Foundations

foundations-picMatthew 7:24-27

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon the house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon the house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

It is important to understand that the foundation of the home is one of the most significant aspects of the home. Foundation types vary, but the importance of the foundation should never be over looked.

Concrete contains very interesting characteristics when force is applied. Concrete is able to with stand a lot of compressional force, but when it is pulled (i.e. tension force) it is very weak. However, when you add the steel reinforcement (rebar, wire mesh, steel fibers, etc) it helps protect the concrete by adding tensile strength.

Something to keep in mind about foundations is that cracking does not always mean that your foundation is failing. When concrete is poured, it goes through a chemical process. That chemical process gives off heat. Once the concrete begins to cure (dry), then that heat and extra water particles need a way to get out. Sometimes the drying effect will cause hydration cracks.

Another type of foundation is a pier and beam foundation. Sometimes referred to as a block and beam. Although there may be different materials used between block and beam vs pier and beam, the functionality of the foundation should be the same. This type of foundation typically elevates the structure, typically around 18”, off of the ground. Utilities are often running under the structure through this crawl space. Unlike a slab foundation, a pier and beam foundation substructure does not rest directly on the ground.

In conclusion, regardless of the type of foundation you use, it is important that you choose to build a house upon a solid foundation. Buying or building a house may be one of the most expensive things you do in your life, you want to make sure that it rests on a foundation that will be strong.

At Accurate Home Services, we can assist and consult you in your foundation whether you already have a house or if you are wanting to design your home.

 

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The deadliest animal in the world – The Mosquito

chartoftheday_2203_The_Worlds_Deadliest_Animals__nDid you know that there are 175 species of mosquitoes in the US? Also, did you know the mosquito is considered the deadliest “animal” in the world? Every year, the mosquito is the source of spreading some kind of disease. This year, these mosquitos have spread the Zika virus. It might be a good idea to have some kind of defense against them. Mosquito misting systems are a great way to combat these virus spreaders.

Mosquito misting systems are custom to your lawn. No two systems are exactly the same. These systems can be set up to spray at dusk and dawn to hit them when they are most active. Nozzles are placed to get maximum coverage of the perimeter of your lawn or desired area. That will help you enjoy your lawn with comfort.

If you are an individual that likes to host outdoor events, a mosquito misting system is the way-to-go. Your personalized misting system can be turned on by a remote right before your party guests arrive. Mosquito misting systems are also great to have to enjoy an evening or weekend in the pool.

We have a license to kill and bugs are on our list; so give us a call and we will spray a little mist; from roaches to ants, to mosquitos to pests; invite us on over we will show you we are the best; no job is too big no bug too small; just remember one thing, we take care of them all.

Accurate Insect & Pest Control:  TPCL# 0616331

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Why Should You Get A Home Inspection?

home-inspectionsHave you ever bought a car and after purchasing it, you see the same car everywhere?  Intellectually you knew that the car existed on the roads, but you have never seen as many until your eye recognized it as the same vehicle that you recently purchased.

It is interesting to me that the same people notice different things.   In the home inspection business, it is no different.  I have been inspecting for 18 years now and sometimes drive my wife crazy noticing inspection deficiencies on houses while driving down the road on houses that I am not “technically” inspecting.  Imagine how difficult it would be for my wife and I if every time we visit friends, I told them everything I saw wrong with their house.  We would not keep friends very long.  I try hard to keep my mouth shut and just simply say “you have a nice house”.

I think this is one reason why it is very important to have a house inspected by someone knowledgeable in construction techniques who has been trained to look for deficiencies before purchasing your new / used house.  While it is not good for friendships to tell people about their house flaws, it is extremely important to know about these deficiencies before purchasing a house.  You want a “trained eye” that is used to observing these issues.

Whether it is our company doing your inspection or you are picking a different inspector, make sure it is someone that is knowledgeable and has a “trained eye”.  While we certainly want to be friendly, you’re not looking for a friend, you’re looking for potential house deficiencies.

