Nashville Home Inspections – What’s Wrong with this Picture? 12-1-12

Nashville Home Inspections – What’s Wrong With This Picture? 12.1.12

Look at the picture below.  You are in a crawl space looking at the moisture barrier that covers the floor of the crawl space.  What’s wrong?

HINT:  Duct tape really has very little use in home construction.

Duct taped moisture barrier

ANSWER:  Moisture does a real number on duct tape.  Moisture is common in a crawl space.  So using duct tape in the crawl space to hold the moisture barrier to the foundation block wall probably will not last very long.  In fact it probably will take just a few days and it will look like the photo below.

Failed duct tape installation of moisture barrier

Thank you,

Richard Acree

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http://habitecinspections.com

HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Clarksville, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill and more! In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis. Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at http://habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753.

Nashville Inspector’s Top 10 Discrepancies on Home Inspections

2012 Top 10 Most Common Home Inspection Discrepancies in Nashville

10.  Vegetation encroaching on the house.  Vegetation that encroaches on the home can damage the home, trap moisture against the home, and allow a path for insects, rodents and reptiles to enter the home.  Keep vegetation at least 18” away from the home or components.

9. Window or door trim caulk.  Cracks or gaps in the caulk around door and window trim can allow water to penetrate behind the trim.  This water can deteriorate the trim and the framing near the doors and windows.  Any crack or gap in the trim or caulk should be repaired with new caulk and paint.

8.  Brick veneer stress cracks.  These cracks are most likely located near the corners of doors and windows, or at the down-slope corner of the home.  Brick veneer cracks are frequently an indication of water management failure.  Repair any crack in the brick veneer that exceeds 1/8 inch in width.

7.  Roof penetration boot cracks.  The rubber-like neoprene component of roof penetrations (roof boots) for plumbing vents can crack after about 7 years and cause roof leaks.  Use of caulk is only a temporary repair.  These cracked components need to be replaced.

6.  Condensate drains.  HVAC condensate drains that terminate at the foundation wall can allow significant moisture to accumulate at the foundation wall and possibly enter the crawl space.  Condensate drains should terminate at the exterior of the home, at least 18” from the home, and to terrain that slopes away from the home.

5.  Grading and lot drainage.  The grade of the soil adjacent to the home can allow moisture to flow toward the home and weaken the foundation or enter the crawl space or basement and create an environment conducive to mold.  HABITEC recommends at least a 6” drop in grade over the first 10’ of horizontal space from the home.

4.  Failing roof drainage systems including gutters, downspouts and extensions.  Gutters that are full of debris, rusted or poorly sloped can allow water to overflow and drop to the foundation wall or backflow into the attic or house.  Downspouts that are disconnected from the underground drainage components can allow water to drop at the foundation wall.  Make sure these components are clean and function properly.

3.  Inadequate crawl space moisture barrier.  Some moisture will inevitably make its way to the crawl space.  Having a crawl space moisture barrier of 6 mil plastic covering 100% of graded crawl space soil that slopes to a positive drain will help control moisture that does make its way to the crawl space.

2.  Water in the crawl space. Water in the crawl space can cause either structural failure if allowed to pool at the foundation walls or around the piers, or mold to start growing on the wood components.

1.  Crawl space mold.  Moisture allowed to accumulate inside the crawl space can lead to mold in the crawl space.  Forty percent of the air that enters the home comes from the crawl space.  Mold can be hazardous to your health.  Make every effort to prevent moisture accumulation in the crawl space.

Richard Acree

http://habitecinspections.com

Nashville Home Inspector- What’s Wrong with this picture? 11-28-12

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Look at the picture below.  You are standing in a garage of a residential home looking up at the ceiling of the garage.  What’s wrong?

HINT:  High humidity and cool ductwork can make for a sweaty situation.

DSCI0379 (2)

ANSWER:  Sweaty indeed.  In this case the ductwork in the garage was installed right over where the cars parked.  So guess what happened during the hot steamy months of summer.  Condensation.  Lots of it.  Enough that the home owner took matters into their own hands.  Rather than improve the insulation on the ductwork, they just bagged it.  What you are looking at is plastic hung under the ductwork to catch the condensation as it drips off.  Not sure where it went from there, maybe they just let it build up and later evaporate.  Whatever, this installation qualifies for a “non-conventional” grade and a visit from the local HVAC technician.  Surely there is a better way to fix this problem.  Another picture of a similar fix in the same garage is shown below.

