Posts Tagged ‘how-to’

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!

Series on Safety: Termite Infestation

Posted on: November 14th, 2014 | No Comments

Termites easting away at a piece of wood. What:

There are five common types of termite: dampwood, drywood, conehead, formosan, and subterranean. All of these types of termite consume cellulose-based material, a material that exists to some degree in and around every home in the form of dead plant, wood, and cellulose bits in soil. A termite may only be a single centimeter in length but can cause considerable and costly damage, especially because where there is one, there are always others.

 

Where:

A home foundation is not the only place to find a termite, though it may potentially cause the most danger and damage. Termites also feed on furniture, books, shelves, and antiques (such as sleds or wooden plaques).

 

Drywood termites are the stereotypical kind of termite that often comes to mind to represent the little pest. It is the kind that lives within the wood it consumes, infesting walls and furniture in colonies.

 

Signs:

Often called the “silent destroyer,” a termite can threaten the home without leaving any obvious signs of damage. However, wood that sounds hollow when tapped may indicate a problem. Additionally, watch for “discarded” wings, droppings, and mud tubes on exterior walls and crawl spaces.

 

When a colony is matured, winged “swarming termites” may be visible around windows and doors. They are most active in springtime, which is when they typically mate and spread to other locations to start new colonies.

 

Prevention Steps:

  1. Eliminate moisture problems such as leaks, blocked gutters and vents, standing water, etc.
  2. Seal pipe and utility line entrance points.
  3. Keep firewood away from house foundation.
  4. Check fences and wooden decks for damage.
  5. Keep any wood on and around your home from directly contacting the soil.

 

Treatment:

Contact a trusted expert like Inspect It 1st to investigate. If termites are found, further spray treatment may be needed.

 

A termite problem is detrimental to health as well as safety, but they are not the only pest or concern that may be hiding in a home. Whether you are selling and want to ensure that your house is safe for the next family or you are buying and want to make sure your investment is sound, Inspect It 1st! Take a look at the various inspection services offered by Inspect It 1st and allow the experts to build your peace of mind surrounding termite pests and other potential issues.

 

Fall Cleaning Checklist

Posted on: October 27th, 2014 | No Comments

Home exterior in fall - fall cleaning checklist in action.A chilly breeze is in the air, and soon, the falling leaves will be in motion – circling around the pumpkins that decorate your neighborhood. Trick-or-treaters are coming to knock at the front door. You might even be making arrangements for family to visit you over the coming holiday season. All of these signal one thing – winter is coming!

Are you prepared for fall cleaning? Sure, spring is the better-known season for all of those up-to-your elbows chores, but fall should also be a time for deep cleaning – to prepare a comfortable house to retreat into, surrounded in the warmth of family and friends. Not to mention that a lack of preparation for winter or procrastinating your fall cleaning to-dos can result in long-term damages to your home and yard.

So put down the Halloween candy and wrap yourself up in this essential fall cleaning checklist:

  1. Check caulking around windows. This will enhance insulation and cut down on your electric bill!
  2. Have your carpet professionally cleaned early in the month of October when weather is still warm and the professional cleaning companies are not yet busy.
  3. Fall cleaning wouldn’t be complete without flushing out the gutters after the leaves have fallen. Build-up can create ice dams and prevent proper drainage, roof leaks, etc.
  4. Clean or buy a humidifier (depending on how dry your home gets in the winter).
  5. Remove patio furniture, grills, and children’s toys from the outdoors. Fall cleaning means storing all of your summer possessions in the garage or storage room.
  6. Re-organize kitchen cabinets to prepare for those big family meals!
  7. Check external and garage doors. Is the weather strip crumbling away from age? Does it seal tightly? Fix any issues that might reduce energy efficiency as part of your fall cleaning routine.
  8. Inspect and clean out chimneys, fireplaces and furnaces.
  9. Launder all bedding (including the musty stuff you never use in the closets). Turn over your mattresses.

Don’t let winter sneak up on you. Be ready for guests and the season’s harsher climate by marking fall cleaning chores off of our handy checklist. And if you get on a roll, try conquering other tasks from our general maintenance checklist. Staying on top of these tasks keep your home comfortable, your family happy, and your property value high in case a time comes when you want to sell! Interested in buying or selling now? Consult Inspect-it 1st to see if your house needs any safety updates or improvements.

6 Fall Lawn Care Secrets

Posted on: September 26th, 2014 | No Comments

Fall lawn care basics. In the fall, lawn care is tricky. Temperatures are beginning to descend. Days are becoming shorter. Soon the trees will be covered in fiery coats, and then they will shed their leaves onto the lush green grass you took so much time to care for over the hot summer months. As winter nears, your lawn will go dormant and may even become covered in a blanket of snow. These seasonal changes require an increased awareness. Improper fall lawn care could result in rotted roots, insect infestations, and other problems that delight pesky spring garden gnomes.

 

Here is our complete list of the six fall lawn care secrets the garden gnomes don’t want you to know – shh!

