Pinnacle Property Inspection Services

Overheated breakers can be found with thermal imagers and may prevent fires in a home

It’s the holidays here in Chicago land and a lot of people like to decorate their home with lights and lighted decorations.  Unfortunately most of these homes do not have the proper breaker box configurations. Basically the load on the wiring and the breakers in these boxes may be overloaded due to the extra load from the decorations.  That was the case at the Glenview home inspection I recently was hired to perform.  The issues with the electric did not start until I started to test the microwave in the kitchen.  As you probably could guess the microwave use of electric was the tipping point that made the breaker trip that happened to be tied to the exterior outlets also.

Generally the electric for the exterior outlets of a home have their own dedicated breaker as do the kitchen appliances.  Unfortunately I found that the electric at the Glenview home inspection had other issues that would need correction.  When I went to reset the breaker in the breaker box I unscrewed the breaker box cover and found double taps and triple taps.  A double tap or triple tap is when multiple wires are installed in one breaker.  Each breaker should only have one wire.  This is why the breakers where found to be overheated at the Glenview home inspection.

The next issue I encountered at the Glenview home inspection was that there was no room for future breakers in the box.  That is probably why the breakers had multiple double tap connections.  The correction for all of these issues was to hire a licensed electrician who would install a larger electrical panel and to separate the double and triple taps.  The repair cost for a new electrical panel is $700.00 – $1600.00 depending on where you live in the country.

During home inspections my clients are always concerned what repairs are required immediately? Overheated breaker panels and double tapped breakers are defective issues and I would recommend immediate repair.  That is exactly what I recommended my clients from the Glenview home inspection do.

Electrical breaker panel inspections are a very important portion of any home inspection and should be taken very serious.  If you have any questions about electrical panels or any issue in your home or building contact me at 312-961-4228 or The Thermal Home Inspector.  Thank you for stopping by and stay safe.

 

Jim Kolke

jimkolke@pinnaclepropertyinspection.com

 

 

Mold can cause all types of issues in your home and with your health.

  Think you have mold in your home?  You are right.  Every home has some type of mold.  Mold gets in your home through air movement from open windows and doors, pets moving in and out of the home, building materials left exposed while the property is being built.  Once mold has entered the home it may be dormant for long periods of time until moisture has been added  and allows the mold to breed.  The Glenview home inspection looked really nice to the naked eye.  Unfortunately, after we performed a mold air test the test revealed that in fact there was a high count of mold that was in the property.  There was no visual mold seen that would lead me to believe that there was a mold issues in the home.  Mold grows in many places and all it needs to grow is a food source, moisture and warm temperatures.  

Some of the best places to find mold are below. 

  • Crawlspaces are notorious areas to find mold.  The crawlspaces can be dirt, concrete or gravel and will still have the opportunity to be a breeding ground for mold.  If the crawlspace is heated and the walls are not insulated the mold can breed on the dust perticles on the concrete walls or the wood floor joists.  You would never notice that there was a mold issues because you probably never enter the crawlspace.

    Wet crawl spaces are areas that mold can grow.

  • Attics are known areas for mold to grow because bathroom fans are known to be vented into the attic.  These fans deliver moist air from the living portions of the home.  The air that is being delivered into the attic from the bathroom is generally from  shower steam and has a Relative Humidity 75% – 80% and will cause mold to breed on the sheathing in the attic.  Poor circulation in an attic also causes the air to have high RH values and in turn possible mold issues.
  • Duct work in attics that don’t have insulation on it causes condensation on the exterior of the duct that may drip onto attic insulation or attic framing and allow mold to breed.
  • Bathroom fixtures are notorious to have mold growing on them.  Tubs and their surrounds are known to have mold on them. 
  • Basement window sills are known to be breeding ground to mold because the cold or hot air can enter the window and mix with the interior air and allow the moisture to come out of the air and condensate on the walls and sills of the windows.

These places are areas that I searched for water intrusion, air leaks and  mold colonies at the Glenview home inspection.  We did perform a mold test at the Glenview home inspectuion which did come up positive for several types of mold spores.  None of these types of mold spores were to a level that would cause concern. 