We hope you will trust us with your next home inspection, pest control issue or construction project.

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Why Buy A New Home vs A Used Home?

buying-a-home-in-2014-san-diegoBuying a home is a challenge in and of itself, but the struggle before you even choose your perfect home is, “Do I buy a new home, or a used home?”. There are pros and cons to either choice.

Often times, people think that buying an older home is not a smart decision. That is simply not the case. The benefit with looking at an older home is one can find at times unique building designs that a buyer would not find in a new build. As time fades, so do building styles. Sometimes an older home can be purchased at a lower price than the newer home. The buyer can invest some money into the structure to modernize it and can also improve its efficiency. There are a lot of things a buyer could do with an older house without hurting the structural integrity of the home.

Sometimes newer homes aren’t always as glorious as some think either. Does a newer home appear to be nicer than a 40 year old home? Generally, yes. Is the newer home more efficient? In most cases, yes. So, why doesn’t everyone buy a new home? Outside of cost, is there really any “con” to buying a new build? To simply put it, just because something says “new”, doesn’t mean it was built correctly, it doesn’t mean it won’t break, and it definitely doesn’t mean that you will never have a problem. Hiring the right builder / design team to help you through the building / buying process is key. A company that takes pride in their work is worth investing in.

However, buying a brand new house can have its advantages. Codes and specifications change all of the time. A new house should be built with the most current adopted codes and the most up-to-date adopted specifications. A newer home will also typically have fresh paint, new carpet or floor coverings, and new appliances. Another advantage with a new home is that the heater, the A/C, and the water heater are also brand new. Buying or designing a new home definitely has its perks!!

At Accurate Home Services, we can help you design and build the very dream home you have wanted, but we can also help you take on the feat of remodeling the older style home to make it fit YOU.

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Construction Management

While most are familiar with a general contractor for construction projects, not everyone understands the benefit of having a construction manager. A construction manager is a professional who can offer guidance for construction or remodel projects when you would like to be your own contractor.

There are many advantages to hiring a construction manager over a general contractor. A construction manager is an expert who can oversee a construction project and even coordinate but does not hire the subcontractors. With a construction manager, you will find your own labor crews, but your manager will advise you and the crews throughout the project. General contractors typically get estimates for the labor and materials for your project, then mark up the total to include his or her payment. In contrast, a construction manager will charge you a fee just for their advice and guidance in a project, either an constructionhourly fee or a previously agreed upon percentage of the project total. This can often save you a considerable amount of money, as you are doing the work of finding the subcontractor crews yourself, while not giving up the professional input. Using a construction manager is also a much more transparent process, as there is no room for confusion on cost.

Another benefit of hiring a construction manager, you are able to remain in control of the project. You have more input and know more during the day-to-day of work completion what is happening. You maintain control of which crews are allowed in your home and allowed to work on your home. However, with a construction manager, you are also able to delegate some of the oversight that you would be doing alone if you were your own contractor.

Using a reputable construction manager with good references can be a great choice for you. While saving some money, you do assume some of the risk, as you find your own workmen. However, especially if you know of skilled workmen and want to manage things more on your own, construction management may be the way to go.

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Winterizing Your Home

Though it is hard to believe with Houston’s 90-degree temperatures, Winter is coming sooner than we think! This is the perfect time of year to make sure your home is ready to brave the cold and moisture of the Winter. Follow these tips for winterizing your home to be sure your home comes through the season in the best shape possible!

Clean out your gutters. Keeping the gutters free of debris will allow water to flow freely, which can help reduce the likelihood of icicles, which can cause costly damage. This is a simple task that most anyone can do for their own home without having to pay DSCF0679copysomeone to do it. With the repairs that may result from clogged gutters, you may not be so lucky.

