A Central Oregon Home Inspector's notes on licensing information and resources
The unlicensed, “fake”, home inspector situation in the local news, has come up a lot in conversations with realtors recently. It’s important to have licensing information available just in case you, or one of your clients, have any questions or concerns about Oregon home inspectors or other licensed contractors. Verifying a home inspector's license can help reassure your clients and mitigate liability concerns.
As a licensed, bonded and insured home inspector the integrity and quality of my work, and the reputation of my industry, are incredibly important to me. I believe home inspectors perform a valuable service for real estate buyers and sellers and trust in our profession is critical.
Below is information from the Oregon CCB that can help you verify credentials for Oregon Home Inspectors and assuage any concerns or answer questions you or your clients might have.
Licensing information from the construction contractors board:
Contractors (including home inspectors) must include their CCB license number on any advertising so you can verify their license. To do so, visit www.oregon.gov/ccb and enter a license number or name in the orange “Search” feature. Verify that the license is “active” and that the full name on the license matches the contractor in question.
Home inspectors are required to have a CCB and additionally should have an Oregon Certified Home Inspector (OCHI) number.
Oregon CCB customer service - call 503-378-4621 for help searching or understanding the results.
Contractors and consumers can report unlicensed contractors and other illegal activity on the CCB’s website or by calling 503-934-2246. Licensed contractors carry bonds and insurance and can be held accountable if something goes wrong. Only licensed contractors can get required building permits.
Hero Home Inspectors Licensing Information
Oregon CCB #: 206671, OCHI #: 1768
Give me a call anytime with questions, I'm always happy to help!
Getting ready to list a home? Here are some simple, often overlooked, things sellers can do to keep the home inspection report uncluttered. By fixing small things the inspection process can go quickly while keeping minor repairs and unnecessary worries to a minimum and ensuring a smooth transaction.
1. Burned out light bulbs
During a home inspection we check all the light fixtures. The seller may not have turned on that back-porch light in months but, we will flip the switch during the inspection. If the bulb doesn’t work we’ll have to notate that the light wasn't functioning. Even though it’s probably just a burnt out bulb (and we will note that in the report) a nervous buyer may get concerned about the electrical. The best option is to make sure all the bulbs are replaced prior to the inspection so there are no unanswered questions.
2. Missing outlet or switch covers
The seller probably took the receptacle cover off when they were painting and then it was misplaced. A new one costs as little as $.97 at a home improvement store. Safety concerns dictate that outlets and switch covers be installed and properly secured. So…that one in the garage they meant to fix for the last 10-years will probably show up on the home inspection. Sellers should make a note to pickup a new one the next time they're running errands.
3. Smoke alarms/detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
This is a good thing to do no matter what! But, in Oregon working smoke detectors must be up-to-date when a house is sold. We will check every single one and recommend replacements if necessary.
4. Trim shrubs and trees away from the roof or siding
The inspection report will note if there is damage to roofing or siding due to overgrown trees and shrubs. It’s best to trim them back prior to the inspection so there is proper clearance.
5. Make sure water from gutters is diverted away from the home
For some reason gutter diverters go missing or get damaged. It’s generally a simple inexpensive fix and it's a good idea for long-term maintenance on any home to keep water moving away from the foundation.
6. Leaking faucets
We check all the faucets and plumbing in every room. If we see evidence of leakage we’ll definitely make a note and recommend immediate repair. Water leaks can do serious damage to a home so go ahead and have the faucet repaired or replaced if it’s malfunctioning - sooner instead of later.
7. Electrical panels are accessible
If there is something blocking access to the electrical panel be sure it’s moved prior to the inspection. If the seller is in the process of moving they should be sure not to block key inspection components like the electrical panel with boxes or furniture.
8. Tighten door knobs
If a home inspector sees loose door hardware they may have to write it down. Do a once-over on your door hardware to make sure it’s not rattling around. It’s usually just one or two small screws that need to be tightened.
9. Change your furnace filter
Furnace filters should generally be replaced or cleaned once every 1-3 months. This is often overlooked and can be bad for your furnace, your health and your power bill.
It's always a good idea to have a pre-sale home inspection by a qualified home inspector so you're not surprised by unknown, possibly serious issues that can derail a transaction. A pre-sale home inspection can provide valuable cost saving information and peace-of-mind!
Give me a call anytime with questions. I'm always happy to help,
About your Central Oregon Home Inspector
As a Central Oregon Home Inspector we are fully certified, licensed, bonded and insured. Our commitment to continuing education, in order to exceed customers expectations, keeps us constantly participating in industry conferences, seminars and classes to improve our Oregon Home Inspections. Hero Home Inspector serves all of Central Oregon including Bend, Sisters, Madras, LaPine Prineville and more.
