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Spring Cleaning!

Now that the weather is warming up in Northeast Ohio, why not throw open those windows and let in the fresh air and give your home a little TLC.

Most people only think of home inspections as something you schedule when you are buying or maybe preparing to list your home. And indeed, these are two times when a home inspection is a must do for a buyer or a seller, when wanting to make sure your home is in tip top shape.

But why not consider getting a well check on your home! I mean we get check-ups at the doctor’s office right? So wouldn’t it make sense to check the status of your home as well? Inspection Tech offers these “well check” inspections to anyone who would like to know how their home is doing. As you are making preparations for the spring cleaning check lists, why not give Inspection Tech a call and schedule a home well check today?

Our professional and helpful office staff are here to help answer questions and get you scheduled today!



Getting Ready For Spring With Inspection Tech

The weather is still hit or miss here in Northeast Ohio but it’s never too early to start thinking about getting a jump start in the preparations for selling your home!  Why not call Inspection Tech and schedule a pre-listing inspection with one of our 20+ NACHI certified & trained inspectors? They will perform an extensive pre-listing inspection to prepare you for listing your home. No one wants unexpected issues to pop up once you have a buyer interested in your home! Our pre-listing inspections can inform you, the seller, about any issues or situations in the home that could cause you trouble down the road and give you the time to address the issues BEFORE listing your home. 

     Our pre-listing inspections are offered at a competitive rate of only $375 for a single family home up to 3,750 square feet! Our friendly & informative office team is available 7 days a week to help you with scheduling your pre-listing appointment. No time to call? You can request an appointment online at www.inspectiontech.us 

    In addition to our pre-listing inspections we offer a full variety of services to our clients, such as home health inspections, radon testing, mold inspections and pest inspections. We also have two certified structural engineers on staff here at Inspection Tech as well. 

Serving all of Northeast Ohio and surrounding areas, Inspection Tech is the premier home inspection company here to serve all of your home needs. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment 

How to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

How to Keep Pipes From Freezing

Northeast Ohio winters can be harsh and brutal.  The effects of cold temperatures and raw winter weather can wreck havoc on your home’s interior pipes and plumbing.  In the greater Cleveland area we are not strangers to what sub zero temperatures and polar vortexes can bring.  And with the right amount of preparation and caution taken through the long winter months you shouldn’t face too many additional surprises than weather swings.

During this season pipes are most susceptible to damage. Homeowners and sellers can follow a few steps and tips in preventing pipes from freezing or bursting in the bitter cold.  Navigating through the tips may cost money up front but mean savings in the end. 

The outdoor temperature of greatest concern is 20 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.  Keen eyes and ears are important here.

Taking inventory of your home’s layout and location of exposed or exterior pipes in the first step.  Knowing this information will help you to keep stock and watch of areas of potential damage.  Exposed pipes in garages, basements, and attics — unheated interior spaces — should be of first priority.  

Keep garage and porch doors closed during the winter months.  

Open cabinet doors in your kitchen and bathrooms to allow warmer air to circulate through cupboards.  Take this step in other rooms of your home with sinks or cupboards with pipes running through them.

If a faucet is dripping water allow it to continue.  The sound may be bothersome and may elevate your monthly water bill, it lets water run through the pipe which in turn prevents freezing.  

Keeping the thermostat at a consistent temperature, same during the day as at night, maintains the temperature of the pipes.  Fluctuations in temperatures can cause additional damage that can be prevented.  Thermostats should not be set below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Consider installing insulation or additional amounts of insulation in basements, garages, attics, crawl spaces, or porches.  Take steps to prevent drafts by sealing windows, cracks, and sill plates.  

During the winter a little modification can go a long way in keeping your home running smoothly in the hope of spring and sunshine.  

Who is Inspection Tech?

Did you know?

Did you know that at Inspection Tech we have over 20, trained & certified inspectors on staff? In addition to the many inspectors that we have in Lakewood, Cleveland & Rocky River, we also have inspectors in Sandusky, Akron and even Youngstown! Our inspectors go through an extensive training program and are professional & experienced. When you book with Inspection Tech you are getting the best home inspection on the market today.

