New article on hand-dug well inspection

The oldest wells were dug by hand, and this low-tech approach still survives today. Their construction is labor-intensive, but it requires few specialized tools. Inspection should be focused on features that keep children or animals from falling into the well, as they’re usually quite wide. A simple lid or stone wall usually does the trick. To find out more, check out our new article on hand-dug well inspection.

New article on anti-scald valves

Anti-scald valves are designed to lessen the water temperature fluctuations in a building, which are an inconvenience and can potentially cause a person to suffer a burn or slip in the shower. They contain a special diaphragm or piston mechanism that  balances the pressure of the hot- and cold-water inputs, limiting one or the other to keep the temperature within a range of several degrees. To find out more about how they work and why they’re needed, check out our new article on anti-scald valves.

New article on wildfire mitigation strategies and inspection

As the most destructive wildfire in Colorado’s history tore through Boulder County last month, it should become more clear to homeowners, fire crews and inspectors that more emphasis should be placed on wildfire mitigation strategies. You might be surprised at just how many strategies are available, from custom window covers to vents that swell up and close when they’re heated, preventing stray embers from passing through them into the house. Inform yourself, check out our new article on wildfire mitigation strategies and inspection.

New article on PVC health hazards

PVC is used everywhere in and around buildings, from sewage pipes and siding to shower curtains and junction boxes. It’s had a long and complicated history, but in recent years there’s been growing suspicion that PVC can vent toxic chemicals into indoor air and water. To find out more about PVC uses and its potential dangers, check out our new article on PVC health hazards.

New article on UFFI insulation inspection

UFFI foam insulation was used extensively in North American homes during the 1970’s until it was banned due to fears over offgassing of formaldehyde. Those fears were largely unfounded and the ban was overturned in the U.S., although it still remains in effect in Canada. Learn the history of this insulation, why and where it was banned, and how to inspect for it in the home in our new article on UFFI insulation inspection.

New article on chimney collapse inspection

Chimneys made from bricks or stone may look sturdy but few building components can crush a building so suddenly and without warning. Especially in seismically active regions, chimney inspection should be performed routinely to check for separation from the building, loose mortar, mechanical damage and undersized footings. To read more, check out our new article,  Chimney Inspection: Preventing Collapse

New article on eminent domain

The government has the right to seize real estate from private owners and use the land for public use through the law of eminent domain. Homeowners are often powerless in these situations, but they can prevent their homes from being declared “blighted”, so that they’re harder to seize. Blighted properties lack adequate ventilation, sanitation, electricity and utilities, pose a fire hazard or are otherwise unsafe. To find out more about the law of eminent domain, how it affects homeowners and what they can do about it, check out our new article on eminent domain.