Chimney and Fireplace Mold Prevention and Tips

One of the most troublesome issues to identify in any house is the development of mold. Mold damage happens gradually. You may never see it until it’s past the point of no return. Did you know when mold spread entirely to your house it can harm your family?

Like any other home exterior, mold can also develop and multiply in your chimney when dimness, poor ventilation, and sogginess exist. To prevent issues like this, start looking for these visible signs.

In addition, chimneys can create negative pressure inside your building envelope and cause the dynamics of moisture to shift and be drawn into your home. It may seem unlikely, but the fireplace in your home may have several ways to fail and ultimately produce water damage and mold in your home.

•    Check Your Ventilation

Poor ventilation traps condensation, which promotes an environment conducive for mold build-up.

•    Maybe the Chimney Crown Is Broken

If your chimney crown is damaged, water can pass through creating a damp environment, resulting in mold growth. A tiny crack is enough for mold to build up around your chimney and fireplace.

•    Bricks and Mortars Are Not Waterproof

Check if your brick and mortar are correctly waterproof with sealant. Water will leak through it if your brick and mortar are sealed improperly.

•    Smokestack Cap Failure

If the pipe on your chimney is damage from an unfavorable weather condition, or not correctly installed, most likely it cannot keep the dampness out.

•    Eliminating Mold from Your Fireplace Is Not an Easy Job

Once you notice mold in your chimney, set up an immediate appointment for a fun guy inspection if you cannot do it on your own. Health risks associated with molds are dangerous and might cause more trouble for your family. Skilled professionals from Fun Guy Inspections can remove all your mold problems completely.

The Unpleasant Negative Health Effects of Mold to Your Family

Mold can cause breathing issues, such as common cold, coughing, headache, sore throat, and wheezing. On the other hand, mold spores when inhaled can cause serious ailments. An asthma attack, for example, followed by some allergic reactions, sinusitis, and the worst possible disease you can get from a mold is pneumonia.

Mold Prevention Tips for Your Chimney and Fireplace

•    Fixing the primary source of dampness is the ideal approach to avoid mold growth. Without moisture, mold won’t develop.

•    Proper waterproofing of your chimney is the answer to prevent mold growth. It should be done after it’s been examined and fixed by a professional. Fixing it will prevent water from leaking.

•    Schedule your chimney for a consult and inspection regularly. You can also set an appointment schedule to check your chimney for any damages after suffering from bad weather. This technique will prevent future problems.

The simple tips mentioned above will help you save money in the future and can keep your chimney and fireplace mold-free.

Fireplace Safety Guidelines – review

Regardless of how bad the season is, you can always find your inner peace and happiness in cold weather. Especially when nestled in front of the warmth of your fireplace. Certainly, cuddling in front of the lovely and warm fireplace is one of the few superb things that you can do in a cold winter day.

As beautiful as flames can be, you should not disregard the fact that a fireplace, when not properly maintained, can pose a serious health risk to you and your family. According to a study, 42% of home accidents were fireplace-related.

Enjoy the warmth that your fireplace gives you in the winter season by maintaining and keeping safety precautionary measures before and after using it.

Ensure that your cold nights can be filled with warmth with these simple tips on how to keep your fireplace safe.

  • The Fire Must Not Be Left Unattended

A fire when left unattended may cause harm to every member of your family. Make sure that you extinguish the fire before tucking in your bed.

  • Children Must Not Get Too Close To The Fire

Do not allow your children to play near the fire even if you were there watching them. A fire is one dangerous thing, and children should keep their distance.

  • Don’t Ever Try Burning Trash And Used Home Supplies In Your Fireplace

Trash and some used home supplies such as glues and empty inks can produce toxins when burned in the fireplace. These toxins, once inhaled by your family, can cause breathing problems.

  • During Cold Months, Your Firebox Must Be Cleaned At Least Once A Week

Cold weather is bed weather, and it makes a person lazy. It is a struggle to do your daily routine, but you must do your best to get up in bed and clean your firebox at least once a week.

  • Keep One Window Open When Using The Fireplace

In this way, you can prevent the smoky feeling in your room. The air coming from the open window helps push the smoke up to your chimney.

