fbpx
logob

Articles tagged with: home inspector

Jul20

4 Things You Need to Know Before Selling Your House

Selling your home takes more than just planting a for sale sign on the front lawn. Any family member friend or colleague who has sold their house before would tell you that it’s not easy. It requires a lot of work, patience and plenty of know-how.  

Selling a house, especially if you haven’t done it before, can be an inconvenience and create stress and anxiety. 

Here are 4 things you need to know before selling your house

Price it right 

When selling your house, the price can be one of its most attractive and unattractive features. If you want to get the most attention from potential buyers when it first hits the market, then you must pick the absolute right price tag based on how much your house is worth. 

Go too high and you risk turning off buyers. Of course, you can always lower the price later on, but you’re going to lose the freshness of the home’s appeal after two weeks of showing. 

Review comparables of recently sold homes to get the price right. If you are working with a real estate agent, he/she can provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), which will help you determine the current market value of a property. 

Timing is key when selling your house

Conventional wisdom tells us that spring and summer months are your best options for listing your home for sale. After all, this is the busiest time of the year for the real estate market - school is out and families are looking to move to their new house before the school year starts. 

While it’s true that most home sales happen in spring and summer, you also need to factor in your own family’s needs. The best time to sell is when you are ready for it. 

Find a good real estate agent 

With so much information readily available online, some sellers decide to just sell their house on their own. Plus, forgoing the agent means you can pocket that 6% commission. Sounds like a great idea, right? Not necessarily. 

Real estate agents take on several roles during the home selling process - marketer, stager, analyst, negotiator, copywriter etc. They’ll help you set the selling price, market your home, handle volumes of paperwork, negotiate with them, and show your home to potential buyers. Do yourself a favor and hire a good real estate agent. 

Staging 

If you want to sell your house fast and for top dollar, then make sure that it looks the part. 

Potential buyers aren’t just looking for a house to live in. Rather, they are looking for a place where they can create meaningful memories with their loved ones. This is where staging comes in handy. 

Staging involves re-arranging the furnitures and decorating the house to make sure it looks its best. Spruce up the yard, repaint the walls, accessorize, and get the house sparkling clean. 

Jun08

4 Biggest Turn Offs for Potential Homebuyers

Homebuyers are a notoriously picky bunch. They can get instantly turned off. 

You may think your home is perfect, but potential buyers who walk through your home could spot some flaws you've never noticed before. Many of them will lose interest in your home upon seeing these things. 

If you want to sell your house fast, you must know what sort of things turn potential buyers off. Read on and avoid them when selling your home.

Odors

Smells can come from several sources – smoking, lingering cooking smells, pets, mold, etc. If you have pets or you smoke, the house might smell bad. You may not notice it, but potential buyers will. You can light up, plug in and spray all you want, but no amount of air freshener or perfume can mask the smell. 

No one would be interested in buying a house that smells. Getting rid of odors involve deep cleaning, getting rid of the carpet, and repainting the walls.

Unkempt exterior

Most buyers refuse to go into a house with an unkempt exterior. If the house looks terrible on the outside, how worse could it look on the inside?

Homebuyers want a home that's been taken care of. Make sure that the lawn is mowed and the landscaping is well-maintained. Repaint the front door. Cover your flowerbed with a neat layer of mulch or plant a few annuals. 

Bright-colored walls

You may think that a bright-colored wall adds pizzazz to your room, but it may not appeal to potential buyers. Even though repainting is a relatively easy task, many don't want the hassle of repainting the walls after moving in.

Your goal is to get potential buyers to picture themselves in your home. They can't do that with those bright-colored walls.

Molds

Mold is one of the biggest turn-offs for home buyers. Not only is it unsightly, but it also poses a threat to the people who resides in the home. Getting rid of mold can also be costly. 

Jun01

How to Negotiate Issues Following a Home Inspection

A real estate transaction is never a done deal until the deed is transferred. The negotiation usually starts once the seller receives a written offer and continues throughout the buying process.  

