Archives

now browsing by author

 

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:

Skylights: Where the Leaks Start

Modern Skylight Installation

A skylight is basically a large hole in your roof covered with glass, or a window put on the roof instead of in the wall. The trouble is that any hole in your roof is a leak waiting to happen. 

Older styles of skylights were the worst. Plexiglass bubbles inserted in the roofing. Two problems are associated with this. First is there is nothing to channel water around the skylight. Second, the plexiglass tended to degrade from the UV rays of the sun. This caused the skylight to become brittle and eventually crack, allowing water in and cool air out.

Large old style plexiglass skylight in a flat roof

This is an old style plexiglass skylight in a flat roof. Notice the dried out patching that has already been done to this skylight.

Old Style Plexiglass Skylight

This is another old style plexiglass skylight in a shingled roof. Again, notice the dried out patching that has already been done to this skylight.

Modern Skylight

Newer skylights have curbs built around them. Usually 2×4’s with metal or peel & stick flashing to prevent moisture from getting from on the roof into the home. Now, you can get them in insulated glass with low E films to prevent a lot of the solar heat gain that older skylights caused.  

Solar Tube skylight
Finally, we have the Solar Tube type skylights. These won’t give you a beautiful view of the nigh sky, but they will pull natural daylight into the home with very little thermal gain. The opening in your roof is reduced to about the same size as a plumbing vent, much smaller than a typical skylight, and much less prone to leaks. They system works with stainless steel tubes in the attic down to a diffuser in the ceiling about the size of a typical can light.
 To get your roof inspected, call i-Inspect at 407-497-5190 or visit our website at www.i-inspect.biz. 
Copyright © 2020 i-Inspect, LLC, All rights reserved.

Warranties and What’s Behind Them

Some home inspection companies advertise the “free” warranties they provide along with their inspections. Sounds great – until you read the fine print.

Usually, the ones providing these warranties are fairly new in the business and are looking to get a leg up on the more established companies in the area. You’ll see things like “90 Day Sewer Warranty” or “30 Day Appliance Warranty” or several others up to full home warranties. Please, if you use one of these companies, read the fine print. Many of these add on services are not worth the time it took to read them. Others are merely a way to access your personal information for additional marketing. A few are legitimate, but they are rare as unicorns.

At a home inspectors’ conference, one of the speakers was from one of these home warranty companies. He actually bragged that in the previous year, they had 50,000 customers sign up at $100 per client. That is $5 million in gross income. He went on to then brag that in that year, they had hundreds of claims, nearly all of which were denied, but they did have to pay for one dishwasher. Not a bad gig if you can get it? Total income $5 million ($5,000,000) and total expenses in the neighborhood of $300 for a new dishwasher and installation.

This same speaker went on to add that once you are one of their customers, they then market your information to some of their sister businesses, at an additional profit to them. They would get you signed up for other extended warranties; such as plumbing, AC service contracts, etc.

Are all warranties bad? My experience has be that very few extended warranties have been worthwhile. Cell phones, tablets and washing machines are the only ones I’ve personally paid for that have been worthwhile.

But some of these warranties are “free” and why not use them? Most of these free warranties are of the 30 to 90 day variety. They did cost the inspector a few dollars, but that is part of his cost of doing business. Think about this; from the time you have your inspection until you close on your home and move in will typically take 30 to 45 days. What is going to go wrong with your sewer lines or your appliances while they are sitting unused in the home waiting on you to move in? OK, some of these are for 90 days. Still a safe bet that if they were working at the time of inspection, that you’ll get at least another month or two out of them.

Time to Clean the Gutters

gutter full of leaves

Ok, it is Autumn here in Florida. The temperature may not show it, but the trees have figured out there is less daylight and are shedding their leaves. Leaves like to collect: in corners, in roof valleys, and especially in gutters.

Gutters full of leaves do not drain properly. In short, they stand water. Water standing in leaves picks up the tannic acid from the leaves and can corrode metal gutters. Standing water can also overflow the gutter and enter the home through the facia. There, it will begin rotting the wooden facia and start causing all sorts of other problems (wood rot and other fungi).

The best cure for all of this is to get your handyman or spouse or self on a ladder and dig that stuff out of the gutters. Use leather or other protective gloves as there is not much telling what is in that stuff. While you’re up there, look at the roof. Do you need to blow the leaves out of the valleys? Are the shingles still in good shape?

Be careful on the ladder and stay safe.

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com