Omaha Home Inspections by ASHI Certified Inspector Greg Wayman
Our reputation is what sets us apart from our competition. We are thorough and our clients appreciate it! We are in this business to honestly and thoroughly inspect every property to enable our clients to make the most educated decisions about buying or selling their home. What we put in our reports is the actual true condition of the property in detail with lots of photos. Many of our competitors in the Omaha metro use checklist reports with vague canned verbiage and you’re left wondering what they actually found. Our home inspections take 3-4 hours on-site, not including another 1 1/2 – 2 hours of writing the report. Larger homes take much more time. When we are done inspecting your property, you’ll know exactly what you are buying or selling.
Here's A Brain Teaser For YouWhat caused high levels of carbon monoxide in this home that had only a 6 month old furnace and water heater as the only possible sources? Answer: A defective water heater. The inner flue somehow had a hole in it allowing the flue gases to leak into the hot water supply which was why the hot water in the bathroom sink never stopped spurting. The CO gas coming out of the faucet was then sucked into the cold air return of the furnace and then circulated throughout the home.
Builder Installs Floor Trusses Upside DownThis home was a brand new custom built ranch with an unfinished basement. The home was 100% completed and the homeowner & his family had already moved in when we were hired to perform the home inspection. The homeowner knew something wasn’t right which is why he called us. It turns out approximately 50% of the floor trusses on this home were installed upside down. What this means is the floor trusses may not be able to hold the intended loads and/or weight and could realistically collapse. After being built, you can’t just take them out and flip them over. So the big question was how do you fix this??? We referred our client over to a licensed Structural Engineer who hopefully can come up with a low-cost solution.
Burnt Buss Bar On Main Electric PanelThis newer home caught the Seller & myself by surprise. We weren’t expecting to find the buss bar melted from it overheating. This was a fire hazard and needed immediate attention.
Stairs that go UP and DOWN at the same timeWant to get to your basement to the furnace, water heater, water shutoff, and to do your laundry, then take apart the stairs. Want to go upstairs to the Master Bedroom, then put the stairs back together. Relax, they were labeled for ease of use;-)
Vertical Crack In This Carrier FurnaceThis is exactly why you want to have your furnace annually serviced. This large crack most likely had developed years ago and kept getting larger. This family had no idea they were at such a serious risk of carbon monoxide poisoning every time their furnace turned on! This furnace was condemned.
New Construction Grading Oops!This brand new high-end custom built ranch home had a mud pond in the back yard. The existing ranch home downhill from this lot didn’t have the lot graded properly away from the foundation, so the Dirtwork Contractor built a large berm along the lot line. They never accounted for all of the water runoff from all of the future houses being built up the street and no drain or ditch was installed. The Buyer comes in ready to buy after both neighbors have established yards, sprinkler systems installed, and a fence going in. The only way to correct this was to dig up the neighbors’ yards. Not wanting to inherit the drainage issue and have neighbors hating them right off the bat, the Buyer decides to move on to the next one.
DIY - Electrical ProjectsHalf of this basement was entirely finished. Luckily, the homeowner didn’t finish covering up his “professional” wiring job with drywall yet. Splices need to be in junction boxes just in case there are any arcing. Arcing can occur at up to 2,000 degrees F. Any of these splices could have quickly caught this house on fire. Our recommendation was to remove all of the drywall and have a licensed Electrician properly wire the basement.
What Is Pushing This Brick Foundation So Much?This home was an awesome old house in Council Bluffs, IA. See the next picture;-)
Meet Hercules...The TreeThis is the ginormous tree that decided to grow right out of the corner of the front porch foundation, pushed in the main house foundation, and wreaked havoc on the 1-car detached garage down below.
More of HerculesThe bid to remove this tree, not including stump removal, not including repairing/rebuilding the foundation, and not including tearing down the detached garage and building a new one…was over $6,000.
