Tag Archive for: healthy homes

As we start to get older, one of the conversations that occurs at some point is… how long do we want to stay in our home? For some, the option of moving to a senior living community (or even just downsizing) is not appealing or feasible, for a number of reasons including financial means, the stress of moving, emotional attachment to a family home, or the fear of aging even more quickly once they lose their independence. “More than three-quarters of U.S. adults age 50 and older want to stay in their current homes as long as possible”. No matter what your age is though, it’s important to consider modifications to your home to make it safe for you and your guests. Did you know that over one in four Americans age 65+ fall each year? Whether you have a health challenge and need more support throughout your home, or would like to proactively ensure your home is safe for your family and guests, making a few small changes doesn’t have to break the bank and can give you peace of mind in your home.

Ensuring Safety at Home
Here are some key safety measures that can be taken to create a secure living environment as you age gracefully in your home. It’s important to be proactive vs. reactive especially when it comes to health and safety.
1. Install Handrails and Grab Bars: Adding handrails along staircases, in bathrooms, and next to the bed can provide much-needed support and stability for seniors.
2. Improve Interior Lighting: Adequate lighting can help prevent falls. Make sure that all areas of the home, especially hallways, staircases, and entranceways, are well-lit.
3. Remove Tripping Hazards: Remove or secure loose rugs, electrical cords, and clutter that can pose tripping hazards. Choose non-slip mats for bathrooms and ensure that all carpets are securely fastened.
4. Bathroom Modifications: Consider installing a walk-in shower with a seat, a raised toilet seat, and a handheld showerhead to make bathing safer and more comfortable.
5. Enhance Accessibility: If possible, consider widening doorways to accommodate wheelchairs or walkers. Lowering countertop heights in the kitchen can also increase accessibility.
6. Emergency Response System: Invest in a reliable emergency response system that easily allows you to call for help when needed (especially important if you live alone!).
7. Regular Maintenance Checks: Stay on top of home maintenance to ensure that all systems and structures are in good condition.
8. Non-Slip Flooring: Choose flooring materials that offer good traction, such as non-slip tiles, to minimize the risk of slipping and falling.
9. Accessibility Features: Consider adding features like a ramp at the entrance, lever-style door handles, and easy-to-use faucets to make daily activities more manageable.

10. Exterior Lighting: Use bright lights or motion detection lights around steps, walkways and driveways to prevent falls in the dark.

By implementing these safety measures, we can create a home environment that promotes safety, independence and minimizes the risk of accidents in our homes. Selecting someone to check out your home in you area is going to help maximize their understanding of what you need. Musselman Home Improvement helps local families feel safe in their home. No matter if you are in Bucks County, Montgomery County, Lehigh County or Chester County…we are here to support your needs. Now is the time to make a safety checklist for your home and hire a professional if you need help.

Flipping houses takes skill, creativity, and a lot of patience. Perhaps one of the trickiest parts to navigate when flipping houses comes after all the flipping is over–selling the house. Real estate flippers work with the goal to resell in mind, but negotiating prices with buyers, especially for a property that just went under major renovation, can prove difficult.

Incomplete air duct work.

One of the best ways for flippers to have guaranteed success in selling their homes is to have a pre-listing inspection performed by a professional before putting the house on the market. Four key benefits to a pre-listing inspection include:


  • Recognizing or eliminating selling difficulty based on hidden damage or issues. Most selling problems aren’t from cosmetic problems, but from problems discovered in the structure, foundation, or systems (plumbing, electrical, etc) in a home. A pre-listing inspection can prevent you from having to lower a selling price. 


  • Addressing issues on your own terms. When you know of damage to the house before buyers do, you can take charge of how to fix issues before the house goes on the market. If a buyer notices an issue, they might want more credit for it in the listing price than it actually takes to resolve the problem. Plus, typically if a buyer sees one thing wrong, they will assume there are more issues, which impacts offers. 


  • Honest evaluations of the house and relationships with inspection companies. Hiring a home inspector before purchasing a home gives you an honest evaluation of what you’re getting into. Hire an inspector again after the flip is complete (before you list the home), can help ensure optimal selling practices and reduce potential issues that could come up during U&O or through a buyer’s inspection. Developing relationships with a home inspection company builds rapport and helps them understand your individual needs as a flipper, taking a lot of stress out of flipping in the long run.


