Articles

Air Quality

Quick Facts...Indoor air quality can be worse than that of outdoor air. Problems can arise from moisture, insects, pets, appliances, radon, materials used in household products and furnishings, smoke and other sources. Effects range from minor annoyances to major health risks. Remedies incl...

FHA Rehabilitation

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), administers various single family mortgage insurance programs. These programs operate through FHA-approved lending institutions which submit applications to have the property appraised a...

Foundation Insulation

Residential Foundation InsulationIntroductionHomes being constructed today are more energy efficient than those built even just a few years ago, primarily due to significant improvements in building products and techniques as well as development of high-performance heating and cooling systems...

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is an important chemical used widely by industry to manufacture building materials and numerous household products. It is also a by-product of combustion and certain other natural processes. Thus, it may be present in substantial concentrations both indoors and outdoors.Sources of fo...

First Aid for Electrical Accidents

Disconnect the appliances or turn off the power if the person is undergoing electric shock. Cover associated electric shock burns with a dry sterile dressing only. ver touch a person undergoing electric shock or you too could become a victim. First Aid for Electric Shock VictimsDon’t touch...

Grounding Electricity

The combination of voltage, amperage, resistance to the flow of the current and duration of contact makes working with electricity dangerous. Electricity follows an uninterrupted path. If the body becomes part of the path, electricity will pass through it. Even though dry hands and feet offer more r...

Glossary

The ABCs of Home Ownership (A Glossary)Here are some common terms relevant to home ownership.A/C: An abbreviation for Air Conditioner, Air Conditioning, or Alternating Current.Access Panel: An opening in the wall or ceiling near the fixture that allows access for servicing the plumbing/el...

Homebuyers: What Really Matters?

Whether it's your first home or one of many, the process of buying a home can be stressful, and a little scary. Getting a professional home inspection for your new home can give you peace of mind, but also can have be stressful as well, as you review your home inspection report and realize that you...

Home Buyers: Red Flags

Whether this is your first home or you are an experienced home buyer, here are some red flags you will want to watch for as you are looking for the right home to purchase. These red flags are not necessarily dealbreaker, but they are indicative of home conditions that may require repair and replacem...

Home Buyers: Closing Costs

Closing Costs & InformationCongratulations! You have decided to buy a new home. This will help you take this big financial step by describing the home buying, home financing, and settlement process. Lenders and mortgage brokers are required by federal law, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Ac...

Historic Renovation

Historic renovation and re-use are particularly delicate forms of architecture. They demand active research and a desire to understand a building's contribution yesterday as well as its potential contribution in the future.The historic renovation of homes and buildings has become a very popular m...

FHA/HUD Rehabilitation

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), administers various single family mortgage insurance programs. These programs operate through FHA-approved lending institutions which submit applications to have the property appraised a...

Energy Glossary

Here is a quick overview of terms used in this guide and that you’ll need to know as you gather information about your home heating and cooling options.AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMP A heating-cooling unit that transfers heat in either direction between the air outside a home and the indoors.AIR SUPPLY...

Child Safety

U.S. Consumer Products Safety CommissionChildproofing Your Home - 12 Safety Devices to Protect Your ChildrenAbout 2-1/2 million children are injured or killed by hazards in the home each year. The good news is that many of these incidents can be prevented by using simple child safety devices o...

Building a Home

If you want to build a new home, there are a number of things you need to know before you begin. HUD, the Housing and Urban Development Authority, is an excellent resource for homeowners to learn about property rights and other legal matters.MPS Supplementing Model Building Codessource: HUD...

Asbestos

For more information on Asbestos and your Home, ask your local home inspector.Asbestos in Your HomeWhat Is Asbestos?Asbestos is a mineral fiber. It can be positively identified only with a special type of microscope. There are several types of asbestos fibers. In the past, asbestos was adde...

Alternative Buildings

Alternative Home DesignsGeodesic domes are perhaps the most well-known of the alternative home designs. Developed in the 1940s by Buckminster Fuller, these domes became a favorite of the counter-culture during the 1960s. The almost spherical shape keeps materials at a minimum, reducing costs whil...

Home Energy Audits

How to Conduct your own Home Energy AuditYou can do a simple home energy audit yourself to get a general idea of where you may be having problems with energy loss. Make a list of obvious potential air leaks such as doors and windows. Make a list of each room you inspect and any problems that are...

Conserving Energy

Conserve Energy and Save MoneyAre your energy bills too high? Is your home not as comfortable as you want it to be? Do you want to do more to protect the environment? Do you have teenagers at home giving your hot water bill a beating? Whatever your situation, this article will help you to find a...

Energy Efficiency

Elements of an Energy Efficient HouseDesigning and building an energy-efficient home that conforms to the many considerations faced by home builders can be a challenge. However, any house style can be made to require relatively minimal amounts of energy to heat and cool, and be comfortable and he...

EMFs in the Home

Electric & Magnetic FieldsElectric and magnetic fields (EMFs) are invisible lines of force associated with the production, transmission, and use of electric power such as those associated with high-voltage transmission lines, secondary power lines, and home wiring and lighting. Electric and magne...

Electrical Fires

Electricity can be a potent fire source. Many farmers and others have lost a barn or house from old or defective wiring. Overloaded wiring can be very dangerous. It is safer and more efficient to install new circuits. Never put water on an electrical fire. Use a CO2 fire extinguisher if the fire...

Biological Pollutants

While outdoor air pollution in densely populated areas are a major health and environmental concern, indoor air pollution often goes unnoticed until health issues arise.Air pollution can be a problem where you least expect it, in the place you may have thought was safest - your home. Many ordinar...

Home Safety Checklist

Each year, many adults and children are injured in and around their homes. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that in 1981, over 622,000 people over age 65 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with products they live with and use everyday. CPSC b...

Home Insurance Tips

Why You Need Homeowner's InsuranceThe largest single investment most consumers make is in their home. The consumer can protect their home, possessions, and liability with a homeowners's insurance policy. The Homeowner's insurance policy is a package policy that combines more than one type of insu...

Termites

Termite Control in the HomeWood destroying insects and other organisms can cause serious problems in the wood structural components of a house and may go undetected for a long period of time.New ConstructionAll chemical soil treatments, bait systems, and chemical wood treatment must be appr...

Ten Things You Should Know About Mold

1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture...

Septic Systems

source: EPASeptic systems treat and disperse relatively small volumes of wastewater from individual or small numbers of homes and commercial buildings. Septic system regulation is usually a state, tribal, and local responsibility. EPA provides information to homeowners and assistance to state and...

Remedies to Indoor Air Quality Problems

Living AreasPaneling, pressed-wood furniture and cabinetry. These products may release formaldehyde gas. Remedy: Ask about formaldehyde content before buying furniture or cabinets. Some types of pressed-wood products, such as those with phenol resin, emit less formaldehyde. Also, products coated...

10 Ways to Save Energy in the Winter

There are many ways to conserve energy in the cold winter months. This not only helps our budget, but also the environment.1. Make sure that registers and air ducts are not blocked by furniture or other debris. This can cause poor heat circulation and the furnace to work harder, using more elect...

Water Quality

Drinking WaterThe United States has one of the safest water supplies in the world. However, national statistics don't tell you specifically about the quality and safety of the water coming out of your tap. That's because drinking water quality varies from place to place, depending on the conditio...

Sellers: Maximize Your Home Value

5 Things for Maximizing your Home09/30/2007 John HarashinskiSelling, or planning on selling your home? Here is a list of 5 things to consider for maximizing your home’s profit and a faster track to the closing table.1. First impressions countIt's wise to make a good impression from the m...

