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How To Clean Window Air Conditioner Mold

Living in a home with no central air conditioning can be an issue for many people. Unfortunately, many northern homes did not come with central air. Homeowners are sometimes forced to install a window air conditioning unit so that they can cool their room or home.

In southern homes, window AC units are often used to reduce the amount of electricity used to keep electric bills down. Often, you can see a window AC unit simply to cool down a specific room, rather than a whole home. With the ac window unit comes necessary cleaning and maintenance.

How to clean window air conditioner mold? This requires a process that any homeowner can achieve by using chemicals, scrub brush, and vacuum.

Let’s take a look below at a detailed process to keeping you healthy and free of mold.

Cleaning supplies for mold removal
Cleaning supplies for mold removal

What Do I Need To Clean

Believe it or not, the recommended items needed to clean mold from your window ac unit are not extensive. The majority of the products are to protect your skin from being exposed to bleach or the mold itself as well as from breathing in the mold spores.

  • Plastic Gloves-needed to protect your hands from mold and chemicals, while you scrub.
  • Face Covering-needed to keep your face safe from exposure to the mold spores and keep you from inhaling them.
  • Plastic Bucket-necessary to mix a solution of water and chemicals to clean the mold spores off the window ac unit.
  • Wet/Dry Vac-used to vacuum dirt, dust, and debris from the window ac unit.
  • Screwdriver-necessary to unscrew the frame that holds the unit into the window.
  • Scrubbing Sponge-necessary to loosen the mold and mildew from the ac unit and its internal coils.
  • Commercial cleaner-spray onto the internal coils of the window ac unit.
  • Dish Soap-used to soak the grille and filter of the window ac unit.
  • Bleach-necessary to kill the mold and mildew spores.

How Can I Prevent Mold Growth

There are a few factors involved in preventing mold growth in your home. Let’s take a look at the list of how you can prevent mold growth.

  • Remove dust-by removing dust from the home, mold will not have any rich food source. Dust, dirt, pollen, and other organic materials are great at becoming starting points for mold growth. Removing them from the equation is key.
  • Fan mode-using the fan mode of the ac unity you will dry out the interior of the ac unit. This keeps the unit from becoming a moisturized zone that mold loves to grow on.
  • Clean the window-don’t forget that your window will need to be cleaned at least two times during the cooler months. Keeping the window sill and frame itself clean and free of dirt and debris will keep the mold from having a petri dish to grow on.

Remember, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends that to properly control mold from growing in and around your home, you will want to keep moisture at the lowest point possible.

Moldy window sill on air conditioning unit
Moldy window sill on air conditioning unit

How Much Does It Cost

Removing mold from your home or central air unit is very expensive. The cost range goes from $3,000 to $10,000 depending on the size of your home and the region that you live in. However, keep in mind that you are completing cleaning maintenance on your ac window unit.

This typically requires the cost of the supplies and cleaning materials that you will use to create a solution that can remove mold from the ac window unit. You’re probably looking at a cost range of $25 to $75 depending on the number of chemicals needed.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Since you are on the topic of cleaning mold from your window ac unit. Why don’t you also explore how to stop mold growth in your home? Understanding these processes is hugely important to your health and well-being.

Areas of mold growth can occur around the window frame or window sill as well. Making sure that the window is sealed properly is the key to this.

Having a window ac unit requires that the window remain partially open and is secured by an extender frame. Water can get in during rainstorms if this is not sealed correctly. Understanding how windows leak during a rainstorm is important information.

While you are at it with regards to understanding how to seal your bathroom shower windows and window ac unit from leaking water that could cause mold and mildew growth, you should explore the windows in your bathrooms.

If you have windows in your shower you need to ensure that they are waterproofed and not leaking. Reading up on this area at the same time you are figuring out how to clean the mold from your window ac unit is a great idea.

Window air conditioner mold on the filter
Window air conditioner mold on the filter

When Do I Call A Professional

Although cleaning mold off an ac window unit filter and screening might seem simple to you as a homeowner. You never can tell if the mold spores have traveled long distances and begun to grow in other places of your home.

Mold spores can travel and begin to affect your walls, windows, and other areas of the home. Calling out your local home inspection company is a great idea at this time. Having peace of mind that all mold is removed from the home is vital to your health.

Conclusion

When cleaning anything related to mold, you should always consult a professional first. It is highly recommended that anything dealing with mold, that you utilize a home inspection service as they can determine if the mold is growing in other areas of your home. Chances are that if the window ac unit has mold spores on it, those spores could travel to other areas of the home. Luckily, Waypoint East can test for mold in the South Florida area.

