Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Selman Home Inspections Company Logo      469-371-3228

Fall Home Maintenance Tips
By David Selman, Certified Master Inspector, TREC#10299

Fall Home Maintenance Tips from Selman Home Inspections
Fall is in the air! And, with fall approaching it is time for your fall home maintenance. Performing these fall home maintenance activities will help protect your home from the ravages of the winter elements and help keep your home in optimal condition. Most of these maintenance items can be done by homeowners or by hiring a handy-man service. However you get them done, they are sure to protect your home, protect your family and improve your quality of life.

  • Examine the roof for signs of damage to roof coverings, flashings and chimneys and have any defects professionally repaired.
  • If your home has a fireplace, have the fireplace professionally checked and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep.
  • Look in the attic (if accessible) to ensure that roof vents are not obstructed.  
  • Inspect the attic insulation. In Texas, 12 inches of insulation is recommended. Add insulation as needed.
  • If your home has a crawl space, crawl space vents should remain open year-round. Closed crawl space vents hold in moisture creating conducive conditions for wood rot and wood destroying insects.
  • Check the crawl space for signs of leakage, condensation, moisture or vermin activity.  Consult a professional for repairs.
  • Water supply lines in attics and crawl spaces should be insulated.
  • Trim back tree branches and shrubs to ensure that they are not in contact with the house. 
  • Inspect the exterior walls and foundation for indications of damage, cracking or movement.  Repair as needed to prevent moisture intrusion or consult a professional.
  • Watch for bird nests or other vermin or insect activity.  
  • If your home electric service is overhead, check for tree limbs in contact with the service conductors. They should be secure and clear of trees or other obstructions. Hire a professional to trim tree limbs away from overhead electric lines. 
  • If your home electric service is underground, check the service entrance conduit for any separations or damaged. Repair as needed or call an electrician.
  • Ensure that the grade of the land around the house encourages water to flow away from the foundation. The top 4”-6” of the foundation wall should be visible.
  • Repair or replace any rain gutter splashguards or gutter extensions as needed.
  • Clean out the rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Add mulch around flowerbeds and trees but be sure to leave the at least 4” of the foundation visible.
  • Inspect all driveways, walkways, decks, porches, and landscape components for signs of deterioration, movement or tripping safety hazards. 
  • Clean windows and test their operation.  
  • Improve caulking and weather-stripping as necessary.  
  • Repair any wood rot or deterioration at window frames. Paint and repair windowsills and frames as necessary. 
  • Test all ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) devices for operation. 
  • Shut off isolating valves for exterior hose bibs in the fall when below freezing temperatures are anticipated. 
  • Test the Temperature and Pressure Relief (TPR) Valve on water heaters. After testing, these valves often leak and should be replaced.
  • Inspect for signs of wood destroying insect activity.  
  • Eliminate any wood/soil contact around the perimeter of the home to prevent moisture intrusion and wood destroying insect activity. 
  • Test the overhead garage door opener, to ensure that the auto-reverse mechanism is responding properly.  
  • Clean and lubricate overhead door hinges, rollers and tracks on overhead doors using a lubricant made for overhead doors.
  • Replace the batteries in overhead door remote controls.
  • Replace or clean exhaust hood filters. 
  • Clean, inspect and service all appliances as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Replace air conditioning filters regularly.
  • Consider having a professional service and repair heating equipment prior to cold weather.
  • Check the smoke and fire alarms and replace the batteries. There should be a smoke and fire alarm in each bedroom and the adjacent hallways.
  • Check the carbon monoxide detectors for operation and replace the batteries.
  • Make sure there are fire extinguishers handy.
  • Make a plan or review your plans for emergencies such as fires.

Although we’ve heard it many times, nothing could be truer than the old cliché “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Preventative home maintenance is the best way to keep your home in great shape.  It also reduces the risk of unexpected repairs and improves the odds of selling your house at fair market value, when the time comes.

Selman Home Inspections can help evaluate component defects and repair needs anytime with a complete home inspection.

