Home Inspection Articles

Olivia Hunt

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New Technical Manual Helps Home Inspectors and Technicians in the Field

Posted by Olivia Hunt on Oct 31, 2012 4:17:00 PM
Technical Reference Guide eBook

As an inspector or technician in the field, there are numerous aspects of a building to be inspected and analyzed all at once. Often, systems and components such as the heating or cooling system require additional research on the inspector’s behalf. Inspectors should have the most up to date and reliable sources when it comes to the information they’re providing to their clients.

Carson Dunlop understands these needs; especially as this information can be used to make critical repair or replacement decisions. We have recently updated our Technical Reference Guide to reflect these requirements. The Technical Reference Guide helps determine the size and age of hundreds of residential and commercial heating and cooling systems. The 2012 paperback version features the most current information on the age and capacity of furnaces, boilers, air conditioners and water heaters. The manufacturers are listed alphabetically to allow for easy access to important information. 


In addition to the updated paperback version, the Technical Reference Guide is now available as an e-Book. The new e-Book offers: 

  • A simple and quick way to access information on any computer, smart phone or tablet.
  • A built-in search feature that allows inspectors to search manufacturers, make and model information easier and faster than ever before.
  • Updated contact information and links to manufacturers for even more convenient access to supplementary information.

Information is also included on sizing heating and cooling equipment, typical life expectancies of equipment, cooling load figures for commercial equipment, and outdoor air requirements for ventilation. Conversion factors and formulas for thermal resistance, heating, water and electrical units are also provided.

Created and used by Carson Dunlop and Carson Dunlop Weldon’s own residential and commercial inspectors, the new Technical Reference Guide can become an indispensable part of your toolkit that clients will certainly appreciate. Want to learn more or purchase a copy? Visit our online store.

Topics: Home Inspection, Carson Dunlop, Commercial Inspection, Technical Reference Guide

Telltale Signs That A Home Was Previously A Grow Op

Posted by Olivia Hunt on Oct 30, 2012 1:51:00 PM

Grow OpHave you ever wondered why your neighbors never seem to surface from their home, rarely have any garbage to pick up, always have the blinds down or windows covered, come and go at unusual hours, and never invite you over for a barbecue? These are some of the signs of a potential marijuana grow operation.  With an estimated 50,000 grow houses in Canada*, there is increasing concern about health, fire, safety, and structural implications for home buyers. It’s imperative to know the signs and the associated risks with houses that were previously used as a grow house.


What is a Grow House?

A grow house is a home that has been converted into a marijuana operation. Larger homes in quiet areas with unfinished basements are preferred, although grow houses can exist in any type of home or neighborhood.

What Are the Signs and the Risks?

The house must have ideal greenhouse conditions for the plants to grow. To create such an environment, operators usually make some changes to the following areas of the house:

Electrical System

Grow Op Electrical1) The electrical system is usually altered to power the hydroponic equipment. Operators may steal electricity by tapping into the electrical service before it enters the electrical meter, and bring power into the house through a hole in the foundation. This is sometimes visible near the electrical panel.

2) Additional circuitry is usually added inside the home to bring electrical power to the equipment, and operators rarely make sure that these alterations meet electrical codes.

While these modifications can create a hazardous electrical situation, improvements can be made to ensure the electrical system remains safe for a potential homebuyer. Holes cut in the foundation wall can be repaired as well, but if not done properly, the potential for water leakage remains.


Plants require light, ideal temperature, water and nutrients in order to thrive. With the heat generated by hydroponic lighting, a significant amount of humidity is produced in the process. While humans, animals, and plants need humidity, too much can cause mold, mildew, and rot to form in the home, especially in or on exterior surfaces such as foundation walls or attic spaces. Often, modifications are made to the home to help vent the excess humidity to the outdoors and bring in fresh air from the outside. These include:

Grow Op Chimney1) Fireplaces and chimneys which can be used as channels for removing excess moisture. Operators will insert metal liners inside the chimney to do this.

2) Structural elements such as floor and ceiling joists are sometimes cut to accommodate additional ductwork.

The structural integrity of the home may be compromised by the combination of cut framing components and high humidity. Signs of high humidity are usually most visible in attic spaces, where the moist air is often vented. Darkening of attic surfaces is generally a good indicator that mold and mildew are present.

