Home Maintenance

electrical safety in the home can be improved with surge-protecting power strips

Electricity powers your appliances and electronic devices. Many homes also use electric systems for heating and cooling applications. While electricity is necessary to keep your household functional, take care when using it. Similarly to electrical testing glasgow, regular electrical testing is required to preserve the safety and reliability of electrical systems. These inspections include inspecting any plugs, sockets, cables, and appliances powered by your electrical supply.


Follow these tips for electrical safety in the home to keep your household free of hazards, while if you need an electrical service to help you with installations there are great companies out there you can find in the best directory online, see more here for this.

Don’t Overload Electrical Outlets

Most household outlets are designed for two electric devices, usually allowing a maximum of 120v. Homeowners often plug heavy-duty electric items into their outlets as well. This can be dangerous when those devices draw too much power. To reduce the risk of overloading outlets, use a power strip with a surge protector to plug in multiple items. You can also hire experts at sites like https://mitchellelectric.com/ or https://teslaelectriccolorado.com to install additional outlets. You can learn more about electrical safety here.

Be Mindful of Extension Cords for Electrical Safety in the Home

Extension cords are safe for occasional use in your home. They aren’t designed for long-term usage, though. Don’t run multiple extension cords throughout your home. They create tripping hazards and if run under a rug, they can overheat and cause a house fire. If you find you often need an extension cord, hire an electrician to install more outlets in convenient locations. Visit sites like https://safeandsoundelectric.com/darien-ct/ or https://www.asburyelectric.com/service-area/virginia-beach-va/ for additional guidance.

Electric Safety in the Home: Repair Damaged Power Cords

Especially if you have small children or pets, check your devices for damaged power cords. Power cords become worn out through use and they can be dangerous when handled incorrectly. Periodically check your devices for faulty cords and repair or replace them as needed.

Water and Electricity Don’t Mix

One of the best electric safety tips for the home is to avoid water around outlets. However, we do sometimes use electric appliances and devices near water in the bathroom and kitchen. When plugging in the hairdryer, wipe the plug dry first. Don’t use devices like a radio or cell phone in the bathtub. When plugging items in near the sink, make sure surfaces are clean and dry.

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ideas for small kitchens include adding more storage

Let These Ideas for Small Kitchens Inspire You

A little ingenuity can turn your small kitchen into a well-organized space. These space-saving ideas for small kitchens will inspire you to reinvent the way you store and organize things in your kitchen.

Hang as Much as You Can

No matter the size of your kitchen, you probably have some wall space to hang things up. The inside of a cabinet door is a great place to put hooks for measuring cups, cool coffee mugs, utensils, and oven mitts. Mount pegboard to the inside of the pantry door to hang spatulas, ladles, and whisks. A hanging ceiling rack will fit in almost any kitchen and is a great way to keep pots and pans accessible, and you can find all these things at the s tore, which you can see thanks to the great shop fronts they always have from sites like https://www.shopfrontdesign.co.uk/northamptonshire/.

Add an Island or Cart for More Counter Space in a Small Kitchen

A kitchen island gives you more counter space and extra storage. If your kitchen isn’t large enough for an island, a rolling cart adds counter space at a lower cost. Most kitchen carts have open shelving for storage. Some also have drawers and a cutting board surface.

Great Ideas for Small Kitchens: Use the Top of Your Cabinets

There’s usually wasted space between the top of your kitchen cabinets and the ceiling. In kitchens that don’t have a soffit, you can easily store things on top of the cabinets using bins or baskets for neat, decorative storage.

Raise Your Cabinets

Here are two different cabinet ideas for small kitchens. The first method is moving your existing cabinets to ceiling height. Then, you would gain storage by putting shelving under the newly raised cabinets. The second option is to install new, taller cabinets that reach to the ceiling.

