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Ungrounded Electrical Receptacles

Grounding of electrical receptacles (which some laypeople refer to as outlets) is an important safety feature that has been required in new construction since 1962, as it minimizes the risk of electric shock and protects electrical equipment from damage. Modern, grounded 120-volt receptacles in the United States have a small, round ground slot centered below

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Electrical Service Panels

by Nick Gromicko & Mike Marlow Electrical panels are boxes that house circuit breakers, which are are safety devices that stop the electrical current if it exceeds the safe level for some portion of the home electrical system.   Safety  Many people, even experienced electricians, have been killed or seriously injured while opening electrical panels.

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Home Inspection Reports: What to Expect

by Mike Marlow, Nick Gromicko, and Kenton Shepard Influenced by the changes in the economic and legal environments over the past 30 years, home inspection reports have changed to accommodate increased consumer expectations, and to provide more extensive information and protection to both inspectors and their clients. Development of Standards Prior to the mid-1970s, inspection

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Ten Tips to Speed Up Your Home Inspection

Speed up your home sale by preparing your home ahead of time using the following tips. Your home inspection will go smoother, with fewer concerns to delay closing.   Confirm that that the water, electrical and gas services are turned on (including pilot lights). Make sure your pets won’t hinder your home inspection. Ideally, they

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Why Get a Home Inspection If You’re Buying “As Is”?

Some sellers – often, those working without an agent – want to sell their home “as is” so they don’t have to invest money fixing it up or take on any potential liability for defects.  There is nothing wrong with buying a home “as is,” particularly if you can buy it at a favorable price,

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Dryer Vent Safety

Clothes dryers evaporate the water from wet clothing by blowing hot air past them while they tumble inside a spinning drum. Heat is provided by an electrical heating element or gas burner. Some heavy garment loads can contain more than a gallon of water which, during the drying process, will become airborne water vapor and

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Inspecting Your Deck

More than 2 million decks are built and replaced each year in North America.  InterNACHI estimates that of the 45 million existing decks, only 40% are completely safe.  Personally, I can count on one finger the number of decks I have inspected that didn’t have any defects.   Because decks appear to be simple to build,

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Questions to Ask When Hiring a Home Inspector

Congratulations, you’ve found the perfect home to buy! Right about now, you are probably on information overload, and looking for resources to get everything ready. One of the most important steps you need to take after getting that ratified contract is to get the home inspected. Like most subjects on the internet, there is a

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Disaster House

Today’s post is a bit different from my past posts, as all of the issues are from one house.  I inspected this house for an investor client and couldn’t believe the number of issues I found. The trim around the house was deteriorated in several locations.  This one had sagged so much that a family

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The Facts about Lead Paint

Did you know the following facts about lead? FACT: Lead exposure can harm young children and babies even before they are born. FACT: Even children who seem healthy can have high levels of lead in their bodies. FACT: You can get lead in your body by breathing or swallowing lead dust, or by eating soil or

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