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Pillar To Post Newsletter Volume 21, No. 1

postnotes

Volume 21, No. 1


OUR COMMITMENT

During this time of Covid-19, Pillar To Post remains committed to providing the highest quality home inspection while adhering to the safety and cleanliness guidelines provided by the CDC and local governments. We are taking the following measures with the health and well-being of our clients in mind:

  • Inspectors are prepared with PPE to keep everyone safe Home Inspection Reports can be presented virtually or printed on-site
  • Your clients can choose not to attend or only attend the last hour of the home inspection
  • online and/or contactless payment options available on request

While our processes may have chanced, our commitment to ensuring confident home ownership has not. Our job is not complete until you no longer have questions concerning the home you have asked Pillar To Post to inspect.

man by truck
Middle-aged man setting up his radon equipment

Safe at home

Is Radon On Your Radar?

Colorless and odorless, naturally occuring radon gas seeps into homes from underground. Elevated levels of radon can build up inside the home, endangering your family’s health. Here are the facts.

  • Radon is the #2 cause of lung cancer after smoking
  • Radon can cause cancers in pets, too
  • An estimated 1 in 15 homes in the US and Canada has an elevated level of radon
  • Any home can have a radon problem – old or new, drafty or snug, with or without a basement

Testing is the only way to know if a home has excessive levels of radon.

Your Pillar To Post Home Inspector conducts radon testing using continuous monitoring technology, then reports on the results and recommends steps to reduce excessive radon levels if round.

For peace of mind, schedule a radon inspection for your home today.

winter blues

Personal Best

Banish The Winter Blues


Many of us are spending much more time at home these days. Here are some ideas on how to help you and your home look and feel cheerful during these winter months:

1. Have each family member create a personal playlist of their favorite music and ask everyone to take turns as digital DJs

2. Potted flowering plants will brighten up your coffee table or dining area

3. Set up a hot chocolate bar for the family. Don’t forget the marshmallows, peppermint bits, whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles and anything else you like!

4. Use pillow covers in bold patterns or colors to change up the look of the sofas and beds

5. Don your brightest sweaters and coats for an instant pick-me-up

Inspection Insights

Are You In The Know??

Take Our Quiz!


1. A pre-listing home inspection:

A. Helps sellers decide about making specific repairs and improvements

B. Can help with setting the asking price

C. Helps agents with marketing the home

D. All of the above

2. TRUE or FALSE?

Radon gas doesn’t affect homes built after 2001.

3. You’ve just learned that your home contains lead-based paint. You should:

A. Infrared Scanning to detect signs of moisture and electrical overheating

B. Appliance Recall Safety Check to help keep your family and property safe

C. Lifetime Maintenance Advisory Service to help you care for your home

D. Enhanced Customer Satisfaction Commitment to ensure your complete satisfaction

E. All of the above


Answers

1. D. A pre-listing can do all this and more. Be sure to ask your Pillar To Post Home Inspector about getting a home inspection before the home goes on the market.

2. False. Radon can affect homes of any age or construction type. You can learn more about radon right here in this newsletter!

3. C. A qualified professional will be able to determine how to address lead-based paint. If removal is recommended, trying to do this yourself can create a much bigger problem by spreading lead dust around your home. Leave it to the pros!

4. E. These are just some of the reasons our Premium Home Inspection is our most popular offering. Ask about it when requesting your next home inspection!

Home Sense

Improving Indoor Air Quality


Our homes harbor more than just our families and posessions. Home is also where pollutants, allergens, and other irritants accumulate and thrive, with possible harmful effects on our health. Here are some ways to improve indoor air quality while increasing your comfort and well-being.

HANDLE HIGH HUMIDITY

High Humidity is one of the main contributors to mold and dust mite growth, both of which adversely affect indoor air quality. Keeping indoor humidity below 50% will help prevent further infestation, although once mold gets established it can continue to grow even at lower humidity levels. Use exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms, make sure the dryer is properly vented to the outdoors, and address any leaks or condensation issues. A dehumidifier can help in especially humid locations such as basements.

COLLECT THE DUST

Dust is more than just dirt! It can contain pollen, mold spores, lint, animal dander, bacteria and more. While it’s impossible to completely rid a home of dust, there are ways to help control it. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter that traps small particulate matter. Change or clean the furnace filter regularly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. High quality furnace filters are more expensive than ordinary types, but are more effective at filtering dust, pet hair, and other particles.

