Health and Hygiene

Lead

Lead Home Inspection Halifax
Lead Home Inspection Halifax
Lead-based Paint

If ingested, lead can lead to a variety of health problems, especially for children, including brain damage and other serious issues.

Lead-based paint may be a hazard when found on surfaces that children can chew or that get a lot of wear and tear, such as windows and window sills, doors and door frames, stairs, railings, banisters, porches and fences. Lead from paint chips that are visible and lead dust that is not always visible can both be serious hazards. Lead dust can form when lead-based paint is dry-scraped, dry-sanded, or heated. Dust also forms when painted surfaces bump or rub together, such as when windows open and close. Lead chips and dust can get on surfaces and objects that people touch. Settled lead dust can re-enter the air when people vacuum, sweep or walk through it.

Your home probably contains lead-based paint if it was built before 1960. If built between 1960 and 1990, the exterior may contain lead-based paint. The paint on interior surfaces may also contain lead in smaller amounts that could still be harmful, especially to young children. Lead paint can cause harm to health if it enters the body. Houses built after 1990 should not contain lead because all consumer paints produced in Canada and the U.S. were virtually lead-free by this time.

According to health Canada, “One way to reduce children’s exposure to lead is to reduce dust in your home. Because children tend to put things in their mouths, dirt and household dust are among the main sources of lead for children under six years of age. Dusting, vacuuming and wet-mopping will all help to keep down levels of dust.”

How to know if you have a problem
If you think the paint in your home may contain lead, have it tested. A certified inspector can measure paint lead levels in your home, or you can mail paint chip samples to a testing laboratory.
To find an inspector or laboratory in your area, contact the Standards Council of Canada or the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation Search online or check your local telephone directory for Laboratories – Analytical and Testing.
Be sure to contact the lab first, and follow all directions for gathering and sending the paint chips.

What you can do if you have lead-based paint
If the lead-based paint is in good condition and is not on a surface that a child might chew, your risk is minimal. It’s best to leave it alone, paint over it, or cover it with wallpaper, wallboard or paneling.
If the lead-based paint is cracking, chipping, flaking or peeling, or if it is on a surface that a child might chew, here is how you can remove the paint:
Do not use sanders, heat guns or blowlamps to remove paint in older homes. This can create dust and fumes that contain lead.
Use a chemical paint stripper, ideally one with a paste that can be applied with a brush.
Paint strippers also contain substances that may be harmful, so use them carefully. Keep children and pregnant women away from the work area and always wear goggles, gloves and a good-quality breathing mask. See the safe use of paint strippers for more information.
See Health Canada’s fact sheet lead-based paint before starting any renovation project in an older home.

Lead in plumbing

Plumbing systems in some homes may be connected to the water mains with lead pipes (also called lead service lines). The National Plumbing Code allowed lead as a material in pipes until 1975 and allowed the use of lead-based solder in plumbing until 1986. Some other brass plumbing parts or faucets may also contain lead. This lead can leach into drinking water if it has been sitting in the pipes for several hours.

How to know if you have a problem
You can check with the Halifax municipality or water utility to see if there are lead service lines in your area. A plumber or a home inspector (link to your page) can identify whether your service line (supply pipe) is made of lead. You can also look at the pipe entering your home, and if it is a greyish-black metal, that is soft and easily dented when scraped with a knife, it is likely made of or contains lead.

If there are lead service lines or other lead-based materials in your plumbing system, you can have your tap water tested for lead content. Some towns and cities have an established sampling program, while others may sample and test it if you ask them.

Contact your local Public Health Department if you’re concerned about high lead levels in your home’s drinking water.

What you can do if you have lead in your plumbing

  • Always let tap water run until it is cold before using it for drinking, cooking and especially for making baby formula. This is very important after water has been sitting in the pipes for long periods of time, like first thing in the morning.
  • Don’t use water from the hot water tap for cooking or drinking. Use cold water instead.
  • If you have a lead service line, the best solution is to have it replaced, but there is a cost to the home owner and the municipality.
  • Ask your municipality about programs or incentives for replacing lead service lines.
  • Clean out aerators or screens at the tap regularly to remove any debris that could also contain lead.
  • Replace any brass faucets or valves with fittings that are certified for use with drinking water.
  • A water filter at the tap can serve as a temporary solution, but this will require proper maintenance and testing to ensure it is working. Make sure any such device is certified to the NSF International standard for removal of lead.
    See also: Water Talk: Minimizing Exposure to Lead from Drinking Water Distribution Systems

See below links for references and more information
https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/home-garden-safety/reduce-your-exposure-lead.html
https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/environmental-workplace-health/environmental-contaminants/lead/lead-information-package-some-commonly-asked-questions-about-lead-human-health.html
https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/hc-sc/migration/hc-sc/ewh-semt/alt_formats/pdf/pubs/contaminants/prms_lead-psgr_plomb/prms_lead-psgr_plomb-eng.pdf

 

Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence – Colin Powell. Do what you love and love what you do!

