What Not To Stockpile During Quarantine

With so many articles online telling you what you’ll need during quarantine, here’s your guide on what NOT to stockpile amidst the crisis. Although rushing to the supermarkets and buying whatever we think is needed is a completely understandable response, it can actually rob you of the time, money, and other much-needed resources during this time. 

So read on below and see what could be the items you’ll need to crash out from your next quarantine shopping list. 

  1. Alcohol-free hand sanitizers

Hand sanitizers are recommended but make sure it has an alcohol content between 60% to 90% to be effective, according to the CDC. However, it is still much better to frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with clean water and soap for effective infection prevention. 

  1. DIY Hand Sanitizer supplies

According to the World Health Organization, if you are going to make a DIY sanitizer, it needs to have at least 96% ethanol. Aside from that, it needs to be properly mixed, otherwise, it can cause harm to your skin and health. It’s better to leave this to the professionals and buy the correct alcohol-based sanitizer instead. 

  1. Medical masks

N95 surgical masks are in short supply and medical facilities and professionals are now struggling to get enough. The CDC does not recommend them for use by the public and must be prioritized for the front-liner who are in daily contact with those hospitalized of COVID-19. The CDC recommends, however, to use cloth masks instead. This type of mask can possibly help slow down the spread by further restricting how far the virus can travel from one person to another. Click here to see how to make your own cloth mask and how to properly wear it

  1. Latex gloves

Just like masks, leave the gloves to the medical professionals. Apart from the fact that gloves can pick up germs easily, latex gloves are not meant for everyday living. Prioritize frequent hand washing as “Protecting your hands doesn’t matter if you don’t wash your hands frequently”, says family doctor William Sawyer.

  1. Non-perishable foods

Many people are tempted to haul a two-week grocery of non-perishables. However, the World Health Organization advises prioritizing fresh produce as we strive to keep our bodies healthy and strengthen our immune systems.

  1. Foods that you will never eat

Buying foods and canned goods you never tried yet “just in case” is an absolute waste of money. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, it is recommended that you only stock a 2-week supply and schedule a meal plan with only the items you’ll need and eat. It’s forward-thinking which will help you save money and keep you and your family healthy. 

  1. Anti-virus essential oils

The FDA Claims, “There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure [COVID-19].” 

  1. Antibiotics

Since COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus, antibiotics will not be helpful, according to the World Health Organization. They are used in hospitals, however, for patients who have developed a secondary bacterial infection as a result of the virus weakening their body. 

  1. Expensive cleaning items

Keeping your home clean requires frequent disinfection using the correct disinfectants and solutions. That being said, just make sure to frequently clean your home especially the high-touch areas and use the cleaning supplies properly. “There are many bad things about the coronavirus, but there is one good thing: It is not very hardy… It is easily destroyed by most disinfectants”, says Dr. John Swartzberg, an expert on infectious diseases and a professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health. 

  1. Supply of own water

Dr. Manisha Juthami from Yale School of Medicine states that “We are fortunate to live in a country where most of the tap water is drinkable.” Although the U.S. Department of Homeland Security suggests a 2-week supply, those who live in rural areas should be the ones to store more than enough water. 

We have no idea how long this will go on or when we will get a cure for COVID-19. But, we can do our part in helping each other by practicing good hygiene and being mindful of what others need. Do not hoard. Make sure there is enough for everybody.

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A.C.F. Home Inspections, Your Premier Orlando Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced Orlando Home Inspection Company help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

As a family-owned business, we pride ourselves on supporting homeowners and families who need an honest, competent and dependable property inspector. We understand the importance of safety. When it comes to children and family. Therefore, we give special attention to deficiencies in systems and components of the home that represent an immediate danger. And we are independent and impartial; we work for you – our client – and not for an agent or other interests.

A.C.F. Home Inspections is committed to bringing you a consistently high level of service. We are an indispensable asset to real estate agents, buyers, sellers, investors, property managers, landlords, mortgage brokers, and private and nursing care homes.  Let us be your residential and commercial advisor, and find peace of mind that you are getting a professional’s opinion.

A.C.F. Home Inspections will be your home buying or selling advocate!  We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Orlando area, we can help!

Call A.C.F. Home Inspections Today (407) 218-6522 or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

COVID-19 And Your Home Inspection

We’re Still In Business And Doing A Safe Home Inspection In Spite Of COVID-19

The current COVID-19 outbreak is a concern that we take very seriously. We are still in business and want to communicate with our clients, agents, and employees on the steps we’re taking amidst the crisis. 

We want to keep the inspection process as safe and informational as possible while maintaining a consistent level of professionalism. Know that we value and prioritize everyone’s health. Rest assured that any changes we will implement are for the best of everyone involved in this crucial part of real estate transactions. 

