A/C unit- Edmond Home Inspection

Edmond Home Inspection: Getting A/C Ready For Summer

Tips from the Edmond home inspection source

It’s not unexpected that warmer weather has already started to settle in, but soon the real scorching summer days are going to be here. If you haven’t started thinking about your central air conditioning unit yet, now is the time to do so. Just because your A/C functioned perfectly fine last summer doesn’t mean that zero maintenance will be needed before you start using it this summer. In the course of completing Edmond home inspections, I have seen many filters that were rarely replaced. As someone who has seen A/C problems during many Edmond home inspections, I’m going to offer up some tips to get your A/C ready for the long, warm summer.

Edmond Home Inspection Tip # 1: Air Flow

  • Keep all the areas around the vents clear for maximum air flow. This means no furniture, rugs, etc.
  • I also recommend the “open door method.” By this I mean if it is possible for you to keep bedroom doors opened, the air will flow properly rather than being strained or forced into a closed off area.

Edmond Home Inspection Tip # 2: Pests & Pets

  • Use a pesticide (an eco-friendly product, please) around the exterior of the unit to keep ants and other bugs away.
  • Keep dogs and other pets away from these units. Dogs or other animals urinating on the outside unit can cause damage.

Edmond Home Inspection Tip #3: Keep it clean

  • Be wary about mowing the lawn near the unit while the A/C is running. Blades of grass getting into the system could cause damage. It would be best to shut the thermostat off while mowing.
  • Check the unit and clean off any debris.

Edmond Home Inspection Tip # 4: Change Filters

  • This is so important! Check and change your furnace filter regularly. This area gets ignored, but is important to the efficiency of your unit.
  • Set the fan mode on the thermostat to “On” to help clean the interior air.

These are just a few quick tips, there are other things to think about such as keeping the duct work clear and kink-free, having regular maintenance check-ups and having ongoing protection of your A/C unit. Spending some time to give your unit a once over and following the tips provided could save you some heartache and money in the long run.

Oklahoma City Home Inspection

Oklahoma City Home Inspection: Earthquake Damage Or Not?

Oklahoma City Home Inspection: Structural damage

While your home is a strong, intricate structure there are many factors that cause the exterior (and sometimes the interior) of the home to change. While some of these changes are obvious, other times it can be a little difficult for homeowners to recognize potentially hidden issues. Recently, it seems that Oklahoma has gained a bit of a reputation with all the reoccurring earthquakes that we keep having. Oklahoma City home inspections have led me to see a lot of different types of structural damage, but much of the time it has nothing to do with earthquakes.

Keep in mind, my Oklahoma City home inspections are from top to bottom, therefore; I see it all. The truth is, I see a lot of things that most homeowners don’t believe are really there, because they haven’t ever taken a good look to see the damage themselves. It’s probably true of most homeowners that there is a “blind spot” of your home that you never go to. It’s not the side of the house with the water hose, the garage door leading to the backyard or even the shed. It’s, generally, a corner on the side of the house that you never really looked at.

These earthquakes are causing more and more people to call about Oklahoma City home inspections, however; some homeowners feel compelled to search their own house after an earthquake hits. When they find tiny cracks on the side of their house they automatically think it was caused by the earthquake. Not to say that these earthquakes won’t get worse and that earthquake insurance isn’t important (we just never know these things and by all means check with your insurance agents), but to be one hundred percent honest a lot of the structural damage that I find is preexisting of these earthquakes.

A thorough Oklahoma City home inspection will be the only way to be sure that I can identify any structural weaknesses that may not be obvious to the homeowner. A property inspection is advisable, even as a precaution, if any structural damage is spotted inside or outside a house.

About me:

I’m Jan Banks of Inside Out Home Inspection Services. I do Oklahoma City home inspections in the metro to include a 50 mile radius. I am dedicated to serving all customer inspection needs across this greater Oklahoma City metropolitan area. I have over 20 years experience in the construction industry as an estimator, job superintendent and a licensed General Contractor.

Hail Damage- Edmond Home Inspection

Edmond Home Inspection: What Hail Really Does To Your Roof

Edmond home inspection: The damage you don’t see

I have been completing a lot of Edmond home inspections lately and I keep noticing a lot of hail damage on the roofs which have never been fixed. It occurred to me that many homeowners can’t understand why they should bother with insurance claims and replacing a roof that they can barely see any damage on. I understand that thought process, but I also know what is really going on with your roof when hail has hit. I feel, as your Edmond home inspection specialist, that I should explain a bit more about what hail really does to your roof.

From the Edmond home inspection client point of view: What you see

Chances are what you see when you go outside and look at your roof is, at best, some very tiny smudge marks in the gritty, sandy textured part of your asphalt shingles. Sometimes, just from a ground view it can be hard to see anything at all. This often causes homeowners to think nothing is wrong with their roof after hail has hit.