Mold comes in many colors and may be visible and distinct. It can also be very subtle. Surface mold may be the tip of the iceberg, with considerable mold concealed behind the wall. In other cases, the mold is only on the surface.

The toughest situation occurs when the mold is not visible. Home Inspectors pay particular attention to intersecting walls and ceilings where air circulation is poor or areas that have been chronically damp or wet. The good news is that many grow houses are in operation for less than a year, which may not be enough time for mold to thrive and cause serious structural damage.

Other Clues

There are a few other clues you can look for which may indicate that the house was once a grow house:

1) Painted concrete floors in the basement and walls that have been painted white to reflect light. Operators also use white paint to cover up evidence of where pots used to sit.

2) Screw holes and patches are often visible in the foundation wall where equipment was mounted above the floor level to avoid any water on the floor.

3) Multiple splices in the plumbing system may be present to nourish the crop.

4) Chemical odors may still be present as a result of the fertilizers and pesticides used, which can create health hazards through poor indoor air quality.

While it is expected that realtors who are representing sellers or landlords of these properties should make every effort to ensure that all parties are notified of the potential issues, a Home Inspection can help quantify the severity of these issues. In most cases, with proper clean-up and some repair, these homes can be lived in without concern.

In many cases, insurance companies may not issue insurance for homes that were formerly grow houses. By exercising good judgment and due diligence in obtaining proper information on the condition of the home, purchasers can rest easy knowing that with a little tender loving care, the home will provide the comfort and security they deserve.

Carson Dunlop provides a continuing education course on grow houses should you want to better familiarize yourself with the signs of a grow house. Please view our Continuing Education section of our website for more information.


*SOURCE: Michael G. Cochrane and Insomniac Press http://www.mycanadianrealestatelaw.com/growhouse.html

Topics: Home Inspection, Homeowner Tips, Home Inspection Training

GFCI, AFCI & Tamper Resistant - What Do They All Mean?

Posted by Olivia Hunt on Oct 25, 2012 9:45:00 AM

The terms GFCI, AFCI and Tamper Resistant may seem overwhelming, but don’t fret, these designations refer to safety features in your home’s electrical system. While you don’t need to be an expert on these devices, learning a bit about what keeps you and your family safe within your house can be beneficial. Some of the common safety features that have been added to our homes include:

  1. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
  2. Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters
  3. Tamper Resistant Receptacles

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

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Purpose: These keep you from being electrocuted. More specifically, they look for electrical leaks. If they notice a leak, they assume that it might be going though you and they shut off the electricity.

Where needed: Anywhere close to water. They are typically near kitchen sinks, in bathrooms, outdoors, garages, etc.

Identifying them: GFCIs are special breakers in your electrical panel (look for a Test button) or special receptacles (outlets) with Test and Reset buttons. Sometimes you can find the letters “GFI” or “GFCI”.


Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters




 Purpose: These help prevent fires by looking for overheating from poor connections.

Where needed: AFCIs are special breakers on your electrical panel that protect receptacles in bedrooms.

Identifying them: They are special breakers on your electrical panel (look for a Test button). Sometimes you can find the letters “AFCI”.





Tamper Resistant Receptacles/Outlets

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Purpose: These keep you from being electrocuted. In particular, they won’t let children (or adults) put a key, safety pin, screwdriver, etc. into receptacles.

Where needed: Anywhere a child can reach a receptacle.

Identifying them: Look for the letters “TR” on cover plate or plates blocking slots.

Good to know: While normal receptacles are rated for 15 amps of current flow, the T-slot in this picture indicates the receptacle is rated for a larger 20-amp load. Some appliances require a 20-amp circuit and have T-shaped prongs so they can’t be used on a 15-amp receptacle. These receptacles are commonly used above kitchen counters, to handle kettles and toasters for example, without tripping the breaker even when they are on at the same time.


If you like tips like these, check out our Home Reference Book for the ultimate homeowners guide to owning a house. You can also sign up to our blog, start following us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

Topics: Home Reference Book, Home Inspection, Homeowner Tips, Home Inspection Training

Floor Facts & Finishes - How to Upkeep What's Underfoot

Posted by Olivia Hunt on Oct 19, 2012 9:21:00 AM

Floor FinishesWith laminate and engineered wood flooring becoming so popular these days (especially with do-it-your-selfers), it’s good to familiarize yourself with some of the common issues with not only laminate and engineered wood flooring but other floor finishes as well.  You’ll find yourself an expert in no time and likely have a better idea of when you need to fix your floors too.

