Home Inspection Articles

Carbon Monoxide – Know the Symptoms and Sources

Posted by Olivia Hunt on Nov 5, 2012 4:08:00 PM

carbonmonoxidedectectorCarbon Monoxide (CO) is known as the “Great Imitator” as symptoms of CO poisoning are very similar to the flu. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas making it impossible for a homeowner to detect. CO is a by-product of incomplete combustion such as unburned fuel like gas, oil, wood, etc. Low concentrations of CO can go undetected and can contribute to ongoing, unidentified illnesses. At high concentrations, it can be deadly. Without knowing the symptoms and areas of the house that may be the cause, it poses a dangerous threat to homeowners.

 Why Is It Dangerous?

Air with CO can be very dangerous as it deprives your body of oxygen. When you take a breath of air with CO in it, the oxygen within your bloodstream is displaced with Carbon Monoxide. Depending on the amount of CO in the air, it can result in suffocation.


What Are The Symptoms?

Continued exposure or high concentrations can cause the following symptoms:

  • Confusion
  • Cardiac problems
  • Severe headaches
  • Brain damage
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Dizziness
  • Death

Long term exposure to low concentrations can cause the following symptoms:

  • Slight headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath with only moderate exertion
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion

Who Is At Greater Risk?

  • Senior Citizens
  • Pregnant women and their unborn babies
  • Young Children
  • Individuals with respiratory or coronary problems

Note: Vulnerable people who are exposed even to low levels of CO for long time periods may have similar health affects as those exposed to high concentrations of CO.

What Can Produce CO in Our Homes?

Anything that burns fuel or generates combustion gases can be a source of Carbon Monoxide. This includes: 

1.      Automobile exhaust in attached garages & non-vented fuel burning appliances

Automobile exhaust in attached garages is responsible for 60% of all CO alarms. People who warm up their cars in the garage are trapping CO inside.  When CO collects inside the garage, it can find its way into the home instead of going outside.

Non-vented fuel burning appliances include barbecues or gasoline powered equipment operating in an attached garage, basement, or enclosed area. It’s important to ensure CO isn’t trapped inside an enclosed area.

2.      Gas cooking appliances

Reported to account for 20% of CO alarms, this type of CO may be a result of misused, poorly maintained, poorly installed or unvented cooking appliances such as gas stoves and ovens. When having your furnace or boiler inspected annually, get any gas cooking appliances inspected as well. Often times gas stoves and ovens aren’t properly vented.

3.      Fireplaces and heating stoves

This is one of the most common and serious causes for CO build up and has been reported to account for up to 20% of CO alarms. When fireplaces and wood stoves do not have the proper venting, the CO remains inside the house instead of being safely expelled outside. Venting problems can include blocked chimney flues, inadequate venting as a result of poor installation or poor maintenance.

A leak in a chimney or flue pipe can also cause issues with CO coming back into your home.

4.      Poor combustion at furnace

Inadequate air to your furnace can lead to incomplete combustion which can result in poor efficiency as well as the production of CO gases. If your furnace has a cracked heat exchanger, it is possible to get CO into the circulating air. It is imperative that we do not deprive our heating equipment and fuel burning appliances of air; especially in air-tight homes where running exhaust fans can result in a shortage of combustion air. Combustion air is essential for safe operation of furnaces, water heaters, and other fuel burning equipment.

How Can I Guard Against Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

The first line of defense is to have your home heating systems, fuel burning appliances, flues and chimneys checked and/or cleaned annually by a specialist. Specialists should check for:

  • Blocked openings to flues and chimneys
  • Cracked, rusted, or disconnected flue pipes
  • Dirty filters
  • Rusted or cracked heat exchangers
  • Soot or creosote build-up inside fireplaces and chimney flues
  • Exhaust or gas odors
  • Attached garages require gas proofing and automatic closers for doors into the home
  • Adequate combustion air
  • Adequate venting on indoor combustion appliances (i.e-gas stoves)

The second line of defense is a Carbon Monoxide detector.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

How Do They Work?

Carbon Monoxide detectors sample the air at specific time intervals. A microchip inside the detector stores the reading and keeps track of the level of CO that the detector is exposed to over time.

Where to Install a Carbon Monoxide detector?

You should usually have one or more Carbon Monoxide detectors in your house but follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. This usually means one per floor. Be sure to maintain and test the detector regularly as instructed by the manufacturer.

