Knox Inspection Services, Inc.
1410 South Terrace
[1 block west
of 15th and Lewis]
Toll Free: 800.875.5474
The information on this page was developed
from thousands of property inspections and many other sources of information.
Tips for the Homeowner
If applied, these tips may save you
thousands of dollars during your ownership and when you sell!
Air Ducts below floor slabs, Crawl Spaces, or Basements):
All areas located below the finished exterior
surface of the soil are subject to moisture infiltration from surface rain
water runoff, or the natural migration of moisture through the soil into
sub-surface voids. Water entering air ducts that are below grade
(soil surface around the foundation) is a defective condition. If
"corrected," the past evidence, including deterioration of the ducts, is
often still present making it almost impossible to determine if the "correction"
was effective during periods of sustained precipitation and saturated soils.
Only the Homeowner knows for sure how the "correction" performed.
Air duct repair lining has become an effective solution if the water is
kept out. If you suspect a problem of moisture infiltration into
your sub-slab air ducts, the compartment below the furnace, (plenum), is
a good place to start looking. Access to the plenum requires a professional
service person to open and properly reseal the compartment. Moisture
into the Crawl space and Basement can be serious to the home and your health.
Testing for Mold Spores may provide answers before closing. Water problems
must be solved before there is permanent damage.
Many parts of Oklahoma have soils which
are referred to as expansive or active. This type of soil generally
clay minerals which expand and contract
depending on their moisture content. Exterior and interior cracks
are normal conditions for homes located in active soil areas. Changes
in soil moisture content may cause the foundation to uplift during wet
periods and deflect downward during dry periods. Foundations built
over such soils are expected to
undergo these movements without affecting
the structural adequacy or the load-carrying capacities of the foundation,
floor slab, or structural members.
Movement in these components may result in cosmetic deficiencies in walls,
joints, etc., supported by the foundation,
but does not necessarily indicate a structural defect. Improper homeowner
maintenance can adversely affect the performance
and structural integrity of a foundation constructed on active soils.
Good site drainage designed to avoid standing
water near the foundation has a stabilizing effect. Perimeter roof
guttering that discharges the water well
away from the foundation and encourages the water to run off site is best.
During dry periods the soil moisture can
be maintained by adding water evenly and slowly next to the foundation.
Cracks and Gaps that continue to re-appear
and essentially get wider are of concern. Cracks and Gaps that re-appear
after cosmetic repairs but change little,
or only change a minor amount seasonally (open and close), are usually
result of moisture changes in the supporting
soil and do not often result in structural deficiencies. Constant
soil moisture is the best long term maintenance tool to minimize foundation
Most properties have either a Wood shingle
or Asphalt-Fiberglas composition roof surface. The very best and
lasting maintenance technique for the roof
surface is good attic ventilation. Attic heat does more to shorten
the life and weather resiliency than any other factor of a properly installed
roof. Tree limbs in contact with the roof surface, and walking upon
the roof surface, are both very detrimental and will quickly result in
damage. Wood and composition roof surfaces are both rated in this
region to last about 15 years. Many of the roof surfaces on which
we recommend routine maintenance may be uninsurable for hazard insurance
purposes, particularly if the surface is more than 10 year old or has minor
weather related damage.
COMMON EXTERIOR VENEERS:
The masonry veneers require repair of the
small cracks that typically appear in the mortar joints. If the masonry
veneer has become “loose” it may become necessary to reattach the veneer
to the wall framing. In some extreme cases
removal and replacement may be necessary.
The veneer is not a structural component of conventional construction
techniques, and therefore is a maintenance
concern. This is particularly important when veneer repairs follow
structural improvements to the property.
The repairs then become the basis for judging future structural activity
in the repaired areas of the structure. Natural wood and composite
siding require painting and or sealant applied periodically to maintain
the integrity of the siding material. Good paint over bad materials
is not an acceptable method of repair, though often observed. The
Wood Infestation Report will identify damaged wood when detected.
Exterior locations that often require repair include; window sills, base
trim of exterior walls, the edges of the roof trim, (particularly behind
the guttering), bottoms of wood columns, and lower panels of garage doors.
The Structural Inspection may not identify all the areas of deterioration
unless there is loss of structural and load bearing capacity. Vinyl
siding over natural wood can hide deterioration that is detectable only
when the siding was installed, or if the siding is removed for Inspection
or repair. EIFS veneer requires evaluation by an experienced inspector
to check for moisture beneath the surface.
Service | About
Knox Inspection Team
Inspections | Buyer
Buyers Check List
Check List | Pre-Closing
Check List | After
Inspections | Red
Flags | Hazards
in the home
of Inspection Terms | FAQ|