Spring Maintenance Inspection Checklist for Your Home

It’s the spring season as we know from the up and down weather stretching across the country. It comes every single year, and it brings us cold and warm weather every other day. The spring season is also the time for spring cleaning, checkups on your home, maintenance, and inspections. A home inspection will ensure your home’s appliances, electric, and mechanical are running smoothly. A home inspection will also determine if there are any problems.

Here are some things to pay attention to in the spring:

Home inspection services during the springtime

Roof Inspections

With the spring season, we’ll be experiencing a good amount of rain and damp weather. It’s always important to make sure your roof is sturdy and durable, so you won’t experience any leaking or flooding from the roof. A roof inspection can identify any weak spots that you may have in the roof.

Gutter Cleaning

Cleaning gutters usually comes around in the Fall season, but it also is important to make sure they are cleaned in the spring. With the amount of rain, as well as severe thunderstorms that can come during the spring season, your gutters have the capability of getting clogged from debris. When heavy rain falls, the gutters will be backed up, which can cause your gutters to be damaged or sagging.

Heating and Cooling

The spring is always a good time to make sure your air conditioner is ready for the heatwave of the summer season. A home inspection focused on the heating and cooling can benefit you greatly. You could also get some cold weather during the spring before the summer rolls around, so always be sure to get your heating inspected to ensure it’s still working properly.

Plumbing Inspection

Since most plumbing lies behind walls, homeowners don’t understand that inspectors can still be able to identify any issues to the pipes if there are any. Another important thing for inspections in the spring is the electrical in your home. Making sure all electrical is working is a headache that is avoided.

If you’re in need of a home inspection for the spring, contact First Choice Inspectors at 773-429-9711 today or visit us online for more information!

Inspection Items That Can Make or Break Your Resale Value

Inspection Items That Can Make or Break Your Resale ValueBefore you put your home on the market, it’s imperative that you have a clear understanding of the underlying issues that might be hiding beneath the surface. Your home might look fine at first glance, but the last thing you want is for a prospective buyer to discover structural issues that can seriously compromise the resale value of your home.  By having your home inspected before you put it on the market, you can give you and your buyers the peace of mind of knowing that your home isn’t in need of serious repairs. In this entry, we’ll look at a few issues that can seriously impact your home’s resale value.

Mold

There’s nothing that can scare away prospective buyers quite like a hidden patch of black mold. Mold is a tell-tale sign that your home has fallen victim to water intrusion, and it is often an indicator of more serious issues such as rot in the frame of your home. Many types of mold are hazardous to human health as well, which is an added concern for house hunters.

Polybutylene Piping

This gray piping which resembles PVC was used to plumb many homes between the 1970’s and 1990’s. Unfortunately, polybutylene piping degrades due to oxidants in water, causing it to leak and break over time.  Polybutylene piping has become a serious concern for home insurance companies in recent years. If you do have polybutylene piping in your home, it’s worth the expense of having it replumbed  before you even try to put it on the market.

Foundation Cracks

While foundation cracks come in many degrees of severity, the most serious ones can cause tens of thousands of dollars to repair. Worst of all, large foundation cracks can also indicate that your foundation is slanted or uneven. Rebuilding a foundation wall is an undertaking that few buyers will want to take on.

Want to find out for sure whether or not your house is ready to sell? Give us a call to schedule an inspection today.

Service Your Furnace This Spring

Service Your Furnace This SpringOne of the last things that you may want to think about is your furnace once Spring rolls around. Rising temperatures, open windows and light breezes are far more appealing than thinking about maintaining and tuning your heating system, but that ounce of preventative maintenance and care could save you a tidy sum down the road.

