Home Inspection 101 Event

We had a great turnout at our Home Inspection 101 event earlier this month.

Agents were pleased to learn about the home inspection process in more detail.  We know their clients will be served better by their dedication to furthering their knowledge. Many thanks to Elizabeth Sheffield with Coldwell Banker, and her client, for providing the home.

Keep an eye open for our next event in our agent education series in June! You’re going to love it!

 

NCLHIA 2018 CE Conference

Earlier this month, we attended the annual NC Licensed Home Inspectors Association Continuing Education Conference. We find this to be one of the better opportunities in the state for our state mandated continuing education each year. It is typically a four day event with educational opportunities beyond the required CE. They also have a room full of vendors where we can discuss some of the latest innovations in our industry. This year, the conference took place in beautiful Carolina Beach. The weather was cold and windy- so we weren’t upset being in class all day (and we are always grateful for the opportunity to see the ocean).

Providence Realty Gala

Mid February we had a chance to participate in a wonderful event with one of the fastest growing real estate brokerages in our market, Providence Realty.  They were celebrating a tremendous year, due in part to being an office overflowing with talented agents that always go above and beyond for their clients.

We enjoyed a fun filled evening with clients, agents, and friends. Already looking forward to next year!

Images from Triad Real Producers Magazine.

We’re Hiring!

Licensed Home Inspector
Parkwood Property Inspections

Parkwood Property Inspections is a full-service Inspection company serving the Triad and surrounding areas.

Our business is growing and we are offering an exciting opportunity for an aggressive self-starter. We are looking for someone who enjoys helping people and performs quality work. This is an established business with a reputation for high quality and superior customer service.

 Job Requirements:

  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Understands the importance of customer service
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Proficient computer skills
  • Ability to learn inspection software
  • A positive attitude
  • Integrity and strong work ethic.
  •  Punctual and ability to work unsupervised
  • Reliable transportation, valid driver’s license and insurance
  • Must be able to work in various weather conditions, climb ladders, walk on roofs, access crawl space, enter attics as well as stand for long periods of time
  • Available to work some evenings and weekends
  • Active North Carolina Home Inspector License

Email your resume to contact@parkwoodpropertyinspections.com to apply.

House Anatomy Event

It may be early February- but Spring hit Parkwood towards the end of January (which means that the phones are ringing off the hook- Hooray!!). We are always grateful for the opportunity to help buyers and sellers navigate their due diligence process.

I regret that we haven’t been able to share with you some of the photos from our House Anatomy 101 Realtor event until now. We had a tremendous turnout of over 40 agents wanting to better serve their clients by gaining in-depth knowledge of house components and systems. Due to the complexity of a house, it’s structure, systems, and components, this event focused primarily on the electrical system. Feedback showed agents preferred this to a broader overview so that they could actually retain some of what they learned. Many plan to attend future seminars highlighting other topics and we look forward to continuing to assist agents in this way.

Knowledge is a wonderful thing. The consumer is always better served when everyone involved in a real estate transaction works together to stay more informed. Many thanks again to Taz Ameen with Providence Realty for allowing us to showcase his listing for our seminar.

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Steam Boilers: The Basics

Steam boilers use heat from the burner to convert water in the boiler to steam. The steam moves from the top of the boiler through the distribution pipes to the radiators. The steam condenses at the radiators, releasing its heat. The condensate returns to the boiler as water.

Before the system starts, the top of the boiler, the distribution pipes, and the radiators are filled with air. As the steam moves through the system, it pushes the air out of the system. When the system shuts down, and the steam all condenses back to liquid, air is let back into the pipes and radiators, and into the top of the boiler.

When the thermostat calls for heat, the burner turns on. The water in the boiler heats up and boils. Steam comes off the top of the water in the boiler, just as it does in a pot on the stove. The burner is controlled by the thermostat and by the pressuretrol. The two devices are in series. The thermostat shuts off the burner when the house gets warm enough. The pressuretrol controls the steam pressure. When the steam pressure in the top of the boiler reaches the upper allowable limit, the burner will shut down, even though the thermostat is still calling for heat. When the steam pressure drops back into normal limits, the burner will come back on if the thermostat is still calling for heat.

As steam starts to form above the water in the boiler, it pushes up on the air above the water and pushes down on the water itself. Let’s assume that we have one psi of steam pressure. If we want to move the steam through the system, we have to get the air vents out of the way. Air vents in the system are open to the atmosphere. These allow the air to be pushed out of the piping and out of the radiators (depending on the type of system) to allow the steam to move into the piping and radiators. These vents remain open to the atmosphere until the steam hits them. The hot steam typically expands a bellows which pushes a valve closed. The air vents allow air to escape but don’t let the steam get out. The steam moves through the system, pushing the air out of the piping and radiators. The steam condenses as it hits the cold pipes and radiators, releasing its heat into the radiator.

The goal is to have the steam hit all of the radiators at about the same time. This allows for even heating of the building. Some air vents on radiators are adjustable. This means that they close at rates that can be adjusted by the homeowner or service technician so that all of the radiators fill with steam at about the same time.

In steam boilers, it is important to monitor how far the water rises in the return pipe. If the water gets pushed back into pipes that should contain steam, it will cause chaos. The steam won’t be able to move and we might have heating problems. The steam slamming into the water can cause water hammer. Boiler water levels may also drop to a point where the boiler shuts off on low water. A component known as the equalizer pipe is used to create equal pressure on the boiler water and the water in the return pipe, so we don’t have this problem.

When enough heat has been added to the house, the thermostat is satisfied. This causes the burner to shut off. No more steam is produced. The steam in the system condenses into water, which runs back into the boiler. As the system cools, the air vents which had been driven closed by the high temperature steam are cooled and the vents reopen. Air from the house comes back in through the vents to fill the pipes and radiators.

Ask the Home Inspector: Polybutylene Pipes

Can a home inspector predict the useful life of PB pipes in a home?

Unfortunately, inspectors cannot. Poly pipes may “look” fine, but most of the problems associated with poly systems are not visible. Inspectors can look for water leaking right now, we can look for evidence of repairs, and we can look for certain installation no-no’s (only where pipes are exposed), such as kinks in the piping. This helps a little, but many things contribute to a poly leak, most of which an inspector cannot see. When buying a house with PB piping, purchasers must be aware of the potential for leaks and damage and be comfortable moving forward with the purchase of the home, despite the risks.