Categories Home Maintenance, Home safety

Signs Your Sewer Line Is In Trouble

When it comes to plumbing and sewage, many homeowners take the “out of sight, out of mind” approach. Yet this can lead to some really big problems. Today we want to focus on your main sewer line, maybe not the prettiest part of your property, but it’s certainly important.


Your sewer line is one of the most important parts of your property. And if problems arise, it could not only lead to expensive repairs, but also expose your family to contaminated water. Ensure your home is in good working order and keep your loved ones out of harm’s way by familiarizing yourself with the warning signs of a sewer line clog.



Common Sewer Line Red Flags


Keeping an eye on these common problems can make a huge difference in damage control.

Have you noticed any of these problems in your home?


1. Slow Draining

The occasional clog in your bath, toilet, or sink is normal and will happen, but if ALL of your drains seem to be slow or clogged that could be indicative of a bigger problem.

Pay close attention to slow draining toilets, they are one of the main red flags. Other signs may be water backing up in the toilet or gurgling sounds coming from your drains.



2. Wet Yard

All the waste water that isn’t making it through the main sewer line has to go somewhere else, and unfortunately that place will likely be your yard. Check for wet patches during dry weather periods which may be signs of a partial blockage.



3. Unpleasant Smells

These unmissable odors in or near your home are a sure sign of a main sewer line problem. If you notice this, don’t wait to contact an expert — or you could find yourself in a position you won’t like.



4. Tree Roots

This isn’t so much a red flag as it is a warning: if you’re in an older home you’re more likely to experience sewage blockages due to tree roots. Which is why keeping an eye out for the other warning signs can help you address a problem before it gets worse.

The good news is that tree roots can be removed before they cause a complete blockage.



5. Blocked Clean out Drain

Have you ever noticed a circular plastic or concrete lid near your home? Usually it says “clean out”, this would be your clean out drain. Regularly checking this area by lifting the cap and looking for standing water can save you from the troubles of a blocked sewage line.



What You Can Do If You Have a Sewer Emergency


If you come across any of these red flags, the smartest thing you can do is to immediately turn off your main water supply (typically in a basement/crawl space, a garage, or an area near your water heater).

If you’re not sure where it’s located, your home inspector could assist! After shutting off the water, you’ll want to call in a certified plumbing professional.



The earlier you can find a sewer line clog or breakage, the more in-control you’ll be of this costly problem. We hope these tips will help you as you try to maintain a safe and healthy home.

If you’re concerned about other areas of your home or are overdue for your yearly inspection — we can help!


Schedule your home inspection here with our easy online scheduling tool.





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Categories Home Maintenance, Home safety

Important Tips to Make Your Garage Safe From Fire Hazards

When you think of your garage and hazards, you might think of the sharp objects or chemicals stored in there being dangerous for your children. But your garage is actually much more dangerous than you might imagine.


Look at these statistics for more insight:

  • 6,600 garage fires per year in the U.S.
  • 30 deaths
  • 400 injuries
  • $457 million in property loss


While these numbers are horrifying, we don’t mean to scare you. We want to educate you and show you how you can prevent a fire from occurring in your own garage.


We’d like to give you the tools to make your garage as safe as possible from fires.


Regardless of preparedness, your best bet is to hire a professional inspector to assess the safety of your garage. 


We should mention this article is especially significant for homes with attached garages.


Why Are Garages Prone to Fires?

  • Storage: Garages are typically the storage centers for flammable materials like gasoline, paint, motor oil or other flammable liquids, including paint thinner or brake oil.


  • Cars: Oil and gas can leak, sometimes unnoticeably from your vehicles, eventually leading to igniting a fire, if given a chance.


  • Tools: Garages are often utilized as a workspace for the handyperson in the household. Accidents involving welding, cars or flammable liquids pose a fire hazard.


  • Heaters: It’s not uncommon to find water boilers or heaters located in the garage. They can cause sparks, igniting fumes or fluids.



Preventative Measures for Garage Safety

  1. Hire a professional inspector to assess if your walls are fire-rated. And unless you are trained, it can be difficult for the average homeowner to make this assessment alone. So, it’s better safe than sorry!


  1. Install a hatch or barrier to any access to your attic, if there is an entrance leading to your garage.


  1. Keep the floors clean and devoid of clutter, including bits of paper, rags, oil-stained materials or other flammable materials. Eliminate the opportunity for fire to spread by keeping your garage floor tidy.


