Winter 2009

All In One Home Inspection Newsletter

Clients For Life

                                                                                            Happy New Year

Winter Newsletter Winter 2010
In This Issue
* Welcome
* A Bad Case of the Flue

Joseph W. Fleming III, PE

Joseph Fleming III, PE – Owner – Home Inspector  

Joseph Fleming is a licensed Home Inspector in NJ and NY and a Professional Engineer. He is a member/director of the Garden State Chapter of the  American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)

ASHI

Mike Hoyt – Home Inspector 

Mike Hoyt is a licensed NJ Home Inspector.  He is a member of New Jersey Association of Licensed Professional Home Inspectors (NJ-ALPHI).  He has been in the construction field for over 20 years.

Quick Links

Welcome 

Welcome back to our seasonal newsletter!  First of all we want to wish you a happy new year.  We hope last year brought you lots of good things and we hope we have been helpful to you by sending you our newsletters.  We will continue to do this in the new year because we want to keep you up to date and your home in good shape.  In this newsletter we have our winter checklist and some information about carbon monoxide safety in the home. 

Enjoy reading our newsletter!

 A Bad Case of the Flue
 

leak
This disconnected furnace flue caused massive moisture build up in the attic space during winter.  Moisture found in the combustion byproducts has condensed on the cold roof rafters and sheathing.  What a surprise during the spring thaw when the roofing contractor can not find anything wrong with the roof!
 
   
                                                                Source: ASHI Reporter Magazine December 2008

   

If anyone has an interesting picture to share, please send it in.

 Winter Checklist 

In wintertime you spend a lot of time indoors, so you want to make sure your home is ready for it. But winter is also the season of snow, which means you have to make sure you have everything you need to shovel if necessary. 
Use this checklist to make sure your home is ready for winter. 

System

Check

– Fire & Smoke Alarms

Change batteries, vacuum to remove dust and test.

– Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Change batteries and test.

– Roof and Gutters

Avoid snow and ice damn buildup on roofs that have large overhangs. 

– Gutters

Clean gutters to avoid clogs.  Avoid puddling water against foundation at downspouts.

– Exterior Spigots

The water supply for exterior spigots should be turned off to avoid freezing.

– Sump Pump

Test sump pumps to make sure they remove water from the sump pit.

– Steam Heat Boiler

Check the boiler water level. Drain the sludge from the boiler tank every two weeks.

– Electric Heaters

Electric baseboard heaters must be kept clear in front to avoid fires.

– Boilers & Furnaces

Have your heating system serviced to help prevent unwanted breakdowns during winter.

– Firewood

Avoid storing firewood against home to help prevent mechanical damage to siding.

– Window AC

Cover or remove window AC units to help avoid cold drafts in home

– Air Filters

Change furnace air filters.

– Humidifiers

Service the humidifier every two to three years.  Water panels may need changing.

– Bedrooms

Move your bed’s headboard against an interior wall to avoid cold drafts from exterior walls and windows.

– Extra Rooms

Close off unused rooms and lower the temperature to reduce heating expenses.

– Exterior Doors

Repair gaps or "daylight" between doors and frames that may let in a draft of cold air.

– Storm Windows

Install or close storm windows on older homes for the best heating efficiency.

– Snow Shovels

Do you have snow shovels and salt?  Go to the store when it’s not snowing to find some.*

– Snow Blowers

Check oil and start up the snow blower to make sure it runs OK before it snows.

* Be sparing with salt, it can destroy cement walks, steps and
  stoops.

For more seasonal maintenance tips, check the website from How to Operate Your Home. If you need help, call us for a referral (201-263-0040).

 Blog by Home Inspector Joseph Fleming III, PE 

Winter is the season where you spend most of your time inside.  Because it’s cold you will use the heating system or maybe even build a fire in the fireplace.  Windows and doors will mostly be shut.  This is why you want to make sure that you have smoke detectors and/or carbon monoxide detectors in your home and that they are in good shape.  

SourcesCarbon monoxide (CO) is a tasteless, colorless and odorless gas which is produced when fuel is burned.  Fuel-burning appliances such as your furnace are potential sources.  If they are poorly maintained or used in a non-vented area they can cause CO poisoning. 

Click on image to enlarge
The symptoms of CO poisoning are dizziness, nausea, fatigue, headache and irregular breathing.  If you have symptoms like these and you feel better when you go outside, or if family members have similar symptoms at the same time, suspect a problem.

 

To help avoid getting carbon monoxide poisoning there are checks, inspections and some "never ever" guidelines that you should follow: 

  • Check the hot water heater vent connections.  The draft hood should be located over the hot water heater exhaust opening and all vent pipe connections should be tight and run uphill to the chimney.  If the chimney is shared with the heating boiler or furnace, the hot water heater vent should enter the chimney above the boiler or furnace vent. 
  • Check heating furnace and/or boiler vent connections.  The draft hood openings point generally downward and all vent connections are tight and run uphill to the chimney. 
  • Space heaters and gas fire places should vent outside.  Space heaters and gas fire places that vent inside, and I have seen a few, are producing carbon monoxide fumes that poison the air quickly, especially when located in small rooms.  This style of heater should be avoided because it has the potential to kill quickly. 
  • Avoid running cars in the garage with the door closed.  I’ve heard stories about people using remote starters to warm up their cars parked in the garage with doors closed.  They go to get in the car and get knocked out before they can drive away. 
  • If the power goes out avoid running generators inside the garage or home.  Carbon monoxide will build up in the enclosed areas from the generator exhaust. 
  • Avoid using gas grills inside the garage.  It may be raining or snowing, but this is no excuse to bring carbon monoxide fumes into the home. 
  • Avoid running attic vent fans and whole house fans in the winter.  The force of the fans may cause hot water heaters, boilers, furnaces and any other gas fires appliance to backdraft spilling poisonous carbon monoxide into the home.  Backdrafting from vent fans may be worse if the heating appliances are located in the attic. 
  • Clogged chimney flues can cause appliance exhaust fumes to back up into the home.  Install a flue cap to prevent flue blockages from the ingress of vermin and debris.  Older clay flue pipes should be inspected regularly because the clay flue can break up and block flue gas passage up the chimney resulting in carbon monoxide spillage into the home.

Make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors in your home.  They should have fresh batteries in them.  Carbon monoxide detectors are typically recommended to be installed somewhere low near the bedroom doors.  Some safety experts recommend installing one on every floor. Always follow the manufacturers recommendations and local fire safety codes. 

Thank you and have a safe and Happy New Year!

Thank you

We’re always happy to help you with any questions or problems. Please keep referring us to your family, relatives, friends and neighbors. If you would like to read our previous newsletters, take a look at our website. If you have any suggestions for blog topics, please let us know.

All In One Home Inspection provides the following services:

  • Home Inspections
  • Commercial Inspections
  • Radon Tests
  • Wood Destroying Insect Exams
  • Air Quality Sampling (Mold Testing)

Area of Coverage:Area of Covergae

We cover the following counties in New Jersey: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, Union and WarrenWe also cover Rockland county and the 5 boroughs of New York.

Click on the picture to enlarge it 

Our philosophy is clients for life.

Contact Info

All in One Home Inspection, LLC
35 1ST AVENUE
WESTWOOD, New Jersey 07675
201-263-0040
www.allinonehomeinspection.com

Developed and maintained by Martha Schokker (rieneke_schokker@hotmail.com)

 

 

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