One of the tests we preform for vinyl siding is to pull the larger pieces and see if we can slide it back and forth. Vinyl siding needs to be installed loose because the siding expands and contracts with the changes in temperature.
This siding was tight and I was unable to slide any of the large pieces that I tried. You can’t always predict when or what will happen, but there are chances that the siding will crack/split when it shrinks. It can also buckle and become unconnected when it expands.
Sometimes we see things that are about to be covered up by drywall.
This wall was leaning quite a bit and you can see the horizontal crack. I personally think this is really unsafe. But what upsets me is that someone is trying to cover this up and sell this to somebody else who will have to spend a good amount of money to secure the wall.
The roof of your home is meant to last for several decades. However, it’s pretty much unavoidable that problems will develop over time due to everyday exposure to environmental elements and harsh weather conditions. If you want to maintain the quality of your roof, look out for the three common problems listed below.
If a roof isn’t installed correctly, problems can develop right away as well as in the future. Some signs of a bad roof installation are gaps between shingles, missing drip edges, stained shingles and an absence of the underlayment. If your roof wasn’t installed right, it’s important to contact an experienced professional roofing company to make the necessary repairs. You can also consider a complete reinstallation of the roof if there are too many problems. Before going with a new company, always check to see if the warranty is still valid on your roof if you had the work done by a contractor.
Water leaks are one of the most common roofing problems that you may encounter as a homeowner. Water leaks can be caused by missing roofing materials that have come loose or fallen off the building. Water getting into the building may also be due to flashing that is not secure or installed properly. Leaks might seem like a minor issue, but they can lead to significant damage to a structure and cause mold to develop, which can be hazardous for residents.
Detecting where a leak is coming from is tricky, but there are some signs you can look for that can suggest where to start. When performing leak detection, look for water stains on the ceiling in the inside of the home. You can also use a flashlight to examine the roof boards in the attic. It’s important to use roofing cement to seal the water leaks on the roof deck before reinstalling the shingle or tile.
Improper ventilation can lead to moisture issues that encourage the growth of mold. Damage to rafters, insulation, shingles and sheathing can occur if too much moisture is present in the air. Make a point to install new vents and fans, specifically in the attic, to prevent mildew or mold from forming.
Many different roof problems can occur due to weather damage, exposure to the elements or poor installation. Knowing what to look for and the necessary repairs to perform can help you increase the lifespan of your roof and avoid further issues.
One of the best ways to catch problems before they become too serious is to have home inspections every so often.
R311.7.1 Width. Stairways shall be not less than 36 inches (914 mm) in clear width at all points above the permitted handrail height and below the required headroom height. Handrails shall not project more than 41/2 inches (114 mm) on either side of the stairway and the clear width of the stairway at and below the handrail height, including treads and landings, shall be not less than 311/2 inches (787 mm) where a handrail is installed on one side and 27 inches (698 mm) where handrails are provided on both sides.
Exception: The width of spiral stairways shall be in accordance with Section R3184.108.40.206.
R311.7.2 Headroom. The headroom in stairways shall be not less than 6 feet 8 inches (2032 mm) measured vertically from the sloped line adjoining the tread nosing or from the floor surface of the landing or platform on that portion of the stairway.
Exceptions: 1. Where the nosings of treads at the side of a flight extend under the edge of a floor opening through which the stair passes, the floor opening shall be allowed to project horizontally into the required headroom not more than 43/4 inches (121 mm).
2. The headroom for spiral stairways shall be in accordance with Section R3220.127.116.11.
R311.7.3 Vertical rise. A flight of stairs shall not have a vertical rise larger than 147 inches (3734 mm) between floor levels or landings.
R311.7.5 Stair treads and risers. Stair treads and risers shall meet the requirements of this section. For the purposes of this section, dimensions and dimensioned surfaces shall be exclusive of carpets, rugs or runners.
R318.104.22.168 Risers. The riser height shall be not more than 73/4 inches (196 mm). The riser shall be measured vertically between leading edges of the adjacent treads. The greatest riser height within any flight of stairs shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8 inch (9.5 mm). Risers shall be vertical or sloped from the underside of the nosing of the tread above at an angle not more than 30 degrees (0.51 rad) from the vertical. Open risers are permitted provided that the openings located more than 30 inches (762 mm), as measured vertically, to the floor or grade below do not permit the passage of a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) sphere.
Exceptions: 1.The opening between adjacent treads is not limited on spiral stairways. 2. The riser height of spiral stairways shall be in accordance with Section R322.214.171.124.
R3126.96.36.199 Treads. The tread depth shall be not less than 10 inches (254 mm). The tread depth shall be measured horizontally between the vertical planes of the foremost projection of adjacent treads and at a right angle to the tread’s leading edge. The greatest tread depth within any flight of stairs shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8 inch (9.5 mm).
R3188.8.131.52 Nosings. The radius of curvature at the nosing shall be not greater than 9/16 inch (14 mm). A nosing projection not less than 3/4 inch (19 mm) and not more than 11/4 inches (32 mm) shall be provided on stairways with solid risers. The greatest nosing projection shall not exceed the smallest nosing projection by more than 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) between two stories, including the nosing at the level of floors and landings. Beveling of nosings shall not exceed 1/2 inch (12.7 mm).
