Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Building Code / Lake Mary Home Inspection in Florida



Home Inspection (386) 624-3893

The Florida Building Code

The Florida Building Code became effective on March 1, 2002 and was created by the law ratified by Florida Legislature in 1998. The Florida Building Commission was motivated to create the first state-wide building code after Hurricane Andrew devastated South Florida on August 24, 1992.  

Just because we have a statewide building code now, people assume we have always had a building code in Florida.  New home buyers always ask me if the house they are buying is built to code.  As a home inspector we do not quote code but the code in Florida is new.  If you are buying a home built before 2002 the question, "Is the home built to code?" is not relevant.

South Florida Building Code

South Florida Building Code has been around much longer. The reason for creating the South Florida Building Code was tropical and hurricane storm damage.  Between 1900 and 1950 108 Hurricanes affected the State of Florida resulting in 3,500 deaths and property damage that would be equal to 4.5 billion dollars in today's currency.
In South Florida, a panel was formed and they worked with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and other research groups to devise wind-loading design. They created a formula for calculating anticipated wind loads from hurricane force winds, taking into account both the wind speed and the height above ground.  Miami-Dade County commissioners voted October 29, 1957 and the South Florida Building Code became effective in Miami-Dade County, December 31, 1957.  Broward County later adopted a modified version of the South Florida Building Code, Dade County Edition.

Florida Building Code Background

When Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida, it exhibited a serious statewide deficiency in home construction standards. Our antiquated system of locally administered building codes and enforcement was inadequate. A statewide building code and enforcement agency was needed. Compliance or enforcement in a single county could affect homeowner insurance companies statewide.
Andrew broke all previous records for insurance losses at the time, and was the direct source of Florida's worst insurance catastrophe. Florida was seriously under-insured and overexposed; insurers suddenly comprehended that all of the worst case calculations were completely underestimated.

Many insurers just left Florida and the ones that stayed raised rates to staggering new levels in order to avoid the very real risk of sudden bankruptcy following another huge storm. Homeowners all over Florida were affected as they saw their rates rise drastically and found a lack of available new insurance threatening to pull the plug on development in every part of the state.

We were using the 5th Edition of the Florida Building Code from 2014. The Effective Date for the Florida Building Code 6th Edition (2017) is December 31, 2017.




Frank Carr is the Owner / Inspector at First Choice Home Inspections in Deltona, FL serving Volusia, Seminole, Orange and Lake Counties. Formerly in the building trades, Frank’s focus is a safe home and building FCHI. We believe that consumers have the right to expect the highest standards of thoroughness, fairness and effectiveness from their home inspector and that is exactly what we provide.

First Choice Home Inspections
(386) 624-3893
Email: home.inspections@aol.com
Website: http://1homeinspector.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FirstChoiceHomeInspectionsLlc/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/1stChoiceHomeIn

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Radiant Barriers save Seminole County Homeowners Money

Orlando home inspection radiant barrier

What is a Radiant Barrier? Are they effective at reducing my energy bill?

We inspect a lot of hot dusty attics, some are 165° F. We see all kinds of situations where attic insulation is insufficient, ventilation is inadequate, and rarely find radiant barriers installed in attics. According to the Department of Energy Radiant Barriers work best in hot climates when used in conjunction with sufficient insulation and ventilation. Studies show that radiant barriers can reduce cooling costs 5% to 10%. The reduced heat gain may even allow for a smaller air conditioning system or improve effectiveness of an under rated systems.
Radiant barriers are installed in homes primarily to reduce summer heat gain and reduce cooling costs. Radiant barriers do not reduce heat conduction like thermal insulation materials. The barriers are comprised of a highly reflective substrate or foil that reflects radiant heat rather than absorbing it.

Heat Transfer

Like a cool spoon in cup of coffee conducts heat through its handle to your hand; heat travels from a warm area to a cool area by a combination of conduction, convection, and radiation. Heat flows by conduction from a hotter location within a material or assembly to a colder location. Heat transfer by convection occurs when a liquid or air, becomes lighter and rises. When liquid or air cools, it becomes heavier and falls. Radiant heat moves from hots surfaces and is absorbed by cooler materials or air. A car parked in the sun will absorb the radiant heat into the cars finish and transfer the heat thru the metal into the interior where it heats the air inside the car.

