Save Money By Inspecting Your Interior Walls Before The Home Inspector Arrives

The interior walls may be made of: drywall (Sheetrock); lath and plaster; wood paneling or planks; exterior siding materials; logs and masonry products including brick, concrete, concrete blocks or adobe. Each material has its own unique characteristics, but our primary concerns are cracks, holes, stains, deterioration, deflection and the presence of mold or mildew. Walls…

The interior walls may be made of: drywall (Sheetrock); lath and plaster; wood paneling or planks; exterior siding materials; logs and masonry products including brick, concrete, concrete blocks or adobe.

Each material has its own unique characteristics, but our primary concerns are cracks, holes, stains, deterioration, deflection and the presence of mold or mildew.

Walls always have a story to tell. They may seem to be just flat surfaces but they can be the first indicators of larger structural problems. The primary indicators are cracks so we begin our inspection by looking for the obvious.

In drywall material there are basically two kinds of cracks; settlement (or shrinkage) cracks and stress cracks.

The difference between a settlement (or shrinkage) crack and a stress crack.

Settlement cracks are those cracks that may be caused by the settlement of a new home into what we call its “foot print” which is the drying of the green wood of the building's framing.

Temperature and humidity variations can change the shape and size of a building during different seasons and can contribute to the appearance and reappearance of settlement cracks.

Settlement or shrinkage cracks are usually straight and run along the joints where two pieces of drywall (Sheetrock) butt up against each other. The crack is actually in the mud and tape between the two pieces of drywall. The tape and mud have split open slightly due to movement in the wall.

The tape and mud compounds under the texture are not strong enough to hold the joint together as the wall moves or “settles.”

Such cracks are usually incidental in their size or width but can be annoying in their appearance. Some people will try many different ways of hiding or eliminating them and usually the more they try the worse the cracks look.

Many factors are considered during the inspection and have to be taken into account before concluding that settlement cracks are symptoms of a more serious problem.

Stress cracks are looked at with a more critical eye.

Stress cracks tell a deer story as they may indicate the possibility of structural movement in the building or foundation. Earthquakes cause this type of crack as well.

Stress cracks always raise a red flag and cause a home inspector to look thoroughly at the underpinning and foundation of the building. These types of cracks may also point to over spanning of structural beams or other framing components.

The term span refers to the distance between two intermediate points where a beam, joist or board traverses over an open space. An over spanned board will bend significantly from the weight of the load it must support and the deflection will show up in the surfaces above it.

Stress cracks will not follow the joint of the drywall but rather tear across the drywall. The drywall is literally broken.

You will usually find stress cracks radiating diagonally from the corners of wall openings like windows, doors and hallways. The crack will be greater at one end and taper off as it disappears into the field of the wall.

If a professional has to be called in to repair settlement or stress cracks the cost for repair can soar to several hundred dollars.

To repair a crack in drywall, a joint rasp is used to cut down through the paper of the drywall into its gypsum body and then several thin coats of taping mud and webbing are applied to refill the hole. This process requires several days to allow each layer to dry. The final task is to attempt to match the existing texture (which by design is almost as individualistic as a fingerprint.) Sometimes it is actually easier to re-texture the whole surface from wall to wall.

With all that work most people just do not bother with the small cracks. Before having work done on a stress crack you may want to consult with a licensed structural engineer to make sure further cracking or movement is not expected and the overall integrity of the building and foundation is sound.

Like I said, the walls can be the first indicator of larger problems. However, I always reserved my opinion about cracks until I had looked over the entire building. In most cases, even the smaller stress cracks were old and not a problem, just a cosmetic nuisance.

Identifying holes in the walls are also a part of your inspection process.

Make notes on your inspection sheet of the location of holes in the walls for later repair.

Makes notes if you see any stains or discoloration in the walls.

Water stains are a big “red flag” for home inspectors. Water intrusion is one of the primary sources of damage to any structure. If you include the water used to put out a house fire, insurance claim statistics make it the leading cause of structural damage. Water ruins wood framing materials, associations wood destroying insects, wrecks wall coverings, and is the primary source of stimulating organic growth and dry rot.

Be sure to look behind the washer and dryer for signs of water stains.

Check to see if the wall is caulked at the top of the shower stall. There should be no crack in the caulking where moisture could enter the wall. This is one of those finds that show up over and over again. Fix this and your home inspector will wonder if a home inspector prepped your home or the sale.

Look for signs of stains and organic growth in the cabinets under sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms. Look around the tub and shower and at the wall behind the toilet.

Inspect carefully around the baseboards near exterior doors. Your inspection of the windows and doors may already have disclosed issues around these components.

As you get deeper into your inspection you will recognize that many aspects overlap. Issues created by the natural movement of a building and problems due to water intrusion reoccur through. The key is for you to recognize all of the issues you can and find ways to repair them economically.

VERY IMPORTANT

Be sure to check closets from top to bottom. This area is commonly missed by homeowners and is where home inspectors often find stains and evidence of organic growth.

The general rule of thumb is; look everywhere that water could be present via plumbing fixtures or around exterior doors and windows.

Any old stains whose source has been repaired should be cleaned or painted over. Remember, if the inspector can not see it, it will not be in the report.

If you are aware of any plumbing leaks inside the walls they MUST be disclosed.

Home inspectors have moisture detection tools that are able to detect moisture in the walls and underlayment of floors. The tools are also used to determine if there is active moisture at a stain. If you try and disguise a water leak, the home inspector will very likely find it.

