VIDEO: Home Inspection Broken Roof Truss

January 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Inspecting with the Inspector

Several broken factory-built roof truss members in the attic:

These load paths must also be properly connected to prevent unwanted movement/separation. Truss repairs must be stipulated and supervised by a state licensed truss engineer. Recommend further evaluated by a truss structural engineer with a engineering stamped of his/her findings and recommendations.

Defects found during a home inspection in the Phoenix Arizona valley area.

VIDEO: Home Inspection Counterfeit – Fire Hazard

January 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Inspecting with the Inspector

Counterfeit Square D Circuit Breakers that have been recalled.

The counterfeit circuit breakers found during the home inspection are black and are marked as Square D products. Actual Square D circuit breakers have (a) the amp rating written on the handle in white paint on the front of the breaker; (b) the Square D insignia molded onto the breaker side, and; (c) a yellow chromate mounting clip with half of the top of the clip visible. Hazard: The recalled circuit breakers labeled “Square D” are counterfeit and could fail to trip when they are required to, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

VIDEO: Home Inspection AC Unit Wiring Alert

January 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Inspecting with the Inspector

The air conditioner service disconnect braided wiring has several strands of wiring not inside the connector. This decreases the gauge size of the wire and increases the amount of current through the remaining wires.  This was found during a typical phoenix valley area home inspection.

Attention Phoenix Area Home Buyers: These top 10 issues uncovered during routine home inspections can affect YOU! You need us to be your home inspector.

January 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured Home Inspection

You should be very concerned if you’re thinking about buying a home without getting the home inspected.  The top issues we uncover during routine home inspections in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area could work to your advantage if you know about them prior to purchasing the home.

Having a home inspector disclose any issues discovered during a home inspection prior to your purchasing, puts you in a position to better negotiate the repair of documented issues, or better negotiate the price of the home itself. 

Take a look at the top 10 issues we uncover each week during routine home inspections in the Phoenix – Mesa – Scottsdale areas:

1.  Plumbing – The water supply shutoff valves for the plumbing fixtures (i.e. under the kitchen or bathroom sinks) will over time develop minor corrosion around the valve and its connection indicating that there are possibly several minor pinhole size leaks.  The problem is not serious but consideration should be made to have the valves cleaned of the corrosion and resealed with plumbers’ putty/tape.  This is a preventative maintenance action to help catching possible leaks and save on replacing the shutoff valves.

The water plumbing fixtures drainline connections have areas of minor corrosion (i.e. under the kitchen or bathroom sinks) that develop over time indicating that there are possibly minor leaks.

Plastic drainlines, recommend cleaning all parts of corrosion and replacing plumbers tape before reinstalling.  Recommend further evaluation and repairs by a competent plumber.

Metal drainlines with areas of corrosion on the outside of its piping.  The metal piping corrodes from the inside out.  Therefore, the condition of the metal drain piping may be more severely corroded than it visibly appears. 

 The supply line plumbing in the home consists of polybutylene piping.  Polybutylene supply line plumbing pipes are a flexible plastic material typically gray or blue in color, and are subject to a higher degree of risk of bursting or leaking than other types of piping that was used extensively in the manufacture of water supply piping from 1978 until 1995.  The problem with polybutylene plumbing is that the chlorine and chemicals in most drinking water cause gradual changes in the fittings and the pipe itself. The plastic fittings harden, and leaks develop first at the fittings, but the pipe itself also hardens and becomes brittle. The use of copper fittings delays the onset of leaks, since the pipe ages much more slowly than the plastic fittings do.  There was no visible evidence of damaged piping or fittings at the time of the inspection.  Recommend contacting a certified licensed plumber for a thorough evaluation of the entire plumbing system. 

The supply line plumbing in the home consists of galvanized piping.  Galvanized pipes are subjected to the build-up of minerals that bond to the inside of the pipes and gradually reduce their inner diameter, restrict the volume of water and possibly lead to a water leak. A water softener will remove most of these minerals, but not once they are bonded within the pipes, for which there would be no remedy other than a re-pipe.

