How to keep your refrigerator and freezer running at maximum efficiency levels


We pass by our refrigerator numerous times daily as we enter and exit rooms throughout the home and also as we enter and leave our home. We open our refrigerator many times a day, also. However, we don’t often stop to consider whether or not we are running our refirgerator at a maximum efficiency level.

Did you know that at 31.6 cu. ft. french door refrigerator can hold an equivalent of 32 bags of groceries?  Good Golly!! That sounds like a lot of food. However, it is suggested that your refrigerator’s ability to keep your food fresh depends upon how jammed full it is and how many people are being fed. For instance, each adult per houshold should reserve 4 to 6 cu. ft. of storage. Whether or not this theory is correct remains to be seen.

One theory that does seem to have merit is the durability of the refrigerator’s seals. The door seal should hug snugly to the door so that no air leaks out of the unit.  Also, it is important to leave space between the refrigerator and the wall in order to allow for proper air circulation. Checking the seals and the space allotted for your fridge is a good checklist item for your routine home maintenance.

Another efficiency tip concerns your freezer. Don’t let your freezer get empty. Not only does this mean you need to go to the grocery store, but also it means your freezer will use significantly  more energy to run. The strain of keeping an empty freezer cold can actually place up to 25% more energy usage on the unit. The same applies for properly regulating the temperatures. Make sure you are keeping temps below 40 degrees for the refrigerator and 0 degrees for the freezer. Remember, however, that the colder the temps, the more energy being exerted. Keep safe temperature, but do not go crazy with the coldness!!

                                      Stainless Steel Refrigerator

                                                                                    Don’t forget, we check model and serial numbers in the Recall Chek system to see if there are any recalls on your home’s appliances at no additional cost during the home inspection service!!

Visit our website at to book your Atlanta home inspection today! .

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We look forward to working with clients and agents during the real estate process. Experience the IHI Difference. 404-788-2581 – See more at:

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Not All Renovations are Created Equal

I just read today that home owners in certain parts of the U.S. spent an estimated $1,400 each on renovations and remodels in 2013. The report, issued by the National Association of Home Builders, went on to state that those homes, on average, were built in the late 1960’s and 1970’s.   However, in Georgia, this average expenditure registered slightly higher at $1,648 per owner.

This information made me wonder how many of these home owners hired professional contractors to help versus undertaking the task themselves. Sometimes, I see innovative remodels that make me scratch my head.  Take this remodel for example – new appliances and updated countertops with cabinetry. However, the lack of planning is evident as indicated in this photo.

A lack of planning new appliances and cabinets no date







Other times, I see well planned and executed improvements such as this bathroom renovation.

 A well executed renovation no date


I guess what I want to say is that if you are going to spend $14oo- $1600 on average, and in some cases much more to renovate your home – you may as well maximize your spending in order to get the most out of the investment in the long run.  Why install new appliances and cabinetry if you cannot access everything? Also, if and when the time comes to sell the property, you will want to ensure that the remodel makes sense. A bathroom with ample space and a combination of traditional as well as modern features will translate to more than one type of market segment.

This just goes to show that not all renovations are created equal. That just makes the home inspection process that much more interesting – and important!


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Finding Snake Skins in the Attic Can Raise a lot of Questions

Snakeskin in the attic no date   Snake’s rely on their skin to protect, conceal, and aid in movement. According to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, “Starting at its head, a snake peels out of its old skin. The new skin accommodates the snake’s growing body”(n.d.).

Now, I don’t know about you, but seeing this snake skin during a recent home inspection in Atlanta made me think twice about that whole accommodating the growing body thing. I mean, think about this. That skin looks to be a fairly decent size to begin with and now I know that the snake that crawled out of it is bigger than before. This just solidifies the fact that the skin is serving its purpose as a leading defense mechanism! The current owners of the home and hopeful buyers of the property share this sentiment and are a bit squeamish about proceeding. After all it means the home offers dark, damp, coolness or possibly small rodents.

So what can be done to ease worried clients and remedy the situation?

Wildlife and pest control experts have stressed the importance of sealing off attractive areas and trimming back vegetation that allures small rodents. Of course, most homeowners do not want to tackle this on their own for one reason or another. At that point consult the local pest control professionals. Most termite companies also have a wildlife specialist on board. However, if one wants to take matters into his or her own hands, then there is a way to lure a snake out of its hiding spot. Piles of damp towels or burlap bags can be placed in the area where the snake was seen. The Orkin website suggests waiting a few days and then removing the towels or bags with a shovel. If one is lucky the snake has crawled into the damp, cool bag or towel (2014).

As for my role in all of this – I just snap photos and report the findings. I do have reputable pest control companies that I refer, also. I don’t consider myself a snake charmer or an expert on the topic, so I leave all of that to the wildlife pros.

