5 Fall Home Maintenance Tips For NJ Homes

Fall Home Maintenance Tips For NJ Homes

Each change in season brings new home maintenance and prevention projects with its changes in temperature, weather, and aging of the home. In order to keep things running smoothly and avoid costly repairs from occurring, why not take the time now and get your home ready for the fall and winter seasons while conditions are still mild. Here are 5 Fall home maintenance tips for NJ homes to help get you get a head start.

Fall Home Maintenance Tips For NJ Homes

1.) Clear Your Roof/Gutters/Downspouts Of Debris

It’s easy to forget about your roof. After all, out of sight out of mind! But, if left unchecked, roof repairs can become a very costly and can also cause insurance problems. Make sure the roof is clear of debris, shingles are in good shape, and flashing around the chimney and any openings are free of leaks.

2.) Change Filters

It is a good idea, if you have an air conditioning system, to change the air filters. If you have a wall unit instead, take that out of the window or cover it with a waterproof cover. You should also change the filters in any stove vents and clothes dryers. Changing filters will help with Fall allergies!

3.) Prepare Your Fireplace and Chimney

Make sure your fireplace and chimney are clean free of creosote build up. Clean out old ashes and clean the flu. It is not a bad idea hire a chimney sweep and have it professionally done. Chimney fires are both very dangerous and unfortunately very frequent. You should also have the chimney inspected for cracks and leaks.

4.) Drain Your Hot Water Heater

Hard water and sediment could be building up in your water tank. It is the perfect time, ahead of the cold months to drain the water tank and check for debris and rust. If your tank is old or rusty, it is probably time for a new one. An old rusty tank is not at all energy or cost efficient.

5.) Take Care Of Your Irrigation And Lawn Needs

To prevent spring weeds and lawn damage from the cold, wet winter, make sure you fertilize your lawn. You will be much happier in the Spring when you have a healthy lawn! It is also a great idea to have an irrigation professional come out and fix any broken sprinkler heads before the cold sets in .

 

How To Close A Pool For The Winter

 

How To Close A Pool For The Winter In NJ

Labor Day has come and gone and soon it will be time to close up your backyard pool. There are several steps that need to be taken to make sure everything is closed down properly so you can have a hassle free spring next year.  If you aren’t 100% sure how to do this the right way, you should call a professional.  Here is Aurora Home Inspections tips on how to close a pool for the winter.

It is incredibly important that when you close up your pool you have the right chemical balance in place. This will keep the water from becoming too corrosive in the off season. If left unchecked, the water can produce heavy calcium deposits, which can eat away at the lining of your pool. This would not be a pleasant surprise in the spring.

To test your chemicals to make sure the balance is right you should use a pool test kit and follow the directions from the manufacturer. Make sure each time you handle chemicals you wear eye protection and rubber gloves to protect yourself.

How To Close A Pool For The Winter In NJ | Aurora Home Inspections

How To Test Pool Chemicals

The details will vary with each test kit you use. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on each step..

  • First you will need to check and adjust the pH level of the water.
  • Next check the water hardness and adjust to the right level of calcium.
  • Next is testing for alkalinity. This is how well the water resists a change in pH levels.
  • And finally check and adjust chlorine level in the water. Chlorine is a bacteria, virus and germ killer. But, UV rays can dilute the effectiveness. Because of this you will always need a chlorine stabilizer in pool water.

Final Pool Closing Steps

  • Drain the water so it is just below the skimmer opening.
  • Remove the directional fittings and install the freeze plugs.
  • Turn off the filter pump.
  • Drain all the pool equipment and put it away in storage for the winter.
  • Install the cover over the pool and secure. Never walk on the pool cover and always make sure you supervise kids and pets around the pool at all times.

 

How To Declutter Your Home

How To Declutter Your Home | Bergen County NJ Home Inspector

How To Declutter Your Home | Aurora Home Inpections

One of the many tips we give homeowners ahead of a home inspection is to clear the clutter!  If you are having your home inspected, you will want to clear areas of clutter so the home inspector can see everything that needs to be seen. Closets and basement and attics should be as clutter free as possible. But, even if you are not preparing for an inspection, decluttering your home can add a sense of peace and freedom to your space and your life that you will certainly enjoy. Here is how to declutter your home.

