Categories Home safety

8 Problems You Shouldn’t Ignore

home projects

Your home is your greatest investment and probably your greatest possession, so why leave problems on the back burner when you notice them?

While busy schedules or financial burdens are seemingly good reasons to put off home improvements, doing so may actually cost you more in the long run.

We want to point out some of the red flags that you should always address as soon as possible. Taking care of these issues right away can save you BIG in the future.

1. Roofing Problems

Your roof is essential to your home, and we’ve talked about easy ways to maintain it.

Refresh yourself with these tips to keep your roof in working order. Leaking, loose shingles, or any discoloration means it’s time to call in a pro and take care of the minor issue before it becomes a major one.

2. Discolored Ceiling Stains

This is an indicator of moisture coming into your home, either from the roof or pipes in your bathroom.

Take some time to find the source of the leak and save yourself thousands in water damage or even worse, the loss of personal belongings.

3. Crumbly, Wood Windows

This is a sign of rot and could lead to a much larger issue. If your windows are peeling or crumbling, address them ASAP!

4. Electrical Issues

Flickering lights may be a sign of improper or old wiring. This issue needs to be examined by a licensed professional early on. Any electrical issue within the home can be dangerous for everyone inside.

5. Leaky Faucets or Toilets

Monitor your water bill each month, if your bill skyrockets, but you haven’t increased usage call a plumber. A hidden leak may be plaguing your home!

6. Replacing a Deck

Failing to stay on top of routine cleanup and maintenance can really do a number on your deck.

The cost of maintaining a deck is less than $100 a year while replacing it from the ground up can run upwards of $8,000. Keep it clean from debris, reapply sealant, and do an annual inspection for rot to keep your deck healthy.

7. Driveway

Many people don’t think about the necessity of maintaining their driveway but think about how much it’s exposed to.

Your driveway handles the constant weight of heavy vehicles and is fully exposed to harsh conditions (extreme heat, ice, etc.).

Asphalt driveways are prone to crumbling if not protected so be vigilant with your application of driveway sealer.

8. Clogged Gutters

Neglecting your regular gutter maintenance can lead to problems with mold, cracks in flooring, or even erosion.

Spending a little time on your Saturdays cleaning out the gutters will help safeguard your home against bigger problems in the future.

Most of these home improvement issues are easily avoidable with a little regular upkeep, but if left unattended they can spiral into something ugly really quickly.

We Can Help

Don’t hesitate to call a professional, like us, if you have any concerns with your home today!

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Categories Home safety

Is Your Deck Dangerous


You’ve probably been spending the last few weeks outside on your deck. Grilling out, watching sunsets, and just enjoying time with friends and family.

When you’re letting loved ones, neighbors, and even family pets spend so much time in a space of your home, don’t you want to be certain that it’s totally safe?

Because our decks are exposed to the elements, they can deteriorate quickly. While this sounds dreary, the upside is that with a little upkeep most deck problems are preventable or manageable.

Common Issues

According to Angie’s List, home inspectors said nearly one-third of the decks they inspected were unsafe. Make sure that your home doesn’t fall into this category by watching out for these issues.

1. Water Damage

Getting a seal done once is not enough, reapplying sealant is necessary every few years.

To test this out sprinkle some water on your deck, if it doesn’t bead up and rather soaks into the wood then you know it’s time for a new seal!

2. Rotting Wood

This is the worst case scenario for your deck. Check your posts, beams, handrails and stairs.  

Regularly replace problematic boards to maintain the stability of your deck.

3. Fasteners

Do you see any exposed or rusty nails, screws, or anchors? Are they loose?

All of these are potential safety risks for the people occupying this space. Be sure to use bolts in place of nails when fastening wood to wood.

4. Gapping Boards

Many types of wood will shrink over time causing gaps in the deck. The only solution is to remove and replace.

Deck Safety

  • Railings and banisters are secure, the rails are at least 36 inches high and 4 inches apart.
  • Test stairs for a wobble, replace any loose ends ASAP.
  • Steer clear of adding too much weight, a large Jacuzzi or too many people may not be appropriate for your deck.
  • Consider netting or Plexiglas to keep children safe and avoid securing with staples as they can easily dislodge.
  • Alternatively, add slats or spindles to fill in the gaps in railing.
  • If you have a gate, check that the latch is out of reach for children.
  • Annual inspections can ensure structural efficiency.

