Basement Foundation Cracks Located During Home Inspections in Racine, Kenosha, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Basement Foundation Cracks Located During Home Inspections In Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
As a home inspector one of the biggest issues I see that worries potential buyers the most is foundation problems. This is with good reason as foundation problems can be expensive to repair. Basement foundation cracks are commonly found during a home inspection. Basement foundation cracks are not always a significant problem and are often the result of many possible conditions.
Basement foundation walls are made up of many different materials such as stone, brick, masonry blocks, and poured concrete. This post focused on cracks in masonry block and poured concrete foundations. Vertical cracks, diagonal cracks, horizontal cracks, and stair step cracks are often seen during a home inspection and each has a different cause and effect.
Vertical cracks that go straight up and down or within 30 degrees of vertical are very common. They are the least severe, which are often caused by a home or building settling. It is common for even new houses to have some vertical cracks. Settling is common in homes and is usually not a problem if the settling is minor and does not cause any displacement of the foundation. Settling often occurs in the few first years after a home is built. Hairline cracks are not considered a problem. The cracks can be sealed using proper materials to prevent moisture intrusion. Vertical cracks that are wide or have displacement are considered more severe and may need further evaluation.
Diagonal cracks run at a 30-70 degree angle that will usually be wider at one end then the other and are often hairline sized. They are often caused by differential settling due to expansion and/or contraction of the soil. This type of issue can often be caused by too much water being deposited near the home and a lack of proper gutters and downspouts to move water away from the home. Water can cause soil at the foundation to shift resulting in the foundation cracking.
Horizontal cracks run sideways and are the most serious cracks in a foundation and can signal serious problems to a homes structural integrity. They are most common in homes with masonry block foundation. Horizontal cracks are the result of soil pressure outside your foundation, and hydrostatic pressure that can cause basement foundation walls to bow. These types of cracks and foundation problems should be repaired or evaluated by a foundation contractor.
Foundation problems are often the result of poor water management at the exterior of the home. Keeping water away from the homes foundation is critical to preventing foundation problems. Often solving these problems can have a positive effect on foundation problems by preventing further damage or problems.
Dairyland Home Inspection inspects Racine, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Waukesha, Walworth, and Ozaukee Counties. We provide free radon testing on every home inspection.
Simple Tips From A Home Inspector To Make Your Home Safer For Children
As a home inspector I often see home problems that can be very dangerous and should require immediate correction. Some of these dangerous problems are relatively simple fixes but failure to address them could be very dangerous for children.
One common issue I often see is water that is way too hot at the faucets. Water that is 140 degrees or hotter at the faucet can cause burns to small children in just a few seconds. Children who turn on the water may not realize how hot it is until they stick their hand under the faucet. This is a simple fix of turning down the temperature on your water heater. It not only prevents possible injury but saves money. When your water heater water temperature is cranked up too hot the water heater needs to use more energy to keep the temperature at a high level. Turning it down to about 120 degrees saves energy and possible injury. It's still plenty hot for showers or any other needs.
Stairs are a dangerous area for kids. Even kids that can go up and down stairs often get injure when there is not a continuous handrail from the top of the stairs to the bottom of the stairs. They need to be able to hold onto something going up and down. Doors that open over stairs are also dangerous. Having to try and open a closed door and pull it open over the stairs is unsafe. What if someone is on the stairs and someone swings the door when they are coming up the stairs and they get knocked backwards and tumble down the stairs? Stairs are dangerous for older adults and the elderly as well. It's one of the areas in a home where many serious injuries occur.
Electrical outlets/receptacles should have a cover plate over them. Whether they are in a garage or basement or anywhere in a home the wires in an electrical outlet are live and should be protected. A child that sticks a toy or finger inside on outlet without a cover protecting the live wires could result in serious injury or worse. Placing a cover is relatively simple to do.
Deck guard and stair balusters should be 4 inches or less apart to ensure a child cannot stick their head in between the guards or balusters and be injured. Often these are found to be too wide and don't provide the needed protection for children.
The above examples are just a few of the more common issues we find during a home inspection. Problems that may cause injury are just some of the areas we inspect during a home inspection. We serve Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Walworth Counties.
Milwaukee Home Inspection, Free Radon Testing, and Mold Testing
Dairyland Home Inspection provides home inspection services in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. If you are looking for an experienced and professional home inspector in the Milwaukee area we are here to help. We inspect from the foundation to the roof and everywhere in between. Our goal is to provide you with the most information possible about the home you're purchasing. We use the best tools and technology on every inspection. We strive to find expensive home problems to save you money so you don't have any surprises.
