Frozen Hose BibFrozen Hose Bib

Hose bibs should be winterized to assure frozen pipes do not burst

Hose bibs should be winterized to assure frozen pipes do not burst

Recently when performing a home inspection in Wilmette Illinois a small issue was noted that can develop fast into a large issue that can be very costly.   A frozen hose bib was found in the home’s exterior.  Hose bibs come in various types that can allow for no winterization or for winterization.  Hose bibs that are not the anti freeze type will require valves to be installed in the basement of the home to allow for shutting the water off to the hose bib. Older homes have the older type of hose bibs known as gate valves that are known to freeze in the cold Chicago winters if not winterized.  The issue at hand of frozen gate valve hose bibs is that water damage can occur in the basement or the basement if the piping to the hose bib were to freeze in the walls.  Frozen piping in the basement walls can lead to issues with water in the basement that may develop into mold or mildew issues that may cause costly repairs or health concerns.  Most homes that have the older gate valve systems do not have shut off valves installed in the home that makes winterization hard or impossible to perform.   The gate valve hose bib on the home from the Wilmette home inspection was missing shut off valves in the home that will be required to perform a proper inspection.   The hose bib was frozen during the inspection and probably will not burst but still can pose an issue when performing a home inspection.    A foam cover is also a great way and an affordable way to winterize the hose bibs of a home.

 

If you are a homeowner with an anti freeze hose bib it is still recommended that interior water shut off valves are added to winterize the antifreeze hose bibs to assure that bursting of the piping does not occur.  If you do have shut off valves on the interior of the home for your hose bibs then the next step after shutting or closing the water off to the hose bib is to open the valve to the hose bib to allow all of the water in the hose bib to leave the valve preventing any trapped water from expanding and bursting the piping to the hose bib.   Frozen hose bibs like what was found at the Wilmette home inspection can be prevented with easy steps.

 

Please follow what has been outlined in this article while looking at homes to prevent setting yourself up for failure at your home inspection.  If you have any questions about this issue please contact me at The Thermal Home Inspector  or 847-251-1186.

Thank for stopping by.

Jim Kolke

The home buying process can be a very stressful period even for experienced home buyers who have purchased homes before.  Many of my clients call and want to order all the services that we offer.  There are no two homes that are the same and all home inspections should be approached with that mind set.  Recently my client from a Buffalo Grove home inspection wanted to order a mold inspection.  I asked my client why she wanted a mold inspection?  She said her friend said to get a mold inspection before buying a home.  There is nothing wrong with getting a mold inspection if you need it or you find reasons to perform a mold test.  There are issues that you should look for prior to booking your mold inspection in Buffalo Grove is what I explained to my client.

  • High moisture in a home can be a reason to contemplate a mold inspection at your home inspection.
  • Evidence of past or present water entry in a home can cause concern and a good reason to purchase a mold test.
  • Past or present water entry in a basement is a good reason to purchase a mold test.  Finished basements are known areas that water entry can be hidden for years without the current home owners knowing that they have an issue.
  • Foul or stale odors from a basement or crawl can be the by product from mold growth and may be a good reason to purchase a mold test from your home inspector.
  • Standing water in a crawl space is a known breeding zone for mold.  The inspection of the insulation and the floor sheeting will be needed to determine if as mold test is needed.

There are many types of mold that are in the fungi kingdom.  There are only a few that will grow in your home do to water issues that ignite the mold.  With further review I advised my client to perform a mold test with her home inspection at the Buffalo Grove home.  The Buffalo Grove Mold inspection came up with very high numbers in the basement and the second floor of the home.  The reason the home had mold growth was due to previous sewer back up that was not correctly cleaned in a timely fashion.  Generally you have up to 48 hours to clean and dry out the areas that are affected with water before mold will begin to grow.  The second floor of the home had high levels of mold growth because the furnace is in the basement and the forced air system was delivering mold fibers throughout the home through the ducts.  This leads me to a new matter.  Not only do you have mold remediation to deal with but duct cleaning will also be needed to eliminate any mold fibers that may be breeding in the ducts.

