Home inspection

Oklahoma City Home Inspection & Ice Dams

Oklahoma City Home Inspection: About ice dams

When little icicles begin forming, you may not realize that it can mean something significant rather than just frozen water dangling from your roof. When completing an Oklahoma City home inspection, if I see icicles it triggers a red flag. The icicles could be the first warning sign that you have ice dams on your roof. What are ice dams and what does that mean to the Oklahoma City home inspection? I’m here to inform you!

The ice dam is caused when snow or ice storms hit Oklahoma and your home doesn’t have proper attic ventilation. Without the proper air flow, warmer areas in your attic causes the snow to melt despite the cold outside temperatures. The melted snow accumulates creating an ice dam that is now a wall of ice on the edge of your roof near the gutters or soffit.

The problem that this wall creates is water build up. When snow, more ice or rain comes in behind the ice dam it creates a pool of water. The water can, then, proceed to leak inside the home. If water is allowed to leak into a home for too long it can create damage on the walls, ceilings, insulation, floors and more. I’ll bet you can understand where this could be a potential problem on the Oklahoma City home inspection report.

Of course, safety is number one in my book. As your Oklahoma City home inspection expert I have to tell you that performing ice dam removal alone is very risky if not done properly. To avoid personal injury, never walk on a snow covered roof. It is highly suggested that you contact professionals with the proper equipment and roofing experience to do this for you. If ice dams are an issue for your roof, you may consider looking into getting some proper attic ventilation for the future, as well.

If you would like to know more about Oklahoma City home inspection services please don’t hesitate to give me a call!

Fall Home Maintenance- Oklahoma City Home Inspection

Oklahoma City Home Inspection Tips: Fall Home Maintenance

Oklahoma City Home Inspection: Beginning a new season

It’s that time of year again! Everywhere you look you’re either already seeing or will be seeing lots of fall colors! The orange, brown and yellow leaves provide a crunchy rustling under your feet and the crisp, cool air greets you when you leave the house. By now school routines are well underway and I have a list of Oklahoma City home inspection things to take care of. The feeling of fall has settled in and October feels as though it is already threatening to end seemingly as soon as it began. Your Oklahoma City home inspection source has been thinking about fall home preparations and maintenance tips. In case you haven’t started your fall home maintenance here is a list to get you up to speed.

Oklahoma City home inspection fall home maintenance tips:

1.) Clean out your gutters so they’ll get rid of water as they should.
2.) Test your heater to make sure it works.
3.) Clean out your dryer ducts to prevent fires.
4.) Check the exterior for peeling paint, because damage can leave your home unprotected.
5.) Re-caulk around windows and door frames to keep heat inside.
6.) Check the roof for any damage to ensure safety throughout fall and winter.

There isn’t anything worse than going into the cold, rainy season with a damaged roof. This is especially true if you don’t even realize the problem until it’s a much larger one! As far as the other tips go, they all have important purposed. For example, getting your windows and doors sealed up is a smart idea to conserve energy during the cold months. The exterior paint can’t protect your home if it is chipped. Not allowing gutters to drain properly forces water build up too close to your home’s walls and roof. This can lead to long-term problems such as mold, rot or damage which will result in costly home repairs. Finally, the heater is important for obvious reasons. Due to my experience and knowledge about the average Oklahoma City home inspection I can honestly say it is worth taking time out of your busy schedule to ensure that this checklist is completed. Doing so will save time and money in the long run. As your Oklahoma City home inspection expert, I also feel that aside from these basic tips, I should encourage people to check their carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. I hope these fall home maintenance tips will help get you and your home prepared for the rest of fall.

Oklahoma City home inspection

Oklahoma City Home Inspection: Seeing Poor Electrical Work

Oklahoma City Home Inspection: Why electrical work requires professionals

So you have a wonderful home in mind that you’d love to purchase, but one thing stands in the way? If you said the electrical issues are a problem, then you’re not alone! When I’ve visited many properties for an Oklahoma City home inspection I have noticed electrical issues are a common problem. This common flaw spotted during a routine Oklahoma City home inspection is avoidable, but it means paying for a professional electrician. Today, I’m going to explain why it is important to have a professional electrician.

Defect spotted during an Oklahoma City home inspection: Poor electrical work.