We perform free radon testing and mold testing as additional services. We are nationally certified in radon testing and are one of the few home inspections companies in Wisconsin that is certified in radon testing. We use thermal imaging on every home inspection which helps us find hidden problems behind walls and ceilings like water leaks, pests in walls, and energy efficiency problems.
Milwaukee is the biggest city in Wisconsin and has many diverse and interesting homes. We inspect every neighborhood in Milwaukee and any type of home whether is be a single family, multi family or condo. We have easy online flexible scheduling.
If you are buying a home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin or any area in southeastern Wisconsin we serve please give us a call or check out our website and see how we can help you and provide you professional home inspection services.
Kenosha, Wisconsin Home Inspections, Free Radon Testing, and Mold Testing
If you are looking for a home inspection in Kenosha, Wisconsin we are here to help you. At Dairyland Home Inspection we do home inspections, radon testing, and mold testing in Kenosha, Wisconsin. We have helped numerous home buyers in the Kenosha area purchase a home by providing home inspection services. We have saved our clients thousands of dollars by finding problems with their home prior to closing. In addition to home inspections we provide radon testing. Radon levels in southeaster Wisconsin are relatively high with a large number of homes above the EPA recommended limit of 4.0pCi/L.
We perform buyer home inspections for people buying a home. Getting a home inspection is critical because what you don't know can cost you a lot of money. We help home buyers find expensive and sometimes dangerous home problems before they close. This gives you the opportunity to negotiate for repairs or the cost of repairs. This prevents you from moving into your new home and getting stuck with expensive repairs or problems you didn't know existed. We offer competitive pricing and exceptional customer service. Call us or check out or website and let us know how we can help you.
Kenosha is a city located on Lake Michigan in southeast Wisconsin. It was founded in 1835 even before Wisconsin became a state. As one of the oldest cities in Wisconsin it has a rich history and diverse past. Kenosha is the 4th largest city in Wisconsin with a population of about 100,000 people. It's located between Chicago, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin which gives it an ideal location for business and development. Many new businesses and developments are happening in Kenosha which is boosting the local economy.
With increased jobs and growth it means more housing and a vibrant real estate market and the need for more home inspections to ensure buyers interests ate protected. Home prices have risen steadily over the last few years in the Kenosha area and that trend seems as it will continue in the near future.
Cities like Pleasant Prairie, Salem, and Twin Lakes are also seeing increased growth and development. We are happy to serve those who live in Kenosha and those who are moving to Kenosha by providing professional and thorough home inspection services.
Get Your Home Ready For Winter in Southeast Wisconsin
As a home inspector we often see the results of homes that have not been maintained properly and are damaged from winter weather. There are some easy things you can do to prevent damage to your house and get it ready for the cold weather coming.
Air conditioning condensers should not be run in cold temperatures. As a home inspector we don't check the air conditioning unless the temperature is 65 degrees or warmer. Running the air conditioning in colder weather can damage the condenser causing damage that may need to be repaired or worse the condenser may need to be replaced. A simple way to ensure the air conditioning is not inadvertently turned on when the weather is too cold is to turn off the air conditioner breaker on your electrical service panel. That way someone can't accidentally turn it on and create an expensive mistake. When your ready to use it when the weather turns warm simply turn the breaker back on.
The water for outdoor faucets should be turned off inside the house before freezing temperatures hit. If water is left in the pipe at the faucet and it's not a frost free faucet the water can freeze and burst the pipe. This could cause water leaking inside your home as well as a damaged pipe. If you have frost free faucets they are designed to shut the water off prior to getting to the outside portion of the faucet so they should not freeze. If the water shut off is easy to access it's better to just shut the water off inside the home even with frost free outdoor faucets.
Clean your gutters of debris. If your gutters are clogged with leaves and other debris they can't move water properly and can cause water leaking into your house if they get backed up. During the winter there are often times when the snow melts on your roof. If your gutters are clogged this can cause water problems and possible damage from moisture intrusion. It's better to clean them while the weather isn't bad and the snow and ice freeze int he gutters making them impossible to clean.
Paint, caulk, or seal any areas that need to be maintained on the exterior. Exterior wood and wood trim, areas where caulk or sealant is missing or worn, areas where moisture can penetrate into the home or behind the exterior coverings. If there are gaps in siding or areas where pipes or wires go into the home seal them up. It's critical during the winter to protect these areas due to freeze and thaw cycles which can create damage to these areas. It also prevents pests such as mice from making your home their home for the winter.