Replace  your air filters regularly in your central air and heating system. Changing out your filters will keep your air circulating efficiently and your system working at optimal levels. It will also help you avoid more costly repairs down the road by lengthening the life of the components of your system.

Change the direction of your ceiling fans. We don’t always think of a fan as a heating tool, but when rotating clockwise, the fan will actually pull warm air down off the ceiling and push it toward the floor. This could help keep your heating system from overworking.

Drain garden hoses and sprinkler systems. Once those last Autumn watering times are over, it is time to drain and store your garden hoses. You may want to have a professional come and drain and blow out your sprinkler system. Getting any residual water out can help protect your whole system from damage.

Insulate faucets. Your faucets on the exterior of your home will need to either be wrapped or have an insulation cap installed. This will prevent cold air from entering your home at the site of pipe exit and freezing the water in your pipes.

Keep your garage door closed. This will help keep some parts of your house warmer winterhouseby not letting in cold air. There is often a kitchen or bathroom near the garage, so keeping the door closed will help keep the pipes in those rooms warmer.

Never turn your heat off in Winter. Even if you are leaving town, never leave the heating system in your home off. This creates the potential for frozen pipes busting and leaving a leak in your home. Instead, set your thermostat to a minimum of 55°F.

Consider a space heater for particularly vulnerable pipes. If you expect a deep freeze and your pipes run along an exterior wall, you may want to consider a space heater to keep the pipes thawed.

These practices will help in winterizing your home to prepare for the worst. If you prepare for the worst and things don’t get that bad, your home will still be safe! Winterizing your home can help protect you from very costly damage and keep your home in great shape!

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Autumn Leaf Maintenance

Autumn is upon us. Can you believe it? Well, believe it or not, it’s about here, which means leaves will be falling soon enough. Leaves can be beautiful colors and put you in the mood for pumpkin pie or a great jacket and boots. However, they can also wreak havoc on your lawn and gutters. Here are a few tips to keep your lawn and home in great repair throughout the Fall and Winter seasons.

Mow the leaves. If you mow the leaves with a bag on the mower, you can collect the clippings and dispose of them easily.

Keep gutters clear of debris. Gutters can be a great tool to keep your home looking great However, if they get clogged with leaves, branches, or other debris, they can become a hazard. The weight of the debris can cause gutters to pull away from your home. This can

Don't worry - you can play in the leaves a little before you rake them up. :)

Don’t worry – you can play in the leaves a little before you rake them up. 🙂

damage the brackets and your home. Water overflowing can damage paint or even seep into siding and affect the structure of your home.

Check water flow. Make sure water is flowing correctly through your gutter system. These systems are designed to get water off your roof and divert it away from your foundation. When the system is not functioning properly, it can cause damage to your home structure.

Use leaves for composting or as fertilizer. Once those leaves fall to the ground, it doesn’t mean they can’t still be useful! Rake some of them up around the base of trees for free fertilizer, or throw raked leaves on your composting pile to provide rich nutrients.

Those leaves falling may mean some work for you, but if you put in the work to use those leaves to your advantage, your lawn and trees may end up healthier than ever. Follow these tips and manage your gutters and the leaves around your home to be sure you can enjoy Autumn and Winter instead of paying for costly repairs!

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Insulation Information

Insulation is one of those things in your home that you rarely see, so sometimes we take an “out of sight, out of mind” approach to dealing with insulation. However, having the right insulation information can help you to better understand the advantages of proper insulation and educate you on the best steps to make sure your home is best equipped. This insulation information can actually save you a great amount of money over the ownership of your home.

Insulation helps protect the interior of your home from the elements. The idea is to keep the cool air in and warm air out in the Summer, and vice versa in the Winter. Insulation is the main barrier to protect you, your family, your belongings, and your home itself from the elements.

There are many places in your home which should be well-insulated. Any exterior walls, and even interior walls between spaces which are not climate controlled (e.g. your garage). Also, any unfinished attic space should have insulation between and over the floor beams to protect the living areas below. You should even insulate floors, if any part of it is over a crawl space or garage area.

