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Checklist to Judge the Right Condition of a House Using Home Inspection

If as a house purchaser you want to get assured that price quoted is right & defects do not surface after the house is purchased leading to extra expenditure then a home inspection is necessary. Additionally, it opens up an opportunity for you as well as your property agent to bargain with the seller on reducing the price in case there are defects in the house.

What is Buyer’s Role?

The main thing for you as a buyer to do at the time of the home inspection is to get all the information about the house so that you are aware of the problems which exist. You should not hesitate to ask questions even if they sound very simple or insignificant.

Home Inspection – What it consists of?

The main aim of a home inspection is to find our problems that are present in the house. Problems can exist in:

  1. Roof, where there could be asphalt shingles which are deteriorating, the ridges may be sagging, slits which are wider than normal, roof vents which are quite visible and roof deck in de-laminated condition.
  2. Chimneys, with missing mortar, masonry caps which have been cracked or chimneys which are leaning.
  3. Gutter/Downspouts, where slope of gutter is not directed to downspouts and downspouts that are far away from the foundation.
  4. Wall coverings, with flaking bricks, sidings which are rotting, exterior walls which have started leaning and missing mortar.
  5. Foundation, where masonry is damaged and soft mortar has started appearing.
  6. Basement & walls/floors, with water pipes which are corroded, walls with loose plaster, basement having water penetration and drywall seams.
  7. Electrical fittings, where heating/cooling system is very old and electrical outlets are ungrounded.

Other Problems

Some of the other problems which are traced during inspection consist of things like checking whether electrical wiring has been done as per government regulations, condition of power connections, fire safety norms have been followed or not, if radon test has been done, whether wooden beams have been damaged due to termite problem, is there a mold problem and several similar conditions.

Conclusion

Thus as we can see the main goal of any home inspection is to figure out if the house you are going to purchase is in good condition or not so that you do not have to face problems after purchasing it. The seller may not always tell you about the problems house has or he may not be aware of it and a home inspector will be the right person to judge the condition house is in.

Keep Your Family Healthy and Safe With Radon Testing

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is estimated that radon causes 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year. This number is far greater than the number of deaths caused by drunk driving or fire incidents. This information was taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2005-2006 National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Report and 2006 National Safety Council Reports. Because of the seriousness and alarming numbers, the government is encouraging everyone to keep your family healthy and safe by conducting radon testing for your home.

What is radon?

Radon is a “silent killing” odorless, colorless and tasteless radioactive gas coming from the breakdown of uranium found under the soil and rocks of your home. Radon can be present in the air that you breathe and the water that you drink. If you are someone who smokes and you have a high level of radon in your home, your risk of developing lung cancer is extremely high.

How healthy and safe is it inside your home?

If you haven’t checked your home for radon, the best time to do it is now. Today, there are different ways to check for radon in your home. You can do it yourself with radon test kits that are fairly inexpensive and easy to follow. But, if you are buying a home, you might find it useful and wise to combine the services from your local home inspector. A local home inspector that is certified in radon testing can perform your property inspection and add on the service of radon testing. It will save you money when combining services and you’ll have expert knowledge from a certified inspector.

What If There Are High Concentrations Of Radon In My House?

It’s quite simple. If you find out that you have high levels of radon in your home, you should do something about it. You can protect yourself from radon if you know how it gets into your home. As the radon is escaping from the soil and rocks, it is trying to disperse into the atmosphere. Normally, radon doesn’t affect us when it is combined with a vast atmosphere of oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. However, when radon gas is trapped or enclosed, it becomes concentrated and dangerous to the human body. So, if radon gas is escaping from the rocks and soil into your home, it still hasn’t escaped into a safe atmosphere. Therefore, you can prevent radon from getting into your breathing air by installing a vent pipe and extracting the radon gas away from your home. This is known as the sub-slab depressurization. Just so you know, no, you cannot seal your home well enough so that radon doesn’t leak in. According to the EPA, it’s not effective in preventing radon gas from getting into your home.