 

  • Set a timeline. You don’t have to do everything at once. You can set out a schedule for yourself to minimize the strain it puts on you and the time it takes up in a day. Maybe every Sunday morning for the next month you can take out some time and work on decluttering.
  • Instead of going room by room organize by category. Take all your books one day, your clothes another, etc. Put everything in that category in the middle of a room so you can see all of it. You will be surprised how much stuff you can accumulate and not even realize!
  • Keep What You Need and What You Love. If it has great sentimental value, keep it! You don’t want to regret any decisions after it’s too late. Also if you use it and it adds value to your life, keep it. Everything else, say good bye!
  • Put your things back away neatly. This is important! When you put away the things you decide to keep, put them away in a nice, organized fashion. That way, when nw clutter makes it’s way in you will instantly see things are starting to get out of control.

 

Not only will decluttering your house benefit your level of comfort in your home, but it will also help you down the road. If you plan on selling your home, you certainly will want a clutter free home. It’s much easier to sell a neat and clean space than it is a cluttered one. Clutter makes everything look smaller. Plus, you won’t want to move all the clutter to a new home!

 

Natural Mite and Mold Killer Recipe

Natural Mite and Mold Killer Recipe | Battling Allergies In NJ

Natural Mite and Mold Killer Recipe | Aurora Home Inspections
LittleGreenDot.com

Allergies are a common issue for people that live in NJ. We deal with a variety of seasonal allergies as well as being the perfect environment for mold and dust mites to thrive. As home inspectors, we look for issues in homes that harbor or enhance these allergens. Your home should be a place of comfort and rest. Not a breeding ground for dust and mold. So, when we came across this natural mite and mold killer recipe, we had to share it with you.

As we’ve mentioned before in our blog how to avoid common household allergens dust mites are one of the top complaints for new jersey allergy sufferers. The mixture of dander, dead skin cells, dirt and mites which make up dust thrive in weather conditions often found in NJ, therefore making many homes in New Jersey prime breeding grounds for dust mites and mold.

The dust mites actually are thriving on the dead skin cells that are found in the highest concentration in betting, carpeting and upholstery. They are somewhat controlled by regular cleanings and vacuuming but they are tough to truly eliminate. They are the part of dust that causes the most allergies, and of course the hardest to manage.

We all know how dangerous mold can be to your health and your home. From respiratory problems to skin rashes mold can wreak havoc on your body if exposed too long. It will also cause expensive damage to your home if left untreated. If you are planning on selling your home, you will not want any mold or mold damage to remain when the house is ready to go on the market.

The good news is there is a natural way to battle dust mites and minor mold outbreaks, and you can easily make and use it yourself!

The recipe for Bye-Bye Mites & Mold spray can be found at LittleGreenDot.com and can easily be made at home! It is a great defense against dust mites and mold as well!

For a mold inspection in your Bergen County area New Jersey Home Call Aurora Home Inspections!

 

Add Value To A Home In NJ

Add Value To A Home In NJ

Add Value To A Home In NJ | Aurora Home Inspections

With home prices on the rise, it is a great time to invest in your home and pack the most value into it you possibly can. Whether you are planning to sell now, or in the future,  Aurora Home Inspections suggests these projects and remodels to help you add value to a home in NJ.

Paint

Freshly painted rooms are clean looking and updated. Plus, painting is one of the most cost effective ways to add value and appeal to your home.

Remodel the Kitchen and Bathroom

Remodeling the kitchen and/or the bathroom will bring back value to your home. Adding a granite countertop in the kitchen is a big winner when it comes to gaining value in the home vs money spent.

Add on a deck

You can recoup almost your full investment in resale value when you add a wooden deck to your home. They are enticing to a buyer both aesthetically and for the added useable space. Plus, who doesn’t like to relax out on a beautiful deck?

Finish the basement

A finished basement will add some serious resale value to your home, especially if you live in a state that considers a finished basement added square footage. Either way, a buyer will look at the finished basement as added living space and consider that as a part of the price they are willing to pay.

Replace or paint the front door

This one might sound unbelievable but a front door makeover could actually add a significant amount of value to your home for a very small investment. Never underestimate curb appeal!

Some of these value adding home remodels are smaller and simpler than others. But, they all have their pros and cons, and in the end all add value. Deciding which projects to take on depends on your home and exactly how much boost you need to add to your home value. Always be sure to consider the full price of the project versus how much return you will get on the remodel in your area.

