Tag Archives: orcas island


Is your log home showing signs of water intrusion to the interior, or are the logs showing signs of water staining (i.e., darkening)?  This is a definite potential problem and can lead to interior log core damage that isn’t visible without invasive inspection (i.e., log core drilling).  It may be time for a qualified log home contractor to take a look at whether or not there may be further log (core) damage.  Log damage and repairs can be costly, so it is best to be proactive with maintaining log elements throughout your home; the longer you wait, the worse the issue becomes.    


Google rating: *****

“I recently worked with Tim from All Islands Home Inspections as he conducted the inspection for a home we are in processing of purchasing. Tim was incredibly kind, efficient, thorough, precise, knowledgeable, and patient! I was not sure what to expect from an inspection, this being my first time buying a home, but I left feeling so excited and educated and left with a deep grasp of the strengths and weaknesses of the home in question, which of course takes so much of the mystery out of the homebuying experience, to truly feel like you know what you are getting. Tim took the time to explain the process and details to me, especially those that needed some consideration. He was gracious and energetic and it was very apparent that he is an expert in his field. The inspection was a delight and I learned a great deal. I would recommend All Island Home Inspections in a heartbeat!”

Nicole Boyle

How Much Water for My Lawn Really?

Water sprinklerHow much water does a lawn need? In general, turf grasses need about 3/4 to 1 inch of water per week to maintain green color and active growth. However, during certain times in the summer when high temperatures are the norm, you should allow lawns to naturally slow down in growth. You can let the lawn go almost completely dormant in hot weather. In hot weather you may need an inch of water only about every three days.

In general, water as infrequently as possible. When you do water, water thoroughly so that moisture soaks down to the roots. One deep watering is much better than watering several times lightly. Watering to a depth of 4 to 6 inches encourages deeper, healthier root development. It also allows longer periods between watering. Early morning or night is the best time for watering, as less evaporation will occur at these cooler times

Home maintenance for June

hand in a green gloveCaring for a home can be a daunting job, so it is helpful to break maintenance tasks down to monthly check lists. Here’s All Islands Home Inspections’ recommendations:

  • Check central air-conditioning units according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Replace filters in forced-air systems. Clean debris from outside condensers or heat pump units.
  • Reset thermostats and automatic sprinkler systems.
  • Wash windows, inside and out (try a solution of three tablespoons non-sudsy ammonia to a gallon of water). To prevent streaking, don’t work in direct sunlight.
  • Clean and inspect gutters. Ensure clips, straps and spikes are tight. Flush debris from downspouts with hose. Make sure downspouts and splash blocks direct water at least three feet away from the foundation.
  • Clean mineral deposits from faucet aerators and shower heads by soaking parts in white vinegar and scrubbing with an old toothbrush.
  • Dust ceiling fan blades.
  • Coat outdoor metal patio furniture with auto polish.
  • If appropriate, have swimming pools cleaned. Inspect and service pool liners and filters.

Hope you find this useful and timely informative! If you’re looking for a top notch home inspection in Anacortes, 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 Tim Hance of All Islands Home Inspections working for you! Over the past 8 years, we’ve protected over 3,200 buyers from unexpected post-closing expenses. Call (360) 298-1163 to schedule your Anacortes or San Juan Islands Home Inspection today!


Can you believe it’s already March? Wait, it’s FINALLY spring! Now is a great time to start thinking about the exterior of your home. Is your home protected from Mother Nature? If not, keep in mind that Mother Nature is persistently and consistently trying to bring your home back to Earth, and I mean that literally! The vast majority of costly repairs called out during home inspections are avoidable with some preventative maintenance and common sense.

Don’t let Mother Nature touch or envelop your home (e.g., dirt, vegetative growth, etc.), and, once you’ve put Mother Nature in her place (away from the house), it’s imperative to maintain the home’s exterior paint/stain and caulking details. Painting contractors are super busy during summer months, so getting on their list as soon as possible is strongly advised (some contractors book years in advance for exterior painting!).

This helpful spring home maintenance checklist from the Family Handyman is worth checking out. Taking some of these simple, proactive steps will help ensure a smooth spring and get your home in tip-top shape for summer, which is right around the corner. So, let’s get to it!

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


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).