Ideally, you want to have the property inspected by a licensed inspector. It will give you a good idea of the property's condition. The inspector will examine different parts of the house to see if there are defects and problems. If the inspection is flawless, there is nothing to negotiate. But if problems arise, this often leads to another round of negotiation.

Here’s how to negotiate issues following a home inspection.

Seek help from your real estate agent

There’s a reason why you hired a real estate agent. It’s his/her job to guide you through the home buying process.

After the home inspection, ask your agent to sit down with you and study the home inspection report. Ask plenty of questions and seek help when devising a negotiation strategy. From here, you can decide what to do next. Remember, you don’t have to go through negotiations alone.

Request a credit for the repairs

Many of you might be tempted to just ask the sellers to handle the repairs since that would be a more convenient. But most of the time, buyers end up disappointed because the repairs have not been made or have been made poorly.

Come to think of it, you’re the one who’ll be living in that house. If you want to make sure that the job is done properly, consider hiring a contractor of your own choosing. The seller can just give you a lump sum to cover the cost of repairs. Most sellers will find this more amenable since many of them are actually eager to complete the deal.

Ask seller to do repairs

Most buyers are in search of homes that don’t require any work. The last thing they want is to spend their weekends doing repairs on their new home. As such, making a repair request is a fairly common practice.

Depending on the complexity of repairs, you can ask the seller to fix certain problems that were found during the home inspection. Keep in mind, though, that the seller doesn’t have to give in to every demand. If the seller refuses to handle repairs and you think it’s not worth the cost and effort, you are free to back out of the transaction.

May18

3 Key Reasons to Have a Home Inspection Before Buying a House

Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make. You’ll be putting a lot of your time, effort and money into finding the perfect house for you and your family, so you want to make sure you get the right one. Home inspection can help you with that. 

Although most buyers consider home inspection as an added expense, it is important that you have it done before signing on the dotted line. In fact, having a qualified home inspector look over the house can provide several advantages. 

Don’t be tempted to waive the home inspection when buying a house. Here are 3 key reasons why you should have the property inspected before buying. 

Peace of mind 

When you hire a home inspector, they’ll assess the house and let you know about the overall condition of the property. Through the home inspection report, you’ll discover some issues or problems that may affect the safety and value of the property. 

Yes, it may set you back by a few hundred dollars, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the property is in good condition. 

Make an informed decision 

It’s easy to fall in love with a house because of its spacious rooms, updated kitchen and bath and modern furniture. Considering that you have put in a huge portion of your savings and that you’ll be staying in this house for several years, you want to make sure it’s everything you’re looking for. 

A home inspection will give you a clear picture about what to expect on the property. By learning about the flaws and issues present in the house, you’ll be able to make better, more informed decision. If you find out that the house has major issues like structural damage, roof problems or electrical problems, you have the opportunity to back out of the transaction, considering the amount of money you’ll have to spend to fix it. 

Save money 

No house is perfect. The house may look great, but it may have some issues that are yet to be discovered. Even the newly built houses have some flaws.

The last thing you want is to find out that the house has several problems after moving in. Since you’ve already bought the house, you have no choice but to deal with these issues. If you can look past the initial expense of home inspection, then you’ll be able to save thousands of dollars down the road. 

May13

Common Causes of Roof Leaks

Roof leaks present multiple challenges for homeowners. Not only do they occur in the most inappropriate time, they can also cause significant damage to your home if not discovered and repaired promptly. But sometimes, it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of the problem since it originates away from where the leak shows up. 

To make your job easier, we have compiled some of the most common causes of residential roof leaks. Next time it happens to you, it would be easier for you to determine the cause of the problem. 

Broken or loose shingles

The shingles are the most important barrier for your roof. They can become loose, rot or curl over time; thus, causing roof leaks. Water can seep through the roof and into your home if you have cracked, broken or missing shingles. 

