Recently we sat down with Jackie Jones to answer “What is a Home Inspection & Why do you need one?”
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The New Touch Friendly iFeature Pro 5 Slider now responds to any mobile touch device.
With iFeature Pro 5 and touch friendly responsive design you can now control your website on any device.
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What is radon? Written by Tye Parent
I was recently asked by Mark Calhoun from All Summerscape Contracting, what is radon?
So I will try and summarize for you the simple understanding of radon.
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is from uranium decaying in the ground.
Radon can be found most anywhere but that in itself is not an indication that your home has high levels of radon.
Outside, radon is mostly harmless as it is so diluted by the air, however when radon accumulates in your home it is the second leading cause of lung cancer second to smoking.
So how does radon enter my home you might ask? In our homes we have what is called stack effect. What this means is, hot air rises creating a suction from the lowest level up which draws the radon gas in through any cracks or voids in your slab and foundation. Typically in the winter the stack effect is greater, that is unless you use air conditioning in the summer whereas it would remain virtually the same. However if in the summertime you have your windows open most of the time your radon levels would be reduced.
When radon levels in the home are high, what happens is we breathe this radon into our lungs and when it makes contact with the flesh of our lungs it creates micro explosions causing damage to the lung surface. Over a long period of time this can lead to lung cancer.
So I’m sure you will ask how do I get radon out of my home?Typically this is done through what is called subslab depressurization. What this means is we install a radon mitigation system by way of making a hole in the slab, inserting a 4 inch PVC pipe with a fan and an exhaust. What this does is creates a negative pressure under the slab there for the stack effect cannot draw the radon in from this negative pressure. As well we are sucking the radon gas out from under the slab and putting it outside where it is safe and wear it belongs.
So what should you do? Well it all starts with a radon measurement to see what your current levels are. From there we can advise you what the next step should or could be.
For more information please visit WWW.Radon.care
Or give us a call anytime at 705-279–6743
January is National Radon Action month
By Tim Sandle Jan 5, 2015 in Health
This January the s National Radon Action Month. This is a campaign focused on the U.S. but it is also one with a global scope. The awareness campaign is designed to educate people and to promote improved safety measures.
The reason why a national awareness event is staged is due to the concerns with radon gas levels in the U.S. Radon gas (more properly known as radon-222) is arguably becoming more of a widespread problem in many parts of the industrialized world. In the U.S., it is estimated that one in 15 homes are affected by elevated radon levels. Radon is a radioactive gas, it cannot be seen, smelt or tasted. Furthermore, special equipment is required to detect it.
Radon escapes easily from the ground into the air, where it decays and emits radioactive particles. Radon can invade homes and buildings through foundation cracks and openings. The gas can also directly penetrate through concrete. This means that in some areas radon is a problem that potentially affects millions of homes, schools, and other buildings.
Radon is the product of the indirect decay product of uranium or thorium. As radon decays, it produces new radioactive elements termed decay products. Radon breaks down (decays) into solid radioactive elements called radon progeny (such as polonium-218, polonium-214, and lead-214). Unlike the gaseous radon itself, these so-termed “radon daughters” are solid particulates and they can affix to surfaces, such as dust particles in the air.
Radon gas is considered a carcinogen. It is arguably the primary cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and causes people that do smoke greater chance of being diagnosed with lung cancer when exposed to this deadly gas.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests levels of 4 (pCi/L) picocuries and above are addressed by local authorities. Levels of 4 pCi/L is equivalent to eight cigarettes a day or 250 chest X-rays per year. The curie is unit of radioactivity, it measures the ate of radioactive decay. A picocurie is a way of measuring low levels of radioactive decay.
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that between 3 percent and 14 percent of lung cancer cases are caused by radon, and suggest people take action against levels higher than 2.7 pCi/L.
The purpose of National Radon Action Month is to educate people about the health risks of radon. It also encourages people to learn about radon gas, and to inform people about how to test their homes for radon and what actions need to be taken if there are high levels of radon present.
Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/life/health/january-is-national-radon-action-month/article/422667#ixzz3OlP5Xhwz
Shared from the Digital Journal
If you have any questions about electrical or holiday home safety, ask a home inspector during your next scheduled inspection or give us a call at 705-279-6743.
by Nick Gromicko and Kenton Shepard
Ever wonder about your house number? Often, the previous owner installed the number and the new owner never had to think about it, leaving them clueless as to why it was placed where it is or why a particular color or size was chosen. These numbers are more important than you probably realize, and a lot of thought goes into making sure they are visible.
Consider the following recommendations:
Keep in mind that you may need to make adjustments.
