Ask the Virginia Beach Home Inspector

Home Inspector for Hampton Roads

Sellers Prepare for your Virginia Beach Home Inspection

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As a home seller there are a few things to remember when you get ready to have your home inspection in Virginia Beach. Safe House Property Inspections performs home inspection in Hampton Roads and has a few tips for you in this short video.

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Norfolk Home Inspection Plumbing Pic of the Day

· Plumbing

This was found during a Norfolk home inspection today. It is a common find when homes have been repaired by the homeowner or during a flip. These are easily found at most of the big box stores which leads consumers to believe they are a suitable to use to replace their pipes. drain pipes are sold at many hardware stores, so home owners assume these are a good repair method.  Plumbing drain must have a smooth interior. These corrugated pipes are a problem waiting to happen.

plumbing found during a norfolk home inspection 

The Virginia Beach home inspector “Pic of the Day” will highlight some of the items we come across during our home inspections. Some pictures will be safety concerns, some will be what were they thinking items, and some will just be funny.

Safe House Property Inspections performs home inspections in the Hampton Roads community. We serve the cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Portsmouth on a daily basis.

If you would like to schedule your home inspection call

757-418-0944

You can also schedule online at Safe House Property Inspections.

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Virginia Beach Home Inspection Pic of the Day

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This pic was taken at today’s home inspection in Virginia Beach. The condensate line at the evaporator coil was draining into the crawlspace. Adding additional moisture to an environment like a crawlspace can create some unwanted conditions as seen in the next picture.

   

The Virginia Beach home inspector “Pic of the Day” will highlight some of the items we come across during our home inspections. Some pictures will be safety concerns, some will be what were they thinking items, and some will just be funny.

Safe House Property Inspections performs home inspections in the Hampton Roads community. We serve the cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Portsmouth on a daily basis.

If you would like to schedule your home inspection call

757-418-0944

You can also schedule online at Safe House Property Inspections.

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Norfolk Home Inspection Pic of the Day

· Plumbing

This picture is of an old drum trap found during today’s Norfolk home inspection. The bathtub above was draining very slowly. So when we got in the crawlspace we observed a couple of different things going on. First was the old drum trap, and second was the drain line from the trap to the main drain line was sloped uphill. 

There are a few different types of traps that can cause issues with your plumbing system. In older homes and renovated home we will come across them and report them so that you can have corrected by a plumbing professional. The graphic below highlights some of the traps we keep an eye out for.

illegal-traps

The Virginia Beach home inspector “Pic of the Day” will highlight some of the items we come across during our home inspections. Some pictures will be safety concerns, some will be what were they thinking items, and some will just be funny.

Safe House Property Inspections performs home inspections in the Hampton Roads community. We serve the cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Portsmouth on a daily basis.

If you would like to schedule your home inspection call

757-418-0944

You can also schedule online at Safe House Property Inspections.

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Chesapeake Home Inspection Pic of the Day

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This plumbing vent stack was found during a Chesapeake home inspection. This was a flipped house where an addition was put on without extending or moving the vent another location. Can you imagine the fresh morning air you would enjoy when opening this window.

Vent under window

The Virginia Beach home inspector “Pic of the Day” will highlight some of the items we come across during our home inspections. Some pictures will be safety concerns, some will be what were they thinking items, and some will just be funny.

Safe House Property Inspections performs home inspections in the Hampton Roads community. We serve the cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Portsmouth on a daily basis.

If you would like to schedule your home inspection call

757-418-0944

You can also schedule online at Safe House Property Inspections.

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Helpful Household Tips From the Virginia Beach Home Inspector

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Here are a few helpful household tricks to keep in mind courtesy of the Virginia Beach home inspector.

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Virginia Beach Home Inspector AC Condenser Maintenance

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It’s that time of year where the temperatures start to rise. Here’s a quick video from the Virginia Beach home inspector regarding AC condenser maintenance. It is always recommended that you also have a qualified HVAC technician service your system regularly to ensure efficient service.

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Roof Stains

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Question For the Virginia Beach Home Inspector:

We have streaks on our roof and want to know what can be done about them?

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Virginia Beach Home Inspector Answer:

If unsightly black areas have appeared on your roof, you could think an expensive new roofing job is coming your way.

