As a home inspector, I know there are many things that can be detrimental to homes. The number one enemy is water. The second are homeowners. Sure, we love stores like Home Depot and Lowes but if you don't know the proper way to fix something or improve it, you may be making it worse. Here are a few examples below to ensure you're avoiding products that shouldn't be sold in these stores.
1. Screened Dryer Vents
This is a simple one, lint is flammable and when you install a screen on a dryer vent it becomes a fire hazard. Current building codes state that vents are not allowed on a dryer termination. If you have one on your home, it should be replaced by a qualified contractor as soon as possible.
2. Plastic Dryer Vents
It's estimated that over 15,000 dryer fires are started every year. Plastic cannot withstand heat and will melt quickly and allow a fire to spread. A metal dryer vent cannot prevent a fire from spreading, but it does allow more time for detection and to have the fire extinguished. Plastic vents serve no purpose in a home.
3. Splash Blocks
Nearly every house has splash blocks. They sit at the bottom of a downspout and are supposed to direct water away from the home. I like to see water discharge a minimum of 6 feet from the foundation and splash blocks don't provide this. For less than $10 you can buy downspout extensions to ensure water doesn't enter the foundation.
4. Corrugated Plumbing
These accordion style drain materials are not approved for most drainage systems. They don't create a proper trap and can allow sewer gas to enter the home. They also trap food, hair and other debris and become clogged easily. If you have one of these, replace them with a proper drainage system.
Devereaux Van Dyne, Certified Professional Home Inspector