Tag Archives: oak harbor


Do you need a ladder to reach your electrical panel?  This can be problematic when quick and easy access to the electrical panel is necessary.  A qualified electrician will likely advise installing a platform underneath your electrical panel if it is too high for an average-height person to reach with ease.  Worst case scenario, re-wire and locate the panel at a lower height.  Typically, this means not having the main circuit breaker at the top of the panel any higher than 6’7”.  If you need a ladder to flip breakers, it’s definitely too high!

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.


While asbestos may sound scary when cited in a home inspection report, it doesn’t have to be.

During my inspections (including one I recently did in Oak Harbor), I encounter textured “popcorn” ceilings that may contain asbestos on a relatively routine basis. This scenario is particularly true for homes with popcorn ceilings installed before 1978 (and sometimes in the early 1980s). 

However, I have good news: this is typically not a concern, provided the ceilings are painted/sealed, and the product does not become airborne or “friable.” As I cite in my reports, if you intend to remodel and remove this ceiling texture, appropriate precautions and testing should be taken by a qualified contractor for safety reasons.  Testing for asbestos can only be done by a qualified laboratory and is beyond the scope of a home inspection. 

The Environmental Protection Agency web site also features additional information at

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

Fun Facts Friday!

Some of the oldest roofing materials in the world are thatch, clay, and stone. Thatch was likely used between 5000 and 1800 BC.. Clay tiles can be traced all the way back to around 10,000 BC.!

Red and white cedar shingles are listed as one of the most “classic” roofing types for homes in the Pacific Northwest.

Even though asphalt shingles are a newer product (invented around 1900), they are by far the most popular roofing product in America.


Are you fully dialed into the All Islands Home Inspection community? Let me help! Below are All Islands social media channels that we invite you to follow.

Click on the links below for more details. Thanks for reading (and hopefully following!).






MailChimp Newsletterhttps://us19.campaign-archive.com/home/?u=d5233cbc96de02d1839a082e3&id=08a860b331

SoundCloud Podcasthttps://soundcloud.com/real_estate_unveiled

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


Should you worry about moss growth on your wood deck/railing systems?  This is a fairly common occurrence in homes with older deck systems.  

As it turns out, moss creates an environment conducive to elevated moisture conditions that could lead to deterioration over time.  It may look pretty, but looks can be deceiving!  Underneath moss growth that has been left alone for some time you just might find rotten wood…Yikes!  Moss growth should be removed to safeguard against water intrusion/damage into the future, and to avoid bids to repair/replace your deck system.  

Check out this link for more information on what to do when you see moss/organic growth on your deck/railing system: Removing Moss & Algae from Your Deck | Decks.com by Trex


Even now, in the midst of winter, it’s a great time to perform routine roof maintenance. Frequently, roof systems are poorly maintained, which significantly reduces the roof’s life expectancy and increases the risk of leaks to the interior and resultant water damage. Maintaining your roof is quite simple and economical! Here in the Pacific Northwest, rains are commonplace, and protecting your home from Mother Nature is paramount. 

It’s helpful to keep in mind that Mother Nature is persistently and consistently trying to bring your home back to Mother Nature. So, please take Benjamin Franklin’s advice that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and maintain your roof. Not only will your roof last longer, but it will look beautiful, too, a real win-win!If you have questions or comments about roofing issues or home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).


Sometimes, no words are required. 

I applaud the creativity of this handyman repair. Maybe it’s not something that will earn the most style points, but it is a very impressive use of resources.

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

Fun Facts Friday

It took 22 years to build the Taj Mahal. They began building it in 1631 and it was completed in 1653 and there were 20,000 workers who helped.

In 1775, the Continental Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General (PMG).

The Indian Ocean’s average depth is 12,990 feet (3,960 metres), and its deepest point, in the Sunda Deep of the Java Trench off the southern coast of Java, is 24,442 feet (7,450 metres).


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).