Author Archive for Ellyn

The Air Force Pilot That Did Not Fly

By Maggie BowersMaggie Bowers

He was following me, after I had told him to wait on the floored section of the attic. I walked out on the joists still talking to him with my back to him…he followed me and before I knew it I heard the gypsum board nails popping (weird sound). I turned from inspecting the gable vent screen to find him coming toward me, silently (on the soft insulation)…probably trying to hear what I was saying.

I yelled at him like a bad little boy “Are you on the ceiling joists? Get on the joists, the wood, there! Now!”

He hopped up like a cat and landed on the joists.

I breathed a sigh of relief. He was more than 18 feet above a hardwood floor with only a few nails and some gyp board supporting him. I didn’t tell him. I made a mental note:
#1. Do not turn your back and talk to a client, and
#2. Do not take your eyes off of your client around electric panels, attics, crawlspaces, and ladders, and
#3 Having the client and the Realtor there makes for the best Home Inspection because the client lets you know their priorities and lends you their eyes, and the Realtor keeps the client out of trouble while you complete the inspection.

Although he was a pilot for the air force; I had no interest in seeing him fly in person.

Inspection Tip – Washer Hose as Tool

By Jamey Tippens Jamey Tippens

A few years ago, some friends had a washing machine hose burst in their second-floor laundry that caused about $20,000 damage to their house. So I added a piece of boilerplate in my report that recommends the installation of reinforced washing machine hoses.

When I replaced my own washer hoses, I kept the old rubber ones. I carry one in my vehicle along with a nice big fluffy towel.

If no washer is installed at the house I’m inspecting, I screw my washer hose on the washing machine faucets to test them for leaks and to make sure that the hot and cold water lines aren’t reversed. I run a gallon or so from each faucet directly into the washer drain. This also will let me know if there is a leak in the drain pipe. The towel is necessary because this job always spills a little water. The towel also comes in handy when there’s an unexpected leak from any part of the plumbing system.

If a washer is installed, don’t even think about removing the hoses to test the system. Unless you have a truckload of towels.

Two Tips – Photographing Drywall Cracks and Organizing your Batteries

By Wilson Fausel Wilson Fausel

1) Highlighting Drywall Cracks
Often we need to photograph cracks in walls, above doors or windows but when using the flash on a camera, they may not show up. I carry a small LED flashlight, and lay it flat on the wall and then take the picture without the flash. The cracks and shadows show up quite well.

2) Keeping up with AA & AAA batteries
Keeping up with extra AA or AAA batteries for cameras and recorders can be frustrating. They get lost in the console, glove box, between the seats or sometimes magically just disappear. To keep up with the batteries, I use 3 prescription pill bottles. The small one holds 4 – 5 AAA batteries, the large one holds 6+ AA batteries and the mid sized one is for discharged batteries so I know which ones need to be recharged. On the back of each pill bottle I use 2 Velcro strips stuck to the bottle and the back of my briefcase to keep the bottles in the corner. These pill bottles have terminated the frustrating battery hunt.