 

 

2.  Electrical – Electrical outlets that are not securely mounted (moves freely) to the wall.  The outlet needs to be properly mounted to prevent damaged to the outlet and possible electrical shock.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets that do not respond to the ground fault electrical test or that are not installed in the required locations.

These are the locations in and around the home when GFCI’s were first required:

1968 – Swimming Pool Underwater Lighting

1971 – Receptacles Near Swimming Pools

1973 – Outdoor Receptacles

1975 – Bathroom Receptacles

1978 – Garage Receptacles

1981 – Whirlpools and Tubs

1987 – Receptacles Near Kitchen Sinks

1990 – Receptacles in Unfinished Basements and Crawl Spaces

1993 – Receptacles Near Wet Bar Sinks

1996 – All Kitchen Counter-Top Receptacles

2005 – Receptacles Near Laundry and Utility Sinks

 Undersized (insufficient capacity) and outdated main electrical panel and wiring

Undersized sub panel electrical feed gauge wire with evidence of over heating.

The electrical connector with braided wiring that has several strands of wirers not inside the connector.  This decreases the gauge size of the wire and increases the amount of current through the remaining wires.   

The electrical panel circuit breakers that are oversize for the gauge wire connected to it.  The circuit breakers need to be replaced with the correct amperage circuit breakers or replacement of the wiring is needed to supply the correct amperage needed to prevent the possibility of fire or damage to the electrical system.

 Circuit breakers in the electrical panel that are corroded.  Corrosion on circuit breakers could cause them to bond together (rust together), preventing the breakers from tripping at times of over current situations. 

 

 

3.  Heating System – Neglect of annual maintenance

 The heating unit burners have abnormal flame patterns and or color.  This is an indication that the air to fuel ratio is off.   Burner adjustment needed.

The gasline entry point into the heating unit’s housing is a flex line and it needs to be a ridged gas line.  The entry point/hole should have a ridged gasline to protect it line from chaffing caused by vibration during the start up and running of the fan motor (air handler).  The ridged gasline should be adjusted/moved so that it does not come in contact with the entry point/hole of the heating unit housing.

 

4.  Attic – The attic is insufficiently insulated.  The attic has missing and or unevenly spread insulation. 

 

In older homes, the insulation may settle or compress over time decreasing its resistance value.

 

Broken factory-built roof trust members in the attic.  Truss repairs must be stipulated and supervised by a state licensed truss engineer. 

 

Portions of the factory-built truss system that have been damaged, are missing their gussets, or are improperly installed. 

 Cut roof trusses at the air handler/heater area of the attic those are incorrectly braced.  The cut truss needs to be properly braced to prevent further structural damage. Truss repairs must be stipulated and supervised by a state licensed engineer.

 

 

5.  Roof – Improperly installed, worn, missing, damaged or broken roof covering materials.

 

The roof is improperly flashed.  There is only a “Z” flashing installed at the wall contact points and no base flashing to prevent water entry. 

 

There is only a base flashing installed which is caulked at the wall contact points to prevent water entry.  The caulking does not produce a good long-term seal.  The base flashing should have a counter flashing installed above it to prevent water entry.

 

 

6.  Drainage – Added walkways, boarders and landscaping prevent proper yard drainage and will allow for water retention/ponding. 

 

The grade around the property drains towards the house (negative drainage).  This could cause undesirable settling in the foundation. 

 

Low spots/holes in the ground next to the foundation will retain water.  This condition makes the foundation of the house susceptible to undesired settling. 

 

Proper grading is needed to protect the foundation.  The low spots need to be filled with same/like soil as the surrounding area, firmly pack the soil, and then grade the soil to slope away from foundation for proper drainage.  The grade needs to slope uninterrupted away from the house foundation and towards the street.