In view of the aforementioned, we request that unless you find it necessary to attend the inspection, it would be best if you wait for the electronic inspection report within 24-hours.  During the inspection, we will keep our lines open so we can discuss our findings via phone call. We normally encourage your attendance but at this point in time, we request that you avoid being present. If your attendance is needed, we ask that only you and your agent be around and not bring others along.

We guarantee that our inspection report will provide insightful details so you have a clear understanding of the property. Furthermore, our home inspectors will strictly follow health and safety precautions to protect you, our employees, and the homes that we inspect.

  1. Wear protective equipment such as gloves, shoe covers and face masks if available. 
  2. Wash hands before, during, and after the home inspection with clean water and soap. 
  3. Bring hand towels or paper towels to keep our hands dry. 
  4. Keep hand sanitizer close by for easy access. 
  5. Use disinfectant wipes when touching any surface or items in and around the house. 
  6. Avoid touching the face, shaking hands, and even fist bumps. 
  7. Keep a minimum distance of 6-feet as part of social distancing. 
  8. If our inspector feels unwell, he will not conduct the inspection and shall be scheduled on another date. 

If you feel sick or show signs of any illness, we recommend that you do not attend the inspection and take some good rest instead, monitor your symptoms and seek medical attention should the need arise. The same will be followed by our team. 

Again, thank you for allowing us to be a part of your real estate process. We are working to provide the best and safest options in protecting everyone involved in this process. 

We wish you and your family good health. 

Best,

Luis and Wanda Figueroa   

A.C.F Home Inspection

Call Us For More Details :  (407) 218-6522 

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A.C.F. Home Inspections, Your Premier Orlando Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced Orlando Home Inspection Company help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

As a family-owned business, we pride ourselves on supporting homeowners and families who need an honest, competent and dependable property inspector. We understand the importance of safety. When it comes to children and family. Therefore, we give special attention to deficiencies in systems and components of the home that represent an immediate danger. And we are independent and impartial; we work for you – our client – and not for an agent or other interests.

A.C.F. Home Inspections is committed to bringing you a consistently high level of service. We are an indispensable asset to real estate agents, buyers, sellers, investors, property managers, landlords, mortgage brokers, and private and nursing care homes.  Let us be your residential and commercial advisor, and find peace of mind that you are getting a professional’s opinion.

A.C.F. Home Inspections will be your home buying or selling advocate!  We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Orlando area, we can help!

Call A.C.F. Home Inspections Today (407) 218-6522 or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

What’s Next In Outdoor Living? Top Trends For 2020

(BPT) – The appeal of all things al fresco has never been higher with homeowners across the country investing more time and money than ever before into their outdoor spaces. Based on insights from decking contractors, retailers, and home design experts, industry leader Trex Company has compiled its annual outdoor living forecast, predicting the top design trends for 2020 and beyond.

“It’s always fascinating to compare the trends reported by our customers with those projected by the industry at large,” said Leslie Adkins, vice president of marketing for Trex. “This year, we also engaged celebrity designer Alison Victoria to take our forecast to a whole new level.”

According to the latest report, the following five top trends will influence outdoor living in the new decade:

1. Mixed Materials

2020 is the year to mix it up. Add visual interest to an outdoor space by juxtaposing materials such as concrete and composite, wicker and aluminum, copper, and stone. Integrate nature-inspired materials that maintain cohesion with the natural surroundings and infuse color and pattern with pillows, cushions, furnishings, and decorative accents.

2. Sizzling Kitchens

As the foodie phenomenon continues to thrive, outdoor kitchens will continue to evolve. Picture fully appointed culinary centers complete with specialty appliances such as smokers, pizza ovens, and integrated refrigerated storage — all housed in stylish all-weather cabinetry. Capturing this trend is the new Trex Outdoor Kitchens collection, featuring stainless steel cabinetry solutions in color and style options that allow homeowners to create functional spaces that rival interior spaces.

“A good kitchen is essential — whether indoors or out,” emphasized Victoria, host of HGTV’s “Windy City Rehab” and DIY’s “Kitchen Crashers.” “A well-designed and well-appointed kitchen becomes the heart of any space. It’s where people gather. It’s where memories are made. So, make it memorable!”

3. Industrial Inspiration

There is a growing shift toward sleek, contemporary designs and materials for interior and exterior spaces as homeowners are increasingly finding inspiration in commercial settings like hotels and restaurants. Outdoors, this trend is manifesting in more industrial aluminum railing styles with sleek profiles and contemporary rod, mesh, or glass inserts designed to optimize sightlines and deliver a modern flair.

4. Fire And Water

“Fire and water are all the rage right now for outdoor spaces,” Victoria noted. “These elements not only take a space to the next level; they connect it to the natural surroundings. Even in an urban setting, these elements add a sense of tranquility that can make you feel like you’re a million miles away.”

