Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient!

As a home inspector in the Central Maryland and Pennsylvania region, I come across a lot of different homes and I see a lot of ways homes can improve energy efficiency. Inspecting everything from new construction homes to both original-condition and renovated older homes from multiple generations of home-building technologies gives us home inspectors a unique view into home energy efficiency (or lack thereof). We get to see construction and building and insulation materials that often span a hundred years or more worth of building science and technology! Here in the Central Maryland and Pennsylvania area, we are still in…

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Summer Cooling – What You Need to Know About R22

The dog days of summer are most certainly in full swing here in the Maryland and Pennsylvania areas, and right about now, we are grateful for our Air-Conditioning (A/C) systems. We rely on these systems to not only cool our homes during the heat of the summer season, but they also help to dehumidify the air inside our homes as an added benefit. Lately, we have been informing our home inspection clients when they have Air-Conditioning systems that use a particular and very common chemical as the refrigerant, often known as R22. R twenty-what, you ask? What the heck is…

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Homeowner Safety Tips for Summer Travel

It is here - SUMMER officially begins in just a few short days and we are starting to feel the heat and humidity here in the Westminster area and surrounding Maryland and Pennsylvania towns!  Schools are finishing up their final days of the year and the kids (and Teachers!) are excited for a hard-earned Summer break. With Summer breaks comes the Vacation season, and with some preparation and prevention, we can truly rest easy as we travel away from Home Sweet Home on our adventures. Even us Home Inspectors tend to take some time off during the summer months to…

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Home Inspection FAQ for Home Buyers & Sellers

What is a home inspection?  We hear this question A LOT! Home Inspections can vary from State to State depending on whether a State regulates Home Inspections or not, but in general, most home inspections have evolved to follow a fairly standard definition. Like most States, a Maryland home inspection is a visual examination of the home's major structure, systems and components that are both visible and safely accessible.  The inspector should substantially adhere to a Standards of Practice that outlines what will be covered during a general home inspection, as well as what is excluded. Some inspectors may strictly…

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Home Maintenance Tips for Spring

Dare I say it? The calendar shows we have officially entered the Spring season and it is starting to show here in the Westminster area and surrounding Maryland and Pennsylvania towns! What a welcome change! Finally, right? Along with warmer weather, we will undoubtedly get a lot of rain and possibly some strong Spring thunderstorms occasionally, too! Before we know it, Summer will be here next. Now is a great time to focus a little attention and effort on your home in order to keep things running smoothly and to help maintain a safe and comfortable home for you and…

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Daylight Savings March 10, 2019 – check your smoke alarms!

I know, I know - Daylight Savings time is this weekend, March 10, 2019 at 2:00am and, let me guess, you're tired of hearing the same old cliché, "Change the batteries in your smoke detectors", right? Well, perhaps I have some good news for some of you that live here in Maryland! With the current Maryland smoke detector law that had a deadline of January 1, 2018 for compliance (it was passed in 2013) and depending on when your home was built, some Maryland residents might not have to change batteries in smoke detectors anymore! For the rest of us,…

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Check your gutters and downspouts before Spring!

One of the most common problems we find when performing home inspections in the North-Central Maryland and Southern-Central Pennsylvania areas in and around Westminster is issues with the home's gutters and downspouts. This often overlooked part of the home is a CRITICAL system in controlling moisture intrusion into the structure, but many people underestimate the importance of a properly functioning gutter and downspout system. This article can help you understand more about the need for gutters and downspouts and gives you some tips for maintaining them. Spring will bring rain! Although recent snow and ice may have you still thinking…

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Do You Have Ice Dams?

Here in the Maryland/Pennsylvania area, we are in the height of the season for winter precipitation of all forms including snow, sleet, freezing rain, and ice. With the recent snow event that brought with it sleet and freezing rain on top of it all, you may want to check your roof to see if ice dams are forming. Ice dams can be bad news for your roof, your home, and potentially your health! What is an Ice Dam? An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and holds back melting snow from…

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Don’t forget to re-winterize your exterior hose bibs!

Here in the Maryland/Pennsylvania area, we occasionally are blessed during the Winter months with short periods of warmer weather like we have had this week. When this happens many of us often will get out our hoses to wash the road salt and filth off our cars and, in the process, reverse the winterization steps we (hopefully) took before freezing temperatures started setting into the region. If you did not winterize your exterior hose bibs in the Fall, perhaps you have been extremely lucky and have dodged a plumbing catastrophe so far! If you winterized properly, give yourself an "atta…

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