Pittsburgh Home Inspection Radon Gas Testing

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is colorless, tasteless, and odorless. It forms when uranium in the soil and rock breaks down, and it can enter homes through cracks and openings in the foundation. As a home inspector in the Pittsburgh area, I’ve seen firsthand how important it is for homeowners to be aware of radon risks and take necessary precautions. In this blog post, I’ll discuss the risks of radon exposure, explain how to test for radon in your home and offer suggestions for mitigating radon levels if necessary.

Risks of Radon Exposure

Long-term exposure to high levels of radon can lead to serious health problems. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, after smoking. It’s estimated that about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year are radon-related. The risk is even higher for smokers, who are more susceptible to the effects of radon exposure.

Testing for Radon in Your Pittsburgh Area Home

The only way to know if your home has elevated radon levels is to test for it. Testing is simple and relatively inexpensive. You can purchase a do-it-yourself radon test kit at most hardware stores or online. Alternatively, you can hire a professional radon tester to conduct the test for you.

Short-term tests take anywhere from 2 to 90 days, while long-term tests last for 3 months or longer. Long-term tests provide a more accurate assessment of your home’s average radon level, as radon levels can vary from day to day and season to season.

It’s important to follow the testing instructions carefully and place the test kit in the lowest living area of your home. The EPA recommends that if your test results show radon levels at 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher, you should take action to reduce your home’s radon levels.

Mitigating Radon Levels in Your Home

If your radon test results indicate that your home has elevated radon levels, don’t panic. There are several mitigation strategies you can use to reduce radon levels and protect your family’s health. Some of the most common techniques include:

  1. Active Soil Depressurization (ASD): This is the most common and effective method for reducing radon levels in homes. It involves installing a vent pipe and fan system to draw radon gas from the soil beneath your home and exhaust it outside.
  2. Sealing and Caulking: Sealing cracks and openings in your home’s foundation can help reduce the amount of radon entering your home. This method should be used in conjunction with other mitigation techniques, as sealing alone is not usually sufficient to lower radon levels significantly.
  3. Increasing Ventilation: Improving your home’s ventilation can help dilute indoor radon levels. Installing a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) or an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) can both increase ventilation and maintain energy efficiency.
  4. Sump Hole Depressurization: If your home has a sump pump, a vent pipe and fan system can be installed to draw radon gas from the sump hole and release it outside.

As a home inspector in the Pittsburgh area, I’ve seen the importance of radon testing and mitigation firsthand. By understanding the risks, testing your home, and taking appropriate action when necessary, you can protect your family from the dangers of radon exposure. If you have any concerns about radon in your home or are planning to buy or sell a property in the Pittsburgh area, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional for guidance and support.

Mold inspection and testing in the Pittsburgh area

As a homeowner in the Pittsburgh area, it’s essential to protect your investment and the health of your family. One often overlooked hazard is the presence of mold, which can lead to significant health problems and structural damage if left unchecked. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the process of mold inspection and testing, and why it’s essential for your Pittsburgh area home.

What is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in damp, warm environments. It reproduces by releasing spores into the air, which can then land on surfaces and grow into new mold colonies. Mold growth can cause various health problems, such as allergies, asthma, and respiratory infections, especially in people with weakened immune systems.

Why Mold Inspection and Testing is Essential

Mold can grow in hidden spaces, such as behind walls, under floors, and in attics or basements, making it challenging to detect without professional help. By having a mold inspection and testing done in your Pittsburgh area home, you can:

  1. Protect your family’s health: Mold exposure can lead to various health problems, especially in young children, elderly individuals, and those with pre-existing respiratory conditions. Early detection allows you to address mold issues before they become a significant health risk.
  2. Prevent property damage: Mold can weaken the structure of your home, causing wood to rot and potentially leading to costly repairs. Detecting mold early can help you prevent extensive damage and save money in the long run.
  3. Maintain your home’s value: Mold issues can significantly decrease your property’s value, and potential buyers may be hesitant to purchase a home with a history of mold problems. A mold-free home is more likely to retain its value and appeal to potential buyers.