Fire pots, such as those in the new Trex Outdoor Fire & Water collection, can be positioned almost anywhere to create a cozy gathering spot — or combined in a series to provide an ambient boundary for larger outdoor areas. For even greater visual impact, a fire table can serve as a focal point and elevate the luxury and comfort of outdoor space. Likewise, the soothing sound of trickling water from integrated spillways, bowls, or other features can instantly conjure calm and set a relaxed tone and atmosphere.

5.Bonus Space

If you have a raised deck, there is undoubtedly some open space underneath. While, historically, this space has been used for storage, the design trend for 2020 is to turn it into a bonus living space by installing a deck drainage system. Designed to divert water away from a deck, systems like RainEscape create a dry space that can be outfitted with everything from furniture and accessories to lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, and entertainment components.

For more outdoor living ideas and inspiration, visit Trex.com.

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A.C.F. Home Inspections, Your Premier Orlando Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced Orlando Home Inspection Company help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

As a family-owned business, we pride ourselves on supporting homeowners and families who need an honest, competent and dependable property inspector. We understand the importance of safety. When it comes to children and family. Therefore, we give special attention to deficiencies in systems and components of the home that represent an immediate danger. And we are independent and impartial; we work for you – our client – and not for an agent or other interests.

A.C.F. Home Inspections is committed to bringing you a consistently high level of service. We are an indispensable asset to real estate agents, buyers, sellers, investors, property managers, landlords, mortgage brokers, and private and nursing care homes.  Let us be your residential and commercial advisor, and find peace of mind that you are getting a professional’s opinion.

A.C.F. Home Inspections will be your home buying or selling advocate!  We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Orlando area, we can help!

Call A.C.F. Home Inspections Today (407) 218-6522 or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

Tips to get your house ready for entertaining

(BPT) – Whether hosting family and friends for your first or fifteenth time, you want your home to be ready to impress. Here are five simple ways to make sure your home is refreshed and ready for any entertaining occasion.

1. Refresh kitchen counters

Since the kitchen is where people mingle the most, don’t leave old, dirty caulk to be the focal point behind your delicious spread! Spruce up your countertop and backsplash by removing and replacing the old caulk. Consider using a caulk that’s formulated specifically to ward off dirt and mold.

2. Repair imperfections and paint on walls

It’s inevitable that scuffs and scratches will appear on walls over time. A fresh coat of paint in key areas, like the living room, bathroom, and guest bedroom, will help the entire home feel clean and fresh. Be sure to first prep walls by filling holes and cracks with spackling compound for a smooth finished surface. DAP DryDex Spackling takes the guesswork out of drying time with an indicator that goes on pink and dries white so you know when it’s ready to sand and paint.

3. Clean and prep the floors

If you have the time, schedule a carpet cleaning before your guests are scheduled to arrive. And, consider applying a fast-drying polish to hardwood floors for a squeaky-clean finish. It’s also a good idea to keep a multi-surface vacuum in an easy-to-access location for quick spot cleans and pick-ups.

4. Salvage broken décor

Don’t fret when you notice a décor item has cracked or broken. Instead, grab a strong, fast-setting glue to make simple, long-lasting repairs before guests arrive. DAP RapidFuse All Purpose Adhesive sets in 30 seconds and is two times more durable than other super glues — there’s even a plastic primer available that will help with hard-to-fix plastic décor.

5. Update decorative accessories

Small updates like adding plants, rugs, and throws to your space are low-cost but high impact. Lighting is another quick change that can really help warm a space. Consider swapping out the shades on your lamps or installing updated light fixtures for an entirely new look, but for a fraction of the cost.

With these easy tips, your home will feel fresh and welcoming year-round.

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A.C.F. Home Inspections, Your Premier Orlando Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced Orlando Home Inspection Company help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

As a family-owned business, we pride ourselves on supporting homeowners and families who need an honest, competent and dependable property inspector. We understand the importance of safety. When it comes to children and family. Therefore, we give special attention to deficiencies in systems and components of the home that represent an immediate danger. And we are independent and impartial; we work for you – our client – and not for an agent or other interests.

A.C.F. Home Inspections is committed to bringing you a consistently high level of service. We are an indispensable asset to real estate agents, buyers, sellers, investors, property managers, landlords, mortgage brokers, and private and nursing care homes.  Let us be your residential and commercial advisor, and find peace of mind that you are getting a professional’s opinion.

A.C.F. Home Inspections will be your home buying or selling advocate!  We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Orlando area, we can help!

