Laundry and Utility Rooms

 

As a home inspector, I come across dryer vent termination issues multiple times per week.   Laundry rooms can quickly create problems and damage in your home.

Here are some things to be aware of:

Watch for leaks and kinks developing at plumbing connections to the washing machine. 

Water can overflow from the top or bottom if the machine is overloaded with a load that’s too big or if it is resting on an uneven surface.  

Protect the electrical or natural gas connections to the dryer, and ensure that they are not disturbed or accidentally dislodged from their connections.

A gas dryer vent that passes through walls or combustible materials must be made of metal. 

The length of a dryer exhaust ensures that its blower will be able to push sufficient air volume to take away the laundry’s damp air and lint.  The maximum length of the exhaust hose should not be greater than 25 feet from the dryer to the termination at the wall or roof.  The length can be increased only when the make and model of the dryer are known. 

Inspect the dryer venting to make sure it is not clogged or restricted, which will help the unit operate efficiently and normally as well as prevent the unit’s motor from overheating and failing.  A clogged or restricted vent hose may also lead to an accidental fire caused by the ignition of built-up debris.  

The clothes dryer exhaust poses a different problem than other exhaust systems because the air is damp and carries lint.  Ensure that the vent exhausts to the outside and not to the attic, crawlspace, or attached garage, because the wooden structural members of the house could be affected over time.  The exhaust vent’s termination should have a backdraft damper installed to prevent cold air, rain, snow, rodents, and birds from entering the vent.  The vent termination should not have a screen on it, as this can trap lint and other debris and pose a fire hazard.

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, Blanchard, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
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Stairs Safety and Maintenance

Structural Integrity:  All stairs must be kept structurally sound. Remember to examine the basement stairs.  Check the area where they meet the floor and where they are attached to the floor joists above.  

Stair Width and Clearance:  Stairways should have a minimum headroom of 6 feet and 8 inches and a width of 3 feet.

Treads and Risers:  The riser of a stair is the height of the step.  The tread is the step’s depth. Riser heights and tread depths should be as uniform as possible. All treads should be level and secure.  As a guide, stairs in new homes must have a maximum riser height of 7-3/4 inches and a minimum tread depth of 10 inches.  The maximum difference in height for risers and depth for treads should not exceed 3/8-inch.

Handrails and Guardrails:  You can check a railing’s stability and its fastenings by shaking it vigorously.  Handrails are normally required to be 34 to 38 inches above the stair nosing on at least one side of all stairways having three or more risers.  Guardrails are required on open sides of stairways and should have intermediate rails that do not allow the passage of a sphere 4 inches in diameter.

Lighting:  All interior and exterior stairways should have a means to illuminate the stairs, including landings and treads. Interior stairways should have a light located at each landing, except where a light is installed directly over each stairway section.  Public stair and hallway lights in multi-family buildings should be operable from centralized controls. 

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, Blanchard, 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

Flood Zones

It will pay off to check with local authorities to determine if your home is in a flood-risk zone. If it is, check with local building officials.  Higher standards than those set by national agencies have been adopted by many communities. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program have established and defined five major flood-risk zones and created special flood-resistance requirements for each. For a flood map, visit http://www.nachi.org/go/femamaps.  

Improperly designed grading and drainage may aggravate flood hazards to buildings and cause runoff, soil erosion and sedimentation in the zones of lower flood risk, according to the Interflood Zone and the Non-Regulated Flood Plain.  In these locations, local agencies may regulate building elevations above street or sewer levels.  In the next higher risk zones, the Special Flood Hazard Areas and the Non-Velocity Coastal Flood Areas (both Zone A), the elevation of the lowest floor and its structural members above the base flood elevation is required.  In the zone of highest flood risk, the Coastal High Hazard Areas (Velocity Zone, Zone V), additional structural requirements apply.

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, Blanchard, 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