Getting The Most Out Of Your Home Inspection

Whether you get your home inspected once a year or once every several years, chances are, you’re looking for any way you can to get the most out of it as possible. Although you probably call HVAC technicians, electricians, plumbers, and other professionals regularly to maintain your home, home inspections are a great opportunity for you to get a general idea of the overall condition of your home and how safe it is for your family to live in. Services like radon testing, air quality testing, and thermal imaging all contribute to your overall well-being so read on to find out how to make the most of them.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

Home inspectors have one job: to make you aware of the condition of your home and ensure you have the means to fix any issues that could be compromising your safety or well-being. As the homeowner, this means you’ll want to ask any questions you have so that you’re clear on everything that needs to be addressed. Don’t worry, your home inspector won’t be offended or annoyed by you asking questions — if they are, you chose the wrong one!

Take Notes

Although your professional home inspector will take the time and care to fill out a full home inspection report for you and go over it with you when he/she is done, it doesn’t hurt to follow along and take notes as they go. This could be reminders or projected cost estimates for any repairs you will need following the inspection.

Take Pictures

Another effective form of note taking is to document any areas of issue using a digital camera. Pictures might also be helpful in explaining to any electrical specialist, plumber, or HVAC technician what issue you’re having. Most people have pretty good cameras on their phone so this may be your best option.

Hire The Right Inspector

One of the best ways to get the most out of your home inspection is to simply call the right home inspector in the first place. There are many home inspectors out there claiming to be professionals, however, they have no certification nor the necessary training to prove it. If you hire a home inspector like this, they’re most likely going to miss something and not provide you with your money’s worth. What’s worse is that your home will not be protected and you won’t have a good idea of the condition your home is in.

Contact Safe Investment Home Inspections

If you’re due for a home inspection in Denver or the surrounding areas, Safe Investment Home Inspections is happy to provide you with some of the highest quality care in the industry. We provide full home inspections including thermal imaging, radon testing, air quality testing, warranty inspections, as well as mold and sewer inspections. Contact us today if you’re ready to get started.

Why New Homeowners Should Contact A Home Inspector

You’ve done it, you just purchased your first home! As you’re settling in, it’s important to start planning out your new life and all the responsibilities you will be taking up throughout the coming years. Being a homeowner isn’t as simple as making monthly mortgage payments and keeping up with your neighbors (although those can certainly be difficult at times). Owning a home also means that you’re responsible for maintaining the safety and functionality of your home. Gone are the days of contacting your landlord whenever you need something; you’re going to have to find qualified experts to service your home or find a way to do it yourself. However, before you get to the point where you even need repairs on your home, you should first call a certified home inspector. Keep reading to learn more about why you should hire a home inspector if you’re a new homeowner.

Alleviate Risk

Chances are, the purchase you’ve just made is one of the most costly purchases you’ll make in your life. This isn’t meant to scare you, it’s actually cause for celebration! It’s inevitable that major purchases also come with a risk: maybe the home doesn’t live up to your expectations or it has a huge fault that reduces its value significantly. These are fears that many homeowners may have, but how can you eliminate this worry and start enjoying your new home? Calling a home inspector is a great start. A certified home inspector can get in fast and present you with any potential risks of living in the home. Maybe the air quality could use some work. Or maybe radon levels are high. Home inspectors can help you sort this out and settle the issue before it becomes costly.

Early start

Who doesn’t like to get an early start on things? It feels great, especially when it involves your home and your future. If you contact a home inspector now, you’ll have a jumpstart on taking care of your home and making it a comfortable place for you and your family to be for years to come. It’s also a good idea to start learning about reputable home inspection companies in your area sooner rather than later.

Estimate future expenses

There’s no better way to create a projection of your home’s repair costs than to hire an experienced home inspector. By knowing what could be improved in your home and how much it will cost, you’ll be able to plan out what needs to get done now and what you can hold off until a later date. High radon levels, for example, can lead to lung cancer, so it’s imperative that you deal with it immediately. Typically, your home will need to be closed for 12 hours for this process, so you’ll need to plan accordingly. For other issues like poor indoor air quality, you can start planning out costs to hire an HVAC specialist to come and check your furnace or air conditioner for potential issues.  

