What You Should Know About Different Types of Homes

Are you planning on buying your own home? Before you go out and shop, you need to decide on the type of home that you would be purchasing. There are several types from which you can choose from, just make sure that you pick the right one that would suit your needs.

Are you planning on buying your own home? Before you go out and shop, you need to decide on the type of home that you would be purchasing. There are several types from which you can choose from, just make sure that you pick the right one that would suit your needs.

Home Inspection Report – Its Content and Its Usefulness

Here we will see what an ideal home inspection report contains, and who all the users of this report are. The format of the report: First of all the report will have a summary highlighting the main findings of the inspection undertaken. These points are then discussed in detail in the body of the report.…

Here we will see what an ideal home inspection report contains, and who all the users of this report are.

The format of the report:

First of all the report will have a summary highlighting the main findings of the inspection undertaken. These points are then discussed in detail in the body of the report. Each of the main finding or major concern matter is presented with its implications and recommendations.

The report also contains the identified defects, which are elaborated against what the defect means and what it can cause. Then the recommendations are suggested with as many alternative options as possible so that the buyer has the flexibility to choose.

All this information is presented with proper evidence like clear images of the home and the areas inspected so that the buyer has a clear idea of ​​the condition of the home and can also plan how to proceed with the buying decision.

To hire the best inspection company to undertake the inspection, buyer can ask the inspectors in consideration to give him a sample report to study. After comparing the reports, it will be easy for the buyer to choose the best inspection company.

Various users of the report:

The primary user of the report is the client or the buyer as he obtains an unbiased and practical evaluation report of the home. It gives the buyer an idea about the list of repairs required if he decides to buy the home.

The report serves as a legal document to the attorney and the bank. The bank can be satisfied that the house does not have any hidden costs and is a good investment. The attorney gets assurance that due diligence was performed before buying the house for the condition and safety of the home.

In the end, the report is a very useful document to the inspector himself as he can use it as evidence in the law suit to prove there was no negligence from his side. A good quality inspection report which is through and easy to understand can be used by the inspector as a marketing tool as well.

Conclusion:

It is important for the buyer to know that the inspection report only states the present condition of the home, and a particular home in consideration does not pass or fail the inspection. The report only states where major repairing is required in the home and what the various available options are. It is then up to the buyer to decide if the home is worth buying and how to negotiate the price of the home with the seller using the report.

Mold Inspection Services Basics

If your home is growing mold and you notice, do not waste any time and get a mold inspection service down there right away. Mold can be very harmful to the health of everyone in the home and especially dangerous to anyone with asthma or allergies. The longer the mold grows in your home and…

If your home is growing mold and you notice, do not waste any time and get a mold inspection service down there right away. Mold can be very harmful to the health of everyone in the home and especially dangerous to anyone with asthma or allergies. The longer the mold grows in your home and you do not do anything about it, the more damage it will cause to your home and the health of everyone that lives there. You should get your home checked out right away even if you are not sure if it is mold or not, you want to be as careful as you can. Even the smallest amounts of mold can turn into a huge problem that can ruin parts of your home and even affect your family health.

What is mold?

Mold tends to live outdoors on plants, decay, and the soil. They thrive in a rich moisture environment, damp and wet areas indoors can harvest mold easily. They usually occur in the bathroom on tiles, sinks, basement walls, and windows. Any area in your home that is leaking water or has water condensed or spilled is a great place for mold to grow. The mold begins as tiny spores that travel in the air and can land on damp areas indoors and that's when they thrive and grow in your home. The mold will eat whatever it lands on to survive and this will cause a lot of damage to your home if you do not take care of the problem right away. Mold inspection services will help you locate the problem and tell you how to prevent the mold from growing in your home any longer.

Mold Inspection

When you discover mold in your home, the first thing you should do is call a mold inspection service to come do an inspection on the house. This way they can tell you how different the mold is and if you should be really worried or not. They will then recommend solutions to getting rid of the problem. The mold will be tested to see what kind it is and the effects it could have on your health. The farther along the mold is, the more severe it will be. An inspection should be done as soon as the problem arises to avoid any damage to your health and the quality of your home.

Mold Removal

Although the mold inspection services can tell you what type of mold you have and how severe the problem is, they usually do not remove it from your home for you. They will likely give you instructions and examples on how to eliminate the mold problem in your home. You are able to remove the mold yourself but you can also call in a professional service to remove it for you. The inspectors are not obliged to take care of your mold problem, they are there to help you asses what kind of mold it is and to inform you on the damage it could cause.