Contrary to what most people think, the dark streaks or splotches are not usually caused by a lack of maintenance or by normal wear and tear on the shingles. Many homeowners have replaced their roofs after just 12 or 15 years in order to get rid of the dark streaks.

They are caused by bacteria known as gloeocapsa magma (algae growth). A professional roof cleaning will take them away.

Algae growth typically occurs on the north side or shaded side of the roof. Unless you have the algae cleaned off, it may start to deteriorate the shingles over time.

Reputable roof-cleaning companies use removal methods recommended by the Roof Cleaning Institute of America and the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association. A proper roof cleaning will allow the homeowner to maximize shingle life for the 20 or 25 years. It’s now accepted as part of home exterior maintenance.

Cleaning costs from $250 to $1,000, depending on the size of the roof and the amount of labor required. It takes two to five hours and makes the roof look like new.

Cleaning companies spray a biodegradable cleaning solution on the roof. Because the solution adheres to the roof, there is very little runoff, and what does run off is contained.

Usually, it will take two coats to get it all clean. 

Safe House Property Inspections

Home Inspections in Virginia Beach and all of Hampton Roads

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Virginia Beach Home Inspector Offers SewerGard

· Plumbing

Virginia Beach home inspection company Safe House Property Inspections now offers SewerGard with every home inspection. SewerGard is sewer line protection the world leader in underground repair coverage. You can buy your new home with confidence and worry less knowing that main water and sewer collapses and breaks are covered, up to $4000.

**See policy for complete terms and conditions**

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Stairways and Safety

· Home Safety

During many Virginia Beach home inspections on common issue encountered is stairway safety. Due to their inherent dangers, as well as unsafe patterns of use by homeowners, stairways are the sites of a surprising number of injuries. A careful assessment of the risks posed by stairways can prevent unnecessary injuries. Stairways are the sites of numerous household accidents
Facts and Figures
  • 1,638 people died from falls on steps and stairs in the United States in 2004. This figure is greater than the combined number of swimming pool and bathtub drownings for the same year, according to the National Safety Council. The actual number of stairway accidents is probably much higher, as many people who sustain injuries don’t know why they fell, and others are too embarrassed to admit they fell, so these incidents go unreported.
  • Elderly occupants are at particular risk of falling down stairs, mostly due to impaired vision, reduced strength, and poor balance. For individuals age 65 and older, 260,000 are injured every year in falls on steps, stairs and escalators, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
  • Handicapped and young children are also at increased risk of sustaining stairway injuries.
  • In a study by Loughborough University in England, one-third of surveyed households admitted to leaving objects on stairs, presenting a serious trip hazard.
  • In addition to potential physical injury, falls can cause serious psychological and social consequences, affecting confidence, mobility, and general well-being, according to the same study.

While residents might already be aware of stair abnormalities, their guests may not be prepared for irregular steps or inadequate headroom height, for instance. Prospective buyers, too, are safer hearing about such irregularities from you than learning through experience after they purchase the home. The following is a partial list of defects you may find in stairways:

  • Handrail is loose, incomplete, missing, splintery, not of a contrasting color with its background, or has insufficient finger clearance. As deck stairways may be open on both sides, missing handrails there put occupants at serious risk.
  • Treads are cracked, uneven, worn, loose or poorly supported.
  • Risers are of uneven height.
  • Lighting is poor, shadows are numerous, or the corridor leading to the stairs is dark. It’s helpful to have a light switch installed at the top and bottom of each staircase.
  • Floor is waxed, increasing chances of slipping.
  • Exterior steps are not sloped to prevent water settlement and icing.
  • Stair carpeting slides or is not firmly affixed to stairs. Double-sided tape or tacks may be used to prevent slipping.
  • Balusters are spaced more than 4 inches apart, allowing a child to potentially slip through and get trapped.
  • Stairs are not ergonomically designed.
  • Stairs are too steep.
  • Platform or landing surface is not slip-resistant, and/or has a sharp object, blunt wall, or window located in the direction of a possible fall.
  • Nosing is missing, broken, worn, patched, loose, slippery, or not installed properly.
  • Sharp corners are on stair elements.
  • Headroom is insufficient.
  • There is no safety gate at the top of stairs in a home with small children.

Note that some design defects would be difficult or cost-prohibitive to remedy, so this would require rebuilding of the stairs.

In summary, stairways can pose a serious safety risk for building occupants, but these risks can be minimized by adequate stair construction and safe practices.

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