Monday, March 24, 2008

Top Ten Defects Found During a Home Inspection

Top Ten Defects Found During a Home Inspection (By Number of Occurrences)

House To Home Inspections LLC Serves Milford Ohio & Southwest OH home inspection clients.

1- Lights Out - This is by far the number one item for over the last eight years. Over 90% of homes will have at least one light not working during the inspection.

2- Walkway/Driveway Cracked - Another common find during our professional home inspection. Over half the time these would be considered as safety issues.

3- Outlets Not Working - The word must have gotten out that electricians are expensive from a few years ago. The number of occurrences has been slightly reduced from that time.

4- Windows Need Caulk - One of the cheapest ways to save energy is to caulk around windows and doors.

5- Door Hardware Repairs/Adjustment - Hardware repairs are a common find on exterior doors and door adjustments common on hollow core interior doors.

6- Roof Flashing Needs Caulk/Nail heads Exposed - Even more common than loose/damaged shingles. Areas that are harder to see from the ground tend to get less attention from a savvy seller. Click here for a complete home inspection report with photos.

7- Secure/Repair Loose/Damaged Shingles - Mostly windblown shingles and exposed nail heads in our area of the country.

8- Recommend Insulation Improvements - More of an improvement rather than a necessary expense although noted in most inspection reports.

9- Water Heater Electrical Supply Line Needs Conduit - A very common find during a professional home inspection. This comes down to a matter of safety.

10- Door Bell Not Working - As strange as it may sound, the first thing that people usually operate when visiting a house, does not work. These repairs can get a little involved.

Many times we find signs of mold or conditions that are attractive to mold. Click here more information about mold in Ohio.

More information can be found at the Milford Ohio home inspector page.

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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Household Electrical Panel Safety Hazard

Electrical Panels Recalled

The following information has been provided by House To Home Inspections LLC.
The following has been said about Federal Pacific Electric ‘Stab-Lok" panels:
These panels pose a latent threat and they could be a hazard. The circuit breakers may fail to trip in the case of an overload or short-circuit. A circuit breaker that fails to trip could cause a fire or personal injury. The problem with these panels is that some double pole 220volt circuit breakers and some single pole 120volt circuit breakers may not operate as intended if overloaded. A good breaker will trip (turning off the power to that circuit) Federal Pacific breakers appear not to trip every time which could result in a fire.

Published reports of tests conducted on FPE two pole 220volt circuit breakers indicate that under certain conditions one leg/pole may attempt to trip the breaker. The result is a circuit that stays live, and a circuit breaker that has been compromised and when reset will not trip again under any excessive load. In some instances the breakers have been known to fall out when the cover is removed. Loose contacts can also cause arcing which would result in a fire. These panels appear to work perfectly during normal operation allowing electricity to flow without any problems or symptoms. The real question is, what will your panel do if it has an overload? For more information on electrical safety please vist the Cincinnati Ohio home inspector.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) did conduct product testing of these FPE breakers and found that their failure rates were significant. The CPSC’s advice concerning these panels is for consumers to avoid overloading circuits as well as to turn off and have examined any devices that are causing the circuit breakers to trip. (This is easier said than done and defeats the whole point for having the breaker.)

Federal Pacific Electrics' statement in response to this problem is cautious in tone:
"FPE breakers will trip reliably at most overload levels."

It should be noted that Federal Pacific is no longer in business. After market breakers are available for these panels. Most of these panels are large and had a lot of circuits and the cost of replacing all the breakers is often more than the cost of installing a new panel.

The Solution
The best solution is to replace the panel. Recently some companies have started making replacement breakers for FPE panels. In many cases these are manufactured with the same problematic design of the original, and there is no data that they are more reliable. Also, replacing the breakers does not address problems with the buss bars in FPE panels that are not as well documented as the circuit breaker problem. In closing, remember that any repair work should be performed only by a licensed electrician. For more information on general electric safety inspection, please visit the Dayton Ohio home inspector.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Appliance Life Expectancy Chart

A home inspectors job requires the ability to make general observations for many household appliances. Visual observations based on the appearance of each home appliance gives good clues to the condition and age of each and is commonly noted in the home inspection report.

Some good home inspectors will go even further in writing and tracing the model and serial numbers to come up with a more specific age. Others may use electronic equipment such as a microwave leak detector and digital thermometer during their inspection. Since testing of appliances is usually outside most Home Inspection Association's Standards of Practice, the latter is usually performed in highly competitive areas such as California, Florida, Ohio home inspection markets The more services that are performed for typically the same cost will be remembered by many home inspection clients.

As a NACHI (National Association of Certified Home Inspectors) certified home inspector, it is essential for me to have a list of approximate appliance life expectancies. This list is included below. If you are interested in more information of the home inspection process in general, please visit House To Home Inspections website. Here is the list:


Trash Compactor 10 years.
Dishwasher - 10 years.
Garbage Disposer - 10 years.
Dryer - 10 years.
Freezer (compact) - 12 years.
Freezer (standard) - 16 years.
Microwave Oven - 11 years.
Range (freestanding and built-in, electric) - 17 years.
Range (freestanding and built-in, gas) - 19 years.
Range (high oven, gas) - 14 years.
Refrigerator (compact) - 14 years.
Refrigerator (standard) - 17 years.
Washer (automatic and compact) - 13 years.
Exhaust Fans - 20 years.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Buying a house soon? Read this first.......

Real Estate Referrals

Is your home inspector really working for you?

When purchasing a home it is generally recommended by almost everybody, that a home inspection be performed prior to closing the deal. Your Realtor will probably refer a home inspector(s) to you to complete this task.

Unfortunately many times, the home inspector counts on the realtor's referrals to stay in business. This potentially gives the home inspector a biased view leaning towards the Realtor for a quick and easy sale of your new home no matter what condition it is found to be in. This, at the very least, will cause a conflict of interest between you and the home inspector inspecting your property. The Realtor referred home inspector will be surreptitiously pressured into downgrading or under reporting defects found during your home inspection. The frightening part is that this would apply to major defects that could kill the sale of the property. What is even more frightening is the fact that most major defects are usually safety issues as well to you and your family's health and well being.

For more information on possible conflicts of interest and the home inspection process in general please visit the Cincinnati Ohio home inspections page.

House To Home Inspections generally recommends disregarding any Home Inspectors referred by Realtors. Word of Mouth and the internet are the best sources to obtain quality unbiased home inspectors. Don't take chances on the most expensive purchase you'll ever make! Interview potential home inspectors yourself on the phone. Ask if they are:

1- Licensed (if applicable)
2- Certified through any professional Home Inspection associations such as NACHI (National Association of Certified Home Inspectors)
3- How long they have been performing home inspections
4- Insured

These are the absolute questions to be asked prior to hiring a home inspector.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Ohio Certified Home Inspectors

House To Home Inspections of Ohio provides complete home inspection services for the Cincinnati-Dayton OH. region. We also offer mold, radon and private well water testing as well as septic system & termite inspection services. Please visit for more details.