Home Inspector near Me

Top 7 Maintenance Tips To Keep Your Gas Furnace Running

Your gas furnace needs to do you justice and serve you several years before you think about replacement or repair. However, they will not take care of themselves unless you begin maintaining them and checking up on them frequently. If it is dirty, you as the user are supposed to know when to clean it .Taking into concern your furnace is the only way to avoid spending on it each and every season.

 

If have been buying a new furnace each season, its time you stopped. The following tips on maintenance will help your gas furnace remain in good condition for more years:

 
 

Ensure you are working under safe conditions

 

Gas appliances can strike anytime, ensure you exercise safety measures .Before you begin cleaning and checking your gas furnace and turn it off. Ensure the power system and any circuits connecting to the furnace are off. Check for gas leaks before you begin cleaning. Gas leaks can be very dangerous and can cause fatal accidents. If there are leaks, request a professional to fix the problem. Stay far away from the gas until it is fixed. Once everything is perfect, proceed with your cleaning.

 

Clean and replace the filter system

 

The filter system is one major part of a gas furnace because it prevents dirt from entering the furnace. It is recommended that every gas furnace owner replace or clean the filter continuously depending on the use. This is because it filters and traps dust, dirt and other debris. Check the filter and see if it has accumulated lots of dirt. If it is completely clogged, consider doing a replacement. They are sold at an extremely affordable price. Change the air filter and prevent your gas furnace from malfunctioning.

 
 

Check the thermostat

 

Are you setting your thermostat but still feel uncomfortable around the room? If yes, know that there is a problem with your thermostat especially if it has been working for many years. Chances are your thermostat has stopped working and needs to be replaced. Check the thermostat and ensure it’s in proper condition and replace it when need be.

 

Clean the blower

 

When cleaning the filter system, the blower assembly should be next on line. The blower is located right after the air filter. The little dust, dirt and debris that penetrates through the air filter goes to the blower. You will have to clean the blower, pulleys and belts in order to remove the accumulated dirt. Remove the panels that cover the filter to access the blower assembly. Use a damp cloth while cleaning the blower.

 

Clean or repair furnace ducts

 

Furnace ducts are prone to damages especially when using a forced-air furnace. In such a case, one is required to clean ducts frequently using a high-powered vacuum cleaner. Once you have finished, cover all ducts to prevent air from leaking into the furnace.

 

Clean the vents

 

Gas furnaces are hooked with a venting system. This ventilation at some point can block due to large amounts of dust and debris. Blocked ventilation is dangerous and can cause lots of hazards to the users. Using a large brush, clean all the vents .begin by removing the vent cover and clean the inside using the vacuum cleaner.

 

Fan inspection

 

To avoid experiencing problems with your gas furnace, a thorough inspection will be helpful. Inspection done by professionals will save you all the costs to spend on repairing parts of the gas furnace. Besides a general inspection, its fan components should also be checked. An inspection will reveal whether there are dust and other components on it. Make it a routine to take your gas furnace for a thorough inspection yearly.

 

Cleaning and maintaining a gas furnace is not much of a task or challenge. It is also not very expensive to maintain a gas furnace. You will encounter fewer expenses and perhaps never have to buy another gas furnace. Do not let dirt and debris prevent you from cleaning your gas furnace. You have no reason to request a professional anytime you experience problems with your furnace. Ensure you play it safe. Get the most out of your gas furnace by adhering to the above maintenance tips.

 

Contact Us at Zinc Inspections if you have any questions or concerns about your property:

778-835-5381

info@zincinspections.com

Home Inspector Vancouver Bc

Rain screen – The Solution to a Leaky Condo

 
 

Leaky Condos

 

The term ‘leaky condo’ is pretty specific to the lower mainland and refers to many of the condo buildings built between the late 1980s and mid-1990s, though not limited to this era.

It came about due to a construction boom that was occurring at that time. Designers from other parts of the world, namely California, were brought to the lower mainland to help keep up with the demand for buildings.

The issue with the design during this time, in easy terms, is that moisture would not be allowed to vacate the wall cavity. Instead, it would remain in the wall cavity which would cause rot, mold, or other structural issues over time.

A new wall assembly system was developed which commonly referred to as Rain Screen.

 
 

Rain screen – The Solution to a Leaky Condo

 

This type of wall system essentially, again in easy terms, allows moisture that either penetrates or remains within the wall system, to escape through a gap.

This gap also allows air to circulate, so that it can reduce the chance of rot forming from consistent contact with moisture.

 
 
 

How Can I tell if a Building is Rain screened?

 

You can easily tell if a building has a rain screen by feeling under the exterior wall. If you feel a gap under it, likely it’s been updated with a rain screen.

Another way to figure out of a building is rain screened, is to observe the exterior wall. If there are what appear to be ‘sections’ separated by flashing, it’s likely been rain screened. The key is to look for that gap under the wall.