Monday, February 29, 2016

10 Things You Need To Know About Your Home Inspector
Buying a new home for you and your family is very exciting. To some, it is also nerve racking. There are a lot of steps involved in the home buying process. Among the steps to homeownership are selecting the professionals to guide you through this obstacle coarse. Choosing these professionals wisely is important to your finances, long term goals, your sanity and your family's well being.
Among the professional you will need is a home inspector. A professional home inspection should never be neglected. When making this choice, there are many questions one may ask. Here are ten things we believe you should know about a home inspector;
  1. Is the inspector properly licensed? We recommend checking the Texas Real Estate Commission website for the inspectors credentials. If an inspector is properly insured, licensed and trained, the inspector will be listed as "active" and in good standing. 
  2. Is the home inspector a "part time inspector" or "full time professional"? There are many inspectors who also have other full time jobs and are not full time professional home inspectors. Be cautious of part time inspectors.
  3. Is the inspector a member of reputable associations? Professional Home Inspectors will be a member of one or more Professional Associations.
  4. Is the inspector qualified, certified and licensed to perform all of the Home Inspection Services you may need? High quality Home Inspectors are qualified to perform not only the home inspection, but wood destroying insect inspections, sprinkler system inspections, pool inspections, well inspections and septic system inspections. You want to hire a home inspection company that can take care of all your inspection needs at the same time.
  5. Is the inspector a preferred vendor, trusted and well respected by Realtors? A Professional Home Inspector should be trusted by real estate agents.
  6. How do you contact the inspector? Professional home inspection companies should provide outstanding customer service that promotes the profession to their clients and the public. Home Inspectors should be available to answer questions at any time.
  7. Does the inspectors website have sample inspection reports? Sample inspection reports are a good way to review an inspector's work and attention to detail.
  8. What do past clients have to say about the home inspector? Does the inspection company have good customer reviews? Check out what past clients say about an inspector. Customer Reviews can often be found on the inspection company website and on social media.
  9. What do you get for your home inspection dollars? Of course you want the best home inspection possible, one that reveals the true condition of a home. But you also want to hire an inspection company that provides additional benefits such as Free Thermal Imaging, onsite presentation of the results, Free Homeowners Handbook, Free utility connection services. Your home inspection report should be delivered quickly and include a prioritized summary report.
  10. How does the inspector provide support after the inspection? The home inspector you choose should be easy to contact by phone and email. They should be there for you and your agent anytime you have a question about your home, even long after your inspection. Your inspector should also offer support services such as a free membership to the Homeowners Network and a complete Homeowners Guide.

There are so many questions about how to choose a home inspection company they are too numerous to count. We recommend doing your homework. When buying a new home there is to much at stake to rely on part-time or inexperienced inspectors. Hire only trusted, reputable, experienced Professional Home Inspectors.
The services provided should exceed your expectations. The home inspection company should be communicating with you and your Realtor every step of the way. The inspector you choose should be working for you in the best interest of your family.

David Selman, CMI
TREC #10299
Septic #113423
TDA #660910
Instructor #881358688

Rickey Free, CPI
TREC #20804
Septic #12438
TDA #0699871 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Referring & Choosing The Right Home Inspectors

"Accurate Investment Protection You Can Trust"

That is the tag line for Selman Home Inspections, Inc. Here is what it means to us;

If you are buyig a house, you're about to invest your hard earned dollars in a property you know very little about for years to come. If you are selling a house, you want as much information as possible to put the marketing advantages back in your hands. If you are a Realtor, we understand that it is your reputation on the line.

Choosing an experienced home inspection company is a critical step and should not be taken lightly. Selman Home Inspections provides the experience and high quality professional reports important for decision making.

Our Professional Home Inspectors perform no more than two inspections per day to ensure adequate time to investigate the subject property thoroughly and provide an onsite presentation of the findings. Our typical time on site ranges from 2.5 to 4 hours depending, on the size, age and condition of the property and time needed to answer any questions you may have. Every home is inspected with precision and detail using our specialized three pass process.

I will be honest right up front; we are not the cheapest inspectors. If price is the only concern, we are likely not the right inspection company for you. With the value of your investment in a home in mind, the last thing you want to do is choose an inspector based on the inspection cost. The old adage, "you get what you pay for" is true. Just like your family doctor, quality, knowledge, experience and service matter when making life changing decisions. Your choice of a home inspection company should be based on research, referrals, trust and confidence.

Led by NACHI Certified Master Home Inspector, David Selman, our team has the qualifications, experience, education, technology and equipment needed to perform every home inspection thoroughly and professionally. The real estate and home inspection industry is our life's passion and safeguarding your family's safety and financial investment is our top priority.

Our clients are provided with unbiased, impartial professional home inspection reports which include photos, recommendations, priortized summary and many other benifits. Experience is key. Rest assured if you lend us 5% of your trust, I am confident that we will earn the other 95%. If you are buying or selling a house, we want to be your professional home inspectors every time you move. If you're a Realtor, we want to be at the top of your referral list. And, we will work hard to retain that trust.

We are here to answer questions about your home and provide advice anytime you need it, before, during and after your inspection. Learn more about What We Inspect and why we encourage our clients to be present. Along with a detailed, comprehensive report, we also offer additional services that go farther to reduce risk and protect your family investment including;

Termite Reports (WDI)

Thermal Imaging Reports

Septic System Reports

Your professionally finished home inspection report and onsite presentation is how we provide Risk Management and "Accurate Investment Protection You Can Trust".

