A Pajama Lounge? What It Is and Why the Trend is Taking Over

Have you heard of a pajama lounge? If you haven’t yet, you’ll probably be seeing the concept everywhere soon! We’ll give you a quick rundown of what a pajama lounge is and the different ways you can adapt it to your taste and living space.

What is a Pajama Lounge?

Short answer: just about anything you want it to be. But a pajama lounge does have one particular feature that makes it a pajama lounge, and that is its location. Pajama lounges are always located on an upper floor of the home, typically the second or third. They’re basically a common space, similar to a home’s living room or family room, located close to its bedrooms so that residents have the novelty of padding right down to it instead of going all the way downstairs.

But that’s where the similarities end from home to home. You can do just about anything you’d like with an upper story common area, aka a pajama lounge. Check out the list below for some of our favorite ideas.

Create the Themed Common Room of Your Dreams

Since the living room is often one of the first spaces visible when you enter a home, many homeowners tend to hold back a bit when it comes to painting, decorating and design. But why not have some fun with your pajama lounge? If you’ve always dreamed of a beach-inspired room filled with calming blues and salvaged wood, go for it. Other ideas include a sports team theme or a movie-viewing space with theater seats, a big screen and a projector.

Build Your Children a Playroom

No child can say no to their very own space right down the hall from their bedroom. Design a pajama lounge with plenty of storage for toys and books and a table and chairs for puzzles and games. Place pillows and low seating all around to encourage reading and relaxing.

Construct a Study or Home Office

Create a pajama lounge that’s more productivity and less lounge. Add a desk, a reading nook and shelving for a chic study or home office for record-keeping or work-from-home days.

Play Up the “Lounge” Angle

Skip the TV and create a space to encourage relaxation and reflection. Choose plush, comfortable furniture and ottomans and set out magazines and other reading material. You can even add a mini fridge with refreshing drinks.

Make it an Impromptu Guest Room

While you’re picking out the perfect sofa for your pajama lounge, go ahead and make it a pull-out bed. This set-up is perfect for the holidays when your home is extra full and it makes supervising kids’ slumber parties easier than ever.

Call National Property Inspections for Your Home Inspection Needs

Our trained inspectors can assess all the major systems in your home and provide you a full report with photos on the condition of each. Contact us today to sell or buy your home with the knowledge you need to succeed.

What You Need to Know About Sandblasting

Sandblasting is the process of sanding a surface to remove rough edges or foreign materials. Sandblasting makes sanding much easier, as it is pressure-driven and easily reaches hard-to-sand areas like nooks and crannies. The “blasting” is done using compressed air to blow sand through a nozzle for a smooth, clean finish. Depending on the project, you can use abrasive materials other than sand to prepare a surface for repainting, staining or refinishing.

What Materials Can Be Sandblasted?

  • Wood: Wood sometimes has several layers of paint, which may be peeling. Porch swings, picnic tables and gazebos are items you may consider having sandblasted.
  • Concrete: Commercial building owners may want to remove parking lines and reconfigure a parking lot, so they can sandblast the old parking lines for a clean surface to work with. Home owners may sandblast their driveways to remove paint or oil spills.
  • Cast Iron: If a cast iron railing or other detail has been painted, you may want to sandblast it to remove peeling and chipping paint.
  • Brick: Sandblasting can make painted or dirty bricks look clean and new.
  • Automobiles: Sandblasting can remove the rust on that fixer-upper in your garage before you paint it.

Costs for Sandblasting

Sandblasting can be performed on a variety of material and is preferable when sandpaper or hand-held sanders are just not appropriate for the task at hand. Sandblasting can save you time, strenuous work and the demanding physical labor of bending, sitting, squatting and reaching.

