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.
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.
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.
The garage is one area of our homes at particularly high risk of fire. Why is that? Because it is the place, we generally keep the most combustible items like gas canisters, cleaning chemicals, outdoor equipment and used decorating supplies, etc. Any of these items could increase the risk of fire, especially if they are not stored in the proper way.
What other factors contribute to a garage becoming a fire hazard? Very often, if we have to do some yard work or fix a piece of outdoor equipment, we use the garage to do it. If oily rags or combustible liquids are left on the garage floor, they can become a hazard, so it is important to clean these up as quickly as possible. You should not store bags full of garbage in the garage either, as these will increase the fire risk.
Another way the garage can become a health hazard is if a vehicle is left running with the doors closed. This could be lethal, so never start the car or any other machine before opening the garage door first. You must also ensure that you have carbon monoxide detectors and that they are regularly checked to make sure they are working properly.
Be extra careful if your garage is attached to your home. Damage to the connecting door and frame, such as cracks or gaps can allow toxic fumes to enter your living space. So, be vigilant with regard to garage maintenance and do your best to prevent it from becoming a fire hazard.
Given the title of this blog, you may be asking what are the signs we are talking about? The signs are those you may observe when a sinkhole has started to form. We all know how destructive a sinkhole can be, so, being able to recognize some of the warning signs is crucial. Here are some of them:
Let’s start with the exterior of your property. When a sinkhole starts to form it may show up in different ways, some indicators may be quite subtle, while others are more obvious. You might notice that vegetation has started dying for no apparent reason. This will happen if the plant's water source is draining away into a sinkhole. Trees or fence posts may start to lean, with areas that are usually underground becoming exposed. You also want to look out for cracks in the ground that form in circular patterns, and rapid ground subsidence or fissures.
What can happen to the interior of a home when a sinkhole is forming? As is the case with the exterior, warning signs vary in severity. Look out for cracks suddenly appearing on walls and floors. Do doors and windows no longer close easily, indicating that they have shifted slightly? Also, if your home has well water, it may start to become muddy or cloudy looking.
These are just a few of the signs that could appear on your property when a sinkhole is forming. Before you start to panic, though, these signs can also be indicators of a completely different problem. The best thing to do is have the home thoroughly inspected to have the problem correctly diagnosed.
Finding bed bugs in your home is not something anyone wants, but the fact is that bed bugs have become a real problem for many people. Why is that? How do you know if you have bed bugs in your home, and what can be done about them?
How do you know if there are bed bugs in your home? Bed bugs have oval-shaped rust-colored bodies. However, they are difficult to detect as they are extremely small. It is more likely that you will observe what they leave behind. For example, you may notice tiny stains on your bed sheets or mattress that come from body fragments or their fecal matter. There may be a musty odor in the room. You may even find itchy bumps on your skin from their bites.
How do you get bed bugs in your home? As we mentioned, bed bugs are extremely small, which means they are easy to transport. Despite the name, bed bugs can also be found in items like clothing, soft furnishings, books, and picture frames. So, if you have been somewhere that has them, it is possible that you brought them home with you in your luggage, etc.
What should you do about bed bugs? The first thing is not to panic, as you may try to remedy the problem yourself and make the issue worse. Instead, contact a pest control expert who has experience in getting rid of bed bugs. They will know the best methods of bed bug removal.
Mold is not something you want to share a living space with. However, you could be living with mold and not even realize it, which means you may be living in an unhealthy indoor environment. Let’s look at one example where this could happen.
Carpets. Were you aware that a carpet can develop a mold problem and not become noticeable until it has become a more extreme case? Therefore, it is good to think about the space before deciding whether or not to use carpet in it. You should consider the levels of humidity in the room and the likelihood that the floor will become wet or damp on a regular basis. Conditions like these will be ideal places for mold to develop in a carpet. Some examples of this are bathrooms and basements.
If you find mold in your carpet, what can you do? Firstly, it is good to look at the underside of the carpet every so often to check for mold. If you find that a small patch of mold has recently developed, then you should be able to take care of it with cleaning. But, if the mold has affected a large area of the carpet, has been wet for longer than 24 hours, or if the carpet has been in a flood, it is probably best to remove it together with the padding underneath. Make sure that the floor has been thoroughly clean and has dried out before replacing it.
Natural disasters are now a very common occurrence so planning ahead for one is something we all should do. Advance preparation will greatly increase the chances that you and your household will stay safe in an emergency, so how what are some things you can do now to be ready for a natural disaster?
Have your emergency go-bags ready. Do not wait until an emergency situation occurs to get your bag ready. It is unlikely you will have much time and supplies could become limited. Your go-bag should contain supplies to last you for about 3 days. It should include water, food, any medication you may need, clean clothes, toiletry items, important documents, and some cash. As well as a go-bag, it is also a good idea to keep extra supplies of water and nonperishable food items in the house.
A natural disaster can cause untold damage to your property. You can prepare in advance to limit the amount of potential damage by clearing out gutters and downspouts and keeping trees trimmed to reduce the likelihood that tree limbs and branches will fall on your home. You will also want to create easy access to shut-off valves for the home’s utilities like gas, electricity, and water.
Finally, ahead of time, discuss as a household emergency disaster routes and location points for meeting back up if you are separated. It is good to do this ahead of time as communication is usually a problem during a disaster.
Accidents are simply unavoidable sometimes. However, much can be done to prevent home-related accidents by having a good home maintenance routine. The staircase is one area in particular that needs to be checked for safety regularly, as it is a part of the house that sees a lot of accidents.
There are a few ways to maintain the stairs in your home. Firstly, you need to ensure that the stairs themselves are not slipping hazards, so check them for loose carpeting. If they are wooden, check that they are not too well polished, which will make them very dangerous. You should also make sure that the banisters or handrails are secure and not wobbly.
The staircase as well as its surrounding area should also have good lighting. Each step needs to be clearly visible, especially if members of the household are elderly or visually impaired.
Do you live in an older house? If so, your staircase may not meet current building standards. For example, to prevent stairs from becoming a tripping hazard, they need to be the same height. Banisters should be positioned close enough to one another that it would be impossible for a young child to get their head trapped.
If it has been some time since you checked your staircase for safety, why not schedule some time to do it soon? This way you will be protecting yourself and your household from accidents and injury.ere to edit.
Mike McFadden, Certified Master Home Inspector in Orlando, FL