Omaha Home Inspection Articles by Greg Wayman, ASHI Certifed Inspector
The links below are in alphabetical order based on topic:
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
"Why Your Family Should Have Low Level Carbon Monoxide Detectors" - Regular store bought carbon monoxide detectors are manufactured to go off when the CO levels reach 70 ppm for 1-4 hours! These detectors will not protect your family from low levels of carbon monoxide. At lower levels, these detectors will not protect infants, young children, grandparents, and people suffering from asthma, bronchitis, or other medical conditions that cause difficulty breathing. Under low level CO conditions, it can lead to death of the more susceptible.
Long term exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide can cause permanent physiological and nervous system damage to any of us.
"Avoiding A Chimney Fire" – This article provides some interesting fire danger statistics, the stages of creosote, signs of problems that you can look for, and the steps you should take to properly maintain your chimney. The most important factor being always hire a Certified Chimney Sweep from the Chimney Safety Institute of America.
"Street Creep" - Ever wonder how a driveway can push a house? This article explains what street creep is, how to detect it, and how to prevent it.
"Federal Pacific Stab-Lok Panels" - Learn the history, how to identify them, the problems with this breaker type, and what you should do about this fire hazard.
The CPSC's March 18, 2008 Meeting Notes - For more technical readers, this pdf document goes into great depth explaining the issues with the Federal Pacific Stab-Lok circuit breakers.
"Knob-n-Tube Wiring" – For those home owners or investors out there that own a home or are contemplating purchasing one built prior to the 1930’s in the Omaha Metro, this article explains the issues that commonly arise with knob-n-tube wiring.
"Steam & Hot Water Boilers" – This article was written from an excellent technical presentation from one of the most highly qualified boiler experts in the Omaha, NE and Council Bluffs, IA area…Harry Taczuk of Air Tech Services, Inc. If you own a home or a commercial property with a steam or hot water boiler, this article is for you!
"Carrier Settles Class Action Lawsuit on High Efficiency Furnaces" - This article explains the history behind the class action complaints, the brief synopsis of the US/Canada Settlement Agreement, the approval by Federal Judge Ronald B. Leighton, and a list of the furnace models included in the settlement.
HVAC-Gas Forced Air Furnaces
"A Cracked Heat Exchanger is Nothing to Ignore" – This article is for the real estate agents, investors, or homebuyers out there contemplating purchasing a property with an older furnace. It explains what a heat exchanger is, how it works, the carbon monoxide dangers if a crack develops, how cracks develop, the types of heat exchanger tests, and the manufacturer warranties on heat exchangers.
HVAC-Geo Thermal Heat Pumps
"Geo Thermal Heat Pumps" – If the investment can be made, these systems are our answer to less dependence on foreign oil. This article describes the history behind geo thermal heat pumps, how they work, comparison to air source heat pump, the initial investment, OPPD discounts, and tax credits.
HVAC-Furnace Red Flags
"Furnace Red Flags" - This article provides homeowners red flags to look for on their gas forced air furnaces, tips on how to avoid a cracked heat exchanger, and how to know if your HVAC Technician is properly checking for cracks in the exchanger.
Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) Homes
"Today's Concrete Homes" – This article explains what an ICF home is, the many benefits of building an ICF home, and testing by Texas Tech University’s Dr. Ernst Kiesley using the “tornado cannon” on stick built, steel frame, and ICF walls. It’s pretty cool watching a 2x4 obliterate when it shoots into an ICF wall at 100 mph!
"Fall Maintenance"– This is a checklist of some basic maintenance tips homeowners or investors can do to ensure the safety of their family/tenants and to protect their investment throughout the cold winter months.
"Spring Preventative Maintenance Tips"-Water is the #1 cause of damage to a home. This article is full of preventative measures on gutters, roof leaks, ice damming, moisture buildup from poor attic ventilation, rotting siding, windows, doors, & trim, and negatively sloping concrete patios, sidewalks, and driveways.
"Be Frugally Responsible - Ways to save money in these economic times"
Part 1: Laundry & Water Softener Tips
Part 2: Furnace & Heat Pump Tips
Part 3: Insulation Tips
"Caring For Your Septic System" - This article explains how a septic system works, where it should be located, what not to put down your drains, how to maintain your absorption field, when to have it pumped, and what a septic inspection entails.
"Sewer Lines: Problems, Signs, & Solutions" – For all of the foreclosed homes and bank-owned properties out there that are winterized when potential buyers or investors are contemplating purchasing the properties, this article drives home the point of why you want to have the utilities turned on so the home inspector can thoroughly inspect the property before moving forward with the transaction. This article covers who’s responsible when a sewer line needs to be replaced, the types of sewer lines and common problems, signs to be on the look out for, and the best way to have the sewer line check out.
"Radon Gas: Separating Fact from Fiction" - This article explains where radon comes from, how it enters your home, how it can lead to lung cancer, the different testing methods, and how radon is mitigated.
"Defective Shingles: A Homeowner's Nightmare" - This article has photographs and explanations of some of the more common manufacturer defects found on roof shingles in the Omaha Metro. There's also links to manufacturers' websites and how to file a warranty claim.
"Inspecting Composite Wood Siding" – This article explains the history behind hardboard siding, the resulting claims against the manufacturers, and the defects to look for.
"Children Smoke Alarms"– This is an alert for parents regarding how ineffective today's smoke alarms are on children ranging from toddlers to teenagers. There is a link to a great video where Channel 7 news out of Boston documented Firefighters' children sleeping through the smoke alarm's loud noise. When they changed the alarms to ones with the parent's recorded voice, the response time of the children waking up dramatically increased. Having one of these child smoke alarms could save your child's life.
"Termites: Habits, Inspections, & Treatments" – The title says it all. This article is dedicated to subterranean termites that are prevalent here in Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa. It will help investors, sellers, and homebuyers understand what they are up against if termites are found.
"Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant Water Heaters" – Safety is the main reason behind the national change in water heater manufacturing. This brief article explains the design behind the FVIR water heater.