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Vermiculite / Zonolite Insulation in my Attic

Mines in Montana One of the types of attic insulation that I find occasionally in my home inspections is a loose-fill product called vermiculite. It can be gold, light brown or gray in color and bears a resemblance to small piece of popcorn. Up until the early 1990’s...

Ice-Damming Causes and Cures

One of the frequent questions that comes up in a home inspection is “What can I do to minimize or prevent ice-damming on my home?”  In northern climates such as that in New England, ice-damming is something that plagues a vast majority of homes during winters when...

Condensate Pumps and Neutralizers

If you have a central air conditioning system or a newer high-efficiency heating system you may have noticed a little box sitting on the floor near the system.  The little box usually has one or two plastic pipes going into it and a clear plastic tube that leads to a...

Understanding GFCI and AFCI in Household Wiring

Have you ever opened the door to your electrical panel and noticed that some of the circuit breakers (a.k.a. overcurrent protection devices) have buttons on them with the word “Test”?  If so, you are probably looking at either a GFCI or AFCI device.  Let’s review how...

Reducing Laundry Machine Headaches

Does anyone really enjoy piling all their dirty clothes into a basket and slowly descending the basement stairs to their laundry machines?  In the quest for more convenience many people find a way to bring the laundry machines up and out of the deep dark dungeon and...

What is Radon Gas?

Testing for radon gas is a frequent topic during the course of a home inspection.  In a hyper-paranoid world where something is good for you one day and hazardous to your health the next day, how do you know whether or not to worry about exposure to radon gas?  Let’s...