Last Minute Home Winterization Projects

Last Minute Home Winterization Projects

By this time of year, you have likely taken care of most of your home winterization projects. You should have had your furnace inspected by now, as well as taken care of siding and roofing repairs and even switched the direction on your ceiling fans. You are well on your way to enjoying a warm, carefree winter in your home. However, at Aurora Home Inspections, there are a few last minute home winterization projects we want all NY and NJ residents to be aware of. Here are a few less common home winterization projects you can take care of today.


  1. Survey the perimeter of your home and cut back the brush. Bushes, shrubs, low hanging trees and even potted plants are great hideouts for rodents during the winter months. Cutting them back will deter rodents and also protect your home from being scraped by branches in ice storms.
  2. Prepare your outdoor plumbing. During the winter, water can freeze and expand inside hoses and sprinklers. This can cause serious damage. Drain hoses, pools, exterior pipes, sprinklers and any unheated pipes. If draining is not an option, make sure to cover and insulate them properly to avoid breaks and bursts. Also cover exposed spigots using newspaper and duct tape.
  3. Clean up your outdoor furniture and store it for the winter. If you wait until the last minute, which most of us do, your outdoor furniture will end up covered in snow and ice. Get ahead of it this year, and put them away nice and clean. You will thank yourself in the spring! Also cover, or put away barbecue grills and potted plants.
  4. Drain the gasoline from lawn equipment. Condensation can build up over the winter months and cause engine trouble if too much water builds up in the gas tank. If you can’t drain the gas tanks, add a gas additive to avoid condensation.

Don’t stop after you have the big things done. You will have a much more enjoyable and less expensive spring if you tackle these last minute home winterization projects today!


Changing Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Batteries Could Save Your Life!

Change Batteries In Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors NJ

Change smoke and carbon monoxide batteries | Aurora Home Inspection Bergen County NJ


Fall is the perfect time of year to consider the level of fire and carbon monoxide threat in your home. At Aurora Home Inspections, we urge you, when the clocks fall back this year and daylight savings time ends, to change the batteries in all the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home. Changing smoke and carbon monoxide batteries at least once per year could save your life!

Your life can only be saved by an alarm that is working. Good batteries are essential to the effectiveness of both a smoke and CO alarm. It is also imperative to have a working alarm on every level of the home. Having an alarm on every level can buy you the precious time needed to escape disaster.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), approximately three out of five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or homes without working smoke alarms.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, “home fires often result in lost lives, lasting injuries and property damage. CPSC estimates that between 2009 and 2011, an average of 362,300 unintentional residential fires attended by the fire service, resulted in 2,260 deaths, 12,820 injuries and nearly $7 billion in property damage each year.”

Some alarms will come with a sealed, 10 year guaranteed battery. However, if your alarm does not come that way, you must change the batteries at least once per year. It is also advisable to test each alarm on a monthly basis and place one in every bedroom on every level of the home to maximize safety.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission “carbon monoxide alarms are also critically important safety equipment in the home. Each year from 2008 to 2010, there were an average 162 reported carbon monoxide deaths involving consumer products under CPSC’s jurisdiction, including portable generators and home heating systems.”

Carbon Monoxide | The Invisible Killer

The importance of carbon monoxide detectors in the home cannot be stressed enough. You cannot see or smell carbon monoxide. Known as the invisible killer, the poisonous gas quickly incapacitates and kills its victims quickly from a variety of sources.

How to Purify the Air in Your Home with Indoor Plants

How to Purify the Air in Your Home with Indoor Plants

Indoor air purifiers are great for helping to remove bothersome allergens from the air in your home. However, there are several much less expensive alternatives that you can add to your home that not only have stronger scientific evidence backing their air purifying qualities than air purifiers but they also beautify your home at the same time! That’s right, we are talking about indoor plants. There are countless plants that will purify the air in your home, but here we will talk about the big 6 and how to purify the air in your home with indoor plants.

How To Purify The Air In Your Home With Indoor Plants


Aloe plants have been found to be highly absorbent of formaldehyde, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide and are highly beneficial in increasing the level of oxygen in your home. It has been found that just one pot of aloe is equivalent to nine indoor air cleaners. It is an amazing plant with endless health benefits that go beyond purifying the air.

Spider Plant

Spider plants have the ability to undergo photosynthesis with very minimal light. This makes them a healthy and easy to care for indoor plant. The absorb air toxins such as formaldehyde, styrene, carbon monoxide, and benzene. You can filter a 200 square foot home with just one spider plant. How is that for a budget saver?

English Ivy

English ivy has proven to reduce 60% of airborne mold and 58% of airborne feces after being placed in a room for only 6 hours. This sounds like a must for litter box rooms!

Peace Lily

Peace lily plants are terrific at filtering harmful benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde.

Snake Plant aka Mother-In-Law’s Tongue

If you don’t have the greenest of thumbs, Snake plants, or mother in law’s tongue is a nearly indestructible plant. They are great detoxifiers and require little light to survive.

Rubber Plant

Though the leaves can be toxic to pets if eaten, rubber plants are otherwise healthy, easy to care for plants that are excellent at removing toxins with a particular ability to absorb formaldehyde. They need little light and are very easy to care for.