  1. Tape down and organize cords and wires, so they are not twisted or tangled.


  1. Avoid overloading electrical outlets, which can cause sparks or smoke.



Things to Consider If You Have a Garage Door Leading into Your Home

Pet doors, especially ones made of plastic, are highly flammable and can unfortunately facilitate an easy spread of fire to your home.

A great security feature is installing a self-closing door in addition to properly and strongly sealing all doors. A professional inspector can assess the safety of your door’s seal and recommend adjustments, as necessary.



Safety Tips for Your Garage and Storage Areas

  • Avoid using any burners or open flames in your garage. This includes propane deep fryers or grills. Thanksgiving Day has seen countless deep-fried turkey disasters, all due to propane accidents!


  • Clearly, label and store flammable liquids above ground. Only store liquids in small amounts and replace, as necessary.


  • Store propane tanks outdoors. They are sturdy enough to withstand the elements and pose the threat of exploding in your garage if triggered.


  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy and safely stored above ground.



Fire safety is all about prevention.

Following these steps and educating your family members will ensure that you’re taking the proper precautions to protect your home and garage from the threat of fire. Make it a habit to regularly run through these tips so that a little accident doesn’t turn into tragedy.

Most of all, remember, we’re here for you! Schedule your inspection today, and we’ll see you in 48 hours or less!

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Categories Home Maintenance, Home safety

Six Signs Your Home’s Air Quality Is Suffering

When you think of poor air quality, your first thought probably isn’t the air in your home. As shocking as it may be, the air quality in our homes can actually be more toxic than the air outside.


We spend 90% of our time indoors, and the EPA reported that our home’s air can have 100 times more chemicals than the air outside.


If you need a refresher on what causes poor air quality and the scary health effects it can have on you and your loved ones, just head over to one of our previous blog posts and catch up.


Since you know about what causes poor air quality and the negative health effects, we’re going to take the time now to identify the signs of a problem.


Signs Your Home Has Poor Air Quality


  1. High Humidity: Too much moisture in the air raises the risk of microbial growth. A central AC system will remove some excess moisture, but depending on the region you live in, it may not be enough to keep up with local humidity.


  1. Increased Dust Levels: Are your shelves or other surfaces covered in dust, soon after you clean them? More dust particles will appear when the air is not circulating properly.


  1. Worsened Health Problems: Have you noticed new or worsening symptoms? Like sneezing, coughing, or waking up congested? While it may appear to be a cold or allergies, a telltale sign is when the symptoms disappear once you leave the house.


  1. Uneven Temperature: If you notice the temperature changes from room to room, you have a problem on your hands. It means your AC isn’t reaching each room properly, and this will lead to air circulation problems.


  1. Stale Odors: Every home has a distinct scent and you likely know which one your home has. But have you noticed the perfume sprayed hours ago is still lingering? Or cooking odors haven’t left the kitchen well after you finished? This is another telltale sign of poor circulation.


  1. Changes in Environment: It’s important to be aware of your surroundings. Are your neighbors remodeling or is there construction nearby? This won’t be a sign of poor air quality in your house necessarily, but it could help you rule out other issues.



We Can Help

Have you noticed one or more of these issues in your home?


Take note and don’t wait to call in a professional. Your indoor air quality is vital to a healthy home and family. And thankfully it’s something that can be identified with the right tools and reversed with a good plan.


If you’re worried that you and your loved ones are breathing in unhealthy air, let us help! At EIG we use a state-of-the-art test that checks for chemicals that can make you sick. We then provide an assessment of the air quality in your home.


Learn more about our indoor air quality testing here. Afterwards, schedule your inspection today by filling out our contact form.





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Categories Home Maintenance, Home safety

What the Weird Noises From Your HVAC Really Mean

Pop, Bang, Boom!

These are just a few sounds you probably don’t want to hear coming from your HVAC system. Unfortunately, the day will come when you have to deal with the HVAC headache.


A rattling, roaring, clamoring or any other sound coming from your walls is a sign that something is going on with your HVAC system. Read on as we identify what these problematic sounds are and what they likely mean.


The occasional sound is nothing to worry about, but if your vents are so loud you can’t hear your TV, then you may want to give it a second thought.


Weird Sounds and What They Mean for Your HVAC


1. Banging


Hear a bang coming from your AC?


Chances are a component has come loose and is being tossed. Maybe a piston pin, the crankshaft, or even just a simple screw got out of place.