The Mold Inspection and Testing Process

Mold inspection and testing involve a multi-step process that includes visual inspection, sampling, and laboratory analysis. Here’s an overview of the steps:

  1. Visual Inspection: A professional mold inspector will thoroughly examine your home for any visible signs of mold growth, water damage, or other potential issues that may contribute to mold development.
  2. Sampling: If the inspector identifies potential mold growth, they will collect samples using air sampling, surface sampling, or bulk sampling techniques. These samples are then sent to a laboratory for analysis.
  3. Laboratory Analysis: A certified laboratory will analyze the samples to determine the presence, type, and concentration of mold spores. This information is crucial for determining the best course of action to remediate the mold problem.
  4. Report and Recommendations: The mold inspector will provide you with a detailed report outlining the findings of the inspection and testing, along with recommendations for remediation and preventing future mold growth.

Mold inspection and testing is a crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy, safe, and valuable home in the Pittsburgh area. By identifying and addressing mold issues early, you can protect your family’s health, prevent property damage, and maintain your home’s value. Don’t let mold sneak up on you – invest in professional mold inspection and testing services today.

Pittsburgh area home inspection

Preparing your Pittsburgh area home for a professional home inspection doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right guidance and a bit of effort, you can ensure your property is ready for home inspectors. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the steps necessary to make the home inspection process as smooth as possible. So, let’s dive in!

  1. Clear the perimeter

One of the first things Pittsburgh home inspectors will do is examine the exterior of your home. To ensure they can perform a thorough inspection, make sure to clear any debris, overgrown vegetation, or stored items away from the walls. This will allow the inspector to easily access and evaluate the foundation, siding, windows, and other exterior components.

  1. Provide easy access to all areas

It’s crucial to ensure that the home inspector can access every part of your home. This includes the attic, basement, crawlspaces, and utility rooms. Make sure to unlock doors and gates, move stored items out of the way, and clear any obstructions that may prevent easy access. If your home has a security system, remember to disarm it or provide instructions to the inspector.

  1. Check the utilities

Pittsburgh home inspectors will need to test the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems during the inspection. Ensure that all utilities are operational and connected. Turn on the water, gas, and electricity, and make sure that pilot lights on appliances are lit. If any utilities have been shut off, contact your service provider to have them turned back on before the inspection.

  1. Replace burnt-out light bulbs

While a burnt-out light bulb may seem like a minor issue, it can create doubt in the inspector’s mind about the electrical system. To avoid any unnecessary concerns, replace any burnt-out bulbs throughout your home. This simple step will help the inspector quickly determine if there are any issues with the electrical system or if it was just a burnt-out bulb.

  1. Clean your home

A clean, well-maintained home creates a positive impression on home inspectors. Take the time to tidy up, remove clutter, and clean your home before the inspection. Pay particular attention to the kitchen and bathrooms, as these areas tend to be closely scrutinized. Additionally, clean gutters and downspouts to demonstrate that your home has been properly maintained.

  1. Prepare documentation

If you’ve recently completed any repairs or maintenance, gather receipts and documentation to share with the inspector. This can include records of HVAC servicing, roof repairs, or pest control treatments. Having these documents on hand will show the inspector that your home has been well-cared for and can help address any potential concerns.

  1. Be punctual and flexible

On the day of the inspection, be prepared to leave your home for a few hours. While it’s not necessary for you to be present during the inspection, it’s essential to provide the Pittsburgh home inspectors with the time and space they need to perform a thorough evaluation. Being punctual and accommodating will help create a positive atmosphere and ensure the inspection goes smoothly.


Preparing your home for a professional home inspection doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. By following these tips, you can ensure that your property is ready for inspection and that the process goes smoothly. Remember, a well-prepared home not only makes a great impression on Pittsburgh home inspectors but also increases your chances of a successful sale. So, start preparing your home today, and good luck with your inspection!

How mold effects your home and why a home inspection can help

We’ve all heard the saying “out of sight, out of mind.” But when it comes to mold in your house, this phrase can have a very literal meaning. You might not be able to see it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there—and it definitely doesn’t mean that it isn’t causing harm. Read on to learn more about the risks associated with home mold and what you can do to prevent it from overtaking your house.

