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How to Prep Your Home for an Inspection

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How to Prep Your Home for an Inspection

Keep in mind that often buyers attend the inspection, therefore, we recommend you treat the inspection as another showing which could make or break the sale of your home. It is always a good idea to reduce clutter and present a clean and odor free home! Be sure to leave the house too so that your buyers can feel comfortable and the inspector can complete an efficient home inspection. Here are some other ways to help prep your home for a smooth home inspection:

  • Clean toilets
  • Remove extra stored items underneath sinks
  • Remove childproofing from receptacles
  • Replace burnt out light bulbs
  • Install a new air filter in furnace
  • Have all gas, electricity & water shut offs turned on
    (Except for the exterior water during winter)
  • Put your downspouts down
  • Remove storage away from the furnace, hot water tank and electrical panel
  • Make sure the attic hatch is accessible. Cover clothes and items beneath with plastic poly if you are worried about the insulation mess
  • Remove pets from the home
  • Remove laundry and dishes from your machines as they will be tested
  • Fix any issues that you are aware of
  • Leave out invoices for important previous repair
Accurate Home Inspection Calgary

Dishwasher Cleaning & Maintenance

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We often don’t think about cleaning the machine that cleans our dishes, though unfortunately, foot, dirt and debris can build up over time reducing the effectiveness of the dishwasher. It can be frustrating running your dishwasher to clean your dishes, only to have to re-clean them afterwards to remove hardened on flakes of food. Or should we miss inspecting glass dishes in the light, we may risk the embarrassment of serving guests drinks in a dirty glass! These concerns led me to look into how to properly clean and maintenance our dishwasher to help avoid those issues.

How To Clean Your Dishwasher

1. Be sure to keep up on your dishwasher’s rinse aid. Most dishwashers now have a gauge to help monitor the levels of dishwasher air left in your system, if not, as a general rule it is good to top up every couple months, depending on your usage.

2. Fill your sink up half full of water and add 2 cups of White Vinegar. This can be used to soak and clean dishwasher parts and accessories. Vinegar is a safe, natural and effective cleaning agent to remove water build up and disinfectant. Another option is a dishwasher cleaning agent, or lemon juice.

 3. Remove racks and utensil holders for cleaning and to allow yourself access to the other areas of the dishwasher. If they fit, add them into your vinegar cleaning solution or use a cloth or toothbrush with the cleaning solution from your sink to clean.

4. Clean the holes of the spinning arms. Inspect the holes in the spinning arms of your dishwasher to ensure that they are clean and clear from build up or food. These holes need to be clear in order for the dishwasher to run efficiently. To clean these holes use something fine pointed such as a toothpick, needle-nose pliers, or wire with a hook at the end – though be sure to take your time and be careful to not scratch or damage your spinning arms. Start at the holes furthest away from the center, and work your way towards to center.

5. Wipe the dishwasher’s gasket, walls and door sides. These areas do not get cleaned during a washing cycle, so to eliminate odors and build up it is helpful to regularly wipe the sides and edges of your dishwasher. You can use your sink’s solution or a mild spray cleaner to clean these areas. Remember to do the bottom of the door as it can gather debris. Be sure to take time to clean the gasket in the base of your dishwasher, scrub brushes or toothbrushes would be a useful tool in this area.

You can also get a deeper clean by removing the cover, if you do so, be sure to take pictures during disassembly to ensure proper reassembly.

 6. Last Step! Run a ‘Cleaning’ cycle. After you replace all the parts, you can finish off with running your empty dishwasher on low with 2 cups of vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher. Halfway through, pause your cycle for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the vinegar to soak.

If you have an odor issue, you can sprinkle 0.5-1 cup of baking soda and run the dishwasher as normal.

Step #6 is great to do periodically as a mini cleaning for your dishwasher.

Please note: Refer to your dishwasher’s manual for specific instructions and information as each dishwasher is unique in some way.

Top 3 Tips to Help Your Dishwasher Run Better

  1. Scrape your dishes before. Sure you don’t want to waste the water and time rinsing your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, though scraping the excess food is worthwhile. This goes a long way in reducing the amount of food scraps stuck on your dishes after a washing cycle, and prevents the trap from getting filled up faster.
  2. Don’t overload the dishwasher. It can be tempting to fit all your dirty dishes into the washer rather than waiting for the next load, though keep in mind it is better to wait or wash a couple items by hand rather than having to re-run the dishwasher or hand wash dishes after a washing cycle.
  3. Use the correct cycle. It can be tempting to use a shorter cycle, or an eco-wash cycle to save time, water and energy costs, though these may not be appropriate for each wash. It depends on how dirty your dishes are for that particular cycle.