 

7.  Structural Issues – As a result of issues in 1 or more of the categories, many houses sustain damage to such structural components as floating slab foundation, foundation walls, floor joists, rafters, and window and door headers.

 

8.  Exteriors – Flaws in the home’s exterior, including windows, doors, and wall surfaces, are responsible for the condition of water and air penetration, but rarely have structural significance. Inadequate caulking or weather stripping is the most common culprits.

 

9.  Poor Overall Maintenance – Even the novice home buyer is usually aware of this situation, demonstrated by such signs as cracked, peeling, or dirty painted surfaces; crumbling masonry; makeshift wiring or plumbing; broken fixtures or appliances.

 

10.Miscellaneous – This category includes primarily interior components, often cosmetic in nature, which were not found frequent enough to rank individually, nor do they typically qualify to be reported on during the home inspection.

  

While most homes sold in Arizona are inspected, many of the inspectors appear to be blind when it comes to knowing what to look for during an inspection.  By simply taking a few classes, following a licensed home inspector around on a few jobs and passing an inspection exam, ANYONE can obtain an license to inspect home in Arizona.

With easy requirements like those,  you’re probably more qualified to inspect your own home versus the good old boy inspector with cheap inspection prices and immediate availability.

 

You are not buying an inspection, you’re investing in an inspector. You are purchasing individual knowledge, experience, communication and technical skills.

I have over 20 years of knowledge in the remodeling business, which enables me to understand the cause and effects of home building practices.

 

Canyon State Property Inspections will provide you…the buyer, an impartial evaluation of the overall condition of the home and the items that need to be repaired or replaced. The inspection report we provide you with will give you the required information you need to make an informed decision about the property by providing you with a comprehensive, fully-narrative report detailing all the specifics of the home. We also include digital photos of defects where appropriate and encourage you to be on-site during the inspection so we can fully explain and show our findings to you first hand.

 

A home buyer should be an informed buyerCanyon State Property Inspections provides a valuable service to our clients based on honesty and integrity and we want to maintain a long term relationship. That is why we provide you with the highest level of service possible and are always available to answer questions regarding your home inspection. We encourage you to review our site in detail and hope that you will give Canyon State Property Inspections the opportunity to provide you with a complete and detailed inspection of your home.

Why choose Canyon State Property Inspections?

1.  We will give you a complete, unbiased, detailed, hold no punches, in depth evaluation of the entire home.

2.  We have conducted thousands of home and commercial property inspections.

3.  Our inspectors are Members of American Society of Home Inspector.

4.  Whenever you need us, we’ll be there to answer questions about the home pertaining to the inspection.

5.  We will save you money by making you an informed home buyer.

o    Allowing you to renegotiate the price

o    Get the repairs done at the seller’s or builder’s expense

o    Have the comfort of knowing the condition of the home 

 

Offering: Single Family Home Inspections, Multi Family Building Inspection, Mobile Home Inspections, Buyers Inspection, Seller Inspection, One Year Warranty Inspections, Home Inspector and related services

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Home Inspection – Loose Missing Roof Truss Gussets

January 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Inspecting with the Inspector

Portions of the factory-built truss system have been damaged, are missing their gussets, or are improperly installed.

Truss repairs must be stipulated and supervised by a state licensed truss engineer. Recommend further evaluated by a truss structural engineer with his/her findings, recommendations and engineering stamp. Written verification must be provided with all/any truss repairs.  This was found during a typical phoenix valley area home inspection.

All loads start at the roofs ridge and must transfer on an unbroken path through structural members or elements to the foundation. Many cracking problems, which are misinterpreted as “settling” are actually caused by broken load paths. These broken paths result in loads being carried by areas that were not designed to carry them.