So what are the main issues with floor finishes? First and foremost – water damage. Water damage can occur from a variety of sources but the most common include: leaks from roofs, windows, doors, skylights, plumbing (especially toilets and showers), hot water heating systems and condensation.  Water damage can also occur from humidifier/dehumidifiers, over watering of plants and melting snow from boots or shoes.

You’ll know you have water damage on your wood-based floors as they may discolour, buckle, warp or rot. With carpet, you run the risk of developing mold.  Water damage can be prevented by regularly checking those areas that are most susceptible and investing in a shoe rack or mat to soak up all that winter slush!

Other common problems with floor finishes include:

Wear and Tear

Floors take a lot of abuse on a daily basis and will eventually have some damage due to normal wear and tear. When softwoods such as pine, fir or cedar are used as a floor finish, they can be damaged by high heels, furniture and heavy items being dropped onto them. Softer materials, such as resilient flooring and carpet, will eventually wear out in high traffic areas. Sharp objects and furniture dropped or dragged across flooring may also damage the surface. You can prevent a lot of damage by adding good furniture pads to your furniture. Not to mention keeping those heels off the floors ladies!

Homeowners should also ensure to replace any loose or missing sections of flooring as they may present a tripping hazard. If you find your carpet has ridges or buckles, you can have a carpet installer pull it tight so it lies flat again.


The most common problem with brittle floor tiles is cracking. Cracking is usually the result of a floor system that isn’t stiff enough to support the tile or by impact damage such as a heavy item dropped on the tiles. A cracked or broken concrete floor may not be aesthetically pleasing but it might only be a problem if it’s not safe to walk across or if there is moisture coming up through the floor.  Replacing the tiles is easy enough but be warned – it may be difficult to match the colour, style and grout, and could turn out to be a bigger headache than it’s worth if it’s done just for aesthetic reasons.

Squeaky Floors

Dreaded by all nighttime snackers and sneaky teenagers, squeaky floors can be quite a nuisance. However, they aren’t a structural problem. A floor usually squeaks when walked on because the flooring finish or subfloor is not tightly secured. The subfloor may not be well-secured to the joists, or the finished flooring material (like hardwood) may not be tightly fastened to the subfloor. Although this issue may prove to be a bit annoying, it’s not necessary to replace your floors in this situation as it does not pose any major safety concerns.

Poor Sloping

It’s important to ensure your concrete basement floor slopes down to a floor drain that can lead away water. Otherwise, you may find yourself with that ever so popular issue of water damage. There are two options of addressing this issue. First, you can add more concrete to the existing slab to improve the slope. Unfortunately this is often difficult to do as new concrete doesn’t usually bond well to old concrete. The second but more expensive option is to add another floor drain by breaking up some of the concrete floor. In the end, replacing a deteriorated floor may be more cost effective than trying to repair or re-slope the floor.

Keep these issues in mind as you walk around your house and make sure to address any problem areas that involve water damage or infringe on your safety.  If you liked the tips in this blog entry, you can find more information on your home in our Resource Center or by purchasing a copy of our Home Reference Book – the essential homeowner’s guide to owning a home.

Topics: Home Reference Book, Homeowner Tips

Winterizing Your Home – The Interior of Your House

Posted by Olivia Hunt on Oct 16, 2012 8:16:00 AM

WinterizingJust like the exterior of your house, the interior of your house needs some attention before Old Man Winter comes to town. As a follow up to our blog entry on Winterizing Your Home – The Exterior of Your House, we will cover some of the key areas inside your home that you should consider before the winter season. The two major areas include your furnace and the weather stripping around your windows and doors.


Your furnace is the heart of your home and your best friend in the winter. The most important pre-winter activity is to schedule a heating system maintenance call.  This applies to both new and old furnace units. The technician will clean the burners and fan, lubricate the moving parts, change the filter and check the operation of the important safety mechanisms.

If you choose to have the service done later in the heating season, you can start the winter season off right by replacing or cleaning the furnace air filter. If you have a humidifier you should clean it out as well.

Weather Stripping

If you live in a new house, odds are your windows and doors are well sealed. Old windows and doors, (and unfortunately even some newer ones), may need sealing to keep heat in and cold out. One approach would be to replace them – but that can get a bit costly. Luckily, great improvements can be made with simple weather stripping kits available at any hardware store. Due to the tremendous variation in shapes and sizes, we could write a novel about how to do this, but all you really need to do is to find the pre-packaged material that has a picture of your window or door, or something close to it, and follow the instructions.

