Home Inspection
Information From
Alban Home
Inspection Service
May 2002
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From the desk of . . .
     Arthur S. Lazerow

New Construction Inspections

New construction home inspections continue to be a significant part of my personal home inspection work load. In most cases, in spite of the builders being extremely busy and delivery delays caused by the unavailability of skilled workmen, the final quality of the homes I am inspecting has been quite high. I suspect this results from superintendents knowing a professional inspector will be watching their work. 
The list of new home deficiencies I have observed
recently, however, shows a lack of attention by some construction superintendents:
A. Missing or inadequate exterior caulk.
B. Unpainted steel lentils.
C. Incorrect appliance models.
D. Oversized electric breakers for
size of circuit wires.
E. Incomplete plumbing installation, such as failure
to connect the fire sprinkler piped to the water service or failure to connect the humidifier to any water source.
F. Physical contact by differing metals, such as the
intersection of copper pipes and steel ducts, establishing galvanic electric currents that deteriorate pipes and ducts. 
As I have written in the past, it is important that new home buyers arrange for an independent third-party home inspector to make two inspections ó a pre-drywall rough-in inspection and the pre-settlement inspection upon construction completion. After the final inspection, numerous clients have commented to me how valuable these inspections were to the success of their new home purchase experience. All Alban home inspectors have significant new home and renovation experience, so feel confident arranging for a new construction inspection by an Alban home inspector.

Itís Not The Heat,

Itís The ...

... humidity that causes condensation ó when it (humidity) is high and/or air temperature is low. 
The main thought to remember is "warm
air has more ability to hold moisture than cold air." "Moisture" is water in all forms: vapor, liquid, ice, or frost. Air always has some moisture in vapor form. Moisture vapor in outside air comes from evaporation of water from lakes, rivers, and oceans. Cooling the air raises the humidity and heating the air lowers the humidity, assuming moisture is not added or removed. 
humidity (RH) is the percentage of water vapor present in the air, relative to the maximum amount of moisture the air can hold at that temperature. 
Key: 0% RHM = Dry air, 100% RH =
Saturated air 
The dew point is the point at which
moisture vapor turns to liquid. 
A mid-range (40-60%) of relative humidity
is best for health purposes. High humidity can lead to condensation and fungus growth,


 resulting in poor air quality and health problems. Low humidity may lead to respiratory infections, dryness, and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, and skin.

Prevention or Control of Moisture/Condensation

Prevention or control of moisture in the air may be accomplished by one or more of the following: 1. In the winter months, develop adequate ventilation in the attic or install a de-humidistat control with a fan in the attic.
2. Install vapor
barriers and retarders on the warm side walls, ceilings, and floors. 
Envelop the living space. 
Increase insulation in the ceiling of the top floor living space. 
Use double or triple glass and wood frame windows.

Continued on next page.



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