If you have never sandblasted before, you may want to contact a professional. Using a blaster without experience could potentially cause injury if correct measures are not taken or followed. In addition, keep the following in mind:

  • Some cities may require a permit for sandblasting, so check your local requirements before beginning. If hiring a professional, they may apply for the permit for you.
  • Although rare, accidental damages could occur to your property or neighboring property during the sandblasting process, so consider that additional expenses could arise.
  • The average cost to sandblast an exterior surface is between $664 and $1,116. The average cost per square foot:
    • Brush blast (1/32 inch deep): $1.35 to $2.70
    • Light blast (1/16 inch deep): $2.25 to $4.50
    • Medium blast (1/4 inch deep): $4.50 to $7.20
    • Heavy blast (3/8 inch deep or more): $6.75 to $15.75.

Originally published November 2, 2015, updated August 23, 2018.

Wet Bar vs. Dry Bar: Which One is Right for You?

Wet Bar vs. Dry Bar

If you’ve been thinking about updating your basement or patio by putting in a bar, you have a lot of options, starting with whether you want a wet bar or a dry bar. But what’s the difference? Both are great for entertaining your family and friends, but they’re each suited to specific purposes. Read on to learn the difference between wet bars and dry bars and which one will suit your home best!

Wet Bar vs. Dry Bar: A Simple Difference

In some ways, a bar is a bar is a bar. They all provide an additional place in your home for friends and family to gather, chat and have fun while they watch you mix up their favorite beverages. What type of bar you choose is going to depend largely on what kind of space you’re working with, and where you want to put it. The difference between a wet bar and a dry bar is simple—a wet bar has a sink built in, and a dry bar doesn’t, but this leads to some key differences in installation and usage.

Wet Bar Pros and Cons

First of all, wet bars are more versatile than their dry counterparts. For instance, it’s easier to prepare drinks continuously for large groups of people with a wet bar, because you can wash glasses as you go without carting them to the kitchen. Wet bars generally contain more storage, too, which is handy if you have a lot of supplies for mixing different kinds of drinks.

As always, these pluses come with a few caveats—you’ll have to make sure your bar is situated near an existing plumbing line, and be prepared to shell out for a professional plumber to connect the new sink. Aside from being more expensive to install than dry bars, wet bars may also be seen as a little dated according to modern tastes in entertaining, unless you opt for a wet bar as an extension of your outdoor kitchen. The lesson here? If you want a wet bar to enjoy it yourself, go for it—but if you’re hoping a wet bar will increase your home’s value when it comes time to sell, don’t bet on it.

Dry Bar Pros and Cons

Unlike wet bars, dry bars are easy to add to any size space without worrying about running a plumbing line. They’re also on an upward trend as a desirable home feature compared to wet bars (understatement is the name of the game here). Dry bars are a good place to display a curated selection of bottles and glassware, and since they generally take up less space than a wet bar, they’re a good way to make use of otherwise unusable space in a room.

Because of their smaller size and lack of a sink, dry bars are only really ideal for entertaining small groups. You’re also best sticking to a more limited drink menu to cut down on trips to the kitchen.

Call National Property Inspections Today

Contact us to schedule a full inspection of your home. NPI inspectors have the training, knowledge and expertise to document the condition of all your home’s major systems.

How to Organize Your Garage in One Weekend

The garage is one of those spaces that often serves as a “dump” zone. Not only does it house bikes, tools and lawnmowers, anything that can’t be stored inside tends to get shuffled off there. And before you know it, you can’t see the floor! While we realize everyone’s storage space and belongings are different, we have a few tips to help you organize your garage in a stress-free way that makes sense.

It’s Not Just You

Before you go feeling ashamed at the state of your garage, know that up to 57 percent of people with a two-car can’t even park one vehicle inside due to the sheer volume of clutter. Whether you want to blame it on consumerism, the homeowner DIY movement, or something else entirely, Americans have a lot of stuff. And with our busy schedules, we don’t make a lot of time to think about how we store it.

Because we’re betting on there being several years’ worth of clutter to sort through, we recommend setting aside one full weekend to conquer your garage with your undivided attention. It might not be the most fun you’ve ever had, but it’ll be worth it.