What is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus that grows in moist environments. It is most commonly found in damp basements, bathrooms, and kitchens, but can spread quickly if left unchecked. Mold produces tiny spores that are easily inhaled by humans and animals; these spores can cause allergies or even dangerous illnesses like asthma.

How Does Mold Affect My Home?

In addition to posing a health risk for you and your family, mold can also damage your home if left untreated. It will grow on surfaces like walls and ceilings, discoloring them and leaving behind unsightly stains. In extreme cases, mold can even weaken structural elements of your home due to its relentless consumption of organic matter such as wood or drywall.

How Can I Prevent Mold?

The best way to prevent mold growth in your home is to reduce moisture levels inside your house as much as possible. Investing in a dehumidifier is a great way to do this; these machines draw moisture from the air so that it cannot settle on surfaces where mold could grow. Additionally, make sure any leaks or water damage are repaired promptly; don’t wait until the problem gets worse! Finally, keep an eye out for signs of mold growth (such as discolored walls or musty odors) and take immediate action if you notice anything suspicious.

We all want our homes to be safe havens—places where we feel comfortable and secure at all times. Unfortunately, one thing that could be lurking beneath the surface without us even knowing is home mold! Not only does this pose a health risk for us and our families but it can also weaken the structure of our homes over time if left untreated. Scheduling a professional home inspection in the Pittsburgh Area is one way to know for sure if mold is in your home!

Pittsburgh area water heater home inspector

Have you ever wondered how long your water heater will last? If so, you aren’t alone. Homeowners everywhere are curious about the life span of their water heaters and what they can do to increase their longevity. Today, I’ll tell you how you can estimate your water heater’s life span and what steps you can take to ensure it lasts as long as possible.

Estimating Life Span

Most manufacturers claim that a gas or electric water heater should last between 8-12 years and a tankless water heater should last up to 20 years. But those are just estimates—the truth is that the actual life span of your water heater will depend on many factors including the type, quality, maintenance, and usage.

You can get an even more accurate estimation of your water heater’s life by checking the manufacturer’s website for specific product information. Most websites will provide estimated lifespans based on each model’s age brackets (e.g., 6-9 years old) and whether it is gas or electric-powered. This can give you an indication of how much time you have before replacing your unit depending on its age and type. Other options include hiring a professional home inspector to inspect the water heater.

Tips for Maximizing Your Water Heater’s Lifespan

Once you know approximately when to expect to replace your unit, there are several things you can do to maximize its lifespan until then. First, make sure to flush out sediment build-up from the tank at least once per year—this will help reduce wear from sediment particles in the tank over time. Second, inspect valves and connections for any signs of corrosion or leaks every few months. Third, invest in regular maintenance visits from a professional plumber and home inspector every two years—they will be able to check for any potential issues with your unit before they become serious problems down the line. And finally, keep an eye on changes in hot water pressure or temperature—these could be signs that something isn’t right with your unit and requires immediate attention from a plumber!

Estimating how long your water heater will last is no easy feat! With proper care and maintenance though, it is possible to extend its lifespan beyond the manufacturer’s estimates — potentially saving yourself some money in replacement costs down the line. So make sure to check manufacturer websites for estimated lifespans based on age brackets and types of heaters; flush out sediment build-up from your tank at least once per year; inspect valves and connections for corrosion or leaks; invest in regular maintenance visits every two years; and keep an eye out for changes in hot water pressure or temperature which could signal underlying issues with your unit! That way, hopefully, you won’t have to worry about replacing it anytime soon!

Home inspections during winter in Pittsburgh

As the days get shorter and the temperature continues to drop, it’s time to start thinking about winterizing your Pittsburgh area home. Here are five easy home maintenance tips to help you get through the winter months.

1. Check Your Gutters
One of the most important maintenance tasks to do in the fall is to clean out your gutters. Clogged gutters can cause a number of problems, including water damage to your foundation and leaks in your roof. To avoid these problems, be sure to remove all leaves and debris from your gutters before the first snowfall. You may also want to consider installing gutter guards to make future maintenance easier.

