Tag Archives: home inspector

ELECTRICAL SAFETY TIPS

Some safety tips to remember:

  1. Never use anything but the proper fuse or breaker to protect a circuit. 
  2. Find and correct overloaded circuits. 
  3. Never place extension cords under rugs. 
  4. Outlets near water should be GFCI-type outlets. 
  5. Don’t allow trees near power lines to be climbed. 
  6. Keep ladders, kites, equipment and anything else away from overhead power lines.

RADIANT HEATING SYSTEMS

Radiant heating systems directly heat the floor or panels in the wall or ceiling of a house, rather than heating the air, as do forced-air heating systems. The technique can be likened to standing in full sun on a chilly day, or feeling the warmth of a distant bonfire even though the air is cold. Despite the name, radiant heating systems also depend on convection — the natural circulation of heat within a room — caused by heat rising from the floor.

10 TIPS TO KEEP YOUR SEPTIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONING SATISFACTORILY

  1. Locate your septic tank and drainfield. Keep a drawing of these locations in your records.
  2. Have your septic system inspected at least every three years, or annually if required by local ordinances. 
  3. Pump your septic tank as needed (generally, every three to five years).
  4. Don’t dispose of household hazardous waste in sinks or toilets.
  5. Keep other household items, such as dental floss, feminine hygiene products, diapers, and cat litter out of your system.
  6. Use water efficiently.
  7. Plant only grass over and near your septic system. Roots from nearby trees or shrubs might clog and damage the system. Also, do not apply manure or fertilizers over the drainfield.
  8. Keep vehicles and livestock off your septic system. The weight can damage the pipes and tank, and your system may not drain properly under compacted soil.
  9. Keep gutters and basement sump pumps from draining into or near your septic system.
  10. Check with your local health department before using additives. Commercial septic tank additives do not eliminate the need for periodic pumping and can be harmful to your system.

INSECT ACTIVITY & DAMAGE

Are some of your exterior wood elements being attacked by wood destroying insects?  This is common in the Pacific Northwest, but doesn’t mean you should ignore it.  Insects such as anobiid beetles can work away at damaging the structural integrity of your home leaving exit holes and underlying damage in their wake.   It’s all about moisture; elevated moisture attracts wood destroying insects leading to structural damage of building components.  Keeping exterior elements properly sealed and dry will go a long way towards preventing wood destroying insects from damaging your home. 

CLEAN & EFFICIENT CRAWLSPACES 101

Vermin damaged and displaced insulation under homes is commonplace and a frequent discovery during the home inspection process.  Ensuring that insulation is properly attached to the underside of the home will take care of gravity displaced insulation.  Maintaining a proactive pest control regimen will help prevent vermin damaged insulation.  Check with your local utility provider before reinsulating as they may be offering attractive rebate incentives.  

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

FIRE SEPARATION BARRIER

Open holes in areas of sheetrock walls or ceilings that connect the home to the garage must be sealed for fire safety reasons.  The sheetrock walls and ceilings separating the home and garage are considered a fire separation barrier, that must be maintained for safety reasons in the instance of a fire.  The fire separation barrier, in case of a fire, would slow down the fire’s progress throughout the home and allow for less damage (before firemen can put it out).  

ASBESTOS CEMENT SIDING

Although its manufacture was banned in the U.S. by the EPA in 1973, asbestos cement siding is still around, and inspectors are likely to encounter it on their inspections of exterior cladding.  While its hazards are limited if this material is undamaged, proper maintenance is key for avoiding structural issues related to water intrusion, as well as the health risks associated with damage to this type of building product. 

INSECT ACTIVITY & DAMAGE

Are some of your exterior wood elements being attacked by wood destroying insects?  This is common in the Pacific Northwest, but doesn’t mean you should ignore it.  Insects such as anobiid beetles can work away at damaging the structural integrity of your home leaving exit holes and underlying damage in their wake.   It’s all about moisture; elevated moisture attracts wood destroying insects leading to structural damage of building components.  Keeping exterior elements properly sealed and dry will go a long way towards preventing wood destroying insects from damaging your home. 

STANDALONE SATURDAYS: PEACEFUL ALONE TIME

As a home inspector, I’m often on the road, traveling around San Juan, Island, Whatcom, and Skagit counties. Along the way, I’m often awed by what I see. On the first Saturday of the month, I plan to share some of these great scenes with you. 

I invite you to share your Northwest Washington imagery, too! Take your picture or video showing why you appreciate the region, tag it with #AllIslandsLife, and share via social media.

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

May Newsletter: Structural Issues

Now presenting this month’s All Islands Argus! This month, we discuss structural issues—including an exclusive interview with Sturdy Engineering Corporation.  Sign up for the monthly newsletter today!  Check out this month’s newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/allislandsinspections.com/structural-issues-remodeling-6228011