Make it a Family Event

Depending on how much stuff you’re dealing with, you may want to enlist the help of family or friends. Order lunch and have snacks and drinks on hand to make it an event. You may even be able to pass along your unwanted items to someone who’ll use and love them right then and there, saving you a trip to a donation center and making it a win-win for everyone.

Prepare to Go Through Every Single Item

No cutting corners! You’ll want to go through every drawer, cabinet, box and shelf to determine what stays and what needs to go. If you have screwdrivers and other small items scattered to the winds, try to place them together in a clearly labeled box so you can see what you have to work with.

Make Keep, Donate, Sell and Throw Away Piles

Everything in your garage will ideally fall under the categories of Keep, Donate, Sell and Toss. Clearly label sections of your driveway or yard for these areas and make sure all your helpers are onboard with the plan (it’s surprisingly easy to get mixed up once you’re on a roll!).

Sort Everything That’s Left Over

Once everything is divided into the above four categories, it’ll need to be broken down even further into frequently used items, like items, rarely used items and things that can be stored off the floor. You might categorize things accordingly:

Frequently used items: items like boots, jackets, pet leashes, shopping bags and seasonal sports equipment should be placed near the door that leads into your home for easy access. All the better if they can hang on hooks to keep floor space clear.

Like items: Gardening and lawn care, auto care, off-season sports equipment and any hobby items, like painting supplies, for example, should be organized together in different zones. A large shelving unit works well for this purpose.

Rarely used items: Holiday decorations, table saws, spare tires . . . these are all important items to have on hand, even if they don’t get used more than once a year. A separate shelving unit devoted to these objects will help you keep them organized. Be sure to clearly label any opaque bins with stickers facing outward so that you’re not stuck going through a bunch to find what you need.

Off-the-floor items: The more empty floor space you leave yourself to work with, the more clean and open your garage will feel. Follow this simple rule—anything that can be stored off the floor should be stored off the floor. Find hooks and hanging apparatuses for everything from shovels and rakes to bicycles and lawn chairs at your nearest home improvement store.

Get Ready to Cut Your Losses, Even on Big Ticket Items

In an ideal world, we would make back the majority of our money on gently used items that we wanted to sell rather than donate. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always pan out this way. Storing items that need selling long-term will only put a roadblock in your way to a clean and organized garage. Make a deal with yourself: you’ll hang on to items that you’d like to recoup some money from for two weeks. Post them on Facebook, advertise them in your front yard, put an ad on Craigslist and spread the word among friends and family. If no one is biting, demand might be too low, and you’ll need to let go of it for free.

Check Your Local Home Improvement Store for Storage Solutions

Once you’ve got your garage organized, you’ll need storage solutions that will be up to the task for the long haul. Choose your hooks, bins, tool chests and shelving carefully. Avoid guesswork: see what you have to store after you’ve finished with the task of sorting through your things and draw up a plan for what you have left. Take measurements and bring your sketch with you to the store so that you can get valuable feedback from staff.

Most Importantly: Stop Tossing Things in the Garage

You don’t want to go back to square one, do you? Break the habit of tossing stuff in your garage once and for all and save yourself a ton of time and effort later. Make it a yearly task to sort out the small amount of clutter that will inevitably end up there, and keep using your garage for its intended purpose.

Call National Property Inspections Today for Your Residential Inspection Needs

At NPI, our inspectors are trained to access the condition of all the major systems in your home, including the roof, foundation, plumbing and more. Contact us today!

How to Flush Your Hot Water Heater the Easy Way

We’ll bet on the fact that you haven’t thought about flushing your hot water heater in awhile—if ever. But, while it’s one of those tasks that’s easy to forget, it’s necessary for maintaining an efficient system that lasts for the duration of its life expectancy (about eight to 12 years).

Why is Flushing Your Hot Water Heater Important?

Over time, hot water heaters collect sediment, or mineral deposits, at the bottom. These mineral deposits are typically the result of hard water. If your hot water heater doesn’t get flushed over the course of years, it can lead to a premature breakdown or even a burst tank.

