Do Not Open

An interesting aspect of being a home inspector is that you never know what you’ll discover at the next property inspection.

It’s not too often a sign is posted on a bedroom door “Do Not open or Touch this door… very, very important that you follow this request Do Not Touch!! Thank You!!”

Many things come to mind… Does it mean there’s something in the room that will come after you?… Someone sleeping… A giant snake… Booby trapped door… a madman sleeping inside?

Sometimes, it’s better not to open a door… Why? Watch the video: Do Not Open by Roger Carr and see for yourself.

Yes, The House Whispereropened the door… and lived to write this blog (vacant house).

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Video link for “Do Not Open” –

Duct Tape Story

Ask any home inspector and you’ll hear that disconnected crawlspace and attic heating and cooling ducts are a common observation.

Why? Because standard gray duct tape was used.

it says Duct Tape on the label – it must be the right tape for heating ducts – Right?

Wrong! During World War II, before it was called duct tape, the U.S. military bought a cloth-backed, rubber-adhesive tape for making emergency repairs on the battlefield.

Sometime after WWII, heating and cooling contractors begin to use the tape to seal the joints in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) ducts.

This tape was manufactured in the same way, though to match the metal ducts, it was colored grey rather than the green color of the Army version. Because of this use, it became known informally as ‘duct tape’.

The problem is that standard grey duct tape does not adequately seal duct joints and has a short lifespan. Hot air flowing through heating ducts and hot attics can soften the tape adhesive. Eventually, the tape slowly unravels itself… causing heating and cooling duct connections to separate or leak.

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Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

The U-shape pipe under a sink is called a P-trap.

The purpose of a P-trap is to create a water seal that prevents sewer gas from coming into the house and to collect wedding rings, gold coins that might go down the drain before they are swept away.

A properly installed P-trap has a water seal between 2-4 inches (between the two horizontal red lines) and uses smooth wall pipe, not flexible pipe.

The plumbing configuration in the photo will result in poor sink drainage and in time become plugged with hair, soap scum, dirt, and other debris.

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Deck From Hell

When the home inspector walked into the Concord backyard, he couldn’t believe his eyes – the steps leading up to the backyard composite deck were totally disintegrated.

Early composite decking made its debut in the 1990s. The original composite decking was made from a combination of recycled plastic milk jugs and old shipping pallets.

It was an environmental solution to using wood in deck construction, but the sun’s UV rays proved to be a formidable opponent.

A decade later, manufacturers figured out the ‘recipe’ for new composite products that looked like fresh cut Cedar or Brazilian Walnut, but never turned grey… and that’s when composite decking sales took off.

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