DSCI0381 (2)

Thank you,

Richard Acree

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Home Inspector in Nashville find Gutters that have Gone Mad

Nashville Home Inspections – What’s Wrong With This Picture?  11-4-12

Look at the picture below.  The picture was taken from the top of the roof of a new home, looking down into a valley of sorts.  What’s wrong?  Is that a piece of debris left over from the roofers?  Or is some new type of “gutter guard”?

HINT:  Gutters should be used at the end of the roof, not the middle.

ANSWER:  No, it is not a piece of debris.  It is a piece of gutter installed intentionally toward the end of the valley.  Apparently in an attempt to direct runoff into the gutter/downspout system.  But this is highly irregular, don’t you think?  A closer view is shown below.

So it might work, sort of.  But what if a little more debris collects there?  And how much water can it handle?  And how did it pass the municipal inspection?  Remember, it’s a new roof!  And how is it held in place there?

Thank you,

Richard Acree

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http://habitecinspections.com

Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, and contributing members of the Active Rain Real Estate network, and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings. HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill and more! In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis. Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at http://habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753.

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Nashville Home Inspector – What’s Wrong with this Picture 10-29-12?

Please look at the photo below.  I found this on a roof at a plumbing vent penetration.  What’s wrong?

HINT:  Do-It-Yourselfers love duct tape.

ANSWER:  The neoprene composite boot for residential plumbing vent penetrations is good for only 7-8 years before they start to crack due to the effects of sun and rain.  There is a cheap fix available at most home supply stores that is a boot sleeve that simply slips down on top of the damaged boot.  You cannot see the damaged boot in the photo above because a do-it-yourselfer solved the problem with some duct tape.  At least they used black duct tape so it looks like the composite boot.  But soon this amateur repair will fail also because tape does poorly in sun and rain as well.  And speaking of failing, when we see this installation, we make a note to check below this area in the attic to see if there is evidence of water intrusion.  After all, most folks would not make this effort with the tape unless there was an event that drew their attention, right?  Look at the photo below to see what we found in the attic below this taped repair.

That is a bucket strategically placed below these vent pipes.  Unfortunately there was nothing on the disclosure statement about previous water leaks.

To comment or ask questions send email to richard@habitecinspections.com.

Thank you,

Richard Acree

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http://habitecinspections.com

Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, and contributing members of the Active Rain Real Estate network, and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings. HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill and more! In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis. Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at http://habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753.

Home About HABITEC Home Inspections Commercial Building Inspections Environmental Services Public-Guest Speaker Meet Your Inspectors Residential REALTORS Education Material Service Providers Sample Reports References Contact Us Articles FacebookLinked ActiveRain Blog Blogger WordPress FAQ Payment and Fees Thank You Facebook  LinkedIn  ActiveRain Blog  Blogger  WordPress Thank You

Nashville Home Inspector – Dryer Vent – What’s Wrong with this Picture 10-28-12?

Nashville Home Inspection – What’s Wrong With This Picture?  10-28-2012

Please see the photo below.  You are outside a home looking at the back side of the basement exterior wall.  What’s wrong?

HINT:  Hangers belong in closets.

ANSWER:  Funny thing is it probably does some good.  But using a hanger wedged under the vinyl siding to hold a piece of screen over the dryer vent is not in the building code.  Or the good idea code.  Plus, those little plastic louvered covers are cheap, work much better and pretty much close completely when the air flow stops, keeping most of the bugs out.  Little bugs can still get in here.  And lint can build up here pretty easily.

To comment or ask questions about this article please send email to richard@habitecinspections.com.

Thank you,

Richard Acree

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Get a Grip, Nashville!

Nashville Home Inspection – What’s Wrong With This Picture?  10-19-12

Look at the picture below.  Do you know what’s missing?

missing handrail

HINT:  Try to get a grasp on things.

ANSWER:  It looks nice enough, doesn’t it?  New paint and all.  But let’s count the steps.  I count 5, when you include the last step up to porch.  So what is missing?  How about a “graspable handrail”?  A graspable handrail is recommended any time the number of step risers is 4 or more.  So you might say they have it in the 2×4 handrail on the left, right?  Not really.  There is a very specific definition of a “graspable handrail”.  In fact it is so detailed it is best to show you a picture.  Please see below.

