In homes with basements and crawl spaces, we always need to be concerned with water flow from the roof. An overflowing gutter will dump water next to the foundation and create a water leak into the crawl space or basement. In homes with concrete slabs, water next to the foundation can cause movement and cracking, which are bad things for a slab.
So, don’t let the gutters overflow. Trees can drop needles, seeds and leaves that can make a real mess in the gutters. Establish a routine for cleaning gutters that addresses the needs in your yard.
Also make sure downspout extensions dump water away from the foundation. They should extend at least 3 feet and preferably 6 feet to an area where the water will naturally drain away from your home.
One of the best inspection techniques is to observe your home during a hard rain. Gutters should not overflow, and all surface water should be directed away from your home. Water pooled next to a foundation is almost always the cause of a water leak into a basement and can result in structural damage to walls and slabs. Maintenance is eay and simple – make it a priority.
So you’ve got an unsightly stain on the driveway. Maybe it came from an old clunker parked there by family or friends. It could be a drip from your latest barbeque or a remnant from the windy day when the garbage can tipped over and left a greasy smudge. In any case, you want oil stain gone.
For a concrete or asphalt driveway, the fix is pretty simple. Purchase some Mex All-Purpose Cleaner or TSP substitute at the local hardware store. These powdered detergents are very strong and do an excellent job of removing oil stains.
Following label directions, mix a strong solution with very hot water. Wearing gloves and eye protection, scrub the spot with a hot detergent solution and a stiff brush. Scrub and soak, scrub and soak several times. Then scrub the area around the stain to blend into the surrounding surface. Rinse well with a strong blast from the garden hose.
Stubborn stains may require a second treatment. Eventually sunlight and weather will even out the color of the pavement. If you end up with a light spot where you were scrubbing, you may need to scrub the entire drive to even out the color.
Electrical outlets can be very dangerous resulting in fire or electrical shock.
To test your electrical outlets, you’ll need a three-prong electrical outlet tester. These look like three-prong plugs with three little lights. These can be found at most any hardware store for only $10 or $15. Go room by room through the entire house, checking as many electrical outlets as possible. Ideally, you want to check every outlet.
Before touching any outlet, look to make sure that it is not physically damaged. Replace any outlet that is cracked or broken. With the rest of the outlets, take your electrical tester and plug it in.
The most common fault is a condition called reversed polarity. Reversed polarity means that the black wire and the white wire are reversed where they are connected to the outlet. Appliances plugged into an outlet with reversed polarity will still work, but there is a much greater risk of electrocution.
Many people buying new homes have a false sense of security when it comes to the complete and proper construction of that home. It has been my experience after many years of inspecting both new and resale properties that most people only obtain an inspection on a resale or used home.
The thinking is this; the home was designed by someone (architect), the town, city, or county reviewed the plans, a licensed contractor built it, and the Municipal Building Official inspected it so why would I need to get it inspected? Well, here is the problem; many parts of the country do not require plans or plan reviews. Many more parts of the country do not require contractors to be licensed. Lastly, many areas, especially rural areas, do not have any type of Building Inspection at all!