Since shingles are the exterior layer of a roof, this one is easy to spot. Climb a ladder to inspect the roof and check for missing shingles.

Cracked flashing 

Flashing are thin pieces of metal that covers a seam or transition on the roof. They can become weak, corroded or slide out of place due to harsh weather or strong winds. You are more likely to develop a leak if your flashing is damage. 

Clogged gutters

Gutters are installed to catch rain and channel it away from the structure. Leaves and other debris that have accumulated in your gutters can slow the water flowing off the roof. Water will then pool in one area of the roof and can soak through your shingles and through the ceiling below. 

Age

Even the highest quality roof can deteriorate over time. The older your roof is, the less effective it is at keeping water out. That said, you should keep an eye on the condition of your roof. 

Be sure to upgrade your roof as soon as you have the money. Yes, it may cost you an arm and a leg, but if you wait long enough, you may face more serious problems and spend a lot more money down the road. 

Apr20

4 Common Plumbing Emergencies and How to Avoid Them

Your plumbing is one of the most important systems in your home. Plumbing is needed in many aspects of your home such as cooking, washing dishes, taking showers, flushing the toilet and a lot more. Sadly, a lot of homeowners don’t give their plumbing system much thought until a problem arises. 

Here are some of the most common plumbing emergencies, along with some tips on how to avoid them. 

Leaky pipes

At first glance, leaky pipes may not seem like a big deal. But if not addressed immediately, it can cause extensive damage to our home and personal belongings. Stained walls, flooding, poor water quality, and mold growth are just some of the ways leaky pipes can wreak havoc on your home. 

To prevent this from happening, it is important to address the problem as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the worse the damage will be. 

Sewer system backup 

This is probably the worst plumbing problem one could ever face. Just imagine the horror of sewage water pooling inside your house, along with the nasty smell that comes with it. Disgusting! This will not only lead to expensive repair, it can also cause health hazards. If this happens, be sure to vacate the affected areas immediately.

Clogged toilets

You’re still pulling your pants up when you realized that the water is rising closer and closer to the rim. Your toilet is clogged, now what? I know it’s difficult, but try not to panic. 

What you need to do is to stop the water from going into the bowl. Turn off the water using the valve behind the base of the toilet. Another way is to make sure that the rubber flapper is in place. Take off the lid of the tank. Reach in and push the flapper back into place. Now, you can call a plumber to address the problem.

Clogged drains 

Clogged or backed up drain is one of the most common problems homeowners face. This is often the result of flushing large items down the drain. The good news is that, it can easily be avoided by being careful about the things you put down the drain. 

Toilets are designed to handle human waste and toilet paper. Flushing dense, stringy or bulky materials can cause a clog.

Apr06

5 Ways to Make Home Buyers Fall in Love with Your Kitchen

There are many home features buyers want in a home. An updated kitchen ranks high on a home buyer’s priority list. 

While an updated kitchen can drive up your home’s selling price, a major kitchen overhaul can cost a fortune. Most sellers are hesitant to remodel the kitchen because they’re worried that they might not recoup their investment. Luckily, you don’t need to spend a huge sum of money to spruce up the kitchen and make it desirable to prospective buyers. 

Make home buyers fall in love with your kitchen with these easy tips. 

Keep it clean 

Buyers are more sensitive than mothers-in-law when it comes to cleanliness. Before putting your home on the market, clean your kitchen from top to bottom. This means cleaning the windows, inside the cabinets, inside the fridge, the stovetop, countertop, sink and taps, as well as the floor. Deep cleaning may be a chore, but it’s worth the effort. 

Fresh paint

Give your kitchen a fresh coat of paint. Make sure, though, that the color you choose complements with the color of your cabinets and counters. 

If your cabinets are in good shape, there is no need to spend a lot of money on new ones. Freshen up and modernize those cabinets by applying a fresh coat of paint and replacing old hardware. This will dramatically enhance your kitchen space. 