R311.7.6 Landings for stairways. There shall be a floor or landing at the top and bottom of each stairway. The width perpendicular to the direction of travel shall be not less than the width of the flight served. Landings of shapes other than square or rectangular shall be permitted provided that the depth at the walk line and the total area is not less than that of a quarter circle with a radius equal to the required landing width. Where the stairway has a straight run, the depth in the direction of travel shall be not less than 36 inches (914 mm).
R311.7.7 Stairway walking surface. The walking surface of treads and landings of stairways shall be sloped not steeper than one unit vertical in 48 inches horizontal (2-percent slope).
R311.7.8 Handrails. Handrails shall be provided on not less than one side of each continuous run of treads or flight with four or more risers.
R3184.108.40.206 Height. Handrail height, measured vertically from the sloped plane adjoining the tread nosing, or finish surface of ramp slope, shall be not less than 34 inches (864 mm) and not more than 38 inches (965 mm).
R3220.127.116.11 Continuity. Handrails for stairways shall be continuous for the full length of the flight, from a point directly above the top riser of the flight to a point directly above the lowest riser of the flight. Handrail ends shall be returned or shall terminate in newel posts or safety terminals. Handrails adjacent to a wall shall have a space of not less than 11/2 inches (38 mm) between the wall and the handrails.
Exceptions: 1. Handrails shall be permitted to be interrupted by a newel post at the turn.
Stairways – 2015 IRC Section 311.7
R318.104.22.168 Grip-size. Required handrails shall be of one of the following types or provide equivalent graspability.
1. Type I. Handrails with a circular cross section shall have an outside diameter of not less than 11/4 inches (32 mm) and not greater than 2 inches (51 mm). If the handrail is not circular, it shall have a perimeter dimension of not less than 4 inches (102 mm) and not greater than 61/4 inches (160 mm) with a cross section of dimension of not more than 2-1/4 inches (57 mm). Edges shall have a radius of not less than 0.01 inch (0.25 mm).
2. Type II. Handrails with a perimeter greater than 6-1/4 inches (160 mm) shall have a graspable finger recess area on both sides of the profile. The finger recess shall begin within a distance of 3/4 inch (19 mm) measured vertically from the tallest portion of the profile and achieve a depth of not less than
5/16 inch (8 mm) within 7/8 inch (22 mm) below the widest portion of the profile. This required depth shall continue for not less than 3/8 inch (10 mm) to a level that is not less than 13/4 inches (45 mm) below the tallest portion of the profile. The width of the handrail above the recess shall be not less than 11/4 inches (32 mm) and not more than 23/4 inches (70 mm). Edges shall have a radius of not less than 0.01 inch (0.25 mm).
R311.7.11 Alternating tread devices. As per local amendment, Alternating tread stairways may serve as an exit from an area not to exceed 200 square feet. Alternating tread stairways shall have a minimum tread depth of 10.5 inches (276 mm). The rise to the next alternating tread surface should not be more than 8 inches (203 mm). The initial tread of the stairway shall begin at the same elevation as the platform, landing or floor surface. An approved handrail shall be provided on each side.
R311.7.12 Ships ladders. As per local amendment, an interior fire escape stairway may serve as an exit from an area not to exceed 200 square feet. The pitch of the stairway shall not exceed 60 degrees with a minimum width of 24 inches. Treads shall not be less than 4 inches in width and the rise between treads shall not exceed 10 inches. An approved handrail shall be on both sides.
This photo below shows a plumbing pipe connected to an underground sprinkler system. The pipe is disconnected right now.
Once water leaves the supply side it is considered waste water and we have to make absolutely positively sure there is no chance that water can re-enter the supply system. The use of anti-back-flow devices are usually installed here. In this case there is no back-flow prevention device present.
It takes one of those “planets-in-alignment” moments for waste water to be siphoned into the drinking water. I get it. BUT WHY TAKE THE CHANCE?!?
So how can this happen?
I personally believe this is incredibly important and pretty affordable to repair. Many people, home inspectors included, never heard of a cross connection. Many people have gotten sick and some have died from drinking water with poisons in it.
I hope this helps people understand the importance repairing, correcting, cross connections that are found and documented.
One of the items on our checklist is to make sure the jumper cable over the water meter is present and secured to the water pipes.
In this photo you can see the water meter is removed.
This is the purpose of this cable. When it comes time for the water to be installed, the electrical voltage on both side will be the same. If there is a difference in potential, the person who touches both side of these pipes will become the conductor to equal the voltage. This can actually kill someone. And for a $2.00 wire and a couple of clamps secured to pipes, I believe it should be present.
The photo shown here is a garage door opener with the electric eye sensor mounted up on the brackets.
I see these little brackets mounted in areas that don’t protect people, animals, and objects in the path of the door closing too many times. The proper location is no higher than six inches from the floor so it can protect the opening of the door.
