Fairfax VA Home Inspections https://squareoneinspections.com Home Inspectors in Virginia and Washington DC Sat, 21 Apr 2018 05:36:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Is A Safe Room Really For You? https://squareoneinspections.com/safe-room-really/ https://squareoneinspections.com/safe-room-really/#respond Sat, 21 Apr 2018 05:36:39 +0000 https://squareoneinspections.com/?p=302 Do you really need a safe room for your house? They can be extremely useful in the times that we live in, with crime steadily growing, a safe room can be a great asset to your house. But what exactly are they used for? In the case of a break in, while you are home, […]

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Do you really need a safe room for your house? They can be extremely useful in the times that we live in, with crime steadily growing, a safe room can be a great asset to your house. But what exactly are they used for?

In the case of a break in, while you are home, you can get to the safe room, which would give you more time to alert the police. Also, if a nuclear bomb exploded, granted it may not survive in the immediate vicinity, but there’s still a chance of survival from the radiation if the room if a safe distance from the blast radius. One of the things that have a higher likelihood of happening, however, is in the case of a natural disaster. Having a safe room built with heavy materials like steel, concrete, etc, will help further protect you and your family. A few things that you’ll need for your room are water, plenty of emergency food, blankets, some form of electricity, medicine, flashlights, and a first aid kit.

Even though safe rooms were more common during the Cold War than they are today, safe rooms can be extremely useful in the case of an emergency, which will help you to continue to protect yourself and your family.

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A Defensible Zone – What Is It? https://squareoneinspections.com/a-defensible-zone-what-is-it/ https://squareoneinspections.com/a-defensible-zone-what-is-it/#respond Sat, 21 Apr 2018 05:29:13 +0000 https://squareoneinspections.com/?p=299 What really is defensible space? Well, it can be defined as an area, or zone, around your house that will better protect you from naturally occurring fires, falling trees, or things that could potentially damage your house. The easiest way to think of this would be to split the area into 3 zones. Zone 1 […]

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What really is defensible space? Well, it can be defined as an area, or zone, around your house that will better protect you from naturally occurring fires, falling trees, or things that could potentially damage your house.

The easiest way to think of this would be to split the area into 3 zones. Zone 1 would be 15 feet in any direction from the outside of your house, having no flammable plants or even firewood, which should be located a reasonable distance away. Zone 2 would be an extension from zone 1, a total of 75 to 125 feet from the house. Keeping flammable debris like dead leaves, branches, or pine needles must be kept in check. If there are trees or shrubs, it may be good to have them spread out, so as to slow a fire down in case one did occur. Zone 3 would extend beyond zone 2 and to the property limit.

More vegetation can be left in this area, but should still be kept in check. Maintaining your zones around your house can help to keep your house and family safe in the long run.

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Dangers With Power Generators https://squareoneinspections.com/dangers-power-generators/ Wed, 21 Mar 2018 06:32:28 +0000 https://squareoneinspections.com/?p=295 The post Dangers With Power Generators appeared first on Fairfax VA Home Inspections.

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When dealing with any type of generator that provides power, knowing the hazards that it creates are essential to keeping yourself out of preventing injury to yourself. Here are a couple of hazards that you should know about when dealing with any type of generator.

For starters, any type of generator produces carbon monoxide, that deadly gas that none of us like to hear about. So it is vital to have any type of generator in an open environment, where ventilation won’t be a problem.

Connecting a generator directly to a house’s outlet could result in serious electrical feedback. When generators are directly exposed to water, the risk of electrocution is greater when you handle it, so during a storm or other situation, make sure the generator is well protected from the water.

Always exercise caution when handling equipment that is hazardous, and the fruits of your caution will keep you from harm’s way.

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Safely Using Your Ladder https://squareoneinspections.com/safely-using-ladder/ Tue, 20 Mar 2018 06:32:15 +0000 https://squareoneinspections.com/?p=292 The post Safely Using Your Ladder appeared first on Fairfax VA Home Inspections.

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Over 49,000 injuries from ladder falls are reported every year, so knowing how to use a ladder the right way while doing construction projects or any DIY projects is of the utmost importance. Some safety tips and ladder tips are as follows:

Knowing the different types of ladders is the first step to prevent injury. Each different type of ladder has its own ability, so knowing the abilities and functions will help prevent injury to yourself in the long run. Before using a ladder, make sure all the components, i.e. bolts, screws, steps, are attached properly, etc.

