Tag Archives: friday harbor

Get moss off of your roof!

Close-up of a moss covered tin roofMoss growth on roof surfaces should be discouraged. I see it all the time when inspecting homes in the Pacific Northwest and call it out on most Home Inspection Reports. The effects of moss on roofs can be devastating, even after a relatively short period of time and allowing it to grow can be an expensive mistake. In fact, most insurance companies will require the removal of moss from roofs.

The problem is that moss will attack and can ruin a composition roof. It can also create dams, causing water to run sideways under your shingles causing a leak. Another issue is that moss can grow under the bottom edge of your shingles thereby pushing the shingles upward, breaking their seals, and rendering the roof more vulnerable to wind damage and wind driven rain. Moss also soaks up water and keeps your roof wet; and, as we all know when most things stay wet for a long period of time, they eventually break down.

Moss has root-like structures called rhizomes which are sent out and embedded into the roofing materials to anchor the moss to the roof. These rhizomes, or roots, supply nutrients for moss (similar to tree roots), but in so anchoring to the roof surface they dislodge the protective granules from the roof surface and expose the roof to further attack by more moss! Left completely unchecked, moss can penetrate all the way through the roofing materials , deteriorating the shingles and obviously rendering the roof surface very vulnerable to leaks.

Moss should be removed quickly before it overtakes your roof to extend the useful life of your roof coverings. Here’s a YouTube Video I created addressing why moss should be removed from your roof surfaces. Please watch the video, Like It, and share or re-blog at will!

Mouse in the house? How to deal with mice.

mouse and cheeseEek! There’s a mouse in the house!

Mice have been cohabiting with humans as long as humans have been cohabiting. They figured out millennia ago that our homes are a good place for them to live. Warm, dry, plenty of food – all a mouse (and hence mice) could want. Popular Mechanics says, “There are plenty more ways beyond the traditional mousetrap to get the rodents infesting your house.” Here is their survey of the best ways homeowners and exterminators can solve a mouse problem.

Hope you find this interesting and timely informative! If you’re looking for a top notch Home Inspection and Home Inspector in Friday Harbor, Washington or the San Juan Islands (including Orcas Island, Friday Harbor, Lopez Island, and Shaw Island) to keep you from buying “The Money Pit,” then you need Board Certified Master Home Inspector Tim Hance of All Islands Home Inspections working for you! Over the past 8 years, we’ve protected over 3,200 home buyers, just like you, from unexpected post-closing expenses. Call (360) 298-1163 to schedule your Friday Harbor, WA or San Juan Islands Home Inspection today! I look forward to working with you soon and exceeding your expectations!


Ever wake up in the morning and immediately have cold feet? Heated flooring is a luxurious addition that can bring about a sense of increased homeliness to your house.

 The video below depicts a walkthrough of a radiant in-floor electric heating system in a recent home that I inspected.  Heated floors are awesome for bathrooms and entryways alike. If you have the time and the funds, consider looking into getting a heated flooring system!


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 learn about insulation issues with Brea Mason at Pacific Rim Insulation Inc. in Friday Harbor. 

Q1: Attic insulation is priority No. 1 for homes (hot air rises after all!).  There are lots of options for insulating attics (e.g., spray foam, blown-in fiberglass/cellulose, batten insulation, etc.).  Can you please let us know some pros and cons in material choices and overall advice for insulating attics?

There are many different choices for insulating your attic spaces. If you have an existing house, with a nice clean attic and are looking to increase your insulation,  I really like to use blown-in fiberglass insulation. It fills in all the gaps and cracks you may have and sets down a nice blanket to cover it all up.  I think getting an attic to an R50/R60  provides great resistance from the outside elements in our area. On new homes you have many options, but we have been installing closed cell foam with batt insulation combo in quite a few homes. It makes your roof a non-vented system, so no worries that you don’t have enough air-flow behind your insulation. 

Q2: What’s your favorite type of insulation and why?

My favorite type of insulation would be rockwool, or closed cell foam. Rockwool is so versatile, good for sound, gives you an R23 on exterior walls, is fire protectant, and is an overall very dense product—which means better resistance (or R-value). Closed cell foam is my other favorite because of the sealing power it has as well as its high R-value per inch (R6.9 per inch). On  older houses with 2×4 exterior walls you get an R21 and 11 percent sheer power, so that is a win-win.

Q3: An amazing statistic is that up to 30% of heated air can be lost through a ceiling attic access hatch that isn’t insulated and weather-stripped.  Do you have any high-impact recommendations homeowners can employ to improve thermal efficiency and save money?

I think a lot of people don’t know if their access hatch has any insulation on it at all. We always build a dam of insulation around the hatch and then install insulation to the back side of the access cover. You can hold the insulation with twine or you can cut a piece of rigid insulation and glue it to the back of the hatch. Weather stripping is so important! Around light can covers, electrical outlets and attic access hatches. We are always trying to stop the air from infiltrating.


A couple of Saturdays per month, I like to share recent customer reviews with you. I hope that these client testimonies—which come primarily from YelpFacebook, and Google Reviews—help you to feel more confident in my services while also saying “thanks” to clients who provide me with feedback.

This week, we hear from client Kim Tinuviel.

My customers (you) allow me a chance to do a job I love in a place I’ve called home my whole life. Without you, All Islands Inspections wouldn’t exist. Thank you!

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


If you have a chimney system, you’ve undoubtedly heard about creosote. Creosote is not ideal for a variety of reasons, including the fact it is highly flammable if it gathers in large volume inside the cozy confines of your chimney system. 

Unfortunately, creosote doesn’t just go away on its own. 

In fact, it accumulates if it is not removed. While a little bit of creosote is both normal and okay, substantial creosote and tar glaze buildup (like the amount I noted during a recent home inspection in Friday Harbor) should be evaluated and cleaned by a qualified chimney sweep. 

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


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).


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).