After a full season of use, your furnace has probably accumulated dust, grime and dirt in the filter from blowing warm air throughout the home. One of the quickest and simplest maintenance jobs is to replace or clean the filter to keep your furnace running efficiently. The style of furnace you have will dictate both the style of filter and period of maintenance. Pleated furnace filters should be thrown out and replaced every three months, while permanent filters should be cleaned monthly. There are also electronic air cleaning filters which should be cleaned bimonthly. Performing this cleaning in the spring will have your furnace ready to go as soon as the temperatures drop again.

In addition, spring is a great time to inspect your full furnace system for any signs of wear that may have happened during the winter. This includes inspecting all ductwork and the casing around the unit itself for any holes or signs of blocked ducts that could be impairing your system’s efficiency or leaking carbon monoxide. A professional inspector should also check the thermostat settings, inspect electrical connections and lubricate any moving parts to ensure your furnace is ready to keep you warm when you need it.

A full professional tune-up involves a number of additional annual performance checks and services. These include analyzing the furnace’s combustion gases to compare to the manufacturer’s specifications, checking drainage systems for blockages or leaks, testing the amperage that the blower motor is drawing and comparing it to the default setting, and inspecting the fresh air intakes, burners and blower wheel for signs of rust, corrosion or debris. Inspecting some of these components may require partial or total disassembly of portions of your furnace, making a professional inspector or heating contractor the go-to solution if you’re not comfortable with performing those operations yourself.

Spending the time to make sure that your furnace is safe and running at peak efficiency is a great proactive step you can take today to keep yourself from being left out in the cold tomorrow. First Choice Inspectors offers a wide range of services, including furnace and air conditioning unit inspections. Call or email us today for a quote.

Mold Can Be More Prominent in the Winter Months

The winter months can bring up and down temperatures from freezing to mild. Most homeowners understand that when moisture gets into the home, it can cause mold and mildew to grow, especially in places of the home where it is constantly damp. Basements, attics, and some windowsills can obtain mold to the moisture that builds up.

As a homeowner, it’s important to recognize this, so you can combat the mold problem if it arises.

Here are some things you can do to prevent mold from making a home in your house:

Mold Buildup

Gutters and Downspouts

As a matter of fact, if you don’t check your gutters for clogs or you don’t clean out your gutters of debris, this could have an impact on mold in your home. Standing water or water that gets close to the home can find ways into you’re the basement and other parts causing standing water, which can cause mold to grow. Make sure they’re cleaned out and downspouts are pointed away from the foundation of the home.

Doors and Windows

Your doors and windows are susceptible to moisture, especially during the winter months. Make sure there are no leaks or ways for water to get in. Sealing up windows can prevent moisture from settling on the windowsills causing mold or mildew to build up.

Basement and Attic

Making sure that your roof is in good condition can prevent water leakage in the attic. Make sure there are no spaces in your foundation or roof for water to get into the home. Your basement is already a cooler place, which means if water gets in, it can be a nesting place for mold, mildew and other hazardous things.

If you’re worried about mold this winter season, contact First Choice Inspectors at 773-429-9711 today or visit us online for more information! We can conduct a mold and mildew inspection in your home and provide solutions to fix the problem.

 

 

The Importance of a Foundation Inspection

The foundation of the home is extremely important. This is why an inspection for a foundation at your home can save you from problems with your home down the road. If you don’t know what is wrong with your foundation, there are signs to look out for.

Foundation inspection in home for cracks and defects

Here are some of the signs to look out for when it comes to problems with your foundation:

  • Cracks and Defects – The foundation of a home is essential to its function and livability. The foundation can go through normal stresses throughout the life of the home, which means you could see normal cracks in the stone or concrete material. Any defect to whatever your material of the foundation needs not to be overlooked.
  • Wet Basements – If your basement is wet, and by this we mean if it floods each time it rains, it can cause potential problems regarding safety and health, especially if there is an electrical system present.
  • Mold and Mildew – Mold and mildew occur when there is moisture in the air, and a wet basement can cause these problems to occur. You never want to have your foundation or basement be infested with mold or mildew because health issues will arise with people living in the home. Also, your foundation will suffer.