  • A Nonflammable Rug Is An Essential

Keeping a nonflammable rug near your fireplace is a must so that sparks won’t melt and damage your carpet.

  • Always Keep A Fire Extinguisher Near Your Fireplace

Keeping a fire extinguisher near your fireplace is a smart move, and can be used in emergencies.

  • Never Operate Appliances That Vent To The Outside

Bathroom vents, dryers, kitchen range hoods, and vacuum systems are one of the many examples of appliances that vent to the outside. Avoid using these appliances when you are using your fireplace as it may cause carbon monoxide build-up inside your home.

  • Set An Appointment Schedule To Clean And Inspect Your Home

If it is necessary, set an appointment to a professional chimney and fireplace inspector to check and clean your chimney. Chimney and fireplace are prone to mold build-up and can cause harmful effects to your family.

Following the precautionary methods listed above will not only make your family safe. However, being responsible for your own actions can help overcome many avoidable accidents that might happen in your home. For home inspection and assistance you can reach Fun Guy Inspections and Consulting, LLC in this number (866) 674-7541 or you can visit our website: https://funguyinspections.com/ for more information.

Attic Mold: Is it a Big Deal?

Have you ever wondered where mold could appear in your house? Well, you probably think that it only occurs in damp places like your kitchen, bathroom, and in your basement. However, it’s not just those areas. There is another commonplace that they love, and if you have one, you need to be aware of it. It’s the attic!

The attic might not be the area where people go up every day, so you may not be aware if your attic is safe and clean. You never know if mold is silently growing on it while you leave them undisturbed. It is also one of the common areas where mold mainly appears. Because of its wood sheathing, ventilation, and roof leaking, they tend to attack the attic.

Yes! It’s kind of rare for an attic to affect your home. They are at the top of your house, and people rarely go there. It’s just an attic, and it’s not a big deal. Well, then, you’re wrong. It’s somehow dangerous for your house, for you, and your family. Why is it so?

Attic Mold: The Issue

We are talking about your attic, and the issue here is the mold that spreads across the walls, ceilings, and roof by air. Moisture and mold are always partners because they grow from it. Some causes are:

  • Insufficient ventilation
  • Roof leaks
  • Exhaust vents

Attic Mold: The Deal

Depending on the amount of mold we can simply leave them be on your attic. For larger amounts of visible mold you may say that it won’t affect your home and your family since it’s up to the roof, but no one knows for sure! Some attic mold might not be harmful, normally considered lumber mold, but they can be dangerous if they impact the drywall and building materials of individual rooms. Here are some reasons why it is a big deal.

  1. It’s Dangerous

Mold could be dangerous to your health. Although with attic vents and gable vents it is unlikely that it concentrations of mold may build up. Some might be allergic if located in close proximity. Sometimes visual perception is a huge deal. Ultimately, people don’t want mold in their homes.

  • It Can Spread

It will be more of a problem if mold this type of mold could spread. Normal molds can travel anywhere because they spread through the air inside your home. If mold could find its way out of the attic, it will eventually spread to your living room, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen.

  • It Might Damage Your House

It doesn’t matter how big your house is, or how elegant your interior is because you now know the mold is there in the attic. In reality, it has probably been on the building materials since the home was built.

Other times, we experience major roof leaks and water has damaged the materials. Extensive water damage can weaken roofs and cause mold to grow on the plywood and structural lumber. In this instance, a roofer and a mold remediation company are probably your best calls to make at that point. Try to coordinate the efforts of the roofer with the cleanliness of the mold removal company to ensure materials are removed, cleaned, and disinfected properly.

Molds can be everywhere in your house, and we know that all you want is to live peacefully with good health. You need professionals to help you with these problems and provide you a good quality service. Fun Guy Inspections will always be ready to help you in any situation. You can’t do it all by yourself. So, visit our website funguyinspections.com and schedule your appointment today!

