Is your air conditioner energy efficient?

Heat Pump efficiency    Is your air conditioner shaded in the summer? The Atlanta Home Inspector notices natural vegetation shading (and sometimes overgowing) air conditioning units. However, just by simply providing shade to the unit, its life expectancy can rise.   The U.S. Department of Energy suggests that energy efficient landscaping can reduce temperatures around the home by up to 9 degrees.  Why not take advantage of natural insulators and shading?

Remember to trim the vegetation periodically to keep it from allowing insect and spoor growth, though. It will work best as a natural insulator and shade source when properly cared for and maintained.

 

There are also special room -darkening shades that will contain the room temperature within your home. This is another option for climate control. However, your geographic location may also play a role in your best options for keeping a cool space in the heat of summer. For dry humid regions there are special air conditioning units called evaporative units. However, in very humid climates standard heat pumps and air conditioning units can be found.

If you need the Atlanta Home Inspector to inspect your Atlanta home, Call IHI Home Inspections at 404-788-2581 or  Book your appointment online to receive a special discount http://www.ihihomeinspections.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atlanta home inspector is an advocate for safety

Space heater safety tipsSpace heaters are popular among homeowners in Atlanta because, as portable appliances, they can heat a small space quickly and inexpensively. It requires less energy to run a space heater than to raise the temperature of an entire home by a few degrees.

However, space heaters can be dangerous, too.

In its November 2011 report, the National Fire Protection Association reveals that heating equipment was involved in an estimated 58,900 home structure fires, 480 civilian deaths, 1,520 civilian injuries and more than $1.1 billion in damage.

Space heaters caused a disproportionate percentage of the accidents :

  • 79% of all home heating-related civilian deaths
  • 66% of all home heating-related civilian injuries
  • 52% of all home heating-related property damage

If you use space heaters, therefore, please remember to read (and follow) the manufacturer’s instructions for proper usage, and to obey basic safety standards.

First, never place anything flammable within three feet of a space heater. Space heaters get very hot, very quickly and can ignite rugs, paper and curtains.

Next, make sure your space heater is placed on the floor, on level ground. Do not rest it on books, or on furniture.

Also, make sure to turn space heaters off when leaving a room, or when going to bed. Space heaters are not meant to replace whole-home heating and should not be left unattended under any circumstance.

The Underwriters Laboratory makes a list of general safety tips available on its website. Considering how much damage space heaters can cause, the list is worth committing to memory.

 Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home
inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

How To Change Your Doorbell

Here is a simple fix that the Atlanta Home Inspector would like to share with you. The simple, step by step video will explain how you can change your doorbell all by yourself, thanks to Lowes for supplying the video footage.

When we move into a home, we make changes. Appliances get replaced, rooms get painted, and floors get refinished or recarpeted. It part of how we make a home “ours”.

One item we tend to skip, though, is the changing of the doorbell. In most Atlanta homes, the existing doorbell is “good enough”.

Well, if you’ve ever had a mind to change your home’s hard-wired doorbell system, the good news is that changing your doorbell is a simple, do-it-yourself project. Whether you want chimes, songs, or the traditional ding-dong, all you need is a screwdriver, some tape, and the new doorbell system.

This 2-minute video from Lowe’s maps it out :

  1. Cut the power to your doorbell from your circuit breaker
  2. Unscrew the doorbell face plate
  3. Replace the face plate with your new doorbell
  4. Locate your in-home receiver and remove the chime system
  5. Replace the chime system with your new system

The video also includes helpful tips such as how to use tape to prevent “losing” wires in your walls, and how to label your wires for faster re-wiring.

Changing a doorbell is a quick, 1-hour project. Use the video’s guidance to make you don’t miss a step.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David & Bonnie Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

Happy Thanksgiving from the Atlanta Home Inspector!

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and the Atlanta Home Inspectorhas been thinking about his favorite recipes. You will find a few of them posted here! Whether it is sweet potato pie, sage stuffing or oven roasted turkey, just remember to enjoy the preparation and fellowship that the season brings!

Happy Thanksgiving from Atlanta Home Inspections!

1. Sweet Potato Souffle – courtesy of foodnetwork.com

Ingredients

  • Butter, for casserole
  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • Salt
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped roasted, salted cashews
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish and set aside.

Add the potatoes to a large pot of cold, salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain in a colander in the sink.

Mash the potatoes in a large bowl. Add the evaporated milk, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, beaten eggs, salt and pepper, to taste. Mix together until smooth. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish and bake for 25 minutes.

