Posts Tagged ‘home inspection tips’

Mold Testing in a Home

Posted on: August 3rd, 2016 | No Comments

How to Detect Mold in a HouseJust about everyone has heard of mold and knows of the damage it can do over time if left untreated, but many homeowners don’t know exactly what mold is or how to detect it in the house.

The Inspect-It 1st team is experienced with a variety of common home problems, many of which lead to mold growth, and our home inspectors are experts in the services we provide. This blog post shares all homeowners need to know about mold detection and testing.

What is Mold?

Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors, growing best in warm, damp conditions. Molds need water to grow, and they spread by producing spores. According to the CDC, indoor mold is most likely to be found where humidity levels are high, such as basements or showers.

 

In addition, some people are sensitive to molds, and exposure can cause symptoms such as congestion, eye and skin irritation, wheezing and sometimes more severe reactions. If you notice a moldy smell or begin suffering allergic symptoms, there’s a good chance mold is hidden in the house.

How to Detect Mold in a House

If you see or smell mold in your home, there is a potential health risk, so no matter what type of mold is present, you should arrange for its removal. As long as water is present, mold will continue to grow and eventually damage the home structure, as well as increase the chances of your exposure.

 

Mold testing, which should always be performed by a qualified professional, can tell you if you have a mold problem in your home, detect hidden mold, measure indoor air quality and identify what species of mold is present.

 

The three main types of mold tests are air testing, surface testing and bulk testing. Air sampling tests the concentration of mold spores in the air, which can tell you if there’s a mold problem even if you haven’t found the growth. Surface testing takes samples from household surfaces to assess how much the mold has grown and spread. Lastly, bulk testing involves collecting pieces of material from the home to estimate the concentration of particles around the house. Testing is also useful after mold removal, ensuring that the removal was successful and thorough.

 

Inspection and Prevention

With the potential dangers to both your health and your home when mold grows undetected, it’s important to be informed and aware of areas more prone to mold growth, calling in the professionals for inspection if necessary.

 

Homeowners, buyers and real estate professionals choose to “Inspect-It 1st” because with a high level of customer care and our ability to deliver a wide range of inspection services tailored to the market’s needs, you have the convenience of making one call instead of scheduling multiple inspectors. If you suspect the presence of mold in your home or want to ensure your home is mold-free, contact Inspect-It 1st today!

Home Water Leak Detection

Posted on: June 29th, 2016 | No Comments

ResearchHome Water Leak Testing image shows the typical home loses between 2,000 and 20,000 gallons of water each year due to leaks. Some common leaks such as faucets or water heaters are easy to detect; however, many leaks go undetected for years if the source of the leak isn’t visible. In addition, the precise location of a leak isn’t always apparent either, as some leaks may start in one place but flow along a channel before draining down and creating visible damage in another.

 

The Inspect-It 1st team is well-versed in home water leak detection, as well as water leak testing and prevention through our inspection services. If you suspect you may have a leak and aren’t sure what steps to take next, below are some of the best ways to detect a water leak in a house.

 

How to Detect a Water Leak in a House

  • Use Your Water Meter

    The best way to check if there’s a water leak in your home is by monitoring your water meter. Check and write down your meter reading, then after ensuring no water is being run in or outside the house, check the reading again an hour or two later. If the reading has changed, you have a leak.

  • Detect Leaking Faucets and Toilets

    These are the most common sources of water leaks in a home, with leaky faucets generally a result of a worn rubber washer, and toilet leaks typically caused by its flapper, both of which are easily replaceable. Close listening is important, and if you hear any hissing noises, try and locate where it’s coming from as this is indicative of a leak.

  • Detect an Underground Leak

    While any water leak in your home can be detected using the water meter, underground leaks are often detected visually. Make note if the look or feel of certain areas is consistently wet. Being aware of any puddles or dark spots on your driveway and curb can help detect underground leaks as well.

  • Schedule an Inspection

    When it comes to the upkeep of your home, the saying, “Better safe than sorry,” always rings true. If you suspect a water leak issue, bringing in a professional as soon as possible to prevent the problem from escalating is a tremendous save for potential destruction, financial cost and stress.

 

With the average cost of home water damage insurance claims being nearly $7,000, water leak testing and keeping your home dry should be a top priority for homeowners. Inspect-It 1st provides a wide range of inspection services, giving you the convenience of making one call instead of having to schedule multiple inspectors. We deliver a high-quality, thorough inspection report and are here whenever you have a question, even after the inspection. If you detect a water leak in your home, contact Inspect-It 1st today to learn more about water leak testing services!

How Much Does Home Inspection Cost ?

Posted on: June 6th, 2016 | No Comments

How Much is a Home InspectionPurchasing a home is arguably one of the biggest decisions one makes in life, so it’s essential to be sure you’re purchasing the right one – and avoiding any unpleasant surprises that may come with it.