Radon has been discovered in areas that have a high levels of granite concentration. But, it has also been found in locations without much granite. Therefore, it’s important to be cautious and approach radon testing on a case-by-case examination. You really can’t predict where high levels of radon could be lurking. So, protect your family’s health and ensure your home doesn’t become the place where radon gas gets trapped as it is trying to escape from the rocks and soil beneath.

Efflorescence on Exterior Concrete Wall

Efflorescence is a very common problem with poured concrete foundations. The white powdery substance you see along the outside of your basement wall is efflorescence and indicates moisture is in contact with the masonry. Don’t worry this unattractive build up isn’t hazardous; efflorescence is simply salt and can be easily removed with efflorescence removers or other cleaning techniques.

This does not necessarily mean that intrusion will occur. We recommend checking gutters, downspout drain lines for proper operation. Efflorescence is found on many homes without water intrusion occurring inside the home. But, it should alert you to the possibility that future steps may be needed.

What is happening, water infiltrates the block or the concrete wall and as water evaporates from the surface the mineral deposits are left behind in the form of white substance. Although efflorescence is generally a visual problem, if the efflorescence crystals grow inside and under the surface, it can cause spalling of the foundation wall, which is when the surface peels, pops out or flakes off. The salt pushes from the inside out and can eventually cause crumbling and deterioration.

Efflorescence, water-soluble salts come from many possible sources. First of all; there must be water present to dissolve and transport the salts. Groundwater is often a source of efflorescence. For water to carry or move the salts to the surface there must be channels through which to move and migrate. The more dense the material more difficult for the water to transport salts to the surface. On the other hand, the more porous the material, the greater the ease with which salts are transported and deposited. Salt-bearing water, on reaching the surface of a structure, air evaporates to deposit the salt.

When humidity is low, the water may evaporate before reaching the surface of the structure, leaving the salt deposit beneath the surface, and unseen. When the humidity is high, water evaporation is slower allowing more opportunity for salted to be deposited.

Since humidity has a definite effect on whether or not the salts appear, it can be assumed that efflores­cence is a seasonal problem. The intensity of efflorescence increases after rainy winter seasons, de­creases in spring, and by summer has practically disappeared. This cycle may repeat for months or years, but generally the intensity of the efflorescence decreases in all but very extreme cases, and by about the third year it should be practically eliminated.

Again I repeat, this does not necessarily mean that intrusion will occur. Checking the exterior for grade issues and low spots, ensuring the proper operation of downspouts and that water is being directed away from the foundation may help prevent efflorescence on the exterior of your foundation wall.

Termite Inspection For Property Preservation

No homeowner likes the presence of termites or the white ants because they are linked to massive property disaster when left to work their own destruction. This is the reason why termite inspection must be done as a way to keep buildings safe from termite infestation. Interference to termite activity is a proactive approach.

Requesting the pest control experts to determine if an area is infested by termites is by far the most sensible action to make, especially if you live in Australia. This region supports termite life well due to the kind of climate that Australia has. In the Sunshine Coast, the weather is mostly humid, with at least seven hours of sunshine most days and there is plenty of rain in the area.

Where do termites like to inhabit? They are primarily social insects, so they live together as one big happy family with their queens and kings called the reproductives, the workers and the soldiers. The subterranean termite is most common in Australia so they are frequently noticed in mounds and trees, which are actually their nests. The northern part and the coastal areas are most prone to subterranean termite presence and infestation, they can also be found all throughout the country.

Why get natural pest control? Termite inspection is an ocular checking of an area where termites can access. They may be the inside of homes, buildings, exteriors, in basements and in attics. Termite infestation is a serious threat but you can prevent them from living around and inside your structures. You will not incur additional termite treatment costs along the road.

What signs can be detected with termite presence? If you are not keen, you will not notice any sign of a termite infestation around your area unless you see a big mound of them outside. They can definitely live underground, hence the subterranean descriptive for these termites. As they make their nest mostly underground, these insects are also capable of creating their colonies above ground.

