Home Inspections in Orland Park, Tinley Park, Frankfort, Mokena, Palos Heights, Oak Forest, Palos Park, Chicago and all surrounding Communities
Welcome a home inspection protects what matters most   "You and Your Family"


Areas Served

Chicago

Orland Park

Tinley Park

Orland Hills

Oak Forest

Palos Heights

Palos Park

Palos Hills

Mokena

New Lenox

Lockport

Lemont

Frankfort

Homer Glen

Lombard

Bolingbrook

Romeoville

Crest Hills

Oak Lawn

Evergreen Park

Oak Forest

Worth

Alsip

Marionette Pk

Plainfield

Crestwood

Hickory Hills

Chicago Ridge

Homewood

Matteson

Bridgeview

Flossmoor

Willowbrook

Willow Springs

Olympia Fields

Downers Grove

Naperville

Lisle

Shorewood

Steger

Woodridge

Westchester

Western Springs

Glen Ellyn

Oswego

Brookfield

to name a few




 

Home Inspection Blogs

    There is no crystal ball
   
A home inspection is intended to assist in evaluation of the overall condition of the dwelling. The inspection is based on observation of the visible and apparent condition of the structure and its components on the date of the inspection and not the prediction of future conditions.

You should expect to find problems in your house that were not identified in your home inspection report. That's because a home inspection will not reveal every problem that exists or ever could exist, but only those "material defects" that were observed on the day of the inspection.

A "material defect" is a condition of a residential property or any portion of it that would have a significant adverse impact on the value of the real property or that involves unreasonable risk to people on the property. The fact that a system or component is near, at or beyond the end of the normal useful life does not make the system or component itself a material defect.

The Report
An inspection report shall describe and identify in written format the inspected systems, structures and components of the dwelling and shall identify material defects observed. Inspection reports may contain recommendations regarding conditions reported or recommendations for correction, monitoring or further evaluation by professionals, but this is not required.


  Moisture Intrusion
 
One of the most common problems in small residential structures is a wet basement. You will want to monitor walls and floors for signs of water penetration such as dampness, water stains, peeling paint, efflorescence and rust on exposed metal parts. In finished basements, look for rotted or warped wood paneling and doors, loose floor tiles and mildew stains. It may come through the walls or cracks in the floor, or from backed-up floor drains, leaky plumbing lines or a clogged air conditioner condensate line.

To properly correct a moisture problem, you must determine the source of the moisture. There's no point in cleaning or wiping up a problem without investigating the source of the problem.

If moisture appears to be coming through the walls, check the roof drainage system and grading around the exterior of the building (the problem could be as simple as a clogged gutter). Check the sump pump, if there is one, to be sure its discharge is not draining back into the basement. Look for unprotected or poorly drained window wells, leaking exterior faucets, and signs of leakage in the water supply line near the building. Check the elevation of an earthen floor in a crawl space. If the water table is high or the drainage outside the building is poor, the crawl space floor should not be below the elevation of the exterior grade.

If the basement or crawl space is merely damp or humid the cause simply may be lack of adequate ventilation.


  Tank Water Heaters
 
Tank water heaters consist of a glass-lined or vitreous enamel-coated steel tank covered by an insulated metal jacket. They are gas-fired, oil-fired or electrically heated.

 Gas fired tank heaters have an average life expectancy of about 6-12 years and have fairly high recovery rate.
• Oil-fired heaters have an average similar to gas fired with high recovery rate.
• Electric water heaters have an estimated service life of 5 to 10 years with a low recovery rate, requiring a larger storage tank.

Watch for signs of leakage on the bottom of the tank, such as rust or water stains at fuel burning components or on the floor. Leaking tanks cannot usually be repaired, and therefore must be replaced entirely.


  Overhead Garage Doors
 
Garage doors should be monitored for operation, weathertightness, overall condition and fit. Garage doors are made of wood, hardboard on a wood frame, steel, glass fibre on a steel frame, fibreglass, and aluminum. Garage doors can come with glazed panes in a wide varity of styles. Wood and hardboard can rot, hardboard can crack and split, steel can rust, fibreglass can deteriorate from ultraviolet light, and aluminum can dent.

Doors with motors should be periodically tested using each of the operators on the system (key lock switch or combination lock key pad where control must be accessible on the exterior, remote electrical switch, or photoelectric control switch).

Check the operation for smoothness, quietness, time of operation and safety. Check for the presence and proper operation of the door safety-reversing device. Look at the exposed parts of the installation for loose connections, rust and bent or damaged pieces.


    Electrical Outlets and Lighting
   
Generally speaking, each wall should have at least one wall outlet and each room should have one switch-operated outlet or over-head light. When operating light switches, look for dimmed or flickering lights that may indicate electrical problems somewhere in the circuit. Also check the light switches for sparks (arcing) when switches are turned on and off. Feel the light switch for overheating. Switches that are worn should be replaced. When a light will not turn on, even after the bulb has been replaced, it will likely be the result of a bad switch.


    Sagging in Sloped Roofs
 
Sagging in sloped roofs resulting from too many layers of roofing materials, failure of fire retardant plywood roof sheathing, inadequate bracing or undersized rafters. Sometimes three or more layers of shingles are applied to a roof, generally increasing its dead load. Or when an attic story has been made into a habitable space or otherwise altered, collar beams or knee walls may have been removed. A number of factors, such as increases in snow and wind loads, poor structure design and construction errors result in undersized rafters. Look for all these conditions.


    Grounding
   
A building inspector may be able to confirm that the service panel appears to be grounded. Its grounding conductor should run to an exterior grounding electrode or be clamped to the metal water service inlet pipe between the exterior wall and the water meter.

Grounding electrode is a device that makes an electrical connection to the earth. A grounding electrode can be rebar in a footer, a metal underground water supply pipe within 10 feet of contact with the earth and a grounding rod.



Overheated clothes dryers can cause fires
To help prevent fires:
• Clean the lint screen/filter before and after drying each load of clothes. If clothing is still damp at the end of a typical drying cycle or drying requires longer times than normal, this may be a sign that the lint screen or the exhaust duct is blocked.

• Clean the dryer vent and exhaust duct periodically. Check the outside dryer vent while the dryer is operating to make sure exhaust is escaping. If it is not, the vent or exhaust duct may be blocked. To remove a blockage in the exhaust path, it may be necessary to disconnect the exhaust duct from the dryer. Remember to reconnect the ducting to the dryer and outside vent before using the dryer again.

• Clean behind the dryer, where lint can build up. Have a qualified service person clean the interior of the dryer chassis periodically to minimize the amount of lint accumulation. Keep the area around the dryer clean and free of clutter.
• Replace plastic or foil, accordion-type ducting material with rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct. Most manufactures specify the use of a rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct, which provides maximum airflow. The flexible plastic or foil type duct can more easily trap lint and is more susceptible to kinks or crushing, which can greatly reduce the airflow.

• Take special care when drying clothes that have been soiled with volatile chemicals such as gasoline, cooking oils, cleaning agents, or finishing oils and stains. If possible, wash the clothing more than once to minimize the amount of volatile chemicals on the clothes and preferably, hang the clothes to dry. If using a dryer, use the lowest heat setting and a drying cycle that has a cool-down period at the end of the cycle. To prevent clothes from igniting after drying, do not leave the dried clothes in the dryer or piled in a laundry basket.

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If you would like to reply or have a comment, e-mail me  Tom Kollias




Kollias Property Inspections, Inc
16026 So. 90th Ave Tinley Park, IL 60487

(708) 349-4562