How To Waterproof A Window In A Shower

It has been a long day at the office and all you want is to take a hot shower. You start the water and get the shower all steamed up and step into it, only to notice some dark spots on your shower tile. Once out of the shower, you get your tile cleaner out and start to scrub the dark spots off your tile grout. As you work your way up, you begin to realize that your shower window has been exposed to the outside elements, and is causing mold growth from a water leak.

You get out of the shower as you have made your discovery after cleaning it and research the question: How to waterproof a window in a shower? Caulking and sealing the window is vital to waterproofing the shower window.

Following the steps listed below will allow you to ensure that your shower window is waterproofed. Let’s take a look.

Single window in the shower
Single window in the shower

What’s Involved

There are a few steps that you will want to follow in order to ensure that the shower window is properly sealed and waterproofed. Keep in mind, a window will always need consistent maintenance. Let’s take a look at what we can do to make this happen.

  • Make sure that your window is higher than your shower head. This prevents water from getting into the window frame and seals. If your window is below your shower head, the window will need more maintenance.
  • Choose the right window. We recommend windows with PVC trim.
  • Make sure to run your waterboard up to the jamb and properly seal it with caulk.
  • Wrap the entire waterboard and area around the window with a latex-modified thinset. The thinset is your waterproof membrane.
  • Install a window sill on a slight slant so that any condensation or water will run off the window sill and not puddle up.
  • Run your tile all of the way up to the jamb after you have installed the window sill.
  • Caulk and fill every hole and crevice.

Following these steps will allow you to ensure a secured and waterproof window in the shower.

Sealed windows in the bathroom
Sealed windows in the bathroom

How Much Does It Cost to Waterproof a Window in a Shower

Believe it or not, sealing a window in the shower can be relatively inexpensive. Your national average cost is $44 to $108 per window. The materials are typically the cheaper part of the process. The labor cost is what drives the varying costs. Keep in mind, it is not the best idea to seal or reseal a window for your shower by yourself.

It might seem like an easy cost-saving project, however, having a professional contractor that knows what they are doing will save you from future headaches. Water leaking into your window, water getting into your walls, or even mold and mildew growth can happen if it is not fixed properly.

Depending on the window type and installation, you may decide to replace the window instead to prevent continuous maintenance.

Other Recommended Maintenance

If it looks like the window leaks when it rains it can be several reasons. These reasons are poor insulation, wall leaks, improper overhangs, or clogged gutters to name a few. The easiest thing to do is paint/caulk the exterior.

While you are searching for leaks within the shower window, you should also check for mold. Mold can show up in the home. Builder error, an actual window leak, or even too much humidity due to the shower can cause mold growth. Keep an eye out for it when you are checking the shower window and get rid of it as soon as possible.

Another area that you will want to check once the shower window has been inspected and repaired are your outlets. Making sure that the outlets in your bathroom are GFCI and grounded is important to avoid electrocution. It’s recommended to double-check the outlets as you are making other bathroom repairs.

Shower windows
Shower windows

When Do I Call A Professional

Call a professional if you have a leak and it is from the shower window or another area near there. Typically, the sealant around the window frame might be cracking or coming undone due to weathering and moisture, however, some pipes running through the walls could also be a leaking issue.

Thus, you should hire a professionally licensed contractor to check the walls and the framing around your shower window. Hopefully, it is something as simple as fixing the sealant, but it can be more than that. Also, having a professional take a look at your shower window issues is a great idea as they can be tricky to maintain and take care of and you don’t want someone who is not trained to do this. It can lead to more repairs down the road and you don’t need the headaches or the expense.

Conclusion

When installing or repairing shower windows, you will always want to consult a professional first. It is highly recommended that anything dealing with a window, that you utilize a home inspection service as well as a professional licensed contractor as they know the building codes for window installations in your area.  Waypoint East Property Inspections will take a look at your windows while conducting home inspections in Boca Raton, FL, and surrounding areas.

Will A GFCI Breaker Protect Ungrounded Outlets

Understanding your home’s electrical system is a very important step. You need to determine if your home is safe from electrical issues, damage, or death from electrocution. One of the many ways we do that is by having a GFCI breaker in the home as this will protect the ungrounded outlets. Will a GFCI breaker protect ungrounded outlets? Yes, a GFCI without a ground wire will protect ungrounded outlets so now you don’t need to worry.