Have your fireplace and chimney maintained by a professional certified chimney technician. Many of the homes I inspect that have fireplaces and chimneys often have issues directly related to lack of maintenance. Many fireplaces are not regularly maintained and cleaned which can lead to creosote build up in the fireplace and chimney and cause a chimney fire. A fire in your fireplace is great, however, when it happens in your chimney thats a bad thing. Chimneys are seldom maintained and because they are often out of sight and out of mind they can be a significant problem. Ensure your fireplace is safe to use for the winter by having it professionally maintained.
Tune up your furnace. A furnace needs to be maintained and tuned up to ensure it is functioning properly and efficiently. It helps save energy costs and ensures when its bitterly cold outside your furnace will run and provide heat and not leave you calling a furnace technician because your furnace isn't working.
Divert water from your house by making sure gutters are extended at least 6 feet from the foundation to prevent water pooling around the foundation of your house and creating basement moisture issues.
Have your lawn irrigation system drained if you have one. Leaving water in the irrigation pipes can allow water in the pipes to freeze and damage the pipes creating costly repairs.
Test your sump pump and ensure it is running properly. Install a battery backup sump pump system to make sure water is being pumped out of your sump pit if the main pump fails or the power goes out. If you don't have a backup system and the power fails or the pump fails the water ends up in your basement.
These are just some of the things you should be working on to get your home ready for winter. Doing some work now will prevent future headaches and expensive repairs. At Dairyland Home Inspection we provide home inspections, radon testing, and mold testing in Racine, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Walworth Counties. Let us know if we can help you.
Racine, Wisconsin Home Inspection, Free Radon Testing, and Mold Testing
Dairyland Home Inspection performs home inspections, radon testing, and mold testing in Racine, Wisconsin. Make sure you hire a home inspector that has experience and great reviews. We have a 5 star rating on google reviews and we work hard for our customers. Our goal is to provide our customers as much information as possible about their home so they don't have any surprises. We are one of the few home inspection companies in Wisconsin that is nationally certified in radon testing. We are licensed in Wisconsin and have national certification as a home inspector.
Racine is a great city on the shores of Lake Michigan and is located in southeastern Wisconsin. Racine is a city that has an interesting and diverse history as one of the oldest cities in Wisconsin. It was incorporated in 1848, the same year Wisconsin became a state. Many different industries and manufacturing businesses call Racine home. Some of the bigger companies that are located in Racine include S.C. Johnson, J.I. Case, InSinkErator, and Dremel.
Racine is about 18 square miles in size and has a population of about 79,000 people. It has many diverse neighborhoods and many historical architectural structures. Downtown Racine has been the backdrop for several movies. The homes in Racine are very diverse and many homes are over 100 years old. This makes performing home inspections in Racine a very interesting and fun job. Seeing the various styles of houses and how they were built makes each home unique.
During the summer there are many festivals and activities to participate in by the lakefront as well as downtown. Public transportation makes getting around Racine relatively easy. The Racine Zoo is a great location to see animals up close and is located right along the shore of Lake Michigan offering spectacular views. There are many parks and recreation areas in which to enjoy the outdoors and leisure activities.
Dairyland Home Inspection is happy to work and serve the residents of Racine as well as those new residents who choose to make Racine their new home. If you are looking for a home inspection in Racine feel free to call us or visit our website we would be happy to help you. Racine is just one of the many cities we serve in Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Walworth Counties.
Thermal Imaging Finds Hidden Problems During Home Inspections
Thermal imaging cameras are a great tool that home inspectors use to find hidden problems in walls and ceilings of homes. They are often used in home inspections and can often find serious problems such as missing insulation, water leaks, overheated electrical equipment, pests, and other problems. Not all home inspectors use thermal imaging cameras due to needing certification in thermal imaging and the high cost of the equipment. Not very thermal imaging camera is created equal. Some cameras have high resolution and others have much lower resolution, which can affect the quality of pictures taken. Thermal imagers are tools that should be mandatory for any competent home inspector to give their client the best service possible.
Thermal imaging cameras work by measuring temperature differentials in different materials. Water leaks can often be located in ceilings and walls even when it cannot be observed by the naked eye. The thermal imaging camera is often able to find water leaks due to the different temperature water can have compared to the building materials around it. When two different materials have a different temperature it shows up on the camera as a color variation. A possible water leak can and should always be confirmed using a moisture meter.
Missing insulation and areas of inadequate insulation can be seen easily with a thermal imager due to the temperature difference of building materials where the insulation is missing or inadequate. Insulation issues can cost a great deal of money in lost energy efficiency. A thermal imaging camera can provide information that cannot be seen without it and can save a client hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars in energy costs.
