Categories Home Inspection, Home safety

Everyday Gifts for Homeowners

Everyday Gifts

With holidays around the corner, many of us are winding down with our gift shopping and starting to settle in at home for some quality relaxation and family time. 

When you think about your home it’s more than just a place to store your belongings and sleep—it’s almost like a state of mind.  

To have a peaceful home, you need a space that is both functional and attractive. You’ve already invested time and money in your home so why not stock it with proper tools that will make life easier for you? 

Whether you are looking to put the essentials in your own home or you’re getting some gifts for a new homeowner in your life, consider these gifts that will optimize your home maintenance.  


When it comes to safety there are many useful tools and items to keep around the house, but some of the basics include: 

  • First-aid kit 
  • Power outage essentials (flashlight, batteries, etc.) 
  • Fire extinguisher (check out this helpful guide) 
  • Tarps (useful in storms to secure objects that may become airborne) 
  • Surge protector (especially in older homes) 
  • Disinfecting dishwasher light (did you know that 62% of tested dishwashers harbor mold—yuck! Keep your health in check with this trusty device) 

Home Care

Keeping your house clean not only makes your home that much more comfortable, but it will also increase the longevity of your home while providing a healthy space for your loved ones. 

  • Versatile vacuum (Pro-tip: Splurging on a good vacuum is worth it!) 
  • Microfiber cloths 
  • Rubber gloves (especially if you handle chemicals or harsh soaps) 
  • Storage solutions (this can be anything from plastic containers to wicker baskets) 
  • Multi-head screwdriver 
  • Power drill 


This short list is chock full of items you wouldn’t think you needed until in the moment. While not the flashiest of objects, they will pay their weight in gold when you think about how often you use them. 

  • Step ladder 
  • Binder clips (yes, these, use them to clip open food packages, hang drying clothes, or even clip your curtains closed) 
  • Adjustable tension rod 
  • Leatherman multi-tool 
  • Retracting extension cord reel 

How many of these things do you already have around your home? What about your loved ones? 

Keeping items like the ones on this list can ensure a healthy and functioning living space for all. We know that these aren’t the most exciting home gifts so if you’re looking for something a little flashier we have a few suggestions. 

Fun Home Gift Ideas

  1. Temperature controlled faucet light: Avoid burns with this cool (and cheap!) light, cold water turns the light blue and hot water turns it red. 
  1. Electronic cleaning putty: Get your kids excited to clean with this silly putty made especially to get the hard to reach crevices on our devices like keyboards or remotes. 
  1. Palm up soap dispenser 
  1. Wake-up lightThis alarm clock stimulates a sunrise, maybe it’s not directly related to the home, but it is a cool gift. 
  1. Pop out outlet: Great for style and safety! If you have kids, you should consider investing in these. 

We Can Help

If you’re looking to move homes or want to knock out your annual home inspection, give us a call! We’ll make sure you and your family have a stress-free holiday at home. 

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Categories Home Inspection

Home Maintenance in Under 15 Minutes


Have you noticed all the small “save it for later” projects piling up around the house?

Most household issues are more of a headache than an emergency. Good news! We have simple solutions to help you fix them in the same time it takes to brew your morning coffee.

The Problems and Solutions:

1. Peeling wallpaper:

If your wallpaper seam is coming up, paste it down with adhesive, go over once with a damp rag, and cover with painter’s tape. After 24 hours remove the tape.

2. Stuck Window or Door:

A buildup of gunk is the main cause for windows and doors that don’t move smoothly, put dry PTFE spray lubricant on the contact points and wiping it off with a rag. Don’t use oil lubricants; they can attract dirt, and some can damage the vinyl.

3. Lingering Odors:

Have you noticed a musky smell in your basement or garage? All you need is a big bag of plain charcoal (not the self-lighting kind). Cut a square out, and leave it in the corner somewhere and let it absorb the odors. Replace every 6 months.

4. Rattling Door:

A regularly rattling door is annoying. Thankfully, the solution is easy. Take a medium Philips and slot head screwdrivers, two pairs of pliers and a washcloth. Use a screwdriver to remove the doorknob’s strike plate (the metal square on the jam that reinforces the bolt hole). See the tang, or the lip that curls into the hole? Wrap the strike plate in the cloth and use the pliers to bend the tang a half-centimeter toward the hole’s center. Repeat and bend further until the rattling stops.

5. Pesky Wood Scratches:

If you see some scratches in wood you can color it out with a crayon or a scratch repair pen from any hardware store.