How Radiant Barriers Function

Most insulation materials work by slowing heat transfer. Radiant barriers and reflective insulation systems are designed to reduce the transfer radiant heat. Radiant barriers must have an air space to work. Radiant barrier are less effective when installed horizontally. Dust accumulation on the reflective surface reduces its reflective properties.
As the sun heats your roof, it makes your roof hot. The heat travels through the roofing materials to the attic side of your roof. It radiates the increased heat energy onto the cooler attic materials, the air conditioning ductwork and the ceiling of your home. A radiant barrier reduces the radiant heat transfer from the underside of the roof to the other surfaces in the attic.

Radiant Barriers help air conditioners cooling capacity

Radiant barriers are more effective in hot climates than in cool climates, especially when cooling air ducts are located in the attic. Some studies show that radiant barriers can reduce cooling costs 5% to 10% when used in a warm, sunny climate. The reduced heat gain may even allow for a smaller air conditioning system. In cool climates, however, it's usually more cost-effective to install more thermal insulation than to add a radiant barrier.
 
Frank Carr Home Inspector First Choice Home InspectionsFrank Carr is the Owner / Inspector at First Choice Home Inspections in Deltona, FL serving Volusia, Seminole, Orange and Lake Counties.  Formerly in the building trades, Frank’s focus is a safe home and building FCHI. We believe that consumers have the right to expect the highest standards of thoroughness, fairness and effectiveness from their home inspector and that is exactly what we provide.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Lake Mary Home Inspection Services

Lake Mary and Central Florida Home Inspections Services

Lake Mary Wekiva Springs Longwood Home Inspection ServicesFirst Choice Home Inspections (386) 624-3893

Now you can put our outstanding reputation for service and reliability to work for you. By contracting First Choice Home Inspection, you benefit from experienced Central Florida home inspectors that deliver computerized reports using the latest technology.  Our reporting system meets and exceeds the state standards. We encourage your presence during the inspection. By being present at the inspection, our professional home inspector can familiarize you with the home and explain things to you as they progress through the inspection.
INSPECTORS
First Choice inspectors are bound to a strict code of ethics; this ensures quality service while providing important protections. For example, our inspectors must:
  • Work Exclusively for the Client
  •  Follow Nationally Accepted Standards of Practice
  • Do Not Perform Repairs on Any Property Inspected
Our inspectors are AHIT and InterNachi certified in addition, they are familiar with a wide variety of situations. We believe that consumers have the right to expect the highest standards of thoroughness, fairness and effectiveness from their home inspector and that is exactly what we provide.

Home Inspection SERVICES in Seminole County

  • Home Inspection  (Buyer, Seller and Maintenance)
  • New Home Warranty Inspection
  • Home Checkup Inspection
  • Manufactured Home Inspection
  • Mobile Home Inspection
  • 4pt Insurance Inspections
  • Wind Mitigation Inspection
  • Pool/Spa Inspection
  • Roof Condition Certification
  • Moisture Intrusion Inspection

SCHEDULE AN INSPECTION:  (386) 624-3893


 


Frank Carr is the Owner / Inspector at First Choice Home Inspections in Deltona, FL. Formerly in the building trades, Frank’s focus is a safe home and building FCHI. 

We believe that consumers have the right to expect the highest standards of thoroughness, fairness and effectiveness from their home inspector and that is exactly what we provide.

First Choice Home Inspections
Residential Home Inspections in Central Florida
(386) 624-3893 
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/FirstChoiceHomeInspectionsLlc
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/company/first-choice-home-inspections
Google+:  https://plus.google.com/+FirstChoiceHomeInspectionsDeltona
Website:  Http://www.1homeinspector.com

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Seminole County Air Quality, Sealing Your Building Envelope

Orlando Insulation Ventilation Home Inspection
 
The most cost-effective way to cut heating and cooling costs, increase stability, improve comfort levels, and create a healthier interior atmosphere is to reduce the amount of air that flows in and out of your home. Before considering improving insulation or installing a vapor barrier, you should take care of those drafty utility penetrations, windows and doors. Weather stripping and caulking around doors, windows and utility penetrations are two simple and effective techniques for air-sealing that offer quick returns on investment. Weather stripping is used to seal components that move, such as entry and garage doors and operable windows. Weather strips take a lot of abuse and wear out frequently over a home’s lifetime, check them quarterly and replace as needed. Caulking (interior and exterior) is generally used for cracks and openings between stationary house components like; doors, windows, masonry cracks and ledges, utility penetrations any trim or siding joints.

Air Leakage

Air leakage occurs when outside air enters and conditioned air leaves your house uncontrollably through cracks and openings. When it is cold or gusty, an excessive amount of air may enter the house. During summer or warmer weather, conditioned air exits the building envelope, which can result in poor indoor air quality. Air leakage also causes moisture problems that affect the structure’s durability and the occupants’ health. Condensation is a major contributing factor to wood rot in most homes. An added benefit is that sealing cracks and openings decrease drafts, cold spots, and improves comfort. It is important to seal the fire barrier between the home and garage to reduce the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning. Never rely on air leakage for ventilation.