  • Confidence in your abilities and credibility as a brand. Pre-sale inspection verifies all the work done on your house is up to code. And while some people think an inspection is the responsibility of the buyer, a pre-inspected, damage-free house builds your reputation as a trustworthy seller. It also allows you to maximize the selling price of your flipped home. 

At Musselman Home Inspection, we want to help you make homes the best they can be. Our pre-listing inspection is just one of the many services we offer to keep homes happy and healthy. If we can help you in any way, feel free to contact us, and we’d be happy to chat with you. 

Wells are a great way for any homeowner to get high-quality water and to control their own water supply. Along with all the benefits of a well, though, comes the responsibility of keeping your well clean and operating smoothly.

The water pressure within each of our homes can vary. Typically, the closer your home is to the water source, the greater your water pressure will be.


When the pressure begins to run high, you can begin to hear “screaming” noises, loud metal bangs, and even experience water leaks throughout your home. If this sounds like your home, you’re going to want to install a pressure-reducing valve (PRV) to regulate it.


The PRV protects your home from excessive water pressure beyond what your plumbing fixtures were designed to handle. The valves in your home are designed for water pressure less than 80 pounds per square inch (psi).


Installing a PRV can be relatively simple; you can call your local plumber or follow our step by step video to do it yourself.


  1. First things first, in any kind of home maintenance that involves plumbing work, the water in your home needs to be shut off and drained. This will help you avoid a potential mess or water damage when tapping into your water system.
  2. Locate the lowest faucet that is closest to the main shutoff and open it.
  3. Open all other faucets in the home and flush all the toilets as well to drain your home’s water lines.
  4. Make a cut in the main water line using a pipe cutter leaving enough room to install the pressure reducing valve. Sand down ends of pipe where cuts were made to remove burrs.
  5. Slide the valve over top of the cut ends of the pipe and secure with glue.
  6. Turn the water valve back on and the job is complete!

Watch Jon & Jack demonstrate these steps in the video below.


PRVs can help to fix a number of issues including water waste, protecting water-using appliances, and reducing the energy needed to heat water in your shower, dish washer, etc.


Home maintenance doesn’t have to be a headache. Identifying the problem is the first step, and then, with a little time and effort, you can keep your home in tip-top shape saving you hundreds if not thousands in bills and other expenses. 

When any of our clients who have just purchased a home move in, one of the first things we tell them to do is to check their smoke alarms.


Far too many homes have the alarms overlooked and pushed to the wayside, and according to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly two-thirds of home fire deaths are caused by broken smoke alarms or the absence of them altogether.


Regular maintenance of the smoke alarms in your home is vital, and is easier than most expect.


First, you’ll want to be sure that each level of your home and each bedroom has an alarm present. Then, walk around to each one and press the “Test” button. If you hear a beep, everything is in working order. If not, it may need a battery or entire alarm replacement altogether. You’ll want to do these tests monthly.


If swapping out the battery doesn’t do the trick, we have a step-by-step on how to replace the entire hard-wired alarm (even if you aren’t an electrician):


  1. Make sure the power in the given room is shut off. We cannot stress the importance of this enough as live wires are highly dangerous.
  2. Remove the alarm from the ceiling and have the new one at the ready. There will be a top piece and a base that can be removed with a screwdriver or drill. Many smoke alarms come with a series of wires that you can match up to the existing wiring in the ceiling and plug right in with ease.
  3. Once the wire is connected, install the new base plate piece with either a screwdriver or drill. On the back of the alarm itself, there will be a place to jot down the date so you know when it was last replaced. Then, plug the other end of the wire into your alarm and connect it to the base with a slight twist until it locks into place.


A few more helpful tips for the smoke alarms in your home…


  • Purchase ones that are backed up by battery in case of a power outage
  • Dual smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are a great two-in-one option to keep your home safe
  • Keep a chart somewhere in your home that you can write down each time your alarms are tested and whether or not you had to replace the battery or alarm itself 
  • Replace batteries twice a year just to be safe, daylight savings is a good reminder to do so
  • Involve all members of your household with proper maintenance of alarms


In the video below, watch Jon demonstrate the replacement of a hard-wired smoke alarm so you can implement the steps in your own home’s detectors.


A fire extinguisher is something found in just about every home (or at least, they should be).


But how many of us actually know how to properly use one should the situation arise?


Without the knowledge of proper use, a fire extinguisher is practically useless.


The first thing you need to know is there are three components that make up a fire: a fuel source, oxygen, and a heat source.


Removing just one of these pieces will put a stop to the fire, and that is where your extinguisher comes into play.


When operating a traditional fire extinguisher, remember the acronym P.A.S.S.


PPull the pin.

AAim at the base of the fire.

S Squeeze the handle.

SSweep back and forth, until the fire is out.


Placement of the extinguishers in your home is vital as well. You want to make sure you keep them in the following potential hazard areas of your home for ease of access:


  • Kitchen – this is where the majority of home fires start. Keep an extinguisher handy, but away from any sources of heat, like under your sink.
  • Laundry room – your dryer is another big hazard.
  • Garage – Chemicals, vehicles, and other machinery are all known for starting fires.
  • Outdoors – Fire pits and grills, though outside of the home, can easily spread to structures.


Watch the video below for a helpful visual demonstration by Jon of a few different types of extinguishers.



One of the top causes of house fires are dryer vents that are clogged from years of neglect.


With all of the lint and debris stuck in your clothes dryer, it creates the perfect conditions for a fire to catch and spread quickly throughout the home.


The easy-to-remove filter that we often scrape clean after each load of laundry is just the surface of the lint that is inside your machine and throughout the ventilation system.


To be safe, we have to get inside the works and make sure we get it all out. 


Cleaning your dryer vent at least once a year can put your mind at ease that there is one less potential fire hazard lingering in the hidden parts of your home.


But how does one go about getting inside the dryer and clearing it’s vents?


Jon has created a video that you can watch below that goes over all of the necessary tools and a complete demonstration on cleaning out your dryer vent.




Some ventilation systems, however, are not as easy to access as the one in the video above. In these cases, you will want to hire a professional duct cleaner to handle the job. A small expense to pay for the assured safety of your home and family.

The last of the leaves are finally falling from the trees…and right into your gutters.


It’s mid-to-late fall, and the gutters on your home are likely at maximum capacity, having endured months of debris build-up and clogging them to the point that water can no longer drain through.


Though it may seem insignificant, when this clogging occurs, you could be in for more serious problems down the line. When rain water has no route of exit from your roof, it can begin pooling in places that will cause leaks in your roof or even cracks in the foundation of your home.


To avoid this from happening, we recommend cleaning out your gutters regularly as it is crucial to a safe and healthy home and here are just a few reasons why:


  1. Prevents water damage. Rainwater won’t drain properly when gutters are filled with debris. When that water overflows, it can cause water damage to the interior and exterior of your home.


  1. Protects your roof. With clogged gutters, rainwater has nowhere to go, leaving you with a rotten or a leaky roof.


  1. Keeps pests from causing trouble. Gutters full of leaves and what not can make desirable homes for rodents, birds, and insects. Keep those critters at bay by keeping them clear.


  1. Reduces the risk of a cracked foundation. That rainwater with nowhere to go can pool around the foundation of your home and crack it when expanding and freezing happens in the winter months.


  1. Saves you money. A clean gutter can help prevent expensive future repairs. Take preventative measures now to avoid a costly bill.


There are many companies out there that offer gutter-cleaning services, however, if you are more of a DIY person, there are also plenty of tools on the market designed specifically for this task.

To get this done with ease and as little mess as possible, the best tool for the job is a wet/dry vacuum to suck up all of the debris. This avoids any scooping out or blowing around of the junk that’s caught in there.

When it comes to keeping cool in those long, hot summer months, your air conditioner is heavily relied on.


When it’s working hard all day long to push that cold air into your homes, it’s also sucking in a lot of dirt, dust, and debris from the outside world.


That’s where the air filter comes in. However, unless you make sure to swap it out when it’s full, you’re asking for trouble.


Not only does keeping an old air filter in your A/C unit put you and your family at risk of breathing in unwanted particles that are now blowing around the house, but with a clogged up filter, your air conditioner now has to work harder to do it’s job.


Any piece of equipment that is pushed beyond it’s normal functions is bound to run into issues down the road, and this case is no different. With the elements being put under strain, they can end up either failing, or using up a ton more energy than previously needed, leaving you with a bigger bill than you bargained for.


Luckily for you, this is a quick, easy, and budget-friendly task that’ll have you back to relaxing comfortably in your home all summer long.


