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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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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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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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

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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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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Bamboo Construction and Inspection

Bamboo is a type of hollow grass native to many areas of the world, most notably the Far East and Southeast Asia. It is sometimes thought of as the “poor man’s building material” because of its widespread cultivation and use in tropical climates where much of the world’s poor live. Many of these cultures find […]

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Attached Garage Fire Containment

An attached garage is a garage that is physically attached to a house. Fires that begin in attached garages are more likely to spread to living areas than fires that originate in detached garages. For this reason, combined with the multitude of flammable materials commonly found in garages, attached garages should be adequately sealed from […]

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