• The internet has given us the ability to control many of our electronic systems remotely. Even when we are not at home, we are now able to adjust settings from afar. Video recording devices, for example, can now be set to record your favorite TV shows using an app on your smart phone. Therefore, it makes sense that you should be able to apply this technology within the field of home security.

    After all, home security is used to protect your property when you are away from your house. Therefore, having the ability to access a security system remotely is ideal. This is now commonly available from a number of home security providers, with companies such as Securitychoice Baltimore and other areas offering the ability to switch your home security system on or off using your computer, web-enabled cell phone, or tablet device. This type of remote security is perfect for occasions when you might accidentally leave home without without enabling your security settings. However, should you need to give access to a guest while you are not at home, this is also a great way to disarm your home security system temporarily.

    However, this type of remote access can let you do more than simply alter your home security system settings. More advanced remote access systems will also allow you view real-time video recordings from cameras around your home. Not only is this useful when you’re away from the house, but it can also allow you to see who is outside your property, without opening the door.

    Since you are more likely to be near to your phone, even when your are not inside your home, many remote systems also offer security alert features. Whereas you may usually be alerted about emergency conditions while you’re inside your house, the remote home security system allows you to be notified about potential threats, even when you’re away from your property. This can include burglary, fire and carbon monoxide monitoring around the clock, as well as water sensors, which can help to alert you if your home might be at risk from water damage.

    You can even customize your remote security settings to suit your individual needs and preferences. Receive alerts which will let you know when your children have arrived home from school, or tell you how long your housekeeper has spent at your property. Remote security is the perfect way to receive complete reassurance about the security of your home, even when you can’t be there yourself.

    Dave Park
    Advantage Home Inspection Raleigh
    Davepark@advantageinspection.com

    Advantage Home Inspection Raleigh. . . performs the Nation’s Best Home Inspection and provides the Nation’s Only “No Denied Claims Warranty” available in the industry. For the last 20 years, Advantage Home Inspection has been the deciding factor for the people we serve: Buyers, Sellers, Real Estate Agents and Home Inspectors.

  • What is Asbestos?

    Asbestos is a mineral fiber that can be positively identified only with a special type of microscope. There are several types of asbestos fibers. In the past, asbestos was added to a variety of products to strengthen them and to provide heat insulation and fire resistance. 

    How Can Asbestos Affect My Health?

    From studies of people who were exposed to asbestos in factories and shipyards, we know that breathing high levels of asbestos fibers can lead to an increased risk of lung cancer in the forms of mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the lining of the chest and the abdominal cavity, and asbestosis, in which the lungs become scarred with fibrous tissue.

    The risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma increase with the number of fibers inhaled. The risk of lung cancer from inhaling asbestos fibers is also greater if you smoke. People who get asbestosis have usually been exposed to high levels of asbestos for a long time. The symptoms of these diseases do not usually appear until about 20 to 30 years after the first exposure to asbestos.

    Most people exposed to small amounts of asbestos, as we all are in our daily lives, do not develop these health problems. However, if disturbed, asbestos material may release asbestos fibers, which can be inhaled into the lungs. The fibers can remain there for a long time, increasing the risk of disease. Asbestos material that would crumble easily if handled, or that has been sawed, scraped, or sanded into a powder, is more likely to create a health hazard.

    Where Can I Find Asbestos and When Can it Be a Problem?

    Most products made today do not contain asbestos. Those few products made which still contain asbestos that could be inhaled are required to be labeled as such. However, until the 1970s, many types of building products and insulation materials used in homes contained asbestos. Common products that might have contained asbestos in the past, and conditions which may release fibers, include:

    •steam pipes, boilers and furnace ducts insulated with an asbestos blanket or asbestos paper tape. These materials may release asbestos fibers if damaged, repaired, or removed improperly;

    •resilient floor tiles (vinyl asbestos, asphalt and rubber), the backing on vinyl sheet flooring, and adhesives used for installing floor tile. Sanding tiles can release fibers, and so may scraping or sanding the backing of sheet flooring during removal;

    •cement sheet, millboard and paper used as insulation around furnaces and wood-burning stoves. Repairing or removing appliances may release asbestos fibers, and so may cutting, tearing, sanding, drilling, or sawing insulation;

    •door gaskets in furnaces, wood stoves and coal stoves. Worn seals can release asbestos fibers during use;