Shelving Ideas for Small Kitchens

A freestanding shelf isn’t the only way to use shelving to expand your storage. Other space-saving ideas for small kitchens include placing shelf risers inside cabinets and installing open shelving on the walls. If you’re looking for a durable and visually appealing flooring solution to complement your kitchen design, consulting epoxy resin flooring contractors can provide you with options that not only enhance aesthetics but also offer long-lasting functionality.

Invest in Compact, Space-Saving Appliances

Major kitchen appliances, including ranges, fridges, and dishwashers come in compact versions, which are smaller than standard sizes. For example, compact stoves come in widths of 20 or 24 inches instead of the typical 30 inches. A compact dishwasher is more narrow than the standard width. Compact appliances are great options if you don’t have a big family. You will also save money on energy costs by installing new, smaller appliances. All appliances are also PAT-tested. Pat testing is a routine check of certain electrical products to verify their safety, if you’re wondering what it is. See this page for more information: https://pattestingcompany.co.uk/what-is-pat-testing/. And if you need to conduct electrical inspections, you may consider hiring qualified electricians. In addition, an efficient electrical panel installation is vital for maintaining a secure and functional power supply within any infrastructure.

Walton Inspection Services offers home inspections to Murrells Inlet and the surrounding area. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

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expect as a new homeowner

Congratulations, you have successfully purchased your first home! While you’re likely breathing a sigh of relief, get ready for all the new responsibilities and situations that come with being a homeowner. Here are 6 things you can expect as a new homeowner.

1. Mail Solicitations are Something to Expect as a New Homeowner

One thing to expect as a new homeowner is a lot of mail. Much of it will be solicitations and junk mail. Some of it will be from other mortgage lenders, claiming that they can offer you a better interest rate. Other companies will also solicit your business by mailing you special offers. For the most part, this is junk mail that you can simply recycle.

2. Paper Work From Title and Escrow

If you see mailings that look like they’re from your lender or bank, don’t throw them away. They might be important documents from your escrow company. At closing, ask the escrow officer what communications you should expect to see from them in the future.

3. New Utility Bills

Before you closed on the home, you may have inquired about the cost of the utilities. After you move in, you may find that the bills are more than your previous home. Perhaps you have air conditioning now and didn’t have it in your old house. Ask about the utilities before closing, but know that they are only an estimate and not a guarantee.

4. Expect an Insurance Inspection As a New Homeowner

After closing, your homeowners insurance company may send someone by for a visual inspection. They are looking for safety issues that could hurt someone or compromise the property. For instance, if it needs HVAC repairs, you may need to contact experts like https://chilltexllc.com/ or https://www.sharplong.com/. Also, consider that the HVAC system is well-functioning and make a heat pump repair if needed. The insurance company will contact you ahead of time to schedule an inspection.

5. Increase in Property Tax

The tax on your property is one payment that will fluctuate. The county appraiser will assess the value of your property and your taxes may change as a result. As your home gains value, the taxes on it will rise. Since these are usually combined with your monthly mortgage payment, you may find yourself paying more or less per month over time.

6. A New Lender

After closing, your lender may sell your loan. Banks can bundle together home loans and sell them. The two largest purchases of mortgages are made by the government agencies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

These agencies were created to buy mortgage loans from banks and other financial institutions so that they can offer to finance more homebuyers. If your bank had to carry all the loans it originated, it would eventually run out of money.

Freddie and Fannie make it possible for credit unions and banks to continue to originate loans. If you are in a fixed-rate mortgage, the conditions of your loan must always remain the same, but who gets the payment might change over the course of the loan.

When you get a notice that your mortgage lender will be changing, call your original lender to confirm its authenticity, and then make arrangements to send your monthly payment to the new owner.

If you intend to have a rental home as an investment and a source of extra income, as a property owner, you have the option of managing the property yourself or hiring a property manager to handle it for you. Above all, it is the obligation of the property manager to keep the property profitable. Property Management London takes pride in treating your investment with the highest care and respect.

