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John McComas Update

By | 2017-10-03T06:20:22+00:00 January 14th, 2016|Building Inspections Blog|

John McComas, who founded JMC Building Inspections in 1982, is now semi-retired.   After doing residential and commercial inspections for 31 years, he will now only be doing hourly consultations, walkthroughs, and Berkeley E3 Inspections.  If you would like to schedule a consultation, please call or email as the he is no longer using the [...]

Ultra-High Efficient Toilets

By | 2018-12-20T11:13:42+00:00 May 27th, 2015|Building Inspections Blog|

Until the early 1980s, most toilets used 5-7 gallons per flush. Toilet technology has progressed (with a few mis-steps) to the point where ultra-high efficient toilets are available today that use only .8 gallons per flush. That may look like a typo, but companies such as Niagara Conservation have developed toilets that conserve water and [...]

Guardrail Post Connections

By | 2017-10-03T06:20:23+00:00 February 8th, 2015|Building Inspections Blog|

The guardrail / deck connection is a critical element of deck design, but until relatively recently, the design of this important connection was left up to the whims of the contractor.  Why is this important?  When people gather on decks, they inevitably congregate along the guardrail, to enjoy the view, take some weight off, or [...]

What is Water Heater Backdrafting?

By | 2016-08-01T09:28:03+00:00 January 6th, 2015|Building Inspections Blog|

When you learn that a water heater is backdrafting, it may not be self-evident what that means.  I must admit that home inspectors can be guilty of using overly-technical language at times, and in the spirit of clarification, here is a description of water heater backdrafting and what it means to you. The basics The draft [...]

Duct Cleaning: A Solution in Search of a Problem?

By | 2017-10-03T06:20:23+00:00 September 26th, 2013|Building Inspections Blog|

Duct Cleaning: A Solution in Search of a Problem? (From CHECKBOOK Update, Fall 2013)   If you or someone in your family suffers from asthma or allergies, you may be considering getting your home’s heating and cooling ducts cleaned. Even if you have no special health concerns, duct cleaning may appeal to you at an intuitive [...]

Photoelectric vs. Ionization Smoke Alarms

By | 2015-01-05T22:57:02+00:00 May 18th, 2012|Building Inspections Blog|

Those white smoke alarms hanging from your ceiling may all look alike, but there are significant differences in the two kinds of sensor technology.  The older and more common type uses an ionization sensor.  More than 90% of smoke alarms installed in the US are ionization type (keep this in mind as you keep reading). [...]

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Federal Pacific Panels

By | 2017-10-03T06:20:23+00:00 May 5th, 2012|Building Inspections Blog|

When a home inspector mentions a Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) brand electrical panel, generally there are two responses.  Either a blank stare or "oh no!"  If you find yourself in the "blank stare" category read on. The Hazard A recent story by NBC 4 New York highlighted the problems with these panels.  Here are some [...]

AFCI Protection Primer

By | 2017-10-03T06:20:23+00:00 February 7th, 2012|Building Inspections Blog|

Have you ever wondered what an AFCI breaker is?  Perhaps a home inspector or electrician mentioned it, or perhaps you've read about it or saw it on the news, but chances are that you have never heard about this technology.  Simply stated, an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) is a type of breaker that is [...]

ReCallChek is Here!!

By | 2017-10-03T06:20:23+00:00 January 18th, 2012|Building Inspections Blog|

Okay, so what is RecallChek you might ask! This is a new service we can provide on most inspections we perform.  During our inspection, we gather information about all of the installed appliances typically found in a home, then submit that information to a national data base.  The data base is set up to compare your applliance [...]