A humble request

If you think that I did a good job inspecting your home, please mention me to anyone you know who will need a home inspector or share my schedule now link and write me a testimonial. If there’s any reason you would hesitate to recommend me, please contact me with your constructive criticism.

Indoor Air Quality

Asbestos – The Facts

Asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral used in many construction products. According to Health Canada, Breathing in asbestos fibres can cause cancer and other diseases, such as: asbestosis – a scarring of the lungs, which makes it difficult to breathe; mesothelioma – a rare cancer of the lining of the chest or abdominal cavity; lung cancer – smoking can greatly increase this risk. It is considered to be a carcinogen.

Asbestos has been used in: sealant, putty, and spackling compounds; vinyl floor tiles, backing for vinyl sheet flooring, and flooring adhesives; ceiling tiles; textured paint; exterior wall and ceiling insulation; roofing shingles; cement board for many uses, including siding; door gaskets for furnaces and wood-burning stoves; concrete piping; paper, millboard and cement board sheets used to protect walls and floors around wood-burning stoves; fabric connectors between pieces of metal ductwork; hot water and steam piping insulation, blanket covering and tape; and as insulation on boilers, oil-fired furnaces, and coal-fired furnaces.

Asbestos has been used to make products strong, long-lasting and fire-resistant. Production and use of asbestos have declined since the 1970s. Before 1990, asbestos was mainly used for insulating buildings and homes against cold weather, noise and for fireproofing. It may also be found in some auto parts.

Products containing asbestos are not always a health hazard. The potential health risk occurs when these products become worn or deteriorate in a way that releases asbestos fibers into the air. Of particular concern are those asbestos-containing products that are soft, that were sprayed or troweled on, or that have become crumbly. In this condition, asbestos is considered to be in a friable state.

There are no significant health risks if materials containing asbestos in your home are:
1. Tightly bound in products and are in good condition
2. Sealed behind walls and floorboards
3. Isolated in an attic
4. Left undisturbed

If a material is suspected as asbestos, it should be treated as asbestos until tested otherwise. Testing by a qualified laboratory, as directed by the environmental professional, may be needed in order to make an informed decision.
Samples to be tested by a qualified laboratory still need to be collected professionally to control and/or prevent releasing fibres into the air. Proper PPE, protocols and procedures that are minimally invasive should be should be employed.

In a case where asbestos may be in a friable state, A certified environmental professional could perform an inspection and make the decision whether to enclose, coat, encapsulate or remove deteriorated asbestos-containing products. Encapsulation, removal and disposal of asbestos products must be done by a qualified asbestos-abatement contractor.

Concerned about asbestos risk, Need help or Need to collect a sample professionally? Contact us via email, telephone or Schedule a free 30 Min walk-through/consultation

For more information, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/air-quality/indoor-air-contaminants/health-risks-asbestos.html

 

Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence – Colin Powell. Do what you love and love what you do!

A humble request

If you think that I did a good job inspecting your home, please mention me to anyone you know who will need a home inspector or share my schedule now link and write me a testimonial. If there’s any reason you would hesitate to recommend me, please contact me with your constructive criticism.

Storage tanks

Buried Oil Tank – Environmental Concerns and Requirements

Buried Oil Tanks

A buried oil tank can be concealed by heavy landscaping. Buried ferrous-metal oil tanks are commonly found on older properties whose home and/or domestic water supply is heated by oil. As with all underground items, a buried oil tank is not within the scope of a visual home inspection. The presence of a buried oil tank can usually be determined by finding the fill and vent pipes that extend above ground. Abandoned and very old buried ferrous-metal oil tanks are an environmental hazard.