Leaky Appliances Lead to Big Problems with Water Damage and Mold

Most people have, by now, heard about the dangers of mold growth in the home.  Toxic mold makes the news quite often, and is a real, meaningful threat to health if left untreated.  But where does this mold growth come from?  Why do some homes get dangerous mold growth whereas others never have to deal with it?  In almost all cases, it comes down to moisture.  So, naturally, we must ask ourselves – where is all this moisture coming from that leads to mold growth? 

One of the most common sources is from leaky or malfunctioning appliances, producing moisture in your home in places you might not even be able to see or access.  Over time, this moisture leads to water damage and mold growth, which can then spread like wildfire.  Read on to learn more about how leaky and malfunctioning appliances create moisture problems in your home, some tips on how to avoid these problems, and some advice on periodic inspection and remediation to keep yourself and your family healthy and safe.

Common Appliance and Fixture Sources of Moisture in a Home

There are numerous appliances, fixtures, and systems in your home that produce or deal with moisture.  Some are fairly obvious, such as those that deal with water as part of their operation.  Others are far less obvious and hidden.  Below, we’ve briefly described some of the most common culprits as sources of home moisture and water damage, and where, specifically, malfunctions and leaks in their systems can lead to moisture and water damage in your home. 

Washing Machines

Washing machines have several pathways from which moisture can leak out.  Water lines in, drain lines out, and the various seals where they meet the machine itself are often locations from which a leak can spring.  The wash tub, pump, and other aspects of the machine itself also have seals, gaskets, and internal piping that can become compromised over time.

Driers and Duct Work

Driers are one of the home appliances people often overlook as a potential moisture culprit.  The vents and ducts out of a drier to the outside of the home contain warm, moist air.  If they develop leaks, it’s a perfect vector for moisture to get loose in your walls, ceilings, and inaccessible spaces in your home, leading to mold growth.

Dishwashers

Like washing machines, dishwashers can be a common source of water damage and leaks.  Hoses, fittings, and fixtures can result in leaks.  Even a faulty or damaged door seal can allow small amounts of moisture to leak out during the dishwasher cycle, seeping into the cabinets, floors, or sub-flooring and leading to mold.

Water Softeners/Heaters

Obviously, water softeners and water heaters are two systems that deal directly with high volumes of water in the home.  Leaks in any parts of these systems can rapidly cause serious water accumulation and damage. 

Sinks and Plumbing Fixtures

Smaller leaks can often develop around sinks, drains, toilets, and plumbing fixtures.  These may only be evident on use, and be intermittent in nature, but can still cause damage and lead to mold development in walls, cabinets, floors, and similar.

Refrigerators/Ice Maker Water Lines

One of the most common, and often hidden sources of water damage is a leaky or malfunctioning water line running to a refrigerator/freezer unit.  As they are usually behind the refrigerator during normal use, you don’t see the water leaking out of the line.  But it can accumulate and seep into flooring and walls quite easily, and almost always leads to significant, and often hidden, mold growth. 

Tips for Preventing Moisture Leakage and Accumulation

Not all moisture leaks and malfunctions of home appliances can be prevented.  However, there are some useful tips to follow to help reduce the risk of this kind of problem happening to you.  Even if you do have water leakage, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of developing mold right away, too.

  • Ensure your home appliances, fixtures, plumbing, and any accessible pipes or duct work are maintained, with annual check-up appointments on major appliances from a qualified service technician.
  • Periodically inspect your appliances, piping, and similar, especially when the weather changes, as different humidity and temperature conditions can greatly alter the condensation and non-leak-related moisture content that can develop.
  • Make sure that any work done in your home on appliances, piping, or similar is done by a qualified professional rather than on a DIY basis.  Cheaper is not always better!
  • If you notice a water or moisture leak or problem, shut off the water to that appliance or fixture, and try to absorb any standing water from the leak with a towel or towels.  Use a fan to circulate lots of air to help promote fast drying of remaining water.  Open windows in the home to increase airflow.  Then seek out a qualified inspector for water damage and mold growth.