IR Cameras

A new technology called inferred thermography is now being used to detect water and mold intrusion in buildings. It is a remarkable science that uses infrared cameras to “see” into walls, ceilings and floors. Thermography equipment is very expensive but prices are dropping on these cameras and more are being used by home inspectors.

Where there is moisture, there may be organic growth.

As stated before, organic growth (mold and mildew) has become a concern for many people and although a definite problem, has been heavily over hyped by the media.

Mold is everywhere. It is lying dormant in the drywall and wood components of the building. It exists at the exterior of the building.

The question is whether a person is sensitive to any specific species of mold. If they are it could be a serious problem.

Mold grows where moisture is persistent. If organic growth has been observed at the outer surface of a wall inside the building, it is unknown if there is mold inside the wall without further investigation. Exploring into the interior of a wall is outside the scope of a home inspection but if the home inspector is suspicious, he will recommend further evaluation.

If you suspect that there is a larger problem, be sure to contact an industrial hygienist for further investigation and testing. Eliminating mold can be an expensive process, but it is far cheaper than a law suite.

DO NOT TRY AND COVER UP EVIDENCE OF A POTENTIAL MOLD PROBLEM

If a wall appears to be severely bowing or twisted, a licensed structural engineer should be consulted. There may be issues related to the foundation, underpinnings or soils around the building.

Simple bowing of wood paneling may be due to settling of the building. An over-sized sheet of paneling could have been removed and trimmed to fit correctly.

Wood trim work around paneling should be checked for gaps and missing pieces.

Lath and plaster was a building process used for interior walls until the late 1950s. Thin pieces of cedar (called lath) were nailed on the 2×4 framing of the wall. One to three applications of wet plaster was then applied to the lath. In some cases, layers of wallpaper were applied on top of the plaster for decorating purposes. This actually added to the stability of the wall.

Inspect the lath and plaster for the same issues as found in drywall.

Cracks in masonry walls are also to be carefully inspected. There are two different types of cracks – those that have cracked in a “Z” pattern within the mortar and those that have actually broken the stone or brick.

If there is any water penetration through a masonry wall, the paint will peel from the surface. This is common with subterranean walls in foundations and garages.

WALL FINDINGS: REMEDIES AND SOLUTIONS

Cracks

As stated above, repairing cracks in the walls can be a complex and daunting task. Cracks filled with Spackle compound have a tendency to reoccur. The filler is not able to expand or contract as the building changes shape through normal temperature and humidity variations.

A paintable, pliable silicone caulk can be applied with a finger to fill settlement cracks. Its elasticity will expand and contract allowing for slight changes in the crack without allowing it to reopen. The paint use has has to have an elastic quality as well.

Holes

Small holes such as those left by hanging pictures are easily filled with filler such as Spackle, taping mud or caulk. Use hard drying filler compounds such as Spackle or mud very sparingly. Excessive filler on a textured wall around a repair looks bad.

More obvious are holes or minor dents where a doorknob has hit the wall because of a missing or damaged doorstop. If the hole left by the doorknob is minor, simply apply a thin coat of filler to the hole, let it dry and then add a little more each day until it is flush to the wall surface.

If the doorknob punched through the wall, the repairs will take more work. There are several kits available at the local hardware store designed to repair holes left by doorknobs. There are several sites on the Internet that provide a variety of techniques for repairing holes in drywall.

The real trick is not so much repairing the hole as much as matching the texture. A good drywall technician can match texture very closely. Get a few bids from different sources if you have a large area that needs to be repaired.

If you have to remove damaged drywall that covers two or more framing studs it would probably be a good idea to contact a professional. Get at least two bids for the repair.

Water Stains

If you find water stains, eliminate the source of the water intrusion and then seal and paint the affected surface. If there is any evidence of organic growth further investigation and remediation may be necessary. Do not cover or disguise areas where mold is present. The ramifications of doing so can be quite extreme.

Local companies who restore buildings after fires are probably the best resource to quickly locate water intrusion problems. They have the equipment and expertise to trace the entry points of moisture. Look for a company that has the thermography equipment mentioned.

Organic Growth (Mold, Mildew and Fungus)

Surface mold and mildew can usually be removed with products designed for such applications. Contrary to popular belief, using a mixture of water and bleach is NOT a good cleaning solution. Laundry bleach is primarily made up of water and small amounts of chlorine. Mixing bleach with water to dilute it creates a solution that is mostly water.

Do you remember what must be present for mold and mildew to grow? Moisture! Diluted bleach is mold food.

If there is evidence of visible mold in areas larger than a few square inches, you will have to have a professional evaluation what further action should be taken. As with water intrusion issues, companies that do fire restoration are great sources for information about dealing with mold problems.

There are several websites that discuss mold issues. Several provide free kits for testing by the homeowner.

Deterioration

Some of the most common causes of deterioration are water intrusion, condensation and insect infestation. As with water and mold problems, the course of action is to determine the cause, eliminate it and repair as needed.

A qualified handyman is capable of these repairs. There are usually several listed in the phone book. Get multiple bids and ask for referrals. Do not hire the first person that shows up. If they fidget at your request for proof of the quality of their work, look elsewhere. If they are reputable, they will welcome your inquires.

Bowing Issues

If you have walls that are not straight up and down or appear to be out of whack, contact a structural engineer to determine why. These professionals usually charge a small fee for their inspection.

I can not even begin to tell you how many times I was asked if a wall was a “bearing wall.” My standard answer was “Every wall is a bearing wall without a licensed structural engineer says it is not.”

