A Raleigh Home Inspection Reveals Fireplace Damage And Some Angry Birds In The Chimney

During a Raleigh Home Inspection, Gary Gentry of Quality Residential Inspections…your Raleigh Inspector…discovered some fireplace damage that was in need of being repaired. Also, it was noted that some birds had taken up residence inside the chimney. Take a look at the video that was shot on-site (you can readily hear the little peepers chirping away):

Our clients were glad we made the discoveries. Of course, the birds were just doing what birds do… and their nest was not going to be removed until the birds were finished using it. But it was recommended that a chimney cap be installed, once they were gone, to prevent the future entry of not only nesting birds, but also of other critters and rain and snow.

We also recommended that the masonry fireplace should be repaired…and the saved cost of that repair alone equaled more than all of the home inspection and ancillary services combined. Now that’s real savings to our client, the home-buyer.

Quality Residential Inspections provides Home Inspection services throughout the Triangle region of North Carolina to include Raleigh Home Inspections, Clayton Home Inspections, Wake Forest Home Inspections, and Youngsville Home Inspections.

Call today to schedule your Home Inspection at 919-848-4833 or contact us On-line to schedule.

Raleigh Home Inspection Reveals a Unique Way To Switch An Air Conditioner On and Off

During a Raleigh Home Inspection not too long ago, we happened upon a rather unique way to switch an air conditioner On and Off….well, it really wasn’t an intentional way at all. As it turns out, there were some loose electrical connections that required correction so that the system could function in a proper and safe manner. Here’s the video that was shot on-site, by the Raleigh Home Inspector, at the time of the Home Inspection:

Our Raleigh Home Inspection clients trust us to find these kinds of issues..because they want to do everything they can to reduce the risk associated with their home purchase. And that’s what we do…reduce a clients risk by providing them with thorough, professional Home Inspections and this is why you should have your potential purchase inspected. Join the many thousands of satisfied Raleigh Home Inspection clients that have benefited dramatically from our assessment of the properties that they were considering.

If you need a Raleigh Home Inspection by a highly acclaimed and experienced Raleigh Home Inspector, then give us a call today at 919.848.4833……or Schedule You Home Inspection online. You’ll be glad that you did!

Raleigh Home Inspector Discovers Damaged Clothes Dryer Vent Duct

Damaged Clothes Dryer Flex Duct

This damaged flex duct was discovered behind a clothes dryer during a Raleigh Home Inspection...all too common!

This damaged flexible clothes dryer vent duct was observed behind the clothes dryer during a Raleigh Home Inspection.

Unfortunately, this is an all too common issue.. and a significant one, too.

At the very best, the damaged duct presents a restriction to the exhaust air flow and results in 1) The clothes taking longer to dry and using more energy to do so and, 2) A decreased life expectancy for the clothes dryer because it has to work so much harder to dry the clothes (which means you’ll be going to the appliance store, to purchase a new clothes dryer, a lot sooner than you would like to).

At the worst, it is a potential fire hazard. The inability to readily exhaust the air can lead directly to a build-up of lint that can be the pre-cursor to a potential fire…not good!

The Raleigh Home Inspector recommends that rigid metal ducts be used wherever possible. And we also suggest that everyone check the condition and configuration of their dryer duct to make sure it is not damaged and is able to flow the exhaust air without any restriction. If you find a damaged or mix-configured duct, then have it repaired by an appropriate professional.

Call us today to schedule your Home Inspection…..or click here ? To Schedule Your Home Inspection Online

The Raleigh Home Inspector On: Asbestos Pipe Insulation

Asbestos-based pipe insulation can be found in many homes,  particularly in older homes. As a professional Raleigh Home Inspection firm, we most often see asbestos used as a piping insulation…although other materials e.g. exterior insulation, acoustic (drop-ceiling) tiles, interior floor covering tiles, etc. also often contain asbestos.

The presence of asbestos is not typically or automatically considered a reason for concern…unless it has become friable. Asbestos in a friable condition is material which can be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure and where the asbestos fibers are able to become airborne and ingested into the body usually via inhalation. As a general rule, if the material can be easily/readily disturbed and become airborne, by the effect of a breeze, simply creating a breeze by walking past it – it is in a friable state (condition).

Asbestos-based piping insulation

Asbestos-based Insulation Installed on Water piping

Friable Asbestos-based piping insulation

Friable Asbestos-based Piping Insulation Installed on Water Piping

Very few products that are manufactured today contain asbestos. Those few products made which still contain asbestos that could be inhaled are required to be labeled as such. Up until the 1970’s, there were many different types of building products and insulation materials used in homes contained asbestos. Common products that might have contained asbestos in the past, and conditions which may release fibers, include:

  • Boiler, steam, or water distribution piping that has been  insulated with an asbestos blanket or asbestos paper tape.
  • Resilient floor tiles – the backing on some vinyl sheet floor covering , and adhesives used for installing floor tiles. Sanding tiles can release fibers. So may scraping or sanding the backing of sheet flooring during removal.
  • Cement sheet, mill-board, and paper used as insulation around furnaces and wood-burning stoves. Repairing or removing appliances may release asbestos fibers. So may cutting, tearing, sanding, drilling or sawing insulation.
  • Asbestos exterior siding and some roofing shingles…these products are not likely to release asbestos fibers unless sawed, drilled or cut. Many times we find that the asbestos-based siding has been covered with a different material.