Walton Inspection Services provides home inspection services. Contact us if you are buying a home in Murrells Inlet or the surrounding area.

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healthy lawn during summer

Soaring temperatures are an expected part of summer weather that can stress a lawn, turning the grass brown and dry. Have you ever seen a green, lush property and wondered how they did it? With the right steps, your yard can also look great this season. Here are four ways to maintain a healthy lawn during summer.

Mow on a High Setting for a Healthy Lawn During Summer

Did you know cutting your grass a little higher has some benefits? If the grass is too short, it is more difficult for rain and moisture to sink down to the roots because the water evaporates too quickly. This small step makes a big difference in maintaining a healthy lawn during summer.

Consistent Watering

The scorching sun can damage your yard. At a minimum, you should provide your yard with one inch of water every week during the summer. Deep watering will keep your grass green and strong, but it doesn’t need to be watered every day. Water in the early morning a few times every week for the best results.

Clean Up the Yard for  Healthy Lawn

Your yard may be a venue for children’s birthday parties, cookouts, or other family get-togethers. Leaving toys, the grill, lawn chairs, or other furniture on your yard creates dead spots of grass, so don’t forget to clean up after your summer activities. This tip will help maintain a healthy lawn during summer.

Maintain A Healthy Lawn During Summer: Hire An Expert

It can be a difficult task to keep your yard vibrant and green all summer long. If you are uncertain about where to begin, consider hiring a yard care company. Many lawn services provide weekly maintenance at a reasonable cost. You won’t need to worry about seeding, sharpening lawn mower blades, or pest treatment.

Walton Inspection Services provides home inspection services to the Murrells Inlet area. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

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pool maintenance

With the temperatures rising, your swimming pool becomes an even more popular place to spend time. To keep the water clean, healthy, and safe throughout the summer, it’s important to perform routine swimming pool maintenance. Let’s look at seven important tasks to make sure your pool is ready to enjoy on hot summer days.

Important Steps in Swimming Pool Maintenance

1. Pool Maintenance Includes Skimming Twice a Week

A few leaves floating on the surface might seem like no big deal. However, if you don’t skim them off regularly, you make more work for yourself later. Leaves absorb pool chlorine, which can cause a chemical imbalance. The leaves also decay and eventually fall to the bottom of the pool, encouraging algae growth.

2. Vacuum the Pool Once a Week

Even with regular skimming, debris will settle to the bottom of the pool. Routine vacuuming is important for swimming pool maintenance. A manual pool vacuum can do the job, though it’s labor intensive. The better option is investing in an automatic pool vacuum. It does the work for you and saves time for other pool maintenance needs.

3. Balance Your Chemicals Twice a Week

When a pool’s chemical levels get out of balance, the water becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and algae. Testing the water for healthy pH levels alerts you to a potential problem. Ideally, the pH should be between 7.2 and 7.8. Testing kits are inexpensive and only take a few minutes to complete.

4. Pool Maintenance Includes Cleaning Your Filters as Recommended

Pools can have any combination of three different types of filters: cartridges, sand, and diatomaceous earth. These filters keep your pool water clean and clear. However, if you don’t clean and maintain them, they aren’t able to do their jobs properly and your water quality will suffer.

5. Clean the Pool Deck Once a Month

This is probably the most commonly overlooked pool maintenance step. You spend time and money keeping your pool in pristine condition. However, if the surrounding pool deck is dirty, your pool will not be healthy and clean. Take time at least once a month to scrub and wash the surrounding deck.

6. Scrub the Pool Edge Once a Week

One of the hardest jobs for pool maintenance is scrubbing the edge of the waterline. Scale and stains build up there, no matter how well you keep the rest of the pool clean. Once the scale starts to develop, it’s difficult to remove. Swimming pool maintenance includes scrubbing the edge at least once a week to maintain a clean water line.