What You Need To Know When Buying A Home

What You Need To Know When Buying A Home

What You Need To Know When Buying A Home

 

Buying a home is a big investment and can be scary, especially if you are a first time home buyer. There are many things to consider, from mortgage companies, to neighborhoods and schools. That is why an early home inspection can help you to learn what you need to know when buying a home, and save you a lot of stress, time and money.

What The Seller Needs To Tell You When Buying A Home

Though it can vary by state, in any contract there should be a contingency that will allow for termination should the home owner refuse to handle repairs that are needed, or will not discount the home price, without penalty to you. However, though this will cover your deposit, you will not be refunded for any loan application fees, or any other costs that you may incur throughout the process. To avoid this situation, schedule the home inspection as early as possible in the process. That way you are aware of any red flags early on in the purchase process.

You may in certain instances have a case for fraud if there were undisclosed problems with the property discovered after you have purchased the home. However, many times it is just not cost effective to pursue a lawsuit and it is also very hard to prove that these issues were known and covered up. You need to prove the seller knew, that they covered it up, deliberately misrepresented the property and that you have damages. This is a big undertaking.  A home inspection will save you from dealing with these types of issues.

In cases of fires and floods it is often required that these damages be disclosed even if the proper repairs were made. Make sure to ask to see all records of permits and repairs to see that everything was done correctly. Your home inspector will be able to see that repairs were done properly. Make sure they are aware of all issues prior to inspection.

What Sellers Don’t Have To Tell You

It is not normally required that a seller reveal things such as deaths in the home or illnesses anyone living in the home may have had. It is also not a necessary requirement to reveal past foreclosures though it is a red flag to check for maintenance issues. Its very important to ask questions and do your homework. Your home inspector can only see what can be seen. There are somethings that you will need to find out on your own.

Hiring a trustworthy home inspector like the ones at Aurora Home Inspection saves you time, money and stress. Your home should be a place where you can relax and unwind. When buying a home, be proactive and have your inspections early by a reputable company.

3 Important NJ Home Inspections

Important NJ Home Inspections

Important NJ Home Inspections | Aurora Home Inpection

Every responsible and conscientious New Jersey Home owner should have regular home inspections for the safety of their family and their investment. In addition to regular home inspections, there are 3 very important additional inspections that are imperative to the health of your family and home. These 3 important NJ Home Inspections are offered by Aurora Home Inspections in the Bergen County New Jersey area and the NY Metro area.

NJ Radon Inspection

Radon is a highly recommended home inspection by the EPA. It is estimated that radon exposure causes thousands of lung cancer deaths every year. The only thing that causes more lung cancer deaths than radon is smoking. If you smoke and also have a radon problem in your home, you are at very high risk for lung cancer.

NJ families can reduce their risk of radon exposure by having a radon inspection done in the home. This is the ONLY way to detect high radon levels. Once detected. there are systems that can be quickly put in place to reduce exposure by 99%.

NJ Mold Inspection

Just because you don’t see mold, it does not mean that mold is not present in your home. Mold, whether visible or not is a major heath hazard. It can and will damage your home extensively if not detected and remediated. Mold produces allergens and in some cases it produces toxic substances.

Depending on the kind of mold you are exposed to you make experience…

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throats
  • Migraines
  • Sinus infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Allergic reactions
  • Rashes or hives
  • Inflammation and pain in the joints
  • Mental status changes (depression, forgetfulness)
  • Extreme fatigue

 

NJ Termite Inspection

Termites are tiny but they do a huge amount of damage. A home inspector can detect new infestations that can be damaging your home from the inside out, not detectable from the outside. Termites eat from the inside out, so by the time you see the damage, it’s too late! The cost of termite damage is usually in the thousands. You can save yourself a huge headache and bill if you have your home inspected for termites.

 

Call us at Aurora Home Inspections (201) 476-9200 today for any of your home inspection needs. We are conveniently located in Bergen County, NJ and serve the Northern NJ and NY Metro areas.

 

How To Avoid Indoor Allergens

How To Avoid Indoor Allergens

How To Avoid Indoor Allergens | Bergen County Home Inspection

Most of the time, when thinking about allergens we think of the outdoors. But even indoors, windows closed and air conditioning cranking, allergens make their way into our homes and inevitably cause us problems. Here are some tips on how to avoid indoor allergens.

