Daylight Saving Time (DST) is about to end, meaning we’ll have an extra hour to sleep in on Sunday. It also means that, according to proponents of DST, homes and businesses have saved energy over the past six months, primarily through reduced time using electric lights. But many experts now believe that DST does not promote energy efficiency and that it might in fact cause homeowners to use more electricity. Find out about the history and controversy surrounding DST in our new article on daylight saving time.
Did you know that cockroaches could survive underwater for a half hour or they can subsist on the glue on the back of postage stamps? They’re incredibly hardy insects but infestations can be prevented or eliminated through adequate precautions. Find out much more in our new article on cockroach inspection.
Bamboo is becoming more and more popular as homeowners recognize it as a beautiful, sturdy, and ecologically-friendly alternative to traditional wood. Find out how to make sure homeowners have implemented their bamboo construction properly in our new article on bamboo construction and inspection.
In some parts of the country, outhouses are not just a thing of the past. While valued for their cost-effectiveness and simplicity, they can also introduce some unwanted odors, insects and groundwater contamination. To find out more, check out our new article on outhouse inspection.
Spill switches are safety devices placed on modern gas-burning heating appliances. They sense when carbon monoxide spills into the home instead of out the chimney, halting the flow of fuel to the appliance. They must be installed in the correct location, however, and they must respond within 10 minutes of exposure to spilled CO. To find out how they are tested and more, check out our new article on spill switch inspection.
Many homeowners aren’t aware that they can combine a rental agreement with a home purchase, so they get to stay in a house or condo for some time, paying rent to the owner, before finally buying it. In most cases, the renter has the option to buy at a predetermined price by a certain date it if they choose. While the seller loses some freedom in the deal, they get to keep at least a portion of the rent, or all of it if the renter decides not to buy. In slow housing markets like this one, rent-to-own becomes a more popular option. Read more in our new article on rent-to-own-home-leases.
A home’s soil may be chock full of contaminants that are potentially toxic to people and pets alike. Find out how to inform and protect homeowners from the hidden dangers lurking beneath their feet in our new article on soil contamination inspection.
Nightlights are commonly used in homes for comfort and safety, especially for children who are afraid of the dark and older adults who might trip and fall. But nightlights are recalled by their manufactures often because they pose fire and electrical hazards. To find out more, check out our new article on nightlights.
Every one in a while, you might run into a giant furnace with monstrous-looking ducts running in all different directions. These gravity furnaces, also known affectionately as “octopus furnaces”, use the force of convection to push air throughout a building. They lack the blower fan inherent to forced-air furnaces, which means they’re quieter and kick up less dust, but the benefits pretty much stop there. They are notoriously inefficient and most have outlived their life expectancies. To find out inspection tips and more, check out our new article on gravity furnace inspection.
The oldest wells were dug by hand, and this low-tech approach still survives today. Their construction is labor-intensive, but it requires few specialized tools. Inspection should be focused on features that keep children or animals from falling into the well, as they’re usually quite wide. A simple lid or stone wall usually does the trick. To find out more, check out our new article on hand-dug well inspection.