Guard Home Warranty

3 Arrows Property Inspection has teamed up with Guard Home Warranty – one of the largest home warranty companies in North America to offer FREE 30-day home warranties to all of our inspection clients!


What is a Home Warranty and how does it work?

A home warranty is a service contract that covers the repair or replacement of appliances and home systems that break down over time. From air conditioning systems to kitchen appliances, home warranty plans help cover damage and malfunction caused by everyday wear and tear. When something that is covered by a home warranty contract breaks down, the homeowner puts in a Service Request Ticket with us and then selects a licensed service provider of their choice to examine the problem. If it’s determined that the needed repair or replacement is covered by the warranty, we will authorize the contractor to complete the work. As a covered homeowner, you only pay a small service call fee, similar to a deductible.

What are some of the benefits of a Home Warranty?

Home warranties are a hedge against expensive repairs and the uncertainty that inevitably comes with homeownership. By budgeting a little every month for the coverage, you can be protected against large financial costs by having to repair or replace the major systems in your home like the furnace, water heater, electrical panel, etc. Good home warranties even cover appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators. A few years ago the compressor failed in my refrigerator and I was told by a local repairman that it would be over $900 to repair! Thankfully we had a home warranty that covered the repair and when it failed again, Guard Home Warranty came to the rescue and made it right by replacing the refrigerator.

No one wants to purchase a home only to have the air conditioning system (A/C) break in the middle of their first summer living there. Home warranties are designed to give you peace of mind about things like that.

Here’s how a Guard Home Warranty can help:

  • Protects you from unplanned expenses. A warranty could help you cover the cost of repairing expensive appliances and systems that break down when you don’t have the money to cover it yourself.
  • Saves you time and hassle. If a home system or appliance breaks, all you have to do is make a claim with your warranty company and they’ll handle the rest. You don’t have to waste time collecting contractor quotes or tinkering with repairs yourself.

Forbes magazine recently published an article about the benefits of home warranties. Perhaps they are a good fit for your home and your family! Scan the QR code to sign up today!

How to Get Ready for a Home Inspection

 

The process of home selling is full of uncertainties. You can never be so sure until you pass the home inspection stage. That is because the report of a home inspection can alter the property’s price. Sometimes, it can even make it difficult to sell the house and this is a nightmare for home sellers.

Your home’s curb appeal may attract buyers, but as Alltrade Properties explain, it is the property’s condition that determines whether you will sell it. Before the home inspection stage, the seller has complete control over the sales process. But this is often short-lived as the home inspection relegates the seller to an observer. Home sellers do not want this.

However, you can still retain some control or influence over the home inspection result if you follow our recommendations. As a home seller, you need to play a proactive role during the inspection process. It would be best if you get a pre-listing inspection. We also recommend that you apply the following tips while preparing for a home inspection:

1. Declutter, clean, and clear all access points

The home inspector needs free and easy access to every part of the property. If clutter prevents them from accessing critical areas, it will hurt the home inspection report, and buyers will become suspicious.

Also, a dirty property translates to poor maintenance. So it is essential to clean, declutter, and clear the access points. We recommend that you perform deep cleaning. It can be a tedious and technical process, so it would be best to hire professionals.

Keep the building’s perimeter free of clutter. Doing so will enable the inspectors to access the foundation, appliances, walls, and windows. It would be best if you do not forget the attic and basement during the cleaning. All the access points to the crawl space and attic should be clutter-free. The appliances in your kitchen require deep cleaning as well. Ensure that the HVAC filters are clean and functional.

2. Test the function of the home’s systems

During a home inspection, the inspectors will check the functionality of the essential systems in the home. For this reason, it would be best if you test to check if they are functioning.

Inspect the heating ducts to know if they are connected and intact. Check if the ducts are venting out of the attic. Flushing the toilets will help you notice the presence of blockage or slow drains.

Check the water pressure by running all the faucets at once. Test the light switches and bulbs to know if they are working. Inspect your doors and windows to assess the condition of the weather stripping, locks, and seals. Also, examine the functionality of your garage door by testing the remote, manual, and reverse safety mechanism.

3. Make the necessary repairs and replacements

After testing the systems or having a pre-listing home inspection, you may discover areas that require repairs or replacements. The essential ones to consider include:

Roof repairs – Ensure that the roof gutters and downspouts are functioning. That will involve removing debris, lichens, or moss from the roof. Repair every hole or cracks that may cause leaks and replace damaged or missing shingles.

Insulation – Make proper additions, replacements, or repairs if you discover inadequate, damaged, or missing shingles.

Electrical fixtures – Ensure that all your light bulbs, switches, and exhaust fans are in good condition.

Kitchen and bathroom – Replace or repair all damaged cabinets. Fix all plumbing leaks and ensure that the caulking is in perfect condition.

Water damage – If you notice any water damage, trace the cause and repair it.

Doors and windows – Ensure that all your doors and windows are in good condition. The weather stripping, latches, doorknobs, and seals should be intact.

Foundation  Repair all minor holes or cracks in the foundation.

4. Inspect the home’s safety features

The safety of every home is essential and home inspectors will not overlook it. Here, you need to consider:

  • Pest and rodent extermination. You can do this by hiring professional exterminators.
  • Cap flues and chimneys to prevent animals, pests, or debris from entering them.
  • Test the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms using the self-test function. Also, replace dead batteries and expired detectors.
  • Examine your fire extinguisher to be sure that they are working. Note the gauge and expiry dates.
  • Shut off unused gas lines and cover the caps.