GO AHEAD AND VENT

Open doors and windows whenever possible. Your home will have better air circulation and “breathe” more easily, and of course it’s great to enjoy fresh air on a nice day.

mother and her baby

CHEMICAL REACTION

Choose cleaning products with environmentally friendly formulations. Many of these cleaners and detergents do an equal or better job than their conventional counterparts. Dispose of old paint, pesticides, solvents and other products so they aren’t leaking fumes into your home. Check local requirements on how to properly dispose of such items.

Discover the Pillar To Post difference. Schedule your next home inspection today!

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CARBON MONOXIDE

CO is an odourless gas produced by the combustion of fuels such as natural gas, oil and propane in devices including furnaces, water heaters and stoves. These appliances are designed to vent the CO to the outside, but incomplete combustion of fuel, improper installation, or blockages, leaks or cracks in the venting systems can cause CO to reach harmful levels inside the home. Dangerously high levels of CO can lead to incapacitation or death, with victims sometimes never having been aware they were being poisoned.

Homeowners can take action against carbon monoxide poisoning by taking the following steps:

  • Never use a gas stove or oven to heat the home, even temporarily.
  • Have all fuel-burning appliances professionally inspected annually, preferably before the start of the cold weather season when heaters and furnaces are first used.
  • These appliances include gas stoves and ovens, furnaces and heaters, water heaters and gas clothes dryers.
  • All such devices should be properly installed and vented to the outside.
  • Have flues and chimneys for gas fireplaces inspected regularly for cracks, leaks, and blockages that may allow a buildup of CO to occur.
  • Don’t start a vehicle in a closed garage or idle the engine in the garage even if the overhead door is open.
  • Gasoline-powered generators and charcoal grills must never be used indoors.
  • Install a CO detector (either battery operated, hard wired or plug-in) and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper location.
  • Learn what to do if the CO alarm activates.

Enjoy the comfort and safety of home this winter and all year long.

JANUARY IS RADON ACTION MONTH IN THE UNITED STATES

Any home can have a radon problem – old or new homes, well-sealed or drafty homes, homes with or without basements. An estimated 1 in 6 homes in the U.S. is affected by radon. Prolonged exposure to unsafe levels of radon can increase the risk of lung cancer; in fact, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. There is real risk in not knowing if a home has a high level of radon.

WHAT IS RADON?

Radon is a naturally occurring, odorless radioactive gas formed by the ongoing decay of uranium in soil, rocks, sediments, and even well or ground water. While radon that escapes into the atmosphere is not harmful, dangerously high concentrations can build up indoors, exposing occupants to possible health risks.

HOW DOES RADON GET INTO A HOME?

Radon can migrate into the home in several ways. Openings or cracks in basement walls, foundations or floors are common avenues. Sumps, basement drains, and spaces between gas or water fittings can also allow radon into the structure. Other entry points can include gaps in suspended floors and cavities within walls.

HOW CAN I MAKE SURE MY CLIENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES AREN’T AT RISK?

Testing is the only way to measure radon levels. Your Pillar To Post Home Inspector will set up monitoring equipment and report on the results. If an elevated level of radon is detected, steps can be taken to reduce the concentration to or below acceptable levels inside virtually any home. Professional mitigation services can provide solutions for a home’s specific conditions.

Request radon testing when you book your next home inspection with Pillar To Post Home Inspectors.

Top Tips For Holiday & Winter Fire Safety

Taking some simple precautions around the home can help keep your clients (and you!) safe during the holidays. Here are our top tips for the season:

  1. Use non-flammable decorations both indoors and outdoors.
  2. Check holiday lights for damaged wires and plugs. Enjoy indoor lights only while someone is at home and turn them off before turning in for the night.
  3. Keep live Christmas trees in a water-filled stand and check daily for dehydration. Dried-out trees are extremely dangerous and should be discarded immediately.
  4. Children should not have access to or be allowed to use matches, lighters or candles.
  5. Keep space heaters away from bedding, curtains, paper—anything flammable. Never leave a space heater unattended while in use.
  6. Busy with holiday cooking and baking? Kitchen fires are leading cause of house fires. Keep a multi-purpose fire extinguisher within easy reach and know how to use it.

We wish you and your clients a happy, healthy and safe holiday season!