Aerogel Torch

Aerogel

Aerogel is a class of porous, solid materials that exhibits an impressive array of extreme properties. Invented in 1931 and used for decades in scientific applications, aerogel is becoming increasingly feasible as a building insulation, largely due to a decrease in the price of the material. Aerogel is still prohibitively costly for most homeowners, and […]

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The Acid Rain cycle

Acid Rain and Inspectors: Buildings at Risk

“Acid rain,” like “global warming,” is a phenomenon whose very existence is disputed by some. In fact, evidence of acid rain has been observed in industrialized cities around the world since the mid-1800s. “Acid rain” describes the mixture of wet and dry deposits from the atmosphere which contain high amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids […]

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Burgler looking through a hole in shattered glass door

Burglar-Resistant Homes

There are a number of measures that homeowners can take to ensure that their homes are not attractive to burglars. If clients are concerned about break-ins, inspectors can pass on to them basic strategies for burglar-proofing their homes. Some interesting statistics concerning break-ins in the United States: InterNACHI estimates that theft makes up more than […]

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Bidet diagram

Bidets

Common in much of Europe and Asia, bidets are toilet-like plumbing fixtures designed to promote posterior hygiene. Although bidet prevalence in certain regions represents a humorous cultural distinction from American-style paper wiping, bidets do sport considerable convenience and comfort advantages. Bidets are becoming increasingly common in North America and it is important that first-timers and […]

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logo for IAc2

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a colorless, pungent-smelling chemical widely used in industries that manufacture building materials and numerous household products. Thus, it may be present in substantial concentrations in indoor environments. Where indoors may formaldehyde be found? pressed-wood products (such as hardwood plywood wall paneling, particle board and fiberboard), and furniture made with these pressed-wood products. Mobile homes are […]

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Ghosting

Ghosting

Ghosting is a term that refers to discoloration that appears on surfaces in a home. The source of this discoloration can be a mystery to anyone not familiar with the phenomenon. Ghosting is the result of particulates attaching themselves to surfaces.  “Particulates” is a catch-all word for any kind of particle small enough to be […]

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cork tree

Cork Floor Inspection

While better known for its use as wine stoppers and for bulletin boards, cork is also used for flooring and other building components. A renewable resource, cork is actually the bark of a species of oak tree, Quercus suber,that grows in the thin, dry soils of western Spain and Portugal. The trees are harvested periodically throughout […]

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Cockroach

Cockroach Inspection

Cockroaches are one of the most commonly encountered household pests. Homeowners and inspectors can learn about ways to eliminate these insects and the conditions that encourage their infestation. Cockroaches have a broad, flattened body and a relatively small head that covers their mandibles and other mouthparts. They have six legs, large ocelli (simple eyes), and a […]

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Backdrafting

Backdrafting is the reverse flow of gas in the flues of fuel-fired appliances that results in the intrusion of combustion byproducts into the living space. Many fuel-fired water heaters and boilers use household air and lack an induced draft, which makes them especially vulnerable to backdrafting when indoor air pressure becomes unusually low. Inspectors should […]

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