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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:

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.

DSC07277a

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.

DSC07278a

 

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