The International Residential Code (IRC) rules are mostly in place now.  The handgrip portion of the graspable handrail shall not be less than 1 1/4  inches or more than 2 inches in cross sectional dimension, or the shape shall provide an equivalent gripping surface.  The handgrip shall have a smooth surface with no sharp corners.  Handrails projecting from the wall shall have a space of not less than 1 1/2 inches between the wall and the handrail.  The handrail should be continuous and should return to the wall or the rail at the ends.  So the basic idea of a graspable handrail is something you can wrap your fingers around.  That is why a 2×4 does not work.  Think about the very young and the elderly.  On any step system, but certainly on one with steep steps or with uneven step risers, they need a graspable handrail that is firmly mounted to help them up and down.

To comment or ask questions about this article please email richard@habitecinspections.com.

Thank you,

Richard Acree

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FIRE!! Do you have an Emergency Action Plan for a Fire in Your Home

FIRE!!  Do you have an Emergency Action Plan for a Fire in Your Home?

Look at the pictures below.  Recently I inspected a townhome that was inhabited by a family of 5.  The three children were about 5, 3 and 1.5 years old.  All bedrooms are upstairs in the two story townhouse.  Across the street was a terrifying scene shown in the pictures below.  A row of 5 townhouses exactly like the one I was inspecting.  Obviously a horrific fire had devastated four of the units in the row of townhomes.  Reports indicate a propane gas grill may have started the fire.  As I looked at the family who lived in the home I was inspecting I wondered if they had a plan in case of a similar situation in their home.  This first picture is the front of the complex.

The photo below is of the rear of the complex.

The next picture is a closeup of one of the units.  This one appeared to be where the fire started.

All families should have an emergency action plan in case of a disaster like this.  Especially those with children in the home.

Thank you,

Richard Acree

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http://habitecinspections.com

Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, and contributing members of the Active Rain Real Estate network, and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings. HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill and more! In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis. Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at http://habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753.

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections ActiveRain Blog and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. You can also join HABITEC on Facebook or Linked .

Home About HABITEC Home Inspections Commercial Building Inspections Environmental Services Public-Guest Speaker Meet Your Inspectors Residential REALTORS Education Material Service Providers Sample Reports References Contact Us Articles FacebookLinked ActiveRain Blog Blogger WordPress FAQ Payment and Fees Thank You

A Nashville TN Cat-Like Home Inspector

Cat-Like Home Inspector in Nashville Tennessee

Do you need to hire a Home Inspector in Nashville Tennessee with cat-like abilities?  Check out the photos below.  This may be the guy for you!

“I think I can, I think I can!”

“I know I can, I know I can!”

And then he was gone!  Luckily I was up on the roof to grab him and send him back down to earth.  The REALTOR on the ground took these photos.  This all went down, or up, on a recent home inspection near Franklin Tennessee.

Thank you,

Richard Acree

http://habitecinspections.com

Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, and contributing members of the Active Rain Real Estate network, and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings. HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill and more! In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis. Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at http://habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753.

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections ActiveRain Blog and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. You can also join HABITEC on Facebook or Linked .

Do you know the Top Reasons for Hiring HABITEC?

Do you know the Top Reasons for hiring HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC for your next Inspection?

Check out this link to see why clients choose HABITEC:  http://habitecinspections.com/Why_HABITEC_.html

Nashville Tennessee Home Inspection – WCAR Announces new Board Members

Nashville TN Home Inspections – Williamson County Association of Realtors (WCAR) elects 2012-2013 Board of Directors.  The 1,500 members voted to elect three new executive officers and five new directors.

The 2012-13 board includes:

Board President: Matt Ligon, Broker, Zeitlin and Company Realtors

President-Elect: Lisa Culp Taylor, Bob Parks Realty, Brentwood

Secretary/Treasurer: Chip Kerr, Broker, Crye-Leike Realtors

Past-President: Melissa Clough, Keller Williams Realty

Director: Andy Brookhover, Benchmark Realty

Director: Vicky Crigger, Broker, Village Real Estate, Franklin

Director: Susan Diebolt, Bob Parks, Real Estate, Franklin

Director: David Logan, Broker, Silverpointe Properties

Director: John Taylor, Zeitlin and Company Realtors

Returning Directors Include: Chris Cantrell, Foundation Title; Corbi Parker, Benchmark Realty; Laura Cragon Zeitlin, Crye-Leike Realtors

HABITEC Home and Buildings Inspections, LLC, conducting home and commercial buildings inspections throughout Middle TN including Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin,  wishes these newly elected members success in the coming year.

