The title sounds funny but it happens. There are many types of homes, and sometimes may not appear to be what it seems. In the last few weeks I did a couple of inspections on pre sale homes that were not what they seem. A home listing will tell you a lot but not always accurate only because somebody just did not know, and county records are not always accurate either.
The first home was listed as masonry construction. Arriving at the home I could see why it was listed as masonry but hey I am an inspector and right away things did not add up. Block masonry was visible below the stucco line. Going around the outside of the home I found a crawl space entry and determined this is a wood frame home on stem wall foundation. By appearance these are just a row of blocks or block wall around the bottom perimeter of the home.
The second home was listed as site built single family wood home. I found the same type of stem wall construction and it was a wood frame home. The difference this time is this home had all the features of a mobile home or modular. I talked to the agent and everyone refused to believe it was anything other than a standard home. I inspected the attic and found all the signs of a manufactured home. Split rafter systems, code and plug wiring, mass-produced components and joint connections. Finally spoke to the owner and he verified my claim and stated the home was brought in four sections and finished on site. I then pulled the property card and in tiny little letters and code found the word modular.
So, just another reason to have an inspection. This simple oversight can be a game changer when it comes to purchase price, financing and home owners insurance not to mention is this what you really want? Always verify what you think you are buying with an home inspection. In these two cases the buyers still made the purchase.
Dryer ducts are typically out of sight so that means out of mind as well. They can be up to 25 feet in length vertical or horizontal. Vertical ducts typically terminate above the roof line and can be subjected to extra moisture and other elements. The vent slot is very small as to keep wildlife out but can also restrict airflow due to lint build up at this location.
This is the first place that should be cleaned and dryer lint clumps removed to free up vent. If you do a high volume of laundry especially towels and linens/blankets it won’t take long for build up to occur. This build up over time reduces the dryer performance while increasing the risk of fire and operating costs. Loads that are taking longer to dry may not be the dryer but clogged ductwork.
When I conduct Home Inspections it is usaully worth noting on the report if I see large clumps of lint hanging from ductwork. Most homes I inspect are empty so there is easy access. When we clean dryer ductwork we use a scope to see inside to evaluate before and after. The whole procedure usually takes around 30-45 minutes and should include the dryer lint trap, dryer louvers and any lint on the floor. All this is done from the location of the dryer. The horizontal vents are treated in the same manner but are much easier because they terminate somewhere around the side of the home. Internet home remedies include a leaf blower. This not a good method as it sends a huge clump to the vent and clogs it worse than before.
For best results have it professionally done with the right equipment. Feel free to call or write me additional information.
The most obvious form of protection on your home is often the most neglected. Citizens insurance requires some policy holders based on certain criteria to get what they call a roof certification on their Broward County home.
When this happens it means that the roof is aged and there is no recent record of replacement. Anytime a project on a home is started it is an argument for a permit. Permits are a snapshot in time on what was done, when it was done and by what Broward roof or home inspector. The permit date also reflects the building code of that time. Roof certs are basic short form of information just to verify condition and life expectancy of a roof. Roof inspections are far more comprehensive. When I do a roof inspection on a Broward County home or mobile home, not only do I walk on the roof if possible,enter the attic if possible and document the current condition of trusses,rafters,decking,all vent terminations ,eaves,soffits and attic ventilation.
The health of the attic is important to overall health and safety of the home. Just one small component that starts to fail will have a ripple effect and be costly down the road. A complete roof on any Broward County or Florida home can cost thousands. The average homeowner is not aware of the signs of trouble that a Broward roof inspector can identify…and that’s my job. Just a simple walk around looking up at your fascia and soffit notice any pulling away,missing discolored,rotting,etc., these should be repaired very soon as they may also reveal other problems. Sometimes just the soffit is out of place. This can mean you may even have what’s called rafter spread. This can be serious if left unchecked. Thank you for reading and please visit us online at http://www.homeinspector-tampa.com. Learn more about roof inspection, four point home inspection or more about our full range of home inspection services for Broward and Florida homeowners.
Four point inspections are back in the talk these days. Some insurance companies are talking about reducing the timeline for the requirement of a four point. For those of you who are not that familiar a four point is typically requested by an insurance company to write coverage on a home 25 years or older.
These are really simple but effective inspections that bring attention to 4 componets of the home:
These four componets reveal overall condition of home and risk involved. I persoanlly think the four point inspection is a good way to have a limited inspection to determine if the home is suitable for purchase as a minimum pre sale inspection. Like always I am taking a wait and see before passing along information that is fresh off the rumor mill. Will be posting about just as soon as anything is confirmed. Stay tuned!
Let’s talk about kitchen and bath under sink storage. We all have plenty of items stored under the sinks in our homes. That’s a natural place to put cleaners and other items out of site out of mind till we need them. Out of sight out of mind, say that again, out of sight out of mind.
We never think about what may be going on under there till we have to clean out or search for an item or notice a strange smell. Leaks often can happen with plumbing under sinks without you knowing for a very long time. By the time you notice a lot of damage can be done because the water hides between all that is stored or inside something. Water mostly does damage to the floor of the cabinet making it soggy then it tends to warp ,sag and smell.
The actual leak may be an easy fix such as a simple turn of a threaded nut or compression seal. The damage caused by such can be extensive and unsanitary. Mold, mildew and repair costs will add up.
As an inspector I see this in many homes.
The other issue with under sink storage is something else that leaks such as a caustic cleaner and mixes with water and travels eventually corroding a component or something stored. An easy solution to avoid long term damage and expenses associated with leaks is to store items in a transparent plastic storage bin.
A few dollars at the local discount store and you have some cheap insurance and some handy storage for items under the sink and chances are you will catch that leak before it does major damage.
Fl lic Home Inspector
Electrical components in a home
With electrical systems in older homes you may have fuses in the panel while a modern home has circuit breakers. Regardless of what you have it should be in good condition and can be determined by a home inspector or a licensed electrician.
We always recommend an upgrade when a home has fuses. They are outdated by today’s standards. Another issue with older home and dated panels is knob and tube wiring. If you don’t know what that is think of a thread spool with thin wire running through it. If a home has it you can find most of it in the attic strung like artwork. It is dangerous for insulation or any other combustible to come in contact with this wiring. There are also dated circuit breakers and panels as well. (FPE) Federal Pacific Electric which made the “stab lok” breakers and were installed in homes from 1950’s to the 1980’s.
Anyone having these type in a home should have a panel upgrade. They are defective and dangerous not only to the structure but to human life. An inspection will reveal defective items in the electrical system that could save lives and property.