During the process of buying or selling a home, your clients often learn about recommended or required repairs and upgrades. This can happen as a result of the home inspection, or you may make suggestions based on your knowledge of the local market and comparable homes. Of course, the first thing your clients want to know is, “How much will that cost?”
The Pillar To Post Construction and Remodeling Estimates Cost Guide puts this information at your fingertips. It provides estimated cost ranges for the repair and/or replacement of major systems and components in a home including heating and cooling, roofing, plumbing, electrical and much more. It also includes general guidelines for the life expectancies of those systems. This information can help your clients make informed decisions when they’re considering home repairs or improvements and is valued by buyers and sellers alike.
For complimentary copies of our newly updated Cost Guide, please contact your local Pillar To Post Home Inspector or download it here.
Here in the middle of winter, it’s worthwhile to address a potential hazard caused by fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, water heaters and stoves: carbon monoxide (CO). These items are designed to vent CO to the outside, but harmful interior levels of CO can result from incomplete combustion, improper installation, or blockages, leaks or cracks in the venting systems. Very high levels of CO can lead to incapacitation or death, with victims sometimes never having been aware they were being poisoned.
Homeowners can take action against potential carbon monoxide poisoning by taking the following steps:
- Never use a gas stove or oven to heat the home, even temporarily.
- Have all fuel-burning appliances professionally inspected annually.
- These appliances include gas stoves and ovens, furnaces and heaters, fireplaces, water heaters and gas clothes dryers.
- All such devices should be properly installed and vented to the outside.
- If repairs are necessary, have them performed by a qualified technician.
- Do not start a vehicle in a closed garage, or idle the engine in the garage even when the garage door is open.
- Never use gasoline-powered generators or charcoal grills indoors.
- Install a CO detector (either battery operated, hard wired or plug-in) and learn what to do if the alarm activates.
- If anyone in the home experiences fatigue, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, or confusion, everyone should leave immediately and seek medical attention. If no symptoms are felt, open doors and windows immediately and shut off all fuel-burning devices that may be potential sources of CO.
- Installation of working CO detectors in residential properties is now required by law in most Canadian provinces.
Stay safe and enjoy the comfort of home this winter and all year long.
Prolonged exposure to unsafe levels of radon increases the risk of lung cancer; in fact, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking, and can cause cancers in pets as well. Any home can have a radon problem – old or new, well-sealed or draft, with or without a basement. An estimated 1 in 6 home in the U.S. is affected by radon.
WHAT IS RADON?
Radon is a naturally occurring odorless, colorless, radioactive gas formed by the ongoing decay of uranium in soil, rocks, sediments, and even well or ground water. While radon that escapes into the atmosphere isn’t harmful, dangerously high concentrations can build up indoors, exposing occupants to possible health risks.
HOW DOES RADON GET INTO A HOME?
Openings or cracks in basement walls, foundations or floors are common avenues. Sumps, basement drains, and spaces between gas or water fittings can also allow radon into the structure. Other possible entry points include gaps in suspended floors and cavities within walls.
HOW CAN I MAKE SURE MY CLIENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES AREN’T AT RISK?
We encourage homeowners to add radon testing to the home inspection process. Your Pillar To Post Home Inspector will set up monitoring equipment and report on the results. If an elevated level of radon is detected, steps can be taken to reduce the concentration to or below acceptable levels inside virtually any home. These can include a relatively simple setup such as a collection system with a radon vent pipe, which prevents radon from entering the home in the first place. Professional mitigation services can provide solutions for a home’s specific conditions.
Request radon testing when you book your next home inspection with Pillar To Post Home Inspectors.
With the winter and the holiday season arriving, now is a good time for homeowners to take some simple precautions to help protect their family and property from fire. Here are some tips that can help prevent fire hazards in the home and can save property and more importantly the lives of the people and pets you love.
- Check holiday lights for fraying or broken wires and plugs. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines as to how many strands can be joined together, as a fire hazard could result from overload. Enjoy indoor holiday lighting only while someone is home and turn it off before going to bed.
- Candles add lovely ambience to a holiday home. Never leave burning candles unattended, even for a short time. For peace of mind, use battery-operated LED candles for a realistic-looking alternative that is safe for all.
- Keep live Christmas trees in a water-filled stand and check daily for dehydration. Brown or lots of fallen needles indicate a dangerously dried-out tree that could catch on fire easily and quickly and should be discarded immediately.
- Lamps, appliances, and electronics should be checked for frayed cords, loose or broken plugs, and exposed wiring. Never run electrical wires, including extension cords, under carpets or rugs even temporarily as this creates a fire hazard.
- Fireplaces should be checked by a professional chimney sweep each year and cleaned if necessary, to prevent a dangerous buildup of creosote, which can cause a flash fire in the chimney. Cracks in masonry chimneys should be repaired, and spark arresters inspected to ensure they are in good condition and free of debris.
- When using space heaters, keep them away from beds and bedding, curtains, paper – anything flammable. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use. Space heaters should not be left unattended while in use or where a child or pet could knock them over.
- Use smoke detectors with fresh batteries unless they are hard wired to your home’s electrical system. Smoke detectors should be installed on ceilings on every level of the home, inside each bedroom, and outside every sleeping area. Statistics show that nearly 60% of home fire fatalities occur in homes without working smoke alarms.
- Children should not have access to or be allowed to play with matches, lighters or candles. Flammable materials such as gasoline, kerosene, or propane should always be stored outside of and away from the house.
- Kitchen fires know no season. According to the U.S. National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the leading cause of house fires. Grease spills, items left unattended on the stove or in the oven, and food left in toasters or toaster ovens can catch fire quickly. Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher within easy reach. Extinguishers specifically formulated for grease and cooking fuel fires are widely available and can supplement an all-purpose extinguisher.
- Have an escape plan. This is one of the most important measures to prevent death in a fire. Visit ready.gov for detailed information on how to make a plan. Make sure all family members know how to dial 911 in case of a fire or other emergency. Don’t forget your pets, have a plan for them too!
Your local Pillar To Post Home Inspectors office wishes you and your clients a happy and safe holiday season!