The most common indoor allergens are:

  • Dust mites
  • Mold
  • Pollen
  • Cigarettes

Dust Mites are tiny, microscopic insects that feed on human skin flakes and thrive in warm and more humid areas. They can be found anywhere in the house, but love to make their home in bedding and furniture. To control dust mites, purchase an allergen-proof encasing for pillows, mattresses, and box springs. It is very good practice to also wash your linens in 130-degree temperatures every seven to 10 days. You should also be sure to vacuum regularly and wear a mask while you do it.

Mold will grow in any dark and/or damp place. It is extremely common in all types of homes, but those with dampness and moisture problems are certainly the most susceptible to mold issues. Basements, showers and bathtubs are your areas of highest concern when it comes to mold. Do your best to avoid putting your living area in a basement, and especially try to avoid basement bedrooms for anyone with allergies.  Avoiding carpet in the basement is also a great idea. Read more about Tips for Cleaning Mold and Mildew and Mold Detection Services in Bergen County, NJ.

Pollen is often thought of as purely an outdoor issue. However, the pollen you come in contact with outside, travels with you and much of it makes it into your home, either on your shoes, on pets, or blown in through open windows. In fact, many people think they are allergic to their pets when actually it is the pollen the pets are bringing in the home. To minimize how much pollen enters your home, first keep your windows closed an use your air conditioning. When you return from the outdoors, take your shoes off and change your clothes immediately. Finally, wipe down your pets when they come back inside as well. Doing these things will help reduce the amount of pollen in your home.

Avoiding cigarette smoke and ash is an easy one. Do not let anyone smoke in your home, or even near any open windows or doors. Not everyone will be allergic to cigarette smoke, but anyone with asthma or sever allergies will feel its affects. If someone must smoke in the home, open the windows, clear ashtrays right away, and consider running an air purifier. You can also purify the air in your home using indoor plants.

 

 

 

 

How To Prepare For Home Inspection

How To Prepare For Home Inspection

How To Prepare For Home Inspection

If you’re in the market to sell your home, you my be nervous about the pre-sale home inspection. As long as you have represented your home honestly, you have nothing to worry about. While it is common for the seller to not be there during the buyer’s home inspection, there are still things you can do to make the job easier for the inspector, and make sure the home is at its best. Here are some tips on how to prepare for home inspection.

  • Make sure all your light bulbs are working and change any older ones. The home inspector will need to look at every area of the house, and will need the best lighting possible. It will also save time.
  • Clean clutter out of closets and pantries. The home inspector is going to need to be able to get good look inside them.
  • Remove items away from basement walls so they can be inspected for cracks and leaks.
  • Make sure the attic is easily accessible.
  • Change all filters to your furnace and heating systems. Leave service tags for the inspector to see.
  • If your home is vacant make sure the power is on and all systems are fueled up.
  • Never try to conceal any defects you know are present in your home. The inspector is going to find them. They know where to look! If your trying to conceal things, it will throw up a major red flag!!!

Following these tips on how to prepare for home inspection will ensure the inspector gets the true, honest picture of the condition of the home. The better the inspection, the happier the buyer. A happy buyer can only be a good thing for you when you are selling your home.

The Importance of Termite Inspection

NJ Termite Inspection

NJ Termite Inspection

 

When buying a home, it is incredibly important to have a termite inspection. It is a very low cost inspection to have that could easily end up saving you thousands of dollars in the long run. Your home is likely your biggest and most important investment. Termite damage and repair is incredibly costly. There is no good reason to take that gamble on an important asset like your home. A quick and inexpensive termite inspection can save you a lot of future money and hassle.It’s also very possible that when buying a home you will not have a choice in the matter of a termite inspection. In NJ, a termite inspection is often required when purchasing a home.

You may think it is a waste of time and money when you don’t see any termite damage on the outside. However, since termites eat wood from the inside out, doing their best to hide from any light, you may not be aware of any infestations until it is too late. A termite inspection will not only save you the headache of a future termite infestation, it may also help discover a current one. A current termite infestation would then become a good bargaining chip for you when negotiating price.

Termites may be tiny insects, but they do a large amount of damage. They eat around the clock and can actually consume a pound of wood in just one week! They can quite literally eat away an entire house.

Luckily, your home inspector can determine the level of termite infestation at the time. Whether there is leftover termite damage, some leftover infestation that needs to be treated, or a brand new, full blown threat, your home inspector can recommend the appropriate remediation.

If you are in the Bergen County New Jersey area, call Aurora Home Inspections for your Termite Inspection and all other home inspection needs. We are professional and extensively trained in termite and insect inspections.