How often you’ll need to flush your hot water heater depends on how hard your water is. Coastal and southeastern states typically don’t experience hard water to the degree that Midwestern and western states do. For those living in states with softer water, once every three years is a good rule of thumb, and for those with harder water, flushing once a year is a good idea.

How to Flush Your Hot Water Heater

Hot water heaters generally fall into two types: gas and electric. How each type is flushed is similar except for the first step. If you have a gas model, you’ll need to turn off the gas, and if you have an electric model, you’ll need to turn off the electricity to the water heater.

Eight steps may seem like a lot, but we promise the tasks are easy. In fact, you should be finished with the whole flushing process in as little as 30 minutes.

Step 1: Turn your hot water heater’s thermostat to the “off” position.

For safety reasons, this is one, if not the most important step in the flushing process. Some say you can get away with having the hot water heater on “pilot,” but we believe in being extra cautious and turning it to the “off” position.

Step 2: Turn off the gas or electricity.

Before you begin, you’ll need to turn off the gas to the hot water heater. If you have an electric hot water heater, you’ll need to turn off the electricity to it by flipping the breaker.

Step 3: Turn off the cold water supply to the hot water heater.

You’ll find the cold water supply near the top of the hot water heater. Turn the setting to off.

Step 4: Pick a sink or tub and turn on the hot water.

You’ll need to leave a hot water tap on during the entire flushing process. This helps prevent a vacuum from forming.

Step 5: Open the pressure relief valve.

Opening the pressure relief valve can help water flow more easily during the draining process. Be sure to place a bucket underneath the drainage pipe and use caution—hot water will rush out.
Once you’ve opened the pressure relief valve, you’ll need to let your hot water tank cool off before proceeding with the rest of the steps.

Step 6: Connect a garden hose to the drainage spigot.

Find the drainage spigot and connect a garden hose, then lead the hose outside or into a large bucket. If your water heater is in the basement, you may need to use a pump to direct the water out to the ground floor.

Step 7: Drain your tank.

Monitor the water that’s coming out of your tank. If it’s been a hot minute since you last flushed your hot water heater, you’ll notice that the water is brown and that you can see sediment. You’ll want to keep running the tank until the water runs clear.

Step 8: Flush your tank.

To complete the flushing process, turn on the cold water spigot that leads to your tank. Let it run until the water coming out of the hose becomes clear.

And you’re done—almost. Now you’ll need to put everything back where it was. Here’s your checklist:

• Turn off the drainage spigot and disconnect the garden hose.
• Close the pressure relief valve.
• Turn the hot water tap in the tub or sink off.
• Turn on the cold water spigot.
• When the tank is full, open the pressure relief valve.
• Turn the hot water tap in a tub or shower on. Cold water should be coming out.
• Turn the gas or electric back on.
• If you turned the thermostat off, relight the pilot light and turn it back on.
• If your hot water heater is electric, flip the breaker to turn the power back on.
• Wait about 20 minutes for the water to heat up and then check that hot water is coming out.

Call National Property Inspections for a Full Report on Your Home’s Systems

Our inspectors have the expertise to perform a non-invasive inspection on your hot water heater and other major systems and appliances. Contact us today.

Folding Fitted Sheets Made Easy

Folding Fitted Sheets

Here’s a familiar sight—your sheets are fresh out of the dryer, and now everything needs to be folded. You take care of the flat sheet, no problem. Pillow cases, easy. Fitted sheet? Hold on a second. If you think the only way to fold fitted sheets is to crumple them into a messy ball and throw them in the closet, you’re not alone. Sure, fitted sheets are unruly, but there’s a better way to fold them that’s a snap to learn.

Before We Get Started

Why are we going through this in the first place? Isn’t it enough that your fitted sheets get sort of folded and stuffed in the linen closet? At least they’re not ending up in a pile on the floor, right? Well, there are a few good reasons to take the extra minute and do the job correctly.

