September 23, 2021

The Importance of Roof Cleaning

Most people put a lot of time and effort into maintaining their homes. However, the roof is often something that they neglect. You need to make sure that you clean your roof because there are several ways that you can benefit from doing this.

Prevent Dams From Forming on Your Roof

Your roof is prone to developing ice dams during the winter. If you keep your roof clean, then the ice dams will be less likely to form. It is important to note that ice dams can do a lot of damage to your home.

Boost Curb Appeal

There are several reasons that you should try to boost your curb appeal. For example, you can impress your neighbors. You can also increase the chances of getting your home sold if you improve the curb appeal. A dirty roof is something that may turn off potential buyers.

Prevent Plants From Growing on Your Roof

Your roof can accumulate algae, lichens, and moss. Those things can greatly decrease the lifespan of your roof. You may end up needing to have to get your roof replaced a lot sooner than you would like. Additionally, the mold spores can end up in your home and cause serious health problems.

Protect the Structure of Your Home

Your roof is designed to protect your home. You can ensure that your home has maximum protection by making sure that your roof is clean. On the other hand, if your roof is dirty, then the UV rays, wind, and rain can do a lot of damage to your home.

Save Money

It is dangerous for you to try to clean your own roof. That is why you will have to hire a professional pressure washing service to do the job for you. Even though you will have to pay money to have someone clean your roof, it can actually help you save money. For example, you won’t have to get your roof repaired as often. You will also save money if you add years to the life of your roof.

Furthermore, your home insurance may charge you less. The overall condition of your property is one of the things that determine how much you will have to pay. If your roof is in good condition, then the insurance company knows that you will be less likely to need to file a claim.

Prevent Pests

Pests can cause a lot of damage to your roof. Your roof may start to deteriorate quickly. Roof cleaning will prevent pests from ruining your home.

What a Home Inspector Looks for When Checking a Home’s Exterior

Illustration of men inspecting a roof and home exterior

When a home inspector is checking the exterior of your home, they are looking for many things. First and foremost, they want to make sure that the outside of your house is properly maintained. If it’s not, you could deal with future issues such as mold growth or water intrusion. So what other things does an inspector look for on the exterior? We’ll tell you in this article!

Checking All Aspects of Your Home

An inspector will also look for any exterior components that the homeowner might not be able to see. For example, an inspector will check a garage door’s tracks and rollers if it is visible from the outside of your home. If they appear worn or damaged in some way, then repair work should be scheduled immediately!

HVAC Safety Checks

An HVAC safety check is a must for any home inspector. To know that the system is running without issue, an exterior inspection should be completed regularly. This can quickly be done with your HVAC company’s assistance or by hiring a professional contractor!

Exterior Damage

An inspector also looks around your house for any signs of external damage, such as a damaged roof, siding, or gutters. If any of these components require a repair, then this will be noted on the report, and you’ll want to make sure they’re fixed as soon as possible.

Garage Door Tracks and Rollers

If visible, the inspector will check your garage door tracks and rollers for any signs of wear. If they’re not in good condition, this could result in a damaged or even broken garage door.

Exterior Electrical Outlets

A home inspector may also look at exterior electrical outlets for any signs of corrosion or other damage that would mean it needs to be replaced.

Basement Window Visibility

The basement window visibility will be checked and noted on the report by looking out from inside the foundation wall (if possible) and also examining whether other windows allow good clearance when viewed from outside at ground level. For example, if your house has many trees around it, then this could obscure the view of your basement window.

Doors and Windows

If you have any issues with your doors or windows, they need to be addressed immediately. An inspector will look for things like cracks in the frame, gaps around the door where warm air can escape, and other maintenance issues that might arise, such as a broken window pane. Cracks and crevices could indicate water intrusion on either side of these areas, which should not happen.

Exterior Paint

Paint can sometimes give you clues about what issues are going on with your house before more serious problems happen. For example, an old layer could show where there previously was water damage (saprophytic mold), leading to black mold growth inside when exposed to moisture again. A painting service can examine paint closely for chipping edges and discoloration throughout the layers–it could mean trouble ahead!

What Is Involved In A HVAC Inspection?

You need to have your HVAC inspected on a regular basis. The primary goal of an HVAC inspection is to make sure that your HVAC system is working properly. There are several things that are involved in the inspection.

Checking All of the Components

Your HVAC inspection will likely take about 30 minutes. The technician will likely start off by inspecting all of the parts of the unit. This includes things such as refrigerant levels, electrical connections, thermostats, and controls. Your HVAC service technician will also lubricate and adjust the moving parts. Additionally, the air filter will be changed and the blower motor will be adjusted.

