Snaps from the Field

Rodents and Insulation – June 2024

Insulation and Wiring - Rule #62 of home inspection: If a rodent *can* gnaw on a thing, it *will* gnaw on that thing. All rodents, including mice and rats, have four front teeth that never stop growing and must be worn down to keep them at a manageable size. If necessary, they’ll simply grind their teeth together to keep them at a manageable length, [...]

Electrical Service Drops – May 2024

Avoid a "hot" summer. This electrical service drop contains a variety of defects: Both the utility splices are exposed at the "hot" legs of the service drop. The exposed conductors could shock or kill a person or animal. A strong wind could blow the splices into each other, causing an electrical arc that would damage them and pose a fire hazard to the house. [...]

2024-05-03T12:00:23-07:00May 1st, 2024|Electrical, Snaps from the Field|

Plumbing Installation – April 2024

Is this a plumbing drain or miniature golf course? The home inspector’s nemesis: a homeowner who’s willing to undertake any repair, regardless of ability. Every plumbing fixture with a drain requires a trap to hold a small plug of water and prevent sewer gas from entering the home. Even though this installation has two traps, neither will do any good because they’re both installed [...]

2024-03-15T11:07:55-07:00April 1st, 2024|Gas and Plumbing, Snaps from the Field|

Attic Pulldown Ladder – March 2024

Drive nail through hole in metal bracket. Seven words that are difficult to misunderstand. So why do people misunderstand them so often? As any home inspector in the Portland area will tell you, attic pulldown ladders are rarely installed properly. They require, at minimum, four nails (or sometimes lag screws) through each of the four mounting brackets. Most people use drywall screws, which are [...]

2024-03-07T16:02:28-08:00March 1st, 2024|Other Inspection Details, Snaps from the Field|

Dangerous Gas Line – February 2024

Here’s a serious mistake that could be very dangerous. This is a picture of a gas furnace with an air conditioning evaporator coil above it. The gas pipe is made from black steel pipe and begins at the left. After running through a red-handled valve that is, thankfully, turned off, the gas pipe runs into the condensate drain opening for the air conditioner coil. [...]

2024-02-23T11:27:39-08:00February 23rd, 2024|Gas and Plumbing, Snaps from the Field|

Stucco Siding January 2024

Most of this house is clad with a traditional 3-coat hardcoat stucco. Stucco siding from this era was almost always installed without a properly doubled underlayment or any provision for draining water that gets behind it. Wall penetrations, wall bases, and wall/roof joints are common locations where water can cause damage. Here, we found areas of missing and rot-damaged trim at the base [...]

2024-02-23T11:04:22-08:00January 1st, 2024|Exterior, Snaps from the Field|

Electrical and Plumbing – September 2023

Fashionable sinks haven’t sported S-traps for over 100 years. Like wearing white shoes after labor day, S-traps simply aren’t done.  Of course, the lack of a high loop at the dishwasher drain is also a sad error. These mistakes will make little difference, however, to the poor soul who reaches a wet hand under the sink to turn on the disposer, only to [...]

2024-02-23T11:34:57-08:00September 1st, 2023|Electrical, Gas and Plumbing, Snaps from the Field|
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