AFCI breaker

Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters Found During A Home Inspection – What Are They ?

Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters are circuit breakers that are found in newer construction that protect against ” arcing ”  which can occur at a loose connection or between wires that have damaged insulation. Electrical fires account for approximately 13% of all residential fires in America.

These electrical arcs produce temperatures of several thousand degrees while failing to draw enough current to trip a conventional circuit breaker therefore they are now installed in rooms such as bedrooms, living rooms, family rooms, dining rooms, etc…

Your New Jersey licensed home inspector should point this newer type of circuit breaker to you during the course of your home inspection and give you a brief explanation.

If you’re wondering about whether an existing circuit breaker panel can be retro-fitted with these newer breakers, the answer is maybe. I would recommend that a licensed electrician come in before the close of your inspection period and determine whether the existing  circuit breaker panel can be retro-fitted with arc-fault breakers or if you will need to replace the entire panel.

Eastern Home Inspections, covering all of New Jersey is at your service seven days a week for convenient home inspections scheduling.

(800) 333-2783 or visit our web site at      www.inspectnj.com

Home Appliances

Home appliances include; furnace,air conditioning,water heater,stove/oven dishwasher and washer/dryer. The main appliances like furnace/boiler, water heater and AC(weather permitting) are tested as part of a state licensed home inspection in the state of New Jersey. Some home inspectors will check hook ups, but not actually run appliances. Our company(eastern) will run all appliances if included in sale of home. Plumbing, electrical, venting and gas are important part of these systems. Repair and safety issues are a concern and should be noted on report. In 15 yrs doing home inspections, I have documented numerous washer/dryer and dishwasher failures,including brand new units. Gas dryers need to be vented properly for safety reasons. Plumbing issues can be costly.

                                                                                 Mike Burla

 

visit us at   www.inspectnj.com  or call 800-229-3472

 

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Exterior insulated finishing system (Synthetic Stucco-EIFS)

If you are considering purchasing a home with stucco siding  a home inspection is a must. Synthetic stucco can cause serious and expensive problems if it is compromised or not installed properly. Moisture may seep beneath it and will cause mold and rot problems. Stucco siding comes in a couple of forms. Mortar based  will sound solid and hard when it is pounded on -Synthetic will sound hollow beneath when pounded. Synthetic stucco is a popular siding these days.

When inspecting it a good home inspector will try to determine if it is installed correctly. Are all joints at windows and doors sealed? Does the siding extend beneath grade level? Are there kick out flashings installed? How has it worn over time. Are there cracks in it? Is there discoloration in it? Is it buckled or bowed?

If any of the above conditions exist a further  inspection using thermal imaging or probing for moisture by a qualified inspector will(should) be recommended by your home inspector. A prospective buyer should follow this recommendation or find out how expensive it can be owning a home.

Having a home inspection by a licensed New Jersey home inspector serving all of south Jersey is an inexpensive alternative.

Call Eastern Home Inspections Serving Burlington,Camden,Gloucester,Salem Counties

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Electrical Inspection in Older Homes

Inspecting the electrical system in older homes may not disclose safety issues or imminent problems. Prospective buyers should understand  that while there may not be problems, upgrades to the system may be necessary.

The electrical needs of 50 years ago and the standards at that time are a far cry from what is expected and needed today.  Homes at that time were built with few receptacles in each room, they may not be grounded,  kitchens  were normally wired with 15 amp circuits/receptacles and bathrooms may not have any receptacles installed,etc..

Today all bathrooms and kitchens require at least 20 amp circuits in order to safely operate microwaves , hair dryers et., rooms require receptacles installed every wall or 6 feet, etc.

So if you are buying a home that is 50 years old or more having an electrical inspection is a must .

Contact Eastern Home Inspections  we serve Burlington, Camden ,Gloucester Counties and all of New Jersey.

www.inspectnj.com   800-229-3472

Stab-Lock Panel

Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker Panel Issue Arises As A Result Of A Home Inspection

New Jersey home buyers should be alerted by their home inspection report about the presence of a Federal Pacific – Stab-Lok circuit breaker panel. It’s presence creates a significant safety issue for the new owner of the home.

The concern for this electrical hazard is that the individual circuit breakers may not ” break ” when called on therefore a homeowner is at risk for a serious shock or even a house fire !

The recommendation by Eastern Home Inspections is that prior to the close of your inspection period, the home buyer have a licensed electrician evaluate the panel in question. Most electricians, in my experience, will recommend replacement of the panel .

To get more information or book an inspection call (800) 333-2783.  www.inspectnj.com Stab-Lock Panel

Ice Damming

Ice damming is a serious issue that can cause extreme water damage and mold growth. If gutters are not cleaned seasonally or are blocked by ice, damming may occur. Ice will build up in gutters with every freeze and thaw cycle. If water can not drain properly ice/water will back up or wick behind soffits and fascias. In worst case , water seeps into the livable areas of the home and can cause water damage and mold growth to sheetrock walls and ceilings. Water damage may also occur to fascia/soffit framing and to rafter tails. Simple home owner maint. like cleaning leaf debris from your gutters can go along way.  MB

visit us at   www.inspectnj.com  or call 800-229-3472

 

Re inspections of homes after a snow storm

 

Most of New Jersey has been hit by snow storm after snow storm.

Many parts of the exterior of a home is inaccessible after a snow storm. It is not unusual for the home inspector to have to come back after the snow melts and re inspect areas that were snow covered. i.e. roof, driveway, patio and walk ways.

It is common for home inspectors to charge a re inspection fee for this service. Still others will do it as a courtesy if they are in the area. We at Eastern do not charge for re inspections resulting from snow storms. 

visit us at   www.inspectnj.com  or call 800-229-3472

Does an older water heater need to be replaced after your home inspector identifies it as a concern ?

The answer often depends upon where the water heater is located within the home and it’s age. Average life expectancy is typically somewhere in the 8 -10 year range but we find 20 + year old units here in New Jersey that are still working without incident.

Your tolerance for the risk of a sudden failure and subsequent water damage play into whether you proactively replace the  water heater that has been identified as beyond it’s normal life expectancy or whether you monitor it closely for any signs of future leakage and replace it at that time.

If it is located in a finished area of the house or basement then the safe approach is always to go ahead and replace it.

A simple but effective battery operated water alarm placed on the floor next to your water heater can sense the earliest signs of leakage and prevent costly water damage. A metal containment pan beneath it  with a drain pipe will be effective in preventing water damage also.

Eastern Home Inspections                              (800) 333-2783

inspectnj.com

 

home with mag glass

Cold temps and inspections

 

The relentless cold weather accompanied by record snow falls have kept homebuyers inside and unable to view homes for purchase. When normally we would begin to see a decent increase in activity that phones are quiet.  Home inspections should pick up next week when the temps begin to rise and the snow begins to melt.

 

www.inspectnj.com               800-229-3472

home with mag glass

Should I get a radon test with my Home Inspection?

The DEP in NJ recommends that every home in NJ be tested for radon.

Having said that I can tell you that the State is divided into tiers. Each tier

represents average levels of radon to be expected. The closer to the shore

and further south you go there is very little if any radon.  Depending on where

you are purchasing your home we can recommend a radon test or not.

www.inspectnj.com                                       800-229-3472