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Home Inspections Blog

Monthly Archives: June 2018

Keeping Mosquitoes Out Of Your Yard

Keeping Mosquitoes Out Of Your Yard

Few things ruin an evening in the backyard like the constant hum and annoying nibbles from mosquitoes. If you want to be able to enjoy the outdoors and host guests on your patio without worrying about the little pests, try these tactics to keep mosquitoes out of your yard.

A quick lesson in mosquitoes

Backyards are heaven to mosquitoes because they love:

  • Standing water to lay their eggs
  • Bushes and trees for somewhere cool and shaded to hang out in
  • Carbon dioxide from your breath, which lets them know there’s a tasty meal nearby

Remove standing water

Since mosquitoes use stagnant, standing water to lay eggs, eliminating any from your yard will stop the problem before it starts. Get rid of unused birdbaths, buckets, tires, tarps or watering cans that can collect water.

Remove dead vegetation

Some mosquitoes lay eggs in wet, decaying vegetation. Clean your yard of any wet logs or piles of decomposing leaves and sticks. Even damp soil can be a breeding ground. Try to clear the area to give sunlight to dirt that is consistently wet.

Use repellent yard sprays

Several companies make mosquito repellent concentrate that attaches to a garden hose. Spray your lawn, shrubs, trees and problem areas early in the summer or a few days before an outdoor party to keep mosquitoes and other flies away.

Set out scented repellents

If you’re planning on hanging out around your deck or patio, try using scented mosquito repellents. You can buy candles, lanterns and incense sticks that produce odors that keep bugs at bay while smelling good to you and your guests.

Use a fan on your patio or deck

This may seem silly to do at first, but it can be pretty effective. If you’re outside on a day or evening without wind, set out a fan to move the air around. Mosquitoes are weak fliers, so any breeze is going to send them elsewhere (plus it keeps you cool on hot days).

Moving air also disperses the carbon dioxide you exhale, making mosquitoes less likely to spend time in the area.

Burn Pinon wood in your fire pit

Along with setting a record for most spelling variations, Pinon (or Pinion or Pinyon or Piñon) wood is burned in outdoor fire pits and bonfires during buggy months. The smoke is supposed to keep mosquitoes and flies from gathering in the area.

Flora repellents

Have a green thumb? Try planting some of these common plants that mosquitos avoid:

  • Tulsi shrubs
  • Catnip
  • Feverfew
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Basil
  • Marigolds
  • Citronelle
  • Lemongrass
  • Bee balm
  • Ageratum
  • Peppermint
  • Sage

Like homeowner tips? Take a look at more how-tos for around the house.

Home Inspections: When, Why, How, Where and answers to other questions you haven’t thought of yet.

Home Inspections: When, Why, How, Where and answers to other questions you haven’t thought of yet.

(By: Comfort Home Inspections owner Keith Hoaglund)

You are shopping for your dream home and you have heard talk and recommendations about getting a home inspection. When? Do you have your favorite choice inspected prior to making an offer? After? During? Where do you find an inspector who can help you within days? How do you get this scheduled with the property being occupied by the seller? Do you attend the inspection? Can you ask questions? Who pays for major repairs?

Don’t worry, the average home buyer only hires a home inspector 2 to 4 times in their entire life so there is no reason anyone would expect to be overly familiar with the service.

My company performs hundreds of home inspections every year. We are very familiar with all aspects of the process and have dealt with every conceivable variation.

When

While we have on occasion inspected a property for a buyer prior to a purchase agreement being in place, the overwhelming majority of inspections are performed for a buyer who has a signed and accepted purchase agreement in hand.

Always consult your licensed real estate professional for guidance and specific information. However, a typical purchase agreement will define an “inspection period” or “due diligence period” in which a buyer may hire a third party to conduct a non-invasive inspection of the property.

Generally, the purchase agreement is contingent upon the results of said inspection meaning if the inspections reveals defects, negotiations can be re-opened. This is also an excellent “why”. If we find major defects with the property, you have a chance to possibly negotiate for the repairs or a price adjustment.

How and Where

The best practice is to order your home inspection the same day you learn of your accepted offer. Many times, your inspection period is just 10 days—no need to let any of these go by for no reason. We can usually get you on our schedule within 72 hours, given approval by the seller.

We request permission to inspect the property from the seller, but sometimes the seller doesn’t approve our initial inspection appointment. Working out the scheduling, and adding in 48-hour radon test can eat up that 10-day period quickly. Time is of the essence!

We will meet you at your potentially new home and conduct a very thorough and in-depth inspection. We are working for you so you are welcome to ask any questions you have and follow our inspector around the property if you wish.

Another option that works well is to meet your inspector after he has had a chance to inspect the property. At this point, he can go over any defects with you, show you digital photos of any issues, and discuss recommended actions regarding these defects.

Priority and Consideration Items

We will point out any and all defects present at the time of the inspection, and we will classify these as “priority” items or “consideration” items. Priority items are defects that we believe warrants a discussion with your agent prior to following through with your purchase.

Your agent will guide you and help determine if any priority items warrant a request to the seller for repair or price consideration. An example of priority items includes things such as a non-operation furnace or air conditioner, a plumbing leak, or any hazardous situation.

Consideration items include minor defects and deferred maintenance items and generally do not affect the sale of the property. These are provided for your reference and include things like vegetation touching the siding, minor cracks in walkways, and peeling wood trim paint.

To summarize: Find your dream house, sign a purchase agreement, call Comfort Home Inspections, Inc., and you will have nothing to worry about!