Be aware of odors

Nothing turns off a buyer faster than a dirty kitchen and foul odors. Litter boxes, pet odors and cooking smells lingering in your home can really turn buyers off. You may be immune to the smell, but potential buyers are going to notice. 

Empty all trashcans and move them out of sight. Remove oil and grime regularly from objects near the kitchen stove. Also, make sure there is good air circulation in your kitchen. Don’t risk losing buyers because of kitchen odors. 

Declutter the counters

Buyers love lots of countertop space in the kitchen. Show off your countertop and keep it clean and organized. 

Before showing your home to prospective buyers, be sure to clear off the countertop. Appliances such as blender, toaster, microwave and other items should be put away in a cabinet. 

Keep the windows clean and clear

A bright, cheery room looks bigger and more inviting. Open up all the windows to let as much natural light in. Fabrics absorb odor more than any other material. Clean window treatments and curtains regularly. 

Mar16

4 Common Causes of Residential Water Damage

Water is one of the most important substances on earth. In fact, all life forms are dependent on it. But with all it’s life-giving benefits, water can also be very destructive. 

Water damage can be devastating. It can cause damage to your personal belongings, on your property, and may even lead to mold problems. Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners find themselves experiencing water damage. 

Here are some of the most common causes of residential water damage, along with some tips on how to prevent it. 

Natural disasters 

Hurricanes, sudden storms and flash floods are the most common causes of water damage. While we have no control over natural disasters, there are some things you can do to minimize its effect. 

If you live in flood-prone areas, we suggest that you seal walls in the basement with waterproofing compounds. Also, construct barriers like floodwalls, beams, and levees to stop water from entering your home. 

Faulty appliances 

No matter how well you maintain and take care of your appliances, they will break down eventually. Dishwashers, water heaters, refrigerators, and washing machines deteriorate over time. Their hoses can weaken and their pipes rust and crack. They are most likely to leak, wreak havoc and overflow. That said, it is best to keep an eye on older appliances, replace worn parts, and maintain them. 

Burst or leaking pipes

Pipes leak or burst over time due to clogs in the line or changes in temperature. Unfortunately, most people don’t give their pipes much thought until something goes wrong. 

Know where the main water supply is so you can easily turn it off in cases of emergency. This will prevent water from flowing through the pipes; hence, preventing further damage. Do this before calling for professional help. 

Clogged gutters and downspouts 

Gutters are designed to direct water away from your home. When it is clogged with leaves and other debris, water builds up in your gutter. Eventually, it may damage your roof and cause roof leaks. Worse, the gutter may separate from the roof and water may start pouring down your home. 

Keeping the gutters clean is of great importance. A lot of homeowners don’t like this task, but this is crucial for the safety and security of your home. 

Mar10

5 Signs Your Home May Have Water Damage

Water damage is a serious and expensive problem to deal with. In most cases, it starts from a very simple problem like a water leak. Since it usually happens out of sight, most homeowners aren’t even aware of it until it’s too late. When left unaddressed, water damage can lead to more serious problems like mold growth and structural problems.

To prevent further problems, we listed down some of the most common problems that may indicate the presence of water damage. Here are some of them. 

Water stains 

If you notice some water stains on the wall, then this is a sign that water has travelled down the wall. This is often caused by a roof leak, leak from an upstairs bathroom or a leaky pipe. Get to the root of the problem and make necessary repairs to prevent further damage. 

Unusually high water bill 

If your water bill has increased significantly for no apparent reason, this can mean that water is being expelled somewhere. Keep an eye on your water usage and estimate how much your water company would usually charge. If your bill doesn’t match with your water usage, odds are your house is bleeding water. 

Musty odor 

Just because you don’t see mold, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Mold has its own smell. If you notice a musty odor in certain areas in your home, this suggests the presence of mold. The smell will usually be the strongest in areas where water damage has occurred. 

Rotting wood 

If you find wooden beams, wooden furniture or any type of wood that is beginning to rot, then you need to check for moisture problems or water damage.  Be on the lookout for any signs of soft or crumbly wood. 