They seek their food in secret, evading the observation of humans. Yet if you can see discarded wings that are of the same sizes, then it is mostly from winged termites. If you can tap wood that sound hollow, expect that termites are living inside that block of wood. They can also create mud tubes which serve as their passage in transporting food and larvae. A mud tube is constructed from termite saliva. Termite droppings look like sawdust, so if you notice little brown specks where they shouldn’t be, there must be a termite colony nearby. However, they do not only eat wood but other types of materials such as leather, plastic, fabric and paper among a few.

Requesting for your property to be inspected for termites and be applied with natural pest control can bring several advantages. It prevents future infestations by applying organic prevention techniques on the area where you want to build a house or building. Inspection by professionals can also help verify the extent of termite infestation such as how much area was destroyed and how big is the threatened area these termites are about to destroy, if not interrupted.

To Vent Or Not To Vent? That Is A Crawl Space Question

During the course of doing home inspections we come across dark and dirty spaces underneath many homes. These spaces are known as crawl spaces. Likely called this because they are often so short that crawling on ones hands and knees are all you can do in there. These spaces are vented to the exterior and sometimes not. This article will discuss conditions in which venting or not venting is advised.

These spaces are often vented to the exterior with the use of small screened vents at various points on the foundation. These openings allow air to pass through so that any dampness can be removed with the air movement.

This venting is often required by the local authority in charge of building codes. Home inspectors are not code inspectors. Codes change and vary from city to city and between the various counties. Required or not at time of building does not mean that it is absolutely the best thing to do for the home.

Here is what can happen in a vented space under a home. During the hot and humid months the exterior air is warm and therefore able to hold more water vapor. Once that humid air enters the crawl space the air temperature falls and that air temperature at times reaches the dew point. The dew point is the temperature where the air is not longer warm enough to “support” as much water vapor. When this temperature is reached condensation begins to form and will settle on the joists, pipes and the ductwork. This now high moisture level environment is a conducive condition for molds, fungus, and rotting of structural elements of the home.

Wood is typically needs a moisture content of twenty percent to be at risk of deterioration. The formation of condensation easily can get the wood to that level of moisture and higher.

So what should one do? First all water entry in the crawl space must be stopped. The exterior of the home should slope so as to direct liquid water away from the home. Gutters and downspouts should be kept clean and have extensions that take the water as far as reasonable away from the home. These two things will do the most good in keeping crawl spaces dry. Even if these things have been done there can still be moisture entry in to the crawl space. Moisture can enter the crawl space and home as moisture vapor by passing through the soil under the home. To reduce this it is important to have a vapor barrier on the soil trapping the vapor under it before it can get access to the home structure. The vapor barrier is typically a simple sheet of thick plastic that lays on the soil. Ideally it is sealed at the edges and the sections of plastic overlap and are sealed as well.

When all exterior water is kept from entering the crawl space and moisture vapor is prevented from entering there should no need to vent a crawl space to the exterior. It is still important to periodically inspect these areas in the event that water does somehow sneak in or your plumbing gets a leak. With all crawl spaces regular inspection is important.

The Home Inspection: Cavemen, Home Inspectors, And The Way It’ll Always Be

In prehistoric times, when a family was considering a move to a different cave (Hey… who wants to stay in the same old cave their whole life?), they probably communicated with their cave-dwelling neighbors to get an opinion as to whether or not their new cave was up to par… whether or not their potentially new abode was in satisfactory condition… whether it was prone to leak… or to leave them out in the cold.

There were likely some fellow cavemen that had a bit more experience with the evaluation of caves than others. So, they were sought out to give their opinion even though that opinion might have been delivered through a series of gestures and grunts… since they didn’t have any hand-held PDA’s, touch-screen computers, or highly developed language to convey their thoughts and findings.