6. Wobbly Showerhead:

Eliminate a wobbly showerhead or pipe with a few squirts of expanding foam.

7. Ceiling Holes:

Save yourself time by covering any ceiling holes with a smoke detector.

8. Water Stains:

Tackle water stains with a bleach and water solution (10 percent bleach), but first cover the walls and floors with plastic and be sure to use protective goggles. If it’s an old stain, use a mold and mildew remover from the grocery store. This will work on both flat and textured ceilings.

9. Bad Faucet:

When a faucet loses pressure or starts spraying to the side it’s usually the result of a dirty aerator screen. Close the drain plug and then remove the aerator using a rag or masking tape. To remove the sand and other deposits, soak the aerator in vinegar, then scrub it with a toothbrush.

10. Kinked Toilet Chains:

Kinked toilet chains lead to running toilets; solve the problem by removing the chain from the arm and sliding a plastic straw over the flapper chain.

More than likely you’ve found yourself with a handful of these problems in your own home. Taking a few minutes each day to tackle one of these issues could help make each day go more smoothly.

Do you have any quick fix tips you swear by? Let us know!

Want to know what’s going on in your home?

Schedule an inspection with us today and we’ll be at your home in 48 hours or less, ready to give you a thorough and professional report.


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Categories Home safety

Avoid Theses Holiday Home Hazards


It’s the happiest time of the year and many of us put our joy on display with extravagant holiday decorations.

Between the holiday happiness, family gatherings, and some downtime from the hectic ways of daily life it can be easy to let your guard down.

However, there are quite a few potential hazards that are more common at home during the holidays.

We’re going to give you some insight into the common issues so that you can keep an eye out for and make sure you and your family don’t run into any problems this holiday season.

Overloaded Power Sockets

It’s not uncommon to go a little electricity “crazy” during the holidays. You have lights on the outside of your home, up the bannister and on the tree! Totally normal, but also a potential danger. Power sockets can overheat and send sparks flying or a nasty shock.

Solution: Pull out the extension cords and use them to distribute electricity use across various sources.

Christmas Trees

While an essential part of many families’ holiday celebrations, Christmas trees can be extremely dangerous. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an average of 240 home fires begin with Christmas trees each year.

Additionally, if you have a large tree, you must make sure to invest in a proper tree holder so that it is not unstable; which could lead to an accident with pets or children.

Solution: Keep your tree properly watered, no brown needles and check water level to ensure the tree is “drinking” enough each day. If you go with an artificial tree look for one with a label that says it is fire-resistant.


Hanging decorations on the outside of your home or in high places, like over the stairs, look great but can be a hazard. Accidents from falling, strangulation, or choking are all possible.

Solution: Never attempt to put up decorations alone or place ladders in awkward places. If you are unexperienced, it’s a good idea to pay a professional to do the work.

Holiday Plants

This may seem a little extreme, but if you have small children or pets, common holiday plants like Holly and Mistletoe can actually be toxic or a choking hazard.

Solution: If you have little ones in the home stick to larger, artificial plants or switch to other decorations.

Chimney and Fireplace

Apart from giving Santa a clean chimney to slide through, this is a good reminder to get your annual chimney sweep and maintenance. Regular checkups can prevent creosote buildups and potential fires.

Solution: Get your regular maintenance, by a professional, and avoid placing any plants or other decorations near or inside the fireplace. Make sure the flue is open!

We Can help

We hope that these quick tips will help you have a safe and accident-free holiday with your loved ones! If you have any doubts about potential hazards or you want to knock out some yearly home inspection maintenance over the holidays—give us a call!

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Categories Home safety

6 Common Home Hazards and How to Avoid Them

Home Hazards

Taking care of your home is important, of course, but what’s more precious are the loved ones that live there; making our house a home.

Most of us have a common priority, providing a safe home where our family can thrive. Unfortunately, no matter how diligent we are there are always hazards lurking around the corner and even a few smaller ones that you wouldn’t expect.

Today we are going to go over some of the common dangers found in homes and give you some tips on how to avoid any issues with them. Some common home hazards include:

1. Falls

This could entail slipping getting out of the shower or falling down the stairs.

Falls in the home are the leading cause of home injuries.

To minimize risks in your home, you’ll want to stabilize staircases: make sure handrails are steady, fixed to the floor, under sufficient lighting, and have baby gates if there are small children in the home.