    •soundproofing or decorative material sprayed on walls and ceilings. Loose, crumbly or water-damaged material may release fibers, and so will sanding, drilling or scraping the material;

    •patching and joint compounds for walls and ceilings, and textured paints. Sanding, scraping, or drilling these surfaces may release asbestos fibers;

    •asbestos cement roofing, shingles and siding. These products are not likely to release asbestos fibers unless sawed, dilled or cut;

    •artificial ashes and embers sold for use in gas-fired fireplaces, and other older household products, such as fireproof gloves, stove-top pads, ironing board covers and certain hairdryers; and

    •automobile brake pads and linings, clutch facings and gaskets.

    Where Asbestos Hazards May Be Found in the Home

    •Some roofing and siding shingles are made of asbestos cement.

    •Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos as insulation.

    •Asbestos may be present in textured paint and in patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints. Their use was banned in 1977.

    •Artificial ashes and embers sold for use in gas-fired fireplaces may contain asbestos.

    •Older products, such as stove-top pads, may have some asbestos compounds.

    •Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves may be protected with asbestos paper, millboard or cement sheets.

    •Asbestos is found in some vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives.

    •Hot water and steam pipes in older houses may be coated with an asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape.

    •Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets may have asbestos insulation.

    What Should Be Done About Asbestos in the Home?

    If you think asbestos may be in your home, don’t panic. Usually, the best thing to do is to leave asbestos material that is in good condition alone. Generally, material in good condition will not release asbestos fibers. There is no danger unless the asbestos is disturbed and fibers are released and then inhaled into the lungs. Check material regularly if you suspect it may contain asbestos. Don’t touch it, but look for signs of wear or damage, such as tears, abrasions or water damage. Damaged material may release asbestos fibers. This is particularly true if you often disturb it by hitting, rubbing or handling it, or if it is exposed to extreme vibration or air flow. Sometimes, the best way to deal with slightly damaged material is to limit access to the area and not touch or disturb it. Discard damaged or worn asbestos gloves, stove-top pads and ironing board covers. Check with local health, environmental or other appropriate agencies to find out proper handling and disposal procedures. If asbestos material is more than slightly damaged, or if you are going to make changes in your home that might disturb it, repair or removal by a professional is needed. Before you have your house remodeled, find out whether asbestos materials are present.

    How to Identify Materials that Contain Asbestos

    You can’t tell whether a material contains asbestos simply by looking at it, unless it is labeled. If in doubt, treat the material as if it contains asbestos, or have it sampled and analyzed by a qualified professional. A professional should take samples for analysis, since a professional knows what to look for, and because there may be an increased health risk if fibers are released. In fact, if done incorrectly, sampling can be more hazardous than leaving the material alone. Taking samples yourself is not recommended. If you nevertheless choose to take the samples yourself, take care not to release asbestos fibers into the air or onto yourself. Material that is in good condition and will not be disturbed (by remodeling, for example) should be left alone. Only material that is damaged or will be disturbed should be sampled. Anyone who samples asbestos-containing materials should have as much information as possible on the handling of asbestos before sampling and, at a minimum, should observe the following procedures:

    •Make sure no one else is in the room when sampling is done.

    •Wear disposable gloves or wash hands after sampling.

    •Shut down any heating or cooling systems to minimize the spread of any released fibers.

    •Do not disturb the material any more than is needed to take a small sample.

    •Place a plastic sheet on the floor below the area to be sampled.

    •Wet the material using a fine mist of water containing a few drops of detergent before taking the sample. The water/detergent mist will reduce the release of asbestos fibers.

    •Carefully cut a piece from the entire depth of the material using a small knife, corer or other sharp object. Place the small piece into a clean container (a 35-mm film canister, small glass or plastic vial, or high-quality resealable plastic bag).

    •Tightly seal the container after the sample is in it.

    •Carefully dispose of the plastic sheet. Use a damp paper towel to clean up any material on the outside of the container or around the area sampled. Dispose of asbestos materials according to state and local procedures.

    •Label the container with an identification number and clearly state when and where the sample was taken.

    •Patch the sampled area with the smallest possible piece of duct tape to prevent fiber release.

    •Send the sample to an asbestos analysis laboratory accredited by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Your state or local health department may also be able to help.

