Monday, December 9, 2013

FHA Compliance Inspection Reports

So today's subject is FHA Compliance Inspection Report Services. This particular inspection service is designed to meet the needs of new home construction FHA loan requirements. The target audience is not the general public but directed toward FHA lenders who need these services to close the escrow on time and within budget.

We're California's #1 source for FHA Compliance Inspection Report Services having completed thousands of these inspections over the past 5 years. We pride ourselves in excellent customer service and dedicated to communicating the order and property status to the client on a frequent basis. You'll never question the status of the order as you'll be kept apprised of the entire process.

When only the very best home inspection services will do, call the Certified Master Inspector Pro's at "Progressive Inspection Service". You'll thank me later!

www.progressiveinspection.com

Monday, November 18, 2013

Guard Railing Safety

So today's picture is in a 1960's vintage custom home in Laguna Beach, CA.. Reverse two story with entry at upper level and a main stairwell down to the lower level. Side load restraint requirements on safety railings was 9" spacing back then.

The code was changed to 6" and then to today's 4" spacing requirement. As you can tell from the photo, the side load restraint has been completely removed which creates a fall hazard for children and adults. Easy to resolve but a major safety issue in its current condition and configuration.

Remember, always use licensed contractors when working on your property, pull those permits when required and when in doubt, error on the side of safety.

Call us today - we perform home and commercial inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fire Damage

Today's photo is of a 1912 structure in Corona, California. No permit history on this structure for its existence and or evolution over the years. Disrepair throughout the property but a newer roof system.

This is where the fun starts.. As I enter the attic the smell of charcoal is noticeable. As I move the flashlight beam throughout the attic, there it is.. "Fire Damage". Not just discoloring but complete structural degradation at rafters, studs, cripple walls and joists.

How can this be? Obviously a significant fire event occurred. Did an insurance company pay a claim? How did this get re-roofed over the fire damage? Was there a permit? We found out later, there were no permits and little information about its current condition. What we do know is it's time to call the structural engineer.

Remember, always use licensed contractors when working on your property, pull those permits when required and when in doubt, error on the side of safety.

Call us today - we perform home and commercial inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Aluminum Wiring

Today's inspection photo is of a 1968 tract home in Lake Forest, CA. Home's of this vintage can be equipped with Aluminum branch electrical wiring. Aluminum wiring was used briefly by the construction industry from the late 60's to early 70's..

Aluminum wiring systems began to show problems related to fire safety issues almost immediately which is why it is no longer used in residential electrical systems. Aluminum was not well suited for use with standard outlet and or switch connectors along with wire nut pig tail splices. The wiring can loosen causing arcing and creating fire safety issues.

Remember, always use licensed contractors when working on your property, pull those permits when required and when in doubt, error on the side of safety.

Call us today - we perform home and commercial inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com




Thursday, November 7, 2013

Central Heat Ducting

So today's inspection was of a 1930's vintage cottage in Laguna Beach, CA. The homes original floor furnace was removed and a central heating system installed. It's a raised foundation so the contractor decided on a sub area installation.

Unfortunately, rigid metal ducting wrapped in fiberglass insulation was chosen for the install. Problem is the ducting is resting directly on grade. Because of occasional dampness and moisture at the sub area the insulation has become damaged and fallen off the ducting.

An HVAC Contractor has been called, the ducting will be replaced with fiberglass flexible material which will be properly elevated above grade and attached to the bottom of the floor joists. No permit on the installation as usual.

Remember, always use licensed contractors when working on your property, pull those permits when required and when in doubt, error on the side of safety.

Call us today - we perform home and commercial inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com

Roof Flashing

Today's photo is of a tile roof installation on a 1970's vintage home in La Habra, CA. This is an original tile roof system with a rolled cap sheet cricket system off the garage.

The cricket is basically a run off area between two hips and will experience substantial water volume during inclement weather conditions. This particular cricket is missing a proper metal flashing extension to prevent water from flowing directly over the eave framing. Damage has occurred as a result of same. Time to give your roofing contractor a call...

Remember, always use licensed contractors when working on your property, pull those permits when required and when in doubt, error on the side of safety.

Call us today - we perform home and commercial inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

What's that Odor?

So today's picture is of a 1960's vintage custom home on a raised foundation. Drainage has been ignored and the Owner has been dealing with odor and mold issues at the interior of the structure in the bedrooms and hall areas.

