Get Your Home Ready For Winter in Southeast Wisconsin
As a home inspector we often see the results of homes that have not been maintained properly and are damaged from winter weather. There are some easy things you can do to prevent damage to your house and get it ready for the cold weather coming.
Air conditioning condensers should not be run in cold temperatures. As a home inspector we don't check the air conditioning unless the temperature is 65 degrees or warmer. Running the air conditioning in colder weather can damage the condenser causing damage that may need to be repaired or worse the condenser may need to be replaced. A simple way to ensure the air conditioning is not inadvertently turned on when the weather is too cold is to turn off the air conditioner breaker on your electrical service panel. That way someone can't accidentally turn it on and create an expensive mistake. When your ready to use it when the weather turns warm simply turn the breaker back on.
The water for outdoor faucets should be turned off inside the house before freezing temperatures hit. If water is left in the pipe at the faucet and it's not a frost free faucet the water can freeze and burst the pipe. This could cause water leaking inside your home as well as a damaged pipe. If you have frost free faucets they are designed to shut the water off prior to getting to the outside portion of the faucet so they should not freeze. If the water shut off is easy to access it's better to just shut the water off inside the home even with frost free outdoor faucets.
Clean your gutters of debris. If your gutters are clogged with leaves and other debris they can't move water properly and can cause water leaking into your house if they get backed up. During the winter there are often times when the snow melts on your roof. If your gutters are clogged this can cause water problems and possible damage from moisture intrusion. It's better to clean them while the weather isn't bad and the snow and ice freeze int he gutters making them impossible to clean.
Paint, caulk, or seal any areas that need to be maintained on the exterior. Exterior wood and wood trim, areas where caulk or sealant is missing or worn, areas where moisture can penetrate into the home or behind the exterior coverings. If there are gaps in siding or areas where pipes or wires go into the home seal them up. It's critical during the winter to protect these areas due to freeze and thaw cycles which can create damage to these areas. It also prevents pests such as mice from making your home their home for the winter.
Have your fireplace and chimney maintained by a professional certified chimney technician. Many of the homes I inspect that have fireplaces and chimneys often have issues directly related to lack of maintenance. Many fireplaces are not regularly maintained and cleaned which can lead to creosote build up in the fireplace and chimney and cause a chimney fire. A fire in your fireplace is great, however, when it happens in your chimney thats a bad thing. Chimneys are seldom maintained and because they are often out of sight and out of mind they can be a significant problem. Ensure your fireplace is safe to use for the winter by having it professionally maintained.
Tune up your furnace. A furnace needs to be maintained and tuned up to ensure it is functioning properly and efficiently. It helps save energy costs and ensures when its bitterly cold outside your furnace will run and provide heat and not leave you calling a furnace technician because your furnace isn't working.
Divert water from your house by making sure gutters are extended at least 6 feet from the foundation to prevent water pooling around the foundation of your house and creating basement moisture issues.
Have your lawn irrigation system drained if you have one. Leaving water in the irrigation pipes can allow water in the pipes to freeze and damage the pipes creating costly repairs.
Test your sump pump and ensure it is running properly. Install a battery backup sump pump system to make sure water is being pumped out of your sump pit if the main pump fails or the power goes out. If you don't have a backup system and the power fails or the pump fails the water ends up in your basement.
These are just some of the things you should be working on to get your home ready for winter. Doing some work now will prevent future headaches and expensive repairs. At Dairyland Home Inspection we provide home inspections, radon testing, and mold testing in Racine, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Walworth Counties. Let us know if we can help you.
Racine, Wisconsin Home Inspection, Free Radon Testing, and Mold Testing
Dairyland Home Inspection performs home inspections, radon testing, and mold testing in Racine, Wisconsin. Make sure you hire a home inspector that has experience and great reviews. We have a 5 star rating on google reviews and we work hard for our customers. Our goal is to provide our customers as much information as possible about their home so they don't have any surprises. We are one of the few home inspection companies in Wisconsin that is nationally certified in radon testing. We are licensed in Wisconsin and have national certification as a home inspector.
Racine is a great city on the shores of Lake Michigan and is located in southeastern Wisconsin. Racine is a city that has an interesting and diverse history as one of the oldest cities in Wisconsin. It was incorporated in 1848, the same year Wisconsin became a state. Many different industries and manufacturing businesses call Racine home. Some of the bigger companies that are located in Racine include S.C. Johnson, J.I. Case, InSinkErator, and Dremel.
