Chimney Safety: Protecting Your Home and Family

A fireplace exudes warmth, comfort and a sense of nostalgia.  However, behind this cozy image lies a potential source of danger if not properly maintained and used.  Chimney safety is paramount to ensure not only the longevity of your chimney but also the safety of your home and loved ones.  In this essay, we will delve into the critical aspects of chimney safety and discuss the measures every homeowner should take to prevent accidents and maintain a secure living environment.


A Clear Path to Pure: The Importance of Water Quality Testing for Homes

In the comfort of our homes, we often take for granted the water that flows from our taps. It’s easy to assume that the water we use for drinking, cooking, and bathing is clean and safe. However, ensuring the quality of your home’s water is a responsibility that shouldn’t be overlooked. In this blog, we will explore the significance of water quality testing for homes, the potential contaminants you should be aware of, and the steps you can take to maintain a healthy water supply for you and your loved ones.

Understanding Water Quality Testing

Water quality testing for homes involves analyzing your tap water to assess its chemical, physical, and microbiological characteristics. This process helps identify any potential contaminants that may affect the water’s safety for consumption and daily use. While many municipalities treat and deliver safe drinking water, various factors can impact the quality of water as it travels through pipes and into your home. (more…)

Barbecue Safety

During barbeque season, homeowners should heed the following safety precautions in order to keep their families and properties safe.

  1. Propane grills present an enormous fire hazard, as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is aware of more than 500 fires that result annually from their misuse or malfunction. The following precautions are recommended specifically when using propane grills:
    1. Store propane tanks outdoors and never near the grill or any other heat source. In addtion, never store or transport them in your car’s trunk.
    2. Make sure to completely turn off the gas after you have finished, or when you are changing that tank. Even a small gas leak can cause a deadly explosion.
    3. Check for damage to the tank before refilling it, and only buy propane from reputable suppliers.
    4. Check for damage to the tank before refilling it, and only buy propane from reputable suppliers.
    5. Never use a propane barbecue grill on a terrace, balcony or roof, as this is dangerous and illegal.
    6. No more than two 20-pound propane tanks are allowed on the propety of a one- or two-family home.
    7. To check for a leak, spray a soapy solution over the connections and watch for bubbles. If you see evidence of a leak, reconnect the components and try again. If bubbles persist, replace the leaking parts before using the grill
    8. Make sure connections are secure before turning on the gas, especially if the grill hasn’t been used in months. The most dangerous time to use a propane grill is at the beginning of the barbecue season.
    9. Ignite a propane grill with the lid open, not closed. Propane can accumulate beneath a closed lid and explode
    10. When finished, turn off the gas first, and then the controls. This way, residual gas in the pipe will be used up


Bump Keys

What Is a Bump Key?

Most people think a locked door affords them security, but to anyone who knows how to use a bump key, a door lock is just a minor inconvenience.

Bump keys are keys cut to a special design that will allow them to be used for picking pin-tumbler locks. Pin-tumbler locks are the world’s most popular lock and these include exterior door entry locks for homes. The process of gaining entry using a bump key is called “bumping’, and it can be very effective.

All the cuts on a bump key are made to the maximum depth, so any key blank can be made into a bump key. Bump keys are manufacturer-specific. So, a full set of bump keys would include one for each of the major lockset manufacturers.

Lock bumping - Wikipedia


Home Security- Exterior

Burglar-Resistant Homes

There are a number of measures that homeowners can take to ensure that their homes are not attractive to burglars.

According to a survey, burglars tend to enter home through the following locations:

  • 81% enter through the first floor
  • 34% enter through the front door
  • 23% enter through a first-floor window
  • 22% enter through the back door
  • 9% enter through the garage
  • 4% enter through the basement
  • 4% enter through an unlocked entrance
  • 2% enter through a storage area
  • 2% enter from somewhere on the second floor


How Much Snow Can a Roof Hold?

Unusual amounts of snow lead to many things—stalled cars, snowball fights, and airport closings. They also lead to many homeowner concerns over the roof’s ability to hold the weight. Find out what you can do to identify or prevent problems.

By Steven Fox 

When weather stations predict frigid temperatures and record snowfall, concerns rise that roofs may not make it the full season but instead collapse under the strain of a surprising snow load. If it’s your first winter with your current roof (new or old), you may be trying to assess the situation for the season. How much snow can a roof hold, anyway? And are there steps you can take to avoid a worst-case scenario?


Holiday Electrical Safety Tips

As the holidays draw near, many people will begin bringing out their Christmas lights and icicles hidden in storage units to hang them up in celebration of the holidays. Perhaps you are this year’s host of the annual dinner or having a Christmas sleepover with the entire family. Remember, no matter what celebrations you will be hosting this year, safety is always the number priority. You do not want an electrical shortage, fire, or worse—a serious injury. (more…)

Fireplace Maintenance and Safety

Harmony Weihs

Enjoying a warm, cozy fire requires a clean, safe fireplace. Here are some tips for keeping it that way:  


A Fall Checklist of 10 Things You Gotta Do Before Winter Sets In

By John Riha

When the last of summer’s heat is a faint memory, and you’re pulling out your hoodies more than your shorts, it’s time to tackle a few simple chores that’ll make winter more pleasant and prevent some nasty surprises next spring.

This fall checklist helps:


Is A Home Inspection And Appraisal The Same Thing?

Home Inspection vs Home Appraisals—The Difference Between Both

Are you buying a new home and coming across different processes and terms that are mind-boggling for you? Don’t worry; you aren’t the only one. Thousands of homeowners go through a similar process each year. The home buying process is very taxing; it is believed to cause stress to elevate to the level experienced during a heart attack; shocking but true!