A Bend Oregon home Inspector's guide to protecting your home from very deep snow!
WOW! There is a lot of snow on the ground in Central Oregon (and maybe more on the way)! While I was working on my own home this weekend, I was thinking that many people probably have questions or concerns about how this volume of snow effects their home. Here are a few thoughts that I hope are helpful:
Snow on your roof, how much is too much?
Well, that's a very good question. Most modern homes were engineered to withstand a significant snow load. However, I climbed on the roof of my older garage this weekend and removed the snow - better safe than sorry! (That's me in the photo) The pitch of my garage roof is fairly flat - so the snow collects easily instead of melting off. It's also open underneath so cold air above and below the roof keeps the snow from melting. These are two specific issues that can cause greater than normal snow load and accumulation.
Removing snow from your roof can be dangerous! There are roofing contractors, and snow removal companies that remove roof snow. It's difficult to find someone that isn't booked right now but here are some numbers to call:
Hidden Gem Property Maintenance: 541-550-3593
Northwest Quality Roofing: 541-647-1060
River Roofing Bend LLC: 541-316-7663
Ice dams building on your roof
Ice dams usually occur after a heavy snowfall and several days of freezing temperatures. Warm air inside or around your home leaks into the roof structure which warms the underside of the roof causing snow and ice on the roof to melt. The melted water will drain along the roof, under the snow, until it reaches the cold overhang. The overhang tends to be at the same temperature as the outdoors and the melted water will refreeze and form an ice dam and icicles. These ice dam may cause damage to the roof, which also may result in water leaks inside the home. A local roofing contractor told me just this morning he'd had a record number of calls about leaking due to ice dams.
Keep in mind - Central Oregon weather will probably change for the better soon (I hope!) and your current ice dams will likely go away without causing significant issues but...
Take photos and make a note of where they are located. It's possible with repairs and/or some additional home maintenance they may be avoidable in the future. Here is an article that explains why they develop at the edge of your roof and what you can do about them: Click here to read more about ice dams
If you're concerned, or already seeing signs of a roof leak, call a licensed roofing contractor sooner as opposed to later because they're getting booked. Here are those phone numbers:
Northwest Quality Roofing: 541-647-1060
River Roofing Bend LLC: 541-316-7663
Clear the space around your heat pump
Heat pumps need to draw air from from the areas surrounding them (all four sides of the outdoor unit). It is important to clear these areas of snow and ice build-up so air can freely reach the heat pump. This will allow the heat pump to operate as efficiently as possible and will alleviate strain on the unit. I shoveled all the way around my heat pump a couple of times this weekend to make sure it had adequate airflow. If your heat pump, has any snow build up surrounding it try and get it cleared away as soon as possible.
Take a vacation!
I don't know about you but this Oregon home inspector is ready for a little sunshine! So, now that you've shoveled a mountain of snow and handled all your home maintenance issues, I suggest packing your bags and hitting the beach for a few days.
When you go...
Leave the heat on, the faucets dripping and the cabinet doors open so your pipes are protected while you're gone.
Even better - consider a dependable house sitter to keep an eye on things while you are away, and maybe do some of the shoveling.
About your Oregon Home Inspector
As a Central Oregon Home Inspector we are fully certified, licensed, bonded and insured. Our commitment to continuing education, in order to exceed customers expectations, keeps us constantly participating in industry conferences, seminars and classes to improve our Oregon Home Inspections.
A Oregon Home Inspector's guide to surviving the next 72 hours in Central Oregon.
Boy we’ve had some winter so far! Snowmagedon is now turning into The Big Melt. The streets are running like rivers in places and some additional buildings have succumbed to the heavy snow load this morning. Hopefully you removed the snow from your roof if needed. (I expect to see some snow related roof damage in Central Oregon home inspections this year) If you didn't remove your your snow yet, keep a very close eye on things, you may not be out of danger. What else can you do to protect your home over the next couple of days?
1. Keep clearing snow away from your house, or at least trench the snow piles so they can drain away from your home.
Snow packed next to your house is prone to draining into crawlspaces and basements as it melts. Also, if it’s in contact with your siding it can damage the siding or seep into the house. Ideally you would shovel the snow 3-5’ from your house all the way around. (Who else is tired of shoveling?) But, realistically the snow is heavy and wet so at least start digging trenches to get the water flowing away as soon as you can.