New Career Option – Home Inspector Training

Real estate is one of the hardest hit by the economic decline; it has been only recent that the industry is slowly starting to get back up on its feet. It is mainly for this reason that one should start considering a career in the home inspection field. Although real estate is attractive to many…

Real estate is one of the hardest hit by the economic decline; it has been only recent that the industry is slowly starting to get back up on its feet. It is mainly for this reason that one should start considering a career in the home inspection field. Although real estate is attractive to many buyers because of its affordable price ranges, buyers will however prefer to eliminate any risk of wasting their hard-earned money on a bad property investment. As a result, they would rather shell out some extra cash on property that has been inspected professionally first. The increase in demand for this field is also a direct result of laws on property condition disclosure. Thus with the correct training in home inspection, any individual will be able to earn a decent living in this industry.

Get your home inspection career jump started with the right education and training possible. Once training is completed, it is necessary to find an established home inspector to apprentice under. This is to warrant sufficient experience in the field while making contacts as you go. Taking on a job through employment in a reputable inspection company is another good alternative. You can either opt to stay on with the firm once you are able to establish yourself as worthy inspector or you can go out on your own and build your own business or simply work freelance. Bear in mind that the bulk of customers will always go for an inspector who is certified and has ample experience under their belt.

Strictly speaking, it is not a requisite to have training in order to get this type of inspection job. However there is a better chance of gaining a good customer base if one has the certification to show off. In reality people are more likely to trust someone with the right education and years of know-how in the home inspection field. Qualified inspectors often reap from a successful career compared to those who are not. Additionally it is easier to safeguard against complaints if you know full well that you have followed the job like you were trained to do. References are an important aspect and many customers will likely check up on this before firing.

There are several aspects in the job that a home inspector needs to look out for. Having proper knowledge and comprehension of what a home or structure should combine the will aid in completing the inspection correctly and to the client's satisfaction. Furthermore, inspectors need to complete particular reports once the job is done.

How Much Are Basement Mold Testing and Remediation Costs?

Mold in the house is a very painful situation; it rots materials and causes health hazards and that is why it becomes essential to remove it effectively the first time so that it does not come back to cause further damage. Many people prefer to clean mold from their homes by themselves however, the services…

Mold in the house is a very painful situation; it rots materials and causes health hazards and that is why it becomes essential to remove it effectively the first time so that it does not come back to cause further damage.

Many people prefer to clean mold from their homes by themselves however, the services of professionals to eliminate them is also a good idea that ensures that the mold will not come back.

Basement mold testing and remediation costs may sometimes feel like a big expense however, they turn out to be less when compared with the damage mold can cause especially if it is toxic black mold that causes potential health hazards.

What Can Be Done?

Mold remediation is not a difficult task if thoughtful research is done; and to understand the best basement mold testing and remediation cost, checking out different providers is a good idea.

These services do not just test the mold to identify the type and the damage, they also provide various remediation services that suit the needs of different people and are quite flexible. A person can avail these services for residential or even commercial properties.

The common services provided are:

  • Identification of the source
  • Containment of the mold
  • Cleaning, disinfecting, and disposal of the infected items
  • Water proofing
  • Structural repair
  • Remodeling

How much do they cost?

Although mold testing and remediation costs can vary based on the amount of damage and growth, testing for mold can still be somewhat a fixed price where the service provider collects a sample of the air from the affected area and tests is for the type of mold to decide the course of action.

Testing

If the mold is easily visible and identifiable, then a free quote can be offered by the service provider however, if that is not the case then the first thing they do is an inspection to understand where and how much the mold is on the property.

This inspection offers the person a full understanding of the affected areas, the remediation, and the restorations costs and can be anywhere between $ 80 to $ 150.

The next step is the air sampling where the sample or two are sent to the laboratory to understand the type and species to make sure the right measures can be taken. This procedure can cost anywhere between $ 150 to $ 300.

While some providers do not mind adding another sample for free to the list, others may charge as much as $ 60 for each additional sample requested.

Remediation

After the testing for the mold has been done, there are different levels of remediation that may come into play based on the amount of area the mold has spread to and all of these have different costs associated with them.

Level 1: If the affected area is less than 10 square feet, it is considered as a level one mold remediation situation and may cost anywhere between $ 30 to $ 60 based on the deposit for the disposable items used for the personnel and then for the disinfectants used .

