When we use the term ‘backdrafting’, it refers to gas in the flues reversing in direction which leads to combustion byproducts in the atmosphere in the home - this occurs within fuel-fired appliances.
Nowadays, there is a lack of an induced draft in fuel-fired boilers and water heaters. Essentially, this means that backdrafting is a common occurrence whenever low indoor air pressure is seen. For inspectors, it is important to notice the backdrafting signs in a home.
How? - Initially, you might be wondering exactly how this happens and we will start by saying the flue is used to remove all combustion byproducts outdoors. Found in boilers, furnaces, and water heaters, the idea is that the indoor air is much denser and so the heat and gases escape outdoors. Whenever there is unusually low pressure inside the home, this effect does not take place but instead the gases reverse and make their way into the room.
In truth, this can be extremely damaging and has been known to lead to medical conditions and even death. In addition to air pressure changes, this can also occur when flues are blocked.
Wonder if you have backdrafting issues? Contact us!
Over a period of eight years from 1965, copper branch-circuit wiring was replaced by single-strand aluminum within the electrical systems in many homes - this was due to the rise in price of copper.
Despite being used for nearly a decade, the issues were not realized until later on until it was finally disused as a branch wiring material. When aluminum wiring is properly maintained, it is considered acceptable but it will not last as long as copper due to a few properties of the material itself.
Whenever a home has aluminum fixtures, connections, or switches, their danger increases over time and can create a fire hazard as the wiring overheats from poor connections.
Furthermore, home insurance policies can also be voided by the use of single-strand aluminum wiring which leaves the homeowner unprotected. Before making any drastic changes, it is often recommend talking to insurance agents about the use of aluminum wiring because, if it effects the policy, other solutions may be advisable.
Mike McFadden, Certified Master Home Inspector in Orlando, FL