Home Inspection
Information From
Alban Home
Inspection Service

December '03

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We Advise
To Inspect a Home's Fireplace Annually

Homeowners and homebuyers alike should have the fireplace and chimney inspected by a qualified fireplace specialist.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends an annual professional inspection to check the chimney, flues, and vents for leakage and blockage. Leakage through cracks or holes could cause black stains outside the chimney and flue; meaning that pollutants are leaking into the house. Inadequately maintained and vented fireplaces can produce more carbon monoxide infiltration than several furnaces and water heater flue vents combined. Therefore, it is essential for safety to assure all components are working properly. 
Homeowners may be unaware of problems that
occur at the chimney or firebox. These problems include corroded or inoperable metal smoke damper, a damaged metal ash dump cover, eroded mortar joints, and improper clearance from combustible materials at the hearth opening. 






Since all these problems pose potential danger to the home and its occupants, it is essential that the fireplace area is professionally inspected. 

When hiring a fireplace specialist, the homeowner should consider the following:

• Make sure the company or individual is a member of the state chimney guild or association or similar professional association. 
• Check with the local Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints filed. • Do not allow the inspector to perform corrective work for the defects he finds, as this may present a conflict of interest. Instead, get a written report, then hire a state licensed masonry contractor to do the actual repairs.

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Alban is proud to offer FREE Continuing Education Courses in Real Estate Offices!Call Melissa For Information and to Schedule at 301-404-8104 or 301-607-8114.

From the desk of . . .
     Arthur S. Lazero

Happy Holidays to All!

The holiday season is always much anticipated, with parties, family gatherings and gift giving on everyone’s mind. But this is also a time for reflection on the year past. In the real estate cycle, January and February seem to muddle along, March 1st comes and then Halloween and what’s in between remains a blur. 2003 has been a particularly difficult year for Realtors, with insufficient product to sell and low interest rates producing multiple offers and higher prices. 
Nonetheless, 2003 was a banner year for Alban. Our
gross number of inspections set a company record. Mold inspecting became an integral part of our inspection services, augmenting lead-based paint, water, septic and radon testing. Marty Blackwood and Rodney Shull received their certifications as nationally accredited home inspectors from the American Society of Home Inspectors. Rudy Rudacil is also very close to receiving his ASHI accreditation. Two new continuing education courses have been added to the classes we offer for Realtors: Understanding Residential Construction (3 hrs.) and Communication Skills for Realtors (1 1/2 hrs., no credit) On balance, this has been a busy and productive year for our administrative staff and our home inspectors. 
Our inspection staff, George Ash, Quintin Satterfield,
Roberto Montiel, Rudy Rudacil, Marty Blackwood, Rodney Shull and Lee Eyler, and our administrative staff, Sandy Watkins (general manager), Terry Toms (accounting), Gretchen Wright (scheduling), Melissa Brois (marketing) and Mandy Toms (administration) join me in wishing you and yours the happiest of holiday seasons and a joyous New Year.


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