I could see from the ground that part of the stone ledge above the garage was loose. When I got on the ladder to check it out, I merely touched it and it completely came off in my hand. From that height, this could have seriously injured someone (especially a child) if it had fallen on their head. Whether you’re buying, selling, or a homeowner who hasn’t had an inspection since you bought your home, this is the kind of stuff that I find. It is SO WORTH the small investment.
Thinking about buying a home? Join us this Saturday, March 9 in Chapel Hill! It’s free and packed full of excellent information and opportunities to ask questions. Our very own home inspector, Rick Doherty, will be on hand to explain the home inspection process and share tips on what to look for when searching for your perfect home. See you there!
This is definitely NOT what you want to see when entering a crawl space. Nearly all of the beams and joists in this home were being supported by very unstable "piers" that have been cobbled together using bricks and other materials (including a doorstop!). These are temporary fixes at best and very dangerous, as small crawl spaces like this are rarely entered/monitored. If the pier(s) were to collapse, it could be months or longer before the homeowner realized that large portions of the home were not stable (not to mention all the termite damage!). This is another example of why inspecting crawl spaces is so important.
Testing water temperatures from all hot water faucets and shower heads is an important part of our comprehensive inspections. This process helps alert the inspector to potential problems with the hot water heater or the plumbing delivery system. Personal preference plays a large role in determining what temperature setting is right for your family, however, safety is a key issue here. It is recommended to set your water heater no higher than 120 degrees F. By the time that water reaches your faucets, it typically cools to about 105-108 degrees. Anything hotter than that can start to feel uncomfortable for adults and can be dangerous for young children.
Photograph taken onsite courtesy of Trevor Holman Photography
Did you know that you should clean your dryer exhaust vent at least once a year (and even more often in larger households)? Nearly 15,000 fires a year are caused by dryer-related fires so this safety maintenance is VERY important. You can hire a professional or you can purchase a kit at a hardware store and do it yourself. In this video, the lint is being blown from inside out as well as using the lint brush connected to a power drill. A clean vent is not only far safer but will also save you time and money as your clothes will dry faster. Win win!
Does this look odd to you, too? This is a picture of two exhaust fan pipes from two separate second floor bathrooms vented into - but not out of - the attic. Excessive moisture from these fans is constantly vented directly into the attic, which causes condensation on the wood sheathing of the roof, on insulation, and anything else that is kept in the attic. This excessive moisture has led to what appears to be mold growth on the wood sheathing. This growth will continue to spread and the wood will eventually deteriorate. This means a leaking roof in addition to the undesirable effects of mold and/or other organic growth that you most definitely do NOT want in your home. In a nutshell, ALWAYS VENT OUTSIDE. You will save yourself money and headaches (and undesirable living conditions) if you do!
We've got you covered, even if your prospective home's outlets aren't. Missing outlet covers are easy to miss when they are hidden behind furniture and other household items. Without these covers, electrical wires can be exposed presenting hazardous conditions especially to children and pets. Outlet covers are designed to protect you from electrical shock and fire hazards and are something we look for at each home inspection. It is shocking (pun intended) how many homes we see with this easily-fixed issue. We'll put it in your inspection report to alert you of this commonly occurring safety issue.
Summertime grilling is always fun but if you have vinyl siding, those steaks and burgers need to be cooked to perfection at least 10 FEET from your siding. Heat damage to vinyl siding caused by grills is something we see A LOT during home inspections. And the scary part is that the damaged siding is minor compared to the real danger - burning down the house. Thousands of home fires are started every year because grills are too close to vinyl siding. Please stay safe and happy grilling!
If you plan on doing a little dining and dancing on your deck this summer, please make sure the support beams ACTUALLY TOUCH THE GROUND. These floaters are sure to wreck a good time if not fixed soon! It seems so obvious, but things like this get overlooked all the time - and if you're buying a home, major safety hazards should be addressed before you close. Let us help you make informed decisions that will help keep your family safe and protect your investment. The inspection report you receive will serve as a road map to your home, helping to identify the major components and where they are located, as well as pointing out areas of concern. Inspections are critically important and well worth it!
Can you spot the difference? It's a bit hard to tell to the untrained eye. The top right breaker in the electrical panel has been added or replaced. The new breaker is a different brand from the panel enclosure and is not listed on the label of the inside panel (not viewable here). Breakers must be UL listed and certified for each panel to ensure proper operation. The compatibility of the breaker to the panel needs further evaluation by a licensed electrical contractor to ensure safe and proper operation of the overcurrent protection systems. This is extremely important because without proper compatibility, the top breaker might not trip if overloaded which can lead to overheating and possibly cause a fire. These electrical panels are one of the many systems that gets checked during a home inspection.
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.