Many of us have to work hard to make our yards into the beautiful landscaped piece of paradise we’re looking for. How frustrating it is, then, to have it attacked by some type of wildlife. Though we have nothing against the extensive range of beautiful animals and wildlife in our area, it can be another matter when they are messing up our property. So, what are some ways that we can control wildlife from entering and causing damage to our yards or homes? While it seems like the obvious choice to spray the area with chemical to get rid of the pest, there are other ways of controlling wildlife on your property without the need for this. What are a few, simple things that can be done?
In order to discourage a rodent, animal or insect, it’s necessary to first identify what type of creature is causing the damage. This way, you can research what types of things repel it. Think, also, about what is drawing it to your property. Most of the time, it is because there is a good source of food or shelter. Identify what food source might be attracting this particular sort of species and try to eliminate the source. This may mean that you cannot use certain types of plants and shrubs for your landscaping that appeal to the pest.
Another option to try is to place some type of barrier that keeps wildlife out. If a barrier doesn’t work, what about some type of repellent around the area? These don’t always have to be of a chemical nature but can also be a visual type of repellent or even a noise that frightens them.
If all these approaches fail, there may be no other option but to capture the animals and relocate them to another area. It’s good to consult with your local wildlife or animal control agent first though, depending on the type of wildlife problem you have. Although there are ways to control unwanted wildlife on your property, it might be good to ask yourself how much damage are they really doing? then determine if it’s even worth the effort.
Over the years we have found out more about the harmful effects of lead, especially for those most at risk, unborn babies, babies and small children. So, if you live in an older home, 40 years or more, or are about to purchase an older home, what are some things you should be aware of regarding lead?
Where might lead be found in an older home? Lead can be found in piping which could possibly affect your households drinking water. Lead is also found in old paint which, in an older home, would have been used both outside and inside, you might even find it in the soil surrounding the home from paint that has chipped.
When it becomes a cause for concern. As lead paint deteriorates it will start to chip or turn to dust, this then covers the home with lead dust. This is when it becomes a problem especially for small children who are much more likely touch and inhale this dust as they play and climb. Even if you do not have an older home but enjoy antique furniture, you could still have problems with lead paint which was used on the furniture. This is something we might not always think about.
So, as we can see, there are times when lead in a home becomes a big problem and that’s when it is starting to deteriorate. It is best, in this case, to have the problem taken care of professionally. It is important that you choose someone qualified and experienced in lead removal.
Have you ever had a home inspection performed and the inspector damages something on your property? You would logically conclude that it’s the home inspectors’ fault and require some kind of compensation, however, this might not always be the case. Why do we say that?
While some unfortunate accidents do occur such as smashing a decorative item etc. we are talking about the kind of damage to a home that would result from the inspection itself. For example, if the inspector is going about a routine inspection and finds that a switch breaks after simply turning it on, then this is a defect with the switch and not a result of the home inspector’s carelessness. This would have broken whoever used it. Remember, the home inspector might be accessing areas that haven’t been used in years, this means that due to deterioration of the property, just touching something could cause it to break or fall apart. Its good to ask yourself “would this have happened to anyone performing the same, normal task?” If it would, then this is not the fault of the inspector.
To think of it another way, by finding issues like this, the home inspector is doing you a favor. This is because if they didn’t find it, someone in the household would, and perhaps cause themselves harm. It could also save you a lot of money. So, before assuming the home inspector was just being careless, if some damage occurs, its good to analyze the situation first and think about whether it would’ve happened anyway.
We mention safety in the home a lot, this is because it is the place we raise our families and spend a great deal of our time. One area of the home that should be checked periodically is the staircase. Why do we say that? Sadly, because many accidents in the home happen on or around a staircase. Special attention should be given if there are small children, elderly or handicapped people living in the home. Here are a few areas that require periodic maintenance:
Firstly, any stairs in the home should be up to code. Bannister's should not be situated so far apart that a child could get their heads stuck. Also, to prevent them from being a tripping hazard, stairs should be of equal height. Although whomever constructed the home should have followed proper building codes, it is still a good idea to check.
Check the handrail and carpeting, if any, for signs that they may have become loose.
If you have wooden stairs, do not over polish them as this could become treacherous for anyone going up or down them in socks.
Good lighting on or around a staircase is very important, especially if there are elderly or others in the home with failing eyesight.
Have a check of exterior stairs as well as interior. Its important for exterior stairs to have the correct amount of slope so that any water does not pool on them. This could be lethal in the winter time.
While these checks might not take too much of your time, they will help to ensure fewer accidents on or around the staircase.
No one wants to deal with damp issues in their basement and yet, due to its location, this is an area of the home that will be most prone to damp conditions. Of course, the best way to deal with a damp prone basement is by taking as many preventative steps as you can. However, what if you are looking to buy a home and are concerned that the basement will be damp, are there areas of the house that you can look to which would indicate this type of problem?
Of course, the basement itself will tell you a lot but there are other places to check as well. For example, find out if the house has the correct amount of grade, if it doesn’t, you could find that water will pool around the foundation which will contribute to damp problems in the basement.