In a small bowl, toss together the cashews, marshmallows, and coconut. Remove the casserole dish from oven and top with the cashew mixture. Bake until the marshmallows are lightly toasted, about 5 to 10 more minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

2. Roast Turkey with Sage a Fennel – courtesy of foodnetwork.com

Ingredients

  • 1 20-pound turkey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 heads garlic
  • 1 small onion, cut into 6 wedges
  • 2 cooking apples, quartered
  • 1 large bunch fresh sage
  • 1 small bulb fennel, cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 small carrot, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup instant flour(such as Wondra)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Directions

Bring the turkey to room temperature 1 hour before roasting. Place a rack in the lowest position of the oven and remove the other racks; preheat to 350. Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey; discard the liver and reserve the neck and the rest of the giblets. Dry the turkey inside and out with paper towels and season the cavity with salt and pepper. Halve 1 head garlic crosswise and stuff into the cavity along with 3 onion wedges, the applesand 1/2 bunch sage.

Place the remaining 3 onion wedges, the fennel and carrot in the center of a large roasting pan with 1 cup water. Set a rack above the vegetables and place the turkey breast-side up on the rack. Season all over with salt and pepper. Chop 3 tablespoons sage, then melt 3 sticks butter with the sage and salt and pepper to taste in a saucepan over medium heat. Fill a meat syringe with the sage butter and inject it into the breasts, legs and thighs; continue until you have used about half of the sagebutter. Brush the bird with the rest of the butter and tie the legs together with twine.

Roastthe turkey, uncovered, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Rotate the pan and continue roasting until a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165, 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes. Turn off the oven but leave the turkey inside until the thermometer registers 170, 15 to 20 more minutes.

While the turkey roasts, make the gravy: Melt the remaining 1 stick butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the reserved neck and giblets, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown, about 10 minutes. Peel and smash the remaining head of garlic, add it to the pan and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and bay leaves, cover and simmer over medium-low heat, about 2 hours. Discard the bay leaves, neck and giblets.

Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest 20 to 30 minutes before carving. Transfer the vegetables to a blender. Pour the drippings into a liquid measuring cup and skim off the fat. Add 1 cup drippings and the flour to the blender and puree until smooth. Whisk the remaining drippings and pureed vegetables into the broth mixture. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the gravyis smooth, about 10 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar; season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the turkey to a platter and garnishwith any remaining sage. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy.

3. Corn Pudding- courtesy of foodnetwork.com

Ingredients

  • For 6 individual (4-ounce) custard ceramic ramekins
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 eggs plus 2 yolks, beaten
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 cups fresh corn, cut from the cob
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Directions

Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Butter molds or casserole. Beat eggs, stir in sugar, cream and milk. Add corn and salt. Mix thoroughly with whisk, pour into baking dishes and sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake in water bath for 45 minutes or until custard is set.

Enjoy your holiday!

 Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

Things We All Dislike – That can be easily solved with these household tips!!

   You know what I dislike? Purchasing something with a price sticker that wont’ seem to pry off of the surface – that’s what I dislike. I recently read an article with the Atlanta Home Inspector, which explained how to remove that pesky price label . Here is  what it said:

The same pre-treater that erases spots and stains from fabric will also dissolve the black, tacky adhesive and bits of paper that often get left behind when you try to peel off a price sticker. Saturate the sticker with the spray, working it in with your fingers. Wait about 30 seconds, and the gooey residue should be soft enough to scrape off. The last step includes washing the itme in hot sudsy water.

Sounds simple enough!              

 Want to know something else that I dislike?  BBQ stains. Love to eat BBQ with the Atlanta Home Inspection team, but the stains that it leaves behind can be ridiculous. So when I found this handy tip on msn living, I was excited and eager to share it with y’all :

 Place a layer of paper towels over the stain. Working from the inside of the fabric, flush with cold water to transfer some of the barbecue sauce to the towel. Later, pretreat with liquid laundry detergent to break up the stain. Let sit for several minutes, then rinse well. Sponge the stain with white vinegar and rinse again. Pretreat again and wash. Also works for ketchup spills! 

       While I am venting about simple little irritating things that happen to us all, I suppose I will add one more item to this blog.  This one is regarding leather shoes. You know how they become dull, losing their shine?Well did you know that if you first use a damp cloth to remove visible dirt, then apply a drop of vegetable oil to the surface, those lackluster kicks will be spiffy in no time!  It is so interesting to consider different uses for everyday items. Hopefully these tips will come in handy to you.

