Pre-drywall Inspections

Once a house is completed there are many building components sealed in walls and no longer visible. This includes structure, exterior wall openings, cooling and heating, electrical and plumbing. After moving into the house if there is a problem with these hidden systems then interior walls have to be opened up to gain visual access.

A pre-drywall inspection involves observing what eventually will be hidden inside the walls of your house. It is done before the walls are insulated and the drywall, also known as sheet rock or gypsum board, is installed. Hence the use of the term “pre-drywall”.




I find components fail over time for several reasons.  Either because of age, a material defect or by it being  improperly installed. Components come with installation instructions. Typically the builder is required to install the components per those installation instructions. This may not happen. So if the installation does not look plausible based on the inspectors experience, then this is the time to ask questions of the builder before it gets sealed up in a wall.

In addition to considering having a pre-drywall inspection it can be beneficial for the buyer of the home to take photos of the interior of the open structure.  These photos should then be placed in a photo album for future reference. When a stain shows up on an interior surface you can refer to your photos as to whether there is an obvious water source there. Or some day, should you want to make an opening in a wall you will know what lies behind it. The photos can be a time saver for locating the cause of the problem and reduce the number of access holes you need to make.

Water Hammer Arrested

Home Improvement StoreWe have an energy efficient washing machine that just recently started to cause a loud water hammer noise during the initial fill cycle. Water hammer occurs when the flow of water through pipes is suddenly stopped. The sudden stop of the water behind the valve creates an abrupt pressure spike that results in a loud “banging”  noise in the pipe which can damage the plumbing.

I remember discovering this phenomena as a kid. Then turning the water on and off quickly to get that banging noise until my Dad told me to “knock it off” or something to that affect.
After some internet research, I went to my local home improvement store and acquired two water hammer arresters. These arresters are designed to install between the hot and cold water hose bibs and the hoses which go to the wash machine. Following the instructions on the back of the packaging, and with the help of a pair of pliers, their installation was pretty straight forward and the process took maybe 15 minutes at most.
The result was positive. The water hammer or “banging” noise no longer occurs when the washing machine operates.

Now may also be a good time to replace any rubber washer hoses with the metal braided style hoses.  I’ve read that washing machine hose failure is the second leading cause of serious water damage to a home so this is a good item to be proactive on. I’ve seen the rubber hoses fail and it is not a pretty sight.