Call A.C.F. Home Inspections Today (407) 218-6522 or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

The surprising range of career opportunities in the landscape industry

(BPT) – Planning your next career move? Job seekers may think they have explored every possible option after attending job seminars or visiting career counselors, but the landscape industry is an often-overlooked field that’s full of diverse opportunities from entry-level to management positions.

According to the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), the landscape industry needs to fill 300,000 positions this year and now is peak hiring season. While you might have a preconceived notion of what landscape professionals do, consider that the NALP represents an industry employing nearly 1 million people in positions as diverse as landscape designers, architects, project managers, management and sales executives, arborists, agronomists, hardscape installers and more. While some careers in the field require a college degree, there are many that offer on-the-job training or apprenticeships to help job seekers launch a career. The industry also welcomes aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners that dream of owning their own company and helping others launch their careers one day.
An interest in the outdoors is certainly a plus, but a wide array of skills and professional roles are needed to design, build, and maintain healthy green spaces in communities across the country. For example, professionals looking for meaningful careers in creative design, management, finance, and technology are encouraged to explore the landscape industry.

Machinery and Technology

For those interested in computers or the latest technology, the landscape industry provides an opportunity to utilize the latest tech and equipment to streamline the work and be environmentally efficient. Landscape professionals routinely use cutting-edge tools, including electronic imaging and GPS tracking, whereas arborists rely on sonograms to assess the health of trees. Innovative technology and digital programs are used in many behind-the-scenes functions of landscape projects. Drones are employed to save time and get a project overview, and robotic mowers help crews complete projects more efficiently. Irrigation specialists use programmable systems to conserve water, and landscape designers employ sophisticated computer programs to provide clients with realistic renderings of their outdoor space. On the management side, technology is essential for project managers and estimators to coordinate important tasks and track finances, so operations run smoothly.

Environment and Outdoors

If you want to spend more time outdoors, there are a variety of positions in the field that include designing, creating, installing, and maintaining healthy, outdoor spaces for commercial and residential clients. Entry-level positions include lawn care technicians, irrigation installers, and service technicians. Each role allows you to be outside, helping the environment by caring for plants, trees, and grasses. If you don’t have a green thumb but want to be outdoors, landscape teams also need professionals to install hardscapes and operate machinery.

Communication and Management

If you have good people skills, the landscape industry offers many opportunities to interact with, assist, and manage teams. Entry-level positions can include customer service at a landscape company, nursery, or greenhouse. Crew leaders or foremen are also needed to supervise teams completing projects in the field. Managers, account executives, and business developers are also in demand to help direct projects, attract sales leads, manage purchasing decisions, and grow the business.

Science and Math

Those interested in science may consider exploring a degree in a field such as agronomy (soil science), horticulture, irrigation technology, and arboriculture. Professionals in these areas of the landscape industry spend time in a lab, as well as in the field, depending on the position. Studying how plants grow and thrive is an integral part of the landscape profession. If you’re more of a numbers person, estimators are needed to calculate material costs and markups for projects. Businesses in the landscape industry also need accountants and bookkeepers.

Creativity and Innovation

The landscape industry taps the creative minds of licensed landscape architects and designers to envision the possibilities for beautifying outdoor environments. Interiorscape professionals are responsible for bringing plants and greenery indoors, adding beauty and clean air to commercial and residential locations. Landscape architects and designers create beautiful outdoor spaces in varying environments with the clients’ vision in mind. All of these positions — and more — provide rewarding jobs with competitive compensation and opportunities for advancement, while making a difference for families, communities, and the environment.

To explore career possibilities in the landscape industry, visit LandscapeIndustryCareers.org or apply for openings in your area at Jobs.LandscapeIndustryCareers.org.

A.C.F. Home Inspections, Your Premier Orlando Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced Orlando Home Inspection Company help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

As a family-owned business, we pride ourselves on supporting homeowners and families who need an honest, competent and dependable property inspector. We understand the importance of safety. When it comes to children and family. Therefore, we give special attention to deficiencies in systems and components of the home that represent an immediate danger. And we are independent and impartial; we work for you – our client – and not for an agent or other interests.

A.C.F. Home Inspections is committed to bringing you a consistently high level of service. We are an indispensable asset to real estate agents, buyers, sellers, investors, property managers, landlords, mortgage brokers, and private and nursing care homes.  Let us be your residential and commercial advisor, and find peace of mind that you are getting a professional’s opinion.

A.C.F. Home Inspections will be your home buying or selling advocate!  We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Orlando area, we can help!

Call A.C.F. Home Inspections Today (407) 218-6522 or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

A.C.F. Home Inspections has been providing Orlando Home Inspections4 Point InspectionsWind Mitigation, Monthly home tips news, Water Quality TestingRadon TestingLead Paint Testing, and Mold Inspection

Bringing the indoors out: 2020 outdoor living trends

(BPT) – 2020 outdoor living trends are all about enjoying your backyard alfresco — but with the comfort and ease, you expect from your indoor spaces. Today’s outdoor spaces are transforming into an extension of the home. The current outdoor design also takes into account the look and feel of your entire home, including the interior and exterior, building materials, and surroundings.