Level 2: This is considered when the affected area is between 10 to 30 square feet, the additional costs here may include some displacements and the fixing of the water system if required.

Level 3: If the affected area is between 30 to 100 square feet, it is considered to be a level 3 remediation. This may need higher containment measures and also may involve the replacement of the infected materials.

Level 4: If the area to be managed is higher than 100 square feet then it is considered to be in level 4 remediation stage. Here, it is essential that all the infected materials be examined and replaced if required as the damage may be excessive too.

To add to the previous mentioned costs, this level may need more input in terms of replacement of the damaged materials.

Basement mold testing and remediation costs vary based on the provider and the level of infestation, interacting with more than a couple of providers should be a good way to find out the best cost possible.

How to Remove Mold In Your Basement

Mold is the fungus like growth that is mainly found in damp, dark and humid areas of a property and most of the times it is found in the basement as that is one place of the property that has all these features. Many people are not able to spot mold growth and those who…

Mold is the fungus like growth that is mainly found in damp, dark and humid areas of a property and most of the times it is found in the basement as that is one place of the property that has all these features.

Many people are not able to spot mold growth and those who are trying to get rid of it on their own by using regular cleaning mechanisms and using the techniques they believe will be helpful in getting rid of the mold.

Many times these techniques do not work because mold is can not be considered eliminated if it is not visible to the eye. Mold creates spores that are quite tiny and can be easily missed; this leads to a re-occurrence.

How to remove mold

There are various types of mold and need different approaches to be cleaned properly. Before beginning it is important to understand that mold can cause quite some respiratory distress and skin irritation too so it is a good idea to not treat it like common dirt.

a person needs to take special care if they plan to remove mold from their basement or even the mold on walls. Two things; a mask and gloves are extremely essential before the process of cleaning begins.

The Process

Many people may want to attack the area that seems to be affected by the mold but they need to take a step back and survey the basement to see if there are any other spots with similar or different mold infestation so they can plan their removal process efficiently .

After the foundation has been inspected, the person needs to make a note wherever the molds look different or similar because a particular type of mold called the toxic black mold can be quite harmful to health and is better removed by professionals. It will help if a person plans how to remove the mold before beginning.

If you have identified the mold as common and removable, make sure you wear protection for the eyes, the face, the hands, and wear clothes that can immediately be laundered so they do not end up spreading the spores that catch during the cleaning process .

It is advisable to dampen the affected area before beginning to remove the mold as the spores will spread if scrubbed in a dry mode.

For a minor infestation a person can choose to make a solution with detergent and a non ammonia soap (do not mix ammonia based soap with detergent as that creates toxic fumes).

Check if the affected area is porous, if it is then it is advisable to remove and dispose that item as removing spores from that will be quite impossible.

Now the affected area can be scrubbed with a hard bristled brush to remove as much mold and spores as possible.

After the process of scrubbing is completed, disinfection needs to be done and for that a simple solution of about half a cup of bleach in a gallon of water can be used. This combination can change based on the surface, the cleaner surface can be disinfected with a milder solution.

If the person has cleaned mold on wall or wood, then a higher concentration of the solution will be more beneficial.

After applying the solution, it is a good idea to let it stay for around 15-20 minutes for optimal impact post which the area can be rinsed with water.

It is important that the disinfected surface be treated quickly after the rinsing as it is wet and there may still be spores around and if the surface is left wet, then another growth could sprout in a matter of days.

After the removal

After the mold has been cleaned, the first thing to do is to safely dispose of all the infected materials and the masks and gloves used during the cleaning process, these will be highly infected and may cause the spores to spread to other parts of the house.

Leak Detection to Head Off Disaster

Everybody knows that prevention is way better than cure and there are very few exceptions to speak of. This is exactly the case when it comes to looking after the general structural integrity and safety of any home or office – both of which have the potential to be put under serious threat by damaged…

Everybody knows that prevention is way better than cure and there are very few exceptions to speak of. This is exactly the case when it comes to looking after the general structural integrity and safety of any home or office – both of which have the potential to be put under serious threat by damaged or leaky pipes. The trouble is, when problems manifest behind the scenes it can be a little too tempting to live in blissful ignorance, though the consequences of doing so can be dire.

The biggest problem with a leak is the way in which 99% of people will be unaware that there is a problem until it is too late to avert disaster. A broken, breached or ruptured water pipe for example has the potential to wreak untold havoc on an absolutely promises in a matter of seconds, leading to potential irreparable harm and severe loss. Of course, none would be expected to know how to go about detecting this kind of damage hidden behind the scenes that could lead to possible leaks and failures, which is exactly where the professionals come in.