First, your sheets will stay wrinkle-free, which we all know deep down is better than the alternative. Second, folding your fitted sheets actually saves a ton of room in your linen closet, so if you’re one of those people who keeps more sheets, towels and other linen-closet-y things than you probably need, anything you can do to create more space is a must. Lastly, folding fitted sheets helps keep your linen closet organized—imagine not having to pull everything out looking for the one thing you need. Feels good, doesn’t it?

Folding Fitted Sheets in 7 Easy Steps

  1. Hold the sheet by two adjacent corners of the shorter side. Making sure that the sheet is inside out with the elastic edge facing you, place a hand in each corner.
  2. Starting with your right hand, bring one corner to the other and fold it over so the left corner is underneath the right one.
  3. Look down. You should see a corner hanging down in front. Grab that one, bring it up and fold it over the corners in your left hand. You’ll know you did this right if the corner that’s showing now is inside out.
  4. One more corner to go—bring that one up to meet the others and fold it over them. At this point your fitted sheet should be in a more or less square shape, with a “c” of elastic going from one corner to its opposite.
  5. Lay the sheet on a flat surface to smooth out any wrinkles.
  6. Fold the sheet into halves or thirds, depending on how small you want it.
  7. Marvel in your handiwork and accept your exclusive membership in the Fitted Sheet Folders Association.
  8. Just kidding, that’s not a real thing . . . or is it?

Call National Property Inspections Today

NPI helps you keep your home in its best condition, and can even help you make the most of your investment when you buy or sell with a full home inspection. Contact us to make an appointment.

Benefits of a Pre-Listing Home Inspection

Benefits of a Pre-Listing Home Inspection

When you’re trying to sell your home, should you hire your own home inspector? It’s a good question, and it’s one many homeowners ask their real estate agents before putting their houses on the market. As it turns out, there are a lot of great reasons to get a pre-listing home inspection before a buyer makes an offer. We’ll tell you everything you need to know below for a smooth, hassle-free sale process.

1. You won’t be surprised.

There are certain flaws about your home you’re already well aware of, but what about the things you know nothing about? When you order a pre-listing inspection, you get a top-to-bottom report of hundreds of features and systems in your home. If any problems are revealed, you’ll have a chance to repair them or build repairs into your asking price. This is especially good for DIYers, who can save a lot of money by completing simple repairs themselves.

2. You can price your home more accurately.

Pricing is one of the toughest parts of selling your home, but a pre-listing inspection makes it easier. Once you have a full picture of your home’s strengths and weaknesses, you can be a lot more confident that you’ve arrived at the right price point. If a buyer sees that you’ve priced your home transparently based on an independent inspection, they may also be less likely to submit a lower offer.

3. You’ll save money in the long run.

Having to deal with a surprise repair that only comes to light during the buyer’s inspection can be more expensive than taking care of the problem yourself. Whether the buyer insists on an expensive contractor rather than a DIY repair or wants more money taken off your asking price than you think is fair, relying solely on a buyer’s inspection can be costly.

4. You’ll save time and stress on negotiations.

When all parties are fully informed about the home being sold, the process of selling goes much faster and cuts down on stress. Without a pre-listing inspection, the one question that’s bound to be on your mind is “what if there’s a sale-killing problem I don’t know about?” And if you do know about a problem that’s likely to affect a buyer’s decision, it’s better to get everything out in the open from the get-go.

5. You’ll make your real estate agent’s job much easier.

There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes when you’re a real estate agent. When working to sell a home, an agent can spend days researching not only the house itself, but the neighborhood, schools and values of other homes in the area, too. When you add a pre-listing inspection to the data your agent is collecting, they can form a better idea of what your home will reasonably go for in the current market, which makes the process go smoothly for everyone involved.

Call National Property Inspections for a Full Assessment of Your Home

Your local NPI inspector has the professional training and experience to help assess the condition of your home’s structure and major systems. Give us a call today to schedule your pre-listing inspection.