    How to Manage an Asbestos Problem

    If the asbestos material is in good shape and will not be disturbed, do nothing! If it is a problem, there are two types of corrections: repair and removal. Repair usually involves either sealing or covering asbestos material. Sealing (encapsulation) involves treating the material with a sealant that either binds the asbestos fibers together or coats the material so that fibers are not released. Pipe, furnace and boiler insulation can sometimes be repaired this way. This should be done only by a professional trained to handle asbestos safely. Covering (enclosure) involves placing something over or around the material that contains asbestos to prevent the release of fibers. Exposed insulated piping may be covered with a protective wrap or jacket. With any type of repair, the asbestos remains in place. Repair is usually cheaper than removal, but it may make removal of asbestos later (if found to be necessary) more difficult and costly. Repairs can either be major or minor. Major repairs must be done only by a professional trained in methods for safely handling asbestos. Minor repairs should also be done by professionals, since there is always a risk of exposure to fibers when asbestos is disturbed.

    Repairs

    Doing minor repairs yourself is not recommended, since improper handling of asbestos materials can create a hazard where none existed. If you nevertheless choose to do minor repairs, you should have as much information as possible on the handling of asbestos before doing anything. Contact your state or local health department or regional EPA office for information about asbestos training programs in your area. Your local school district may also have information about asbestos professionals and training programs for school buildings. Even if you have completed a training program, do not try anything more than minor repairs. Before undertaking minor repairs, carefully examine the area around the damage to make sure it is stable. As a general rule, any damaged area which is bigger than the size of your hand is not considered a minor repair.

    Before undertaking minor repairs, be sure to follow all the precautions described previously for sampling asbestos material. Always wet the asbestos material using a fine mist of water containing a few drops of detergent. Commercial products designed to fill holes and seal damaged areas are available. Small areas of material, such as pipe insulation, can be covered by wrapping a special fabric, such as re-wettable glass cloth, around it. These products are available from stores (listed in the telephone directory under “Safety Equipment and Clothing”) which specialize in asbestos materials and safety items.

    Removal is usually the most expensive method and, unless required by state or local regulations, should be the last option considered in most situations. This is because removal poses the greatest risk of fiber release. However, removal may be required when remodeling or making major changes to your home that will disturb asbestos material. Also, removal may be called for if asbestos material is damaged extensively and cannot be otherwise repaired. Removal is complex and must be done only by a contractor with special training. Improper removal may actually increase the health risks to you and your family.

    Asbestos Professionals: Who Are They and What Can They Do?

    Asbestos professionals are trained in handling asbestos material. The type of professional will depend on the type of product and what needs to be done to correct the problem. You may hire a general asbestos contractor or, in some cases, a professional trained to handle specific products containing asbestos.

    Asbestos professionals can conduct home inspections, take samples of suspected material, assess its condition, and advise on the corrections that are needed, as well as who is qualified to make these corrections. Once again, material in good condition need not be sampled unless it is likely to be disturbed. Professional correction or abatement contractors repair and remove asbestos materials.

    Some firms offer combinations of testing, assessment and correction. A professional hired to assess the need for corrective action should not be connected with an asbestos-correction firm. It is better to use two different firms so that there is no conflict of interest. Services vary from one area to another around the country.

    The federal government offers training courses for asbestos professionals around the country. Some state and local governments also offer or require training or certification courses. Ask asbestos professionals to document their completion of federal or state-approved training. Each person performing work in your home should provide proof of training and licensing in asbestos work, such as completion of EPA-approved training. State and local health departments or EPA regional offices may have listings of licensed professionals in your area.

    If you have a problem that requires the services of asbestos professionals, check their credentials carefully. Hire professionals who are trained, experienced, reputable and accredited — especially if accreditation is required by state or local laws. Before hiring a professional, ask for references from previous clients. Find out if they were satisfied. Ask whether the professional has handled similar situations. Get cost estimates from several professionals, as the charges for these services can vary.

    Though private homes are usually not covered by the asbestos regulations that apply to schools and public buildings, professionals should still use procedures described in federal or state-approved training. Homeowners should be alert to the chance of misleading claims by asbestos consultants and contractors. There have been reports of firms incorrectly claiming that asbestos materials in homes must be replaced. In other cases, firms have encouraged unnecessary removal or performed it improperly. Unnecessary removal is a waste of money. Improper removal may actually increase the health risks to you and your family. To guard against this, know what services are available and what procedures and precautions are needed to do the job properly.

