Inspections

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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.

Roof Drains Done Wrong

One roof should never drain onto another roof. This will shorten the life of your shingles where the upper roof dumps water onto the lower roof.  Take this new home for example. The upper roof had gutters installed, but they dumped the downspouts onto the lower roof.  This took all of the water from the upper roof surface and concentrated it into a 4 inch wide pipe. Shingles were never designed to handle water volumes like that.

To make matters worse, at the other end of the home, the downspout flows water across the shingles. Shingles are not designed to be waterproof, but to shed water. Flowing large amounts of water sideways across the roof surface is inviting water to get under the shingles. Once that happens, it is not long before a leak will occur.

This was not a small home, but a large 5 bedroom home in a new subdivision.  I’ll say it again, if you are purchasing a home, new or old, you need a Licensed Home Inspector to go over the home with you.  It can save you much more than the cost of the inspection. Contact i-Inspect today for your home inspection needs.

 

 

 

 

Citizen’s Four-Point Inspections: New Form, New Price

Citizen’s has come out with a revised Four-Point Inspection form. Insurance agents are supposed to only accept this form as of September 1, 2018.  In order for our client’s to have this form by that time, we will begin using the new form July 1, 2018. This gives 60 days for anyone to close and have the new form on hand.

The new forms asks for much more information than the previous form. In addition to everything the old form asked for, inspectors are now required to test most of your household appliances for a four-point inspection, report any visible signs of leaks on the ceilings or in the attic, take photos of each slope of the roof and each side of the home. Due to the increase in time to gather information and the increase in time to report the information, the price of this form must increase as well.

 

Purchasing a New Home and Why You Need a Realtor and a Home Inspector

You drive into a brand new subdivision that XYZ Homes is building.  There is construction going on all over the place and you fall in love with one of the models.  Next stop is the sales office. There you meet a very nice salesperson that would love to help you purchase a brand new home. STOP!

That sales agent is a realtor.  A realtor that works on commissions from sales of these new XYZ Homes.  If you put yourself under contract today, you have just handed that realtor the golden ticket, that is they get both commissions for the home: the buyer’s (yours) and the seller’s (XYZ Homes).  That person is now working for you and for XYZ Homes.  In the event of an issue (and there will be issues), who is that realtor really representing? (Hint: you represent one sale. XYZ Homes represents several dozen sales.)

Do yourself a favor and get your own realtor to represent you.  In the event of a dispute or issue, your realtor is your advocate and will negotiate on your behalf.

Secondly, get a home inspector that is familiar with new construction to watch your house while it is being built.  Typically, this is done in phases over the construction process with reports at each phase.  Normal phases can include: Footer, slab, lintel, frame or pre-sheetrock, and final. These phases represent major milestones in the home’s building process.

The sooner you get your inspector on board, the better your home inspector can watch out for you as your home is built. Don’t rely on the builder or the code inspector to look out for you.  The code inspector (city or county depending on where your home is built) only has a certain list of things that they are concerned with checking. The code inspector often has between 20 and 50 homes to inspect PER DAY.  How much time is that person spending on your home?

And the builder’s standard commnet is “It passed code.” That is like saying you passed high school with straight “D”s.  Code is the bare minimum standard, not the best standard.

Most builders are only concerned with how many homes they close this quarter. Honestly, if they are a production home builder, their biggest concern is cost.  If they can save $100 on 1000 homes, someone gets a great end-of-year bonus. Their subcontractors (all of the trades) are often chosen on the cheapest price.  They have bid the work cheap and now have to figure out how to make a profit when there is very little profit margin.

Stickers and Their Information

Lots of products have stickers or tags when you purchase them.  Most of them can be removed.  For example, you don’t keep the stickers and tags on your clothes.  But most of you do leave the tag on your mattress.

Some tags are important to be left in place.  The one on your garage door, entry door or window may save you money when your home inspector does a Wind Mitigation Inspection for you.  These stickers tell the inspector if the product is impact rated or wind rated, and how much they are rated.

A few of you seem to be unable to live with a sticker up at the top of your window behind the blinds.  Removing this sticker removes any certification for wind or impact rating for that window.

Window sticker

Typical Window Sticker

Same for doors, but the sticker tends to be in the jamb, near the hinge or up on top of the door.

Door Sticker

Typical Door Sticker

Garage doors have many stickers.  Most are warnings not to mess with the springs, don’t stick you fingers in the pinch points, or to be under the door when it comes down.  The important one for your home inspection is the wind load rating.

DSC08086

Garage Door Wind Rating Sticker

In short, don’t take the sticker off of your home’s products.  It may cost you money in the long run.

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