Hire a Professional

Many see the deck as the perfect DIY opportunity or at least an area of the home where you can save money, but hiring a professional as well as regular upkeep will save you a lot of hassle in the long run.

If you’re buying a home with a deck, be sure to ask for proof of a building permit for construction as well as a certificate of occupancy.

The best deck spaces are the ones where all of the family wants to spend their free time.

We Can Help!

Be proactive and keep these factors in mind when it comes to your deck! If you have any doubts about your deck’s structural safety or you’re buying a home with a deck, give us a call!

We’re here to help!

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Categories Home safety

10 Ways to Safeguard Your Home Against Storm Damage

storm damage

Living in Texas means you’re probably experienced with unpredictable weather. One day you’re having a family BBQ and the next you hear tornado sirens.

With summer coming to a close we know there’s probably a handful of storms left to endure.

While we can’t be certain what types of storms we’ll encounter, as a homeowner, you can ensure that your property damage is minimal. Some basic upkeep can go a long way!

1. Cover Windows & Doors

Installing storm shutters on your windows and French doors or sliding glass doors will give you a quick and easy solution to prevent flying objects or debris from blowing into your home and breaking glass.

2. Replace Shingles

After a storm you should inspect your roof, do you see any missing or damaged shingles? Fix that ASAP!

We’ve talked about the importance of roof upkeep before. Experts say that the material type (shingle or metal) doesn’t matter when it comes to hailstorms.

3. Loose Siding

See shingles above. You’ll want to address any damaged siding quickly.

4. Anchor Storage Sheds

If you have an outbuilding or storage shed be sure, they have a permanent foundation or are held by ground anchors or straps.

Don’t neglect to secure smaller objects like grills and patio furniture by either moving them inside during a storm or bolting them to your deck or patio.

5. Clear Gutters

Always check your gutters and ensure that they are free-flowing and downspouts flow away from the foundation.

6. Invest in a Sump Pump

Prevent basement flooding by buying one of these. Regularly check that it is in good working order.

7. Tree Care

Consider removing trees that are near your home in case that it falls or regularly trim your trees so that that loose branches won’t damage you or your neighbor’s car.

8. Loose Fence Posts

Give each post a strong shake and take care of any with a wiggle problem. A flying fence post could be very dangerous.

9. Reinforce Garage Door

Strong winds can rip off your garage door destroying what’s inside and even cause structural damage to your home. Repair any issues before a storm to avoid this problem.

10. Water Flow

Guarantee the ground around your home is sloping away from the house. According to Danny Lipford, ¨a six-inch slope in a 10-foot span all the way around the house¨ is the best.

Don’t let one rainstorm destroy your landscaping or cause foundation issues for your home.

As a homeowner, you already have many things to worry about like insurance or resale value, but Mother Nature is simply one thing you have no control over.

However, if you can follow our tips you can up your home’s defense against property damage!

We Can Help!

If you notice some leaks or feel something isn’t right at home after a storm, give us a call! Our online scheduling tool allows for easy scheduling, any day, any time. We’re here for you!

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Categories Home safety

How to Handle Electrical Hazards Properly

Electrical Hazards

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, electrical malfunctions cause over 20,000 residential fires per year.

The USFA also notes that some fires are caused by electrical system failures, but incorrectly installed wiring and overloaded extension cords and circuits lead to many more.

It’s not uncommon that each family member has a handful of gadgets or perhaps you’d find a TV in various rooms throughout most homes.

Electricity is certainly a powerful tool that makes most of our lives easier, but if used incorrectly it can open you and your family up to very real dangers.

What Can You Do?

