As winter gives way to warmer weather in Orange County, spring is the perfect time to perform essential home maintenance tasks. You can keep your home in excellent condition by proactively addressing potential issues early. Here are 10 Home Maintenance Tips for Spring in Orange County.

Inspect Your Roof

Spring is an excellent time to examine your roof for any signs of damage caused by winter weather. Look for missing or damaged shingles, leaks, or other wear and tear that might need repair.

10 Home Maintenance Tips for Spring

10 Home Maintenance Tips for Spring

Clean and Inspect Gutters and Downspouts

Clogged gutters can lead to water damage in your home. Clear out debris and ensure your downspouts direct water away from your home’s foundation.

Check Exterior Paint and Siding

Inspect your home’s exterior paint and siding for chipping, fading, or peeling. A fresh coat of paint can help protect your home from the elements and maintain its curb appeal.

Service Your HVAC System

Spring is the best time to have your HVAC system serviced and maintained. This ensures it’s ready to keep your home cool during the hot Orange County summer.

Trim Trees and Shrubs

Overgrown trees and shrubs can damage your home and obstruct views. Trim them back to maintain a neat appearance and prevent potential damage to your property.

Inspect Windows and Doors

Check for drafts, cracks, or damaged seals around windows and doors. Proper sealing can improve energy efficiency and keep your home comfortable.

Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Spring is an ideal time to test and replace batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These essential safety devices should always be in good working order.

Prepare Your Outdoor Space

Ready your outdoor living areas for the spring and summer seasons. Clean patios and decks, check your barbecue grill, and prepare your pool or spa.

Inspect Your Foundation

Walk around your home and look for any cracks in the foundation or exterior walls. Addressing foundation issues early can prevent more significant problems down the road.

Check and Clean Your Landscaping

Spring is the time to start your garden and plant seasonal flowers. Be sure to weed, mulch, and water regularly to maintain healthy, beautiful landscaping around your home.

Taking care of these home maintenance tasks can enhance the longevity and comfort of your Orange County home. If you need professional assistance with inspections or repairs, feel free to contact us for expert guidance and service. Enjoy the spring season in your well-maintained home!

Encapsulating asbestos duct wrap is essential to protect yourself and your surroundings from harmful asbestos fibers. By following these 3 simple steps to safely encapsulate asbestos duct wrap, you can ensure a safe encapsulation procedure. This blog post will guide you through the process while providing tips to help you tackle this task effectively.

Step 1: Prepare the Work Area and Gather Supplies

Before beginning any asbestos encapsulation work, creating a safe environment is crucial. Follow these steps to prepare:

3 Simple Steps to Safely Encapsulate Asbestos Duct Wrap

3 Simple Steps to Safely Encapsulate Asbestos Duct Wrap

Research and comply with local regulations
Ensure you are familiar with your local regulations regarding asbestos encapsulation and disposal. This knowledge will help you adhere to the requirements.

Assemble the necessary equipment
Obtain high-quality personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, safety goggles, N95 respirator masks, and disposable coveralls. These are essential to protect against asbestos exposure.

Set up a contained work area
Isolate the work area by sealing off any ventilation systems or openings to prevent asbestos fibers from spreading to other areas of your home. Consider using plastic sheeting and duct tape to enclose the affected space.

Step 2: Encapsulate the Asbestos Duct Wrap

Now that your work area is adequately set up, let’s move on to encapsulating the asbestos duct wrap:

Thoroughly clean the duct surface
Use a HEPA filter-equipped vacuum cleaner to remove dirt or dust from the duct surface. Be cautious not to scratch or damage the asbestos-containing materials.

Apply encapsulation product
Select an asbestos encapsulation product recommended by professionals. These products are designed to seal the asbestos fibers, preventing their release into the surrounding air. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to apply the encapsulant using a brush or sprayer.

Ensure even coverage
It’s essential to apply the encapsulation product evenly across the entire surface of the asbestos duct wrap. Make sure to cover all areas, including corners and edges. This will provide a complete seal and reduce the risk of fiber release.

Step 3: Clean up and Dispose of Materials Properly

To complete the encapsulation process and maintain safety, follow these final steps:

Clean up the work area
Use damp disposable rags or paper towels, and carefully clean any tools and equipment that come into contact with the asbestos-containing materials. Dispose of these materials safely according to local regulations.

Seal and dispose of waste
Double-bag all materials, including used rags, disposable coveralls, and cleaning supplies. Seal the bags tightly using duct tape or twist ties. Contact your local authorities or licensed professionals to understand the appropriate disposal methods and locations in your area.

Following these three simple steps, you can safely encapsulate asbestos duct wrap and minimize the risk of asbestos exposure. Conduct thorough research, wear appropriate PPE, and adhere to local regulations. Always prioritize safety when dealing with asbestos-related tasks and, if unsure, seek professional assistance to ensure proper encapsulation.