Another area that can cause water issues in the basement is along the roof line, gutters and downspouts should be well maintained and directed away from the house, far enough (at least 10 feet) away so that this does not cause pooling around the foundation also.
As you can see, when looking for a new home, there are some ways to tell if you will have a potentially damp basement. If you are concerned about this or have any other home inspection question, please feel free to contact us, we will be happy to help.
Purchasing a home is a massive decision to make and, especially if you are a first-time buyer, can be quite an intimidating prospect. However, choosing the right people to work for you during this process is vital and can help relieve some of the stress that will unquestionably come along with moving. Choosing the right home inspector is also a key element when it comes to making sure the property you are buying will be a good investment.
The brief video that follows will help you to see what to look for in a great home inspector. We are here to assist you with any information you need about home inspections and are happy to answer any questions you may have, so please don’t hesitate to contact us. We know how important buying the right property is.
When deciding to sell a home, some people prefer to try and sell the home themselves without using a real estate agent. Although the prospect of saving yourself a lot of money might sound appealing, the fact is that selling a home yourself is not as easy as it may seem. If you are someone considering this, what factors will you need to consider?
While not using a real estate agent, you can still learn from them. They are experts in their field and so are aware of the amount of money properties in an area fetch. You might have a figure in mind that you want for your home, but how much are similar properties selling for in your neighborhood? Its important to know this because if not, you could waste a lot of time trying to obtain an unreasonable amount of money for your property.
Become well acquainted with all the legal requirements involved in selling a home. You will want to find out all the rules and regulations as well as any contracts etc. that will be needed to complete the sale. Finding out this information ahead of time will help you feel much more confident to put your home on the market.
Although you want to save as much money as possible by selling the home yourself, be careful not to skip important steps. A pre-listing home inspection is one of those vital steps as it will help you to be aware of any issues with your home before a potential buyer’s home inspection finds them.
So, although selling your own home can seem like an attractive prospect, the key to success is a lot of research and good preparation. If you have any questions about pre-listing home inspections, please feel free to contact us.
Many people wonder if its really that important to have a home inspection performed on their newly constructed house. They might reason that there wouldn’t be anything wrong with it because its brand new and never been occupied. But, is it really true that nothing could be wrong with it?
While it is true that it will not have experienced all the wear and tear that we see in older homes, there are multiple reasons for having a thorough home inspection performed on it. The following video will highlight this for you. It will help you come to a better understanding of why a home inspection is the right course of action, even with a new home.
Its always best to take every precaution when purchasing a home so that you do not get any unwanted surprises later on.
We get to look at a variety of kinds of exterior cladding as home inspectors and one popular type of cladding is vinyl siding. In this article, we thought we would give you a very quick guide to this type of siding, so that you can be better equipped to decide if it’s a good choice for your home. Some things you will want to know are; what are the advantages as well as any disadvantages that come with vinyl siding?
The important thing to remember is that, like all exterior cladding, vinyl siding should be correctly installed. If it is, it will not only be hard-waring and difficult to dent, but also not prone to fading or rusting. We would all agree that these are very desirable qualities in something that will be covering the majority of our homes exterior, after all, it needs to look good for a long time.
What of the possible disadvantages to vinyl siding? Well, as we would expect with any kind of siding, given certain conditions and circumstances, vinyl siding will be prone to damage. Extremes in weather can affect it. For example, it can become brittle and easily crack in extremely cold temperatures and on the other end of the spectrum, it can melt and warp if the weather is excessively hot.
Vinyl siding will not provide you with additional insulation and so will not contribute to the homes energy savings. Another thing to be aware of is that if a fire should occur in or around the home, the materials that comprise vinyl siding could emit hazardous chemicals, posing a threat to the homes residents.
As we see from this very brief overview, vinyl siding can be a very good choice as long as it is installed properly. If you would like more information on this or any home inspection related topic, please feel free to contact us.
If you are looking to add value to your home before selling, or just looking for ways to make it more comfortable for your family, the option of replacement windows may have crossed your mind. Replacement windows can help a lot in a house that needs to improve its energy efficiency. How much can they help with this?
If you have done any research or you have spoken to a salesperson of replacement windows you may have come across many statistics regarding the adding of value to your home or reducing costs by saving energy. While these facts may come from trustworthy studies and are good to keep in mind, it's important to remember that the matter isn't always that simple. Vinyl windows are said to recuperate over 70% of the cost of labor and materials while wooden can operate almost 80%.
While pondering the replacement of your windows, your decision on what kind of windows they are will be an important one, the choice is usually among vinyl, wooden, fiberglass or aluminum windows. Saving on energy bills can be a very attractive concept, but this only works when they are installed correctly and the house around them is in good shape. Initially, perhaps the windows in your home were installed correctly, but the house may have shifted, the wood in the frame may be rotting and there could be a handful of other potential problems. For these reasons, it's important to have an experienced installer look at the house and the job before quoting a price.
These are just some factors to consider when thinking about replacing the windows in your home.
Dave Graham, Tempest Home Inspection. Calgary Alberta