Jim Ellis's (shamus) Blog

Home Inspector - Ellis Home Inspection Services
 I was recently hired to find a water / moisture problem in a condominium complex here on the Gulf Coast of Florida. We had spent countless hours tacking down wind currents, water leaks and attempting to define building techniques. On our third day I decided to use a smoke pencil to see where the...
I have recently been reminded of an old quote I first heard as a young adult  "Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. "  I'm sure most people understand the need for continuing education. At Ellis Inspection Services, we take it very seriously! You might wonder how much ...
It is very common to find squirrels have chewed on the lead plumbing vent collars on roof tops. This eventually allows rain to enter into the attic then house which is not a good thing. This home owner was creative and decided to fight the squirrels by adding aluminum foil and a gas vent hood.  
Here in Pensacola, FL and the Gulf Shores, Al area many of the homes we inspect have prefabricated fireplaces and chimney units. It is very common after a short period of time to find them sagging and rust forming on the top. It doesn't take long for that rust to work it's way through and next th...
  There is lots of controversy regarding the ventilation or the lack of ventilation in crawlspaces under homes. Locally here in Pensacola, FL and Gulf Shores, AL  I have seen only a few crawlspaces that are not vented. Of those few homes I saw which are not vented, they were not updated with a co...
During this home inspection the other day, I walked into the master bathroom to find a hair dryer, plugged in and sitting inside the sink. This is just one reason why we have safety devices. People not using their heads. I checked the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI's) circuits and found i...
    A home inspection today revealed bad news for the home. I'm sure most people are familiar with different types of stucco. For a short time in this area some builders used gypsum board (a form of sheetrock) as the exterior sheathing and installed a stucco finish coat over the outside. Typicall...
Some things don't seem to change, that is the quality of some work I've been seeing. I am wondering if perhaps it has something to do with hurricane Ivan. It's been over 3 years and some of those homes repaired are likely up for sale again. This is another picture of a poorly installed kick out f...
While entering a crawlspace during a home inspection here in Pensacola, FL I couldn't help but notice a rank odor. The odor was strong enough to pierce my breathing apparatus. It didn't take long to see someone had done some plumbing work under the home and didn't bother cleaning up. By the looks...
At an inspection yesterday all flashing and window sealants looked terrible. I expected to find lots of damage. Though I did get some elevated moisture readings, I probed to find no damage under windows or kick out flashings.Here is a picture of how someone added a kick out flashing. 

Jim Ellis

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