Mold inspections are essential to maintaining a healthy living or working environment, especially in humid regions like Los Angeles. If left unchecked, mold can cause serious health problems and damage your property. But how much does a mold inspection cost in Los Angeles? This blog post will provide an in-depth understanding of the costs associated with mold inspections in Los Angeles.

How Much Does a Mold Inspection Cost in Los Angeles?

How Much Does a Mold Inspection Cost in Los Angeles?

The Importance of Mold Inspections

Before discussing the cost, it’s crucial to understand why mold inspections are necessary. Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in damp and humid conditions. It can grow on various surfaces, including walls, floors, and ceilings. Prolonged mold exposure can lead to health issues such as allergies, asthma attacks, and other respiratory problems.

The risk of mold growth is high in Los Angeles, where the climate is often warm and humid. Regular mold inspections can help detect any signs of mold growth early on and prevent potential health risks and property damage.

Factors Influencing Mold Inspection Costs

Several factors influence the cost of mold inspections in Los Angeles. These include:

1. Property Size: The more extensive your property, the more time it will take for a thorough inspection and, hence, higher costs.

2. Location: Travel time may be factored into the cost depending on where you live in Los Angeles.

3. Extent of Mold Infestation: If there’s already visible mold growth or a strong, musty smell indicating severe infestation, additional tests may be required, which could increase costs.

4. Type of Testing: The type of testing performed also affects the price – surface testing is generally less expensive than air testing.

Average Cost for Mold Inspections in Los Angeles

The average cost for professional mold inspections in Los Angeles varies widely based on the abovementioned factors. However, homeowners should expect to pay between $200 and $600 for a standard mold inspection. This price typically includes a visual inspection of the property, air or surface sampling, lab analysis of the samples, and a detailed report of the findings.

The cost can be $1,000 or more for more significant properties or extensive mold infestations. It’s also important to note that this cost is for the inspection only. If mold remediation is required, that will be an additional expense.

Choosing a Mold Inspection Company

When it comes to mold inspections in Los Angeles, choosing a reputable company is essential. Look for companies with certified inspectors with experience dealing with different types of mold. Ask about their testing methods and make sure they provide detailed reports.

Remember that the cheapest option may not always be the best one. A thorough and accurate mold inspection can save you money in the long run by preventing costly property damage and health issues.


Mold inspections are an investment in your health and property. While costs can vary based on several factors, homeowners in Los Angeles should expect to pay between $200 and $600 for a professional mold inspection. By choosing a reputable company and addressing any signs of mold early on, you can protect your home and health from potential harm caused by mold infestations.

Are do-it-yourself mold test kits accurate and reliable? Do-it-yourself (DIY) mold test kits can vary in accuracy and reliability. While they can provide some indication of the presence of mold in a given area, they may not always offer a complete and accurate assessment of the extent or type of mold contamination. Here are a few factors to consider:

Are do it yourself mold test kits accurate and reliable?

Are do-it-yourself mold test kits accurate and reliable?

1. Limited scope: Do-it-yourself kits usually involve collecting a sample from a single location or surface, which may not represent the overall mold presence in a building. Mold can be airborne, hidden within walls, or in other areas beyond the tested surface. Therefore, do-it-yourself kits may not comprehensively analyze the mold situation.

2. Inaccurate identification: It can be challenging for the average person to accurately identify different types of mold based solely on visual inspection. Do-it-yourself kits often use visual identification, which may lead to incorrect mold species identification. Certain molds require professional analysis to determine their potential health risks accurately.

3. Lack of expertise: Conducting a mold test requires proper training and expertise to ensure accurate results. DIY kits may not provide the necessary guidance or support to correctly sample and interpret the results. Conversely, professionals have the experience to conduct more reliable and comprehensive mold assessments.

4. False positives or negatives: DIY kits can produce false positive or negative results. False positives may occur due to mold spores being naturally present in the environment or due to improper sampling methods. False negatives can occur if mold is present but not effectively captured in the samples provided.

5. Professional validation: It is generally recommended to consult a professional mold inspector or industrial hygienist to perform a comprehensive assessment if you suspect mold issues in your home. Professionals can access specialized equipment and training to identify, quantify, and provide informed recommendations for remediating mold problems.

In summary, while do-it-yourself mold test kits can provide some initial indications of mold presence, they may not always be accurate or reliable. For a more comprehensive assessment and reliable analysis, it is advisable to consult a professional mold inspector or industrial hygienist.

Are gas stoves safer than electric ones? This is an important question that must be answered to make an informed decision when looking to purchase a new home.

When looking into the safety of a gas stove versus an electric one, the main thing to consider is that both products have safety concerns. If improperly maintained, gas stoves can be dangerous, as they require ventilation and lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. On the other hand, electric stoves can be more hazardous in the home as they have a higher risk of electrical shock.

