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Home Inspections in Oakland County MI & Surrounding areas

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February 2020 Newsletter

Happy Leap Year from Sterling Home Services! Whatever you choose to celebrate, whether it’s Black History Month, Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, or Superbowl Sunday (or all of the above!), we hope you’re staying happy, healthy, and warm this February! In this month's newsletter we teach you what you should do to prepare for a home inspection. Home inspections give home sellers a significant advantage in competitive home selling markets! Also, learn ways to stay healthy, safe and flu-free as we while away the rest of our winter indoors.
Planning for a Home Inspection
Why plan for a home inspection?
Getting an inspection is an important part of the process of listing your home for sale. Sellers with an inspection report in hand will have an advantage over sellers without one. A home inspection lets your buyers know - up front - the condition of all your house systems. Sellers with a home inspection often get a better price and make a faster sale, as well.
It’s essential to prepare for your home inspection so that the inspector can quickly and easily complete the inspection in one visit. An inspector can give you a better and more thorough inspection if you’ve already taken steps to clear the way.
Here are a few guidelines to follow to prepare for your home inspection.
  • Be ready on time and before you expect the inspector
  • Clean house, including filters, screens, trees,
  • Make sure the home has power - gas, electric
  • Clear pathways to critical systems, HVAC, water heater, plumbing, - move boxes and junk in the way, clear snow and branches away, have all keys and security codes handy
  • Provide documentation - use and care guides, service reports, insurance claims, repair certificates, and invoices
  • Leave - no pets or people in the way
Be prepared for whatever the report reveals as well. All your systems may not pass safety or operational inspection. You don’t have to fix everything, but you will save yourself time and trouble to reveal the results of your inspection to prospective buyers up front. Also, be aware that failure to disclose defects could result in serious legal issues for you.
Tips for a Healthy Household
Winter is cold and flu season, so make sure you’re taking extra precautions to maintain a healthy household during these shut-in days of winter!
Add an air purifier – The Environmental Protection Agency warns that indoor air pollution can be up to five times higher than outdoor air pollution. Consider installing an air purifier to control odors, chemical vapors, and pollutants in your home. HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filters in air purifiers remove microscopic particles. Some units pair a HEPA filter with a secondary filtration system, such as activated carbon, to remove odors.
Freshen up the air with fans – Use exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom when cooking and bathing. A range hood helps keep kitchen air clean by expelling pollutants, such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide, generated by a gas stove. Bathroom exhaust fans provide added comfort and reduce condensation that can lead to mold growth. And, by installing a fan timer that automatically turns off the fan, you can also save energy and money.
Smart kitchen cleaning – Battle bacteria on kitchen surfaces. Sanitize sponges by tossing them into the microwave or dishwasher. Make sure countertops and cutting boards are nonporous and clean them regularly. Also, look for cleaning products that are made from plant sources rather than petroleum and that are free of chemicals that can irritate (such as chlorine) or pollute (such as phosphates).
Dust Control – Dust is a common bothersome household allergy. Kick dust to the curb with these tips:
  • To minimize accumulated household dust, display hard-to-clean collectibles behind glass doors.
  • To keep dust mites at bay in the bedroom, put allergy-control covers on mattresses and pillows, and be sure to wash bedding weekly in hot water and dry on high heat.
  • Remodeling stirs up dust. After your project is complete, hire a licensed company to clean your home's duct system.
  • Limit the dust in your living space by choosing easy-to-clean. Flat-weave cotton and linen fabrics are smart selections. It's best to avoid heavily textured draperies and blinds, which can collect dust.
Upgrade your vacuum – Buy a quality vacuum to rid the house of allergens and dust mites. Look for a vacuum with an agitator, high suction, high filtration (such as HEPA filters), and tools for cleaning furniture, draperies, ceilings, and baseboards. While you’re at it, it’s probably a good idea to vacuum and dust your HVAC system in the basement – this improves efficiency and will blow cleaner, healthier air.
Install a humidifier – Combat dry winter air with a whole-house humidifier (about $400). Attached to your heating and cooling system, these units reduce light-switch induced shocks, dry coughs, sinus problems, and dry skin (which flakes off and creates food for dust mites).
Fun February Facts
  • February is one of the most frequently misspelled words in the English language. Even the White House press office has gotten it wrong!
  • For more than 40 years, February has been Black History Month.
  • It’s the month for a lot of other causes, too, including American Heart Month.
  • “Februa” was an early Roman festival and cleansing ritual held on Feb. 15. So, the month is kind of named after a spring-cleaning festival!
  • February is the only month that can pass without having a full moon. That doesn’t mean February never has a full moon—it usually does, as a matter of fact. The last time it didn’t was 1999. The next time it won’t have a full moon? 2037!
  • Groundhog Day—Feb. 2—is based on a German superstition. In Germany, though, it’s not a groundhog that forecasts either an early spring or a longer winter: It’s a badger.
  • The odds of being born on Feb. 29 are about 1 in 1,461. If you’re born on a leap day, you’re typically known as a “leaper” or “leapling.”
  • The first Sunday in February is Super Bowl Sunday. But it wasn’t always that way—until 2001, the game was played in January.
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