So to save a few dollars on air purifiers and to keep your home fresh and beautiful adding outdoor plants throughout the home is a great way to purify the air. Not only will you save money, but you are guaranteed that they will do the job. After all, they have been doing it since the beginning of time.

Contact Aurora Home Inspections for Bergen County Home Inspections

Contact Aurora Home Inspections for Bergen County Home Inspections

Contact Aurora Home Inspections for Bergen County Home Inspections

When you are about to make the biggest purchase of your life you will need a Certified Master Inspector like the ones at Aurora Home inspection in Bergen County NJ, to make sure that the home is properly inspected and nothing is missed. What seems like a small detail now could become a major issue in the future. To avoid future headaches, or worse future home disasters, contact Aurora Home Inspections for Bergen County home inspection, and rest assured that you are getting a Certified Master Home Inspector.

Aurora Home Inspectors are always Certified Master Inspectors.

What does it mean to be a CMI? Among many things it means you are guaranteed…

High Standards

Read more on what it takes to become a Certified Master Inspector

All of Auroras Certified Master Inspectors have at least 1000 full hours of education and fee paid home inspections combined under their belts with a minimum of 3 years experience in the business before their 1st day at Aurora Home Inspections. You can be sure at Aurora we abide to the toughest code of ethics in home inspection, with inspectors having completed professional education. Our inspectors are also subject to periodic background checks to ensure the continued safety and comfort of all our clients.

Aurora Home Inspections, LLC  Earns Coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award

With every full home inspection from Aurora you will receive both a 100 day warranty for any mechanical and structural concerns, as well as a comprehensive recall report from recall check, free with every full home inspection. Along with these added bonuses you are always guaranteed to have the most qualified, experienced and professional home inspectors in the business. So when it comes time for you to call someone for your Bergen County NJ home inspection, call the best. Contact Aurora Home Inspections for Bergen County home inspections.





Safely Ventilating Fireplaces

Safely Ventilating Fireplaces

Safely Ventilating Fireplaces

Of course you want your fireplace running at its highest efficiency to save money. But more importantly, the main reason to be sure you are safely ventilating fireplaces is to protect your home and family.

When a fireplace fire is burning, it releases bi-products into your chimney and into the air. Having proper ventilation ensures that these by products do not build up and cause harm to your chimney, fire box and of course the air in your home. Whether you have a wood burning fireplace, insert or wood burning stove, proper ventilation will rely on the efficiency and condition of your chimney. Here are some tips on how to make sure your chimney is doing its job which of course is safely ventilating fireplaces.

When installing a chimney…

  • Match the size of the chimney to the size of the fireplace. Improperly matched sizes will result in poor draft and buildup of creosote.
  • Keep the ventilation as straight and vertical as possible. Use elbows, tees or offsets only when absolutely necessary.
  • Avoid installing an exterior chimney. Interior chimneys are better because they are more insulated from the elements.

In addition to professional inspections…

  • Do frequent self inspections
  • Use a wire brush inside chimney regularly to avoid creosote buildup.

By keeping these safety guidelines in mind, you can be sure that your chimney is working efficiently and keeping your home and family safe. Safely ventilating fireplaces may sound like a small detail but it can have a huge cost if not kept up.


Protect Yourself From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning This Winter

Carbon Monoxide detector by Kidde at Home Depot.
Carbon Monoxide detector by Kidde at Home Depot.

Winter is the time of year when we see a rise in the incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning. This is because winter activity such as lighting a fireplace, heating up a car in the garage and running a heating unit that is leaking are common causes of carbon monoxide poisonings.

Thankfully, carbon monoxide poisoning can be prevented with the installation of a carbon monoxide detector in your house. The CO2 detector will monitor levels of the gas in the air and alert you with an alarm when levels are too high and dangerous. In addition to installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home, you should also have your heating system checked before you turn it on again for winter. Ensure that the system is clean-burning and that there are no leaks in the ventilation system, which could cause an emission of carbon monoxide.

Another simple way to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning is to make sure your garage door is completely open if you are heating up your car. Leaving a car running in an enclosed space can almost definitely lead to CO2 poisoning. If your car needs to be heated up prior to driving, leave your garage doors open so the gas can be released into the air outside.

If you are lighting your fireplace this winter, be sure to burn only hardwoods such as oak or maple to avoid a house fire. Trash, paper or cardboard should never be burned, as these are the most common causes of a fire that spreads into the house.

Safety never takes a holiday. Inspect your home heating system, practice safe measures when it comes to heating your home and your car. Install a CO2 detector to ensure that your family stays safe and warm this season.

About Aurora Home Inspections in Bergen County, NJ

Aurora Home Inspections is owned and operated by Larry Smyj, a NACHI Certified Master Home Inspector in Bergen County, NJ. The business also offers services to surrounding areas of New Jersey, Manhattan / NYC, Rockland County & Orange County NY & CT.

We are the proud members of the New Jersey Better Business Bureau (An ‘A’ rated and Accredited Member), International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), New Jersey Association of Licensed Home Inspectors (NJ ALPHI) and the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).

To schedule your home inspection please call our offices at (201) 476-9200 or send us an email at