property inspections: Ask the Inspector: Plumbing - 01/04/11 11:07 AM
The plumbing in your home is an essential and often overlooked system that provides clean water and proper collection and transportation of waste water. Today, water-supply systems utilize a network of high-pressure pumps and pipes made of copper, brass, plastic, steel or other nontoxic materials.
Due to the complexity of these systems, it is a good idea to have them inspected for potential problems before you buy a home. A qualified professional can provide a visual inspection of any bathtubs, showers, pipes, toilets, sinks, etc. The inspector will determine the type of pipe and look over the visible piping for evidence … (1 comments)

property inspections: Ask the Inspector: Foundations - 07/20/10 09:44 AM
How can you be assured that your foundation is in tact?
There are many types of foundations but all of them serve the same purpose as the supporting structure for a home. During an exterior inspection, a qualified professional will assess the condition of your home's foundation.
Solid foundations include rock, block, concrete, brick or wood. Other houses are held up by a system of piers or columns placed strategically around and within the house perimeter. On some buildings the foundation is so low to the ground that the floor joists are sitting in the dirt.
Once your home's foundation type is noted, … (0 comments)

property inspections: Pool Safety - 07/06/10 10:08 AM
Summer is obviously the most popular season for swimming pools. Routine maintenance is important for any swimming pool equipment. Here are some must know/must do items regarding swimming pools.
Hire a service contractor to routinely check equipment Establish a maintenance routine based on your pool equipment Maintain chemical balance, treatment and water chemistry Keep records on maintenance and water chemistry Routinely check for leaks at piping and other systems  Regularly change or clean filters and screens Never allow children to use the pool without adult supervision An electronic or automated safety monitoring system should be installed to detect water movement when … (1 comments)

property inspections: What to do when your Air Conditioning is taking a break - 06/08/10 11:04 AM
If your home's inside temperature is feeling more like the warm outside temperature, it could be a problem with the air conditioning system. What should you do when there is no air conditioning working in your home?
Check the thermostat. Is it set to "cooling" or "AC?" Is it set lower than the room temperature indicated on the dial or screen? If it's a digital thermostat, is the battery dead? Check the on/off switch on the side of the furnace or near the furnace. The furnace distributes air for the air conditioner and must be on. Is the disconnect switch outside … (1 comments)

property inspections: Don't Sweat It This Summer - 05/18/10 08:54 AM
Long, hot days are just around the corner. And the last thing you want to do is step inside a warm house because of its cooling system problems. How do you know if your cooling system is in good condition for the summer months?
The mechanical systems of a home or commercial property can be extensive. Heating and cooling equipment can include indoor and outdoor equipment, fans and a duct system running to each room of the home or business. A qualified inspector will examine visible components of the heating and cooling system as part of a general inspection.
The inspector will review the age and condition … (1 comments)

property inspections: Inspecting Windows & Doors - 04/20/10 08:00 AM
Windows and doors in a commercial or residential property are important for aesthetics, safety and energy efficiency. Understanding the type, function and condition of the windows and doors can help determine future maintenance projects. How do you determine the condition of your windows and doors for maintenance purposes?
A qualified professional will assess the condition and safety of doors and windows on the exterior and interior of the home. The first thing the inspector will note on the exterior is the type of front door. The inspector will observe the door's condition to see if it is warped, split or scratched, and if the glass … (0 comments)

property inspections: Utility Room Appliances - 04/05/10 09:36 AM
How do you check if your utility room appliances are working properly and are safe? While the washing machine and clothes dryer often leave the house with the seller, certain safety checks in the utility room can still be made regardless. 
A qualified home inspector will first check if the clothes dryer's appliance hose connection is secure. The inspector will then check if the vent piping, from the dryer to the vent exit, is in good condition. The vent exit is where the dryer vent ends, and it must vent outside. The inspector will verify that the vent terminates outside and that the outside … (0 comments)

property inspections: Keep Your Kitchen in Top Condition - 03/08/10 09:21 AM
The kitchen is one room in the house that can make or break a sale. There are many components to a kitchen and it is important to keep them in top operating condition. A qualified property inspector will inspect the various components of the kitchen as part of a general home inspection.
The kitchen sink is an important part of the inspection. The inspector will check for leaks around the handles and spout of the faucet, for good flow of water from the spout and that the faucet isn't leaking under the sink. The inspector will also check if the sink is in … (1 comments)

property inspections: Inspecting the Attic - 02/04/10 11:35 AM
When was the last time you went in your attic? Or maybe you've never even seen it? There are a lot of things that could be happening in your attic that you might be unaware of, such as pest infestation, leaks, sagging, lack of insulation, etc. By having a professional inspect the attic, you could catch any potential problems before they become bigger concerns.
An attic inspection is part of a general home inspection. The first thing a professional will check is the sheathing and rafters. The inspector will note any obvious cracks or sagging in the supporting structure and check … (1 comments)

property inspections: Ask the Inspector: Heating Systems - 11/16/09 09:06 AM
Combustion appliances or mechanical systems, including fireplaces, gas stoves and gas heating systems, produce by-products that need to be removed using a system of vents or flues known as an exhaust system.
To function properly, exhaust systems must be free of holes, cracks or rust. They should be installed so that combustion products are carried out of the house before cooling and condensation occurs. (Warm gas is more easily moved from one place to another.)
Proper ventilation also requires enough fresh air entering the system to prevent backdrafting. Backdrafting occurs when the combustion gases flow back indoors instead of moving outdoors … (1 comments)