Wall heating and cooling units are part of the Illinois (and most other) Standards of Practice. That means that these have to be inspected. Most of these units are fairly easy to inspect. Turn on the heat and see if warm air comes out. Do the same for the cooling (air conditioner). Since air is flowing over the coils, keeping the filter and coils clean is important for proper heat transfer. I am guessing that the people who lived in this home didn’t know there was a filter in this unit. They all have filters. When I pulled this out to inspect it, flakes of dirt fell off of the filter. My client got a “what-the-heck” look on his face. The cure is simple, clean the filter and the wall unit. Buying a home is an emotional ordeal. Taking the time to prep your home is vital and a quality real estate agent should help you prepare your home for the inspection process. Think about hiring us to inspect your home prior to listing. We can help make things go smoothly.
Most home maintenance issues that you run into aren’t going to be emergencies, but foundation damage is one problem that you should never ignore. That type of damage can quickly spread to other parts of your home, and a relatively minor fix early on could help you avoid expensive repairs down the road. Here is a quick glimpse at three signs of foundation damage that must be addressed as quickly as possible.
Practically every homeowner is going to notice at least a few foundation cracks over the years, and according to PermaPier, most of those cracks are non-structural and therefore completely harmless. As soon as you see a crack, you should note its overall size and shape. You must then check the crack once every few weeks to make sure that it hasn’t grown larger. Homeowners should contact a contractor if they notice that their foundation cracks have grown longer or spread to the nearby walls. If you notice any unpleasant smells near the cracks, then you need to call a local plumber for emergency repairs.
Schuelke Plumbing defines slab leaks as leaks that occur in copper pipes under the concrete foundations of your home. These leaks result in diminished water supply and can also cause damage to the surrounding concrete, compromising its strength and integrity, leading to long-term structural damage if not repaired. Some slab leaks lead to visible damage, such as mold and mildew, while other leaks are a little more difficult to detect. One of the most common signs of a slab leak is the sound of running water whenever you are standing near your home’s foundation. You also need to be wary of any unusual smells coming from your foundation or sewage line.
When multiple doors and windows stick, there could be a major problem with the home’s foundation. My Foundation Repairs says that sticking doors and windows can also be caused by sudden changes to the humidity levels, but you should never take this problem lightly. At the very least, you need to contact a contractor who can thoroughly inspect every inch of your home. You should also keep an eye out for any gaps around your doors and windows. Covering up the gaps with caulking might be tempting, but that will only mask the problem. In order to find and address the root causes of your foundation damage, you must hire a plumber or contractor.
Foundation damage can be catastrophic, but most homeowners should be able to catch the early warning signs as long as they are diligent. As a general rule, you need to inspect your home’s foundation at least once a year for signs of damage or any other unusual issues.
Whether you recently moved into a new house or you have been living in your home for a while, it’s important to be aware of some of the dangers that can be lurking in plain sight. Even in the best-kept house, there are a number of potential safety hazards that you may encounter. Below we explore four things to keep in mind.
Low levels of carbon monoxide in the home can cause dizziness and headaches, while higher levels can leave you feeling nauseous, impair your vision, and even potentially kill you. This toxic gas is odorless, tasteless, and invisible. Protect yourself against exposure by having fully functioning CO detectors and performing yearly maintenance of your HVAC system. These are a few of the common household items that can produce carbon monoxide:
• Wood and gas stoves
• Gas water heaters
Molds love to grow in dark and humid areas of your home, like under sinks, in bathrooms and near plumbing. They’re often discovered when they’re making someone sick or causing a foul smell in your home. By then, it’s often too late to fix the problem without having to spend tens of thousands of dollars.
Mold exposure can make your family sick, weaken the structural integrity of your home, and in extreme cases, it can make your home unlivable. What’s worse, a 2013 study found that 100% of all the homes that were tested had a variety of mold living in it. Thankfully it wasn’t always the dangerous kind.
It’s a good practice to be mindful of mold and keep an eye out around humid areas that might be susceptible to mold growth. It can also be beneficial to have a home professionally tested for mold every few years, ensuring you’ll catch any a potentially serious problem before it’s out of hand.
Outlets are such an important part of modern living that it can be easy to forget they carry a current of 120 volts of potentially deadly electricity. While most of the time this dangerous current is insulated behind the outlet cover, this flimsy piece of plastic can easily break and give you a nasty shock.
As outlet covers crack, they can expose the metal contact points underneath. A broken outlet cover is a serious fire and safety hazard that should be replaced right away. Not only can electrical outlets start fires, but they can also result in an arc flash, which can be equally deadly.
Equally dangerous and much harder to detect are hazardous materials that can hide in the most unexpected places. Lead, asbestos, and radon can cause horrifying health problems, like irreversible brain damage, mesothelioma, and other cancers. Worse, they are virtually impossible to identify without specialized equipment and can be found in many houses around the country. The only way to know if your home has any of these toxins is to have it professionally inspected.
The good news is that most of the side effects attributed to these dangers can be avoided with the proper precautions, and it’s never too late to have your home checked.