    In addition to general asbestos contractors, you may select a roofing, flooring or plumbing contractor trained to handle asbestos when it is necessary to remove and replace roofing, flooring, siding or asbestos-cement pipe that is part of a water system. Normally, roofing and flooring contractors are exempt from state and local licensing requirements because they do not perform any other asbestos-correction work.

    Asbestos-containing automobile brake pads and linings, clutch facings and gaskets should be repaired and replaced only by a professional using special protective equipment. Many of these products are now available without asbestos.

    If you hire an InterNACHI inspector who is trained in asbestos inspection:

    •Make sure that the inspection will include a complete visual examination, and the careful collection and lab analysis of samples. If asbestos is present, the inspector should provide a written evaluation describing its location and extent of damage, and give recommendations for correction or prevention.

    •Make sure an inspecting firm makes frequent site visits if it is hired to assure that a contractor follows proper procedures and requirements. The inspector may recommend and perform checks after the correction to assure that the area has been properly cleaned.

    If you hire a corrective-action contractor:

    •Check with your local air pollution control board, the local agency responsible for worker safety, and the Better Business Bureau. Ask if the firm has had any safety violations. Find out if there are legal actions filed against it.

    •Insist that the contractor use the proper equipment to do the job. The workers must wear approved respirators, gloves and other protective clothing.

    •Before work begins, get a written contract specifying the work plan, cleanup, and the applicable federal, state and local regulations which the contractor must follow (such as notification requirements and asbestos disposal procedures). Contact your state and local health departments, EPA regional office, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s regional office to find out what the regulations are. Be sure the contractor follows local asbestos removal and disposal laws. At the end of the job, get written assurance from the contractor that all procedures have been followed.

    •Assure that the contractor avoids spreading or tracking asbestos dust into other areas of your home. They should seal off the work area from the rest of the house using plastic sheeting and duct tape, and also turn off the heating and air conditioning system. For some repairs, such as pipe insulation removal, plastic bags may be adequate. They must be sealed with tape and properly disposed of when the job is complete.

    •Make sure the work site is clearly marked as a hazardous area. Do not allow household members or pets into the area until work is completed.

    •Insist that the contractor apply a wetting agent to the asbestos material with a hand sprayer that creates a fine mist before removal. Wet fibers do not float in the air as easily as dry fibers and will be easier to clean up.

    •Make sure the contractor does not break removed material into smaller pieces. This could release asbestos fibers into the air. Pipe insulation was usually installed in pre-formed blocks and should be removed in complete pieces.

    •Upon completion, assure that the contractor cleans the area well with wet mops, wet rags, sponges and/or HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) vacuum cleaners. A regular vacuum cleaner must never be used. Wetting helps reduce the chance of spreading asbestos fibers in the air. All asbestos materials and disposable equipment and clothing used in the job must be placed in sealed, leakproof, and labeled plastic bags. The work site should be visually free of dust and debris. Air monitoring (to make sure there is no increase of asbestos fibers in the air) may be necessary to assure that the contractor’s job is done properly. This should be done by someone not connected with the contractor.

    Caution!

    Do not dust, sweep or vacuum debris that may contain asbestos. These actions will disturb tiny asbestos fibers and may release them into the air. Remove dust by wet-mopping or with a special HEPA vacuum cleaner used by trained asbestos contractors.

    Dave Park
    Advantage Home Inspection Raleigh
    Davepark@advantageinspection.com

    Advantage Home Inspection Raleigh. . . performs the Nation’s Best Home Inspection and provides the Nation’s Only “No Denied Claims Warranty” available in the industry. For the last 20 years, Advantage Home Inspection has been the deciding factor for the people we serve: Buyers, Sellers, Real Estate Agents and Home Inspectors.

    Tags: , , , , , ,

  • Solar energy offers considerable advantages over conventional energy systems by nullifying flaws in those systems long considered to be unchangeable. Solar power for home energy production has its flaws, too, which are outlined in another article, but they’re dwarfed by the advantages listed below.
     
    Solar energy is a great choice
    The following are advantages of solar energy:
    • Raw materials are renewable and unlimited. The amount of available solar energy is staggering — roughly 10,000 times that currently required by humans — and it’s constantly replaced. A mere 0.02% of incoming sunlight, if captured correctly, would be sufficient to replace every other fuel source currently used.