Let’s take a look below to examine how to wire a GFCI outlet without the ground wire and make sure it trips for safety if the outlet shorts out, even without ground.

Why Is Grounding Important

Grounding your electricity and using a GFCI outlet for your electrical protections are not the same thing. GFCI monitors the electric currents sent out by the circuit breaker. All currents that are hot or neutral are kept in check by the GFCI so that electrocution will not occur. Adding a GFCI to an ungrounded outlet or circuit breaker will only protect against ground faults.

Grounding your circuit breaker will ensure that any outlet on your system will not send electric shock or cause electrocution.

GFCI Circuit Breaker and Protecting Ungrounded Outlets

GFCI circuit protected outlet with reset button.

When a ground fault occurs, the GFCI quickly shuts off the power. The acronym GFCI stands for ground-fault circuit interrupters or GFIs. These are safety devices built into outlets that protect against electrical shock. Making sure that every outlet is grounded by the ground wire is important as well. In addition, GFCI outlets protect all other outlets that are on the same circuit. This includes any tools or appliances that are plugged into the GFCI outlets. However, protection only includes down the circuit so if there is an outlet before the GFCI on the circuit, that outlet is not protected.

Ground fault causes include the following:

  • Using damaged cords or wiring
  • Using equipment in wet areas 
  • Plugging in faulty or leaking tools and appliances                                                           
Ungrounded outlets need a GFCI breaker to protect them.

Will A GFCI Breaker Protect Ungrounded Outlets

A GFCI protected outlet or breaker can detect when more current is coming in on the hot wire than is exiting on the neutral wire. This shuts off the circuit quickly before the current can stray and cause shock or electrocution.

The GFCI protected outlet or breaker does not create a path to the ground. Only a connected ground wire and re-route the electrical current to the ground and save you from electrocution. GFCI protected outlets simply make the un-grounded outlet safer.

Is It Cost-Effective To Replace My Non- GFCI Outlets

Looking to ground your electrical circuit breaker? You are likely going to pay between $200 and $1,000. The cost range is due to local codes and the accessibility of the breaker box. Also, the electrical design behind the wall where the breaker box is located.

Let’s take a look at the video below and see how we can save some money by installing GFCI outlets to fix those that are ungrounded.

You might be thinking that you want to save more money, but let’s take a look at bootleg grounds and why you DON’T want to go this route.

Bootleg grounds are dangerous and illegal.

Bootleg Ground – What Not to Do

Even though it may be tempting, and someone who is not a professional may tell you it is okay, you want to stay away from a bootleg ground. This is where a jumper wire is installed on a receptacle, in between the neutral wire to the ground screw. The purpose is for the receptacle to be grounded but it doesn’t actually work and is illegal.

Tamper resistant outlet helps with GFCI .

Other Recommended Maintenance

The GFCI outlets that are installed are tied to the circuit breaker box and will be grounded by a ground wire. Double-check that you don’t have a Challenger GFCI circuit breaker box installed while this version of the circuit breaker has been recalled.

The need for GFCI outlets that are grounded is vital to your home’s electrical safety needs. Consider using tamper-resistant outlets. This saves some of the tools that you plug into the GFCI from being damaged and also prevents electric shock as they too will be grounded outlets.

When Do I Call A Professional

Electrical fires are dangerous and can destroy homes so make your home safe by checking the GFCI outlets and the non GFCI outlets. Making sure that the outlets are both GFCI and grounded is the most important part of electrical safety. Lastly, remember that you will only want to keep two GFCI outlets on the same breaker to avoid regular circuit breaker tripping.

Conclusion

Many people fail to inspect the outlets in their homes. Outlets could become exposed to harsh temperatures or dampness not otherwise seen in other states. In addition, adding appliances onto ungrounded circuits can be dangerous for everyone in the home. Safety should be the priority here. Getting a home inspection done once a year is a great idea.

Often we don’t know if the heavy rain or winds have damaged our GFCI outlets until the inspection is completed. If you need someone to provide a home inspection to recommend any GFCI outlet changes, then reach out to Waypoint East Property Inspections, we will take a look at your GFCI outlets while conducting home inspections in Boca Raton, FL, and surrounding areas.

Do Metal Roofs Need Gutters

Finding the right roof for your home can be tricky. There are so many trends to choose from to make your home stand out. Let’s say that you select a metal roof and you are very happy about this selection. The roof goes on and it looks sharp! Your home is standing out in the neighborhood and looking like the top show! The first rain comes and you begin to notice an erosion line along with the soil and near the foundation.

