Archive for the ‘Home Safety’ Category

THINK TWICE ABOUT ATTIC AND RAFTERS STORAGE!
October 30, 2011

A man in Michigan is suing his in-laws because he fell through their attic helping them retrieve Christmas decorations.  So we are using this opportunity to remind everyone most attics are built for one purpose – to hold up the roof.  The rafters and trusses are designed to support the weight of the roofing material.  They are not normally engineered for the weight of stored items.  Stressing the trusses, rafters, and joints beyond the structural integrity they were designed for can cause damage and ultimately failure of the roofing system.

Unfortunately, many people think that the attic and the rafters in the garage are great places to store stuff.   They often lay wood flooring in the attic and will install a ladder to create permanent storage space unconcerned with the weight of the items they store.  We have seen boxes of books and paper records, furniture and more stuffed into these spaces.

To compound the problem, homeowners often wish to promote an attic storage area as a feature of the house when they list it for sale. They don’t understand the potential future liability of promoting this illegal storage space in the event that the trusses are structurally compromised later by the unwitting buyer.

We recommend homeowners not to utilize their attics for storage; and when selling their home, never advertise it for that use.

Rich and Jan McMillen
www.TOHomes.com
 

TOP TEN PHYSICAL INSPECTION ITEMS
August 30, 2011

Selling a home can have a lot of emotional ups and downs.  That roller coaster ride does not end with a signed contract.  Sellers have been known to lose their lunch on the Physical Inspection Plunge.  Safety issues will usually be recapped in a report and these are especially of concern to buyers.

Following are ten common problems discovered during the physical inspection:

  1. Furnace – Flex gas line entering furnace is not to code as it can break during an earthquake
  2. Electrical – GCFI missing in kitchen, bathroom, garage, or outside; outlets not properly grounded or polarities reversed; wiring that is not up to code (e.g. added garage lighting and automatic garage door openers); open junction boxes (often found in the attic)
  3. Water Heater – not properly strapped, anchored and braced; pressure valve release not exiting to exterior.
  4. Fireplace – cracks in fire box or chimney; gas fireplace missing a damper clamp; spark arrestor missing on chimney.
  5. Dishwasher missing air gap. 
  6. Smoke detectors missing or non-functioning.  There is no carbon monoxide detector (now required). 
  7. Windows and doors do not open, close and lock easily.
  8.  If there is a pool or spa, the gates to yard are not self-closing. 
  9. The door to garage is not fire-rated and self-closing. 
  10. Holes are in firewalls between garage and house.

Since these are safety issues, owners should keep themselves safe and not wait until their home is on the market to address them.  Protect yourself today!

 
Rich & Jan McMillen
 
www.TOHomes.com