Professional Inspection and Monitoring for Water Damage and Mold

The best way to tell if you have water damage and mold growth in your home is to call on the services of a professional inspection service.  In the greater LA area, the premiere home inspection company that offers these services is FunGuy Inspections.  Mold, mildew, water damage, and even lead, and asbestos can all be detected by FunGuy Inspections, who can then provide remediation advice and information as well.  FunGuy Inspections uses the latest technology and equipment, and has extremely well-trained expert team members, who will help ensure you know what’s going on in your home – even behind the walls and under floors – and can take appropriate action to fix the problem.  For more information, visit https://funguyinspections.com/.

Mold in building forces Holland schools to relocate Spanish immersion students

Holland Public Schools has closed Holland Language Academy due to mold spore colonization and will relocate students to the vacant Longfellow Elementary for the 2019-20 school year.

Person Touching Rock

The Academy building was not occupied when the mold was discovered.

Mold was discovered in two other buildings after a check of all facilities: Holland Heights Elementary and Maplewood Early Childhood Center, according to Superintendent Brian Davis. However, he said mold at those schools was not a colonization, rather isolated pockets.

“The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority and we’ve been working with reputable people with the best remediation teams in the region,’’ Davis told MLive Thursday, Aug. 8.

“We wanted to make sure we were very thorough by checking all our buildings.’’

The Holland Language Academy is a K-5, two-way Spanish immersion program. An information meeting for all parents and guardians is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, at the performing arts center at Holland High School, located at 600 Van Raalte Ave.

Davis said the district is confident in its partners, Summit Laboratory and VanDam & Krusinga Building Restoration, who are providing expert, science-based information and remediation services.

Following the Aug. 2 mold discovery at the Academy, located at 461 Van Raalte Ave., Davis immediately closed the building to allow for further testing by Summit Laboratory and to begin plans for remediation.

The new school year begins Aug. 19. The Academy is being relocated because the remediation will be extensive and will require several weeks to complete.

Davis said he thought it would be too disruptive and unfair to relocate students and staff back to the building in the middle of the school year.

“We are taking extra precautions at HLA (Holland Language Academy) to fix the current problem and eliminate the risk of future contamination,” Davis said. “This includes removal and replacement of all carpeting and other textiles throughout the building, whether or not they show signs of spore colonization.”

The Maplewood and Holland Heights remediation will be completed before schools starts.

Davis said the mold development at the Academy was traced back to mid-July.

The building became conducive to mold spore colonization when the Jace, a device that provides connectivity to the HVAC system failed, causing the system to not work properly during an extended period of high temperatures and relatively high humidity, he said.

Molds are fungi that grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Penicillium and Aspergillus were the two common types of mold found in the buildings.

Summit was called in for testing at the Academy after a contracted cleaning company reported potential air quality issues at the building on July 31, after the HVAC issue had been repaired.

Davis said the mold is not visible to the naked eye, but some cleaners became nauseous or had headaches, indicating there was an issue.

“We are fortunate to have a vacant building in the district to be able to relocate our students,’’ said Davis. Last year’s restructuring in the district moved the Early College program out of Longfellow, 45 E. 25th St.

“VanDam and Krusinga is deep cleaning Longfellow because I want to make sure our families impacted have complete confidence in that facility.’’

Holland School Board approves restructure to right-size district

The Holland School Board voted Monday, March 19, to restructure the district.

The Ottawa County Health Department will inspect the kitchen at Longfellow as part of the transition.

The Academy has been at the Van Raalte site since the 2016-17 school year. There were 320 students enrolled last school year, according to the state.

Remediation of the Academy was scheduled to begin Thursday, Aug. 8, and include physical removal of any mold spores or colonization utilizing negative air pressure, according to the district.

The remediation team will use personal protective equipment during remediation.

The mold is in a small storage closet at Holland Heights, and in a few classrooms at Maplewood that had been used for storage. The heat and humidity in July is believed to have caused the mold.

Mold found in 35 Howard County public schools in the past 11 months

Mold was found in 35 Howard County public schools during the 2018-19 academic year, with a range of growth samples found on drywall to the chin straps of athletic helmets.

The reports were made between August 2018 and July 16 of this year, according to the school system’s Indoor Environmental Quality webpage. The school system said all of the cases have been remediated.

