Non rated fire door with a window.

One of the things we look for during the garage inspection with an attached garage is the fire separation wall missing between the house and garage.  In general the wall should be drywalled (5/8 inch thick) and complete with no holes or openings through it.  Any door through the firewall should be a rated (at least 20 min) fire door.  WI firewall requirements

Non rated fire door with a window. Firewall missing. Firewall missing. Attic view directly into the house with no firewall. Firewall missing.

Additional requirements are that drywall seems should be taped and mudded with no holes or gaps through the firewall.  Joints that are not taped can be no larger than 1/20 of an inch, the approximate width of a US dime.  Doors going into the house should have a fire rating sticker present indicating the fire rating in minutes the door was tested to.  Windows are not permitted.  Checking the fire separation wall missing is something we do and is included with every home inspection.  See our website for more information on scheduling an inspection.

Foundation step cracking and movement

With the housing market as competitive as it is and many people not including the an inspection contingency as part of their offer to purchase, does it still make sense to have an inspection after closing?  In a word, yes!

While it is absolutely true that the inspection done before closing it the right way to go, it is still a valuable tool after you own it.

Peace of mind is a valuable thing.  Knowing the good, the bad and the ugly about your new home allows you to make fixes if needed now, instead of 10 years from now when you go to sell.  Things like foundation wall movement, mold in the attic, electrical issues, high levels of radon do not get better over time and can be cheaper to deal with now before they become large health and safety issues later.

We are doing more and more post occupancy inspections so call today and get the peace of mind your looking for. 

Thermal Imaging hand print

No magic here, just a difference in temperature.  Thermal imaging cameras take a picture in the infrared light band which is not visible to the naked eye.  These cameras can detect the difference in radiation that a warmer object emits vs a colder object.  The hotter an object is the more radiation it puts out.  Thermal imaging cameras can detect this temperature difference (or delta T) very accurately, usually to within .1 degrees.  They then convert those temperature differences to a color code and produce a picture.  It is sensitive enough to see the difference in temperature transferred from a handprint or a glass of water.

We use the FLIR E4 thermal camera.  This technology becomes very useful for safety issues in the main electrical panel with breakers that are close to failing or are loose and arcing as in the first two examples.  It helps to point out air lock in a radiator or prove that a well pressure tank bladder is intact and the tank is not water logged.  It can verify in-floor heating is operating or insulation damage under siding that is causing heat loss and frost forming on the interior walls.  No magic here, just a difference in temperature.  All included with our inspections!

Radon testing in progress, Sun Nuclear Model 1028

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking and if you don’t smoke, it is your leading cause of getting lung cancer.  The EPA estimates that radon kills more than 20,000 people every year.  It is naturally occurring and is produced by decaying uranium in the ground.  According to the State of WI, southeastern WI is a hotbed for radon, with estimates of between 10-40% of Southeastern WI homes having levels above the acceptable limit.

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