 

 

Thank you,

Richard Acree

http://habitecinspections.com

Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, and contributing members of the Active Rain Real Estate network, and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings. HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill and more! In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis. Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at http://habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753.

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections ActiveRain Blog and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. You can also join HABITEC on Facebook or Linked .

Nashville Home Inspector

Nashville Home Inspector – What’s Wrong With This Picture?    9/17/2012     (edit/delete)

Nashville Home Inspector – What’s Wrong With This Picture?

HINT:  Why is there a bucket under that pipe?

ANSWER:  Something is leaking!  It should not be there, unless of course it is needed.  So what can be the source of the leak.  Well, that white pipe looks suspicious doesn’t it?  So, to fill in the missing pieces, you are standing in an attic looking down at the attic floor.  That white pipe is a plumbing vent pipe.  The kind that goes up through the roof and sticks out the top of the home.  Almost every home has them.  But whenever you poke a hole in the roof, you have to take measures to prevent leaks.  For these type of vents, a roof boot is used to surround the pipe as it goes through the roof.  See the picture below of this pipe as it goes through this roof.  What’s wrong?

ANSWER:  The crack is what is wrong and the crack is why there is a bucket in the attic.  This cracked roof boot is allowing water to penetrate into the attic and onto the ceiling below the attic, at least it was until they put the bucket up there.  This is not what we have in mind when we talk about a bucket list.  A better solution is simply to have another roof boot installed.  That rubber-like neoprene component is only good for about 7-8 years before it starts to crack.  Another quicker fix is to have a boot overlay installed, which is a similar device that simply slides down over the cracked boot.  Works good and lasts about as long as the new boot.  Either way, something new on the roof is a better solution than a bucket in the attic!

Thank you,

Richard Acree

http://habitecinspections.com

Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, and contributing members of the Active Rain Real Estate network, and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings. HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill and more! In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis. Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at http://habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753.

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections ActiveRain Blog and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. You can also join HABITEC on Facebook or Linked .

Nashville Home Inspector – Do you remember the old Jenga Game?

Look at the picture below. What’s wrong?

HINT:  Do you remember the game Jenga?  A HABITEC Home Inspector recently came upon the situation below.  What’s wrong?

ANSWER: Well, when you are down in the crawl space and no one is around to see what you do, or don’t do, just grab anything that will fill the void, right?  Just like the old Jenga game, where the challenge was to stack loose wood as high as possible and hope the entire game did not collapse, at least not while you are down there.  Must have been what the guy who created this masterpiece was thinking.  This helped explain all the cracks in the drywall inside the home.

Thank you,

Richard Acree

Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC,  and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings.  HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill, Lebanon, Gallatin and more!  In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis.  Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at http://habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753.

Richard Acree is the author of  the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress, and Blogger, and Founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors.  All are welcome to join and comment on those blogs and group.   You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook and Richard on LinkedThank you!

Nashville Home Inspector – Electrical Installation – What’s Wrong With This Picture? 12-14-11

Nashville Home Inspector – Electrical Installation – What’s Wrong With This Picture? 12-14-11

Look at the picture below.  What is wrong?  HINT:  Junction boxes should be used for junctions.

ANSWER:  Junction boxes should be used to house any junction of electrical conductors, or wires.  But, junction boxes, like the one in the picture above, should not be used to rig an outlet so one can plug in an extension cord.  So there is a lot wrong with this picture.  Junction boxes should be used only for conductor junctions and the box should be closed after the wires are joined and inserted.  Outlets should be housed in outlet electrical boxes with that appropriate cover plate.  Extension cords should not be used as permanent wiring.  If you need permanent wiring, call an electrician and have a dedicated circuit put in.  The installation in the picture above is a fire or electrocution waiting to happen.

Thank you,

Richard Acree

Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC,  and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings.  HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill, Lebanon, Gallatin and more!  In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis.  Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at http://habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753. 

Richard Acree is the author of  the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress, and Blogger, and Founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors.  All are welcome to join and comment on those blogs and group.   You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook and Richard on LinkedThank you!

HABITEC Completes another Continuing Education Course for REALTORS licensed in Tennessee!

