Attic / Roof ventilation

In Home maintenance tipsby Mark Goodman

We often talk about attic and roof ventilation when inspecting homes. Proper attic and roof ventilation is a delicate balance between air intake and air exhaust. All to often we find attics with too little or short circuited ventilation. During the winter the purpose of attic and roof ventilation is to prevent excessive moisture from some heating systems, and closed house conditions along with preventing ice dams from forming which are created by melting snow and …

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The Do’s and Don’ts of the Septic System

In Home maintenance tips, Plumbingby Mark Goodman

The septic system is designed to provide many years of service, with an overall life expectancy of about 20 years. As with any other system in your household septic systems require maintenance and can become overwhelmed with use and misuse.   12 Simple Rules Every Property Owner with a Septic System Should Follow.

Windows and doors care and maintenance

In Home maintenance tipsby Wayne Brewer

Regular maintenance will help keep your windows and doors operating smoothly, both newer and older technology windows and doors will develop air leaks over time and require some care and maintenance. For those that are fortunate enough to have newer technology windows (insulated glass), window maintenance prior to winter is relatively straightforward. Ensuring that windows are truly aligned and latched properly will prevent air and/or moisture intrusion. It is not uncommon, over the seasons, that …

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Water saddle valves are widely used but not the best solution

In Home maintenance tips, Plumbingby Mark Goodman

Water saddle valves are just plain wrong In practically every home inspection the home inspector will see at least one if not more water saddle valves to be exact a self-piercing water saddle valve. These valves are universally part of ice maker and humidifier hookup kits. They are widely used because they are cheap and a fast simple install but are just plain wrong. The saddle is placed around the water pipe with a rubber …

Problem and defective water shut off valves

In Home maintenance tips, Plumbingby Mark Goodman

The other day I was doing a home inspection for a buyer and ran across a situation which we are seeing more frequently. The issue I found was defective water shut off valves which were exhibiting valve body corrosion. These defective valves we are typically finding in homes built in the last 20 years. Most of the valves are indicative of import water stop valves and if you find one or two odds are that …

Gas pipe in your home

In Home maintenance tips, safetyby Mark Goodman

What you should know about the gas pipe in your home. When inspecting homes we see different types of gas lines used in the interior of the home which include black iron, galvanized steel, brass (containing not more than seventy-five (75) percent copper), copper and CSST (flexible piping). All of these gas pipe types were acceptable at some point in time. However, standards change and now galvanized pipe is not recommended for use as gas pipe due to the possibility of …

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Trimming trees and recommended tree maintenance

In Home maintenance tipsby Wayne Brewer

Do you have tree branches hanging over or touching your roof? Then you need to think about trimming trees and branches. It has been our past experience, over many years, that the lack of trimming trees and proper tree maintenance leads to tree branches overhanging and/or in close proximity to roof lines can be not only a hazard to the roof itself resulting in rubbing of the tree branches against the roof line, wearing shingles and …

Time to think about gutter guard and gutter maintenance

In Home maintenance tipsby Mark Goodman

It’s that time of year when temperatures are getting cooler at nights and the leaves are starting to fall. Before long you’ll be raking the yard. I thought it might be a good time talk gutter guard. Gutters and downspouts this time of year will get clogged up with leaves and debris which can lead to all sorts of problems and potential damage. It’s important to maintain clean gutters all year round, but especially through …

Fireplace Maintenance and Safety

In Home maintenance tips, safetyby Mark Goodman

It’s that time of year, so before you light your first fire of the season have your fireplaces inspected. Fireplace maintenance: It’s important to check your fireplaces out to make sure they ready and safe to use. The best thing you can to is to hire a professional chimney sweep to check your fireplaces out. Fireplace maintenance and chimney maintenance is crucial to prevent chimney fires and save lives. Clean chimneys typically don’t catch fire!

New Water Heater Energy Requirements

In Home maintenance tips, Plumbingby Mark Goodman

Some of you may have heard about the new water heater energy standards that took effect of April 16, 2015. The National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) was updated and therefore directly impacted the water heater energy factor (EF) on all residential water heating devices and some commercial ones. Any water heaters manufacture prior to that date and still available are not affected by the new rules.

Clothes dryer vent maintenance saves lives!

