Categories Energy Savings, Home Inspection, Home Maintenance

Draft-proof Your Home Before Cold Weather Hits

Cooler weather has arrived! So you can start pulling out your winter clothes and turning the heat up in your home! Unfortunately, with cooler weather you may experience drafts within your home.


Drafts or air leaks can enter any home through doors, windows, fireplaces, and even electrical outlets, which drive up your heating bills and make your home colder. To avoid this in the upcoming months, take our steps to draft-proof your home!



Checking for Drafts in Your Home


Not sure if your home has a draft or where it’s coming from? Check these common areas to stop air leaks!


Take a look near unwanted gaps in the construction of your home, and where openings are left uncovered in places like:


  • Around windows
  • Around doors (and keyholes)
  • Between floorboards
  • Near pipework leading to the outside
  • Rooms that produce a lot of moisture (bathrooms, kitchens, and utility rooms)



Save Energy and Money With These Cooler Weather Tips

Once you’ve identified drafts, take these steps to block them.


  1. Keep windows locked, install self-adhesive foam strips, and brush strips for sliding windows.



  1. Purchase a purpose-made cover for your keyhole, replace or install a hinged flap to prevent airflow at the bottom, and install foam, brush, or wiper strips around edges similar to those used for windows.



  1. Seal cracks with fillers that tolerate movement as your floorboards expand and contract often, depending on the weather. Additionally, look to add insulation below flooring to keep rooms warmer.



  1. Hang insulated curtains to keep a room warm (or even next year block out the summer sun). But remember to work effectively, curtains must be closed.



  1. Add a dryer vent seal to reduce unwanted drafts (and keep out pests and rodents) through your dryer duct. This will keep the duct closed except for when your dryer is in use.



  1. If you have a fireplace, install a thick foam to cover the opening when not in use.



  1. Look into landscaping. Shrubs and trees around your home can protect it from winds and add an extra layer of protection against the cold.



  1. Schedule an inspection with a professional, like EIG, to identify air leaks or even perform a scan with thermal imaging.




You can never really be sure if your home is fully protected against winter weather, which is why you should seek a professional opinion. Let the experts at EIG put your mind at ease with a full home inspection!


Our team will make sure your home isn’t susceptible to drafts or other vulnerabilities to save you from the time and cost of expensive repairs. Schedule an inspection here or get in touch with us to learn more about our services and how we can help you!

We Can Help


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Categories Energy Savings, Home Maintenance, Home safety

4 Ways to Tell Your Windows Need to Be Replaced

We replace our windows for many reasons.

For example, do you have little ones running around the home?

Then you may, unfortunately, have been witness to the sound of shattering glass on more than one occasion.

Visibly broken glass is a surefire way to tell you should be replacing a window or two. But there are plenty of other signs your windows may need repair that are much harder to notice.


Why Does It Matter?

Our windows are an important part of our home and hold various functions.

They offer curb appeal, bring in natural light, and can even affect energy efficiency. So being able to recognize when windows need to be replaced is quite important.


How Can You Tell?

We’ve established that broken glass is a pretty obvious sign of window repair. But we’ll go through some of the more difficult problems to detect.

1. High Energy Bills


Can you walk around your home in a t-shirt on a cold day or does it feel drafty? If your windows aren’t doing their job, hot or cool air (depending on the season) may be escaping. You might as well toss your wallet out of a moving car if that’s the case.

If you’re not sure, test it out by holding a lit candle near a window and move it around the edges — does the flame flicker? If so, air is likely coming in from the outside, and the air temp you want in you home is going out.


2. Difficulty Opening

There are tons of reasons why you may not be able to open the window anymore.

Maybe it was painted over, it is a warped frame, or even problems stemming from the foundation.

Whatever the case is, this isn’t good for you. Not only is it poor functioning, it’s dangerous. In the case of an emergency (e.g. fire), you’ll want access to an escape route.


3. Rotting Frames

A decaying window frame is one of the most obvious signs for needing replacement.

Wooden frames that are exposed to the elements will eventually warp over time.

Possible mold and moisture intrusion may even lead to more serious decay issues down the road. The frames may be leaking due to poor installation, a failed sealed unit, or just time.


