Category Archives: Uncategorized

Structural letter Jan 2012 003

Deteriorated bricks make this buyer nervous!

This section of brick separated because of an above leak that entered behind the brick veneer.  The damage accumulated over this past winter when the freeze / thaw effect pushes the brick away from its underlayment.

Freezing water expands and breaks the seal that holds the brick to the mortar. It is only a matter of time before the damage is noticeable and repairs are needed.

This kind of damage can scare a buyer away. If there is above damage to the soffits and roof due to breaks in the flashing then the repairs can be even more extensive.

As home inspectors in NJ we have a duty to make sure the buyer knows to call in contractors for estimates prior to closing. That way they know exactly what to expect after they move in.

If you are buying a house call Pinnacle for your home inspection needs.  800-989-3872 or visit us on the web at


Asbestos / Cement Siding and Inspections

Created in the 1920′s as a replacement for highly flammable wood siding,  Asbestos / Cement  type siding was used on 100′s of thousands of houses across the US by the 1940′s. New Jersey included.

By the early 1970′s, the reported health hazards grew and the government took action by banning  their use in 1973.

These shingles are mainly cement with asbestos fibers used for reinforcement. If installed properly and not damaged, they’re acceptable. If the siding becomes damaged, cracked or gets to a “crumbling” stage, such as the photo above, health concerns rise as the dust can become airborne and inhaled.

Still on houses today,  I inspect a percentage of houses in NJ with Asbestos / Cement  siding,  some of which are a concern but not always. If the siding is properly installed, in good shape and maintained, it should be OK. If renovations or additions are done to a house with this type of siding, consult experienced, trained contractors. Similar looking products made without asbestos are available to replace damaged shingles.

Exterior siding is  part of a Home Inspection. Our Home Inspectors know the health concerns associated with this siding if damaged and will report on any potential hazards.

Reach us at 1-800-989-3872 or visit at


The difference between water rot and termite damage.

There is often confusion amoung home inspectors as to the difference between termite damage and water rot. The two are mutually exclusive.

Water can settle around a stoop leading into a home . Any settled concrete pad can provide an avenue for water to enter. Often the pad will settle slightly towards the home and water will soak into the framing.  During an inspection in Middletown NJ recently  I discovered extensive water rot conditions to the front entry of a single family home.

Water rot conditions are characterized by soft and spongy wood that is still in place. Cubicle rot is another condition caused by a fungus.

Termites remove the wood / cellulose and leave channels filled with mud to protect them from the air and light. Termites also avoid wet conditions.

Pinnacle Home Inspections 800-989-3872