Author: onlineimage

Top Tips for Spring Maintenance

Spring is on the way, and that means it’s the perfect opportunity to get your home ready for the months to come. Here are our top tips to get you started:

  • Winter can take a real toll on a home’s exterior. Wood, stucco and other types of siding should be checked for cracks, peeling or chipped paint, and general wear and tear. Have damaged areas repaired and repainted as needed for lasting protection.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts of any debris that may have collected over the winter. Check for any loose connections and adjust if needed.
  • Check patios and walkways for cracks and any loose bricks or pavers. These are a tripping hazard that needs to be corrected promptly.
  • If window screens were removed for the winter, make sure they’re cleaned up and in good condition before reinstalling them.
  • Walk around the property and check for damaged tree limbs and branches. If a large tree appears to be damaged, be safe and call a professional to address any issues.
  • Inspect raised planter beds to make sure they’re in good shape. Before it’s time to plant, mix in some compost and fresh garden soil to help your flowers and vegetables thrive.
  • Inspect the irrigation system for broken sprinkler heads and emitters. Also check for overspray and have the system adjusted to prevent water waste.
  • Have a swimming pool? As soon as the weather allows, have it inspected and cleaned so you don’t have to wait for service later in the season.

Happy spring to everyone from Pillar To Post Home Inspectors!

Pillar To Post Newsletter: March 2019

Spring cleaning

SEASONAL SENSE

Your Spring Cleaning Checklist!

Get your home ready for spring with these top tips. Tackle one space at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed.

  • Declutter your kitchen drawers and cabinets. Give away or donate any unneeded items that are in good condition.
  • Check the pantry and discard expired items and stale spices.
  • Clean the shelves and install fresh shelf liner.
  • Vacuum nooks & crannies in upholstered furniture.
  • Air out throw pillows outside, weather permitting.
  • Dust or vacuum window blinds. Have drapes cleaned per the instructions.
  • Check outside your home for damaged or missing caulk around windows and doors and repair any problem areas.
  • Have the fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional.
  • Clean the windows inside and out for sparkle and shine.
  • Place a pot of bright spring flowers by the door to greet your guests and brighten the neighborhood.

Last but not least, pat yourself on the back for a job well done!


GETTING PERSONAL

Take a Time-Out Just For You

personal time

Need to create some space in your life for yourself? Check out some of our favorite tips for sneaking in some peace.

EARLY RISER:

Try getting up earlier than the rest of your family and use the quiet time for yourself, especially on the weekends.

TAKE TURNS:

If possible, designate another family member to prepare dinner at least once a week. They’ll learn a lot – and you’ll enjoy the results.

TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME:

Drive a different route home from work or errands. You’re bound to notice something interesting along the way.

TURN OFF:

Shut down your devices way before bedtime and avoid social media all night. You won’t miss a thing.


home air quality tips

HOUSEWISE

Indoor Air Quality

Improve your home’s air quality by limiting pollutants, allergens, and other irritants that can harm your family’s health.

HOLD THE HUMIDITY

High humidity promotes mold and dust mite growth. Keeping indoor humidity below 50% will help prevent further infestation. To reduce humidity, use ventilation fans in kitchens and bathrooms, make sure the dryer is properly vented to the outdoors and address any water leaks or condensation issues. Use a dehumidifier in any especially humid locations such as the basement.

COLLECT THE DUST

Reducing dust can also improve air quality. Dust can be composed of pollen, mold spores, lint, animal dander and even bacteria. It’s impossible to completely rid a home of dust, there are ways to control it. Regular use of a HEPA filter vacuum should help. Change or clean the furnace filter regularly. High-quality furnace filters are more expensive than ordinary types, but are more effective at filtering dust, pet hair, and other particles.

WIDE OPEN

Opening doors and windows whenever possible can also help with indoor air quality. Your home will have better air circulation and “breathe” more easily, and you’ll get to enjoy the fresh air on a nice day.

CHEMICAL SENSE

Use less-toxic and environmentally friendly cleaning products. Dispose of old paint, garden chemicals and other products that could leak fumes. Check with your trash collection provider on how to properly dispose of such items.

Taking these simple steps can help give your home a breath of fresh air


HOME SMARTS

Test Your Know-how: Take Our Quiz!

  1. True or False: It’s a good idea for home buyers to attend the home inspection.
  2. Which statement is correct about radon?
    1. Radon seeps into homes from underground.
    2. It’s the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.
    3. Radon is colorless and odorless.
    4. All of the above.
  3. True or False: GFCI and AFCI receptacles are different names for the same thing.
  4. True or False: Foundation cracks can only mean bad news.
  5. Which of these is NOT recommended for a home to be inspection ready?
    1. Updating faucets and fixtures.
    2. Putting fresh batteries in smoke detectors.
    3. Having the furnace and air conditioning serviced.
    4. Making sure there’s clear access to the water heater, electrical panel and main water shutoff.

home inspection quiz

ANSWERS:

  1. True! Attending the inspection is a great way to learn about the home and offers the opportunity to ask questions along the way.
  2. D. Request radon monitoring to determine if your home has an elevated level of radon.
  3. False. In short, GFCIs help prevent electrical shock. AFCIs help prevent electrical fires.
  4. False. Some types of cracks are common and aren’t always structurally significant. A professional evaluation can determine if cracking is a problem.
  5. A. For inspection purposes, outdated faucets and/or fixtures don’t matter as long as they work properly.

asbestos information

INSPECTION INSIGHTS

Asbestos: What You Need To Know

Maybe you’ve been told your home has asbestos. Do you need to worry? We’re here to educate and inform!