2. Inspect Your Roof
Your roof is one of your home’s most important lines of defense against the elements, so it’s important to make sure it’s in good condition before the winter weather hits. Look for signs of damage, such as missing or damaged shingles, and have any repairs made as soon as possible. You should also make sure that your attic is properly insulated to prevent heat from escaping through the roof.

3. Service Your HVAC System
If you have a central heating and cooling system, now is the time to have it serviced by a professional. This will help ensure that it’s operating efficiently and will prevent any unexpected breakdowns during the coldest months of the year. Be sure to change your air filter regularly as well; a dirty filter can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 15%.

4. Seal Any Drafty Windows
Drafty windows are not only annoying—they can also increase your energy bills by allowing heat to escape from your home. To resolve this problem, simply apply weatherstripping around the perimeter of each window and door. You may also want to consider installing storm windows for an extra layer of protection against the cold.

5. Protect Your Pipes
Frozen pipes are one of the most common wintertime problems faced by homeowners. To prevent this from happening, insulate any exposed pipes in your home and allow a slow drip from faucets served by exposed pipes during periods of extreme cold. If a pipe does freeze, never try to thaw it with an open flame—this could result in a dangerous fire or explosion. Instead, use a hairdryer or a handheld heat gun set on low.

By following these simple home maintenance tips, you can enjoy a warm and comfortable winter without having to worry about costly repairs down the road. As an extra precaution, schedule a professional home inspection to discover any areas that need attention. So what are you waiting for? Start preparing today!

Inspecting a home in Pittsburgh

You may have heard of radon gas before, but what is it really? Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is produced naturally from the breakdown of uranium in soil, water, and rocks. It can enter your home through cracks in the foundation or other openings, and once it’s inside, it can build up to dangerous levels.

So why is radon gas a problem? Well, long-term exposure to high levels of radon gas can lead to lung cancer. In fact, the EPA estimates that radon gas is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States. That’s why it’s important to test your home for radon gas and take steps to reduce your exposure if elevated levels are found.

Fortunately, there are things that you can do to reduce your risk of exposure to radon gas. If you live in an area where radon gas levels are known to be high, you can have your home tested for radon. If elevated levels are found, there are ways to mitigate the problem, such as sealing cracks in your foundation and installing a ventilation system that will help remove radon gas from your home.

Radon gas is a serious health hazard, but fortunately, there are things that you can do to protect yourself and your family from its dangers. Scheduling a home inspection in the Pittsburgh Area is one way to ensure you are not at risk. If you live in an area where radon gas levels are known to be high, have your home tested and take steps to reduce your exposure if elevated levels are found. By taking these precautions, you can help keep yourself and your family safe from the dangers of radon gas exposure.

Pittsburgh Home Inspection Professionals

A professional home inspection is a key part in the home buying process. You want to be sure that the home you are buying is in good condition and up to code. Here are 10 points your home inspector will check during the home inspection process.

1. Roofing – The first thing your inspector will do is check the roof. They will look for any loose, missing, or damaged shingles. They will also check the gutters and downspouts to make sure they are securely attached and free of debris.

2. Attic – The inspector will go into the attic to check for any signs of leaks, water damage, or mold. They will also look at the insulation to make sure it is adequate.

3. Walls – The inspector will check the walls for any cracks, holes, or signs of water damage.

4. Ceilings – The inspector will check the ceilings for any cracks, holes, or sagging.

5. Floors – The inspector will check the floors for any cracks, holes, or unevenness.

6. Doors and Windows – The inspector will check all the doors and windows to make sure they open and close properly. They will also look for any signs of drafts.

7. Heating and Cooling System – The inspector will check the furnace and air conditioner to make sure they are in working condition and up to code.

8. Electrical System – The inspector will check the electrical panel and all the outlets to make sure they are working properly and up to code.

9. Plumbing System – The inspector will check all the faucets, toilets, showers, and sinks to make sure they are in working condition and there are no leaks. They will also test the sump pump (if there is one) to make sure it is working properly.

