Five Signs it’s Time to Repair or Replace Your Water Heater

We often do not realize that our water heater needs to be repaired or replaced until we smell rotten eggs or take cold showers. Knowing what to look for can help you avoid the problem in the future. When you know that your water heater is getting of age, or you plan to sell your home, these are important things to check periodically.

  1. Loud Noises
    This could mean that your anode rode broke off and is floating around in your tank. This could also be a result of lime or sediments in the tank. This can be remedied by flushing out the old water, and replacing it with fresh water. If the problem persists, assistance may be required.
  2. A Leaky Temperature/Pressure Valve
    There is a valve on your water heater that acts as a safety switch. It could be as simple as your tank is just overheating, but it could also mean a leaky valve. This should be looked at by someone with experience, but doesn’t necessarily mean repair or replacement is needed.
  3. The Pilot Won’t Stay Lit
    A Pilot that won’t light usually means the thermocouple is bad. It is not an easy DIY project, we suggest involving a professional. Attempting to fix the problem without the proper experience and tools could exacerbate the problem to the point of needing a replacement.
  4. Rust or Corrosion
    Rust and Corrosion are often the cause of the sulfur smell and leaks in water heaters. There is usually no repair for severely eroded or leaky tanks. This is when it should be replaced completely.
  5. Hot Water Isn’t Lasting
    This is something that should always be checked before selling a home. If your water tank is too small for the size of the house, it makes or breaks decisions. If you have a large tank and know this is not the cause, then there may be a lime build up inside.

No – Brick is not Indestructible!

A week or so ago, The Chicago Tribune posted an article about brick homes. After reading it, you might just think that brick homes require no maintenance or upkeep. You might even think a brick home is entirely indestructible. Well, a quick look a this panoramic photo of San Francisco, after the earthquake of 1906 reveals that brick architecture is, in fact, destructible.

Granted, an earthquake produces a little more energy then normal wear and tear from weather and average elements. Even so, that does not mean that the earth beneath your home does shift. Those shifts can really affect the brick structure and, if you’ve ever played Jenga, you know how bricks fall over if compromised in the right way.

So, if you look to buy a brick home (new or used) make sure to conduct an accurate home inspection. A proper structural inspection will reveal if you’re about to walk into the finale of a Jenga game. Only, unlike Jenga, you won’t be laughing if everything topples over!

The Importance of a Good Home Inspection

A recent Chicago Tribune article tells of a family who made an offer on a home before the home inspection. This is probably not too strange in most cases. In any case, as the article states, the couple made an offer of $225,000 on a home in Texas before the inspection proved that the home required between $20,000-$30,000 in repairs.

So, what does this story say? First of all, if you read the article, you’ll see that they mention how online realtors are are great at posting only photos which make the house look good. So, don’t get your hopes up too much based on photos alone.

Secondly, make sure to get a good home inspector! Whether the home is years old or brand new, you need to be sure that all of the money you’re about to fork out is going to something that’s worth it! Plus, you want to make sure that you won’t be spending even more money after purchasing the home.

Unlike cars, homes don’t have a blue book. But, similar to cars, not everyone is an expert at home engineering and architecture. Trust the experts and get a good opinion in order to ensure the best home purchase possible!

Don’t Forget a Home Inspection with a New Construction Home

Dan Steward from RIS Media writes about the importance of not forgetting a home inspection after the construction of a new home.  Many homebuyers have the false belief that new homes should be flawless, when that is never the case.  The issues found in new homes are different than the problems with resale homes.  When assessing a resale home, the problems sit with older systems that are nearing the end of their self-life; while the complications with new homes is typically incomplete work, damaged systems, or missing pieces of key materials.  Hiring a home inspection company before closing on a new home can help save homebuyers money due to unexpected home repairs down the road.

New home construction problems fall into four categories:

  1. Incomplete work: Many new home constructions are not completed properly.  “A home inspection company will uncover these issues prior to the move-in date.”
  2. Damaged systems and finishes: New homes often experience damage during construction due to rain, snow, and storage damage.
  3. Missing elements: Oversights during construction due to human error are more common than many realtors and homebuyers think.
  4. Imperfect or sloppy workmanship: While everyone would love perfect workmanship, that is not ideal; any number of things can go wrong during the construction of a new home.

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