Horizontal plank-style cladding, such as vinyl, wood, or hardiboard, naturally act as a rain screen based on how it was installed. They will already have air gaps underneath the material due to the nature of the ‘plank’ style of cladding.

 
 

Risks of not having Rain screen

 

If a condo unit has not been rain-screened, then you can expect some talk of it in the strata minutes going forward. Because it is quite an expensive bill, it is important that when you are considering purchasing a building without rain-screen that you take a good hard look at the contingency reserve fund. To add the rain-screen they will most likely take a portion out of the contingency and special levy the rest to the owners, so you could possibly expect a very large bill going forward. If you’re looking at a building older than 2006, always make sure to check whether it’s been rain-screened.

 

Contact Us at Zinc Inspections if you have any questions or concerns about your property:

778-835-5381

info@zincinspections.com

Home Inspector Vancouver Bc

Watch Out For Buried Oil Tanks!

As a homeowner, knowing what could be hidden beneath your home is just as important as what you can see on the surface. What many new property owners often don’t realize, however, is that there could be an old oil tank still buried underground, which could pose a serious hazard to the environment and their family’s safety. Take a look at just some of the dangers of hidden oil tanks and what you can do to make sure there’s not one buried underneath your home.

 
 

Tanks were often installed at least 2 feet below ground outside the house to conserve space, minimize the impact of leakage and reduce the risk of fire. The life of a buried oil tank is roughly 10 to 20 years, depending on several factors. It will eventually rust and leak.

If you’re considering buying or have recently purchased a home built prior to 1960, it’s a good idea to call in a certified home inspector to perform an oil tank sweep of the property. That way, you can know for sure whether or not there is an underground oil tank that could potentially cause you problems, headaches, and financial burdens down the road. We, at Zinc Inspections can help you identify and properly deal with such issues.

Implications

 

The leakage of fuel oil from a buried tank is an environmental concern. However, most inspectors at least tell their clients that they don’t comment on underground oil tanks, and many report evidence of a possible buried tank including tank fill and vent lines outside, and fuel supply and return lines inside, although this is beyond the scope of the inspection. Removal of a tank is a significant expense. It may cost tens of thousands of dollars to clean up contaminated soil.

 
 
 

Remove Abandoned Tanks

 

Homeowners converting from oil to another fuel usually have to remove the tank or have it properly abandoned, since most jurisdictions will not allow it to be just left in place. Any soil contamination needs to be cleaned up at the time of tank removal.

 

Strategy

 

Oil tank fill and vent pipes that enter the ground outside rather than pass through the walls of the house may be connected to a buried tank. Pipes that pass through the walls of the house likely connect to an indoor tank, (e.g., in the basement or a crawlspace). Inside tanks can be out in the open or concealed in a closet or partitioned off.

 

Locate Tank

 

Try to find the oil tank inside the house first. Tanks are typically near the area where the fill and vent pipes go through the house wall. If the tank cannot be found in the basement, check any crawlspaces.

 

Follow Supply Line

 

If possible, follow the copper fuel supply (and return if applicable) line back from the burner. Fuel lines should be buried in or below concrete slab floors (sometimes a patched trench is noted) or embedded in mortar that fills the joint between the foundation and floor. If the fuel line goes through the wall, there may be a buried tank.

 

Contact Us at Zinc Inspections if you have any questions or concerns about your property:

778-835-5381

info@zincinspections.com

Home Inspector Vancouver Bc

Common Problems with Aluminum Wiring

Aluminum wiring was commonly used from the mid-1960s until about1978. It was introduced because it was less expensive than copper. It was recognized from the start that aluminum wiring is not quite as good a conductor of electricity as is copper. As a result, 12-gauge aluminum was used in place of 14-gauge copper for a 15 amp household circuit.

 
 

Other wire sizes were also suitably increased. This was fine.

Some other properties of aluminum, however, were not recognized and did cause problems. Firstly, aluminum has a higher coefficient of thermal expansion than copper. This means that when the wire heats up (as all wire does when electricity flows) the aluminum tends to expand more than copper. This leads to the wire trying to move out from under the terminal screws at connections. This phenomenon is called “creep” and can lead to poor connections and subsequent overheating.

Secondly,

 

Aluminum is softer than copper, and electricians used to working with copper would often nick aluminum wiring inadvertently. Nicking the wire, of course, reduces its diameter, and its ability to carry electricity. Localized hot spots can develop where the wire has been nicked. Further, if the wire is bent after it has been nicked, it will often break.

 

Lastly,

 

The oxide of aluminum that forms on the wire is a very poor electrical conductor. All metals rust or oxidize. The greenish copper oxide that forms on copper wiring is no problem because it is a good electrical conductor. The oxide that forms on aluminum can lead to higher resistance and higher temperatures.

