Laundry and Utility Rooms – Maintenance

  Laundry and Utility Rooms Laundry and Utility Rooms are areas that Shawn Chesney Home Inspections is committed to bringing safety tips, suggestions and just some simple FYI. This post we are talking about some things to check or look out for in your Laundry and Utility Rooms. If you have any questions or comments, please call us at 905 228-6544 or visit us on the web at www.schi.ca. 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. 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 up built-up...

Heating System Checkup

Heating System Checkup It is that time of year where the leaves are starting to change colour, the temperatures begin to drop and we begin to wonder if we should turn on the heating system in our homes. Shawn Chesney Home Inspections recommend having a heating system checkup annually and now is the time to do it. The last thing you want to do is need your heat and discover there is a problem. Here are some tips and some suggestions. Replace or clean your furnace filter. You should replace or clean your furnace filter(s) three or four times yearly. This is a quick, easy job every homeowner or tenant can do. A new filter makes your furnace more energy-efficient and saves money, too. A furnace that is not running at peak performance can be deadly. Carbon Monoxide is a natural product of incomplete combustion. Virtually every gas furnace produces some Carbon Monoxide, which is usually carried away from your home through the furnace’s venting. A clean, efficiently burning gas furnace produces very small amounts of carbon monoxide, while a dirty, inefficiently burning one can produce deadly amounts. Carbon Monoxide is odorless and colorless. It causes flu-like symptoms, disorientation, confusion, and even death. It is highly recommended that you have your furnace cleaned and checked every year. The older the furnace, the more important this service is. Newer gas furnaces are equipped with many features that shut the furnace off when a problem is detected. Older furnaces have no such devices. Over time, furnaces can develop small cracks in the combustion chamber. These cracks may not be visible to...

Roof – How to Clean Algae and Moss Off Asphalt Shingles

How to Clean Algae and Moss Off Asphalt Shingles Stains on asphalt roofing shingles make a house look shabby, which detracts from its value. In some cases, stains are merely a cosmetic issue.  But sometimes they’re symptomatic of a problem that, if left unchecked, can lead to more serious damage and, eventually, roof failure. It’s not always hard to distinguish the causes of stains, nor, in most cases, to get rid of them and prevent the stains from recurring. Common Causes of Staining Dark stains on an asphalt roof could be caused by a number of conditions, including: Eroded mineral surface. If the roof-covering material has been on the house for 15 years or so, it could be that the surface granules are wearing off the shingles and the asphalt base is starting to show through. On older roofs, you may additionally see cracked and/or shingles with curled edges. If you determine that age and wear are the causes of darkening, it may be time for a new roof. Algae growth. More often than not, blue, green or black stains on an asphalt-shingle roof are caused by algae. Algae staining begins with small spots which, over time, can develop into streaks. Algae stains, which are often mistaken for mold or mildew, aren’t harmful to anything other than the appearance of asphalt shingles, but nobody likes the look. Algae-stained asphalt-shingle roof (photo by author) Moss. Green, velvety masses of moss often grow on north-facing roof surfaces and on tree-shaded roofs. Unlike algae, moss left on roof surfaces can develop beyond an aesthetic problem. It can infiltrate the roof structure underneath the shingles and...

Faulty Windows – Top 5 Fast Fixes

Top 5 Fast Fixes for Faulty Windows Do I repair or replace faulty windows? There’s a common misconception that if your home has older windows that are in less-than-perfect condition, you must replace them with new windows. But as long as the window is structurally sound, you can fix most problems and extend the window’s service life by many years. Of course, there are instances when a window is so badly damaged that it’s beyond repair, such as when the entire frame is rotted, or if there’s extensive termite damage. Then, it’s time for a new set of windows. However, some of the most common window problems can be fixed with minimal time and money. Listed below are five window repairs that any DIY-er can handle. All you need are some basic carpentry skills, a few simple tools, and a free afternoon. 1.  Block out drafts. Caulk around window frames to block out drafts and wind-driven rain.   The number one problem with older windows is that they don’t seal very tightly, which allows cold air to blow in during the winter and cooled air to escape during the summer. To fix the seals, start by caulking around the exterior window frame to block the flow of air from the outside. Look for gaps between the perimeter of the frame and the house siding or exterior trim boards. Use a stiff-bristle brush and putty knife to clean the gaps of all dust, dirt and debris. Then, overfill the gaps slightly with acrylic-latex silconized caulk. Smooth out the caulk bead with a wet finger. Next, seal around the inside of...

PREVENTING MOISTURE INTRUSION

  Preventing Moisture Intrusion 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...

Doors and Stairs – Moving Onward and Upwards

Doors Interior Doors:  Monitor the condition of your home’s doors and door frames, including the interior of entrance doors and storm doors. Check their hardware for finish, wear, and proper functioning. Sticking doors or out-of-square frames may indicate house settlement, which is normal.   Exterior Doors:  Exterior doors should be checked often for their condition, operation, and the functionality of their hardware. Door types include hinged, and single and double doors made of wood, steel, aluminum, and plastic with and without glazing. Monitor wood and plastic doors that are not protected from the weather. These doors should be rated for exterior use. Some homes use glass-framed doors of fixed and operable panels that have wood, vinyl-covered wood, and aluminum frames. Check the tracks of these sliding doors for dents, breaks and straightness.  Doors should also be monitored for the exterior condition of their frames and sills. Check doors that are not protected from the weather for the presence of essential flashing at the head. Over time, the interior condition and hardware of exterior doors can wear out or fail.   Garage Doors:  Garage doors should be monitored for operation, weathertightness, overall condition, and fit. Garage doors are typically made of wood, hardboard on a wood frame, steel, fiberglass on a steel frame, and aluminum. Garage doors come with glazed panes in a wide variety of styles. Wood and hardboard can rot, hardboard can crack and split, steel can rust, fiberglass can deteriorate from ultraviolet light, and aluminum can dent.  Garage doors with motors should be periodically tested using each of the operators on the system, such as key-lock switch...