Even if your house number is currently adequate, InterNACHI believes that it might need adjustment in the future. The following are common reasons why you may need to adjust your number in the future:
Maintain your house numbers, along with the rest of your home’s exterior.
Why is mold growing in my home?
How to Clean and Get Rid of Mold: Tips and Techniques
The tips and techniques presented in this section will help you clean up your mold problem. Professional cleaners or remediators may use methods not covered here. Please note that mold may cause staining and cosmetic damage. It may not be possible to clean an item so that its original appearance is restored.
You must have completely fixed the water or moisture problem before the cleanup or remediation can be considered finished, based on the following guidelines:
Actions that will help to reduce humidity:
Actions that will help prevent condensation:
Testing or Sampling for Mold
5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30% to 60%) to decrease mold growth by:
a. venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside;b. using air conditioners and de-humidifiers;c. increasing ventilation; andd. using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.
by Nick Gromicko and Kenton Shepard
Development of Reporting Software
Years ago, when computers were expensive to buy and difficult to operate, inspection reports were written by hand. As computers became simpler to operate and more affordable, inspection software began to appear on the market.
Today, using this software, an inspector can chose from a large number of organized boilerplate narratives that s/he can edit or add to in order to accommodate local conditions, since inspectors in a hot, humid city like Tampa Bay, Florida, are likely to find types of problems different from those found by inspectors in a cold, dry climate, like Salt Lake City, Utah.
Using narrative software and checking boxes in categories that represent the home systems, an inspector can produce a very detailed report in a relatively short time.
For example, using a checklist report, an inspector finding a number of inoperable lights in a home would check a box in the “INTERIOR” section labeled something like “some lights inoperable,” and that would be the limit of the information passed on to the client.
Using inspection software, in the “INTERIOR” section of the program, an inspector might check a box labeled “some lights inoperable.” This would cause the following narrative to appear in the “INTERIOR” section of the inspection report:
“Some light fixtures in the home appeared to be inoperable. The bulbs may be burned out, or a problem may exist with the fixtures, wiring or switches.If after the bulbs are replaced, these lights still fail to respond to the switch, this condition may represent a potential fire hazard, and the Inspector recommends that an evaluation and any necessary repairs be performed by a qualified electrical contractor.”
Standard disclaimers and other information can be pre-checked to automatically appear in each report.
Narratives typically consists of three parts:
“Typically” is a key word here. Some narratives may simply give the ampacity of the main electrical disconnect. There is no need for more than one sentence. Different inspectors would include what they think is necessary.
Inspection reports often begin with an informational section which gives general information about the home, such as the client’s name, the square footage, and the year the home was built.
Other information often listed outside the main body of the report, either near the beginning or near the end, are disclaimers, and sometimes a copy of the inspection agreement, and sometimes a copy of the Standards of Practice. A page showing the inspector’s professional credentials, designations, affiliations and memberships is also often included. And it is a good idea to include InterNACHI’s Now That You’ve Had a Home Inspection book.
Inspection reports often include a summary report listing major problems to ensure that important issues are not missed by the reader. It’s important that the reader be aware of safety issues or conditions which will be expensive to correct. With this in mind, some inspectors color-code report narratives, although many feel that color-coding exposes them to increased liability and don’t do this.
Software often gives inspectors the choice of including photographs in the main body of the report, near the narrative that describes them, or photographs may be grouped together toward the beginning or end of the report.
A table of contents is usually provided.
The main body of the report may be broken down into sections according to home systems, such as “ELECTRICAL,” “PLUMBING,” “HEATING,” etc., or it may be broken down by area of the home: “EXTERIOR,” “INTERIOR,” “KITCHEN,” “BEDROOMS,” etc.
It often depends on how the inspector likes to work.
Many inspectors have websites which include sample inspection reports for prospective clients to view. Take the time to look at them. Also often included is a page explaining the scope of the inspection. The inspection contract is usually included on the website, and it should give you a good idea of what will be included in the report.
In conclusion, for consumers to have realistic expectations about what information will be included in the home inspection report, follow these tips:
One end of a combination wrench set is open and the other end is a closed loop. Nuts and bolts are manufactured in standard and metric sizes, and because both varieties are widely used, you’ll need both sets of wrenches. For the most control and leverage, always pull the wrench toward you, instead of pushing on it. Also, avoid over-tightening.
Use slip-joint pliers to grab hold of a nail, a nut, a bolt, and much more. These types of pliers are versatile because of the jaws, which feature both flat and curved areas for gripping many types of objects. There is also a built-in slip-joint, which allows the user to quickly adjust the jaw size to suit most tasks.
