erobinson's blog

FDS Rebuilds Homes in Joplin

Friends Disaster Service rebuilds home in Joplin after the tornados destroy them.  If you are looking to contribute to this cause contact FDS and donate time, resources, or funds.  I know this group personally and they are doing great work.  Check their web site here.

FDS Rebuilds Homes in Joplin

Photos From the Field - Catch Basin

Somtimes you cannot make it up.  This is a catch basin under a furnace penetration through the roof with a little cable TV wiring in the mix for fun.

Storm Damage in North Houston

Looks like some houses were damaged by the onging storms.   Let us know if we can help you evaluate and document the damage.

Images of Damage on 11 news.

Dealing With a Difficult Contractor

One of the email blasts I get weekly is from Angie's list.  This is a reference service you must subscribe to in finding contractors among other business offerings.  It appears to be a pretty good service for both businesses and members serving the function that the Better Business Bureau in a modern online format.

This week there was a video article discussing the art of dealing with contractors and how to make the experience go more smoothly.

Also check out our suggestions for selecting and dealing with contractors.

Tips on Choosing a Contractor


Cleaning Your Dryer Vent

Dryer vents are something that is not inspected as part of a residential home inspection and probably something that is often overlooked in general by a home owner.  Inspection requires invasive and destructive access to the vent system and is beyond the scope of a typical home inspection.  Clogging of a dryer vent is especially of concern where utility rooms may exist at the interior of a structure requiring long dry vent duct runs which are more prone to clogging over time.

Did you know that chimney sweeps clean dryer vents?  Lee Roff with Lord’s Chimney  does just that and sent me some interesting information on this subject.

According to information Mr. Roff sent me from a 2007 FEMA article:

  • Clothes dryer fires account for about 15,600 structure fires, 15 deaths, and 400 injuries annually.
  • Eighty percent of clothes dryer fires in structures occur in residential buildings.
  • Annually, 12,700 clothes dryer fires occur in residential buildings resulting in 15 deaths and 300 injuries.
  • “Failure to clean” is the leading factor contributing to clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.
  • New home construction trends place clothes dryers and washing machines in more hazardous locations away from o walls such as bedrooms, second-floor hallways, bathrooms, and kitchens.

There is also a relatively new product that Lord’s Chimney is recommending on systems they clean called “Lint Alert”.  This product detects restrictions on a vent system and tells you when you need to have it inspected and cleaned due to increased backpressure.

Visit their link for more information:

This information is good to have since many of us do not consider the dryer vent requires periodic maintenance to keep functioning and is not typically included in the scope of a home inspection.

New Homestead Exemption Rules Sept 1, 2011

There are some new rules in qualifying for homestead exemption in Texas.  It appears this will result in more paperwork.




Change in Contact Information

While we are still serving the Greater Houston area as well as surrounding areas our mailing contact information has changed.  Please make note of this change:

Professional Engineering Inspections, Inc.
P. O. Box 859
Friendswood, Texas 77549

Yes we still travel about anywhere you may need us to in order to get the job done!

Don't Accept a Short Option Period

Wow we are getting calls into the office with 3 and 5 day option periods? You really gotta think about what you are going to do with the information before you agree to such a short term. If you want to use your inspection information in a meaningful way, negotiate a more reasonable time frame. Keep in mind it takes about 3-5 “business” days to get on our schedule in the summer and you also need time to look into any significant problems if we find them. Always use the term “business days”. Consider a minimum time frame of 10-14 business days and more if the property is large or you believe it has any significant issues. More time will give you a cushion to get all your inspections scheduled and any follow up inspections from contractors if you need them. More time also allows us to follow up with any questions you may have once you read your report or have other investigations based upon it.

It’s HOT be safe!!

New QR Cards

egr qr vcardWe are working on new QR codes for our business cards and documents to allow our clients to better contact us.  These codes contain email address, a landing page address for our web site, and our office contact number.  Look for them on our cards and reports soon!

Beach Report Web Site A Good Source for Info.

Well it is a little off topic, but as an outdoorsman and dad I am always looking for information on fishing or hitting the beach.  The beach patrol has a great web page with resources to not only to find beach conditions but a number of cameras to allow you to see current conditions and perhaps population on the beaches.  You will find links near the bottom of this page for more fine tuned weather and wave conditions.

Beach Conditions at the Beach Patrol Web Site Galveston

It is summer now so in between buying houses, building houses, or looking into those construction problems have a good time, be safe and get out there.

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