This is the Termite Super HighwayTermite tubes are normally the width of a straw. The termites need moisture and a food source to survive. In our area, they are subterranean termites and they will start at the ground and eat their way up the wood structure. These termite tubes I found in a house in Herman, NE. The Termite Inspector had been there the day before my home inspection and only went into half of the basement. He didn’t didn’t find any live termites and his report stated the same. I went into the other half and found 1″ to 1 1/2″ wide termite tubes…that were very active. Needless to say, the termite guy had to drive back out.
Termite Super Highway - Part 2This is a close-up of one of those large termite tubes when I swiped my hand across it. Within a minute, the termites had repaired the tube and kept on business as usual.
You Know The Brick Foundation Is Bad When...…you can play Lego Blocks with the bricks.
Mushrooms Growing In The WindowThis larger home had been inspected by one of our competitors. They did find rot in 1 sill on the front of the house during their home inspection. What they missed was all of the rotted windows to the Great Room and Basement on the back side of the house were all rotted and taking on water. The homeowner had water literally pouring through the windows and running down her walls. The competitor that missed this was one of the large franchises that seem to be more concerned about pleasing real estate agents than they are at actually inspecting.
When The Concrete Block Foundation Bows...…do you bother going forward with the purchase? How much movement is acceptable and at what point do you need to make repairs? How much are the repairs going to cost? At the end of our inspection, we’ll educate you so you can make your decision.
Dimple crack found on Carrier 80% efficiency furnaceThe Serpentine heat exchanger found on Carrier and Bryant furnaces have dimples in the design. The ones located near the rear and bottom of the shells commonly develop cracks, especially when the homeowner doesn’t regularly replace the furnace filter.
Ever Seen A House Supported Up By Firewood?This home was located south of Glenwood, IA. Every beam throughout this crawlspace of this larger home was supported up by firewood. To my amazement, the floors were level.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Is No JokeThis vacant home had active carbon monoxide blowing throughout the home. Things get real serious once you realize the air inside the home isn’t safe to breathe! Did you know that firefighters aren’t allowed to enter a home without a full-face mask and an oxygen tank once the CO levels are above 10 ppm? You’ve got to read our article on Low Level Carbon Monoxide Detectors posted on our website.
Brick Foundation Is ShotWhen you can take your pinky finger and wipe out the sand that is supposed to be the mortar joints on a large portion of a brick foundation, you need to know the only realistic solution is to jack the house up, remove the bad foundation, install a new foundation, and the set the house back down. On this specific house, it had already been inspected by one of our competitors. His report never mentioned the brick foundation bowing in vertically and horizontally, the severely deteriorated mortar joints, the bowing wall causing the driveway that ran alongside it to settle and funnel water to the wall compounding the issue, and never recommended any repair. This turned out to be a $20,000-$30,000 repair that he missed.
New Construction Master Shower Doesn't Slope to Floor DrainThis was a brand new higher-end ranch house. It sucks to have found this after the shower was entirely complete. This is yet another reason to have your new construction inspected. This home had passed code and received it’s Certificate of Occupancy.
Melted Service Entrance Cable On Main Electric PanelA licensed Electrician was immediately called in after I found this on a home inspection. The sheathing was bubbling! Turned out, the main lug was never tightened way back when it was installed in the 1970’s. This house could have caught fire at any moment throughout the years. The homeowner was really lucky on this one.
Do You Know What Caused This?Even though a male dog can be a man’s best friend, you want to make sure you install a small fence around your air conditioner or heat pump. Their dog urine is acidic and can eat away the fins and coils. Having to replace your A/C or heat pump can make for a very expensive dog!
Peek-A-Boo!Yes, someone actually covered over the gas meter with drywall when they attempted to finished their basement! Yet another reason to make sure permits are pulled.
Hail Damage Very Common In The Omaha AreaThe average life expectancy of roof coverings in Omaha is 7 years due to all of the hail storms that occur. There are some areas that seem to get every storm that blows through while other areas rarely see hail. If your house sits in a hail prone location, then make sure you install Malarkey’s 50 year IR shingles that are made out of a rubber polymer with asphalt coating.
