O L D E R H O M E P I T F A
L L S
|| Why inspect? Resale homes can
be a great value. But you need a quality, impartial inspection
to spot current problems and dangerous building practices
that may likely lead to heartache down the road. There are
many, many things to look for, and only a professional inspector
who makes it his full time job to know what to look for
are likely to catch them all. But, to give you an idea,
here are a few common problem areas on older homes.
wood eating insects
: Insects are the most
potent, and the most stealthy
cause of major damage to homes in our wet climate.
They can eat a home from the inside out, hidden
not only behind sheetrock and beneath walls, but
even within lumber. Insects can tunnel through the
inside of your studs, rafters, and floor joists
and leave only a hollow and weakened shell. Moist
wood is preferred, and a water intrusion into your
structure will accelerate insect actvity. In dry
lumber the bugs may pick through your wood and eat
only the tastiest bits. Typically insect damage
can be fixed, though it may require removing sheetrock
to patch and plate the affected wood. If your home
is pier and beam, you can easily stop most bugs
by installing galvanized sheet
metal between wood foundation beams and concrete
piers. On slab homes, insects may crawl through
cracks or openings around plumbing. Always watch
for mud tunnels as you see at left, a sure sign
of wood eating creatures.
: This fireproof mineral was in use
throughout the first seven decades of the 20th century
in homes, but reached its peak in the 50's and 60's.
You are most likely to find asbestos in the ceramic
siding, fireplaces, sprayed-on acoustical ceiling,
ceiling tiles, insulations, and vinyl flooring of
the period. In most cases, asbestos in the home
poses no danger as long as it is not disturbed.
Asbestos fibers are tiny and incredibly sharp. When
an asbestos product is broken, sanded, burnt, or
cracked, the fibers are considered to be 'friable'
and may find their way into the air. In most cases,
the best approach is to leave the asbestos product
place and cover or otherwise contain it.
aluminum wiring: Also seen in late 60's homes,
aluminum wiring was a low cost alternative that
promised slightly more energy efficiency. Unfortunately,
the manufacturers should have done more long range
testing, because over time aluminum wiring can react
with copper in outlets and light sockets, and/or
build up an insulating layer of aluminum oxide on
its surface as it slowly reacts with the air. In
either case you could end up with a very unexpected
particle board siding: Who ever thought this was
a good idea? As you probably know,
particle board and water don't mix. It's only a bunch of
wood fragments glued together
to make a cheap lumber. Indoors, under a good roof, it's
good material (although
some people have concerns about the chemicals it 'outgasses'
as it dries).
Outside, exposed to rain and sun, heat and cold the failure
particle board siding is a matter of time. A thin film of
waterproofing on the exterior side will last for a while,
but when (not if) it fails, the structure of your
home will begin to rot and mold from the
moisture seeping through it.
Thorough, Independent, Fast, and Complete Home Inspections throughout
the Houston, Texas region.
Inspections for re-sale, new construction, and home purchases.
- Serving the Greater Houston Metropolitan area:
Bacliff, Barbers Hill, Baytown, Bearcreek, Beasley, Bellaire, Brookside
Village, Bunker Hill, Champions, Channelview, Clear Creek, ClearLake,
Cleveland, Conroe, Crosby, Cut N Shoot, Cypress, Dayton, Decker Prairie,
Deer Park, First Colony, Fondren, Friendswood, Galena Park, Galveston,
Hedwig, Hempstead, Houston, Huffman, Humble, Hunters Creek, Jacinto
City, Jersey Village, Katy, Kemah, Kingwood, Klien, La Porte, League
City, Liberty, Magnolia, Meadows Place, Missouri City, Mont Belvieu,
Montgomery, New Caney, North Forest, OakHill, Oak Ridge North, Pasadena,
Pearland, Pecan Grove, Piney Point, Porter, Richmond, Roman Forest,
Rosenburg, Seabrook, Shenandoah, Shore Acres, SouthHouston, Southside
Place, Spring, Spring Branch, Spring Valley, Stafford, Stafford, Stagecoach,
Sugarland, Taylor Lake Village, Texas City, The Woodlands, Tomball,
Waller, Webster, West University Place, Willis, Woodbranch Village,
Harris County, Montgomery County, Waller County, Ft Bend County, Liberty
Vital Inspections for:
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inspections, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, foundation
inspections, Houston Inspector, Texas Building Inspector, Texas property
Inspector, Texas Real Estate Inspector, Houston Real Estate inspector.