Home Inspection Can Prepare You for Emergencies!

Reblogger Jim Frimmer
Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Realty West CalBRE #01458572

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Original content by David Artigliere

ARTI Home Inspections LLC Prepares Homeowners For Emergencies!  With a little education about the home, you might know what to do once the unexpected happens.

I have 20 water shutoff valves in my house and I know exactly where each of them are and how to operate them.  Do you?  Many small home emergencies become huge disasters because we don't know what to do when the unexpected happens. 

Buying a home can mean building wealth and saving on taxes, but it's not just about money.  Get to know your home intimately. Knowing where the shutoff valves are located, for instance, can save you a lot of money and grief later if disaster strikes. 

If you are relatively new to homeownership or property management, one of the things I like to do when I'm performing a home inspection for a buyer or real estate investor, is to have them walk around the property with me so I can teach them about the house and point out maintenance issues and educate them about the systems.  It is not required that you be there for the inspection, but I certainly recommend it.  Below are some of the items you should be aware of if you already own a home.

WATER SHUT OFFS

Each of my bathrooms has three cut-off valves -- one for the toilet, two under the sink (hot and cold water). If, for some reason, those break and I have water coming through, I also know where the main water valve is located and I've tested it to make sure the knob doesn't break off in my hand if I ever run up against a real emergency. There are also two water shut off valves going toward the outside water faucets

It's easy to let these valves age into disrepair. Honestly, they aren't items that we work with on a regular basis. Except for the testing of the water main, I've not touched the knob in more than three years (when I moved into the dwelling

HOT WATER HEATER

How's the hot water heater? Have you checked the bottom of it lately to see any evidence of rust? For many homeowners, this is one of those household items that never gets checked until water is running everywhere. The hot water heater should also have a cutoff valve. Know how to use it and have your kids try it out too.

ELECTRIC PANEL

Have you looked over your electrical panel as well?  If you've remodeled, the labels need to be changed (that's assuming you have labels). If  they aren't clearly marked, this little project can take you a few minutes to an hour or so, depending on how many outlets, switches and lights you have in the house. Use a cell phone or  walkie-talkies with a helper and it makes the job of identifying the circuit breakers or fuses a lot easier. One person stays by the panel flipping switches, while the other walks around the house letting you know what's on and what's off.

To identify the circuits, turn on all the lights in the house. For outlets, you'll just have to switch off the breaker and have your partner flip on an appliance, radio or lamp that's plugged in that outlet to determine the match. The good thing about this project is that it won't have to be done again unless you remodel and add on more outlets and switches on more circuit breakers

WASHER/DRYER

A couple of intensive appliances are the dishwasher and washer. Keep up with what's happening underneath these appliances. Look over the hoses periodically and make sure they are not getting old and about to split open. Check for rust in the bottom of the baskets (if you have metal construction).

If you notice a touch of rust in the bottom of your dishwasher when you are loading/unloading dishes, check the flooring for signs of water leakage or go in the basement to see if the dishwasher might be leaking during a cycle.  If not, make a mental note to keep an eye on it in case it gets worse.  Rust can work its way up from the bottom.

Emergencies can become less taxing with a little testing, preventative maintenance and knowing your home's systems. 

ARTI Home Inspections LLC is open 7 days a week from 8am to 9pm including some holidays!  We are based in Pennside, PA, a suburb of Reading, PA and inspect homes for Buyers, Sellers, Banks and Investors all over Eastern Pennsylvania including Montgomery, Berks, Chester, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Bucks, Lehigh Valley, Delaware, Lebanon counties.  

David Artigliere has a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and has been performing home inspections since 2001.  He has also been a Real Estate Investor since 1997, rehabbing over 20 properties.

For more information or to schedule a home inspection or consult, visit their website at www.artihi.com or contact David Artigliere at 610-220-1907.

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Jim Frimmer

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