Articles

Zinsco Electric Panels

There is no question that electrical issues, especially those related to panels themselves, rank high on the list of home inspection findings. One problematic panel in particular, Zinsco, was widely installed as early as the 1950’s and through to the 1970’s. They were later manufactured for a time by Sylvania and are still commonly found…

A Home Inspector’s Journal: Decks and deck flashings

A wise friend and fellow inspector has been known to say there are three things which will ruin a home, water, water and water. It is water that causes wood rot decay, water that creates a conducive condition for many wood destroying insects and water that creates the environment in which toxic molds flourish. Our…

Home Inspections and Moisture Metering

In the arsenal of high tech equipment available to home inspectors, electronic moisture meters remain highly reliable tools in the quest to detect moisture penetration. However, it wasn’t too long ago when many home inspectors shunned the technology. By their reasoning, utilizing moisture meters exceeded the standards of practice and thus increased liability – the…

Understanding the Scope of Inspections

You’ve found a home and scheduled the inspection. But are you really clear about what the home inspector will be inspecting? More importantly, do you have an idea of what won’t be inspected? A professional home inspector should be able to tell you which National Association’s Standards of Practice they follow. Standards of Practice from…

Managing Crawl Space Water

In my past life as a contractor, I installed numerous drainage systems. There have been lots of questions about this lately, so here are some basics about crawl space water management: To begin, I am a firm believer that whenever possible, crawl space water should be mitigated before it reaches the sub-structure. In practice, that…

A Home Inspector’s Journal: Plumbing Leaks and Plumbing Failure

Plumbing leaks from failed supply line fittings, old faucets and loose or damaged drain lines are one of the more common findings during an inspection. Leaks are often insidious, slow or even intermittent, escaping the attention of most homeowners until either discovered during an inspection or just noticed by chance. Many of these leaks occur…

Home inspections – About Egress and Safety

Evaluating safety issues, including emergency egress from bedrooms, is a critical part of any home inspection. Particularly now, our cold winter months are synonymous with the use of extension cords and old space heaters, the perfect recipe for a house fire. Sadly, tragedies occur every year because residents, especially small children, the elderly and disabled,…

Tips for Scheduling Your home Inspection

Real estate transactions are all about legalities and time lines. The moment you sign on the dotted line the clock starts ticking and it doesn’t stop until the deal is done. Among these legalities and time lines is the home inspection contingency. More simply put, this is where the home buyer can decide to have…

Home Inspections – Is Your Inspector a Structural Pest Inspector?

Before the recent law requiring the licensure of home inspectors with the Department of Licensing, home inspectors were required to be Structural Pest Inspectors, SPI’s, licensed through the Washington State Department of Agriculture. In addition, a complete wood destroying organism, WDO, inspection was performed as part of the home inspection. The scope of this inspection…

The Changing Face of Home Inspections

It wasn’t that long ago it seems that home inspections were an unheard of thing. In fact when I bought my first old home in 1974, it wasn’t even brought up in conversation. Back then if someone was interested in the condition of a home they were going to buy, they would just have a…