connecticut ashi certified home inspections: KERPLOW! - 08/09/09 06:28 AM
Ice is a remarkable substance. It has great strength and the ability to reshape other materials that are actually harder than the ice itself. Ice has 14 known types of crystalline structures, more than any other known substance. And let's not forget it keeps our drinks cold and the food in our summertime coolers from spoiling. Ice is great stuff!
In the winter ice on lakes and ponds is fun to skate on, but if it forms inside a house that can be big trouble. One of the reasons ice has the ability to reshape substances is that when water freezes … (15 comments)

connecticut ashi certified home inspections: Misguided Efficiency - 07/27/09 12:58 AM
An interest in Energy efficiency has again become a concern for American home owners. I say again because in 1973 an oil embargo by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) propelled the United States into an energy crisis.
One energy conserving measure then President Nixon asked of Americans was to lower their thermostats to 68 degrees. As a result of this emphasis on home energy conservation homeowners began probably for the first time to focus on making their homes more energy efficient.
One obvious area that became the focus of energy saving improvements was the attic. The majority of heat … (34 comments)

connecticut ashi certified home inspections: Spelunking Down in The Grotto - 06/29/09 11:10 PM
I had the opportunity to do a little spelunking not long ago. I must say it wasn't all that pleasant of an experience. It was extremely wet down in there and incredibly confined. You can see the water dripping from the top of the cave in the first photo.
It wasn't that large of a space, which made it hard to navigate my way through. The mud didn't help either.
The walls and ceiling were an eerie sort of yellow to green color that lent a weird glow to the place. The dripping water made tiny iridescent points through out the … (16 comments)

connecticut ashi certified home inspections: A Little Help - 06/19/09 12:03 AM
One of the most common elements on a home is the windows and doors. So common in fact I'm sure no one gives them much thought. But there are those that should give some thought to how a door is installed.
When a door or a window is put into a home the wall structure into where it's placed is compromised by the opening. The wall studs have to be cut out of the way to fit in the door or window. To strengthen the gap a "header" must be installed at the top of the opening.
A header is a … (8 comments)

connecticut ashi certified home inspections: We All Need Our Space - 06/18/09 01:04 AM
You ever feel crowded, boxed in, no room to breathe?  We all need some space around us or a comfort zone. Sometimes we want more, like when you're steaming mad because some just cut us off on the highway. Then there are times we like to very close and intimate.
With homes there are no emotions involved, instead we have rules or codes that define much of how components should be built or installed. The rules often state specific parameters for an installation.
One rule is how much space is required around electric panels. A specified amount of space is necessary … (10 comments)

connecticut ashi certified home inspections: How's it Hanging - 06/16/09 11:00 PM
If there is one part of a home that is built wrong more often than right it has to be the deck. It is almost a guarantee when there is a deck on the home there will be something wrong with some part. Sometimes it's small and sometimes it's a whopper.
An important structural component of a deck is a joist hanger. You know that metal thingy's (that's a technical term) that the wood boards rest on. Joist hangers are actually engineered by the company that produces the hanger. Because of all the technical stuff that goes into making them like … (15 comments)

connecticut ashi certified home inspections: Staring Into The Abyss - 06/15/09 10:57 PM
Sometimes during an inspection I come to a dark and uninviting part of the home. It's usually some tiny crawlspace or attic with no light. But there is one area in many homes that's usually soot black and often hard to get to, the chimney liner.
 I always try to get a look inside the chimney flue, especially when it's used for the heating system or a wood burning stove. The flue liners can become deteriorated over time from general use and abuse.
I discovered this large hole (top of first photo) on an inspection not long ago. There appeared to … (14 comments)

connecticut ashi certified home inspections: You Keep Me Hanging Out - 05/08/08 06:07 AM
I was in an attic the other day which highlighted through the deficiencies found the importance of specific design elements of these spaces.
The first photo shows roof trusses and rafters. The left side is framed with rafters supported by a beam and purlins. The purlins are installed under every third rafter. As you can see when the addition was added they did not support the end of the beam. The trusses are seen in the right half of the photo.
From the exterior large dimples could be seen where the sheathing was failing due to poor support and lack … (6 comments)

connecticut ashi certified home inspections: Don't Lock Me In - 04/25/08 05:56 AM
Door locks are something no one really thinks about when leaving their house. Lock it and leave. They are there to protect our home from unwanted visitors. But a lock can trap you in your home as well.
The door lock at the right is on the inside of the home. At first you may not notice anything unusual. The problem is the lock is keyed from the inside. This is a double keyed lock some times referred to as a jail house lock. You must use a key to get out as well as get in.
The problem, as you … (4 comments)

connecticut ashi certified home inspections: Don't Lock Me In - 04/25/08 05:54 AM
Door locks are something no one really thinks about when leaving their house. Lock it and leave. They are there to protect our home from unwanted visitors. But a lock can trap you in your home as well.
The door lock at the right is on the inside of the home. At first you may not notice anything unusual. The problem is the lock is keyed from the inside. This is a double keyed lock some times referred to as a jail house lock. You must use a key to get out as well as get in.
The problem, as you … (5 comments)

connecticut ashi certified home inspections: Where There's Soot, There's Danger - 04/15/08 08:39 AM
I was out conducting an energy audit the other day and came across this serious, potentially life threatening hazard.
I knocked on the door and the owner greeted me and let me in the home. I went to put my tools down on a table near the front entry and immediately noticed the heating register on the opposite wall. There was a black smoky stain around the perimeter of the register. Seeing a stain like this raises a big red flag.
I have often seen these stains during home inspections and mostly they have been due to dirty ductwork. The furnace will have … (4 comments)

connecticut ashi certified home inspections: What's the Surprise Inside? - 01/30/08 08:33 AM