The Overly Disclaimed Home Inspection Report

Inspection Report

Let’s say you are buying a house and you’re ready to have it inspected. You go with your Realtor’s recommendation for a home inspector, give him/her the necessary information about the house and set up your inspection. The inspector tells you to check your email for the preinspection agreement, which will need to be signed before the inspection can be done.

When you open the preinspection agreement, you find that is really long — more than five or six pages. Then, after the inspection, your inspector delivers a report that is 75 to 100 pages long. You notice that both the preinspection agreement and the report are full of disclaimers, such as, “In an occupied home with furnishings,” “Depending on usage, “Except under extreme conditions,” and “The inspector may not be able to guarantee discovery.” If this is the case, you may be the recipient of an overly disclaimed home inspection report.

Because home inspectors may be held responsible for damage or problems that are visibly present at the time of inspection but not included in the inspection report, some inspectors include an overabundance of disclaimers in their preinspection agreements and reports. While it is important that home buyers know the limitations of a home inspection, an overly disclaimed inspection report is needlessly long and tedious.

So, what do those disclaimers really mean?

  • In an occupied home with furnishings: The inspector likely had limited visibility of certain areas due to furniture, clutter, moving boxes, etc.
  • Depending on usage: The inspector is covering the bases by saying that using the component too much (or too little) could affect its life span.
  • Due to the weather: The inspector should note the weather at the beginning of the report, as rain and snow may impede his/her ability to inspect components like a roof or grading.
  • Except under extreme conditions: This is unclear, as “extreme” is often a matter of opinion.
  • The inspector may not be able to guarantee discovery: Again, this is usually stated in the preinspection agreement and maybe at the beginning of the report. It doesn’t need to appear more often than that.

How to Spot a Good Inspection Report

Each section of your home inspection report should state the facts about the property’s condition at the time of inspection. Any disclaimers, within reason, and limitations should be listed in the “scope of work” section of the preinspection agreement. There’s no need for an inspector to add a disclaimer to every statement or note in the report.

A competent inspector will clearly outline any limitations and exclusions specific to the inspection. For example, “The roof was not accessible for inspection due to snow,” or “The attic was not inspected due to home owner’s personal possessions blocking the access.” In situations such as these, the inspector should document the disclaimer statement with a photograph.

The main reason you’re having an inspection is to find out any problems with the house, right? So, in the inspection report, your inspector should state any problems, include a photograph of each problem, explain why something is or could be a concern, and describe the corrective course of action. Your inspector may also point out outstanding or superior features of the property. If the inspector sticks to this process, then there is really no need to include an excess of disclaimers, and certainly not in every statement throughout the report.

Your inspection report should be written in simple laymen’s terms, with comments that are clear and concise. You (and your real estate agent) are less likely to read an entire report that is overwritten. Regardless of the report’s length, do make sure to read the entire report, and if there’s terminology or anything you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to call your inspector and ask for clarification.

By Randy Yates, Training Consultant Administrator, NPI/GPI Corporate

Everything You Need to Know About Attic and Roof Ventilation

We all understand the importance of a healthy roof for keeping a home in great condition. But what’s one often overlooked area that plays a huge role in a roof’s performance and efficiency? Ventilation. Here, we’ll go over how to determine whether you need better roof and attic ventilation.

Why is Good Ventilation So Important?

When we refer to roof ventilation, we’re not talking about anything complicated or mysterious. We still mean airflow, or circulation. Roof ventilation requires consistent airflow to function properly. This is typically achieved mechanically, through a power source, or naturally, using the stack effect or the wind effect.

The stack effect occurs when hot air rises and creates pressure in the attic. In order to avoid growing too hot, the hot air, known as exhaust, needs a means for escaping through the roof. Exhaust cannot escape an attic without cool, lower-pressure air entering the attic, air known as intake. Exhaust and intake work together to keep airflow steady and create a well-ventilated attic. If this circulatory system isn’t adequate, your roof could experience a number of problems.

