Categories Energy Savings, Home Inspection

Problems With Skylights and How to Avoid Them


Skylights can be great because they can connect your home to the nature around it. Giving you a flood of natural light and awesome views of starry nights, what’s not to love?

However, like most things in the home skylights can run into some issues.

Many building experts view skylights as the weak link in the chain of the home because they are exposed to extreme temperature and pressure.

What Could Go Wrong?

Some of the most common and known problems with skylights are water leakage, but other issues arise such as:

  • excess daylight, glare and UV (ultra-violet radiation) damage 
  • energy loss
  • overheating
  • roof ventilation problems
  • ice dams

What Causes These Problems?

Normal wear, poor installation, and location of the skylight are all catalysts for problems.

  1. Many skylights use gaskets and deck seals or flashing, and over time they are susceptible to the typical wear and tear. Regular re-flashing and re-sealing can prevent water leakage.


  1. A skylight that has been properly installed will rarely fail in the first few years, but one that hasn’t been done well will show problems fairly quickly. Keep an eye on skylights with low levels of insulation or sealing on the underside of the skylight.


  1. Skylights placed in bathrooms are not a good idea. This is a room with high-humidity, and the large amounts of condensation can lead to cracks and serious moisture problems.

In addition to these issues repairing the skylight can be an issue in itself.

Due to awkward locations and placements being able to reach the skylight to repair can be a rather burdensome task. While inconvenient, it’s not impossible.

What Can I Do?

Although most of the problems we’ve discussed today are out of your control, some issues stem from poor homeowner care. Thanks to inconvenient placement many people put off cleaning their skylight.

However, you should strongly considering hiring a professional service like a window cleaner to get the skylight for you. Regular upkeep will extend the life of your skylight.

If you’re unable to contract a pro, don’t worry, there’s plenty you can do to take care of your skylight! Before getting started, you should find out what material your skylight is made out of; they aren’t made out of glass like typical windows, but rather acrylic or polycarbonate.

Cleaning them with household window cleaners or ammonia could destroy them.

What Can I Use?

  • Liquid dish soap
  • Long-handle dry mop
  • Auto wax
  • Cleaning cloths or clean rags
  • Power washer (outside of skylights only)
  • Cellulose sponge or long-handled cellulose sponge mop

Make sure you have a safe and sturdy path to the skylight then remove all the dust and debris, wash the windows, and finish by applying a thin layer of auto wax to the clean, dry window.

We Want to Hear From You!

Have you come across any of these issues with your skylight? Have you attempted to clean it yourself? Let us know about your own experience!

If you have any doubts about any issues in your home today, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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Categories Energy Savings, Home Inspection

Maintaining Your Water Heater

Water Heater

During a home inspection, we always check water heaters. As the colder months are moving in it is extremely important that you take necessary measures to maintain your water heater.

Not only will keeping a well maintained water heater increase the value of your home, but it will ensure you avoid any major hazards or damage within the home.

What’s the Big Deal?

Worst case scenario with a poorly maintained water heater is that it becomes a ticking time bomb, almost literally. If there is a gas leak near the water heater, the small ignition flame could cause an explosion.

On the other hand, if safety measures fail in your water heater an extreme amount of pressure could build up leading to a dangerous water rocket of sorts.

Hopefully, these potential hazards are reason enough for you to make water heater maintenance a priority.

What Can You Do?

The best first step to take is to review the owner’s manual that came with your water heater if you can’t find it then check the manufacturer’s website for a copy.

If you feel that you are not comfortable handling the water heater yourself then don’t push your luck, call in a pro. Some things you can do to maintain your water heater are:

1. Check the Pressure Valve

Both gas and electric heaters have a temperature and pressure valve. Wearing goggles and gloves check the valve after turning off electricity or the pilot light.

2. Flush the Tank

Thanks to sediment buildup in the tank your heater’s efficiency can be affected. Flush the tank each time you check your pressure valve.

3. Lower the Temperature

Ideally, your heater’s temperature should be set between 120 -130◦F. Anything higher can cause serious burns as well as damage to your water heater.

4. Appropriate Insulation

Fiberglass wraps can maintain hot water and are easily installed by plumbers.

5. The Right Model

Make sure your water heater is up to date and right for your home. Generally, water heaters have a lifespan of 8-10 years and should be replaced soon after hitting the ten year mark.

6. Annual Appointments

Just like you go to the doctor for a yearly checkup, your water heater could benefit from a professional checkup each year too.

A pro will ensure that the safety mechanisms are in place and there are no leaks or drips.

Things to Look For

Leaks and drips coming from your water heater can be symptoms of a greater problem.

Faulty water supply connections are the most common culprit when it comes to leaks. Easily fix this issue with compression fittings.

Drips from the temperature and pressure relief valve usually mean a thermal expansion tank is needed.

In electric water heaters, the most common problem is turning the power on before the tank is full of water, leading to a burnt out upper heating element and no hot water.

Make sure the tank is full before turning on the power and if your upper heating element is burnt out it can be easily replaced.

We Can Help

At EIG we want to make sure your home is in tip top shape if you’re getting ready to sell or buy remember that your water heater is an important factor of the home.

If you’re ready for a home inspection, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals!

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Categories Energy Savings, Home Inspection

Don’t Let Insulation Problems Bury You

Insulation Problems

HomeAdvisor calls insulation “the best investment you can make in a long-term residence” due to projected savings in utilities over time.

On average, families spend $1,900 on utility bills a year; heating and cooling make up 54% of utilities. Proper insulation can cut costs by 40%!

Ensuring proper and functional insulation is in your home will prevent a long list of problems over time.

Some of the most common troubles that stem from poor insulation include:

  • Drafts, feeling too cold in winter and too hot in summer
  • High energy bills
  • Erratic temperatures throughout rooms
  • Moisture that can lead to mold

Good insulation is something that matters for both current homeowners and those in the market for a new place. It’s also particularly relevant for owners of old homes as many people assume that poor insulation is just a quirk of having an aged home, which is untrue.

Whether you’re buying a new home or currently own one it is important and possible to have efficient insulation that will save you trouble down the road.

There are many types of insulation and various benefits for each one, but we are going to focus on some common issues that you can easily monitor and address to ensure your home remains problem-free.

1. Windows and Doors

Regularly check for worn weathers tripping and if you find it has deteriorated you can easily replace yourself. If you see that your windows need to be replaced, but you’re not quite ready to tackle the project invest in some thermal curtains for a temporary solution.

Cellular shades and shutters are the most efficient window coverings as they create a barrier between the window and the room. When it comes to the doors, adding a rubber flap at the bottom or installing a draft guard can be helpful.

2. Outlets

In older homes, outlets and light switches can be a huge source of heat loss thanks to improper insulation around outlets, light switches, and breaker boxes.

The fix here is easy, just buy some insulating gaskets made for outlets and install around your home.

3. Attic

The most common topic to come up when discussing poor insulation is the attic. Improper insulation is common and problematic in the attic, leading to various problems like drafts, moisture, and then spiral into bigger issues like structural damage.

Add weather stripping around the access point of your attic and look for insulation devices made specifically for attic doors to prevent a draft.

These are just a few of the most common problems due to poor insulation, but remember they are only temporary fixes.

If you’re worried that you have a bigger problem on your hands, especially in the attic, don’t waste time on calling in the pros!

We Can Help

Schedule an inspection with us today and let us put your mind at ease! Our team of qualified inspectors will provide you with a thorough inspection and report.

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