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Indoor Air Quality

posted by david tamny certified ashi inspector Columbus, Ohio on January 13

columbus ohio indoor air quaility

Here's a situation which could easily be avoided. This dirty humidifer pad allows the return air to pick up dirt and mold spores. Humdifier pads should be changed regularly.

Water Damage

posted by david tamny certified ashi inspector on February 1

Here's an example of some basement wetness caused by a plumbing leak. While the carpet was wet, the wall appeared dry to the touch. The infrared photo shows that the water had wicked up the wall approximately 2 ft. This was confirmed with a moisture meter. This hidden damage would have been missed by most home inspectors.

Carbon Monoxide

posted by david tamny certified ashi inspector on August 3

This furnace failed its carbon monoxide test. Unsafe levels were found in the house air which indicated a crack or hole in the heat exchanger. The black deposits above are carbon. When you see carbon deposits on a furnace it is almost a sure sign that carbon monoxide is a problem. Many home inspectors do not incorporate carbon monoxide testing into their inspections. This is an item that goes beyond the ASHI Standards but is important for safety. The recommendation was to replace this 25 year old furnace.

Hot Water Boiler

posted by David tamny certified ashi inspector on july 23

Here is a photo of a 50+ year cast iron old hot water boiler with the face plate removed. Occaisionally you'll see a unit like this in a home. Few home inspectors in this area understand hot water heat. Although boilers like this can have 50 year life spans, they often lack proper controls and maintenance. A major drawback is that central air conditioning cannot be installed without a seperate air handler and ductwork which is a huge expense. Ultimately these factors should be reflected in the value of the home. Central air conditioning is almost a given in 2007 where it didn't exist in 1955.

Visual Inspection

posted by david tamny certified ashi inspector on july 20

Occasionally I run into a home where someone hasn't thrown anything away in years. These are the types of situations you hear about on the news. A home inspection is a visual inspection which is affected by accessibility to systems and components. Amazingly enough there is generally a buyer for every home, but it takes a special person to see beyond the clutter.

Flat Roofing

posted by David tamny certified ashi inspector on July 17

This is a flat ballasted EPDM roof. It is a rubber membrane held down with small rocks used primarily in commercial applications. The roofing itself is not fastened mechanically like other rubber membranes. Because of the ballast evaluation of the membrane itself is very difficult. Leaks are almost always present somewhere on flat roofing and it takes a keen eye to find where problems may be present.

Aluminum Wiring

posted by David tamny certified ashi inspector on July 10

On the left you can see some silver colored wiring. This is aluminum wiring and is highly dangerous. Aluminum wiring generally is found in homes built between 1965 and 1973. I have personally seen smoke and sparks coming from panel boxes due to loose connections and have seen homes that have had fires. Repairs are generally quite expensive. Even electricians are not always knowledgeable and may minimize the safety hazards. An excellent publication is available from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission Click on the link to learn more.

Leaky Sliding Door

posted by David tamny certified ashi inspector on July 4

One critical area for home inspectors to check is where sliding doors meet exterior decks. Leakage is all too common. In this case the subfloor had rotted and carpenter ants had infested the structure.


posted by David tamny certified ashi inspector on june 27

Here's an interesting situation where termites had been tunneling behind the drywall paper. It was a small bubbling at the drywall. Further investigation revealed extensive termite activity. A chimney had been leaking and the moisture provided the environment which attracted the wood destroying insects. Years ago lenders required a termite inspection to make a loan. Now it is optional in many cases. Many buyers think that they are being smart shoppers by deciding to save money and forgo the Wood Destroying Inspect Inspection. Penny wise and pound foolish.

moldy attic

posted by David tamny certified ashi inspector on June 23

Mold growing at the underside of attic sheathing is an all too common problem. This is generally caused by excessive humidity in the attic and a lack of ventilation. Bath fans discharging directly into the attic, overuse of humidifiers and insufficient roof ventilation are all contributing factors. Some inspectors may try too sell you a mold test. If you have this condition you can skip the test and go directly to remediation. It doesn't matter what kind of mold it is. The excessive moisture needs to be removed. Options for mitigation could include cleaning and treatment of the contaminated plywood or outright removal of the roof coverings and discarding the contaminated sheathing. That depends on severity, accessibility and the age of the roof. Either way it is usually a significant expense. All work should be done by reputable contractors with certification in mold mitigation. Bleach is never the answer.

leaking roof flashing

posted by David tamny certified ashi inspector on June 22

This chimney showed signs of recent drywall repair. When repairs have been made just prior to the inspection the question in the buyers mind is has the condition been fixed? In a standard inspection performed to minimum standards the question often cannot be answered. Water seeks the path of least resistance and can leak even where problems are not visually apparent. In this situation I used a garden hose with a sprayer designed to simulate a typical rainfall. Within a few minutes leakage was obvious. Moisture meters were ineffective in this circumstance because dry weather conditions prevailed prior to the inspection. Recent repairs also concealed any evidence of problems.

David Tamny is a Registered Architect and an ASHI Certified Home Inspector with over 15 years of home inspection experience. He will provide a competent and thorough evaluation of the condition of the systems and components of a home. Life expectancy, materials used, construction quality, and deferred maintenance are some of the considerations of the inspection.

Professional Property Inspection provides residential and commercial inspection services performed by an ASHI Certified Home Inspector throughout Central Ohio, including but not limited to: Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Delaware, Licking, Hocking, Madison, Perry, Pickaway, Union counties.

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