Efficiency And Safety Checks

Your HVAC works hard to heat and cool your home. However, there are several things that can cause your HVAC system to suffer a lot of wear and tear. This includes things such as dirt, extreme weather and, normal aging. Your HVAC technician will repair the parts that have suffered wear and tear.

There are many safety features that are built inside of your HVAC unit. Your technician will make sure that all of the safety parts are working the right way. They will also remove the dust and dirt that have built up inside of your unit.

A thorough cleaning has many benefits. Your HVAC system will work more efficiently. This means that it will be able to heat and cool your home without using a lot of energy. A thorough cleaning of your HVAC system will improve the indoor air quality. Furthermore, your home will be more comfortable.

An Assessment of How Efficiently Your System Heats And Cools

The technician will make sure that the HVAC system that you have meets the demands of your home. The HVAC system has to be the right size for your home. It also has to be installed correctly. Additionally, the size of the other appliances in your home will determine your heating and cooling needs.

Your technician can clean up your system and make repairs. However, if the system is not the right size or doesn’t fit the needs of your home, then you will need to have it replaced. Getting a new HVAC system can help you save a lot of money. It can also heat and cool your home better.

It is important to note that the HVAC system itself is not the only part that will be inspected. Your technician will also inspect the vents and insulation.

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Surprising Things That Decrease Property Value

If you’re thinking about selling your house, you’re probably asking, ‘What factors influence property value?’ Although you are already aware that variables such as location, land size, and the state of the real estate market have a significant effect on property prices, you might be stunned to learn that certain minor details will raise or decrease your home’s value by thousands of dollars.

illustration of a house set on a downward arrow

Here are six factors that will reduce your property’s value.

No garage or a single garage
Homeowners love their garages just as much as they love the vehicles that go in them. Garages have changed from being practical places to park and secure vehicles to being necessary excess storage for sporting equipment, motorcycles, lawn equipment, and holiday decorations. Houses with no garage are less appealing.

Swimming Pool
Though swimming pools are an essential luxury in many parts of the country, they can also reduce the value of your house in other areas. In-ground pools necessitate regular upkeep, which is unappealing to retirees or those trying to ease their lives. Similarly, when pool equipment fails or has to be replaced, the resulting costs may be overwhelming.

The prospect of another recurrent liability will put off prospective buyers who are still squeezing their finances to purchase the house of their dreams. Another significant pool-related problem is safety. Many households of small children despise the “what-ifs” that swimming pools reflect and may avoid properties that have this additional monitoring requirement.

Subpar Educational Institutions
For various causes, being in a top-tier school district is a primary concern to most homebuyers. Staying close to a low-performing school will lower house prices and restrict the market to buyers who do not have school-aged kids or who can afford the additional cost of private education.

Proximity to interstate, airport, or train
Although there is a case to be made for convenient access to commuter trains, freeways, and other modes of public transportation, it can be difficult to sell. Buyers appreciate a convenient venue, but not at the cost of their quiet time or air quality. Houses too close to freeways, trains, and airports are avoided mainly by homebuyers who are put off by gas emissions and the relentless hum of traffic.

Sloping Lot
Homes on sloped lots can be difficult to sell for a variety of reasons. For starters, lawn maintenance becomes a problem, particularly on steep slopes. Mowing lawn and raking leaves, in particular, take on a whole new dimension when you’re trying to keep your balance.

Second, based on where the house is located, sloped lots will often cause runoff or drainage problems from higher elevations. Ultimately, apart from skiing and sledding, lots with a dramatic slope can restrict outdoor entertainment options, which is a downer for families with young children.

Flooring Issues

The first thing people notice when they enter a home is the appearance of the floors. If there are cracked tiles or scratched hardwood floors it can convey that the home has not been well cared for and lower the value to a potential buyer. Dirty or worn carpeting can also be a big indicator. Be sure that floors are clean and in good repair before putting your home on the market. Clean carpets will enhance the appearance that a home is well maintained.

If you’re a seller dealing with one or more of these property marketing issues, it’s normal to feel helpless to change the odds to your advantage. Improve the situation by recruiting a real estate agent with an established track record in advertising and selling properties of all kinds.

How to Prevent Mold and Allergens in Your Home

Mold is a type of fungus with a woolly texture and varies in color. Mold develops in damp areas that are not well lit, such as basements, bathrooms, and crawlspaces. It is essential to prevent mold growth because it can damage your home’s structural integrity, which can be costly to fix. Living in a moldy home causes health issues, such as sinus congestion, headache, throat irritation, respiratory problems, and allergic symptoms.