So, how does one know whether there is asbestos in the home and, if so, what should be done about it?

The positive identification of asbestos-containing materials can only be confirmed through testing.  The determination of whether or not there are any such materials present is typically, by definition, outside the scope of a Home Inspection. A Home Inspector may make a note regarding potential presence…a comment in the inspection report such as “Materials similar to those observed have been known to contain asbestos…” may well be appropriate, but any definitive determination would need to be the result of testing.

As mentioned previously, there can be asbestos present that does not constitute any cause for alarm because it is in a non-friable condition. Should it be discovered or determined that there are friable asbestos-based materials present, then a certified remediation specialist should be consulted to assess and correct the condition.

Gary Gentry – The Raleigh Home Inspector

Raleigh Home Inspector On: A/C Units and Dogs

I love dogs…I have a whole pack of the critters! But I am not particularly fond of the damage that they can inflict upon residential air conditioning (HVAC) equipment.

As a Raleigh Home Inspector and the owner of a Raleigh Home Inspection company, we are all too often made directly aware of damage to outside HVAC equipment as result of the presence of Fido… You see, the trouble with dogs, and especially male dogs, is that they inherently like to urinate on things vertical…trees, fences, automobile tires and……your outside air conditioning equipment. It would seem that some dogs think the equipment is their own personal fire hydrant.

Damaged A/C Unit

The damage caused by a dog to an A/C unit can be striking

The potential result of  “Come on, pooch, go outside and go potty” takes on a whole new meaning when it comes time to replace that expensive equipment. The damage that can be done is striking.

Damaged HVAC Unit

Hmmm...Not good!

The best preventative measure is to separate the dog and the equipment…perhaps the installation of a fence around the unit to provide a barrier for that Bulldog…an obstacle for that Shepherd…an impediment for that Labrador. And it should be relatively easy and inexpensive to incorporate. Just be sure that you don’t construct any solid barriers too close to the equipment because you need to maintain an adequate free space around the equipment.

If you need a professional Home Inspection in the Raleigh and greater Triangle Region of NC, then give us at Quality Residential Inspections call at 919.848.4833….or Schedule Your Home Inspection Online today.

Improperly Installed Expansion Tank discovered during an Apex Home Inspection

During a recent Quality Residential Inspections Home Inspection in Apex, North Carolina, we discovered a poorly installed and deficient water expansion tank installed in the crawl space.

Raleigh Home Inspector discovers unsupported expansion tank

Quality Residential Inspections discovers an unsupported and Leaking expansion tank during an Apex Home Inspection

An expansion tank is a small tank used in domestic water heating systems to absorb excess water pressure that can be caused by thermal expansion as water is heated.

The tank itself is a small two-part container with the two parts being separated by a rubber diaphragm. One side is connected to the piping of the heating system and contains water. The other, the dry side, contains air under pressure and normally a Schrader valve (think of a bicycle tire air valve) for checking pressures and adding or removing air. When the water system is at the low end of the normal range of its working pressure, the diaphragm will be pushed against the water inlet. As the water pressure increases, the corresponding pressures move the diaphragm thereby compressing the air on the opposite side. The compressibility of the air (remember that fluids are not compressible) cushions the pressure shock and relieves pressure in the system that could otherwise damage the plumbing system; simply put, it gives the water room to expand without exerting potentially harmful forces on the water piping itself.

Expansion tanks are typically sized according the systems that they support. And they are typically requirement in most jurisdictions for both new construction and required to be installed whenever any substantial components are replaced e.g. when a water heater is replaced.

This particular tank, the subject of this post, was not adequately supported…and was leaking: obviously time for it to be replaced. Of particular note, and a condition often encountered during a Home Inspection, is that the tank (these tanks can be quite heavy) was being supported by flexible plastic water distribution piping; this is a very poor practice because it places unintended and undue physical forces onto the piping and piping joints.

We recommended to our clients that the tank be replaced, and the new tank installed such that it is properly and adequately secured, by a licensed plumber.

To schedule a top-of-the-line professional Home Inspection today, contact us at 919.848.4833 or schedule your Home Inspection on-line HERE.

Raleigh Home Inspector Finds An Ungraspable Water Shut-off Valve Handle

What were they thinking? During a recent Raleigh Home Inspection, we found a main water shut-off valve that had been installed such that it couldn’t be grasped…that is, it couldn’t be operated. The reason it can’t be operated is because it is recessed into the wall…it’s like “I can see you… but I just can’t reach you”.

