Sunday, September 28, 2014

Clothes Dryers, A Leading Cause of Home Fires in Lake Mary

Clothes dryers have become an indispensable part of American family life.  Today, people are not aware that clothes dryers are a leading cause of fires in the home – approximately 15,000 every year.   It is important to rigorously inspect and clean dryers.  A little preventative maintenance can keep them in good working order and keep your family safe.


Causes of dryer fires?
One of the most common causes of dryer fires is lack of maintenance.  When lint traps do not get cleaned as often as they should be, the resulting build-up in the screen or other areas can cause the dryer to perform poorly, operate at elevated temperatures and possibly overheat with dangerous results.  Vent systems must also be checked and cleaned to maintain proper air flow for the same reasons.  The floor area surrounding the dryer must be lint, dirt, and clothes free.  A lint ball, sock or clothing item can easily be sucked from the floor in front or beside your dryer into the heating coils igniting it and the lint in your dryer vents.

Problems also occur when people place improper items in their dryers, such as foam backed rugs or athletic shoes.  Ensure whatever you put in your dryer is approved and safe to place in a dryer.  When in doubt, check the washing instructions on the tag of the clothing or consult the manufacturer’s website for more information.  Plastic or vinyl exhaust vent materials should never be used.    

Reduce your risk of dryer fires!
Ensure that your dryer has rigid or flexible metal venting and ducting materials to help sustain airflow. This will also reduce operating costs and extend the life of the dryer and clothing due to lower drying temperatures.

In addition:

  • Clean the lint trap before or after drying each load of clothes.
  • Don’t forget to clean the back of the dryer where lint can be trapped.
  • Ensure the floor around your dryer is free of debris, lint and clothing.
  • The interior of the dryer and venting system should be cleaned periodically by qualified service technician.  If drying time is longer than normal, clean the vent system thoroughly to ensure proper airflow.
  • Replace plastic or vinyl exhaust hoses with rigid or flexible metal venting.
  • Do not dry clothes or fabric on which there is anything flammable (alcohol, cooking oils, gasoline, spot removers, dry-cleaning solvents, etc.). Flammable substances give off vapors that could ignite or explode. 
  • Gasoline should not be stored near dryers or water heaters and should only be stored in approved containers.
  • Read manufacturers’ warnings in use and care manuals that accompany new dryers.  Warnings can usually be found on the inside of the dryer’s lid and take only minutes to read.


Did you know that?

  • Clothes dryers can be found in 80 percent, or 81.5 million homes throughout the United States.
  • A full load of wet clothes placed in a dryer contains about one half gallon of water.  Lint is created from the clothes as water is removed.
  • Clothes dryers are one of the most expensive appliances in your home to operate.  The longer it runs the more money it costs you.
  • The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 15,500 fires associated with clothes dryers occur annually. These fires account for an average of 10 deaths and 310 injuries and more than $84.4 million in property damage annually.


In the opinion of this home inspector, you should pay careful attention to the maintenance and cleaning of your clothes dryer.  Be careful to remove lint before or after every use.  Preform a detailed cleaning monthly and call in a appliance technician annually to clean and maintain your dryer.  Out of sight lint can go unnoticed until it is too late and fire breaks out.  Protect yourself, your family and your home; a home fire can take all you hold precious.  
 
 
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://www.1homeinspector.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/FirstChoiceHomeInspectionsLlc
 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Contaminated Chinese Drywall in Lake Mary



Health Problems and Metal Corrosion
Contaminated Chinese drywall has high levels of sulfur, which may be responsible for a rotten egg smell in affected homes, blackened or corroded pipes, failure of air conditioners and other household appliances, and health problems such as asthma, coughing, headaches, sore throats, and irritated eyes.
Health Problems Associated With Problem Drywall
Health problems that may be caused by contaminated Chinese drywall include:
  • irritated and itchy eyes and skin
  • difficulty in breathing
  • persistent cough
  • bloody nose
  • runny nose
  • recurrent headaches
  • sore throats
  • sinus infections
  • asthma attacks
Contaminated Drywall Problems
Homeowners with contaminated drywall usually notice:
  • a rotten egg smell within the home
  • corrosion or blackening of copper and silver items within the walls and home
  • frequent failures of air conditioning units and other appliances and electronics
“Contaminated drywall is indicated if two of the below corroborating conditions are present and drywall was installed between 2005 and 2008; or if four of the below corroborating conditions are present and the drywall was installed between 2001 and 2004”, according to the CPSC:
  • copper sulfide or sulfur in the home as confirmed by tests
  • drywall is marked as coming from China
  • high levels of strontium in drywall core
  • high levels of sulfur in drywall core
  • elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide, carbonyl sulfide, or carbon disulfide emitted from drywall when tested in a chamber, and
  • Corrosion of copper metal when placed in a test chamber with drywall samples.
Electronics and Appliances
Copper coils turn black
Contaminated drywall corrodes piping and wiring, which causes electronic devices and household appliances to work erratically or fail completely.  Components and devices that may be affected by contaminated Chinese drywall include:
  • Central air conditioning evaporator coils
  • Refrigerators, dishwashers and electrical ovens and ranges.
  • Televisions, computers, and video gaming systems.
Identification and Replacement
According to the CPSC, “A visual observation of corroded air conditioning evaporator coils and/or electrical wiring by trained inspectors is believed to be a prerequisite for consideration of a home as having problem drywall. The Florida Department of Health has long included such corrosion as part of its definition of problem drywall homes.”
The cost of remediation for Chinese drywall can be immense including drywall, plumbing and electrical.  Remediation may include removal of contaminated drywall and installing new, problem-free drywall, removal and replacement of copper; plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems.
Additional articles on Chinese Drywall:



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
Http://www.1homeinspector.com

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lake Mary Home Inspection



Residential Home and Insurance Inspections (386) 624-3893

First Choice Home Inspections

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.


Services:


·         Home Inspections  (Buyer, Seller and Maintenance)
·         New Home Warranty Inspection
·         Residential Home Checkup

·         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.


First Choice Home Inspections
(386) 624-3893

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


Monday, May 12, 2014

Do you need a Home Inspection in Lake Mary?

You've decided to sell your home but do you really need a Home Inspection?  Depending on your Realtor they may or may not, suggest a Home Inspection.  Be assured your home will be inspected.  The buyer, will as a rule, opt for the Home Inspection. 

Without hesitation you put your home on the market, paint and fix it up a bit, and stage it per your Realtor's specifications.   Your home looks perfect and the price is right.  Now you have an offer, and the buyer asks to have the Home Inspection.  Is your home ready?

Many items frequently go unnoticed when preparing the home for sale.  Most items are easily rectified if you only knew what the Home Inspector would find.  The dilemma is, if you and your agent cannot find what is wrong, you cannot fix it. 

Once your home is inspected by the buyer’s inspector it is often too late to undo the damage done.  The buyer and their agent, report in hand, now has their demands of items to be repaired.  They will surely ask for a reduction in the price of your home.  To fix or not to fix, do you reduce the selling price even further?  You decide to make all the repairs noted on the inspection report.  You hold firm to your original price but the deal falls through.  No problem another offer will come, you think.

Has your home shown recently?  It is in fine condition everything is repaired per the buyer’s inspection report.  The problem is, at this point, too many people have heard about the inspection and what was wrong with the property.   The buyer’s agent had first-hand knowledge of the report.  How many other agents was the buyer’s agent connected to?  How many other agents were in their office, in their realtors association, and in their immediate realty network?

In this Inspector’s opinion, the Sellers Home Inspection is an invaluable tool.  It puts your house in perspective and lets you choose which items you will repair and which you will not.  Many of the realtors that I deal with on a regular basis recommend their client initially have the inspection.  Being prepared gives you the upper hand in the real-estate transaction.  The buyer’s agents have a network of colleagues which they will regularly communicate with.  Once the report has been made available to the agent, that is what they remember.   Many homes have been on the market for months, even years, before they sell.  It is a buyers’ market and you need every advantage that is available to you.  You can choose to have an inspection and be in control of the transaction or let the buyer be in the driver’s seat.
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
Phone:  (386) 624-3893
Email:  home.inspections@aol.com
Website:  Http://www.1homeinspector.com

Monday, April 14, 2014

What is the best time to Schedule a Lake Mary Home Inspection?

Why is it not a good idea to schedule a summer home inspection in the afternoon?

There are many systems in the attic that require detailed investigation for a home inspection report.  The systems of the attic are trusses/rafters, sheathing, HVAC and exhaust duct work, electrical, insulation, ventilation, plumbing and in some cases HVAC components, chimneys and hot water heaters.

The plain and simple answer is the attic temperatures in Southern and even Northern states can reach extreme temperatures of 140 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit or even higher.  If you are paying for a home inspection and schedule your inspection for the afternoon; you will, most likely, not be getting a thorough inspection.  According to most state standards of practice(SOP) a home inspector does not have to enter the attic if the temperature in their opinion is extreme and dangerous to the inspector.

ASHI SOP
F.  Inspectors are NOT required to:
1.  Perform any procedure or operation that will, in the opinion of the inspector, likely be
dangerous to the inspector or other persons or damage the property or its systems or
components.


NAHI SOP
1.13 The inspector shall report on any system and component included in these standards of practice which were present at the time of the home inspection but were not inspected and provide the reason they were not inspected.

2.10 The inspector is not required to enter any premises that visibly shows a physical threat to the safety of the home inspector or others nor inspect any area or component that poses a danger to the inspector or others.

InterNachi SOP
III. The inspector is not required to:
C.  enter or access any area that may, in the opinion of the inspector, be unsafe.
F.  do anything which may, in the inspector's opinion, be unsafe or dangerous to the inspector or others, or damage property, such as, but not limited to:  walking on roof surfaces, climbing ladders, entering attic spaces, or negotiating with pets.
IV. The inspector is not required to:
A.  enter the attic or any unfinished spaces that are not readily accessible, or where entry could cause damage or, in the inspector's opinion, pose a safety hazard.