7. Refresh the Water a Few Times a Year for Proper Pool Maintenance

Swimming pools have high concentrations of salts and metals like copper, iron, and chloride that interfere with keeping the pool clean and can create brown stains on the pool surfaces. The easiest way to lower the concentrations of these salts and metals is to add fresh water to the pool a few times each year, and whenever the water level falls below the skimmer opening.

Walton Inspection Services provides swimming pool and spa inspections to Murrells Inlet and the surrounding areas. Contact us to make sure your pool is ready for summer.

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grilling safety tips

Grilling Safety Tips to Protect Your Property and Guests

Summer is just around the corner and many of us will have cookouts throughout the season. According to the National Fire Protection Association, about 16,600 emergency visits and 9,600 fires are related to grilling each year. Practice these grilling safety tips to avoid injuries and prevent fires.

Use Your Grill in a Safe Spot

Grills should only be used outdoors. Before lighting your grill, make certain it is away from your home and deck railing. A grill should not be used under eaves, near low hanging tree branches, or on a porch.

Keep a Close Eye on Pets and Children

When homeowners think about grilling safety tips, they often don’t realize the grill is also a risk to children and pets. About one-third of grill burns happen to children under age five, according to NFPA statistics.

Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill. Charcoal lighter fluid should be stored in a safe place out of the reach of children.

Check Your Propane Grill for Leaks

Before your first cookout of the season, inspect your propane grill for leaks. Check the entire length of the hose and both of its connection points.

You can easily find leaks by mixing dishwashing liquid with a little water. While the gas is off, run the soap solution on the entire hose and both connections. Turn on the gas. If bubbles begin to form, you have a leak. Turn off the gas. Tighten the connections as needed or replace the hose before you grill.

Operate Your Propane Grill the Right Way

These grilling safety tips are specific to propane grills. To prevent a fire, turn on a propane grill in the following order:

  1. Open the grill.
  2. Turn on the gas tank.
  3. Turn on the burner knobs.
  4. Push the ignitor button.

If the grill fails to ignite or if the flame goes out, turn off the gas. Then wait five minutes for the gas to dissipate before you try to turn the grill back on. When you are finished cooking, turn off the gas tank first. Then turn off the knobs for the burners.

Grilling Safety Tips for Charcoal Grills

Some grilling safety tips only apply to charcoal grills. No flammable liquid, including charcoal lighter fluid, should be added to the fire when it is burning. Store lighter fluid away from heat sources. Allow coals to cool completely before you throw them away in a metal container.

Walton Inspection Services provides home inspection services to Murrells Inlet and the surrounding areas. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

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types of decking materials

Which Types of Decking Materials Are Best For Your Home?

Adding a deck onto your home is a great way to increase your outdoor living space and the value of your home. Let’s look at some of the different types of decking materials that you can choose from.

1. Pressure-Treated Wood

Pressure treated lumber is one of the most popular types of decking material. Most often the wood is pine but can be other types as well. The wood is chemically treated to make it durable enough for an outside deck.


  • It’s the most affordable options for decking materials.
  • Pressure treated lumber is one of the easiest types of decking materials to install. It’s easy to cut and easy to secure with screws or nails.


  • The wood will deteriorate over time, causing cracks and warping.
  • Wood decking may splinter.
  • Pressure treated lumber requires maintenance. Pressure washing will keep it clean. The wood will need to be painted or sealed every few years.

2. Cedar and Redwood are Attractive Types of Decking Materials

Cedar and redwood aren’t chemically treated like pressure-treated lumber. The tannins and natural oils in the wood help protect it from the elements. These types of wood are sold by grades, with the center cut of the tree being the highest grade.


  • The natural beauty of the wood grain makes cedar and redwood aesthetically appealing types of decking materials.
  • Cedar and redwood will last longer than pressure-treated wood.


  • The deck will need to be power washed once a year.
  • A fresh coat of sealer will need to be applied every couple of years, depending on where the deck is located.
  • The wood decking will need to be stained to keep its color.

