I suppose I could have simply said, “Your Home from Top to Bottom,” but where’s the fun in that? Cracks and leaks can occur nearly anywhere in your home. Today’s post is going to be a bit random as I’m going to talk about several different parts of the home from plumbing vent flashing and chimney flashing to issues that most commonly occur in the basement or crawl space. I’m even going to discuss the dangers of allowing your dryer hose and vent to become full of lint. So while today may seem random, please keep these thoughts in mind the next time you ask yourself whether hiring a home inspector is worth it.
Chimney and plumbing vent flashing do much more than make an unsightly hole in the roof look better. They keep that hole and all of the functioning parts from causing enormous leaks that create structural problems in your roof or walls. Cracked or otherwise damaged flashing must be repaired or replaced as quickly as possible to ensure no additional problems will be caused.
A finished basement may be easier to inspect on your own, but are you aware of potential issues that may cause problems? Some small leaks, like those most often found in plumbing lines or condensate pumps, may go on for months before they’re discovered. Many homeowners have no idea they have a leak until the home inspector finds evidence in the form of moisture where it doesn’t belong.
Unfinished Crawl Spaces
Unfinished crawl spaces in older or manufactured homes are most common areas to see exposed plumbing pipes and electrical wires, condensate pumps, and a variety of other essential systems that may leak at any given time. This is one of the worst spots to discover a leak because they’re usually difficult to pinpoint due to insulation and bottom boards. Regardless, they must be discovered and repaired in a timely manner in order to prevent serious damage to your home.
Dryer Ducts and Vents
A properly working dryer is one that dries your clothing in a sensible amount of time without overheating. You should not be able to lift the flaps covering your dryer vent on the outside of your home and see a large collection of lint. Dryer lint should be cleaned from the duct and vent at least once per year. The duct itself should be a rigid or semi rigid metal hose to prevent sagging. Many Phoenix homes still have plastic or flexible foil duct. These should be replaced at your earliest convenience.
House fires caused by the dryer account for about 4,000 home fires per year. The usual culprit is dryer lint in the vent and duct. Lint is very flammable and may become fully ignited by a single spark of static electricity.
My Final Question to You
Do you enjoy climbing on the roof or crawling underneath your home in the two-to-three foot crawlspace? Most homeowners do not, so if you answer no, you’re not alone. I’m going to assume you answered no, and recommend that you call for a home inspection so a certified professional can ensure that your home is safe and everything is working as intended. If you’re in the Phoenix area and would like a full home inspection, give me a call at PrimeSpec Consulting to schedule an appointment.