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Choosing the right home inspector can be difficult. Unlike most professionals, you probably will not get to meet me until after you hire me. Furthermore, different inspectors have varying qualifications, equipment, experience, reporting methods, and yes, different pricing.

One thing for sure is that a home inspection requires work, a lot of work. Ultimately a thorough inspection depends heavily on the individual inspectors own effort. If you honor me by permitting me to inspect your new home, I guarantee that I will give you my very best effort.

This I promise you. Tom

we take extra time to explain the details of your home inspection

We are a Full Time  Illinois licensed Home Inspection Company

Home Inspection Blogs

Programmable Thermostat - Save Energy!
How A Programmable Thermostat Works

Thermostats do two things: (1) Compare the thermometer reading of a room's temperature to the "ideal" thermostat temperature you select, (2) Give start-and-stop commands to the heating or cooling system in order to achieve an indoor temperature that is as close to your "ideal" thermostat setting as possible. By diong those two things a thermostat plays the role of a "comfort detective" in your home.
The big advantage of a programmable is that you can program many "ideal" temperatures for different times of the day or night, or for different days of the week.
Programmable Thermostat

Thermostat setback is simple: when you need heating or cooling, you program the thermostat to order your system to work achieving the ideal temperature. But when you don't need as much heating and cooling you program the thermostat to "setback" the ideal temperature for awhile.
And you can achieve the same kinds of savings with summer cooling setbacks when the house is empty during the day, or after you've fallen asleep in your cool comfortable bedroom.


There are lots of different programmable thermostats with different features. Talk to an expert and get the one that's right for your system and has the features you want without making you pay for the one you'll never use.

Indoor Air Quality > Humidity Control

Keeping your home's humidity levels in check can significantly improve the healthfulness and comfort of your home.

When it comes to feeling comfortable in your home, the old saying "it's not the heat (or cold) - it's the humidity" rings true. Other than ambient temperature, nothing affects a body's perception of comfort more than the humidity level. And there's a fairly narrow range between what is considered "too much" and "too little" of it.

Industry experts state that keeping your home's humidity between 30-60% can help reduce the effects of many unwanted conditions. Excess humidity or too little humidity can not only lead to an unhealthy home but also cause permanent damage to your home and belongings.

Too Little Humidity
 • You experience chronic physical symptoms such as sore throats, dry/itchy skin, nose     bleeds or sinus irritation.
 • Your home's wood floors are shrinking and cracking. Joints in wood furniture are     becoming loose or failing.
 • Wallpaper is peeling, while your paint or plaster is starting to crack.
 • Annoying and sometimes painful static shocks are common occurrences.
 • Your thermostat is cranked up, as is your energy bill, but you still feel cold.
 • Your piano and other musical instruments are falling out of tune.

Too Much Humidity
 • Your skin often feels clammy, sweaty or sticky.
 • Musty-smelling odors are invading your living space.
 • Wood floors, trim or wood furniture is warping or rotting, paint is peeling.
 • Condensation, frost or ice have formed on the inside surface of your windows. Water     pipes are "sweating".
 • Damp spots, or worse, mold and mildew, have formed on ceilings or walls.
 • Your allergies or asthma have gotten worse due to the growth of mold, mildew and     dust mites.
 • Your house is a breeding ground for termites, cockroaches and other pests.

What You Can Do to Treat the Symptoms
 • Use ventilation fans in kitchens and bathrooms when in use. Ensure that your fans are     venting directly outside.
 • Cover dirt floor crawlspaces under your house with plastic to act as a vapor barrier.
 • Check to make sure your dryer is vented to the outside. Don't dry wet clothes on    drying racks in the house. Air-dry them outdoors if possible.
 • Ensure air conditioning drip pans are clean and drain lines unobstructed.
 • Fix any water leaks in pipes, toilets, showers, etc.  

Attic Insulation
Adding Attic Insulation
Now that you've air-sealed your attic and basement, check your attic insulation levels and add more if necessary. The attic is the easiest place to add insulation to improve your comfort and the energy efficiency of your home.

Do I Have Enough?
No matter what kind of insulation you currently have in your attic, one quick way to determine if you need more is to look across the span of your attic. If your insulation is just level with or below your floor joists (i.e., you can easily see your joists), you should add more. If you cannot see any of the floor joists because the insulation is well above them, you probably have enough and adding more may not be cost-effective. It is important that the insulation be evenly distributed with no low spots; sometimes there is enough insulation in the middle of the attic and very little along the eaves. If your attic insulation covers your joists and is distributed evenly, you probably have enough.

How Much Should I Add?
Insulation levels are specified by R-Value. R-Value is a measure of insulation's ability to resist heat flow. The higher the R-Value, the better the thermal performance of the insulation. The recommended level for most attics is to insulate to R-38 or about 10 to 14 inches, depending on insulation type.

Add the Right Kind of Insulation
When adding additional insulation, you do not have to use the same type of insulation that currently exists in your attic. You can add loose fill on top of fiberglass batts or blankets, and vice-versa. If you use fiberglass over loose fill, make sure the fiberglass batt has no paper or foil backing; it needs to be "unfaced." If you choose to add loose fill, it may be wise to hire a professional, as the application requires the use of a blowing machine, although some home improvement stores offer rentals of this machine.