The U.S. Department of Energy has recommendations for insulation levels in various areas of the country. The first step in evaluating your home’s insulation needs is to check the level of insulation in the areas listed above which should be insulated. Compare with the recommended levels and see if you have a need for more insulation.

There is a variety of types of insulation, and it is important to know which types are best suited for which locations in your home. There are rolls, batts, loose-fill, and rigid foam boards, and each type can be made of different materials. Usually rolls, batts, and loose-fill are made of some kind of fiber glass. Rolls can be used to roll across the attic floor or other large areas which should be covered. Loose-fill is blown into attics or walls. Rigid foam boards can be made from a variety of materials and offers compact and light-weight additional support for cathedral ceilings, exterior walls, and other places which may have limited room.

Ventilation is very important with insulation, and if your attic space is not properly vented, insulationinstall new vents in the attic. You also do not want insulation to get wet, so you may even need to install vapor barriers in the attic or crawl space.

Solving your insulation problems will only prove effective if you also weatherize your home. Make sure all exterior doors have complete weather stripping. Check all window and door frames for drafts.

If you fix these problems, you will see much better results from the changes in insulation. It will save you money, and it will allow you to be more comfortable in your home. Insulation information is essential in knowing your home intimately and knowing the best solutions for making your home the most comfortable place it can be.

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Removing Spiders from Your Home

removing spiders from your home

You probably don’t want to meet this guy in the shower…

Most spiders are relatively harmless to have around, but you certainly don’t want to be overrun with them. They react to things differently than other bugs and you may want to take some special steps in removing spiders from your home.

The first thing you can do to help in removing spiders is to vacuum your whole home, taking care to remove any cobwebs you see. The purpose of this is to try to eliminate any egg sacs or spiders living with the egg sac on their bodies.

The next step in removing spiders from your home is to discourage them to enter! Light attracts spiders, just like other bugs. Keeping the exterior of your home illuminated at night may actually encourage spiders to enter. Also, keeping things like woodpiles or leaf piles near your house tend to provide a cozy place for them to live and multiply before entering.

Seal any holes in the exterior of your home. You should check for holes in such places as gaps around doors and windows and cracks in foundation. You can caulk around windows and weather stripping around doors to help prevent spiders from getting into your home.

Even if you plan to work with a professional exterminator, completing these steps prior to the exterminator’s visit will help ensure continued success of the chemicals used to keep the spiders out.

Spiders feed mostly on insects, so working with a spider exterminator may be your best bet to removing spiders from your home, as well as the insects providing a food source. Accurate Home services can consult and help with removing spiders from your home.

 

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Say Goodbye to Texas Size Mosquitos

Texas - Mosquito as State BirdSpraying yourself down for dinner on the porch or a game of soccer in the backyard can get time-consuming and sticky! However, unfortunately for us Texans, the war on mosquitos is never ending and quite itchy.  We’ve all heard of remedies from the store bought bug sprays to candles and even eating garlic, but do these remedies really work? We often question, is there  something better out there.  Yes, save your dryer sheets for laundry day, a better option to combat these blood sucking pests may be a residential mosquito misting system. Similar to a sprinkler system, it sprays small amounts of insecticide in the morning and evening when mosquitos are most likely in the air.  Nozzles are placed around the perimeter of the home, on the base of trees and throughout the yard.  Misting systems are a way to protect your loved ones from life-threatening diseases carried by mosquitoes such as West Nile. Your odds of contracting West Nile from a mosquito are quite slim. However, it is still definitely a concern. Texas has more species of mosquitos than the rest of the of U.S. and also a longer breeding season than most states.

Accurate Home Services makes protecting your family one of our top concerns.  Contact us today for more information concerning Mosquito Misting Systems and learn how they can keep your family safe and comfortable this summer.

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