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The Most Common Finds in a Home Inspection

The Most Common Finds in a Home Inspection

A home inspection is a valuable part of the home buying and home selling process. Buyers want to know what might be wrong with a home before they buy it so that they know whether the home is worth the money. Sellers want to know what’s wrong with a home before they sell it so that they can fix anything that may prevent them from making a sale. 

In both cases, a home inspection is a valuable investment. The problem is, a home inspection can often be full of shocking surprises. In some cases, the buyer or seller may not be able to handle all of the issues that come up in a home inspection, and it may completely stall a potential sale. 

We’ve put together some of the most common finds in a home inspection so that you have some idea of what to expect so that you can prepare a little better in the event that your home has some of these problems. If you know that one of these finds is a potential issue, you can fix it before paying for a home inspection. 


Drainage That Flows Towards The Home 


Obviously, you can see how this would be a problem. Drainage should always flow away from the home so that water damage doesn’t occur. If water is draining towards your home, then you may have issues with the grading of your land. This can be an expensive fix. 

You may be able to put in a retaining wall at a low point of your property to hold back water before it reaches your home. If this isn’t an option, though, you may have to pay to have dirt moved so that your home is raised up and water is directed away from your home. 

Additionally, digging drainage ditches so that as water flows towards your home, it can enter a ditch and flow away from your home or to a different location of your property. Of these three potential fixes, the retaining wall is the least expensive but also only applies in certain situations. Knowing that this is a problem will let you find a solution before it becomes too late. 


Improperly Installed Stucco 


Stucco is a great building material that will last a long time when done right. The problem is that often stucco is not installed correctly and can cause water and moisture to build up inside your home until a major break occurs and you wind up with a flooded living room. 

A faulty sill plate or improperly sealed fixtures can cause water to seep in behind your stucco leading to a gradual buildup. This seems like a minor oversight, but it can cause major damage. Most of the time, the actual amount of water intrusion will start small, but this can still lead to mold and mildew building up inside your home. 


Wiring Issues 


You probably knew this one was coming, but wiring is a problem for a number of homes. Sometimes it has to do with the age of the home and the type of wiring used. Other times, it’s because of damage to interior wiring inside walls that leads to dead outlets and lightswitches, problems with your electrical panel and junction boxes can also occur. 

Regardless of the reason, a wiring issue will stop a home sale cold. If the issue is just minor damage in an isolated area, then repairs can be made and the issue corrected. If it is due to an issue with your breaker box or power supply, then you’re looking at a more costly repair to replace the faulty box. 

The worst of the three potential issues is outdated wiring throughout the home. This will almost always require a complete rewiring of the home so that it is up to code. It’s best that you address this issue as soon as possible. 


Final Thoughts


While there are many other things that can go wrong, these are likely your big 3, water, your walls, and your electricity. Making sure these things are up to par will raise your chances of having a successful home sale.

How to Save Money By Hiring a Handyman

How to Save Money By Hiring a Handyman

You may think that a handyman is only for fixing odds and ends around your house, like calling a handyman when the garbage disposal breaks or the gutters get clogged. The fact is, you can actually save money by utilizing a handyman in several ways that you may not have thought about. We’ve put together a list of some handyman services that will actually save you money and prolong the life of your home. 


Keep Your Roof and Gutters Clean 


Yes, we know, we mentioned clogged gutters as a task for a handyman, but the fact is, having a handyman come by regularly to inspect and clean your roof and gutters can save you on costly drainage issues and roof damage. Often, people only clean their gutters a few times a year, and they clean off their roofs less frequently than that. 

Letting a handyman come and sweep and clean your roof once a month can keep debris from building up, water from ponding, and other damages from occurring. Think of it as a little bit of preventative maintenance that will keep you from calling a roofer the next time a big storm hits. 


Repair, Don’t Replace 


Having a handyman that can repair broken furniture and appliances is a great way to save money. Buying a new table because a leg broke is an expensive affair. The same can be said for your appliances. If you have a handyman with the know-how to fix problems with most home appliances, you’ll save a fortune on replacements. 

For example, many ice-makers that are attached to refrigerators go out long before the refrigerator itself does. You may be tempted to replace your fridge since this valuable addition is no longer functioning, but if your handyman knows how to get it working again, you won’t need to buy a new fridge. 

Other more costly replacements can be avoided by having repairs done. Having a squeaky step doesn’t mean you need to replace your entire staircase. Instead, a handyman with a basic knowledge of carpentry can fix the squeaky steps and save you from replacing the whole thing. 


Small Updates Over Complete Renovations 

It’s tempting once you’ve lived in your home for a while to do a complete renovation of a room or space once the function starts to diminish or it starts to feel stale. 

A handyman can make small updates over time to improve the look and function of a room and help you avoid the cost of a renovation, not to mention the time and mess that will be involved with it as well.  