Connecting with nature: Biophilic design

Biophilic design is achieved when natural elements are incorporated into space, helping people feel connected to the natural environment. It creates a calm, tranquil space and reduces stress. Biophilia makes sense for indoor urban environments needing to bring the outdoors in, but how does it work when you’re already outside?

Biophilic design for outdoor spaces means integrating natural elements with constructed elements to create a harmonious space. A plant wall or raised garden bed can integrate greenery and pops of color with the built elements of your outdoor space. It also means using natural materials, like wood and stone, to complement the surrounding environment.

Create a greener, more sustainable spaces to celebrate the environment, which can help encourage pollinators, grow healthy food, and forge a cohesive outdoor space. You can also use materials such as Belgard’s permeable pavers, which allow water to drain through the surface, replenishing the soil and aquifers beneath your path, walkway, or driveway.

More than just a grill

Today’s homeowners want much more than a grill in the backyard. With aspirations to cook and entertain guests outdoors with everything the best outdoor kitchen can offer, the possibilities are endless — from grills to cooktops and ovens or even a wine cooler and an outdoor bar.

Homeowners also have many options when it comes to the design and price point of their outdoor kitchen. Some may lean toward a grill island, adding prep and storage space to their grilling station, while others might create a full-on outdoor kitchen with a grill, smoker, refrigerator, sink, seating area, and more.

Either way, homeowners can get a feel for exactly what their space will look like before breaking ground through Belgard’s design resources. The Belgard Design Studio takes a simple sketch, some dimensions, and a couple of photos and turns it, using design software, into 3D animations and virtual reality experiences to give homeowners a sense of the finished product in their backyard.

Sleek, modern design

While it may seem contrary to the more organic approach of biophilic design, the contemporary trend toward sleek, modular furniture can enhance your outdoor space.

Modular, sectional pieces with clean lines and streamlined design can be arranged and re-arranged to accommodate any natural elements you want to incorporate in your space or to handle different numbers of guests when entertaining.

The minimalist approach to furnishings also allows the natural elements around you to take center stage.

Multifunctional spaces

Whether your home is in an urban area with limited green space, or you want to optimize your outdoor living, get creative:

  • Add vertical planters
  • Hang hammocks for lounging
  • Create built-in seating
  • Build raised garden beds

Here’s where some of that modular seating can come in handy, too. Some urban homes make good use of their front porches and yards, instead, which invites more neighborhood engagement and a feeling of community.

Entertaining both night and day

Regardless of the time of day — or year — you and your family can relax comfortably in your outdoor sanctuary, thanks to modern technology and the latest outdoor installations:

  • LED lighting is installed in a variety of ways. You can install strips of light and/or spotlights, even using multiple colors, to add flair at night.
  • In the harsh sunlight, large umbrellas and movable shade walls or screens can keep your space cool and more comfortable.
  • For cooler climates, an outdoor fireplace provides heat and light for cozy evenings in the yard.

Whether you have a straightforward vision for a patio or dream of elaborate outdoor living spaces, these ideas can help you create your oasis. For more information on how you can upgrade your outdoor space, visit Belgard.com.

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A.C.F. Home Inspections, Your Premier Orlando Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced Orlando Home Inspection Company help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

As a family-owned business, we pride ourselves on supporting homeowners and families who need an honest, competent and dependable property inspector. We understand the importance of safety. When it comes to children and family. Therefore, we give special attention to deficiencies in systems and components of the home that represent an immediate danger. And we are independent and impartial; we work for you – our client – and not for an agent or other interests.

A.C.F. Home Inspections is committed to bringing you a consistently high level of service. We are an indispensable asset to real estate agents, buyers, sellers, investors, property managers, landlords, mortgage brokers, and private and nursing care homes.  Let us be your residential and commercial advisor, and find peace of mind that you are getting a professional’s opinion.

A.C.F. Home Inspections will be your home buying or selling advocate!  We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Orlando area, we can help!

Call A.C.F. Home Inspections Today (407) 218-6522 or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

A.C.F. Home Inspections has been providing Orlando Home Inspections4 Point InspectionsWind Mitigation, Monthly home tips news, Water Quality TestingRadon TestingLead Paint Testing, and Mold Inspection

How To Protect Your Most Valuable Asset

How to pick the right homeowner’s insurance

(BPT) – If you’re like many Americans, your home may be your most valuable asset. That’s why it’s so important to protect it with homeowners’ insurance. Plus, it’s probably a requirement of your mortgage. Setting up your coverage the right way starts with understanding the major parts of a homeowner’s policy.