Selecting a Home Inspector

A realistic approach to purchasing your home and selecting your home inspector.Owning your own home, instead of renting, is one of the smartest financial decisions you can make, as long as you go into it with both eyes open and be sure you are not overpaying for what you are getting.Shop around f...

10 Tips for Sellers

Advice for SellersTips to make your Home Inspection go more smoothly and faster...In a competitive market, you can not only speed up your home inspection but close your home sale faster if you follow these simple suggestions on or before the day of your inspection.Confirm that water, electr...

What is a Home Energy Audit?

An energy audit is an assessment of a home, building, or business that measures how much energy is being consumed, any existing problems where energy is lost, and recommendations of things that can be corrected to increase efficiency, thus saving you money over time. This may be done by a professio...

Roofing

Maintaining Your RoofHomeowner maintenance includes cleaning the leaves and debris from the roofs valleys and gutters. Debris in the valleys can cause water to wick under the shingles and cause damage to the interior of the roof. Clogged rain gutters can cause water to flow back under the shingle...

Reduce Your Energy Bills

A whole home energy audit can improve your home's energy efficiency in both summer and winter, and reduce your overall energy bills.The whole-house systems approach looks at the entire house as an energy system with interdependent parts. Like a human body, when one part functions poorly it affect...

Masonry Deterioration and Repair

sources: Wikipedia National Park ServiceMasonry is the building of structures from individual units laid in and bound together by mortar; the term masonry can also refer to the units themselves. The common materials of masonry construction are brick, stone, marble, granite, travertine, limesto...

Lead

Lead in Paint, Dust, and SoilDid you know the following facts about lead?FACT: Lead exposure can harm young children and babies even before they are born.FACT: Even children who seem healthy can have high levels of lead in their bodies.FACT: You can get lead in your body by breathing...

Household Hazards

Here are some common, and not-so-common issues you might want to look for (and avoid) in your next home.Algae: Microorganisms that may grow to colonies in damp environments, including certain rooftops. They can discolor shingles. Often described as "fungus."Alligatoring: A condition of paint...

Hot Water Heaters

Hot Water and How to Heat ItThere are several water-heating options available to you. While you are taking steps to save on home heating, don’t forget to see what you can do to lower your water heating costs. Check with your fuel supplier for more information, and consider alternatives to your cu...

Mold and Moisture

Mold, Moisture, and Your HomeMold Basics The key to mold control is moisture control.If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem.It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.Why is m...

Mold and VoC's

VoC stands for Volatile Organic Compound.Volatile means that the substance vaporizes easily under normal room temperature conditions. Organic is a naturally occurring substance. Compounds are things comprised of 2 or more actions or functions. Relating this to black mold, it is the musty, or mold...

Radon Risk

Radon Risk Comparison ChartsRadon Risk If You SmokeRadon Level If 1,000 people who smoked were exposed to this level over a lifetime*... The risk of cancer from radon exposure compares to**... WHAT TO DO: Stop smoking and... 20 pCi/L About 260 people could get lung cancer 250 times...

Radon

Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to RadonEPA Recommends:If you are buying a home or selling your home, have it tested for radon. For a new home, ask if radon-resistant construction features were used and if the home has been tested. Fix the home if the radon level is 4 picoCuries per liter...

Private Wells

Private Water WellsIf your family gets drinking water from a private well, do you know if your water is safe to drink? What health risks could you and your family face? Where can you go for help or advice? EPA regulates public water systems; it does not have the authority to regulate private drin...

Plumbing

For more information on your home's plumbing, call a home inspector.Plumbing may be defined as practice, materials, and fixtures used in the installation, maintenance, and alteration of all piping, fixtures, appliances, and appurtenances in connection with sanitary or storm drainage facilities, t...

Pool Safety

Safety Guidelines for Home PoolsSources: CPSC.gov Pool SafetyStaying Safe in Residential PoolsAdding as many water safety steps as possible is the best way to assure a safe and fun experience in a residential swimming pool or spa. Parents and families can build on their current safety pr...