Carlsbad Home Inspector Battles Rats!
It's Springtime! Steve Stenros, owner of First Choice Inspections and a CREIA-certified MCI inspector, leaves his office every morning prepared for battle. His adversary? Rodents. San Diego county is home to the wood rat. Rats carry diseases and can be a health hazard if they enter your home. They can also chew your electrical wiring creating a fire hazard.
If you have any brush within a few thousand yards of your home, you have probably had your own battle with these creatures. Steve regularly enters attic areas and crawlspaces as part of his home inspection process, and he does not enjoy coming into contact with these critters. "I once had a foot-long rat climb down an exhaust fan duct and enter the attic five feet from me!", said Steve. His home inspection report always point out the importance of keeping the vegetation around a home trimmed and neat.
Take a walk around your house. Are there tree limbs hanging over the roof? Is there shrubbery growing up against the exterior walls? Have vines or other vegetation grown into the roof eaves or obscured the gas meter, water shut-off, or electrical panel?
Vegetation growing too close to your home is an invitation for rodents and termites to enter. "A rat only needs an opening the size of a quarter to get in, a mouse needs only a dime-sized hole, and termites can enter from anywhere, but there is no need to give them a ladder!", said the Carlsbad home inspector.
Cut tree limbs back so they are at least three feet from the edge of the roof. Rats are jumpers! Tree limbs can also damage the roofing material as they sway back and forth in the wind. Examine the roof eaves and siding for any large or small holes. These openings should be patched or plugged to prevent rodents from entering. Any shrubs growing against the house should be trimmed so they have six inches of clearance when possible. Vines or other vegetation growing into the eaves can cause structural damage and should be cut back.
Maintain proper clearances in front of the electrical service panel, gas meter, and water shut-off. The minimum working space and clearance in front of an electrical panel should be 30" wide by 36" deep by 6 1/2' high. There should be no shrubbery growing in this space. The gas meter and water shut-off should be accessible in case of emergency.
Steve Stenros can be reached for appointment at 888-335-3040. As a client of First Choice Inspections, you can ask to be placed on our email list and receive our bi-weekly "Tech Tips"- simple do-it-yourself tips to beautify your home and make it more efficient. A FREE lifetime appliance RecallChek is provided with every standard home inspection.