If you have additional questions about home inspections, our services or would like to schedule an inspection, contact your Professional Dallas Home Inspections Company today.

David Selman, CMI
TREC #10299
Septic #113423
TDA #660910
Instructor #881358688

Rickey Free, CPI
TREC #20804
Septic #12438
TDA #0699871 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring Home Maintenance & Improvements

Dallas Home Inspections Blog, Spring Home Maintenance & Improvements
Maintaining Your Home Series

Spring is in the air! After a long winter, I think we are all ready for some sunshine. Spring is when we get excited about being outdoors and enjoying our yards. Along with some outdoor spring maintenance, tips we want to share some new home standards. Every year, there are numerous updates to the Texas building standards. Some of these are outdoors, and some inside.

Spring Maintenance Tips:
  • Plants and trees are already beginning to grow! Be sure shrubs and trees are not in contact with your home.
  • If you are planting new trees, be sure to plant them at least 10 feet away from the exterior walls of your home.
  • Many of us add new soil and mulch to our flowerbeds in the spring. Be sure to maintain the soil and mulch level so that 4-6 inches of the foundation is visible. High soil and mulch contribute to moisture penetration into your home and create hiding places for wood destroying insects like termites.
  • Great time to clean out the rain gutter. Leaves and debris should be removed.
  • Also check rain gutters for roof covering granules. If there is an excessive amount of roof granules in your gutters, have your roof inspected by a certified, licensed roof specialist.
  • Check the exterior caulking around doors, windows, air conditioning cooling lines, brick masonry expansion joints and hose bibs. Clean and re-caulk as needed.
  • Examine any exterior wood siding and trim for wood rot and moisture damage and make plans to repair any damage.
  • Open and close the windows in your home to make sure they operate freely. Lubricate window guides with a light oil.
  • Visit our "Home Maintenance Guide" for more information on spring home maintenance tips!
New or Updated Standards:

As building sciences improve, there are new standards adopted each year to improve our existing homes and new construction homes. We thought that this spring would be a good time to introduce a few of them. These items will appear as a defects in many homes, even new homes. Many home builders are behind in achieving many of the new standards. Your home is your castle and as your Professional Home Inspectors, we want your castle to be all it can be.
  • Attic installed metal ducts should be electrically bonded together.
  • CSST (Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing) should be properly bonded.
  • Metal hot and cold water lines at the water heater should be bonded.
  • Flexible gas lines at appliances should be bonded to the black pipe gas line.
  • All kitchen counter and island electrical receptacles should be GFCI protected.
  • Appliance (food waste disposer) receptacles under the kitchen sink should be GFCI protected.
  • Metal chimney caps should be bonded.
  • "Kick-out" flashing should be installed at all roof coverings were another adjacent wall continues.
  • All convenience electrical receptacles should have installed AFCI (Arch Fault Circuit Interruptors).
  • All electrical receptacles should be child tamper resistant.
  • Exterior electrical receptacles should be GFCI protected and inside a weather proof bubble cover.
  • Attic access ports and attic stairs installed in the garage should be air-tight and have a 20 minute fire rating.
Professional Home Inspection can identify many areas in your home that should be improved or updated to bring your home as close as possible to current building standards. A home inspection report is a tremendous tool to help homeowners build a to-do list of home improvements. Many of these improvements are safety related. Making these updates can save lives and prevent property damage.

If you have additional questions about home inspections, want to learn more or would like to schedule an inspection, contact your Professional Home Inspector.

David Selman, Certified Master Inspector #10299


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dallas Home Inspections Are Not Just For Buyers

Dallas Home Inspections Are Not Just For Buyers

Maintaining Your Home Series

Traditionally, home inspections are done for buyers when they are purchasing a new place to live. There are however, other important times to get a Professional Home Inspection. The pros at Selman Home Inspections perform every kind of residential home inspection service you may need.

New Construction Inspection

Yes, even new construction homes should be professionally inspected. It is amazing that even with the finest home builders, there is always room for improvement. A new construction home inspection help make sure your new home is everything it should be.

Warranty Inspection

If you have built or purchased a new construction home, it is important to have that home professionally inspected prior to the expiration of your new home warranty. As homes are used over the first year, there may be items that have not performed as intended that should be repaired or replaced by the builder. Otherwise, the homeowner takes on these costs down the road...

Maintenance Inspection

Every year there are new building standards, construction standards and codes. With each passing year, your home becomes that much more out of date. A Maintenance Home Inspection compares your existing home to the current standards and provides valuable insights to help you bring your home up to modern standards. When you get ready to sell an older home, outdated standards and home maintenance will surely be a stumbling block. Making a few adjustments recommended by a Maintenance Home Inspection each year will help avoid issues and unexpected costs.