The client from the Buffalo Grove mold inspection understood why I wanted to qualify her need for a mold inspection before she spent her hard earned money.  If you are buying or own a home that you think needs a mold test please review the possible issues above prior to spending your hard earned money.  Please contact me if you have further questions about mold or mold services at ~ The Thermal Home Inspector or 312-961-4228.

Thanks for stopping by and stay safe.

Jim Kolke

As you probably can guess we get a lot of calls for mold inspections here at Pinnacle Property Inspection Services.  This is obviously a business and needs to make money.  Luckily for all my clients I believe a home should be qualified before doing a full mold inspection.  That is exactly what I explained to my new client from the Skokie home inspection.  Just because you want a mold inspection does not mean you need one.  Mold inspections can be expensive because of all the lab fees and such. I explained to my client that I would have my mold testing equipment on the truck if we needed it but I suggested letting me do my thermal home inspection before moving forward with the mold inspection.

While I was performing the home inspection in the Skokie, Illinois home I was looking for all type of tells that would lead me to informing my client that he might want to purchase a mold inspection.  The items that would alarm me would be ~

  • Mold like substance would be the biggest reason for purchasing a mold test.  Visually seeing any type of mold might be a good reason to purchase a mold test.
  • Water infiltration in an attic, crawl space, basement or any other area in a home is a good reason for moving forward with a mold test.
  • High relative humidity a.k.a. (RH) can be found in crawl spaces, attics, bathrooms and basements can be a a reason to get a mold inspection service.
  • Musty or foul smells coming from areas in walls may be a good reason to purchase a mold inspection.

If you are very sensitive to mold or mildew and your eyes water or you begin to cough that is the best result that might be from mold or mildew in the home that will need to be identified.  The Skokie home inspection has some seepage from the foundation walls that was allowing moisture into the home.  The drywall in the basement had a mildew like substance that was dry and could be cleaned off with soap and water.

The remedy of the mold removal to the areas that could be seen were  easy enough but the hidden made my client from the Skokie home inspection nervous and he wanted me to perform a mold inspection to give him as much information as we could.  Mold can hide in places that we can’t see so I believe his choice was the right one.

If you are wondering if you need a mold inspection follow this list prior to hiring a mold inspection service  to perform mold testing in your home.  Mold testing can cost anywhere from $100.00 to $750.00 depending on how many locations need testing.

If you need help with these issues any other issues pertaining to your home or building please contact me at ~ The Thermal Home Inspector or 312-961-4228.

Thanks for stopping by and stay safe.

Jim Kolke

 

   It is very common to have clients that are looking for a home inspection to want to purchase every service that we have to offer.  I don’t believe on selling a client a service that they may not need.  Don’t getme wrong.  I am in business to make money but only honestly not using scare tactics to increase our revenue.  If you need a radon measurement because your area is known to have high levels then I would advise you to purchase a radon measurement.  Have you seen mold or mildew in the home when you were looking at it?  Then you might want to get a mold inspection or testing.  My client from the Gurnee home inspection was dead set on getting every service that we offered.  I explained that buying every inspection service we offer should not be done without doing your homework.

You ask how I get this info to make my decision.  Below are the check points for the various inspection services.

