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Home Inspections in Oakland County MI & Surrounding areas

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August News

In This Issue

August is a month of abundance! Leaves are still rich and green on the trees, everything in the garden is ready to be picked, and the sun is full and high in the sky! Make the most of the final days of summer both in work and play! Take care of your home with a preventative annual home inspection - we'll tell you what it covers and why it's such a great idea. Do you “put up tomatoes” or beans, or sauce, or pickles? We’ll give you a few pointers and benefits for home food preservation. Finally, we've included a simple primer on choosing the best air filter for your heater. Enjoy!

Annual Home Inspection

You get annual checkups for your body, your teeth and your car, why not your home? Annual checkups from the doctor and dentist alert you to potential problems, which allows you to prevent real problems from happening. Preventing problems is much more cost effective than solving problems. Wouldn't you prefer to prevent any problems with your home, too?

What can an annual home inspection prevent?

An annual home inspection can prevent a catastrophe! Let's talk water damage for a moment. As winter approaches a small leak in the roof, or the plumbing system, or around windows or storm drains has the potential to become major damage. As we all know, the effects of freezing and thawing can make small leaks big leaks. But a small leak over time can also cause major damage as surrounding areas soften, rot or grow mold. An annual home inspection can spot these leaks before they cause catastrophic damage. You'll only need to make small repairs instead of huge replacements.

Fire! Fire!

As homes age so do all the components. The wiring in your home is largely hidden. Out of sight, out of mind. An annual home inspection can spot evidence of electrical issues such as worn components, failing wiring or wiring that may have been damaged by rodents. These issues, when found early, are easy and inexpensive to fix. Left unnoticed they could cause electrocution or fire.

Loss of heat.

The simplest cost savings could be in your utilities. An annual home inspection can help you detect inefficiencies in your HVAC system, water heater, plumbing and more. Finding leaks, inefficiencies and problems in these mechanical systems can save you money monthly, and will help you detect potential issues before they become expensive problems.

Contact Sterling Home Services for your annual home inspection this fall. Be proactive and take excellent care of your home. Call Ron at 248-881-3478

Be an Ant not a Grasshopper

You’re familiar with this tale of the ant who works all summer storing up food for winter while the grasshopper goofs off. Early weather reports and the Old Farmers Almanac are warning that this is going to be an unusually cold fall, with an early winter. It's just bad news all the way around. As you enjoy rest of the warm days of summer, consider stocking up on some of that fresh healthy food.

Stock the pantry - it is the height of the sowing season. Farmer’s markets and grocery store shelves are overflowing with fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables. Now is a great time to stock pile the pantry with canned fruits and vegetables and the freezer with preserved produce.

Preserving your own fruits and vegetables has many benefits:

  • Less sugar
  • Less salt
  • No artificial preservatives
  • Saves money
  • Better for the environment
  • No waste (jars and lids are reusable!)
  • Fresh, locally grown produce
  • Supports local farmers and your local economy
  • Sense of accomplishment and self-sufficiency

Follow these tips to ensure success caning this year:
  1. Quality equipment, in excellent condition - including jars, lids, bands, pots, and tools
  2. Sterilize the equipment by boiling for 10 minutes
  3. High quality food at the peak of ripeness, clean, and free from spots, pests, and rot
  4. Follow your recipes! There are a host of online and reference book resources available on the topic of canning and food preservation
  5. Check the seal. For jars that do not seal either discard or refrigerate and use within a week or two
  6. Use aluminum foil for easy cleanup, this is a new one because canning can be messy if you cover your stovetop and work surfaces with a layer or two of aluminum foil clean up is simply wadding up the foil and throwing it in the recycle bin!
  7. Always maintain an appropriate water level during processing, check it and keep it at least 1” above the jars

For a guide on home canning visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation website!

Choosing the best air filter

The air filter on most heating systems need to be changed monthly. The job of this air filter is to remove dust particles, pet hair and other particulates from the air before it goes through the heater and is forced back into the home through the heat vents. Purchasing an air filter can be confusing, there are so many to choose from. Here are a few things we learned about air filters and choosing the right one…
  • Brand - there are many brands of air filters. Each brand has their cautionary advertising slogans making their claims. For the most part, brand names are irrelevant. You need to understand the type of filter and benefits of each type.
  • Fiberglass panel filters - these are widely available and inexpensive, but they are considered largely ineffective and low quality.
  • Media air filter pads - these filters are longer lasting than pleated air filters and very effective at removing dust. You can add additional carbon filter pads to these filters to provide odor filtration, too. These filters require a permanent frame, so changing the filter requires more effort and make a bit more mess than other fully disposable filters.
  • Electrostatic air filters - these are permanent filters which require regular washing. Their benefits are the one time cost and no waste and are very efficient. Drawbacks to this type of filter is the maintenance. These require monthly cleaning or airflow can become restricted causing your HVAC system to work harder and raising your bills.
  • Pleated air filters - Easy to find, inexpensive, disposable and available in a wide range of effectiveness. The pleats increase the surface area of the filter to increase particulate capture and extend the use period. The drawback to this type of filter is that it needs to be changed regularly or it will decrease air flow through your system.

MERV Ratings

MERV stands for "Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value" and is a measurement of the effectiveness of an air filter to capture particulates in the air. A higher MERV rating will capture more and smaller particles. An example of MERV ratings:
1-4 will capture particles 10 micrometers and bigger: pollen, carpet fibers.
5-8 will capture particles 3-10 micrometers: pet dander, dust mite debris, hair spray, mold
9-12 will capture particles 9-12 micrometers: auto emission particulates, flour
13-16 will capture 95% of airborne particles including most smoke and paint pigments.

So the next time you need to replace your air filter you'll have a better of idea of what to look for.


Fun Fact about August

The birthstones for August are the peridot and the sardonyx.
The zodiac signs for August are Leo (July 23 - August 22) and Virgo (August 23 - September 22)
The birth flowers for August are the gladiolus and the poppy.
On August 1, 1876, Colorado, also known as the Centennial State, became the 38th state of the United States.
On August 2, 1909, the Lincoln penny was issued.
On August 3, 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail on his first voyage across the Atlantic.
During the Civil War on August 5, 1864, the Battle of Mobile Bay was won by the Union forces.
On August 6, 1926, Gertrude Ederle successfully swam the English Channel.
On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was used in warfare on Hiroshima, Japan.
On August 7, 1942, the U.S. troops landed on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands during World War II.
 On August 9, 1974, Richard M. Nixon resigned from office, making him the first United States president to ever resign from office.
On August 12, 1877, the phonograph was invented by Thomas Edison.
On August 12, 1898, Hawaii was annexed by the United States.
National Family Fun Month
National Peach Month
National Golf Month
National Picnic Month
Romance Awareness Month
Friendship Day - first Sunday of August
August 26 - Women's Equality Day
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