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  • Writer's pictureTechnihouse

You may not be aware of what radon is, but you should be. It’s important to have your home checked for a possible potential high level of radon. The government suggests a home should be tested for radon every two years, as well as tested when purchasing a new house, making structural changes to your home or occupying a previously unused level of a house. 

Radon is an invisible gas, which is odorless and tasteless, that comes from the breakdown of uranium inside the earth. Testing a house for radon is a simple test that you can hire-it-done (which will be more expensive if you are on a time restraint and need a radon result within a 48-hour period) or you can perform the test on your own by obtaining a test kit from the county in which you reside.

More than 20,000 Americans die of radon-related lung cancer every year. Indoor radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it over long periods of time can present significant health risks to all families. Radon can simply  be detected by using a radon monitor or test kit, which is placed in the home, and depending on what style monitor is used depends on the length of time needed to complete the actual test.

I use a radon tester for my clients that will take 48-hours to perform with results the same day the unit is picked up. Other test kits can be obtained through the county in which you live. It will take 3 to 7 days for testing and then you have to mail the test kit off to get your results. The testing company that receives the kit usually will have your results to you the day they receive and analyze it. They will email you with the results, so don't forget to include your email address.

Radon test kits can be obtained in the following counties:

  • In Oakland County: North Oakland Health Center in Pontiac, MI or the South Oakland Health Center in Southfield, MI. These test kits must be picked up and will cost $10.00 each. This cost includes the test kit and mailing for results.  

**** Radon test kits are available for half price at Oakland County Health Division during National Radon Action Month in January. For $5, Oakland County homeowners can protect their health by testing their homes for radon. After January the price for each kit will go back to $10.00 each. ***

  • In Wayne County: Health Administration Building/Environmental Health on Van Born Road in Wayne, MI. The kit is free to all residents of Wayne county (1 test kit per household and must be picked up)

  • In Macomb County: Central Health Center in Mt. Clemens, MI or the Southwest Health Center in Warren, MI. The kit is free to all Macomb County residents and must be picked up.

  • Writer's pictureTechnihouse

Pay Attention to “Flipped” Properties Before You Purchase!

No house is trouble-free. This includes flipped houses that ‘look’ terrific!

First, check and see if the house is a flip. Get a realtor to help you because this will give you a layer of protection. And by all means, hire a qualified home inspector! Without one, there is no-one to look after the buyer. Read that as you!

House flippers are into making money, period. The more money they have to pour into a “flip” means the less money that will go into their pocket. So buyer beware. A flipped house purchase can become your financial nightmare. While looking at a flipped house to purchase, here are a few warning signs to watch for. 

  1. Poor workmanship with new flooring - especially with wood flooring that only butt up to the base moldings and do not go all the way under. Or, where the door jams have not been cut for the flooring to slide underneath. With carpeting, this will be harder to tell.

  2. Kitchens: We all know that kitchens sell houses, so don’t be distracted by all the kitchen “bling” (i.e.,: stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, etc.) that flippers install to distract you from looking at the real workmanship. Check for gaps between back splashes and countertops. New door and drawer fronts that are poorly installed on existing, old cabinets.

  3. Interior and exterior doors that do not open or close smoothy, or if they tend to open and close by themselves.  Sometimes the age of the house is a factor in this,  because older homes settle over time, but these can be properly corrected with good workmanship.

  4. When a house is turned into a construction zone, all the drywall dust, sawdust and other airborne debris gets sucked into the furnace and air conditioning system and become caked with dust, and should be professionally cleaned once construction has been completed.

  5. Check with the city to see if work permits have been pulled for plumbing, heating and electrical work done on the property. If not, that is a huge red flag that work done may have not been done by any licensed contractors.

  6. If a home warranty is offered: a good home warranty service should protect the home’s major systems and appliances. Many people automatically think that home warranties cover everything, but find out later, that warranties do not cover workmanship.

  7. Look for serious cracks and movement in painted brick walls within the basement foundation. Painting basement walls is a common practice used to temporarily hide mold and leaks.

Hiring a qualified inspector helps you avoid buying a “two-story” house, you know the one the seller tells you, and the one you actually purchase.

With fall just around the corner, now is the time to get busy on the following items you can take care of around your house to get your home ready for the colder months ahead.

  1. Using binoculars, check for damaged, loose or missing shingles on your roof.

  2. Examine the chimney flashing to make sure there are no leaks. (The flashing is the metal that prevents leakage around chimney and walls where they meet the roofing shingles.)

  3. Examine the flashing around skylights and roof stacks to make sure there are no cracks or gaps.

  4. Cut back any tree branches or limbs hanging within three feet of your roof. The weight of snow and ice will drag them down and damage your shingles.

  5. Clean out the gutters of leaves and debris and secure any that are loose.

  6. Fill cracks in walks and driveway to prevent heaving.

  7. Turn off and drain all outside hose bibs, sprinkler systems and pool equipment.

  8. Do not cover your air-conditioning compressor. (Although experts differ, it is generally accepted that the compressor unit is designed to be outdoors. Covering it could accelerate rust and corrosion, while providing a home for field mice or chipmunks who cannot forage for food in severe weather and will start nibbling on the wire’s insulation.)

  9. Start your snow blower engine to make sure it will turn on. Spray auger and snow chute with Pam or a lubricant to reduce clogging.

  10. Check the oil in your snowblower. It’s probably a good idea to replace it with fresh 5-W-30 oil, which is a good winter oil that makes your engine easier to start. Replace the spark plug in your snow blower as well.

  11. Buy rock salt or a de-icing compound and store in a convenient and accessible place.

  12. Fill your lawn mower and add a couple drops of Sta-bil to the gas tank and store the lawn mower in a cold place. Make sure to keep it covered.

  13. Close all vents to your crawl space (if applicable)

  14. If your house has a whole-house fan in the hall ceiling, install a plastic vapor barrier on top of it and then cover it with insulation to prevent heat loss.

  15. Circuit breakers should be tripped and reset every six months to clean the contacts so they don’t oxidize and become useless.

  16. Oil the furnace, boiler motor or circulating pump if required. (Usually a 20-weight oil is best unless otherwise stated.)

  17. Caulk any gaps around windows and doors.

Technihouse Inspections, Inc.

4940 Rands Road ~ Bloomfield Hills, MI ~ 48302 ~ 248.855.5566

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