PHOTO GALLERY 2022-08-22T23:40:57+00:00

Electrical Exposed

Most of a home’s electrical system is concealed, but one place where non-professional work may often be visible is in the basement. Here we find unsafe installations such as exposed wire nut connections and even bare, live wires. As part of a home inspection, we always observe visible wiring in the basement and remove the cover of the electric panel to inspect its interior condition. We test ground fault interrupt outlets and at least one electrical receptacle in every room.
©2004 J. May

Main Beam Cut

The main beam usually runs the entire length or width of a home and supports much of the load of all the floors and walls. Notching out most of the beam is definitely not the way to get more headroom. The joists, which support the floor and which rest on top of the beam, are often the victim of a contractor who may feel that a particular joist is nothing more than wood in the way of a pipe or cable. We look at the visible structure in a home, but we are not engineers and most of the structure is concealed. If we have concerns, we may recommend further investigation by a structural engineer.
©2004 J. May

Covered Chimney

Occupants in this home were concerned about rain water dripping into the fireplace, so they asked a handyman to correct the problem. He went onto the roof and covered both chimney flues with a sheet of plastic, held down by two pairs of bricks. Unfortunately, one of the flues was in use for the gas-fired water heater in the basement. Combustion products and moisture from the back-drafting water heater filled the basement. On a home inspection, JMHI looks for visible, dangerous combustion conditions but we do not test for the “air quality.”
©2004 J. May

Discolorations in Home Siding

We often see reddish-brown stains on the siding of homes, as depicted in this photograph. This discoloration, in the shape of drips, is always the sign of some type of moisture problem. Often in New England, the stains are a remnant of ice dam, but occasionally, they are the exterior sign of serious, concealed wood decay. This is why we always looks very carefully for stains on siding. A home inspection cannot determine for certain the presence or extent of the decay, but should alert you to the potential problem and what steps you can take to investigate further.
©2004 J. May

Determining the presence of pests is not part of a Home Inspection. Some Buyers wait to see off I see any signs of wood boring insects, and other will hire an independent Pest Inspector to check house during the Home Inspection.Termites can do a lot of structural damage to a house. This photo shows termites at work. Termites live in an underground nest and commute regularly between that nest and their food source: Your House. They are the size of a small rice grain and have no exo-skeleton They avoid the sun for fear of drying out.

If they due venture into the open air in search of new opportunities, they construct hollow tunnels out of sand to travel in. The brown vertical strip on that floor joist is such a “shelter tube”

Sometimes they head out into the open air looking for more wood in these hollow stalactites. For whatever reason, these guys abandoned their trip early

Because they avoid daylight, a piece of wood could look perfectly fine on the surface, but reveal extensive damage once the surface is probed

If you see a patched hole in a masonry walkway, entry landing, driveway, patio, etc. that looks like this

Or this…

Or this, it indicates that the property was treated for termites at some point in the past

Wood “test stakes” at the exterior perimeter indicate that the property is (or was) being monitored for termite activity

Discs such as this, typically placed about 6 to 8 feet apart at the exterior perimeter, are another form of treatment/monitoring for termites. Obtain all paperwork from the seller regarding the treatment, damage, if the treatment is still under warranty

Outside of the kitchen, it’s never a good thing to find mushrooms in the house. These macro-fungi indicated wet conditions, and they can actually digest wood. Unlike many molds that live on surface dust and represent mostly a health concern, these fungi can do structural damage

This deck railing was rotted through at this location

Here are mushrooms growing out of baseboards in a basement. The culprits are always high moisture and an available food source like wood. I once did an inspection of a condominium complex near the ocean. They had hand-sized mushrooms growing out from the wood clapboard exterior. When they removed the siding, I could grab chunks of the main corner support post out with my hand! Needless to say, repairs were hugely expensive. Since then I have referred to that luxury condo complex as “Portobello-By-The-Sea”.

Yes, this is an actual building that is still in use by various shops and offices. I was driving by and had to take a picture. While i was there a woman came out the door. She said it took awhile, but she finally got used to pushing her chair uphill so she could get up from her desk!

You are looking at a set of basement stairs. The square thing on the left wall is the back of the refrigerator. I guess it was too big for its place in the kitchen so they just removed the wall! If someone slams the door too hard, they’ll be getting their food in the basement from then on

Ladies, if you go out with a guy, and he brings you to his basement apartment and you see this on the wall….RUN!!

You can imagine my surprise when I stepped into this rural garage and saw this fellow peeking over some stored goods. I froze. He did to. He froze a little too long though, and I realized he was stuffed. I have never smoked, but I almost started!

Home Inspectors are not responsible for the condition of the chimney flues. Most of it is not visible, and inspecting that is best done by a qualified Chimney Sweep. We do look at whatever we can, however. In the floor of many fireplaces there is a small door that allows you to sweep ashes down into a large chamber in the bottom of the chimney. Occasionally the ashes can be removed by opening the “clean-out” door at the base of the chimney. This is a picture of the underside of the floor of the chimney while looking up from that clean-out door. The small rectangle in the middle is the ash-pit door in the fireplace floor. As you can see, however, the builder left the plywood form in place after the floor was installed. You cannot have a combustible material directly under the fireplace. If you do…..

….this could happen. Here someone probably swept an hot ember don the ash-pit door and it contacted the old wood plank form boards and charred it. This could have caused a major fire if it burned further in any direction

Knob and Tube type wiring recently found in an attic. This is the original residential wiring in the country. It is considered unsafe for a variety of reasons, and was phased out in the mid-30s. Most insurance companies will not provide Home Insurance unless this is disconnected and physically removed. Depending on the extent of this in the home, this can be very expensive.

Maybe they should have cut this tree down about 40 years ago?. Just one of the many issues with this garage. Definitely a “tear down”.