The previous suggestions are the most important winter tune-up steps. Other winterizing ideas include:
 • Cleaning the grilles and registers – especially the cold air return
 • Cleaning and lubricating exhaust fans
 • Cleaning out the dryer vent and cover
 • If you have electric baseboard heaters, vacuum the dust off the interior fins, and make sure drapes and curtains are several inches above their hot surfaces

So what are you waiting for? Get started on your winter check list before it gets too cold! Want more tips like the ones mentioned above? Check out our Resource Center.

Topics: Home Reference Book, Homeowner Tips

Winterizing Your Home - The Exterior of Your House

Posted by Olivia Hunt on Oct 15, 2012 8:14:00 AM

WinterizingWith winter fast approaching, now is a great time to start thinking about winterizing your home. Carson Dunlop has developed a winterizing checklist to help ensure your home is ready for the change in seasons. Start by taking a good look at the exterior of your house with close attention to the roof, eavestroughs, downspouts, grading and windows. All of these areas require a little TLC before the cold winter sets in.

The Roof

The brunt of weather abuse is taken by your roof since accumulated snow can be very heavy. In order to check your roof you are going to need a ladder, a pair of binoculars, or a trusted roofing expert. If you have a sloped roof, look for shingles that are cracked, curled, loose, damaged, or missing. Once located, repair them. If you have a flat roof, clean off leaves and branches, and cut back overhanging tree limbs. On the roof membrane, look for bulges, worn spots, or split seams.

Regardless of the type of roof, you should also pay attention to the junctions between the roof and chimneys, pipes and walls. Often you’ll find that the metal flashings need to be re-secured or re-caulked. Again, if it’s damaged, fix it as soon as possible.
If you decide to personally check out your roof, take a look at the chimney, if you have one. Brick chimneys may have missing mortar or loose bricks, and should have a screen to keep animals out. Metal chimneys should be free from rust. If getting up on a roof isn’t your thing, contact a local roofing professional and they’ll take a look for you.

Eavestroughs and Downspouts
While at roof level, be sure to clean and re-secure the eavestroughs. We can’t overemphasize the importance free flowing, leak free gutters and downspouts have on the overall health of the house, especially the basement. If your eavestroughs can’t control the rain or melting snow, the ground will get soaked. If the ground is soaked around your house, there is a much higher risk of a leaky basement. We’re pretty sure this is something you want to avoid; especially in the winter!

You should also follow the downspouts to ground level to double check where they dump the water. Above ground spouts should be well connected at the elbow and discharge at least six feet away from the nearest wall, or at a point where run-off will be carried away from the house.

For any house older than 40 years that has downspouts draining below ground, homeowners should consider disconnecting them from the below grade pipe system and extending the drain above ground. This is an easy and surprisingly effective basement leakage cure in many older houses.

Since you’re finally off the roof and on the ground, take a walk around your house to check how the ground directs the flow of water. Any and all surfaces next to the walls should be sloped away from the house to move water away from the foundation.

Poor grading is another common and preventable cause of basement leakage. For more information on proper grading, click here. This is exponentially more important on warm winter days since melting snow runs quickly across the surface of still frozen ground. If the grading is poor, it will flow directly to the foun dation of the home and may cause basement flooding. Now is the time to grab a shovel and re-slope the grass, or call a paving contractor or handy person to correct a negatively sloping driveway or walkway.

During your exterior walkabout, check the windows and doors for any wood in need of paint and any joints that need re-caulking. Also check the caulking at pipes, vents, and other wall penetrations. Touch up these areas before it gets too cold – this can also help save you money on your energy bills.

While these cover the major areas outside of your home, there are still many other items that you should consider taking a look at inside the house.  Subscribe to our blog or follow us on twitter to get more information on winterizing your home. 

Topics: Home Reference Book, Homeowner Tips

Homeowner Tips - Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

Posted by Olivia Hunt on Oct 9, 2012 11:44:00 AM

Ground Fault Circuit InterruptersMany homeowners may not be familiar with the term Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI), but it’s likely that you use one every day. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters are the outlets with the coloured “Test” and “Reset” buttons. Click here to see our detailed picture of a GFCI. They are specifically designed to better protect people than ordinary outlets and have been used in houses since the 1970′s.

