While not a typical site during inspections, wind turbines are increasing in popularity and it’s helpful if you learned a bit about them. There are several different designs, but the more common “horizontal” wind turbine is generally more efficient than the “vertical” design. They each have their drawbacks, however, which you can learn more about in our new article on wind turbines, which also details how the mini power plants work.
Buried oil tanks pose huge environmental, safety and financial risks to homeowners because the tanks are prone to leakage. If can cost thousands of dollars to clean up oil spills that can happen gradually and go undetected for years. To find out more about the hazards that buried oil tanks pose and how professionals test for leaks, take a look at our new article on underground fuel tank hazards and inspection.
Inspectors provide a service, but their product is their report. How good is yours? The best reports are simple but packed with information. Read “Inspection Reports: Engage Your Five Senses” to find out how to use observational details in your reports.
Should inspectors write their report observations in the past tense?
I say, “Yes.” It may help reduce your liability.
Isn’t the report a document stating the condition of the property at the time of the inspection? Yes. Then why use the present tense?
When writing up your inspection reports, many inspectors are divided between using past or present tense, but Nick and Ben discuss why it’s legally better to stick to past tense. Read “Inspection Reports: Past or Present Tense?”
Did you know that chlorine is ineffective against a number of pathogens that are commonly found in swimming pools? People have been killed by viruses, bacteria and protozoa just by going for a swim in their backyard pool. Learn about specific pathogens, the diseases they cause and what can be done to prevent contaimination in our new article on pool water pathogens.
Nowadays, many pools are equipped with alarms designed to alert parents if their children sneak out to enter the pool. There are a number of different designs and some work better than others, but they should only be used in conjunction with other safety measures and supervision. To find out more, check out our new article on pool alarms.
We all know that drowning is a constant danger when kids are swimming, but were you aware that many drowning deaths were caused by the drain at the bottom of the pool? These drains have a huge suction that can trap a child, or even an adult, underwater long enough for them to drown. Children are attracted to these hazards because they think the rushing water will be fun to play with. Even if they are able to escape, they may leave with debilitating internal injuries. A broken or missing drain cover is a sure sign that no one should be swimming, but there are other ways that children can be harmed by “suction entrapment” in swimming pools. To find out more, check out our new article on pool drain hazards inspection.
One of the easiest ways to reduce solar heat gain and subsequent energy costs is as simple as planting a tree. Energy savings should be balanced by the cost of the trees themselves, which can be considerable. Learn where to plant shade trees, what species are best, and more in our new article on landscape shading.
Windbreaks are used to prevent strong winds from reaching a house, which makes the property more comfortable, especially in the winter. But did you know that windbreaks are also relied upon by many species of animals, they provide snow control and they can actually increase property values? To do these things and more, they must be built in a specific way, however. To find out more, check out our new article on windbreaks.