Fall Yard Work Planned? Don’t forget to call 811 before you dig.

 

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Believe you me, as a technician working for the cable and phone companies, we went through roll after roll of underground cable during the spring and the fall. On more than one occasion, in addition to cutting the customer’s own cable line, they had also damaged electrical and gas lines.

It only takes a few seconds to damage a buried pipeline, but the consequences could last
a lifetime. Digging before having underground utilities marked puts you in serious danger
of injury or even death. There’s an easy way to prevent that – just dial 811! It’s a free
call that can keep you and your neighbors safe.

There is a vast network of pipelines, telecommunication cables and electrical wires buried underground that need to be identified before beginning any digging project, to prevent injury, damage and service outages.
One phone call to 8II from wherever you are will route your call to Okie811 which will
alert owners of pipelines, telecommunication cables and power lines to mark their buried
assets within two full business days of the request.

There’s no charge to you for this service.

You may also submit a locate request ticket online by visiting www.okie 811.org
or by downloading the Okie811 mobile app.

Whether you’re planting a tree or installing a sprinkler system, always remember to call 811 at least two full business days before you plan to dig to allow all utility line locations to be marked.

Whatever the time of year, be safe –
call 811 before you dig!

 

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
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Winterizing Outdoor Faucets

FrostFreeonCoverGS

Winterizing Outdoor Frost-Free Faucets

If you have frost-free faucets, your home winterizing process is much easier. Frost-free faucets with hose bibs are a relatively new invention designed to prevent water from freezing in pipes during cold weather by removing water from freezing air.  They require minimal maintenance from homeowners.

Instructions:
1.  Turn off the frost-free faucet’s interior valve.

2.  Remove the hose from the exterior valve.

3.   Open the faucet to drain any remaining water.

4.  Shut the faucet off.

There is no need to cover a frost-free faucet with insulation material or coverings.

If your home has older hose bibs, follow the above process but in addition, add an insulation covering (especially on walls facing the North).  These can be picked up for a couple of bucks at your local hardware store.

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2

 

 

 

Garage Door Maintenance and Lubrication

 

During inclement weather especially, we tend to use our home’s vehicle doors more than we use our front doors.  Most home’s front doors are pretty simple.  A typical front door these days is metal clad with a wood interior.  It swings on three hinges and locks with a locking handle and a dead bolt lock.  Although all these parts need occasional attention, a decade can go by before you notice a problem.  The solution is usually a lubricant or replacement of a relatively inexpensive lock mechanism.

Garage vehicle doors are not so simple, and when it comes to repairs, they can be quite costly.  As with many systems within a home, regular maintenance is the most affordable way to manage home costs.  Neglected rollers can bind during operation causing extensive and expensive damage to not only the door but the door opener.  And, this usually happens at the most inopportune time.

So next time you are making the rounds around your home on the weekend taking care of the “honey do” list, take a few minutes to apply some silicone lubricant to your garage vehicle door.  I promise it will be time well spent.  Here are a few steps to follow to get the job done without creating more work or problems:

  • Pick up some silicone spray lubricant the next time you are at a store with a hardware section. Pick up a cheap set of safety glasses if you do not have a pair already (it never hurts to have a couple).
  • Move your vehicles out of the garage and at least five feet away to avoid any over spray on your paint job.
  • Make sure you are not wearing nice clothes or your favorite concert t-shirt.  Accidents do happen.
  • Have a disposable rag or roll of paper towels handy to clean up any overage spray.
  • With your safety glasses in place and the garage door down, attach the spray tube to the nozzle of the can and proceed to spray about a half circle of lubricant on each roller wheel in the tracks.
  • Spray a small amount in each visible hinge between each door section.
  • If you can, spray a line of lubricant across the usually black torsion spring above the garage door.  (This may require using a small step ladder).
  • If your door opener has a chain, spray along the chain for a few feet.  If you notice the track below the chain is dry or rusted, add a little along there for the guide as your door is lifting.
  • Lastly, raise and lower your door a few times to move the lubricant around each moving part.

There you have it!  You probably just saved yourself $500 in repairs this year.  Just add a reminder on your phone for next January and you can repeat the savings.

