Where to Mount Your CO Detectors

2016-05-23 09.24.16As was mentioned in a previous blog, a CO detector is an invaluable safety item to have in your home. So where should you mount your CO detectors?

Many people mistakenly think that there is a place in your home that everyone agrees on that the detector should go. In reality, there are very few federal regulations, and most manufacturers of CO detectors give contradicting instructions on where to place them. Some people also say “CO is heavier than air, so it sinks”, when in reality CO is almost the same weight as air, so it neither sinks nor rises, but goes with the natural stack affect of the home.

So where should it go? Fist of all, somewhere within about 10-15 foot of combustibles is a good start – i.e. your heating unit, water heater, fireplace (burning wood creates CO as well). Then ideally one should be placed in all the bedrooms and in the basement stairwell. When it comes to CO detectors, more is better

Mounting Your CO Detectors

CO DetectorDo you have a CO detector in your home? If so, then you are taking care of your family. Thousands of deaths every year are attributed to CO in the home. Colorless and odorless, it really is “the silent killer”.

Too often on a home inspection we will see homes without a CO detector. Just as bad though is a home where there is a CO detector, but it is not mounted. A CO detector does no good unless it is mounted. A plug-in CO detector is fine too, just make sure you follow the instructions on the box. So where should you mount your CO detector? Read our next blog and find out!

Chimney Inspections and Home Inspections

chimney inspectorThere are a lot of questions that go with buying a home with a chimney (many homes nowadays do not have chimneys). One of the questions is what kind of a chimney inspection does a home inspector do. The short answer is most home inspectors do what is called a Level I chimney inspections. But what is that? And what is a Level II and a Level III inspection?

A level I chimney inspection is the basic inspection that should be done on all chimneys to start out with. Typically it involves checking the structure, the exterior brick, the crown if possible, any exposed sections of flue, the smoke chamber if possible, and the fire box.

A Level II inspection is more involved as it is normally done with cameras that inspect the interior portion of the chimney flue that is not visible during a typical Level I inspection.

A Level III is something that most will never have done. It is usually done after a chimney fire and means dismantling of the chimney (or at least parts of it) and demolition to see how much damage was done and what needs to be replaced, repaired, or re-built.

Questions? Contact us!

Find Us On Thumbtack!

9INeGPOXDid you know that we are on Thumbtack? Thumbtack is a place where many people are able to find and rate home inspectors, contractors, and other professionals.

We are proud to say that we have a full 5 stars on Thumbtack. Just one of the many reasons we are the right choice for your home inspection!


Commercial Building Inspections in VA

commercial buildingAre you looking for a commercial building inspector in VA? Then you have come to the right place. My name is Paul, and I am an experienced inspector with years in the commercial field.

Inspecting a commercial building takes a special kind of inspector, one who has the hands-on experience, but also the knowledge and expertise to make sure that your investment is secure.

So contact us today to schedule your commercial building inspection!

How is the Radon In Your Home?

Radon TestingHow is the radon level in your home? I know it seems like a strange question to ask, but it is still important to know.

Every year the EPA reports thousands of radon related deaths – thousands. The primary issue that radon causes is lounge cancer. But how does it do this?

Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from decomposing uranium in the earth. As uranium decomposes it becomes radium, the radon, then it becomes two types of polonium. Generally, it is those two types of polonium that actually affect your health. As you breath in the polonium it attaches itself to your lounge cells, causing mutation – and cancer.

That being said, mitigation is relatively easy, and the testing is even easier. So contact us today for your comprehensive radon test.


Truss or Rafter?

truss roof system

Truss System

What are trusses? Many times during a home inspection I point out an issue with either a framing issue with a truss system or a rafter system. Many of my clients wan to know the difference, so we have provided some visual aids. The picture to the left is what is called a “truss” roofing system. It is typically framed with 2×4’s and utilize metal plates called “gussets”.



Rafter System

In the picture to the right, we see a rafter system. These are typically framed (depending on the age of the home) with 2×6’s or larger.These have straight runs from the eaves to the ridge and usually have framing members holding them together called “collar ties” and (on a conventionally framed system) “rafter ties”


Questions? Contact me!

Stay Informed!

Home inspections cover a lot of different components and issues in the home. So unless “ampacity” or “elastomeric” are everyday vocabulary for you, then some help understanding some terms in your report are helpful. That is why we have provided access to the world’s largest home inspection glossary below. Simply enter your search term and see the results!

Home Inspection Glossary

the InterNACHI Glossary


Home Inspection Picture, Jan 2016

2016-01-11 10.25.20In this month’s home inspection picture we see yet another example of mold in the attic. This is such a common issue to find during a home inspection.

The vast majority of the time this is due to lack of ventilation. And remember, more air doesn’t always equal more ventilation. For instance, soffit vents do little to noting without a ridge vent or roof vent. Questions? Contact me!

Woodbridge Radon Testing

Woodbridge Radon TestingAre you looking for radon testing in Woodbridge VA? Be sure that you are getting the best radon tester there is.

Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from decomposing uranium in the earth and is shown to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. That being said, having a proper test done is very important to the health, and possibly the life, of the occupants in your home. So how can you know if you are getting the best radon test possible?

First of all, we provide radon testing – So please feel free to contact us! Otherwise, be sure that your radon tester is qualified. Having an InterNACHI certified radon tester is a great way to help ensure that the person doing the test is competent.

After that, make sure the test is set up properly. 2-3 off of the floor and 2-3 feet away from the exterior walls is a good general rule to follow. Also, make sure that it is not near any air run appliances (furnaces, driers, etc) or near any openable windows and doors.

Questions? Contact me!

Radon testing in the following areas of Virginia : Centreville, Dumfries, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredricksburg, Gainesville, Manassas, Mclean, Annandale, Arlington, Bristow, Great Falls, Stafford, Vienna, Warrenton, Woodbridge, Alexandria, and surrounding areas of Virginia!