Inoperable Water Shut-off Valve

How would you operate this valve in an emergency? Oh...and its leaking too!

Now, this is fairly important since the valve is supposed to be readily operable in case an “urgent” situation were to arise such as coming home to a flooded house because of a broken water pipe. In that scenario, one would want to be able to go directly to the valve and turn the water “Off”…..RIGHT NOW! Not only was this particular valve nor readily operable…it was leaking too as can be seen by the stains on the wall below the valve.

Most often, these valves are mounted in a dedicated box intended for the purpose.

We recommended to our client that the valve should be re-configured, by a licensed plumber, to allow it to be readily accessible, that the leakage be repaired, and that it be ensured that no damage had been caused to the wall components by the leakage.

One just never knows what one might find in an inspected home……

Should you be in need of a thorough Home Inspection by a professional Raleigh Inspector, then give us a call today to schedule…We can be reached at 919.848.4833 or you can Schedule Online right here on our website.

Raleigh Home Inspection Identifies Leaking Ice-Maker Line and Resulting Mold Growth

During a recent Home Inspection, it was observed that there was an ice-maker line that was leaking…and had been doing so for quite some time. This is not such an uncommon occurrence and can go undetected because the plumbing connection is typically located behind the refrigerator in an “out of sight, out of mind” location.

Leaking Refrigerator Ice-Maker Line and resulting Mold Growth

Leaking Ice-Maker Line and Resulting Mold Growth

In this instance, the leakage had maintained the surrounding area in a saturated condition and there was obvious visible mold growth present. Likely, some degree of damage to materials was also present inside the wall; those materials could not be directly observed without some destructive evaluation.

We advised our client that destructive evaluation should be under-taken, to any extent necessary to ensure no damage to hidden materials or components had occurred, and that any damage be repaired. We also advised that any visible fungal/microbial growth should be thoroughly cleaned from all affected areas in accordance with recommendations of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Of course, the leakage that caused the issue should be repaired by a licensed plumber.

Don’t let someone else’s problems become your problems. Have your home inspected by a professional Home Inspector before you buy the home because…You just never know what conditions might be present!

Raleigh Home Inspection Discovers Off-Center Loading Of Porch Roof Beam of A New Home

During a recent Raleigh Home Inspection, of a Home that had been recently completed and not yet occupied, we observed that the structural beam supporting the roof load of the front porch was not bearing fully on its vertical support posts. The center of the beam should be bearing on the center of the posts to provide proper and intended support. As can be seen in the photograph, the majority of the width of the beam is protruding beyond the edge of the posts. We refer to this condition as an “Off-center loading” of the posts.

Raleigh Home Inspection Discovers Off-Center Loading of Front Porch Posts

Raleigh Home Inspection Discovers Off-Center Loading of Front Porch Posts

Unfortunately,this structural deficiency is one that we observe from time to time. Our client was initially surprised and dismayed as to how that could happen…being that the home was brand new, had “passed” all of its inspections by the local municipality, and had received its Certificate of Occupancy. While we couldn’t precisely answer that particular question, we did recommend in our report that the condition be corrected by the builder and it was ultimately corrected in a satisfactory manner prior to our clients taking possession of the home.

Our client was happy and pleased that they chose to have Quality Residential Inspections perform their Home Inspection and that we were so effectively able to protect their best interest. Had they not been informed of the condition, by us, they might have been responsible for corrective repairs sometime in the future.

It is worthy of note that the home actually “inspected” quite well…and was, overall, a quite nicely constructed home. It was simply a framing configuration that had been improperly implemented and that no one (not the framing contractor, not the builder, not the Building Department inspector) noticed the defect prior to our inspection.

This serves as an example of why you should obtain a professional Home Inspection on any home that you are considering purchasing…even though it may be a “brand new” home.

Call the Raleigh Home Inspector today at 919.848.4833 to schedule your Home Inspection or go HERE to schedule your Home Inspection online.

Exterior wall penetrations need to be sealed to keep the water out!

A most common condition that we find during a Home Inspection, is that exterior wall penetrations haven’t been sealed against water entry. At locations where various appurtenances e.g. water piping, electrical wiring or conduit, gas piping, etc. pass through the wall, the gap around the material needs to be caulk-sealed. It may not be the most important, or the most harmful of condition we find, but it certainly can be harmful and it has the potential to cause water-related damage to the home; if it has already caused any such damage, then it is obviously an important issue. Usually, the corrective action is simple and inexpensive to implement. And, whenever we see these types of deficiencies, it makes us look just a little bit closer for other related issues. So be sure that all exterior wall penetration are well-sealed to keep the water out!

Unsealed water pipe wall penetrationUnsealed exterior wall penetration