Detecting Air Leaks

The best way to reduce air leakage and controlled ventilation is to have a home energy audit performed on your home. The test, when performed by a licensed professional, will identify air leaks, air quality and if additional ventilation is needed. Before sealing air leaks, assess your ventilation needs for indoor air quality.
If you are planning an extensive renovation of your home, review techniques used for air sealing in new home construction and consider a home energy audit to identify all the ways your home costs you money by wasting energy. To seal air leaks, apply air sealing techniques and materials, including caulk and weather stripping.

How to Seal Air Leaks

Common places air leaks are found:
  • Check the weather stripping on doors and windows.
  • Check caulking on doors and windows. Old, dried and cracked caulking should be removed and replaced. There are many types of caulking for many different applications. You should know what type of caulk you should use before sealing those leaking windows.
  • Check caulking where utility penetrations come thru exterior walls. Check plumbing, ducts, electrical wiring, cable TV and telephone cables comes through the floors, exterior walls, ceilings, and soffits.
  • Install foam gaskets on electrical outlets and switches on perimeter walls.
  • Dirty spots on insulation may be an indication of air leaks and mold. Look for leaks and seal with low-expansion spray foam. Large gaps may require the installation of flashing.
  • Dirty spots on your walls, often around electrical receptacles and switches, or ceilings by vents or light fixtures, may indicate air leaks. Use foam gaskets or spray foam to seal leaks.
  • Single-pane windows allow hot and cold air to transfer. Double-pane low-emissivity windows are more efficient and the cost to upgrade will be recouped in energy saving over a few years.
  • Use foam sealant on larger gaps around windows, baseboards, and other places where air may leak out.
  • Check your kitchen exhaust fan for air leaks. Stop air leaks by upgrading the exhaust fan or cover the vent to stop air leaks when not in use.
  • Check your dryer vent to be sure it is not blocked. Lint will keep the dryer vent door from closing allowing air to leak in and out of your home. This will save energy and may prevent a fire.
  • Check the bottom door sweep and threshold for pliability and damage. Replace damaged seals with energy efficient pliable sealing gaskets.

Fireplace Flues, Dampers and Chimneys

Fireplaces are a major source of air outflow. Keep the fireplace flue damper tightly closed when not in use.
  • Seal air leaks around fireplace chimneys, furnaces, and gas-fired water heater vents with fire-resistant materials such as sheet metal or Sheetrock and furnace cement caulk.
  • Check your makeup air vent damper to ensure it seals properly.
Fireplace flue damper doors are made from metal, constant heating and cooling can cause


the doors to warp, crack or break, creating a passage for air loss.
One way to seal your flue when not in operation is an inflatable chimney balloon. A chimney balloon is made of durable plastic and can be reused many times. It installs easily beneath your fireplace flue and can be removed easily. The balloon will automatically deflate within seconds if it becomes heated, if you forget to remove the balloon before making a fire. Balloons are available in various sizes online and in retail shops.
Sealing air leaks will not eliminate the need for proper insulation or radiant barriers that reduce heat flow through a home’s building envelope.


Frank Carr Home Inspector First Choice Home InspectionsFrank Carr is the Owner / Inspector at First Choice Home Inspections in Deltona, FL serving Volusia, Seminole, Orange and Lake Counties.  Formerly in the building trades, Frank’s focus is a safe home and building FCHI. We believe that consumers have the right to expect the highest standards of thoroughness, fairness and effectiveness from their home inspector and that is exactly what we provide.
 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Lake Mary Fireplaces, Furnaces and Heater Safety

It is approaching that time of year again when we will be firing up our heaters, fire places and furnaces.  Have you had your annual maintenance checkup or your fireplace chimney inspected and cleaned?  These are important things to consider, but did you forget to check your batteries in your smoke and CO alarms.  Most homes have smoke alarms (detectors); more than 33 percent of these homes are not protected because the smoke alarms don’t work.  When a smoke alarm fails to work, it is frequently because the batteries are missing. People often remove or disconnect batteries to prevent nuisance activation caused by bathroom steam or cooking vapors.  Was your smoke alarm on a recall list?

