Your home has a relentless enemy - do you know what it is? Water, water, water.
Did the recent heavy rains turn the leaves in your gutters into mush? It's very important to make sure your gutters are clear and that the water that accumulates has a way to exit down and away from your home. Maintenance home inspections not only check your gutters, but also your downspouts, soffits and fascia, siding, crawl space, foundation and grading, all to make sure your home is adequately moving water AWAY from it. We cannot stress enough how much water is the worst enemy of your home. Call us at 919-914-0606 or book your inspection online - we are OPEN for business and exercising all recommended safety precautions. Be well!
Can you tell what is going on in this crawl space? Notice the dark spots on the foundation wall and the white wave-like deposits directly under the dark spots? Those white deposits are salt/mineral stains and are a phenomenon called "efflorescence". Efflorescence is found when conditions inside the foundation are repeatedly wet and dry from water infiltration. Water is the number one enemy of your home and you definitely do not want any inside your crawl space. Direct water penetration into the crawl space (from cracks in the foundation, leaks from plumbing pipes, missing/inadequate vapor barriers, etc.) can damage the foundation and wood structure, and create an undesirable environment in the living areas that encourages insect and fungal growth such as mold/mildew. It's a good idea to have annual inspections of your crawl space performed - especially after the kind of rain we have received lately. This kind of home maintenance can save you thousands of dollars down the road and help keep your home (and the air in it) safe.
What serious concerns do you see in these pictures and what is the main cause of these concerns? Pictures 1 and 2 are suspected MOLD. Picture 3 is rotted a rotted wood beam. What do they all have in common? Moisture. It's the number one enemy of your crawl space and your home and all kinds of bad things happen when it is present. Sometimes it is an easy fix that involves making sure your downspouts drain away from the home and there is a proper vapor barrier on the floor of the crawl space. Sometimes the fix is more involved and costly. But one thing that is always true is that the sooner you catch it, the better off you'll be and since most people don't enter their crawl spaces very often (if ever), a pre-listing, pre-purchase, or maintenance home inspection is so extremely important and cost effective.
This thermostat is in a brand new construction home and was working when I tested it at the beginning of the interior portion of the isnpection. At some point, however, I heard the HVAC switch off and when I checked the thermostat, it had gone completely blank and did not respond to any touch commands. I headed to the attic to investgate. The furnace switch was tested and the air handler fan started, however, the heating elements did not light. Since the thermostat had stopped sending signals to the furnace, it was no longer heating the home. This is another example of why home inspections even on brand new homes are so important because this may not have been discovered until the buyer moved in - and having to deal with a headache like this on moving day is not fun!
Our home inspections cover A LOT. Typically, we inspect every single room and component inside and outside of your home or prospective home (when accessible). Imagine buying a home and moving in and then realizing the oven doesn't work, the exterior wood trim is decayed and letting water in, the crawl space lights don't function, several outlets have open grounds or reverse polarity (which is a safety issue), the spare bedroom window is broken, and there is a mysterious stain on the ceiling in the master bedroom closet. Issues like this will get discovered in your home inspection and included in the web-based report (with pictures AND VIDEO). Even new houses and houses at the 11-month warranty deadline will have issues - but houses that are 5+ years old and older DEFINITELY need to be inspected and more than pay for themselves in every inspection I have done over the years.
In a perfect world, brand new homes and homes less than a year old would be flawless. Every nook and cranny carefully created and perfectly assembled. And mostly this is true - builders do really want you to have your perfect home. But important things DO get missed ALL THE TIME. I have never done a New Home/End of Warranty inspection and not discovered issues, which is why these types of inspections are so important. The builder will fix these things if notified in time.
Did you buy a newly constructed home last fall? Did you know that you should absolutely get an End of Warranty home inspection and that many builders require that if you plan to get one, you must get it before the end of the 11th month in your new home? Builders typically want at least four weeks' notice to correct any concerns/deficiencies and if you wait too long and don't give them that four weeks, your warranty will expire without them addressing your concerns.
Even with new homes, I have never conducted a home inspection WITHOUT finding an issue (and often, far more than one). The key is to catch these problems early before they can lead to serious situations down the road. So don't forget to schedule your End of Warranty inspection at least 4 weeks from the anniversary of your closing. I'll make sure you know exactly what information to provide to your builder in the form of a modern, web-based report that highlights all concerns.
From Rick & Lori:
Yes, we've joined the 21st Century and started a (mini) blog! Check here for great updates and tips about your current or prospective home.