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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 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.
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.
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.
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" 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:
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