HABITEC is pleased to announce completion of another successful 6 hour Continuing Education course for REALTORS licensed in Tennessee.  On December 7, 2011, REALTORS attended the TREC-approved Tennessee Home Inspection course presented by Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC,  at the Brentwood Library in Brentwood, TN.  The following realtors have graciously offered their names as references for this course.

Nina Stern, Benchmark Realty, 202-0363, NStern@hotmail.com
Elaine Finucane, Fridrich and Clark Realty, 300-5093, finucanee@realtracs.com
Maureen Johnson, Main Street Realty, 419-7216, maureen01@comcast.net
Walter Rudd, Legacy Realty, 351-6795, ruddw@realtracs.com
Gretchen Jolly, Century 21 Premier, 519-0986, GretchenJolly@bellsouth.net
Ann Mann, ReMaxElite, 305-3716, annscasa@yahoo.com
Nancy Heap, Main Street Realty, 479-4322, nheap@comcast.net
Tom Heard, Main Street Realty, 646-7744, ThomasHE@realtracs.com

The next class at the Brentwood Library is scheduled for January 25, 2012.  Please contact HABITEC at 615-376-2753 to register for this class.  Information about the class is available on the HABITEC website at http://habitecinspections.com/EducationMaterial.aspx

Thank you,

Richard Acree

Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC,  and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings.  HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill, Lebanon, Gallatin and more!  In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis.  Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at http://habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753. 

Richard Acree is the author of  the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress, and Blogger, and Founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors.  All are welcome to join and comment on those blogs and group.   You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook and Richard on LinkedThank you!

Ugly Bug Alert!

 
Ugly Bug Alert
 
by
 
 
Please look at the picture below.  Ever see one of these bugs around your home?  What is it and why is it there? 

HINT:  It looks like a cross between a cricket and a spider.  Now that can be ugly.

ANSWER:  That’s it!  It’s a spider-cricket!  And boy is it ugly.  Some people refer to them as cave-bugs, apparantly because they are common in caves.  So how did it ever get started?  Do you think a spider and cricket got together and, wait, let’s not even go there.  Suffice it to say they are common in damp and dark places, like caves.  

Notice the Romex cable next to it.  That cable is about 1/2″ in width, so you can imagine how large this spider-cricket is.  And that grey stuff is concrete block commonly used to form a residential foundation.  That’s because this picture was taken inside a crawl space during a home inspection.  So why is this spider-cricket here?  Well we know a crawl space can be pretty dark, right?  And we now know that spider-cricket’s like places that are dark, but also damp.  Remember, bugs go where they can live and flourish because there is food and moisture there.  So if there is a spider-cricket living in this crawl space, there must also be moisture of sufficient levels that they can live and flourish.  But it gets worse.  Like roaches, if you see one, you can bet there are more.  See the picture below.

And if you keep going in this crawl space, you will find the rest of the gang.  See below. 

The good news is, these guys don’t like people and will scurry off to hide when light or people come around.  But they won’t go away permanently until the moisture source is fixed.  In this case a malfunctioning water management system on the outside of the home allowed significant water intrusion into the crawl space.  All that water is just the ticket for an insect infestation like the one you see above.

Thank you,

Richard Acree

Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC,  and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings.  HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill, Lebanon, Gallatin and more!  In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis.  Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at http://habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753. 

Richard Acree is the author of  the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress, and Blogger, and Founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors.  All are welcome to join and comment on those blogs and group.   You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook and Richard on LinkedThank you!

HABITEC completes another Continuing Education Class for REALTORS licensed in Tennessee.

Nashville Home Inspections – HABITEC completes another Continuing Education Class for REALTORS licensed in Tennessee.

On September 12, 2011, HABITEC completed the 6 hour TREC-approved Tennessee Home Inspection Course at the Middle Tennessee Association of REALTORS in Murfreesboro, TN.  The following REALTORS generously offered the use of their names and contact information as references for this course.

Patricia Copeland, Cottage Realty, 889-8093, TopProducerRealtor@gmail.com
Angie Kuka, Reliant Realty, 714-0414, angiekuka@realtracs.com
Yvonne Scott, Bob Parks Realty, 400-8996, YvonneSC@realtracs.com

 The next presentation of this class is scheduled as follows:

 October 26, 2011

8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Brentwood Library, Meeting Room B
8109 Concord Road, Brentwood, TN 37027
Contact: Richard Acree
615-376-2753
Price: $30 (Includes a light breakfast and lunch snack)

Thank you,

Richard Acree

Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC,  and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings.  HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill, Lebanon, Gallatin and more!  In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis.  Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at http://habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753. 

