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Home Inspections Blog

Monthly Archives: September 2018

Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Facts and Tips

You might have heard of carbon monoxide as a silent killer. It’s truly undetectable to the human eye and nose and hundreds of people die from it every year in the United States.

This gas has no color or odor and forms from gas, oil, wood, and coal as a result of faulty appliances and other sources in your home. Some places carbon monoxide originates from include:

  • Furnaces
  • Stoves and ovens
  • Clothes dryers
  • Grills (gas and charcoal)
  • Automobile engines
  • And more

These sources are found in almost every home, and if they’re malfunctioning or installed poorly, they could put you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If the gas is present in your home, the only way to make sure you’re aware of it is to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.

Where to avoid installing your carbon monoxide detector

If you’ve recently purchased a carbon monoxide detector, you’ve made a great decision that could save your life in the future. However, there are places in your home to avoid when choosing a place to install it. Places to avoid include:

  • Immediate proximity of fuel-burning appliances (under 5 feet away)
  • Bathrooms and other humid areas
  • Near places where chemicals are stored, such as kitchens
  • Garages, furnace rooms, or other dusty and dirty places.
  • Crawlspaces, attics, and porches
  • Near ceiling fans, vents, A/C units, and windows

Seems like there are a lot of places to avoid, right? It may seem tedious, but you can never be too careful when it comes to carbon monoxide and safety.

Where to install your carbon monoxide detector

Now that you know some bad locations for a carbon monoxide detector, it’s important to know the good locations. The best parts of your house to install a carbon monoxide detector include:

  • 10 feet or less from each bedroom door and close to all sleeping areas
  • Each and every floor of the house
  • Close to, but not directly above, combustion appliances like furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces
  • On the ceiling of rooms with a permanently installed fuel-burning appliances
  • Every HVAC zone of the house (and commercial buildings)

Carbon monoxide is an extremely dangerous gas that must be taken seriously. In addition to adding detectors to your home, you should also consider home inspections and yearly appliance inspections. If you need a home inspection, we’re here to help. Contact us today to schedule a home inspection!

How to Prevent and Remove Mice From Your House

How to Prevent and Remove Mice From Your House

What to do with your uninvited guests that show up in the fall? I’m not talking about the in-laws.

This the prime time of the year for rodents to pack up and move into your home. Once they get in and find a nice comfortable place, guess what comes next? That’s right, they want to start a family!

The gestation period for mice is just 21 days and can produce more than a dozen babies. A healthy female delivers up to 10 litters per year. That is a lot of mouths to feed, and it might be best to keep the critters out of the house completely.

Mice can pass through a hole the size of a dime. They’re limited only by the size of their skulls. They have no collar bones or shoulders to pull through, so if the head can poke through, the body will follow.

To keep the rascals out, carefully inspect the exterior of your home. Look for small, unsealed openings along the foundation and at any wall cladding penetrations like utility access point or vents, and around doors and windows. Plug any small openings with steel wool or metal mesh.

A mouse has two big front teeth they use to chew through most everything except metal and concrete. A common entry point is the garage door. Carefully inspect the bottom and side seals at the garage door and repair or replace as necessary to prevent entry. Careful inspection of the interior areas of foundation and attic can also reveal potential entry points. This is, of course, the practice of exclusion and would ideally keep out the mice.

Even though mice have poor eyesight, they are better at finding these entry points than we are. If you see evidence of activity inside your home, the first course of action is to attempt to eliminate the easy food sources like pet food, bird seed, or other stored items that are an easy target. Store pet food in a sturdy, tight-sealing container and do not leave bowls out overnight.

The next course of action is to evict any of the unwelcome rodents. Setting out poison where you have noticed activity is an option, but it can be dangerous for children and pets and then there is the issue of the poisoned mouse’s final resting place.

A dead mouse in the house can cause an unpleasant odor and is next to impossible to find. Consider using snap traps and glue traps. Mice are curious and will inspect something new in their environment, especially if it smells like food. It also provides positive confirmation of your mouse activity and success rate.

These procedures should help eliminate or prevent the majority of any rodent problems. If you find the problems persist, there are many professional exterminator contractors that can lend a hand.

When purchasing a home, always hire the pros at Comfort Home Inspections to help identify evidence of rodents or pests during a thorough home inspection.