Floor Vents/Boots Deteriorating and/or Full of Sand

 

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I don’t think I have come across a newly built home with the HVAC ductwork in the concrete floor.  That’s not to say builders do not do that any more but I think it’s fair to say they avoid that practice.

It was a common practice in the 1970s and 1980 to place the homes ductwork in the sand and soil prior to the pouring of the homes slab.  I actually worked for a heat and air company while in college and did several of these myself.  The system was designed to last a very long time, but even with the efforts we took, time often takes its toll on various aspects of these systems.

The most common defect I see on “in concrete duct work” as a Home Inspector is rusted, deteriorating floor boots and poor air flow at various locations in the home.  If the problem is minor, replacement of floor boots is all that is recommended.  If most or all of the boots show deterioration and or accumulation of sand, I recommend further evaluation by an HVAC professional with a duct scoping.

With the HVAC being one of the most important systems in your home, I recommend all buyers and realtors lift up a floor register or two if they find the perfect home that happens to have in floor duct.  I inspected a home yesterday in Edmond that was built in the 90s and the boots looked like they were installed yesterday, so you really never know what you will find.

Depending on the extent of any damage found, the repairs could range from $200 to $8000.  Repairs could be as simple as replacing a couple of floor boots to having to install a whole new system, moving all the duct work to the attic or other alternative location.  There are so many different types of home configurations the solutions are numerous.

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
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Upgrading 2-Prong Outlets

2prongoutlet

Two-prong receptacles, often found by an inspector in an older home, that are connected to two-wire cables do not have the ground wires, which protect people and electrical devices in case of a ground fault. It is possible to retrofit a new three-prong or GFCI receptacle into the same receptacle box without any rewiring, as long as the box itself is grounded.

Metal boxes attached to armored, or BX, cable, which is a type of wiring commonly found in old homes, are typically found to be properly grounded. The armored or BX cable’s flexible metal jacket serves the same purpose as a dedicated ground wire.

If the box is not ­grounded, a GFCI can be installed or an electrician can be hired to fix the wiring.

GFCInoground

The image above is a GFCI that was installed to replace the old, 2-prong ungrounded wall receptacle in an older home. This GFCI must be labeled as a GFCI without an equipment ground.

Simply replacing an older 2-prong outlet with a 3-prong outlet can be hazardous, because the receptacle will appear to be functional with a ground, but in fact there isn’t one. If someone were to plug a faulty 3-prong device into that “fake” grounded receptacle, a shock hazard is very likely. Electricity moving through the device casing would create an energized surface from which a person could be electrocuted.

Another problem with replacing ungrounded 2-prong receptacles with 3-prong one is in relation to surge-protection device, which relies on a solid ground to route any transient activity. The ungrounded receptacle would not be able to protect the device from a surge.

It is permissible to replace a 2-prong ungrounded outlet with a 3-prong GFCI outlet, but it must be labeled as “GFCI Protected Outlet, No Equipment Ground.” Even though there is not a grounding conductor, there is still some protection against shock provided by the GFCI.

The bottom line is, play it safe.  To do electrical receptacle upgrades in a manner that will provide the most protection to the inhabitants of the home, have a licensed electrician who has the proper equipment and knowledge to do it right make the upgrades.
Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.Home-RunInspections.com
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2

What a Home Inspection “Is” and “Is Not”

contract

For most of us, we buy a home maybe twice in a lifetime.  As with most experiences in life, if you only do it a couple of times, you are not well versed in the process; you are a novice.

I think this is one of the many factors that can make purchasing a home so stressful.  There are so many questions to ask and so many documents to read and sign.

This article is about a document most people sign but never really read (kinda like the apple update agreement – have you ever tried to read that one?):  the Home Inspection Agreement.  Fortunately, the Home Inspection Agreement is not anywhere near as scary or intimidating but there are a few points that are worth emphasizing.  These are points I prefer to share with my clients and their REALTOR (if they have one) at the beginning of each inspection.  It really helps to make clear what it is exactly that we are doing, and conversely, what we are not doing.

So here are the main points:

  • We are there to perform a single visit, visual inspection of the home on a specific date/time that is merely a snapshot in time of the condition of the structure.  We will inspect only the parts of the home that are visually accessible.  We cannot move furniture/storage, and we cannot see through walls (unless you pay extra for a Thermal Imaging inspection) or under slabs of concrete.
  • We choose to perform our inspections in accordance with the current Standards of Practice of the State of Oklahoma and the lnternational Association of Certified Home lnspectors (InterNACHi).
  • We will not test for the presence of environmental hazards such as mold nor radon (a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that may be harmful to humans).
  • We assume no warranty, guarantee, nor liability for the cost of repair or replacement of unreported defects or deficiencies either current or arising in the future.
  • We do not perform engineering, architectural, plumbing, or any other job function requiring an occupational license in the jurisdiction where the property is located.

One of the perks I offer as a home inspector (most inspectors in my area do not) is a 90 Day Buy Back Guarantee.  This offers the perspective home buyer a little extra piece of mind.  In regards to this perk, the buyer needs to understand:

  • Under the “We’ll Buy Your Home Back” program, lnterNACHl purchases the home, not the home inspector; the Home Inspector has no obligation to purchase the home under this program.

One additional feature in my contract is for any REALTOR associated with the transaction.  It states:

  • the signee agrees to “hold harmless” any and all real estate agents involved in the purchase of the property to be inspected and keep them exonerated from all loss, damage, liability or expense.

The bottom line is, as an ethical & licensed professional business person, home inspectors try to catch as many defects and safety concerns in a home as possible in the limited amount of time that we have to do so.  We want you to know what you are buying and, to the best of our ability, assure you and your family that you can live there as safely as possible.  Will we catch everything that is wrong with your home?  Probably not.  But, you will have a report that provides you with a very focused picture, or snap shot in time, of your perspective home.

When you compare the price of the home inspection to the cost of the home, it’s a bargain.

Click on the following link for a list of the aspects of a home that are inspected by InterNACHI certified home inspectors.

https://www.nachi.org/SOP.htm?loadbetadesign=0

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2