It is the general opinion of the national associations and many of the states, that it is dangerous to the inspectors health to be exposed to extreme heat for prolonged periods of time.  Rules have been drafted into the SOP of each to protect the inspector and the buyer during the inspection process.

A recent discussion regarding inspections of attics in one of the national home inspectors forums:

I do not take random temperature readings of the attics I inspect. I do know that during the summer months attics in my area will hit 130f without any trouble. Once they get that hot I do not spend much time in them!  - Inspector from Tennessee
Location: Las Vegas, NV; single family, ranch style, home; south facing; reading of decking was south roof field; roofing material asphalt/fiberglass 3 tab shingles, one layer; approximately 10:30 A.M.; outside temp about 99 degrees.  I don't know what the air temp was in the attic but I didn't stay there very long either! - Inspector from Las Vegas.
I was in one last week and it was 189, let me see if I can find the pic.  Inspector from Utah
I also have recorded the 180 degree (upper) range in the attic when there has been very little wind movement and exterior temperatures exceed 115 degrees. No, you won't stay up there for long . . . Inspector from Las Vegas.
135 is common for me.  Inspector from Illinois.
In South Florida the typically daytime temperature might be 92 degrees to 95 degrees and the attic temperature might vary from 120 degrees for a tile roof to 140 degrees for a dark color shingle roof. - Inspector from South Florida.

As you can see from the inspectors comments that they are concerned about getting out of a hot attic as it can be dangerous to their health.  If you are looking for a thorough inspection, schedule it early in the day before attic temperatures reach extreme levels.  In the cooler hours of the morning inspectors are more likely to spend the necessary time in the attic investigating the systems you should be concerned with.





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://www.1homeinspector.com

Monday, April 7, 2014

7 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Home Inspector

When purchasing a new or existing home; the most critical part of the buying process is the home inspection.  Never sign a waiver to surrender your rights to a home inspection, even on a new home.  A home inspection is your right in the buying process and should never be relinquished.   The home inspection process is in place for your protection, to discover any defects or building flaws unknown or not disclosed by the seller.


Once you have selected your dream home; how do you find the right home inspector to investigate your future home and investment?  In the selection process; there are seven critical questions you should ask a home inspector.


https://www.myfloridalicense.com/wl11.asp?mode=0&SID=
1.     Is the home inspector licensed by the state or approved agency?  Many states require a home inspector to obtain a state license to inspect homes.  If you are obtaining financing through a government program, VA, HUD, or FHA; that agency may also require an additional certification or approval for the home inspector.  You should verify the license with your state or agency prior to contracting the home inspector.

2.     What is the inspector’s background and certifications?  The inspector’s background certifications are critical to their understanding of building technologies.  Your inspector should have a basic knowledge of the construction process to thoroughly evaluate the property being inspected.  The inspector should be able to determine whether a crack is structural or cosmetic based on their knowledge of the buildings obscured structure that lies beneath the drywall.  Has the inspector stayed current on modern building technologies and what certifications have they completed?  Home inspector organizations, like National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI), require inspectors to stay current and take continuing education units (CEUs) that often exceed state requirements.  Ask if they are a member of a national organization.

3.     How many years has the company been in business?  Has the company met the requirements to stay in business and are they current with modern building technologies.

4.     Ask how many inspections a day does the inspector complete?  Is the inspector working for your best interests or his?  One or two is the answer you are looking for.  If the inspector is completing three or more, it is likely they are cutting corners to complete all the inspections.

5.     How much time is spent at an inspection?  This number should vary based on the size of a home.  The basic number you are looking for is 1 hour per 1000 square feet.  If the inspector is inspecting a 3,500 sq. ft. home in less than 3½ hours on site, they are most likely not the best inspector for your family.  This time should not include the completion of the written report.

6.     Written Report, How Long? How many Photos? There are many styles of written reports, which will be determined by the preference of the inspector.  That being said, style is not as important as content.  There should be at least one summary page, one page per system (7) and one page per room.  A typical 3 bedroom, 2 bath, and two car garage should have a minimum of 20 pages excluding photos.  Photos again may be a personal preference but should include at least one per deficiency noted in the report.  The minimum number is 15-20, but if a picture is worth a thousand words, 20-30 is better.  

7.     Does the Inspection Company and the Inspector carry insurance?  Who would the courts consider liable for damage to the property during the time of the inspection?  What type of insurance do they carry and what is the liability amount of the insurance?  Many states require an inspector carry minimum liability insurance, but would it cover full damages to the property in the worst case scenario? 
When purchasing your home, you may not have to be an expert on the home, but you should have a knowledgeable inspector on your side.  You should feel secure in the knowledge that your family and your investments are safe.  Choose wisely, when selecting a home inspector and never put your family’s safety at risk by waiving the inspection.  Never select an inspection company based on price or how quick they can complete an inspection.  One item found by a competent inspector can save you thousands of dollars in repairs down the road.

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://www.1homeinspector.com