Categories Home Inspection

The Truth about Air Duct Cleaning

Air Duct Cleaning

Out of sight, out of mind is the approach many take when it comes to regular home maintenance or big cleaning projects.

If you can’t see it, why bother?

Especially if you know it’s going to take up your entire Sunday to address.

While regular HVAC maintenance is important, there is debate surrounding one specific area: the air ducts.

The general consensus is that frequent air duct cleaning isn’t necessary, but there are some issues that call for a professional air duct cleaning.


Some Air Duct Problems to Leave to the Professionals

  • Suspicion of mold growth
  • Mice or vermin infestation
  • Visible dust coming from the supply registers when air is exiting the vents
  • Dust buildup when changing air filters
  • Black debris around air vent register


What Goes into the Duct Cleaning?

Air duct cleanings should be performed by professionals, as special tools and techniques are required for a proper cleaning.

Additionally ducts may have to be cut for access by special tools; which requires skill and previous knowledge.

It’s recommended to get a professional duct cleaning once every 2-5 years, but of course it’s all boils down to what you feel is best for you and your home.

Some families who deal with allergies or asthma may consider more frequent cleanings.


Preparing for the Cleaning

Site prep is key for a successful cleaning.

While you shouldn’t attempt to do the cleaning yourself, there are plenty of helpful measures you can take beforehand that will ensure a smooth and successful job.


1. Review

Along with your duct cleaning contractor, you’ll want to review and evaluate each step of the process so that there is no confusion.

You should disclose any and all information about remodels or HVAC issues in the past before the cleaning.


2. Make Space

Just like with a home inspection, you’ll want to make sure you clear out the key areas.

Find out ahead of time how much space around the air vent register your contractor would like. Ensure each register is accessible, and you’ll save everyone time.


3. Prepare for Noise

There’s no way around it, duct cleaning can be very loud.

If you have children or pets, consider getting them out of the house for the day as it may agitate them. If it’s not possible for them to leave the house, make sure you have them in a safe area.


4. Safety Plan

Even if you plan to stay in the house, you should go over a safety plan with your contractor.

While it’s uncommon, fires are always possible, especially when handling special equipment.

Be sure that you and your contractor both know where the nearest fire extinguisher and exits out of the house are located.


While there may be debate around the benefits of or how often to have duct cleanings, there’s one thing everyone can agree on—cleanings should always be performed by certified professionals.

If you have any home concerns or you’d like an expert opinion, get in touch with us here! Schedule your own HVAC inspection and see if an air duct cleaning is in the cards for your future.

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Categories Home Inspection

How Moisture Invades Your Vented Crawl Space

vented crawl space

Unfortunately in the southern U.S. most homes have vented crawl spaces.

We have enough research now to know that this isn’t the most effective way to keep them dry. But because foundation vents made their way into the code years ago, it’s difficult to change.

The trouble with crawlspace construction is that it’s more likely to have mold and wood rot problems than other types of construction. Both of these issues are types of fungal growth.

Thanks to a combination of humid climate and a vented crawl space, you will find yourself with a moisture problem under your home.


Why Moisture Is Bad

Excessive moisture in your home is bad for a few reasons:


1. Mold, Mildew

The main problem is mold, fungi, and mildew. A recurring mold-related problem is expensive.

Crawl space moisture can start blackening floor cavity insulation and structural elements.  Because there is no light and only minimal ventilation, the problem never improves on its own.


2. Rot

Structural elements of your house (joists, sills, posts, beams) are made of wood.  Being an organic material, wood will begin to rot when it comes into contact with water.  


3. Creatures

Animals of all types are drawn to water and can infest your home.  This includes rats, carpenter ants, and termites. If you need a refresher on the problems they bring check out some of our older posts.


4. Resale

Even if your home isn’t suffering from one of the problems mentioned above, it will turn homebuyers away.

When you try to sell your house, the property inspector will explore the crawl space and note the presence of water on the report.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived with this issue for decades, the buyer will want the problem fixed or demand a credit.


How Moisture Gets in Your Crawl Space

  • Plumbing leaks:

A lot of plumbing pipes, both supply lines and drain lines, run through crawl spaces. They do leak occasionally. Because crawl spaces are visited infrequently these leaks can go unnoticed for a long time.


  • Foundation walls:

Moisture can also come from the ground outside the house by migrating through the foundation walls.

Vented crawl spaces rarely get any kind of damp-proofing or perimeter drains on the exterior. As a result, wet soil outside the crawl space can come right through.


  • Soil:

Although it may appear to be dry, uncovered soil is actually evaporating moisture into the air of the crawl space.

The good news is that most new homes do get vapor barriers put down on the ground, eliminating a lot of the moisture that comes from the soil.


  • Foundation vents:

Yes, the very thing that was constructed in order to keep moisture out of the crawl space is the main culprit. In the summer the humidity seeps in and releases moisture into your vented crawl space.


If you’re worried that your crawl space may be the victim of excessive moisture, don’t hesitate to call in a professional opinion. EIG offers an easy online scheduling tool, and we’ll be out to see you in 48 hours or less!


