Universal Symbols of Destruction noted by this Marion and Polk County Home Inspector

Universal symbols are everywhere these days. Traffic signs especially have pictures and symbols instead of words so that any person, know matter what language they speak, can understand what is expected of them.  There are universal symbols that all good home inspectors should recognize as well.  Mushrooms growing out of your siding, large cracks in foundations and carpenter ants streaming out of a sill-plate are all things that any home inspector should recognize as a universal symbol of problems.



Another important universal symbol for home inspectors recognize in this area are two small copper lines, going into the ground in garages or crawl spaces.  These copper lines, can be indicative of underground oil tanks. These tanks, if not remediated properly can be a significant cost and an environmental hazard to a home-owner/home-buyer.



The Department of Environmental Quality in Oregon does maintain a database of remediated oil tanks.  As I wrote previously, the database is relatively new and unless the tank has been remediating recently, there would not be record of the tank.  This means that it is still important for home inspectors to keep their eyes out for the universal symbols and to let the buyers, agents and sellers that are involved in the transaction know about this potential environmental issue.

Get rid of your Old Wood Stove before you sell your Salem Oregon Home

Starting August first 2010, your trusty old wood stove will need to be destroyed!

Under the guise of environmental protection the Oregon State Department of Environmental Quality has decided that wood stoves built before 1985 must be removed if the home is part of a real estate transaction.  To be fair, wood stoves that are 25 years old or older are not as efficient as modern units and much of the heat that is produced is exhausted up the chimney.

Old wood stove headed for the scrap heap

Unfortunately, these regulations hit at a time when short sales and foreclosures abound and if a seller did have some wiggle room it may now be soaked up with the cost of the removal of the old wood stove.

If you do not know if the wood stove in your home or listing is ok or not there is some labels to look for:

If you are selling your home or have a home listed and a wood stove or insert is present you may want to check for these labels.  For more information check out the Oregon DEQs site:

Or you can always call your favorite Salem, Oregon home inspector who is always up on the latest government regulations:

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Jim Allhiser President/Inspector

“Always on the cutting edge”

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