property inspections: Ask the Inspector: Handrails & Guardrails - 10/05/09 10:30 AM
A handrail is a support that people can hold on to while going up or down steps. A guardrail is a barrier around decks, landings or balconies that keeps people from falling off.
For safety reasons, handrails and guardrails should be inspected to ensure that they are installed correctly. Inspecting the handrail and guardrail of all interior and exterior stairs is part of a general home inspection. During the inspection, a professional will check stairs for even rise and run, properly separated balustrades, adequate spacing on landings and sufficient headroom.
An inspector will assess each of the exterior and interior staircases for … (0 comments)

property inspections: Kitchen Upgrades - 08/11/09 04:53 PM
The kitchen used to be a welcoming place for eating and conversation, but today's kitchen has transformed into more than that. It is a room where cooking and baking meets studying, crafting, social gatherings and more.
Creating an inviting kitchen can make a big difference in a home's overall appeal, and with simple updates, the kitchen can also impact the buying decision.
If the existing cabinet finish is looking distressed, a paint job can turn it around. Make sure the appliances (dishwasher, stove, refrigerator, etc.) match. If the flooring is worn, look to replace it (if the budget allows). An easy … (0 comments)

property inspections: Quick Home Fixes for Sellers - 04/24/09 01:57 PM
In today's real estate market, sellers need to know how to prepare their homes in order to sell quickly. Although some homes require major renovations and upgrades, many require small modifications. A little preparation in a tight market can go a long way.
Here are some quick and inexpensive fixes home sellers can perform to make their homes more appealing to prospective buyers:
Clear driveway and front walk from obstructions and trip hazards, and cut back overgrown bushes and limbs.
Make sure the deck and stair railings are secured correctly Clean gutters of debris Replace all burnt out light bulbs Make … (0 comments)

property inspections: Inexpensive Fixes for Home Sellers - 04/09/09 09:54 AM
In today's real estate market, sellers need to know how to prepare their homes in order to sell quickly. Although some homes require major renovations and upgrades, many require small modifications. A little preparation in a tight market can go a long way.
Here are some quick and inexpensive fixes home sellers can perform to make their homes more appealing to prospective buyers:
Clear driveway and front walk from obstructions and trip hazards, and cut back overgrown bushes and limbs
Make sure the deck and stair railings are secured correctly Clean gutters of debris Replace all burnt out light bulbs Make … (3 comments)

property inspections: Ask the Inspector: Windows and Doors - 03/09/09 10:31 AM
How do I determine the condition of my windows and doors for maintenance purposes and whether the condition of my windows and doors are a safety concern?
Windows and doors in a commercial or residential property are important for aesthetics, safety and energy efficiency. Understanding the type, function and condition of the windows and doors can help determine future maintenance projects.
A qualified inspector will assess the condition and safety of doors and windows on the exterior and interior of the home. On the exterior, the first thing the inspector will note is the type of front door. The professional will … (0 comments)

property inspections: Inspecting the Attic - 01/23/09 09:11 AM
Inadequate insulation means that 10 to 50 percent of energy is lost through walls, ceilings and floors. Proper insulation helps lower energy bills by resisting heat movement through the barrier. Where the interior of walls and ceilings is easily accessible, adding insulation can be a relatively inexpensive way to get a big return on energy savings.
The first place to look for missing insulation is in the attic. Attics, in general, are fairly accessible, but in many homes, even newer homes, insulation is inadequate. As part of a general home inspection, the inspector will examine the type of insulation present and … (0 comments)

property inspections: Ask the Inspector: Chimneys & Fireplaces - 12/05/08 09:02 AM
The winter months are a popular time to curl up in front of your fireplace. So make sure that your fireplace is in the proper condition for this winter.
Wood burning fireplaces are generally considered to be extremely inefficient heat sources, but that doesn't deter many homeowners from wanting them in their homes. There are two basic types of wood burning fireplaces: masonry and metal insert. A masonry fireplace is made of brick or mortar, and a metal insert fireplace is a prefab unit with masonry surrounding it. The chimney is the most important part of the fireplace system and should … (0 comments)

property inspections: Parking Garages - 09/05/08 08:53 AM
Your building's parking garage is usually the first impression to tenants and guests. Your building's focus is on tenant relations and the spot occupied by those tenants. It's easy to overlook parking structures and focus solely on parking availability.
If the management and maintenance of your building's parking garage are outsourced to a professional parking operator, you should regularly walk through the parking garage with the parking operator to ensure that your tenants and guests' first impression of your building is a positive one. Follow these tips, according to buildings.com, to determine if your parking operator is taking the necessary steps to … (0 comments)

property inspections: Plumbing - 09/05/08 08:35 AM
A typical home plumbing system includes three fundamental components: the water supply system, the fixtures and appliances, and the drain system. The plumbing system's water supply includes piping for fresh water coming in and wastewater going out. The proper flow of water through both systems is an essential part of maintaining a well-functioning home. Assessing the system for overall condition and visible leaks is part of any home inspection.
Only visible and accessible water supply (and drain) components within a structure are typically subject to inspection because underground or hidden portions of the system that are not readily accessbile are specifically excluded. The pipes … (0 comments)

property inspections: Finish Grade - 08/07/08 09:30 AM
Finish grade is the surface elevation of the ground. In home inspections, it can be referred to as lot grading. The grade, or height, and slope of surface materials surrounding a structure are important because water from precipitation moves from areas of high elevations to low elevations on and off a property. A correctly-graded lot drains surface water away from structures to help prevent water damage.
Correct drainage is achieved in a number of ways. The ground can be sloped away from the home. Swales, or hollow ditches, can divert water around the house. Catch basins, sometimes located in the yard … (0 comments)

 
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M. Murphy

Omaha, NE

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National Property Inspections

Fax: (800) 933-2508

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