If you think you have a mold issues in your home and have questions on how to precede please contact us at ~ The Thermal Home Inspector or 312-961-4228

Thank you for stopping by and stay safe. 

Jim Kolke 

 

Do you have a crawl space in your home?  Is the air in your home humid all the time or does the air have a musty smell?  I’ll help you get the answers you need to correct this issue.  I recently was hired for a home inspection in Glenview, Illinois that had crawl space issues.  The issues I found were definitely issues that I would correct because these issues will cause further issues on other systems if not repaired.

The first thing I check when I’m doing a home inspection in a home with a crawl is the flooring.  If the home has hardwood flooring I check to see if the hardwood flooring is crowning.  Crowning is a term used when hardwood flooring is in an area with very high humidity.  If this situation is not corrected then the floor will eventually be ruined and will require replacement.

 

The next area I would inspect is the actual crawl space and see what the condition of the area is.  The Glenview home inspection I was hired for had severe moisture issues that were compounded by the lack of a moisture barrier and/or a vapor barrier.  If you have a dirt or stone crawl space and you  have a limited budget but you still want to eliminate the moisture from your home then follow the next steps.  If your home doesn’t have any serious leaks in the foundation or from plumbing systems then this should correct your moisture issues.

1) Measure your crawl space.  The length by the width.  Take this number to your hardware store and purchase visqueen or sheets of plastic.  Buy double the amount. Also purchase a staple gun with 1″ staples and duct tape.

2) If there is any debris, clean this area out and rake out the stone or dirt until it is level.

3) Take the plastic and stretch it out to fit the entire area.  If your crawl space is very large you may have to overlap the pieces of  plastic.  If this is the case then tape these overlaps with duct tape.

If your crawl space doesn’t have insulation in the joists then you might want to add this prior to the next step.  The cost can vary but you can see a sample of what we think it should cost at ~ http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/repair-replacement-costs.html.  My clients from the Glenview home inspection needed this because their home didn’t have insulation in the crawl space.

4) Follow step 3 but staple to the joists  as you stretch it out.  This will prevent any moisture from entering the living area of the home.

If you have heating ducts that run through your crawl then you might want to consider having concrete poured over the visqueen to ensure that the moisture is contained.  If you don’t have ventilation you also might want to consider consulting with a contractor to have vents cut into the crawl space area.  As you can see there are many facets to a crawl space and they all can have their own issues.

If you have any questions about crawl spaces or other home inspection issues please contact us at ~ http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/about-jim-kolke.html.

Thanks for stopping by.  Jim Kolke

 

As you know, there are a lot of homes to choose from.  There was a building boom years back that produced a large array of  building sizes and designs to choose from.  Along with these choices of design you could chose your type of fixture finishes.  Recently our services were acquired for a home inspection in Glenview, Illinois.  The home we were hired to inspect was a 6 bedroom, 7 bath home.

With very large homes,  it means that there is a lot more to inspect. I inspect new homes and older homes with the same due diligence to protect and educate my client of the uncertainties.

At this particular home inspection in Glenview every thing was in great working order.  This is definitely something that you would expect with a new home, but it’s always comforting to hear as well.

Glenview’s building codes are strict compared to other villages or cities that we inspect in.  This helps but there are always issues that arise after occupancy permits are issued to the builder. These permits are needed before a home could be occupied by a home buyer.

Spa tubs were in every bathroom of the home inspection in Glenview and all were free of issues. This was true  until I inspected the master bathroom. The only way to inspect a spa tub is to fill it with water and run the pumps. There generally is an access panel to view the working components of the spa tub (pump, heater, piping, outlet-gfci). In this case when I ran the pump, water was pouring out of the suction piping to the circulating pump. I shut the air switch off and grabbed towels from my gear (aways good to have plenty of towels for when issues like this occur) and started cleaning up the water.

It seems that when the plumbers installed the spa tub in the home inspection in Glenview they used the pump piping as a handle and inadvertently cracked the pipes.  The client was notified  and the builder repaired the unit. The builder has a 1 year warranty on the home that has to be honored per Illinois law.

If you are buying a home or the home you live in has issues with the spa tub and you need help identifying issues contact us for help at– www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com     Jim Kolke