Termite Inspections in Racine, Kenosha, and Milwaukee
Wood destroying organisms cost billions of dollars of damage in the United States every year. Pests such as the termite, carpenter ant, powder post beetle, carpenter bees, and fungi are some of the most common problems for wood buildings and structures. Many home mortgages and loan programs such as VA loans require termite inspections during the home buying process to ensure termites are not an issue with the home being purchased.
The most invasive of these is the subterranean termite. Termites are more prevalent in certain areas of the country and can cause major structural damage to a home. They can often go unnoticed for years, which allows them to cause significant damage. They thrive in warmer climates in the United Stated such as the South, Southeast, and Southwest. Termites can be found in every state in the United States except Alaska.
Buying a home with a termite problem could be a very expensive and difficult problem to solve. Termite treatments can be extensive and involve significant expense in the thousands of dollars. If termites have been invasive in a home for some time it could also result in structural damage to a home involving repair of the wood structure. Getting a termite inspection prior to buying a home can prevent possible future problems for home buyers.
Termites are ground insects that look for habitats that provide food, moisture, and shelter close to the ground: any moist place where wood meets ground. Preventing and correcting this situation can prevent termite infestation to a home. Mulch and other landscaping materials cause the soil to remain moist. You should make sure to minimize mulch around your foundation. Experts recommend mulch should be no closer than a foot from your home’s foundation. Firewood should be stacked well away from your home. You should also make sure to eliminate moisture problems in and around your home, especially in basements and crawlspaces. This can prevent your home from having termite problems.
At Dairyland Home Inspection we provide termite inspections free of charge with any home inspection for our clients. We ensure our clients get the most information about their home so they can make a wise home buying decision. We serve Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Walworth, and Ozaukee Counties.
Waukesha Home Inspections & Radon Testing
Our goal at Dairyland Home Inspection is to provide the very best service to our clients. Radon is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and high radon levels and exposure over time can increase your risk. Radon can be easily mitigated from a home to reduce the radon level to lower levels.
Radon testing involves using a continuous radon monitor for 48 hours, which measure the radon level every hour in a home. It gives a average reading for the radon level in the home. Any reading over 4.0pCi/L is a level that the EPA recommends be mitigated to prevent significant exposure to radon.
Southeastern Wisconsin generally has radon levels that vary widely from high to low. It is impossible to know if a home will have a high radon level without conducting an accurate radon test.
When having a radon test conducted ensure the radon tester is using calibrated testing devices and is certified to conduct residential radon testing. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services lists radon test providers who meet recognized standards and have met guidelines by the department. We are one of the few home inspection companies certified in residential radon testing.
We perform radon testing in Racine, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Walworth, Waukesha, and Ozaukee Counties.
Insulating Your Attic With Blown Insulation Can Save You Big Money
One of the most important factors to home comfort is your homes insulation. Missing or inadequate insulation is a problem commonly seen during a home inspection. Insulation prevents high energy usage saving you money. It also prevents problems with mold, condensation, and moisture intrusion problems. The cost of updating or upgrading your insulation can easily be paid back over time in energy efficiency and energy savings. Certain types of insulation like attic insulation are easy to install and very cost effective. Trying to insulate your finished walls or replacing windows for a better insulating value are much more difficult and much less cost effective.
One of the most cost effective insulation solutions is adding attic insulation. There are several types of attic insulation which include blown insulation, batt insulation, and insulation blanket type material. Blown insulation is very easy to install and almost any home owner willing to put forth a little effort can accomplish it in around 4 hours. The only supplies needed are the blown insulation and an insulation blower machine.
Many stores offer insulation blower machine rental for a fee. Some stores and some insulation products such as Attic Cat insulation material provides fora free rental with a minimum purchase of insulation material. The installation of the insulation is relatively easy. It involves setting up and plugging in the machine in your yard. Then you'll need to find someone to add insulation material to the machine. Run the hose from the machine to the attic access and you'll need to blow the insulation into the attic. It's really that simple. It can be a little messy and involve some physical effort. For around $500 you can add a significant amount of insulation to your attic. Paying a professional to do the same thing for you will run $2000 or more. The cost of insulation can often be tax deductible.