Consider the following information and tips from the USAA Home Learning Center:

Dwelling protection

This protection covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home if it’s damaged or destroyed. When you select the amount, keep in mind the cost to rebuild your home is different from its market value.

It’s important to get the dwelling coverage right and to monitor it overtime to make sure it keeps up with construction costs to rebuild. Under most homeowner’s policies, if you file a claim and have underinsured your home, your payout may be reduced.

Some insurers will help you estimate the rebuilding cost. They take into account the features, materials, and finishes that make your home unique.

Personal property protection

This protection covers your furniture, clothing, and pretty much everything else inside your home. Most policies set the amount of personal property protection as a percentage of the dwelling coverage.

It may not be enough, though. Homeowner’s plans set limits on certain high-value items. If you own expensive jewelry, art, guns, stamps, furs, cameras, computers, silver, or collectibles, you’ll want to consider buying valuable personal property insurance. This is sometimes called a “personal articles floater.”

When you set up your homeowner’s policy, you may have to make an important choice about how to reimburse losses. There are two approaches:

  • Replacement cost. This coverage is the amount needed to replace the property with a comparable, new item.
  • Actual cash value. This coverage considers depreciation in the value of your property. If your 10-year-old couch is destroyed, you will receive what it was worth at the time of loss, not the money you’d need to buy a new one.

To make your recovery from a loss as smooth as possible, replacement cost coverage is recommended.

Liability coverage

This is one of the most important and least appreciated forms of protection offered through homeowner’s coverage. It protects you if you’re found to be at fault for someone’s injury or property damage. It even covers you for non-automobile incidents away from your home. Generally, it also covers your legal costs associated with such claims against you.

As a rule, your liability coverage should at least be equal to the total value of your assets for both your homeowners and auto insurance. If your assets are higher than the maximum coverage allowed under the policy, consider purchasing umbrella insurance to cover the difference. This is important to protect the savings and other assets you’ve worked hard to acquire.

Deductibles

As with other types of insurance, a deductible is the part of a loss that you’re responsible for covering out of your own pocket. The higher your deductible, the lower your monthly premium.

Choosing a higher deductible can save you money with a lower monthly premium but increases the risk you take. Consider the amount of cash you typically have on hand in your emergency fund or checking and savings accounts. Make sure you can cover the deductible amount comfortably.

What may not be covered

Your policy’s basic coverage won’t cover some special risks.

  • Floods: While a standard policy covers most weather-related events, floods aren’t one of them. Flood insurance is inexpensive, and the federal government offers it through insurers. While it’s mandatory when you have a mortgage and live in a flood zone, you should give it strong consideration no matter where you live. Whether it’s a flash flood or a few inches of excess water, flooding can cause massive damage to your dwelling and its contents.
  • Earthquakes: You can add coverage for earth movements to your policy with an extra premium. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, consider reinforcing your home protection with this coverage.
  • Home businesses: Homeowner’s plans provide limited coverage for business equipment. If you run your business from home or have expensive office equipment, you may need to consider additional coverage. Your homeowner’s policy may not cover injuries to someone if they’re related to your business.

For additional information on protecting your home, visit USAA.com/Homeowners.

A.C.F. Home Inspections, Your Premier Orlando Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced Orlando Home Inspection Company help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

As a family-owned business, we pride ourselves on supporting homeowners and families who need an honest, competent and dependable property inspector. We understand the importance of safety. When it comes to children and family. Therefore, we give special attention to deficiencies in systems and components of the home that represent an immediate danger. And we are independent and impartial; we work for you – our client – and not for an agent or other interests.

A.C.F. Home Inspections is committed to bringing you a consistently high level of service. We are an indispensable asset to real estate agents, buyers, sellers, investors, property managers, landlords, mortgage brokers, and private and nursing care homes.  Let us be your residential and commercial advisor, and find peace of mind that you are getting a professional’s opinion.

A.C.F. Home Inspections will be your home buying or selling advocate!  We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Orlando area, we can help!

Call A.C.F. Home Inspections Today (407) 218-6522 or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

A.C.F. Home Inspections has been providing Orlando Home Inspections4 Point InspectionsWind Mitigation, Monthly home tips news, Water Quality TestingRadon TestingLead Paint Testing, and Mold Inspection.

How to Keep Your House Warm – Even in Extremely Cold Temperatures

BPT – With the early arrival of winter, the grip of cold temperatures and snowfall that landed along with it, now is a good time to start thinking about keeping your home warm and cozy all season long.

This winter, consider the strategies below to keep your house warm, even during the most frigid days of the year.

1. Help your HVAC system work more efficiently

No matter what kind of heating system you have, you can take steps to keep it working at its best.