Always face the ladder when walking up and down the steps, to minimize the chances of slipping and falling. When setting up your ladder, make sure it is set up on secure ground, so that as you climb up, the ladder doesn’t move side to side and have that potential of falling over with you on it.

If you are on a roof, be aware of where the ladder is. If it does fall, and you don’t know it, you could unknowingly go to step back on it with nothing being there, thus leading to a fall. Finally, wearing the right kind of safety gear is vital as well. Gear like hard hats, eye protection, heavy duty boots, and gloves will help keep you steady on the ladder and will prevent injury to your head if you do fall.

Keeping these tips in mind will help you to remain injury free, and complete your projects with the best outcome.

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Barbecuing Safely With A Propane Grill https://squareoneinspections.com/barbecuing-safely-propane-grill/ Wed, 21 Feb 2018 04:17:25 +0000 https://squareoneinspections.com/?p=288 The post Barbecuing Safely With A Propane Grill appeared first on Fairfax VA Home Inspections.

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The time for barbequing is near. However, it is necessary to know the dangers of barbequing with a propane grill, so here are some tips on how to practice safe barbequing.

Keeping the actual propane tank in an open environment and away from indoors in case of a leak will protect your house and your family. Secondly, checking for any leakage before refueling an empty tank will prevent further damage to the tank and to your house.

When connecting the grill to the tank, make sure that all the connections are secure and no gaps are formed, to prevent leakage of the gas. The time to especially make sure of this is the start of the barbeque season when the grill hasn’t been used for a while.

When you are done grilling, make sure to turn off the gas first, then the controls, and that way the grill will use up any gas leftover in the lines. These are just a few simple things that can lead to a safe grilling experience.

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Tools For Your Outside DIY Projects https://squareoneinspections.com/tools-outside-diy-projects/ Wed, 21 Feb 2018 04:08:43 +0000 https://squareoneinspections.com/?p=286 The post Tools For Your Outside DIY Projects appeared first on Fairfax VA Home Inspections.

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Have outside projects that you need to be done? Here are some landscaping tools that you will need, and can probably acquire at your local hardware store.

If your preparing to put up fencing, here are just a couple of tools that you will need. For example, you’ll need to dig post holes in order to start putting up the fence. You can use inexpensive handheld posthole diggers, however, you can rent power augers, which can finish the work at greater speeds, and will be much easier on your back.

If your preparing soil for a new garden bed, renting a gas powered tiller is essential. The tiller makes quick work of soil, rocks, and weeds/roots, thus clearing the way for you to plant a beautiful garden.

Removing trees may also be on your to-do list. Renting the right kind of chainsaw can mean the difference between success and failure, and even potential injury. You also should hire an inspector to do a check to see if the trees would be a danger to any surrounding areas, including your house, or your neighbor’s house. Doing so will protect yourself, others, and also lead to a successful conclusion.

Having the right tools for your projects can lead to a beautiful landscape.

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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Greywater https://squareoneinspections.com/advantages-disadvantages-greywater/ Wed, 31 Jan 2018 07:26:41 +0000 https://squareoneinspections.com/?p=274 The post Advantages And Disadvantages Of Greywater appeared first on Fairfax VA Home Inspections.

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Previously this month we discussed the use of Greywater, and the fact that it is becoming a more popular means of water conservation. What are the advantages of greywater usage, and are there any disadvantages?

 

Because Greywater can be used for irrigation, it can supply water for things like landscaping, which is particularly beneficial in areas where water is a precious commodity. Public parks and golf courses really benefit from it also, as it saves the community money.

Greywater systems can be installed both in new construction homes and older homes. Some neighborhoods even offer tax incentives for having one. Its best to check your local area for this though.

Another added benefit is that by using dish water for irrigation, the nutrients it contains can improve the soil.

 

What are some of the disadvantages of using greywater?

Although greywater is not the same as blackwater, a lot of care must still be taken when handling greywater to make sure it does not become a serious health threat.