Do metal roofs need gutters? This is a great question. In all cases, roofs need gutters to ensure that the rainwater is sent as far away from your home as possible. Not all gutters are created equal and they certainly aren’t one size fits all. Selecting a gutter system for your metal roof is a necessity, but you will want to choose the correct product for your metal roof.

Let’s take a look at the options for a metal roof system and see how it fits your needs and roofing design.

Why Metal Roofs Need Gutters

Believe it or not, gutters and downspouts are two of the most functional items on your entire home. Keeping water away from your home’s foundation is vital to your home’s longevity. In addition, gutters and downspouts give your home a curb appeal. Together they tie your beautiful roof to the paint and accents of your home.

Without seamless gutters, you will experience water runoff that will erode your soil, soak your walls, door frames, and window frames. In addition, you could experience long-term issues, such as mold in your walls, rotting wood, and other structural damage. Gutters will prevent water from getting into your roof decking and your fascia boards.

Knowing the value of gutters on your home will allow you to take a look at the best gutters for metal roofs.

Designer gutters to match the metal roof
Designer gutters to match the metal roof

What Problems Might Arise With Gutters On a Metal Roof

You would be surprised that gutter issues do occur, especially with a metal roof. Let’s take a look at some of the potential issues that could arise, if not installed properly:

  • Water overshooting (water shoots over the gutter system) – ensure that the gutter system is mounted high and you have installed rain guards.
  • Gutter collapse – securing a gutter system yourself is not recommended. Hiring a professional to mount your gutters is the best way to secure your gutter.
  • Clogged gutters – regular cleaning with gutter guards are the best ways to prevent clogging of gutters.
Roofing gutter system attached to a metal roof
Roofing gutter system attached to a metal roof

Cost of Gutters For a Metal Roof

Since gutters can come in a wide variety of materials and styles, the cost of the installation can have a very broad range. The national average for gutter installation is $900 – $5,000. This depends on the size of your home and the matching of specific details to the roof of the home. In most cases, you can expect to pay around $1,409 for 150 linear feet of seamless aluminum gutters and downspouts.

Other Recommended Maintenance

While you are in the middle of preparing for the possibility of adding gutters to your metal roof, this would be a good time to consult your roof inspection checklist.

You will also want to consider checking the downspouts. These are the pipes that are installed on every 20 feet of gutter. Their purpose is to carry the water from the gutter down and away from the home.  Downspout extensions should extend 4 to 6 feet away from the house, but 10 feet when possible.  This is so the water is far away from the home and will not cause a possible leak near the foundation.

Gutter system for a metal roof
Gutter system for a metal roof

When Do I Call A Professional

It is always best to call a professional licensed roofer when looking to make changes to your roof. This includes adding an installed gutter system, and downspouts. Also, the licensed roofer will be able to refer a high-quality gutter installer to ensure that the work quality is up to the same standard as the metal roof installation.

Conclusion

When installing gutters for your metal roof, you will always want to consult a professional first. Using the home inspection checklist will help so you know what to look for if you choose to install yourself. It is highly recommended that anything dealing with a roof, that you utilize a home inspection service as well as a professional licensed roofer.  Waypoint East Property Inspections will take a look at your roof while conducting home inspections in Boca Raton, FL, and surrounding areas.

How To Build Up Soil Around House Foundation

You just returned home from a nice time at the movies. You have no idea that it rained heavily as the movie was very loud. As you approach your home it is clear that the rain was so much that the streets are still a bit flooded. Luckily, the sun is out and you are able to walk to your front door as usual. Upon your approach to the front door, you notice a large pooling of water near your foundation. After inspecting the plants and shrubs around this area, you begin to realize more needs to be done to your yard.

The question comes to mind, how to build up soil around my house foundation? There are a couple of different options ranging from how high the new slope needs to be, to the type of soil or fill dirt that you will need to utilize. A few choices will need to be considered before taking on this project.

Let’s take a look at what it means to build up soil and how much it might cost me.

Layers of soil for building up house foundation.
Soil Layers

What Does It Mean To Build Up Soil

Exposure of your foundation and drainage issues are the two main reasons to build up the soil around your home. A proper gradient of dirt sloping away from the foundation will not only improve the drainage but also protect the foundation walls. Let’s take a look at a step-by-step process to build up dirt around the foundation of your home.