    Granted, the Earth does need much of this solar energy to drive its weather, so let’s look only at the unused portion of sunlight that is reflected back into space, known as the albedo. Earth’s average albedo is around 30%, meaning that roughly 52 petawatts of energy is reflected by the Earth and lost into space every year. Compare this number with global energy-consumption statistics.  Annually, the energy lost to space is the combined equivalent of 400 hurricanes, 1 million Hoover Dams, Great Britain’s energy requirement for 250,000 years, worldwide oil, gas and coal production for 387 years, 75 million cars, and 50 million 747s running perpetually for one year (not to mention 1 million fictional DeLorean time machines!). 

    • Solar power is low-emission. Solar panels produce no pollution, although they impose environmental costs through manufacture and construction. These environmental tolls are negligible, however, when compared with the damage inflicted by conventional energy sources:  the burning of fossil fuels releases roughly 21.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually. 
    • Solar power is suitable for remote areas that are not connected to energy grids. It may come as a surprise to city-dwellers but, according to Home Power Magazine, as of 2006, 180,000 houses in the United States were off-grid, and that figure is likely considerably higher today. California, Colorado, Maine, Oregon, Vermont and Washington have long been refuges for such energy rebels, though people live off the grid in every state. While many of these people shun the grid on principle, owing to politics and environmental concerns, few of the world’s 1.8 billion off-the-gridders have any choice in the matter. Solar energy can drastically improve the quality of life for millions of people who live in the dark, especially in places such as Sub-Saharan Africa, where as many as 90% of the rural population lacks access to electricity. People in these areas must rely on fuel-based lighting, which inflicts significant social and environmental costs, from jeopardized health through Home Inspection Raleigh - Solar Energycontamination of indoor air, to limited overall productivity.   
    • Solar power provides green jobs. Production of solar panels for domestic use is becoming a growing source of employment in research, manufacture, sales and installation.
    • Solar panels contain no moving parts and thus produce no noise. Wind turbines, by contrast, require noisy gearboxes and blades.
    • In the long run, solar power is economical. Solar panels and installation involve high initial expenses, but this cost is soon offset by savings on energy bills.  Eventually, they may even produce a profit on their use.
    • Solar power takes advantage of net metering, which is the practice of crediting homeowners for electricity they produce and return to the power grid. As part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, public electric utilities are required to make available, upon request, net metering to their Home Inspection Raleigh -Manhattan, and much of the northeast USA, goes dark in August, 2003customers. This practice offers an advantage for homeowners who use solar panels (or wind turbines or fuel cells) that may, at times, produce more energy than their homes require. If net metering is not an option, excess energy may be stored in batteries.
    • Solar power can mean government tax credits. U.S. federal subsidies credit up to 30% of system costs, and each state offers its own incentives. California, blessed with abundant sunshine and plagued by high electric rates and an over-taxed grid, was the first state to offer generous renewable-energy incentives for homes and businesses.
    • Solar power is reliable. Many homeowners favor solar energy because it is virtually immune to potential failings of utility companies, mainly in the form of political or economic turmoil, terrorism, natural disasters, or brownouts due to overuse. The Northeast Blackout of 2003 unplugged 55 million people across two countries, while rolling blackouts are a part of regular life in some South Asian countries, and occasionally in California and Texas.
    • Solar power conserves foreign energy expenditures. In many countries, a large percentage of earnings is used to pay for imported oil for power generation. The United States alone spends $13 million per hour on oil, much of which comes from Persian Gulf nations. As oil supplies dwindle and prices rise in this politically unstable region, these problems continue to catalyze the expansion of solar power and other alternative-energy systems.
    In summary, solar energy offers advantages to conventional fossil fuels and other renewable energy systems.

    Dave Park
    Advantage Home Inspection Raleigh
    Davepark@advantageinspection.com

    Advantage Home Inspection Raleigh. . . performs the Nation’s Best Home Inspection and provides the Nation’s Only “No Denied Claims Warranty” available in the industry. For the last 20 years, Advantage Home Inspection has been the deciding factor for the people we serve: Buyers, Sellers, Real Estate Agents and Home Inspectors.

    Tags: , , , , , , ,

  • What is a Home Warranty?

