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