After 4 hours I finally venture into the sub area. What a surprise, organic growth is everywhere on the sub flooring, floor joist framing, rim joist framing and foundation. This material loves to feed on cellulose/wood material. Left un-treated it will continue to grow and feed on the home. Additional damage was noted at framing and sub flooring surfaces throughout the sub area.

Agent and buyer were on the phone ordering an environmental and termite inspection as I was leaving the property.

 Remember, always use licensed contractors when working on your property, pull those permits when required and when in doubt, error on the side of safety.

Call us today - we perform home and commercial inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Patio Door Addition

Do you need a permit to add a patio door? Yes indeed. Today's photo is of a 1985 tract home in Valencia, CA. The original living room window was removed and replaced with a much larger patio door configuration.

An indicator that the patio door was added is the lack of switch controlled exterior lighting off the door/egress to grade.

Was the altered exterior wall penetration/patio door framed correctly? Was the flashing and vapor barrier installed correctly to prevent water intrusion? We simply don't know the the answers to those questions.

Remember, always use licensed contractors when working on your property, pull those permits when required and when in doubt, error on the side of safety.

Call us today - we perform home and commercial inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Window Leaks?

Today's picture is of a 1980's vintage tract home in Laguna Niguel, CA.. Do your homes windows leak? You say no but are you sure?

There should be NO water stains and or blistering at the interior window sill, casing and or header surfaces of the window.

If there are water stains or blistering, you're probably experiencing some intrusion. Windows rarely leak at the actual window system itself, more likely the water intrusion is related to poor and or faulty installation of your window.

Flashing, seals and or foam barriers are all questionable areas of the system installation. Failure to properly install a window can lead to water intrusion and or damage to your structure. Mold at the building envelope is another possibility.

Remember, always use licensed contractors when working on your property, pull those permits when required and when in doubt, error on the side of safety.

Call us today - we perform home and commercial inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

What's Wrong?

So today's tip involves a kitchen remodel in a 80's vintage tract home in Rowland Heights, CA. The remodel was not permitted of course.

The picture is of the interior view of the cabinet above the range hood exhaust fan system? How many issues do you see?

The exhaust vent must be smooth wall material, the existing use of "Corrugated" material is not acceptable as grease/debris can collect and create a fire safety issue. We're also missing an outlet cover and there is an open/exposed 120v pig tail wiring splice to the right of the vent, also unsafe.

Remember, always use licensed contractors when working on your property, pull those permits when required and when in doubt, error on the side of safety.

Call us today - we perform home and commercial inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Raised Foundation Homes

So today's picture is a foundation view taken in the sub area of a 1930's vintage home in Altadena, CA. The property has poor drainage conditions with evidence of standing ponding water during inclement weather conditions and negative slope cause water to run towards the foundation.

Can long term water interaction have a negative impact on your homes foundation? Absolutely! Note the large deep horizontal cracks, deflection, rock pockets and spalling. The water interacts with the concrete causing it to break down and separate from the gravel mixture. The foundation is now compromised in multiple locations.

Remember, always use licensed contractors when working on your property, pull those permits when required and when in doubt, error on the side of safety.

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Central Air Ducting

So today's photo is from a recent San Clemente home inspection of a 1980's two story tract home built by a large well known national builder.

Flexible fiberglass ducting is part of the original central air installation package and is visible in the attic and a very small area of the garage above the FAU. The ducting is comprised of a three part system make up including an interior transparent membrane, insulation layer and outer layer protective jacket.

Can your ducting system be compromised? Of course. Rodents can cause damage, sun light (UV) shining through roof vents can damage the outer jacket and of course we have physical contact issues from workers going into the attic over the years or even falling debris from re-roof activity.

Once the outer jacket is damaged the insulation becomes loose exposing the interior membrane. At this point energy efficiency is compromised, condensation can form at the interior of the duct leading to bacteria and or mold issues and reduced indoor air quality.

Remember, always use licensed contractors when working on your property, pull those permits when required and when in doubt, error on the side of safety.

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Electrical Outlets

So today, let's talk about some basic residential outlet safety. We are a society of electrical components, appliances and devices. Our electrical demands have never been higher.

Are we taking care of our "End User" electrical source, "The Outlets"? Maybe not.