Why You Should Get Periodic Home Inspections

Have you considered having a home inspection done? Home inspection is not just for the buyers and sellers of a home but can also be an invaluable resource for those who already own their own homes. Most people do not realize they should have a home inspection done every five to ten years as part…

Have you considered having a home inspection done? Home inspection is not just for the buyers and sellers of a home but can also be an invaluable resource for those who already own their own homes. Most people do not realize they should have a home inspection done every five to ten years as part of an overall maintenance plan. But a home inspector can help you more then you may think.

For most of us the two things we will spend the most money on in our lives is our cars and our homes. You would never drive the same car for 10 years or more without taking it in to a mechanic for a tune up would you? Of course you would not. Car maintenance must be done to ensure your vehicle will continue to run as long and as well as possible. You also clean wash it and vacuum it once in a while as well to keep up the resale value if not for your own sense of cleanliness. Why then should your home be any different?

A regular maintenance plan for your home should include a home inspection every few years. A home inspector can advise you on any repairs that should be done before they become a major expense and discuss any safety issues you may be unaware of.

Home inspectors go over every aspect of your home and give you an unbiased report of the findings. The report will show you anything that may be wrong with your home now, what may be getting ready to need repairs as well as advise you on how to make the repairs. For instance a home inspector may notice a small stain on a wall and track that to a water leak. The leak may have been small enough to only cost a couple of dollars to fix now but it could have done a lot of damages before you found it on your own.

Home inspections can also alert you to any safety issues you may be unaware of. Worn gas lines and frayed electrical wiring often goes unnoticed until fire breaks out or people get sick and die. A home inspector looks at electrical wires as well as gas and plumbing as part of a routine check and alerts you when a problem is found.

Engaging the services of a professional home inspector should be a part of regular home maintenance. A thorough unbiased home inspection can point out repair and safety issues before they become a serious issue and help you to retain the value of your home as well as your peace of mind.

The Importance of Home Inspections

When considering a home you may want to purchase it is often advised to have a home inspection done before making an offer. That great deal would not be so great if the place turned out to be like the house on the movie “The Money Pit.” Although the movie may have been hysterical it…

When considering a home you may want to purchase it is often advised to have a home inspection done before making an offer. That great deal would not be so great if the place turned out to be like the house on the movie “The Money Pit.” Although the movie may have been hysterical it is not so funny if the lovely new home you just purchased costs you as much as you paid for it in repairs. You also do not want to trust the home inspection that the seller may have had done. Not that the seller is dishonest but because …. well it really is not a good idea to even trust you best friend when it comes to making a deal. Buyer beware and all that.

When hiring a home inspector it helps to understand what exactly is being inspected as well as what the outcome was. Not understanding construction and home builder's jargon can lead you to believe something simple is not and vise versa.

Because many home inspectors are not actually licensed it is important to make sure the one you choose has good references for the job at hand. Home inspection varies greatly from one state to the next as well as across counties and cities the difference is in the standard of practice from one association to the next. Most home inspectors will look at some standard things however, including structural elements, exterior evaluation, plumbing, roof and attic and systems, electrical, appliances and components.

Structural element includes the way the walls, roof, doors, floors and foundation fit together and any problems thereof.

The outer evaluation portion of a home inspection could include the paint or stucco of the outer walls, grading, elevation, driveways, masks, drainage, landscaping, windows, fascia, trim and doors.

Roof and attic inspections are also very important and include framing, what type of roof it is, ventilation, flushing and gutters.

When it comes to plumbing a home inspector will check pipe material, drains, and waste and vent pipes but often will not check sewer pipes.

System and components means water heaters, furnace, air conditioners, duct work, fireplaces, chimneys, and sometimes sprinklers.

Electrical inspections include such interesting things as the main power panel, circuit breakers, wiring, grounding, light fixtures, ceiling fans, and exhaust fans.

Most home inspection reports will not include what is right with the house, but will include a full description of what may be wrong. The things you need to look the closest at when you receive the report is any items to do with safety first. After that look to some of the things that must be deal with fast like a roof that needs repair soon, furnace or a / c problems, foundation issues, and moisture or drainage problems.

It is best to have someone who understands basic home repair look over the report from the home inspector with you also. Some deals have been broken because the buyer did not know that a bad outlet receptacle could have repaired with a new part that cost only $ 1 or $ 2.

Why You Should Get a Home Inspected Before Buying It

For many buying a home is a big expensive step in life. Before you take this particular step you will either need to do a lot of homework to know what is going on or you need to place your trust in the professionals around you. One such professional is your home inspector. The first…

For many buying a home is a big expensive step in life. Before you take this particular step you will either need to do a lot of homework to know what is going on or you need to place your trust in the professionals around you. One such professional is your home inspector.

The first thing you should do before looking for one is to ask yourself what does the home inspection mean to me and then find the inspector that best suits your needs.

Home inspection is a very important part of buying a home. It is also a step in the process that can be skipped but only by a fool. You would not buy a car without driving it at least around the block and even to your mechanic so why would you even consider spending thousands of dollars on the place your family will spend massive amounts of time without making sure it is not just a pretty paint job?

A home inspection is a way of looking under the hood and kicking the tires of the house to make sure the walls are not made from marshmallows and the wiring made from licorice. While marshmallow walls may be tasty they really do not make for a good house do they?