• Avoid over watering your lawn. Once inch of water per week in the summer will keep most grasses healthy.
• Water lawns early in the morning or in the evening during hotter summer months. Avoid watering on windy days.
• Choose plants that are drought tolerant, heat tolerant, and are tolerant of the minimum winter temperatures.
• Use a broom and not a hose to clean sidewalks and driveways.
• For plants that need more water, use a watering can or hose on low pressure.
• Use lots of mulch around shrubs and trees to retain moisture, reduce runoff, moderate soil temperatures and help with weed control.
• Avoid over-fertilizing! Get a soil kit to determine what nutrients your soil needs.If you apply fertilizer only in the spring and fall, your grass will be healthy, use less water and need mowing less frequently.
• If you have a swimming pool, get a cover. You'll cut the loss of water evaporation by 90 percent.

lawn watering
Use Caution with Space Heaters:
Space heaters can take the chill out of a room, but they should always be used with caution. If you use a space heater, make sure it includes a tipover switch that shuts the unit off automatically if it accidentally turns over.

Keep space heaters off carpeting and at least three feet from draperies, blankets or sofas.

Never leave a space heater unattended.
If you use a natural gas or kerosene space heater, be sure it's vented to the outside. Avoid purchasing a used space heater to be re-used in your home.

Downspout Discharge

Downspouts take the water from the gutters and discharge it into drains or onto the ground. Underground drains (usually made of clay tile, or cast iron or plastic) have a habit of plugging or breaking from frost action. This cannot be determined from a visual inspection. If the underground drain malfunctions, localized water problems will likely develop in the basement in the area of the downspout. If this occurs, there are two options. Exterior digging and repairs can be undertaken; however, it is usually more advantageous to simply disconnect the downspout and redirect it to discharge away from the house.

All downspouts which discharge onto the ground should discharge a good distance away from the house (six feet or more, if possible). The slope of the ground in this area should be away from the house to direct water away from the basement.

Note: Where downspouts discharge from the upper roof onto a lower roof, the section of the lower roof in the path of the water will deteriorate quickly. It is best to extend the downspout along the lower roof to discharge directly into the lower roof gutter.

Many potential hazards can be identified and repaired only by a qualified contractor. Have a qualified Home Inspector, or contractor make an annual inspection of all of your natural gas piping, gas appliances, heating systems and venting. The following signs are indicators that a dangerous condition may exist with your gas appliances, and/or venting. If you see any of the following call a qualified Home Inspector to perform an inspection, and he will document any repairs necessary.

  • Gas flames that are pale yellow or wavy.
  • Gas appliances that are not vented to the outdoors
  • Rust corrosion or excessive dust on gas appliances
  • Excessively dirty, clogged or missing furnace filters
  • Gas appliance valves that are missing or not properly installed
  • Blocked, broken, rusted, disconnected, corroded or unsealed appliance vent piping
  • Soot near burners or appliance venting
  • Venting not approved by the appliance manufacture
  • Evidence of discoloration at the appliance burner,burner access door or vent areas
  • Gas appliances installed in a garage less than 18 inches above the garage floor
  • Gas appliances that are missing at a fire door

Clean The Air Filter

Air filters remove pollen,dust and other particles that would otherwise circulate indoors. Most filters are typically rectangular in shape and about 20 inches by 16 inches, and about 1 inch thick.
They slide into the main ductwork near the inside fan unit. The filter should be periodically washed or replaced, depending on the manufacture's instructions.
A dirty air filter will not only degrade indoor air quality, but it will strain the motor to work harder to move air through it, increasing energy costs and reducing energy efficiency.
The filter should be replaced monthly during heavy use during the cooling seasons. You may need to change the filter more often if the air conditioner is in constant use, if building occupants have respiratory problems, if you have pets with fur, or if dusty conditions are present.

Water heaters are usually ignored, and rightly so until they leak or stop producing hot water. Most modern water heaters are powered by gas, oil, or electricity that heats water in a tank, but some modern water heaters are tank-less, and provide an unlimited supply of hot water, but the appropriate capacity for tank-types is usually calculated by allowing 15 gallons of hot water per standard bathroom, but the habits of people in a household can obviously change this formulae. Tank type water heaters such as the one above are designed to last from 8 to 10 years. Most of them last longer, but can fail prematurely. They all have most of the components shown in the picture: a water shut-off valve on the inlet side, which remains open until it is time to replace the unit; gas line and water connectors; a gas control valve; a vent pipe with a weatherproof cap and downdraft; a pressure-temperature relief valve plumbed to within 6 inches of the exterior grade or to a surface where the discharge would not cause damage. All water heaters have a drain to which a hose can be attached so that it can be flushed to remove the minerals that commonly produce rumbling noises, but few homeowners follow this recommendation.

If you have questions or would like to comment E-Mail me, Tom Kollias

Kollias Property Inspections, Inc
16026 So. 90th Ave Tinley Park, IL 60487

(708) 349-4562
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