In modern homes we have 3 hole, 3 wire grounded outlets. For optimum safety we should have GFCI protection at kitchen, wet bar, laundry basin, bathroom, garage, sub area and or exterior mounted outlets. This doesn't mean a GFCI outlet at every individual outlet but rather protection at each of those circuits. An electrician can properly locate and install a single GFCI outlet on a circuit for example which protects all the outlets on that circuit.

Have you seen any burnt, damaged, loose or out of position outlets about your home? If so, let's get them corrected, they're unsafe for sure. Do you have old outlets with loose contacts? They're also unsafe and can cause arcing form power cord use and movement.

Remember, always use licensed contractors when working on your property, pull those permits when required and when in doubt, error on the side of safety.

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com

Monday, October 14, 2013

Illegal Contractors

In 2010, unlicensed contractors are in store for tougher penalties. Starting Jan. 1, those caught contracting in California without a license for the first time will face six months in jail or a fine of up to $5,000 because of a new law that will take affect.

Right now the offense is only considered a misdemeanor with no set jail time or penalties.
Second-timers must pay 20 percent of the contract price, or $5,000, whichever is greater and spend at least 90 days in county jail. A third offense would be punishable with 90 days to one year in a county jail and a fine between $5,000 and $10,000, or 20 percent of the contract price, according to the law, Assembly Bill 370.

Anyone who uses an unlicensed contractor is a victim and is entitled to a refund, regardless of whether they knew the contractor was unlicensed, according to state law.
In October, the Contractors State License Board, which operates under the Department of Consumer Affairs, conducted a sting operation in San Clemente and caught 15 illegal contractors. This year, the CSLB closed 133 cases on unlicensed contractors in Orange County, either sending them notices to appear in county court or administrative citations, according to CSLB data. State law requires that all jobs valued at $500 or more for labor and materials must be done by a licensed contractor.

To get a license, contractors must pass several tests and get a background check from the Department of Justice. Those with offenses substantially related to contracting are not granted licenses. There are currently about 315,000 licensed contractors in California. Because unlicensed operators don't carry worker's compensation insurance, they often cost less. But if a worker is injured on the job, the homeowner could be liable. Also, if there is a contract disagreement homeowners have very few options, said a CSLB news release.

By Brittany Levine - The Orange County Register

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com   

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Garage Firewall

So today's photo is from a condo inspection in Lake Forest, CA. This particular property is a split level with partial sub area below the living room and front deck. Since the bulk of the structure is constructed adjacent to the garage we must maintain a proper firewall.

Firewalls in two story structures are normally constructed of 5/8" "X" rated drywall with all seams and joints properly finished to prevent the intrusion of fire, smoke and other toxic fumes from entering the living area of the structure.

As you can see from this plumbing repair from two years ago, the firewall has been left open directly below the kitchen. It's an easy fix but needs to be immediately corrected to ensure safe, hazard free, code compliant systems integrity.

Remember, always use licensed contractors when working on your property, pull those permits when required and when in doubt, error on the side of safety.

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com   

Friday, October 11, 2013

Home Inspection Information

We're "Live" tonight with California's #1 Home Inspection website. Come check us out! We've added more home inspection content and information from home maintenance to child safety issues.  www.progressiveinspection.com

Maybe you're looking for a sample report, ASHI home inspection standards or a referral to an excellent local contractor. We'll you've come to the right place.

We're striving to be your single go to source for all things "Home Inspection" and or "Home Inspector". Let us know what you think, we'd love to hear from you.

Remember, always use licensed contractors when working on your property, pull those permits when required and when in doubt, error on the side of safety.

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com   

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Perimeter Flat Work

So today's photo is of a slope side property with a SW facing ocean exposure. When is it time to enlist the services of an Engineering Geologist? One could argue its always a good idea when purchasing slope or hill side property. Today we'll consider issues with the perimeter masonry flat work surfaces.

Look for cracks, voids, separation and or deflection. Hairline and slightly larger cracks are some what normal as concrete does crack. What if we see larger voids? What if we notice multiple larger cracks and voids, maybe they're in a common direction of movement, i.e.; toward the slope. Is there adequate yard drainage? Is there a full perimeter rain gutter system with discharge into the drainage system rather than at the foundation? Is there a history of slope/soil issues in the development?

Well... You've probably met the threshold for contacting the Geologist. Yes, it's going to cost you some money for the inspection. But for me it's a double positive. If the Geologist comes back with good news your happy, if the news is bad, you wanted to know before the close of escrow.