And, no doubt, there were various levels of professionalism among the acknowledged and preferred cave assessors that led the cave-dwelling masses to choose one assessor over another in their search for new shelter… some combination of combined experience and ability to effectively communicate (Arghghhh… Urgghh… Hyrpthmblomsit) that separated them from some other creature. It’s the same way today with modern Home Inspectors… although most can communicate in their native dialect and most use computers, some sans the touch-screen, of course. Some are good, some are not so good, and some are, well… pretty darned good.

While a fairly high percentage of most all modern Home Inspectors do a reasonable job of assessing the physical condition of a home, they can be generally divided into 5 categories or types:

  • The Nit-Wit Inspector – This is the inspector that advertises the cheapest prices (sometimes referred to a Cheap Charlie) and gives the least value to his clients. They speak as little as possible (perhaps out of necessity), deliver their poor hand-written reports in a week or so after being repeated prompting, and rarely engage in anything approaching a high degree of critical thought process beyond how to get home as quickly as possible. Often, they often have little knowledge or concern about the rules and standards that pertain to their field of work. The Nit-Wit inspector is sort of like the cockroach on the wedding cake… and is best avoided by everyone.
  • The Gloved Inspector – This is the inspector who, while perhaps technically competent, has no intention whatsoever of reporting on anything that might damage their chance of future client referrals. They perform the ole’ soft-shoe routine, dancing around any potentially troubling issues, and deliver their candy-coated findings in such a way as to offend nobody at the sometimes partially disguised expense of inferiority. This inspector should be avoided almost as much as the Nit-Wit inspector
  • The Alarmist Inspector – This is the inspector who just can’t seem to control themselves when it comes to describing issues. Their description is usually accompanied with flailing arms, a red-faced demeanor along with the occasional emotional fit, and a general tendency to scare the ever-lovin’ bejeebers out of everyone within a three block radius including the home-buyer, the real estate agents, the home-seller, and the guy standing on the corner down the street. Everything’s a disaster just waiting to happen and they’re really eager to be credited for saving someone from certain and impending doom. Be careful with this type of inspector because they may burst into flames at any time
  • The Professorial Inspector – This is the inspector who is technically competent, is probably a reasonably effective communicator, and knows what they are supposed to do… but insists on relating, to anyone within earshot, everything they know about everything they’ve ever had the occasion to learn about anything. Sometimes, too much information is, well, too much information. Form your own opinion about this inspector… although, you may actually end up getting a pretty thorough Home Inspection
  • The Professional Inspector – Not to be confused with the Professorial Inspector above, this is the inspector that will provide the very best value to their clients even if their clients have to a pay a bit more to get that value. They’ll fully and calmly explain what they are going to do, how they are going to do it, why they’re going to do it a particular way, do it, and then explain what it is that they have done. They’ll welcome client questions and participation, and they’ll understand that the amount of time it takes to inspect the home is time for which the client is providing payment and not the other way around. They won’t participate in alarmist reporting practices. They won’t try to impart a lot of information that is not pertinent to the Home Inspection and the home being evaluated. They’ll be courteous to all those present and they’ll be fair to the home; they won’t inspect or report upon a 100 year old house as if it were somehow expected to be brand new, and they’ll possess a thorough knowledge and understanding of their profession. They’ll be an active member of a national Home Inspectors organization such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).They’ll accurately convey the findings of their inspection, in accordance with their applicable Standards of Practice, in an even-keeled and informational manner while making reasonable and proper recommendations based upon their observations. And, they’ll convey their findings in a good, readily understandable Home Inspection report

Some things never change and so it likely goes with Home Inspectors. Home Inspectors, as with any other types of professional service providers now or as it likely was in the day of the caveman, will vary widely insofar as their knowledge, level of education, communications skills, inspection methodologies, and the delivery/explanation of their findings are concerned; it’s always been that way and it’ll likely always be that way.

For the very best Home Inspection experience, actively seek out a Home Inspector with the demeanor, education, experience, and professionalism that will provide you with the highest level of comfort and confidence.

Urghh… Arguff… Hyrpthmblombsit!