Smoke and Fire

Most fire deaths occur in the middle of the night.   No smoke alarms were present or they did not operate in nearly 75% of residences where a fire fatality occurred, according to FEMA statistics.  A smoke alarm is the most valuable life saving device you can have in your home.  An operable smoke alarm will reduce your chances of dying in a fire, nearly in half.  Smoke alarms are designed to detect and warn that silent, but deadly smoke is in the air. The early warning will wake you and your family, allowing time to escape your burning home.
At 40 percent, cooking is the leading cause of residential structure fires. Heating causes another 14 percent. These percentages (and those that follow) are adjusted, which proportionally spreads the unknown causes over the other 15 causes.
The two leading causes of residential fatal fires are smoking, at 18 percent, and other unintentional or careless actions, at 14 percent. The leading cause of residential fires that result in injuries is cooking (26 percent), followed by other unintentional or careless actions (11 percent) and open flame (also 11 percent). Cooking is, by far, the leading cause of fires with property loss, at 20 percent.1
1  U.S. Fire Administration/National Fire Data Center, Fire in the United States 2003-2007 Fifteenth Edition

Carbon Monoxide

People are at an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning during the winter months. Well-insulated, airtight homes and malfunctioning heating equipment can produce dangerously high and potentially deadly concentrations of carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide is a by-product of incomplete combustion, any fuel-burning appliance, vehicle or tool that is inadequately vented or maintained can be a potential source of carbon monoxide gas.
Examples of fuel- burning equipment include: 
  • Fuel - furnaces and space heaters. 
  • Propane or Gas - fireplaces, (both vented and ventless), space heaters, ranges and ovens, clothes dryers, grills, smokers, and deep fryers.
  • Wood burning fireplaces and stoves 
  • Charcoal grills and smokers 
  • Gasoline – automobiles, lawnmowers and power tools
Gas fireplaces are gaining in popularity based on their low cost, convenience and relative ease of installation.  Ventless or vent free gas fireplaces are not vented to pipes or chimneys. The burned gases including carbon monoxide are put into the circulation of the air within your home.  Based upon the health risks associated with the use of ventless gas fireplaces, their installation is illegal in many areas of the country.
Prevent or minimize the potential for exposure to carbon monoxide gas. 
  • Have your home-heating systems, fuel-burning appliances, flues and chimneys inspected, cleaned or schedule an annual home checkup by a qualified home inspector. 
  • Make regular visual inspections of fuel-burning appliances such as your gas dryer and hot water heater. 
  • Do not burn charcoal inside a home, cabin or camper.
  • Do not operate gasoline-powered engines (generators, cutting saws) in confined areas such as garages or basements. 
  • Do not idle your car inside the garage. 
  • After a hurricane or storm, make sure vents for the gas dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of debris and intact. 
  • Never use gas ovens and ranges to heat your home!
Check your Smoke and CO alarms frequently.  Smoke alarms are set off by bathroom steam or cooking vapors. Rather than take the battery out of your alarm, do the following: 
  • Quiet the alarm by pushing the “HUSH” button, if equipped. 
  • Open windows and turn on vent fans to clear the air.
  • Consider relocating the alarm farther away from the cooking area or bathroom.
  • Consider installing a photoelectric or combination photoelectric/ ionization type alarm. The photoelectric and combination type alarms are less sensitive to cooking smoke.

Causes of Christmas Fires

Cooking, heating, and open flames are the major cause of Christmas fires, according to the US Fire Administration.  This is not surprising due to holiday cooking and the more prevalent use of home fireplaces, displays, and decorations involving candles.  The daily incidence of candle−started fires quadruples on Christmas Day.
home inspection, fire, home, home inspector, Lake Mary, FL, Seminole County, Florida, Debary, Orlando, Longwood, Sanford, Oviedo, Winter Springs, Wekiva Springs,

Opinions of a Home Inspector

Christmas is the time to spend with your family and friends, not to worry and agonize if you will have a fire.  Every Christmas the sounds of fire engine sirens overpower my family’s holiday music.   We often worry if the sirens are for one of our friends or neighbors.  You should have all your heating and cooking equipment inspected and serviced before your family arrives.  Fireplaces should be inspected yearly and cleaned regularly.  Be aware of the placement of candles and decorations.  Make sure you give your live Christmas tree plenty of water and keep it away from candles and fire places.  May your Christmas be worry free and full of holiday cheer.





Frank Carr is the Owner / Inspector at First Choice Home Inspections in Deltona, FL. Formerly in the building trades, Frank’s focus is a safe home and building FCHI. We believe that consumers have the right to expect the highest standards of thoroughness, fairness and effectiveness from their home inspector and that is exactly what we provide.