Richard Acree is the author of  the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress, and Blogger, and Founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors.  All are welcome to join and comment on those blogs and group.   You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook and Richard on LinkedThank you!

Nashville Home Inspector – Electrical Panel Bonding – 9.9.11

Nashville Home Inspector – Electrical Panel Bonding

Please look at the picture below.  What you are looking at is the inside of an electrical panel in a home.  This is a common panel installation.  There are many items that a Home Inspector should check while conducting an inspection of an electrical panel.  One item they should look for is bonding of the electrical panel.  Bonding is a name used to describe when the electrical panel is connected to the grounding components of the electrical system.  Look in the picture below and see if you can see if and how the panel is bonded.

If you look closely and through the wires, you will see a copper metal “strap” fastened to the grounding bus bar and to the back of the electrical panel with a green screw.  Bonding!  The ground bus bar is connected to the metal electrical panel using the copper bonding strap.  With this installation, should the electrical panel become active with current, the bonding strap provides a path of least resistance for electrical current to ground itself.  So if a person touches this panel and the panel is active with current, the bonding strap will provide a better path of travel for the electrical current than the person.  This is a protective device to protect people from electrocution.

The electrical panel can become active with current from a faulty installation or a fault where somehow a wire that is “hot” with current comes in contact with the panel.  It is not common but it has happened.

Other types of bonding are also possible.  The straps can be made of aluminum.  Sometimes the grounding bus bar is connected directly to the panel itself and a strap is not necessary.  And sometimes a large green screw simply goes through the grounding bus bar directly into the panel.  All of these methods accomplish the same thing of connecting the electrical panel to the grounding bus bar.

This is one of the many items your Home Inspector should check for during a home inspection.

Thank you,

Richard Acree

Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC,  and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings.  HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill, Lebanon, Gallatin and more!  In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis.  Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at http://habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753. 

Richard Acree is the author of  the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress, and Blogger, and Founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors.  All are welcome to join and comment on those blogs and group.   You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook and Richard on LinkedThank you!

Nashville Home Inspector – Hairy Wood?

Nashville Home Inspector – What’s Wrong With This Picture?

HINT:  Hairy wood is rarely a good thing.

ANSWER:  Everything!  What you are looking at is a piece of wood that supports a porch.  So you are looking from below the porch and the grey material at the bottom of the picture is the concrete foundation wall.  What you are also looking at is some white fungal growth (that’s the nicest way I can describe it) in different forms.  There is the white powdery stuff near the top of the wood, then there is the creepy angle-hair stuff hanging down from the wood.  YUCK!  To make matters worse, there is a brown fungal growth growing on the white angle-hair growth.  These are probably all different types of mold.  So we have mold growing on top of mold.  Talk about a situation out of control!

Thank you,

Richard Acree

Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC,  and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings.  HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill, Lebanon, Gallatin and more!  In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis.  Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at http://habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753. 

Richard Acree is the author of  the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress, and Blogger, and Founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors.  All are welcome to join and comment on those blogs and group.   You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook and Richard on Linked.  Thank you!

Nashville Home Inspector – Electrical Installation – 7.27.11

Nashville Home Inspector – Electrical Wiring – What’s Wrong With This Picture? 7.27.11

HINT:  Orange extension cords are a red flag during a Home Inspection.

ANSWER:  HABITEC does not recommend the use of an extension cord as permanent wiring.  These cords usually come with plug attachments at both ends but sometimes people cut those off and use the cord for permanent wiring.  This is a fire waiting to happen for two reasons.  Not only has this homeowner used the improper material as an electrical conductor, they have also not installed the conductor into the metal junction box correctly.  You can see where the cord simply goes through the open knockout hole in the side of the box without any protection from the sharp edge of the hole.  This installation should have a composite grommet, or strain relief, to protect the electrical cable (not a cord) from the sharp edges of the metal box and also to protect the connection of the wires from pulling apart inside the box.

Thank you,

Richard Acree

Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC,  and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings.  HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill, Lebanon, Gallatin and more!  In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis.  Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at http://habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753. 

Richard Acree is the author of  the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress, and Blogger, and Founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors.  All are welcome to join and comment on those blogs and group.   You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook and Richard on Linked.  Thank you!