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Ten Must Have Tools for Every Homeowner

All homes require basic upkeep to ensure their continued livability. Whether you aim to be a seasoned do it yourself-er, or you simply want to hang your own picture frames, you will need the right tools for the job.  

Below is the Grand Home Inspection list of 10 tools every homeowner should have.  There are many specialty tools for specific applications, so this is more of a starter kit than an exhaustive list, but it will get you well on your way to making sure your home is comfortable and looking good!

  1. Framing Hammer or Claw Hammer – Two names for the same tool, a basic hammer for driving and removing nails.  You’ll use this tool for everything from hanging decorations to tearing out those old cupboards.
  2. Screwdriver Set – Screws are all over the place in your home and appliances and will occasionally require your attention.  Make sure you have both phillips and flathead in a variety of sizes.
  3. Box Wrench Set – These are your basic non-adjustable wrenches with closed and open ends to fit specific bolt sizes.  Using the correct wrench for the bolt size will reduce the risk of stripping the bolt.  Get inch and metric versions to make sure you have the right tool for the job!
  4. Adjustable Wrench – Sometimes referred to as a Crescent wrench. This will be your go-to when you have nuts or bolts of unknown sizes, need two wrenches of the same size, or need to get multiple sizes taken care of with one tool.  This wrench is more likely to strip nuts and bolts, so try to use the box wrenches whenever you can.
  5. Bubble Level – Use this tool to confirm the flatness in a variety of applications.  Items can
    fall off of shelves that aren’t level, and nobody likes cooking on a stovetop when everything 
    in your pan slides to one side.  The bubble level is much more than straight curtain rods and you should have one.
  6. Tape Measure – Whether you’re installing new countertops in the kitchen or feng shui-ing your furniture, a tape measure will help you get it right.
  7. Caulk Gun – Unfortunately sealants in bathrooms, kitchens, and around windows don’t last forever. Water getting where it doesn’t belong is the number one cause of damage, so it’s important to be prepared when caulk fails.
  8. Plunger – Probably the most self explanatory item on the list.  When you need it, you really need it!  
  9. Personal Protective Equipment, aka PPE – Ok, PPE is more than one thing, but you need to be safe during all home projects. Safety glasses, gloves, and a respirator can help keep you safe from flying objects, cuts/scrapes, and hazardous fumes.
  10. Flashlight – Nothing in the above list will do you any good if you can’t see what you’re working on.  A flashlight can help you through low-light projects or when the power goes out.

Some people are more handy than others, but everybody is capable of some basic home projects.  Doing your own work can be very rewarding and these tools will help you along the way.

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Top 5 Places We Find Mold

Mold is among the top concerns buyers have – and rightfully so! On top of causing health complications, mold remediation can be an expensive and complex project.

Often mold is found in hidden in areas that are tricky to access, meaning many homeowners don’t know it’s there. Here’s the top five places our inspectors find mold:

 

Finished Basements

Keeping a finished basement free of moisture can be a challenge, especially as homes age. There are many factors that can lead to basement leaks, including improper landscape grading (meaning water is not directed away from the home and pools at the foundation), broken gutters or downspouts or a broken sump pump. 

Mold growth is common in basement carpeting, as when carpet gets wet…. It can potentially stay wet for a while before being discovered, allowing mold to grow. The underside of the carpeting can also be wet without the top, visible portion appearing wet. 

If you smell a moldy or musty smell in your basement carpeting, the chances are high that there is some mold growth under the carpeting. We suggest pulling back a corner of the carpeting to check out what’s underneath. If you see mold-like substances, our recommendation would be to have professional mold testing done. 

 

Attics 

We find staining in attics all the time. While staining doesn’t necessarily mean mold is actively growing, it is a sign that there is moisture intrusion in the attic. We include all staining in attics and will often suggest further mold testing to determine if there is mold growth that needs immediate attention. 

Moisture intrusion in attics is caused by poor ventilation which is commonly eliminated by installing additional vents.

 

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are humid places and, thus, mold can grow just about anywhere in a bathroom: showers, tile grout, on walls, ceilings and tubs. 

The sure-fire way to cut down on humidity in the bathroom is to make sure your bathroom fan is in working order. It’s worth your while to replace a broken one! You may also want to consider replacing your traditional switches with those with a timer or humidity sensor built in. That will ensure that the fan is run long enough to bring humidity levels down.

 

Unfinished walls at walkout basements

When warm, summar air comes in at the cool basement level via a walkout, it can often cause condensation on the insulation, which can eventually cause mold growth. This is quote common in newer homes, which are more likely to feature walk-out basements. 

 

Behind stuff stored along outside walls

The heat in our homes also warms our outer walls, preventing condensation on the wall. The problem occurs when too much stuff is placed against the wall and prevents the heat from reaching the wall. Condensation forms and eventually mold follows. Yikes!

Join us for FREE yoga, kids story time and ‘Lattes and Listings’!

To help you nourish yourself, your family and your business, we’d like to invite you to join one of the virtual, FREE events.

Business as usual – with a few extra COVID-19 precautions

We’re committed to keeping up business as usual, with a few extra precautions in response to COVID-19.

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See a sample of our new interactive, web-based reports

We’re always looking for ways to improve the home inspection process for realtors and our shared clients. Our new interactive reports do just that.

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