  • Schedule annual heating tune-ups
  • Change the furnace filter frequently
  • Make sure ductwork dampers are open
  • Check air vents — are they open? Are any blocked by furniture?
  • If you have a home with radiators, make sure they aren’t blocked
  • Avoid wild temperature swings — set your thermostat for reasonable highs and lows at night and during the day, since extremely low temps could result in freezing pipes, and your system has to work extra hard to aim for higher temps than it can handle

2. Consider upgrading your HVAC system

If you have an older system that just can’t keep up or you live in a climate with extreme temperatures, consider upgrading to a new high-efficiency heating system. It may save you money and energy in the long run, while increasing your comfort level.

Thanks to advances in technology, today’s HVAC equipment can provide more consistent air flow and better maintain a constant temperature in every room. In the middle of winter, all of that adds up to a more comfortable and cozy home without the enormous utility bill.

For the latest and greatest in comfort technology for your winter upgrade, consider a duct-free split system equipped with LG’s newest heating technology, the compact and powerful LGRED° (Reliable to Extreme Degrees), designed for even the coldest of climates. With continuous heating capabilities down to -13° Fahrenheit, LGRED° technology provides superior heating performance that will keep you warm all winter long. This increased performance not only delivers heat when traditional HVAC systems are unable, but operates with top notch efficiency, cutting energy costs and increasing savings.

Pair this technology with sleek indoor units, like the LG Art CoolTM lineup, for comfort without sacrificing style. An added plus is that LG systems can make one or many rooms perfectly toasty without tearing up walls or altering the home’s appearance.

3. Block the leaks

If you have drafts or leaks in your home, you’re losing valuable heated air and letting in the cold. Start by checking doors and windows for any drafts.

  • Improve your doors’ weather stripping and use a draft blocker to further keep cold air out
  • For windows, an insulation kit and heavy drapes can help you prevent leaks
  • If you have an unused fireplace, install a fireplace plug to keep warm air from heading up the chimney
  • Cover up mail slots or pet door flaps that may be leaking air, especially at night
  • Close vents and shut doors to rooms that are seldom used, so more warm air can be redirected to rooms in use
  • Schedule an energy audit from your energy company to identify areas for improvement
  • Attic insulation is also recommended, since heat rises

4. Reverse ceiling fans

As heat does rise, ceiling fans set on low and adjusted to turn clockwise will help pull up cold air and draw down and circulate warm air that’s hanging out near the ceiling.

5. Warm your floors

When heat rises, don’t leave your floors out in the cold.

  • If you’re interested in remodeling, radiant floor heating can help warm up a room, and has become especially popular for bathrooms
  • Invest in thick, plush rugs to help rooms feel warmer to your feet

Following just a few of these tips will make a big difference in helping your house feel cozy and warm, even during the most extreme cold temperatures of winter. To learn more about ways to easily improve your home’s warmth this winter, visit LGHVAC.com.

Schedule your Home Inspection in Orlando FL today! Call us at (407) 218-6522

3 Inexpensive Home Maintenance Projects That Could Save You Thousands

BPT – Routine maintenance: two words that likely evoke eye rolls, exasperated sighs and dread for most homeowners who read, hear or even think about them. However, they’re also a homeowner’s best line of defense when it comes to protecting their most important investment — their home.

“Many homeowners insurance policyholders are choosing higher deductibles because it lowers their insurance costs,” said Christopher O’Rourke, Mercury Insurance vice president of property claims. “This means, however, that if they need to make a claim then their out-of-pocket costs will be higher. So, the best claim is the one you don’t have to make, because you’ve taken the time to ensure your property is properly maintained. And the good news is that it generally costs much less than paying a deductible.”

So, with that in mind, here are three inexpensive projects that could save you a lot of money in the long run.

1. Inspect plumbing connections, appliance hoses and pipes for leaks.

Refrigerators with icemakers or water dispensers, dishwashers and washing machines all have hoses that connect to your water supply. If these hoses wear out, blister or crack, or the connections loosen, they can cause leaks that can cause a lot of damage to your home and appliances. Replace these hoses with steel-braided hoses because they are less likely to fail and can be purchased at your local hardware store for around $20. Consult your owner’s manual for hose specifications and recommended replacement intervals.

Periodically inspect the pipes under your kitchen and bathroom sinks for leaks. Also, if there’s a bathroom in your home that’s seldom used, turn the faucets on and off, and flush the toilet once a week to ensure water continues flowing through the pipes properly.

“Oftentimes, people will notice a brown spot on the ceiling, bulge in the wall or swelling cabinets — all indicators of water build-up or leaks — and most homeowners policies don’t cover long-term leaks,” said O’Rourke. “It’s important to address these things as soon as possible because they can create extensive damage if left untreated.”

