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 Home Inspection, Home Maintenance, moving tips

Four Important Moving Tips for Newlyweds

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes … the stress of combining households? If you’re about to tie or have recently tied the knot, you’re probably on cloud nine. Yet if you and your new spouse are moving into a new place or combining existing homes, there are few things you’ll need to know before making the big move.


If you’re buying a place together, make sure that you have a home inspection! Doing so can save you a lot of time, money, and stress.


Make Moving Easy With These Suggestions


If you’re in the middle of planning a wedding, then you know just how important organization and anticipation really is. Ensure your new life as a married couple starts off on the right foot with these helpful tips.


1. Have A Solid Moving Plan

It’s never too early to start planning, but once you have your moving date set, you’ll want to have concrete plans.

Here are some ideas of where to start to have a good moving plan in place:

  • Decide on a moving company
  • Create a moving day itinerary
  • Make a detailed home inventory
  • Get a binder for all important documents
  • Get boxes for the move
  • Change your mailing address
  • Call your utilities company and any subscription services.



2. Consolidate Items

If you and your partner live separately, be sure to have a fair and in-depth discussion about which items will make the final cut.

If you guys decide to start fresh, then time the sale of your items to ensure you can make some money, but not live without furniture for a few weeks.



3. Only Take What’s Necessary

This is where making an inventory list will come in handy.

Go through your items and decide what’s practical, what fits in the new space, new color schemes, etc. Allow yourself and your partner a few sentimental items, but try to donate or sell whatever else isn’t necessary in your new home.

This will cut down your moving time/costs and unpacking time.



4. Practice Self-Control

Wedding checks and gift cards will be piling up. But do your best to hold on to them until after your move. This way you’re not hauling extra things and you can use them on items you really need once you’re settled in your new place.



No matter what, moving is going to be a crazy time. However, you can make things easier on yourself by practicing the above tips and especially by planning well ahead of time.


Moving can be stressful at any time in your life, but around a wedding can amplify nerves even more. Check out one of our former posts on staying calm during a move. Also, check out this post about tools every homeowner should have, or this post that covers common questions about home inspectors.


Ready to schedule your new home inspection? Schedule quickly with this easy contact form! We’ll be in touch soon and can help put your new home stress at ease!



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Categories Home Inspection, Home Maintenance

Did You Know the Color of Your Home Could Affect Its Value?

When putting your house on the market, there are many pressing things on your to-do list: getting a home inspection, finding a realtor you trust, and taking care of any repairs, just to name a few. You do all of these things to make sure buyers know your home’s value.


But you probably don’t rank paint colors as one of the more important items.


Well, a recent study from Zillow shows that the colors you use for certain rooms and even your door can have a big impact on your home’s value! Read a good summary of the study by Forbes here and stick with us to learn about some simple paint preps that can earn you more money when selling your home.


A fresh coat of paint is a low-cost way to update your home, with an exterior paint job costing less than $3,000, and interior for under $2,000 on average. However, choosing the wrong shade could actually cost you thousands in a home sale.


Avoid These Color Shades When Selling Your Home



1. Neutrals in the Kitchen

While most homeowners think they’re playing it safe with a neutral like off-white or eggshell, it’s actually been rated poorly among potential buyers.


Instead, go for a pale yellow or wheat yellow in the kitchen to attract more natural light.


The exception to the rule?


Rooms that are large or have great natural light can do well with white walls.



2. Brown Bedrooms

This may seem weirdly specific and that’s because it is. Buyers across a global scale have rated bedrooms with dark brown tones very unfavorably.


Blue is the way to go when looking at bedrooms; light cerulean to cadet blue are great tones to utilize when prepping your home for a sale.



3. Old Doors

If you take only one piece of advice from this article, we recommend this one.


No matter what, make sure your front door’s paint is new. A fresh coat of black paint on your front door will do you wonders. Your door is the first thing buyers will see, so make it impressive.


Black paint in shades like Peppercorn and Tricorn Black make buyers feel safe and give the appearance of a home that is stately and serious.



4. Stucco Exteriors


Brown, taupe, and stucco home exteriors are a dying trend. Instead give your home a pop of modernity by painting it gray, beige, or even a mix of the two with “greige”.


Why is a safe color like taupe turning buyers away? It’s depressing, and reminiscent of an inexpensive flowerpot.




Choosing the right color for your home is a simple but important fix and should come as no surprise. Colors have always affected our moods, and there are various studies that support the notion.


Want to try your hand at discerning between the right and wrong colors for your home? Check out this fun quiz from Zillow!


For all your other home needs, we have your back! If you’re in the process of or about to list your home, make sure you’ve had an inspection! Elite Inspection Group is ready to perform your inspection, and you can schedule one here.



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Categories Home Maintenance, Home safety

The Top Five Causes of Water Damage

Have you checked your gutters lately? Chances are it’s been a while. Don’t beat yourself up, it’s an area that most homeowners tend to overlook or flat out ignore.

If done correctly, and regularly, gutter maintenance is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to prevent costly water damage.

Regardless of what condition your gutters are in, here are some of the top causes of water damage and what you can do to prevent it.


Top Five Causes of Water Damage and Why Gutters Matter


1. Leaks and Holes

Even the tiniest of leaks can lead to massive water damage for your home. Try a simple tube of gutter sealant (about $5) for smaller holes and leaks.

In addition, large gaps may require metal patching — luckily most hardware stores offer gutter “patching kits.” Give extra attention to basements and bathrooms when looking for problem areas.


2. Misaligned Pitches

In order for water to flow properly from your gutters, they must be pitched properly. The general rule of thumb is ¼ inch of sloping per every 10 feet.

Not sure if they’re sloped correctly? The easiest way to tell is to check for standing water after some rainfall.

Correcting the pitching can be a big project, potentially requiring you to remove and reattach parts of the gutter. So it may be best to call in an expert to make sure the job is done to perfection and save you from future issues.


3. Clogs

This is the most common cause of water damage.

And it can arise from many problems—twigs, leaves, critters, debris after rain can all get stuck in your gutters and drains. Leave it unanswered for too long and you’ll get sagging gutters, or worse, completely broken ones.

Aim to clean them out once or twice a year, maybe even more if your home is surrounded by trees. Also, take caution after big storms and check your gutters for debris. If you find that clogged gutters is a chronic problem, consider fitting them for mesh screens, grates or porous foam.


4. Sagging

This is potentially a side effect of clogged gutters or simply the passage of time. But whatever the case may be, they can be dangerous.

You will end up with deterioration of the fasteners or hangers, or the fasteners will spread too far apart, and thus be unable to support the weight of the gutter.

Can’t tell if they’re sagging? It’s easy to tell—they should be completely straight, except for exceptionally long gutters, which may have a peak in the middle to encourage water flow.

Notice problems? It’s an easy fix: new fasteners and hangers are easily accessible at most hardware stores for just a few dollars.



5. Downspout Drainage

If your downspout is too close to your home, water will leak straight into your foundation and basement.

Additionally, downspouts can suffer blockage easily; relieve the burden by disconnecting your downspout and seeing if it ejects water a few feet from your home to a sloping surface.

Ideally, downspouts should extend 4-5 feet from your home, and you can purchase them for roughly $20 each.



Don’t get stuck in a water rut! Take some preventative measures to avoid the costly repairs of water damage and protect your home from this silent enemy. Checking and cleaning out your gutters regularly will save you time and money down the road.


We Can Help!

We cover gutter and drainage inspections for homeowners, buyers AND sellers. So schedule an inspection today or get a quick quote!


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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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