Different climates and even different jurisdictions have their own rules when it comes to residential guttering systems. Home inspectors should be aware of the requirements for their particular service area, and be prepared to inform their clients of the potential problems that an inadequate, damaged or neglected system can cause by reading Inspecting Gutters and Downspouts.
The U.S. and Gulf Coast and Atlantic regions are seeing unprecedented storm activity this year. Homeowners must do what they can to prepare for damage and flooding, but they should also take certain precautions afterward. Read more in our latest article: For Homeowners and Inspectors: Re-Entering a Flooded Home.
Insulation can help regulate temperature, ventilation and moisture control in crawlspaces. Read about some important installation guidelines and inspection tips in Inspecting Insulation of Existing Crawlspace Floors.
Moisture intrusion is one of the most serious problems a home can experience. It can lead to rapid deterioration of many structural components. Home inspectors can familiarize themselves with the best practices for installing some basic roof components that will help prevent water damage by reading Inspecting Step and Kick-Out Flashing at Roof-Wall Intersections.
In Canada, the number of indoor grow ops is so serious that in some areas, law enforcement has given up pursuing all but the greatest offenders. The roughly 50,000 grow ops in that country bring in billions of dollars annually. Why should you care? Well, marijuana is grown in homes, and inspectors inspect homes, so it’s not that unusual to encounter evidence of a former grow operation. Grow ops can cause building damage and it’s important to know where that damage came from. Water damage and mold often comes from roof leaks, but they can also be caused by grow ops. Dangerous electrical connections are often used to illegally tap power lines and divert huge amounts of current to lights. To find out more, check out our new article on marijuana grow operations.
The way houses are built nowadays, they are not as breathable as they once were. In less-breathable houses, water has an easier time entering the building envelope and vapor has a tougher time leaving. As a result, newer homes are more likely to suffer water damage than older homes. Kick-out flashing is more important than ever to divert rainwater away from cladding. Inspectors should know where they should be located and what common defects to look for while inspecting home exteriors. Check out our new article on kick-out flashing to find out more about these critical components.
Sump pumps are probably the most important appliances in the homes that have them. They keep water from seeping into the basement and causing damage to the home’s interior. It’s too bad that many homeowners spend thousands of dollars on TVs and furniture yet get the cheapest sump pump they can buy. The pump is what protects their possessions from being destroyed by water! Sump pumps are self-activating but must be maintained regularly. Read our new article on sump pump operation and inspection to find out more.
In order to prepare a home for winter, especially if the home will not be occupied, a number of preventative measures must be taken to protect it from the cold. Catastrophic damage can result from water damage if unheated pipes burst, and leaky windows can create uncomfortable drafts. Take a look at our new article on home winterization to learn why winterization is important and how it should be done.