Adjustable wrenches are somewhat awkward to use and can damage a bolt or nut if they are not handled properly. However, adjustable wrenches are ideal for situations where you need two wrenches of the same size. Screw the jaws all the way closed to avoid damaging the bolt or nut.
A hacksaw is useful for cutting metal objects, such as pipes, bolts and brackets. Hacksaws look thin and flimsy, but they’ll easily cut through even the hardest of metals. Blades are replaceable, so focus your purchase on a quality hacksaw frame.
Only a level can be used to determine if something, such as a shelf, appliance or picture, is correctly oriented. The torpedo level is unique because it not only shows when an object is perfectly horizontal or vertical, but it also has a gauge that shows when an object is at a 45-degree angle. The bubble in the viewfinder must be exactly in the middle — not merely close.
For all tasks involving a hammer or a power tool, you should always wear safety glasses or goggles. They should also be worn while you mix chemicals.
A good hammer is one of the most important tools you can own. Use it to drive and remove nails, to pry wood loose from the house, and in combination with other tools. They come in a variety of sizes, although a 16-ounce hammer is the best all-purpose choice.
It is best to have four screwdrivers: a small and large version of both a flathead and a Phillips-head screwdriver. Electrical screwdrivers are sometimes convenient, but they’re no substitute. Manual screwdrivers can reach into more places and they are less likely to damage the screw.
While paints and other coatings are now manufactured to be less toxic (and lead-free) than in previous decades, most still contain dangerous chemicals, which is why you should wear a mask to avoid accidentally inhaling. A mask should also be worn when working in dusty and dirty environments. Disposable masks usually come in packs of 10 and should be thrown away after use. Full and half-face respirators can be used to prevent the inhalation of very fine particles that ordinary facemasks will not stop.
Most people don’t know how easy it is to make their homes run on less energy, and here at Mr. ID, we want to change that. Drastic reductions in heating, cooling and electricity costs can be accomplished through very simple changes, most of which homeowners can do themselves. Of course, for homeowners who want to take advantage of the most up-to-date knowledge and systems in home energy savings, InterNACHI energy auditors can perform in-depth testing to find the best energy solutions for your particular home. At Mr. ID we are a certified InterNACHI energy auditor.
Here are a few good reasons:
1. Find better ways to heat and cool your house.
As much as half of the energy used in homes goes toward heating and cooling. The following are a few ways that energy bills can be reduced through adjustments to the heating and cooling systems:
2. Install a tankless water heater.
Demand-type water heaters (tankless or instantaneous) provide hot water only as it is needed. They don’t produce the standby energy losses associated with traditional storage water heaters, which will save on energy costs. Tankless water heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit. A gas burner or an electric element heats the water. As a result, demand water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water. You don’t need to wait for a storage tank to fill up with enough hot water.
3. Replace incandescent lights.
The average household dedicates 11% of its energy budget to lighting. Traditional incandescent lights convert approximately only 10% of the energy they consume into light, while the rest becomes heat. The use of new lighting technologies, such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), can reduce the energy use required by lighting by 50% to 75%. Advances in lighting controls offer further energy savings by reducing the amount of time that lights are on but not being used. Here are some facts about CFLs and LEDs:
4. Seal and insulate your home.
Sealing and insulating your home is one of the most cost-effective ways to make a home more comfortable and energy-efficient, and you can do it yourself. A tightly sealed home can improve comfort and indoor air quality while reducing utility bills. An InterNACHI energy auditor can assess leakage in the building envelope and recommend fixes that will dramatically increase comfort and energy savings.
The following are some common places where leakage may occur:
Because hot air rises, air leaks are most likely to occur in the attic. Homeowners can perform a variety of repairs and maintenance to their attics that save them money on cooling and heating, such as:
5. Install efficient shower heads and toilets.
The following systems can be installed to conserve water usage in homes:
6. Use appliances and electronics responsibly.
Appliances and electronics account for about 20% of household energy bills in a typical U.S. home. The following are tips that will reduce the required energy of electronics and appliances:
7. Install daylighting as an alternative to electrical lighting.
Daylighting is the practice of using natural light to illuminate the home’s interior. It can be achieved using the following approaches:
8. Insulate windows and doors.
About one-third of the home’s total heat loss usually occurs through windows and doors. The following are ways to reduce home energy lost through windows and doors:
9. Cook smart.
An enormous amount of energy is wasted while cooking. The following recommendations and statistics illustrate less wasteful ways of cooking:
10. Change the way you do laundry.
Take a look at how we can help identify where you might be losing energy in your home with our energy audits.