by homegauge | May 19, 2023 | Community, Home Maintenance, Homeowners
Plumbing is an essential component of any home, and keeping it in good working order is critical to avoid costly repairs and potential water damage. Many homeowners may not realize the signs of a plumbing problem until it’s too late. Here is a list of common indications of a plumbing issue in your home.
Slow Drains are Common Signs of a Plumbing Problem
Slow drainage is one of the most common signs there’s an issue with your home’s plumbing. If your sink, bathtub, or shower takes longer than usual to drain, there is likely a clog in the pipe. Attempt to dislodge the blockage using a plunger or drain cleaner, but if the problem persists, you may need to call a plumber.
Gurgling or bubbling sounds from the drains or pipes could indicate a problem with your home’s plumbing system. Gurgling may occur when water isn’t draining properly. Pipes that rattle are often due to loose brackets and fasteners. You may also hear noises caused by air trapped in the water lines.
Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure in the shower or sink could be due to a blockage in a pipe. Sometimes a leak in the main lines that bring water into your home will lead to low pressure throughout the house.
If the water coming out of the tap is discolored or has a strange odor, this could be due to rust, sediment, or even a problem with the water supply. When municipal sources supply your water, they usually update customers when problems occur and offer recommendations – such as a boil water advisory – for dealing with the situation. If your water comes from a well, have it tested to determine the cause of the discoloration.
Signs of a Plumbing Problem: Damp Areas or Water Stains
Dampness or water stains on walls, ceilings, or floors can indicate a leaking pipe. Leaks can cause significant property damage and contribute to mold growth in your home if left unchecked. Call a plumber to repair leaks right away.
High Water Bills
If you notice a sudden increase in your water bill, it could be due to a leak or other plumbing problem. A leaking pipe can waste a significant amount of water and cause utility costs to skyrocket.
Bad Smells are Signs of a Plumbing Problem
Unpleasant smells coming from your drains or pipes could be an indication of a clog. The bad odor is usually due to bacteria that thrive in stagnant water. Find the source of the smell and make repairs.
Knowing the signs of a plumbing problem can help you detect issues early and avoid costly repairs. Call a professional to address the concern immediately if you notice any of these indications in your home. You’ll prevent the damage from worsening and protect your investment.
American Home Inspection Services offers home inspections to customers in Southeastern Michigan. Contact us to request our services.
by homegauge | Apr 19, 2023 | Community, Home Improvement, Homeowners
Container gardening is an excellent way for homeowners to create a beautiful and functional garden without needing a large outdoor area or extensive gardening knowledge. Whether you want a small herb garden, a colorful display of flowers, or even vegetables and fruits, gardening in pots and planters is an excellent option. Here are a few tips and tricks to easily create a container garden.
The containers you choose will be crucial to the success of your container garden. Look for plants that are the appropriate size for the herbs, flowers, and vegetables you want to grow. The containers need good drainage and materials that can withstand the elements. Clay pots are popular for container gardens, but plastic, metal, and wooden containers can also work well.
Select the Right Soil to Create a Container Garden
The soil you choose should be specifically formulated for container gardening. Look for a mix that contains perlite, vermiculite, and materials that help the soil retain moisture while allowing for proper drainage. It’s usually best to purchase or make your own potting mixture. Dirt from your yard may contain pests or diseases that can harm your plants.
Plants for Your Container Garden
When selecting plants for your container garden, consider each plant’s size and growth habits. Choose plants well-suited to your container’s size, and check their water and sunlight requirements. Consider incorporating a mix of plants with different textures, colors, and heights to create a visually interesting display.
Provide Proper Drainage
Adequate drainage is essential to the health of your plants. Make sure your container has holes in the bottom so the roots won’t sit in water, and place a layer of rocks or gravel at the bottom of the container to help improve drainage.
Container gardens require more frequent watering than traditional gardens because the soil dries quickly. Water plants in containers regularly, checking the soil moisture level before each watering. Ensure the soil is moist but not waterlogged, as this can lead to root rot.
Fertilize When You Create a Container Garden
Container gardens require regular fertilization to help plants grow and thrive. Look for a fertilizer specifically formulated for containers, and follow the instructions on the package. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to unhealthy, damaged plants.
Companion planting involves incorporating plants together that benefit each other in some way. For example, planting basil with tomatoes can help repel pests and improve the flavor of the tomatoes. Marigolds are great companion plants for many gardens because they help to keep insects away. Do some research on companion planting to find out which plants work well together.
Container gardening is a fun and rewarding way for homeowners to create a beautiful and functional garden space. With the right containers, soil, plants, and attention, you can easily create a garden on your deck, porch, or patio. Grow fresh herbs, vegetables, and flowers all season long.
