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  1. I received a poorly composed email from someone calling himself Dr. Ralph Baldwin. He requested a quote on a home inspection and wrote that he had impaired hearing and couldn't call me. I was suspicious but I responded that I needed details on the house. He wrote back with the address and expressed confidence that I was the right Seattle home inspector that could do the job. I looked up the address and the house was listed for sale. It also was located less than two miles from my house. I responded again with a quote and posed more questions. Then the scam kicked in. He wrote that he couldn't be at the inspection and wanted me to pay $1,200 still owing to the seller by credit card. He was to forward me the money, plus my inspection fee, plus a $100 tip. I know email scams are ubiquitous, my this one stood out because it was personally directed. He took the time to look up a listing located near my home. The finish was poorly executed and I'm sure none of you would fall for it. Ours may be an industry that he and others in some far-off land are trying to exploit.
  2. I returned to inspect a house that I inspected seven years ago when it was a year old. The gaps in some the Hardiplank joints have expanded to 1/4" wide, exposing the joint flashing. Some of the planks broke where they were face nailed. My photos from seven years ago show all the joints were tight (no caulk). Discoloration of the siding and wood fascia, and leaking gutters lead me to suspect water intrusion at the wall. Can Hardiplank shrink? There was very little waviness or buckling in the planks. Could a wet wall behind the siding expand and create joint gaps? The temperature difference between inspections was less than ten degrees. Thanks Click to Enlarge 39.53 KB Click to Enlarge 36.42 KB
  3. I stumbled across this 1911 Portland Building Code book for sale on ebay and thought it would be something Mr. Katen would enjoy reading, if he hasn't already. I find it interesting that the code book had lots of advertising. http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R4 ... _sacat=267
  4. I encountered a roof covering on a 1966 building that I haven't seen before. The covering was applied five years ago and the installers called it Monoply 3PF 1204 on their spec sheet. It looked and felt like I was walking on hard fiberglass. According to the spec sheet a base coat of PC 107 emulsion is sprayed on and a fiber reinforcement sheet is brushed into the emulsion. After it sets another coat of emulsion is applied and chopped fiberglass strands are sprayed on. The final coat is a white reflective coating. I observed a few narrow cracks in the covering. The photo below shows the overspray on the HVAC unit. I didn't find much on the internet and the local company that installed it is gone. Does anyone have more knowledge about this? Thanks, Click to Enlarge 45.5 KB
  5. I don't cite standards of practice to brag. They're for my protection.
  6. Mike, My pre-inspection agreement and reports state that my inspections conform to the Standards of Practice of the Washington State Department of Licensing and the American Society of Home Inspectors. Are you saying that I'm operating illegally because of that statement?
  7. I came across a panel where some of the circuit breaker handles were covered with duct tape. The panel was installed in a small retail building. The store manager told me the tape was there to prevent employees from turning off power to some circuits and not because the breakers were tripping. I recall that Mr. Hansen stated during a seminar that a circuit breaker can still trip in an overcurrent situation if the handle can't move. Do I remember that correctly?
  8. I unintentionally shock-tested mine when I dropped it from a roof. It landed on a concrete walkway none the worse for wear. As others mentioned, it can have trouble focusing in low light. I find it can focus well on close-in subjects without having to switch to the macro function.
  9. I returned from a motorcycle ride in central Washington this week. The smoke made my eyes burn. Here's a shot of the Columbia River at the I-90 bridge taken at midday. Click to Enlarge 27.32 KB
  10. The IBC addresses the height differences in the floor surface at door thresholds in Section 1008.1.7. It states that a threshold in a sliding door can't exceed 3/4" and a threshold in other types of doors can't exceed 1/2". It furthers states that raised thresholds and floor level changes greater than 1/4" shall be beveled with a slope not greater than 1:2.
  11. With that deck hatch in place, does the window still provide the ventilation requirements for the room?
  12. Thanks for the fungus ID Mike. The property had drainage problems and the crawl space looked like it had been been wet for the 10 years since the house was built. This was a pre-offer inspection on a million-dollar property close to Microsoft. There were at least four competing bids on the house in spite of its problems.
  13. I found this growth in a wet crawl space. It looks spidery, vein-like. I thought it was more interesting than the dark, sometimes fuzzy, splotches I usually see. Click to Enlarge 57.13?KB Click to Enlarge 58.96?KB
  14. Here's an example of a winter day to which Mike writes. Viewed from the roof of a building, Seattle's iconic symbol is socked by drizzling rain and fades into the cloud cover. Still better that snow. Click to Enlarge 41.8 KB
  15. Irrigation systems are outside the scope of the inspections I perform, but I will verbally pass on to some home buyers the problems I've seen them cause to buildings. I believe many home owners overuse them. They set the timers for night time and forget about them. I have seen standing water in crawl spaces from overuse or defective systems. Besides observing the sprinkler heads, I advise them to watch for vegetation that will grow and deflect water back to the building. Blair www.axiombuildinginspections.com
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