As far as the business or homeowners goes it is a basic matter of common sense. No pipes last forever and various weaknesses / problems can materialize over time, therefore if any areas are known to be rusty, worn or generally dated, an inspection certainly would not be a bad idea. In addition, the very moment it is suspected that a leak may be occurring or something in the system is not working quite as it should, there's no harm in calling in the pros for a bit of advice.

Around the Home

It really does not take much to disrupted family harmony and throw the whole household into chaos, especially where leaks are concerned. When actually considering the amount of the water pipes running around the home to various sinks, radiators, bathrooms, taps, drains and so on, it should become apparent that there is nothing simple about home plumbing whateversoever. Sadly, all the home and contents insurance in the world can not replace the irreplaceable in the aftermath of a burst or dangerously leaky pipe, which is exactly why it is always a good idea to consider period inspection of troubled areas, or at least consultation.

For the Business

All of the above of course concerns the business environment, though with the added complexity that the system of pipes will likely be infinitely larger and sometimes pose a risk to the public at large. None are suggesting that a small army of workers be brought in to inspect every inch of piping on a weekly basis, but when and where any anomalies occur there is no such thing as being too safe. From strange noises to drops in pressure to visual signs of damage, it is the obligation of the business to make every effort to ensure the safety of its pipes and water systems.

Modern water Leak Detection processes have become so fast, fluid and efficient that no emerging problem need go unnoticed. Using state of the art leak detection equipment from thermal cameras to endoscopes and microphones, it really has never been simpler to head off any related incidents off at the pass.

Tips for Choosing A Perfect Home Inspection Company

Purchasing a new home is a big investment. Before investing your hard earned money in buying a house that you have dreamt of, it is important that you check every aspect of it. One of the most significant aspects is getting the entire home inspected before you sign any contract in the process of buying…

Purchasing a new home is a big investment. Before investing your hard earned money in buying a house that you have dreamt of, it is important that you check every aspect of it. One of the most significant aspects is getting the entire home inspected before you sign any contract in the process of buying a house.

The industry of home inspection is full of competent home inspectors. There are dozens of home inspection companies that offer reliable home examination services to their clients. But along with the availability of professional home inspectors, the home inspection industry is also plagued with fraud companies who call themselves competent home inspectors. So, it is a must to screen and qualify a company before hiring their inspection services.

There are a number of things that you must keep in mind while selecting a good home examiner for inspecting your new house. Some of them have been mentioned below:

Experience – You must consider hiring the services of a professional who performs at least 300 inspections per year. House inspectors having more years of experience are most desirable for the job of home inspection.

Knowledge – The home inspection company you choose must be knowledgeable enough to understand every system in a home. Professionals having a relevant degree in the field of engineering or architecture are considered best for the work of home assessment. Professionals dealing in general construction are also considered ideal for the role of house inspectors.

Reputation – When you are dealing with a professional company, it is important to note the reputation of both the company and the inspector who will be performing the work of inspection for your house. You must always request your hired company to send you a trained and reputed inspector for inspecting your home.

Getting relevant reports – Ensure that your rented house inspection company provides you a report that covers all the aspects of scrutiny. The inspection of your new house must include a signed report that describes what inspection was carried and also it will include the conditions of the inspected items. There are a number of home assessors who provide a checklist of items that they inspect. On the other hand, there are professionals who provide a written description of all the items that are inspected.

The cost of the inspection – Before you hire the services of a professional home examination company, you must also ask them to give you an estimate of the total cost associated with the inspection of the house. Once you get an estimate, you can compare it with other companies before hiring any particular company.

You must consider all the above points because at the end, it is the knowledge and experience of the home examiner that matters a lot in the work of home inspection.

Tips to Make Your Backyard Unique and Elegant

Do you want to transform your dull-looking backyard environment into a paradise? All you need is a few simple tricks to make your backyard environment unique and attractive evergreen forest. Decide on your budget: Before starting your backyard landscaping project, you need to determine the budget to avoid unnecessary regrets later. Calculate all your monthly…

Do you want to transform your dull-looking backyard environment into a paradise? All you need is a few simple tricks to make your backyard environment unique and attractive evergreen forest.

Decide on your budget:

Before starting your backyard landscaping project, you need to determine the budget to avoid unnecessary regrets later. Calculate all your monthly expenses, debts, tuition fees and other expenses to finalize a fixed budget for backyard renovation. When you have decided on the budget, you might be able to perform the backyard landscaping process quickly and effectively.