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions & biggest investment you will make in your life. the task of getting your home inspected can seem a bit daunting if you are a first time home buyer. Here at Inspection Tech we try and make the process as easy for you, the client, as possible. Our office team are here Monday through Friday from 8am until 8pm and on Saturday & Sunday from 10am until 6pm. They are available to help walk you through the process and answer any of your questions. Always, friendly, informative & courteous they will make the scheduling process a breeze!

Our scheduling and inspection template systems are cutting edge and take the home inspection process to the next level. Once you schedule your home inspection, you will receive a confirmation email that include the date and time of your inspection, as well as your inspection agreement and invoice. You are able to sign your agreement and pay your invoice online which is so convenient in today’s hectic world. This online ability also makes Inspection Tech the perfect solution for anyone moving to Cleveland and the surrounding area from out of state.

Our inspectors carry iPad’s with templates that ensure they never miss a detail and can produce a comprehensive report with photographs at the touch of a finger.

Our goal here at Inspection Tech is to offer our clients the best service for a competitive price and to take the worry out of the equation! Call today to schedule your home inspection!

Your family at Inspection Tech

Making Closets Look Bigger

Getting ready to sell your cozy Northeast Ohio home this winter?  Hoping to have it stand out to potential buyers?  Start with revamping your closet to leave a lasting impression.

We use them everyday and often shut the door on them because opening them can be overwhelming and crammed.  Such a small, mundane piece of your home’s interior can make a big differene in showing it’s potential and assets.  There are little tweaks and minor adjustments, for a small cost, that can lead to big improvements for your selling experience.

The best place to start is by DECLUTTERING your closet space.  Empty out the spaces, clean the shelves, hooks, nooks and crannies of each closet remembering to clear the floors.  Have as little in your closet as necessary for the closet to appear larger.  But be sure to not leave the space too bare as this will make your closet and home seem unlived in, sad, and empty.

With your belongings out of the closets, refresh it with washing and painting. Choose a color that is light and bright; whites and pastels may be best.  Add a light or two also.  The new paint and lights makes potential buyers believe that the closet space is easy to navigate and more accessible.

Add mirrors and organizers strategically to add depth, look neater, bigger, organized, and functional.  This helps buyers to see themselves living in your home and using the space on a daily basis.  With the organizers, like shelves, hangers, hooks, and/or decorative boxes, take the chance to display your goods and offer ideas, insight, and inspiration for the potential buyers to more easily see themselves living in your home.

Little spaces make big impressions and big differences in the selling process of a home.  By taking advice, doing it right, acting strategically and intentionally, with spending a little money, you will see an impactful result in the end.

2019 Trends for Buyers and Sellers to Look For

There is both good and bad news in store for the new year in real estate.  Buyers and sellers will both benefit but have an increased number of obstacles from what is being forecast within the housing market.

There will be more homes for sale and available to meet the past demands of buyers.  While this may be a perk for buyers after a record low of homes for sale over the past 18 months, sellers must be more competitive and keen to the marketplace than before.  The past year or 2 may have been slanted towards a seller’s market, that scale is tipping to the buyer.  Buyers will have more homes to compare and contrast, to meet their needs, and to meet their demands.  A note of interest may be that there will be a significant increase in property for sale in high-end markets in larger metro areas and their surrounding suburbs and neighboring towns.

More homes may open for purchase, but less money will be on the table to make the transactions.  Affording a home, buying, financing, and maintaining these properties.  The mortgage rates are expected to increase as well as the actual selling price of homes.  These increases are likely to increase at a higher rate than the increase in income and net payments.  Budgets will be tighter and those affected most will continue to be first time home buyers.

Millennials, will once again, reign the buying market.  For many the homes purchased will be their 2nd, not seeing the struggle associated with those first-time home buyers and owners.  Though this population subgroup will reign in buying, they are much more price conscious than others and more willing to be flexible in their “needs” and wants in their residences.  Because of the increased amount of student debt and desire to maintain a particular “lifestyle” millennials will make more compromises, such as smaller living spaces, different neighborhood or location, and fewer perks to stay within their comfort zone of daily living.