Pests such as mice, insects, and damage from these pests can also be seen in areas of a home using a thermal imaging camera. One common observation is mice tunnels through insulation in an attic can be easily seen using a thermal imaging camera.
Overheated electrical equipment can also be seen using a thermal imaging camera with the overheated equipment showing a much higher temperature than the surrounding equipment. Even when issues with the electrical service are not observed, this can provide useful information for potential problems.
Thermal imaging cameras are critical in home inspection and finding problems that could not be found without it. The number of issues that can be found as well as the potential savings for clients in finding serious home problems should make using this tool an absolute must for any home inspector.
At Dairyland Home Inspection we provide a thermal imaging scan of the home on every inspection. We serve Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Waukesha, and Walworth Counties.
Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin Home Inspection, Radon Testing, Termite Inspections, and Mold Testing
We provide home inspection services in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. We also provide radon testing and mold testing. We love helping people buying a home learn about their new home and identifying any possible problems. We want our clients to know as much as possible about their new home.
Mount Pleasant is a great place and is located in Racine County. With its rapid growth from companies like Foxconn and many other developments its becoming an important location in Wisconsin. The reason for much of this growth is because it is strategically located between Milwaukee and Chicago along I-94. This are of Wisconsin including Mount Pleasant is rapidly growing. While being close to great shopping and many activities it also provides for a rural setting and a great place to call home.
Dairyland Home Inspection is located in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin and we are happy to provide services in the area. We also perform home inspection services in other nearby communities like Racine, Union Grove, Caledonia, Burlington, Kenosha, and Milwaukee. Certified and experienced home inspections along with nationally certified radon testing and mold testing allows us to provide home buyers the most knowledge about the home their buying.
Our goal is to give home buyers the assurance that they have the best information to make a wise buying decision. Our goal is to give customers purchasing a home in Mount Pleasant, Racine, Milwaukee, Kenosha or any other area we serve the best possible service and home inspection possible. We take pride in doing a great job and providing top notch customer service.
If you're looking for a home to purchase in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin or any other area we serve please visit our website or call us we are happy to help you with your home buying needs.
Roof Sealant Is Not A Proper Long Term Roof Repair
During a home inspection I often observe roof sealant around areas like the chimney, roof vents, plumbing pipes, and the electric service mast. Roofs and roof problems can be a very costly issue for home owners especially people buying a home who are on a budget. Buying a home without knowing there are some significant roof problems can cause some serious financial hardships and make home ownership difficult.
There are many improper repairs that I see on roofs. One of the most common is the improper use of roof sealant. Roof sealant is not a proper repair for a flashing problem. Covering a problem area that may be leaking or needing repair with roof sealant is the wrong solution to a problem. Replacing the flashing is the proper repair for a flashing problem. Roof flashing should last as long as the shingles when the right materials are used. Often roof sealant is a quick fix done by a homeowner or unskilled roofer who is not trying to repair the roof properly. It's the fix that involves the least work and skill and will not last.
Often home owners will have their roofs replaced but will not have flashing repaired or replaced. Flashing is often susceptible to damage or deterioration and needs replacement occasionally. When roof sealant is used that is usually a clue that there is an active problem with that area of the roof.
Chimneys are a frequent problem found during home inspections. For chimneys a proper flashing is metal flashing that is properly attached to the roof and chimney to prevent water intrusion. Chimney flashing is critical as it can damage the chimney if water intrusion occurs as well as damage interior portions of the home. Using roof sealant for chimney flashing is a temporary fix and will need constant maintenance by a homeowner to ensure that it is not allowing water leaks through the roof. Roof sealant does not last long and can begin to crack or become prone to leaks in a short period of time. Proper flashing material is a long term fix that will last years and will not need maintenance for some time.
Other areas where flashing is critical are roof vents, skylights, and plumbing vents. Skylights are notorious for water leaks and the flashing area around skylights needs to be inspected carefully to ensure that there are no moisture intrusion problems. Flashing can often be improperly installed and this can also lead to leaking issues.
Roof problems can be very expensive and difficult to fix. Have your roof fixed properly by a qualified roofing professional. Not all roofing professionals are created equal. Ensure the roofing professional has good references and reviews. Not all roofing professionals do proper repairs.
Ensure that your roof is inspected properly and inspected by a qualified individual. If your home inspector does not walk roofs they should be using a drone or pole camera in order to get a full view of the roof so that there are no issues that they miss or cannot observe. At Dairyland Home Inspection roof problems are just one of the many home problems we find and check for during a home inspection. We serve Racine, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Waukesha, and Walworth Counties.