    Often the words “home warranty” used with homeowners not having a clue about what they mean. Well, you can learn a thing or two from Dave Park. He owns the home inspection company Advantage Inspection in Raleigh, North Carolina, and here answers all your home warranty questions.

    What is a home warranty?

    A home warranty is a service contract that covers the repair or replacement of many of the most frequently-occurring breakdowns of home system components and appliances.

    Why do I need a home warranty?

    Your home is most likely one of your biggest investments. Unexpected repair or replacement costs can easily strain your budget. Plus, finding an approved and insured contractor to solve your problem can be stressful and inconvenient. A home warranty cannot prevent systems or appliances from breaking, but it can help make covered repairs or replacement easier and less costly.

    Is everything in my home covered by a home warranty?

    No. While not everything is covered, coverage is, as mentioned, predominantly for many of your home system components and appliances that break most frequently. You need to review a sample contract for specific covered items, terms and conditions, limitations and exclusions.

    How many times can you use a home warranty?

    Usually a home warranty is unlimited during your contract term.

    What if I have an appliance that just can’t be fixed?

    If the home warranty company determines your covered system component or appliance can’t be repaired by a service contractor, it will be replaced. See contract for details.

    What out-of-pocket expenses will I have?

    For each service request, you will pay a Trade Service Call Fee to each contractor of a different trade (such as plumber or electrician) who visits your home to diagnose a problem or perform a service. Additional costs may be associated with the repair or replacement of covered items. Details will be included in your contract. Advantage Home Warranty has the lowest Trade Service Call Fee in the business at $40. See contract for details.

    How do I know my service contractor is qualified?

    Advantage’s comprehensive network of approved and insured contractors are consistently monitored and graded on their performance through our customer satisfaction survey program.

    Is the Advantage Home Warranty (AHW) renewable?

    Yes, warranty holders may renew their AHW coverage (at the option of AHW). We will notify the homeowner prior to the expiration date and will offer a variety of convenient payment plans.

    Is there a limit to the number of repairs Advantage Home Warranty covers?

    No. AHW allows an unlimited number of covered repairs.

    I’m in the market for a home. What’s the benefit of buying a home protected by an Advantage Home Warranty?

    An AHW helps provide confidence during and after a home purchase. An unexpected breakdown can be devastating to your budget. Enjoy your home without the hassles of worrying about breakdowns. When a covered system component or appliance breaks down, call one number to request service. There’s no need to get back in touch with the real estate agent or track down the previous owner.

    I’m selling my home. Why would I want an Advantage Home Warranty?

    An AHW helps give buyers additional confidence in the real estate transaction. They’ll know that AHW stands behind the covered systems or appliances in the house. An added benefit is that we can also protect your home while it’s on the market, which can help you avoid surprises and additional unforeseen repair costs.

    Does Advantage Home Warranty need to inspect my home systems and appliances before I purchase them?

    Yes. How can any company insure your home’s systems without visually looking at the system? A warranty without an inspection is a blind warranty. Advantage’s warranty is a “No Denied Claims” warranty, meaning claims will not be turned down due to pre-existing conditions or inspector error.

    This interview was conducted by Wendy Sloane, writer with Yodle.

    Advantage Inspection Raleigh

    . . .  performs the Nation’s Best Home Inspection and provides the Nation’s Only “No Denied Claims Warranty” available in the industry. For the last 18 years, Advantage Inspection has been the deciding factor for the people we serve:  Buyers, Sellers, Real Estate Agents and Home Inspectors.  Advantage Inspection Raleigh serves Raleigh, Durham and the Triangle area.
     

    Dave Park 

    Advantage Home Inspection Raleigh
    more than just an inspection company!”
    www.adrdu.com

    Tags: , , , , ,

  • “Something in the air” takes on a whole new meaning today than that magic spring night in the 60’s or the Tom Petty song.  Mold, Fungi, Radon, Chinese Drywall and now PCBs.

    Polychlorinated biphenyls or PCB’s have been around since the 1940’s.  They where manmade chemicals that were widely used in construction materials and electrical products.  They were banned by Congress in 1976 because of a “concern” about their health and environmental effects. 

    The use and disposal of PCBs before the phase-out resulted in their widespread presence in our soil, air, water and food. Despite the federal ban, they remain present today in caulking and sealants used in the construction or renovation of older buildings before 1978.

    So why did the EPA announce guidance about this cancer causing chemical in September of 09?

