4 ways to make your home comfortable and safe for your pet

For millions of Americans, pets are a member of the family. They provide companionship and countless memories that last a lifetime. Having a pet-friendly home increases the likelihood that these memories will be positive.

These tips can make pet ownership simpler, and create a safer, healthier environment for your four-legged companion.

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Inspecting roofs

I wanted to visit this subject to help illuminate a few of the finer points of roof inspections as they relate to the overall home inspection. The first point home buyers need to understand is that none of the home inspection standards require the inspector to walk on the roof. This is a critical point since some inspection companies have a policy to NOT walk on a roof, either because of the weight or age of the inspector, or for other reasons.

At HomeTeam we always walk the roof unless there is some very specific safety reason that precludes it (snow, ice, rain, excessive pitch, etc). We walk the vast majority of roofs (probably 90 percent).

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Top energy-efficient housing features every new homebuyer should know

Most Americans want an energy-efficient home, and they’re willing to make the necessary changes to help improve efficiency, whether it’s changing their habits or buying more energy-efficient appliances. But reducing energy bills and making your home more efficient doesn’t just begin with remembering to switch off lights in empty rooms or paying top-dollar for newer appliances.

“Energy efficiency has to start when a home is being built,” says Kevin Clayton, CEO of manufactured home builder Clayton Homes. “If you’re buying new construction, it’s important to look for a home that’s built with energy-efficiency in mind during the home design stage. Those additional features will have a great impact on a home’s overall efficiency.”

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Drywall cracks- should I be alarmed?

Very frequently we get questions on home inspections about cracks in drywall, typically near the corners of interior doors or at the base of windows. You may have seen cracks like this- they start at the corner and emanate outward at a 45-degree angle. The buyer’s question essentially boils down to this: is my house falling down?

OK, maybe it’s not quite that anxious, but it is a question that seeks to determine if there are any serious structural issues that may be present.

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Is my house up to code?

This is a question we often get from homebuyers who are a little confused about the scope and intent of a home inspection.  Remember, the home inspection is designed to identify major deficiencies that will either cost you a lot of money or that may pose a safety hazard.  A home inspection is most definitely and quite specifically NOT a code inspection.

I’ve found that most people, when they ask this question, are really seeking to find out if the home is safe.  Much of the residential building code is geared towards safety, but the vast majority is not.  Keep in mind, a home inspector should identify safety concerns to you, but he should not refer to them as being up to code or not.

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7 steps to allergy relief with spring cleaning

Longing for allergy relief? To stop the endless cycle of sniffles, sneezes and wheezes, it’s time to ready your vacuum and rubber gloves. Spring cleaning helps eliminate allergens so you can relax, breathe easy and enjoy the season.

“People who suffer from allergies may not realize there’s a direct connection between cleaning your home and reducing allergy symptoms,” says allergist Bryan Martin, DO, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI.) “The more you can rid your home of dust mites, mold, cockroaches and pet dander, the easier you’ll breathe.”

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Radon testing procedures

So far we’ve learned a bit about what radon is and why it’s a good idea to test your home for elevated radon levels. Now we’ll take a look to see what the testing procedures are.

Radon levels change from hour to hour, so I want to first eliminate a common misconception: a home does not have a specific radon level. It is not as if your home, once tested, will remain at that same level if tested later. During our testing we get readings every hour, and the readings show trends and movements, which is why it is very important to take radon levels according to EPA testing protocol to get a good idea of the overall radon level.

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What’s the deal with Radon?

This is a common question we get both from buyers and sometimes real estate agents. There is quite a bit of confusion regarding what radon is, what (if any) the health risks associated with it are, and what to do about it. Today’s blog is part 1 of a multi-part series to help you understand radon and to make an informed decision about testing and mitigation.

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