home inspections: Ask the Inspector: Plumbing - 01/04/11 03:07 AM
The plumbing in your home is an essential and often overlooked system that provides clean water and proper collection and transportation of waste water. Today, water-supply systems utilize a network of high-pressure pumps and pipes made of copper, brass, plastic, steel or other nontoxic materials.
Due to the complexity of these systems, it is a good idea to have them inspected for potential problems before you buy a home. A qualified professional can provide a visual inspection of any bathtubs, showers, pipes, toilets, sinks, etc. The inspector will determine the type of pipe and look over the visible piping for evidence … (1 comments)

home inspections: Furnace Maintenance - 10/25/10 08:12 AM
It's that time of the year again...time to turn on your heat or get your heat ready for use when cooler weather strikes!
Your heating equipment should be routinely checked by a qualified professional on an annual basis. However; there are also key maintenance checks you should perform on your heating equipment.
Maintain records to keep track of maintenance checks and requirements. Change the filter as required, once every other month or more frequently, depending on the variables in your home. Look for water leaks or changes in the system. Check the drain lines to make sure they are clear and … (0 comments)

home inspections: Foundation Maintenance - 08/09/10 01:51 AM
In addition to having your foundation inspected by a qualified professional, there are also important foundation must-knows and must-dos that home owners should be familiar with.
Understand the type of foundation that supports your home Protect your foundation from water damage by never allowing water to pool around it Protect your foundation (and the rest of your home) from insects Understand the basic structure of your home Never modify or remove structural framing without an expert's advice Excessive cracking or movement may indicate potential problems that need to be further investigated Keep gutters clean to prevent plugging and overflowing of downspouts … (1 comments)

home inspections: Ask the Inspector: Foundations - 07/20/10 02:44 AM
How can you be assured that your foundation is in tact?
There are many types of foundations but all of them serve the same purpose as the supporting structure for a home. During an exterior inspection, a qualified professional will assess the condition of your home's foundation.
Solid foundations include rock, block, concrete, brick or wood. Other houses are held up by a system of piers or columns placed strategically around and within the house perimeter. On some buildings the foundation is so low to the ground that the floor joists are sitting in the dirt.
Once your home's foundation type is noted, … (0 comments)

home inspections: Pool Safety - 07/06/10 03:08 AM
Summer is obviously the most popular season for swimming pools. Routine maintenance is important for any swimming pool equipment. Here are some must know/must do items regarding swimming pools.
Hire a service contractor to routinely check equipment Establish a maintenance routine based on your pool equipment Maintain chemical balance, treatment and water chemistry Keep records on maintenance and water chemistry Routinely check for leaks at piping and other systems  Regularly change or clean filters and screens Never allow children to use the pool without adult supervision An electronic or automated safety monitoring system should be installed to detect water movement when … (1 comments)

home inspections: Inspect Your Deck - 06/28/10 02:33 AM
How do you check if your deck is built according to correct safety standards?
Building a deck is a popular project often done by do-it-yourselfers. Unfortunately, not all decks are built soundly. A deck inspection includes checking the support posts, railings and decking boards to ensure it is in proper condition and safe.
Here are some key points to look for during a deck inspection:
Deck built immediately below electrical wires or over an air-conditioning/heat pump unit Warped or fractured wood support posts Deteriorated masonry posts Missing support posts Support posts that are sinking into the ground Deck securely attached to house or independently … (3 comments)

home inspections: What to do when your Air Conditioning is taking a break - 06/08/10 04:04 AM
If your home's inside temperature is feeling more like the warm outside temperature, it could be a problem with the air conditioning system. What should you do when there is no air conditioning working in your home?
Check the thermostat. Is it set to "cooling" or "AC?" Is it set lower than the room temperature indicated on the dial or screen? If it's a digital thermostat, is the battery dead? Check the on/off switch on the side of the furnace or near the furnace. The furnace distributes air for the air conditioner and must be on. Is the disconnect switch outside … (1 comments)

home inspections: Don't Sweat It This Summer - 05/18/10 01:54 AM
Long, hot days are just around the corner. And the last thing you want to do is step inside a warm house because of its cooling system problems. How do you know if your cooling system is in good condition for the summer months?
The mechanical systems of a home or commercial property can be extensive. Heating and cooling equipment can include indoor and outdoor equipment, fans and a duct system running to each room of the home or business. A qualified inspector will examine visible components of the heating and cooling system as part of a general inspection.
The inspector will review the age and condition … (1 comments)

home inspections: Inspecting Windows & Doors - 04/20/10 01:00 AM
Windows and doors in a commercial or residential property are important for aesthetics, safety and energy efficiency. Understanding the type, function and condition of the windows and doors can help determine future maintenance projects. How do you determine the condition of your windows and doors for maintenance purposes?
A qualified professional will assess the condition and safety of doors and windows on the exterior and interior of the home. The first thing the inspector will note on the exterior is the type of front door. The inspector will observe the door's condition to see if it is warped, split or scratched, and if the glass … (0 comments)

home inspections: Utility Room Appliances - 04/05/10 02:36 AM
How do you check if your utility room appliances are working properly and are safe? While the washing machine and clothes dryer often leave the house with the seller, certain safety checks in the utility room can still be made regardless. 
A qualified home inspector will first check if the clothes dryer's appliance hose connection is secure. The inspector will then check if the vent piping, from the dryer to the vent exit, is in good condition. The vent exit is where the dryer vent ends, and it must vent outside. The inspector will verify that the vent terminates outside and that the outside … (0 comments)