Look for various ground coverings:

As you have finalized your budget, you need to start looking for attractive and unique ground coverage. Usually, some homeowners prefer grass while others prefer natural stone, pebbles, stepping stones and other types of ground coverings. To make your backyard unique, try to incorporate grass and pebbles. It is better to use pebbles and stepping stones in the pathways and grass for surrounding areas.

Plant saplings and flowering plants:

Now, you need to pick some colorful flowering plants and saplings to transform your backyard into an evergreen forest. As mature trees are expensive, plant saplings and small shrubs. To make your backyard more appealing, you need to plant the saplings in the center of the backyard and shrubs in groups of three or four.

Incorporate water features:

Get assistance from an experienced landscape and pool designing and building firm to install some fountains, swimming pools and other water features in your backyard.

Add fireplaces and fire pits:

To keep you warm during the winter, add some attractive fireplaces and fire pits in your backyard. Adding fireplaces is one of the best ways to enhance the elegant appearance of your backyard.

Place yard arts:

Pick some unique and catchy yard arts such as bird baths and garden statues to make your backyard a real paradise. When adding yard arts make sure it suits your home's exterior. Finally, add a few seating arrangements for your family and friends.

Add color to your backyard:

To add color to your backyard, get some beautiful hanging baskets of flowers at your local nursery. You can also grow them in your backyard by planting the seeds.

These are some simple ways to transform your backyard into an evergreen paradise. If you are unable to perform all these tasks due to your busy business schedules, hire a professional landscaping company which will take care of the entire renewal process.

Residential Asbestos Removal

Over 25+ million homeowners may have to eventually go through the ordeal of residential asbestos removals. Despite knowing the harmful effects of six carcinogenic asbestos minerals, manufacturers and Governments decided that the benefits were greater than the possible harmful effects. Consequently, the use of asbestos became widespread after World War II, especially in building materials.…

Over 25+ million homeowners may have to eventually go through the ordeal of residential asbestos removals. Despite knowing the harmful effects of six carcinogenic asbestos minerals, manufacturers and Governments decided that the benefits were greater than the possible harmful effects. Consequently, the use of asbestos became widespread after World War II, especially in building materials. Now homeowners face serious health hazards, financial burdens, and possible laws due to the carcinogenic asbestos.

Health hazards

Although asbestos is not dangerous when it's in good condition, it's very dangerous when the fibers have deteriorated or have become airborne. The small, nearly invisible fibers can easily be inhaled or embedded in bodily tissues when they become airborne or are disturbed by vibration. Exposure to high amounts of asbestos for long terms can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. These are all incurable, mostly fatal diseases which may not develop symptoms until 15-40 years after the exposure occurred. Recent research has suggested that asbestos may also cause or aggravate breast, ovarian, prostrate, and laryngeal cancers and pleural plaques.

Financial and legal concerns

Having asbestos in the home can also create numerous financial and legal concerns for the homeowners. By law, the homeowner can be held accountable for any harm due to negligence that befalls someone entering the home. Not taking proper measures to warn people of possible asbestos exposure or to prevent people from being exposed can be considered as negligence. Even if there were not any lawsuits, the homeowner would have to pay very expensive medical and mostly reasonably funeral expenses if a member of the family became ill due to asbestos exposure.

Having asbestos in the home also makes it more difficult for the owner to obtain insurance and loans or to sell the house. Many lenders, insurers, and realtors charge higher fees for their services when working with older homes and newer homes that are known to have asbestos in them. Others simply refuse to work with older homes due to the asbestos factor.

Do-it-yourself vs. professional services

If the asbestos is removed, repaired, or abated, then the work should be performed by a professional contractor. Any amateur attempts may create a higher health hazard for the entire family and community. The work requires numerous, expensive safety measures to be taken, including inspections, work area containment, and special equipment and clothing. The attempt to save money could possibly cost someone their life.

Cost

It's expensive for the contractor to set-up and clean-up, even for minor tasks, so they usually charge homeowners a minimum fee. It can cost around $ 1,500- $ 3,000 for even a minor abatement project in a home. On top of the set-up and clean-up fees, there's the cost of pre-inspection, sample testing, labor, materials, and re-inspection. It's even more expensive if asbestos removal is required.

