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What Causes Streaks on Roofs?

 

As home inspectors, we are often faced with the question from a potential home buyer about what the ugly black streaks on a roof are, and more importantly how do they get rid of them?

Many people believe the streaks are caused by dirt or pollen building up on the roof, but more often than not the culprit is actually an algae that is growing on the roof and feeding off the roof materials.

The algae is most commonly Gloeocapsa Magma, a blue-green algae that travels and propagates through airborne spores.

The algae doesn’t typically do much damage to the roof, but it does look unsightly. And many people argue as to how to deal with it. Continue reading “What Causes Streaks on Roofs?”

Cellar Vs Basement

Cellar versus Basement

Which term correctly describes the space? Is there a difference between the two terms?

There is actually a huge debate raging over this topic as there seems to be no actual standard definition used universally throughout the country.

And depending on what region of the country you’re from, it can be called either a basement or a cellar. And in many areas, people often use both terms interchangeably, despite the fact that they are most likely intended to convey a different meaning. Continue reading “Cellar Vs Basement”

Weatherproofing Windows for Winter

Tips for Weatherproofing Windows:

This inspector faced ridiculous heating bills last year in New Hampshire during what is probably going to be labeled as the worst winter in history. So after paying more than $4000 for the winter on heating oil, I am resolved to not allow a repeat of that this coming winter.

So what can one do, short of replacing all your windows for an average cost of $9,720 (according to an article in Remodeling Magazine) for 10 windows? Continue reading “Weatherproofing Windows for Winter”

What’s the Deal with Carbon Monoxide Detectors?

Q: Why do we need Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors in our homes?

A: The simple answer is – anytime we are burning any type of fossil fuel in our home, whether it’s a heating system or an appliance that uses a fossil fuel, we should have an active CO Detector installed to detect any leaking gases inside the home. Continue reading “What’s the Deal with Carbon Monoxide Detectors?”

Radon Testing – A Simple Procedure That Saves Lives

Although the American Society of Home Inspectors does not require environmental testing as part of its standards of practice, home inspectors – especially New Hampshire home inspectors – should seriously consider offering radon testing as a service to customers.

What is radon? Radon (Rn) is a colorless, odorless, naturally occurring gas that comes from the decay of uranium in the ground. It is a known carcinogen and, according to the U.S. Surgeon General, is the second-leading cause of lung cancer – second only to smoking.

One in every 15 houses in the United States has elevated levels of radon. Why lung cancer afflicted not just the lungs of smokers, but non-smokers as well used to be a mystery. Researchers have now concluded that radon exposure is a leading cause. Continue reading “Radon Testing – A Simple Procedure That Saves Lives”

The Differences Between Ionization and Photoelectric Smoke Alarms

Smoke Alarm on Orange BackgroundIonization or photoelectric–which smoke detector is best for you? Before you can decide, you need to know the difference between the two.

Ionization and photoelectric devices are the two most commonly recognized smoke-detection technologies. Each has a sensor that detects smoke and fire differently depending on the origin of the fire.

Ionization smoke detection is typically more responsive to flaming fires. For example, a towel is placed on a kitchen counter too close to a stove burner and it ignites. Continue reading “The Differences Between Ionization and Photoelectric Smoke Alarms”

What Is a HUD 203(k) Loan?

Neon Loan SignHUD’s Section 203(k) loan program is one of many FHA programs that make mortgage credit available to borrowers who are buying or refinancing houses in need of repair or modernization.

Unlike conventional rehab programs, the 203(k) has the same relaxed credit- and income-qualifying and low-down payment guidelines as other FHA loan programs. The program is ideal for those who may not otherwise qualify for conventional loans due to income, credit, and/or down payment limitations.

On our News/Resources page, we’ve included links to helpful sections of the Department of Housing and Urban Development website for those seeking more detailed information.