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Below are ways to prevent mold growth at home.

Moisture control

Moisture control is the most effective method of curbing mold growth. Maintaining appropriate humidity levels gives a mold-free environment. Mold thrives in humid environments, and thus it is vital to ensure you maintain indoor humidity levels between 30-50%.

Humidity levels are influenced by daily activities like cooking and drying clothes, making it necessary to monitor indoor humidity levels as they keep changing frequently. Installing a dehumidifier helps to reduce moisture from the air making your home less susceptible to mold. In addition, using an AC unit helps to achieve low humidity levels.

Proper ventilation

Ventilation keeps air moving and prevents moisture build-up in the house. Areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms have high moisture levels making them prone to mold development. It is important to open windows to aid moisture flow when cooking or having a shower.

Air vents can be fitted into windows to enhance ventilation. Besides that, it is advisable to keep doors shut to confine moisture to these rooms when in use. Open doors allow steam to travel to other rooms, which can cause mold problems.

Cleaning carpets

A moldy carpet is likely to have an unpleasant odor and ugly stains. A spill on the carpet should be attended to immediately. Carpets should always be kept dry free of moisture or water to reduce the likelihood of mold growth. It is important to frequently vacuum carpets to ensure they are mold-free.

A moldy carpet can be cleaned using white vinegar. Spray vinegar on the carpet and scrub with a brush. Avoid diluting vinegar with water as it will lose its effectiveness. Let the applied vinegar sit for at least an hour then wipe with water. Finally, use a dehumidifier to get rid of moisture.

Regular professional carpet cleaning can also ensure that your home remains free of allergens. Consult with a San Antonio carpet cleaning service.

Avoid dampness

Mold can’t grow without moisture. After taking a shower, it is necessary to wipe dry the walls and floor of the bathroom. Moisture settles on these areas creating an ideal environment for mold to grow.

After doing laundry, do not leave clothes in the washing machine. Also, do not dry clothes indoors because the water evaporates and creates a damp atmosphere in your home.

Things to Do Before a Home Inspection

A home inspection is a thorough examination of the mechanical, structural, electrical, plumbing, and other systems that are part of a property. The provincial government licenses home inspectors to inspect properties for which they are responsible. When the inspector comes to your house for the first time, you will be given a checklist to fill out important information about the place. You need to have at least one item on this list that you want the inspector to verify before writing his report. Below are some things to do before a home inspection.

miniature house under a magnifying glass

The very first thing to do before a home inspection is to make sure that the inspector has gone through the house thoroughly. He should have gone to all the places inside the house, including the basement, crawlspace, garage, attic, and any other part of the house that may give him access points to suspect equipment or areas of concern. He needs to be able to get around in the different parts of the house quickly. He cannot stand in front of a stove or electrical panel if there are objects that he cannot easily access. The inspector must also get into any tight spaces without making a lot of noise or leaving a trail of crumpled documents behind him.

 

Appearances are important. Be sure to have your home clean and fresh inside and out to make a good first impression. An inspector that sees a mess might automatically assume that there is trouble elsewhere. Hire a carpet and house cleaning service to clean the inside and a professional pressure washer for the exterior.

 

If you have to, hire an assistant to accompany the inspector on the visit. You can take some of the load off of him by handing him some supplies like lead water and paint sealant. Have the assistant bring some business cards with you to make it easier for the inspector to list the problems in your house without calling too much attention to the ones he can fix. When you do a home inspection, you’re essentially announcing to the world what you’ve found inside the walls, so it’s important to take the time to find out what’s wrong.

 

When you have all of these prerequisites in place, you can go ahead with the actual home inspection. But, remember to take your time. You want to feel comfortable with your home inspection, and it’s a good idea to get a second opinion. Your real estate agent can help you with this. If you decide to sell your home after the inspection, it’s always a good idea to have the inspector look at your house again before showing it off to real buyers.

 

Hopefully, these tips for doing before a home inspection will help make your home buying experience less stressful and more successful. Buyers often drive real estate sales, but the review is a big part of the selling process. If you do everything you can to make sure that you’re prepared, your home may end up getting sold much faster than you anticipate. With some work, you should be able to find the perfect home for you.

Things That Home Inspectors Do NOT Look For

 Buyers believe a home inspector analyzes every inch of the home. The harsh reality is home inspectors survey every visible inch of the house. Inspectors rate the home’s condition based on what is evident. The inspector didn’t check for these items because it is too risky to examine or because the job requires a specialized expert to resolve it.

