The comments below are based solely on the opinion of 20/20 Home Inspections and information gathered from home inspection manuals. (continued)
Let's avoid this from happening
- Keep at least a 6" separation from the soil level to the top of the concrete slab to help prevent water seepage and/or insect access. Any untreated wood to soil contact is a conducive condition for wood destroying insects. Thick vegetation around the exterior walls is great cover for the unseen activity of critters and insects. It is recommended to keep the ground slope running away from the foundation. Ponding of water around the foundation will warrant problems in the future.
- Monitor and trim vegetation around the exterior and branches above the roof. Low branches near the roof can cause shingle damage.
- Clean/change air filters for AC/heat units on a monthly basis to maximize the efficiency of operation.
- The temperature of domestic hot water is important for energy conservation and safety. The operating temperature for most water heaters is 120-160 degrees F, and in some cases as high as 180 degrees F. A temperature setting of 120-140 degrees is adequate. Above 140 degree temperature is wasteful of energy and will shorten the life of a water heater. It is also a potential hazard because of possible scalding while showering.
- By lowering the thermostat 5-10 degrees at night before going to bed it will reduce fuel consumption and save you money. GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupt) protects the consumer from electrocution if they come in contact with water and electricity (hair dryer and bath tub).
- The GFCI will interrupt the flow of electricity and trip the circuit, which in turn saves you from having the "last shock of your life."
- Water pressure checks are performed on each home per TREC. Trying to achieve 70# PSI is best for water pressure of your home.
- As of January 2002, Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters are to be installed in bedrooms. The AFCI is a device (breaker) intended to provide protection from the effects of arc faults by recognizing the characteristics unique to arching and by functioning to de-energize (trip) the circuit when an arc fault is detected. As of 2002, these devices are now required (based on the National Electrical Code 2002-210.12) in all 125 volt, 15 & 20amp branch circuits in bedrooms. I recommend having these installed on your home to help prevent fires and electrical shock per today's building standards. As of January 2009, - Current building standards based on NEC2008 - (AFCI) arc-fault circuit interrupting devices serving family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreations rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas.