I’m willing to bet the vast majority of home owners do not know what type of fire extinguisher is in their home. In fact only about ten percent of the homes I inspect even have fire extinguishers. There are two places in the home that should have one installed, the kitchen and the garage. Let’s face it, shit happens. And when it does you’re going to wish you were prepared.


There are four types of fire extinguishers that are appropriate for home use and they are categorized by letters. A type fire extinguishers are designed to put out paper and trash fires. B type fire extinguishers are designed to put out liquid or fuel fires. C type fire extinguishers are utilized for electrical fires. Lastly D type fire extinguishers put out metal fires. The typical fire extinguishers you are going to find at home improvement stores are multipurpose extinguishers called ABC fire extinguishers. You guessed it, they are supposed to be used on all types of fires except for metal fires and are the best type of extinguisher to have in a residential setting.


If you own a fire extinguisher (and you should), I recommend periodically inspecting it for serviceability. This is very easy to do and only takes a minute.

Step one: Make sure there are no dents or bulges on the canister body.

Step two: Verify that the nozzle is not damaged or clogged.

Step three: Check that the needle on the pressure gauge is in the green section.

Step four: Make sure the safety pin or seal is securely in place on the discharge handle.


When you install a fire extinguisher in your home or garage, make sure it is readily accessible and in a conspicuous location. I feel it’s best everyone that lives in the home should be thought how to properly utilize the extinguishers that are at the home. Fire extinguisher training can be obtained at any local fire department.

In short, a home inspection is a visual inspection of the major systems and components of a residential building. Most home inspections are utilized by the buyer in a real estate transaction. Home inspections can also be used by the home owner before listing their house for sale.
Home inspectors look for problems with the home and situations that may become a problem in the future — like damaged roof shingles, faulty electrical receptacles, and potentially costly plumbing leaks. All the defects the inspector sees are documented in a report along with information about the home and it’s installed systems. The inspector will list the problem that was identified, provide a picture or video of the issue, include a possible resolution, or a recommendation of the type of contractor the client should contact to have it fixed.

You should choose a home inspector that is certified (or licensed if your state has licensure requirements). The two largest Home inspector associations are interNACHI and ASHI. Both have standards of practices that their members must adhere to with every inspection they perform.

Be prepared to be at the home for at least a couple hours. A good thorough home inspection should take about three hours for an average sized single family home. Your home inspector will look at the building from the roof to the foundation and everything in between, so now is the time to ask any questions you may have.

You should expect to pay somewhere around $300.00 to $500.00 for a residential home inspection. Variables that could affect the cost would be square footage, local market, and of course demand.

If you have any questions about home inspections or the inspection process feel free to leave a comment!

Indoor mold

To put it quite simply, every house has indoor mold. Yeah, I said it. Mold is in every house on the planet. There are settled spores on the surfaces we touch and in the air we breathe. In nature, the job of mold is to get rid of and consume dead matter. Ever wonder where all the dead leaves go? That’s right, mold and other organisms consumed them.

Mold is a naturally occurring family of fungi- just like mushrooms. Think of mold as similar to a plant; it has roots, branches, and seeds. The roots and branches (hyphae) are responsible for collecting and transporting nutrients. Once the hyphae are actually visible (think a spot of mold on a piece of bread) they are called mycelium. Spores act like the seeds; they are carried from the mycelium to new places by animals and the wind to start new mold colonies.

Like all plants, mold requires moisture to grow. Most molds will only grow where water already exists, but some molds will actively search out moisture if there is none around and will use rhizomorphs to pipe it back to home like a big straw.

The key to controlling any indoor mold problem is to control the moisture. If you have an indoor mold problem, then you also have a water problem. It may be a leak coming from plumbing or an appliance, condensation buildup on walls and windows from indoor humidity being too high, or water intrusion where water has come into the house somehow from the outside.

Once you find and repair the moisture problem, it’s then time to clean up the mold. If the affected area is less than about 10 square feet, then you could probably handle the cleanup yourself. Mold remediation is typically carried out by either removing the material the mold is on or cleaning the mold off with a cleaner called Botanical HP. For mold issues that are more than 10 square feet I recommend the use of a professional mold remediation company. Remediation can be a very involved process at times and it’s worth it to do it right the first time.

After everything is fixed and returned to normal you should have a company certified in mold testing and inspection examine the affected area a couple weeks later to make sure the remediation was effective.

What if I have toxic mold?

My question to you is how do you know its toxic mold? It’s impossible to look at mold and tell if it’s toxic or not, I don’t even care if the mold is black. There are more than 350,000 different types of mold in the world and they come in every color of the rainbow. The only way to know for sure what type of mold you have is to have a certified mold inspection and testing company collect a sample of the mold and take it to a lab for definitive analysis.

That being said, some individuals can be sensitive to mold and the mycotoxin it may be producing, only a medical professional will be able to make that determination. It is important to note that not all species of mold are known to produce mycotoxins.

The mold that is typically singled out as “toxic black mold” is called stachybotrys. Stachybotrys loves to grow on things with a high cellulose content like drywall, paper, and fiberboard. It is also almost always associated with water damage to a home. It is known to produce a mycotoxin that is potentially harmful to humans. Again, the only way to confirm or deny the presence of this particular type of mold is to have it analyzed by a laboratory.

If you have any questions about mold issues or know someone who may need some help, please don’t hesitate to reach out.