In Home maintenance tips, safetyby Mark Goodman

It is estimated that annually over 15,000 house fires are attributed to clothes dryer fires with 51 deaths, 380 injuries and 236 million dollars in direct property damage with a rise in these types of fires during the fall and winter months. What caused the majority of the fires? Lint and the type of dryer vent piping used; impairing the ability to expel the lint that the dryer lint screen doesn’t catch. It doesn’t help …

Smoke alarms save lives

In Home maintenance tips, safetyby Mark Goodman

Today I’d like to talk about the smoke alarm.  I don’t want to tell you how many times we inspect homes and see missing alarms or ones that have been taken down and never replaced because they were chirping. Everyone knows smoke alarms save lives! So why do three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms? “Smoke spreads fast and you need …

Garage door opener safety checklist

In Home maintenance tips, safetyby Mark Goodman

The large majority of home owners with attached garages use the garage at the main point to enter and exit the home. Garages are typically where today’s family keeps all of their sporting goods and outdoor activity supplies. Therefore, it’s important we talk about garage safety. Garage doors manufactured prior to 1993 may not be equipped with some safety devices and “one in 15 garage doors lack the latest safety features” says Todd Wilkinson, Field …

What is the purpose of a thermal expansion tank

In Home maintenance tips, safetyby Mark Goodman

When inspecting homes people often ask what’s that little tank above the water heater. Answer: A Thermal Expansion Tank Thermal expansion tanks have been required in most areas for the last 10 years or so when installing a new water heater. This code was adopted because of the advent of backflow preventers, water meter check valves and pressure reducing valves without a bypass being installed. When water is heated in the water heater it expands, …

Street Creep

In Home maintenance tipsby Mark Goodman

When inspecting homes, we sometimes run across Street Creep No, I’m not talking about the “creepy guy” standing in the street or a reason to call the police. What home inspectors are referring to is a phenomenon where the street actual creeps or moves exerting the force on your driveway and thus potentially damaging your garage and house foundation. If your home has an attached garage facing the street and both the driveway and street are …

Basic Ladder Safety Tips

In Home maintenance tips, safetyby Mark Goodman

Accidents in and around the home happen all the time, which is why today we are talking about ladder safety. Among those injuries, Slips and Falls are the most frequent cause of injuries in the home. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year more than 10 million people suffer injuries on residential properties serious enough to require visits to the emergency room. Residential injuries account for more than 6 million homeowner claims …

Wood Decks / Porches

In Home maintenance tipsby Wayne Brewer

Winter and our prolonged rains are hard on decks and porches which are mostly build out of wooded surfaces including pressure treated, cedar and redwood decking materials.  Carefully review all components from top to those areas beneath.  Structures sheltered from the sun’s rays have more potential for rot as they are not exposed to the natural drying process of sunlight.  Repair/replace any damaged components and properly seal wood to extend it’s useful life.

Summertime Maintenance Tips

In Home maintenance tipsby Wayne Brewer

Summertime is a great opportunity to address exterior home maintenance issues and improvements. Such as siding, paint and caulk.  Walk around your home, look for loose and damaged siding, paint and caulk failure.  Review exterior devices and fixtures for damage.Remember if it doesn’t look right changes are it’s not.  Spending a little time on maintenance can help prevent problems come winter.Review hard surfaces (walks, patio, driveway’s, etc…).  Winter freeze/thaw reaps havac on those surfaces.  Look …

Air conditioner maintenance

In Home maintenance tipsby Wayne Brewer

This is the time of year as part of your summertime home maintenance routine that it’s important to have the entire air conditioning system checked and serviced.  trim vegetation and remove debris from the exterior condensing unit.  Clean the cooling fins with a hose while the unit is not running.  Change standard furnace filters monthly (put it on your calendar) and check to ensure proper function of the condensate drain system. NOTE:  NEVER “Power Wash” …

Ivy growing on buildings – good or bad

In Home maintenance tipsby Mark Goodman

Occasionally when performing home inspections we run across homes with ivy growing up the walls. Thus ensues the conversation of the good verses the bad. Whether your house is built with brick, stone or wood it will likely suffer from being covered with vegetation. Vegetation growing on and against you house can trap moisture. Normal moisture has always caused problems. The lack of sunlight to help trapped moisture to evaporate can result in all sorts …