Smart buyers prefer to make informed choices. After all knowledge is power. A properly done home inspection report will tell you everything you need to know to make a decision about the home. Simple repairs that need to be made are no big deal but you do not want to brag to your friends about the great deal you got only to discover later that the walls are made of marshmallows.

To find the right inspector for you there are a couple of things you need to know. The standards practice for home inspection rends to vary a lot from state to state as well as county to city. Some states do not even require inspectors to be licensed therefore it is up to you, the informed consumer to know what to look for before you buy the service.

The American Society of Home Inspectors and the National Association of Home Inspectors are two places to obtain standards of practice from. Gaining a copy of these minimum standards of reporting from either of these places will give you an idea of ​​what your home inspector should do during the inspection. Ask the inspector what standard of practice he uses and compare it to what you need. A thorough and knowledgeable home inspector will usually do more then is listed.

Many professional home inspectors also carry a type of insurance called Errors and Omission Insurance. Although not required and very expensive it is a good way to judge a good inspector from a fly by night one.

Many inspectors that are licensed are also members of some sort of professional association such as American Society of Home Inspectors or the National Association of Home Inspectors. Both of these organizations require a strict code of ethics as well as continued education to maintain a membership.

Buying a home is a big step in a person's life. A home inspection done by a competent inspector can save you thousands in the long run by pointing out any problems with the home before you buy. Do yourself a favor and have one done before you make an offer.

Why Hire A Building Inspector When Buying A House?

A building inspector is a home buyer's best friend. He makes sure that the house is safe and sound, and that it complies with all the building regulations provided by the city and the state. When you are determined to buy a new house, it is there before to your best advantage to have it…

A building inspector is a home buyer's best friend. He makes sure that the house is safe and sound, and that it complies with all the building regulations provided by the city and the state. When you are determined to buy a new house, it is there before to your best advantage to have it first inspected by a certified home inspector.

It is a very critical role indeed what a building inspector performs in any home purchase. Because his reports are always based on facts and actual inspection of the home, he can greatly influence the decision of the buyer whether in a positive or negative way. But that is because of the weight of the building inspection report.

While it will cost you to have a home inspected, it is an added expense that you should never skip. You can not simply say that you can inspect the house yourself because you are not trained to do so. Even if the law where you are buying the house does not demand that it be inspected by a certified home inspector, you should still do it for your peace of mind.

How much do you know about a house's structure? How about its electrical system or even the plumbing? A building inspector knows everything that there is to know to properly inspect any home or building. He has been trained to spot any shortcomings made by the construction company or in case of a second hand home, if there are any needs for repairs or renovations to keep the house safe.

Anyone who is offering home inspection services are certified by the government because they play a cruel part in every home buying process. Most building inspectors started out in the building industry as an architect, a carpenter, an electrician or any other construction related job. Any of these can serve as a good foundation to become a building inspector later on because they have the experience and the expertise to inspect any house.

Some people would ask if they have to accompany the building inspector to the house. It is actually up to you but you are not required to do so. The good thing about coming along is that you can see for yourself all the things that the building inspector would note as defects or needs any repair. You can have a much better understanding regarding the quality of the house you are about to buy.

You can see immediately if the flooring need to be actually replaced, if the electrical wirings need to be upgraded or if the sewer system adheres to the environmental certifications or requirements of the government.

As a closing, it is indeed a necessity to have any new home to be checked by a qualified building inspector. This is for your peace of mind knowing that the house you are buying for your family will be safe and stay that way for a very long time. This is one service that you would definitely never regret hiring since it will usually just be done once or at least once every decade.

Autumn Home Maintenance Tips

The kids are heading back to school, the beaches are closing and yes, fall is right around the corner. Before the weather turns cold there are a number of home checks and maintenance tasks that homeowners should be carrying out to avoid potentially expensive problems once all the leaves have fallen. Here is a simple…

The kids are heading back to school, the beaches are closing and yes, fall is right around the corner. Before the weather turns cold there are a number of home checks and maintenance tasks that homeowners should be carrying out to avoid potentially expensive problems once all the leaves have fallen. Here is a simple fall checklist that every homeowner should keep in mind as they prepare for the winter.

Check Gutters and Down spouts

Gutters should be checked regularly through the fall season and all the fallen leaves removed. You should also take the time to make sure that any water is draining away properly. Pooling can damage your home's foundations, driveways or walkways and can lead to dangerous ice build ups once the winter weather hits.

Inspect your Windows

Leaky windows can drain a great deal of energy from your home in the winter. Fall is the time to check your windows for air leaks, damaged caulking and ill-fitting glass. It is also the right season to install new weather-stripping around all the doors in your house to prevent drafts and help lower heating bills.

Schedule a Health Check for Your Heating System

Call your HVAC company now to schedule an inspection of your heating system. Better to discover any minor problems now and have them repaired than end up waiting for days in a freezing cold home because the HVAC companies in your area are swamped with similar complaints.

If you also have a fireplace with a chimney it is time to have that professionally cleaned and inspected as well.

Attic Inspection

Head up into your attic now and give it a good once over before the temperature drops. Make sure that your attic insulation is not obstructive vents as that could lead to ice dams that can cause serious damage to your roof in the winter months.

This is also a good time to make sure that the attic is equally sealed to make sure that the cold – and vermin looking for a winter home – can not get in.

