Common Problems Found in Older Homes in Milwaukee and Racine, Wisconsin
Older homes that are 100 or more years old are plentiful in cities like Racine and Milwaukee. Many of these homes are in great shape and some have been updated over the years. Some older homes have not been well maintained. Regardless of the condition of the home, older homes have some distinct differences that make them unique in comparison to newer more modern homes. The problems found in older homes are consistent and should be considered when purchasing a home.
One of the biggest differences is the foundation. Many homes over 100 years old were built with field stone, brick, or cinder block. Field stones were laid on top of each other and mortar was used to hold them in place. These foundations still perform well but need regular maintenance. Parging or repointing of the mortar between the stones has to be done consistently to ensure the foundation remains in good condition and does not cause problems with moisture intrusion or deterioration. Brick foundations were normally laid with 2 widths of brick and also needs regular maintenance. The brick has to be regularly repointed at the mortar to ensure the brick remains in good condition. Brick foundations have a tendency to bow or lean over time and often need supports to hold the foundation in place. This often occurs when moisture is not moved away from the foundation. Cinder block foundations are laid with large blocks and are often seen on older larger buildings. The foundation needs to be inspected to ensure there are no significant problems.
Electrical issues are a common problem in older homes. Older wiring can be difficult to upgrade or bring up to modern standards. Knob and tube wiring was the first wiring type used in homes and when found in older homes it is recommended that it be inspected by a licensed electrician. It can be dangerous if covered with insulation or if the wiring becomes degraded. Many homes have 2 prong electrical receptacles which don't have a ground wire. These receptacles will not allow modern 3 prong receptacles to be used and may not protect electronic equipment from damage if an electrical problem occurs. Some electrical panels are outdated and may be panels that are unsafe or have known problems. These problems can be expensive and should be inspected prior to purchasing a home.
Another common problem found in older homes involves plumbing issues. Many older pipes have leaking or corrosion that will need repair or replacement. Plumbing issues can be expensive and difficult to repair in an older home. When certain types of pipes begin to fail they corrode from the inside out causing water flow to be substantially lower than normal. Often repairs made on plumbing pipes are not properly done.
Older home can often be purchased for substantially less than a newer home. Buyers need to realize that older homes often need updating or maintenance that a newer home would not normally need. At Dairyland Home Inspection we perform home inspection in Racine, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Waukesha, Walworth, and Ozaukee Counties.
Roofing Problems Commonly Seen During Home Inspections in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Roofs are one of the most important areas inspected during a home inspection. Roofs are an area that home owners rarely see or pay attention to unless a problem occurs like a leak or obvious damage is present. Home buyers often don't notice or observe the roof when looking at homes and when they do they can only see a small portion of the roof. Replacing or repairing a roof is very expensive so when looking for a home it is critical to make sure there aren't any significant roof problems.
Roof problems can often be caused by poor installation. In the below photos are some good examples of poor roof shingle installation. Shingles hanging down over the edge of the roof are a pretty obvious sign that the roof was not professionally done. This should never occur when shingles are installed. On newer roofs when shingles come off easily or there are areas of missing shingles it can often be a sign of poor installation resulting in missing and loose shingles leaving areas exposed to moisture intrusion due to missing roofing material.
Often roof repairs are poorly done, which can result in problems not being repaired properly and resulting in additional damage. The roofing repair int he below picture shows an area of the roof repaired using shingles on top of shingles and allowing fasteners to be exposed. These issue can result in moisture intrusion and no solution to the original roof problem repaired.
Older roofs that need replacement are another common roof problem observed during a home inspection. Roofs that age often show problems like delamination where the shingles begin to fall apart to missing shingles from aged shingles breaking off the roof due to their poor condition. In these cases roofs need replacement quickly to prevent moisture intrusion and damage to the inside of the home from potential water problems.
When buying a home make sure that you get the total picture of the roof. Many of these roof issues could not be observed from the ground. So make sure if you hire a home inspector they see the total roof so that you don't buy a home with expensive home problems. At Dairyland Home Inspection we serve Racine, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Waukesha, Walworth, and Ozaukee Counties.
Home Inspection in Kenosha, Wisconsin
If you're buying a home in Kenosha or the surrounding area we are here to help you. Kenosha is a great city and an area that is growing. Many people that live in Illinois moving to the Kenosha area for a better cost of living and lower taxes. It's a great option for people who work in Illinois but don't want to pay more to live in Illinois.
We provide home inspections, radon testing, termite (WDO) inspections, and mold testing. Our goal when performing a home inspection is to protect our clients interests when they purchase a home and ensure they know as much information about their home as possible.
