MIKE HOLMES’ TOP FOUR HOME IN­SPEC­TION TIPS

Best to iden­tify prob­lems and so­lu­tions be­fore you buy

Thornhill Post - - The Society Page -

IN­SU­LA­TION & VEN­TI­LA­TION IS­SUES IN THE AT­TIC: The at­tic should be prop­erly sealed, ven­ti­lated and in­su­lated with a min­i­mum of 12 to 15 inches of blown-in in­su­la­tion. Oth­er­wise, you will get heat loss. Heat loss not only leads to high en­ergy bills, but it can also lead to a num­ber of prob­lems. For ex­am­ple, when heat es­capes through the at­tic — which should be the same tem­per­a­ture as out­side — it causes snow on the roof to melt in the win­ter. That melted snow can then re­freeze along the roof’s edge and lead to ice damming, which can cause loads of prob­lems. For one, ice dams can block and warp your eave­stroughs. Not only does that mean ex­tra costs in re­pairs, but if the eave­stroughs are blocked, wa­ter can back up un­der­neath shin­gles and cause leaks, rot and mould.

GRAD­ING & DRAINAGE IS­SUES ON THE PROP­ERTY: Look for pud­dles on the prop­erty, es­pe­cially dur­ing spring or af­ter a big storm. Pool­ing or flood­ing on the prop­erty means there’s a grad­ing is­sue. If it’s se­ri­ous, wa­ter can come into the base­ment through the foun­da­tion, win­dow wells or win­dow frames. If you see pool­ing around the prop­erty, watch out for signs of mois­ture in­side the home. For ex­am­ple, look for wa­ter stains on the wall and ceil­ing or a musty smell in the base­ment. Un­for­tu­nately, mois­ture prob­lems in a house are a recipe for dis­as­ter, and the fix isn’t cheap.

BAD ELEC­TRI­CAL: There are dif­fer­ent types of elec­tri­cal wiring — the most com­mon are knob and tube, alu­minum and cop­per — and they shouldn’t be mixed to­gether. Only one type of elec­tri­cal wiring should be in a sin­gle home, and there are a few rea­sons why. The most im­por­tant is that dif­fer­ent types of wiring mixed to­gether can cause an elec­tri­cal arc, which could lead to an elec­tri­cal fire.

IS­SUES WITH STRUC­TURE: Look for wide cracks in the foun­da­tion (if you can fit a dime in it, it can be a prob­lem and should be looked at by a struc­tural en­gi­neer). Also keep an eye out for doors that stick, cracks along walls and ceil­ings, un­even floors and base­boards that have sep­a­rated from the floor. This can all spell trou­ble with struc­ture, and struc­tural prob­lems are very ex­pen­sive to fix, es­pe­cially if it in­volves some­thing like re­plac­ing a foot­ing or build­ing a step foun­da­tion.

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