AFCI Testers

What are AFCIs? Arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) are special types of electrical receptacles (or outlets) and circuit breakers designed to detect and respond to potentially dangerous electrical arcs in home branch wiring. What are AFCI testers or indicators? AFCI tester indicators (sometimes called AFCI testers) are portable devices designed to test AFCI functionality. They create […]

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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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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 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 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 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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Attic Pull-Down Ladders

Attic pull-down ladders, also called attic pull-down stairways, are collapsible ladders that are permanently attached to the attic floor. Occupants can use these ladders to access their atticsAttic pull down ladder without being required to carry a portable ladder. Common Defects of Pull-Down Ladders Homeowners, not professional carpenters, usually install attic pull-down ladders. Evidence of […]

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Adjustable Steel Columns

Adjustable steel columns, also known as screw jacks and beam jacks, are hollow steel posts designed to provide structural support. An attached Adjustable steel column threaded adjustment mechanism is used to adjust the height of the post. A few facts about adjustable steel columns: They are usually found in basements. In some parts of North […]

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