Finding the Right Home Inspector When Buying a House

People who have already bought homes of their own or those who know a thing or two about real estate and houses will tell you that there's really no perfect house. Technically, you'll always find something wrong in any house, even houses that are newly-built. However, some homes are just damaged in more serious ways…

People who have already bought homes of their own or those who know a thing or two about real estate and houses will tell you that there's really no perfect house. Technically, you'll always find something wrong in any house, even houses that are newly-built. However, some homes are just damaged in more serious ways than other houses, which is what you want to avoid when you are looking for a house to buy. For example, if one couple decide to look at a home for sale, they typically look the house over during daytime. Imagine how frustrating it would be for them if they moved into the house and discovered that at night, it's covered with bugs and is badly infected with insects. Not only will they be emotionally distracted because they're paying a lot of money to keep the house, they probably will not be able to sell it at a good price. Also, if they decide to sue the seller, they'll be locked in a legal battle which will also cost a lot of money and will take time to come to a decision. It's important to understand that not all sellers may be aware of the state of their property, especially if it's not their primary home. There before they could not have disclosed this issue if they did not know about it in the first place.

Getting your house inspected is a great way of finding out whether the house you're buying has some serious issues. Let's say for example that you want to buy Celebration real estate. After looking through Celebration homes for sale, you made an offer on a particular property. Having it inspected for the usual issues as well as for specialized, more indepth issues like mold and infestations will at least assure you that you're making a sound investment on a house that works like it should.

Here are a few useful tips when looking for a home inspector to look at the house you want to buy:

1. Is the inspector associated with a reputable organization? – When you're looking to invest on a piece of real estate, you'll want to make sure that the inspector thoroughly understands the house. One way of filtering out fly by night inspection companies is by asking if they are members of inspection organizations such as NAHI (National Association of Home Inspectors) and NIBI (National Institute of Building Inspectors). Reputable organizations typically have stringent requirements on the quality of work and qualifications of their members.

2. Ask family and friends if they can recommend an inspector – One of the best sources would be people you trust. If they have experience dealing with home inspectors who were prompt, professional, and though not just with their inspection but also with their reports, then you can be pointed to the right direction. Many good home inspectors will do their best to satisfy their customers because, like many businesses, they thrive on good word of mouth advertisement.

3. Conduct a background check – Ask the Better Business Bureau if there had been complaints filed against the company you are thinking of hiring. Ask the inspector if they have former customers who will vouch for their job and follow through with this giving the references a call.

Do You Have a Air Gap Or Drain Loop For Your Dishwasher?

One of the most common plumbing mistakes in a home is the lack of the air gap or drain loop by the dishwasher. That lets kitchen sink waste water to enter the dishwasher, so you will not want to wash your dishes with dirty water. This is how the air gap works: The air gap…

One of the most common plumbing mistakes in a home is the lack of the air gap or drain loop by the dishwasher.
That lets kitchen sink waste water to enter the dishwasher, so you will not want to wash your dishes with dirty water.

This is how the air gap works:

The air gap is usually located right by your kitchen faucet.
The water discharge from to dishwasher, and goes up in a loop in the air gap and falls down in the sink trap.
The air gap should not leak, but it is normal to hear gurgling as the water goes through the loop.
If you do not have a air gap you would want to look underneath your sink to make sure you have a loop on your drain hose. Your dishwasher drain hose needs to be higher than the sink drain.

The drain hose that goes from your dishwasher to the drain pipe or garbage disposal should have a loop and be mounted higher than the sink. Very often the drain hose goes in a slop from the dishwasher to the drain pipe, that is an improper way and you will very much get kitchen waste water in your dishwasher.

If you still are having problems with dirty dishes there is a couple of other simple things you can try:

1. Run your kitchen sink on hot water until the water that comes out of the faucet is really hot, then start the dishwasher.

Think of when you start to run your faucet on hot, it usually does not come out as very hot right away. That is the same for the dishwasher as well. Doing this causes cold water from entering the dishwasher, and as you know cold water does not do as good as hot water when it comes to cleaning.

2. Try to change your soap.

What To Do If You Suspect A Gas Leak

Sometimes a huge problem can happen in your home. You can get a gas leak. This is not something that anyone wants to happen to them, but it's a very real thing that happens to thousands of homes each year. Many times it happens after a disaster like an earthquake, but it can happen at…

Sometimes a huge problem can happen in your home. You can get a gas leak. This is not something that anyone wants to happen to them, but it's a very real thing that happens to thousands of homes each year. Many times it happens after a disaster like an earthquake, but it can happen at any time. If you suspect that you might have a gas leak, there are things that you need to do.

First of all, you need to get out of your home as quickly as possible. Home with gas leaks can actually explode. If you need to go through your house to get your children out, use a wet towel over your face to get less exposure. You do not want to pass out else you might not ever wake up as there will be limited oxygen in the home.

Shut off the gas line if you know how. This should limit the gas that is leaking into your home.

Leave the door or window open on the way out assuming that you are going to remain near to watch your home. You do not want to leave it this way as someone might go into the home to steal something since it's an easy entry point.

Do not shut off anything on the way out of your home. Do not turn on or off the lights. Do not unplug anything. Do not use your phone. Never light a match. Any of these can actually case a small spark that can catch the gas on fire causing an explosion.

Call your gas company from a phone not in your house and explain the situation. Let them know that there is a problem that needs to be fixed immediately.

To know you have a gas leak you can get a monitor just like a smoke detector to detect these leaks. These will go off letting you know that there is a leak. Other times you will notice a strange odor in the house.

