The term “grandfathered” should never come up during a home inspection

- The unintended consequence of this change was that children’s bodies could squeeze through a 5-1/2″ opening, but their heads couldn’t. The code language says Required guards shall not have openings from the walking surface to the required guard height which allow passage of a sphere 4 inches (102 mm) in diameter. The whole goal of reducing the opening from 9″ to 6″ was to prevent children from squeezing through openings and falling. There are two exceptions to this, listed under R312. If a child tried to slip through an opening body-first but their head didn’t make it, they could be strangulated. 3. . Side note: the spacing requirement isn’t exactly 4″. 1 ..More

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Camera buying advice for home inspectors

- When I find carpenter ants, I take close-up photos of them too, simply to document their presence. . I regularly use the flash along with the macro setting when taking pictures of data plates on appliances, and while taking photos of the insides of electrical panels ..More

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Mold testing vs. Moisture Testing

- Can you help me understand these two tests better and why they are separate?. . One part of your website says you do Mold testing and another part says you do Moisture testing (and the Moisture testing page does not mention mold). This is confusing to me because these two things go hand in hand ..More

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Q&A: Can electrical boxes be buried in insulation?

- Also, I happened across a great photo of a junction box buried by vermiculite insulation while looking through old photos for last week’s blog post on vermiculite insulation. . This question came up during a conversation that I was having with another home inspector during the last ASHI chapter meeting. We know that the covers for electrical boxes need to be accessible, but what if the box is located in an attic? Is it acceptable to bury the box in insulation? I said I’d research this info and get back to him, but I thought this might make for a good, short blog post topic ..More

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Lead water lines: a home inspector’s perspective

- When anyone at my company finds lead water piping, we identify its presence in our inspection reports and we tell our clients to do their own research on the topic of lead water lines. I don’t want to be the one to say whether or not lead water piping is safe, because frankly, I don’t know for sure. . If my home inspection standard of practice does not require me to report on the presence of lead water piping, does this mean I ignore it when I see it? Heck no. Not when it can be so easily identified. I used to think vermiculite insulation was safe if tested and found to contain less than 1% asbestos, but I don’t think so anymore ..More

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