In Wisconsin, the recommended insulation for an attic is R49 to R60. That equates to about 16.5 to 20 inches of blown insulation in the attic. The insulation depth is measured from the attic floor. Depending on how much insulation you currently have, you would need to factor that in to the number of inches of additional insulation you would need.
Websites such for Owens Corning Attic Cat and Energy Star provide information on insulation recommendations.
Basement Foundation Cracks Located During Home Inspections in Racine, Kenosha, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Basement Foundation Cracks Located During Home Inspections In Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
As a home inspector one of the biggest issues I see that worries potential buyers the most is foundation problems. This is with good reason as foundation problems can be expensive to repair. Basement foundation cracks are commonly found during a home inspection. Basement foundation cracks are not always a significant problem and are often the result of many possible conditions.
Basement foundation walls are made up of many different materials such as stone, brick, masonry blocks, and poured concrete. This post focused on cracks in masonry block and poured concrete foundations. Vertical cracks, diagonal cracks, horizontal cracks, and stair step cracks are often seen during a home inspection and each has a different cause and effect.
Vertical cracks that go straight up and down or within 30 degrees of vertical are very common. They are the least severe, which are often caused by a home or building settling. It is common for even new houses to have some vertical cracks. Settling is common in homes and is usually not a problem if the settling is minor and does not cause any displacement of the foundation. Settling often occurs in the few first years after a home is built. Hairline cracks are not considered a problem. The cracks can be sealed using proper materials to prevent moisture intrusion. Vertical cracks that are wide or have displacement are considered more severe and may need further evaluation.
Diagonal cracks run at a 30-70 degree angle that will usually be wider at one end then the other and are often hairline sized. They are often caused by differential settling due to expansion and/or contraction of the soil. This type of issue can often be caused by too much water being deposited near the home and a lack of proper gutters and downspouts to move water away from the home. Water can cause soil at the foundation to shift resulting in the foundation cracking.
Horizontal cracks run sideways and are the most serious cracks in a foundation and can signal serious problems to a homes structural integrity. They are most common in homes with masonry block foundation. Horizontal cracks are the result of soil pressure outside your foundation, and hydrostatic pressure that can cause basement foundation walls to bow. These types of cracks and foundation problems should be repaired or evaluated by a foundation contractor.
Foundation problems are often the result of poor water management at the exterior of the home. Keeping water away from the homes foundation is critical to preventing foundation problems. Often solving these problems can have a positive effect on foundation problems by preventing further damage or problems.
Dairyland Home Inspection inspects Racine, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Waukesha, Walworth, and Ozaukee Counties. We provide free radon testing on every home inspection.
Simple Tips From A Home Inspector To Make Your Home Safer For Children
As a home inspector I often see home problems that can be very dangerous and should require immediate correction. Some of these dangerous problems are relatively simple fixes but failure to address them could be very dangerous for children.
One common issue I often see is water that is way too hot at the faucets. Water that is 140 degrees or hotter at the faucet can cause burns to small children in just a few seconds. Children who turn on the water may not realize how hot it is until they stick their hand under the faucet. This is a simple fix of turning down the temperature on your water heater. It not only prevents possible injury but saves money. When your water heater water temperature is cranked up too hot the water heater needs to use more energy to keep the temperature at a high level. Turning it down to about 120 degrees saves energy and possible injury. It's still plenty hot for showers or any other needs.
