Our Blog

Spring Cleaning Tips in Bossier City – From Your Home Inspector

Sump Pump Discharge Points

In terms of an inspection, the discharge location is not checked. Although InterNACHI inspectors often note if an improper discharge is spotted, searching for the discharge location isn’t recommended. However, there are some general rules of which the owner should be aware;

Summary – By removing water from homes, sump pumps can prevent damage, moisture, mold, and various other problems. Although there are different types, they all have the same premise which is to measure water levels and bring the pump into action when required. As long as they are maintained regularly, they should last a long time!

Disadvantages of Central Vacuum Systems

As with most products and ideas, there are also some downsides;

Firstly, central vacuum systems can be rather expensive. In fact, a unit can cost around $1,500 which is a significant increase when compared to the portable units.
After this, they have also been known for weak suctio

n and this occurs whenever there is an obstruction in the system, a full canister needing to be emptied, or even a dirty filter. With this in mind, they can be ineffective if they aren’t maintained correctly. If the unit stops working altogether, there could be a problem with the wiring, motor, or breaker.

Finally, there is also a danger of items being sucked up by mistake. When a system is powerful, there is a risk that unwanted items will be sucked up and this can damage the unit. If you have children in the house, they have to be very clear that toys, jars of jelly, and yogurt pots are not supposed to fit into the system. With portable vacuums, they are often too weak to suck up such items.

Summary – As you can see, a central vacuum system is certainly worthwhile in the right household. Although they can be expensive, they repay the risk when considered an ‘investment’ and they provide a very good service as long as you maintain the unit regularly!

Scary HOA Situations

Around 57 million of homeowners in America are members of homeowners association (HOAs). They are selected bodies that regulate the architectural preferences and lifestyle of their members. Generally unchecked by federal and state laws, these associations are fundamentally autonomous miniature ‘government’ bodies that could wield sufficient influence or power to force their residents into a foreclosure. Therefore, inspectors may want to equip themselves with the needed knowledge about how their clients struggle under these associations.

Take the story of a Chicago resident Wally Kuchlewski, 67 who is a machinist. One day he went back to his condominium only to find all he possessed on the streets. His home had been foreclosed on by his HOA in reaction to his unpaid dues to the tune of $400 which had suddenly increased. The due was for the association’s attorney fees. The distressed Wally grabbed a gun and shot dead the secretary of the condominium and also wounded a bystander. Though his reactions were very extreme, this clearly shows the increasing resistance against the overwhelming influence of Home Owners Associations.

Well Water Contaminants

well-water-1

Buying a home with a well comes with responsibility. We become responsible for the purity of the water we drink and making sure to check for pollutants.

So what are some common pollutant sources in well water to be aware of? Below is a list of sources to be aware of:

Common Contamination Sources –

Agricultural

animal feedlots

fertiliser/pesticide use and storage

drainage wells

animal burial

manure

irrigation sites

Residential

sewer lines

fuel oil

septic systems

household lawns

furniture stripping

hazardous products

chemicals from swimming pools

Industrial

pipelines

storage tanks

asphalt plants

petroleum/chemical production and storage

electric manufacturing

seepage lagoons

mining

toxic spills

electroplater fields

metal fabricators

metalworking shops

Other

municipal sewer lines

de-icing on the roads

recycling plants

waste landfills

storm water drains

road maintenance depots

open burning sites

transfer stations

Health Effects Of Pesticides in The Home

pesticides

When we see bottles of pesticides in unsecured locations during home inspections, it really makes us nervous for people. Many people tend to ignore possible health effects of pesticides.

Overall, the effects that pesticides can have largely depend on the ingredients contained within. For example, the nervous system can be affected by carbamates and organophosphates whilst other ingredients will cause simple irritation. However, the biggest dangers come from those that can cause cancer or damage to the hormone system. Furthermore, some symptoms may show immediately whilst others will take a long time to develop. In that light, it is very much like asbestos in that it can take years for a problem to show. With pesticides, the following symptoms should be noted;

Acute Symptoms

With mild poisoning, you could experience irritation on the face as well as the skin, dizziness, headaches, thirst, no appetite, weakness, fatigue, diarrhea, restlessness, mood swings, insomnia, nervousness, nausea, and sweating.

With moderate poisoning, this could lead to excessive salivation, rapid pulse, excessive perspiration, vomiting, coughing, abdominal cramps, throat and chest constriction, blurred vision, weakness, trembling, mental confusion, and lack of muscular coordination.

With severe poisoning, the symptoms include small pupils, inability to breathe, uncontrollable twitching in the muscles, chemical burns, unconsciousness, and death.

Long-Term Effects

If the symptoms are not immediate, there could be more long-term issues such as brain, lung, lymphoma, leukemia, or testicular cancer, genetic damage, liver or pancreatic damage, stillbirths, neuropathy, infertility, and immune system issues.

How Your Plumbing System Works – The Basics

Leaky Front Door

Leak Front Door

A pretty common defect to find on a home inspection is a leak under the front door. It may sound relatively minor at first, but it can actually be a very expensive item to fix.

For one, many of us have a crawlspace here, and that makes it harder to get to and repair. The second this is that a door leak means more than water in your crawlspace. It means water on your rim joist and other framing – which also means wood rot and structural damage.

The easy fix is to have a home inspection (obviously) and then if the problem is found soon enough it can be rectified with proper flashing and other repairs.

Cracks in Slabs

2016-04-12 13.57.57

Many times people will see a crack in a slab and ask “is that a structural problem?” The answer is almost always, “well, it depends”.

Generally speaking, patios, slabs in crawlspaces, and other areas are non-structural. In fact, cracks in slabs are common. There is an engineering term: If you have concrete that doesn’t crack, then you have magic concrete. Concrete cracks, so it is usually very normal.

In some cases though, it can be an issue. For instance, if your home is built on a slab and the crack is large and displaced. Or if you have a patio that is cracked and the patio now leans toward the home. Or if a non-structural slab s cracked, displaced, and is pushing against a foundation or other structural member.

In either case, you should always have it fully examined by a qualified inspector such as myself

Welcome To Our Bossier City Home Inspection Blog!

Welcome to our Bossier City Home Inspection blog. Each month we will have home inspection tips, home maintenance advice, and other great information. So stay tuned!