So if you are buying your first home, you may not be familiar with the tremendous amount of processes you will go through. Along with these, you will see a lot of professionals from different walks of life. The good news is that these professionals, if chosen wisely, will make the home buying process a breeze for you.

This article will focus on two of the most common things homeowners mistake for the other and get confused about.; the process of appraisal and a home inspection. Let’s first learn the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection. There are similarities in both; the fact that both are done by professionals who assess your home is one. What they evaluate your home for is a different ball game altogether.

What Is A Home Inspection?

A home inspection in Wilmington, DE, is a way for homebuyers to ensure that they are getting the most value for their money and buying a safe and structurally sound home. Inspection is designed to evaluate the structural and functional components of a home. It is essential to have a home inspection performed before you buy or sell a new home.

A home inspection is done by professional checks for 1600 items in a home, including all the major components of the house, including walls, floors, ceilings, plumbing, and electrical systems, heating and cooling systems, attic spaces, and more. Inspectors look for problems with functionality, such as whether there is enough power for your appliances, in addition to checking for structural issues, such as cracks in walls or leaks in the plumbing system. Sometimes, they may also check for signs of pest infestations like termites or rodents.

Buyers, lenders, and homeowners use home inspections to assess the condition of a property. A licensed Home Inspector can do a home inspection in Wilmington, DE. It takes 1-2 hours to conduct a home inspection.

Cost OF An Inspection

An inspection is a cost-effective way to determine if your home requires repair. It’s not only a good investment for the future but also for your peace of mind. To find out how much a general inspection will cost, you should look into factors like the size of the home, the age of the house, and other related factors. However, it’s important to note that some inspections are more thorough than others. If you’re looking to hire an inspector who will thoroughly check your home for structural issues or water leaks, you’ll likely have to pay more than $300-$500.

What Is An Appraisal?

An appraisal is a valuation of a property. An appraisal focuses on the home’s value, determined by analyzing its sales history and comparable properties, as well as its condition and location. You need appraisals to determine the property’s fair market value. Mortgage lenders require an appraisal before they approve a loan for an individual or family.

Another reason mortgage lenders require home appraisals is to ensure their investments are safe. Real estate agents, mortgage lenders, banks, and other professionals in the real estate industry require appraisals to process the necessary documentation. If you have a home that needs an appraisal, it is best to get one done as soon as possible.

The appraisal process can be lengthy and time-consuming, so it’s always better to plan ahead.

How Much Does A Home Appraisal Cost?

We looked at some national averages to get an idea of the price range for a single-family home appraisal. A single-family home appraisal can range from $300 to $450. This number will usually be around $500 to $800 or more for large homes or properties. It’s important to note that these numbers are just estimates and that the cost for an appraisal can vary based on location, property size, and other factors.

FHA and VA Appraisal Inspections

The FHA is a US Federal Housing Administration that provides mortgage insurance on loans made in the United States. It is a government-sponsored enterprise whose purpose is to help people who cannot afford to buy or rent a home by providing them with low-interest loans or mortgage insurance.

This program allows a down payment as low as 3.5% while ensuring that the home will be safe for the borrower and their family. The goal of an FHA appraisal is not only to determine the value of the house a borrower wishes to purchase but also to provide support for people who have less-than-stellar credit and are trying to buy their first home. The FHA has set forth guidelines for appraisers and lenders to ensure these goals are met. They both have their requirements, but a home inspection in Wilmington, along with an appraisal, is a combined requirement to obtain these loans.

An appraisal determines the value and suitability of a property for sale or rent. An inspection can evaluate the quality and usefulness of materials, fixtures, appliances, etc., concerning how you expect them to perform when installed or built into a structure. In summary, An appraisal is not an inspection service and cannot provide a detailed report on the property’s condition.

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AmeriSpec Inspection Services
AmeriSpec Inspection Services
494 Google reviews
Sean Elman
Sean Elman
Shawn was very informative and knowledgeable when he did my very first home inspection! Highly recommend!
Venus Moore
Venus Moore
Mat the inspector was excellent! The inspector was able to identify multiple and major defects for a home I had an offer on. I have used this company for at least 2 home purchases. I highly recommend this company and they offer Veteran discount.
Karen V Gilbert
Karen V Gilbert
Dave Johnson
Dave Johnson
Highly recommend. Very thorough.
T Gregory
T Gregory
AmeriSpec personnel were responsive and easy to deal with. During the home inspection Rob explained everything upfront and provided helpful information throughout his inspection. He was professional and answered any questions I had.
Sarah Turkson
Sarah Turkson
I had the privilege of working with Amerispec Home Inspection Service for my own commercial building and was thoroughly impressed. I had a great experience with their customer service team who were patient and made an effort to address all of my needs. Our inspector, Shawn Thomas, was very thorough during the inspection. He took the time to explain everything in detail, answer all of my questions, and provide a comprehensive report afterwards. Shawn's expertise and attention to detail really put my mind at ease about the condition of the building. I would highly recommend Amerispec and especially Shawn Thomas for any commercial property inspection needs.
Kathy Szczerba
Kathy Szczerba
Shaneka Holdman
Shaneka Holdman
Robert G. was great! My fiancée and I purchased our first home and closed on 7/6/2023. We were so nervous to pass inspection hoping we would be in the clear to close on time. Robert greeted us with a professional demeanor explaining what he would be looking for and described everything along the way. We were thankful for Robert and we learned a lot from him too. Thank you for your great services.
Jack Dixon
Jack Dixon
Very thorough inspection and valuable follow-up support with utilities and security systems.
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