Remember, when in doubt error on the side of safety...

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com   

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Appliance Safety!

Today's photo is from a San Clemente, CA home inspection of a 1980's vintage single family residence. This tract home has a few issues but this is one of my favorites.

Gas appliances like water heaters and forced air heating units create a great deal of carbon monoxide exhaust and we need to safely vent this exhaust to the exterior of the structure.

For our exhaust vent system to function correctly it must have open and unrestricted discharge to the atmosphere. Simple right? Well maybe not. Adjacent structure can actually cause a back draft and or negative pressure causing the exhaust to roll back into the structure. If the vent is next to an exterior wall, be sure it's elevated above the adjacent roof line.

As you can see in the picture, the vent is discolored and beginning to rust/corrode from its improper elevation and restricted discharge.

Remember, always use licensed contractors and when in doubt, error on the side of safety!

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com   

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Toilet Inspection?

So you flush your toilet and the water and waste go away, everything seems fine. Are you sure? Depending on the type of toilet, there are multiple components involved in the make up and operation of the fixture.

Today's picture is of a more conventional everyday toilet assembly. It's two piece (bowl and tank), flapper type flush valve and a vertical tank mounted anti-siphon fill valve. From the picture you can see water spraying from the anti-siphon fill valve into the tank after flush. It might not seem like a problem but as the seal wears more and more water can begin to spray up and leak by the tank cover.

You might find some occasional water standing on the floor around the toilet, this might be your problem. Another common source of minor leakage is at the toilet tank seal where the two pieces attach. Don't worry, both are minor repairs and inexpensive to correct. Don't let the leak persist.

Remember to always use licensed contractors and when in doubt, error on the side of safety.

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Exposed Electrical Wiring

Today's photo is from a a 1970's home in Huntington Beach, CA. Not at all uncommon that a structure of that age might have several electrical alterations. That is where the fun begins....

So you've decided your basic stripped down garage needs some more outlets, lighting, appliances, etc.. Can we add more of same, of course. Let's make sure we do the alterations correctly. 120/240v wiring must not be left exposed. Junction boxes must be secure and covered. We must not over load a circuit or branch off a dedicated circuit like your laundry equipment or central air system for example.

Today's picture shows exposed 120v cable and or extension cord wiring running throughout the garage. Extension cords may not be used as a permanent power supply source and the romex cable must be protected from physical contact and or damage, (Bad things can happen).

Remember, always use licensed contractors, don't forget your required permits and always error on the side of safety..

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Smoke Alarm Installation

Today's task? Where should we install the smoke alarms in a home? Well, depending on the size of your home, we might need several. One should be placed in the common area at each level of the structure.

On the floor where sleeping areas are present, let's be sure to place one in the hallway serving the bedrooms/sleeping areas. We'll also need one inside each bedroom and or sleeping area.

Be sure and not place the unit in a corner or within 3' of a heating register. Don't place them near bathrooms, kitchens or laundry rooms. Remember to install the unit on the wall or ceiling within 12" of the ceiling high point. Always follow the manufacturers installation safety instructions.

Remember, when in doubt, error on the side of safety. If your smoke alarm is over 10 years old, replace it.

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Home Inspection - Sub Area?

Today's photo will address perimeter drainage issues and their impact on raised foundation homes. This particular home is a 70's vintage three story structure with large lower level sub area.

Let's think about the amount of rain that might fall on your property. How much of that might actually gather from the roofing system and what are we doing with that water? Do you have a full perimeter rain gutter system with discharge away from the foundation? Do you have a full perimeter yard area surface drainage system with discharge to the street or other safe location? Does the perimeter grade or flat work slope away from the structure? Do you have planters that trap water against the foundation?

A little bit of water to a open grade sub area is anticipated and acceptable. An excessive amount of recurring moisture into and or at the sub area is "Unacceptable".

Remember, always use licensed contractors and when in doubt error on the side of safety.

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com

Monday, September 30, 2013

Re-Roofing with Tile?

So today's inspection involved an un-
permitted tile roof system installation on a 1930's vintage home. This particular tile is a 1 1/8" concrete tile and not of a light weight manufacturing process.

Can you add this tile to your home? Yes, but we have to verify that the existing roof support structure can handle the extra weight of the tile.