4. Lack of Noise Control

Do you feel like your neighbors talking outside are just in the other room?

Can you hear a car coming from down the road?

If you can hear outside noise clearly, your windows aren’t doing a great job. A great window will absorb sound waves, preventing them from ever making it into your house.

Reducing the transfer of sound can drastically improve your quality of life. And if you are a light sleeper or have babies, this will be a huge plus!


There are various reasons why people put off replacing their windows. It can be a large investment, but when looking at the big picture, it can save you from the money pit down the line.

If you’re worried your home may be suffering from window issues or other problems, let us have a look! Members of our professional team can be out in 48 hours or less.

Schedule your inspection here!

We Can Help


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Categories Energy Savings

10 Low Cost Ways to Keep Your Home Cool

Spring has sprung! Which means it won’t be long before that Texas summer rolls in and has us all cranking up the AC.

While we are excited to spend more time outside and enjoy those longer days, we are also dreading that electricity bill come May.

However, we want to remind everyone: you don’t have to be a millionaire to have a cool home this summer.

And in fact, you don’t even have to use your AC to keep comfortable. We’re going to go through a few solid tricks to help keep your home cool in these warmer months without breaking the bank to pay for air conditioning.

Most are simple and won’t take up your time. So read on if you’re ready for some easy ways to combat the heat!


Stay Cool at Home

1.Keep the blinds closed

This may seem like an obvious fix — because it is! Utilize your curtains, blinds, shades, etc. to keep your home from feeling like a greenhouse.


2. Change the bulbs

Normal light bulbs give off a LOT of unnecessary heat. So switch them out for an LED bulb to help the environment, your energy bill, and cut down heat emission inside your home.


3. Paint your roof

Using reflective roof paint can keep the sunlight out of your home and reduce UV ray exposure.


4. Make your bed

Switch out your heavy winter sheets for light, airy linen ones. This will make a huge difference at night and help you sleep better.


5. Turn off your appliances

It’s not necessary to completely unplug each individual appliance. But if you aren’t using it just turn it off! Doing so will cut down the energy that the device is drawing in.


6. Treat yourself

If the heat at night is keeping you awake, buy a gel cooling pad to slip under your pillow. Pop it in the fridge or freezer while you’re out and about during the day, and it’ll be ready to go by bedtime.


7. Check your ceiling fans

Many people don’t realize that the direction of our ceiling fans should be changed seasonally. Set to run counter-clockwise in the summer with a higher speed for a chilly wind-like effect.


8. Block your windows

Hanging tightly woven screens or bamboo shades outside of your windows can block a lot of heat, making your home cooler.


9. Keep your A/C in the shade

If your air conditioner is an inside window unit, make sure it isn’t in direct sunlight. And if you have a central unit outside, try to put it in the shade, this will increase the efficiency of your unit.


10. Clean the air filter

If you are using your AC regularly, make sure you clean out the air filters routinely as dust buildup can lessen the efficiency of the airflow.


Whatever method you choose to cool off this summer let us know! Leave a comment and tell us about your experience or if you have a secret tip we didn’t list!

We’re here if you have any doubts about your home!


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Categories Energy Savings, Home Inspection

Problems With Skylights and How to Avoid Them


Skylights can be great because they can connect your home to the nature around it. Giving you a flood of natural light and awesome views of starry nights, what’s not to love?

However, like most things in the home skylights can run into some issues.

Many building experts view skylights as the weak link in the chain of the home because they are exposed to extreme temperature and pressure.

What Could Go Wrong?

Some of the most common and known problems with skylights are water leakage, but other issues arise such as:

  • excess daylight, glare and UV (ultra-violet radiation) damage 
  • energy loss
  • overheating
  • roof ventilation problems
  • ice dams

What Causes These Problems?

Normal wear, poor installation, and location of the skylight are all catalysts for problems.

  1. Many skylights use gaskets and deck seals or flashing, and over time they are susceptible to the typical wear and tear. Regular re-flashing and re-sealing can prevent water leakage.


  1. A skylight that has been properly installed will rarely fail in the first few years, but one that hasn’t been done well will show problems fairly quickly. Keep an eye on skylights with low levels of insulation or sealing on the underside of the skylight.