2. Gutter downspout water diverters
Make sure your down spouts are diverting water at least 4’ from your home successfully. You can purchase extensions for your downspouts, or get creative like I had to, and add a pipe or some other diversion extension on to your downspout. The important thing is to get the water flowing away from your foundation and doors and any other openings in your home. I often see wet crawl spaces during home inspections due to broken or poorly functioning downspouts
3. Keep the water out
If your crawlspace vents are close enough to the ground level that they could allow water to flow in, try and stop it using sandbags. Same goes for doors or other openings. If you don’t have access to sandbags some alternatives might be premix concrete bags or mortar mix bags if they’re sealed. These are paper bags and they will eventually harden but they’ll do the trick in a pinch. Sealed bags of dirt or potting soil, even kitty litter will work - if they're too light you may need to add water and reseal. Plastic sheeting held down by straw bales can work in some situations. Here are a list of sandbag filling stations.
(Note that the Redmond fire department has closed their sandbag station today because they are out of supplies. Don’t delay if you think you need sandbags.)
4. Sump Pumps - if you think you need one get one now!
Remove vent covers and allow air to move through the space
Use a fan or dehumidifier to remove the moisture
The only warning I have is be careful about leaving your crawlspace vents open and using fans to move air through your crawlspace in the event of a temperature drop (like the one forecasted). You could freeze your pipes with additional cold air into your crawlspace or basement.
6. Clear your storm drains
This has been all over the news but therer are still a lot of hidden/plugged storm drains. Keep in mind that just because you cleared it yesterday - the slush will often replug the drains and you may need to clear them multiple times.
If I’ve done a home inspection for you, or your client, I may have pointed out “negative grade” - areas where the soil slopes towards the house. This is usually something buyers and sellers don’t focus on too much. Well, it’s one of those things that doesn’t matter until it matters - and this is one of those times. Unfortunately working on it now probably isn’t practical. But, as the snow melts if you notice any sloping or water pooling next to your foundation make a note of it. As soon as the weather permits, get the dirt sloping consistently away from your home. This will help avoid future flooding which can lead to mold, rot, foundation damage and other issues. And it will help you in any future home inspection by keeping your crawlspace nice and dry.
Property tax relief for damaged properties
This is from an article on KTVZ "Oregon law includes a provision that allows property owners who experience a casualty loss due to an “act of God” or fire to apply for a reduction of property taxes. The proration of tax applies only to taxable structures or property – but not to items such as vehicles or residential personal items.” Read more about this property tax discount here.
Good luck, I hope you stay warm and dry!
(As always feel-free to call or email with questions. I am happy to answer them or point you in the right direction if I can.)
About your Bend Oregon Home Inspector
As a Central Oregon Home Inspector we are fully certified, licensed, bonded and insured. Our commitment to continuing education, in order to exceed customers expectations, keeps us constantly participating in industry conferences, seminars and classes to improve our Oregon Home Inspections. Lance has a lifetime of experience that he brings to every home inspection. Raised in a ranching family by Central Oregon natives, he can’t remember a time that he wasn't fixing, building, repairing or remodeling something. His decades of hands-on experience include knowledge in almost every aspect of construction including home building, remodeling, heavy construction, irrigation, even landscaping and more. Hero Home Inspector provides Oregon home inspection services for all of Central Oregon including Bend, Redmond, Sisters, Madras, Terrebonne, Prineville, Powell Butte and more.
It's Cold Out There! A Bend Oregon Home Inspector's guide to surviving the bitter cold!
Open cabinet doors under sinks in bathrooms, utility rooms and the kitchen. Doing This will allow the heated air in the home to keep pipes just a little warmer.
Keep drapes and blinds closed to insulate from the cold, unless the window is in direct sunlight.
Make sure your crawl space vents are sealed with foam insulation blocks to protect your crawl space from the cold. You can buy inexpensive foam blocks (if you don’t have them) from your local home improvement store. Click here to see some samples.
Make sure all your exterior hose bibs are protected from the cold. Disconnect any garden hoses that are attached to your faucets. Properly installed frost free faucets should be OK, but if you see any constant dripping contact a plumber immediately while also insulating them from the cold. If you’re not sure your exterior faucets are frost free you can always cover them with insulators that are availble through local home improvement stores. Click here to see a sample.
If you have any questions about these tips or home inspections in general give Lance a call!
Lance has a lifetime of experience that he brings to every home inspection. Raised in a ranching family by Central Oregon natives, he can’t remember a time that he wasn't fixing, building, repairing or remodeling something. His decades of hands-on experience include knowledge in almost every aspect of construction including home building, remodeling, heavy construction, irrigation, even landscaping and more. Lance is a licensed, certified and bonded Oregon Home Inspector.
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