If you suspect you may have a leak, but the source isn’t easily accessible, time is of the essence. The average cost to hire a plumber is about $300, which is less than the potential amount of damage an untreated leak might cause.

2. Clean dryer ducts and vents.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to 15,050 home fires involving clothes dryers and washing machines in 2014, which is the most recent data available.

It’s important to empty your dryer’s lint filter after each use because lint is highly flammable. Combined with the high heat given off during a tumble cycle, this is a recipe for disaster. Lint also accumulates in dryer ducts and vents. While they take a bit more effort and know-how to clean, it’s just as important to do this at least once a year.

Unfortunately, one Mercury policyholder learned this the hard way.

“Our insured’s dryer was about 12 years old and its vents had never been cleaned,” said O’Rourke. “The resulting fire caused $300,000 in damage to her home, which she was forced to leave for 10 months. Insurance helps cover material losses, but you can’t put a price on lost memories or having your life turned upside down.”

The average cost of a professional dryer vent cleaning is less than $200.

3. Visually inspect your home’s exterior.

Make a point of walking the perimeter of your home to look for cracks, chips or holes in the facade and loose shingles on the roof. Imperfections like these can be access points for unwanted water to enter the home, which can cause rot, mold or structural damage.

If your exterior walls are coated with built-up dirt and debris, wash them first to make it easier to detect potential problem areas. You can do this by attaching a cleaning tool to your garden hose or renting a pressure washer. Costs will vary depending on which option you choose, but start as low as $20.

Windows are another potential danger zone for leaks, so be sure to check the condition of your weather stripping, as well as look for chips and cracks.

Consult a professional to determine next steps if you find damages to your home’s exterior.

O’Rourke also recommends speaking with your insurance agent to learn more about where to clean, what to replace and when to consult a professional before it’s too late. “Another suggestion is to consider hiring an inspector to help identify areas of risk. Most people only do this before buying or selling a home, but you don’t want to wait until it’s too late,” said O’Rourke.

Taking care of your property now with these simple maintenance tips could save you time and money in the long run.

Schedule your Home Inspection in Orlando FL today! Call us at (407) 218-6522

Home Inspection Orlando FL – Common Stucco Issues

 A perfectly installed stucco can be a great help to your home. Stucco homes are more fire retardant, more energy-efficient, and less prone to noise pollution. However, a poorly installed or not properly maintained stucco can pave the way for countless stucco problems which can severely damage your home.

But first, let’s understand what stucco is and what is it used for.

Stucco, also called render, is a construction material made from a binder and water. It is applied while wet and hardens into a very dense solid. In short, stucco is a fine plaster used for coating wall surfaces, ceilings, and moldings as a sculptural and artistic material in architecture. Applying three coats of stucco over a lath base provides a solid, durable and seamless home exterior that offers a natural resistance to fire with lasting durability.

However, if the stucco is not well maintained or was poorly installed, issues can arise which can eventually affect your home. Most of the stucco-related issues are caused by water problems. Most of the time, it has to do with moisture being trapped in the house.

Below are some of the most common stucco problems and how you can fix them:

  1. Wall staining
  • has an array of contaminants that can become absorbed in stucco and stain your walls. Rainwater can also wash dirt and contaminants from the windows and roof into your stucco. Eventually, huge deposits of contaminants in your stucco can lead to overall deterioration.
  • a stucco remediation team that utilizes environment-friendly products to get rid of the contaminants. The remediation team will use a low-pressure water spray to effectively clean the stucco and apply a water-resistant sealer to prevent similar problems from recurring.
  1. Mold

When we talk about moisture and excess water, a mold problem is always on the list. A mold problem is very serious and should not be taken lightly. Not only will it affect the home but your family’s health may be put at risk.

To deal with this, you must first find and exterminate the main source of a water problem. Next, remove the stucco affected by excess moisture and remove the rotten wood. After this, contact a professional for the installation of a new stucco system. A high-end water management system will also be done to prevent similar stucco problems from recurring in the future.

  1. Cracking

There are two types of cracking in stucco homes –localized and more comprehensive. Water damage underneath the surface is usually the main cause of a localized cracking while poor workmanship during the stucco installation can result in more comprehensive or general cracking.

  • For a localized cracking, the professional repair team usually installs a coating system that strengthens without affecting the look.
  • For a comprehensive cracking, a complete stucco replacement is highly recommended. This is because it is a more serious stucco problem that resulted from poor workmanship during the installation.

Dealing with a stucco problem means unfolding the main source of the problem first which is usually water damage. If you own a stucco home and is struggling with moisture issues, contact a professional to help you address the issue. Working together to give the stucco system a total overhaul can help prevent your home from any future issues.

Schedule your Home Inspection in Orlando FL today! Call us at (407) 218-6522