Pests and Rodents

No home inspector will search for pest and rodent infestation in the home, inside the walls, or on the roof. It’s not part of their job description. An exterminator already exists for that purpose, so contact one for pest and rodent control.

 

Roofing

Roof checks depend on the height, the weather, the steepness, and the inspector’s willingness to climb a ladder. Some inspectors will examine the roof; some inspectors will eyeball damage from ground level. Generally, roofs over three stories tall, harsh weather, and very steep roofs are signs inspectors will not check the roof for damage and defects. Inspectors will not examine solar panels, antennas, and pests/rodents living inside roofs either. A roofing expert can inspect the roof in specific detail.

 

Fireplace/Chimney

Inspectors will not check a fireplace or chimney thoroughly either. It’s all about what is visible, and the inspectors will look inside chimneys with a flashlight and see if the fireplace doors will open and close properly. If you want a precise examination, a fireplace/chimney expert will assist you. These experts will check for soot buildup and the chimney’s structure when inspectors will not.

Carpeting

An inspector won’t tear up the carpet to inspect for problems, even if it looks extremely dirty or damaged. If you think that the appearance of your carpeting is a factor in selling your home, consult with a carpet cleaning professional such as Professional Carpet Systems of Raleigh. They can advise you whether you should remove, replace, or simply clean the carpet.

 

Septic System

Some home inspectors specialize in septic system checks, and if so, the inspectors will test the septic system to see if it’s operating normally. Inspectors will also check the tank, piping, and baffles along with leaks and its interior condition. The catch is a septic system check is a separate fee. The home inspectors who do not specialize in septic system checks will examine the pipes only. Those situations require a septic system expert to test the system thoroughly.

 

Swimming Pool and Spa

What inspectors will do with a swimming pool or spa is turn on the pool pump and heater to see if the pool or spa operates normally. Hire a professional pool inspector to search for dents and cracks in the pool or spa’s structure. The inspector will check the pump, heater, filter, safety cover, and decking surface for use. A pressure test to uncover plumbing leaks is also part of the pool inspector’s job.

 

It’s easy to believe the home inspector’s report wholeheartedly to make a home buying decision. What you see is correct. What you shouldn’t do is believe home inspectors were thorough in the home’s visible and not visible areas. If these unchecked items are meaningful to you, hire a specialist to examine the task.

Telltale Signs That Your Wiring is Not Up to Date

The electrical wiring in your home is something you might not have thought about, but it’s something to concern yourself with. Wiring and electrical components age and are frequently overlooked. These issues are safety concerns especially if your home was built during the 1960s and 70’s when aluminum wire was used instead of copper due to supply issues. Aluminum is no longer used or code compliant due to expansion and contraction that are significant fire hazards. Here are a few of the signs that indicate you might need to update your wiring system.

outdated electrical switch

1. Blown Fuse or Tripped Breakers

 

It’s normal for a breaker to trip or a fuse to blow every once in a while and isn’t a cause for concern. If it’s a frequent occurrence, it indicates that there is a bigger problem to deal with. An outdated electrical system might not be able to handle the high energy demands of today’s modern electronics.

 

2. Dim or Flickering Lights

 

Lights can flicker for a number of different reasons such as a bad bulb or malfunctioning socket, and a flickering light doesn’t always indicate an electrical problem. If you experience dimming or flickering in lights all over the home, you might have a larger problem on your hands. Another sign to look for is if lights flicker when you use high demand appliances such as a microwave or air conditioner. This is an indicator that the system is overloaded and needs to be updated.

 

3. Warm or Sparking Outlets

 

Outlets shouldn’t have a burning smell, be warm to the touch, or spark at any point. Burning signifies something is broken inside and could cause an electrical fire. Sparking or being warm to the touch means you could have a short circuit or wires are beginning to get loose.

 

4. Ungrounded Outlets

 

Two-prong outlets are a thing of the past. Electronics today run at higher voltages and need additional protection from a grounded three-prong outlet. If you plug in something that draws more power than the outlet can provide, you might start a fire.

 

5. Lack of No Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Outlets

 

It is imperative that outlets located near moisture such as in the kitchen or bathroom are GFCI. They have built-in protection to trip if the outlet short circuits or becomes overloaded. You can spot them by the test and reset buttons. They’re required to be in bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, and anywhere else near water.

 

If you’re experiencing any of these problems with your electrical system, it’s definitely time to check your wiring and be prepared to upgrade for your safety and security. Hire an electrician in your area to inspect your home.