  • Figure out your starting point-get a 10-foot wood board and place it next to your foundation. Use a level on top of the board to elevate the board to the slope that you need and measure the length where the board meets the ground.
  • Determine the slope needed-this will depend on the soil type. However, the higher the slope the better drainage you will have.
  • Begin to build up your soil gradient-begin bringing in your soil to meet your desired slope.
  • Fill in any excess areas-start at the lower areas and then move closer to the home.
  • Perform a check for consistency-use the same 10-foot board to measure your consistency around the foundation of your home. Checking the slope each time is important for leveling.

Fill Dirt vs Topsoil To Build Up Soil Around House Foundation

One of the most important things to think about building up soil around the house foundation is determining the type of dirt to use. Depending on where you live will dictate what is best for you to add around your home’s foundation. You will want the fill dirt that can be compacted and not stay loose. After you add your layer of fill dirt, it is best to add a top layer of topsoil.

It is important to note that fill dirt is great for filling in openings around your foundation walls, while topsoil is great for planting and vegetation. Understanding the amount need to raise the slope of your yard around the foundation is important. It is easier to lay the topsoil than it is to lay the fill dirt. Topsoil is looser and contains nutrients and organic material for gardens. In addition, topsoil, can and should be used as the top layer (roughly 5 to 10 inches above your fill dirt) when you build up soil around the house foundation.

Soil tiller to help integrate the new layers to build up the house foundation.
Soil tiller to help integrate the new layers.

Why You Should Fix Negative Grading

Fixing negative grading is important because as rainwater falls it can begin to flow towards your foundation and start to degrade the foundation surface. You might also experience major puddling that finds cracks in the foundation and becomes absorbed into the home walls, which will start causing a mold problem. Making sure that water runs off the slope of the yard and your slope is 6 inches for every 6 feet is important.

What Is The Best Way To Fix Negative Grading

You will likely be adding soil to fix your negative grading situation. This not only prevents the pooling of water but also protects the foundation of the home.

  1. If you have any plants or vegetation in a negative drainage area, you will want to remove them and save for replanting.
  2. Remove grass from the negative drainage area and make sure that it is only located 6 to 10 feet from the home.
  3. Adding around 8 inches of soil will ensure the grade is not forcing water away from the home.
  4. Be sure to check the height against your foundation, so that the topsoil isn’t completely meeting the bottom of your exterior wall.
  5. Compact the soil as much as possible after you have tilled the topsoil into the existing soil.
  6. Use a level to ensure the slope is where you need it to be.
  7. Replant your grass, plants, and other vegetation that you removed during your first steps.

Consider A Downspout Extension To Your Gutters To Reduce Erosion

Once you have the slope of your yard figured out, you will want to look at your gutter system and the downspouts. Typically, the downspout only extends a few inches from your foundation. However, the water can pool up in that area near the foundation and not drain far enough from your home. Water should always be diverted 4 to 6 feet away from your home but 10 feet if possible.

The solution to this problem is to install downspout extenders and attach them to your gutter system. In addition, you will want to place gravel and rock at the end of your downspouts to avoid erosion. All of this can be purchased at a local hardware store.

Downspouts should extend 4-6 feet from your home, but 10 feet if possible.
Downspouts should be extended 4-6 feet from the home, but 10 feet if possible.

How Much Will It Cost

The average cost to slope your yard is $700 to $1,700 depending on home much fill dirt is needed. If you have a large home, you could see the costs balloon up closer to $5,000. Consider a national average range of $700 to $5,000 depending on the size of the yard and home square footage.

Selling/Buying a Home

If you are selling a home that has negative grading and you don’t want to fix it, you may want to do a Pre-Listing Inspection. This will be a great selling point as you can find out what else may be wrong with the home and fix it before putting it on the market. Buyers will like that you have already had a Pre-Listing Inspection and it will make your house that much more attractive.

If you are buying a home with a Pre-Listing Inspection, then you don’t need to have a home inspection done, if it is current. This will save you money from paying for one. However, keep in mind that the seller is letting the buyers know what is wrong and they are not required to fix it unless it is a safety issue. Some sellers also have this done to avoid negotiating after a home inspection.

Other Maintenance

One area that you should be inspecting while you have your yard tilled up and are adding new layers of soil is your sprinkler system. There are ways to maintain your sprinkler system to ensure that it is going to work properly after you have added more soil layers.

Another area of concern when you are adding more soil or fill dirt to your yard is the possibility of water pooling from rains, a broken sprinkler head, or underground pipe. Allowing the project to take too long and the water to pool in your yard is a recipe for mosquito breeding. Take a look at ways to naturally control mosquitos while taking on this large project.