In addition to receiving reports from the 77 schools in the district, the school system also monitors administrative buildings including the central office, custodial services, ground services, Ascend One, the Dorsey and Harriett Tubman buildings, logistics, Old Bushy Park and Old Cedar Lane, according to the page. No cases of mold were found in any of the additional buildings.

In some cases, complaints were filed because of the concern of potential mold and then, upon investigation, nothing was found.

“Last year’s weather pattern had a large impact on the number of mold occurrences,” Chris Madden, the school system’s Indoor Environmental Quality manager, said in an email.

“The weather was extremely humid, and that moisture can make its way into the building through a variety of channels.”Lead found in water at 32 Howard schools during first year of state testing »

In 2016, 12 Howard schools were found to have higher mold levels than expected.

Concerns about mold were first raised in summer 2015 after teachers and students said they felt sick after being inside Glenwood Middle School. At the time, the school system’s remediation procedures came under fire by parents, residents and some elected officials, including Gov. Larry Hogan.

Potential health effects associated with mold exposures include asthma, allergic reactions, and other respiratory complaints, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Mold exposure can result in irritation to the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, and skin to anyone, not just those allergic to mold.

On the Indoor Environmental Quality webpage, parents, teachers, administrative staff and others can submit concerns, view reports of environmental issues in schools and see how issues were remediated. The school system’s Office of Environment contacts each individual who submits a concern and performs an environmental assessment of the reported area.

The webpage, which “provides greater transparency,” was launched in August, Madden said.

The Indoor Environmental Quality program conducts two walk-through reviews of each Howard school every year. One walk-through is performed by Howard schools staff, students, parents and community members trained by the Office of Environment. This group is trained to identify and report “potential indoor environmental issues,” according to the Indoor Environmental Quality webpage.

A school system industrial hygienist, who assesses each school building including exteriors, above dropped ceilings and mechanical equipment, conducts the second walk-through.

The walk-through processes are based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Indoor Air Quality recommendations for schools, according to the school system.

Many complaints in the 2018-19 academic year were filed for various school gyms and athletic storage closets.Howard schools CFO resigns to spend more time with family; district looking to fill the position »

In an outdoor athletics storage closet at Elkridge Landing Middle, mold growth was discovered on the handles of golf clubs and on the tape of field hockey sticks, according to the report.

Volleyballs were found with mold on them in Ellicott Mills Middle’s gym storage closet. At Lime Kiln Middle, mold was found on gym mats in a gym storage closet and in a corner of a gym closet at Guilford Elementary.

Mold was found in the shower area — not used by students — of the boys locker room at River Hill High, as well as on the chin straps of athletic helmets in the school’s outdoor storage area.

In numerous other cases, mold growth was found in the school’s portable classrooms, including on walls, ceilings, an air vent, in drywall and on carpets, according to various complaints.

Madden said the mold concerns in the portables last summer “were primarily the result of incorrect thermostat settings.”

When removing the protective box around the thermostat, individuals had sometimes changed the thermostat settings, not realizing the implications, Madden said.

“We have been surveying this summer to ensure proper settings are maintained in an attempt to minimize this type of impact,” he added.

Schools where mold growth was found:

Atholton High

Bollman Bridge Elementary

Bonnie Branch Middle

Clarksville Elementary

Clarksville Middle

Cradlerock Elementary

Dunloggin Middle

Elkridge Elementary

Elkridge Landing Middle

Ellicott Mills Middle

Folly Quarter Middle

Fulton Elementary

Glenelg High

Guilford Elementary

Hammond Elementary

Hammond High

Harpers Choice Middle

Homewood

Ilchester Elementary

Laurel Woods Elementary

Lime Kiln Elementary

Lisbon Elementary

Mayfield Middle

Mt. Hebron High

Mount View Middle

Northfield Elementary

Oakland Mills High

Pointers Run Elementary

River Hill High

Running Brook Elementary

Swansfield Elementary

Talbott Springs Elementary

Waverly Elementary

Wilde Lake High

Schools/offices with no mold complaints and/or no mold growth found:

Bellow Springs Elementary

Bryant Woods Elementary

Burleigh Manor Middle

Bushy Park Elementary

Cedar Lane School

Centennial High

Centennial Lane Elementary

Central office

Clemens Crossing Elementary

Custodial Services

Dayton Oaks Elementary

Deep Run Elementary

Dorsey Building

Ducketts Lane Elementary

Forest Ridge Elementary

Glenwood Middle

Gorman Crossing Elementary

Ground Services

Hammond Middle

Hanover Hills Elementary

Harriett Tubman Building

Hollifield Station Elementary

Howard High

Jeffers Hill Elementary

Lake Elkhorn Middle

Logistics

Long Reach High

Longfellow Elementary

Manor Woods Elementary

Marriotts Ridge High

Murray Hill Middle

Oakland Mills Middle

Old Bushy Park

Old Cedar Lane

Patapsco Middle

Patuxent Valley Middle

Phelps Luck Elementary

Reservoir High

Rockburn Elementary

St. John’s Elementary

Stevens Forest Elementary

Thomas Viaduct Middle

Thunder Hill

Triadelphia Ridge Elementary

Veterans Elementary

Waterloo Elementary

West Friendship Elementary

Wilde Lake Middle

Worthington Elementary

Article Source: https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/howard/cng-ho-howard-schools-mold-findings-0725-20190723-kcsdtmorkfaajbuim4ijoqep5y-story.html

Getting Ready to Sell Your House? Here are 11 Things Most People Forget to Do

You’ve started on your lists of small repairs, you’ve contacted a real estate agent, and now you’re in the final steps of getting ready to sell your house. But before you put your home up for sale, and certainly before having your first open house, here are 11 things to consider that most home sellers forget to think about and could cost you a sale.

  1. Declutter and Organize Your Closets and Cabinets

Sure, you went through your entire house and reduced the clutter in each room, organized your desk and other surfaces, and arranged your collection of antique ceramic kitty figurines to be facing perpendicular to the window. However, did you tackle your closets and cabinets?

One thing you should definitely expect during an open house or individual home tours is that potential homebuyers will be looking in your closets, kitchen drawers and cabinets. Will your walk-in closet fit all of his shoes and her summer dresses? Is there enough storage space in your kitchen for their cookware, bakeware, and all the kitchen gadgets that they seem to collect each year? These are all questions homebuyers will be asking themselves as they walk through your home. Of course, you as a home seller will have no idea what the needs are of a potential homebuyer, but you can definitely showcase what your house has to offer in terms of storage. Start by decluttering your closets, cabinets, and drawers, and then keeping only enough belongings in each to really show off the potential that space has to offer. Think of it as an extension of staging your home, but for your storage areas.

2. Clean Stains and Eliminate Odors

We should all consider small stains, marks, and other imperfections as badges of honor for a house that has been lived in for years. Nonetheless, these slight bumps and bruises your home has encountered over time will stick out to potential homebuyers, so tackle them head-on.

Begin by trying to put yourself in the shoes of a potential homebuyer and look at your house objectively. Start by going outside and then re-entering your house as if you didn’t actually own it but were an interested homebuyer looking at it for the first time. What do you see? Walkthrough every room and take note of all the imperfections you notice. You might surprise yourself with how quickly your list grows. You can then add them to your list of repairs so you can make your house truly be at its best before your first open house.

Also, if you have pets there is a strong possibility that your home has an odor which you can no longer smell. Deep cleaning your house is a sure-fire way to help eliminate these odors, but also think about using an odor-eliminating spray every day for about a week before your first open house. You can also place plugin room fresheners that offer a great crisp smell, like cucumber, to help infuse a sense of cleanliness throughout your house.

3. Replace Light Bulbs

Walkthrough each room in your house and look at every light bulb to see if it’s working. As homeowners, we sometimes forget to immediately replace a lightbulb when it goes out. You want your house to be at its brightest when new homebuyers are touring your home and replacing old burnt out light bulbs is one of the easiest ways to do it.

Also, don’t forget to walk around the outside of your house to make sure all the lights of your home’s exterior are working as well. Depending on the time of year, your open house or home tours could happen when the sun is going down or when it’s already dark. So be sure to make your house shine inside and out!