Safety

The most important reason to call a home inspector after you’ve just moved into a new home is the safety of you and your family. Although we tend to think of our home’s as safe and free of harm (which they are for the most part), there are still issues that can come up if the home hasn’t been maintained properly. For example, if there was a flood in the home a year ago, chances are, you wouldn’t know it. The home could appear perfectly safe on the outside, but there could be black mold growing in the walls. Mold can do serious damage to your home’s foundation and lead to poor air quality that everyone in your home will breathe in. You could spend hundreds calling different HVAC companies trying to get the issue fixed, but it will never improve unless you know the source of the problem. With a comprehensive home inspection, you’ll never have to worry about that. You’ll be able to get straight to the issue, saving you time and money.

Contact Safe Investment Home Inspection

Safe Investment Home Inspection is your Top Rated Local® Home Inspection Company in Denver and the surrounding area. If you have any questions about our services, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

The Most Common Causes Of House Fires – Part 2

Hello, and welcome back to our blog here at Safe Investment Home Inspection. This is part two of our blog series about common causes of house fires. This time, we’re going to talk about the classification of each type of fire, as well as the most common causes of each type and how to prevent them. Keep reading to learn more.

Classes of fire

In order to prevent or fight a fire, it’s important to note that there isn’t just one class of fire. Depending on what class of fire you’re dealing with, it could be treated in a different way. However, the ultimate way to fight fires is to prevent them in the first place! Keep reading to learn more about fire classification.

Class A Fires

A class A fire is one that is caused by combustibles like wood, paper, trash, and anything else that will leave ash. Some of the most common causes of these fires include candles, cigarettes, or matches. Monoammonium phosphate is the most common chemical used to fight these fires because of its ability to smother a fire.

Class B Fires

Class B fires are caused by chemicals such as cooking liquids, gasoline, or paint. Monoammonium phosphate will help smother the fire and sodium bicarbonate contains chemicals that will also help extinguish the fire.

Class C Fires

A class C fire is one that’s caused by a short circuit, power cord damage, overloaded outlets, or faulty wiring. Essentially, any place where an electrical wire or another component like an outlet is present, there is potential for a class C fire. These can often be mistaken for cooking-related fires because they can occur in the electrical components of cooking equipment, however, cooking-related fires refer mainly to human error, misuse of cooking equipment, or something is faulty with the cooking equipment itself.

The main problem with class C fires is that they can’t be treated with water. Since water conducts electrical currents, using water or a water-based foam to treat these fires would only make them worse. In order to prevent this type of fire, you need to have your electrical components checked regularly by a certified home inspector. A home inspector will ensure that your electrical components are up to code and there’s no potential for a fire to start. Another thing you can do is ensure that you have a class C fire extinguisher on hand. If you’re not sure what type of fire extinguisher you have in your home, make sure you speak with a professional immediately.

Class D Fires

Class D fires are less common combustibles including magnesium, lithium, and titanium. These fires require special dry powder agents found in dry powder fire extinguishers. These smother the fire and eliminate the oxygen within it, in addition to absorbing the heat. This type of fire can be hazardous because most people don’t know how to effectively stop them from spreading.

Class K Fires

Class K fires burn a lot hotter than other fires due to the fact that they’re caused by cooking oils, like vegetable oil, olive oil, butter, lard, or bacon grease. Class K fire extinguishers will turn cooking oil into a non-flammable soap that will also reduce the heat of the oil.

Contact Safe Investment Home Inspections

Ultimately, the best way to fight a fire is to prevent it in the first place. If you’re a new homeowner or you’ve never had a home inspection before, now is the time! We won’t just inspect your home for fire safety, however. We will perform air quality testing, mold inspections, radon measuring, thermal imaging, fire safety inspections and much more. If you’d like to learn more about our home inspections in Denver, contact us today.

The Most Common Causes Of House Fires

As a homeowner, the last thing you want to worry about is your safety. But without taking the necessary safety precautions, your home may be susceptible to safety issues like poor indoor air quality, high radon levels, or house fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were 365,000 home fires in the U.S. in 2015. And that’s not even counting all the fires that occurred in businesses or other buildings around the country. Although the threat of house fires can never be completely eliminated, there are several things that you can do to help reduce the risk of house fires in your home. In this blog, we’ll talk about the different types of fires as well as how you can prevent them. Keep reading to learn more.