We often find expensive home problems when conducting a home inspection and save clients thousand of dollars purchasing a home and then having to make expensive repairs. Some common problems we find are roof defects, chimney problems, foundation and structural problems, HVAC issues, electrical safety issues, and exterior problems.
We provide same day reports that include the areas of the home that were inspected and any problems found. Photos and video of the problems found are provided in the report. If clients attend the inspection we do a walkthrough of the home and point out any problems located.
Fair pricing and working hard for our clients best interest are our goals when doing every home inspection. We provide fair and upfront pricing for every service. We work seven days a week and have flexible scheduling. Let us know if we can help you.
Home Inspector Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Are you looking for the best Home Inspector in Milwaukee, Wisconsin?
If you're reading this than most likely you're looking for a home inspector.
Congratulations on getting your offer accepted! We service the Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin area and can provide you the most information about your home.
Having a home inspection is a very important part of the home buying process. Homes can look nice on the outside but then once you take a closer look, there could be big problems that could end up costing you a lot of money. Avoid expensive home problems.
We do home inspections throughout Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin.
Top 5 Reasons to Hire Dairyland Home Inspection
We inspect the entire home from the foundation to the roof and everywhere in between. We also inspect the exterior of the home and the garage.
We inspect all the major systems int he home including the HVAC, plumbing, electrical, attic, roof, foundation, structure and so much more. Our goal as your home inspector is to make sure that you are confident in what you are buying.
We also provide radon testing, mold testing, thermal imaging (free), and wood destroying organism WDO termite inspections (free).
Home Inspector Racine, Wisconsin
Dairyland Home Inspection in Mount Pleasant, WI
When you’re looking for a Home Inspector near Racine, Wisconsin look no further than Dairyland Home Inspection.
What to look for in a home inspector:
Make sure that the home inspection company you hire has good reviews. There are so many home inspectors that you have no idea who you are hiring. Dairyland Home Inspection has a 5 star rating on Google and Spectora. Our home inspection reports are thorough and provide photos and/or videos of any problems found. Reports are sent the same day as the report.
Make sure the home inspector you hire has the experience to do a thorough job and provide you the best information.
Certifications and Training
Not all home inspector certifications are the same. Choose a home inspector that has national radon certification, thermal imaging certification, InterNACHI certification as a certified professional inspector, and numerous other certifications on various home systems.
Vermiculite Insulation In Older Homes May Contain Asbestos
Vermiculite insulation is often found in older homes during a home inspection. It was often used in attic and wall insulation. While it is an effective insulation material, some vermiculite contains asbestos. It's mined and is a naturally occurring material. Some mines had asbestos contamination and this caused the vermiculite to contain asbestos material. Pure vermiculite does not contain asbestos. Not all vermiculite contains asbestos.
Asbestos is a dangerous material that can cause lung disease and lung cancer when the asbestos fibers are breathed into the lungs. It usually takes long term exposure to cause serious health issues, although it can cause issues with minimal exposure. Asbestos becomes dangerous when asbestos fibers become airborne and can be inhaled into the lungs. Asbestos material that is not disturbed poses very low or no risk.
The only way to know if vermiculite insulation in a home contains asbestos material is to have it tested. This can be expensive and time consuming. If the vermiculite is found to have asbestos it can be very costly to clean up. Since asbestos is considered a hazardous material, it requires special precautions for removal and disposal.
Identifying vermiculite insulation during a home inspection can save a home buyer potential problems and significant costs. At Dairyland Home Inspection we have identified vermiculite insulation in homes on numerous occasions and saved our clients money and time preventing them from potential future problems. Dairyland Home Inspection provides home inspection services in Racine, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Waukesha, and Walworth Counties.
Maintaining Exterior Wood Siding
Wood siding is a common exterior wall covering in Wisconsin. As a home inspector, I often see wood siding during home inspections. It is an excellent exterior material for homes. Unlike vinyl or metal siding, it is a natural material and requires regular maintenance and needs to be installed correctly to prevent deterioration.
One of the most common errors made when installing wood siding is installing it too close or at ground level. This can cause moisture damage to the area of the siding in contact with or near the ground. Water can migrate up the wood causing it to deteriorate at a rapid rate. This can result in wood rot and the need to replace the wood siding at or near ground level.
Another common error is installation of wood siding less than 1 1/2 inches from the roof shingles. This is particularly important when wood siding is a a sidewall and an area where water will run at the sidewall. The water should be running against metal flashing material rather than wood siding, which can quickly deteriorate.