Luckily, there are many precautions you can take in ensuring you have a safe home:

  1. Check electrical outlets for loose-fitting plugs; these can cause shocks or even start fires. Don’t leave any inner wirings exposed, replace any broken or missing wall plates ASAP! (Especially if you have children).
  2. Regularly check electrical appliance cords and don’t hesitate to replace any item that has a frayed cord or often shorts, overheats, or sparks.
  3. Do your outlets or switches get hot? Call an electrician to do a safety check on the system.
  4. Avoid overloading extension cords or wall sockets and don’t use an indoor extension cord for outdoor use. Remember these should only be used temporarily if you’re using them daily go ahead and invest in additional outlets.
  5. Replace bulbs that have higher wattages than recommended for different lamps and light fixtures.
  6. Double check that your home is furnished with GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets near any areas that are close to water such as your kitchen area, bathrooms, laundry room, the garage or outdoor circuits.
  7. Always turn off an appliance before unplugging
  8. Use plug-in covers, like this, to prevent children from sticking things into the socket.
  9. Turn off small appliances when not in use.
  10. Wear rubber sole shoes when using electricity in wet areas.

Important Reminders:

  • Never attempt to extinguish an electrical fire with water, keep approved fire extinguishers in your home.
  • Don’t touch electrical appliances or switches with wet hands. If you have children in your home, it may be a good idea to remind them of this.
  • Avoid pulling appliances by the cord (like a vacuum cleaner).
  • Placing objects like a blanket or dirty laundry on top of lamps can be hazardous.

If you find that you have a faulty appliance or notice one of these hazards in your home, be sure to enlist the assistance of a licensed electrician. Attempting to repair electrical things on your own could be a short solution that has big repercussions in the end.

This list of electrical hazards to watch out for in your home doesn’t have to be the end of your safety practice.

If you have small ones at home, it is worth a conversation about electricity safety. There are even games online that you can use to get your kids interested!

What are some measures you’ve taken to keep your home safe?

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Categories Home safety

Easy Ways to Address Roofing Problems

roofing problems

Roofs are an important part of the home as they keep the internal mechanisms dry and functioning. However, with time the roofing materials age and can allow water intrusion to occur, leading to expensive repairs or replacements, in severe cases.

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) said, “Too often, homeowner ignore their roofs until they leak — and often, at that point, the homeowners have to completely replace them.”

This is no easy or cheap task, but taking these precautionary measures can save you big time in the long run.

There are many things you can do and should keep an eye on when it comes to your roof.

For prospective homeowners and those in the process of selling, roofing problems are very common issues that home inspectors find. Evaluating the roof can be a huge factor when it comes to making the final decision in a home purchase.

Types of Roofing Materials

This is not a complete list, but a sampling of the more common/economical materials.

  1. Asphalt will last anywhere between 15-40 years, and with time they will cup upward or down and begin to blister, exposing the material that holds the product together.
  2. Wood shingles and shakes are susceptible to cupping, curling, lifting, splitting, insect damage, rotting and missing sections.
  3. Terra cotta, concrete and slate tiles have longer life expectancies of 20 to 100 years, but are very fragile and can be caused to crack or loosen with seasonal changes.

Preventative Measures

  1. Clean your roof often; don’t let branches, piles of leaves, or other debris collect. They can hold moisture and lead to rot.
  2. Replace broken, cracked, or missing tiles or shingles ASAP. They protect the waterproof barrier of your roof and long-term exposure to the sun can deteriorate this.
  3. Examine pipes, vents, skylights, chimneys, etc. that have an exit on the roof. Specifically be on the lookout for any damage (small tears, lifted edges, etc.) to the seals around these protrusions. They can get messed up thanks to various critters that make their way to the top of our homes.

Telltale Signs of Problems

  1. Dark spots or mold on roof or deck.
  2. Water damage inside the home.
  3. Black streaks on shingles are a sign of old age.
  4. Moisture in the attic or a musty smell.

Each of these do not equate to an automatic crisis, but they are things you’ll want to keep your eye on and address as soon as possible if you come across them.

By adding a simple roof review to your mix of house chores, you can save yourself big bucks and time by preventing any major roofing problem.

If you’re preparing your home to go on the market, you can anticipate a home inspector will check out the roof for any of these issues.

We Can Help!

If you’re preparing to buy or sell a home schedule an inspection with us today, we’ll get to you in 48 hours or less!

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