Abatement vs. removal

Homeowners generally have a choice of leaving the asbestos alone, taking abatement measurements, or removal. It's highly recommended to leave asbestos alone if it's in good condition. However, the location and amount of damage to the asbestos will be the primary ruling factors between abatement and removal.

Abatement measures are generally less expensive and may reduce the health hazards created by working with asbestos. The abatement measures can either be encapsulation (sealing or binding the fibers with a sealant) or enclosure (covering or surrounding the asbestos to prevent release of the fibers). Either method can be used for major or minor repairs. The cons to abatement measures are that the asbestos stays in place and may need repairing or removal at a later time. The abatement measure taken may make later removal and repairs more difficult and costly.

The pros to remove are that once the asbestos has been properly removed, there's not as many asbestos-related health, financial, or legal worries to cope with. The cons to removal are that there's a higher risk of exposure during the actual removal process, and the process is very expensive. It's also important to remember that any asbestos that was used for fire-proofing must be replaced with another type of fire-proofing material.

Hiring a professional asbestos contractor

It does not do much good to hire a professional contractor to do the repairs or removal if the person does not do the job properly. It also is not beneficial to be overcharged or to have unnecessary work completed. Here are some tips to follow if you think you may have asbestos in your home:

  • Have a licensed professional that's been trained by the state or the EPA inspect your home for asbestos. Especially ensure samples are taken of any damaged asbestos or any asbestos that's in an area that might be disturbed if you're going to be doing remodeling, repairs, or renovations.
  • Have the samples tested by a certified asbestos testing lab that works independently from the contractor that took the samples.
  • If repairs or removal is needed, do some comparison shopping among the licensed asbestos contractors that are qualified for that specific type of asbestos and product. Make sure that: 1) the quotes include the cost of set-up, clean-up, asbestos disposal, labor, and replacement materials, 2) all federal, state, and local safety, disposal, notification, and health regulations are complied with , 3) any special permits are obtained before the work begins, 4) the containment for the work area is not taken down before the area has been re-inspected and the written air sample report has come back, and the area has been re- cleaned if necessary, and 5) no one enters the contained work area unnecessarily, especially children and pets, until it has been re-inspected and cleared of all health hazards.
  • Have a re-inspection done by a different contractor than the one that performs the abatement, repair, or removal work once the work has been completed. Make sure the re-inspection includes examination of the work performed and an electronic testing of the air through the entire home.
  • Check on the professional contractors' backgrounds and reputations before firing them. Request references from former customers, check with the Better Business Bureau, and any local environmental or worker safety agencies to determine if there's been any complaints or regulation violations.
  • Make sure the contractor is insured. Check the contractors' insurance policies to ensure there are no exceptions for asbestos-related claims, and that the policy adequately covers any problems that may be found during the job and after the job is over.
  • Make sure the written contract includes all the agreed upon details and that everything has been spelled out clearly. The written contract should include:
    1) a firm cost figure for the entire job,
    2) a description of exactly what will be done, when it will be done, and where it will be done at,
    3) a description of the abatement / repair / removal methods and the containment methods that will be used for the work area,
    4) a guarantee that the work area will be left clean and in condition for re-occupancy,
    5) a guarantee that you will be given copies of all lab reports, the landfill receipts, and
    6) a guarantee that the contractor will assume all responsibility, including legal liability, for the proper disposal of the materials at an approved landfill.

Homeowners can locate qualified professional contractors through research on the Internet. Some local environmental safety agencies and local health departments also keep a listing of licensed asbestos contractors. Contractors may also be found in the local Yellow Pages, listed under asbestos. Just be sure the contractor you choose is trained in residential asbestos removals.

Heater Tips for a Comfortable Winter

It just had to happen in the dead of winter. You were reading a book in your favorite corner of the room, all bundled up and snug, you were just about to hit the sack when you noticed it had gotten a little bit chilly. You check on the heater and it's just as you…

It just had to happen in the dead of winter. You were reading a book in your favorite corner of the room, all bundled up and snug, you were just about to hit the sack when you noticed it had gotten a little bit chilly. You check on the heater and it's just as you feared, it's busted.

Here are a couple of tips on how to save yourself from a bleak and cold winter and get the heat back up and running.

-Test the heater before it is needed. A lot of times, when a heater has not been used for a long period of time, the parts are left worn out or calcified. Checking beforehand if it functions well will ensure you a lot of warm and cozy days when winter comes.

-For residents in areas with hard water, it may be a good idea to invest on a water softener. That way, you can prevent any calculation that may damage your heater when the colder months arrive. It will also save your other appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, and irons from getting calcified.