 

Where special devices or connectors have not been provided for aluminum, they should be added. It is often difficult to know whether the small twist-on connectors are appropriate. The safest thing is to replace them with those known to be appropriate. For example, the small twist-on connectors are so small that they are not marked CU-AL. They are now coded, but on older ones, it is difficult to know whether or not they are appropriate. Since they only cost a few cents each, it makes sense to replace them with those known to be the correct type. Some experts do not consider twist-on connectors to be appropriate for use with aluminum wire.

The examination of every electrical connection in the home is not part of a home inspection. The provision of special aluminum compatible connectors is not an expensive undertaking. We recommend that the specialist check all the devices in the home of aluminum wiring and make improvements as needed. Aluminum wires that show evidence of overheating should be further investigated by a specialist. There may or may not be a significant problem. Connections on large gauge aluminum wires are typically coated with a special grease to premising vent corrosion. Where this is missing, aluminum oxide may build up and the wires may overheat.

 

Contact Us at Zinc Inspections if you have any questions or concerns about your property:

778-835-5381

info@zincinspections.com

Home Inspector Vancouver Bc

Watch Out For Buried Oil Tanks!

As a homeowner, knowing what could be hidden beneath your home is just as important as what you can see on the surface. What many new property owners often don’t realize, however, is that there could be an old oil tank still buried underground, which could pose a serious hazard to the environment and their family’s safety. Take a look at just some of the dangers of hidden oil tanks and what you can do to make sure there’s not one buried underneath your home.

 
 

Tanks were often installed at least 2 feet below ground outside the house to conserve space, minimize the impact of leakage and reduce the risk of fire. The life of a buried oil tank is roughly 10 to 20 years, depending on several factors. It will eventually rust and leak.

If you’re considering buying or have recently purchased a home built prior to 1960, it’s a good idea to call in a certified home inspector to perform an oil tank sweep of the property. That way, you can know for sure whether or not there is an underground oil tank that could potentially cause you problems, headaches, and financial burdens down the road. We, at Zinc Inspections can help you identify and properly deal with such issues.

Implications

 

The leakage of fuel oil from a buried tank is an environmental concern. However, most inspectors at least tell their clients that they don’t comment on underground oil tanks, and many report evidence of a possible buried tank including tank fill and vent lines outside, and fuel supply and return lines inside, although this is beyond the scope of the inspection. Removal of a tank is a significant expense. It may cost tens of thousands of dollars to clean up contaminated soil.

 
 
 

Remove Abandoned Tanks

 

Homeowners converting from oil to another fuel usually have to remove the tank or have it properly abandoned, since most jurisdictions will not allow it to be just left in place. Any soil contamination needs to be cleaned up at the time of tank removal.

 

Strategy

 

Oil tank fill and vent pipes that enter the ground outside rather than pass through the walls of the house may be connected to a buried tank. Pipes that pass through the walls of the house likely connect to an indoor tank, (e.g., in the basement or a crawlspace). Inside tanks can be out in the open or concealed in a closet or partitioned off.

 

Locate Tank

 

Try to find the oil tank inside the house first. Tanks are typically near the area where the fill and vent pipes go through the house wall. If the tank cannot be found in the basement, check any crawlspaces.

 

Follow Supply Line

 

If possible, follow the copper fuel supply (and return if applicable) line back from the burner. Fuel lines should be buried in or below concrete slab floors (sometimes a patched trench is noted) or embedded in mortar that fills the joint between the foundation and floor. If the fuel line goes through the wall, there may be a buried tank.

 

Contact Us at Zinc Inspections if you have any questions or concerns about your property:

778-835-5381

info@zincinspections.com

 
 
Home Inspector Vancouver Bc

Rain screen – The Solution to a Leaky Condo

 
 

Leaky Condos

 

The term ‘leaky condo’ is pretty specific to the lower mainland and refers to many of the condo buildings built between the late 1980s and mid-1990s, though not limited to this era.

It came about due to a construction boom that was occurring at that time. Designers from other parts of the world, namely California, were brought to the lower mainland to help keep up with the demand for buildings.

The issue with the design during this time, in easy terms, is that moisture would not be allowed to vacate the wall cavity. Instead, it would remain in the wall cavity which would cause rot, mold, or other structural issues over time.

A new wall assembly system was developed which commonly referred to as Rain Screen.

 
 

Rain screen – The Solution to a Leaky Condo

 

This type of wall system essentially, again in easy terms, allows moisture that either penetrates or remains within the wall system, to escape through a gap.

This gap also allows air to circulate, so that it can reduce the chance of rot forming from consistent contact with moisture.

 
 
 

How Can I tell if a Building is Rain screened?