Orlando & Central Florida Home Inspection Services

First Choice Home Inspections 
Office:  (386) 624-3893
 

Email:  home.inspections@aol.com
Website: 
http://1homeinspector.com
Facebook: 
https://www.facebook.com/FirstChoiceHomeInspectionsLlc 

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/+FirstChoiceHomeInspectionsDeltona

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Seminole County Home Inspection, Lake Mary


Now you can put our outstanding reputation for service and reliability to work for you. By contracting First Choice Home Inspection, you benefit from experienced Central Florida home inspectors that deliver computerized reports using the latest technology.  Our reporting system meets and exceeds the state standards. We encourage your presence during the inspection. By being present at the inspection, our professional home inspector can familiarize you with the home and explain things to you as they progress through the inspection.

Inspectors

First Choice inspectors are bound to a strict code of ethics; this ensures quality service while providing important protections. For example, our inspectors must:
·         Work Exclusively for the Customer
·         Follow Nationally Accepted Standards of Practice
·         Do Not Perform Repairs on Any Property Inspected
Our inspectors are AHIT and NAHI certified in addition, they are familiar with a wide variety of situations. We believe that consumers have the right to expect the highest standards of thoroughness, fairness and effectiveness from their home inspector and that is exactly what we provide.
Orlando & Central Florida Home Inspection

Home Inspection Services:

  • Home Inspections  (Buyer, Seller and Maintenance) 
  • New Home Warranty Inspection 
  • Residential Home Checkup 
  • Manufactured / Mobile Home Inspection
  • Moisture Intrusion Inspections
  • 4pt Insurance Inspections 
  • Wind Mitigation Inspections 
  • Pool / Spa Inspections 
  • Irrigation Inspections 
  • WDO* Inspections

Schedule an Inspection call:  (386) 624-3893

* All WDO Inspections are performed by a Licensed Termite Inspector that may or may not be an employee of FCHI.


Frank Carr is the Owner / Inspector at First Choice Home Inspections in Deltona, FL. Formerly in the building trades, Frank’s focus is a safe home and building FCHI. We believe that consumers have the right to expect the highest standards of thoroughness, fairness and effectiveness from their home inspector and that is exactly what we provide. Http://www.1homeinspector.com


First Choice Home Inspections 
(386) 624-3893
Email:  home.inspections@aol.com
Website: 
Http://1homeinspector.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/FirstChoiceHomeInspectionsLlc

Modern Before Photos by Deltona Environmental Services & Restoration First Choice Home Inspections

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Lake Mary Home Inspection

First Choice Home Inspections (386) 624-3893

Residential Home Inspections in Orlando and Central Florida

 
Now you can put our outstanding reputation for service and reliability to work for you. By contracting First Choice Home Inspection, you benefit from experienced Central Florida home inspectors that deliver computerized reports using the latest technology.  Our reporting system meets and exceeds the state standards. We encourage your presence during the inspection. By being present at the inspection, our professional home inspector can familiarize you with the home and explain things to you as they progress through the inspection.

INSPECTORS
First Choice inspectors are bound to a strict code of ethics; this ensures quality service while providing important protections. For example, our inspectors must:

  • Work Exclusively for the Client
  •  Follow Nationally Accepted Standards of Practice
  • Do Not Perform Repairs on Any Property Inspected
Our inspectors are AHIT and InterNachi certified in addition, they are familiar with a wide variety of situations. We believe that consumers have the right to expect the highest standards of thoroughness, fairness and effectiveness from their home inspector and that is exactly what we provide.

Home Inspection SERVICES in Seminole County

  • Home Inspection  (Buyer, Seller and Maintenance)
  • New Home Warranty Inspection
  • Home Checkup Inspection
  • Manufactured Home Inspection
  • Mobile Home Inspection
  • 4pt Insurance Inspections
  • Wind Mitigation Inspection
  • Pool/Spa Inspection
  • WDO* Inspection
  • Irrigation Inspection

SCHEDULE AN INSPECTION:  (386) 624-3893

 


Frank Carr is the Owner / Inspector at First Choice Home Inspections in Deltona, FL. Formerly in the building trades, Frank’s focus is a safe home and building FCHI. 

We believe that consumers have the right to expect the highest standards of thoroughness, fairness and effectiveness from their home inspector and that is exactly what we provide.

First Choice Home Inspections
Residential Home Inspections in Central Florida
(386) 624-3893 
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/FirstChoiceHomeInspectionsLlc
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/company/first-choice-home-inspections
Google+:  https://plus.google.com/+FirstChoiceHomeInspectionsDeltona
Website:  Http://www.1homeinspector.com