– If your heating system has stopped working, the first thing to check is if it is getting any power or fuel to function. At times, heating problems may be resolved by checking the very basic thing. Check if the system is not unplugged, if there is not a tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse. If the heating unit uses gas, check if the switch is turned on and that there are no blockages on the supply line.

If you decide to replace a fuse yourself and it blows out again or the circuit breaker still keeps on tripping, it may be time to call for professional help. More importantly for gas powered heating systems, if you smell gas in your furnace, leave the house immediately and call the permissions.

– When professional help is needed to restore your heating system, check the warranty before making any calls. You may still be entitled to a free repair and save yourself a ton of money. If you do not have that option, do scout around for a good and affordable repair man. It's usually much cheaper to call someone not affiliated with the appliance's manufacturer. Asking family and friends for recommendations is always a very good idea.

Heating repair must also not be put off. Not only is it a necessity come winter time, setting aside repairs for later may cause more damage and mean more expense in the long run. Stick to these few repair and maintenance basics and you can rest assured that you will not find yourself freezing in the middle of winter.

Top Four Home Health Hazards

Buying a home is a big investment. People have homes inspected before making a purchase to ensure they are getting what they pay for. However, once the initial payment is rendered, many people forget that houses, like people need check-ups every so often to help prevent major structural problems. Prevention is the best medicine when…

Buying a home is a big investment. People have homes inspected before making a purchase to ensure they are getting what they pay for. However, once the initial payment is rendered, many people forget that houses, like people need check-ups every so often to help prevent major structural problems. Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to owning a home. Taking a look at roofing, piping, foundations and more ensures your investments will bring a good return when you choose to sell.

The top four home health hazards are:

1. Mold can form when leaks go untreated or when leaks are found but the spaces between walls and in other hard to access areas are not properly discharged out. You may have seen mold in your shower or around the grout in your bathroom. This is not as much of a concern as mold that grows unchecked. Mold likes moisture. Moisture can be found at the sources of leaks that can happen with leaking pipes under sinks or in the walls or near the foundation of the house. Even a slow leak can cause mold to grow and can ever cause structural damage if wood rods and collapses or foundations are eaten away. As far as in-home damage, mold can cause serious health hazards from mold spores. In extreme cases, people have to be evacuated from their homes. Having your home inspected annually or every few years by a certified home inspector can help detect leaks and prevent expensive repairs and / or health issues.

2. According to Sierra Club, radon kills about 20,000 Americans each year. Radon causes lung cancer and is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind cigarettes. Radon comes from decaying uranium that can be found in most soils in the US, however it is more prevalent in some areas than others. Radon is in the air naturally and is not considered a health hazard without trapped inside a home. Radon leaks can cause high levels of radon to be inhaled and can then become a problem.

3. Asbestos – most people do not give it much thought anymore with new homes being built, but older homes – pre-1970's – may still have asbestos. If you're considering construction on an older home, be sure to have it inspected for asbestos before beginning construction, as it can cause lung cancer and other fatal diseases. Asbestos will need to be removed by experts and treated of in an area that specifically deals with asbestos.

4. Lead-based paint – while the US no longer sells lead-based paints, many products coming from foreign countries, such as China, still use lead in their paintings because it is less expensive. Lead based paintings are a real concern when ingested or if the dust of lead based paints is ingested and can cause lead poisoning, according to the Sierra Club. Products can be anything from wood trim around baseboards or ceilings or baby cribs.

Having a home inspection every few years can make sure your house remains a healthy, happy place to live. Health hazards from homes are fairly rare, but preventing them will end up saving money, time and headaches in the future.

Four Tips To Help You Choose A Quality Home Inspection

These four tips on “how to choose a quality home inspector” will help those purchasing a home find and vet a potential home inspection firm. Varying levels of experience, expertise and certification can make it difficult to know who the experts really are. In an industry plagued with ineptitude it is increasingly important to educate…

These four tips on “how to choose a quality home inspector” will help those purchasing a home find and vet a potential home inspection firm. Varying levels of experience, expertise and certification can make it difficult to know who the experts really are. In an industry plagued with ineptitude it is increasingly important to educate consumers. Asking the right questions and understanding some of the potential pitfalls can help you make the right decision.

