Roof Discoloration from Algae

The following information is from a technical bulletin produced by the Asphalt Roofing Manufactures Assocation.

For many years, roof discoloration caused by algae has been observed throughout the United States and Canada. The discoloration usually has a brown to black appearance, and may be mistaken for fungus growth, soot, dirt, moss, or tree droppings.

Pull down ladder in a fire ceiling

Our garage has a drop-down ladder in the ceiling, providing access to a storage area in the attic. When we bought the house, our home inspector informed us that this was a violation of the firewall between the garage and the house. Is there a reasonable way to correct this problem and still retain storage access from the garage? —Gene

Dear Gene,

Attic Access in a firewall

My home is about 25 years old, and the attached garage is separated from the house with a brick wall and a steel entry door. However, the brick wall does not extend to the roofline, leaving the garage open to the house attic. The home inspector never mentioned this condition when I bought the property and it was apparently approved by the city inspector when the house was built. I am concerned about this incomplete partition wall and would like to know if it is a fire safety violation. - Jack

Orphaned Chimney

We just had an inspection and the inspector called out an orphaned chimney but nobody can seem to explain this to us



Dear Dennis,

Sellers Inspection, sometimes called a pre-listing inspection

We are going to put our house up for sale and wondering if having a home inspection before putting it on the market is a good idea?

Carly & Joe


Dear Carly & Joe,

Attending the inspection

Dear Scott,

I just spoke with your company and then found your blog. The person I spoke with on the phone encouraged me to attend the inspection in its entirety. Is that really necessary?

Mary Ann


Dear Mary Ann,

Seller home during the inspection

Dear Scott,

We just had our home inspection and the seller was home and followed us around. This was uncomfortable but I can deal with it. The problem was whatever the home inspector said was wrong the seller discounted or downplayed it and so did my Realtor.


Dear Charles,

Too short an inspection

Dear Scott,

We just had our home inspection. The inspector was there for about an hour and told us there wasn’t anything wrong but the grade is toward the house. This is an older home, well-kept but I have a hard time believing there isn’t anything else wrong. Am I worrying for nothing?


Dear Dorothy,

Upgrading kitchen outlets

Dear Scott,

We just had our house inspected and the inspector called out “Recommend upgrading kitchen outlets to GFCI protected outlets”. My house is 1952; do I have to do this?



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