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Worried About Water Damage?

As expert home inspectors, we’ve seen more than our fair share of houses that have been victim to water damage. Whether a pipe burst inside the home, the foundation is faulty, or the house is in an area prone to flooding, water damage can mean a lot of headaches and costly repairs for you as a homeowner.

water damage home inspection

Let’s take a look at what types of water damage can occur, and what to do when you discover any of these water-related issues in your home.

Water Stains

When you have a leaky pipe in your home, one of the first signs you’ll notice is water spots or stains on the walls or ceilings. In addition to leaky pipes, holes in your roof or poorly placed caulking can also cause water seepage throughout the home. If a seller is trying to make a sale as quickly as possible, they may try to cover up stains with paint, but if you hire a reliable Maryland home inspector, they’ll look quite a bit deeper and know exactly what else to look for in order to detect water issues for you in a potential new home.

Cracks in the Foundation

Foundation damage can be either structural or non-structural. The former occurs when water damage is extensive, and the latter when water has seeped through small cracks in a home’s foundation. There are corrections that can be made to non-structural damage that may prevent future issues, but large foundation cracks and water damage that is considered structural will often require extensive work to restabilize the foundation.

Mold and Rot

Mold often grows on surfaces, so it can be easier to spot than other concerning issues in the home that are found via home inspection. Moist and humid conditions are where bacteria, mold, and rot thrive. If left to grow and multiply, mold and rot can lead to fungi growth which is known to cause structural damage to your home. Not only do mold and fungi signify the presence of water where it shouldn’t be, but they cause ugly stains, unpleasant odors, diminished air quality, and in large quantities, illness.

Your Reliable Home Inspector in Maryland

Suspect there is water damage in your home or a house you’re interested in buying? Highland Home Inspections is your best resource for all your home inspection needs in Maryland. Whether you’re moving into a new home or selling your current property, we are the experts you can trust to find water damage and any other concerns that can affect the purchase or sale of your home. Contact us to schedule your inspection today!

Damaged Gutters Can Spell Disaster for Your Home

We all get a little lazy from time to time. Sometimes we give up looking for the remote and decide to watch whatever is on. Sometimes we skip the gym and sleep in instead. Sometimes we put off cleaning and fixing the gutters. Well, you may want to reconsider that last one.

leaves gutter clog damage inspection

If your home’s gutters are working at anything less than full capacity, then your home could be in serious danger, and you could benefit from working with a Maryland home inspector. Damaged gutters can inflict serious damage on your home, and serious stress on you. We wanted to take some time today to discuss the possible dangers of neglecting a damaged gutter.

Leaky Gutters Can Cause Problems

The primary function of your home’s gutter system is to divert water away from the house. If your gutters are leaking then they aren’t properly performing this duty. Here’s just some of the issues that can arise from leaky gutters:

  • Damage to your roof and fascia
  • Damaged and swollen siding
  • Erosion of the soil
  • Stains on siding or concrete
  • Wearing down of your gutters, causing them to fall off
  • Water pooling near the foundation, which can cause a damaged or cracked foundation
  • Water pooling around the sides of your home, which can lead to the flooding of your home or basement

The key factor here is that leaky gutters aren’t functioning gutters. They lead to water being in places that it shouldn’t be, and damage to your home. Prevent leaks by conducting regular Maryland home inspections.

The Danger of Weather

If you’ve lived in Maryland for a while then you know how much it rains here. Even a light to moderate rain can lead to up to 500 gallons of runoff, enough to have your gutters working overtime. When you combine the Maryland storms with a set of damaged gutters, you get a recipe for disaster.

How to Tell if Your Gutters Are Leaking

Unless you’re spending a lot of time on your roof, you may not notice immediately when your gutters start leaking. One way to tell is to check them out when it’s raining. This, of course, requires you to get a little wet, but it’s worth it if it prevents damage to your home. You’ll want to look to make sure that the water is draining out where it is, and if it’s coming out of where it shouldn’t be, it could mean your gutters are leaking or are clogged.

Get Some Help From a Maryland Home Inspector

If you’re having issues with your gutters, don’t wait until your home floods, get some help from a Maryland home inspection professional today. Here at Highland Homes, we’ve been serving Maryland for years and have seen more than our fair share of damaged gutters.

Don’t wait around, give us a call today, and one of our Maryland home inspectors will be able to assist you.

3 Things to Fix Before You Sell Your House

Preparing your home for sale can be quite strenuous. What can you do to increase your home’s value? And what repairs/additions will give you a good return on the value? The entire real estate market is crazy and difficult to navigate. That’s why, as experienced Maryland home inspectors, we wanted to put together this little guide offering suggestions for how to get the best value for your home.