Once free from the tank, petroleum will sink through unsaturated soil and enter the water table. There, much of the chemical will vaporize and eventually bubble up through the ground’s surface. In addition to the risks posed by other petroleum products, leaked gasoline presents the risk of fire and explosion, especially if the fumes collect inside homes and other buildings. Any petroleum-contaminated water that is ingested or used to bathe is potentially deadly. A tank is capable of leaking chemicals for many years, since the corrosion process is typically slow.

If there is a buried tank on your property, the soil around it should be tested by a qualified environmental professional for the presence of oil seepage. If leaking has occurred, the tank and all contaminated soil around it must be removed. A tank that shows leakage must be removed from the ground or filled with a chemically inert solid, such as sand. Groundwater contaminants too must be removed by pumping air through the water, which causes volatile petroleum compounds to vaporize and biodegrade naturally.

If leaking has not occurred, it may still be a potential problem. Even if a tank is empty, it still may have residual oil in the bottom that is a pollutant. Consult with a specialist about the best option for dealing with an underground tank on your property.

Storage tank regulation in Canada.

Permanent withdrawal from service
Per section 44 of the regulations, you must keep a record of the date on which the permanent withdrawal of the storage tank system took place and a record (for example, an invoice) showing that the withdrawal was carried out by an approved person or supervised by a professional engineer, as applicable.
Additional requirements to ensure exists and can be found in the link below.

Removal requirements
The regulations require that you remove storage tank systems and their components if you permanently withdraw them from service. The requirements for removal depend on the tank type:
– for underground and shop-fabricated aboveground tanks, remove all tanks, piping and components
– for field-erected aboveground tanks, remove all piping and components outside the tanks. The tanks themselves may remain in place

Compulsory withdrawal and removal
The following pose a risk to the environment and any such existing installations should have been permanently withdrawn from service and removed by now:
– single-walled underground tanks or piping without leak detection and cathodic protection (that is, protection against corrosion)
– aboveground tanks installed underground and underground tanks installed aboveground
– partially buried tanks

It is important to know that the property owner is responsible for underground tank removal, soil testing and cleanup where contamination has occurred.

See full regulation below.
https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/pollutants/storage-tanks-petroleum-allied-products/regulations.html

 

Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence – Colin Powell. Do what you love and love what you do!

A humble request

If you think that I did a good job inspecting your home, please mention me to anyone you know who will need a home inspector or share my schedule now link and write me a testimonial. If there’s any reason you would hesitate to recommend me, please contact me with your constructive criticism.

Roofs and Attics

Attic Inspection

Attic Inspection

An attic is an unconditioned space between the roof and the ceiling or walls of the building’s inhabited rooms. In a small house with a pitched roof, the attic is usually partially or fully accessible. In a house with a low-slope roof, it may be inaccessible or virtually non-existent.

Roof Leaks: Look for signs of and monitor water leakage from the roof above and try to locate the source. This may be difficult to do beneath built-up roofs or loosely laid and mechanically fastened single-ply roofs, since water may travel horizontally between layers of roofing materials. The key is looking for any signs at all and tracing it. Moisture meters or infrared cameras may be able to help in this regard. Phone a friendly home inspector.

Attic Ventilation: Signs of inadequate ventilation are rusting nails (in roof sheathing, soffits, and drywall ceilings), wet or rotted roof sheathing, and excessive heat buildup which makes measuring attic temperatures a integral part of a good home inspection in Halifax NS. Adequate attic ventilation can be measured by calculating the ratio of the free area of all vents to the floor area. The free area of vents is defined as their clear, open area. If a vent has an insect screen, its free area is reduced by half. The free vent area-to-floor area ratio should be 1 to 150. If the calculated ratio is less, consider adding ventilation, especially if you’re in a hot and humid climate.

If the attic also contains an occupied space, check that the ventilation from the unconditioned, unoccupied areas at the eaves is continuous to the gable or ridge vents. Also check that the free area of eave vents is approximately equal to the free area of ridge or gable vents. If ventilation appears to be inadequate and additional vents cannot be added economically, consider adding mechanical ventilation.

Vents and Birds: Make sure ventilation openings are clear of dirt and debris. At larger ventilation openings on a building’s exterior and where louvered grilles are used, such as at gables, check for the presence of 1-½-inch-square 14- or 16-gauge aluminum mesh bird screen. If there is none or it is in poor condition, consider having new bird screen installed.

Plumbing Stacks and Exhaust Ducts: All plumbing stacks should continue through the roof and should not terminate in the attic. The stack pipes should not be loose, broken or damaged. Exhaust ducts should not be kinked, broken or damaged. They should not terminate in the attic but should continue through the roof, gable or wall.