In this homes case, the added load was to much for the existing framing. Substantial deflection up to 4" was noted at multiple locations of the finished roofing surfaces. Review the attic interior truss and ridge framing showed multiple cracked or broken framing members.

First, it's time to contact an independent licensed roofing contractor, not the company who installed this particular roof. Once the issues have been confirmed, step two is two get a structural engineer involved who will design the roof structure framing improvements for the roofer to follow.

Remember, always used licensed contractors and when in doubt, error on the side of safety!

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Tub Shower Surround

I'm amazed at how many people think you can just slap some tile over the bath tub/shower drywall and make this beautiful tiled enclosure.

Did you forget that there's going to be a lot of water and vapor moisture in the area? Did you think the tile and grout was water tight?

Today's picture shows water intrusion into the spa tub service area/interior wall framing we noted after a fill and release test of the tub and spray test of the shower. Turns out, where ever we sprayed water on the tile surround, leaked into the equipment area. As usual no permit and no licensed contractor was involved.

Remember, use only licensed contractors. Pull permits when necessary. And always error on the side of safety. Leaks can and will cause damage!

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tall and Cripple Walls

Tall wall and or cripple wall framing is most commonly found at the first floor level in a home with a raised foundation. We might find this framing configuration in hill side construction or in the sub area from the top of the foundation to the interior floor elevation of a flat lot home. In older homes we can find an upper cripple wall configuration in a raised roof above the upper plate.

In today's picture we see a 1920's vintage garage where it appears the roof was raised approximately 30" to accommodate an interior loft configuration. A couple of issues have been created by these non permitted alterations. We've increased the exterior wall framing load on the original concrete footing/foundation. We've failed to add lateral support framing to the original exterior wall framing. We've also failed to install proper earthquake resistant "Simpson" framing hardware at the upper cripple wall to prevent failure during a seismic event.

Remember, always use licensed contractors, obtain the proper building permits and in this case structural engineering reports and when in doubt, error on the side of safety!

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

www.progressiveinspection.com

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Framing Alterations

Once again, almost everything requires a permit from your local building department. I know, you hate to hear that but just the thought of a building official reviewing a contractors work will cause that contractor to pick up his game.

Today's picture is of substandard floor joist framing alterations visible in the sub area. The original material is termite damaged, worn and or altered. The contractor chose to scab or sister other members but did not land the new joists on the sills, add joist hanger hardware or lag bolt the material to properly re-support the damaged material.

In simple terms, the alterations do nothing to improve structural integrity and were a complete waste of time and money. Remember to always use independent licensed contractors for your repairs and alterations and pull those building permits when necessary.

Remember, when in doubt, error on the side of safety!

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Electrical Safety

Today's photo is from a home inspection in Lomita, CA. A remodeled 1921 single family home on a raised foundation.

The home is substantially remodeled from top to bottom over the past 10 years with not a single permit obtained in the past 36 years, yikes!

Electrical alterations when done incorrectly can present some of the most hazardous conditions in your home. As you can see from this photo live electrical circuits are resting on grade throughout the sub area. This would include open conductors, outlets without covers, outlets not GFCI protected and or exposed 120v cable wiring.

All electrical circuits, wiring, conduit and equipment should be properly elevated above grade. This particular home needs an independent licensed electrical contractor immediately to resolve these unsafe conditions.

Remember, when in doubt, error on the side of safety!

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Gas Appliance Exhaust Vent

Chances are you've got a gas fired water heater or heating system in your home. Ever wonder where the super heated carbon monoxide exhaust is going? Well, it's being disposed of via an exterior exhaust vent system. In many cases this vent system extends to the roof line. This allows those harmful gases to dissipate in the air while not harming the structure and or occupants.

It is very important that this roof mounted exhaust vent properly extend away from the adjacent roof line. This will prevent back draft of carbon monoxide exhaust into the unit and or structure. Today's picture shows rust/corrosion and or deterioration of a forced air heating unit exhaust vent which terminates to close to the adjacent roof line. Your exhaust vent must terminate a minimum of 12" above the highest point of the roof line within 4' of the subject vent.

Remember, when in doubt, error on the side of safety, you'll thank me later!

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Water Heater Installation

So, today's inspection was in Big Bear Lake, CA.. A small 1200'sf cabin on a slab foundation. This is a mountain area and cold weather concerns come into play.