  • Fertilization will boost spring growth. Many proud yard owners don’t realize that grass roots keep growing during the winter months, even if your yard is snow-covered. Fertilization in the fall provides additional nutrients that supply a boost to your lawn until the snow melts and spring arrives.
  • Power seeding increases turf density, reducing insect and weed damage. Want thicker grass? Power seeding in your fall lawn care routine increases turf density. Not only does this mean your grass will come in less patchy next year, it also reduces the space for nasty weeds and detrimental insects to take hold. Be careful not to overseed, as this could harm your turf in the long run. Professional fall lawn care teams can measure the right amount for your lawn’s needs.
  • Lawn aeration counters summer lawn traffic. All of those football games and grilling parties in the yard really condensed the grass. Aeration counters grass compaction and increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients reaching the roots.
  • Raking/blowing leaves off the lawn once per week increases its health. Autumn leaves may dress up the trees and even decorate a yard in fallen color, but the leaves can actually prevent sunlight from reaching your grass and shrubs. No sunlight means that your lawn greens can’t build up the food it needs to remain healthy through the winter.
  • Fall is the best time to discover pest problems and take preventative steps for spring. Grubs and other insects can destroy roots, not to mention eat certain shrubs outright. Analyzing your yard and treating it for pests is crucial to fall lawn care and gives your lawn a head start for the spring. And since certain chemicals may be applied to treat your yard, what better time than the chilly fall to have to keep your family off of it?
  • Winterizing shrubs/trees prevents moisture loss and accidents. Maintaining your lawn also means maintaining the other components of your yard, as the system works together. Note that certain evergreens experience extreme loss of moisture in the fall and winter. To help prevent this dehydration and keep your yard healthy, you can apply a special oil to trunks. In addition, trim back limbs that overhang your house and walkways. When covered in snow or potentially frozen and brittle, they could break off and fall onto/around your house which could end in costly repairs.

Keeping your yard healthy and pest-free starts with fall lawn care. Power seeding, aerating, fertilizing, and other practices will ensure a healthier and more aesthetically-pleasing lawn in the spring. This is especially important if you are looking to sell your house, as both the interior and exterior will be extensively checked for problems. Not to mention it will need to look its best!

 

If you are concerned about pests or other problems that might come up in the exterior checklist of a house inspection, take the first step by hiring Inspect-it 1st. Their quality inspection services will help give you peace of mind about the state and safety of your home.

How to Keep Your House Cool … Without Touching the AC

Posted on: August 26th, 2014 | No Comments

How to Keep Your House Cool… Without Touching the ACThe traditional summer months are coming to an end, but the heat remains. For some this means frizzy hair or rolling down the car windows, but for most it also means cranking up the AC. Turning that dial to try to cool your living quarters can be costly, but perhaps you don’t know how to keep your house cool without that modern convenience. Here we examine a few alternatives on how to keep your house cool without touching the AC.

  1. Close Doors – As much as possible, keep your house closed off from the ambient humid and hot air. This means keeping your external doors closed. But how to keep your house cool goes beyond shutting out the external heat. You should also keep internal doors closed to isolate the cooler air within your home.
  2. Cover Windows – Twenty to thirty percent of unwanted heat comes from sunlight and hot air permeating the windows of your home. Covering your windows, ie closing the blinds or drapes during the daytime, can lower indoor temperature by up to 20 degrees. That can result to saving 7% on your electric bill each month.
  3. Use Vent Exhausts – If you take a warm shower or cook something in the oven, those areas of your house can heat up considerably. Be sure to use vent exhausts in your bathroom and above your stove to allow the hot air to escape and keep the surrounding rooms cool.
  4. Cool from the Inside Out – The tricks for how to keep your house cool won’t make a difference if you yourself are not cool! So while you are making the necessary changes around your house, make them also with yourself. Drink iced beverages that lower your internal temperature. Take colder baths/showers, and cool your skin down with ice packs while sitting around the house.
  5. Adjust Fans -Fans should be adjusted seasonally. In the warm summer months, program your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise.
  6. Let in the Night Air – Even in the summer time, nights are usually cooler. One of the simplest methods of how to keep your house cool without the AC is by opening up the windows at night.
  7. Change Your Sheets – Avoid using flannel and other heavy material sheets during the summer. Cotton breathes more easily and doesn’t retain body heat.
  8. Grill – How to keep your house cool may have more to do with what you do outside. Grilling reduces the build-up of heat your oven and stove would produce in food preparation. In addition, grilling takes people outdoors into cool breezes.
  9. Purchase Better Light Bulbs – Incandescent lights waste almost 90% of the energy they produce in the form of unnecessary heat. Switch to more efficient bulbs that will last longer and put off less heat.
  10. Make Lasting Home Improvements – Shading your house with sunlight-absorbing plants and trees helps the environment and reduces the heat gripping your home. At the same time, your landscaping adds to the curb value of your house; you are making a permanent environmental and financial investment!

As heat waves continue through the end of the summer, cut back on your energy bill by finding alternatives to turning on your AC. How to keep your house cool can be as easy as closing the curtains and planting a few shady trees. But it might also be beneficial to have your house inspected. Getting new windows with better insulation and other home improvements might make a huge difference to your comfort. Call and schedule an appointment with Inspect-It 1st today!

The Power of Words: How to Dissolve Clients’ Objections As A Realtor

Posted on: August 17th, 2012 | No Comments

As realtors, you learn something new every day – especially when it comes to what you say to your customers.  We’ve all been there – just as you think you’re about to close a deal, you accidentally say something that makes the buyer think twice about the listing.  Or just as someone’s about to list their property with you, you comment on how beautiful their neighborhood is.  All of a sudden, they second-guess why they would ever want to leave that beautiful neighborhood.  What seem like done deals turn into deals gone bad – all because of your words.

So how do you control your language and effectively communicate with customers – especially ones full of objections?  We were happy to host one of our latest webinars on this exact topic: How Smart Real Estate Pros Dissolve Objections Without Having All the Answers.

 

 

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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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