#homemaintenance #garagedoor #vehicledoor

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2

Essential Home Maintenance for Your Windows

Winter is a great time to give some attention to your windows. In the long run it will save you time and money.  Lubricating the track and the frame where the sash slides ensures that the window functions properly.  Along with your garage vehicle door hinges, this should be part of your yearly maintenance.  Lubricating your windows, whether they are sliders, casements, or tilt-in single or double hung, is a straightforward task that most homeowners can accomplish.  The following are steps you can take to get the job done in no time:

  • Mix a simple solution of 1.5 cups of vinegar, 1 tsp of baby shampoo into about a gallon of hot water in a portable plastic container.
  • Lift the window sash as you usually do to open the window.  If your windows have this feature, tilt single- and double-hung windows inward, or slide casement windows open to allow you better access to the tracks and the inner liner or frame where the sash slides open and closed.
  • Wipe the tracks and window frame with a dry cloth to remove loose dust, dirt and debris or use a vacuum if there is a lot of debris.
  • Use a damp cloth dipped in the solution to clean away any mildew, mold, or heavy dirt buildup.
  • Rinse with clean water and dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.
  • Use a spray silicone lubricant to spray onto a dry rag or cloth.  Wipe the lubricant onto the window’s track and along the jamb liner where the sash slides open and closed.  Try and keep from spraying lubricant directly onto the vinyl window. It can leave a permanent mark that you cannot remove.  Spraying directly onto the vinyl can also leave a greasy mess that is difficult to clean and ironically attracts more dirt.
  • Return the window sash to its original position.  If you used the tilt out feature you will have to tilt it back in before closing the window.  Open and close the window several times to distribute the lubricant evenly.

That’s it!  I assure you that this is time and energy well-spent.  Not only will this allow you to easily open windows to allow fresh air in and save money on air conditioning costs, it will help to ensure that when the time comes to sell your home, they won’t show up as a defect in your buyer’s Home Inspection Report.

#windows #windowcleaning #homemaintenance #windowmaintenance #windowlubricating

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We Cover All of the Bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2

Seasonal Maintenance Checklist: In the Winter

winterhomemaintenance

  • Confirm that firewood #firewood is stored at least 20 feet away from your home (attracts termites).
  • Remove hoses from outdoor water spigots and insulate if necessary.
  • Familiarize responsible family members with the gas main shut-off valve, main and interior water shut-off valve,  and other appliance valves.
  • Check and clean or replace furnace air filters each month during the heating season.
  • Monitor your home for excessive moisture levels – – for example, condensation on your windows, which can cause significant damage over time and pose serious health problems – – and take corrective action.
  • Examine windows and doors for ice accumulation or cold air leaks. If found, make a note to repair or replace in the spring.
  • Examine attic for frost accumulation. Check roof for ice dams or icicles.
  • Make sure all electrical holiday decorations have tight connections.
  • Test all AFCI and GFCI devices.
  • Only when it is safe to do so, occasionally check for ice-dam formation in the gutters.

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com

#wintermaintenance #holidaydecorations #gutters

We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2

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Are you running your home AC during the winter months?

So the cold weather is here… kinda.  Even though we have officially entered winter, there are plenty of winter days here in Oklahoma that will tempt us to turn on the air conditioner.  If it is sunny and 60 outside, chances are it’s heating up well over 75 in your home and that can lead to us feeling a little stuffy.   Add to that some holiday cooking, and we can see that thermostat moving quickly to the 80s.  What to do?

Well, back in the day, I know it might be hard to believe, but we would actually open the windows.  That’s right kids!  We opened the windows.  I know that sounds snarky but I really think people have forgotten about this option, much to the enjoyment of your neighborhood HVAC professional.  Also, today’s homes are not really designed for this.  In the early 20th century, homes were built with lots of windows and often had a “whole-house fan” that people would run, with the windows open, to keep everyone reasonably cool.  I’m always happy to tell buyers about this feature when we come across a functional unit.