Buying An Environmentally Sound Home

There are many reasons to buy an environmentally sound home. The first is you want to make a positive effect on the environment. The second might be because environmentally friendly homes tend to be built airtight to maximize energy efficiency, which saves money on heating and cooling bills. Or depending it's because the resale value…

There are many reasons to buy an environmentally sound home. The first is you want to make a positive effect on the environment. The second might be because environmentally friendly homes tend to be built airtight to maximize energy efficiency, which saves money on heating and cooling bills. Or depending it's because the resale value holds well on homes that are equipped with eco-friendly features. The only problem is how do you know you're getting what you're paying for?

Unfortunately just like any other business, there are honest people and dishonest people. Homes that have been built to stringent environmental standards sell for more money than those do not. Be sure you know what you're getting for by checking the list below.

1. Is the home LEED certified? LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. They have really set the standard for home and commercial buildings. Homes and buildings are rated on a series of factors including minimizing impacts on ecosystems and water resources, water and energy efficiency, materials used, indoor air quality, procurement to public transportation and more. There are different levels of ratings that go up to platinum. Ask for documentation to prove LEED certification.

2. Details. The details of a home are often very tolling. If a house has been built or renovated to look environmentally friendly, you may see things like low-flush toilets or energy efficient lighting and use of windows. However, smaller details can have a larger effect. Ask about the carpeting. Is it made of natural fibers or is it industrially produced with hazardous chemicals? Ask about the paint. Is the paint low VOC or non-VOC, meaning without Volatable Organic Compounds? What material is the roof made from?

3. Ask what materials the home was built with. Was it built with reclaimed or repurposed materials, or were they all new? Are the materials local or were they imported? This will help you determine the carbon footprint of the home.

4. Look at the outdoors. Are there water features that use unnecessary water? Are the plants and grasses native to that area? If not, they may be more prone to weeds. Native plants and grasses also help attract wildlife indigenous to the area and help them survive.

5. What is the neighborhood like? Is yours the only environmentally sound home, or are other homeowners nearby like-minded? If they are not aware of environmental impacts, you could find yourself inhaling insecticides and pesticides in the summer as people attempt to control weeds or insects.

Before buying any home, a home inspection is recommended. With eco-friendly homes, look for a home inspector knowledgeable about environmental trends, building and features. They will better equipped to spot homes that are only particularly environmentally sound.

Who Are the Rogue ‘Cowboy’ Engineers?

Thousands of illegal 'rogue' gas cooker fitters are installing gas appliances in the UK without any proper qualifications or training. In London alone, 79% of rogue boiler fitters had installations that were deemed a risk or immediately dangerous. This is an incredibly hazardous risk and can put lives in danger if you employ an engineer…

Thousands of illegal 'rogue' gas cooker fitters are installing gas appliances in the UK without any proper qualifications or training.

In London alone, 79% of rogue boiler fitters had installations that were deemed a risk or immediately dangerous. This is an incredibly hazardous risk and can put lives in danger if you employ an engineer that is not fully qualified and registered under the Gas Safe register.

So let us just break it down for you. It is illegal for ANYONE who is not gas safe registered to do any work, installations or repairs on any gas appliances! It is also illegal to tamper with any gas appliances. This is simply because cooker installations, fire places and boilers as well as other things are quite complex. If you are not 100% sure of what you are doing, there could be gas leaks and carbon monoxide fumes being produced without your knowledge. So next time you think about employing a family friend to help you out because they have 'done it before', think again as it could put everyone with your property in immediate danger.

Once you have had your cooker properly installed by a registered gas safe engineer you should always maintain it properly, clean it regularly and have an annual gas safety check to ensure no problems have occurred.

Real gas safe engineers will have a gas safe registration number which you can check online and also have a badge with them at all times that you can ask to check.

In the case of John and Emily Reid, Mr Irvine, a joiner, had been cutting out a work top for a cooker installation and informed Mr and Mrs Reid that he could connect a hose pipe to the gas supply for their cooker installation even though he was not qualified. Because of the poor installation, the hose pipe ended up with a kink in it causing a hole that leaked gas which exploded once Mr. Reid accidentally hit the ignition on the cooker when he went to inspect a gas smell. The explosion meant the house had to be demolished and rebuilt along with the houses which were either side of the property. Mr and Mrs Reid treated burns of which some required a skin graft and the damages amounted to millions. Mr Irvine was sent to 300 hours of community work because of his negligence.

Do not ever risk such damage in your property and ensure you use a gas safe engineer for all of your gas appliance work it is not worth the risk! Avoid those cowboy engineers for your safety and report anyone who is working illegally with gas to gas safe.