Racine is about 18 square miles in size and has a population of about 79,000 people. It has many diverse neighborhoods and many historical architectural structures. Downtown Racine has been the backdrop for several movies. The homes in Racine are very diverse and many homes are over 100 years old. This makes performing home inspections in Racine a very interesting and fun job. Seeing the various styles of houses and how they were built makes each home unique.
During the summer there are many festivals and activities to participate in by the lakefront as well as downtown. Public transportation makes getting around Racine relatively easy. The Racine Zoo is a great location to see animals up close and is located right along the shore of Lake Michigan offering spectacular views. There are many parks and recreation areas in which to enjoy the outdoors and leisure activities.
Dairyland Home Inspection is happy to work and serve the residents of Racine as well as those new residents who choose to make Racine their new home. If you are looking for a home inspection in Racine feel free to call us or visit our website we would be happy to help you. Racine is just one of the many cities we serve in Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Walworth Counties.
Thermal Imaging Finds Hidden Problems During Home Inspections
Thermal imaging cameras are a great tool that home inspectors use to find hidden problems in walls and ceilings of homes. They are often used in home inspections and can often find serious problems such as missing insulation, water leaks, overheated electrical equipment, pests, and other problems. Not all home inspectors use thermal imaging cameras due to needing certification in thermal imaging and the high cost of the equipment. Not very thermal imaging camera is created equal. Some cameras have high resolution and others have much lower resolution, which can affect the quality of pictures taken. Thermal imagers are tools that should be mandatory for any competent home inspector to give their client the best service possible.
Thermal imaging cameras work by measuring temperature differentials in different materials. Water leaks can often be located in ceilings and walls even when it cannot be observed by the naked eye. The thermal imaging camera is often able to find water leaks due to the different temperature water can have compared to the building materials around it. When two different materials have a different temperature it shows up on the camera as a color variation. A possible water leak can and should always be confirmed using a moisture meter.
Missing insulation and areas of inadequate insulation can be seen easily with a thermal imager due to the temperature difference of building materials where the insulation is missing or inadequate. Insulation issues can cost a great deal of money in lost energy efficiency. A thermal imaging camera can provide information that cannot be seen without it and can save a client hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars in energy costs.
Pests such as mice, insects, and damage from these pests can also be seen in areas of a home using a thermal imaging camera. One common observation is mice tunnels through insulation in an attic can be easily seen using a thermal imaging camera.
Overheated electrical equipment can also be seen using a thermal imaging camera with the overheated equipment showing a much higher temperature than the surrounding equipment. Even when issues with the electrical service are not observed, this can provide useful information for potential problems.
Thermal imaging cameras are critical in home inspection and finding problems that could not be found without it. The number of issues that can be found as well as the potential savings for clients in finding serious home problems should make using this tool an absolute must for any home inspector.
At Dairyland Home Inspection we provide a thermal imaging scan of the home on every inspection. We serve Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Waukesha, and Walworth Counties.
Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin Home Inspection, Radon Testing, Termite Inspections, and Mold Testing
We provide home inspection services in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. We also provide radon testing and mold testing. We love helping people buying a home learn about their new home and identifying any possible problems. We want our clients to know as much as possible about their new home.
Mount Pleasant is a great place and is located in Racine County. With its rapid growth from companies like Foxconn and many other developments its becoming an important location in Wisconsin. The reason for much of this growth is because it is strategically located between Milwaukee and Chicago along I-94. This are of Wisconsin including Mount Pleasant is rapidly growing. While being close to great shopping and many activities it also provides for a rural setting and a great place to call home.
Dairyland Home Inspection is located in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin and we are happy to provide services in the area. We also perform home inspection services in other nearby communities like Racine, Union Grove, Caledonia, Burlington, Kenosha, and Milwaukee. Certified and experienced home inspections along with nationally certified radon testing and mold testing allows us to provide home buyers the most knowledge about the home their buying.
Our goal is to give home buyers the assurance that they have the best information to make a wise buying decision. Our goal is to give customers purchasing a home in Mount Pleasant, Racine, Milwaukee, Kenosha or any other area we serve the best possible service and home inspection possible. We take pride in doing a great job and providing top notch customer service.
If you're looking for a home to purchase in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin or any other area we serve please visit our website or call us we are happy to help you with your home buying needs.
Bob Carter is a home inspector in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. He is the owner of Dairyland Home Inspection.