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Fri, Mar 14th - 6:39AM

Home Inspection Findings
One of the most common deficiencies I have found doing home inspections is problems with the building envelope. Insulation and vapour barrier concerns are common in most homes that are over 2 or 3 years old.

Insulation and vapour barrier located at the top plate of most homes is usually missing or damaged enough to make it useless in areas where tradesmen have done any work. If any items such as air conditioning, electrical, or gas lines have been added to the home, this is usually the area where the insulation and vapour barrier have been compromised and never repaired.

Another key area that most homeowners are unaware of is the attic. With the advent of blown insulation being used in most homes, attics are hardly ever used for storage as in older homes, thus no one has any reason to venture into the attic. Most problems I find in the attic are from people walking through the insulation and not replacing it, just leaving a trail of compressed and moved insulation throughout the attic. Homeowners can be the culprit here, doing some extra wiring, adding speakers or even cable TV. Tradespeople are notorious for never cleaning up behind themselves and only concentrating on the job they are being paid for. Another culprit is the over zealous home inspector who feels the need to walk around the whole attic doing damage and not repairing areas where they have moved the insulation. One company even advertised that they put a tag in each corner of the house, the only benefit there would be to the insulation company you have to bring in to repair the damage.

During one inspection the homeowner stayed with me through out the entire inspection. He was an older gentleman and was very defensive about me investigating his home for defects. When it came time to go into the attic he assured me that all was well and that he had competent contractors put up his sunroom addition to the kitchen. He was shocked to learn that they had removed his kitchen insulation during the renovation and no one had ever replaced it. He had been losing heat through his kitchen ceiling for over a year. Another case of the individual trades people only doing what they were contracted for and no one had taken responsibility for replacing the insulation. A good general contractor would have caught this ommission and had it corrected.

These are just some of the common occurances I find during the typical home inspection. These are not horror stories, just a sample of what can be found in any home where some type of work has been done affecting the building envelope.

Remember, when you are choosing a home inspector, check his qualifications. There are many community colleges that have jumped on the band wagon and are churning out "rookie home inspectors" every couple of months. I tip off is the fact that their qualification stress their "home inspections course and not their "home inspection qualifications" or "experience".

If your home inspector pulls up to your home in a small vehicle, pulls out a small folding ladder it is time to re-think your choice! Always use a Professional Home Inspector, check his qualifications and wont be sorry.
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