Wood rot can compromise the structural integrity of your home. Remember, wood rot can spread wide and far, so be sure to have it repaired as soon as you discover it. 

Rust 

This is another sign you need to watch out for. Check the bathroom fixtures, pipes under the sink and the water heaters for rusting. Although this doesn’t necessarily indicate the presence of water damage, it is something worth noticing. This can be sign that something sinister is afoot. 

Mar02

Things You Should Know Before Finishing Your Basement

Most people grew up in a house with a basement that is dark, dank, and unfinished. A lot of homeowners have toyed with the idea of finishing their basement at some point, but didn’t push through with it. Most people grew up in a house with a basement that is dark, dank, and unfinished. A lot of homeowners have toyed with the idea of finishing their basement at some point, but didn’t push through with it. 

A finished basement can be a great addition to any home. Not only will it increase the value of your home, you can also enjoy the extra living space. There are some things, however, that you need to know before getting started on this project. Here are some of them. 

Things You Should Know 2

You may need a permit

Most states will require you to acquire a permit before you get started on the renovation, so we suggest that you check with your town or municipality first before you get started with this project. If you fail to acquire the needed permit, you are likely to face some fines, delay in construction or legal action. 

Things You Should Know 3

Be on the lookout for moisture problems 

Basements are notorious for having moisture problems. Since most homeowners don’t spend much time in the basement, many of them aren’t even aware of the problem. To prevent water damage in the future, make sure that the problem is identified and rectified before renovations take place. Sometimes, moisture problems occur even if there is no sign of leak or standing water. 

Things You Should Know 4

Set aside an extra 10-15% 

Your contractor may have given you an estimate, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the final cost. During the remodelling process, you may come across some problems such as termites, wood decaying or faulty wiring that may cause you to blow your budget. The last thing you want is to run out of money halfway through the project. 

Make sure that you set aside an extra 10-15% of your budget for any unforeseen issues that may crop up. 

Things You Should Know 1

Figure out the layout 

An unfinished basement is like a blank canvas. You have the freedom to decide how you’re going to use the space. You may create a bedroom, a bathroom, and a small kitchen if you intend to use it as a rental apartment. You can also opt for an open space if you want to use it as a leisure or entertainment room. Keep in mind, though, that the water heater and the furnace cannot be moved, so you need to work around these areas. 

Feb09

Is Hidden Mold at Home Making You Sick?

Molds are extremely toxic substances. They are a serious concern for your health. Everyone is potentially at risk of mold exposure, regardless of your gender, age, socioeconomic status or geographic region. Children and infants, in particular, are more susceptible to mold exposure. 

All molds

Is Hidden Mold at Home Making You Sick?

have the potential to cause ill health. In fact, it can cause respiratory infections, gastrointestinal problems, skin rashes and a multitude of other problems. The vast majority of people who are suffering from respiratory problems are not even aware that the problem was due to mold exposure. Even worse, doctors do not often see the correlation, making the treatment difficult. 

Homes often provide many opportunities for mold spores to grow. Aside from the basement, kitchen and bathroom, there can be many hidden sources of mold in your home. This is especially true if you have leaks on your roof or plumbing problems. In this case, mold may start to grow under the carpet, behind the walls and other areas. But what’s interesting is that mold spores may even be hiding in surprising places such as your pillows or Christmas tree. One study revealed that mold spores are released into a room 14 days after a Christmas tree has been put up.  

Are you feeling sick but can’t exactly pinpoint the cause? 

Mold exposure can cause short-term symptoms such as running nose, headache, coughing, watery eyes, and skin rash. 

If you’ve been struggling with these symptoms , but it tends to improve when you leave the house, there’s a good chance that mold infestation could be what’s impacting your health. 

The best way to tell if it’s mold-related is to spend a few nights away from the house to see how you feel. 