Are gas stoves safer than electric?

Are gas stoves safer than electric?

Gas stoves do have some advantages over electric ones. They are often cheaper to run due to their low cost of natural gas, and they are also capable of generating high temperatures, making them ideal for cooking various dishes. Furthermore, gas stoves do not require electricity as an additional power source like electric stoves, which is a big plus for many people.

However, electric stoves come with their benefits. They are more energy efficient than gas stoves, as they do not require significant electricity to heat up. Electric stoves are also safer than gas stoves because there is no risk of gas leaks or carbon monoxide poisoning. In addition, electric stoves are much easier to clean and maintain as they are not prone to dirt and grime buildup like gas stoves can be.

Ultimately, the decision as to whether a gas stove or an electric one is safer will depend on the individual and their situation. Both stoves have advantages and disadvantages, and it is essential to weigh all of the factors before making a final decision. As a home buyer, it is necessary to do your research and consider all aspects before deciding which type of stove best fits your home.

Indoor air pollution is a severe concern for homeowners. Poor air quality can cause various health issues, from headaches and asthma to more severe illnesses. To ensure a healthy home environment, it is essential to be aware of the four major indoor air pollutants and take steps to reduce their levels in the home.

The first major indoor air pollutant is Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs are chemicals found in various household products, such.

What are the four major indoor air pollutants?

What are the four major indoor air pollutants?

As paint and cleaning supplies, and can be released into the air when used. VOCs can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as headaches and nausea.

Second, mold and mildew can also pollute indoor air. Mold and mildew thrive in humid environments and can cause allergies and asthma when inhaled. If mold or mildew is present in the home, it is essential to find the source of moisture and make repairs to reduce humidity.

Third, asbestos is another major indoor air pollutant. Asbestos was commonly used in building materials before the 1980s and can still be present in older homes. Inhaling asbestos fibers can lead to serious health issues, including lung cancer. If asbestos is present in the house, it is essential to seek professional help to remove it safely.

Finally, dust mites are also a common indoor air pollutant. Dust mites feed on dead skin cells and can trigger inhaled allergies and asthma. To reduce dust mite levels in the home, it is important to vacuum regularly and keep surfaces dust-free.

As a homeowner, there are several steps you can take to reduce indoor air pollution levels in your home. Regularly cleaning and dusting surfaces, using natural products when possible, and ensuring any mold or asbestos is addressed promptly can all help to improve indoor air quality. Additionally, investing in an air purifier can help to reduce levels of VOCs, mold, and dust mites in your home.

By taking the steps outlined above, homeowners can ensure a healthy environment for themselves and their families. Knowing the four major indoor air pollutants and reducing them can help protect your health and improve the quality of the air you breathe in your home.

Defensible space is an urban planning concept in which an area around a residential structure is secure from potential threats. This can include physical features like fencing, trees, and landscaping and electronic security systems like cameras, alarms, and motion detectors. Defensible space can help protect homeowners from burglaries, vandalism, and other criminal activity.

Defensible Space

Defensible Space

When designing a defensible space, property owners should consider their environment, their property’s layout, and the safety of their neighborhood. For example, having a high fence around the property could be effective if the area is prone to crime. Still, a more aesthetically pleasing wall may be more appropriate if the property is in a safe neighborhood. Additionally, property owners should consider the type of security they need and the amount of money they are willing to spend.

Physical features like landscaping and trees can also create a sense of security. For example, trees can be planted to produce a natural barrier, or hedges can provide a sense of privacy and safety. Additionally, landscaping can be used to improve visibility, and visibility can help deter potential criminals.

Additionally, electronic security systems can be integrated into a defensible space plan. These systems can include cameras, alarms, and motion detectors. Cameras can help monitor activity in and around the property, and alarms can be set to alert property owners in the event of a possible intrusion. Motion detectors can be used to detect movement in the area and alert property owners as well.

In conclusion, defensible space is an essential concept in urban planning that can help protect homeowners from crime. While there are multiple options available, property owners should consider their environment, the layout of their property, and the safety of their neighborhood when designing defensible spaces. Additionally, physical features like landscaping, trees, and electronic security systems can create a sense of security and safety.

Is Your Water Heater Earthquake Safe

Water heater earthquake strapping is critical in California, where earthquakes happen on a regular basis. From San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles to San Jose, San Francisco, and Sacramento, damage from earthquakes in homes and businesses can happen without warning. Most of us never think about our water heater’s safety before an earthquake takes place.