 

Important Questions to Ask During Your Home Inspection

By | Healthy Home, Home Inspections, Home Maintenance, Uncategorized | No Comments

At Bocc Home Inspections we like to help educate our clients on the important items of their new home. We do this through including tips and photographs in the report, marking important shut offs with custom tags, demonstrating how and where the following items are within each home.

Here is a list of questions we suggest to ask during your home inspection:

  • Grading: Is the grade around my entire home sloped away from my foundation walls and window wells?
  • Smoke alarms: How do I test the smoke detector?
  • Ventilation: What is a ventilation switch? Should it be on or off? How does it work with the heating system?
  • Furnace: Where is the disconnect breaker or switch located for the furnace?
  • Water: Where is the main water shut off? Kitchen and bathroom sink water shut off (if present)? Toilet water shut off?
  • Electrical: Where is the electrical panel? How do I turn breakers on and off and how do I reset them?
  • Detectors: Where are the smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, arc fault circuit interrupters and ground fault circuit interrupters? Where are the instruction manuals that are provided with these devices?
  • Eavestroughs: Are the eavestrough down spouts connected and directed away from my home and not towards my neighbour?

At Bocc Home Inspections we like to answer these questions and provide tips on these extra things to help ensure our clients can have a healthy and sound home, Because Our Company Cares For first time home buyers we also include a home maintenance manual as an extra resource for their journey of homeownership.

Barbecue Cleaning Tips

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How to Clean & Maintenance your BBQ

Last summer we had an incident where the grease in our tray caught fire in our BBQ, requiring us to use our fire extinguisher to put out the fire before it spread.  Grease fires can be extra dangerous as often someone’s first instinct is to throw water on it, which only causes it to spread! We hope everyone has a fire extinguisher in their home for the unexpected times such as this.

With the arrival of barbequing season we wanted to share some tips on how to prevent fires such as this through proper cleaning & maintenance on your BBQ.

How to Clean a Gas BBQ Grill

  1. Turn off and disconnect the gas bottle(propane tank).
  2. Clean your BBQ grill while still warm.  Use steam cleaning trick (below) to keep it warm while eating.
  3. Brush and/or scrape your grill grates and hot plates to remove burned on food.
  4. Use your dishwasher to clean your grates and hot plates.
  5. Clean inside of grill with warm soapy water and a stiff brush.
  6. Rinse off Teflon grill sheets.
  7. Clean the drip tray by discarding foil and absorbent material.
  8. Clean outside if grill with warm soapy water and a soft sponge.
  9. Re-assemble grill grates and hot plates.
  10. Replace drip tray foil and refill with BBQ grease absorbent mix or kitty litter.
  11. Re-position Teflon grill sheets.
  12. Reconnect your gas bottle and check connections for leaks with soapy water.
  13. Run the BBQ grill on high for 15 minutes to burn off any remaining soap or water.
  14. Apply cooking oil to grates and hot plates to re-season.

Remember to be careful with painted and stainless steel surfaces.

Use non-scratch scrubbers, always test on a small area and follow the grain on any stainless steel.

SOURCE: Elgas.com

15 Tips for a Speedy Home Sale

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15 Tips for a Speedy Home Sale

  1. Sell your home first, then buy.
  2. Know your hidden monsters.
    – Have a pre-listing home inspection
    – Have answers and information for any areas that may be of concern (Ex: quotes)
  3. Obtain a new Real Property Report if there has been any changes to the exterior structure of your home (Ex: Deck, a RPR costs roughly ~$900)
  4. Get permits for any work that has been done to your home.
  5. Paint! Painting is one of the few renovations that you earn a positive return from.
    – Have a paint consult to ensure an appealing color is chosen.
  6. Sell the potential
    – Purchase plus improvements can often be built into mortgages for your buyers
  7. Look organized.
    – Collect warranty information, manuals, label keys etc…
  8. De-clutter. Soon this home will no longer be yours.
    – Closets and cupboards too.
    – Purchase new display towels for bathrooms.
  9. De-personalize
    – Remove photos.
    – Have fresh and appealing bedding.
  10. Creep on show homes for staging ideas.
  11. Pay attention to curb appeal.
    – Make the pathway inviting
    –  Flowers
    – Clean up leaves, snow & dog feces.
    – Clean oil/vehicle spills off driveway.
  12. Use special feature signage around home.
  13. Leave during showings.
    – Bring your pets too.
  14. Get professional photos taken of your home for your MLS listing.
  15. Beware of overpricing. Be competitive

We work with a large number of realtors every month, if you are looking for a referral to a top-notch realtor – Just Ask! We would love to learn exactly what type of realtor you are looking for and help pair you up with the right one!