 

A property inspection is a small investment that plays a big role in your home-buying process. Our thorough inspection services include a complete assessment of the home’s systems and interior/exterior components, also evaluating how these systems are working together and identifying areas that need to be watched, repaired or replaced.

How Much is a Home Inspection ?

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), costs for home inspections vary dramatically, depending on the region, size and age of the house, scope of services and other factors, typically ranging from $300 to $500. The reported average costs around $315, with condos and homes under 1,000 sq. ft. costing as little as $200 and homes over 2,000 sq. ft. costing $400 or more.

Here is what you should know going into the home inspection process:

  • Inspectors quote inspection fees using different methods. Some charge a flat rate by square footage of the living areas, some by square footage under the roof, or others may charge by amount of time spent on the inspection.
  • Typically, the larger your home is, the more you should expect to pay for an inspection.
  • The age of the home can affect cost as well. Newer homes can usually be inspected in a shorter time than older ones due to repairs, additions and other aspects that come with age.
  • There’s no industry standard for calculating home inspection price, so be sure to ask your inspector up front how much you’ll be charged.
  • Paying the lowest cost doesn’t always mean you’re getting the best value. Inspectors aren’t regulated by the HUD, so inspectors charging the cheapest rates may not be providing the most thorough service.

 

If you’re ready to purchase a home, before you close the deal, Inspect-It 1st! Our pre-purchase inspections will give you the accurate information you need to make one of life’s most important decisions, with confidence. We encourage potential buyers to accompany the inspector, and after our on-site inspection and consultation, you will receive our high-quality, thorough inspection report, complete with color photos and an easy-to-use summary. Contact us today to learn more about the home inspection process and to get started on yours!

 

4 House Maintenance Tips

Posted on: February 9th, 2016 | No Comments

4 House Maintenance TipsWhen shopping for a home, it is likely that the owner before you had a home inspection conducted to make sure everything was up to code with no major issues. Even with a previous inspection, you should get the home professionally inspected before your purchase. We suggest that after you purchase the home, it’s wise to maintain or improve upon the state of the property to ensure that it will be sellable in the future. You also want to be sure that it’s a safe place for you and your family to call home. Here are a few key elements that should be checked during home maintenance and some tips on what to specifically look for when maintaining your home.

 

#1 Electrical

Electrical wiring throughout the home can become a dangerous issue if not properly maintained. Most homes have been updated, and proper home maintenance will keep your electrical wiring safe. There are three locations that you should check: your main electrical panel, indoor wiring, and outdoor wiring. Home maintenance on your central electrical panel should include tightening all fuses and labeling all circuits. If you notice that your panel is warm, wires are burned, or aluminum wiring needs to be tightened, a qualified electrician should address these issues immediately. Indoor wiring should be replaced if damaged or frayed, and loose outlets should be tightened. Outdoor wiring should also be checked for frayed or loose wires. Outdoor outlets need to be covered properly and replaced if the circuits aren’t grounded. 

 

#2 Heating

Heating units can be a complicated aspect of home maintenance, but we’ve got a few tips on what to look for. A condensate drain line emerging from the ductwork above the furnace should be checked during the cooling season for leaks or water build up. The unit should be on a stable/level spot outside. Other key locations to check are the refrigerant lines; debris should be cleared away and left uncovered to prevent rusting. If your unit is excessively loud, we encourage you to have a HVAC professional inspect it.

 

#3 Plumbing

Home maintenance for your plumbing system is essential to prevent flooding, bursting pipes, and more. Any part of the home that has pipes or fixtures that contain any form of liquid should be checked regularly. You should conduct standard visual inspections to keep an eye out for cracks, puddles of water, and valves that need to be tightened. When performing home maintenance on your water heater, turn off the power or fuel supply before draining any water from the tank. We also recommend having a water quality test conducted to ensure your family’s water supply is healthy and up to standards.

 

#4 Structure

The most important part of a home is its structure and a solid foundation is critically important. When completing home maintenance for the structure, you should look in four key locations: foundation walls, wood framing, wall/ceiling surface cracks, and door frames. When completing home maintenance for the foundation, you should look for deterioration, dampness, and movement. If you see cracks and holes, fill them. Wood framing should be checked for evidence of rot, insect infestation, or sagging. Wall and ceiling cracks should be monitored for significant movement that could suggest damage.

 

For more house maintenance tips check out our maintenance checklist online. If you come across something that may require a professional’s opinion, don’t hesitate to contact Inspect-It 1st for a full inspection. A safe home is a happy home.

 

Series on Safety: Lead Paint Poisoning

Posted on: August 11th, 2014 | No Comments

Lead paint removal to prevent lead paint poisoning.Lead-based paints were commonly used on houses and various other products prior to recent decades. It is estimated that lead paint poisoning has claimed a large portion of the 143,000 lives lost to lead poisoning worldwide and causes 600,000 disabilities per year, according to UN health officials. Low and middle income countries are especially prone to this health concern, but 30 countries and counting have phased out lead paint use. The United States banned lead paint in 1978 but over 24 million houses built prior to 1978 are still in use and exposing families to lead paint poisoning. Certain interior items such as antique furniture and toys are also putting people at risk.

