Important Things To Look at When Viewing a Home

Buying a home is exciting, with emotions running high. Understandably, this is a major milestone that ought to be celebrated. Amidst dealing with a realtor, a buyer, a title company in Jacksonville FL, and the bank, you have to ensure you have inspected the house well. With that excitement, there are a few things you should not ignore. Take a look at some of them.

The Roof

One of the costly upgrades a homeowner may face is roof replacement. Different roofs have different lifespans. To get an idea of the roof’s age, check on things like missing, loose, or curled shingles. Most roofs have a lifespan of about 20 years plus, with good maintenance. If you notice the roof is old and will need replacing soon, you can decide if this is a deal-breaker for you.

Electrical System

This includes the wiring, fuses, amperage, light fixtures, etc. Older homes may have fuses, which can be problematic if your electricity demand is high. Faulty wiring, on the other hand, can easily lead to accidents if not fixed. Therefore, check whether the electrical system is good enough during house viewing.

Heating and Cooling System

Replacing an HVAC unit can be costly. Besides that, if a house is using an older model that is not energy efficient, then your electricity bill will be high.

Plumbing System

This is also something else you also need to check. Ensure faucets, sinks, and toilets are working properly. Open the tap and check if the sink is draining correctly, then check under the sink and confirm no pipe is leaking. Flush the toilet as well to ensure it is working correctly. For a thorough investigation, you may want to leave it to the inspector as they uncover other issues in the home.

Some of these issues may give you the bargaining power for a lower price when you go to the negotiating table. As you start house hunting, take note of the important things you need to inspect.

Choosing The Right Insulation For Your Home

One cannot dispute the role of insulation in a home. You can enjoy enhanced comfort levels, reduced electricity bills, and improved indoor air quality when your home is well insulated. So how do you choose the proper insulation for your home? Here is a guide to help you.

Soundproofing

When choosing insulation, ensure it is soundproof. Things like noisy traffic, barking dogs, loud neighbors, and other things can be a nuisance. If you like your silence, then choosing home insulation that will properly block the noise is essential. Of course, another alternative to consider is secondary glazing. When done by professionals, secondary glazing is excellent in soundproofing and insulation.

R-Value

This is a measure of the resistance of indoor heat flow through the particular thickness of a material. If the R-value is high, then the thermal insulation is of good quality and vice versa. This is effective when it comes to cost, since a higher R-value means lower energy bills. Since various types of foams have a higher R-value than others, choose an affordable material that will give you value for a long time.

Flammability

While most people assume that any type of insulation is suitable, this is simply not true. There are some insulation types that can more easily catch fire than others. You need to be in a home where you feel safe and protected, meaning you should choose a less flammable type of insulation. As recommended by Owens Corning Jacksonville Florida, some of the insulation types that are fireproof include fiberglass and mineral wool. Fiberglass is fire resistant, but be cautious about how the fabric pieces are used. Fibrous mats and cellulose are also excellent materials to consider.

Choosing the right insulation is essential if you want to enjoy comfort in your home. Next time you are thinking of insulating your home, talk to a technician about these three things and ensure you get value for your money.

Household Appliances and Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

Heating and cooling make up a lot of homes’ biggest sources of energy consumption. However, appliances also comprise a large part of homeowners’ electricity usage. Being environmentally conscious requires attention to how your appliances operate. Also, you have to evaluate how the way that you use them impacts the amount of power that they use. Here are a few important things that you should consider about your household appliances and energy efficiency.

Do You Need a New Refrigerator?

When your refrigerator isn’t working like it used to, a simple repair may get it running in top shape again. However, there are some situations in which you may need to consider an upgrade. Investing in repairs may not be worth it when your refrigerator is more than twenty years old. Also, newer models tend to use significantly less energy than their predecessors. For help with refrigerator installation service, contact a reputable company in your area.

Are You Wasting Electricity on Laundry?

When you run a load of laundry, you should make sure that you’ve got a full load. A wash and dry cycle can use a considerable amount of electricity you use on laundry, especially with older laundry machines. Also, consider whether you really need to use hot water to wash a load. The energy needed to heat water makes up much of the total energy that goes into cleaning your clothes.

Are You Draining Energy With Your Dishes?

A dishwasher cycle doesn’t necessarily need to include a heated dry function. By turning this setting off and pulling out your dishwasher’s racks to let your dishes dry on their own, you can take care of the dishes without using energy that you don’t really need to.

Your appliances need to be functional and energy efficient. Be conscientious about how much energy you use on the household appliances that you use most often.

How To Make Your Home Safer From the Inside Out

Home safety is an essential priority for any homeowner. Without this, your dream home can quickly transition into a nightmarish experience. If you want to feel assured that you have made precautions in place to keep you safe, here are a few must-have features.

Exterior Lighting

Lighting can play an important role in keeping your home safe. A well-lit property is far less likely to fall prey to home invaders. Installing exterior lighting Winter Park can not only make your home safer from potential intruders, but it can also help you stay safe by illuminating your path even after the sun goes down.

