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  #41  
Old 2008-05-18, 10:33 AM
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sribulusu sribulusu is offline
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Default Basement

Hi Phil,
This is a newbie question for you.
I was told that basement floors show defects after 10-12 mths of settling in.
Should the unfinished basement floor be painted/paved immediately? ( I am not sure if it comes with that grey paint/coating).

Thanks
Srini
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  #42  
Old 2008-05-18, 12:31 PM
Trepex Trepex is offline
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I'm a newbie, so no guarantee I know what I'm talking about, but Tamarack's home buyer's guide says that the basement floor should usually not be painted during the first year in order to give it time to dry out.
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  #43  
Old 2008-05-18, 11:10 PM
bmcnally bmcnally is offline
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If its painted with latex paint then the floor can still breath and the cement can still dry out.
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  #44  
Old 2008-05-19, 08:27 AM
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Inspector Phil Acker Inspector Phil Acker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sribulusu View Post
Hi Phil,
This is a newbie question for you.
I was told that basement floors show defects after 10-12 mths of settling in.
Should the unfinished basement floor be painted/paved immediately? ( I am not sure if it comes with that grey paint/coating).

Thanks
Srini
When new concrete slabs are curing, the concrete shrinks and builds up stress within the concrete. Cracks occur, which is natures way of relieving this stress. To see cracks in new slabs is the norm, and is not a defect. If the crack size exceeds 6mm [1/4"], or if there is an appreciable step from one side of the crack to the other, then bring this to the attention of the builder for review.

As for painting: concrete needs time to cure, so painting a recently poured slab may inhibit this curing process by locking moisture in. Discuss this with your builder -- I believe the norm in terms of advisement from builders is to wait a year to give the concrete time to fully cure.
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  #45  
Old 2008-05-19, 08:51 AM
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Inspector Phil Acker Inspector Phil Acker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmcnally View Post
If its painted with latex paint then the floor can still breath and the cement can still dry out.
I see quite a few homes where the homeowners have painted the floors in the first year, and can't recall seeing where there has been a problem. However, be aware that the builder's advice needs to be taken into account, as the wrong paint selection or improper application can create problems, so if you put paint on and it peals off, the builder would say that your didn't head their advice.

I have mixed feelings on this: if you don't paint, then its not unusual to have concrete dust tracked on your beautiful hardwood floors whenever you come up from the basement. However, concrete needs time to cure, so waiting ensures this occurs. Try two things first: clean the concrete floor to remove dust and grime [try a TSP and water wash]; use a dehumidifyer to control basement humidity and promote curing of the concrete.

Here's a tip from my Google search on this topic:
https://buyat.ppg.com/ppgaf/etrainin...oncreteflr.htm
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  #46  
Old 2008-05-21, 10:25 PM
Aaiza Aaiza is offline
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Default Foundation and Air conditioner's Brackets

Hi Mr. Phil,
I heard that putting air conditioner brackets in foundation causes cracks or damage in the foundation, I don't know it is real or it is just another myth? can you please help and let me know.
Thanks,
Ghayas and Aaiza
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  #47  
Old 2008-05-23, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Aaiza View Post
Hi Mr. Phil,
I heard that putting air conditioner brackets in foundation causes cracks or damage in the foundation, I don't know it is real or it is just another myth? can you please help and let me know.
Thanks,
Ghayas and Aaiza
I have misgivings about mounting the condensor units on brackets. The most common form of mount is with lag bolts anchored into the concrete foundation. The most common location for the bolt locations is below the center of gravity of the units. Vibration from the unit and wind forces against the unit will over time cause the anchors to loosen. I occasionally run into loosened brackets; I had one client who leaned on the unit while we were talking, and it shifted -- he literally caught the unit falling off the bracket.

I have reviewed the installation manuals for many of the major A/C manufacturers -- Carrier, Goodman/Amana, York, etc. -- and in none of the installation manuals do they describe bracket mounting these units. All require that the unit be set on a concrete pad.