    The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency “announced a series of steps that building owners and public school administrators should take to reduce exposure to PCBs that may be found in caulk in many buildings constructed or renovated between 1950 and 1978. 

    tom-petty-on-stage[1]

    Call out the instigator
    Because there’s something in the air
    We’ve got to get together sooner or later
    Because the revelution is here!
     
    . . .

    The press release acknowledged the growing amounts of evidence of levels of PCBs in caulk used in older buildings with discussion as to the health concerns related to this “banned” cancer causing chemical. 

    But, the press release seemed to be carefully crafted such that it did not use the words “must” or “shall” in their discussion for actions and related testing.

    Is this a serious issue? 

    Also the “EPA recommends testing peeling, brittle, cracking or deteriorating caulk for the presence of PCBs and removing the caulk if the PCBs are present at significant levels . . .”

    In referring to high air test levels, the EPA also stated that “building owners should be “especially vigilant” in implementing and monitoring ventilation and hygienic practices to minimize exposures . . . ”

    How are people exposed to PCBs?

    Though PCBs were banned from production in 1978, they still typically exist in low-levels in our environment.  They are in the food we eat, the air we breathe and in dirt and dust outside.  They build up in our bodies over many years.

    This long-term build-up of PCBs is what potentially causes harm. The levels of PCBs in our environment and in the bodies of people in this country have decreased significantly over time.

    So why all the fuss now?

    Food is a main source of exposure to PCBs. Fish (especially fish caught in polluted waters) contains small amounts of PCBs, as do meat and dairy products.

    Indoor air and dust may also be a significant source of PCB exposure from PCB-contaminated caulk, electrical products, other building materials or products that contain PCBs.

    What about caulk in single-family houses or other places? epa-1[1]

    EPA has found PCBs in large scale apartment complexes and public buildings. To date, EPA has not found PCBs in caulk in single-family houses.  They do note that generally air concentrations are below the public health exposure levels developed by EPA.

    Run through the fields and the houses
    Because there is something in the air
    We’ve got to get together sooner or later
    Because the Revolution is here!
    . . .

    - Tom Petty

     So where does this leave you?

    Unless you sleep with old caulk gun, lick your window sills or snort contaminated dust,  PCBs should not be a great concern.  On the other hand if you work or live in a room where window caulk is peeling and falling on the floor, call an inspector for testing and recommendations before you “break out” into a song . . . you heartbreaker you!

     Advantage Inspection Raleigh

    . . .  performs the Nation’s Best Home Inspection and provides the Nation’s Only “No Denied Claims Warranty” available in the industry. For the last 18 years, Advantage Inspection has been the deciding factor for the people we serve:  Buyers, Sellers, Real Estate Agents and Home Inspectors.  Advantage Inspection Raleigh serves Raleigh, Durham and the Triangle area.
     

    Dave Park 

    Advantage Home Inspection Raleigh
    more than just an inspection company!”
    www.adrdu.com

    Full Press Release http://www.epa.gov/pcbsincaulk

    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

  • 123topprioritiesnow.jpg

    It appears that “Green” is making builders “Blue” these days. 

    A new poll shows that people who once put a huge emphasis on the government’s green efforts now have other issues they care about more.The latest Pew Research Center poll shows that the economy and job market have jumped to the top of the priority list for most people. Last January, 75 percent of Americans polled said that the economy should be a top priority, and in a year’s time, that has jumped to 85 percent.On the other hand, however, protecting the environment has fallen from 56 percent a year ago to just 41 percent today. Of the 20 issues raised, the least important issue raised was global warming.

    As a buyer you want to buy “Green”.  As a builder you want to build “Green”.  The problem for builders is being prepared to show the economic benefits of buying “Green.”

    Buyers now appear to be less likely to spend their hard earned greenbacks on anything in today’s declining economy.  Green must present a personal benefit for the buyer.  Not 20 years from now, but in the average ownership time frame.  (Currently 6 to 7 years).

    Is the demand there?  I believe so, but reality and times have changed for America.

    America is worried about economic prosperity, health care and social security.  With this focus home buyers are cutting their budgets and green is the first to go.  Unless you can show the immediate benefits and long term savings, selling green will probably go nowhere fast.

    People generally want to save money on utilities, protect mother earth and her resources.  It is the right thing to do and people will warm up to it.  Products must be developed to meet immediate needs of the home buyer.