  1. Skylights placed in bathrooms are not a good idea. This is a room with high-humidity, and the large amounts of condensation can lead to cracks and serious moisture problems.

In addition to these issues repairing the skylight can be an issue in itself.

Due to awkward locations and placements being able to reach the skylight to repair can be a rather burdensome task. While inconvenient, it’s not impossible.

What Can I Do?

Although most of the problems we’ve discussed today are out of your control, some issues stem from poor homeowner care. Thanks to inconvenient placement many people put off cleaning their skylight.

However, you should strongly considering hiring a professional service like a window cleaner to get the skylight for you. Regular upkeep will extend the life of your skylight.

If you’re unable to contract a pro, don’t worry, there’s plenty you can do to take care of your skylight! Before getting started, you should find out what material your skylight is made out of; they aren’t made out of glass like typical windows, but rather acrylic or polycarbonate.

Cleaning them with household window cleaners or ammonia could destroy them.

What Can I Use?

  • Liquid dish soap
  • Long-handle dry mop
  • Auto wax
  • Cleaning cloths or clean rags
  • Power washer (outside of skylights only)
  • Cellulose sponge or long-handled cellulose sponge mop

Make sure you have a safe and sturdy path to the skylight then remove all the dust and debris, wash the windows, and finish by applying a thin layer of auto wax to the clean, dry window.

We Want to Hear From You!

Have you come across any of these issues with your skylight? Have you attempted to clean it yourself? Let us know about your own experience!

If you have any doubts about any issues in your home today, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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Categories Energy Savings, Home Inspection

Maintaining Your Water Heater

Water Heater

During a home inspection, we always check water heaters. As the colder months are moving in it is extremely important that you take necessary measures to maintain your water heater.

Not only will keeping a well maintained water heater increase the value of your home, but it will ensure you avoid any major hazards or damage within the home.

What’s the Big Deal?

Worst case scenario with a poorly maintained water heater is that it becomes a ticking time bomb, almost literally. If there is a gas leak near the water heater, the small ignition flame could cause an explosion.

On the other hand, if safety measures fail in your water heater an extreme amount of pressure could build up leading to a dangerous water rocket of sorts.

Hopefully, these potential hazards are reason enough for you to make water heater maintenance a priority.

What Can You Do?

The best first step to take is to review the owner’s manual that came with your water heater if you can’t find it then check the manufacturer’s website for a copy.

If you feel that you are not comfortable handling the water heater yourself then don’t push your luck, call in a pro. Some things you can do to maintain your water heater are:

1. Check the Pressure Valve

Both gas and electric heaters have a temperature and pressure valve. Wearing goggles and gloves check the valve after turning off electricity or the pilot light.

2. Flush the Tank

Thanks to sediment buildup in the tank your heater’s efficiency can be affected. Flush the tank each time you check your pressure valve.

3. Lower the Temperature

Ideally, your heater’s temperature should be set between 120 -130◦F. Anything higher can cause serious burns as well as damage to your water heater.

4. Appropriate Insulation

Fiberglass wraps can maintain hot water and are easily installed by plumbers.

5. The Right Model

Make sure your water heater is up to date and right for your home. Generally, water heaters have a lifespan of 8-10 years and should be replaced soon after hitting the ten year mark.

6. Annual Appointments

Just like you go to the doctor for a yearly checkup, your water heater could benefit from a professional checkup each year too.

A pro will ensure that the safety mechanisms are in place and there are no leaks or drips.

Things to Look For

Leaks and drips coming from your water heater can be symptoms of a greater problem.

Faulty water supply connections are the most common culprit when it comes to leaks. Easily fix this issue with compression fittings.

Drips from the temperature and pressure relief valve usually mean a thermal expansion tank is needed.

In electric water heaters, the most common problem is turning the power on before the tank is full of water, leading to a burnt out upper heating element and no hot water.

Make sure the tank is full before turning on the power and if your upper heating element is burnt out it can be easily replaced.

We Can Help

At EIG we want to make sure your home is in tip top shape if you’re getting ready to sell or buy remember that your water heater is an important factor of the home.

If you’re ready for a home inspection, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals!

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