Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac by Nick Gromicko and Rob London In almost all suburban and rural regions of the United States and Canada, inspectors run the risk of developing potentially debilitating, allergic symptoms from exposure to urushiol-secreting plants. This potent, clear oil causes an itching rash (called contact dermatitis) in 350,000 people
Tree Dangers by Nick Gromicko and Rob London Although trees are generally a desirable feature of home landscaping, they can pose a threat to buildings in a number of different ways. Inspectors may want to educate themselves about tree dangers so that they can inform their clients about potentially dangerous situations. Tree Roots and FoundationsContrary to popular
Solid Brick vs. Brick Veneer by Nick Gromicko and Rob London Solid brick and brick veneer structures use some of the same construction materials, but their installation techniques are different. Solid brick houses (also known as double-brick and solid masonry houses) are built from either two layers of brick, or a layer of concrete block and an adjacent layer of brick
Shrinkage Cracks in Concrete by Nick Gromicko and Kenton Shepard, InterNACHI's Director of Green Building Newly-placed concrete develops tensile stresses as differences in temperature and moisture content develop in the drying concrete. These stresses are relieved by cracking. A number of factors can influence the development of such stresses. Control of Crack Locations Control joints
TPR Valves and Discharge Piping by Nick Gromicko, Rob London and Kenton Shepard TPR (temperature pressure relief) valves are safety devices installed on water heating appliances such as boilers and domestic water supply heaters. TPRs are designed to automatically release water in the event that pressure or temperature in the water tank exceeds safe levels.
To Buy or to Rent? by Nick Gromicko and Rob London In many places where real estate advice is offered, from the Internet to advice columns and late-night infomercials, listeners and readers are told some variation of: “Across every income bracket, homeowners are rich and renters are poor.” And, on the whole, this is true; examine
The Small House Movement by Nick Gromicko and Rob London A growing number of homeowners in the U.S. are downsizing to homes smaller than 1,000 square feet, and, in some cases, smaller than 100 square feet. This transition to smaller homes, known as the Small House Movement, is adhered to by people who believe American
Home Inspection Limitations by Nick Gromicko and Kenton Shepard The Home Inspection Defined A general home inspection is a visual inspection for system and major accessible component defects and safety issues. The inspection is not technically exhaustive. A "general home inspection" and a "home inspection" are the same thing. A home inspection is designed to reflect,
Homeowners Associations by Nick Gromicko and Rob London Roughly 57 million American homeowners belong to homeowners associations (HOAs), which are elected bodies that govern the lifestyle and architectural choices of their members. Largely unregulated by state and federal laws, HOAs are essentially autonomous "mini-governments" that sometimes exert enough power to bully their residents into foreclosure.
Swimming Pool Barriers by Nick Gromicko, Rob London and Kenton Shepard An outdoor swimming pool barrier is a physical obstacle that surrounds an outdoor pool so that pool access is limited to adults. “Pool,” in this context, includes outdoor hot tubs and spas. This barrier is often referred to as “pool fencing,” although walls made