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Recycling

By | Happy Home, Healthy Home, Uncategorized | No Comments

Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

We are all well versed in the 3 R’s, though it is important to keep in mind that there is an order of importance in the 3 R’s: it is best to look to reduce, reuse or repurpose and then recycle what we can. With the recent changes to waste management in Airdrie we have been reviewing how our household manages waste, and needless to say there is quite a bit of room for improvement.  Sure, we were recycling bottles, plastics, cardboard and paper, but found that there were many more simple changes we could implement to cut down our waste, such as extra recycling bins throughout the house, a compost bin under our kitchen sink, re-purposing old items and donating items to be reused.

Cities are helping us make recycling more convenient through recycling and compost pick ups right from our door.  Are you looking for way to cut down what your household sends to the landfill, but are looking for more information and support to do so? It leads us to question, what items are recyclable or compostable? Which items needs to go to the landfill? I was surprised to find out that fast food packaging can go into compost, as well as meats. Take a look at these images to help guide you along your way to reducing the items your household sends to the landfill:

Upcoming Changes For Airdrie City Residents

Clear bags voted out

On March 20, 2017 City Council voted to remove clear bags from the Waste Management Bylaw.

Starting the week of April 3, you will be allowed one bag of garbage per week (can be any colour of bag). Bag tags for excess garbage bags can be purchased for $3/tag. A total of four bags can be placed out for collection each week (one bag included in your fees plus up to three tagged bags).

Care and Compassion Provision
Council also approved care and compassion provisions that include:

Diaper Exemption
Residents who apply for the diaper exemption will receive excess waste tags for one extra garbage bag each week for six months. The household must have two or more children under the age of four and this exemption must be re-applied for every six months. The application form will be available shortly.

Medical exemption

Residents who apply for the medical exemption will receive excess waste tags for one extra garbage bag each week for six months. This exemption must be re-applied for every six months. The application form will be available shortly.

Waste Audits
Council directed staff to determine levels of contamination by looking for organics and recyclable materials in residential garbage bags over the next year. The results of the waste audits will be presented to Council in 2018.

Reduced fees
Due to successful contract negotiations, the estimated costs for waste management programs came in lower than estimated. The increase from resident’s current utility bill will be $3.92 where the estimated cost was $6.44. This takes into account the savings from the closure of Westside Recycle Depot, the reduction of one bag per of garbage per week, and the decrease in staffing at the Eastside Recycle Depot. It also takes into account the added cost of curbside recycling collection and the reduced commodity revenue from the Eastside Recycle Depot.

Curbside Recycling
Starting the week of April 3, single family homes in Airdrie will start receiving curbside recycling collection. Along with the addition of a blue cart program, changes to garbage collection will be implemented including a reduction to one bag per week of garbage.

SOURCE: City of Airdrie Website – Waste & Recycling,  http://www.airdrie.ca/index.cfm?serviceID=29

For More Information, Check out These Links:

Which Bin? Search Tool to Determine Where to Put an Item (Airdrie): http://www.airdrie.ca/index.cfm?serviceID=1045

What Goes Where? (Calgary): http://www.calgary.ca/UEP/WRS/Pages/What-goes-where/Default.aspx

Details on City of Airdrie Waste & Recycling: http://www.airdrie.ca/index.cfm?serviceID=29

Items that Cannot Be Recycled (Calgary): http://www.calgary.ca/UEP/WRS/Pages/Recycling-information/Residential-services/Blue-cart-recycling/What-Cant-Be-Recycled.aspx

Collection Schedule (Airdrie): http://www.airdrie.ca/index.cfm?serviceID=1094

Simply Ways to Declutter Your Home

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25 Things You Can Clear Out of Your Home

Get a Head Start on Spring Cleaning!