Attic Ventilation: Telltale Signs You Need More

Ice dams

Ice buildup on a roof is known as ice damming. The presence of icicles hanging from the gutters of a home is a huge sign that its roof is not ventilating properly. Ice dams form when a roof gets too hot. Heat builds up in the attic, except in the eaves. This heat radiating through the roof causes snow to melt and begin to run off, and because the eaves are still cold, the snow freezes and turns into icicles at the gutters. But the issues don’t end there. The melted snow can back up as ice accumulates, flowing under the shingles, destroying your roof and even potentially leaking into your home.

We should also note that icicles present a very real hazard of their own. Larger icicles can cause serious injury once they loosen and begin to fall, and the weight of accumulated ice can cause gutters and awnings to collapse. All the more reason to install proper roof ventilation!

Your HVAC system is working overtime

If your HVAC system is suddenly having to pull double-duty to heat or cool your home, poor ventilation in the attic could be to blame. Exceptionally hot air in the attic can hinder your thermostat’s ability to regulate the temperature in the rest of your home. To find out if poor ventilation might be to blame, place a thermometer in your attic and monitor the temperature.

Mold is forming in the attic

Ventilation doesn’t just control temperature, it also helps control moisture. If you notice mold forming on the ceiling joints, rafters and beams of your attic, you’re probably in need of a ventilation overhaul. You’ll likely need to hire a professional to remove the mold before tackling the ventilation issue. Since inhaling mold spores can be dangerous, we don’t recommend undertaking the task yourself.

You’re noticing rust

Rust is another major indictor of moisture issues in the attic. Are you noticing those telltale brown stains on your roof’s metal components? You’ll need to hire a roofer to determine whether poor ventilation could be to blame (it probably is!).

Types of Attic Ventilation

With so many different options for ventilation, you’ll want to seek a professional opinion for advice on getting the best system for your roof’s size, age and condition. Here are several of the different ventilation devices you can choose from:

Box vents

Box vents, also known as low profile vents, louvers, flat vents or turtle vents, are static and have no moving parts. Because they are relatively small, numerous box vents are typically required to properly vent a roof. They are made of either metal or durable plastic and installed over holes cut in the roof to allow for an adequate amount of heat and moisture to escape.

Power vents

Power vents run on motors that help turn large fans to move exhaust and moisture out of the attic. Some even come with “smart” thermostats that trigger a fan to kick in when the attic reaches a certain temperature. Some are also equipped with a humidistat to kick on when humidity levels get too high. Most power vents are hardwired into a home’s electrical, but you can also find models that run on solar power. One con of power vents is that they run so quietly, it can be difficult to detect when one goes out, leaving your attic and roof at risk.

Wind turbines

Also known as whirlybirds, wind turbines rely on wind power for movement. The bulbous piece, similar in shape to a chef’s hat, spins in the wind, drawing hot air and moisture up and out of the attic. Wind turbines can be tricky—you definitely don’t want to go the inexpensive route here. Instead, opt for high-quality models with plastic bushings and permanently lubricated ball bearings.

Soffit vents

Most often composed of PVC or aluminum, soffit vents are placed in soffits and eaves. Soffit vents are not solely relied on for proper ventilation, but when combined with other types of vents, they’re an excellent option. Many homeowners choose to install them when they would like to boost ventilation and efficiency while still keeping their original system in place.

Ridge vents

Ridge vents are shaped like an open book laying facedown. Running with this analogy, the spine area of the “book,” or vent, is fitted over the entire length of the roof’s horizontal ridge to create an even distribution of temperature in the attic. Ridge vents blend more seamlessly with a home’s roof than most other types of ventilation systems, and are considered an attractive option. When combined with soffit vents, they’re also considered one of the most effective solutions out there.

Off ridge vents

Off ridge vents function similarly to box vents, but rather than being square, they’re rectangular. Because they’re small and static, you’ll need to install several of them on your roof to achieve adequate airflow.