From the Edmond home inspection professional point of view: What the inspector sees

When I see those smudge marks, what I see are dents, divots or loosened ceramic granule particles. Those particles are there to protect your roof from the sun’s harsh UV rays. Over time, those particles will be knocked off or washed away. In Oklahoma, the wind and rain play a large role in this (and we all know how very windy it can be)! When enough of the ceramic granules disappear, it leaves the tar underneath exposed and it will be melted by the sun! After the tar melts, the wood is wide open for water entry and that is when leaks begin.

Edmond home inspection tip:

You should have your roof inspected after any major hail storm to identify the location of potential damage. You don’t want to wait until there is a serious problem to get things taken care of, because waiting for the leak to make it inside your home will do external and internal damage.

About me:

I’m Jan Banks of Inside Out Home Inspection Services. I do Edmond home inspections. I am dedicated to serving all customer inspection needs across this Edmond area. I have over 20 years experience in the construction industry as an estimator, job superintendent and a licensed General Contractor.

Landscape

Oklahoma City Home Inspection: Dangers Of Landscapes Built Higher Than Homes

Oklahoma City home inspection: Keep your home safe

During a routine Oklahoma City home inspection, the outside of your home gets checked just as thoroughly as the inside. Did you know foundation issues may be the cause of your raised flower bed? Oh yes, Oklahoma City home inspections bring me to see many interesting things! When you build your landscape higher than your home, it can cause problems. The issue here is water.

Not only are you watering your plants, but you let mother nature’s rain do some watering, too. It’s great for the plants, but if your flower bed is higher than your home you will be watering your house, too. In my experience with Oklahoma City home inspection, I have seen the side effects of too much water entering a home’s foundation. What happens is that the stone and brick hold on to water, because they are porous materials. Then, the water just penetrates inside the stone or brick which can cause damage to the home.

Water build up can cause problems such as cracked or damaged foundation, infestations of mosquitoes and other insects, mold, erosion of topsoil that protects your foundation, staining to the exterior of your home, paint damage and even damage to your plants. As you can imagine, the damage caused by water entering the base of the home could be very costly to the home owner. If you have a basement, water could be slowly leaking into the basement.

I take Oklahoma City home inspections very seriously and I hope you’ll consider taking this advice to think twice before building your landscape higher than the level of your house. If you’re thinking about selling your home in the future, having flatter landscaping will work to your advantage and avoid the problems outlined above.

Give me a call (405-301-3321) to find out more, or if you feel you need an Oklahoma City home inspection!

Firestops

Edmond Home Inspections & Attic Firestops

Edmond home inspections: Increasing attic safety

In my many adventures of Edmond home inspections, I have seen quite a few unsafe attic spaces. It is important to know that sometimes the building code is not retroactive, because many homes would be in violation of the building code each time the code was updated. Of course, I wouldn’t be doing my job on Edmond home inspections if I didn’t check the attic. Even if you aren’t selling your home or don’t have to worry about being up to code, it’s still a good idea to be safe! If you ask any fireman with experience, they are sure to tell you that firestops are a life saver.

As I kick off another month of Edmond home inspections, I just know there are going to be some attics out there that don’t have firestops. It’s important to have firestops, because without them, the space between each wall stud will act as a funnel and accelerate the flames of a fire. The concept of firestops seems like it would be self-explanatory, right? It is as easy as that, in fact. Firestops do what their name suggests; they halt the spread of fire from one section of a structure to another. Perhaps you’d like to check in and see if you have firestops. As your leading lady for Edmond home inspections, I’m here to keep you informed. Here are a few things fire stops can be made from:

1.) Firestop mortar: Cements made from lightweight aggregate.
2.) Intumescent: Flame-retardant materials, such as graphite, hydrates, and sodium silicates.
3.) Firestop pillows: These items contain various flame-retardant and intumescent substances, such as rockwool or graphite. They are filled loosely inside of a fiberglass fabric case that resembles a small pillow.

Firestop pillows can be combined with other fire stopping materials and be inserted into openings in firewalls. Together or separate they can all be helpful in stopping the spread of fire. I hope that after reading a little more about attic firestops, you will come to understand why they are a necessary safety feature. Give me a call (405-301-3321) to find out more, or if you feel you need an Edmond home inspection!

AtticVentilation

Edmond Home Inspections: Having Proper Attic Ventilation

Edmond home inspections: Attic air flow

In just a few days, Spring will be here and temperatures will be changing! Just as the new season kicks in people are wanting change, too. A lot of people are going to be in the market to sell and buy homes starting around this time of year. This means Edmond home inspections are certain to take place and one thing I will be looking for while inspecting a home, is the attic ventilation.