What to Look For in a Building Inspector

Buying a new home with the help of a building inspector is always a good idea. This is mainly because properties for sale are always presented in the best light possible. Without an expert's opinion, you might end up with a property that actually has more issues than you can handle. This is why it…

Buying a new home with the help of a building inspector is always a good idea. This is mainly because properties for sale are always presented in the best light possible. Without an expert's opinion, you might end up with a property that actually has more issues than you can handle. This is why it is crucial to find the right specialist for your needs.

You can quickly identify individuals or companies that can evaluate a house for you online. The very first thing you should look for because is local presence. There are companies that actually accept remote assessment requests but these are obviously not the best options for you. A thorough building inspection can be connected with the least issues if the actual person or company does it for you is located nearby. As much as possible, select a service provider who is right in your suburb.

There are online resources that can give you lists or profiles of available inspectors near your area. The next task is to assess each of these providers and select the best one. The first thing you need to look for at this point is legitimacy. Find out if a service provider has all the appropriate licenses. These are especially crucial if you want to get an evaluation of a building's internal structure.

Aside from licenses, a building inspector should also carry certain professional qualifications. It is there relevant to ask where an expert has been trained. Also, since there are always new developments in his area of ​​expertise, it is also worth finding out if the person who will be inspecting the house has access to or is committed to continuous education or training.

Another facet of professional qualification that you may have to look into is organization membership. There are various organizations for people involved in inspecting physical structures. A specialist who makes the effort to become a part of a formal group is a better option than one who does not. Organization membership is an indication that a building inspection expert has been deemed qualified enough by his own peers. Moreover, membership provides greater opportunities to get prompt training updates.

After filtering out the practitioners who fall short of professional requirements, you can narrow down your options further by evaluating the services offered. Pick one that will fit your needs to a tee and that can offer superior transparency. For example, if you need structural assessment, pest evaluation, peripheral review and septic tank check-up, then you need to determine if there is a service package with all these and if it costs more than regular packages. Ask too how long inspections will take and how many visits are required to complete them. Finally, ask if there are hidden fees that may not have been disclosed in service promotion.

Buying a home is never as easy as choosing and paying for a property. If you want the home of your dreams, you need to ask a building inspector to help you out. Do not take chances with homes that look great in pictures.

A Home Inspection Checklist For Home Buyers

Are you in the market for a new home? After months of searching you have finally found your dream home. It may not be a brand new house, but it has everything that you have always wanted in a home. But it should not be a simple matter to just pay for it and then…

Are you in the market for a new home? After months of searching you have finally found your dream home. It may not be a brand new house, but it has everything that you have always wanted in a home. But it should not be a simple matter to just pay for it and then move in. You will have to think of the home inspection checklist which a qualified building inspector will go through.

Why is a home inspection important? First of all, it is for your own benefit to have the house go through a building inspection. Especially if you are going to live there with your own family, you certainly would want it to be the safest home that you can buy for them.

Building inspectors typically have previously worked as an engineer, architect, electrician, carpenter, and any other profession related to the building industry. Aside from their certification, these ensure that they are qualified to offer their home inspection services.

While in every city or suburb there are a long list of home inspection services, you should first approach your real estate broker if he can recommend a reliable building inspector. All brokers know at least one inspector since they are always working in the real estate industry.

Here is a short home inspection checklist. Go over it so you can at least have an idea on what to expect once the residential building inspector arrives.

1. Structure of the house.

The inspector will check all the walls, the columns, the foundation, the ceilings, and more to see if all are in good condition. He will note any crack or weakness that he will see.

2. Electrical

Does the electrical wiring of the house comply with the regulations of the government? Are all the power connections in good working condition? The building inspector will ensure that all are fine and will not cause any short circuiting or be a fire hazard.

3. Plumbing

He will look into the pipe materials used by the builder or if there are any modifications made. A sewage inspection may or may not be included in the home inspection checklist.

4. Pests

Pests are major health hazards and most building inspectors will also conduct a pest inspection and should they find any, they would recommend the appropriate pest control service for it.

5. Fire safety inspection

A building inspector will check if there any violations with the fire safety code of the city. While this is often the responsibility of the fire department, most home inspectors will include this in their checklist. They would recommend placement of fire extinguishers where these are necessary and other fire precaution equipment and standards.

There are more items included in any home inspection checklist but those listed above are some of the basic or most common. Since buying a home is very important to you and your family, you must make sure that you are getting a qualified building inspector to help you decide if the house is a good buy or if it is time to start looking again.

Avoid Water Damage Today

It's an ugly beast capable of growing from a minor puddle to a major catastrophe. While water is pooling unbeknown-st to you, it is also causing damage. While ignorance may be bliss, when it comes to hidden water damage, ignorance can be financially and emotionally devastating! Avoid damage today by … Inspecting your home. Since…

It's an ugly beast capable of growing from a minor puddle to a major catastrophe. While water is pooling unbeknown-st to you, it is also causing damage. While ignorance may be bliss, when it comes to hidden water damage, ignorance can be financially and emotionally devastating! Avoid damage today by …

Inspecting your home.
Since hidden water damage can quickly make itself known by becoming progressively worse and spawning mold growth, it's wise to seek it out before it has a chance to become a problem. Go through your house, basement, garage, and other structures specifically seeking out the H2O damage, moisture, and mold. Keep your eye out for water leaks and drips, sniff for musty odors, and listen for sounds of running or dripping water.