So, even though we don’t have as many windows, I’m recommending using them next time your home gets stuffy this winter; for the following reasons:

  1. Compressors are designed to run in hot weather.  They are lubricated with summer grade oil.  When you start your AC in the winter you are putting a terrible strain on the compressor and likely shortening its life.  I know you don’t want to buy another AC unit this spring.
  2. Windows left shut and not operated year after year, lose their lubrication, and when I open them at inspections, the springs often do not operate.  The next time you sell a home, you are probably going to be asked to fix that.  Using them frequently will keep them functional or at least remind you to lubricate them occasionally.
  3. Using your windows instead of your AC saves you money — immediately.  Open a couple of windows, and turn your fan to “on” at the thermostat.  It will circulate the stale air, introduce new fresh air, and cool down your home.  It will take a little longer, but you avoid risk of damage to the compressor.  Also, it is a lot cheaper to run a fan than a compressor.

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2

Avoid Frozen Water Pipes This Winter!

As a home inspector, we often say that “water” is your home’s worst enemy.  Generally we are speaking about the weather shield that includes your roof, walls and windows.  But, water let loose in your home from plumbing can be just as devastating.  Unprotected pipes are susceptible to cold temperatures because water expands when it goes from liquid to solid.  If you have not taken time already, take a few minutes this weekend, before the next cold blast comes through, to go around your home and make sure that you are taking the necessary precautions to avoid a water damage bill. Here are some tips to get your plumbing through the winter in one piece.

  • Make sure any exposed water pipes are properly insulated.  Insulation alone does not prevent freezing but only slows it down.  Outdoor back flow preventer valves for sprinkler systems should be drained of water and have a plugged in heat tape installed.
  • Water hoses should be disconnected from hose bibs (and stored indoors if possible).  If the hose bibs are not freeze resistant, install an inexpensive foam cap from a hardware store.  I’ve even seen socks wrapped around the bib, tied with a rubber band and covered with a coffee can (don’t laugh; it works!).
  • Locate the main water shut-off valve, usually by the street.  Obtain the proper tool to open the valve vault and turn off the water if you need to in case of an emergency. There is often an interior water shut off valve that may be easier to access.  This information should be in your home inspection report if you have one from Home Run Inspections.
  • Garage doors should be kept closed, especially if there are water supply lines in the garage.  This is often where your hot water tank is located.  You may want to safely place a space heater in the garage on really cold nights.  Remember that your garage ceiling is generally not insulated.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.  Dripping a faucet in the spare bathroom bathtub and the kitchen faucet should do the trick.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature day and night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2

Safely Burn Fuels

fireplace

I inspect a lot of homes with some sort of fireplace.  So many fireplaces today are merely decorative and can be started with a flip of a switch, but there are many homes purchased by “first time home owners” that have masonry fireplaces designed to burn “solid fuel”, meaning wood logs or fire logs.  Starting and managing a real wood fire seems to be a fading art, so I put together a quick list of tips for those home owners out there who are planning on starting up the fireplace this year.

  • Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.
  • Use only seasoned hardwood. Soft, damp wood accelerates creosote buildup. In pellet stoves, burn only dry, seasoned wood pellets.
  • Build small fires that burn completely and produce less smoke.
  • Never burn cardboard boxes, trash, or other debris in your fireplace or wood stove.
  • When building a fire, place logs at the rear of the fireplace on an adequate supporting grate.
  • Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Allow ashes to cool before disposing of them. Place ashes in a tightly covered metal container, and keep the ash container at least 10 feet away from your home and any other nearby buildings. Never empty the ash directly into a trashcan. Douse and saturate the ashes with water.

As a home inspector, I always advise buyers to have there fireplace inspected by a professional before the first use of the season.  It only takes a minute for a romantic evening to turn into a three alarm disaster.

 

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
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Watering Your Foundation-Here’s the Why and How

drysoil

Earthquakes are not the only source of cracks in your home but just the latest threat.  This winter has been pretty dry, so I’ve been out watering around my foundation on a regular basis to stay ahead of the coming spring and summer heat.  If foundation concerns are not addressed BEFORE they start, it can cost 10’s of thousands of dollars to repair them.  To protect your foundation, you must water your foundation.  Even though most sprinkler systems will help, most were designed to spray water away from the house.  To complicate it further, many cities are enforcing landscape watering restrictions.  Probably the most important factor associated with watering foundations is to do it 12 months a year.  It is very import to maintain a constant moisture content to retain soil  consistency.  Even if you only have minor issues (sticking doors, squeaky floors), managing the porosity of soil will even out the issues for a more stable foundation.