Doing things like installing safety rails on showers or bathtubs and placing mats outside of the shower can also prevent injury. Clear stairwells and steps of all debris, toys, etc. and make sure kids have adequate space to store toys.


2. Fire Hazards

Reduce the risk of accidental fires by installing fire alarms, never leaving candles or irons unattended and unplugging appliances when finished using. Avoid overloading outlets and regularly check for frayed wires.

You should also have at least one fire extinguisher in your home.


3. Choking Hazards

Choking is the U.S.’ fourth leading cause of accidental deaths, and the biggest household hazard for choking comes from small toys. To prevent disaster, regularly inspect your children’s toys for loose parts and use a baby monitor to listen for signs of choking (even if your little one isn’t a baby anymore).


4. Poisoning

Cleaning and home maintenance supplies present a huge risk. Proper storage and handling of these chemicals is so important in the home, especially ones with small children.

Medications should be properly stored, and unused or expired pills should be disposed of. Paint and household chemicals should be kept out of reach and never left unattended while in use.

Detergents, especially pods, should be locked away from kids and pets as they pose a huge threat to our little ones.


5. Strangling

Cords from blinds or curtains present a common hazard for kids. Never place a crib or bed under a window with a hanging cord. Additionally, trim or tie up hanging cords and secure electrical cords in a way that they can’t be pulled out.


6. Drowning

In the last decade drowning deaths in bathtubs have increased by 70%. Thankfully there are some easy steps you can take to prevent these tragedies.

Put buckets away, don’t leave bathing children unattended, and put a gate entrance to your pool or always keep doors leading to pools locked.

Did you find yourself worried while reading this? How many of these hazards have you noticed in your own home? If you found yourself shaking your head in disbelief, don’t worry!

Each of these risks has a simple prevention solution and only requires a little more attention.

If you’re unsure about some hazards in your home, give us a call today! Let us put your mind at ease with a thorough home inspection.


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Categories Home safety

6 Ways to Prep Your Pool for Winter

With cooler weather moving in its time to start thinking about how to get your pool ready for winter.

Even though your pool may go unused the next few months, taking the right measures to protect it will be a big help in extending its life and ensuring that it’s ready to go come spring.

Thanks to the generally mild winters in Texas a full winterization of pools is not necessary. These basic tips should be sufficient in protecting your own pool this winter.

1. Balance the Water

Getting started you’ll need to balance the water. The pH balance is important for water clarity as well as the durability of the pool equipment.

A pH level between 7.2 and 7.6 is recommended to maintain a comfortable level for swimmers while remaining sanitized during the winter months.

2. Clean the Pool

This is an important step as it can prevent any damage or surface stains. Don’t get lazy, be sure to remove any leaves or debris because the longer they sit, the more difficult it will be to remove them later on.

3. Clean the Filter

Be sure to clean the filter before closing down for the winter. This will make things easier when you open back up in the spring.

4. Correct the Chemicals

Find the correct chemicals to protect your pool from algae. Algae poses an aesthetic issue, making water appear cloudy, but can also clog your filters and increase the demand for chlorine.

5. Leave Some Water Behind

Leave some water behind, while many think draining your pool completely makes sense for the cold weather it can actually put more strain on the system. The right chemicals (whether its chlorine shock, algaecide, or stain prevention) will protect your pool and keep the water clean and in working order.

6. Choose the Right Cover

Using the right cover will do wonders for your pool! It will keep debris out and keep the pH level balanced.

Pro-Tips to Help Winterize Your Pool

  • Start winterizing at least one week before you plan to close your pool by adding a phosphate remover that will keep any algae issues at bay.
  • Brush and vacuum the pool.
  • Allow the pump to run for a full cycle before backwashing and chemically treating your filter.
  • Install an air pillow to place in the center of the pool.
  • Check the chemical balance monthly to make certain everything is in order.
  • Water should be consistently below 65 degrees before closing down. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself with a pesky algae problem.
  • Shock the pool 4-7 days before closing and then add the algaecide when you plan to cover the pool. Doing both on the same day can cancel out the strength of the algaecide.

We Can Help

Have you started to winterize your own pool? We hope these tips will be helpful in ensuring a smooth transition to the winter months.

If you have some doubts about your pool’s integrity, schedule an inspection with us.

You can read one of our older posts to get the gist of a pool inspection.

We’re here for you!

Get in touch with us, and we’ll be out to inspect within 48 hours, guaranteed!


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