Motion-Activated or Smart Interior Lights

Exterior lights are not the only lights that you should consider to up your home’s safety precautions. Having interior motion-activated lights, lights activated by timers or smart lights that can be controlled by an app on your phone can give the appearance that someone is home even when you are away. Home invaders are far less likely to break into a house that appears occupied.

Smart Doorbells

Another wonderful technology that can boost your defenses at home is a smart doorbell. Whether you want to protect your packages from wandering eyes or you want to know who is at the door, a smart doorbell can open up a world of possibilities for a safer and smarter house. You’ll never be surprised again when you can check who is at the door from the comfort of your couch.

Home Security System

An essential for any fortified home is a home security system. Whether you go with a smart home system or a traditional home security setup, having that additional layer of protection can go a long way. Keep in mind that you won’t want to post signs advertising what system you are using, as this can make it easier for intruders to break in. Instead, fortify your home without broadcasting who is offering that protection.

Don’t stress out about security when you can beef up your home’s precautions. With these defensive upgrades, you can rest easy knowing you are well protected.

4 Tips for Rooftop Maintenance

Keeping your roof in good shape is essential to a well-functioning home. Repairing or replacing your roof is expensive. Luckily there are some steps you can take to keep your roof lasting for a long time. Continue reading to learn more about how to maintain the roof on your house.

1. Trim the Trees

One practical way to keep your roof safe is to cut any tree branches that hang over your home. For one, leaves will accumulate on your roof and collect moisture, which is bad for the roof tiles. You also risk large branches breaking off and damaging your roof, so stay vigilant about trimming any branches that can cause problems.

2. Clean Shingles and Check for Damage

Regularly check your shingles for damage. Try to make a habit of cleaning them once or twice per year. This will prevent any deteriorating fungus or moss from growing on your roof. If there are several damaged or missing shingles on your roof, do not hesitate to call a professional specializing in residential roofing Smyrna GA. They can repair your roof before further damage occurs, which will ultimately cost you much more.

3. Inspect the Sealant

Another thing you should check is the sealant. When you clean your roof, look for any cracks or damage in the areas where glue is applied. Apply new adhesive or contact a professional to do the job.

4. Keep the Gutters Clear

Gutters that are clogged or sagging can damage your roof as well. If water cannot pass through your drainage system, it will start to seep under the roof. Gutter cleaning should be a part of your seasonal maintenance on your house.

If you keep your eyes open for damage and check your roof a few times per year, you can avoid severe damage to your home. Do not hesitate to hire a professional for challenging work. Rooftop maintenance is dangerous, and the average homeowner should not risk most tasks.

4 Unusual and Unique Roof Types

Among common roofs found on homes, there are also particular types that don’t receive equal attention. You may have glanced at them in passing, but you don’t know them by name. However, details regarding their design can help you understand their intriguing form.

Saltbox

A saltbox roof is short and long with asymmetrical planes. While its shorter side is low, its longer side is steep with a complex appearance. The roof type is popular in New England (and also a historical element associated with single-family shacks in southern states in the U.S.) but can be installed by roofing contractors in Daytona Beach FL if requested. Additionally, the design is favored among individuals who want an old-fashioned home exterior.

Mansard

A mansard roof is a four-sided gambrel-style hip roof with two slopes on each side. The bottom slope is steeper and complex regarding its design.

Hipped

A hipped roof is one of the most popular roof types on residential properties. While it has upward slopes on all sides, it lacks vertical ends. The hip is the outside angle to the neighboring sloping surface. On the other hand, the degree of the angle is known as a bevel.

Jerkinhead

A jerkinhead roof is similar to the gable style. However, in contrast, two of the roof’s four sides are bigger than the opposite sides, which are smaller. Furthermore, the gable peaks are also cut to mimic the hip roof design.

Jerkinheads are also known as ‘Dutch hip’ or ‘Half-hip’ roofs. They’re most popular in Germany, Denmark, Slovenia, and Austria and are usually found in cottages. Due to the church-inspired architectural design of the roof type, the roof type is revered among many individuals.

Not only is a roof a vital element to the structure of a house, but it’s also significant to the construction process. Depending on the type of your choice, you can add a modern or classic style to the exterior of your home.

Improving the Energy Efficiency of Your Home

Energy efficiency is a big deal. Besides the promise of significant utility bill reduction and decreased impact on the environment; taking the steps to increase the energy efficiency of your home can also create a living space that is healthier and less prone to some of the more common household hazards.

Energy-efficient housing may reduce or even eliminate toxins like mold and mildew while minimizing or eliminating humidity. Less mildew and moisture also mean fewer issues with pests.

Making Your Home More Energy-Efficient

Living in an older home that wasn’t built with energy efficiency in mind, doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of all the benefits. Upgrading your appliances Rockville MD to more efficient models can make a huge difference. Just replacing your refrigerator, if it’s more than 10-years-old, could save you hundreds of dollars over the lifetime of your new appliance, and upgrading to an energy-efficient dishwasher could help reduce water waste by 3,500 gallons per year. Whether you replace one at a time or have the ability to upgrade them all, the impact is significant.