If you want to learn more about your home and enjoyed these tips, order a copy of the Home Reference Book. You can also visit the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation as they are an excellent and credible source for information on Carbon Monoxide.

Topics: Home Reference Book, Home Inspection, Homeowner Tips

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

gfci resized 600


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

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

What Home Inspectors See – Home Inspector Training Interactive Tool Launched

Posted by Olivia Hunt on Sep 11, 2012 2:10:00 PM

Garage VentCarson Dunlop is pleased to announce the launch of our new Home Inspector Interactive Training Tool. This new device helps to illustrate the value of a Home Inspection through the employment of interactive photos. It shows how trained Home Inspectors uncover issues around the home that tend to go unnoticed.

The Home Inspector Interactive Training Tool visualizes for industry prospects what they will help to identify for their potential clients, allowing for a more concrete grasp of what a Home Inspector and a Home Inspection is. Home Inspectors keep clients safe and informed, enabling them to make educated decisions regarding their current or future homes. The Home Inspector Interactive Training Tool shows how Home Inspectors accomplish this.

So, can you see the problem in the picture above?

A trained Home Inspector would be able to warn clients that this vent may allow deadly exhaust fumes from family cars to enter the house from the garage. (Click here to see what a Home Inspector would find) With the Carson Dunlop Home Inspection Training program, you too can become a Home Inspector and be able to provide sound advice like this to your customers.  Want to learn more about how Home Inspectors Help? Click here to view our interactive tool.

Topics: Home Reference Book, Home Inspection Training

Keep your Home De-Cluttered and Organized – Don’t Add Fuel to a Potential Fire!

Posted by Olivia Hunt on Sep 10, 2012 11:46:00 AM

Combustible Clearance   Fire Hazard resized 600Does this picture look familiar? We all have those spaces in our house – a place where our stuff just seems to accumulate and grow in volume each year. Every house is a challenge for storage but it is important to stay organized and take note of where you put your belongings.

In this particular case, wrapping paper and boxes should not be crammed beside an exhaust vent for a wood burning fireplace insert.  The exhaust vent can get extremely hot and can cause items homeowners put too close to catch fire. 

As a general rule, there should be at least two feet of clearance around any combustible appliance in your home. Click here for our image of the appropriate clearance area.  So what other appliances are considered combustible? Homeowners should create clearance for:

1)      Furnaces

2)      Water Heaters

3)      Fireplaces

As tempting as it may be to put those items that aren’t frequently used (Christmas decorations anyone?) in spaces like the one above, it’s important to keep the area clear to prevent against fire. Take a quick look around your home today and ensure that your belongings aren’t creating unnecessary fire hazards for you and your family.
Carson Dunlop wrote the book on Home Inspection and takes pride in providing information that keeps homeowners safe. Want more tips like this one on fire safety? Subscribe to our blog or follow us on Facebook or Twitter. You can also check out our Resource Center and our Quick Tips for Home Safety.

Topics: Home Reference Book, Home Inspection, Homeowner Tips

Bringing the Sunshine In and Keeping the Water Out - How to Maintain Your Window Wells

Posted by Olivia Hunt on Sep 5, 2012 10:53:00 AM

Window WellsWindow wells are necessary for basement windows fully or partially below grade. They enable windows to be functional which help bring in natural ventilation and sunlight into your basement and brighten up an otherwise dark and drab room. Without proper care and cleaning however, they can also leak and bring in water into your basement.

Some of the common problems homeowners may come across with their window wells include:

1) Becoming clogged with debris over time – Make sure to take a walk around your house on a regular basis and clean out the window wells that have collected leaves, garbage etc.

2) Inability to drain properly – this  can be related to debris but even when clean can be a problem and could use a closer look by a Home Inspector

3) Old age – nothing lasts forever and eventually woods rots, metal rusts and concrete spalls

So what can you do as a homeowner? Consider the following tips:

  • Ideally, the bottom of the window well should contain several inches of gravel to allow water to drain from the well
  • A drainage pipe, filled with gravel (to prevent it from collapsing, but still allowing water to pass) should extend down to the drainage title around the perimeter of the footing (if one exists). As an alternative, a clear plastic dome can be installed over the window well to keep water and debris out. To see our illustration of these tips, click here.

Window Wells can be a complex matter and homeowners may find it helpful to consult a Home Inspector. As one of the largest Home Inspection companies in North America, Carson Dunlop can help you with your window wells and many other aspects of your home. To learn more about our Home Inspections, please click here

Topics: Home Reference Book, Home Inspection, Homeowner Tips