A simple paint job or new blinds and curtains can do wonders and cost thousands less than completely redoing a room. Over time you can change out more and more small elements to make the room feel completely different and never have to hire a contractor or construction crew. 


Keep Your Home Energy Efficient With Routine Maintenance


Much like with your roof and gutters, maintaining the parts of your home that help it stay warm or cooled can help you save money and keep your home energy efficient. This can mean doing things as simple as cleaning out air ducts so that air flows properly, maintaining ceiling fans so that they run well and circulate air properly and adding freon to your air conditioner, and checking the fuses in your fuse box to make sure your power supply is in good shape. 

These small tasks don’t require licensed technicians in most cases, and a handyman can perform the maintenance so that you don’t wind up with malfunction electrical or HVAC systems. 


Final Thoughts 


There are dozens of things that a handyman can do to save you money and improve the lifespan of your home and the things in it. Consult with a professional handyman and see what they can do for you today.

How Decorative Concrete Can Add Value to Your Home or Business

How Decorative Concrete Can Add Value to Your Home or Business

Many people still think that decorative concrete is a novelty that some people have added to their home simply for show or for aesthetics. The truth is, there are several ways that decorative concrete can add value and improve your home and business. Once you read about these fantastic benefits, you’ll be ready to install a decorative concrete design of your own. 


Bring Your Home to Life 


Concrete is excellent, don’t get us wrong, but plain concrete can be a little dull. Suppose you want to add property value and differentiate your house from the rest of the ones in the neighborhood simultaneously. In that case, decorative concrete on your patio or driveway is a good choice. It’s not just a design element. It makes your driveway, house, or patio stand out from the pack. 

You’ll still get the benefit of the added feature, but if you’re looking to sell your home, the decorative concrete can be the difference in whether it sells or not. Buyers can tell when all the houses in a neighborhood look the same, and they may be hesitant to buy a cookie-cutter home. Decorative concrete is a way to give your house some personality that others don’t have. 


Make the Outside of Your Business Eye Catching 


Just like decorative concrete can make your home stand out from the pack, it can do the same thing for your business. Making the entrance walkway or sidewalk of your business stand out is an excellent way to draw in business. People will see the extra detail as they pass by and will be more likely to stop in. 

Having something that makes you stand out when you’re in a large block of businesses is a way to catch customer’s attention, even if they’re just wondering what it is you do. Extra traffic is always good for a business. Additionally, decorative concrete is a much better solution than constantly resurfacing the same sidewalk or walls. 


Add Character to Your Business’ Offices and Other Spaces 


Like we talked about before, plain concrete can be kind of boring. To help add some personality to concrete office buildings, parking lots, and other spaces, decorative concrete can do wonders. 

Adding decorative concrete to the floors in an office is a great way to improve the look and give people something a bit more interesting to look at. It’s actually proven that drab environments reduce productivity. Adding splashes of color with decorative concrete can liven up your spaces and improve the mood and productivity of your employees, leading to more work getting done. 


Return Life to That Worn Concrete 


As concrete floors begin to wear down, they can appear dingy and dirty no matter how well you take care of them or clean them. One way to restore the luster of your concrete floors is to add decorative concrete over the top of the existing floor.

Not only will this add some life to your concrete by adding a splash of color, it will actually improve the lifespan of your concrete floors and keep them looking great for a long time. 

In your home, this is a good trick to use for your driveway, patio, or other space. The aesthetic appeal is nice, but if you’ve had your concrete a long time, the wear and tear can begin to show. Covering it up will improve the look and value of your home and improve the longevity of all your existing concrete. 


Final Thoughts 


Decorative concrete is no longer just an added touch that some people add to their concrete. You can improve the curb appeal and value of your home or business, drive in more customers, improve productivity and even prolong the life of your concrete by adding decorative concrete to your home or business.

Things to do if You Break Down on the Side of the Road

Things to do if You Break Down on the Side of the Road

Breaking down on the side of the road can be both frustrating and terrifying. Figuring out what went wrong and what to do next in a stressful situation will only make things worse. To help you figure out what to do and how to get the help you need while keeping yourself and your loved ones safe, we’ve put together this guide of things to do if you break down on the side of the road. 

These tips are designed so that you get out of harm’s way, get your vehicle and your loved ones looked after and avoid any further incidents. Always be safe on the road and obey all traffic and safety laws


Get Professional Help


This is, first and foremost, your primary concern. Once you realize you are completely broken down and stuck on the side of the road, your primary concern should be getting help. Call your local towing professionals and let them know where you are so that someone with the equipment to move and ultimately tow your vehicle can be on their way as soon as possible. 

Of course, you want to make sure you are in a safe place before calling, but once you know you are safe, calling a tow truck should be your first concern. 