Visit our website at to book your Atlanta home inspection today! .

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to book an inspection online visit our website .

We look forward to working with clients and agents during the real estate process. Experience the IHI Difference. 404-788-2581

Drainage Issues: Why it is important to your health

Basement wet no date



Drainage Issues: Why it Should Matter


So, the inspector has been to the property and discovered there are drainage issues. What does this mean? Well, for starters, if water is not properly draining away from the home, this means the water is settling somewhere within the home, most likely the basement or crawlspace. Why is this important to note? Not because we don’t want the deal to follow through, but because we as inspectors do not want to see the client subjected to one of the leading promoters of mold growth. After all, nobody wants to inhale mold spores for an extended period of time (at least not that I am aware of).


Mold, according to the CDC (center for disease control) causes noted symptoms in otherwise healthy adults and children. There is  ” sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition” (


Since mold thrives in damp, humid atmospheres, it is a good idea to find out in advance if the home you wish to purchase has a drainage issue that will promote mold growth which could lead to serious health issues.



While detection of water intrusion may be a game changer, it is not always a deal breaker. There are solutions to issues that arise. Sometimes all that is needed is a better ventilation system or a change in humidity level. Small changes can help eliminate the risk – such as not carpeting lower level areas.  Drainage issues can sometimes be fixed by landscaping around the home. By grading around the home, this will shift the surface water. Sometimes, it is imperative to place a barrier in the water shedding layer of the soil to route the drainage in the proper direction away from the home.  Sloping away from the home’s foundation is the key.


Remember that water damage in a basement or crawlspace can be caused by any of the following:


  1. faulty plumbing
  2. failed sump pumps
  3. improper window installation
  4. leaking walls and foundation 


If the water is within the walls, then they most likely will need removed and replaced in order to prevent the growth of mold. Also, a professional waterproofing company may be able to assist in warding off any further water damage. There are 4 Types of Interior Waterproofing and a professional can help determine which type of drainage issue may be present and which type of interior or exterior waterproofing may be needed.



Visit our website at to book your Atlanta home inspection today! .

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We look forward to working with clients and agents during the real estate process. Experience the IHI Difference. 404-788-2581


Home Inspection Tips for Home Owner


The Atlanta Home Inspector, David Lelak, likes to be detailed and thorough. He is one of the few home inspectors that will walk 99.9% of roofs out there. If you are in need a thorough home inspection that includes roof walking, call 404-788-2581 today. You will be provided a comprehensive computer generated report from our 600 item home inspection check list with digital photos that clearly addresses all of the issues we discussed and that were found. Don’t wait, visit our website today and schedule online or give us a call at 404-788-2581. We’ll give you the peace of mind you deserve. IHI Home Inspections If you are in need a thorough home inspection that includes roof walking, call 404-788-2581 today.

Visit Atlanta Home Inspector-IHI Home Inspections on facebook. Google Places Link -… To book a home inspection visit our website For the best Atlanta home inspection, people trust the professional home inspectors at IHI Home Inspections. As home inspectors, we help you avoid making your home purchase your most costly mistake. For news you can use and other home tips visit our blog at

Have you turned on your heat pump yet? – Efficiency tip by the Atlanta Home Inspector

jjjjoIn our region, we seldom have to turn on the heat until the winter months. However, today with the wind making itself know,it made me start to think about needing to turn up the heat. I was also thinking about the home inspections in Atlanta that are performed.

During Atlanta home inspections is your current inspector checking the furnace or heat pump?

Did you know that heat pumps are an efficient choice when the temperatures are 32 degrees or higher? With that being said, when it drops below that temperature, the heat pump must “ask” for a little assistance. This assistance comes in the form of electric heat strips (also known as auxiliary heat), which increase the operating cost of the entire system. Sometimes, this can even be as much as 5 times the normal operation.

So, how would a homeowner avoid using the auxiliary heat? Well, it is always a good idea to service the heat pump to ensure that it is working properly. By keeping dirt and debris out of the unit, the air will flow more freely, as well.

It is also a great idea to keep the thermostat set at a constant temperature. Typically, somewhere below 70 degrees will keep the usage down – meaning the bill will more than likely be less.


Visit our website at to book your Atlanta home inspection today! .

To read our maintenance tips visit, and

to book an inspection online visit our website .

We look forward to working with clients and agents during the real estate process. Experience the IHI Difference. 404-788-2581
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Top Priority for new home construction clients this year may surprise some

New Construction home inspections no dateTop Priority for new home construction clients this year may surprise some


In the past, clients who chose to build new homes were concerned with specific details that would help them maintain a steady resale value down the road. For instance, the average styles, textures, and colors were requested, which reflected the trends of the time. However, we all know that trends come and go; think bell-bottoms, big hair, and bobby socks all of which were trendy to different eras and cherished by different generations. Today, the top priority of new home construction clients may surprise some, because it is not about color variation or popular appliance brands. It isn’t even about how pretty the house looks when seen from the curb.