First, I notice the water heater is 27 years old, way past its normal life expectancy. It also is lacking proper insulation at the exposed water supply piping in its exterior closet location. It has no over flow catch pan. Enclosure firewall surfaces have been compromised and is adjacent to a sleeping area. The tank mounted lower drain valve actively leaks. Fire box has been back filled with gravel from vermin access. The exhaust vent roof vent penetration leaks. We're missing the State required double strap earthquake bracing system and an active gas leak was noted at the regulator.

This particular water heater system needs to be replaced to avoid some real issues involving possible damage to the property and or injury. We all like to think our water heater will last forever but that's simply not the case. They do indeed have limited life spans.

How's your water heater?

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Home Inspection - Garage Firewall

Today's home inspection was in Laguna Niguel, CA. Our topic today is residential garage firewall systems. So what is the firewall? When we have an attached garage to a residential structure we must provide a burn rated safety barrier between the garage and any portion of the interior residence.

In one and two story homes the material is most likely "X" rated 5/8" drywall. The seams and joints must be taped and sealed with no appreciable voids. This will also prevent the migration of  chemical odors, fumes, carbon monoxide, etc. from entering the living area. This firewall system will exist at both wall and ceiling surfaces throughout the garage where living areas are present.

Remember, when in doubt, error on the side of safety!

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Spa Tub!

I know, you love your spa tub. But there are some real life safety issues we need to explore relating to the installation of your spa tub. It should have a dedicated 20 amp electrical circuit. It's electrical circuit should be GFCI protected and the pump motor assembly should be properly bonded to prevent stray current from harming you.

Today's picture shows an empty spa tub pump motor bonding lug, which as you can guess means the system is NOT properly bonded. This particular installation has copper plumbing, a metal motor casing and metal interior wall framing. It is very important that the motor be properly bonded.

Call an independent licensed electrical contractor for further inspection/service as needed to ensure safe, hazard free, code compliant systems integrity today!

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Safety Railings

So today's inspection was in a high rise condominium tower in Irvine, CA. This particular condo was two story and had a large exterior deck on one level.

What is our #1 concern with safety railings? The ability of them to keep people, more importantly children on the safe side of the said barrier. For this reason the railings are required to be from 36" to 42" high (depending on location) with 4" side load restraint spacing and "NO" horizontal members allowing the railings to be climbed upon by children. Today's inspection had planter boxes directly adjacent to the railing which also provided a climb-able surface for children to scale the railing.

Remember, when in doubt, error on the side of safety!

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Electrical Wiring

In residential structures, we must take care so as to not harm ourselves and or property with electrical alterations, remodeling and or additions of the "Substandard" kind.

Today's picture is from a Newport Beach Home Inspection where a kitchen remodel has occurred. As you can see, this work was no doubt not permitted and not performed by a licensed electrical contractor. 120v cable wiring must be protected behind finished drywall and or inside protective conduit to prevent physical damage. Single conductor wiring and or exposed pig tail wiring splices are not allowed.

This type of installation poses some very real health and safety issues with regard to electrocution and or fire safety issues. Remember, don't go cheap on electrical and plumbing issues, the resultant damage can be expensive and or dangerous.

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Garage Door Openers

You're residential garage door opener system is equipped with three basic installation related safety features. Each of these is very important to provide safe operation of the system and to help improve child safety in your home.

     1. The wall mounted control switch should be elevated a  
         minimum of 5 feet above the floor.

     2. The on contact device should be tested monthly using a 2" x
         4" board laid flat under the door.

     3. The optical sensors should be located 5" to 6" above the floor at
         each side of the door.

Today's picture shows a homeowner installed system with the optical sensors not mounted at the door but rather at the motor assembly. As you can imagine this installation provides no safety to pedestrian traffic, pets, vehicles or personal property. Remember, improper installation of a garage door and or automatic opener can cause property damage and or personal injury.

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Home Inspection Electrical Issues

Electrical wiring? Looks harmless, simple to install? What could go wrong? I'll just add a few switches and outlets in my home and save myself the trouble of paying for an electrician.

Today's picture from a Long Beach, CA Home Inspection shows an Owner added fixture at a hall linen closet. If you can see the electrical wiring at the interior of a home, it's no doubt substandard and unsafe. 120/240v cable wiring is running bare in the interior wall cavities but when it penetrates a wall to the interior of the structure it must be protected by junction boxes and or conduit.