American Home Inspection Services provides Southeastern Michigan with certified home inspection services. Contact us to request your appointment.
by homegauge | Mar 20, 2023 | Community, Home Improvement, Homeowners
Safety is an important part of any DIY project. Whether fixing a broken shelf, painting a wall, or replacing your kitchen sink — having the right tools and knowledge to use them correctly is essential. Here are ten tips for tool safety for DIY projects around the house.
Tool Safety Tips for DIY Projects
1. Tool Safety for DIY Projects: Read the Instructions
Before you begin a project, thoroughly read the instructions. Don’t use any tool unless you understand how each work and the risk associated with its use.
2. Wear Appropriate Safety Gear
Use safety gear when tackling improvements and upgrades around the house. Depending on your project, you may need gloves, goggles, or a dust mask. Protecting yourself from injuries like cuts or splinters is important, even when using manual hand tools.
3. Tool Safety for DIY Projects: Use the Right Tool for the Job
Using the wrong tool for the job can be dangerous. If you don’t have what you need to complete a task, ask a friend or neighbor to borrow the correct tool. Check your community to find a tool-lending library. Some areas have libraries with tools you can borrow for a short period.
4. DIY Project Safety: Keep the Tools Clean
Cleaning and maintaining your tools and equipment will ensure they’re in proper working order and won’t malfunction or cause injury during use.
5. Unplug Power Tools Before Making Adjustments
Before changing settings, replacing a drill bit, or making adjustments to a power tool, unplug it. Unplugging will prevent electric shock and other injuries associated with the tool being powered on while you’re working on it.
6. Tool Safety for DIY Projects: Keep the Work Area Clear
Keep your work space clean, clutter-free, and well-organized to prevent accidents and falls due to clutter. Remove trash and prepare the area for use. After each project, do a deep clean of the space to be ready for the next task.
7. Use the Right Extension Cord
Choose the right extension cord for your project when using power tools outdoors or far from an electrical outlet. Using the wrong cord is a fire hazard.
8. Project Safety Tips: Keep Your Tools Away From Children
It’s important to keep your tools — especially power tools and sharp objects — away from children. Educate kids about the proper use of tools, explain that they are not toys, and verify they understand the dangers of using power tools.
9. Keep the Work Area Well Lit
Make sure the workbench is well-lit — especially when using hand tools requiring precision. Good lighting will help prevent missteps or mistakes from poor visibility.
10. Take Breaks When Necessary
When working on large or difficult projects, taking breaks often is important. You’ll prevent fatigue and accidents due to being tired and less alert.
These tips will help ensure your DIY project is successful and safe. Knowing the risks of each tool and taking the time to do the job right is essential for completing a job well and without injury.
American Home Inspection Services provides inspections to customers in Southeast Michigan. Contact us to request our services.
by homegauge | Feb 20, 2023 | Community, Home Improvement, Homeowners
As the weather warms up, homeowners will be spending more time outdoors. Clean up the patio furniture and prepare the fire pit for warmer-weather entertaining. As you improve your outdoor living areas, you may notice limited storage space on the porch, patio, or deck. Here are a few ideas for patio storage to keep belongings outside while maintaining tidy outdoor spaces.
Baskets and Crates for Patio Storage
Baskets and crates are an attractive way to contain items on your porch or patio. Purchase fabric or wooden options to complement your outdoor decor. Categorize the things you need to store. Use a basket to hold small items like gardening gloves, tools, and seeds. You might use another for containing lawn games or magazines. Small crates and baskets are easy to move around, depending on where you need them.
Shelving units come in all shapes and sizes, so you’ll be able to find one that fits perfectly on your porch or patio. Use shelving units to store books, games, plants, etc. They’re also great for organizing tools and supplies you may need when working in the garden or tackling other outdoor projects.
To better organize your shelving, use small plastic bins to contain each group of items. Add labels to make everything easy to find.
Build a Deck Box for Patio Storage
Consider building or investing in a weatherproof deck box if you need more storage space for larger items like outdoor cushions or pool toys. These boxes are designed for outdoor use and are usually water-resistant or waterproof, so the contents won’t get damaged by rain or snow. They come in various styles, so you can choose one that matches your decor.
Some patio furniture is designed with storage in mind. Shop for multi-use pieces, like a storage ottoman or bench with hidden compartments beneath the seat. Keep cushions and throw blankets out of the way until you need them. Find a coffee table with shelving underneath to hold books and magazines. Some outdoor tables feature built-in coolers to help keep beverages chilled.
No matter how small your porch, patio, or deck is, there is always a way to maximize storage space using creative solutions. With some planning and a few smart purchases, you’ll make the most of your outdoor living area while keeping everything within easy reach.
