Home Inspection
Information From
Alban Home
Inspection Service

July  '05

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From The Desk of Arthur S. Lazerow
Alban Home Inspectors: A Multi-Talented Group

Alban has seven multi-talented home inspectors. I feel honored to have such skilled and decent people working with me. Last month I asked Marty Blackwood to write why his experiences as a working architect make him a superior home inspector. This month is Rudy Rudacil’s opportunity. 
Rudy writes: "After having thirty years
experience in residential remodeling, repair and contracting, I have learned a lot that helps me when inspecting a home. I have found that prospective homeowners usually come through the front door with preconceived ideas about the house they want to buy and my experience is helpful. In my opinion, the kitchens and bathrooms should be the focus. These rooms might be relatively inexpensive to rehabilitate with a little sweat and a few trips to Home Depot for some mini-seminars on bathroom fixtures and ceramic tiling. 
While inspecting, I usually spot loose
ceramic tile problems. The buyer might ask if patching a loose tile would be appropriate. I let them know that, in my experience, the area of wet drywall behind that one loose tile is much more widespread than they think and there may be mold behind the tiles. One of my other specialties is in finishing basements. I now see a lot of basements that the homeowner has finished. I can always tell whether the basement was done by a professional, the builder, or by the homeowner. How the drywall was finished is a key factor. 
When I find an unfinished basement, I like
to ask the buyers if they have plans to finish the basement, whether it is right away or down the road. I help them locate the most logical place for the bath and the best source for hot and cold water."

Air Conditioner Advice

A properly maintained air-conditioning system or window unit will increase efficiency and reduce energy bills. There are a few steps to follow to maximize comfort, at the least cost.

Have the air conditioning system serviced at the beginning of the cooling season. Same for heating. A professionally maintained system will operate at peak efficiency.
Since dusty filters reduce airflow and consume excess energy, replace the unit’s air filter once a month if the filter is the regular one-inch wide paper filter. Clean a reusable filter monthly. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning electronic filters or replacing hypoallergenic filters.
Clear drain channels by passing a stiff wire through them. Clogged drain channels prevent the units from reducing humidity effectively, and the resulting excess moisture my discolor walls and carpeting.
Clean dusty interior coils with a vacuum cleaner. Exterior coils may be cleaned using water from a garden hose. Before you do anything, remember to unplug or turn off the system.
Set a timer (or programmable thermostat for central air condition) to



automatically turn on the system a half hour or so before returning home. Make sure that the timer can handle the electrical load; otherwise, it could be a fire hazard.
For central air conditioning units, make sure the ducts are properly insulated, especially those that pass through the attic or any other unconditioned spaces.
Close off unused rooms and close vents in those rooms.
Weatherstrip all doors and windows. 
Set the thermostat to 78 degrees F. to decrease energy costs by 12-47% (as compared to setting it to 72 degrees F.). Do not set the thermostat lower than the desired temperature when you first turn it on. It will not cool faster; it will only cool to a lower temperature than necessary and therefore waste energy. 
Turn the fan speed to high (or "ON" not "AUTO"). Running the fan prevents

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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.

ALBAN ANNOUNCES RADIO SHOW! Check out Arthur Lazerow, President of Alban Home Inspection Service, the co-host on WMET 1160 AM Intelligent Radio Real Estate Today! Saturdays 10 to 11 AM!


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