    When it comes right down to it, people are looking for “Green” to not add “Red” to their bottom line!

     Maverick Rules!

     

    Advantage Inspection Raleigh performs the Nation’s Best Home Inspection and provides the Nation’s Only “No Denied Claims Warranty” available in the industry. 

     For the last 18 years, Advantage Inspection has been the deciding factor for the people we serve:  Buyers, Sellers, Real Estate Agents and Home Inspectors.  Advantage Inspection Raleigh serves Raleigh, Durham and the Triangle area. 

     Advantage Inspection Raleigh

    more than just an inspection company!”

    www.adrdu.com

    Tags: , , , , ,

  •  

     

    Radon (pronounced ‘rey-don’) is a chemical element with symbol Rn and atomic number 86.  Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, naturally occurring, radioactive gas.  It is formed from the decay of radium and is considered to be a health hazard. . . OK  radon1

     

    Breathing high concentrations of radon can cause lung cancer. Thus, radon is considered a significant contaminant that affects indoor air quality worldwide.

     

    According to the EPA, radon could be the second most frequent cause of lung cancer.  Cigarette smoking is still at the top.  Radon-induced lung cancer the 6th leading cause of cancer death overall, causing 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States.

     

    Class Dismissed!

     

    hyperbaric1OK what does this mean to you now that the media has you in a frenzy, the EPA has you wearing a respirator and the CDC wants you sleeping in a air chamber at night.    

     

    It means that you should have your new home tested for Radon along with a home inspection.  It means that you should have your existing home tested yearly.   Yes yearly!   

     

    That’s it.

     

    It’s that simple so take a deep breath and exhale. 

     

    Oh I forgot to tell you that you breathe Radon every day.  It is in the air you breathe now.  It was in the air you breathed yesterday and it will be in the air you breathe tomorrow.  Radon is a problem when trapped inside your home.  High levels of accumulation and exposure increase the probability of lung cancer.  Why risk it? 

     

    You will not be able to escape Radon, but you can remediate it from your home and not allow the accumulation of this gas in your home.  Lowering the levels in your home can costs from $500.00 to $1,500.00.  Testing can cost between $50 and $250.

     

    Call your Real Estate professional and ask about Radon.  Call a licensed home inspector who works with a certifiedadrdu-logo-200 lab and ask the questions.   Or go to the local handyman store and buy a kit yourself.

     

    No matter which way you go you will be glad you did.

     

    Peace of Mind is the Best Advantage!

     

     

    WRAL5 Radon Video

     

    Maverick Rules!

     

    Dave Park

    Advantage Inspection

    davepark@adrdu.com

    www.adrdu.com

     

    Tags: , , ,

  • Shipshape
    defn:  Leadership-the ability to guide, direct, or influence poeple.
    defn:  Craftsmanship-somebody who proforms with great skills and expertise. 

    True leaders deliver performance that is durable, that unifies staff, and treats them fairly. Leaders are intrinsically motivated to improve oneself and their organizations. True leadership is creating environments where excellence in performance becomes inevitable.

    I have seen this environment where excellence in performance is given each and every day. You can hear it in the receptionist; her smile is given over the phone. You can feel it in the post card; reaching out a helping hand. You can see it the habits; creating power not by fame, but power in true service.

    The leader of this environment is Linda Craft and along with her team, they create an environment where excellence in performance is inevitable. Linda fosters a spirit of teamwork that is critical to any organization’s success. And a key element is trust. Trust for the leader and trust for each other. Her team works at the speed of trust.

    Success is a very personal thing, but I think most people would agree that true success is about being fulfilled in LIFE. And, I feel there would be no greater feeling to look back toward the end of your career with a “smile in your heart” knowing that you made a positive difference in the lives of others.   

    Linda Craft and her team have made a difference in my life and I am sure whenever they decide to look back, they will smile.

    Maverick Rules!

    Dave Park
    The Maveick Builder

    Tags: , , , ,

   

Recent Comments

  • anybunny.mobi/latest/ anybunny.mobi/latest/
  • ...Recent Blogroll Additions [...]The full look of your web...
  • ...Recent Blogroll Additions [...]The full look of your web...
  • ...Links [...]I am no longer certain the place you're getti...
  • ... [Trackback] [...]Wow, marvelous weblog format! How leng...