Pro tip: Make sure all your light bulbs are the same color temperature inside your house as well as outside. A soft-white light LED bulb can create a bright but welcoming environment for new homebuyers.

4. Think About the Small Details: Plants, Mirrors, Rugs

Consider each room’s individual characteristics, so you can really showcase the potential every room in your house can offer. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind while you start prepping every space for an exceptional open house experience.

Add a little green to your spaces

Nothing breathes life into a room more than a little greenery. A potted tree can work wonders in a living room, but for smaller areas think smaller plants such as a small potted herb garden in the kitchen or a miniature cactus on the mantel.

Open up even the smallest rooms

Mirrors can make small spaces seem large because they create the illusion of depth. Mirrors also work wonders in darker rooms as they reflect light deep into areas of a room that may not receive an abundance of natural light.

Add character to an otherwise unimpressive space

While staging your home, think about adding character to various spaces with rugs. However, keep in mind that you want to use rugs to enhance a space, not be the focal point of it. Also, if you have a strange space that you never really figured out a good use for, a rug could at least offer a little personality while leaving the space and its potential to the imaginations of homebuyers.

Enhance Your Outdoor Space

You’re probably already aware that enhancing your curb appeal is one of the most impactful things you can do to create a great first impression. However, you don’t want to forget about your other outdoor areas, such as your front porch or entrance, your back entrance, side yard, and backyard. You want to enhance your outdoor spaces around the house so potential buyers can see themselves living as much outside your house as inside.

Simple enhancements like placing potted plants to your front entrance or adding fresh beauty bark around the base of your hedges and trees can go a long way. If you don’t already have a designated outdoor space for entertaining, think about building a DIY fire pit and adding four Adirondack chairs to create the idea of outdoor fun. Ultimately, your outdoor space can be just as important of a space as what your home has to offer on the inside.

6. Get Professional (Aerial) Photography

By now your research has probably shown you that homes with professional photos sell for more and spend less time on the market on average. What you may not have considered is adding aerial photography to your listing photos.

Aerial photography can show off your entire property, a scenic view, and the surrounding area.  If you have a lot of property, an aerial shot can easily put into perspective the full scope all your land has to offer to potential homebuyers.

Furthermore, aerial photography has come a long way thanks to the rapid development of drone technology, resulting in reasonable pricing that is accessible for many homeowners today. For higher-end listings, drones can even capture video of your property, helping it stand out among the hundreds of other homes for sale.

7. Don’t Forget About Your Gutters

Imagine that you’re having your first open house and despite the rain, foot traffic has been steadily increasing all morning. Your house looks immaculate, like one of those home’s off of an HGTV show, and your real estate agent has been messaging you updates every hour about how great it’s going. But then the unexpected happens. A small stream of water starts coming down right in front of your large bay window in the living room. The stream is outside the house, but your would-be buyers watch on as it grows into a miniature waterfall.

Red flags go up for the homebuyers touring your house as the foot traffic thins then disappears altogether. What they didn’t see was that the spillage was the result of a clogged gutter, nothing more, causing water to spill over in a very inopportune place and at the worst time.

Depending on where you live, you may not see as much rain in locations like Phoenix, AZ, but in many locations where rainfall is a common occurrence, such as Seattle, WA, this situation is more likely to happen. If you don’t have time to clean your gutters yourself—because you have a house to sell and a million other little things to do—there are professional services that can clean your gutters for you so this little oversight doesn’t drown out your hopes of selling your home quickly.

8. Paint Your Baseboards and Crown Molding

It’s pretty common knowledge that you should paint the interior of your home a neutral color to appeal to more buyers. Homebuyers want to imagine themselves and their stuff in your space, so your red accent wall will need to be painted over with a more neutral hue. But what a lot of home sellers forget to do is pay attention to their baseboards and crown molding.

Where crown molding may just need some cleaning and touch-ups, your baseboards most likely have seen a lot more traffic, especially if you have kids. It may be a toy truck that has repeatedly crashed into your white baseboards, crayons that went rogue, or the black rubber wheels from bikes racing down the hallway, most likely your baseboards have been marked with years of life experiences.

