Deck Failure

Deck Failure: What Happened to my Deck?!

With the onset of summer, people will be spending time outdoors on wood decks. Wood decks should be inspected annually for signs of decay, missing flashing, and corrosion of fasteners or connectors, especially at the connection to the house. Guardrail details and connection are also important. Besides maintenance-related problems, some decks, especially older ones, may be poorly designed leading to deck failure. Read more

Everything You Need to Know About Radon

Everything You Need to Know About Radon

Is Radon gas an issue that homeowners should be concerned about? Since recent Alabama state surveys show that 2 homes in 5 have elevated radon levels, perhaps we should get more familiar with it!

  • Radon is a radioactive gas.How does radon enter a house
  • It is produced by the natural breakdown (radioactive decay) of uranium.
  • You cannot see, smell or taste it, but it may be in your home, nonetheless.
  • It is the second leading cause of cancer in the United States (behind cigarette smoke).
  • Current state surveys show that 2 homes in 5 have elevated radon levels.
  • Radon enters the home through cracks in foundations or slabs, joints, underground service penetrations, untrapped floor drains, sumps, exposed soil/crawl space areas, and other openings.
  • It can also enter a home through the water supply.
  • It is nine times heavier than air, and thus tends to stay close to ground level.
    Radon levels in a home’s basement can be two to five times greater than the level of upper floors.

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Water Level Survey JADE

Water Level Survey: Are You Smarter Than an Egyptian?

Are you smarter than an Egyptian? If you’re not using a Water Level Survey to determine the levelness of a house, then the answer to that question is “No!”

The History of the Water Level

Historians say that the ancient Egyptians were the first to use water levels as far back as 1100 B.C while building the pyramids. The bedrock was networked with narrow trenches, then filled with water.  The Egyptians understood the physics of water, that water always resigns itself to be completely level, so the waterline was marked on all the trench walls, the protrusions were cut down, and the trenches re-filled with stone to create a level base. Read more

Two Major Real Estate Deal Breakers

Two Major Real Estate Deal Breakers

There are two places within most homes that the homeowner seldom visits… the attic and the crawlspace. Because these two places are seldom visited or inspected, the homeowner is completely unaware of the issues– major real estate deal breakers –that are “hidden” from their view. As the old saying goes “Out of sight, out of mind.”

As a home inspector, I would guess that of the all the deals “I’ve purportedly killed” over the past three decades, most of them would likely be based on problems that I found beneath the home or inside the attic space. Whenever I’ve found a problem and explained it to the buyer, they naturally became alarmed. When the Realtor told the seller, they became offended, and the next thing (it seemed), everyone was mad at each other. All of this could have been avoided had the homeowner requested a pre-listing home inspection. In a pre-listing home inspection the attic and crawlspace are carefully inspected to ensure that the homeowner is made aware of issues they might not have known existed. Necessary repairs can be made before the home is listed. As a result, when the future home buyer requests a home inspection, there won’t be any “unexpected surprises”.

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