 

Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence – Colin Powell. Do what you love and love what you do!

A humble request

If you think that I did a good job inspecting your home, please mention me to anyone you know who will need a home inspector or share my schedule now link and write me a testimonial. If there’s any reason you would hesitate to recommend me, please contact me with your constructive criticism.

Windows and Doors

Egress Windows & Fire Safety

Egress Windows for Fire Safety

Egress: Basements and every sleeping room should have at least one operable emergency escape and rescue opening that opens directly onto a public street, public alley, yard or court. This standard is required because many deaths and injuries happen when occupants are asleep at the time of a house fire and the normal means of escape (through doors) are typically blocked.

Ideally, The sill height of the emergency escape and rescue opening should not be more than 44 inches above the floor. If the window has a sill height below ground level, a window well should be provided. The window well should have a horizontal area of at least 9 square feet, with a minimum horizontal projection and width of 36 inches (with the exception of a ladder encroachment into the required dimension). If an emergency escape window is located under a porch or deck, the porch or deck should allow the window to be fully opened and the escape path should be at least 3 feet high.

Egress Windows or Doors for Bedrooms – Minimum Requirements according to NBC 2015
1) Except where the suite is sprinklered, each bedroom or combination bedroom shall have at least one outside window or exterior door openable from the inside without the use of keys, tools or special knowledge and without the removal of sashes or hardware.
2) The window referred to must provide an unobstructed opening of not less than 0.35 m2 in area with no dimension less than 380 mm and maintain the required opening during an emergency without the need for additional support.
3) Where a window required opens into a window well, a clearance of not less than 760 mm shall be provided in front of the window.
4) Where the sash of a egress window swings towards the window well, the operation of the sash shall not reduce the clearance in a manner that
would restrict escape in an emergency.
5) Where a protective enclosure is installed over the window well, the enclosure shall be openable from the inside without the use of keys,tools or special knowledge of the opening mechanism.

You can’t be prepared to act in an emergency if you don’t have a plan and everybody knows what that plan is. Panic and fear can spread as quickly as a fire, so map out an escape route and a meeting place outdoors, and involve even the youngest family members so that everyone can work as a unit to make a safe escape.

 

Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence – Colin Powell. Do what you love and love what you do!

A humble request

If you think that I did a good job inspecting your home, please mention me to anyone you know who will need a home inspector or share my schedule now link and write me a testimonial. If there’s any reason you would hesitate to recommend me, please contact me with your constructive criticism.

Egress Window
Egress Window and fire safety
Windows and Doors

Window Maintenance

Window Maintenance

Condition: Window frames, sills and sashes should be monitored because the interior condition and hardware of windows change over time. Frame materials can include plastic,vinyl, aluminum, steel, wood, plastic-clad wood, and metal-clad (steel or aluminum) wood. Window types include double-hung, single-hung, casement, horizontal sliding, projected out or awning, projected in, and fixed. In addition to these, there are jalousies, which are glass louvers on an aluminum or steel frame.

At older sashes, the glazing compound or putty around the glass panels should be monitored carefully, since this is a vulnerable part of the window and its repair is time-consuming. Check the panels in steel or aluminum sashes for signs of deterioration, such as hardened sealant. Check metal sashes for weep holes that have been blocked by paint, sealant or dirt. Weep holes are usually easy to clean. Storm windows and doors should be monitored for operation, weathertightness, overall condition, and fit.

Weatherstripping: Window and door weatherstripping is generally one of three types: metal; foam plastic; or plastic stripping. Each type should have a good fit. Check the metal for dents, bends and straightness. Check foam plastic for resiliency and plastic stripping for brittleness and cracks. Make sure the weatherstripping is securely held in place.

Shutters & Awnings: Periodically check the shutters’ operation and observe their condition and fit. Shutters close to the ground can be examined from the ground. Shutters out of reach from the ground should be examined from inside the house.

Monitor the condition of your awnings. The attachment to the exterior wall can become loose. Oftentimes, an attachment device in the mortar joint of a brick wall can be easily pulled or slid outward. Some windows and glazed exterior doors have awnings over them for decoration, sun control, and protection from the weather.

 

Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence – Colin Powell. Do what you love and love what you do!