 

Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

 


 

 

 Sources-  http://living.msn.com/home-decor/cleaning-organizing/unusual-uses-for-your-favorite-cleaning-products

http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/new-uses-for-old-things/favorite-new-uses-00000000019718/page9.html

How to clean a washer from the home inspector in Atlanta

We have a front loading washer and to us this seems like one of the hardest things to keep clean….  Maintaining a clean washer helps to ensure that the laundry looks its brightest and smells its freshest.Follow a few simple strategies on a regular basis, and your washer will produce the results that you want. Probably the most important step you can take is to read the manual provided by the manufacturer with the washing machine. Use the methods described in the manual for proper maintenance and cleaning of your machine if any are provided for you.Fortunately, most of these cleaning steps are only necessary on an as needed basis. If you prefer, complete most of them once a month for a sparkling clean washing machine. Follow these helpful pointers or the ones in your manual to produce a nice clean washer.

  • Wipe the outside of your washer with a soft cloth and a mild solution of soap. This is especially important if you use the washer lid as a landing station for your laundry.
  • Whenever a load of wash is extremely dirty and leaves a bit of residue on the interior or inner tub of your washer, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe it clean.
  • If your washer is equipped with a lint filter, remove all lint accumulation on a regular basis such as after every wash cycle.
  • Clean the bleach and fabric softener dispensers as soon as they show any sign of dirt or residue. Avoid using laundry detergent to clean the fabric softener dispenser since it may interact with the fabric softener the next time you use it.
  • If desired, apply a coating of appliance wax following the instructions provided with the container. This helps to protect the exterior of your washer.
  • If your washing machine is set up to drain into a laundry tub, you should have a strainer placed in the drain to gather all traces of lint and larger particles of dirt. If the plumbing becomes clogged, your washer may not work properly. A clogged drain can prevent the water from draining properly. Remove any build-up in the strainer after each washing cycle.
  • Clean the washing machine about once a month by running a hot water cycle with bleach. Be sure that you do not use more than the recommended dosage of bleach for your washer. This information may be visible on the bleach dispenser or in the washer’s manual.
  • Clean underneath the lid of the washer using a soft cloth or sponge and clean water or a mild soap solution. While you are at it, clean the top of the washer that sits beneath the lid as well.
  • If you have hard water and mineral deposits have appeared on your machine, refer to your manual for removal instructions. If you do not have the manual, contact the manufacturer by telephone or email. Additionally, you can search online for possible suggestions. Certain types of materials may not react well to specific cleaning methods; therefore, it is essential that you check before you use anything such as vinegar or a cleaning agent that includes vinegar.

Great information Compliments of Susan M Keenan : http://www.doityourself.com/stry/cleanwasher#ixzz20byiRZ00

 
Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta.

Do You Have a Clogged Dryer Vent? A Brief Discussion with the Atlanta Home Inspector

  When your clothes dryer turns off, are your clothes still wet? Do you have to cycle your dryer two or three times to get the job done? These are common occurrances when your dryer vent is clogged. During an Atlanta home inspection, make sure that this issue is checked. If your venting system exceeds 25 feet and/or has a 90 degree angle in it, the chances of clogging are higher. When the vent clogs, it causes other major issues with the operating system of your dryer. It can also lead to a potential fire hazard if not cleared.

    Another thing to consider, one that the Atlanta Home Inspector has seen, and included the picture of here, is that vent placement will also effect the performance of your appliance. In this photo the vent is not far enough out of the side of the home to properly do its job. Make sure when installing or having one installed, that it is measured and placed in the appropriate place for maximum performace.

With Safety in mind, IHI Home Inspections provides a detailed, thorough investigation of your home. Computerized reports and friendly service can be expected. Whether you are having a new home inspection, renovation, or routine maintenance call David Lelak at IHI Home Inspections. 404-788-2581

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

 

Home Inspector in Atlanta shares Removing Stains On Walls : Crayon, Mildew And More

As home inspectors in Atlanta, we have seen some great do-it-yourself paint jobs along with some not so great paint jobs.  Painting rooms in a home can be a do-it-yourself project. Armed with paint, tape, tarp and some brushes, there’s nothing you can’t re-color.

While some rooms call for a complete sand-down, there are some that don’t, and for those, Rule #1 is that your walls must be stain-free before adding the next coat of paint.

