Winterizing Your Home: Preparing for Winter
Winterization is the process of getting your home ready for the challenges of winter, typically done in the fall before winter's chill sets in. This essential practice helps safeguard your home against problems such as burst pipes and heat loss due to gaps in the building structure. Home inspectors should grasp the importance of winterization and guide their clients through the process.
Preparing Your Plumbing
The havoc caused by burst pipes during cold weather can be disastrous, and it's essential to prevent it:
Many plumbing components run through colder areas of the house, and it's crucial to maintain warm indoor temperatures to prevent freezing in unheated spaces.
Sealing Building Envelope Leaks
Leaky window and door frames and electrical outlets can lead to heat loss and cold air entry. Address these issues:
The attic is a prime area for heat loss, so ensure proper insulation. In colder climates, aim for at least 12 inches of attic insulation.
Utilize Storm Doors and Windows
Install storm doors and windows for enhanced insulation and protection from harsh weather conditions.
Maintaining Heating Systems
Your heating system works hard during winter, so ensure it's in good working order:
Prepare cooling systems for winter:
Inspect your chimney and fireplace:
Prevent ice dams and water damage:
Prepare your outdoor space for winter:
In summary, winterization is a crucial set of measures to protect your home from damage caused by cold temperatures. These actions should be taken in the fall to ensure a comfortable and safe living environment throughout the winter. Pay attention to your plumbing, insulation, heating and cooling systems, chimney maintenance, and roof care to keep your home in top shape during the cold season
When inspecting for mold, taking air samples is a must. Mold spores are tiny and can't be seen with the naked eye. Air samples, sent to a lab for testing, help identify the types of mold in your home, gauge the extent of the problem, and assess health risks. After mold removal, new samples confirm a clean environment.
Understanding Air Sampling
Air samples collect invisible mold spores. An air pump pushes air through a device, capturing these spores. InterNACHI inspectors often use this method.
Types of Devices
Three common devices:
Sample if you see mold, signs of growth (like dampness), or detect musty odors. Even when there's no visible mold, a few indoor samples can be taken as a precaution. Outdoor samples provide a baseline for comparison. Don't sample if someone's under a doctor's care for mold exposure, if there's a lawsuit regarding mold, or if it's not safe to take samples.
Where to Sample and Ideal Conditions
Sample where mold is suspected. In rooms with signs of moisture or musty smells, place the collection device about 3 to 6 feet off the ground. Sampling usually takes around ten minutes, but it can be quicker if there's lots of indoor activity or dust, like from construction. Ensure the area is closed during sampling, with windows and doors shut, and avoid using air exchangers or fans.
Extreme weather, like thunderstorms or high winds, can affect the sampling process. Rapid changes in air pressure can skew results by bringing in more spores. So, keep an eye on the weather when taking samples.
Air sampling is just one piece of the mold inspection puzzle. It can't confirm or dismiss a mold problem on its own. It's vital to combine it with visual inspections and other methods, like surface sampling, for a complete picture. Keep in mind that air sample results can be affected by various factors, so be cautious.
In a nutshell, air sampling is a crucial tool for comparing particle levels in different areas and for assessing air quality before and after mold cleanup. It helps homeowners create a safe and healthy living space.
Caulking is important because is forms a seal between 2 surfaces or areas to shield water from getting into the gap (i.e. countertop backsplash, windows, bathtubs). Caulking is also used to cosmetically upgrade the project by creating a smoother transition and close gaps (i.e. baseboards, trim, moldings. You can find an instructional caulking video below.
A HOME INSPECTION IS A VISUAL EXAMINATION OF THE HOME IN ITS CURRENT STATE.
IF I ARRIVE AND STORM WINDOWS ARE NOT INSTALLED I WILL JUST WRITE THEM UP AS MISSING/NOT INSTALLED. IF I SEE THEM WHEN I GET TO THE BASEMENT, I WOULD MAKE NOTE OF THEM AND THEIR LOCATION A HOME INSPECTION IS NOT A TIME FOR SNOOPING AND MOBVING WE DONT MOVE ITEMS TO ACCESS THINGS BEHIND THEM, THE SCOPE OF THE INSPECTION IS LIMITED BY WHAT WE CAN SEE. THIS IS WHY ITS VERY IMPORTANT TO MOVE ITEMS THAT MIGHT RESTRICT ACCESS TO ATTIC, CRAWLSPACE, ELECTRIC PANEL, WATER HEATER, OUTLETS,