Sunday, May 31, 2015

Rain, rain, go away

There were just four days in this month of May when it didn't rain in Kansas City. Maybe five, depending on what happens today. March 22nd's blog post included tips on preparing for our rainy season - clean out your gutters, improve the drainage around your house's foundation by sloping the ground away from the house, and, keep the gutters and downspouts free from debris. 

But the ground is so saturated now, even those preventative measures may not have kept water out of your basement. Houses that usually stay dry in heavy rains are getting wet this month. The Kansas City Star newspaper quotes a foundation contractor as saying, "When that water table in the ground gradually starts to increase...our basements literally become pools waiting to fill up." What to do now?

First, protect your belongings by getting them off the basement floor. Then, make sure your sump pump, if you have one, is plugged in and working. Yes, make sure it's plugged in. An amazing number of sump pumps are unplugged by home owners for various reasons. Make certain that yours is working. And do the preventative measures mentioned above. If water is still getting into your basement, it's time to call a professional contractor. Or, learn to tread water.

Whole house inspections, condo inspections, radon testing, mold testing and more, we do it all for you. Call or E-mail today to schedule your own Complete Home Inspection, 913-268-0222,

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Defect of the Week

Three different houses in one week had furnace filters that were installed backwards. That doesn't sound like a big deal, but it really is. First of all, the filter itself is designed with wire or cardboard reinforcing on one side. If the filter is installed backwards, that reinforcement can’t protect the filter material from being sucked in towards the blower, which can cause serious damage to the blower. When installing your filter, check to see if there is an arrow on the edge of the filter. That arrow should point towards the furnace, not back into the return air duct.

Most people think the filter’s job is to keep the house clean. It does, to some extent. But, the filter’s most important job is to keep the blower and all of the interior parts of the furnace and air conditioner clean. That way they work more efficiently. A dirty filter restricts air flow through the heating and cooling system, causing it to overheat and age faster. So, change your filter regularly.

And, another thing to remember is that your "furnace" filter doesn't just work when the furnace is running. Most heating and cooling systems in houses run air through the filter for the air conditioner, too. So now is the time to check your furnace filter, look for the arrows indicating the direction of airflow, and make certain that it installed correctly. Or, have me check it when I'm inspecting the house for you. You will, literally, breathe easier.

Whole house inspections, condo inspections, radon testing, mold testing, and more, we do it all for you. Call or E-mail today to schedule your Complete Home Inspection, 913-268-0222,