Outlets - they are these little things on our walls that power our TV's, charge our phones, and just sit there quietly when not in use. But an outlet is a very important thing to pay attention to, especially when buying a home.
Outlets deliver electricity (obviously) but they can also help identify underlying issues, and even workmanship.
Modern outlets have three openings; one hot, one neutral, and one ground. Many older homes only have three openings though; a hot and a neutral. When buying a home, be sure to check for this. Many modern appliances don't work properly without a ground.
Beware of the "bootleg" ground as well. Many people don;t want to change out all the wiring in older homes to get a ground, so the hook the ground to the neutral wire. When tested, this gives the appearance of being grounded, but not actually being properly grounded.
Another thing to look out for are GFCI outlets. You will want to have GFCI outlets anywhere near a water source.
These are just some of the many items to consider about outlets - and as you can see, something small can have many things to look out for.
Let's be honest, non of us want to think about this right now. We love the sun, the nice weather when it is not so crazy hot, and we like not having to worry about things like hurricanes when we don't have to.
But preparing our homes for a hurricane now can help us save time, money, and grief afterward. So how can we prepare our home for the next hurricane?
1: Do an "inspection" of your home. This can be something simple, but be sure to be thorough. Are there any loose shingles? See any items that aren't properly bolted down? How about shutters or other means to protect your windows?
2: Make repairs. Thinking about fixing those windows? How about those framing repairs from the last storm? Making repairs now can save you money in the long run.
3: Get a wind mitigation inspection. "Wind Mits" are a great way to see if your home is wind-worthy. A qualified inspector from our company will evaluate key parts of your home and point out areas that need to be addressed. The great part about these types of inspections is that your insurance company will often give you discounts on your insurance that more than pay for the inspection in time.
So don;t be caught scrambling to get your home ready just before the next storm hits. Prepare your home now for the next hurricane!
So you have a bat in the attic problem. You just discovered the stealthy creature as you were putting storage in your attic when all of a sudden, it starts fluttering above your head, scaring you half to death! What are you going to do in order to get rid of the bat?
Well, one of the first things that you can do is add more lighting in your attic. Because bats are nocturnal, they are attracted to the darkness more than the light. So by taking away that darkness, you can take away the shelter, a.k.a. your attic.
Another thing you can do is add a one-way exclusion device. What this device allows you to do is allow bats to go back out the way they came into the attic, but it won’t allow them to come back into the attic.
One thing that you CANNOT do is trap bats. Because they are a protected species, you cannot entrap bats whatsoever. If you are unable to get bats out of your attic either the safe way or the light fixture way, then calling a professional would be your best bet. The pros know exactly what they are doing, and can remove these wild bats safely from your attic.
Keeping these things in mind will come in handy if you ever find yourself with an uninvited guest in your
Most homes have air conditioning to provide a comfortable temperature when its warm outside, but you may decide that a ceiling fan is an adequate solution to have proper air flow and a comfortable living environment. Before adding this attractive and helpful addition to a home, here are some tips for installation.
If you are installing a ceiling fan for your home, only use a residential one, which typically has 4 or more blades. Generally, a ceiling fan should be 8 or 9 feet from floor to ceiling, and no part of the fan should be less than 7 feet away from the floor. These measurements add various advantages. One advantage is that ensuring proper clearance avoids accidental contact with the fan. Also, when the fan has the right distance from the floor, the downward air movement is maximized and the air flow is right where you want it.
What if your ceiling is much higher than the average home? Simply drop the fan to the desired height, which can easily be done by an experienced installer.
These details may seem like a lot to remember but if are willing to take the time to install a ceiling fan correctly and safely, you can enjoy the benefits of this simple solution to an air flow problem.
At Hero Inspection Services, we are hearing more and more stories about stucco contractors trying to talk homeowners into spending MAJOR money on stucco replacement. We’re also hearing stories about lawyers approaching homeowners and neighborhoods about bad stucco and trying to sue the home builder.
Many homes in Florida have stucco and most people have heard some of the horror stories.
After this family heard their stucco contractor say that all the existing stucco needed to come down and all new stucco was needed, they decided to get an unbiased and expert opinion.
Hero Inspection Services has the only two EDI Certified Stucco/EIF Inspectors in Central Florida and were hired to conduct an advanced stucco inspection to determine what the real damages were.
Moisture testing was conducted at the home in key areas to determine what was going on and if there were significant stucco damages.
It was determined that an area on the side of the garage had moisture intrusion and an area where kick-flashing was missing. That’s it! Total replacement seemed quite extreme.
Having an Unbiased Stucco Inspection Saved This Family ALOT of Money!
Advanced Stucco Inspection and Moisture Testing
Your moisture analysis is intended to be the first step in protecting your home.
Testing Method - The moisture testing performed on the stucco wall covering at this building was an invasive moisture test performed from the exterior. This test was conducted by drilling 3/16" holes in the siding, inserting a pin-probe moisture meter to take moisture readings of the substrate, then filling the holes with an ASTM approved caulk of a closely matching color.
Using an advanced moisture detection system, we measure the moisture content of the substrate behind the stucco system. The penetrating probe has an effective range from 0 to 99%. This is the number that is recorded in the report.
0% - 15%: Moisture reading currently acceptable
16% - 19% : Elevated moisture reading or possible substrate damage
20% - 99% : Moisture high enough for mold or wood rot if sustained, or substrate damage
This question has been asked - a lot. Unfortunately, no matter how many times it is answered, people still ask it.
Many times people will say things like "I am having an appraisal, isn't that the same thing?" or "The house is new. so everything should be fine".
Whatever the case may be, having a thorough, professional home inspection is 100% necessary and important. Why us that? First of all, it is one of your most important layers of protection. An appraiser or code enforcer does not inspect the house for YOU, they do it to protect THEMSELVES.
Also, there are many issues that can really only be uncovered in a home inspection. With the use of infrared, sewer cameras, and other equipment, we are able to locate issues for you before something bad happens.
There are many reasons to get a home inspection, so be sure to hire the best home inspector possible, whether you are buying or selling a home.
One of the most enjoyable things about owning your home (at least for some people) is the ability to do whatever you want with it.
As HGTV and other networks show new homeowners taking down walls, building amazing open floor plans, and adding life to their home, there may be other factors you will want to consider before joining their ranks.
Home renovations are considered one of the most stressful times in a person's life by certain physiological experts. In fact, divorces, marital issues, anxiety related sicknesses, and more can stem from building your own addition.
This does not mean you shouldn't try to skip the contractor and take on a new life experience, but consider these factors first:
Sewer line issues continue to be one of the biggest issues that come up after a home inspection - but the inside of a main sewer line is not part of a home inspection.
A main sewer line issue is one of the worst kinds of issues that can happen in a home. Sewer lines can back up into the home and cost thousands of dollars of damage and issues. Sewer lines can break and leach sewage into the ground - and can cost tens of thousands of dollars in cleanup and legal fees.
So what can be done about this? How can you avoid a costly mistake in your home? Hire a professional to provide you with a completer main sewer line inspection. Contact us!
Mike McFadden, Certified Master Home Inspector in Orlando, FL