How to prevent mold

Molds are everywhere. They proliferate anywhere moisture exists. The key to preventing mold growth is by controlling moisture. Wet floors and carpets, standing water, condensation in bathrooms and windows are just some of the most common causes. 

Even if the water problem happened a long time ago, mold can still grow in your home if the cause of the problem hasn’t been addressed. They hitchhike into your home as water enters through cracks in foundations and walls. Fix leaks and dry the area immediately since mold usually starts to grow within 24 hours. 

Find a reputable pro if you already have mold in your home. Molds are very difficult to destroy. They can even shed substances that causes coughing, sneezing and asthma attacks. Find an experienced company and address the problem before it gets worse. 

Jan12

Tips to Brighten Your Curb Appeal in Winter

Curb appeal comes naturally to many homes during the summer, when the sun is shining brightly and gardens are in bloom. But during the winter, when the ground is covered in snow and everything else has withered, maintaining curb appeal can prove to be a challenge. The problem is that curb appeal is essential when you’re selling your home.

How do you combat this trend when you’re trying to sell your home during the winter? Here are some things you can do to spruce up the exterior of your home in the dreary winter months.

Keep the driveways, pathways, and walkways clear

With snow comes ice, and with ice comes slipping. Keep your driveways, pathways, and walkways clear of ice and snow to ensure that potential buyers or guests can make it into your home without getting injured.

Before you spend time and money improving the looks of your home, focus on safety first. There is no sense in sprucing up your home if people are afraid to walk along the sidewalk.

Outdoor lighting

The days are shorter during the winter time. In most cases, it gets dark even before people get home. Most buyers decide to drive by houses they’re interested in after office hours. If your home looks dark and uninviting, this creates a negative impression among potential buyers.

Outdoor lighting doesn’t just brighten a winter landscape, it also enhances property safety and security. Garage scones and walkway lights will guide guests to your front door.  You may also wrap holiday lights around trees, fountains, and birdbaths to make your home attractive at night.

Fresh paint 

A fresh coat of paint brings vibrancy to the exterior of your home, making it look warm and pleasant during the cold winter month. This is one of the best ways to revitalize the look and feel of your home. It is also a good idea to paint your fence or front door with bold color to brighten the facade and make your home look more inviting.

Tidy lawn

Just because the grass is no longer green, doesn’t mean that you should slack off on curb appeal. Your home’s exterior beauty doesn’t have to fade along with the summer season.

Curb appeal is important year-round. You want your grounds to stay looking neat in winter and show potential buyers that your home has been well cared for. Clear dead leaves off of your lawn and plant some seasonal plants and flowers to keep your yards stunning during the dreary winter months.

Jan07

4 Smart Tips to Make Moving in Winter Easier

Winter is a great time to move. Since most people are out on vacation or busy with holiday get-togethers, you can get great deal with moving companies. However, moving house during the winter is not without challenges. Snow, ice, and freezing temperatures can make the moving process even more difficult.

Here are 4 smart tips to make your winter move easier.

Keep an eye on the weather 

Winter weather can be unpredictable. Even if the sun has been shining all week long, a blizzard may suddenly pop up just as you’re pulling away in your car.

Check weather reports from time to time and make sure to follow it up until the moving day. Keep tabs on the weather until the movers arrive so you get the latest updates. Anticipate any weather challenges and adapt to them.

Keep the heat on

You might be tempted to have your utilities disconnected prior to moving day, but please resist the urge to do so. On moving day, you’ll be opening and closing the door many times as the movers carry your boxes. This will send cold air into your home. Without the heat, everybody will feel cold and uncomfortable. You’ll want to keep the heat on on moving day.

Protect your belongings 

Some items are especially vulnerable to cold temperatures. Electronics and other cold-sensitive items should be kept indoors for as long as possible and should be transported in a heated vehicle to avoid damage. 

Objects that are made of wood should be insulated during a move. These items can warp when exposed to freezing temperatures. Books and other documents will also need additional care. Place them in waterproof bins and make sure that they are sealed tight before they get loaded onto the moving truck.

