Reach inside this kitchen cabinet and find a surprise - an uncovered connection between 110 volt house power and a low voltage transformer for under cabinet LED lighting. Who wants a shock to go with their morning coffee?
All wiring connections need to be covered in a junction box - this needs to be fixed. This is a relatively simple thing to do if you are comfortable with working with electrical wiring. If you are not familiar with electrical work and safety, hire an electrician to fix this problem.
How to correct this problem:
1. Turn off the power to this circuit at the breaker box.
2. Make sure that the power is off by testing at the circuit with a non contact tester.
3. Undo the connection between the in wall wiring and the transformer.
4. Place a surface mount junction box over the wiring penetration.
5. Put all wires to be connected inside the box.
6. Make the connection between the house wiring and the transformer.
7. Put the cover on the junction box.
8. Turn the power back on and test.
Easy fix and the right thing to do. All electrical connections need to be inside a junction box according to both electrical code and common sense. This provides protection to the circuit and to the homeowner.
Outside view of the shop wall with the leak - it's about halfway down this wall on the inside. You need to look at the two likely causes to determine where the water is coming from.
• Ground sloping towards the wall instead of away.
• Water from gutter/roof system.
The ground is fairly flat here behind the wall. Slight slope from the neighbors yard but overall the grassy area behind the shop wall is fairly dry. No evidence of ground water moving towards the wall.
Always look up at the roof and gutters - even a small drip can lead to problems over time. Right above the location of the leak inside we can find evidence that the gutters have been overflowing and dripping. Note the pine needles and gunk residue from the overflow of this gutter system. The ground under this leak is soggy and muddy. We found the source of the leak.
How to fix (need to be comfortable with getting on a ladder - if you are not, hire someone to do it for you):
1. Look at the gutter system for clogs. Common spot to find it is in the downspout connection or inside the downspout itself.
2. Remove any clogs and debris from the downspouts and gutters. Ensure that water from the roof has a controlled path to the ground.
3. Look at where the water is coming out of the downspouts. Is there a splash block? Is there a connection to a drainage system? Water from the roof needs to be directed away from the foundation and allowed to go downslope away from the structure.
This is an easy problem to fix with just a little effort and time.
Easiest fix for this problem?
1. Remove the old damage fence boards. Easiest to do a whole section at once.
2. Remove excess dirt and earth from the fence line. Earth movement caused by water can be a challenge. You will often need to remove dirt and re-slope the yard to provide a relief gap under the fence.
3. Measure and cut replacement boards. Plan for about an inch gap under the fence. By leaving the gap you will help prevent future water damage to the wood. This will help avoid premature rot of the replacement boards.
Ever hear the advice to keep dirt away from the bottom of your fence boards? There is definitely a reason to keep a clear space for any piece of wood that is close to the ground. Dirt and earth in contact with the bottoms of fence boards are a perfect place for water and moisture to be in prolonged contact.
Any kind of wood in prolonged contact with moisture will eventually rot. The fence boards in these pictures had their ends buried in the dirt for the past few years. The moisture retained in the dirt has been slowly rotting away the ends.
This fence section is fairly damaged and the affected boards need to be replaced. To prevent future damage, the homeowner should keep a clear space between the bottom of the boards and the earth. The easiest solution is to raise the replacement boards up by an inch or so on the rails. Alternatively the dirt could be removed and sloped away from the fence line. By keeping a clear space under the boards, water contact is kept to a minimum and the fence will last a lot longer.
Brian Jovag, owner of Jovag Home Inspection.