Repairing those leaks.
If you find any issues, immediately repair them. A small investment now could save you thousands of dollars later. Depending on the nature of the problem, you may be able to solve the problem on your own. A quick trip to the hardware supply store and a little elbow grease may be all that's needed. Even if you need to hire a plumber, fixing a pipe before it bursts is much less expensive and far less damaging than waiting for the pipe to spew gallon after gallon of water into your home.

Locating your water shut-off valves.
Do you know how to shut up the water should something go wrong? Can you do it quickly? Just as you should hold fire drills, so should you hold water damage drills! Learn where your water valves are located as well as how to shut them off. If a pipe does burst, the sooner you can shut off the water, the less water will flow into your home.

Stocking your home with super absorbent supplies.
What if water does overflow into your home? Do you have sufficient supplies on hand to mop it up quickly? A standard kitchen mop may be fine for small spills but could be woefully inadequate for larger overflows. Invest in super absorbent sponges and towels and keep them in an accessible place. Should water make an unexpected appearance, you will be equipped to quickly contain it.

Thus, limiting its potential for causing widespread damage.
Finding a reputable cleanup company before an emergency arises. Do your research now rather than in the middle of a crisis. By calling water damage companies before you have an emergency on your hands, you will be able to select responsive companies that meet your criteria. If you wait until water is flowing through your home, you'll waste valuable time calling around – and you might not be able to find a company that you're comfortable with. Once you've found a company you trust, post the water damage company's 24-hour phone number by your telephone. After all, you may need to call in the middle of the night.

These five simple steps are easy to do right now. Not only are they easy, they can limit future water damage, saving you money and grief.

Preparing Your Home For Inspection

Nobody is perfect and the same goes for houses. When preparing your home for an inspection there is a good chance that you will miss things someone who is certified may not. Always be sure to make your home as tidy and accessible as possible. And when you are preparing, here are three major areas…

Nobody is perfect and the same goes for houses. When preparing your home for an inspection there is a good chance that you will miss things someone who is certified may not. Always be sure to make your home as tidy and accessible as possible. And when you are preparing, here are three major areas that need to be covered.

Theft

Look critically at your house and try to assess whether there is “easy” access for burglaries by a thief Is there an easily accessible basement? Is the home in plain view so the neighbors can not see if something is wrong?

Consequences In the councils of light that automatically turns on, so the house always looks occupied out and get the neighbors to look after the house when you are away?

Water consumption

Determine how old the house water pipes are. This applies both pipes inside the house and out from the water meter and into the house. The newer the pipes, the smaller is the risk of bursting.

What is the probability of missed taps? Do you have children who “forget” water taps, you have water hoses, which are fixed on the irrigation in a greenhouse?

Power consumption

Try to go around in the house one evening when the light is off and see how many small lamps are lit! Look at the guarantee certificates for freezer, refrigerator, stove, washing machine and other high consumption appliances. Are they more than five to eight years old? It's a good idea to check how greedy they are when it comes to energy.

Indoor Air Quality – Top 10 Questions About Water Intrusion and Microbial Contamination

Water and buildings do not mix. From structural damage to respiratory problems, the after-effects of water intrusion pose a threat to the people who live or work there and expose the building's management to severe building code violation fines as well as costly repairs. Here's what you need to know to recognize and minimize damage…

Water and buildings do not mix. From structural damage to respiratory problems, the after-effects of water intrusion pose a threat to the people who live or work there and expose the building's management to severe building code violation fines as well as costly repairs. Here's what you need to know to recognize and minimize damage from water intrusion.

Question # 1: Why Is Water Intrusion So Harmful?

Water may seem reliably harmless, since we drink it and bathe in it. But when water gets into buildings, it's extremely destructive. Considered a universal solvent, water can dissolve most materials used in construction, cause microorganisms to grow and thrive, and carry dangerous biological and chemical contaminants as it flows.

Question # 2: Is not All Water the Same?

While all water intrusion is damaging to buildings, some types of water present more health risks than others. There are three main categories of water:

  • Clean water poses no health threat to people; it's water from an overflowing bathtub, sink, or appliance.
  • Gray water is contaminated and can make people sick if they come in contact with it or drink it. Contaminants can be chemical or biological.
  • Black water is very dangerous to people because it's highly contaminated. This type of water can be from floods, rivers, sewage, and other sources.

Even clean tap water will become gray or black water over time. Once the water is in contact with building materials, the existing microbes will begin to flourish and contaminate the water.

Question # 3: What Are Some Common Causes of Water Intrusion?

There are several common causes, including:

  • Floods
  • Hurricanes
  • Burst or leaking pipes
  • Appliance malfunctions
  • As the result of a fire being extinguished
  • Clogged, broken, or missing gutters
  • Roof and siding leaks
  • Structural and waterproofing defects in a basement or crawl space
  • Construction flaws with vapor barriers
  • Surfaces with frequent condensation

Question # 4: What Are Some Signs of Water Intrusion and Microbial Contamination?

While it's best to have an indoor air quality professional perform a routine comprehensive inspection of your building, a diligent facility manager should be able to recognize the early visible signs of a problem:

  • Mold or fungal growth in the building
  • Standing pools of water that do not disperse quickly after wet weather
  • Rotting wood or concrete
  • Damp or wet floors and walls
  • Persistent odors

Question # 5: What Are Most Are at Risk for Water Intrusion?

No area of ​​your building is safe from the risks of water getting in but some areas need to be watched more closely than others. Be vigilant to recognize hidden signs of a problem:

  • Leaking pipelines in the basement
  • Peeling wallpaper or paint
  • Condensation on walls or windows
  • Musty odors
  • Dampness in carpets
  • Damaged or missing caulk around windows and seams
  • Gaps in flashing around windows, roof lines, chimneys, decking, skylights

Question # 6: Can Waterproofing Help?