To correct these homely blemishes, you can try cleaning your baseboards with simple dish soap and water. But if it has been years of wear and abuse, you most likely will need to paint. Use a paint with a semi-gloss finish that will offer a light sheen but not glossy enough to distract attention away from your floors. You can also match your crown molding using the same paint, making every room pop to potential homebuyers. Of course, if you end up hiring painters to repaint that accent wall of yours, you might as well have them paint your baseboards while they’re there.

9. Focus on Your Floors

Your hardwood floors were once beautiful and one of the initial reasons you bought your home, but after years of traffic your hardwoods have since dulled to a shadow of their former glory. Likewise, your once plush carpet has also now matted down into obvious paths that lead from room to room.

One of the first things potential homebuyers look at when entering a new home is the floors, so make yours a statement.

If your carpet is approaching that 10-year mark, it is most likely looking pretty worn. Think about recarpeting your house to make it look fresh and ready for new homeowners. Such as you did with your walls, you’ll want to go more neutral in color to appeal to the majority of homebuyers. If your carpet is only a few years old, however, getting it professionally cleaned can go a long way in bringing your carpet back to life.

If you have hardwood floors bring them back to their former glory by refinishing them. Refinishing hardwood floors typically includes sanding down the floors to eliminate the original finish and stain, then restaining with the desired color followed by a coat or two of sealer. Your floors will look brand new and really stand out during the open house.

10. Gather Your Documents

You might not be aware of this but you’ll want to gather all the documents you have in regards to warranties, manuals, service records, and repairs done to your house. These documents are hugely important for several reasons and certain ones are needed by different parties before you sell your house.

Your agent is your best friend during the home selling process. They are also your homes’ first line of marketing and the more information they have about your house, the better they can promote it. They will write out the specific details of your home as well as an enticing description that will highlight key features that homebuyers want. So, if you’ve made recent updates like a new deck, new roof, updated HVAC, or if your home has hot water on demand make sure your agent knows it and you have the paperwork to back it up.

During the home inspection process, home inspectors are going to go over your house with a fine-toothed comb. If your furnace or water heater hasn’t been serviced in years, they’ll let you know. Take a proactive approach by gathering all your service records so you’ll know ahead of time if something needs to be serviced before listing your home.

However, beyond the paperwork your agent and the home inspector would like to see, title companies require very specific documentation in order for you to even sell your home, including:

  • Mortgage loan information, which will show any outstanding mortgage balance and pay-off balance (if there is any)
  • Final purchase and sale agreement
  • Deed
  • Title report
  • Property tax information, including most recent tax statement
  • Homeowners insurance information
  • Lease agreement, if you’re currently renting the property
  • Any reports or documentation that relates to the property
    • Warranty paperwork, permits, service documentation, instruction manuals, dates of home improvement projects, and age of the roof, furnace, hot water heater, HVAC, and all the other major appliances.

11. Pre-Sale Home Inspection

The last thing most people don’t think about before they sell their home is getting a pre-sale home inspection. Though it is not mandatory, a pre-sale home inspection is a proactive approach to understanding your home’s condition at that point in time, and if there are any repairs that need attention, you can address them now versus trying to do it during the home selling process.

Homebuyers will most likely get a home inspection of their own, right? So, why would you get one as a seller?

A home inspection report will most likely turn up a list of repairs that will need to be fixed. Would you prefer to fix these issues now before you list your home, or after you’re in negotiations with a potential buyer? If you wait, you may push back the sale date of your house as repairs are being made. Or, homebuyers may ask for concessions on your asking price in order to cover the repairs and the time it takes to make them. Ultimately, getting a pre-sale home inspection will leave you in a better position when it comes time to negotiate with potential buyers.

You may feel like spending a lot of time and money on your house is pointless because you’re just going to sell it anyway, right? Just consider that the more you appeal to the majority of homebuyers the more bids you’ll likely see and ultimately help you sell your house quicker and for more money.

Originally published on Redfin

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