One factor that may change and alter the outlooks for home buyers and sellers is the new tax law.  The expected outcome of those changes in tax law is unknown, forecasters are uncertain of how this key component of home buying, financing, and selling will affect the market for the year and into the future.


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Decking the Halls of Your “For Sale” Home

How to decorate without turning off buyers, enticing them, and welcoming them thoughtfully into your home’s open houses and showings. Simple but inviting should be well balanced, as you want potential buyers to imagine themselves celebrating their holiday traditions in a home where you’ve created many memories.

Decorations should be neutral, tasteful, and subtly placed throughout your home. When decorating for your holiday season, keep in mind that personal ornaments, stockings, Christmas cards, and Christmas photos may overwhelm the home, distracting potential buyers from focusing on the unique and purposeful features of the home. Too much thought and family tradition may be too much for buyers.

Consider your neighborhood along with the curbside appeal of your home. Some streets and neighborhoods are known for their holiday light displays and outdoor attractions. You do not want to be the only home not participating, sticking out like a sore thumb or “Scrooge”. Other neighborhoods are known to be much more conservative in expressing celebration of the season. Each homeowner seeking as successful home sale should use their best judgment and discretion of going with the current climate of their location, maintaining the appropriate spirit with an “impersonal” and appropriately attractive display.

If and when you decide to deck the halls, trim the tree, and light up for the season, remember these tips:

Avoid the tacky by stay away from adding the large outdoor decorations and obnoxious displays. Keep the lights to a minimum, indoor and out. Consider skipping the Christmas tree; when displaying your home, you want to emphasize the rooms for all seasons not just the Yuletide.

Keep it SIMPLE, traditional, and classic. Have decorations be appealing to all types of individuals, seasonal yet understated. Avoid the clutter of cards, presents and gifts, wrappings, and excessive trimmings.

Remember that there are multiple senses to pique the interest of potential buyers. Light a fire to create warmth, coziness, and a place of refuge from the elements. Place scents throughout the home that are reminiscent of the season, pine or balsam, baked cookies, cider, and peppermint. Choose colors that evoke the season and celebrations on the season.


Insulating Your Attic Choices and Options

    An attic can be one of the primary sources for potential heat loss in your home and insulating it properly can maintain a comfortable environment during the frigid winter months and in the heat of summer as well.
In an unfinished attic your main goal is to keep the rooms below warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Insulating the floors of your attic will ensure the comfort of the lower floors of your home.
If your attic is finished, on the alternative, you would want to insulate it as you would the rest of the home, insulating both the floors and the walls.
There are quite a few options out there as far as choices for insulation so depending on your needs & price point some options may work better for you than others.
There is a rating system in place for insulation products. It’s called the R-Rating and is a rating system based on the insulating materials resistance to conductive heat flow in terms of its thermal resistance. The higher the R- value the greater the insulating effectiveness. In addition to the type of insulation, thickness & density also affect an insulation’s rating.
Below are a few of the most common types of Insulation and some facts about each one.
Fiberglass Insulation is the most common insulation made from finely spun glass. With an R-value of 3.1 it is also non flammable. The biggest challenge comes from handling the batts or blankets of fiberglass. Since it is made of glass it can get into eyes, lungs and irritate the skin if one is not properly handling it. Great price point $
Mineral Wool Insulation comes in three specific varieties: Glass Wool, Rock/Stone Wool or Slag Wool. These types of insulation have an R- rating of 3.1 and can be purchased in batts or as loose insulation making it versatile in its uses. It is not however fire resistant. But if used with other fire resistant materials can be a good choice. Slightly higher price point than the fiberglass. $$
Cellulose is one of the most environmentally friendly options for insulation as it is made of recycled paper, cardboard, and other similar materials. It comes in loose fill and can also be blown in. It is one of the most fire retardant insulation options out there. So not only is it environmentally friendly it is fire resistant as well. With an R-rating of 3.7 and a decent price point this is a great option for insulation purposes. $$


Need a New Furnace?
Tell Tale Signs of When to Replace Your Furnace

That time of year is quickly settling in; the shorter days and longer, colder nights.  The winter season is quickly approaching, and the sampling of the cold, frigid temperatures are beginning to rear its head.  Your home’s furnace is booting up after months of non-use, as you adjust to the weather your furnace is also.  The ability of a furnace to perform at peak performance is a key issue in monthly energy costs, safety for you and your family, and the calm, cozy, inviting atmosphere of your home in the long days of winter.  Home owners should know when and if their furnaces need to be repaired or replaced to maximize this major appliance.