Do you have proper attic ventilation? Do you wonder why this is even significant? Since being experienced with Edmond home inspections is my job, I will be happy to share my knowledge with you so that you will have a heads up going into your Edmond home inspection!

Believe it or not, there has to be a good combination of insulation for warmth and some way to allow cold air to enter the attic in order to have the most energy-efficient home and to avoid any damage from moisture build up. It may seem a little silly to add insulation for warmth and then intentionally permit cold air to enter the attic through vents, but this arrangement is the best solution.

From my Edmond home inspection “point of view,” I am looking for these things for a few reasons. Here is why:

Cold months: In the colder months, the natural flow of outdoor air ventilates the attic to keep it cold, which sounds strange, but it helps reduce the potential risk of ice damming. The phenomenon of ice damming is when snow melts off of a roof from an attic that is too warm then re-freezes at the edge of the roof, near the gutters, causing an ice dam that can be destructive to the roof.

Warm months: In the warmer months, proper insulation and air sealing is important. The insulation will resist heat transfer into the house. The natural air flow in a properly vented attic moves overly hot air out of the attic, protecting roof shingles and removing moisture. The moisture build up can lead to damaged shingles and other roofing materials as well as a buildup of condensation and growth of mildew and mold.

I hope that after reading a little more about why proper attic ventilation is necessary, that you will consider whether your attic is being ventilated properly. If it isn’t, now is as good a time as any to get that corrected. You could just think of it as part of your Spring cleaning checklist.

Give me a call (405-301-3321) to find out more, or if you feel you need an Edmond home inspection!

weephole

Why Are Weep Holes in Brick Important?

Oklahoma City home inspection: Weep hole explanation

Many homeowners first discover weep holes while observing the outside brick surface of their home. Sometimes, they don’t even know they are there unless they are pointed out during one of my Oklahoma City home inspections. Many people think that when their home was built that the mason forgot to fill these holes in the bottom of the house. Some homeowners even think that the holes are there due to some sort of damage done to the home. I am here to debunk these misconceptions. As a trusted adviser for Oklahoma City home inspections, with many years of experience, I want to keep my customers informed. Below are a few questions I could get from customers and the answers.

Customer’s Oklahoma City home inspection question: So, what exactly are weep holes?

Answer: Weep hole openings are drainage holes left in the face of a brick. They are not damage done to you home; they are there on purpose. That’s right, the home builder did this for a reason! These weep holes are there in order to allow water to escape downwards through the cavity created and out to the outside of the wall surface through the weep hole openings.

Customer’s Oklahoma City home inspection question: Why are weep holes needed for brick?

Answer: These pretty, fired or sun-dried clay bricks are not waterproof. In fact, because brick is a very porous type of material it just soaks up the water. Without the weep holes, water would just penetrate into the brick which can cause damage to the home.

An extra tidbit: There are some companies out there that will try to sell vents to cover the weep holes. If you try to do this, just know that adding a wall vent or drain screen should reduce the chances of clogging from insects or animals, but if the wall was improperly constructed so that the opening does not actually vent the wall then the vent screen cannot correct those defects.

Give me a call (405) 301-3321) to find out more, or if you feel you need an Oklahoma City home inspection!

Egress. Oklahoma City home inspection

Egress Windows For Emergency Exiting

Oklahoma City home inspection: Window safety check

By following today’s regulation codes, one of the main things I take notice to when completing an Oklahoma City home inspection are the windows. The question I have to ask is “are these windows safe?” The question homeowners have is, what is considered “safe?” If your home is older, then you may not realize that your windows do not meet the safety standards of today. Even if your home is newer, there may be a chance that your windows aren’t up to par with the code. Egress windows are a requirement for homes being built and, perhaps, should be considered for installment in older homes for safety reasons.

The word egress is Latin, meaning: a way to get out of a place or the act of leaving a place. In the sense of egress windows, they are meant for emergency exiting or rescue. While conducting my Oklahoma City home inspections, I often see windows that not even a normal sized child could squeeze out of. It is crazy to fathom how many people do not have an emergency exit plan from their bedrooms, or a way to exit from their bedrooms safely in case of a fire.

For new homes, every residential sleeping room is required to have at least one operable window or exterior door approved for emergency exit in case of a fire. The egress windows are also required in basements with habitable space. Even if you have a basement without sleeping space, it would still be safe to have one installed. I would like to share with you from an Oklahoma City home inspection perspective more about egress windows; how they measure, why they’re beneficial and how they should function.

1.) How they should measure: The minimum net clear opening height must be 24 inches and the minimum net clear opening width must be 20 inches. An egress window must also have a sill height no more than 44” above the finished interior floor. It has to be large enough for you to get out of or a fully dressed fire fighter to get into!

