Author Archive

28
Nov

Sometimes it’s the Little Things

Yes, sometimes it’s those little forgotten items in your home that can cause the largest inconveniences. One example- behind your washer there are 2 or 3 water supply hoses. (If you have a dryer with a steam option, then you have 3.) Most of these are just rubber with metal fittings on the end. We use them year after year and think nothing of them. As the rubber breaks down, the ...

21
Oct

CO – The Silent Killer

Beginning in January of next year- any residence sold, rented or issued a building permit in Nebraska will require carbon monoxide detectors per Nebraska law. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is odorless and tasteless. Most who suffer from CO poisoning are not aware they are being poisoned. It has been estimated that unintentional CO exposure accounts for more than 20,000 emergency room visits and up to 500 unintentional deaths in the United ...

10
Oct

Water Heaters Need Love Too

Possibly the most neglected appliance in your home is the water heater. As long as we turn on the tap and get hot water, it rarely crosses our minds. But there are some recommended maintenance practices you should take to help extend the life of your unit. It is recommended that several gallons of water be drained every 6 months to a year to prevent sediment build up in the tank and ...

29
Jul

Toilet Talk

I don’t want to think about toilets- they are not pleasant things to ponder. But, as we all know, in-door plumbing is one of the most important advancements of a human civilization. To flush away all that waste and not have to worry about where it goes or how a toilet works is a luxury.  No one wants to be wondering what could go wrong every time the toilet flushes.

06
Jul

They’re Out There!

Sometimes when doing an inspection, we come across what can I only be describe as “jaw dropping” examples of how not to build a house.  The other day, I had two such events in the same home.  While checking the electrical panel, I noted that all the circuit grounds had been tied together instead of going to the buss bar.  Then, the grounds had been intertwined with a (roughly) 14 ...

10
Jun

What’s the R-Value of Blue Jeans?

How well is your house insulated?  Insulating a house in all the right places can have a huge impact on energy bills.  At a minimum, insulation should be inside walls and in attic spaces.  During a home inspection, we can report on the areas that are visible and make estimates of the current R-values and offer suggestions. In an unfinished basement, the rim joist cavities are usually ...

16
May

A Tale of Two Sewers

By: Inspector David Six Recently, while doing an inspection report, I noted that the sewer cleanout plug (shown in photo) had been changed.  This is an indication that someone has either had to snake or in some way check the sewer line to the street.  While relaying this information to the client, I recommended that a licensed plumber be brought in to scope or put a camera in the sewer ...

12
Apr

Moisture Concerns from Window Wells

I periodically read in disclosure statements that water has entered the lower level through a window well.  This normally happens in older homes, where the well does not have a drain system installed.  In heavy rains, the window well may fill up and start to leak into the house through the window.  Windows in residential homes are not built to be waterproof- water will seep through them.  This ...

05
Apr

Lead Water Pipes in Omaha

The lead contamination problems in Flint, Michigan cause many of us to wonder about our own water. There is good reason to be concerned. After all, the problems that lead poisoning can cause children are profound and possibly life changing. There are lead pipes in the Omaha area. The pipes of concern are the water service lines that run from the street to an individual home or building. ...

28
Mar

Human Nature and the Brick

While inspecting a roof, I saw a brick near the furnace flue.  I made my way over to investigate.  I reached down to pick it up and realized it had been tarred to the roof.  I came to the conclusion that the homeowner had put the brick there to secure the flashing around the furnace flue. It may have been done when the store was not open or several ...