In last week’s blog post, we began our list of New Year’s resolutions for the health of your house, including getting a Home Maintenance Inspection, finding the root cause of nagging problems like slow draining tubs and sinks, and other tips that don’t cost a lot but yield big rewards. Since we only scratched the surface of suggestions for improving your home and getting the most of its components and systems, your friends at A-Pro Home inspection have a few more home-health, money-saving, and family-safety resolutions to consider in 2022:
Schedule a Radon Test: Have you ever had your home tested for radon? If you said “no,” you’re just one of a large percentage of homeowners who have never had their home checked to see if it has dangerous levels of this invisible and odorless gas that can enter homes through cracks or openings in walls or foundations. If this naturally occurring radioactive gas—the result of uranium breaking down in water, rock and soil—is lurking in your home, you won’t be able to immediately detect it by experiencing symptoms (like you may when there is carbon monoxide present). The deadly results of long-term radon exposure won’t surface for years. However, the consequences of neglecting to have this simple and affordable test can be severe. That’s because radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer deaths in the U.S., only surpassed by smoking.
A radon test, like those performed as an added service by A-Pro Home Inspection, will note radon levels in the home and recommend ways to remediate the problem if high levels are discovered. Per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), some radon reduction systems can virtually eliminate the problem while costing as much as a typical home repair. Methods include subslab depressurization, sump-hole suction, foundation crack sealing, and block wall suction. Your radon-remediation specialist will recommend the best option based on your home’s foundation type.
Schedule a Carbon Monoxide Assessment: Like radon, carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless, and invisible. Unlike radon, though, high levels of carbon monoxide in a home—produced by burning gas, wood, charcoal or other fuel—can quickly build up in the bloodstream and cause CO poisoning, resulting in injury or death. Common symptoms include headaches, dizziness, stomach distress, and confusion. A licensed home inspector can test the carbon monoxide levels in a home as well as check appliances and fixtures that may be emitting CO, with recommendations on best practices like purchasing quality CO detectors and advice on where to install them for best results.
Check the Weather Stripping: Have you checked your home’s door and window weather stripping lately? It’s a good idea to assess weather stripping on an annual basis, making sure it’s still in good shape and doing its job. Insufficient weather stripping is a common defect found by the home inspectors at A-Pro during a 500-point roof-to-foundation inspection. Make a resolution for 2022 to replace deteriorated or warped weather stripping (you’ll notice drafty windows and doors when it has lost its effectiveness). For a small investment, you’ll benefit from added indoor comfort and lowered utility costs.
Seal Driveway Cracks: During the exterior portion of a home inspection, the condition of concrete or asphalt driveways will be assessed. Factors such as frost heaves, intrusive tree roots, and compression from vehicle weight will cause a number of issues over time, such as spalling and more severe degradation. Cracks are of particular concern in colder climates since they will only get worse over time due to the freeze/thaw cycle. After noting the length, depth, amount of separation, and number of cracks, it is not uncommon for inspectors to recommend crack sealing. A quick check of your own driveway will tell you if sealing driveway cracks should be on your list of 2022 resolutions.
What are those spots, anyway? Mold in a home can literally be making you sick. There are a range of health concerns related to inhaling certain kinds of airborne mold spores, from fatigue and sneezing to asthma attacks and permanent lung damage. If you notice a musty smell or spots on the walls of your basement, attic, kitchen, bathrooms, utility room, or other place in your home, make a resolution to hire a certified mold inspector, like those at A-Pro Home Inspection, to perform an inspection that involves taking samples for testing and remediation recommendations. Even more importantly, make a resolution to address the underlying cause of the mold—moisture. As the EPA cautions, simply cleaning up mold in a home isn’t enough without fixing the water issues that allow mold to grow in the first place. A few steps include cleaning gutters regularly, controlling indoor humidity, making sure soil is graded so it directs rainwater away from the foundation, repairing leaky pipes, reducing attic condensation, and ensuring AC drip pans are clean and drain lines flow freely.