Is Excessive Noise Troubling You?
Excessive noise in our homes can be a significant source of discomfort, frequently leading to a lack of sleep, decreased productivity, and increased stress levels. The problem is that it is not always within our power to control the noise, especially if it's coming from outside. So, what is the solution? There are several noise mitigation techniques that you can try to reduce sound levels and improve your overall living conditions. Here are a few of them:
Seal up gaps and cracks in doors and windows. Gaps and cracks can allow sound to travel easily into your home. Sealing these gaps and cracks can help reduce noise levels and improve your overall living conditions. You can use caulking, weatherstripping, or foam sealant to seal gaps and cracks around windows, doors, and baseboards.
Try to incorporate noise-absorbing materials in your home. Sound will reverberate off hard surfaces like walls and wooden floors, so adding soft materials that absorb sound better can make a significant difference. Consider putting carpet on the floors and adding more soft furniture items. If the noise problem is especially bad, you could also fit soundproof panels in a room to reduce sound transmission.
Do you have noisy appliances? Household appliances such as washing machines, air conditioners, and refrigerators can produce excessive noise at times. A simple solution is to replace them with quieter models. If this is out of the question, you could also try using vibration insulators to reduce the noise caused by vibrating appliances.
As you can see from these few suggestions, it is possible to reduce noise levels without resorting to more extreme measures.
At home, safety should always be a top priority, especially when it comes to household furniture. Injuries caused by furniture accidents are more common than one would think, and they can happen to anyone, regardless of age. That’s why it’s important to regularly assess the safety of your furniture to minimize the risk of accidents, particularly tip-over hazards.
Can I Add in a Fireplace?
While we enjoy mostly warmer weather here in Florida, there are times when the temperature goes a little cooler, and you may feel that you would benefit from a fireplace in your home. But if your house was not constructed with a fireplace, is it possible to add one? Yes. The answer may be a factory-built fireplace.
Will you need to schedule a home inspection in the coming year? Perhaps it has been a long time since your home was inspected, or maybe you are planning to buy a house for the first time. Either way, you may be wondering what kinds of things are inspected during a home inspection. Here are some of them:
Let’s begin with the exterior of the house. We will look at the roof to ensure it is in good condition. We will also inspect any decking attached to the home. The buildings’ structure and systems are an area we spend extra time examining, as well as ensuring the property has sufficient grade. Something else we check is the windows and doors to see if they pose a home security risk.
Another area we pay extra attention to is the home's HVAC and plumbing systems. For example, we check that each faucet in the home is working properly, etc. The home's electrical and wiring system is another very important area to inspect as fire safety is of the utmost importance and faulty electrics are a huge cause of house fires.
This very brief list does not include everything on our home inspections, but it does give you an idea of what is included. If you would like to learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us, and we will be happy to provide you with additional details.
House Fire – Are You Protected?
During November and December, we often spend more time at home with extended family and friends. It is also a time when our homes are at increased risk of fire. So, it may be wise to check that you have a sufficient number of smoke detectors in your home.
How many smoke detectors should there be in each house? It is generally advised that you fit a smoke detector on every livable floor of the home – this should also include the garage and basement if you have one. For extra safety, it is a good idea to install a smoke detector in every occupied bedroom.
Every smoke detector must be tested regularly. A smoke detector is useless if it is not working properly or needs new batteries, so go through the home and test each one to make sure they are in good working order. You may be spending more time cooking this time of year, and this often sets off our smoke alarms. Although it's very tempting to disconnect them, you should avoid doing this, as it's far too easy to forget to reconnect them again.
Finally, do you have a plan of action in case a fire breaks out in the home? If not, this is a good time to put a plan together. It is important to know what steps you must take to protect yourself and your household.
A Good Alternative in An Emergency
Loss of power in the home can cause chaos and interrupt the smooth running of the household. A good solution when the power goes out is to use a portable generator. But, while this is a good option in an emergency, there are some things you should know about operating one safely. Here are a few safety suggestions:
As mentioned, a portable generator is good in an emergency but do not assume you can keep everything in the house running. It should be used to run appliances that are essential to the basic running of the home. You should also be aware that portable generators are only intended for corded appliances and not those that are hard-wired.
Portable generators also produce hazardous fumes when running - this means that you should never have one running inside the house, where these fumes can build up and become lethal. The generator will also become very hot, so you should be extra careful when filling it with gasoline. Keep children well away from the generator.