And with services like EcoBee and Amazon, you can set up a subscription to have fresh, new filters shipped right to your door every 90 days (as recommended).


That way, all you have to do is swap it out when it shows up and let your unit do the rest.


As we know, there are multiple types of air conditioning units out there, so we’ve created a few demonstrative videos to help assist you in changing your air filter no matter what type your house relies on:


Changing your Basement Unit‘s air filter –

Changing your Attic Unit‘s air filter –

Changing your Window Unit‘s air filter –


Changing tour  Mini-Split Unit‘s air filter –


The short answer is no. That is, if you want to take one of the biggest risks of your life.


Buying a house is no simple task, and it immediately becomes your biggest asset. And in the current market, many are opting to buy without first inspecting the property to give them a greater chance at winning against competing offer. However, without an inspection on the new place you are going to call home, you put not only your funds, but you and your family at risk as well. This brings us to a few questions that may be helpful as you think through this important question, should you waive a home inspection?


What is a home inspection? A home inspection is a visual evaluation of your property, that will help protect your financial interest in what will likely be the largest purchase you make in your life. Most of your inspection will be maintenance recommendations, life expectancies and minor imperfections. These are nice to know about. However, the issues that really matter will fall into four categories:

  • Major defects. An example of this would be a structural failure.
  • Things to “Monitor” that may lead to major defects. A small roof-flashing leak, for example.
  • Safety and health hazards, such as bad wiring or undetected mold.
  • Things that may hinder your ability to finance, legally occupy or insure the home.


What is the value of a home inspection? Buying a house is probably the single largest investment you’ll ever make. As you consider which home is right for you, it’s important to understand what you are getting at the time of purchase (a factual picture of the good, the bad, and everything in between) as well as the additional funds needed over the course of home ownership to keep your home safe and well-maintained. From costly repairs to dangerous elements that might be hiding in plain sight, you want to be sure that you are covered on all sides. Knowledge about how to maintain your home, as well as understanding how to budget for repairs, will give you confidence and peace of mind as you go through home ownership.


What is the risk of waiving a home inspection?

  • An undetected safety or health hazard could go undetected in your home, putting you and/or your family at risk.
  • You move in and soon find out there is a significant issue / repair that must be addressed. You used all your expendable cash on the offer and did not save funds to address the issue. The longer you wait to repair, the worse the issue can get.


Why would sellers want a buyer to waive the home inspection? Waiving the home inspection can be more attractive to sellers since there is less likelihood that buyers will find an expensive issue that they will demand is corrected before settlement.


Are there any other options that would help the seller say “yes” to my offer without having to waive my home inspection contingency? There are several options to consider. However, each of these options are unique and come with different considerations for the buyer and seller. They should not be taken lightly and can be discussed further with your realtor.

  • The Home Inspection is for “informational purposes only”. In this option, the buyer’s intent is to have a home inspection without negotiating further prior to settlement for additional dollars off the agreed upon sales price. For example, you would still check the box for home inspection contingency in your agreement of sale, but your realtor would also add a sentence under special clauses, “Home inspection is mainly for FYI purposes only”.
  • Home Inspection with a Cap on Repairs. With this option, the buyer still elects a home inspection, but includes a special clause. The clause includes a cap on the amount of money paid by the seller on major issues/repairs mentioned in the inspection report. For example, you would still check the box for home inspection contingency in your agreement of sale, but your realtor would also add a sentence under special clauses, “Buyer will only request major repairs or corrections found in the home inspection report not to exceed $5,000”.
  • Shorten the length of your requested inspection period. This allows the seller to have greater confidence in moving the deal ahead quickly.
  • Eliminate other contingencies in your offer or offer a larger, non-refundable binder deposit.



I’ve decided to waive the home inspection – are there any other options to give me peace of mind leading up to making an offer? Yes, Musselman Home Inspection now offers a Pre-Purchase Walk-and-Talk. Our inspection team member will join you during the showing appointment to review the major components of the home and any specific items of concern. The Pre-Purchase Walk & Talk service, while not a full inspection, will give you a better understanding of the property in question by having one of our team members walk through the showing with you and point out areas of concern.


For more information about us and pricing, call us at (267)-328-HOME(4663) or send us an email to info@musselmanhomeinspection.com


Make sure your biggest investment is your safest one.