A humble request

If you think that I did a good job inspecting your home, please mention me to anyone you know who will need a home inspector or share my schedule now link and write me a testimonial. If there’s any reason you would hesitate to recommend me, please contact me with your constructive criticism.

Landscaping and Drainage

Retaining Walls

Retaining Walls

Retaining Walls
If possible, weep holes and related drains should be assessed following a heavy rain to make sure they are working properly. If they are not discharging water, the drains should be cleaned out and observed again in the next rain. Retaining walls more than 2 feet high should be backed with drainage material, such as gravel. There should be drains at the bottom of the drainage material that should discharge the water either at the end of the wall or through pipes. These drains and the drainage material behind the wall relieve the pressure of groundwater on the wall. Failure to drain could be remedied by excavating behind the wall, replacing the drainage material and damaged drainage piping, and backfilling. In all but the driest climates, improper drainage of water from behind a retaining wall can cause the wall to fail.

Look for movement in your retaining walls. Bowing (vertical bulges), sweeping (horizontal bulges), and cracking in retaining walls can be caused by water pressure (or hydrostatic pressure). Bulging can also be a result of inadequate strength to resist the load of the earth behind the wall. Bowing and sweeping failures may be correctable if found early enough and if the cause is poor drainage.

There are other types of failures of retaining walls. Failure by over-turning (leaning from the top) or sliding may be caused by inadequate wall strength. In addition, water behind a wall can create unstable earth, especially in clay soils, and contribute to sliding. Retaining walls also fail due to settlement and heaving. Settlement occurs whenever filled earth below the wall compacts soon after the wall is built, or when wet earth caused by poor drainage dries out and soil consolidates. In cold climates, poor drainage contributes to failure by creating heaving from frozen ground. Both overturning and sliding earth may be stabilized and sometimes corrected if the amount of movement is not extreme. Settling may be corrected on small, low walls of concrete or masonry, and heaving may be controlled by proper drainage. Significant failure of any kind usually requires rebuilding or replacing all or part of a wall. Consult a qualified professional when major repairs or corrections are needed.

 

Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence – Colin Powell. Do what you love and love what you do!

A humble request

If you think that I did a good job inspecting your home, please mention me to anyone you know who will need a home inspector or share my schedule now link and write me a testimonial. If there’s any reason you would hesitate to recommend me, please contact me

Rooms and Interior

Laundry and Utility Rooms

Laundry and Utility Rooms

Laundry Room: Watch for leaks and kinks developing at plumbing connections to the washing machine. Water can overflow from the top or bottom if the machine is overloaded with a load that’s too big, or if it is resting on an uneven surface. If the washer is above another living space, consider installing a drain or washer pan for any accidental leaks.

Protect the electrical or natural gas connections to the dryer and ensure that they are not disturbed or accidentally dislodged from their connections.

A gas dryer vent that passes through walls or combustible materials must be made of metal. The length of a dryer exhaust ensures that its blower will be able to push sufficient air volume to take away the laundry’s damp air and lint. The maximum length of the exhaust hose should not be greater than 25 feet from the dryer to the termination at the wall or roof. The length can be increased only when the make and model of the dryer are known.

Inspect the dryer venting to make sure it is not clogged or restricted, which will help the unit operate efficiently and normally, as well as prevent the unit’s motor from overheating and failing. A clogged or restricted vent hose may also lead to an accidental fire caused by the ignition of built-up debris.

The clothes dryer exhaust poses a different problem than other exhaust systems because the air is damp and carries lint. Ensure that the vent exhausts to the outside and not to the attic, crawlspace, or attached garage because the wooden structural members of the house could be affected over time. The exhaust vent’s termination should have a back-draft damper installed to prevent cold air, rain, snow, rodents, and birds from entering the vent. As part of every home inspection in Halifax, we always advise that the vent termination should not have a screen on it, as this can trap lint and other debris and pose a fire hazard. Routine monitor for clogging and clean as needed.

Furnace Room: Rooms or closets containing combustion or fuel-burning equipment or appliances should not be located off a bedroom in a single-family residence (and must be in a publicly accessible area in a multi-family building). Serviceable or replaceable components should always be accessible. Avoid blocking the path or access with storage items. Flammable items or items denatured by heat should not be in close proximity with furnaces or boilers as these equipment emit significant heat during operation.

Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence – Colin Powell. Do what you love and love what you do!