  • Mold inspection or testing should be done if the home smells musty in certain areas like crawl spaces, attics or garages that are attached.  If you see any areas that may have surface mildew or mold then you might want to add a mold inspection to your home inspection.  If you see any areas that have moisture penetration into the attic or window flashing’s that may have been there for awhile may be a reason for a mold inspection.  If your home inspector thinks that the basement may have had water penetration or flooding then purchase a mold inspection.
    •  Asbestos pipe wrapping, asbestos tiles, asbestos shingles and other asbestos products were used up to 1988 and generally are not found.  If you have a basement and the tile floor is 9″ x 9″ then the probability that those tiles are asbestos is very high.  Asbestos tiles and pipe wrapping is not an issue unless it is disturbed.  If the basement has seen flooding or any water that has sat on the asbestos tile for any time then the tiles may be brittle.  Brittle tiles that are chipping may pose issues and should be inspected by a professional asbestos inspector.
    • Radon gas measurement is a service that we offer and we do hundreds of tests a year.  The results vary depending on where the property is that we are performing a radon measurement.  I believe that the presence of dirt crawl spaces or any crawl space does increase your potential for a possible higher radon measurement number.  Sump pumps are another contributor to higher readings in radon measurements and always suggest to my clients that these sump and ejector pits be sealed properly.  Gaps in the connection of foundation walls and basement floors will allow the possibility of higher radon measurement numbers.

Lead paint was used in homes and buildings up to 1978 but was still seen up to 1980. Lead paint can be tested a home inspector with a non-invasive testing method. Carve testing is the proper way to test for lead paint but cannot be done at a home inspection. My client from the Gurnee home inspection was concerned about lead paint because he had a 2 year old son that could be harmed by lead paint. Lead paint is known to harm children under the age of 5 years. Lead paint can’t be verified by just looking at it.

As you can see there are kinds of items you need to look for before you start ordering every service your home inspector offers.  My client from the Gurnee home inspection was ready to hand over $1050.00 for every home inspection service we offer.  The Gurnee home inspection service fee was $600.00.  He purchased our standard home inspection and a mold inspection.  Money doesn’t grow on trees so make sure you know what you need.    Hopefully this was helpful for all of my readers.  If you have further questions about what type of home inspection services you need then please contact me at ~ The Thermal Home Inspector or 312-961-4228.

Thanks for stopping by and stay safe

Jim Kolke

Does your home have a whole house humidifier on your furnace?  If you do then you should read this article.  I found a reservoir whole house humidifier on a furnace while performing a home inspection in Wilmette, Illinois.  Humidifiers are systems that run water through them while air from the furnace passes through to add moisture to the air.  Mold is known to breed in humidifiers along with other systems in a home. There are two types of whole house humidifiers that can be installed on a furnace supply duct.

  • Pad filtered whole house humidifiers allow the bypass of warm air through the filter of the humidifier which attracts moisture to the warm air.  This air is circulated throughout the home through the duct system of the home.  These types of whole house humidifiers are not known to have high counts of mold.
  • Reservoir whole house humidifiers have water in the bottom of the humidifier where a fan turns with filters on it.  The warm air passes through the filters and the moisture is added to the warm air.  These whole house humidifiers are known to breed mold because of the standing water in the unit.

Both of these types of whole house humidifiers are good for the purpose they are intended for.  They both should be cleaned with dish soap and water to clean out any possible mold growth.   These units should be cleaned annually or replaced every three years to prevent mold breeding.  If regular cleaning of the humidifier the possibility of mold in the ducts will be diminished greatly.  Replacement of a whole house humidifier should only cost $275.00.

Unfortunately, the Wilmette home inspection came up with moist air that was found with hygrometer and surface mildew that I felt that my clients should know what it was.  I suggested a mold inspection for my clients in their new home in Wilmette, Illinois.

I performed a mold air test, a swab sample mold test on the ducts from that the furnace that had a humidifier that happened to have a large amount of mold in it.  The mold inspection in Wilmette came up positive with Stachybotrys which is sometimes called “Black Mold”.  The ducts from the furnace were the area that had evidence of Stachybotrys mold in it and I suggested that the ducts be cleaned by a professional HVAC contractor that had experience with Mediation of mold in ducts.

As you can see mold can come and live anywhere in your home.  My clients from the Wilmette mold inspection were amazed that the mold would be living in the humidifier and contaminate the ducts and rest of the home when in use.  If you have questions about mold and where it can live please contact me at ~ The Mold Inspector or 312-961-4228.

Thanks for stopping by and stay safe.

Jim Kolke