Wood siding needs regular maintenance to prevent deterioration. Paint or stain must be regularly used on wood siding to ensure that it is protected from moisture. Moisture destroys wood that is left unprotected. It does not take long for unpainted or unstained wood to deteriorate.
Nail holes need to be kept sealed to prevent moisture from getting into the wood siding. Nails often migrate out of the wood and need to be tapped back in and sealed.
One of the benefits of wood siding is that if boards need to be replaced they are much easier to replace than vinyl or metal siding. Single boards or sections can be replaced relatively easily.
Dairyland Home Inspection provides home inspection services in Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Walworth, and Ozaukee Counties.
Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors Checked During A Home Inspection
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors save lives. They should be checked and maintained regularly. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas, which is produced by combustion from gas furnaces and water heaters.
When performing home inspections I often see what appear to be very old smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in homes. As a home inspector I recommend to buyers to replace the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in a home to ensure they will work properly when needed. Pressing the alarm button on a smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector only tells you the alarm sound works when the button is pressed. It does not ensure that smoke or carbon monoxide will be detected by the unit.
Always follow manufacturers instructions but the general guidelines are that smoke detectors be replaced every 10 years and carbon monoxide detectors be replaced every 5-7 years.
Batteries should be replaced every 6 months to a year depending on the detector. Many people choose to replace their batteries during daylight savings. Some smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors have lithium long life batteries that last the lifespan of the unit and don’t need replacement, sometimes for as long as 10 years.
Always ensure you keep your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors up to date to prevent not being warned of immediate danger. If you get a high level of carbon monoxide in your home you will not realize it until it's too late.
Dairyland Home Inspection performs home inspections in Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Walworth, and Ozaukee Counties.
White Haze/Fog on Fireplace Glass
When conducting an inspection of a fireplace during a home inspection one thing I commonly see is white haze or fog on the fireplace gas. It can be rather unsightly as one of the benefits of having a fireplace is seeing the fire and the visual effect it has. When the fireplace glass isn't clear it can affect the visual joy of having a fireplace. It makes the fireplace much less visually appealing.
The white haze or fog on the glass is caused by the hot combustion air coming into contact with the cooler glass causing condensation on the glass. Over time the effect gets worse and in some cases the glass can be permanently etched with the white haze. In most cases the glass can be cleaned so it can be clear again. Using a cleaner like Windex is not the proper cleaner and can cause damage rather then correct the white haze on the glass. A product made specifically for cleaning fireplace glass such as White Off can clean the glass properly. Sometimes though due to the condition of the glass, it cannot be cleaned completely and the only way to have clear glass is to have it replaced.
At Dairyland Home Inspection fireplaces are just one of the many areas of a home we inspect. We provide home inspection services in Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Walworth, and Ozaukee counties.
Termite Inspections in Racine, Kenosha, and Milwaukee
Wood destroying organisms cost billions of dollars of damage in the United States every year. Pests such as the termite, carpenter ant, powder post beetle, carpenter bees, and fungi are some of the most common problems for wood buildings and structures. Many home mortgages and loan programs such as VA loans require termite inspections during the home buying process to ensure termites are not an issue with the home being purchased.
The most invasive of these is the subterranean termite. Termites are more prevalent in certain areas of the country and can cause major structural damage to a home. They can often go unnoticed for years, which allows them to cause significant damage. They thrive in warmer climates in the United Stated such as the South, Southeast, and Southwest. Termites can be found in every state in the United States except Alaska.
Buying a home with a termite problem could be a very expensive and difficult problem to solve. Termite treatments can be extensive and involve significant expense in the thousands of dollars. If termites have been invasive in a home for some time it could also result in structural damage to a home involving repair of the wood structure. Getting a termite inspection prior to buying a home can prevent possible future problems for home buyers.
Termites are ground insects that look for habitats that provide food, moisture, and shelter close to the ground: any moist place where wood meets ground. Preventing and correcting this situation can prevent termite infestation to a home. Mulch and other landscaping materials cause the soil to remain moist. You should make sure to minimize mulch around your foundation. Experts recommend mulch should be no closer than a foot from your home’s foundation. Firewood should be stacked well away from your home. You should also make sure to eliminate moisture problems in and around your home, especially in basements and crawlspaces. This can prevent your home from having termite problems.
At Dairyland Home Inspection we provide termite inspections free of charge for our clients. We ensure our clients get the most information about their home so they can make a wise home buying decision. We serve Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Walworth, and Ozaukee Counties.