  1. The old cell phone you ditched when you upgraded.
  2. Power cords that don’t work/aren’t needed/you don’t even know what they belong to.
  3. Worn out or extra cooking utensils and measuring cups.
  4. Mugs you kind of hate.
  5. Lingerie, socks and underwear you never wear.
  6. Ripped, stained, damaged clothes you’re holding onto for whatever reason.
  7. Throw pillows that no longer go with your decor.
  8. Linens you don’t use.
  9. Kids artwork (take a pic first!). You could incorporate all the photos into a photobook!
  10. Tax paperwork older than seven years.
  11. Shoes you haven’t worn in over a year.
  12. Makeup that’s old.
  13. Hair ties & pins that are in bad shape.
  14. Nail polish that’s crusted shut/out of style/gross.
  15. Underwear/boxers that have holes in them (keep the mouse in the house).
  16. Books you’re never going to read again.
  17. Toys your kids never play with.
  18. Jewelry you haven’t worn in more than a month.
  19. Old cans of paint (colors that are no longer in your home) taking up space in the storage room.
  20. A sentimental item you’ve been guilted into keeping that you don’t want.
  21. Clothing in storage that is just taking up space.
  22. Outdoor wear that is outdated or unloved (touques, mix-matched gloves, scarves, snowpants, coats etc…).
  23. Old magazines and paperwork that have already been read.
  24. Cleaning products and chemicals . Be sure to dispose of safely!
  25. Fridge & pantry items –check expiry dates.

A great way to donate your unwanted items that are still in good condition to goodwill, family in need or a ‘Giveaway’ page on Facebook.

 

“If you don’t love it or use it, it is clutter!”

New Home Warranty

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New Home Warranty

What is a New Home Warranty?

The Alberta government now ensures that there is a minimum of a “1-2-5-10” coverage on a newly built homes who building permit application was submitted after February 1, 2014.  Prior to this legislation home builders often offered varying degrees of a new home warranty, and may continue to offer higher standards than the minimum “1-2-5-10” coverage.

There are a number of warranty providers for home builders to choose from, it is good to know which provider your builder has partnered with. Familiarize yourself with your warranty provider, key warranty dates, and steps to take if you ever need to make a claim. Prior to expiry, we encourage having a licensed & certified professional inspector help ensure that your home’s major systems are built properly through a top to bottom new home warranty inspection.

What is Covered?

1-2-5-10 Coverage

1 Year: Labor and Materials
This includes everything within a home, even the cosmetic items such as trim, flooring and fixtures.

2 Year: Distribution Systems
Distribution systems includes your Heating, Plumbing and Electrical.

5 Year: Building Envelope
The shell of your home, such as wall framing, window installation, siding and roof.

10 Year: Structural Elements
Structural elements that are load bearing or that can cause structural damage such as the footings, beams, floor systems, foundation walls, framing and roof trusses.

What Can We Do For You?

Having a licensed residential inspector ensures that the structural deficiencies that the common homeowner is unaware of will be found so any necessary fixes can be addressed while they are under the home warranty.

Once your home is built, you’re responsible for basic maintenance and upkeep, such as cleaning out eavestroughs and changing furnace filters. You’re also responsible for maintaining appropriate grading with any new landscaping work. Let us provide knowledge on the proper upkeep of the systems within your home to help ensure you can maintain the value of your home!

Request for New Home Warranty Inspection:

Your Name (required)

Phone Number (required)

Email (required)

Email (please verify)

Warranty Expiry Details

Subject

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7 Important Facts About Mold

By | Healthy Home, Home Inspections, Home Maintenance, Indoor Air Quality, Mold, Uncategorized | No Comments
  1. Mold Spores are Practically Everywhere

Mold spores occur in every home and are impossible to eliminate from inside your home. Mold spores are brought inside a home through our windows, doors, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. They also enter indoor spaces by attaching to our clothing, pets, shoes, bags and even our building materials!

The key to preventing mold growth is by controlling moisture levels in your home; an ideal humidity level is between 30 to 40%.

  1. Not all Mold is Bad

Not all mold is bad; in fact, mold has an important purpose in our eco-system to consume dead organic material. With that being said, it can also pose as health hazards when it begins growing in indoor environments. People react differently to mold based on the length of exposure, type of mold, respiratory system, their immunity and allergies. Children, pregnant women and elders are more prone to develop health symptoms.

  1. Why Does Mold Growth Happen Indoors

 Homes can be a perfect environment for mold to growth being that they have ample food sources for mold – building materials and water. Molds feeds on organic material, within a home tends to grow in areas of: wood & wood products, paper & paper-like products, fabric, drywall, leather, fabric, cement, carpet, and grout.

     4Is My Home at Risk for Mold

There is always a risk of some of the mold spores that are present in your home taking sprout and growing, given that they have their key ingredient for growth – moisture!