Seller or Pre-Listing Inspection

Selling your home or thinking about it? A seller or Pre-Listing Inspection has tremendous advantages and puts the leverage back in your hands ( and your agents). This inspection will virtually eliminate the hassles and blown deals caused by traditional buyer home inspections. Eventually, a buyer will have a home inspection performed, why not head them off and repair these defects ahead of time? Our Pre-Listing Home Inspection also helps with realistic pricing and items that you may want to include in the property disclosure documents.

Other Important Inspections

Selman Home Inspections also performs termite (Wood Destroying Insect) inspections, Septic System Inspections and Thermal Imaging Inspections. These added services provide for the most comprehensive and thorough inspections possible. By having one inspection company perform all your services, we save you time and money.

David Selman, Certified Master Inspector #10299


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Benefits Of Choosing Selman Home Inspections

Benefits Of Choosing Selman Home Inspections

Reasons More Agents Refer Us Than Other Inspectors

Besides delivery of world class home inspection services, there are many benefits that home buyers and sellers get with every inspection we perform. Trusted by thousands of agents and their clients, our process of delivering outstanding customer service and reliable inspection reports makes us a leader in our field. We invite you to watch this 1 minute video about the benefits your clients will receive when you refer Selman Home Inspections.

Want to know more about who we are and why so many Realtors are referring us to their clients? Then you may also want to explore our website, learn about our Mission and see what our Goals for serving you and your clients is all about.

We are here to service home inspection service needs before, during and after the inspection with "Accurate Investment Protection You Can Trust".

David Selman, Certified Master Inspector #10299


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dallas Home Inspections, Fireplace & Chimney Maintenance

Dallas Home Inspections, Fireplace & Chimney

Maintaning Your Home Series
Proper maintenance, repair and upgrades to your fireplace and chimney are an important part of protecting your family, the home itself and the contents. Many house fires are caused by defects, inadequate construction and improper maintenance of fireplaces and chimneys.

Fireplaces and chimneys should be inspected and cleaned annually. Yes, even if you don't use it. Unused fireplaces may develop cracks or other problems over time like nesting birds and damaging moisture penetration.

With use, fireplaces and chimneys will develop creosote and soot which should be removed by professional cleaning to prevent chimney fires.

Fireplaces with gas logs or other gas fired devices should have a "damper block" installed on the flu or damper door to prevent the damper from closing completely. These devices help prevent unwanted and dangerous gases from entering the living area in the event of a gas or carbon monoxide leak.

Fireplaces and chimneys should be inspected to ensure that they are safe. Home Inspectors and fireplace specialists will identify things like damaged fire brick, damaged firebox liners, damaged masonry, lack of screens or glass doors, damaged or missing chimney caps and screens, inoperative dampers and many other possible issues. 

Care should be taken to keep flammable materials away from the fireplace opening. It is amazing how often we find wood trim, mantels and other flammable materials which are too close to the fireplace opening. These safety hazards should be corrected.

As Professional Home Inspectors, we also inspect the attic area around fireplaces and chimneys to identify defects like a lack of fire stopping, insulation in contact with the chimney and improperly supported chimney flu.

Tree limbs should not be within 10 feet of the chimney. If they are, there is a fire danger. Tree limbs in contact with the chimney may also damage the exterior materials.

Masonry chimneys are often built with a mortar cover. Mortar covers do not have a long lifespan. They will soon crack and allow moisture to penetrate the chimney components. Moisture penetration issues at the chimney can be prevented with the installation of a metal chimney cap and proper flashings.

All chimneys should have a cap and screen installed. Caps and screens prevent rain and unwanted pests from entering the chimney. Chimney screens also help defuse any hot embers which may escape.

Older homes with fireplaces often have chimneys which are 30 inches or wider at the roof deck. A chimney "cricket" is highly recommended to allow water to go around the chimney more easily.

For wood frame and siding chimneys, the siding and trim should not be in direct contact with the roof deck. There should be a space between the siding, trim and the roof deck to prevent the accumulation of moisture. Proper chimney flashing also prevents water leaks to the interior of the home.

Again common to older construction, many chimneys were build with a single step flashing. Today's current building standards recommend a counter flashing be installed over the step flashing.

Proper inspection, maintenance, upgrades and repair of fireplaces and chimneys is important for family safety. Correcting fireplace and chimney defects will also prevent stumbling blocks when a house is inspected by a buyer's home inspector.

If you have additional questions about your home's fireplace and chimney or would like to schedule an inspection, contact your Professional Home Inspector.

David Selman, Certified Master Inspector #10299