2.) Why egress windows are beneficial: Not only are they meant for safety, but did you know that an egress window is also economical? They are economical, because they are adding value to your home. They may also be more energy efficient that your current windows which could be allowing drafts of air in.

3.) How they function: The egress window must be operable from the inside to a full clear opening without the use of a key, tool, or special knowledge.

Required or not, egress windows are essential lifesaving equipment. As an added bonus, I will leave you with a tip that you may need to know if you’re considering adding egress compliant windows to your home.

Oklahoma City home inspection tip:

If you’re replacing a smaller window with a larger one that meets egress requirements, bear in mind that enlarging the height of the opening takes less structural work than enlarging the width.

Give me a call (405) 301-3321) to find out more, or if you feel you need an Oklahoma City home inspection!

electrical

About Electrical Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters

Oklahoma City home inspection: The AFCI breakdown

As an Oklahoma City home inspection company owner, it is my job to be concerned with the safety features that a home could have to be better. One fairly new safety feature that has become the new wave of protection for electronics is an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter. Chances are (unless you have heard this term used by an inspector during an Oklahoma City home inspection or by an electrician) you’ve never heard of this technology. Just like many homeowners, you may not know what an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) really is.

The explanation of AFCI can be somewhat complicated to newcomers, but basically it is a type of breaker designed to detect arc faults in your home’s wiring. Arcing faults are a series that an arc occurs in electrical wiring when there is a small gap or break in a conductor. A parallel arc occurs when a small gap or break permits current to flow to the ground (a ground fault) or between the hot and neutral wires (a short circuit). This is where the AFCI comes in; it trips the breaker before those arcing faults can cause a fire. This is important, because over 40,000 fires, annually, are being attributed to home electrical wiring issues.

Oklahoma City home inspection tip # 1:
If you are curious whether you have AFCI breakers in your home, you can do a simple check to find out. Go to the electrical panels to see if any of the breakers have a test button. Next, read the label to see what type of breaker it is. There are two types of AFCI breakers you may keep an eye out for: Branch Feeder (or BRAF) and Combination type.

Oklahoma City home inspection tip # 2:
Combination type breakers are the newer ones. If you have panels with the older BRAF type breakers, it is recommended to replace them with the newer Combination type AFCI breakers.

Oklahoma City home inspection tip #3:
If you do not have AFCI breakers at all, then there is more for you to consider. Currently, there is not a way for AFCI breakers to be installed into very old homes without rewiring the circuits and installing new panels that could accept the AFCI breakers. If you’re not selling your home, then making the upgrade is solely up to your judgment as a homeowner.

Keep in mind, that the upgrade to AFCI breakers could be the difference between a home fire or replacement of expensive electronic items such as your radio, television or computer. AFCI breakers are truly a safety improvement for your home.

Give me a call (405-301-3321) to find out more, or if you feel you need an Oklahoma City home inspection!

frozen-pipe2

Inside Out Home Inspection Discusses Frozen Pipes: Part 2

Oklahoma City home inspection: Freezing weather tips

In part one of this series I discussed that when completing an Oklahoma City home inspection I see many things to be concerned about. One of the main things, with current temperatures, is frozen pipes that are prone to bursting. This can damage the inside and outside of your home. The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety provided information that explains the true dangers of frozen pipes. In part two of this series I will show you a few more reasons why frozen pipes can be dangerous and explain to you a few more ways that you can prepare your home to prevent them. As mentioned previously, I am an Oklahoma City home inspection expert and I feel obliged to keep you knowledgeable.

Oklahoma City home inspection warning: Why frozen pipes are dangerous.

1.) A busted pipe can cost you well over $5,000 worth of water damage.
2.) 250 gallons of water can leak out from a crack that is as small as an eight of an inch.

Oklahoma City home inspection tip: What you can do to prevent frozen pipes.

There are things you should do to the interior and exterior of your home to prevent frozen pipes. The first thing you should do is disconnect all gardening hoses and install covers on all outside faucets. Also, wrap pipes nearest exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation or with heating tape. This can prevent freezing, especially for interior pipes that run along outside walls. Additionally, if you insulate the outside walls and unheated areas of your home, you will be providing a “coat” for you home.

Oklahoma City home inspection bonus tip:

If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, shut off the water supply valves to your washing machine.

About me:
I’m Jan Banks of Inside Out Home Inspection Services. I do Oklahoma City home inspections in the metro to include a 50 mile radius. I am dedicated to serving all customer inspection needs across this greater Oklahoma City metropolitan area. I have over 20 years experience in the construction industry as an estimator, job superintendent and a licensed General Contractor.