Flipped House Covers Up Bad FoundationNotice how the foundation walls are frowning at you? This home had the foundation covered over on the outside and the basement finished over on the inside. The only area I was able to see the foundation was under the back porch. That entire wall had a rotted out sill plate with heavily deteriorated mortar joints in the brick foundation.
A True Definition of a HOT Shower!!!!!Yes, you are looking at the surround of a shower in a basement with an electric furnace as part of the surround! That working furnace had two 60 amp double-pole breakers providing power to it!
What Caused 100% of the Flue Gases To Back Up Into This 3 Year Old Home?A bird’s nest. The Seller of this home had 2 young daughters and they played a lot in the basement…right next to where the water heater drafthood was spilling 100% of the flue gas of the furnace and water heater every time they turned on!!! This was one of the most grateful Sellers I’ve ever met for me finding it and alerting their family to what could have killed them or given them carbon monoxide poisoning. They ended up having to replace the entire B-vent flue pipe up through their 2-story home to make their home safe again.
Steel I-beam saggingThis 1950’s ranch home had a hidden secret. The foundation had settled considerably and someone went to great lengths to attempt to cover it up, rather than fix it. The settlement caused the steel I-beam to bend with it. They had a Brick Mason replace all of the brick on the exterior that had shown signs of settling so when you eyed down the mortar joints everything looked straight. They did an excellent job matching the brick and mortar joints so you really had to stare at the wall to notice it. See the next picture…
Hide the foundation problem by raising the floorThe Contractor cut out all of the wood board sub-floor on the South half of the house, screwed newer joists 2″ to 2 1/2″ higher onto the original joists, installed the new plywood sub-floor, and carpeted over the area. When you walked the floors, they were level. Problem solved? Absolutely NOT!!! The foundation was showing signs of newer movement and needed to have an expensive piering system installed to stabilize it. This should have been done in the first place. All of the brick and flooring work do hide the foundation problem may get damaged if the Foundation Contractor needs to raise the foundation to take pressure off of the steel I-beam. What a mess!!! Yes, I obviously referred out a licensed Structural Engineer on this one.
New Construction: Window well to nowhereThis new construction was 100% complete and the City had issued its Certificate of Occupancy. Sometimes you just have to laugh, scratch your head, and move on;-)
Deck Safety Inspection: Railing Very Loose & UnsafeThis 1970’s townhouse had a deck with a serious safety concern. The entire railing on the back side leaned outward considerably, was very wobbly, and supposedly was repaired. There’s no way it would be able to withstand a 200lb lateral force, let alone just 1 person leaning up against it! You’ve got to see the next photo of the “repair”…
Deck screws toe-nailed in to "secure" guard post on railingThe Handyman thought he could “fix” the wobbly railing with just a few screws. This is why you hire a licensed Contractor to do the job right!
Deck Issues On New Construction CondoThis deck may not be around in 5 years. See the next 2 pictures as to why?…
Potential Deck Collapse In FutureThe Z-flashing is missing at the LVL ledger board. Every time it rains, water is absorbing right into it. The wood chips of the ledger board were already starting to delaminate. Eventually, this LVL will rot apart and the deck could collapse.
Steel deck posts were not secured to the concrete columnsIf you are pulling into this garage too fast and accidentally bump the posts, there’s nothing holding them in place. Knocking into one could cause the deck to collapse. I shouldn’t be finding these problems on new construction!
About Greg Wayman,
ASHI Certified Home Inspector Greg is independent, an American Society of Home Inspectors Certified Inspector, Heat Exchanger Experts Certified, and Nebraska Radon Measurement Specialist with over 3,700 home inspections under his belt. He’s been performing home inspections full-time for almost 16 years. For 6 years, he was a National Association of Home Inspectors Certified Real Estate Inspector. He served on various Committees and was voted onto their Board of Directors and then onto their Executive Committee as their Secretary/Treasurer. In ’09, Greg jumped ship and joined ASHI where he’s been ever since.
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