Depending on where your home is, and how old your home is, you may still have lead-based paint on your walls. Lead-based paint is often found in older homes, built before the 1990’s, but it never hurts to check if your home has the hazardous paint. Sure, it’s glossier and prettier and holds the color better, but it can put you and your loved ones in danger. Before your dream-home inspection, here’s the dangers of lead based paint, how to spot it, and what to do about it.
Lead-based paint contains high amounts of lead which can lead lead poisoning. This means development problems for younger children which consists of problems hearing, growth delay, short- and long-term learning difficulties, and behavioral problems. For adults, it can result in sleep problems, kidney dysfunction, numbness, abdominal pain and cramps, and more. More serious side effects may include vomiting and seizures.
Thankfully, it’s not illegal to manufacture lead-based paint. However, you should always get a local home inspector to go around your house before moving in, just to make sure you won’t be subjected to harsh symptoms of lead poising.
There are many signs of lead-based paint. One sign is a fun little thing called “alligatoring,” which essentially means the paint is peeling like scales. Make sure to check all your closets, along baseboards and basement window sashes, or anywhere painters might have missed a spot.
There’s also a paint testing kit available at local hardware stores that can find lead on your surfaces. There is a solution in this kit that you rub against the surface, and if the solution turns pink, there is lead.
There is various health risks involved for you and others that enter your home if you have lead-based paint, so it’s best to get a local home inspector to test for lead as soon as you can. At Highland Home Inspections, we can test everything in your household for lead, and send the report directly back to you.
Don’t put yourself or others at risk any longer, contact us today for more information about our lead-based paint testing services.
When you live in a place like Highland, MD for as long as we have, you learn how to deal with harsh winters. Part of doing this is ensuring that your home and pipes are prepared for the cold of the winter by contacting a home inspection company.
Anyone who has ever dealt with a burst pipe knows exactly how much trouble it can be. The easiest solution to a burst pipe? Prevent it from bursting in the first place.
One usual culprit for wintertime pipe freezing is your hose bib. The hose bib is the outdoor faucet that your garden hose connects to. Even if you shut the bib completely off, there can still be water left in the pipe which can freeze and cause your pipe to burst.
In order to completely ensure your pipe’s safety, you need to be thorough. In order to help you make sure your pipes are safe, we have put together this step by step list:
If you follow these steps then you will greatly decrease the chance of your home’s pipes bursting. However this is not a be all end all set of solutions, and you may still benefit from the services and advice of an experienced Highland, MD home inspection company.
Whether you are preparing to sell or buy a property, contact us at Highland Home Inspections. We can help ensure your pipes remain intact, and can help with any other home inspection needs you may have.
Cold weather has finally arrived and that means that it’s about time to turn on the heat. To heat your home, it’s time for your heat pump to get to work if you have an all-electric house. However, once the temperature dips lower than 30°, your heat pump will run into some trouble keeping your house warm.
To learn a little bit more about your heat pump, read on and check out our video.
Make sure your system is calling for heat properly by setting the thermostat to a higher temperature than it is currently set to. If you do not hear the heating system kick on within a few minutes, there might be an issue with your heating system. If the thermostat doesn’t seem to be calling for heat, it might need new batteries. You can also check the circuit breaker to make sure it hasn’t been tripped.
A clogged air filter in your HVAC system can greatly decrease the heating efficiency and if not replaced can cause further damage to your heat pump. Your filter should be inspected once a month and changed no less than 4 times a year. If you notice your filter getting dirty often, it’s advisable to switch to a new filter once a month. Having pets who shed can cause this.
There’s a very simple way to check in on your heat pump and make sure that it’s running properly. Head on outside and take a look at the unit itself. When you approach the outdoor unit, you’ll see a pipe that leads into your home easily identified with black insulation. Pull that insulation back and touch the copper pipe. If the heat pump is functioning properly, the pipe will be almost too hot to touch. If this is not the case, then it’s time to call in a professional to address the problem.
Neglecting to address your heat pump can lead to expensive bills come the Spring. It’s far better to avoid those surprise bill spikes by taking care of the issue now.
Did you know your indoor air filter needs regular checking and changing? Over time air filters in the home become clogged and dirty, which can make them inefficient.
But how often does the filter need to be changed? Let’s take a look at filters and when they should be changed, how often they should be changed, and how to change them.
Over time your indoor air filter becomes filled with dust particles that travel through your home’s air ducts. The filter’s purpose is to pick up dust and prevent it from entering the heating and cooling unit, and from cycling through your home. Filters are made to catch dirt and debris, so over time they should and will become dirty and full.
When the filter has caught all the dirt and dust it can handle it will stop being effective. When this happens it becomes harder for the air to pass through the filter and the air that does pass through isn’t cleaned as well as it should be. Changing the filter is an important part of maintaining your air duct system and maintaining clean breathing air in your home.
To determine if your filter is in need of a replacement you can simply pull it out and examine it. A filter that needs to be changed will appear dusty and dirty. If you are unsure whether the filter needs to be replaced, consider replacing it on a regular schedule, such as every three months.
There are some other considerations to take into account when deciding how often to change your filter. The amount of pets you have in the home will greatly impact the amount of time you can get out of a filter. On average a filter can last approximately three months, but if you have several pets you will want to change it every 30-60 days instead.
To replace the filter you’ll first want to figure out what type of filter to use, this information should be available with your HVAC units information.
Once you’ve determined the type of filter to use, turn off the unit and remove the existing filter from its place in the unit, the air filter slot. If you have trouble locating this consult the units guide, or contact the company that installed the unit for you.
Once you’ve removed the existing filter you can insert the new one, close the slot, and turn the unit back on. Before turning the unit back on quickly check the new filter to ensure it fits in the slot properly.
After you are finished you can throw away the old filter as you won’t need it anymore. If you were unsure of which kind of filter to purchase, it may be a good idea to write that information down for the next time the filter needs to be changed.
Changing your home’s air filter is a simple but important part of home maintenance. Replacing the filter frequently can help your HVAC unit run smoothly and efficiently. In addition to changing your home’s air filter are a multitude of other home maintenance tasks. Changing the air filter is one of the more common of these home maintenance items. In the video below, we go into some of the… lesser known home maintenance tasks.
If you are unsure how to locate or replace your air filter, call us at Highland Homes Inspections, we’d be happy to help. Our team of Maryland home inspectors can help you ensure everything in your home is as it should be.