Preventing losses from water intrusion begins with waterproofing. By sealing potential leaks in your building's roof, walls, basement, windows, and doors, you can help prevent water from getting into the building in the first place. Proper waterproofing also allows for good ventilation. Ample ventilation protects against microbial contamination from water-borne microbes, protecting the building's indoor air quality even if water does get in. Long-term, adequate waterproofing also prolongs the service life of your HVAC system and the structure itself.

Question # 7: How Can You Prevent Water Intrusion?

The best way to prevent damage from water is to expect every possible way water could get into your building, then to set up a barrier system to keep it from happening. Basements in particular are vulnerable to condensation and ground water seepage, and benefit from professional waterproofing to create a water-tight barrier. Systems can also be designed to protect the structure in other areas to repel or even channel water and protect against damage.

Question # 8: What About Waterproofing a New Building – Or an Old One?

Preventing water intrusion damage is an ongoing job. During construction the building's designers should include a barrier system for protection. If any major changes are made to the structure or if you have an emergency situation that causes water damage, a new waterproofing system should be designed and installed to ensure continued protection. The waterproofing system should also be inspected during routine maintenance.

Question # 9: What If Water Gets In Anyway?

Floods, broken water lines, a leaking roof, or rising water tables can cause a disaster in just minutes. Mold will begin growing if the problem is not detected and the area not injured quickly. Porous construction materials absorb a tremendous amount of water along with any contaminants in the water, and mold spores can begin germinating within just a few days.

If you notice mold, unpleasant odors, water stains, or discover that people using the building are experiencing frequent illness, act fast. Have an expert perform a thorough inspection of the property and make recommendations for fixing the problem.

Question # 10: What's Involved in Water Damage Remediation?

If you notice water damage, contact a professional for a thorough inspection inside and out. An expert can determine whether the structure is safe to enter and use. You'll also want to:

  • Contact your insurance provider.
  • Document any damage discovered during the inspection.
  • Contract with a water removal and dehumidification expert quickly to help salvage your property.
  • After the water has been removed, have the air tested and the building inspected again to ensure it is safe.

Water damage that goes undetected and untreated creates an unhealthy and unsafe environment. The longer the delay in detection, the greater the damage. In fact, if standing water is removed within 24 hours and dehumidification is initiated, it is very unquestionably that microbial amplification will occur. Regular maintenance and inspection will help ensure your building is safe and healthy for everyone.

Local Chartered Surveyors – The Benefits of Using Local Chartered Surveyors

The past few years have seen a huge slump in building surveys and a general decline in property surveys necessitated by changes in ownership. This article attempts to look at the importance of using local chartered surveyors for home buyers survey, structural survey and building surveys. On average it takes around five years to become…

The past few years have seen a huge slump in building surveys and a general decline in property surveys necessitated by changes in ownership. This article attempts to look at the importance of using local chartered surveyors for home buyers survey, structural survey and building surveys.

On average it takes around five years to become a Chartered Surveyor and that's on top of graduating with an accredited degree. Given the length of time it takes to gain the required knowledge and the degree of dedication required to become chartered they certainly deserve their status as the highest form of property and land surveyor.

Homebuyers Survey

In recent years the number of homebuyers commissioning building surveys – do not confuse with valuation surveys required by the lender – has dropped dramatically to around 25%.

Given that most homebuyers are buying property that will take them a lifetime to pay for, it is quite ludicrous that they should cut out the property or home buyers survey out of their budget to save a few quid. In reality this is the point where they should have the best survey that can afford and for that survey to be carried out by a local chartered surveyor rather than a friendly builder.

Local Chartered Surveyors

Using the word local in context with surveyor is extremely important because only a local surveyor has the experience and knowledge to prepare a property report that will fully include his or her extensive local knowledge which will have been collected over many years in that locality.

Local surveyors, especially chartered surveyors know everything there is to know about property and land within their locality and it is for that reason that where possible you should always engage the services of a local chartered surveyor.

Sure, we all want to save a few quid and just because a structural survey or building surveys is not forced upon us do not mean that we should not have it. The idea of ​​putting your life's savings into an old house without a decent survey is a recipe for disaster. After all what the average homeowner know about satisfaction, dry rot, rising damp, sagging roofs and bulging bricks all of which cost a fortune to repair and in most cases will involve remortgaging to pay for reinstatement.

Valuation Surveys

Some people think that a valuation survey is good enough and that if there are any major problems with the property you are intending to purchase the valuation survey will pick it up and the lender will tell you. In reality you will not get a copy of the valuation report and the lender is illegally to disclose any details of the valuation survey even if there are major defects.

All the lender is concerned about is their investment and regardless of faults picked up on the valuation survey, if the property is valued enough to cover their loan then they're happy. I should point out of course is that no lender will lend you money on a property without a survey so why on earth would you buy a property without your own survey.

The lesson is simple, if you are planning on buying a property, have the best survey you can afford and if possible have it done by a local chartered surveyor. In the long run it is the best property insurance you can buy and later if there is a problem then you have something to fall back on.

Finding Chartered Surveyors

You can find local chartered surveyors and compare prices for all types of property survey including home buyers survey, building survey and structural survey at Surveyors Supermarket, on of the UK's leading Building Surveying sites.