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Prevent Laundry Hose Failure
Does it matter how high the chimney is?
Roof stains
Do I need to get a home insepction?
Knob and Tube Wiring

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Prevent Laundry Hose Failure

Over time, all washing machine hoses will wear out. Roughly, the included rubber hoses will last 8-9 years. Cracks, blisters, bulges, drips can lead to costly repairs with the average claim reaching close to $6,000. $6,000 for a repair you don't even need to hire a plumber for! It is imperative to inspect laundry hoses regularly  and upgrade hoses to a reinforced, steel-braided type.  These replacement hoses are a low cost ($10-20) preventative action against costly repairs (not to mention upset neighbors that live below you) and they are EASY to install.

Does it matter how high the chimney is?

The length of a horizontal line drawn from the top of the opening of the chimney flue to the point at which that line touches the roof surface should be ten feet or more. This height requirement is to assure that the chimney will develop adequate draft.  A "too short" chimney won't have a tall-enough column of rising hot gases inside to develop a safe, adequate draft.



A chimney that istoo shortis unlikely to vent properly and it may also be a serious fire hazard to the building.

Roof stains

There are many sources of roof staining and they vary in significance, from cosmetic to harmful to the roof.
Black streaks on shingles caused by algae or fungal growth used to be limited to warm, humid climates, but now this can be seen on houses as far north as Canada. Some experts attribute the spread to the increased use of crushed limestone as a filler material in asphalt shingles.
Limestone is economical and makes a durable shingle, but the calcium carbonate in the limestone supports algae growth.

Do I need to get a home insepction?

Short answer - no. The right answer -it's in your best interest to get one.As with anything you purchase it is proper to do your due diligence. You wouldn't buy a used car without taking it to your mechanic first. So why not when you're buying a used home? A home inspection will give you aunbiasedopinion by a third party professional on the current condition and give you tips on how to properly maintain your property. The reports are NOT enforceable, they areNOTcode inspections, or appraisals. Keep in mind - just because there is a defect reported it does not mean the seller must repair it.

Knob and Tube Wiring

Knob and tubeelectrical of wiring has been installed in homes from the 1920s right up into the 1970's in some jurisdictions. Only a hot and neutral wire are provided. The circuit has no electrical ground path. The individual electrical wires are wrapped in a rubberized cloth. That was fine when the wires remained suspended in air. Wherever the knob and tube circuit wires pass through building framing lumber a ceramic tube is used to insulate the wire from the wood. Where the knob and tube wiring is surface mounted in a building it is attached using a ceramic "knob".

Termite or white ant?

Termites are pale-colored insects  that live in large colonies and feed on wood. Termites resemble ants in their appearance, manner of living, and social organization, but are not closely related. Termites mostly feed on dead plant material, generally in the form of wood.
They can be very destructive to wooden buildings and structures.
Termites prefer to tunnel inside of wood and can cause extensive damage without appearing readily on the wood surface. Mud tubes are typically built to enable movement across a less hospitable surface such as masonry walls or wood that was just not so nice to penetrate.

How safe is aluminum wiring?

Aluminum wiring, used in some homes from the mid 1960's to the early 1970's, is a potential fire hazard.

According to theU.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fires and even deaths have been reported to have been caused by this hazard. Problems due to aluminum wiring expansion, or arcing at the aluminum wiring connectors, can cause overheating at connections between the wire and devices (switches and outlets) or at aluminum wire splices. The connections can become hot enough to start a fire without ever tripping a circuit breaker!

Do you have a wet basement?

An effective and informative article about wet basements. Did you know most basements are wet because of improper grading and poorly installed gutters/downspouts?

Keep water away from the foundation. This means proper site drainage that assures that surface runoff and roof spillage are conducted away from the building. Most of the wet basements  investigated were suffering from mis-handling of roof drainage. Between gutter defects that spill large volumes of water close to the foundation and improper site grading, we estimate that 80 percent or more of basement water entry problems can be explained.

How much MOLD is too much MOLD?

Don't get freaked out if your home inspection reveals mold!  Mold is everywhere in the air we breath everyday. Some people react differently than others. Standards or Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for airborne concentrations of mold, or mold spores, have not been set. Currently, there are no EPA regulations or standards for airborne mold contaminants.
For more information on mold, see the website atwww.epa.gov/mold

Molds can befound almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present.

Where does your house rank for RADON levels?

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Radon: Eddie's Story
Radon levels need to be measured in your home. Radon is the 2nd leading source of lung cancer in the US.
The EPA and the U.S. Geological Survey have rated every county in the United States as Zone 1 to 3 for radon risk. Links to state maps with county by- county risk levels can be found at
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