Turn off your AC and inspect the condenser unit for any loose parts, if you feel comfortable doing so. Otherwise call in a certified professional.



2. Hissing


Does it sound like air is escaping?


That’s because it probably is. The other cause for this sound could be leaky ducts. This is a costly problem that you don’t want to ignore.


Duct repair must be done by a professional.


However, if you hear a hissing coming from the air vent it may be a simple fix — your air filter is probably out of place. Make sure the filter is the correct size and then properly place it, leaving no gaps for air to escape.



3. Clanking


A good running HVAC will often make a light humming noise, but clanking is a different story.


If it sounds as if there’s a hammer in the dryer, then it’s probably a red flag for loose components that may lead to costly repairs.

Turn your system off and wait for a technician to take a look.



4. Clicking


A click when your AC turns on or shuts off is normal, but if it persists, it’s often a sign of a broken thermostat or a defective control.


Check that it’s not just your thermostat. And once you confirm it’s not, call in a professional



5. Squealing


This sound means problems with the blower wheel or motor fan, and neither should be put off for later inspection.


Take care of this as soon as it arises. You’ll more than likely need to have either or both of these parts replaced to correct the problem.



6. Screaming


Definitely at the top of the list of sounds you never want to hear from your AC!

That’s because 1., it’s terrifying, and 2., it’s a sign of a serious issue.


If you hear this, turn your AC off immediately.


This could be a side effect of a refrigerant leak which will do damage to your unit AND could cause harm to your family’s health. Additionally, it indicates high internal pressure within your compressor, which is very dangerous.



Have you noticed one of these unsettling sounds? Schedule your home inspection today and let one of our certified inspection experts put your mind at ease.


Get your inspection in the books by filling out our contact form here!



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Categories Home safety, Home Technology

Seven Ways to Protect Your Home from Theft

We’ve talked time and time again about how home safety is important, because your home is a huge investment after all. However, today we want to turn our attention to another aspect of home safety — protecting it from outsiders and theft.


While many of our tips have gone over how to keep your home safe for your loved ones, now we’ll focus more on how to make your home secure.


Each year 2 million home burglaries are reported in the U.S. Even with the highest percentage coming during summer months, you can still implement these home safety practices year-round.


Protecting Your Home


1. Check Your Doors

Close to half of all home burglaries are through an open window or unlocked door. So naturally the best and easiest first step to take is to check your doors and windows religiously.


Additionally, you should be checking for exterior damage, loose knobs, jiggly handles, missing screws, glass near a deadbolt, etc. All of these aspects could affect the integrity of your doors or windows.



2. Security Lights

Burglars are looking for the easy target — if your home is well-lit chances are it will deter your home from being targeted in the first place.


Installing exterior lighting, motion detector lighting, door lighting, etc. can scare off unwelcomed guests. Consider timers for interior lights or leaving a TV or radio on to simulate presence within the home when you’re away.



3. Secure Patio Doors

If you have sliding glass doors, an easy fix is to throw a large stick in the door track, but that’s not the most attractive option. There are some great auxiliary foot locks, like this one, that are easy to install and use.



4. Alarm Systems

A great investment is a security system. Your home insurance company might even offer discounts for having your house monitored this way.


If you aren’t ready to go for a big home system, you can get inexpensive door and window alarms as your first line of defense. These are especially good ideas for unused corners of the house that are often dark or unoccupied.



5. Maintaining Landscape

Perhaps a lesser-known tip, but if you have shrubbery around entrances and walkways, it’s a good idea to keep them trimmed. These could be potential hiding spots for thieves, so don’t make it easier for them.



6. Put Away Expensive Items

If you have a nice grill, lawnmower, bike, etc. be sure to put them away. If you don’t have a garage, then get a storage shed (with a lock!) and don’t leave items unattended.


Leaving out nice things could attract unwanted attention to your home.



7. Smart Technology

Nowadays there are TONS of smart home tech solutions floating around the market, so take a look at some of the options.


A few popular items include:

  • smart door locks
  • security cameras
  • doorbell cameras
  • digital door locks

Most of these can be controlled remotely and connect to apps on your phone, allowing you 24/7 access to your home.



We hope these tips are helpful and can take away some of the stress of life, allowing you to enjoy your home with your loved ones.


If you want to take extra steps to ensure the structure your home is safe, schedule your home inspection today!


Our trained professionals will make sure there are no hidden dangers lurking in your home.




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