The commonly known sources of moisture include floods; backed-up sewers; leaky roofs and/or water leaks. Though there are also less familiarly know culprits, such as a humidifier (requires regular cleanings); damp basements or crawl spaces; house plants; steam from cooking and showers; wet clothes hung to dry indoors; inadequate air exchange; excessive humidity; and condensation (which is especially a problem during the winter, on poorly insulated surfaces).

In the presence of moisture, the ideal temperature and ample food, mold will begin growing within 24 to 48 hours.

Did You know? You should always run your bathroom fan for 2X the time you ran your shower?”

  1. Most Mold Is Hidden

Most people think their home does not have mold because they can not see it. This is a problem as most mold is hidden; it can often be discovered behind a leaky shower or tub, behind walls or attics to name a few.

Mold can be detected through smell, visual clues, and knowledge of the building history, and often requires trained professionals with the proper tools, experience and knowledge.

  1. What is Involved in A Mold Inspection?

The first step a mold inspector / indoor air quality specialist will conduct is an assessment to determine if mold may be an issue in a home. The professional will use information regarding building history, health of occupants, moisture readings, and conduct a visual inspection with the assistance of a thermal imaging to investigate for moisture problems and visible apparent mold.

The inspector may also collect mold samples, either with a swab test, tape sample or air quality test for lab analysis to determine the type of mold and spore count present.  The goal of these tests is to determine the extent of the mold problem to allow for recommendations to address the mold issue.

If the tests indicate that there mold is present, then the first step is to fix the source of the moisture problem before removing the mold and having the air cleaned with an ozone blasting treatment.

  1. Failure to Fix a Mold Problem Results in Reduced Property Value

Mold is a serious issue.  If left untreated, it continues to grow and deteriorate the building materials and impact the air quality in your home. Mold is a living organism, as long as it has the ideal living conditions and food sources, it will continue to strive. Failure to fix the underlying causes of mold and effectively removing the mold will lead to further structural damage and reduced property value.
Take the first step to protecting your greatest investment by taking our short online Air Quality Assessment to see whether there may be a mold or air quality problem in your home.

Questions about mold? Call us (403) 585-6279 or email us.  We look forward to helping you ensure your home is healthy and safe!

Rain Rain Go Away!

By | Healthy Home, Home Inspections, Home Maintenance, Mold, Uncategorized | No Comments

In light of recent heavy rainfalls in the Calgary area, we complied a short list of some areas for homeowners to inspect so you can best protect your largest asset–your home. Being a licensed home inspector specializing in waterproofing matters, we have conducted a number of moisture intrusion inspections for home owners recently to investigate the cause of water intrusion issues.  Some clients have minor leaks, while other clients will have extensive repairs to make due to poor waterproofing systems on their home. Water is a home’s worst enemy, and it is worth taking all efforts to keep it out of your home! After all water inside a home left neglected can lead to structural damage, mold or health issues. It is best to error on the side of caution and address any leaks immediately, finding the cause and preventing another leak from happening in the future.

Here are a few areas you can inspect yourself:

  1. Ensure all downspouts are down and draining away from the home (6-8ft). You may need to install extensions on your downspouts to express the rainfall away from your foundation.
  2. Check your downspouts and gutters for blockages and clean out any debris.
  3. Do a full walk around your home to inspect the grading surrounding your home’s foundation. To avoid water intrusion, the ground around your home needs to slope away from the house. Be a nice neighbor, and consider your neighbors grading and how your grading may affect their home’s chances for water intrusion.
  4. Frequently visit the basement within your home, and look for any wet spots; especially after a heavy rainfall.
  5. Inspect your window wells outside. Ensure the wash-rocks within the window well are 6” below the window ledge, and that the weeping tile system is clear for water passage.

For true peace of mind have a licensed home inspector conduct a full inspection of the basement, attic, flashing, roofing, siding, window wells, grading, and more… Home inspectors are equipped with trade tools to help uncovered deficiencies hidden to the naked eye.

A licensed home inspector who is certified to conduct moisture intrusion inspections is your best bet to protect your home from preventable and costly water leaks! Call Adam with Bocc Home Inspections today at (403) 585-6279 to book a comprehensive moisture intrusion inspection, complete with the use of thermal imaging camera and moisture meter. If you have any questions regarding what you found during your own mini-inspection, please do not hesitate to reach us.

Helping ensure healthy and sound family homes.

Bocc Home Inspections Ltd.
www.boccinspections.com
info@boccinspections.com
(403) 585-6279