I do not trust wall mounted units. I believe that at some point in time, someone's kid is going to get killed or seriously hurt when the brackets fail while they are playing on or under the unit. For those with wall-mount units, here's tonight's homework for you: first, see if the unit is bolted to the brackets -- and if its not, try to lift it to see how easy it is to be moved or dislodged. Second, carefully put your weight on top of the unit, and see if you feel confident in the unit's safe installation as a bracket-mounted piece of equipment. Finally, look at the lag bolts, and consider whether you can be assured that they are deeply and securely anchored. I am not aware of any installation or code requirements to provide specific instructions for this form of mounting.

Back to your original question: no, I am not aware that bracketed air conditioning units cause cracks in the foundation and have not to date observed cracks at the bolt locations.
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  #48  
Old 2008-06-03, 11:11 PM
thepdiguy thepdiguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inspector Phil Acker View Post
1. How long does the PDI usually last? (Our house is approx 1800 sq ft)
For the builder, generally about an hour per 1000 sq ft; I have my inspection completed to respect the builder's time budget
2. What range of fees do inspectors usually charge (so we know we're not being overcharged)?
I don't know. I don't ask other inspectors what they charge.
3. Do inspectors check inside the attic/crawl space and climb on top of the roof?
"Yes" to the first part, assuming they are conducting the inspection to comply with Standards of Practice for home inspections; "They shouldn't" to the second part of your question, as this exceeds the requirements of standards. As for your reasons for raising this: I would usually be able to address all your concerns as part of my normal process.
4. If the builders' representative does not agree with an issue/deficiency, what means do we have to make sure that it gets documented?
The PDI form is the builder's document and they will enter issues by their sole discretion. The builder's rep does not have to accept any of the input from the independant inspector. The recourse to the homeowner is to either withhold signing the PDI form if you disagree with it (but be forewarned that this will lead to possibly expensive legal hassles) or enter the concerns into the 30-day form.
5. On a similar matter, if there are cosmetic issues, such as scratched hardwood or countertops, poor workmanship etc., is the builders' rep obligated to document these things to get them fixed?
Yes, he builder's rep should enter these; a short-cut is to put markers on minor items as listing all small cosmetic items would be an arduous task.
With regard to questions 4 and 5 above: I have done a lot of PDI inspections. I think most builder's reps are conscientious in the way they conduct the PDI process and enter information in the spirit of good faith. I personally am at a loss to be able to recall situations where I've encountered significant problems with builder's reps during any of my inspections.

It is best not to short cut items such as chips in hardwood, cabinets, bath fixtures etc.. as if these items are not recorded on the PDI they may become unwarrantable because it will be difficult to prove that it was damaged prior to close if not recorded on the PDI as stated in Tarion's Preformance Guideline. Listing numerous paint touch ups or clean ups, or numerous chips in cabinets etc.. is o.k. but make sure it is recorded by more than just " sticky notes"
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  #49  
Old 2008-06-04, 12:24 AM
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Yes, thats correct. Let me clarify a bit with a few examples:

1) If there are a number of scratches in the hardwood floor, the Builder's rep should enter an item on the PDI form that scratches are present. Markers should be placed by each of the scratches.

2) If there is a significant defect, such as a scratched or damaged counter, this should be spelled out as a separate item in the report with a specific location identified.

3) If there are a number of paint touch-ups required throughout the home, then the usual procedure is to put markers near each. The report should have an item stating general touch-up required.

4) If there are soil marks or paint splatter in the carpets, then there should be an item stating the nature of the condition in the PDI form and the rooms or areas stated, or if general, then this should be stated.

When this work is completed, the home purchaser should examine areas to confirm the work is acceptable. If you sign off that you have accepted the repairs as being complete, then this closes this issue.
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Last edited by Inspector Phil Acker; 2008-06-04 at 12:57 AM.
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  #50  
Old 2008-06-04, 02:38 PM
Squash Squash is offline
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Hi Phil,

I have question regarding the furnace clearance. In my case, the condensation drain is right in the front of the furnace and is about 15cm away. Meanwhile, a bundle of pipes(HRV drain, drain pipe from main floor, etc) lean on the front of the furnace before reaching the drain.

I took this matter to my builder and they refuse to assess the situation. They said Harding(the furnace company) could come and check but they will bill me if things are fine.

So my question is 1). is my situation agaist the furnace 24" clearance code? 2). Should the build assess the situation free of charge? I took possetion of the newly built house only 6 months ago.

Thanks a lot!
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