Google rating: *****

Positives: Professionalism, Punctuality, Quality, Responsiveness, Value 

“We hired Tim Hance to inspect a home we plan to purchase in Friday Harbor, WA and were so impressed by the clarity and thoroughness of his report which included videos and pictures. Well organized and easy for a lay person to follow, Tim’s report provides a clear planning guide for us as we create a timeline of repairs and improvements to this home. We feel confident now, that we can go forward with this purchase as informed buyers. Tim’s customer service is outstanding as well, responding personally to our initial online request within 24 hrs, scheduling the inspection to complete within our needed timeline. We highly recommend anyone purchasing a home to hire All Islands Home Inspections!”

Teresa Johnson 


Is it just me or is time flying by? Staying busy with work, family and friends has that effect, I suppose.

During the transition to a new year, I often enjoying reflecting on the previous 12 months while looking ahead to my hopes and goals for the next 12.

One big theme that I keep coming back to as I think back to the previous year: gratitude. Gratitude for my family and friends. Gratitude for my health. And gratitude for you, the people who give me a chance to do a job I love in a place I’ve called home my whole life.

I hope this new year finds you as fortunate. Happy New Year from the Hance family! 

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


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 about sewer line issues with Bohannan T. McKenzie, owner at Anacortes Plumbing in Anacortes.

Q1: In older homes with original sewer lines, do you recommend video scoping to determine useful remaining life and replacement cost?

Let’s talk about the waste system of your home: in homes older than the mid-1970s to the early 1980s, the internal waste systems were most often assembled using either cast iron and galvanized piping or copper piping. During this era, both types were the best options available. In fact, in this current day, many commercial applications still use the cast iron piping. Since that time, however, we have discovered better ways to vent the plumbing systems. We’ve also uncovered issues with the types of fittings used in that era. Both systems have some characteristics that you should consider. With cast iron systems, the galvanized branches corrode from the inside, causing a “caking” effect on the walls of the pipe. This “caking” reduces the inside diameter, causing the pipe to be too small for waste to pass through as designed. The cast iron fittings are also prone to failure, causing leaks and root intrusion (if near or in the soil). Copper systems do not handle the caustic environment of waste, especially with the use of modern cleaning agents. This type of system is often degraded to the point that the lower-third of the horizontal piping is either paper-thin or completely rotted out. In both cases, I recommend camera-scoping the interior as well as an external visual inspection of the piping. 

Modern homes, built from the mid-1980s onward, were usually plumbed in ABS or PVC. With these systems, there have been a few cases of bad materials, but they are uncommon. Most issues with plumbing systems of this era are due to faulty install, or improper usage.

Q2: With older sewer lines, is annual maintenance necessary? 

Plumbing inspections may not need to be annual, but the frequency of inspection should increase as the piping degrades. As a professional, I would recommend you schedule an appointment with your plumber, who should inspect the piping and tell you of its condition. The piping may need replacement, but pipes throughout the home will be in varying points of the aging process. Your plumber should be able to tell you how often you need an inspection, as well as how you might plan for a future re-pipe of your home.

Q3: Im noticing low-functional flow with some plumbing fixtures. Is there an easy way to figure out if this is the fixture itself or something more ominous with the main sewer line?

If you’re already noticing slow drainage, the best solution would be to call your plumber today. You may only need a drain cleaning, but a trusted professional will be able to show you precisely what is required.

BONUS QIf the sewer line needs to be replaced, what are we looking at in terms of approximate cost?

I’m sure you are wondering how much a re-pipe would cost. Understand that this is mainly dependent on the design of your home, as well as how extensive the re-pipe will need to be—but it is certainly not cheap. Expect the replacement to be in the mid- to high-thousands, per bathroom. Also, expect that if the piping requiring replacement is under slab or upstairs, you will need other trades involved. Some plumbers, such as Anacortes Plumbing, can arrange this for you if you would prefer. 

About Anacortes Plumbing

Anacortes is a family-owned business and has been through the years—although it has changed families a few times. The McKenzie family has been involved with Anacortes Plumbing since 2007. The business has a sincere desire to take care of its neighbors and community. More information at https://www.anacortes.plumbing/

A big “thanks” to Bohannan for his responses!


If it seems I write a lot about moisture-related issues, then you’ve been paying attention. Moisture is Enemy No. 1 for homeowners, whether natural or man-made.

Today, I’d like to address an (unfortunately) very common man-made moisture issue that I see on a regular basis: bathroom vent fan ducting that discharges directly into the attic. I was just in a home on Orcas Island where I encountered this issue. I had a strong suspicion that this lack of ventilation was creating an environment where apparent mold-like growth I noted could thrive on plywood sheathing.

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