The law in California requires that your electric or gas water heater must be properly secured to a wall. These laws are in place so that water heaters will not tilt or fall during an earthquake episode and lead to a flood or fire in your home. All apartments, offices, homes, multi-family properties, and public buildings are required to have their water heater strapped securely.

water heater strapping

Your water heater also holds available cooking and drinking water in the event of an extended power outage. New laws regarding strapping help to keep water heater tanks in place. Strapping types and attachment hardware rules have been upgraded for safety since the Northridge earthquake of 1994 and the Loma Prieta quake of 1989.

If your water heater is older, you might want to have it inspected by a water heater professional installer. They will ensure that you have the safe and correct strapping that is necessary. They will also make sure the correct connectors and lines are installed and strapping and wall attachments can be upgraded.

Water Heater Strapping Things to Know

  • 30, 40 & 50-gallon water heaters require 2 straps
  • 75 & 80-gallon water heaters require 3 straps
  • 100-gallon water heaters require 4 straps
  • Strapping must be placed properly- the top 1/3 and the lower 1/3 of the water heater must be strapped to prevent rocking and tipping.

If you personally would like to determine if your water heater earthquake strapping is correct and find out if it is current to California law. offers some good tips for proper attachment.

Signature Home Inspection has inspected thousands of water heaters in California to determine if they meet earthquake code standards. We would be happy to help you determine if your water heater, for the safety of your family and your neighborhood is properly strapped.

After an earthquake, you should check your water heater strapping to make sure that there are no gas lines leaking that can start a fire and cause a fire in your home. You should also be checking that your water heater has not fallen over and leaking water lines have not flooded your home, resulting in expensive repairs.  If proper earthquake strapping is present, your home will be much less likely to be devastated by an unfortunate water heater issue due to earthquake tilting.

We are pleased to be of service to Los AngelesOrange County, Riverside, and San Diego including their surrounding communities.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Effective July 1, 2011, all single family dwelling units require smoke & carbon monoxide detectors throughout the residence. Smoke & carbon monoxide detectors must be installed in accordance with the 2016 California Residential Code (CRC) and will be verified at the permit final inspection.

Smoke Alarms shall be installed in the following locations:

  • In each sleeping room.
  • Outside each sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.
  • On each additional story of the dwelling, including basements but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics

Carbon Monoxide Alarms shall be installed in the following locations:

  • Outside of each separate dwelling unit sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedroom(s).
  • On every level of a dwelling unit including basements.
  • Where a fuel-burning appliance is located within a bedroom or its attached bathroom, a carbon monoxide alarm shall be installed within the bedroom.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Smoke Alarms (CRC Section R314)

Alterations, repairs, and additions.

When alterations, repairs, or additions requiring a permit occur or when one or more sleeping rooms are added or created in existing dwellings, the individual dwelling unit shall be equipped with smoke alarms located as required for new dwellings.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms (CRC Section R315)

Where required in existing dwellings.

Where a permit is required for alterations, repairs or additions, existing dwelling units that have attached garages or fuel burning appliances shall be provided with carbon monoxide alarms.

California SB 969

California has recently had its most destructive fire season with widespread power outages that made it difficult and or impossible for some to escape. With the loss of electricity, garage door openers were impacted and deaths were attributed to homeowners becoming trapped and who perished because they could not open their garage doors manually.

Reports from the 2017 Northern California fires recounted stories of neighbors stopping to help raise garage doors for elderly people who didn’t have the strength to manually open their garage door, and a mother who struggled to get her disabled son into a car because their custom van was in the garage they couldn’t open.

On September 1, 2018 Governor Brown signed SB 969 into law. This legislation requires newly sold or installed garage door openers in residential applications to have battery backup up in the state of California.

California SB 969 Facts!

• The law goes into effect July 1, 2019.

• The law applies to all new garage doors and garage door opener installations.

• Homeowners must install a battery backup opener when a new door is installed or when they replace their existing opener.

• Existing openers in use will not have to be replaced with battery backup openers unless the door is being replaced.

• On or after July 1, 2019 no person, corporation, or entity shall manufacture for sale in this state, sell, offer for sale at retail or wholesale, or install in the state of California a residential automatic garage door opener that does not a have battery backup function that is designed to operate when activated because of an electrical outage.

• Failure to follow this will result in a civil penalty of $1000 per opener installed and operational.

Here is what was signed into law:

This bill, beginning July 1, 2019, requires an automatic garage door opener that is manufactured for sale, sold, offered for sale, or installed in a residence to have a battery backup function that is designed to operate when activated because of an electrical outage. This bill would make a violation of those provisions subject to a civil penalty of $1,000. This bill will, on and after July 1, 2019, prohibit a replacement residential garage door from being installed in a manner that connects the door to an existing garage door opener that does not meet the requirements of these provisions.

Future Impact:

Homeowners will have to test the functionality of the garage door opener batteries – Homeowners will have to remove and replace garage door opener batteries (including proper disposal) – Listing and Selling Real Estate agents will have additional request for repair items – Other issues yet to be determined