Why Are They Used?

GFCI’s are designed to shut power off if there is a very small leak of electricity (a ground fault) which ordinary outlets wouldn’t notice. Normal outlets are shut off by a fuse or breaker if more than 15 amps flows. This prevents fires, but since people can be killed by 1 amp or less, fuses may not protect people from shock. GFCI’s shut off power if a leak as small as .005 amp occurs. This is especially useful in areas such as your bathroom where water and electricity can be accidently mixed. 

How Do They Work?

A GFCI detects a leak by comparing how much electricity comes back through the white wire to how much was sent in the black wire. When everything is working correctly, the current flow is the same. If a little electricity is leaking out, it may be going through a ground wire or through part of the house. If this happens, the black wire will have more electricity than the white wire. Electricity, like most people, will follow the path of least resistance.
If a person touches a leaky electrical system, they may present a better route to ground for electricity, since they likely offer very little resistance. The electricity will then flow through the person, giving them a shock. Without a GFCI, this can be fatal. With a GFCI, the little leak would be detected and the power would be shut off.

Where Are They Used?

In Canada, GFCI’s are now required by Code for outdoor outlets, bathroom outlets and whirlpool outlets. Electrical systems for swimming pools are also GFCI protected.

Can The Outlet Be GFCI Protected If There Is No Button?

Yes, if for example, the circuit breaker back at the panel has a “Test” button, it is a GFCI breaker. This will protect everything on that particular circuit. Any outlets wired downstream of a GFCI outlet are also protected if the GFCI is wired correctly.

Can They Be Added To Older Houses?

GFCI’s can be added to any electrical system. They are more expensive than regular outlets ($15-$20 vs. $1-$2), but are inexpensive insurance. While they do not replace grounding systems exactly, some Codes do allow GFCI’s in lieu of grounding in some cases. It is safe to say that a circuit protected by a GFCI is better protected than one without.

Want to learn more about your home? Check out our Resource Center – you can find tons of tips on home safety, renovation and repair as well as home maintenance. You can also purchase a copy of our Home Reference Book if you’re looking for the essential homeowner’s guide to owning a home.

Topics: Home Reference Book, Homeowner Tips

Women in the Home Inspection Industry

Posted by Olivia Hunt on Oct 2, 2012 2:32:00 PM

Sheila Corman, Home InspectorDid you know that only 1.6% of all Home Inspectors are women?*

We were just as surprised as you are to learn there are so few female Home Inspectors in North America.  While Home Inspection is a male dominated industry, we believe there are numerous reasons why women should consider this profession.   Women can bring a unique perspective to Home Inspection and often establish good working relationships with their clients due to their ability to connect with a variety of homeowners while putting them at ease. 

So what is it like as a female Home Inspector?  We recently conducted an interview with a female Home Inspector who works at Carson Dunlop to provide some insight into the profession.  Sheila Corman joined the industry after working in several fields which involved a large amount of physical labour. She began to look for a profession that was less physically exhausting and stressful on her body, which made becoming a Home Inspector a natural fit. Not only did Sheila graduate with distinction from her Home Inspection training program, she now teaches it at Seneca College! When asked whether gender plays a role in her job, Sheila explained:

“Absolutely, but I think it does so in a positive way. As a woman the intimidation factor goes down and communication goes up. I mean of course there are still some stereotypical comments and more often than not I’m not what clients are necessarily expecting, but the inspection report and the results speak for themselves.”

Sheila is quite the busy individual too – she teaches, performs Home Inspections and also plays a very active role in her daughter’s life. If you’d like to view Sheila’s profile and the full interview, visit our Graduate Success & Testimonials.  Women like Sheila are taking advantage of the numerous opportunities available to them. Regardless of whether you are male or female, Home Inspection can be a great career choice. Individuals that choose to pursue this profession share a passion for homes and a love of interacting with new people on a daily basis. Interested in learning more? Download our Home Inspection Training Catalogue.

*SOURCE: American Society of Home Inspectors, 2011 Home Inspections Business Operations Survey

Topics: Home Inspection Training

New Condominium Inspection Product Launched

Posted by Olivia Hunt on Sep 21, 2012 8:15:00 AM

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At Carson Dunlop we recognize that condominiums and houses have different systems, cover different areas and ultimately present different concerns for their respective owners, purchasers and sellers. So why inspect them the same way? We’ve decided to stop comparing apples to oranges, and created the new Condominium Inspection product for our clients.  

