls. Some contractors take advantage of the owner’s lack of understanding that mold and mildew is often the cause of these stains and can be removed with a fungicide or bleach. Often, there is no need to repaint.”

About Stegman Painting

Stegman Painting specializes in interior and exterior paint, stain, and varnish work (including pressure washing) for both residential and commercial properties. The company was started by Bill Stegman and his brother Ernie in 1925. Bill’s son Duane took over when Bill retired and moved the business to Anacortes in 1974. Duane’s son (David) now operates Stegman Painting LLC in Friday Harbor, which serves San Juan County. His sister, Deborah Stegman Steiner, runs Stegman Painting of Anacortes, which serves Skagit County, as well as parts of Whatcom and Island Counties. 

A big “thanks” to David for his responses!

Questions or comments about painting or home inspections in general? Go “All” in and tweet us (@AIHomeInspect).

3 QUESTIONS: ROOFING WITH TIMBERLINE CONSTRUCTION LLC

Every month, we seek to bring our readers insight from the worlds of home construction, home repair, and home maintenance straight from local Northwest Washington contractors in a segment we call “3 Questions.” Yep, you guessed it: we ask three questions, and the contractors answer them.

This month, in our inaugural edition of “3 Questions,” we spoke with Norman Flint—owner of Timberline Construction LLC—about some common roofing questions.”

Q1: What’s your favorite type of composition roof and why?
“Architectural composition is the most universal and widely used. It has longevity and looks good on a variety of buildings.”

Q2: What are your thoughts about pressure washing roofs?
“Pressure washing roofs tend to cause more damage than benefit. Moss treatment products are best applied early. Consistent maintenance for moss is a better approach. Once the moss gets rooted, it is a difficult process of scraping and light pressure washing. It is best to address moss in the dry months when the roots of the moss are dried out.”

Q3: For asphalt composition roofs, what are the most significant issues you discover when inspecting roofs coming to end-of-life? 
“The biggest problem with any roof coming to the end-of-life is that owners wait too long to replace them. This leads to a host of issues, ranging from (roofing) blow off, leaks, water damage, and rot-related issues.”

About Timberline Construction
Timberline performs full construction services for new construction and remodels, including services related to roofing, siding, decks, additions, etc. The company—started in 1990 by Norman—is based in Eastsound on Orcas Island, and serves Orcas Island, Shaw Island and the outer islands.

“We are a small, hands-on crew, which ensures quality for our customers,” Flint said. A big thanks to Norman and Timberline for their responses.

Questions or comments about roofing or home inspections in general? Go “All” in and tweet us (@AIHomeInspect).

ON THIS EPISODE OF ‘VERMIN ATE WHAT?’: REFRIGERANT LINE INSULATION

Vermin—particularly mice and rats—eat (or chew) on seemingly everything. Their varied diets and behaviors have frequently been a source of equal parts puzzlement and awe for me.

I’ve seen them devour electrical wires, wood, rubber…just about everything you can think of in a home.

Recently, I came across a home in Friday Harbor, Washington with vermin-damaged heat pump refrigerant line insulation. Vermin-damaged insulation is something I regularly see on the job, especially here in the Pacific Northwest, which is very vermin friendly. This particular issue was also exacerbated by a small opening near the damage where vermin could come and go into the house like Airbnb guests.

In this case, I recommended sealing or screening this open penetration to help safeguard against vermin intrusion/activity and having the insulation repaired and replaced.

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

Friday Harbor Home Inspection Discovers DETERIORATED OSB Sheathing!

Tim Hance discovered deteriorated OSB eave (soffit) sheathing at a recent inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. In this case, the lack of a metal drip-edge flashing detail at the edge of OSB sheathing (under the gutter) appears to be the contributing factor. Amazingly, installing such a drip-edge flashing detail isn’t required. If you intend to re-roof your home, I recommend having the roofing contractor install drip edge flashing everywhere, e.g., at all edges of the roof. This will help prevent potential water damage. Here, this owner will need to replace a fairly significant amount of sheathing, together with some roof work, which might prove expensive.