Why you need a professional electrician: Any decent Oklahoma City home inspection will include checking up on all of your electrical work so keep that in mind. If you have blown fuses or incorrect voltage running to your appliances, a professional electrician should be able to tell. Improperly installed electrical work can cause shocks or fires! These are issues you don’t need to try correcting yourself as they can be way too dangerous. For safety reasons, only a professional electrician should be repairing dangerous wiring issues. Always be sure to check up on the person you hire to make sure they are licensed and insured. By hiring a GOOD professional you can have a guarantee on the work completed. If they can’t guarantee their work, shop elsewhere.

Getting the right professional electrician may seem costly at first, but the burden of having to replace wiring or the entire home would be more costly by far. As your Oklahoma City home inspection expert, I hope you know how sincere this message is to you. I know a home is an important part of anyone’s life, so why not take the extra steps to ensure safety for you, your family and the house?

GFI- Oklahoma City Home Inspection

Oklahoma City Home Inspection: Testing GFI Buttons

Helpful Information From The Oklahoma City Home Inspection Source

Unless you’re an electrician by trade or conduct Oklahoma City home inspections on a regular basis, you may not have any clue what GFIs are. Most often there are special looking electrical outlets which are most often placed in bathrooms and kitchens. To my trained eye, as the Oklahoma City home inspection source, I know they’re in those areas of the home, because they are meant to protect people from electrocution. You have probably recognized them as the outlets with the little “test” and “reset” buttons on them. The technical term for the special outlets are ground-fault circuit interrupters, more often referred to as GFCIs or GFIs. From an Oklahoma City home inspection point of view, today I am going to talk about the importance of testing your GFIs.

Testing your GFIs is important to make sure that the device is still sensing properly or is capable of stopping electrocutions. To test the GFI is simple, just push the test button, which should make the reset button pop out. Anything plugged in at this point should also not function, because when you push the test button the electrical current is suppose to cease to the source. If your plugged in item does not function, your GFI is on the right track to doing it’s job. Next, unplug the tested item and then push the reset button.

On behalf of my Oklahoma City home inspection wired brain, I will also inform you that some GFIs are simply too old to rely solely on the reset button. To be more precise, if your home’s GFIS are older than 2006, you will have to use a special GFI tester. These are devices that plug in to the wall in order to test the electrical current.

Tip #1 from the Oklahoma City home inspection lady: The GFI or GFCI outlet testers for the older outlets can be found at stores like Home Depot or Lowes.

Tip #2 from the Oklahoma City home inspection lady: If your GFI still doesn’t function properly after testing, you may have a more serious underlying electrical problem. If you aren’t an electrician, I can only caution you about attempting any electrical work on your own. Please consider hiring a professional in the event that your home has serious electrical failure.

If you’d like to know more about Oklahoma City home inspections, please feel free to give me a call at 405-301-3321.

Attic Ventilation- Oklahoma City Home Inspection

Some “Hot” Attic Information From The Oklahoma City Home Inspection Source

Oklahoma City home inspection: Why have proper attic ventilation?

I have seen brand new homes without proper attic ventilation while performing a standard Oklahoma City home inspection. Don’t think having a brand new home built means that you’re off the hook for being up to code. If you’re planning to sell your house, buy one or you’re just looking at the current condition of your roof then pay close attention to your attic ventilation. I must stress how significant having proper attic ventilation really is, because not having it can cost you more money.

Oklahoma City Home Inspection Tips: Key factors that make attic ventilation vital:

1.) Cooler air flow: If you want to keep your house cooler this summer, then having ventilation is the way to do it. You do not want trapped air in the attic or you’ll be spending loads more on your air conditioning bill.

2.) Shingle protection: Did you know that by having improper or no attic ventilation that your shingles could be at risk? The extreme summer heat in the attic will actually cause your shingles to be roasted overtime.

3.) Moisture build-up: Condensation is not your friend. Without proper attic ventilation, moisture can build up underneath the roof sheathing. The results can be rotting wood and mold. Neither of these things are good for the roof and mold can be damaging to the health of you and your family.

4.) Voided roof warranty: Homeowners sometimes neglect to think about their warranty. Improper attic ventilation can nullify your roofing warranty, because of the damage that trapped heat in your attic can do.

Oklahoma City home inspections are my job and I never want to have to tell someone their roof is no good due to improper attic ventilation. If you just want to know whether you have proper attic ventilation to avoid any future problems, I can complete an Oklahoma City home inspection for you! It doesn’t have to be because you are selling your home. The goal is that we want to make sure you don’t turn your roof warranty into a worthless piece of paper.

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 enjoy Oklahoma City home inspections a lot and 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. My experience allows me to really hone in on the job that needs to be done when completing an Oklahoma City home inspection. Please don’t hesitate to give me a call!

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.

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!

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!