A recent home inspection found two locations that wanted to reach out and trip someone - yep, definitely a trip hazard!
The first was a very fun location! Right at the top of 13 concrete stairs!
These pavers don't look like they were flush to the top of the landing ever.
But certainly, since they have settled, they are a bigger problem now!
Yep, definitely a trip hazard!
It's an easy fix, but why was that not done?
The second had its own issues, including a trip potential.
Now, this staircase has its own problems:
1. It settling dramatically and pulling away from the house.
2. It is covering the wood framing underneath the top two stairs.
3. It is allowing water behind it, and onto that wood, providing a nice, dark, damp, protected space for termite activity. Look under that white exhaust tube to see one such area.
4. There is no handrail or guardrail, and there are five risers.
5. Stepping out the door you land on a platform that is only 6" deep just outside the edge of the door! Hmmm, slip and fall potential? The platform stepping out the door should be 30" or more.
6. That is a high-efficiency water heater exhaust tube! That means it runs often. And it's right under the only door to the rear yard! That door is off the kitchen. Do you think that every now and then that door might be opened so fresh air can be let in?
I LOVE the smell of carbon monoxide in the morning! And evening! Oh, wait, you can't actually smell it.
I LOVE the taste of carbon monoxide in my mouth in the morning! And evening! Oh, wait, you can't actually taste it.
There is a reason those exhaust tubes are not supposed to be close to doors and windows, but I digress...
That exhaust tube also provides a trip hazard!
When someone is stepping out and down, or coming up and using that corner as a handrail (!), that tube is reaching out and really trying to trip the unfortunate soul!
Yep, definitely a trip hazard!
Of course there was no permit for those stairs. I have seen this guy's work before - the infamous ice-cream-cone staircase. He is no pro.
His line is probably, "This is just landscaping and you don't need a permit!" Of course that's a lie. But the people buy it.
This staircase covers a basement window (another !), and looking out at the lovely view many large mud structures could be seen.
THESE WEREN'T JUST TUNNELS! I MEAN APARTMENT BUILDINGS! THEY WERE HUGE!
So, there's a lot going on here!
Unfortunately the weight from these stairs were putting such pressure on the framing, and that window, that it could not be opened to get a good photo!
My recommendation: falling is one of the most prevalent home accidents. And that's indoors and out! Falling injures, particularly the elderly, and happens every, every day! Why allow the situation to exist that promotes falling "accidents?" And, in this case, two situationS! Safety is a prime concern on home inspections, and when I see a safety issue it gets reported. And, sometimes, blogged about!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560