These are the big signs to look out for, but there are also some obvious ones that you may be overlooking in the grand scheme of things. If you have trouble opening and closing windows, there are cracked ceilings, your doors are misaligned, there are growing cracks in the exterior and interior of walls, and a sloping garage floor, your foundation can be defected.

Do Not Be Worried! First Choice Inspectors Can Help.

Your home is going to have issues while you live there. There are some things that cannot be prevented right away, and that is why having a regular home inspection is helpful for you. Also, if you’re seeing signs of a faulty or defected foundation, do not hesitate to reach out to a trusted home inspector like First Choice Home Inspectors. Contact usat 773-429-9711 today or visit us online for more information!

What to Look for in Summer Home Inspections

Your home is a sacred place because it gives you shelter and comfortable living. Keeping up with maintenance and home inspection for your home is essential to making sure that you home is not costing you an incredible amount of money to keep it running.

Here are is a checklist of summer home inspections:

  • Smoke Alarms – When summer arrives, it’s recommended that you make sure your smoke alarms are working properly with full battery power. Check your carbon monoxide detectors as well.
  • Mold and Mildew – Inspect your basement and attic for possible mold or mildew. As the weather changes, humidity rises, mold and mildew can be a big issue, especially in your home and for your health.
  • Windows – washing your windows seems like a mindless chore, but it can be very important when detecting corrosion, mold, and mildew.
  • Plumbing and Electrical Systems – No matter what time of year it is, checking your plumbing and electrical systems is very important for your home’s condition. You never want to avoid checkups because it can cause a variety of problems down the road.

Hire a Home Inspector for the Bigger Issues

If you can’t take care of your maintenance checkups, or you need a professional to help you out, hire First Choice Inspectors. We can deliver home inspections including structural, mechanical, and environmental. Your home needs to be checked regularly in order to avoid problems.

 

Contact First Choice Inspectors at 773-429-9711 today to get your home inspected this summer.

Why is a Mechanical Inspection Important for Your Home?

The energy we use in our homes can cost us quite a bit of cash if we don’t have them inspected. If they’re working harder than they should, your energy bills can increase. With a mechanical inspection from First Choice Inspectors, we can conduct inspections for electrical, heating and cooling, and plumbing, so that we can find out the problem that’s causing you trouble.

Home Inspections from First Choice

The Benefits of an Inspection for Your Home:

  • Avoid potential safety and fire hazards due to problems with your electrical
  • Discover and leaks in your plumbing system
  • Evaluate the functions of faucets
  • Operation of drains and flush mechanisms

Heating and Cooling Systems

Inspecting coolant leaks and ductwork is important to our job when looking for possible issues with your system. Many systems are different, so we make sure to make a note of what type you have before looking for any issues.

First Choice Inspectors

Whether you have a new home or you need an update, First Choice Inspectors should be your first choice when it comes to inspecting your home. New home inspections, foreclosures, roof inspections, structural, mechanical, foundation, energy audits, asbestos, mold and mildew, and radon & lead inspections.

We recommend getting a home inspection done for the safety of you and your family. It can be beneficial for financial reasons as well.

Contact First Choice Inspections at 773-429-9711 today!  

What Happens When You Have Cracks in the Foundation?

Cracks and defects in a home’s foundation can be a real problem for your home and your health and safety. Cracks in concrete or stone foundation could mean they’re just normal environmental stresses. It’s important to get a foundation inspection done to determine if the cracks and defects are serious foundation defects.

foundation inspection by First Choice Inspectors

Serious Foundation Problems

There are certain types of cracks in the foundation that can cause serious problems to your home. Costly repairs can occur, which leaves homeowners with multiple headaches they have to deal with.

Vertical Cracks are usually the sign of your house settling. These are very common within many foundations of homes. These cracks can be sealed and are usually not too expensive.