American Home Inspection Services offers inspection services to customers in Southeast Michigan. Contact us to request an appointment.
by homegauge | Dec 21, 2022 | Community, Home Maintenance, Homeowners
Plumbing problems can be a major hassle for any homeowner, not to mention costly if you have to call out a professional. Fortunately, you can address many common plumbing issues with basic DIY know-how and the right tools. Check out these five DIY plumbing fixes to get you started.
DIY Plumbing Fixes: Clearing a Clogged Drain
A clogged drain is one of the most common plumbing issues. If water isn’t flowing down your drain, you may have a clog caused by hair, soap scum, or other debris. To fix it, you’ll need a plunger and some elbow grease. First, ensure the tool is fully submerged in water, then push and pull the plunger in a vertical motion to create suction and pressure to clear the clog.
Repairing Leaky Faucets
Dripping faucets are a significant source of wasted water—not to mention the constant “drip, drip” driving you crazy. You’ll need basic tools like a wrench and adjustable pliers to fix a leaky faucet.
Start by turning off the water supply and opening the faucet handles to release any remaining pressure. Then, remove the faucet handle and locate the screw on the handle. Once you have access to the valve stem, replace any corroded or worn parts. Reassemble everything and turn on your water supply to test for success!
DIY Plumbing Fixes: Replacing a Toilet Flapper
A leaking toilet tank might be due to an old or worn-out flapper, the rubber stopper that prevents water from flowing from the tank to your bowl. You’ll need a replacement flapper and pliers (or an adjustable wrench) to replace it.
Start by shutting off the water supply and draining any remaining water from the tank. Then, unhook the chain connecting the handle and remove the old flapper. Install the new one and reattach the flush handle chain, ensuring it’s not too tight or loose. Turn your water supply back on and test to make sure there’s no more leaking!
Installing a New Showerhead
Replacing an old showerhead is surprisingly easy. You’ll need a pair of pliers and some pipe tape. Start by removing the old showerhead. Clean pipe threads with a wire brush and wrap them in pipe tape for extra security. Finally, attach your new showerhead and turn on the water to test it out.
Replacing a Toilet Fill Valve
If your toilet isn’t filling up correctly, you may need to replace the fill valve. You’ll need basic tools like an adjustable wrench, a screwdriver, and possibly some plumber’s putty or Teflon tape.
First, shut off the water supply to the toilet and drain any remaining water in the tank. Then, remove the old fill valve and replace it with a new one. Reattach all hoses and use the plumber’s putty or Teflon tape, if necessary, to form a watertight seal. Turn your water supply back on and test for success!
These simple DIY plumbing fixes should help you tackle some of your home’s most common plumbing issues. If your problem is more than you can handle, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber to make repairs.
American Home Inspection Services provides inspection in Southeast Michigan. Contact us to schedule an appointment for our services.
by homegauge | Nov 22, 2022 | Community, Home Improvement, Homeowners
If you’re planning to list your home on the market, make sure you can recoup any money you spend on improvements for the sale. Unfortunately, not all updates are created equal. Let’s discuss four popular home improvement projects that won’t boost property value.
1. Projects that Don’t Boost Property Value: Swimming Pools
While a swimming pool may be a great addition to your home for you and your family, it’s not necessarily a selling point for most buyers. Many potential buyers will see a swimming pool as more of a liability than an asset. Not only do pools require a lot of costly maintenance, but they can also be dangerous, especially for small children. Reconsider adding a pool to your home before putting it on the market.
When it comes to home improvement projects, not all of them are created equal. Some updates – like adding a sunroom – are expensive and add little value to your home. Sunrooms can be pricey to build. Depending on the size and features you want, this addition can cost anywhere from $10,000 to over $50,000. While they might be enjoyable for you and your family to use, a sunroom generally doesn’t offer a good return on investment.
3. Luxury Bathrooms Don’t Boost Property Value
Luxury bathrooms are popular among homeowners. However, they don’t pay for themselves in resale value. Potential buyers shop for homes based on the number of bedrooms and square footage rather than homes with high-end bathroom features. While a new bathroom might make your life more comfortable, it’s not likely to add much value to your home.
4. Custom Closets
Like luxury bathrooms, custom closets have become increasingly popular in recent years. However, they often come at a high price. In addition, custom closets can be difficult to install and may not fit seamlessly into the existing layout of your home. Potential buyers might have a different vision for the use of closet space. For these reasons, custom-designed closets are typically not a good investment when selling your home.
If you’re selling your home soon, choose your home improvement projects wisely. Some projects – like building a swimming pool or installing a sunroom – may offer little return on investment. Instead, focus on projects that appeal to many potential buyers. Paint the exterior of the home or upgrade the kitchen appliances. By making intelligent choices regarding home improvements, you can help ensure that your property sells quickly and at the right price.
American Home Inspection Services offers inspection in Southeast Michigan. Contact us to schedule an appointment for our services.