605 E Main Street, Suite 201, Anamosa, IA 52205, US
Royal Home Inspections, LLC


Articles of Interest

Basic Waterproofing for Basements by Nick Gromicko

Water Damage Concerns   

Basements are typically the area of a structure most at risk for  water damage because they are located below grade and surrounded by  soil.  Soil releases water it has absorbed during rain or when snow  melts, and the water can end up in the basement through leaks or  cracks. Water  can even migrate through solid concrete walls via capillary action,  which is a phenomenon whereby liquid spontaneously rises in a narrow  space, such as a thin tube, or via porous materials.  Wet basements can  cause problems that include peeling paint, toxic mold contamination,  building rot, foundation collapse, and termite damage.  Even interior  air quality can be affected if naturally occurring gasses released by  the soil are being transmitted into the basement. Properly waterproofing a basement will lessen the risk of damage  caused by moisture or water.  Homeowners will want to be aware of what  they can do to keep their basements dry and safe from damage.   Inspectors can also benefit from being aware of these basic strategies  for preventing leaks and floods. 

Solar Energy

Advantages of Solar Energy by Nick Gromicko

 Solar energy offers considerable advantages over conventional energy  systems by nullifying flaws in those systems long considered to be  unchangeable. Solar power for home energy production has its flaws, too,  which are outlined in another article, but they're dwarfed by the  advantages listed below.  

Your Guide to Hiring an Asbestos Abatement Company

 Hiring an asbestos abatement company, and not doing it  yourself, is the wisest and safest decision when it comes to removing  asbestos from any residential, commercial or public building. Asbestos  abatement companies will properly test for the toxic mineral, follow  strict regulations and processes, and carry the right abatement removal  equipment to keep them, others and you safe from exposure.   


Overview of Asbestos:

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral substance that can be  pulled into a fluffy consistency. Asbestos fibers are soft and flexible  yet resistant to heat, electricity and chemical corrosion. Pure asbestos  is an effective insulator, and it can also be mixed into cloth, paper,  cement, plastic and other materials to make them stronger. These qualities once made asbestos very profitable for business, but unfortunately, they also make asbestos highly toxic.

10 Easy Ways to Save Money & Energy in Your Home by Nick Gromicko, Ben Gromicko, and Kenton Shepard

Most people don’t know how easy it is to make their homes run on less energy, and here at InterNACHI, we want to change that. Drastic reductions in heating, cooling and electricity costs can be  accomplished through very simple changes, most of which homeowners can  do themselves. Of course, for homeowners who want to take advantage of  the most up-to-date knowledge and systems in home energy efficiency,  InterNACHI energy auditors can perform in-depth testing to find the best  energy solutions for your particular home.  Why make your home more energy efficient? Here are a few good reasons:


 The winter holidays are a time for celebration, and  that means more cooking, home decorating, entertaining, and an increased  risk of fire and accidents. InterNACHI recommends that you follow these  guidelines to help make your holiday season safer and more enjoyable. 

Holiday Lighting   

Air Duct Cleaning by Nick Gromicko and Ben Gromicko

Whether  or not a home inspector should recommend that their  homeowner-clients  have the air ducts in their house cleaned is a  decision that's based on  several important factors, including the  Standards of Practice they  follow and the scope of the home inspection.  According to the InterNACHI Home Inspection Standards of Practice,   a home inspector is not required to determine the home's air quality,   the presence of airborne hazards (including mold), or the presence of   rodents or insects. Determining the need for the air ducts to be  cleaned  is beyond the scope of a home inspection. InterNACHI encourages  home  inspectors to read this six-article series in its entirety, as it   provides important information on the subject. Duct cleaning has never  been shown to actually prevent  health problems. Neither do studies  conclusively demonstrate that  particle or dust levels in homes increase  because of dirty air ducts.  This is because much of the dirt in air  ducts adheres to the duct's  surface and does not necessarily enter the  living space. It's important  to keep in mind that dirty air ducts are  only one of many possible  sources of airborne particles present in a  home. Pollutants that enter  the home both from outdoors and indoor  activities, such as cooking,  cleaning, smoking, or just moving around,  can cause greater exposure to  contaminants than dirty air ducts.  Moreover, there is no evidence that a  light amount of household dust or  other particulate matter in air ducts  poses any risk to a person’s  health.  A home inspector may decide to recommend cleaning the air ducts in a house if:   

Aging in Place by Nick Gromicko and Kate Tarasenko

"Aging  in place" is the phenomenon describing senior citizens'  ability to  live independently in their homes for as long as possible.  Those who  age in place will not have to move from their present  residence in  order to secure necessary support services in response to  their  changing needs.    The Baby Boomers  As the baby boomers age, the 60+ population will spike from roughly  45  million in recent years to more than 70 million by 2020. Research   shows that baby boomers’ expectations of how they will receive care   differ from that of their parents’ generation.  Overwhelmingly, they   will seek care in their own homes and will be less likely to move into   congregate living settings. Why do many senior citizens prefer to age in place?  Nursing  homes, to many, represent a loss of freedom and a reduced  quality of  life. Here are a few good reasons why these fears are  justified:   

Buying a Foreclosure by Nick Gromicko

Purchasing  foreclosed homes in desirable areas at below-market values can be a  sound investment strategy. Appreciation on their  original prices may be  tax-free.  Buying foreclosed rental properties  can provide positive  cash flow, as well as valuable tax deductions. On  the other hand,  buying a foreclosure involves homework, patience, and a  certain amount  of luck. For those wishing to get a bargain house through  the  foreclosure process, it’s best to learn the basics.   Four Ways to Buy a Foreclosed Home