 

You can easily tell if a building has a rain screen by feeling under the exterior wall. If you feel a gap under it, likely it’s been updated with a rain screen.

Another way to figure out of a building is rain screened, is to observe the exterior wall. If there are what appear to be ‘sections’ separated by flashing, it’s likely been rain screened. The key is to look for that gap under the wall.

Horizontal plank-style cladding, such as vinyl, wood, or hardiboard, naturally act as a rain screen based on how it was installed. They will already have air gaps underneath the material due to the nature of the ‘plank’ style of cladding.

 
 

Risks of not having Rain screen

 

If a condo unit has not been rain-screened, then you can expect some talk of it in the strata minutes going forward. Because it is quite an expensive bill, it is important that when you are considering purchasing a building without rain-screen that you take a good hard look at the contingency reserve fund. To add the rain-screen they will most likely take a portion out of the contingency and special levy the rest to the owners, so you could possibly expect a very large bill going forward. If you’re looking at a building older than 2006, always make sure to check whether it’s been rain-screened.

 

Contact Us at Zinc Inspections if you have any questions or concerns about your property:

778-835-5381

info@zincinspections.com

Home Inspector near Me

Top 7 Maintenance Tips To Keep Your Gas Furnace Running

Your gas furnace needs to do you justice and serve you several years before you think about replacement or repair. However they will not take care of themselves unless you begin maintaining them and checking up on them frequently. If it is dirty, you as the user are supposed to know when to clean it .Taking into concern your furnace is the only way to avoid spending on it each and every season.

 

If have been buying a new furnace each season, its time you stopped. The following tips on maintenance will help your gas furnace remain in good condition for more years:

 

Ensure you are working under safe conditions

 

Gas appliances can strike anytime, ensure you exercise safety measures .Before you begin cleaning and checking your gas furnace and turn it off. Ensure the power system and any circuits connecting to the furnace are off. Check for gas leaks before you begin cleaning. Gas leaks can be very dangerous and can cause fatal accidents. If there are leaks, request a professional to fix the problem. Stay far away from the gas until it is fixed. Once everything is perfect, proceed with your cleaning.

 

Clean and replace the filter system

 

The filter system is one major part of a gas furnace because it prevents dirt from entering the furnace. It is recommended that every gas furnace owner replace or clean the filter continuously depending on the use. This is because it filters and traps dust, dirt and other debris. Check the filter and see if it has accumulated lots of dirt. If it is completely clogged, consider doing a replacement. They are sold at an extremely affordable price. Change the air filter and prevent your gas furnace from malfunctioning.

 
 

Check the thermostat

 

Are you setting your thermostat but still feel uncomfortable around the room? If yes, know that there is a problem with your thermostat especially if it has been working for many years. Chances are your thermostat has stopped working and needs to be replaced. Check the thermostat and ensure it’s in proper condition and replace it when need be.

 

Clean the blower

 

When cleaning the filter system, the blower assembly should be next on line. The blower is located right after the air filter. The little dust, dirt and debris that penetrates through the air filter goes to the blower. You will have to clean the blower, pulleys and belts in order to remove the accumulated dirt. Remove the panels that cover the filter to access the blower assembly. Use a damp cloth while cleaning the blower.

 

Clean or repair furnace ducts

 

Furnace ducts are prone to damages especially when using a forced-air furnace. In such a case, one is required to clean ducts frequently using a high-powered vacuum cleaner. Once you have finished, cover all ducts to prevent air from leaking into the furnace.

 

Clean the vents

 

Gas furnaces are hooked with a venting system. This ventilation at some point can block due to large amounts of dust and debris. Blocked ventilation is dangerous and can cause lots of hazards to the users. Using a large brush, clean all the vents .begin by removing the vent cover and clean the inside using the vacuum cleaner.

 

Fan inspection

 

To avoid experiencing problems with your gas furnace, a thorough inspection will be helpful. Inspection done by professionals will save you all the costs to spend on repairing parts of the gas furnace. Besides a general inspection, its fan components should also be checked. An inspection will reveal whether there are dust and other components on it. Make it a routine to take your gas furnace for a thorough inspection yearly.

 

Cleaning and maintaining a gas furnace is not much of a task or challenge. It is also not very expensive to maintain a gas furnace. You will encounter fewer expenses and perhaps never have to buy another gas furnace. Do not let dirt and debris prevent you from cleaning your gas furnace. You have no reason to request a professional anytime you experience problems with your furnace. Ensure you play it safe. Get the most out of your gas furnace by adhering to the above maintenance tips.

 

Contact Us at Zinc Inspections if you have any questions or concerns about your property:

778-835-5381

info@zincinspections.com

Home Inspection

Pre-Purchase Inspection

Are you buying a home? A pre-purchase home inspection can provide you with the information you needto know about the condition of the house you plan to purchase.