Based on our research and inspection experience, the use of aluminum wire should not be a reason to avoid buying a house. There are, however, some cautions about aluminum wire that should be discussed with potential buyers.
Many consumer advocates recommend an independent inspection during various phases of the construction process. An independent inspector who works directly for the homebuyer will add considerable peace of mind and can help when problems arise.
Cooling systems can be a major concern for most people because they are complicated and expensive. Understanding how these systems are intended to work can help buyers and sellers keep their cool during negotiations.
Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS) is a synthetic stucco cladding material that has been installed on residential and commercial buildings nationwide over the past 25 years. EIFS cladding performs well when installed and maintained according to the manufacturer’s specifications. However, serious damage can occur to buildings when EIFS is not properly installed and maintained.
You may hear the term“expansive soil” which simply means that as the soil gets wet it increases in volume and as it dries is decreases in volume. Our common sense approach for foundation issues involves monitoring the area in question before taking the steps to spend thousands of dollars on what could be an unnecessary repair.
Past manufacturer, field and lab testing on Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) "Stab-Lok" panels have established that the panels and breakers have a significant failure rate. Failure to trip properly with overload and short-circuiting, are the basic safety defects of this type panel. In over one-third of the panels tested, breakers would not trip when overloaded.
Knob and tube wiring was installed in homes until the 1940's. Knob and tube wiring was used before WW II because homes did not require as many circuits or as much power as we need today. It was typically used with 30 or 60-amp service. Today's home is usually built with 200-amp service.
Just a few short months ago it was a seller’s market -- quick turnover and multiple offers were not uncommon. In today’s market, buyers have the opportunity to be choosy and are looking for homes in pristine condition. Having a property thoroughly inspected before it goes on the market may be a smart strategy.
Since radon is here to stay and it is a health risk we, as professionals, want to help our clients understand radon and their options. Radon has existed since the beginning of time and occurs in the ground naturally from the breakdown in uranium in the soil. The colorless, odorless gas that is drawn into our homes through cracks in the foundation and is undetectable to humans. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) high radon can be found in homes in all 50 states.
On-site sewage treatment systems (commonly known as septic systems) typically have a sewage tank and a drain field which are installed below grade. Effluent (liquids) runs from the tank into the drain field. Today, tanks are normally made of concrete or fiberglass and are either septic tanks or aerated tanks
While a masonry wall is the first line of defense against water penetration, it can leak. Masonry is porous and can absorb moisture in extreme weather conditions. Weep holes are the exit port for the drainage cavity behind the masonry wall.