A humble request

If you think that I did a good job inspecting your home, please mention me to anyone you know who will need a home inspector or share my schedule now link and write me a testimonial. If there’s any reason you would hesitate to recommend me, please contact me

Landscaping and Drainage

Flood Zones Nova Scotia

Welcome to the Homeowner’s Newsletter! Bi-weekly, you’ll find plenty of useful information for keeping your house in great condition so that you can enjoy it for years to come. Preserve your investment—and keep your family safe and healthy—by maintaining your home using the following tips.

PREVENTING MOISTURE INTRUSION II

Flood Zones Nova Scotia

Check with local authorities to determine if your home is in a flood-risk zone. If it is, check with local building officials. Higher standards than those set by national agencies have been adopted by many communities.

The NSCC(Nova Scotia Community College) and AGRG(Applied Geomatics Research Group) have developed a web tool that can predict coastal flooding in Nova Scotia down to the metre.

Link below to access the tool.
http://agrgims.cogs.nscc.ca/CoastalFlooding/map/

Link below to access documentation on how to use the tool.
http://agrgims.cogs.nscc.ca/CoastalFlooding/docs/UserDocumentation_final.pdf

Improperly designed grading and drainage may aggravate flood hazards to buildings and cause runoff, soil erosion and sedimentation in the zones of lower flood risk. In these locations, local agencies may regulate building elevations above street or sewer levels.

Floodplain maps help to identify areas that may be at risk of flooding during severe storms. Flood maps are critical tools for informing communities about their flood risk and supporting flood management discussions that involve the public.

Providing communities with floodplain maps that accurately reflect flood hazards can help people make informed decisions about flood and emergency preparedness such as evacuation plans, flood-proofing property measures and insurance needs.

More Resources.

Government of Canada Emergency Preparedness Guide
https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/yprprdnssgd/index-en.aspx

Insurance Bureau of Canada – Water Disaster, Know What’s Covered
http://www.ibc.ca/on/disaster/water

Flood Maps – All of Canada
http://floodsmartcanada.ca/floodplain-maps/

Nova Scotia Flood Event Database 1992 to 2015
http://nsfloodhistory.management.dal.ca/

Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence – Colin Powell. Do what you love and love what you do!

A humble request

If you think that I did a good job inspecting your home, please mention me to anyone you know who will need a home inspector or share my schedule now link and write me a testimonial. If there’s any reason you would hesitate to recommend me, please contact me

Landscaping and Drainage

How To Prevent Moisture Intrusion

Welcome to the Homeowner’s Newsletter! Bi-weekly, you’ll find plenty of useful information for keeping your house in great condition so that you can enjoy it for years to come. Preserve your investment—and keep your family safe and healthy—by maintaining your home using the following tips.

PREVENTING MOISTURE INTRUSION I

Monitor the Exterior 

Planters:  Check any planting beds adjacent to the foundation of your house because planters are built in a way that traps water, which may infiltrate hidden areas of your home. The structure around the planting beds acts like a dam and traps water. Flower planters should never be installed up against a house’s exterior wall.

Puddles:  Puddles and areas of standing water are not good. The ground surface beneath decks, porches and other parts of a house that are supported by posts or cantilevered structures should be checked, especially if you have a sprinkler system. The ground should not have any low-lying areas but should be sloped so that water will not collect and puddle there. Settled backfill allows water to collect next to the foundation wall and penetrate the house’s foundation.

Gutters & Downspouts:  Downspouts may need adjustment. Water from the roof reaches the ground through gutters and downspouts or by flowing directly off roof edges. Because downspouts create concentrated sources of water in the landscape, where they discharge is important. Downspouts should not discharge where water will flow directly onto or over a walkway, driveway or stairs. The downspouts on a hillside home should discharge on the downhill-side of the building. The force of water leaving a downspout is sometimes great enough to damage the adjacent ground, so some protection at grade, such as a splash block or a paved drainage chute, is needed. In urban areas, it is better to drain downspouts to an underground storm water drainage system, if there is one, or underground to discharge at a lower grade away from buildings. Water that flows directly off a roof lacking gutters and downspouts can cause damage below. Accordingly, some provision in the landscaping may be needed, such as a gravel bed or paved drainage way.

Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence – Colin Powell. Do what you love and love what you do!

A humble request

If you think that I did a good job inspecting your home, please mention me to anyone you know who will need a home inspector and write me a testimonial. If there’s any reason you would hesitate to recommend me, please contact me

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