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Is Laminate Flooring Really Waterproof ?

i-inspect, home inspection, laminate flooring
i-inspect, home inspection, laminate flooring
i-inspect, home inspection, laminate flooring

Laminate Flooring now comes in “Water Resistant” and “Water Proof” varieties. Lots of the products labeled as “Water Proof” are still not designed for wet environments where lots of water will get on them. Spills, wet mops and other wet problems can damage most laminate flooring. 


Cures

There are other alternatives to laminate flooring. Most of the modern solutions can even look like wood.

  • Ceramic Tile
  • Vinyl Tile

Before you decide to put down laminate floors in a wet area (kitchens, bathrooms, laundry areas) be sure to check out alternative flooring at your local home center or flooring store. (Home Depot, Lowes, Floor & Decor, Lumber Liquidator, etc.). Ask your contractor for recommendations.

Hurricane Season is Coming

Hurricane season begins June 1st and ends November 30th. Be sure you and your property are ready. We at i-Inspect have added a new service; the General Report with Interior Photos or GRIP for short. It is designed to help you in an insurance claim recovery in the event of a disaster such as hurricane damage, fire, sinkhole, etc.

For a GRIP, pictures of each room are taken with a 360 degree camera. This shows the general contents of each room in the event of an insurance claim.

In addition, specific photos are included of your major home appliances and their serial number data plates. Appliances include: dishwasher, stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer, water heater and AC unit.

Additional pictures of collections and other valuables can be added to the report as well as an additional service.

Once complete, your report is stored safely and securely in the cloud. From there, you can print a copy for your records, store a copy on your computer or securely forward as needed in the event of a claim.

April is almost over and we’re still talking about COVID-19

i-Inspect is still working. As part of a real estate transaction, we are considered essential (along with Real Estate Agents and Buyers). But, COVID is still a thing. At i-Inspect, we’re taking a very cautious approach to this disease. We’ve taken courses in safety. We are not encouraging Client’s to be with us on inspections at the time being. We won’t tell you to leave, but we may offer you a mask and gloves.  Please don’t bring the family. If the home is occupied, we will wear masks, gloves and booties to both prevent leaving anything behind and to prevent picking up anything while we are there.

Come Friday morning (May 1st), Florida is opening up some of our businesses again. We hope this helps our local economy and our small business owners. These are indeed interesting times. May the month of May bring you good tidings.


We’ve not been idle.

I think a lot of us have not been as busy as we’d like to be. (If you have been, good for you.) Instead of watching Netflix, we’ve been investing in additional advanced education. The logo above is from Home Inspector University for the Advanced Pool Inspection course. Very intensive and goes way above and beyond the State’s Standard for pool inspections. 

COVID-19

The big story is Covid-19. As of today, we are still working and inspecting homes. Realty Associations, FABI and InterNACHI have gone to bat for the real estate industry to keep us working. People are still moving into Central Florida. They need homes. Home construction is still ongoing. They wouldn’t be building them if they could not sell them.
i-Inspect has trained for COVID-19
We’ve taken additional training for your and our safety from this virus. Because of the contagious nature of COVID, we are adding additional personal protective equipment for occupied homes. Gloves, masks and shoe booties will be worn in occupied homes for our and the occupant’s safety.

In addition, we are asking our clients and realtors to please not be in the home while we are inspecting. If the client wants to show up at the end of the inspection for a summary, that is fine, but please don’t bring the family. 

Thank you and we understand this is different from our normal operating procedures.
 

How to & How Not to Maintain your AC

First thing is to make sure you have an AC system. If the condenser (the outside unit) is just buzzing, you are going to need a service call. If the fan is running and hot air (in Cool Mode) is coming out of the top, but it still is not cooling correctly, check for bushes too close to the unit. We recommend that all vegetation (shrubs, bushes, etc.) be trimmed at least two feet away from the the condenser. If not the system cannot draw in enough air to cool the fins.

OK, the system is running, but unable to keep the house cool. Start with checking the filter. Most manufacturers recommend a MERV 8 filter. The cheap fiberglass filters that you can see through are pretty much worthless and will cost you much more in the long run.

MERV 2 “Renter’s Filter”

The super filters (allergen, mold, virus rated) are also expensive. They plug up quickly and cause the AC to run much more than it would if it had proper air flow. Often they are plugged up within a week and the system can hardly circulate air to cool the house.

Finally, filters should be changed monthly. I know is says “Up to 90 days” but that is not for here in Florida. We can grow stuff in our air. Every thirty days (once a month at about the same date) you should change your filter.

Way past due for a change

Ok, we’ve checked and changed the filter, but they system is still not cooling. Time to dig deeper. The evaporator coil (that radiator in the air handler) may be dirty. Some systems you can check this yourself if you have a lower wall mounted filter under the air handler. Most systems will required a professional to inspect the coils. If you’ve not been changing your filters often enough or you’ve been using the wrong filters, you may need a service call.

Dirty & Plugged Evaporator Coil

Finally, check that you are not trying to cool the attic or crawlspace. Some attics can be checked easily. Others require someone with the skills of a contortionist to get through. Others you can barely get your head in the hatch. You may have to call a professional. If you see broken ducts or missing insulation on the ducts, you are losing expensive cool air to the attic. If the ducts are very old, you may need to have your ducts replaced.

Old deteriorated duct.
Duct needs to be repaired and re-sealed.

Finally, if you’ve made it this far, I’ve done a video of even more AC failures:

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