home inspector panama city beach: Central Humidifiers - 01/08/10 10:19 AM
    Humidifiers are devices that humidify air so that building occupants are comfortable. Central humidifiers are hard-wired into a house's plumbing and forced-air heating systems.  
What is humidity?
Humidity refers to the amount of moisture in the air. "Relative humidity" signifies the amount of moisture in the air relative to the maximum amount of water the air can contain before it becomes saturated. This maximum moisture count is related to air temperature in that the hotter the air is, the more moisture it can hold. For instance, if indoor air temperature drops, relative humidity will increase.
How do central air humidifiers … (1 comments)

home inspector panama city beach: Attic Pull-Down Ladders - 01/08/10 09:05 AM
Attic pull-down ladders, also called attic pull-down stairways, are collapsible ladders that are permanently attached to the attic floor. Occupants can use these ladders to access their attics without being required to carry a portable ladder.   Common Defects  
Homeowners, not professional carpenters, usually install attic pull-down ladders. Evidence of this distinction can be observed in consistently shoddy and dangerous work that rarely meets safety standards. Some of the more common defective conditions observed by inspectors include:
cut bottom cord of structural truss. Often, homeowners will cut through a structural member in the field while installing a pull-down ladder, unknowingly weakening … (1 comments)

home inspector panama city beach: Garbage Disposals - 01/08/10 09:01 AM
Garbage disposals are residential and commercial appliances designed to shred food waste so that it can fit through plumbing. They are usually electrically powered (although occasionally powered by water pressure) and are installed beneath sinks. Despite the convenience afforded by garbage disposals, the strain they can place on septic systems should be weighed against any potential benefits they might provide.
Why Use a Garbage Disposal?   When food waste is discarded into the trash, it will place an enormous burden on waste management systems and harm the environment. Garbage disposals reduce the severity of these problems by routing food waste into … (0 comments)

home inspector panama city beach: Chinese Drywall - 01/08/10 08:52 AM
Amidst a wave of Chinese import scares, ranging from toxic toys to tainted pet food, reports of contaminated drywall from that country have been popping up across the American Southeast. Chinese companies use unrefined "fly ash," a coal residue found in smokestacks in coal-fired power plants in their manufacturing process. Fly ash contains strontium sulfide, a toxic substance commonly found in fireworks. In hot and wet environments, this substance can offgas into hydrogen sulfide, carbon disulfide, and carbonyl sulfide and contaminate a home's air supply. The bulk of these incidents have been reported in Florida and other southern states, likely due to … (0 comments)

home inspector panama city beach: Backdrafting - 01/08/10 08:32 AM
 Backdrafting is the reverse flow of gas in the flues of fuel-fired appliances that results in the intrusion of combustion byproducts into the living space. Many fuel-fired water heaters and boilers use household air and lack an induced draft, which makes them especially vulnerable to backdrafting when indoor air pressure becomes unusually low. Inspectors should try to spot evidence of backdrafting in homes. How does backdrafting happen?   Fuel-fired water heaters, boilers, wall heaters, and furnaces are designed to exhaust the byproducts of combustion to the outdoors through a flue. These hot gases rise through the flue and exit the home … (0 comments)

home inspector panama city beach: Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters - 01/08/10 08:29 AM
Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) are special types of electrical outlets and circuit breakers designed to detect and respond to potentially dangerous electrical arcs in home branch wiring. How do they work?   AFCIs function by monitoring the electrical waveform and promptly opening (interrupting) the circuit they serve if they detect changes in the wave pattern that are characteristic of a dangerous arc. They also must be capable of distinguishing safe, normal arcs, such as those created when a switch is turned on or a plug is pulled from a receptacle, from arcs that can cause fires. An AFCI can detect, … (0 comments)

home inspector panama city beach: Adjustable Steel Columns - 01/08/10 08:24 AM
Adjustable steel columns, also known as screw jacks and beam jacks, are hollow steel posts designed to provide structural support. An attached threaded adjustment mechanism is used to adjust the height of the post.  
A few facts about adjustable steel columns:
They are usually found in basements. In some parts of North America, adjustable steel columns are called "lally columns," although this term sometimes applies to columns that are concrete-filled and non-adjustable. They can be manufactured as multipart assembles, sometimes called telescopic steel columns, or as single-piece columns. The following are potentially defective conditions:
The post is less than 3 inches in … (0 comments)


John M. Acaron


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