5. Final preparations

As part of the final preparation, you will:

  • Provide all the maintenance records for the property.
  • Sketch a map to show all the hidden areas in the house.
  • Make proper labels of electrical boxes, keys, and remote controls.
  • Ensure that you connect all the utilities and keep the pilot lights on.

Bottom line

The home inspection will last for at least three hours, and during this time, you will be away from the property. If you make the necessary preparations, the process will be smooth, giving you positive results.

 

 

With the end of summer looming on the distant horizon (we aren’t excited either) there are some things we can do to help maintain and improve the value of our home.

1. Check your roof and your home’s exterior and make any necessary repairs.

Your roof system is the second most expensive component in a house (next to your foundation) and protects not only the structure but also the home’s contents. Start with inspecting around the eaves for loose debris that might have accumulated there. Whenever you see gunk or leaves, collect and remove it. Next, inspect your roof’s flashing or metal strips typically found around chimneys, vents, satellite dishes, and skylights. It can loosen during a harsh rainstorm or hailstorm, causing potential water leakage. Finally, inspect the covering itself – the shingles, tiles, or metal panels. Check for impact damage, loose sections or fasteners backing out. If you do climb up there – please be careful or hire a competent professional to check it out on your behalf.

2. Give your deck a once-over.

Check your deck system for any rot or age-related damage. Have them replaced. Pour water on your deck to see if the boards should be resealed. If the water beads into small puddles, it is okay. If it sinks into the wood, you should reseal it to protect against water damage. This is also a good time to check for loose fasteners or evidence the deck could be pulling away from the house.

3. Clean your grill

Gas grills: Close the lid, turn the heat up high, and let the grill cook for about half an hour. Then, let the grill cool. Use a grill brush to sweep the inside and wipe down the outside with a sponge and cleaner. Then clean out all the drip trays.

Charcoal grills: Empty the grill racks and wipe away any dust or residue. Use hot water, dish soap, a scrub brush or sponge to clean both the outside and inside of the grill. Be sure to let your dry all surfaces before using it next.

4. Give your lawnmower a tune-up

Keeping your lawnmower in top shape will help avoid performance issues and help increase reliability. The grassy buildup in your lawnmower can invite rust and clog the discharge chute, leaving clumps on your lawn. Routine cleaning can help ward off future problems, so take time this month to do a checkup. Disconnect the spark plug and remove the blade before dislodging debris with a putty knife and wire brush. Use a hose to spray away any remaining clippings.

5. Upgrade old windows and doors. Replace damaged screens.

Windows should shut properly to maintain temperature control. Check the caulking or sealant around indoor and outdoor windows and replace if necessary. Also check for water stains on with windowsills as well.

6. Schedule a cleaning for your HVAC system

Reaching out to your HVAC contractor now could help increase air conditioning efficiency and nip any heating issues before it gets too cold outside. Ensure that the fan is functioning well, the coils are clean, there isn’t faulty wiring that could cause a fire and pay particular attention to the noises the appliance is making. If it doesn’t sound correct – it probably isn’t! Don’t forget to change your filter. Here is a great website digging a little deeper into HVAC maintenance.

7. Power wash the outside of your home.

The Tennessee heat and humidity can cause mold and mildew to grow faster on your home’s exterior, particularly if you have vinyl siding. Use a power washer with a mildew remover compatible with your siding.

8. Prune your flowers, bushes, and trees. Add new additions to your garden.

If you were unable to get to your home’s garden during the spring, it’s not too late! The summer is a fantastic time to work on your green thumb, to beautify the appearance of your home. Consider adding mulch to the garden beds, which create a clean appearance. Mulch reduces weeds and locks in moisture, keeping plants healthier during the hot temps. Also, prune flowers, bushes, and trees, so they’re away from your home’s exterior, roof, and central AC unit.

9. Check your home’s insulation.

This is particularly important for homes more than 15 years old. You can find insulation issues pretty much anywhere throughout your house, from the front door to the attic, to cracks in your garage door (especially if the garage is attached). With higher cooling costs in the summer, now is time to seal any insulation gaps you may encounter. Adding insulation is a great low-cost method of lowering your heating and A/C bills.

10. Inspect your attic and crawlspace

Check both the crawlspace and attic for evidence of pests, insects, water damage, mold, or mildew. Turn off the lights to check for any sign of peeking daylight. Sunlight visible through gaps in flashing could allow insects or water intrusion. Crawlspaces are particularly prone to humidity-related issues as well.

Be an all-season homeowner with these useful tips. Maintaining your home during the heat of summer is just as crucial as other seasons. If you would like a professional inspection of your home to help guide you in maintaining your home, please book an inspection today!

Thomas Recke, ACI

ASHI Certified Inspector

Owner of 3 Arrows Property Inspection

Fireplace

Almost everyone considers a fireplace to be a major sales feature in a Tennessee home. But it’s best to be realistic about this – a fireplace is just another heating system that, like any heating system, can burn you if you are not wary.  Right now – before the winter season – is the best time to correct deficiencies in all of your heating systems.