A portable generator is a great backup in the event of a power outage. Just make sure you use it the way it is intended and always keep health and safety in mind when running one.
Mold – The Basics
No one wants to discover mold growing in their home. As well as being very bad for your health, it isn’t good for your home either. But why does mold grow in the first place?
Mold is very beneficial in nature as it helps to break down dead organic matter. The problem comes when mold starts growing where it shouldn’t, namely in our homes. Mold generates tiny spores that float invisibly in the air. If these spores start to settle on damp surfaces, they will start to grow and spread. Although there are many kinds of mold, they all require a form of moisture to grow.
As we mentioned, mold is not good for your home – this is because it slowly damages the things it grows on. For example, soft furnishings and carpets may become ruined when mold starts to form on them. In some cases, the items may need to be thrown out and replaced.
You will not be able to completely remove mold from your home, but you can do a lot to prevent it from damaging your health and property. The first step is reducing the level of moisture in the air, especially in mold-prone areas like the basement and bathroom. You should also check for water leaks or other signs of moisture intrusion, which could be causing dampness in the first place.
Is It Bank Owned?
If you are new to property buying, you will find that there is much to learn about the process, including ways to discover the condition of a house before committing yourself to it. After all, you want the purchase to be a wise investment. Let’s take one house-buying option – bank-owned properties.
What can you expect to find with a bank-owned property? Think about the possible reasons why the bank owns the house. Very often it is because the homeowner could not keep up with the mortgage repayments. If something as essential as the mortgage hasn’t been paid, then it is unlikely much money has been spent on the maintenance of the home - so it could require work.
Bank-owned properties are often left empty for some time – this allows intruders the opportunity to strip the home of anything worth money. In many cases, bank-owned houses are vandalized, full of trash, and in dire need of attention.
If you find a bank-owned home for sale in your desired location, what should you do? You must have the house thoroughly inspected before buying it. You may have some idea of the work that needs doing, but only a home inspection will reveal the home's true condition and give you an idea of how much money it will take to repair it. Only then can you be confident about buying this type of property.
Keep It Cool for Less
During the summer months cooling costs can really add up, and with the cost of living on the rise as well, you may be searching for some cheaper alternatives to cool your home. In this blog, we are going to consider a few simple ways to keep your home cooler for less.
Try turning off any lights and appliances that you are not using. You may not think this will make much difference, but it is surprising how much heat these give off.
Another very simple way to keep your home a few degrees cooler is to close blinds and drapes on windows that face south and west. This helps to reduce heat gain. You may also want to think about fitting awnings over windows and patio doors that see a lot of sun. Although there will be some initial expenses with this option, the long-term benefits will be substantial.
Open windows during the night and cooler evening hours, which will help the inside of the home to gradually cool. Ceiling fans are also effective at circulating air through the home and helping it to cool down.
If you are looking to make some long-term energy savings, you may want to think about landscape shading. The strategic planting of trees and shrubs can work to provide optimal shade to your home, at the exact time it is needed. Landscape shading can be a very effective method, especially when the trees have reached their full height, although this may take some time.
As we can see from these few suggestions, you may be able to cool your home for a lot less money.
You wouldn’t knowingly allow a complete stranger access to the inside of your home, that is why you no doubt take all the appropriate home security measures you can. But did you know that an intruder may be able to break into your house easily through the front door? They can do this by using a bump key.
A bump key can be used to pick a pin-tumbler lock. If you are wondering what the likelihood is of having a pin-tumbler lock in your home, you should be aware that this is one of the most common locks used. The fact that a bump key can be cut to pick this type of lock is rather alarming. Of course, before you worry too much, you should check whether you have these kinds of locks in your house.
Is it easy to acquire a bump key? Unfortunately, yes, it usually just requires you to know the make of the lock you intend to use the key on. As well as being easy to acquire, a bump key is not too difficult to master and takes little skill or time to learn how to use it. You can see why this would be so appealing to a thief.
If it turns out that your home does use pin-tumbler locks, what should you do? You may want to look into installing bump-resistant locks. Although you can find bump-proof locks, they generally cost more and are not so easily available. You could also consider improving other areas of home security. With so many options available nowadays, it shouldn’t be hard to find something that will work for your property and budget.
Mike McFadden, Certified Master Home Inspector in Orlando, FL