Not all plumbers are familiar with greywater systems, so you need to make sure that whoever you hire to install one, knows about these kinds of systems. This can be a big expense. It’s good to keep in mind also, that the maintenance and parts for these systems can be very costly.

Be sure to consult your local town council to check what kind of guidelines they have when it comes to using greywater, as some localities might not allow it to be used inside the home.

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Greywater https://squareoneinspections.com/greywater/ Mon, 22 Jan 2018 12:29:22 +0000 https://squareoneinspections.com/?p=271 The post Greywater appeared first on Fairfax VA Home Inspections.

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Have you ever heard the term Greywater? Greywater is a term used for waste water that is left over from everyday things we do, such as bathing, laundry and washing dishes etc. Although this is not drinkable water, neither is it blackwater, which has very high levels of contaminants and fecal matter. Therefore, it can be used for things like flushing the toilet or diverse types of irrigation. There are two types of greywater, treated and untreated. While treated greywater can be stored, untreated has to be used immediately.

 

Water conservation has become very important, as we know, which means greywater is becoming a more popular means of conserving water. In fact, it is regularly used in third world countries, and has started to be used more here in the United States.

 

Differing opinions exist when it comes to the use of greywater. Some are pro greywater usage for the obvious reason that it can be used as a non-potable water source, both inside as well as outside of the home, thus conserving water. There are also those who are anti greywater, due to their concern that it would contribute to the spread of disease.

 

There is obviously much to consider when it come to the use of greywater. Research should be done to determine whether it would be a good option to use in your home. In our next article, we will discuss several advantages and disadvantages of using greywater. If you would like more information on this or any other home inspection question, please contact us.

 

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What should you use for the household fire? https://squareoneinspections.com/use-household-fire/ Wed, 27 Dec 2017 14:48:13 +0000 https://squareoneinspections.com/?p=268 The post What should you use for the household fire? appeared first on Fairfax VA Home Inspections.

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It may be tempting to use anything that will burn to help the fire in our fireplace, or wood-burning stove to keep going.  But instead of using these as an all-purpose incinerator, what could we use as safe fuel for the fire? 

When you use trash or dryer lint this could seem like a good idea at the time, but without realizing you would be releasing chemicals and harmful fumes into your living space or the environment around your house.  You would also want to have in mind that not all wood for a fire is good.

Using pressure treated wood in the home is actually illegal, and can be extremely harmful when it burns.  One family that burned pressure treated wood unknowingly, suffered seizures, and even the plants and fish were affected.  For these reasons, it’s good to stick to dry, softwoods that have no added chemical which can be harmful to our household or outside of it

Even when a fireplace or wood stove vents well to the outside, take into consideration how the fumes could be affecting the plants or animals around the house and the neighbors.  We could also suffer from these fumes once we leave the house. Wood from a pallet or construction site could be an option, or also a firelog from the store which releases less ash than natural wood.  When we use fire for heating inside the house these are some good reminders.

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Electrical Safety Reminders https://squareoneinspections.com/electrical-safety-reminders/ Wed, 06 Dec 2017 11:44:08 +0000 https://squareoneinspections.com/?p=265 The post Electrical Safety Reminders appeared first on Fairfax VA Home Inspections.

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This time of year, we probably use a lot more electricity and will come into contact with many electrical items. We thought it appropriate then to give you a few reminders on being conscious of safety around such items. Here are a few:

A major issue this month could be overloading of electrical outlets and extension cords. Be very careful not to do this as it is very hazardous.

If you suspect you have mice etc. in the house, check all electrical cords for signs that they have not been chewed on by rodents as they can cause a lot of damage.

If you are working outside of the house on a ladder or roof, be very aware of overhead power lines and avoid working in that area. It is also a good thing to know where any underground power lines may be also so as to avoid digging in the area.

You may need added heat in these winter months, but make sure that any easily combustible items like curtains and clothing etc, are kept at least three feet away from space heaters.

It is extremely important to keep an eye on children to make sure they don’t play with electrical appliances. For very young children place safety plugs in all unused outlets.

This is something we are always reminded of, but keeping electrical appliances away from anything wet such as a wet floor or the bathroom, is very important when it comes to preventing electrocution.

We want you all to stay as safe as possible this winter. If you feel unsure as to whether the electrical system in your home is safe, don’t hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to assist you.

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