Q. Inadequate Chimney Inspection?

Q. Hey Mark

I just had a home inspection done, and I am a little concerned about the chimney portion of the inspection. It didn’t seem very thorough. What should a chimney inspection be like? What things should be checked?

Michael L.

A. Hey Michael,

You should go to this link: InterNACHI Standards of Practice

There you will find a section titled Fireplaces, which lists what will and will not be examined in the fireplace during a typical home inspection. Within a standard home inspection, the chimney portion is a very basic visual inspection and you are right, it is not very thorough. Continue reading

Q. Selling my house, how do I prepare for an inspection?

Q. Hey Mark,

I’m selling my house and have to have a home inspection this week. Should I do anything in particular to prepare?

Thanks for your help,


A. Lorene,

Hey… Can I please come inspect your home? You sound like the perfect home owner. To answer your question in a word, absolutely, and thank you so much for asking.

Since the inspection is this week, you don’t have time to do much, but the first thing I would say to do is, relax. While the inspector is going to be looking for defects, whatever he finds will help you in the long run. Continue reading

Q. Too Many Layers of Shingles?

Q. Hey Mark,

We are selling our home, and the buyer’s inspector said our roof has three layers of shingles and said it was a major concern. Now our buyers want us to replace the roof. Why is the number of layers a problem when the roof is not leaking or anything?


Judy W.

A. Hey Judy,

Some municipalities have allowed as many as three layers of roofing materials. Others only allow two. You would need to contact your local building department to see what the roofing codes are in your neighborhood. Regardless of the code requirements, whoever installed that third layer did not follow good roofing practices. Continue reading

Q. Particle Board Siding

Q. Hey Mark,

I’m in the process of buying a 35-year old home and just had it inspected. The inspector said the siding is particle board siding. Is that bad?

Doug J.

A. Doug,

Not necessarily. There have been particle board siding that has failed, and there have been several lawsuits over them. However the simple fact that it is particle board, in and of itself, doesn’t make it “bad”. Continue reading

Q. Are Home Inspections Required?

Q. Hey Mark,

When I make an offer on a house, am I required to have a home inspection or is it optional? Can a house fail an inspection?


A. Hey Justin,

I’ll start with your first question. “Are you required to have a home inspection, or is it optional? The answer is not a simple yes or no. Some municipalities require certain types of inspections to be performed for a real estate transaction. Continue reading

Q. An Abandoned well…

Q. Hey Mark,

I am a real estate agent, and recently a buyer’s inspector said that the abandoned well on the property wasn’t capped. He said even though it wasn’t part of his inspection, he thought it was a safety concern and that it should be capped. What do you think about him commenting on something that wasn’t part of the inspection? And what would you recommend my sellers do about this well?

Heather H.

A. Heather,

As a property inspector myself, I understand completely the situation this inspector was in. On the one hand, the well has nothing to do with the home or the habitability of the home, especially since it is abandoned. On the other hand, he did observe a potentially hazardous condition on the property. One that I think most buyers would want to be made aware of. Continue reading

Q. I keep hearing about radon gas…

Q. Hey Mark,

I keep hearing about radon gas, but I don’t understand what it is. Is it something I really need to worry about?


Beth V.

A. Beth,

That is an excellent question. One that I wish more people were asking.

“Is it [radon gas] really something I need to worry about?”

Actually, I am not sure the word “worry” is the word I would choose. I think “concern” works better. You see, radon gas is a naturally occurring gas that is created by the breakdown of uranium within the Earths crust. Continue reading