Ask The Inspector
Q. What Is Included With An Attic Inspection?
A roof inspection isn’t complete without an inspection of the attic. Once inside the attic, an inspector can note potential leaks discovered during the exterior inspection, comment on the general condition of the sheathing and rafters, and check the presence of insulation.
An attic inspection is part of a National Property Inspections general home inspection. The first thing an NPI professional will check is the sheathing and rafters. The inspector will note any obvious cracks or sagging in the supporting structure and check for any insect damage, rot or water penetration.
The NPI professional will also check the insulation in the attic and make sure there is the adequate amount according to your local area’s requirements. Lastly, the inspector will check if there is any equipment in the attic and if the bathroom fan vent is installed correctly. The inspector will note areas in need of maintenance and recommend repairs.
Limiting Excessive Moisture In The Home
The building of tighter homes (those with less airflow through the structure) has reduced heating and cooling costs, but has also increased the potential for moisture problems. Excessive moisture can be present in any home. It can accumulate on furniture, walls, woodwork and other surfaces. Decreased air quality, mildew, mold, and even damage to a home’s internal structure can occur due to unchecked moisture issues within the house.
Reduce excess sources of moisture in your home by addressing the following factors:
- Clothes dryers should always be vented to the outdoors
- Weather stripping, upgrading windows, using caulking and many other solutions are all options in improving moisture exchange within the home
- Running kitchen and bath exhaust fans whenever steam is produced by cooking or showering is important in improving ventilation
- Periodically check your attic for condensation or any other signs of moisture.
There are many sources of moisture buildup but you can eliminate excess humidity within the house. From routine check-ups to a regularly scheduled inspection, there are many ways you can avoid costly issues. A qualified professional can provide you with information regarding excessive moisture problems specific to your home.
Snapshots From The Field
What’s Wrong With This Photo?
- The paint on the house is chipped
- The tree is too close to the house
- The window is too low to the ground
Correct Answer B. The tree in the picture is too close to the house, which could cause structural problems to the home and also could be dangerous if the tree falls.
Cut Carbon Dioxide Use
Excess amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) are a concern for many Americans. Lessening your CO2 footprint is achievable by any homeowner with some small changes within the home.
Here are some tips on how to eliminate your CO2 waste up to 142 pounds per week:
- Wash clothes in cold water instead of hot
- Use a drying rack
- Caulk and weather-strip your home.
- Only run the dishwasher when it’s full
- Clean off the top of your refrigerator as those items can prevent your fridge from effectively venting heat
- Insulate your water heater and turn the temperature down
- Turn off your TV and DVD player after you shut them down. Electronics consumer energy even when they are in “standby” mode.
Keeping dishwashers humming
The motorized dishwasher is 114 years old. The first motor-powered version was unveiled at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. An electric model followed in 1908. Silverware baskets were added to the door in 1969.
Today, dishwashers have self-cleaning features, hard-food disposers, china-cleaning modes and energy-saving settings. They appeared in around 50 percent of United States homes in 2001, according to Energy Information Administration statistics.
Many dishwashers, especially older versions, have a filter near the bottom of the machine meant to keep food particles off the motor. Clean as needed according to your maintenance guide.
Water is sprayed onto dirty dishes through small holes on the spray arms. These holes can become clogged with food and other particles. To clean, remove the arms using maintenance guide instructions, and use small, stiff wire to clear the holes. Dip the arms in warm white vinegar to remove calcium deposits.
To remove odors from a dishwasher that hasn’t been operated in a week or more, place a cup of white vinegar in a small container on both the top and bottom racks. Run this through one normal cycle.
The modern dishwasher isn’t just a time saver, it can decrease water usage compared to washing dishes by hand. And when it’s ran completely full it’s relatively energy efficient. So kick up your feet and let your dishwasher do all the work.
Did You Know?
Ways To Save Energy
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, artificial lighting consumes nearly 15 percent of a household’s energy use. By reducing your lighting energy use and selecting more efficient lighting sources, you can reduce lighting energy use in your home by 50 to 75 percent.
Install Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) where lights are on for long periods, such as the kitchen, family room and outdoors. CFLs use 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs.
Turn lights off when they are not in use
Dirt reduces light levels, so keep your lamps and fixtures clean
Install timers that automatically turn lights off after a certain period of time
Use natural daylight whenever possible
Install dimmers so you can change light levels in your room to match your needs
Decreasing the amount of energy used within your home takes some small adjustments to your daily lighting habits. See if any of these tips can work for you, and watch your electricity bill go down with just a few changes.
Monthly Trivia Question
Into what category do 44% of home buying households fall?
- Married couples with dependents
- Second time home owners
- Vacation homebuyers
Be the first to answer correctly and win a $10 Starbuck’s gift card. Submit your answer to find out if you’ve won.