Good morning. Something a lot of people do not think about, is how we can contaminate our water supply from home. Well, it is possible with what is called cross connection. To put it simple waste water can either be forced into the supply system, or be siphoned into it. Easy fixes that most homeowners or handymen can do is install backflow preventers and vacuum breakers. Please watch this YouTube video to see a little more. And as always, we are here for you. Please call us with any of your inspection needs, or if you just simply have a question about your property.
Good morning, I would like to touch on roof ventilation today. As homeowners or future homeowners, this subject tends to slip our minds. As you will hear in the video from Youtube, ventilation is very necessary to help with moisture from condensation in heat exchange. Warm moist air, like we have in Texas, cools and the water separates and condenses on framing and roofing structures in the attic, crawls spaces, and other areas where you have conditioned space abutting unconditioned space. Long story short, check your ventilation and make sure it is adequate to help avoid costly damage late.
As always, we are here for you.
Please call us with any of your inspection needs, or if you just simply have a question about your property.
Good morning, it has been a few days since I posted. So, let’s jump right in.
I would like to touch the topic of Temperature and pressure relief valves (TPR valve). This valve is a safety valve installed on the upper section of a water heater. This valve protects the home and home owner from overheated and over pressure tank explosions. The pressure setting for the TPR valve is 150 psi, though the tank capacity is around 300 psi. What this means is, with a functioning TPR valve the water heater tank should not reach anywhere near the pressure capacity of a good tank. Keep in mind, tanks age just like we do. As these tanks age, they begin to deteriorate and lose some of the pressure capacity. Look at your tank periodically for dents, ding, rust, or anything else that may affect the integrity of the tank. Now, moving on to temperature. Most of us know that water boils at 212° F. Most TPR valves are set at a temperature of 200° F. This is well below boiling point but well above the scalding temp of around 140° F. So, needless to say that water escaping through a TPR valve will be extremely hot and dangerous. There are requirements for proper plumbing of the TPR valve that I will go into at a later date. As a point of safety, DO NOT test the TPR valve yourself. Contact a qualified plumber or other qualified professional for assistance. I hope this shed a little perspective that a water heater can be a dangerous source of energy in the home.
Check out this video as a demonstration of potential danger. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bU-I2ZiML0 As always, we are here for you. Please call us with any of your inspection needs, or if you just simply have a question about your home.
Good morning, I would like to finish up the little series on foundations. Today is basement day. This is a very elusive type foundation in Texas, but up in the northern states it is very common. Why is this you may ask. Cost is most likely the reason. Up north it is much more feasible to use a basement foundation, since you need to dig down below the frost line to get a good solid footing. In Texas we do not have a frost line, that I am aware of, and the cost of excavating down for a basement just does fit in most home building budgets. The basement itself is very complex though it looks simple. most see a wall and floor. Though you do see these, what you don’t see is the structural side of the build. What is going to keep the walls from falling inward, or what keeps the rain water out. These 2 questions plus a million others may pop into one’s head about basements. Just keep in mind it serves the same purpose as slab on grade and pier on beam foundations. Transferring the load of the house to the soil. The build above the basement foundation is pretty similar after you get above the basement walls.
This wraps up my little series on foundations. If there is a topic you would like me touch on about a home or home inspection shoot me a message, or call me. As always, we are here for you. Please call us with any of your inspection needs, or if you just simply have a question.
Good morning, let’s talk P&B.
Nope that is not peanut and butter. That is pier and beam.
This is the second of the three foundations that we have in Texas. This design is much older and still used today. It serves the same purpose as the slab on grade just in a much different way. This type of foundation has piers. These are upright structures that support the building’s live and dead loads. The load is transferred from the building to a footer then to the soil. Footer is a wider piece of the puzzle. This allows for less pounds per square in to be applied to the soil, but is still much higher than that of the slab on grade. Across the top of the piers you have beams or girders as some may call them. This is where all the magic happens, and the house begins to be built. I will not go into wall structure because it just goes up from there (Pun intended). In a nutshell this is a small description of pier and beam. As always, we are here for you. Please call us with any of your inspection needs, or if you just simply have a question.
Good morning everyone.
I said I would touch base on all three types of foundation in South Texas.
I want to start with Slab On Grade (AKA cement slab). This term is very broad as several types of slab on grade, monolithic, floating, and cold pour just to name a few, but all perform the same purpose. This purpose is to transfer live and dead loads to the soil. This is done over a wider area than other non-slab foundations, making the pounds per square inch less on a cement slab, though none the less important. All foundations can fail for one reason or another, but water or just simple moisture is the largest contributor to foundation failure, from one source or another. Foundations are the base for life of the house. Just like in human life without a good base, we struggle to stay up. That is the most simple version of slab on grade I can write.
As always, we are here for you. Please call us with any of your inspection needs, or if you just simply have a question about your property.
Good morning everyone.
In Texas houses are built on 1 of 3 different foundations, two of which are very common.
There is the prominent slab on grade. To most this is just cement slab.
Then there is the pier and beam or crawl space.
This is followed by the far less common basement.
All 3 of these serve the same purpose of transferring the weight of the house “dead load”, and the weight of its contents and people, as well as wind or snow or other force that is not constant “live load” to the soil. Each of these perform in different manners to accomplish the same goal, and all have issues from time to time. I will tackle each of these in a small series of posts, 1 for each. As always, we are here for you.
Please call us with any of your inspection needs, or if you just simply have a question.
Well good morning everyone. I wanted to jump on here and show that home inspection isn’t as easy as might think. I walked on a roof that is steeper than I normally walk on. It was a 9:12 slope (about 37°). For the most part I will not walk a roof with more than a 6:12 (about 26.5°).
Let me clarify what a slope is. Slope is the angle of a roof measured in inches of rise over inches of run and displayed as a ratio. So, a 9:12 slope means for every 12 inches you move in a direction the roof goes up 9 inches. That is a pretty steep roof. The reason I walked this roof was so I could get the client a good report of the roof coverings. My extension pole and camera were not giving me good enough pictures to make a proper assessment because the wall in front had it blocked. So, I walked on this roof, with extreme caution.
My point being is home inspection is not just show and tell. It requires knowledge and abilities combined to give a proper assessment of all the systems within a home. I’m going to leave you with that thought. As always, we are here for you. Please call us with any of your inspection needs, or if you just simply have a question about your property.
Good Morning everyone! I Thought I would start off the day with a video from InterNACHI, about what to expect from a home inspection. Please enjoy the video and have a great day, as always we are here for you, feel free to call.