Stairs are a dangerous area for kids. Even kids that can go up and down stairs often get injure when there is not a continuous handrail from the top of the stairs to the bottom of the stairs. They need to be able to hold onto something going up and down. Doors that open over stairs are also dangerous. Having to try and open a closed door and pull it open over the stairs is unsafe. What if someone is on the stairs and someone swings the door when they are coming up the stairs and they get knocked backwards and tumble down the stairs? Stairs are dangerous for older adults and the elderly as well. It's one of the areas in a home where many serious injuries occur.
Electrical outlets/receptacles should have a cover plate over them. Whether they are in a garage or basement or anywhere in a home the wires in an electrical outlet are live and should be protected. A child that sticks a toy or finger inside on outlet without a cover protecting the live wires could result in serious injury or worse. Placing a cover is relatively simple to do.
Deck guard and stair balusters should be 4 inches or less apart to ensure a child cannot stick their head in between the guards or balusters and be injured. Often these are found to be too wide and don't provide the needed protection for children.
The above examples are just a few of the more common issues we find during a home inspection. Problems that may cause injury are just some of the areas we inspect during a home inspection. We serve Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Walworth Counties.
Milwaukee Home Inspection, Free Radon Testing, and Mold Testing
Dairyland Home Inspection provides home inspection services in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. If you are looking for an experienced and professional home inspector in the Milwaukee area we are here to help. We inspect from the foundation to the roof and everywhere in between. Our goal is to provide you with the most information possible about the home you're purchasing. We use the best tools and technology on every inspection. We strive to find expensive home problems to save you money so you don't have any surprises.
We perform free radon testing and mold testing as additional services. We are nationally certified in radon testing and are one of the few home inspections companies in Wisconsin that is certified in radon testing. We use thermal imaging on every home inspection which helps us find hidden problems behind walls and ceilings like water leaks, pests in walls, and energy efficiency problems.
Milwaukee is the biggest city in Wisconsin and has many diverse and interesting homes. We inspect every neighborhood in Milwaukee and any type of home whether is be a single family, multi family or condo. We have easy online flexible scheduling.
If you are buying a home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin or any area in southeastern Wisconsin we serve please give us a call or check out our website and see how we can help you and provide you professional home inspection services.
Kenosha, Wisconsin Home Inspections, Free Radon Testing, and Mold Testing
If you are looking for a home inspection in Kenosha, Wisconsin we are here to help you. At Dairyland Home Inspection we do home inspections, radon testing, and mold testing in Kenosha, Wisconsin. We have helped numerous home buyers in the Kenosha area purchase a home by providing home inspection services. We have saved our clients thousands of dollars by finding problems with their home prior to closing. In addition to home inspections we provide radon testing. Radon levels in southeaster Wisconsin are relatively high with a large number of homes above the EPA recommended limit of 4.0pCi/L.
We perform buyer home inspections for people buying a home. Getting a home inspection is critical because what you don't know can cost you a lot of money. We help home buyers find expensive and sometimes dangerous home problems before they close. This gives you the opportunity to negotiate for repairs or the cost of repairs. This prevents you from moving into your new home and getting stuck with expensive repairs or problems you didn't know existed. We offer competitive pricing and exceptional customer service. Call us or check out or website and let us know how we can help you.
Kenosha is a city located on Lake Michigan in southeast Wisconsin. It was founded in 1835 even before Wisconsin became a state. As one of the oldest cities in Wisconsin it has a rich history and diverse past. Kenosha is the 4th largest city in Wisconsin with a population of about 100,000 people. It's located between Chicago, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin which gives it an ideal location for business and development. Many new businesses and developments are happening in Kenosha which is boosting the local economy.
With increased jobs and growth it means more housing and a vibrant real estate market and the need for more home inspections to ensure buyers interests ate protected. Home prices have risen steadily over the last few years in the Kenosha area and that trend seems as it will continue in the near future.
Cities like Pleasant Prairie, Salem, and Twin Lakes are also seeing increased growth and development. We are happy to serve those who live in Kenosha and those who are moving to Kenosha by providing professional and thorough home inspection services.
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.