Home Repair · Real Estate

Potential Garage Door Security Issue?

Do you use one of those handy garage door opener key pad codes to open your garage?  They are pretty popular these days. Families often use them to let themselves into the house without a key. Pretty handy, but do you ever clean the buttons?

Problem: Over time, the buttons you use for your code will appear cleaner or dirtier than the ones you don’t use. This could give a criminal a clue as to what numbers you use for your code making the odds of guessing your code easier.

Solutions: Periodically inspect your key pad and clean off your key pad when needed, so the dirt doesn’t give away your door code.

Refer to the garage door opener’s owners manual to find out what products are recommended for cleaning.

Home Repair

Why get a Pest & Dry Rot Inspection?

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words!

Below is an example of the damage carpenter ants can do to a house. This is why all buyers should WANT a Pest & Dry Rot Inspection done by a licensed professional inspector.

Carpenter ants are mean and will bit if you get in their way.  The exterminator that was called to take care of this nest of roughly 1000 ants said there can be up 5-6000 ants in a nest, depending on how long the nest is allowed to go undisturbed.  Based on the damage below, it was estimated this nest had been working for 1 year. At this point of damage, the ants were making their way into the homeowner’s house.

Note the pile of wood powder in the studs.  These studs will have to be replaced by a licensed contractor before this exterior wall is closed back up.

Carpenter Ants
Carpenter Ants
Home Repair

Increased Water Bill?

We recently noticed our water bill went up slightly.  At first we thought it was possibly due to inflation or from running the yard hose, but further investigation proved differently.

What to do if you notice your water bill has gone up, even slightly, from your regular usage bill.  Isolating the problem: 

  1. Determine if there’s a running water leak in your house.  Turn off ALL running water in your house, including the washing machine, dishwasher, hose bibs, etc.  Make sure no toilet is filling.  Now go outside and locate your public water meter.  It’s usually near the front of your house by the street with a metal cover.  Lift the cover and look at the meter inside, it looks like an old car odometer.  You may have to flip a small lid inside to see it.  If the tenths are rolling, you probably have a running water leak in your house.
  2. Lift all toilet lids and check to see if you have a toilet that is constantly filling the toilet tank.  Do you hear a slight trickle of water running in the tank?  If yes, the solution may be as simple as making an internal adjustment to your toilet.  Check out this website for tips on resolving this problem: Plumbing 101 
  3. Check for faucet drips.  You’d be surprised how quickly that drip can increase your water bill.
  4. Check for dripping or a soggy, water soaked area beneath outside hose bibs.  A frost damaged hose bib won’t turn off all the way.
  5. Water heater leaks.  When was the last time you looked at your water heater for leaks?
  6. Washing machine hook ups dripping?

The bottom-line, when a leak costs you more than it costs to repair, it’s time to hunt the problem down!