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Since we are currently "enjoying" a cold winter day (week), I thought it fitting to write a couple of posts on "winterization". It is always interesting when I arrive at an inspection to find signs on the windows and doors, as well as the water heater and all of the plumbing fixtures, proclaiming the house to be "winterized." So, what is winterizing, why is it done, and when should it be don...

All across the country it seems to be that time of year--back to school time! Backpacks and notebooks are lining the shelves of our neighborhood retail stores and school buses are busy on the streets. September is a great time to address grading issues before fall and winter (when you might not be so enthused about spending time in the chilly air remedying water control issues). What is grading? ...

This weekend the USA will commemorate Memorial Day. Yes, it's a day that many of us view as the official beginning of summer, marked by picnics, BBQs, and relaxing with friends and family. But Memorial Day is a very important holiday established to give us a time to honor and remember the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. In addition to picnics and BBQs, here are fi...

The milder temperatures of spring can make it increasingly difficult to obtain a valid radon test for your prospective home, unless everyone is clear about proper testing procedures and conditions, mainly, that you cannot open windows and doors, no matter how pretty it happens to be that day. Wait, what?! Did you know that opening your windows during a radon test, even for a short period time, ...

The rain can tell you a lot about how affective the drainage is around your home and if the grading around your property is effectively directing water AWAY from your foundation. So, how does it work? Simple. Just wait for a nice steady rain and observe how water flows around your home. See the guide at the right for step-by-step instructions. During a heavy rain, is actually the perfect time...

If you're planning to list your home for sale, now is the perfect time to fix odds and ends. Over the last 30 years, our inspectors have witnessed just about everything, whether representing buyers with our Home Inspection or sellers with our Pre-Listing Inspection. We've learned that there are specific issues that must be fixed before listing because buyers not only will not like the proble...

Got the urge to plant and landscape? Be very careful...what you don't know could kill you. OK, that's a little dramatic.  But what you don't know actually could damage your property. The law of unintended consequences, which applies to life in general, applies to landscaping in particular.  In other words, planting over here could mean trouble over there. We've delivered over 1 million...

Most of us have seen cracks in our homes. Some of us may have even seen cracks appearing on the foundation of the home. But do you know how to tell if a crack is structurally deficient? There are many variations of cracks, but there are three primary cracks that are commonly found--vertical cracks, horizontal cracks and diagonal crack. The following overview of the basic types of cracks shoul...

A garage door auto reverse is pretty much what it sounds like - a system which forces the door to quickly reverse if it encounters an obstacle, like your car, your cat, your chihauhua, or your child. You've probably seen the mechanism in action but haven't given it much thought. Or maybe you have even been annoyed by its efficiency, like when you think you have closed the garage, only to di...

No matter what the size of your home, most of us try to eek every last inch of square footage. "Between the studs" projects are a great way to accomplish just that. By utilizing the hidden space found between the studs in a wall, one can create a bookshelf, a closet, recessed display area - and just about anything else you can dream up that's 16 inches (sometimes 24 inches) wide! Plan ahead and be...