Cupola vents

More often than not, cupola vents are decorative in nature, resembling miniature gazebos and sometimes housing weathervanes. Cupolas can, however, be functional, allowing hot air and moisture to escape from the roof. It should be noted that this type of ventilation is limited in its capabilities and should probably be combined with another type of system for the best results.

Call National Property Inspections Today for an Assessment of Your Roof

National Property Inspections can examine your home’s attic and roof and determine whether you are dealing with poor ventilation. Give us a call today to receive a full report complete with digital photos.

October 2018: Autumn

Ask The Inspector

Everything You Need to Know About Attic and Roof Ventilation

We all understand the importance of a healthy roof for keeping a home in great condition. But what’s one often overlooked area that plays a huge role in a roof’s performance and efficiency? Ventilation. Here, we’ll go over how to determine whether you need better roof and attic ventilation. Learn more

The Overly Disclaimed Home Inspection Report

Because home inspectors may be held responsible for damage or problems that are visibly present at the time of inspection but not included in the inspection report, some inspectors include an overabundance of disclaimers in their pre-inspection agreements. Here’s how to navigate disclaimers. Learn more

Benefits of a Pre-Listing Home Inspection

When you’re trying to sell your home, should you hire your own home inspector? As it turns out, there are a lot of great reasons to get a pre-listing home inspection before a buyer makes an offer. We’ll tell you everything you need to know below for a smooth, hassle-free sale process. Learn more

Expert Advice

Folding Fitted Sheets Made Easy

Here’s a familiar sight—your sheets are fresh out of the dryer, and now everything needs to be folded. You take care of the flat sheet, no problem. Pillow cases, easy. Fitted sheet? They may be unruly, but there’s a better way to fold them that’s a snap to learn. Stop crumpling once and for all. Learn more

Wet Bar vs. Dry Bar: Which One is Right for You?

If you’ve been thinking about updating your basement or patio by putting in a bar, you have a lot of options, starting with whether you want a wet bar or a dry bar. But what’s the difference? Read on to learn the difference between wet bars and dry bars and which one will suit your home best! Learn more

How to Organize Your Garage in One Weekend

The garage is one of those spaces that often serves as a “dump” zone. Not only does it house bikes, tools and lawnmowers, anything that can’t be stored inside tends to get shuffled off there. We have a few tips to help you organize your garage in a stress-free way that makes sense. Learn more

Snapshots From The Field

Our inspectors are always sharing interesting finds from the field.

What’s wrong with this picture?

You’d be surprised by how common this one is! Pictured here is an overhead light and electric ceiling fan in a bathroom . . . that’s been installed over a shower and tub.

Installing a suspended light and fan over an area where showering and bathing occurs is incredibly dangerous. Since electricity and water are a lethal combination, even a minor malfunction could lead to electrocution. While overhead lighting is obviously a must in every room of the house, including the bathroom, it must be well out of the way of the shower and/or bath, and preferably “wet” or “shower-location” rated by a professional. Local codes can vary when it comes to clearance, so be sure to do your research.

Maintenance Matters

How to Flush Your Hot Water Heater the Easy Way

We’ll bet on the fact that you haven’t thought about flushing your hot water heater in awhile—if ever. But, while it’s one of those tasks that’s easy to forget, it’s necessary for maintaining an efficient system that lasts for the duration of its life expectancy (about eight to 12 years). Learn more

What You Need to Know About Sandblasting

Sandblasting is the process of sanding a surface to remove rough edges or foreign materials. Sandblasting makes sanding much easier, as it is pressure-driven and easily reaches hard-to-sand areas like nooks and crannies. Learn more about the best uses for sandblasting. Learn more

 

Monthly Trivia Question

Question: True or False: The difference between a wet bar and a dry bar is that a dry bar has a sink built in.

Be the first to answer correctly and win a $10 Starbucks’s gift card. Submit your answer to find out if you’ve won.