Fun Facts Friday

The average ear of corn has 800 kernels in 16 rows.

A cob will always have an even number of rows.

The ear or cob is part of the flower, while the individual kernel is a seed.

More than 90 million acres of land is dedicated to growing corn.

ELECTRICAL SAFETY TIPS

Some safety tips to remember:

  1. Never use anything but the proper fuse or breaker to protect a circuit. 
  2. Find and correct overloaded circuits. 
  3. Never place extension cords under rugs. 
  4. Outlets near water should be GFCI-type outlets. 
  5. Don’t allow trees near power lines to be climbed. 
  6. Keep ladders, kites, equipment and anything else away from overhead power lines.

RADIANT HEATING SYSTEMS

Radiant heating systems directly heat the floor or panels in the wall or ceiling of a house, rather than heating the air, as do forced-air heating systems. The technique can be likened to standing in full sun on a chilly day, or feeling the warmth of a distant bonfire even though the air is cold. Despite the name, radiant heating systems also depend on convection — the natural circulation of heat within a room — caused by heat rising from the floor.

Fun Facts Friday

The average cherry tree has 7,000 cherries.

Washington State grows an estimated 62 percent of the US’s sweet cherries.

Traverse City, Michigan, is known as the Cherry Capital of the World, and grows well over half of the country’s tart cherries.

There are more than 1,000 different varieties of cherries.

10 TIPS TO KEEP YOUR SEPTIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONING SATISFACTORILY

  1. Locate your septic tank and drainfield. Keep a drawing of these locations in your records.
  2. Have your septic system inspected at least every three years, or annually if required by local ordinances. 
  3. Pump your septic tank as needed (generally, every three to five years).
  4. Don’t dispose of household hazardous waste in sinks or toilets.
  5. Keep other household items, such as dental floss, feminine hygiene products, diapers, and cat litter out of your system.
  6. Use water efficiently.
  7. Plant only grass over and near your septic system. Roots from nearby trees or shrubs might clog and damage the system. Also, do not apply manure or fertilizers over the drainfield.
  8. Keep vehicles and livestock off your septic system. The weight can damage the pipes and tank, and your system may not drain properly under compacted soil.
  9. Keep gutters and basement sump pumps from draining into or near your septic system.
  10. Check with your local health department before using additives. Commercial septic tank additives do not eliminate the need for periodic pumping and can be harmful to your system.

INSECT ACTIVITY & DAMAGE

Are some of your exterior wood elements being attacked by wood destroying insects?  This is common in the Pacific Northwest, but doesn’t mean you should ignore it.  Insects such as anobiid beetles can work away at damaging the structural integrity of your home leaving exit holes and underlying damage in their wake.   It’s all about moisture; elevated moisture attracts wood destroying insects leading to structural damage of building components.  Keeping exterior elements properly sealed and dry will go a long way towards preventing wood destroying insects from damaging your home. 

CLEAN & EFFICIENT CRAWLSPACES 101

Vermin damaged and displaced insulation under homes is commonplace and a frequent discovery during the home inspection process.  Ensuring that insulation is properly attached to the underside of the home will take care of gravity displaced insulation.  Maintaining a proactive pest control regimen will help prevent vermin damaged insulation.  Check with your local utility provider before reinsulating as they may be offering attractive rebate incentives.  

If you have questions or comments about home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).   

Fun Facts Friday

Botanically speaking, cucumbers are a fruit, but they are used as a vegetable. Similar to tomatoes.

Michigan ranks 1st in the nation for production of pickling cucumbers and 4th in the nation for fresh cucumbers.

The term “cool as a cucumber” is actually derived from the cucumber’s ability to cool the temperature of the blood.

Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

FIRE SEPARATION BARRIER

Open holes in areas of sheetrock walls or ceilings that connect the home to the garage must be sealed for fire safety reasons.  The sheetrock walls and ceilings separating the home and garage are considered a fire separation barrier, that must be maintained for safety reasons in the instance of a fire.  The fire separation barrier, in case of a fire, would slow down the fire’s progress throughout the home and allow for less damage (before firemen can put it out).