Part 4 of 4 – Carbon Monoxide Detectors

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
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#homesafety #codetectors #internachi

Part 3 of 4 – Carbon Monoxide Detectors

COdetectorplacement
CO Detector Placement

CO detectors can monitor exposure levels, but do not place them:

  • directly above or beside fuel-burning appliances, as appliances may emit a small amount of carbon monoxide upon start-up;
  • within 15 feet of heating and cooking appliances, or in or near very humid areas, such as bathrooms;
  • within 5 feet of kitchen stoves and ovens, or near areas locations where household chemicals and bleach are stored (store such chemicals away from bathrooms and kitchens, whenever possible);
  • in garages, kitchens, furnace rooms, or in any extremely dusty, dirty, humid, or greasy areas;
  • in direct sunlight, or in areas subjected to temperature extremes. These include unconditioned crawlspaces, unfinished attics, un-insulated or poorly insulated ceilings, and porches;
  • in turbulent air near ceiling fans, heat vents, air conditioners, fresh-air returns, or open windows. Blowing air may prevent carbon monoxide from reaching the CO sensors.

Do place CO detectors:

  • within 10 feet of each bedroom door and near all sleeping areas, where it can wake sleepers. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) recommend that every home have at least one carbon monoxide detector for each floor of the home, and within hearing range of each sleeping area;
  • on every floor of your home, including the basement (source:  International Association of Fire Chiefs/IAFC);
  • near or over any attached garage. Carbon monoxide detectors are affected by excessive humidity and by close proximity to gas stoves (source:  City of New York);
  • near, but not directly above, combustion appliances, such as furnaces, water heaters, and fireplaces, and in the garage (source:  UL); and
  • on the ceiling in the same room as permanently installed fuel-burning appliances, and centrally located on every habitable level, and in every HVAC zone of the building (source:  National Fire Protection Association 720). This rule applies to commercial buildings.

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/

Preparing Trees for Winter

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A lot of home owners were caught off-guard by the recent, relatively early ice storm that impacted much of Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas.  El Reno and Bethany were some of the harder-hit areas this go-round.

Keeping your trees well-watered throughout the year makes them stronger during those ice storms and other extreme weather.

While some limb breakage is inevitable during extreme weather, properly pruned trees are an important precaution a homeowner can take toward protecting a property’s value.  Proper pruning protects from heavy snow fall, ice (usually more damaging than snow), and our sometimes-devastating spring storms with high winds.

While there are some pruning chores homeowners can do without endangering themselves or the tree, certified arborists are trained and outfitted for the big jobs.  Maintenance and damage repair on mature tall or spreading trees often require more skill and equipment than most people can handle safely.  The chore is fraught with danger, from electrocution to falls and being struck by heavy limbs.

Some pruning needs to take place when trees are young, which helps develop a stronger branching structure.  Thinning canopies of mature trees also can help reduce breakage, while too much thinning is detrimental.

Shade trees are more structurally sound and cost-effective to maintain when they are allowed to develop one dominant, central trunk (or leader, as arborists call it).  If a trunk is allowed to develop two equal leaders, that juncture (or crotch) creates a weak spot prime for splitting.

Trees should be pruned so that branches are spaced along the dominant trunk, and they will be stronger than trees with many dominant branches.  Some experts say it’s best if this central leader reaches at least 30 feet high.

Safety First!  Consulting a professional is always recommended if you are tackling a project you have no experience with or are unsure of.

Here are some links to local arborists that can get the job done for you:

Bill Long Arborist
Cross Timber Arborist

Chainsaws flew off the store shelves following the last storm. Below are a couple of links to check out before purchasing one of the most dangerous tools available to the public.

Chainsaw Safety
Osha Quick Card

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
www.Home-RunInspections.com
www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Midwest City, Bethany, El Reno and others.

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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

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

 

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