If upgrading your appliances isn’t on the radar at the moment, there are still some things you can do today to make your home more energy-efficient. Upgrade to LED lighting reduces energy consumption and one bulb can last about 25,000 hours. Lowering your thermostat when you’re away from home and unplugging unused chargers are simple ways to make a big impact for free. If you have an older home with gaps in the floorboards filling these gaps can help and, while you’re waiting to fill the gaps, a rug over the area can reduce draftiness and air loss.

Making simple changes to your home to improve energy efficiency doesn’t have to be difficult, and each small improvement makes a big difference whether you’re concerned about the environment or wanting to save money on your monthly bills.

3 Reasons To Switch to a Tankless Water Heater

A new hot water heater is a major investment for many homeowners. You want to find the right one that will meet your needs and help you stay within budget. If you are in the market for a new water heater, consider these three reasons to invest in a tankless model. 

1. Lower Utility Bills

The increased efficiency of tankless water heaters makes them a very popular option for homeowners looking to cut utility bills or lower their carbon footprint. Since they only heat water as it is needed, instead of constantly heating and reheating a tank full of water throughout the day, they use much less energy to operate. 

2. No Tanks To Leak

This is a seemingly obvious but often-overlooked positive when it comes to tankless water heaters: They have no tanks to leak. If you’ve ever had a leaky water heater, you know what a huge advantage this is. 

There are a couple of other bonuses to this besides eliminating the chance of a leaking tank. FOr starters, you won’t have to worry about flushing it regularly. You’ll also gain usable space where the tank used to be — hello new storage closet.  Keep in mind that these changes also mean you should always call a professional trained in tankless water heater repair San Ramon CA if a problem occurs. 

3. Endless Hot Water

For most applications, a tankless water heater will supply a nearly endless amount of hot water at a single output. A quick look at how tankless water heaters operate explains how this works. Keep in mind that multiple high-demand tasks, such as taking a hot shower while running the dishwasher, can tax even a large tankless unit.

Tankless water heaters can be a great investment. They help cut utility bills, minimize the chance of leaks and provide a nearly endless supply of hot water. 

Effective Ways to Control Pests at Home

Pests pose serious threats to all living things, whether it’s humans or plants. Some of the most common kinds of pests include fungus, mosquitos, flies, rats, and all living organisms that have harmful effects on humans, our surroundings, livestock, and food supplies. Companies such as All Star Pest Control can help you control pests in your home if they get out of control. Nonetheless, there are also a few other things that you can do to ensure that pests do not invade your household. Read on to learn more.

Keep Your Kitchen Clean

Pests thrive in moist and dirty areas. Therefore, to avoid pest infestation, you should keep your kitchen counters, racks, and drawers sparkling clean. Wipe these areas with a disinfectant regularly and sweep any food particles lying on your kitchen floor as they attract insects. Although this method may not eliminate the pests in your house entirely, it will reduce the number of pests in the home.

Drain Any Standing Water

Pests such as mosquitos breed in standing water. If there is any stagnant water around your home, drain it immediately to eliminate the pests. Mosquitoes are harmful and can cause diseases such as dengue fever and malaria.

Avoid Keeping Fruits and Vegetables

When fruits and vegetables are overripe, they tend to attract flies and other pests. If you cut your ripe foods, don’t keep them out for too long. Cover them and store in the fridge or consume them while still fresh. Although fruit flies are harmless other pests like cockroaches that feed on rotting fruits can be challenging to get rid of.

Regular Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposal is critical in keeping your household free from pests like rats. You must ensure that you dispose of your garbage daily because the accumulation of waste can result in pest infestation. Leaving waste in your house for too long can cause the spread of diseases, especially if you have small children in your home.

Preventing Chimney Fires

Chimney fires are a real danger. They occur more commonly than you may think, especially in the colder months. A chimney fire isn’t just a nuisance; your whole structure can catch on fire and burn down.

If you are unsure about the safety and condition of your chimney, you would be wise to seek professional help. Contact a quality professional chimney service Washington DC.

Chimney Fires: A Real Danger

Perhaps you have never seen or experienced a chimney fire. Once lit, they can behave like an explosive blowtorch, with flames, sparks, and dense smoke shooting out from the top of the chimney, often accompanied by a loud roaring sound. The remainder of your home or property can catch fire very easily.  It is not something to fool around with.

According to some statistics, over 25,000 chimney fires occur in the United States each year. Indeed, they are responsible for well over 100 million dollars of property damage.

The main cause of chimney fires is a buildup of creosote. Creosote is a tar-like black or dark brown residue that accumulates from repeated burning in your fireplace. It accumulates on the inside of the chimney walls when the burning of oils and waxes in wood fuel is not complete. If it builds up sufficiently, it can catch fire and cause a chimney fire.

How To Prevent a Chimney Fire

The best way to prevent a chimney fire is to keep the interior of your chimney neat and clean. Creosote especially is the main culprit to be concerned about.

If you use your fireplace for heating or simply for cosmetic appearance, it is a good idea to get your chimney inspected annually. A certified chimney specialist can take care of the issue for you. Don’t put it off; your safety is important.