3. Composites

Fabricated plastic or composites are also common types of decking materials. They can be manufactured using wood scraps and recycled materials, or constructed entirely out of polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride plastics.


  • This decking material won’t splinter.
  • Easy to maintain: there’s no need to paint, stain, or seal composite decking.


  • Composites made with wood scraps will decay over time.
  • The plastic materials can collect water, causing mold and mildew to grow.

4. Aluminum

If you are looking for a clean-cut looking deck with a bit of an industrial edge, aluminum may be the choice for you. The biggest advantage is that it will practically take care of itself, requiring almost no maintenance on your part.


  • Aluminum won’t rust, splinter, or crack.
  • The finish won’t fade or peel.
  • It’s resistant to mold and mildew.


  • The cost is higher than some other options.
  • It can be noisy when people walk on it.
  • It can be more slippery when wet than other decking materials.

5. Tropical Hardwoods

If you are looking for unique types of decking materials, tropical hardwoods are strong and durable and could be an ideal choice.


  • You can select tropical hardwoods from sustainable sources, making it less impactful on the environment.
  • Hardwood decking can last up to fifty years.


  • Tropical hardwoods are the most expensive of these types of decking materials.
  • They are difficult to install.
  • The hardness of the wood makes it resistant to stains and sealers.

Walton Inspection Services provides home inspection services to Murrells Inlet and the surrounding area. Contact us to schedule our services.

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Planning for a new fence

Fencing serves as a visual representation of a property’s border. It keeps intruders out and increases property value. Some fences are purely decorative. Others are used to keep pets and kids safe or to promote privacy. Planning for a new fence is important to maximize the benefits of this feature.

The Importance of Making a Plan

While planning for your new fence, take into consideration the cost and timeline for your project as well as the benefits of fencing to your property. For example, the height and placement of a chain link fence affect both how well it will secure your property and the total project cost. Get the most out of your efforts by planning for a new fence first.

1. Understand Your Goals

Before choosing materials to use and placement of your new fence, decide what you want to accomplish. What is the purpose of the fencing? Where will you install it? Then, consider what type of fence will meet your needs.

2. Determine Your Budget

Unless you and a neighbor are sharing the cost of the project, budgeting for the fence is something you must consider. Depending on your budget, you may be limited to certain materials. Instead of hiring someone, you might complete the installation project on your own to save money. Your budget dictates many aspects of your project, so it should be determined upfront.

3. Get a Quote for Different Materials

Fencing installation rates and the cost for the materials vary. Often, it is more cost-effective to purchase your own supplies and pay for labor than to let your contractor supply the materials. Requesting quotes for several types of materials will help you select one that is well-suited to your needs and within your budget.

4. Inform Your Neighbors When Planning for a New Fence

Planning for a new fence may impact the property next door, so it’s good to discuss your plans with your neighbors. Neighbors may be willing to help build the fence or contribute to the cost if they will also benefit from the project.

Because it can take time to prepare your finances and to gather quotes for various materials, work the planning and prep time into your overall project timeline. Get started by researching fence styles and determining what you want to accomplish by installing the new fence.

Walton Inspection Services provides home inspections for the Murrells Inlet area. Contact us to schedule an inspection.

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Improving Indoor Air Quality

Breathing toxins in your home can cause health problems. To actively work on improving indoor air quality at home, consider these tips.

1. Open the windows every day.

Indoor air quality is often more polluted than the air outdoors because the air is trapped inside. While it’s important for improving indoor air quality to let your home ventilate, you don’t want to let outdoor pollutants inside or make your home less energy-efficient.

Whether it’s first thing in the morning or in the evening, open your windows for just fifteen minutes to let some fresh air in and if you need new windows in your home you should check the aluminium doors and windows companies to find great deals for you. It’s also smart to open a window and turn the ventilation fan on when cooking.

