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Two words that every home owner hates to hear…water damage

Water damage can occur for several reasons including leaks, clogs, broken pipes/hoses, or overflowing appliances.  Other reasons include leaky roofs, plumbing leaks, or foundation cracks.  Additionally, weather events such as heavy snow or rain can cause water damage. The possibility this type of damage will occur is high.

What’s the problem?  Moisture!  It promotes the growth of mold and other organisms, which in turn increases the risk for serious health problems.

You can’t control the weather, but you can address issues in your home that may lessen the chance flooding or leaking will occur.  Let’s take a look at what you can do to help prevent water damage:

  • Improve the grading around your home: When the grade around the foundation slopes towards the home, problems are inevitable. In the short term, water pooling near your home can lead to rot and mold.  Over the long term, the house’s structure could be compromised due to movement of the foundation.
  • Check plumbing and appliances for leaks.
  • Check your roof for worn areas or missing shingles.

Don’t let water issues cause expensive problems.  Keep up on maintenance, watch for leaks, and address problems immediately.  If you are interested in an Air Quality Mold Test, give us a call today!

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Home inspections—when should you run for the hills?

Home inspections can be scary. Just when you think you’ve found the perfect house, an inspector comes along and tells you everything’s that’s wrong with it. Though most things that turn up during a home inspection aren’t deal breakers, some are more serious. Here are a few items you should watch for; problems in these areas can end up costing you a lot of money:

  •  Electric panels: Some brands of electrical panels should be replaced due to safety issues, including Federal Pacific, Zinsco, and Bulldog Pushmatic. All of them have issues around not tripping properly when excess current goes through them.
  • Decks: Decks are built to last 12–15 years. Older decks may present issues with the fasteners, which can corrode and lose their hold on the house.
  • Chimneys: If a chimney is cracked and is beginning to separate from the house, it may need to be taken down and rebuilt.
  • Trusses: Broken or altered trusses are always an expensive problem because they can affect the structural integrity of a home.
  • Environmental hazards: A professional should address hazards like asbestos insulation or floor tiles, termite damage, mold, or lead paint.

Always attend your home inspection and use the time to talk with the home inspector. Knowing the problems ahead of time will allow you to make a good decision about purchasing a home.

To learn more about asking a seller to repair or replace an item found during a home inspection, read our blog post from 9/20/2018. It also talks about our latest agent tool: Repair Request Builder.

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Cheap and easy ways to winterize your home

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for about 48%
of the energy use in a typical U.S. home. When winter winds start blowing, taking time to
winterize your home can result in significant savings―and it doesn’t need to be expensive
or time consuming. Where should you start? Here are some quick and money-saving ideas:

• Install weather stripping or draft guards on exterior doors
• Seal attic and garage cracks with foam or caulking
• Add extra insulation to your attic or garage
• Install a programmable thermostat and keep it low when no one is home, or
overnight
• Replace your furnace filters
• Lower your hot water temperature to around 120 degrees
• Set your ceiling fans to move in a clockwise direction

Spending some time completing these easy tasks will keep the cold out and extra money
in your wallet this winter

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Remove toxins in your home with these six houseplants

 

Once colder weather hits, people tend to stay inside. When a house is closed up inside, airborne toxin levels actually become higher. Before you panic and run out to buy an air purifier, consider adding houseplants for a natural fix. The leaves and roots of plants digest contaminants in the air.

Benefits? People who work or live near plants tend to have lower blood pressure, recover faster from illness, and have improved mental clarity and fewer headaches. Here are six plants that do a great job of purifying the air:

  • Bedroom: Gerbera Daisy
  • Bathroom: Dracaena Janet Craig
  • Kitchen: English Ivy
  • Hallways: Peace Lily
  • Laundry Room: Boston Fern
  • Attached Garage: Golden Pothos

Think about adding a few plants to your rooms and watch the benefits blossom!