It never ceases to amaze me what people will use to substitute for the correct component. I found this Cracker Jack lunch box used for a chimney cleanout door. Pretty inventive, fits right in the opening. Kind of lends a little retro look to the chimney, don't cha think?
I have very fond memories of Cracker Jacks. It was one of my favorite treats. I could always count on getting a box from my grandmother every time we visited her. But as any aficionado of Cracker Jacks knows, the best part is the prize inside!
This "box" of Cracker Jacks … (12 comments)

connecticut ashi certified home inspections: A Screwdriver Speaks a Thousand Words - 11/28/07 01:53 AM
A great old home inspector once remarked that a screwdriver can be the only tool you'll ever need to do home inspections. Now I wouldn't entirely agree with that, as I love my gadgets, but it certainly is one of the top weapons in the home inspector arsenal.
As you can plainly see in the photos, my screwdriver is speaking volumes on the condition of this 100 plus year old chimney. The first and most obvious problem is the mortar is completely deteriorated. It is so soft in fact that I could remove it by scraping it with my finger.
The … (7 comments)

connecticut ashi certified home inspections: A Screwdriver Speaks a Thousand Words - 11/28/07 01:49 AM
A great old home inspector once remarked that a screwdriver can be the only tool you'll ever need to do home inspections. Now I wouldn't entirely agree with that, as I love my gadgets, but it certainly is one of the top weapons in the home inspector arsenal.
As you can plainly see in the photos, my screwdriver is speaking volumes on the condition of this 100 plus year old chimney. The first and most obvious problem is the mortar is completely deteriorated. It is so soft in fact that I could remove it by scraping it with my finger.
The … (12 comments)

connecticut ashi certified home inspections: Bad Well Caps Can Cause Contamination - 11/27/07 08:31 AM
Many homes across the country rely on private wells as their water source for drinking, cooking, and bathing. Most home owners who have wells never think to routinely check their system or water quality until a problem arises. Contamination of the water, frequently from bacteria, is common but preventable.
Pictured are some possible sources for bacterial contamination. The first is a well cap that has been deliberately hidden by shrubs. Homeowners find many clever ways to hide the "ugly" well pipe in their yard not realizing they could be causing harm to their well water.
The shrub has grown around and … (5 comments)

connecticut ashi certified home inspections: Bad Well Caps Can Cause Contamination - 11/27/07 08:26 AM
Many homes across the country rely on private wells as their water source for drinking, cooking, and bathing. Most home owners who have wells never think to routinely check their system or water quality until a problem arises. Contamination of the water, frequently from bacteria, is common but preventable.
Pictured are some possible sources for bacterial contamination. The first is a well cap that has been deliberately hidden by shrubs. Homeowners find many clever ways to hide the "ugly" well pipe in their yard not realizing they could be causing harm to their well water.
The shrub has grown around and … (6 comments)

connecticut ashi certified home inspections: Why Hiring a Professional is so Important - 11/13/07 01:26 AM
Many homeowners today believe lead is no longer a concern. But recently the lead found in children's toys has rekindled awareness of this all too common toxin. Lead paint is estimated to be found in three quarters of the housing stock in the United States. Families wanting to protect their children and themselves have been buying and using home lead test kits. The problem is these kits are extremely unreliable. The best and most reliable method to test for lead is hiring a professional service outfitted with the proper testing equipment.
Below is the news release from the U.S. Consumer Product … (4 comments)

connecticut ashi certified home inspections: My Experience from the ASHI Leadership Training Conference Chicago, October 18-20, 2007 - 10/25/07 04:27 AM
By James Quarello SNEC-ASHI Education Committee Chairman
The American Society of Home Inspectors Leadership Training Conference is put on yearly by ASHI to help facilitate building strong, competent and vibrant chapter leadership. ASHI recognizes that the face of the organization is through the local chapters. As such building strong local chapters is imperative to the continued effective life of the organization.
I was honored with the request by our chapter leaders to attend this year's conference in Chicago. I had never been to LTC before and was not quite sure what to expect. I was assured it would be great and … (0 comments)

connecticut ashi certified home inspections: Steam Heating System Conversions, Not Usually a Good Practice - 10/23/07 03:01 AM
Older homes were often heated by a steam boiler and cast iron radiators. Those old radiators not only threw a lot of heat, they held it for a long time. With steam the radiator had a valve that would release a small amount of steam into the air in effect providing some humidification. These were great systems in their day and the truth is they are still quite good. But often it is thought that changing the "old" steam system to a forced hot water system is more modern and therefore better.
Changing the system is not necessarily better or more … (8 comments)

connecticut ashi certified home inspections: Steam Heating System Conversions, Not Usually a Good Practice - 10/23/07 02:46 AM
Older homes were often heated by a steam boiler and cast iron radiators. Those old radiators not only threw a lot of heat, they held it for a long time. With steam the radiator had a valve that would release a small amount of steam into the air in effect providing some humidification. These were great systems in their day and the truth is they are still quite good. But often it is thought that changing the "old" steam system to a forced hot water system is more modern and therefore better.
Changing the system is not necessarily better or more … (12 comments)

 
James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) Rainmaker large

James Quarello

Connecticut Home Inspector

Wallingford, CT

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JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

Address: Wallingford, CT, 06492

Office: (203) 887-4782

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