Home Inspection – Missing Insulation

January 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Inspecting with the Inspector

The attic has areas of missing and/or unevenly spread insulation. Insufficient attic insulation causes the heating/cooling system to run excessively due to extreme temperature. The attic needs to be evenly insulated throughout to a value of R-30 or greater.  This was found during a typical phoenix valley area home inspection.

Home Inspection – A/C Ductwork Not Connected

January 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Inspecting with the Inspector

There is conditioned air coming out of a disconnected/abandoned duct in the attic. This will result in decreased operating efficiency (heating /cooling system is now undersized because of the added volume of the attic) and may shorten the systems service life.  This was found during a typical phoenix valley area home inspection.

 

Fireplace Safety Tips

January 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Home Safety & Maintenance Tips

Proper fireplace safety is extremely important. Even if you have been using your fireplace for years, it is important to brush up on your fire safety rules.

Here are some fireplace safety rules for both wood burning and gas fireplaces:

· Open the damper before starting a wood burning fire

· Leave flue open, even if fire is only smoldering

· Teach children about dangers of fire

· Use a chimney cap

· Do not use lighter fluid to start a fire

· Use long matches

· For gas fireplaces, light as soon as gas is turned on

· Have your chimney inspected annually

· Keep decorations and flammables away from the fire

· Never leave a wood burning fire burning while you are not there to watch after it

· Use a mesh screen with your wood burning fire, and leave glass doors open

· Do not burn trash in your fireplace

· Keep the top of your chimney and roof clear of debris like pine needles and even low hanging branches.

· Realize that artificial logs are not the same as real wood – make sure you read the instructions on an artificial log before you use it, and do not add one to a wood fire already burning.

· When done with a wood burning fire, and once the ashes have cooled, clean them out in preparation for the next fire.

· Do not use charcoal in your fireplace – doing so puts you at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.

· If you have children, make sure that you have a guard around your gas fireplace – children can get burned not just by the fire but by the glass and metal doors surrounding the fire.

· If you have a gas fireplace, make sure that you have at least two places in which you can turn off the flow of gas, just in case one of them malfunctions for some reason.

· With a gas fireplace, you should stay aware of any unusual smells or flames – they could be a sign that your fireplace is not working properly.

Again, realize that fireplace safety is extremely important. Realize that not properly following fireplace safety guidelines could end with harm to all that you hold most dear – yourself, your children, your possessions, your home, etc.

It is most definitely worth brushing up on your fireplace safety.

Anne Clarke writes numerous articles for websites on gardening, parenting, fashion, and home decor. Her background includes teaching and gardening. For more of her articles on fireplaces and fireplace safety, please visit Fireplace Doors.

Safe Pest Control Tips

January 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Home Safety & Maintenance Tips

Have you ever wondered what exactly is up with Safe Pest Control? This informative report can give you an insight into everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Safe Pest Control.

Pest control must be done with utmost consideration to safety; safety in terms of the plants, animals and humans. This holds especially true for those with vegetable and organic gardens.

The main purpose of growing vegetables organically will be defeated if they become tainted with pest control chemicals.

Here are a few long-term maintenance tips to make pest control less damaging and more environmentally friendly.

1. Use the physical pest control process.

This may be accomplished through picking grubs off by hand, creating barriers and traps and plugging holes. Snails can be found hiding in damp places under rocks and towrds the base of those plants with straplike foliage.

2. Apply biological pest control.

Encourage predatory insects such as green lacewings and dragonflies to feed on aphids and other pests that attack your plants. You can do this by placing a shallow bowl of water in the garden. Dragonflies especially will hover around water. Bacterial insecticides such as B. thuringiensis could also be used against caterpillars.

Truthfully, the only difference between you and Safe Pest Control Tips experts is time. If you’ll invest a little more time in reading, you’ll be that much nearer to expert status when it comes to Safe Pest Control Tips.

3. Only as a last resort should we turn to chemical pest control.

Organic pest control methods can be successful and the ingredients for many of the recipes can be found in the kitchen cupboards. If chemical sprays are really necessary, try and find the least-toxic. These include insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, dehydrating dusts, etc.

