If you're a home inspector, I recommend you add a glass suction cup to your tool list. This is a great little tool to keep in the tool bag that you bring into the home. Even if you're not a home inspector, you might find value in this.

Every experienced home inspector has surely come across dozens of crank-out windows that wouldn't crank closed properly. Sometimes this is caused by a window that doesn't fit in the frame properly, sometimes damaged hardware, or possibly missing hardware.

 missing hardware at crank inoperable crank

In these cases, I usually team up with my client to get the window to close properly. I run outside the house and push on the window, and I have my client crank the window and lock it while I push.

This isn't terribly annoying if there are two people at the inspection, but it can be a time suck when a house has a bunch of them. During the winter, I have to get my big boots on, bring a ladder to the offending window, get it closed, go back inside, and repeat. It's just part of the job, and nothing I've ever whined about.

I guess I've always been lucky, however, because I've never come across a window that I couldn't access from the ground. Until recently.

Storytime

While doing a one-year-warranty inspection recently, I opened a casement window that absolutely would not fully close. The child safety lock on the window didn't line up properly, and nothing I did would work. This was particularly frustrating because it was a two-story home with a walkout basement, potentially putting the window out of my ladder's reach.

I was doing a team inspection on this house with Joe, who happened to be in the backyard. After watching me struggle with the window, Joe told me to grab a glass suction cup out of his bag. He brings it along to inspections just for this kind of situation. Genius!

glass suction cup

Side note: to give credit where credit is due,  Joe says he got the idea from Milind.

The suction cup worked like a charm. I was able to pull the window shut with very little effort. I also saved at least 15 minutes worth of work, which is what it would have taken me to get my 28' extension ladder from my truck and put it against the house, close the window, then put my ladder back and strap it down on my truck.

I promptly ordered a glass suction cup for every home inspector on my team, and I'm adding this to my tool list for home inspectors. If you're a home inspector, I recommend you get yourself a glass suction cup. Home Depot sells them for $7.

Author: Reuben SaltzmanStructure Tech Home Inspections

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