How to Water a Foundation:  There are several methods.

  1. Hand Watering:  I don’t recommend this method, but it can work. It can be difficult to consistently apply the same amount of water around the entire foundation with a systematic approach.
  2. Soaker Hoses:  By far the most popular,  “soaker hoses” are easily attached to a water outlet and draped around the foundation of the house.  These come in 25 and 50 foot length and can be connected in a series.  Try to place them within about 6 inches of the foundation.  (TIP:  Keep bare landscaped areas covered with mulch.  This too will assist in retaining the moisture content around the structure.  Covering the soaker hose with the mulch is acceptable.  You will need to inspect these regularly as I have found they deteriorate fairly quickly (less than 3-5 years).   Additionally, neighboring visitors (rats, mice, raccoons and such) have found a liking to chew on hoses, in turn puncturing them  and causing excessive water to come out in one place.  Once broken, I have not seen a good way to repair them, so you will have to replace the hose.
  3.  Drip Lines:  These hoses are designed with drip emitters in the hose every 12 inches.  You can deploy them in the same method as mentioned for the soaker hoses, but the hose material is a bit more stiff.  Staking them will help as they do not like to lay flat to the ground.  You can purchase the hose in bulk from the Orange Box store of Sprinkler Warehouse.  You will need to also purchase inter-hose connectors as well as a way to connect to your water source.
  4. Regardless of the method of disbursement, doing it consistently is just as important as the watering itself.Take a look at Watering Your Foundation to see a semi-permanent installation guide to foundation watering.

Source of above material:  HomeownerBOB.com

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2

http://www.home-runinspections.com/

Part 4 – Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

familyinhome

How can I prevent CO poisoning?

  • Purchase and install carbon monoxide detectors with labels showing that they meet the requirements of the new UL standard 2034 or Comprehensive Safety Analysis 6.19 safety standards.
  • Make sure appliances are installed and operated according to the manufacturer’s instructions and local building codes. Have the heating system professionally inspected by an InterNACHI inspector and serviced annually to ensure proper operation. The inspector should also check chimneys and flues for blockages, corrosion, partial and complete disconnections, and loose connections.
  • Never service fuel-burning appliances without the proper knowledge, skill and tools. Always refer to the owner’s manual when performing minor adjustments and when servicing fuel-burning equipment.
  • Never operate a portable generator or any other gasoline engine-powered tool either in or near an enclosed space, such as a garage, house or other building. Even with open doors and windows, these spaces can trap CO and allow it to quickly build to lethal levels.
  • Never use portable fuel-burning camping equipment inside a home, garage, vehicle or tent unless it is specifically designed for use in an enclosed space and provides instructions for safe use in an enclosed area.
  • Never burn charcoal inside a home, garage, vehicle or tent.
  • Never leave a car running in an attached garage, even with the garage door open.
  • Never use gas appliances, such as ranges, ovens or clothes dryers to heat your home.
  • Never operate un-vented fuel-burning appliances in any room where people are sleeping.
  • During home renovations, ensure that appliance vents and chimneys are not blocked by tarps or debris. Make sure appliances are in proper working order when renovations are complete.
  • Do not place generators in the garage or close to the home. People lose power in their homes and get so excited about using their gas-powered generator that they don’t pay attention to where it is placed. The owner’s manual should explain how far the generator should be from the home.
  • Clean the chimney. Open the hatch at the bottom of the chimney to remove the ashes.  Hire a chimney sweep annually.
  • Check vents. Regularly inspect your home’s external vents to ensure they are not obscured by debris, dirt or snow.
In summary, carbon monoxide is a dangerous poison that can be created by various household appliances. CO detectors must be placed strategically throughout the home or business in order to alert occupants of high levels of the gas.
Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2

http://www.home-runinspections.com/

#homesafety #codetectors #internachi