According to the NAHB Housing and Economic Policy Group, a 2012 survey indicated that the home buyers’ top priority was energy efficiency. What were the two most requested items on new construction homes? Energy smart windows and Energy Star appliances. What were the least requested items in new constructions? Laundry chutes, wine coolers, and outdoor kitchens (Kavjian, M., Aug. 2013. NAHB. Best in American Living.).

In Atlanta, we see an increase in new home constructions, and have completed several inspection services on newly constructed homes. Remember, it is important to have a home inspected regardless of age, because even the newly built homes can be flawed. The most common issue discovered on new constructions by the Atlanta home inspection team is roof related, whether shingles are not attached properly, are not fully installed or are gapping in places, it is our priority to gather the clues for the home buyers’ so they can ensure their new home is precisely what they want it to be.

Those of you who handle newly constructed properties, what do you see as the latest “must-haves” of your market? Are clients more concerned with function or appearance?

New Construction home inspections no date



Visit our website at to book your Atlanta home inspection today! .


To read our maintenance tips visit, and


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We look forward to working with clients and agents during the real estate process. Experience the IHI Difference. 404-788-2581

Inaccessible Areas During Home Inspections


  There are so many things to remember when you are purchasing a new home. It is easy to forget this or that when it seems like you have to remember one billion details about the process. This is why agents are great. They will help you through most of this stress. However, there is occasionally a bump or two in the road. One such bump that hinders the home inspection process is the lack of accessibility.

  Home inspectors visually survey the home. If we cannot get to an area that is blocked by furniture, locked, or turned off, then we cannot inspect that item. In order to provide a thorough report that reveals the full story, we must be able to access what we need to inspect.  We need to flush the toilet and run the sink water to check for drain or leak issues. We need to turn the lights on to see if they are functioning. We also check the range to make sure all burners are lighting and we run the dishwasher to make sure it is cycling. These are important items for you as a home buyer to know about.

  Imagine if we were unable to enter the attic. Most of us park our cars in the garage daily.

inaccessible attic

In this photo we see that the attic entrance is in the garage. However, we were unable to enter the attic because the car was parked beneath the entrance. This is a crucial element in the process as we can check for many areas of concern: structure, leak, pest, HVAC, and even insulation levels. None of those items would get inspected if we couldn’t get to them.

  InterNACHI – the Internationl Association of Certified Home Inspectors – holds specific standards. The standard states, “The inspector is not required to move any personal items or obstructions, such as, but not limited to, throw rugs, carpeting, wall coverings, furniture, ceiling tiles, window coverings, equipment, plants, ice, debris, snow, water, dirt, pets, or anything else they might restrict the visual inspection.”  As a member of InterNACHI, we adhere to this standard. Our priority is to provide the most detailed and thorough experience for each client. So, it is imperative that we are able to access areas of the home while there.




Immediate Results with IR Scan

IR_0315 About 35% of heating and cooling is lost through the roof, according to energy experts, and walls, windows, and doors can also contribute to air leaks. What this translates to for you – is higher energy bills as your heating and air system struggles to keep up.

So how do you know if you have air leaks?

Unless you want to stumble around your home with a lit candle to see if it flickers at every window, door, or vent, it may be best to invest in professional services that provide Thermal Scans.

With his camera, the Atlanta home inspector  can determine the source of your moisture woes by providing a non-destructive, immediate result service. The camera sees and measures heat signatures. Therefore, moisture will appear as a different color on the camera enabling the inspector, David Lelak to locate the source.
Don’t tear down any walls, Don’t pull up the floor. Let the thermal imager find out what is inside first. Just like an x-ray shows us what bone is broken, the IR will show us energy descrepancies. The same Thermography is also used to monitor equine health conditions.

If you need the Atlanta Home Inspector to see through your walls
Call IHI Home Inspections at 404-788-2581 or  Book your appointment online to receive a special discount

Protect Your Clients Today!

The Atlanta home inspector provides a free service to every client. This important service can help prevent possible fires and injury. Protect your clients today!

Last year our nation recorded approximately 6.5 recalls each day, according to studies conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Food and Drug Administration.

“Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually.” – U.S. Consumer Protection Agency.

Faulty heating equipment resulted in 1,520 civilian injuries in the last few years, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Why take these chances when you can protect your clients for FREE?  Reduce laibility and stop potential fire hazards with the value-added  benefit of RecallChek services. This service is FREE and lasts a lifetime. It also allows free marketing through monthly e-letters and maintenance tips.

Let the Atlanta Home Inspector help you! We will gather model and serial numbers during the home inspection and submit them to Recall chek. They will analyze the data and email their findings to you.