Get Your Vehicle Off the Road and Away From Traffic


Once you know that help is on the way, this should be your next step. If your vehicle still moves, move it carefully and slowly until it is entirely off the road and away from any possible traffic. 

This is important even if you are on a small road with low traffic. Once you’ve moved your vehicle off the road, make sure to put on your hazard lights or tie flags off your car or anything else you can do to make your vehicle highly visible so that no further accidents occur. 


Make Sure Your Vehicle Doesn’t Start Smoking 


While the risk is less likely nowadays with modern vehicles, there is still a chance depending on what caused you to break down, that the car may begin to smoke. A smoking vehicle means a vehicle that can potentially catch fire. A car that catches fire has the potential to explode. 

If you see any signs of smoke coming from your vehicle, immediately move away from your car to a safe distance and wait for the appropriate help to arrive. 


Don’t Leave Your Vehicle 


Unless you have no choice, you should never leave your vehicle unattended. The best strategy is actually to stay in your car. If you can’t move it out of traffic, then you should definitely stay in your vehicle. But even if you get it off the road, you still want to stay with it so that when help arrives, you can identify the problem and get the help you need. 

People often want to leave their vehicle and try to get help or just vacate the car and attempt to come back later. This is a bad idea. You should never leave your vehicle unless there is an imminent danger of fire or explosion. 


Don’t Try to Fix it


Even if you are a trained mechanic, trying to fix a vehicle on the side of the road is a bad idea. Chances are, you don’t have the tools, diagnostic equipment, or spare parts to fix it in the first place, but you certainly don’t want to go poking around a broken-down car and potentially make things worse. 

The best solution is to wait until help arrives and either have your vehicle towed to a mechanic or let the tow truck driver inspect the vehicle and determine the best course of action. No one wants to accidentally make a bad situation worse by messing around with things they can’t fix. 


Final Thoughts 


That’s it. Those are our top tips to help you stay safe and get the help you need if you break down on the side of the road. The most important thing is making sure your family is safe and calling a tow service that you can depend on.

Why You Need a Professional Roof Inspection After a Hurricane or Severe Storm

We often neglect the effect that severe weather can have on our roof until it is too late. In actuality, it’s a good idea to have your roof inspected by a professional as soon after a severe storm or hurricane to see the extent of damage and whether or not you need roof repairs or a complete roof replacement. 

You may not know about several things that a professional can inspect to make sure your roof is still in good shape. To help you understand what needs checking, we’ll break down some of the vital inspection elements of your roof. 


Soundness and Stability 


The first thing an inspector will check for is that your roof is still a roof, which means that it is still sound and stable and isn’t likely to collapse or falter. This is important because hurricanes and storms can damage the integrity of your roof without actually tearing away at it. Much of the time, the damage in these cases can be unseen, so an in-person inspection is necessary. 


Check the Roofing Material


In most cases, this means going through and checking the individual shingles. This means checking the sheeting and the sealant around the air vents and other joints for metal roofs. For a traditional roof, checking the materials can help to determine where problem areas are before they become a significant problem. 

Patching a few broken shingles or repairing a rotten spot as compared to a large chunk of the roof or a whole batch of shingles is a much better option. You can also determine where problems may form and address them before that happens by re-gluing loose shingles and putting them back down. 


Check for Underlying Damage and Leaks 


Often if we don’t have water pouring into our living room when it rains, we don’t think there’s a problem. The thing is, storms can not only cause direct damage to your roof, but they can also cause water to pond in spots on your roof. This can cause rot and wear and leaks into your sub-roof that you would never see without an inspection. 

To catch these issues right when they manifest, and prevent them from getting any worse, get an inspector to walk your roof and then inspect the sunroof and areas around joints, flashings, and other points for water damage and signs of leaking. Patching a small leak is a far sight better than waiting until it’s pouring in your living room. An unseen leak can go months or even years without showing and slowly do damage to the underside of your roof, leak down into your walls and rot your insulation. This is something you definitely want to avoid. 


Check the Insulation 


Part of checking your roof means checking the insulation in your attic that is attached to your sub-roof. Leaks and moisture build-up from storm damage can cause your insulation to rot. Ruined insulation can cause mold, which is a whole different issue that is just as bad as a roof replacement. 

Beyond the potential for mold, losing insulation can raise heating and cooling bills and make your home less energy efficient. 


Simplify Insurance Claims 


The last benefit of having a professional inspection is that you can make the insurance claim process run much smoother. Waiting until long after a storm or hurricane and then trying to file with your insurance over the damage will only result in diminishing returns that will likely not cover the extent of the damage. 

Getting a professional inspection as soon as possible can help mitigate the damage and maximize the payout from your insurance to cover the damage so that you don’t end up paying out of pocket for damages that could have been avoided.