August 11, 2014
Tips for home appliance maintenance
Air conditioners, dishwashers, refrigerators and stoves keep our homes safe and comfortable. Taking the time to maintain these appliances will keep them operating at peak performance and help them last longer, protecting your investment.
AmeriSpec’s home inspectors offer these tips:
- First step: regular cleaning. A dirty washing machine gives you dirty clothes. A dirty dishwasher gives you less-than-spotless dishes. Clean seals on refrigerators seal in the cold air, protecting your food better.
- Check appliance cords. If they show signs of fraying, melting or burning, replace them.
- Clean filters and hoses. Clogged hoses or filters can affect the overall performance of an appliance, and may even cause damage.
- Perform routine professional checks. To test the heat exchanger on your furnace or the freon in your air conditioner, call an expert to handle these or any other maintenance tasks that require a licensed and certified professional.
For more information and tips, check out AmeriSpec Omaha and Lincoln’s Resource Center.
August 4, 2014
Indoor wasp nests can be tough to find
It’s a beautiful night for a suppertime picnic, or to just sit on the deck and enjoy the sunset. Until a few wasps decide to share your meal and snacks with you. And you realize, a few of those wasps have been inside your home as well lately.
The first thing to do is to look around outside and find the nest. If you locate it and want to try to treat it yourself, our partners at Pest Solutions 365 suggest these steps:
- Spray the area with a killing product from the store. It will kill some of the wasps instantly.
- After spraying, wait a day to make sure you have killed the dwellers of the particular nest. It is important to remove the nest if possible.
- Make sure none of your window screens have holes.
- Keep all doors, windows and garage doors closed.
- Install insect screening over your attic vent and exhaust vents.
According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Service, the best time to look for wasps and treat the nests is after dark, when all adults have returned to their nests.
“Late evening or early morning treatments are preferred, since these insects are generally less active at cooler temperatures. It is generally not advisable to attempt control of stinging insects during the daytime because adults are active and may attack in defense of the nest,” according to UNL.
If a flashlight is used, cover the lens with red cellophane wrap. Insects do not see well in red light and will not be attracted to your light.
Indoor wasp nests
If you’ve looked around outside and can’t find any wasp nests nearby, you may have a nest concealed in an empty space in the attic or behind a wall. These are the most
difficult to find and treat, according to the University of Minnesota Extension Service.
Insect-killing sprays bought in stores usually don’t work well to get rid of hidden nests. Applying a small amount of insecticidal dust may work better. These dusts are less commonly available in stores; be sure any dust you plan to use is labeled for use in homes.
If you don’t find your hidden nest until later in fall, and the wasps aren’t bothering you or your family, it may be best to wait until freezing temperatures kill the nest, UMES says. “Do not seal the nest entrance until you are sure all wasps are dead. Closing the nest too early can force survivors into your home.”
Once you’re sure the the wasps are dead, seal the entrance with caulk or something similar to prevent a new wasp queen from using the same entrance to build a new nest next year.
Signs of infestation may be pointed out during a home inspection. If you or someone in your family is allergic to wasp stings, or you decide you’d rather have a professional take care of the problem, please call Pest Solutions 365 at 402-334-2847 in Omaha, or 402-328-2847 in Lincoln.
July 30, 2014
ADT security package now available
to AmeriSpec inspection customers
AmeriSpec Omaha and Lincoln is partnering with ADT to offer new homeowners an opportunity to install a home security system.
The first part of the promotion gives AmeriSpec customers a premium wireless protection package at no cost. The package includes a control panel, contacts for up to six exterior doors, a pet-friendly motion detector, a carbon monoxide detector and two keychain remotes.
There is a $99 customer installation charge for this package, but customers also will receive a $100 Visa gift card that can offset the charge.
The second part of the package offers three months of security monitoring for free (regularly $36.99 per month.)
These offers are available to home buyers or sells who choose AmeriSpec Omaha and Lincoln for home inspections and pre-sale inspections. Check out the flyers for the security system and monitoring (PDF) for more details.