When you don't want to shovel the soil to build up the house foundation, call a professional.
When you don’t want to shovel the soil yourself you should call a professional

When Do I Call A Professional

Hiring a professional landscaper to come out and complete the project of sloping your yard to a higher gradient is a great idea. Attempting to bring in fill dirt and topsoil to move around your yard and spread from your foundation to the low point away from your foundation can be tricky. A professional can build soil around a house foundation and do it the correct way.

If you don’t know how to compact and till your soil, you could end up causing more damage in the long run, than a solution to a problem. The time it would take you to change the slope of your yard could be very costly to you. Soil grading can be tricky so it is always best to get multiple quotes and let the professionals handle the task for you.

Conclusion

Deciding if it is necessary to increase the slope of your yard can be difficult. You might see a drainage issue around your foundation, or even exposed foundation walls that you will want to protect. If either of these scenarios arises, it is a great idea to reach out to your local home inspection company. You will want ideas and ways to fix the yard and build soil around the house foundation, without causing damage to your home. Waypoint Property Inspection East can take a look at your foundation to see if the yard needs any upgrades during a home inspection in Boca Raton, FL, and surrounding areas.

How Do You Clear Roots From Drain Pipes

Imagine the distance that it would take for your tree roots to access your underground drain pipes. Is this even a possibility? Absolutely, it is possible for tree roots to attack your drainage pipes. Once you have identified that tree roots are the clogging problem with your pipe drainage, you can ask yourself, How do I clear the roots from my drain pipes? The answer is copper sulfate, rock salt, auger, hydro-jetting, or reroute or repair.

Underground drain pipes.
Underground Drain Pipes

What Are Drain Pipes

Drain pipes are exactly what they sound like. They are responsible for carrying all of your waste from your home to the city sewer system. This includes all of your plumbing and any gutter system runoff that you may have had installed. Let’s take a deeper dive into how and why root systems can intrude upon your drain pipes.

Roots growing inside a drain pipe cause problems in a yard.
Cracked Drain Pipe Showing Roots Inside

How Tree Roots Enter Drain Pipes

Tree roots gravitate towards moisture and food for the tree and the drain lines happen to be a perfect food and moisture source. If your drain lines become damaged from soil erosion, movement, or older pipes, the roots are going to naturally grow into your sewer lines. In addition, this can dramatically increase the damage to your drainage pipes.

Signs Of Tree Roots In Your Pipes

Believe it or not, there are a couple of ways to determine if your drain pipes have roots in them. Below are a couple of areas to keep an eye out for, prior to calling in the professionals.

Very Green Patches in Your Yard

Roots that have made it into your drain pipes will be healthy and have more access to food. This food source allows the foliage to remain healthy and strong.

Odor Smells

Serious blockage can cause a build-up of waste in the pipes. This will produce a foul odor that needs attending to from a home inspector.

Sinkholes

A sinkhole occurs due to the pipes being cracked by the root system. This allows water to continue draining through the soil, leaving the area soft and vulnerable to movement and erosion.

Slow or Gurgling Drains

Slow draining pipes or clogs can also be a result of roots getting into your drain pipes. The only way to tell is to scope the drainpipe with a sewer scope camera designed to snake through the pipes.

Checking for an underground water leak is important. This can be done in five easy steps, starting with checking the water meter.

Cost to Clear Roots from Drain Pipes

The initial costs for you to clear or replace the drain pipes are determined by the professional team that you hire to service the pipes to check the lines for tree roots. This can range from a couple of hundred dollars to thousands. The drain pipes or sewer lines, the size of your home, and the location will determine the costs.

Clearing Roots from Drain Pipes

Believe it or not, there are a few good home remedies for helping keep roots out of your drain pipes. Let’s take a look at some of those options:

  • Copper Sulfate-this will kill any root system in your pipes with just half a cup of these blue crystals. Copper sulfate is a natural herbicide and can be purchased at most hardware stores.
  • Rock Salt (Sodium Chloride)-adding the salt into your toilet that is farthest from the road. You will add a handful to your toilet and flush it down with buckets of water. You will need to avoid flushing the toilets until the following afternoon. This will give the salt time to dry out the roots. This is a temporary solution, as roots will tend to grow back.
  • Hydro Jetting-this involves thrusting a high power amount of water at 4,000 psi through the pipes. The water pressure is so powerful that It destroys the roots.
  • Rooter or Auger-this item will be shoved through the piping system all the way to the obstruction. Once the obstruction is located, the auger will slice up the roots and allow the pipes to be flushed out. Any debris that is left is washed away into the sewer.
  • Reroute or Repair-a professional might locate the issue and cut the pipes in hopes of rerouting the pipe trail away from the root system. This could typically cost the most. Also, materials are not cheap and neither is the time it takes to dig and locate the repair or problem site.

