Steve Sipos is a Registered Home Inspector and Pillar to Post Franchise Owner. We asked Steve what additional home inspection concerns surfaced over the last couple of years.
Here were his top 4:
1. Aluminum Wiring
Insurance companies today typically ask that aluminum wiring be inspected by a licensed electrician for a number of reasons:
- When mixing aluminum with copper, the connections are not compatible. This often happens when homeowners are remodeling or adding on.
- Aluminum wiring should be inspected every 3 to 5 years and an electrician can correct any loose terminal screws and apply anti-oxidant paste for improved safety.
- An electrician can apply what’s called the Pigtail Repair Method in which copper wire is attached to existing aluminum through use of twist connectors that make the wires compatible.
- Modern light switches and receptacles are not compatible with aluminum wiring. Today electrical supply stores carry many electrical devices and connectors approved for use with aluminum wiring.
Though okay in the past, vermiculite today is a subject of concern as it may contain asbestos and buyers want it tested. Steve Sipos estimates about a 50/50 chance that any vermiculite discovered contains asbestos.
- If the asbestos in vermiculate tests higher than acceptable levels, specialized removal companies are used.
- There are different methods of testing vermiculite and some test centres are better than others. Steve suggests that obtaining samples from three locations of the attic would result in a more thorough report and that testing is best in accordance with provincial guidelines.
- Radon has been associated with being the second leading cause of lung cancer. Due to increased awareness, more buyers are requesting radon testing through a home inspector over the last couple of years. Yet for the most part, radon testing in the Niagara Region has been found to be below action levels. Today some new homes have a rough-in installed in which a suction pipe can be installed to mitigate radon.
4. Synthetic Stucco
This exterior finish has a Styrofoam base spread with a base coat of synthetic stucco. Fibreglass mesh is then embedded and a textured finish coat applied. A home inspector will look around windows to make sure all joints are sealed to avoid water damage that can cause mold and deterioration.
Steve can be reached at 905-646-7678.