Foundation Wall Cracks, Cause, Effect and Solution

There are no perfect houses and that would include its foundation. Whether you have a new home or one that’s a hundred years old, house foundations crack. Houses shift and settle after construction. Houses will have cracks in either the cosmetic finishes or structural components. Most of these cracks have no structural significance. The common types of cracks in foundation walls will include;

Vertical (or near vertical) cracks; Just because a wall has cracked doesn’t mean that it has failed or that corrective action is required. If the crack is narrow (1/8 inch or less), is nearly vertical, has no lateral separation between the adjacent portions of the wall, and no water is leaking through the crack, no action generally is required. This is a shrinkage crack and occurs as moisture in the wall evaporates causing the wall to shrink into the voids created by the escaping water. This type of crack is controlled, or minimized but not eliminated by, using horizontal reinforcement steel, which helps distribute the stresses in the wall. If horizontal steel is present, you are more likely to get several very small cracks instead of one or two much wider cracks. Another method of limiting shrinkage cracks is to control the amount of water used in the concrete mix.

Reentrant Cracks; Whenever a concrete element has a sharp angle, there is a concentration of stress. This almost always results in a crack called a reentrant crack that emanates from the inside corner. It may be vertical, horizontal, or diagonal as it exits the corner. This phenomenon exists in nearly all materials. Round openings can dissipate the stress but this is not practical in concrete wall construction. The typical remedy to reduce this type of crack is the placement of steel reinforcement in the corners. It will not eliminate these crack but keep they tight and controlled.

Horizontal cracks; Horizontal cracks require greater scrutiny. Most residential foundation walls are designed to span from the footing or floor slab to the connection of the floor structure above. An 8-inch concrete wall in normal soil conditions usually is strong enough to withstand the forces exerted on the wall with no vertical reinforcement. Exceptions include areas with high ground water conditions or in expansive soil conditions. If there is vertical reinforcement in the wall, a horizontal crack is probably not a concern. An expert should be consulted when a horizontal crack appears to evaluate whether there is a structural risk.

These cracks typically result from one or more of the following;

1. Soil settlement beneath the footing resulting in downward movement of the footing, and shifting is common to most newly constructed homes.

2. Alteration of the local water table whenever a new home is built. Specifically, the soil beneath the home dries; the resultant soil shrinkage causes minor settlement of the footing which can result in hairline cracking in the foundation walls.

3. A new home, without of furniture and effects, does not impose a significant load on the foundation. Once all of your furniture and appliances are moved in, the weight borne by the foundation, and the structure in general, increases and causes some flexing (or movement) of structural members throughout the building. This increased load can cause hairline cracks in the foundation.

4. Drying shrinkage. While poured concrete is dries and hardens, it will shrink. The major factor influencing drying shrinkage is the total water content of the concrete. As the water content in poured concrete increases, the amount of shrinkage increases. Significant increases in the sand content and significant reductions in the size of the coarse aggregate used in poured concrete increase shrinkage because total water content is increased and smaller size coarse aggregate provide less internal resistance to shrinkage.

5. Thermal expansion and contraction of concrete. Concrete poured during high daytime temperatures will contract as it cools during the night, this can be sufficient enough to cause cracking if the concrete is restrained.

6. Restraint; The restriction of free movement of fresh or hardened concrete subsequent to the completion of placing (pouring of concrete) in formwork or within an otherwise confined space; restraint can be internal or external and may act in one or more directions.

7. Subgrade settlement or movement. The dropping of soil or the footing due to their mass, the loads imposed on them, or shrinkage or displacement of the underlying support.

Most foundation cracks are minor and insignificant; they are common to both poured concrete and block foundations. Structural cracks (horizontal) in residential foundations are usually the result of settlement and/or horizontal loading. They can be the result of hydrostatic pressure or the use of heavy equipment next to the foundation. The possible implication of cracks in your foundation is moisture penetration, moisture that can ruin finished wall coverings, floor coverings and furniture.