Stains can come in all varieties and the most basic stains can be treated with a damp rag or a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. For everything else, you’ll need a more cleaning power.

For example, of all the stain-types, “grime” is the most common. To remove ground-in dirt and oil, start with 1 gallon of warm water in a bucket, then add 1 cup of ammonia, 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar, and 1/4 cup of baking soda.

Rub gently and follow up with a clean water rinse.

For other common stains, try these remedies:

  • Permanent Marker : Blot the stain with a rubbing alcohol-soaked cotton ball. Allow to air dry.
  • Mildew : Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to 4 cups of water. Spray and allow to air dry.
  • Crayon : Dust a damp sponge with baking soda and scrub. Baby wipes work, too.

If your wall stains are “water stains”; the result of a leak or something similar, make sure the water source is corrected prior to painting. Then, to remove spots, mix 1 part bleach to 4 parts water, thoroughly rinse the stain, and use a hair dryer to dry the solution on the wall.

Once cleaned, your walls are ready to paint.  Ready, set, paint!

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

How To Store Your Winter Clothes For The Summer Season

As the Woodstock weather turns warmer and the days grow longer, it’s time to pack away your winter clothes to make room for spring and summer things — just make sure to store your cold-weather clothes properly.

They’ll look better, wear longer, and will be ready to go when winter rolls around again next year.

Here’s what to do.

First, you’ll want to launder your winter clothes before you pack them up — even if they were never worn and/or don’t appear to be soiled. Clothes can sometimes have spots or stains that aren’t readily visible. Use unscented detergents, and skip fabric softeners and other additives that could attract insects.

Take items that can’t be washed to the dry cleaner.

Next, you’ll put your clothes into storage containers. Ideally, use bags or boxes that won’t degrade and will seal out dirt, dust, insects and moisture.

Fold clothing neatly before adding it to the container and pack “loosely”, allowing air can circulate. Tuck a lavender or cedar sachet into each container to help repel bugs. Both lavender and cedar are safer for use than mothballs and they smell much better.

For bulky items such as coats, use padded hangers and cover the clothing with heavy plastic wardrobe bags. If you don’t have padded hangers and don’t want to buy them, drape wood hangers with folded towels to fill in the shoulders of your coats without stretching them.

Keep the storage boxes and hangers in a dry place, away from sunlight. Sunlight can fade your fabrics.

Then, make sure to clean your closets thoroughly before filling them with the next season’s clothes. Dust the shelves and ceiling, wipe bars and flat surfaces, and give the floor a good vacuum.

Your closet will be clean and fresh and ready for the new season.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home
inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit. You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online. We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time. Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website.

 

Build Your Own Rain Barrel To Save Money, Environment

According to the EPA, during summer months, lawn and garden watering account for roughly 40% of a typical home’s water use.

It’s a statistic that reminds us how “green lawns” can be wasteful to both the environment and household budgets  – especially with drought conditions expected and water costs rising in many U.S. municipalities.

As a homeowner in Woodstock , to help Mother Nature and your wallet, consider added a rain barrel to your home.

A rain barrel is a rain-capturing system that collects and stores water runoff from your roof. Often attached to a home’s gutter system, a standard rain barrel collects and holds 55 gallons of water which can then be reused to water plants, wash cars, and clean driveways among other uses. Because the water is natural (i.e. not treated with chlorine or lime), it’s also ideal for window washing.

Rain barrels can be purchases at most hardware or garden stores, or online via Amazon.com, for example. Or, they can be hand-built.

To install your rain barrel, first find a location for it, either under a downspout or near one. Make sure to select a stable location because water weighs roughly 8 pounds per gallon. A full rain barrel will weigh over 400 pounds, therefore, so be sure the ground beneath the it is solid and flat.

Next, if your rain barrel is hand-built, use PVC piping to reroute falling water into the mouth of the barrel itself, making sure to create a water-tight seal between the piping and the downspout. Or, if you’re using a store-bought rain barrel, follow the manufacturers instructions to “connect” the rain barrel to the downspout.

And, as the last step, be sure that the mouth of the rain barrel is protected from outside debris such as leaves, flowers and bugs. A formal lid or a covering made of wire mesh makes for a suitable protective cover. Most store-bought rain barrels will be sold with a covering.

That’s it. Just remember that basic maintenance will be needed. Water caught by a rain barrel should be used regularly to prevent “standing water” and protective screens should be cleaned regularly.

For a step-by-step guide to building your own rain barrel at home, click here.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website.