4. Consider the use of safer pest control substitutes.

Recipes for alternative pest control include the following:

Against Green Aphids and Mites – Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid soap and a cup of vegetable oil. Dilute a teaspoon of this solution in a cup of water and spray on aphids and mites.

Against Cockroaches – Dusts of boric acid can be applied to cracks or entry points of these insects. Bay leaves on pantry shelves could also help in warding off these critters.

Make sure that the chemicals you use are made specifically for the insects you are targeting.

Is there really any information about Safe Pest Control that is nonessential? We all see things from different angles, so something relatively insignificant to one may be crucial to another.

Bill McRea is the publisher of Garden Facts also Garden Decor and Landscape Trees Landscaping and Gardening with information and products.

Home Maintenance Checklist

January 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Home Safety & Maintenance Tips

Here is a checklist of fall and winter home maintenance tasks to prepare your home (and your family) for the colder temperatures ahead.

Outdoors:

Scrape peeling paint, and apply touch up paint to your siding, trim, and fences.

Check the condition of your deck and apply a waterproofing sealer if necessary.

Check weatherstripping on doors. Repair.

Check caulk on windows. Repair.

Clean and store patio furniture.

Clean and store bicycles, tricycles, and outdoor toys.

Wash all windows, inside and out.

Remove, clean, and store summertime screens.

Install storm windows and doors.

Check roof for damaged or missing shingles or problems with flashing. Repair.

Clear gutters and inspect downspouts.

Check sidewalks and driveways for cracks or other damage. Repair.

Locate your snow removal tools: snow shovel, plows, and snow blowers. Make sure they are ready to go.

Lawn and Garden:

Blow out sprinkler systems and winterize or insulate exterior faucets and water lines.

Drain and store garden hoses.

Fertilize and reseed your lawn.

Prune trees and shrubs.

Remove annuals.

Cut back perennials.

Rake leaves.

Indoors:

Schedule a cleaning and inspection of your heating system.

Inspect your fireplace and chimney. Call a professional chimney sweep if necessary.

Perform seasonal maintenance on your hot water heater.

Schedule a professional carpet cleaning.

Clean and inspect dryer hoses and exterior dryer vents.

Change furnace filter, and plan to change your filter every month during the winter. Monthly filter changes can really help reduce energy costs.

Check your air ducts. Call a duct cleaning service if it has been a few years since your ducts have been professionally cleaned. If you have been changing your furnace filter frequently and your ducts have been cleaned recently, simply take off the register covers and vacuum inside.

Switch to warmer bedding. Replace cotton sheets with flannels. Add warmer layers to beds.

Make sure your family members are outfitted with everything they need for the cold winter months: Gloves, hats, boots, snowpants, warm socks, and coats.

Check the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors.

Check your fire extinguishers.

Talk about family safety plans and escape routes. Review your “meeting place” in the event of a home fire to ensure that everyone knows what to do and where to go.

Inspect your attic to make sure it is getting cool, fresh air and that there is no evidence of condensation.

Check attic fans.

Prepare your home for a power outage. Check the batteries in your flashlights and make sure they are easily accessible. Also, make sure to have a supply of nonperishable foods, a manual can opener, and a traditional corded phone or cell phone available.

Automobile:

Make sure your tires are adequate for the winter weather in your area.

Check your car battery.

Check antifreeze levels.

Make sure you have extra windshield wiper fluid in your car, as well as a brush and ice scraper, blanket, jumper cables, and first aid kit. If you live in an area where you expect extreme winter conditions, you will also want to keep a tow rope, shovel, and a bag of sand or kitty litter to help your tires gain traction on icy roads.

Jamie Jefferson writes for http://www.momscape.com . Visit today for the latest online Coupon Codes including money-saving coupons for Jamie’s favorite site to buy winter clothing.

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