Causes

Cooking-related fires

Cooking-related fires are one of the most common causes of house fires in the United States. 170,200 fires from 2011-2015 were caused by cooking equipment according to the NFPA. These are somewhat shocking numbers considering most cooking-related fires can be prevented. One of the best ways to prevent these fires is to simply take more care when cooking. Don’t ever leave something on the stove unattended, and if you’re cooking something in the oven, make sure you’re always close by to check up on it regularly. If you have kids, make sure they understand the importance of this before you allow them to cook on their own.

There are several other causes of cooking-related fires including failure to clean cooking equipment, stoves or ovens being left on, or heat sources being too close to combustibles. Of course, everyone knows to avoid leaving their oven on after they’ve used it or to prevent dropping things on the stove that don’t belong. However, many homeowners don’t realize that having a dirty, disorganized cooking area is also a major cause of house fires. Keep a clean work area, never leave a heating source unattended, and educate your children about the dangers of house fires. These are the most important rules to follow in order to prevent cooking-related fires.

Lighting

On January 19, 2015, a Christmas tree engulfed in flames in a Severna Park, Maryland home. The impending fire killed all six people in the home and sparked a lot of conversations about preventing this type of fire. Naturally, when you bring a flammable object into the home and string it with electrical components, it’s going to be a fire hazard. However, there are several things you should look out for to minimize your risk of lighting-related house fires.

  • Avoid bringing a dry tree into your home. If the tree doesn’t have green needles or they’re constantly falling out, you should remove it from your home and replace it with a fresh one.
  • Make sure the wires on your lights aren’t frayed or worn out. You should replace your lights every couple years.
  • Light bulbs that are used too long can become brittle. Once this happens, the bottle wiring can catch fire and spread throughout your home. Make sure you’re turning lights off when you don’t need them. This will also save you on your energy bills.
  • If a light bulb is enclosed in a lighting fixture, it is more likely to catch fire due to more heat being trapped inside the enclosure.
  • Never leave lights on overnight or when you aren’t home.

Smoking

Smoking is a very common cause of house fires. A cigarette that is not put out properly can easily lead to a house fire if it is knocked off onto the carpet or anything else flammable. These fires are typically started in bedrooms because many people will smoke while lying in bed and there are more flammable materials like bed sheets that can ignite quickly. If you have to smoke at all, do it outside away from anything flammable.

Dryers

Many homeowners don’t realize that dryers are a huge fire hazard. However, according to the US Fire Administration, 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year. This is primarily caused by lint and dust buildup which can become clogged and highly flammable once temperatures reach a certain point. Lint traps should be cleaned regularly.

These are just a few of the most common causes of house fires. If you’d like to learn more about fire safety, keep reading to learn about fire classification or visit the National Fire Protection Association for more statistics.  

Contact Safe Investment Home Inspections

Safe Investment Home Inspections is your home inspection specialist in Denver and the surrounding area. We will inspect your home for any safety hazards including house fires, radon levels, air quality, and much more. If you have any questions or you’re ready to get started, contact us today.

This is part one of our blog series about common causes of house fires, read part two to learn more about the classification of fires.

Radon Gas In Colorado (Cancer Risk)

Radon photoLung Cancer From Radon Gas Denver, CO

The Facts…

Lung cancer kills thousands of Americans every year in Denver, Co and the United States. Smoking, radon, and secondhand smoke are the leading causes of lung cancer. Although lung cancer can be treated, the survival rate is one of the lowest for those with cancer. From the time of diagnosis, between 11 and 15 percent of those afflicted will live beyond five years, depending upon demographic factors. In many cases lung cancer can be prevented.

Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. Smoking causes an estimated 160,000* cancer deaths in the U.S. every year (American Cancer Society, 2004). Did you know that Denver, Co and the surrounding areas are high in Radon gas?  And the rate among women is rising. On January 11, 1964, Dr. Luther L. Terry, then U.S. Surgeon General, issued the first warning on the link between smoking and lung cancer. Lung cancer now surpasses breast cancer as the number one cause of death among women. A smoker who is also exposed to radon has a much higher risk of lung cancer.

Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, according to EPA estimates. Overall, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. About 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked. On January 13, 2005, Dr. Richard H. Carmona, the U.S. Surgeon General, issued a national health advisory on radon.

Secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of lung cancer and responsible for an estimated 3,000 lung cancer deaths every year. Smoking affects non-smokers by exposing them to secondhand smoke. Exposure to secondhand smoke can have serious consequences for children’s health, including asthma attacks, affecting the respiratory tract (bronchitis, pneumonia), and may cause ear infections.
For smokers the risk of lung cancer is significant due to the synergistic effects of radon and smoking. For this population about 62 people in a 1,000 will die of lung-cancer, compared to 7.3 people in a 1,000 for never smokers. Put another way, a person who never smoked (never smoker) who is exposed to 1.3 pCi/L has a 2 in 1,000 chance of lung cancer; while a smoker has a 20 in 1,000 chance of dying from lung cancer.

Troubling Signs that Your Home isn’t Just Settling

When home inspectors speak of settling, they’re not referring to a person’s hasty choice; whether its in regards to a mate or a dinner entree. They’re referring to a home’s “getting comfortable” so to speak.  Anyone who has ever lived in a home constructed of any type of building material is familiar with the concept of settling. Gravity is constantly trying to pull your home’s building elements ever closer to its foundation, causing it to settle over many years. Those creaks, moans, groans and pops are all just indicative sounds of your home becoming one with its surroundings. This movement often causes benign cracks in the foundation, floors and walls in most homes, regardless of their age. But how does one know which cracks are normal and which ones point to bigger and much more worrisome foundation problems? Where all cracks look as if they are a problem, a home inspection in Centennial, will bring to light the difference between those meaningless cracks and those that indicate real problems.

Signs of possibly serious foundation issues include:

  • Wall rotation
  • Bowing of walls
  • Doors and windows that won’t open or close properly
  • Separation of doors and windows
  • Forming of spaces between walls and ceilings or floors
  • Walls separating from house
  • Cracks in walls and brick
  • Uneven or sloping floors

Where the presence of one issue is not an automatic sign of foundation problems, having a home inspector analyze the indications of structural problems is always recommended. If your are concerned that  your home, or a home that you may purchase, is showing signs of serious issues, call us at Safe Investment Home Inspections. We can help separate those settling issues from the real problems.

3 Troubling Signs That You Need A Mold Inspection ASAP

Mold isn’t like a leaky faucet or a broken window. When a faucet drips or a window is no longer keeping the cold air out, the problem is easy to hear and/or see. If you find it easy to ignore the dripping or the draft, you can be sure that you’ll notice the problem when you see your utility bills skyrocket. Mold is silent. It doesn’t make us uncomfortable (right away, at least) and it won’t show up on your power bill. So how do you know if it’s time to schedule home inspection services that include a mold investigation? Here are some warning signs.

Strange Odors

When you walk into your home, is your nose assaulted by a pungent odor? When mold is growing out of site, such as behind wallpaper or in the corners of your basement, it will eventually result in a damp, musty smell that seems very out of place. If you’ve checked the trash can and you’re sure that pets aren’t having an accident, you should probably call a home inspector to determine whether mold is causing the odor.

Puddles Of Water

Mold can’t exist without moisture. So if there’s a place in your home where water is regularly spilled or likes to collect, it could be a sign that mold problems are right around the corner. You should be especially aware of areas of bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room flooring that might be allowing mold to build up right under your feet.

Unexplained Health Problems

One of the last, but unfortunately most severe, signs of a mold infestation is the development of health problems. Mold is quite toxic to both humans and pets, often causing listlessness, sinus congestion or infections, and watery eyes. If you don’t have seasonal allergies, but are still experiencing similar symptoms, mold may be a possible explanation that you’ll want to deal with right away.

Mold doesn’t have to ruin a home –or your health– but it will unless you schedule home inspection services in Denver that know how to spot and eliminate it.

Should Infrared Thermal Imaging Be Part Of Your Home Inspection?

The last thing you want to do is make a massive investment into what you think is the home of your dreams only to find out that there are major issues with the foundation or other essential features. New technologies like infrared thermal imaging aren’t necessarily part of the basic home inspection in Aurora, but it comes standard with every Safe Investment Home Inspections service. Here are a few reasons why.

Spot Invisible Leaks

We’ve seen it time and time again, a house that looks perfectly fine on the outside suddenly seems to develop a myriad of problems after the new owners move in. If only home inspectors had the ability to see through walls, right? Well, with thermal imaging they do. Using an infrared camera, we’re able to capture light that exists beyond the visible spectrum. This allows our inspectors to “see through” walls, ceilings, and floors to find costly defects and surface heat variations. If there’s water leaking inside a wall or above your bed in the ceiling, we’ll be able to see it.