Clear snow 

We understand that you have a lot on your plate right now, but make sure that you shovel snow prior to moving day. 

Snow and ice can be slippery. Clear the snow to prevent anyone from getting hurt. You may also spread rock salt on the ground to slow down the re-icing process. If snow is falling, we suggest that you mix calcium chloride with the rock salt. This will make snow and ice melt faster.

Dec08

3 Major Holiday Hazards and How to Avoid Them

The holiday season is supposed to be joyful time of year. It should be about relaxing and sharing good times with family and friends. But the sad truth is that more accidents occur during the hThe holiday season is supposed to be joyful time of year.oliday season than any other time of the year. 

Of course, we want to ensure that everyone enjoys a safe and a merry holiday season. Please take time to read these tips and pass them along to your family and friends so no one will fall victim to these common holiday dangers. 

Fire

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the incidents of house fires increase by as much as 50% during the holiday season. Many of which are started either by candles or Christmas trees. 

Candles are a classic way to add a joyous mood to your home. They may look pretty and smell nice, but they are potential fire hazards and may burn down your house if you’re not careful. 

Never leave a candle unattended. This may seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of people seem to forget just how dangerous candles can be. Be sure to extinguish the candle before going to bed or leaving the house. Never burn a candle near books, carpets, beddings, drapes, furniture or anything that can catch fire. Remember, every fire needs to be treated with caution, including candles. 

Plumbing problem

Plumbing problems may not be life-threatening, but they can cause thousands and thousands of dollars on property damage, which may also lead to a costly repair. 

With the temperatures dropping below freezing during this time of the year, your pipes are at risk freezing, or worse, bursting. The last thing you want to deal with is a flooded house during the holidays. 

To prevent this from happening, we recommend that you disconnect your water hose from your outdoor spigot and bring it inside the house. Also, let cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. This is especially important when the weather outside is very cold. 

Mold

Nothing says Christmas quite like the fresh pine scent of a live Christmas tree. However, they can be a possible source of mold exposure. A new study shows that the molds that thrive in its branches can trigger weeks of suffering for homeowners. 

Just because you or a member of your family has a mold allergy, doesn’t mean that you should give up on your Christmas tree tradition. What you want to do, however, is to have it on display for a maximum 7 days. You can put the tree up on Christmas Eve and then take it down on New Year’s Day. The longer the tree is in your home, the higher the chances of mold to grow. 

Dec02

Do You Know Where Your Home’s Shutoff Valve Is?

Every home that is being built today has shutoff valves that are readily accessible. Knowing where and how to shut off your home’s main water supply is important especially in times of emergency. 

Don’t wait until you have an emergency before locating your shutoff valves. Precious minutes can be lost if you or the plumber has to search for it; thus, causing more damage to your property.

Once you’ve found the valve, mark it with a small yard flag, tag, colorful paint or anything that would make the location obvious. Make sure everybody in your household know where it is and how it works.

Possible locations

I wish I could tell you that every shutoff valve is uniform in location. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Some are located inside; while others are located outside.

 In the crawlspace or basement

If you get freezing temperatures in the winter, the shutoff valve must be located in a warm area inside your house. In this case, you might want to look in the basement or crawlspace, where the waterline enters the home. 

Outside the house

In some homes, the water shutoff valve is located outside – generally in front of your house and near the side property line.  It might be in a concrete or plastic box on the ground. Lift the lid of the box and find the water meter. The valve is usually located next to it. If there are 2 valves, turning off either valve should work.

Near the pressure tank

If you get your water from a well and you don’t have a meter, find where the water pipes enter the house and follow those pipes to the pressure tank. In most cases, the pressure tank can be seen in the basement, in a closet near the water heater or the garage. 

Try a simple test once you’ve located the valve. Shut off the main water valve and check the faucets inside your home. If you can’t turn the valve, don’t force it. 

[12 3  >>