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Introducing the New & Improved i-Bot 2.0

The i-Bot has been totally revamped. New brain, new camera (same operator). Now the i-Bot is capable of taking 360 degree videos and photos to be added to your crawlspace reports.  Have you got interesting sounds or smells coming out from under your home? Call me now and we’ll get your crawlspace inspection scheduled.

The new and improved i-Bot with 360 camera

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.

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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.

The Bathroom Vent That Didn’t

In the bathroom, the vent seemed to be working fine.  However, upon looking in the attic we see the vent is not exactly doing its job.

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The large black coupling at the top of the foto should be connected to a duct pipe to evacuate the moist air out of the bathroom and out of the attic space.  Instead, it is dumping humid air into the insulation beside it.  This will create a perfect environment to grow mold (moisture and warmth).

The sad part is that the exhaust duct was just to the right of the picture. Had the vent been installed 180 degrees around, it could have been fine.

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Leaking Mixing Valve

Here we have a video of a leaking mixing valve in a shower.  The valve is old even though the shower has just been retiled.  The flippers did not bother to update the plumbing while they had it exposed.

The valve is obviously leaking out of the front, but this sort of valve relies on o-rings to maintain the seal.  It could also be leaking out of the back as well, depending on how many o-rings are worn out.  If it is leaking out behind that trim pieces or the back of the valve, water is getting into the wall cavity behind the shower.  Water in a nice warm cavity with lots of wood will grow fungus and molds.  All that pretty new tile may have to come off to repair the damage.

The good news is that most leaky shower valves are repairable.  A good handyman or plumber should have the unit repaired so that water only comes out where it is supposed to.

Underground Fuel Oil Tanks

Rarely, I’ll come across a couple of pipes sticking up in the yard, usually near the house.  These two pipes are the fill pipe and vent pipe for an underground tank that contained fuel oil for the old oil heaters used here in Florida.

The issue is liability.  The owner of the tank is the one responsible for the removal and remediation of contamination. Don’t let this be you.

DSC09246The cost to remove the old tank can range from $1,000 to $2,000  if is it still sound (no leaks).  The costs go up tremendously if it has leaked.  Homeadvisor says the costs can be between $10,000 up to $100,000 or more if it has leaked and contaminated the surrounding soils.

If it has leaked fuel oil and contaminated the aquifer there is no end to government involvement and fines.

Bottom line is if your inspector finds one of these, have the seller pay to removed it and certify compliance.  This is one time you really want to see proper paperwork.

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