home inspections: Keep Your Kitchen in Top Condition - 03/08/10 01:21 AM
The kitchen is one room in the house that can make or break a sale. There are many components to a kitchen and it is important to keep them in top operating condition. A qualified property inspector will inspect the various components of the kitchen as part of a general home inspection.
The kitchen sink is an important part of the inspection. The inspector will check for leaks around the handles and spout of the faucet, for good flow of water from the spout and that the faucet isn't leaking under the sink. The inspector will also check if the sink is in … (1 comments)

home inspections: Inspecting the Attic - 02/04/10 03:35 AM
When was the last time you went in your attic? Or maybe you've never even seen it? There are a lot of things that could be happening in your attic that you might be unaware of, such as pest infestation, leaks, sagging, lack of insulation, etc. By having a professional inspect the attic, you could catch any potential problems before they become bigger concerns.
An attic inspection is part of a general home inspection. The first thing a professional will check is the sheathing and rafters. The inspector will note any obvious cracks or sagging in the supporting structure and check … (1 comments)

home inspections: No hot water? No problem! - 01/12/10 01:15 AM
Scenario: You wake up on a cold winter morning to take a hot shower and you realize that there is no hot water. What do you do? Here are some steps to help you try to solve your no hot water problems.
If you have a gas water heater, check the pilot light. If you smell gas, turn off the gas supply to the water heater and call for service. If you don't smell gas and feel comfortable doing so, you may attempt to re-light the pilot by following the instructions on the water heater. Check to make sure the gas … (0 comments)

home inspections: Inspecting the Electrical System - 12/29/09 12:41 AM
The service-entrance panel is the heart of the electrical system because it is where all circuits start. This panel must be in good operating condition for the rest of the home's electrical system to work properly.
A qualified professional can perform a visual assessment of the home's electrical system as part of a general home inspection. The first thing the inspector will note is the location of the service panel, the condition of the panel, its functionality based on the number of appliances, its estimated age and capacity.
Indoors, the inspector will survey the light fixtures and electrical outlets. Where visible, the inspector assesses wires … (2 comments)

home inspections: Ask the Inspector: Heating Systems - 11/16/09 01:06 AM
Combustion appliances or mechanical systems, including fireplaces, gas stoves and gas heating systems, produce by-products that need to be removed using a system of vents or flues known as an exhaust system.
To function properly, exhaust systems must be free of holes, cracks or rust. They should be installed so that combustion products are carried out of the house before cooling and condensation occurs. (Warm gas is more easily moved from one place to another.)
Proper ventilation also requires enough fresh air entering the system to prevent backdrafting. Backdrafting occurs when the combustion gases flow back indoors instead of moving outdoors … (1 comments)

home inspections: Ask the Inspector: Handrails & Guardrails - 10/05/09 03:30 AM
A handrail is a support that people can hold on to while going up or down steps. A guardrail is a barrier around decks, landings or balconies that keeps people from falling off.
For safety reasons, handrails and guardrails should be inspected to ensure that they are installed correctly. Inspecting the handrail and guardrail of all interior and exterior stairs is part of a general home inspection. During the inspection, a professional will check stairs for even rise and run, properly separated balustrades, adequate spacing on landings and sufficient headroom.
An inspector will assess each of the exterior and interior staircases for … (0 comments)

home inspections: Foreclosure Properties - 09/14/09 01:57 AM
Foreclosure properties provide new opportunities for home buyers, whether it is for first-time home buyers, home buyers looking for a bigger home or second-home buyers purchasing a vacation home.
There are many improvements and repairs necessary when preparing a foreclosure property. Here are some key areas:
Exterior Paint: Peeling paint is one of the most common problems associated with foreclosure properties. Refreshing the exterior paint as a first step helps attract the interest of renters and buyers to the outside of the home while repairs inside the home are still being completed. Landscaping: Foreclosure properties may have overgrown lawn, trees and … (0 comments)

home inspections: Ask the Inspector: Gutters - 09/04/09 02:13 AM
The purpose of guttering is to collect rainwater off a roof and send it away from the house. Inspecting the gutters is a part of a general home inspection.
The first thing an inspector will check is the downspouts. The downspout sections must be solidly connected to each other and to the building to hold the heavy weight of the water running through them. The water flow at the bottom should be diverted away from the building. The NPI inspector will walk under the guttering to observe if any seams appear to be broken.
One of the biggest problems with guttering is … (1 comments)

home inspections: Ask the Inspector: Exterior Siding - 07/21/09 02:04 AM
Siding is a key part to the exterior inspection. Because siding is highly visible, its condition is a big factor in the salability of the house. Siding is designed to protect the house from rain, snow, wind, cold and/or heat. When it cannot keep the elements out, energy bills sky-rocket and the house structure is exposed to decay.
A qualified property inspector will inspect your home's siding as a part of a general home inspection. An inspector will first note the type of siding on your home (brick, vinyl, stucco, exterior plywood, etc.). A professional will then check the condition of … (0 comments)

home inspections: National Property Inspections Offers New Hampshire Real Estate Continuing Ed Course - 07/02/09 04:23 AM
National Property Inspections (NPI) offers a new real estate education course approved by the New Hampshire Real Estate Commission for continuing education credit toward license renewal. The NPI education course is designed to familiarize agents and brokers with the home inspection process and how the process fits into a home sale.
The approved education course: "Home Inspection 101 for Real Estate Professionals" accounts for one hour of continuing education credit.
"Home Inspection 101 for Real Estate Professionals" educates agents with general information regarding a home inspection and the home inspection process.
For information on home inspections, commercial property inspections or to locate an inspector in … (0 comments)


M. Murphy

Omaha, NE

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National Property Inspections

Office: (800) 333-9807

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A discussion of the home inspection and commercial building inspection industry. Home maintenance tips for consumers.




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