Developed in collaboration with real estate professionals and existing clients, this new product aims to deliver the most comprehensive solution on the market. So what makes this new service so innovative? It includes:

  • A detailed investigation of all major appliances within the unit- includes a check for manufacturer recalls.
  • An optional appliance condominium warranty plan

The Carson Dunlop Condominium Inspection is catered exclusively for condominium clients, focusing on the systems and features specific to a condominium, including appliances, maintenance and service issues. Condominium owners, purchasers and sellers can now make an informed decision when buying or selling a condominium. Not to mention, new condo owners may learn a thing or two about their new home and how to take care of it properly. Want to learn more about the Carson Dunlop Condominium Inspection product? Click here.

Topics: Condo Inspection, Home Inspection

The Truth Behind Knob-and-Tube Wiring - What You Need to Know

Posted by Olivia Hunt on Sep 17, 2012 2:57:00 PM

knob-and-tube wiringKnob-and tube wiring is very common in older homes, and is somewhat controversial. But having knob-and-tube wiring in your house isn’t always a problem and in fact, it is not inferior to modern wiring in many ways, as most believe. Understanding knob-and-tube wiring and its common issues will help you determine whether or not it needs to be replaced.

So what is exactly is knob-and-tube wiring? This wiring was used in homes until approximately 1950.  The wire gets its name from the ceramic knobs that support it and the ceramic tubes that protect the wire as it passes through wood framing members such as floor joists. Click here to see the picture on the left in more detail. Or click here to see a technical image of knob-and-tube wiring.

One of the main differences between modern wiring and knob-and-tube is that the black and white wires are run separately and are spaced several inches apart in knob-and-tube wiring. In modern wiring, the black wire, white wire and ground wire are all wrapped up in a single cable. Another difference is the wire insulation. Modern wiring is insulated with plastic while knob-and-tube uses rubber. The breakdown of the insulation over time on knob-and-tube wiring is often the reason it is replaced. It’s important to note that this is frequently the result of overheating or mechanical abuse.  

The fact that the copper wire used in knob and tube is larger diameter than that in today’s wire is an advantage for knob and tube. Larger wires stay cooler as electricity flows through them.  The fact that the wire is older and has been in service for many years is a disadvantage of knob-and-tube, of course. Another is the absence of a ground wire, which creates an emergency path for stray electricity that helps avoid shocks. Modern cable has a ground wire, knob-and-tube does not.

Some of the other common problems you may come across with knob-and-tube include:

  • Poor Connections: Problems with knob-and-tube wire almost always result from amateurish connections made after original installation.
  • Damage: Knob-and-tube wiring is invariably old and may have been subjected to multiple handymen, mechanical abuse and wear and tear over the years.

  • Brittleness: As mentioned earlier, the rubber insulation on knob-and-tube can become brittle. The wire will often become brittle in high heat areas, including connections above ceiling light fixtures. 

  • Circuits Extended: Since older electrical systems had few circuits by today’s standards, the chances of each knob-and-tube circuit having been extended over the years is very good. This increases the possibility of poor connections.

These problems can cause wires to short circuit or overheat. Should you have any concerns about these issues surrounding knob-and-tube, contact a licensed electrician.

If you don’t have any particular issues but would like to replace the knob-and-tube wiring in your house, the best time to do this is when you are remodeling your home. This is less expensive as the walls, ceilings and floors are open and accessible.  Many homeowners replace knob-and-tube as individual rooms are remodeled. Remodeling projects usually include adding more receptacles, ground-fault- and arc-fault circuit interrupters. It’s very common to find pre-1950s homes with a combination of modern wiring and knob-and-tube.

While knob-and-tube wiring is older, it is not necessary to replace it simply because you have it in your house. You should have it inspected and evaluated annually.

One last important consideration: Many insurance companies may not insure homes with knob-and-tube wiring, no matter what its condition. You may need to replace the wiring for insurance reasons. Through Carson Dunlop's Homeowners Association, we have partnered with  insurance partners to provide solutions for older homes. Click here to learn about the Carson Dunlop Homeowners Association.

Become an expert on home care by staying informed with tips like these on a daily basis. Sign up to our blog, start following us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

Topics: Home Reference Book, Home Inspection, Homeowner Tips