Inspect Home Before Sale

Fix Any Structural Issues

Most people neglect the structure of their home when they’re thinking about selling. While that scented candle you placed out is nice and acts as the cherry on top, that’s just it. It’s just a cherry. The structure of your home is the ice cream itself, and without it you don’t have a sundae, just some whipped cream and a cherry (which isn’t half as good!).

Many home-buyers take a home’s structure into serious consideration. Things like the roof, HVAC, the water heater, and pipes are all integral parts of your home, and if not functioning properly, make the home less appealing. If any of your home’s structural components are old or are in need of repair, you should seriously consider either repairing or replacing them. If anything is in too bad of shape, your home may not be approved by a Maryland home inspector.

Make Sure Your Landscaping is Top-Notch

One of the first things a potential home-buyer sees as they approach your home is not your house, but your yard. You want to make this first impression a good one. Many sellers think only about the house itself and neglect the yard, leaving it cluttered and unkempt. This is a big mistake.

Make sure your yard is cleaned up, with no junk or clutter laying around. Then spruce it up a bit! Cut the grass, trim the hedges, plant some new trees and flowers, put new mulch in the planting bed. You get the idea. You may even want to consider hiring a professional landscaping company. Whatever you do, just have your yard looking its best!

Update and Modernize Your Kitchen

One of the most important rooms in your house when it comes to selling it is your kitchen. Today’s buyers want a kitchen that could rival that of Gordon Ramsey’s. There are a couple of things you can do to renovate or revamp your kitchen. You could conduct a full-blown overhaul, redoing and replacing everything, though this is time-consuming and costly. Many sellers choose to update and upgrade kitchen appliances like the refrigerator and the oven. This is the best way to go, it’s cost-effective, and most buyers put a lot of stock into what appliances come with the home.

How Do I Know Which Things I Should Fix and Which Ones to Leave Alone?

If you’re having trouble deciding which components of your home should be fixed before you sell, don’t worry. This is a big decision and one that’s difficult to make. Take some of this stress off yourself by contacting a professional Maryland home inspector. Highland Home Inspections has served Maryland for years and we’ve learned the ins and outs of the real estate business. Give us a call today, we’d love to help you in any way we can.

Worried About Mold Problems in Your Home?

Mold in your house can be caused by any multitude of reasons, most of which are related to water damage. You can take preventative measures like keeping your pipes up to date, drying out wet areas around the house, and using an air purifier. However, if you’re worried mold is already there, it’s best to get someone who performs home inspections locally to check out your mold and see how to get rid of it. In the mean time, it’s best to get informed on what mold is and what it could do to your house.

Mold in a house

Different Types of Mold

Most people wouldn’t normally be able to pick out one type of mold from another, but there are different kinds that can lead to various different health risks for your household. Aureobasidium is a mold that is commonly found on wooden furniture or surface, painted walls, wall paper, around windows, and in caulk. This mold is pink and black. It’s so common that most people are allergic to it, and it’s known to cause more severe reactions than other molds.

Cladosporium is a type of mold found in cool and warm areas around the house, like carpet, wood floorboards, wooden cabinets, and older fabrics. This mold is known to give homeowners breathing problems and respiratory issues.

Stachybotrys Chartarum is also known as “black mold,” or “toxic mold.” This mold is typically found in areas that stay damp and can be recognized by its musty smell. Black mold creates toxic compounds that are known as mycotoxins, and they cause the people who breathe in the mold to get breathing issues, sinus infections, depression, fatigue, asthma and more.

There are more types of mold, like tricoderma, ulocladium, and alternaria, that cause various issues for homeowners typically involving breathing issues and allergic reactions, so always keep an eye out for mold as to avoid the issues that come along with it.

What Does Mold Mean For My House?

If mold damage goes too far, it might mean bad news for the future of your home. If mold damages dry wall, you may have to cut out and dispose of that part of the wall. In some cases, you may have to completely replace the fixture or surface the mold is on, and that can get costly.

If you’re selling your house, you are legally required to inform interested parties about the mold in your home, which could make it harder to sell. Mold litigation is getting tougher and tougher, so it’s best to get your home looked at by a home inspector if you think you’ve found mold, so you can best determine how to get rid of it, and more easily sell your home.

How Can I Solve My Mold Problem?

Mold can generally be treated by giving it a good scrub with the right cleaner. Moldy surfaces should be washed with a solution that contains detergent and warm water, then, when the surface dries, use a bleach solution on the surface and clean it. Do this three times. Secure the room the mold is in until the mold is gone so it does not harm anyone in the process of trying to get rid of it. Once you get rid of the mold, be sure to keep up with cleaning and keeping your surfaces dry so it doesn’t come back.

If you’re unsure about what kind of mold you have, or if you have mold, call Highland Home Inspections today to get it checked out. We can help you identify the mold you have, and help you fight against it.