Additional Information

Chinese Drywall

  • Chinese companies use unrefined “fly ash," which contains strontium sulfide, a toxic substance.

  •  In hot and wet environments.  This substance can offgas and contaminate a home’s air supply. 

  • Used in approximately 100,000 homes in the United States, many believe it has lead to serious health problems and property damage.

  • Contaminated Chinese drywall cannot be repaired.

       Indications:

  • The house has a strong sulfur smell reminiscent of rotten eggs.

  • Exposed copper wiring appears dark and corroded.

  • A manufacturer’s label on the back of the drywall can be used to link it with manufacturers that are known to have used contaminated materials. One way to look for this is to enter the attic and remove some of the insulation. 

  • Drywall samples can be sent to a lab to be tested for dangerous levels of sulfur. This is the best testing method but also the most expensive.

Aluminum Wiring

  • Between approximately 1965 and 1973, single-strand aluminum wiring was sometimes substituted for copper branch-circuit wiring in residential electrical systems due to the sudden escalating price of copper.

  • Inherent weaknesses were discovered in the metal that lead to its disuse as a branch wiring material.

  • Poor connections cause wiring to overheat, creating a potential fire hazard.

  • Aluminum wires are the color of aluminum and are easily discernible from copper.

    Since the early 1970s, wiring-device binding terminals for use with aluminum wire have been marked CO/ALR, which stands for “copper/aluminum revised."

  • Look for the word "aluminum" or the initials "AL" on the plastic wire jacket.

Asbestos

  • Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos as insulation. 

  • Until the 1970s, many types of building products and insulation materials used in homes contained asbestos.

  • Breathing high levels of asbestos fibers can lead to an increased risk of lung cancer in the form of mesothelioma.

  • The risk of lung cancer from inhaling asbestos fibers is greater if you smoke.

  • If disturbed, asbestos material may release asbestos fibers, which can be inhaled into the lungs.

  • Asbestos material that would crumble easily if handled, or that has been sawed, scraped, or sanded into a powder, is more likely to create a health hazard.

  • You can't tell whether a material contains asbestos simply by looking at it, unless it is labeled.  Do not dust, sweep or vacuum debris that may contain asbestos. These actions will disturb tiny asbestos fibers and may release them into the air. Remove dust by wet-mopping or with a special HEPA vacuum cleaner used by trained asbestos contractors.

Earthquake Preparations

  • Any appliances in the home that run on natural gas should be securely anchored to the floor or walls.

  • Water and gas pipes should be flexible to prevent ruptures and leaks.

  • If no automatic gas shutoff valve is installed, the manual gas shutoff valve should be in a location that is accessible to occupants in the event that they need to shut it off quickly.

  • Shutoff valves should be tagged/labeled.

  • Cement foundations should not be seriously cracked or crumbling.

  • Homes should be securely bolted to the foundation.

  • Freestanding water heaters should be braced with steel plumber’s tape or with metal straps attached to wall studs.

  • Masonry foundations and walls should be strengthened with steel reinforcement.

  • Columns and walls that support homes on hillsides should be adequately braced.

  • There should be sheet metal straps and angle bracing installed to hold an unreinforced masonry chimney to the house.

  • Plywood panels should be present at the ceiling or roof to prevent bricks from falling into the home.

  • Children’s play areas should be located away from the chimney.

  • Large appliances and furniture inside the home should be secured to the walls or floor with flexible cable, braided wire, or metal strapping.

  • Heavy objects and mirrors should be installed away from beds.

  • Cabinets that contain heavy or breakable objects should be secured with sliding bolts or childproof latches on the doors.

  • Hazardous materials should be kept in non-breakable containers and stored securely away from heat sources and appliances.

Lead

  • Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint.

  • In general, the older your home, the more likely it has lead-based paint.

  • Removing lead-based paint improperly can increase the danger to your family.

  • Lead from paint chips, which you can see, and lead dust, which you can't always see, can be serious hazards.

  • Peeling, chipping, chalking and cracking lead-based paint is a hazard and needs immediate attention.

  • Lead-based paint may also be a hazard when found on surfaces that children can chew or that get a lot of wear and tear. These areas include:

    • windows and window sills;

    • doors and door frames;

    • stairs, railings and banisters; and 

    • porches and fences.

Knob and Tube Wiring

  • Knob-and-tube (K&T) wiring was an early standardized method in common use in North America from about 1880 to the 1940s. 

  • While it is considered obsolete, it is not inherently dangerous. 

  • The insulation that envelopes the wiring is a fire hazard.

  • It has no grounding conductor and thus cannot service any three-pronged appliances.

  • It tends to stretch and sag over time.

  • It is not permitted in any new construction.

  • Where the wiring is brittle or cracked, it should be replaced. Proper maintenance is crucial.

  • It should not be used in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, or outdoors. The wiring in these locations must be grounded in order to be used safely.

  • We'll note any insulation that is found surrounding K&T wires.

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Fill out the form or call us to get a free quote. We need to know the address, square footage, and year the property was built. Also, let us know if you have any questions regarding our services or availability.

Service Areas:

Ventura County, Santa Barbara County and LA County.

Oxnard, CA 93036

(772) 530-2210      Ryan Ireland

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