10. Sewage System – The inspector will flush all toilets and run all showers/sinks at once to make sure there is enough water pressure and that none of the drains are backing up into each other.

These are just a few points that your home inspector will be checking during your inspection! Be sure to ask your realtor any questions you may have about the inspection process so that you know what to expect on inspection day!

Pittsburgh Area Home Inspector

The housing industry in Pittsburgh and its suburbs continue to gain traction as more people invest in new homes. While you may fall in love with the photos you see online from sellers, it can be risky if you decide to buy a home without doing a thorough home inspection. Here are the risks of skipping a home inspection for your next Pittsburgh Area home.

Safety Issues May not Be Identified

Some homes may have safety issues, especially in Crescent Township and Leetsdale, PA where homes may be older. Buying such a home without a professional home inspection can lead to various challenges once you move in. Safety issues such as electrical hazards, potential fire outbreaks, carbon monoxide, mold, pests, and radon could lead to severe injuries or even death in your household.

Home Buyers Fail to Get the Big Picture

Everyone wants to invest money in a home that is worth it. However, without a pro home inspection, you may overlook minor issues that can become a bigger nightmare in the long run. This can lead to frustrations, and you may not enjoy your home until you fix the issues. Doing a home inspection helps you identify the nitty-gritty details and make informed decisions when purchasing a home.

Budgeting for Future Repairs becomes Challenging

Without a home inspection, you may not identify various problems that need repairs and replacement. In this case, you won’t be able to budget for future expenses. This can distract your budgeting, leading to financial hardships in the long run.

A home with repair needs can be draining. You will have to spend most of your time and money fixing the issues. The good thing with a home inspection is that you get armed with knowledge about the current state of the home. You will know how to budget for repairs and replacements.

The Bottom Line

It is imperative to schedule a professional home inspection to avoid future problems with your new home. Consider working with a professional home inspector who understands every detail and can help you conduct a thorough home inspection worth a bang for your buck.

Home Inspector in Crescent Township PA

As a home owner, you should know what the cost of a home consists of: a down payment, closing costs, mortgage, insurance, etc. What many may overlook, is how much it costs to maintain a home for the future. From a broken pipe to a leaky roof, you can’t always predict when a major home improvement project will be needed, but you can be certain that they will be occur. That’s why it’s important to have some kind of plan for when they happen. Here is some advice on how to prepare for major home repairs as a homeowner in the Pittsburgh Area.

Save Money

No matter what your financial situation is, the best way to pay for home improvements is to do it without racking up tons of debt. Using a credit card should be a last resort because you could end up paying astronomical amounts of interest. Instead, start a rainy day fund where you regularly allocate a certain amount of money for larger unexpected repairs, either through a savings account or by keeping a money jar.

How much you save is up to you, but it’s difficult to say that you will ever have too much in your rainy day fund. While $5,000 is a good goal to push for, since major repairs are inevitable and you can’t always predict them, it may be best to plan on saving indefinitely.

Home Improvement Loan

There may be instances where you don’t have your rainy day fund built up enough to cover a repair. In that case, it’s still ideal to avoid using a credit card. Consider taking out a home improvement loan. These days, you can easily apply for home improvement loans online, and many of them start with an interest rate of less than 5 percent, which is a much lower rate than your typical credit card.

Schedule Regular Home Inspections

Finding issues before they occur is a major part of being able to repair the needed item before it gets too costly. Scheduling a home inspection in the Pittsburgh Area is key.

Cost Estimating

While using general rules of thumb can be a good place to start, there’s a more effective way of knowing how much to save for major home repairs: estimating the actual costs. Every big-ticket item of your home (e.g., roof, foundation, HVAC system, plumbing) has a life expectancy, which means you can roughly plan for when it will need to be replaced or repaired and how much it will cost (e.g., the average roof replacement costs anywhere from $1,700 to $8,500). Have your home thoroughly inspected so that you can get an idea of how old each component is, and keep track of it so you can know how much to save. This process requires time and diligence, but it can save you a lot of trouble down the road.


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