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Archive for March, 2016|Monthly archive page

New Construction Inspection/Chimney Cleaning/Sweaty Floors

In Uncategorized on March 1, 2016 at 2:05 pm

Q:

My husband and I met you a few years ago when you inspected a house we were planning to purchase, but after the results of your inspection we decided to pull our offer.

We are now a week away from closing on our new house that we had built and we need your opinion whether we should have a house inspection performed since this is a brand new home. The builder provides a one year limited warranty and has a company that does a pre-closing walk-through, where they should point out the defects they find, and they later provide a warranty service performance. What are your thoughts on doing it this way, or should I have you perform our inspection?

A:

I absolutely think and know that you should have a new house inspected. I usually find even more issues with new construction that some older homes. The good thing with new construction inspections is you can give a list to the builder if the problems are real, and the builder is legitimate and conscious he will correct the issues observed. My experience with some builders doing their own final walk-through is that many of them are not all that interested in finding all the defects, if they exist. Regardless, who does this company the builder uses to do your pre-closing walk-through work for, you or the builder? The answer is the builder, since he is the one paying that company.

I am not referring to your particular builder or the company they use since I am not familiar with them. I also never ask who the builder is when inspecting new construction. I have found that even the best builder can have some bad crews, while a terrible builder with a bad reputation could pick up a good crew on occasion.

That being said, you can call my office to set up an inspection.

Q:

How often should my fireplace chimney be cleaned and inspected?

A:

If you’re using your fireplace frequently and not having your chimney cleaned and inspected at least annually, you’re playing with fire.

I’m going to go right to the bottom line. If you use your fireplace, let’s say once a week, then the flue should be cleaned annually. If you use it more often, it should be cleaned and inspected accordingly…

Did you know if you build a fire in your fireplace that has no lining or a cracked, damaged liner, you’re basically playing with fire. Wood fires give off soot and tar that can build up as deposits inside the flue, which in turn can suddenly ignite as a spectacular chimney fire. In a well-lined flue, a chimney fire can be harmless, but in an unlined one, a chimney fire can easily spread to the rest of the house.

If you are just using your fireplace to burn gas logs, you shouldn’t have to worry. The heat is not as intense and they burn cleaner.

Remember when looking for a chimney sweep make sure .he is insured, bonded and a member of the Guild or Wood Heating Research Education Foundation.

Q:

I am in need of some advice with regard to a cabin that I inherited up north that is on a cement slab. The floors sweat when it’s cold and I was wondering what would be the best flooring for this situation. The floor is currently tiled but would like to know if carpeting or painting can be used.

A:

You have several alternatives to your sweaty situation. Purchasing and operating a dehumidifier is certainly a reasonable solution, but that means using electricity and if there is no way of running a hose to a drain or to the outside, then you’ll have to constantly empty the dehumidifier pail. I’m not fond of that solution, but it is an option you should consider.

There are at least three companies that make sub-floor systems for use on concrete. They are all engineered to be a moisture barrier as well as offer anywhere from a small degree of insulation value up to an R-factor of 4.5.

I think each is worth checking into and you can decide which works best for you and your needs. Here they are:

Dricore™ www.dricore.com

Homasote Company www.homasote.com

Subflor   www.subflor.com

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