For years, asbestos was widely used in wall and ceiling insulation, vinyl flooring, insulation for heating ducts, pipe wrap for water heating systems, roof tiles, acoustic ceiling tiles and much more. Many of these materials are still present in thousands of homes. Breathing asbestos fibers over a long period of time can lead to asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Is it always a problem? Asbestos poses a health risk when the fibers become airborne, which can happen if materials are crumbling or damaged. If there is minor localized damage, it can be professionally repaired by encapsulating the asbestos fibers with a specialized sealant. If the asbestos-containing material is in good condition, the best course of action may be to simply leave it alone.

The biggest risk is when homeowners and other non-professionals attempt asbestos removal themselves. Disturbing asbestos usually makes it dangerous. If it must be removed, it’s a job for an expert who will also properly dispose of it. In some cases, such as a home renovation, asbestos removal is the only option.


gardening season

HOME & GARDEN

Gear Up For Gardening

The start of the gardening season fills everyone with optimism and energy. Use these ideas to jump-start this year’s pride and joy:

  • As soon as weather allows, rake up winter debris and old mulch from planting areas.
  • Remove any plants that have died over the winter. But first make sure they aren’t just dormant!
  • Have pruners, loppers, hoes and other cutting tools sharpened.
  • Pulling weeds when they’re still small makes the job much easier.
  • Add compost to planting beds for better soil and healthy plants.
  • Check the irrigation system for leaks and broken sprinkler heads and emitters.
  • Sketch out your planting plan for summer crops and blooming plants.

Now you’ll be ready to plant, grow and enjoy the beauty and bounty of your garden!

Pre-sale Tips to Use Now

Pre-sale tips

Many home sellers often overlook easy and relatively inexpensive fixes that not only increase visual appeal, but may also add to a home’s selling price. While major remodeling is costly and may not address the needs and tastes of prospective buyers, these repair and maintenance suggestions have universal appeal and may help a home sell more quickly – and for a better price.

INTERIOR

  • Bathrooms and the kitchen must get a deep cleaning. Sellers should consider a cleaning company that offers “move in / move out” cleaning services to do the job.
  • If kitchen cabinet exteriors are in bad shape, refacing may be an option. Far less expensive than new cabinetry, refacing can give old and worn cabinets new life and can visually renew a kitchen. Alternatively, many cabinet materials can also be painted, for an updated look without costing a lot.
  • Consider replacing kitchen or bathroom counters with a neutral colored laminate surface if the current material is badly worn or stained. This gives the room a fresh appearance and, most importantly, prevents potential buyers from focusing on an eyesore.
  • Fresh paint on the walls and ceilings will do wonders for all rooms in the house. Stick to neutral tones so that buyers aren’t distracted by colors that make a statement. They’ll be able to imagine themselves and their furniture in the space much more easily.
  • If carpet now covers up hardwood floors, consider having it removed to expose the hardwood flooring. Hardwood floors are desirable, so they should be shown off. If carpet is to remain, it should be thoroughly cleaned.

EXTERIOR

  • If the home’s exterior needs painting, get it done. Buyers notice if paint is faded and peeling. If the paint is in good shape overall, renew the doors and trim with a fresh coat.
  • Clean the windows inside and out so they sparkle. It’s amazing what a difference this can make in a home’s appearance. Hiring a professional window cleaning company is the easiest and safest way to get the job done on a multi-story home.
  • Clear clutter from the yard, keep the lawn mowed, and trim any overgrown shrubs that detract from the home’s appearance. The home should look well maintained even at first glance.
  • Place pots of bright, colorful flowers along an entry path and near the doors to add a cheery, welcoming touch.

Homeowners should save major remodeling projects – and the budget required – for their new home, not the one they are about to sell. But implementing some of the steps above can increase the appeal to prospective buyers without a huge investment in time or money.

Why Get a Pre-Listing Home Inspection?

Why should your sellers consider a pre-listing home inspection? A pre-listing inspection can uncover previously unknown problems – major and minor – allowing sellers the opportunity to make repairs, updates or replacements as needed or as they wish.

Homes that are already on the market can be at a disadvantage if problems are revealed during a subsequent home inspection. Issues that you and the seller were previously unaware of could keep a property from selling at its highest potential price, when it’s too late to address them. A home in better condition will normally sell for more than one with problems that could have been corrected. Examples include a roof that needs replacing, heating that functions poorly and plumbing fixtures that leak.

By addressing these types of issues before the home goes on the market, you can list a home with greater knowledge of its condition. This can result in cleaner offers and a smoother transaction for both parties. Having well-informed sellers and buyers will work to everyone’s advantage, including yours.

Our Pillar To Post home inspections include a comprehensive report, complete with photos, printed on-site so there’s no waiting for results. This allows your sellers to get the information they need right away so they can decide on their next steps prior to listing. You can also share the report with potential buyers. This is especially important when it comes to issues that might not be addressed or repaired prior to sale. If repairs are made prior to listing, be sure the seller can present records of the work being done, including any necessary permits.

With a pre-listing inspection in hand, you can market your sellers’ homes with greater confidence and for a better price.