Winterizing Your Home
Whether you reside in, are buying, or selling a home, you should have a professional home inspection performed.
A home inspection will look at the systems that make up the building such as:
If you are buying a home, you need to know exactly what you are getting. A home inspection, performed by a professional home inspector, will reveal any hidden problems with the home so that they may be addressed BEFORE the deal is closed. You should require an inspection at the time you make a formal offer. Make sure the contract has an inspection contingency. Then, hire your own inspector and pay close attention to the inspection report. If you aren't comfortable with what he finds, you should kill the deal.
Likewise, if you are selling a home, you want to know about such potential hidden problems before your house goes on the market. Almost all contracts include the condition that the contract is contingent upon completion of a satisfactory inspection. And most buyers are going to insist that the inspection be a professional home inspection, usually by an inspector they hire. If the buyer's inspector finds a problem, it can cause the buyer to get cold feet and the deal can often fall through. At best, surprise problems uncovered by the buyer's inspector will cause delays in closing, and usually you will have to pay for repairs at the last minute, or take a lower price on your home.
It's better to pay for your own inspection before putting your home on the market. Find out about any hidden problems and correct them in advance. Otherwise, you can count on the buyer's inspector finding them, at the worst possible time. Old Man Winter is settling in for a long chilly season. Before the temperatures dip too far south, follow these simple guidelines to winterize your home and save money on utilities.
Inside Your Home
Outside Your Home
7 Clean Sweeps for Fireplaces
With natural gas and propane prices continuing to rise, you'll likely be looking to the old fireplace this winter to help cut your home-heating bills. But before you spark up the logs, take heed that fireplaces and chimneys are involved in 42 percent of all home-heating fires. So first make sure yours is up to snuff by following the seven safety tips below.
1. Hire a chimney sweep. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that chimneys be swept at least once a year at the beginning of the winter to remove soot and debris. Find a certified sweep in your area via the Chimney Safety Institute of America
2. Check for damage. In addition to cleaning, a chimney sweep should inspect the chimney structure for cracks, loose bricks, or missing mortar. Chimney liners should also be checked for cracking or deterioration.
3. Cap the chimney. A cap fitted with wire-mesh sides covers the top of the chimney and keeps rain, birds, squirrels, and debris from entering. Replace or repair a cap that's missing or damaged.
4. Burn seasoned hardwoods. Choose dense wood, such as oak, that's been split and stored in a high and dry place for at least six months. Green wood and resinous softwoods like pine produce more creosote, a flammable by-product of combustion that can build up in the chimney.
5. Don't overload. Small fires generate less smoke, thus less creosote buildup. Also, a fire that's too large or too hot can crack the chimney.
6. Build it right. Place logs at the rear of the fireplace on a metal grate. Use kindling, rather than flammable liquids, to start the fire.
7. Use a spark guard. Prevent errant embers from shooting out of the firebox with a mesh metal screen or glass fireplace doors. A guard in front of an open flame is especially important when the room is unoccupied.
We strongly encourage you to accompany the inspector so that you may ask questions and gain a better understanding of the systems in the home.
If you have any questions, or are interested in any other services, please contact us so we may discuss your specific needs.