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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 Inspection

9 Problems You Shouldn’t Overlook in New Homes

New Homes

Many people wrongly assume that new homes don’t need home inspections, because, well, they’re new.

However, that’s not the case! Even the most qualified builders make small mistakes, and city inspectors are only checking that local building codes meet the minimum safety standards—they’re not looking at the quality of construction nor do they care about any cosmetic flaws.

After enduring the long process of finding a home wouldn’t you want to pay a little extra for a private inspection to ensure your new place is in the best condition possible?

Although brand new, here is a list of some common issues in new homes.

1. Foundation

The soil level around the house should be a minimum of 6” below the brick and 8” below siding or stucco.

2. Attic Ventilation

To extend the life of your roof covering and guard against mold and moisture build-up, your attic should be properly ventilated. However, attic insulation is usually installed incorrectly.

3. Misplaced Anchor Bolts

These bolts secure the bottom of the frame walls to the concrete slab or stem walls and are only visible if your home has a crawl space. Often they are placed in wet cement without regard to the placement of doors or windows.

4. Gutter and Downspout Placement

Upper roof downspouts should not drain to lower roofs as excessive water can destroy the lower roof. Downspouts should extend at least 6’ away from the house’s foundation, or you’ll find yourself with a flooded basement.

5. Problems with Stairs

Most common in exterior stairs are the issues with correct measurements and proper run. Additionally, problems can be found with the handrail, which should always be between 30-34 inches.

6. Botched Plumbing Installation

Unfortunately, some plumbers will do anything to get the pipes installed—even compromise the structure of the home to do so. Cuts are made in joists, stud walls and even the foundation; and cannot be seen once the house is completed.

7. HVAC Installation

Whether it was poor planning on the part of the builder or a design flaw made by the architect, improper HVAC installation can have a huge impact on the house’s structure. Structural joists should never be touched unless a licensed structural engineer has assessed it.

8. Electrical Defects

Thanks to the growing size of new homes, miscalculations and confusion can be made when it comes to planning the electrical aspects of the home. New, large homes have special requirements.

9. Bad Luck

Unfortunately, even with the best building and design team, things get confused, and plans don’t match. Home inspections can help you from dealing with the headache of a toilet too close to a door, an electrical outlet near the floor or lights placed too close to the ceiling. These are all cosmetic flaws as well as potential safety hazards.

We Can help

If you just bought a house or are about to buy, save yourself stress and money by scheduling a professional home inspection with us today! Leverage our decades of experience to put your mind at ease when it comes to finding a great and safe home for your family.


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Categories Home Inspection

Don’t be Fooled by these Home Inspection Myths

Home Inspection Myths

In the U.S. about 5 million homes undergo inspections each year. As with any large, and growing, industry, there are plenty of falsehoods being circulated and unfortunately, many people don’t know what’s true and what’s just a myth.

While a majority of homes sold receive an inspection, the misconceptions persist. Stick with us to learn what rumors aren’t worth the stress.


Myth #1: New homes don’t need inspections.

You can see a list of reasons why new homes need inspections too, here. The main point is though that faulty construction can lead to a number of issues in the future and it’s not uncommon to find a couple of dozen problems during the inspection of a brand new home.


Myth #2: Every nook and cranny will be inspected and scrutinized.

A home inspection is a visual inspection; nothing will be dismantled to check efficiency, but rather a few covers or access panels will be temporarily removed to inspect. However, the focus will be on the most essential and high risk areas.


Myth #3: Having an appraisal, code inspection, and termite or other hazard inspection cancels the need for home inspection.

While the others are important, they should not be used as a substitute for a full home inspection. Rather each of these inspections should be used as compliments to each other.


Myth #4: Inspections only benefit the buyer.

Most inspections are done on behalf of the buyer, but they don’t only benefit the buyers. Prelisting inspections can be hugely beneficial for sellers, and you can schedule one with us here! Additionally, it is recommended that a home undergoes an inspection every ten years regardless of a sale taking place.


Myth #5: Inspectors are too fussy.

Professional home inspectors do not point out every small defect or issue. Professionals, like the ones at EIG, are providing an objective examination of the accessible and visible components of a home on the day of the inspection.


Myth #6: Inspections are done to flip the negotiation process.

False! Inspectors are giving an educational service, allowing buyers to have a better understanding of the physical state of the home so that they may make smart decisions.

Inspections can actually help eliminate buyer anxiety. When areas of concern are presented, the inspector will not assist in any decision making.


Myth #7: There’s no difference between home inspectors.

Possibly the most important falsehood to dispel is the value of an inspector does not matter. Experience, knowledge, and thoroughness are all incredibly important aspects you’ll want to consider when choosing your inspector.

Our experience at EIG speaks for itself; we are aiming to bridge the gap between homeowner and inspector by improving all aspects of an inspection.


The Take-Away

Understanding these myths and knowing what to look for when planning your home inspection will allow you to get more out of the inspection process.

Let the pros take care of you today and schedule your own home inspection with EIG!

We have made the scheduling process easier and stress-free. Get in touch with us here!


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