Identify Lack Of Insulation

How can you be sure that the contractor who built your home didn’t skimp on insulation? Without thermal imaging, you’ll just have to take his word for it. However, using our infrared cameras, a wall  or other feature that isn’t properly insulated will light up like a Christmas tree.

Verify Placement Of Heating And Cooling Systems

The placement of heating and cooling ducts is very important for climate control and energy efficiency. If this work was done hastily or repaired improperly, it can result in big costs for you down the road. With our imaging services, you can see if there are problems before you agree to buy the home.

Don’t buy a home without knowing absolutely everything you can about it. Our infrared thermal imaging come standard with every home inspection in Aurora. Schedule an inspection today!

Home selling Mistakes You Want to Avoid

A Denver home inspection is one of the most important steps you can take when making sure that your new home is a sound investment and a safe place to live. However, many homeowners don’t fully understand the importance of home inspections, what happens during home inspections, or what they need to do to get the most out of it. Today we’re covering the biggest mistakes buyers make during the home inspection an dhow you can avoid these pricey pitfalls.

  1. Not having a new construction inspected. Even experienced homebuyers have been caught making this rookie mistake. They assume that because a home has passed all local codes and ordinances, it must be in good shape. Don’t be so sure about that, though! Don’t assume your builder or the contractors did everything correct simply because the home passed code.
  2. Don’t choose an inspector for the wrong reasons. A home inspector is a professional who is going to give one of your biggest investments a full physical checkup. Make sure you choose someone who is competent, thorough, and trustworthy. Unfortunately, way too many homebuyers go with the cheapest inspection rather than the right one. Always ask about licensing, professional affiliations and credentials, and whether the inspector carries errors and omissions insurance.
  3. Make sure you go along on the inspection. The written report you get from the inspector doesn’t give you nearly as clear a picture of the condition of the house as you might think.
  4. Always follow up on the inspectors recommendations. Often inspectors will recommend buyers get an issue evaluated further, but then the buyer waits to do so until after closing on the home.

Why Should a Home Seller Get a Pre-listing Inspection?

home inspections Denver In this very hot Colorado real estate market, many advantages are leaning towards the seller, rather than the buyer. With limited inventory and demand far-exceeding supply, recent sellers of residential property seemingly have it easy. But there is a downside to the rising drive. Offers are being made with the intent to simply hold a property, while the buyer continues to look, using the home inspection findings as an excuse to back out of the contract without risking the loss of their earnest money.

Tina and Mark Hibbs experienced this problem, not just once but twice, during the recent sale of their home in Northern Colorado. “The first buyer used some very small issues to back out of her contract after we had taken our home had been off the market for 21 days. Another buyer, just a month later, did the same thing – citing what he called “health and safety issues” found during inspection. These supposed issues were easily fixable and we were willing to do so, but they simply dropped the contract. That told us that they had little interest in actually attaining the property but were just using our contract as a backup. We lost another 22 days on the market with that fallout,” explained Mark about his ordeal.

“If we had just taken the initiative to get a pre-listing inspection, I believe that we could have avoided the frustrations and weeded out the less-serious buyers from the get-go,” added Tina.

As a tool, pre-listing inspections aide home sellers by protecting them in a variety of ways. First, an inspection, initiated by the seller, allows the homeowner to address any possible issues, eliminating them from being used as bargaining chips during the contract process. By having all repairs and defects handled before listing, your home becomes more attractive and therefore more sell-able. Disclosure about those problems that the seller doesn’t intend on fixing can also be listed, eliminating the risk of objection and possible contract dissolution.

Second, a completed home inspection report from a certified home inspector can help you to realistically set a listing price that makes sense. By making allowances for that outdated HVAC system, for example, you can avoid losing time and money negotiating during the contract period having priced your home with those allowances in mind.

Third, having that completed inspection available during showings, delivers a level of confidence in your property and may help sway potential buyers your way, increasing the chance of early, and possibly multiple, offers. When a buyer can understand that there are no major defects or problems, and allowances have been made for any minor ones, that buyer is much more likely to make a decision with which they feel comfortable.