 

What: Paint containing lead poisons all systems of the human body. After ingestion or consumption, lead pollutes the blood and results in damage to the brain and central nervous system. High exposure can produce convulsions and eventually lead to a coma or death. Low exposure still affects brain development, especially in young children. Lead paint poisoning has been shown to reduce IQ and attention span, increase antisocial behavior, and decrease academic achievement. Affected adults may see increased risk of kidney failure and raised blood pressure.

 

Where: Lead paint can be found on the outside or inside of older homes as well as on antique furniture and toys, and candy from Mexico. Costume jewelry and other toys passed down through generations within a family might be posing a lead paint poisoning danger.

 

When: As the lead paint on various surfaces begins to peel and decay, it often crumbles into a dust-like substance carried through the air and able to be ingested. In addition, studies claim that children under the age of 6 are at an increased risk of consuming lead by touching items with deteriorating paint and then putting their hands in their mouths.

 

Symptoms: While there are no obvious symptoms, an affected individual may demonstrate tiredness, hyperactivity, irritability, poor appetite, weight loss, trouble sleeping, or stomach aches. Because these symptoms may go unnoticed or attributed to other things, lead paint poisoning often goes unchecked. If you suspect someone you know is being poisoned by lead paint, encourage them to get a blood test.

 

Action: Once lead paint has been ingested or consumed and takes its toll on the body, there is no known countermeasure to undo the damage. Therefore, it’s imperative to take preventative measures.

 

Prevention: Lead paint poisoning can be prevented (especially in children) in several ways.

  1. Check the date of the buildings and houses your where you and your children spend the most time. If any were built prior to 1978, consult a local health official and take measures to reduce prolonged exposure until you know if the lead paint has been removed.
  2. Keep pregnant women and children away from renovations, especially renovations for structures older than 1978.
  3. Wash children’s hands and toys regularly.
  4. Keep children from playing in bare soil. Use a sandbox instead.
  5. Create barriers between your family and any items known to contain lead paint. Fence your house off from the older house next door or keep antique furniture in a room young children don’t enter.
  6. Keep your house free of dust by cleaning consistently.
  7. Get an inspection!

Lead paint poisoning is a serious health concern facing many countries. Even though the United States has banned the use of lead-based paint, old houses and antique or imported items may still pose a considerable threat.

 

Take preventative steps to protect your family from lead paint poisoning. Seek blood tests if you suspect exposure. And consider the inspection services from Inspect-It 1st to see if the painted surfaces or dust in your home are contaminated.

Seller’s Agents: Tips for a Smooth Inspection

Posted on: January 3rd, 2014 | No Comments

Sold home.

Seller’s anxiety associated with the home inspection can be greatly reduced by the cooperative involvement of the Seller’s Agent. Here are our top recommendations to ensure a smooth and successful inspection experience for all parties:

 

Provide the inspector with the proper access code for any lockbox. Make sure that the code operates properly by testing it in advance. Many times our inspector will try to gain access to a property only to find out that the code doesn’t work.

 

Make sure that all utilities are “ON”. In order to allow the inspector to inspect all areas of the property, coordinate with the seller, bank or other entity to have all utilities on for the inspection. Utilities that are “OFF” are an impediment to successful completion of the inspection and will likely cause delays in closing.

 

Advise your client that the inspection is a thorough activity. Most inspectors are on site for 2-4 hours and likely longer, if the house is very large, has detached garages, “out buildings” or contains a pool or spa. It is much easier for the inspector to complete the inspection if nobody else is on site during the inspection. Families that use the kitchen during the inspection are actually an impediment to the smooth completion of the inspection.

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5 Free Information Resources For First Time Home Buyers

Posted on: March 27th, 2012 | No Comments

We’ve gathered some great resources for first time home buyers! They’re informative, helpful, and best of all, free. Buying a home can be overwhelming. These links will give you valuable advice and tools to make the process easier.

 

Free Ebook

Do you understand your credit score? If not, this free ebook will help clear up the confusion! You’ll learn about how a credit score is created, your rights where credit reports are concerned, and even 5 ways to improve your credit quickly. After you’ve downloaded the ebook, check out the rest of the AmeriFirst blog for in-depth posts about everything from the housing market to appraisals.

 

Download your free ebook here.

 

 

Free Mortgage Calculator

Many first time home buyers are overwhelmed by the amount of detail involved in getting a mortgage. This free mortgage calculator will simplify the process. It includes fields for interest rate, purchase price, and even property tax and insurance. If you’re wondering how to find out what kind of mortgage you’re looking at, this

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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.

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