Keep in mind, any of the above solutions might damage your sewer drain lines if they are weak. Therefore, you may have to replace the sewer lines instead.

Sewer Scope Inspection

Homebuyers will want to have a sewer scope inspection completed prior to doing anything. This will allow you to determine the condition of the sewer system throughout your home. In order to do this, you will need to hire an inspector who will snake a camera through your sewer lines and determine if any damage is present. Knowing that everything looks good will give you peace of mind to purchase the home. Waypoint Property Inspection East can help you with your sewer scope inspections in South Florida.

Other Preventative Maintenance Ideas

You should consider maintaining your vegetation in the yard and keeping it away from the house. Also, keeping trees and other plants away from your drainage pipes is key to success. The root systems are always looking for nutrients and water, and both can be found inside your drainage pipes. So, the further away you can keep the plants and trees from your pipes, the better off you will be.

In addition, making sure that the yard gradient slopes away from the home will allow for the water to flow faster through your pipes. You do not want the pipes to end as level or sloping backward. This will cause slower flushing of the items in your drainage pipes and could also cause a backup into your home.

Other Recommended Maintenance

While you are busy inspecting or repairing your drain pipes, you might want to consider inspecting your sprinkler system. There are a few ways to maintain your sprinkler system while you have your yard dug up for drain pipe repairs.

Problems with yard drainage can be due to roots in drain pipes or other issues.

If you have water developing in the yard, check to make sure it is indeed a broken or clogged drainpipe underground causing this. When in actuality, it could be a drainage issue and a drainage system may be a cheaper fix. A professional can help you figure out the culprit.

Be careful of allowing water to sit in your yard for too long as it will be a breeding ground for mosquitos. The good news is there are natural ways to get the mosquitos under control while fixing the issue in your yard.

When Should I Call A Professional

It is highly recommended that you reach out to a professional right away to clear roots from drain pipes. Attempting to determine a clog in your drain pipes can take a long time, and set you back a lot of money. In addition, if you don’t know what you are doing, it can cause a lot of headaches and additional costs. Lastly, the time that it will take you to rent the equipment and dig up the area is not worth the amount that you would pay a professional.

Conclusion

It is always difficult to determine if tree roots have intruded into your underground plumbing. Using rock salts or copper sulfate to help combat the problem is a great idea, however, it is a very temporary solution. Waypoint Property Inspection East can take a look at your underground pipes during a home inspection in the Boca Raton, FL, and surrounding areas.

Benefits of a Pre-Listing Inspection

It is an exciting time when you are putting your house up for sale.  Maybe you have a new job offer in another city or downsizing because the kids are grown and moved out. Perhaps you are moving up from a starter home to a bigger home with your growing family. Whatever the case may be, it can also be a stressful time.  One way to get rid of some of the stress is to have a Pre-Listing Inspection.  You know that most people have a home inspection, but did you know that there are benefits for the seller having a Pre-Listing inspection? 

What are the benefits of a Pre-Listing inspection?  Knowledge of the condition of the home before the home hits the market, Pre-Listing inspection homes sell faster, a realtor can justify the seller’s asking price, and there is less room for negotiations.

Let’s take a look at why this is important, what is a Pre-Listing inspection vs. a buyer’s inspection, what is checked, the benefits of a Pre-Listing inspection, as well as the cons of a Pre-Listing inspection and other information.

Why This is Important

Not every seller orders a Pre-Listing inspection, because it does cost money.  Some sellers feel they would rather take their chances.  However, if you sense that something may come up in a home inspection, you may want to order the Pre-Listing inspection. This will allow you to decide if you want to take care of it or have it in the write up for the home.  Sometimes a buyer may be fine with the issue, may want to negotiate, or may decide to walk away.  

Pre-Listing Inspection vs. Buyer’s Inspection

A Pre-Listing inspection is paid for by the seller and done before the home hits the housing market.  While a buyer’s inspection is after an offer is made on a home, the buyer pays for it and finds out if there are any issues that need fixing.