2. Add a few indoor plants.

Plants are nature’s answer to air purification. They purify the air while filtering out toxins. Peace lilies and spider plants are great options for your home. However, be diligent about plant care. If you don’t take care of your plants, they can grow mold and worsen your indoor air.

3. Purchase an air purifier for improving indoor air quality.

If you have an air purifier in your home, you’re already decreasing the number of toxins and allergens your home holds. Air purifiers are especially helpful in homes with pets.

4. Get rid of the carpet.

No matter how often you shampoo or vacuum the carpet, it will hold on to allergens. When your budget allows, it’s best to replace carpet with hardwood, vinyl, or laminate flooring. There are plenty of options for different budgets. It’s a transition you should consider if you want to work on improving air quality at home.

5. Use eco-friendly cleaning products.

Many common cleaners contain volatile organic compounds, which are harmful to breathe. Instead, consider purchasing eco-friendly options. If you’d like to DIY the process, make your own cleaning products.

Through combinations of essential oils, citric acids, baking soda, and vinegar, you can clean everything from countertops to toilet bowls.

6. Change your air filters.

According to experts like these HVAC services in Leander, TX, you should always change your HVAC air filters on a consistent basis. If your air filter is filled with dust, that dust is circulating through the air, and that’s where a reliable southern california ac repair service can help you. Plus when your air filter is clogged, your heating and cooling system has to work harder. As a result, you’ll end up spending more money on utility bills. To avoid this, you should replace your air filters promptly and then schedule a portland furnace repair home service to boost your hvac system’s efficiency. For additional guidance, you can visit sites like https://premierhvacservicesllc.com/ or https://ampmheatingandcooling.net/furnace-repair-portland-or/.

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declutter your home

Whether you’re trying to downsize or just simplify your life, decluttering your home is a great idea. But where do you start? Instead of tearing apart your home, it’s best to declutter your home in stages. Here is a guide you can follow to make the process easier.

Prepare a Few Bins

You don’t need fancy tools to get rid of all the clutter in your home. All you’ll need is four bins, each with its own set purpose.

  • Put away – One of the bins can be for items you are keeping that need to be put back in their dedicated storage spot.
  • Recycle – You can use a bin for items that can be recycled such as glass, plastic, or paper.
  • Trash – Designate one bin for items that can go in the trash immediately.
  • Donate – Place items that you no longer need in this bin and donate them to a thrift store or charity.

Decluttering Every Room

Decluttering every single room can take quite a while and will be inefficient if you don’t focus on small areas at a time.

Here’s how to declutter your home, room by room:


Begin by going through your medicine cabinet. Empty every item out of it and go through them. Discard any outdated medication, skincare products, and makeup.

Afterward, immediately put any items you intend to keep back where they belong and store the ones you use most in an accessible place.


Before anything, make your bed. It’ll be hard to concentrate on decluttering your bedroom while having an unmade bed. After that, start going through each of your nightstands and put any item that doesn’t belong there in one of your bins to discard or put away.

This can include books you’ve finished reading, broken eyeglasses, and mail. Throw out or recycle anything that you no longer need like dried up pens, broken chargers, and empty tissue boxes.

Living Room

One of the hardest rooms to keep tidy on a daily basis is the living room. This is because the living room sees a lot of traffic and doesn’t have many storage features. You may have a bookshelf and a TV set or even a small closet, but they won’t hide much. Keeping your living room organized is essential when you’re trying to declutter your home.

To properly declutter your living room, you have to:

  • Choose a permanent storage space for frequently used items such as remote controls and coasters.
  • Clean out the bookshelves, side tables, and entertainment centers and only keep the things you use frequently.

Decluttering can be tedious, but it’s well worth it when your home is simple, clean, and organized. Don’t be afraid to get rid of  many of your belongings when you declutter your home.

Walton Inspection Services provides home inspection services to Murrells Inlet and the surrounding areas. Contact us to book an appointment.

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