We may not use single conductor wiring and or pig tail wiring splices at any portion of the structure as well. We're trying to prevent physical contract and damage to the wiring and reduce the risk of electrocution and or fire safety issues.

Be safe out there! - Call an independent licensed electrical contractor for help...

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Ceiling Exhaust Fan

Let me start off by saying, just because you can buy something at "Home Depot" does not mean you're qualified to install it in your home. So yesterdays Long Beach, CA Home Inspection revealed a significant number of substandard electrical alterations, additions and or remodeling. All of which were un-permitted and of course not performed by a licensed electrical contractor.

Today's picture shows an added ceiling exhaust fan over a stall shower in a 1950's vintage home. The device is not rated for damp locations, has open exhaust vent discharge into the attic and has substandard wiring including open pig tail splices, exposed single conductor wiring and missing protective grommet at the penetration into the metal housing. The added wall control switch was mounted within 3" of the open shower enclosure entry, (Can you imagine accidentally touching that switch while standing in the shower? Yikes!).

Be careful out there. Sometimes it's in your best interest to hire a qualified licensed, insured contractor to assist you with the more interesting home projects.

Call us today - we perform home inspections throughout California including Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Irvine, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and a community near you!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

New Home Warranty Inspections

So you're buying a new, never lived in home from a large national builder. Do you need a home inspection for the purchase? Should you get a home inspection for the purchase?

Now most inspectors would say, yes. I on the other hand have a different thought. You'll be receiving a 12 month bumper to bumper warranty on your new home purchase. Anything that arises during that period will be addressed by the builder and or one of the subcontractors or components suppliers. Where the fun begins is after that 12 month window.

I propose you call me on month 11 and we perform what's referred to as a New Home Warranty Termination Inspection. I'll go through the home from top to bottom performing a full and complete inspection per ASHI Standards. The home will have experienced the day to day use of you and your family which will give us a true opportunity to look for imperfections and or issues in roofing, plumbing, electrical, mechanical systems, etc...

Remember, call me on month 11 after your close, we'll professionally and thoroughly inspect your home just like a 30 year old resale. Armed with this report and photos you'll be able to have the builder put your home in tip top shape prior to warranty expiration.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Irrigation System

Yes, I know you like the property to be lush and green during the listing. And the visual does look nice but come on now people.

Trees are laying all over the roof line, shrubs and vines have attached themselves to the exterior wall cladding, patio covers are like Bat Caves.

Well... Guess what? water intrusion is occurring at the exterior wall cladding, roof run off is being restricted, sprinklers are spraying directly onto the structure, walkways, fencing, operating equipment and that's where the trouble starts. You're sprinklers should be at the perimeter structure facing away from same. In many cases its just the opposite. Vegetation traps moisture against the house and vine growth actually acts like a piping system bringing unwanted moisture directly into the wall cavity.

Remember, water can cause abnormal wear, deterioration, decay, water intrusion and or mold growth!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Mobile Home Inspections

Are you buying a modular, prefabricated or mobile home? Have you been thinking that maybe you don't need a home inspection on your purchase? Don't make the same mistake other buyers have made by assuming that these structures don't experience the same issues and pitfalls of more traditional homes. They in fact can experience an entirely different set of issue in addition to conventional homes. There are four major areas of concern when addressing mobile homes.


     * Roofing - Simplistic paneled roofing systems - water
        intrusion issues
     * Plumbing - Significant use of galvanized plumbing - water
        intrusion issues
     * Environmental Issues - Interior walls, insulation, chemicals and
        water intrusion
     * Substructure - Earthquake and or retrofitted support bracing

Don't let "As Is" convince you to pass up an opportunity for your home inspection. That decision could cost you thousands of dollars after the close of escrow.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Railing Safety!

You're living in a condominium development and you have multiple elevated exterior decks with railings for child safety. Are those railings safe? Are they a minimum of 36" above the adjacent standing surfaces?

Do they provide a "Climb-able" configuration for children? Here's a picture from yesterdays condominium inspection in Oceanside, CA. Check out the horizontal bar configuration in the railing which would allow children to climb onto and or over the railing. In this particular case the Homeowners Association installed protective wire mesh throughout the development for added protection.

Your safety tip of the day from the home inspection Pro's at Progressive Inspection Service!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Microwave Ovens

So you've decided to replace your old cook top exhaust fan system with a microwave oven/fan combination. The sales person at the local appliance store has told you its a no brainer, just measure the width of the opening and stick it in there.

