Baby

Crib Safety and Inspection

Defective cribs, especially hand-me-down and homemade models, can pose serious hazards to young children, including strangulation, entrapment and overheating. Government manufacturing standards set in 1973 have greatly improved crib safety, yet defective cribs continue to be responsible for the highest child injury rates of any nursery item. In fact, approximately 50 infants each year are […]

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Foam over pipe

Condensation Inspection

Condensation, also called sweating, forms on building materials when the temperature drops below the dew point, which is the temperature at which droplets of water vapor are forced so closely together that they coalesce into liquid water. Because of their characteristic thermal conductivity, components made of metal are usually the first places where condensation will […]

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Earthquake Hazard Areas

Earthquake Preparedness Inspection

Earthquakes are a serious threat to life and property not just in California, but in many parts of the United States. Areas of the country that are less prone to seismic activity typically have less stringent building codes that govern earthquake preparedness. Catastrophic earthquakes are rare, but even minor ones can cause substantial damage to […]

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Heat Pump

Defrost Cycle of a Heat Pump

According to the InterNACHI Residential Standards of Practice, a home inspection is a non-invasive, visual examination of a residential dwelling that is designed to identify observed material defects within specific components of that dwelling. Part of the home inspection includes the inspection, identification and description of the heating system, which includes heat pumps. The inspector […]

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Inspecting Crawlspace

Crawlspace Hazards and Inspection

Crawlspaces are host to a large number of conditions that may harm the house or inspectors. Never enter a crawlspace without proper personal protective equipment. Crawlspaces are notorious for the nasty discoveries made there by inspectors, and it isn’t hard to figure out why; for one thing, their cool, dark environment attracts undesirable pests and […]

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Foam covering pipe to prevent condensation

Condensation in Double-Paned Windows

Condensation, also called sweating, forms on building materials when the temperature drops below the dew point, which is the temperature at which droplets of water vapor are forced so closely together that they coalesce into liquid water. Because of their characteristic thermal conductivity, components made of metal are usually the first places where condensation will […]

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Framing

Collar Ties vs. Rafter Ties

Collar ties and rafter ties are both horizontal roof-framing members, each with different purposes and requirements. Home inspectors should be familiar with these structural members and the differences between them, as they are not the same. Please note that, according to the International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection, the inspector is […]

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The Dangers of Brominated Fire Retardants

The Dangers of Brominated Fire Retardants

Brominated flame or fire retardants (BFRs) include a wide range of chemicals added to household furnishings and products to inhibit their ignition and reduce the chance of fire. In recent years, concern surrounding the toxicity of this class of chemicals has risen due to the widespread accumulation of several types of BFRs in humans and […]

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Biowalls have many health and financial benefits when implemented properly. This biowall was constructed by Team Montreal for the Solar Decathlon 2007.

Biowall Inspection

Biowalls — also referred to as living walls, vertical gardens, green facades, and green walls — are interior or exterior walls that are covered with living vegetation. Biowalls have practical applications for both indoor and outdoor use. Many indoor biowalls are implemented in homes and offices for their natural air-filtration properties, and are used in […]

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