The age of your furnace will help to determine the next best step.  Often the home you purchased and are living in came with the furnace.  Home inspectors and inspections will provide you with the estimated age of the furnace, along with make, brand, and model; referencing an inspection report, the user’s manual, and informational labels on the unit are your best resource.  A general rule is if your furnace is older than 15 to 20 years, a new furnace may soon be in your future.  Older furnaces do not run as efficiently.  This will be evidenced by increased utility and energy bills and more repairs, more often.

Do you notice that different rooms are different temperatures; different areas of the home or warmer or colder?  This could mean that your furnace is not distributing heat evenly, properly, or efficiently.  Your ducts may be outdated or needing to be cleaned.

Are your rooms dirtier than normal; are the vents in your rooms dustier, rustier, and sooty?  These may all be signs that your furnace isn’t working properly.  Not only is it showing the bad health of your furnace, this can cause increased health risks and problems for your family.  More carbon dioxide may be eliminated from the unit or increased dryness within the home, leading to humidity problems can alter the overall health of your family.

The sounds coming from your furnace are another key indicator to the condition of the furnace.  If the unit is louder and/or cycling more often, making popping, rattling, or humming noises, the furnace should be examined to determine the cause and what can be done to fix this issue.

Calling an HVAC professional may help to determine the cost of repairs, if any updating should be done (such as changing the thermostat, changing or repairing the filter, or cleaning the duct system), or if a new unit would be the most economical.  Be sure to seek out the expertise of more than one professional, comparing and shopping around.  A good tip to remember: if the cost of a new furnace is 50% or less than the repairs, buy new.




https://www.bobvila.com/articles/furnace-replacement ]



Fire Safety: Preparing Your New Home, Preparing Your Family

Fire Safety: Preparing Your New Home, Preparing Your Family
Have you just purchased a new home?  Are you moving into your dream house?  Did the home you are buying meet your needs, standards, and expectations; passing the home inspection?  Do you think that you are ready to move in, unpacking your boxes, and establishing your new home?  Are your smoke detectors working properly, in the right locations, and does your family have a plan in case a fire happens in your home?

The final question asked is probably not one that comes readily to mind for a new homeowner but should be on the top of one’s to do list in making your new home complete, safe, and comfortable.  Putting our belongings in your new home, establishing their place and location is priority.  Securing a properly working smoke detector is as equal a priority as making sure your big screen TV is securely mounted on the wall.

In installing your smoke detectors, be sure to have one in each bedroom, outside of each sleeping area, and on each floor of your home, including the attic and basement.  Smoke detectors should be securely fitted to the ceiling or high on the walls.  Detectors should be at least 10 feet away from a kitchen, so as not to signal a false alarm, and away from windows, doors, or ducts that may interfere with proper functioning.  Remember to test detectors once a month and replace batteries every 6 months.  A good reminder is November and April, during daylight savings time changes; “change your clocks, change your smoke alarm batteries”.

Mapping out locations of fire alarms may also help in creating a family escape plan in the event of a fire.  All family members should be aware of what to do, where to go, who to call in case a fire breaks out in the home.  Various scenarios should be considered, including a fire at night when everyone is sleeping in their bedrooms, or throughout other times of the day where family members may be dispersed in and on varying levels of the home.  Practice the escape route and encourage reviews of the plan.  Enlist the help of friends and neighbors, to raise neighborhood awareness and comfort and ease in what could be a frightening situation.

Other tips to consider in case of a fire include closing doors as this may help to slow the spread of a fire.  Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.   There are smoke detectors that are specialized for those who are hard of hearing; some are interconnected, when one goes off, the others also alarm.  When in doubt, recruit the help of your local fire department.

Moving into a new home should be fun, exciting, and hopeful for the future.  Ease any worries by being prepared and properly securing your home with the tools to keep your home and family, valuable assets, safe and enjoying life.



http://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Smoke-alarms ]