Here's a couple things to consider. #1 were going to need a minimum of 15" clearance from the top of the burner surfaces to the bottom of the microwave. Anything less will cause heat and steam damage to the microwave which will cause it to have a very short life span. #2 let's consider our venting source and or configuration. Does the existing unit vent to the exterior of the structure or re-circulate to the interior. Each of these configurations will change the over all size/space requirement and of course may require additional vent plumbing work in an over head cabinet.

Take a picture of your existing configuration. Measure the space between your existing cook top and the upper mounting surface for the microwave. This distance minus the height of the microwave will give you a clearer picture of your finish spacing above the cook top.

Good Luck!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Central Air Unit

So here's your tip of the day. When we have attic mounted central air units, ie; an evaporator coil in the attic it is essential that we have a secondary system to prevent condensation leaks into the attic and or interior areas of the structure.

These secondary forms of protection come in two configurations. Number one a simple secondary over flow catch pan system placed under the evaporator and primary drain pan configuration. The drain line from this unit is normally placed over a window to notify the occupant of an equipment issue should they notice water discharging from same. Number two is becoming more and more popular, its a simple kill switch that is installed at the secondary drain line off the coil housing. Should moisture ever reach this switch it causes the condenser coil to shut down and thus stop the creation of condensation.

Remember all units will leak eventually, plan ahead. Leakage can and will cause damage to your structure.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Home Inspection Access

So, you've put a transaction together, have an accepted offer and you're ready for the next step, your  "Home Inspection". The interior of the house looks great, the listing agent has asked the homeowner to move much of their personal property, furniture, boxes, etc. to help show the property. Guess where they moved everything to.... The garage.

So what to do when you need to inspect a one, two or three car garage? Your Home Inspector and Termite Inspector will both need good access for proper inspection. In this recent case the Buyers Agent asked for garage to be cleared of most personal property and made accessible. The picture above shows what we discovered after the area was cleared. Water damage, mold, compromised fire wall surfaces and substandard water heater installation were just a few of the issues that came to light as a result of having proper access for inspection.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Rental Housing Inspection Services

The goal of our "Rental Housing Inspection Service" (RHIS) is to identify and document substandard conditions in rental properties, promote greater compliance with basic health and safety standards and preserve neighborhood quality and property values. Our service focuses on identification and documenting health and safety issues in/on residential rental property that are:

       * Issues regarding occupant safety - (Unsafe Conditions)
       * Threats to structural integrity of the building - (Unsafe
          Conditions)
       * Items having a negative impact on the surrounding
          neighborhoods

Our "Rental Housing Inspection Service" (RHIS) is designed to focus on single family dwelling, duplexes and apartments. Our objective is to identify, report and correct substandard housing conditions through voluntary compliance from landlords and property owners. This will ensure that residential properties meet minimum health and safety standards. It is our intent to educate property owners of the need for preventative maintenance to ensure residential properties meet minimum health and safety standards. In many instances, the owner/tenant may be unaware of the property conditions and issues.

We will perform inspections to identify inadequate sanitation, structural hazardous, hazardous electrical, plumbing, or heating systems, faulty weather protection, fire hazards, inadequate exits, and unhealthy or unsanitary premises. The identification and correction of substandard housing helps property owners improve their property and neighborhood. This will also ensure that families are living in a safe property and will also benefit the property owner through improved tenant relations and revenue metrics.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Air Conditioning

So your air conditioning system is running poorly. Maybe the temperature split, (Cold) air differential with the ambient indoor air temp is not to your liking. Is your unit low on refrigerant? Could it have a evaporator coil issue? More times than not, it has to do with air flow. Remember, the life blood of the system is air flow.

Do you have a restricted evaporator coil caused by a dirty air filter? Do you have shrub growth or tree contact with the condenser? Or in this case, vandalism has caused restricted air flow across the condenser.

Your air conditioning system is designed to remove moisture from the air. When moisture is removed from air the temperature will continue to drop. But air flow is the main component of the system, whether it be air flow at the return air register, air filter, evaporater and or condenser coils, the entire system is balanced for performance via air flow.

So in closing, check your condenser coil. Don't store material against the unit. Keep pets and plant growth away from the unit. Replace your air filters frequently. Proper air flow will reduce energy costs and help your air conditioning system perform correctly.