What is Checked in a Pre-listing Inspection

A Pre-Listing inspection checks the major systems, mechanicals, windows, and doors. It also looks for signs of water damage, mold, and cracks in the home and foundation.

Benefits of a Pre-Listing Inspection

Knowledge of the Condition of the Home Before it Hits the Market

When a house goes up for sale and an offer is made, most buyers will pay for a home inspection.  They want to make sure they are getting a good home as it is a large investment.  But did you know that as the seller, you don’t get to see the home inspection report? Having a Pre-Listing inspection lets you know the condition of the home. This also alleviates negotiations when you already know what is wrong in the home.

Choose What to Repair and Your Repair Person

It makes sense to have the Pre-Listing inspection so you as the seller know about the condition of your home. It also allows you to choose what you want to repair and who to use as a repair person if you decide to have it fixed. If you choose not to have it fixed, then you have time to disclose the information in the addendum. This allows potential buyers to be aware.

Pre-Listing Inspection Homes Sell Faster

Homes that have a Pre-Listing inspection tend to sell faster.  This is because many buyers see it as you have done a lot of the work for them already and they are aware of any issues. In a competitive buyers market, this works well as the buyer sees that there is a better chance of the deal going through.  This will be good for the buyer as they will know what is going on in the home and there won’t be any surprises.  This also helps transactions go smoother.  Those who need faster closings may see this as an advantage as well.

Benefit of a Pre-Listing Inspection: The Realtor Can Justify a Sellers Price

A Pre-Listing Inspection can help a realtor justify a seller’s price.  In addition, buyers also will like when a seller discloses any issues so they can be factored into offers. The Pre-Listing inspection also may help in the sale of the home. All the issues, if there are any, are presented so the seller can sell the house for what it is worth.

Less room for negotiations is a benefit of a pre-listing inspection.

Less Room for Negotiations is a Benefit of a Pre-Listing Inspection

A seller will find it less stressful when they have a Pre-Listing inspection as there will be less room for negotiations from the buyer. This is because there is no guessing as to the condition of the home as it is right there in the paperwork.

Cons for Having a Pre-Listing Inspection

1. Seller Pays for Pre-Listing Inspection and Additional Inspections May Be Needed

Unfortunately, the seller pays for the Pre-Listing inspection.  As mentioned above, it ranges in price from $350-$1000 and is an expense while you are trying to sell the home.  In addition, sometimes you may need to have additional inspections such as:

Testing for Radon

Radon is an odorless and colorless gas that exists in the air we breathe in.  Outside is not where it hurts us but inside a home or building.  Radon is a radioactive gas that results from the natural decay of uranium and comes up from the soil and rocks in the ground.  Some homes only need a radon test for 2 days, while some require it for 90 days.  You will need to find out if you need a radon test for your home so you can plan accordingly.

Well test

Well Test

If your property is one of over 13,000,000 that has a well on it, you will need a well inspection. Hopefully, you would know by now if the water wasn’t clean, but just to be sure, a well inspection (costs about $150 or more) should be done.

Mold Test

If there is reason to believe you may have mold in the home, ordering a mold test is a good idea. A sample test is done and sent to a lab and the mold results are known about three days later.

Lead Paint

If your home was built before 1978, there is a good chance it may have lead paint.  There is an easy test you can do to see if there is lead paint:

Some States Require Full Disclosure

Depending on your state, there may be laws about full disclosure.  This means that if you know of an issue or an issue comes up on the Pre-Listing inspection report, you may be required to disclose it to potential buyers.  However, if there is no law, you will want to consider disclosing the information as it is the right thing to do.  Check out this site and look up your state for laws relating to disclosure.

You May Have Two Home Inspections

If you have a Pre-Listing inspection, you need to be at the home for the inspection.  Again, if there is a home inspection paid for by the buyer, there will be a second inspection.  However, you may really like the home inspector who does the Pre-Listing inspection and have someone to refer the buyer to who knows the home.

Other Information

Cost of a Pre-Listing Inspection

A Pre-Listing inspection costs about the same that a buyer pays for a home inspection. The range is about $350-$1000 and the price varies due to location, square footage, age, and other factors.

Conclusion

A Pre-Listing inspection is a great idea for peace of mind for you and the future buyer.  It can help a sale go through quicker as any issues have been found before the closing date.  Even though not all sellers decide to do this, it is a great idea and something to think about. Have questions about a Pre-Listing inspection or need to hire a professional to conduct one for you?  Leave us a reply below so we can help!