Diagonal Cracks can be found along the foundation or basement wall. Usually they are thin cracks, but one end is often large than the other. These cracks are signs of settling in the home’s foundation, but the settling is the result of uneven tension. The cost might be a little more expensive, but the solutions are simple.

Horizontal Cracks are the most serious cracks in a home’s foundation. If the home has a foundation of concrete block or brick, it’s very common to see. This cracking is going to be the most expensive repair to get done, but it’s essential to your foundation’s integrity to get it repaired right away.

What Can Cracks in the Foundation Cause?

Cracks in basement floors can cause radon to seep into the home, which can be extremely dangerous to you and your family’s health. Cracks can also be another way water gets into the home, which can cause mold and mildew to build up in the home, as well as wet basements.

It is extremely important to get a foundation inspection done by First Choice Inspectors if you want to attack the problem with cracks in your home’s foundation.

Contact us today at 773-429-9711!

What’s a Home Energy Audit, and Why Should I Get one?

A home energy audit is something many homeowners desire to have done on their home. A home energy audit is to quantify the building’s overall thermal performance. It also identifies the efficiency of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning equipment, and thermostat.

energy audit from First Choice Inspectors

The Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

A home energy audit can help point out some important energy concerns that you may have from high energy bills and comfort levels with the home.

Here are some of the major benefits to a home energy audit:

  • Shows energy use for a given time period
  • Suggested energy improvements each year
  • Identify cost effective ways to improve comfort and efficiency

With these benefits, it is much needed for homeowners and building owners to consider getting an energy audit by a professional like First Choice Inspectors. We use thermal imaging canning, videoscope borescopes to check for missing or deficient insulation. Our moisture detection tools are used to check moisture levels.

What does this include:

A home energy audit from us will include a written report with photos and thermal imaging overlays. This is necessary to estimate energy use given climate criteria, thermostat settings, roof overhand, and orientation. The audit can also include interviews of the homeowners, so that we can understand your patterns of energy use over time. An energy audit isn’t meant to embarrass the homeowner, it’s meant to help the homeowner understand their energy uses and how to improve them, so that you can save money and the environment.

First Choice Inspectors

At First Choice Inspectors, we specialize in home inspections in the Chicago area. We have the expertise and experience to help you get an energy audit done on your home. If you have concerns for your home’s energy, then we’re the right people to call. Contact us at 773-429-9711!

The Importance of a Home Inspection on a New Home

Looking for a new home is an exciting time, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. Whether the home is old or newly built, it is recommended that every home buyer hires an independent home inspector like First Choice Inspectors to provide a home inspection for the house.

home inspector doing inspection on new home

New Homes Can Have Issues Too

Just because you’re purchasing a new home does not mean you will be fine if you bypass the home inspection. The surprising fact is that sometimes new homes are poorly engineered. Oh no, really? It should not be that surprising, but some people expect the house to be perfect.

First Choice Inspectors checks everything

A new or old home will go through the same inspection. This means that they’re examining the entire home’s integrity.

  • Structural components such as joists, rafters, beams, exposed supporters checked for defects
  • Attic will be checked for water penetration
  • Windows, frames, doors, and automatic garage door checked for safety features and function
  • HVAC system inspection, Duct work, Heat and cooling sources in every room inspected
  • Plumbing and Electrical inspection
  • Foundation inspection

All of these things are incorporated in a new and old home inspection, so that the buyer feels confident in their home. If any of these things are problems and you don’t get a home inspection, you may have to pay for major repairs down the road. This is why we recommend a home inspection for a new home purchase.

Here are the Benefits

Ultimately, as a new buyer, you’ll be saving money on costly repairs when you get a home inspection before purchasing a new home. If there are significant problems, it will help your search for a different home. You’ll also be aware that not every new home is perfectly built.

If you’re in the market to buy a home, whether it is new or old, always get a home inspection done by a professionally independent home inspector like First Choice Inspectors. Contact us at 773-429-9711!