Water will leak through a foundation crack if there is enough hydrostatic pressure to force water through the crack. If a waterproofing system was installed during construction, the basement may not leak even if there is a large crack. Keep in mind that waterproofing is not the same as damp-proofing. Installing an exterior waterproofing system after the wall has been backfilled can be cost prohibitive. The best solution is the use of an epoxy injection system. It will adhere to the side of the cracks and actually may strengthen the wall. These systems can be DIY but is it highly recommended that they be applied by a professional.

If you take anything away from this article…take this. All foundations crack, your foundation, my foundation and most of these cracks are insignificant and have no structural implications. If you do have a concern about the size and type of crack call a professional to evaluate.

Disaster Cleanup Services

Every year millions of households are affected by disasters, natural and otherwise causing billions of dollars in damages. It is vital to understand all of the types of disasters that can occur to a residence and the dangers associated with each. Furthermore it is extremely important to the homeowners and their families that these damages be properly restored before occupation of the residence continues. This article will outline some common household disasters and health risks associated with the damages from those disasters. Finally this piece will explain how to choose the best damage restoration specialist for homeowners and their families to ensure health risks are eliminated and the structural integrity of the home is maintained.

Sewage backup is unfortunately fairly common and is also one of the most dangerous disasters which can occur within a home. Sewage, by definition, is any material originating beyond the trap. Any liquid or material backing up from this region should be considered hazardous whether it comes up through a floor drain or other locations in the house such as a toilet. Sewage contains both organic and inorganic contaminants such as wastes breeding Salmonella, E. Coli, toxic basic and acidic drain cleaners and other chemicals which can cause serious heath issues and life threatening illness. Aside from the solid contaminants sewage can produce methane or hydrogen sulfide gases which can be a fire hazard as well as ammonia and other potentially toxic gases. Due to the health risks involved it is important that when a substantial backup is discovered that a professional be called to assess the situation because often times the backup can travel under the home and go unnoticed. Sewage backup if untreated can potentially damage a structure, rotting out the foundation and in serious cases can put the structure at risk of collapse. Failure to properly restore sewage damage, among other health risks can lead to another dangerous household disaster, mold.

There are a variety of mold species that can come to colonize a home which introduce a wide range health risks to the occupants. Some toxic strains include Alternaria, Chaetomium, Cladosporium, Mucor and several others. These toxic molds have been linked to a variety of short term effects such as hives, trouble breathing, headaches, general fatigue and others. Long term effects of mold exposure can be much more severe. Long term mold exposure has been linked to respiratory infections, some cancers, heart problems, nervous system problems and other serious risks. There are many disasters that can strike a household which make it more vulnerable to toxic mold growth such as flooding and foundation cracks and leaks caused by earthquakes, frost wedging or other forms of erosion. There are other factors which can lead to mold growth such as high humidity and poor air circulation. Is is important to call an expert as soon as mold growth is discovered because lab tests are necessary to determine if there is a serious threat present and the person called to restore a house can make all the difference in this situation.

There are a few ways to tell if the contractor called is knowledgeable and skilled enough to eliminate the health risks brought on by mold growth, flooding or sewage backup. Researching a business’ history is one way to determine if those called upon are up to the job. Is is important that the person or associated company be experienced in the specific field disaster restoration. Inexperience can lead to improper restoration which can potentially lead to illness or if some damages go unnoticed much greater future costs for a proper restoration. Possibly the best way to verify that the technician is an authority on restoration and mold remediation is look for certification. There are many national certifications which ensure that technicians are trained to deal with all of the risks involved in restorations such as The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and the very stringent Antimicrobial Mold Remediation Technician (AMRT) Certification. Disasters are most always unexpected and so are health issues or structural collapses that can result from improper damage restoration. Homeowners can prevent the latter two scenarios by calling on certified restoration technicians to protect their homes and families.

Prevent Serious Illness – Opt for Prompt, Professional Mold Cleanup and Asbestos Removal Services

Mold and asbestos are serious environmental hazards that should not be overlooked. Protect yourself by being aware of the signs of mold, requesting an asbestos inspection if you suspect that your home may contain this harmful substance, and putting abatement in the hands of a capable professional.

