More Blog Posts on Similar Subjects:

  1. There’s cracks running along the home’s concrete tie beam. What’s wrong?

  2. Should I buy a fixer-upper?

  3. Why is spray foam used for attic insulation?

  4. We are smarter than water!

  5. Can I do my own energy audit for my Gainesville home?

  6. Should I wrap the water heater with an insulation blanket?

  7. Do you make sure the house is up to code?

  8. I’m buying a brand-new home from the builder. Do I still need a home inspection?

  9. Should I hire an engineer to inspect the house?

  10. I’d swear that crack wasn’t there yesterday. What happened?

  11. Why do the floors slope in this old house?

  12. Can I take that wall out? Is it load-bearing?

  13. Should I remove an old whole house fan or keep it?

  14. What is the difference between prescriptive and performance building codes?

  15. Why do new homes have more moisture and mold problems than old homes?

 

How to Look

at a House


A blog with answers
to your questions about
HOME INSPECTION
and HOME MAINTENANCE

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Welcome to our blog!
We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

U.S. Department of Energy

   The primary thing to understand when beginning a caulking project is that it involves more than just squeezing out a line of goo. Here’s two basic techniques you can use to make a good caulk joint/seam:

  1. 1)The tip of the caulk gun should be positioned so that the caulk is pushed slightly into the opening it is filling as it is run along, rather than just sitting on the surface. Most pros cut the tip of the caulk gun at about a 45º to 60º angle, with a slightly smaller opening than the size of the bead of caulk you want to lay down, then hold the gun at a similar angle while running the bead line, and the angled cut at the tip forms a hood over the top of the bead as it comes out of the caulk gun, pushing it a little downward.

  2. 2)Lightly wipe over the line of caulk after it is laid down, with an index finger that has been dipped in cool water. This creates a concave surface at inside corners and smooths the edge to blend into the adjacent surfaces. Water keeps the caulk from sticking to your finger. Be careful not to wipe away most the caulk. The objective it to smooth everything out gently. This is the part that takes some practice. And, of course, remember to rewet your finger after each stroke or two.

   The mark of a good caulk job is that it becomes invisible when painted over at completion, pulling everything together into one seamless piece--which is also a good way to judge your work when you’re done.

    Here’s a complete list of recommendations for caulking and other ways of sealing air leaks around your home from the U.S. Department of Energy:

  1. 1)Test your home for air tightness. On a windy day, carefully hold a lit incense stick or a smoke pen next to your windows, doors, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches, and other places where air may leak. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you have located an air leak that may need caulking, sealing, or weatherstripping.

  2. 2) Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows that leak air.

  3. 3) Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring comes through walls, floors, ceilings, and soffits over cabinets.

  4. 4) Install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls.

  5. 5) Inspect dirty spots in your insulation for air leaks and mold. Seal leaks with low-expansion spray foam made for this purpose and install house flashing if needed.

  6. 6) Look for dirty spots on your ceiling paint and carpet, which may indicate air leaks at interior wall/ceiling joints and wall/floor joists, and caulk them.

  7. 7) Cover single-pane windows with storm windows or replace them with more efficient double-pane low- emissivity windows.

  8. 8) Use foam sealant on larger gaps around windows, baseboards, and other places where air may leak out.

  9. 9) Cover your kitchen exhaust fan to stop air leaks when not in use.

  10. 10) Check your dryer vent to be sure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire.

  11. 11) Replace door bottoms and thresholds with ones that have pliable sealing gaskets.

  12. 12) Keep the fireplace flue damper tightly closed when not in use.

  13. 13) Seal air leaks around fireplace chimneys, furnaces, and gas-fired water heater vents with fire-resistant materials such as sheet metal or sheetrock and furnace cement caulk.



While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
© - McGarry and Madsen Inspection. -

 

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