Posts Tagged ‘home’

Tips to Prevent Water Leaks in Your Home

Posted on: April 23rd, 2015 | No Comments

Water leaks from faucet.There’s nothing worse than coming home to a flooded house. Water leaks from inside or outside the home can lead to mold, structural issues, and major repairs if not properly treated in a timely manner. The good news is that there are check-ups you can do on a regular basis to locate water leaks before they become a larger problem. Spring is upon us, and when seasons change you are at higher risk for outside water coming into the home. Here are a few places that we recommend checking for water leaks.

Inside Your Home:

  • Annually check the hoses and connections to all of your appliances that use water. Often you can catch leaks and make affordable repairs when they’re small. If you find small puddles or damp spots on the floor, it’s likely that you have a small leak. We recommend that you isolate the source and make the repair as soon as possible.
  • Regularly check under sinks and around the toilet. One of the most common places for water leaks to begin is in the bathroom. Remember that even if you don’t see a water leak in the bathroom, it may still be dripping to the level below. If you notice a water leak coming from your bathroom at any point, we recommend finding the source and shutting off the water via the shut-off valve as soon as possible. Make the repair while the leak is small.
  • Locate the master water shut-off valve to your home. In the event of a major water leak or pipe burst, knowing how to shut off the water can spare you a major headache caused by an unexpected lake in your basement.

Outside Your Home:

  • Let’s take it from the top. A faulty roof is often a major culprit of unwanted water leaks in the home. Inspect the roof annually by searching for any missing or damaged shingles. If it looks like water could seep through, it can.
  • Get your mind in the gutters. As seasons change, gutters and downspouts tend to get clogged with anything you can imagine. Clean out the gutters a few times per year to assure that they do their job in directing water away from your home.
  • Walk around the perimeter of the home and take note of any cracks that could allow water to seep in. Filling the cracks with a foam sealant can be a huge help in preventing water leaks.

A water leak can be just the beginning of a major problem. Check these items around your home often. If you find water where it shouldn’t be, don’t ignore these first signs of a problem. Find the source of the problem and take care of it right away. Catching leaks early can save you loads of time and money. For a professional and honest assessment, contact the home inspection experts at Inspect-It 1st. One of our qualified inspectors can come to your home and check for water leaks and damage. Take care of your home, and it will take care of you.

5 Overlooked Areas to Check for Energy Loss In Your Home

Posted on: August 23rd, 2013 | No Comments

EnergyAre you sick of receiving inflated energy bills? Have you already tried fiddling with your thermostat?  Replacing your light bulbs? Unplugging your appliances and electronics? Are you looking for an alternative to paying a professional several hundred dollars to figure out what’s wrong with your home? You’re in luck. Here’s a list of 5 often overlooked culprits and ways to find out if these issues are sucking the energy from your home and money from your wallet:

  1. Fireplace damper – Warm air from your home is often drawn into the chimney flue, and it can sneak out if you have an ineffective damper.  You can test the damper by closing it and holding a lit candle inside the firebox.  If the flame gets blown out, or close to it, you know air is flowing up the chimney.A chimney sweep can clean your fireplace and replace your damper.

  2. Drafts – Close doors, windows, and fireplace flues and turn off combustion appliances (gas-burning furnace, water heater).  Turn on exhaust fans (usually located in the kitchen and bathrooms), or use a window fan to blow air out of the home.  Light sticks of incense and stand near areas you suspect have drafts.  The smoke from the incense stick will waver or flow in the direction of the air leak.  If you have air leaks around your windows, consider replacing them or winterize them.
  3. Switches and outlets – Behind those light switches and outlets is a gaping hole that, if not properly insulate, allows air to escape.  To check the problem, remove the plate covering the outlet and place a tissue over the opening.  Tape the top edge of the tissue to the wall.  If the bottom half of the tissue blows, you have a sizable leak that needs to be addressed.  You can combat the problem by buying pre-cut foam gasket or an outlet cover at a hardware store.
  4. Ducts – In an average home with forced-air heating and cooling systems, 20-percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks or holes.  To check for leaks, turn on your heating or cooling system fan and feel for any air seeping out from the duct work.  Also, shine a flashlight through the vents to spot disconnected or kinked ducts.  Seal the leaks or holes with mastic or foil tape.  Do NOT use duct tape.  Use foam to seal areas where ducts connect to vents and registers or where they pass through walls and floors.
  5. Attic hatch – You can check to see how much air is escaping through the attic hatch by applying the same incense test you used to look for drafts.  Seal the hatch by installing foam weather stripping on the edges of the opening and then put foam board insulation on the back of the hatch door.  You can also buy a pre-insulated hatch cover kit.

Our home inspection company's history began in 1991 with the establishment of American Home Inspection. Over the course of the following seven years, a home inspection business prototype was developed that could be implemented anywhere in the United States. Our founders believed they had a unique methodology of providing homebuyers and sellers with consistent, professional and unbiased home inspections. © 2012. All Rights Reserved.