Although the most common home safety precautions center around fires, carbon monoxide, and other more immediate threats, property owners should not forget about the less discussed dangers of mold and asbestos. These two sneaky substances are linked with very serious ailments, including cancers, lung impairment, brain damage, and more. Prolonged exposure to either substance can even result in death.

Luckily, if your home is found to have been built using asbestos, or if you discover mold in your home, you have options. Mold remediation and asbestos abatement services are available to safely contain, collect, and eliminate all traces of these harmful substances. Specialists in the removal of mold and asbestos are fully trained in proper remediation regulations and only use industry-approved tools and techniques in order to minimize the danger during the entire treatment process.

What is Asbestos, Exactly?

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral material. Asbestos was once commonly used as a fire retardant and household insulation for roofs, pipes, and more. When these fibers are released into the air, they can easily be breathed into the lungs, causing the deterioration of proper organ function. A standard test or home history can reveal the presence of asbestos. Asbestos must be removed by a professional to ensure that all fibers are contained during the removal process.

How Did My Home Get Mold?

Mold can occur in any home. Tiny mold spores are constantly floating through the air, and when combined with a humid atmosphere and a food source (such as paper, wood, or cloth) the spores can start to grow. Mold remediation services can take care of the invasion of this unwelcome guest at first, but another outbreak will likely occur if the one thing that you can control–the humidity of your home–is not remedied. Your mold remediation expert will be able to recommend treatments to prevent future mold growth.

Most mold companies will perform black mold removal, mildew mold removal, and more. Do not waste time trying to identify which species of mold is growing in your home–call your local professionals immediately. In addition to increasing your risk of serious health problems, mold can also cause irreversible damages to your home. Avoid having to call in interior demolition contractors: take care of your mold problem before it gets out of control.

How Can I Tell If My Home Contains Mold?

Some of the most common signs of mold are:

  • Visible mold
  • Rotting wood
  • Stains
  • Musty odors
  • Flaking paint

If you suspect that your home is host to mold, don’t play the guessing game–find out for sure.

How Vulnerable Is My Home to Raccoon Invasion?

Raccoons are known to find their way into our homes, garages, barns, and porch spaces; however, do we really know how vulnerable our house is to such intrusion? How do you determine your home’s level of exposure? Read on to learn ways to inspect and animal proof your house from raccoon invasion this winter season.

Interior Home Inspections

To begin assessing how open your home is to the wild animal community, particularly raccoons, it is crucial to inspect the inside and outside of your house. Look for weak spots and pay close attention to dark, warm areas. These are ideal shelter spots for raccoons. Indoors, try starting in your basement. If you do not have a basement, turn to your utility room, crawl space, or garage as an option in its place.

In the basement or other areas, look in dark corners, and keep your eyes peeled for any open or exposed areas. These could be areas of access. If you do not see anything here, move on to the attic area. Attics are very popular spots for raccoons. They love the dark, warm shelter it provides. This is an ideal breeding ground for them too. If you do not have an attic, check under stairs and in closets.

Exterior Home Inspections

Outside, raccoon access points are easier to spot. Look to your roof and try to observe any loose shingles or pried open areas. These are indications that raccoons have been breaking in. Check under porches and patios as well. These are also common areas of access and even areas of living for wild raccoons.

Hire a Pro for Comprehensive Inspections

Doing an interior and exterior inspection of your home is a tedious and difficult task. Typically, it is recommended to hire a professional wildlife removal and control company to provide an inspection. They are highly trained and experienced professionals that know all the signs to look for, and how to remedy the disturbance within a convenient time frame. If you are having trouble, call a professional for advice. They can offer the best solutions and service.

Animal Proofing Your Home

Once an inspection has been completed, it is important to move onto animal proofing your home right away. The areas that were labeled weak, exposed, and open should be sealed immediately. By closing off the areas of access, you can stop further intrusion. It is very crucial to have all existing raccoons removed from your home with the help of a professional company before sealing off these access points.