Brain Fodder

Insights into the world of construction, real estate, and home inspections

Blog Posts

We’ve amassed a collection of articles related to all things home inspection-related—honestly, it’s just a bunch of stuff that makes us geek out. Hopefully, you can glean some good information out of these. You can search for specific topics below or use the subheader to filter by category. Feel free to contribute via the comments, but please keep it PG-rated for the kids. Enjoy!

Changing the HVAC Filter

Homeowner Maintenance: Changing the HVAC Filter Part of responsible homeownership includes, of course, regular home maintenance.  And there are some tasks that, if deferred, can lead to a home system that’s inefficient and overworked, which can result in problems and expenses.  One such task is changing the filter of the home’s HVAC system.  It’s simple […]

Winterizing your home

Get your home ready for winter Winterization is the process of preparing a home for the harsh conditions of winter. Here in the south, it’s less of a concern than up north, but that doesn’t make it any less important.  Winterization is usually performed in the fall before excessive cold temperatures arrive. Winterization protects against […]

Recall Notice for Electrical Panels

Schneider Electric™ Recall: 1.4 Million Electrical Panels affected Due to Thermal Burn and Fire Hazards Name of Product: Square™ D QO™ Plug-on-Neutral Load Centers, also known as, Load Centers, Breaker Boxes, Electrical Panels Hazard: The load center can overheat, posing thermal burn and fire hazards. Remedy: Replace Repair Date: June 16, 2022 Units: About 1.4 […]

Imported Lumber, Your New Construction Home and the Inspection

Derived from an article written by Ted Cushman – Contributing editor Ted Cushman reports on the construction industry from Hartland, Vt. The recent pandemic has had many ripple effects on the US economy. Along with other factors, it has affected the supply of framing lumber in American lumberyards. Restricted supply of US and Canadian lumber […]

Chinese Drywall

Amidst a wave of Chinese import scares, ranging from toxic toys to tainted pet food, reports of contaminated drywall from that country have been popping up across the American Southeast. Chinese companies use unrefined “fly ash,” a coal residue found in smokestacks in coal-fired power plants in their manufacturing process. Fly ash contains strontium sulfide, […]

Radon and New Construction

Why should I buy a radon-resistant home? Radon-resistant techniques work. When installed properly and completely, these simple and inexpensive passive techniques can help to reduce radon levels. In addition, installing them during construction makes it easier to reduce radon levels further if the passive techniques don’t reduce radon levels below 4 pCi/L. Radon-resistant techniques may […]

Dead Valleys on your Roof

“Dead valleys”, sound ominous, don’t they?  Well, when it comes to your roof, dead valleys are kind of subjective.  I will try to explain my perspective.  One thing to keep in mind is that I don’t call out dead valleys as a deficiency in a home inspection report.  Why?  Simply stated, a dead valley is […]

Crawlspace Encapsulation

Crawlspace encapsulation, or sealing, is the treatment that building scientists recommend to turn a damp, dirty, moldy crawlspace into a clean, dry space where mold can’t grow The following article was written by the authority on building science, Joseph Lstiburek Crawlspaces continue to be a mess ever since we decided to insulate them and put […]

Recall Notice for Electrical Panels

Schneider Electric™ Recall: 1.4 Million Electrical Panels affected Due to Thermal Burn and Fire Hazards Name of Product: Square™ D QO™ Plug-on-Neutral Load Centers, also known as, Load Centers, Breaker Boxes, Electrical Panels Hazard: The load center can overheat, posing thermal burn and fire hazards. Remedy: Replace Repair Date: June 16, 2022 Units: About 1.4 […]

Receptacles: Bootleg Grounds

All about bootleg grounds The outlets in our homes are a necessary component of modern living.  Our culture is dependent on readily available access to power.  Ever since we harnessed electricity, we have witnessed the ongoing evolution for safety.  Safety, it would seem, does come without a price.  And bootleg grounds, unfortunately, are one way […]

Smoke Detector Types, Which One to Use?

If you didn’t already know, the two most commonly recognized smoke detector types are ionization smoke detection and photoelectric smoke detection.  Oh, and just an FYI, do not confuse “photoelectric” with “photochemical” as I did.  They are not the same.  The latter is the technology used in Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors… which I’ll save for another post. […]

Polybutylene (PB) Plumbing Pipe

Polybutylene (PB) was a plastic manufactured between 1978 and mid-1995 for piping in home plumbing systems. It was inexpensive and offered plenty of advantages over other materials, such as flexibility, ease of installation, resistance to freezing. Pipes made from polybutylene were installed in up to 10 million homes in the United States during that period. […]

Changing the HVAC Filter

Homeowner Maintenance: Changing the HVAC Filter Part of responsible homeownership includes, of course, regular home maintenance.  And there are some tasks that, if deferred, can lead to a home system that’s inefficient and overworked, which can result in problems and expenses.  One such task is changing the filter of the home’s HVAC system.  It’s simple […]

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Crawlspace Encapsulation

Crawlspace encapsulation, or sealing, is the treatment that building scientists recommend to turn a damp, dirty, moldy crawlspace into a clean, dry space where mold can’t grow The following article was written by the authority on building science, Joseph Lstiburek Crawlspaces continue to be a mess ever since we decided to insulate them and put […]

Nothing Found

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria

Radon and New Construction

Why should I buy a radon-resistant home? Radon-resistant techniques work. When installed properly and completely, these simple and inexpensive passive techniques can help to reduce radon levels. In addition, installing them during construction makes it easier to reduce radon levels further if the passive techniques don’t reduce radon levels below 4 pCi/L. Radon-resistant techniques may […]

Changing the HVAC Filter

Homeowner Maintenance: Changing the HVAC Filter Part of responsible homeownership includes, of course, regular home maintenance.  And there are some tasks that, if deferred, can lead to a home system that’s inefficient and overworked, which can result in problems and expenses.  One such task is changing the filter of the home’s HVAC system.  It’s simple […]

Winterizing your home

Get your home ready for winter Winterization is the process of preparing a home for the harsh conditions of winter. Here in the south, it’s less of a concern than up north, but that doesn’t make it any less important.  Winterization is usually performed in the fall before excessive cold temperatures arrive. Winterization protects against […]

Aging in Place

“Aging in place” is the phenomenon describing senior citizens’ ability to live independently in their homes for as long as possible. Those who age in place will not have to move from their present residence in order to secure necessary support services in response to their changing needs. The Baby Boomers As the baby boomers […]

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