Home Inspection
Information From
Alban Home
Inspection Service
June/July '02
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Ask About an Attic ...
Professional home inspectors ask questions very similar to these when inspecting attics.

1. Is the attic insulated adequately and properly?
Ten to twelve inches
is adequate in most situations. 

2. Does existing insulation contain a vapor barrier?
Vapor barriers
should always face the heated side of a ceiling or wall.

3. Is there proper and clear ventilation?
High-low ventilation is the most desirable and the more insulation, the more beneficial it is.

4. Does the attic fan or power ventilator work?
These items may not be necessary,
and adequate ventilation is more important, but if they are present they should operate properly. A safety shroud or some type of screening should protect a homeís occupants from fan blades.

5. Is there delaminating plywood or warped roofing boards?
Causes may be expansion of plywood,
condensation, or poor workmanship. 

6. Are there signs, especially around the chimney and plumbing vent stacks, of past or current roof leakage?
Seventy percent of roof leaks occur at
flashings and valleys.



7. Are air-conditioning and heating ducts insulated?
Ductwork in attics
loses a significant amount of its effectiveness due to extreme summer and winter temperatures.

8. Are there open joint in the ductwork?
Air losses may
negatively impact cooling and heating efficiency.

9. Do any plumbing vent stacks
terminate in the attic?
The vents will function, but they
must vent above the roof to expel sewer odors.

10. Are exhaust fans from the kitchen or bathrooms discharging into the attic?
They will add moisture to the attic and
may cause condensation concerns.

11. Are there open electrical junction boxes or improperly terminated electrical wiring?
The electric fixtures may function
properly, but there may be a safety issue.

12. Are there any cracked, broken, or sagging sections of rafters or truss members?
Reinforcement may not be
urgent, but it is necessary.

So next time you are listing a home for sale, advise your clients that these are the types of questions that home inspectors will ask when inspecting that home for purchase.


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From the desk of . . .
     Arthur S. Lazerow


If the house is historic, itís probably listed in this site with photos, drawings, and histories. If not, check out the second site for tips and links wondered about that whole-house fan you say? The following guidelines should be followed when installing or using a whole-house fan: . Use it only when the outside air is not higher in temperature than the interior space being ventilated. . Open only the windows where ventilation is presently needed: the living room during the cooler evening hours, the bedroom at night, or the kitchen/breakfast area early in the morning. . Do not use the whole-house exhaust fan in conjunction with a heating or cooling system, or while a fireplace is burning. . Consider building a safety grille around the exposed fan mechanism in the attic to help prevent accidental injury from rotating blades and other moving parts. Home On The Web Beware! Synthetic stucco, known as Exterior Insulating Finish System (EIFS), is experiencing water intrusion problems in many areas around the country. This product is an exterior cladding product, designed to shed weather, while adding a Mediterranean look to the home. It is much different from masonry stucco cladding. True stucco is a masonry sub-surface with a three-quarter to one inch application of mortar that was then often painted.  
EIFS is a one-eighth inch of coating over fiberglass mesh placed on styrofoam board. Stress on the styrofoam, penetrations of utility lines, joints at windows and doors or at roof/wall junctions are areas permitting water penetration. Purchasers of home with
EIFS type exterior  cladding should be aware of the potential for water intrusion problems, with resulting interior damage and possible mold growth. Lightly tapping on an exterior wall will help identify masonry or styrofoam board backing. Fortunately there is a warranty program protecting purchasers ó the Moisture Free Warranty. It is a three- or five-year warranty with up to $150,000 in protection and a $30,000 annual limit. An initial inspection must be made by a certified EIFS inspector and every 18 months during the warranty, a reinspection is made without cost to the homeowner. More information is available at www.moisturewarranty.com or call -800- 400-8679.




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