A Northern Virginia Home Inspector's Perspective

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Home Inspector - Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - 3380-000723



How do I know the radon mitigation system is working?I get that question all the time.Some houses have a radon mitigation system installed, which consists basically of a pipe stuck through the basement floor, connected to a vent fan which runs all the time, and a tube to blow the air outdoors.It'...
Little hole.  Big leak.It was a little hole in the TPO covering of a veranda outside a master bedroom.TPO is a Thermoplastic Olefin material, a single-membrane roof/balcony covering which is pretty tough and has a life span of 15 years or so in the sun.This veranda was 12 years old.But no single-...
Was this staining outside indicative of a problem inside?Why yes!Looking up these foundation stains were directly under a third-floor, bathroom window.  The two bathrooms abutted and shared a single drain stack which ended in the basement.The siding was new, but these stains were old and had two ...
A sofa does not a guardrail make!While that might come as a shock to some, it should not.This homeowner decided to replace the flooring in the house with new hardwood flooring.While it was a very nice job, the pesky guardrail was removed and not replaced!Instead, and why not, a sofa was purchased...
Roof truss cables must be removed.Some builders remove them and some don't.But leaving roof truss cables exposed just provides another unwanted penetration through the roof, with shingles that are never going to glue down flat. Shingles that are not flat are wind vulnerable. And leak vulnerable.A...
Be sure to check behind the furnace for possible danger.It was an older home with an older HVAC unit.The furnace was gas fueled, and needed attention.  When that is the case I always suspect the furnace flue and stack.But in this case it was very difficult to access and see.So I had to reach my c...
When a furnace blower door safety switch is taped.Your HVAC system comes with a variety of safety devices, and they are all there to increase personal safety.There is the flame roll-out sensor, the flame sensor (not the same thing), a limit switch and a serviceman's switch.  And all these are for...
A tale of two ceilings.  When a seller tries to hide a serious leak.It was the best of ceilings, it was the worst of ceilings.  It was the age of freshly repaired and painted, it was the age of foolishness.  It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.Being able to reach 8' high, ...
Ye olde duct tape dryer vent.And why not? Can you think of anything more longer lasting and flexible than duct tape?Well, except for a replacement dryer vent flap.But what's the fun in that?Who wants to be same old, same old?That cover has been there a while.  Obviously it's working!My recommenda...
Service-drop conductors way too low.  It's a drooping loop!Service conductor wiring brings electricity to the house.In older neighborhoods they are often above ground.  In newer neighborhoods they are underground.At this subject house the connection to the "telephone" pole had gotten lower and lo...

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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