Hardwood floors absorb heat and keep your electric bill low.

Do Hardwood Floors Make Your House Colder

When home buyers are searching for their dream home, amenities are really what they want. The more amenities that a home buyer can grab with a new home, the more apt they are to buy the home. Additionally, many home buyers have a pre-set list already made with regard to their amenity needs. Flooring is always at the top of the list for home buyers. Carpet in the main living areas is phasing out over the past ten-plus years. Oftentimes you will see hardwood or ceramic tile flooring as the top choice in a home. Both styles come with a misnomer that your home will be cooler if you have tile or hardwood flooring. Do hardwood floors make your house colder? They absorb heat better than a carpet does. So, no, hardwood floors do not make your house colder.

Let’s take a look below as to why hardwood floors might feel cold but are really good at trapping heat and circulating air.

How Does It Work

When it comes to wood floors, most people feel the coolness when they touch the floor. Homeowners will often put down area rugs, wear socks, or even use a space heater in their homes to keep the cold feeling away. However, wood flooring can actually trap heat longer than carpet can. Let’s take a look at why this is possible.

  • Wood floors and other solid structures in your home are known to trap heat.
  • Reduce temperature changes by storing heat
  • High thermal mass materials will assist you in reducing your electric bill

Depending on the type of hardwood floors will determine its ability to retain heat. Also, it will determine the energy-efficient rating.

An empty house feels much colder than a house with furniture and area rugs.

What Can I Do To Feel Warmer

Just because wood flooring is a great insulator that keeps the heat in and circulates it more continuously through your home, does not mean your feet don’t feel cold on the floor. Let’s take a look at some ways to protect our feet from being cold.

  • Area rugs – it is a great idea to strategically place area rugs under the furniture in whatever room you will spend a lot of time in.
  • Space heater – if you choose to use a space heater to warm up in your home, make sure to keep an eye on it.
  • Curtains – installing curtains will help trap heat in your home. They can insulate your window and keep the cold air out and the warm air in.
  • Radiant heat system – installing a radiant system to help make your floors feel warm on a regular basis is a possibility. This is a type of floor heating system that will increase your home’s heat by keeping your floors warm at all times.
  • Basement insulation – the basement is always cold as it is beneath the earth’s surface. The concrete walls trap cold air and create a damp environment. Consider insulating the walls, windows, and ceiling of the basement. This will reduce the cold and drafty cold temps.
  • Wear coverings – putting on socks or wearing slippers might be the simplest solution to keeping your feet warm on a cold floor. Remember, just because a hardwood floor is cold to the feet, does not mean it isn’t helping your electrical bill.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you understand what hardwood floors can do for your home, it is a good idea to also read up on the maintenance of hardwood floors. In some instances, homeowners find themselves in an unfortunate situation as they are freshening up their paint. If you happen to spill paint onto your hardwood floors, do not freak out. It is possible to get the paint off the hardwood floor.

Next, be sure to explore other ways to save on your electric bill and keep the heat in during the winter months. Winterizing various parts of your home could end up saving you a lot of money. If you happen to have sliding doors and windows that are drafty, read up on how to insulate your sliding door and windows.

Lastly, if you have a fireplace and chimney you will want to ensure that you have a chimney cap in place. A chimney cap will keep cold and drafty air from rushing down your chimney and into your living area. No hardwood floor could possibly absorb enough heat to combat a cold blast of winter air.

Installing a hardwood floor can save you on your utility bill.

When Do I Call A Professional

Anytime you have a question regarding your flooring, you should seek the advice of a professional contractor that specializes in flooring. Seeking advice from professionals allows you to make an informed decision and not waste your money. If you aren’t sure who to call or if there is no flooring store in your area, reach out to your local home inspection team. They can inspect your current floors and recommend which flooring would make sense for your home. Keeping your investment intact and looking aesthetically pleasing is key. Also, they can refer you to a reputable flooring contractor before you go wasting your money.


Now that you understand how wood floors can benefit your home, it might be a great time to price out a flooring upgrade. On the other hand, if you already have wood floors, you just learned how great they are at helping keep your home warm. If you still aren’t sure what floors are in your home or if it is time to replace them, call on your local home inspection team. Reach out to Warren Inspections in Eastern and Central Massachusetts for a flooring inspection, along with a full home inspection.

Rodents will find food anywhere.

What Sort Of Damage Do Rodents Cause

Coming home from a long day at work and you just sit down on the couch to read a book. You begin reading your book and start to hear some scratching and pitter-patter that sounds like it is coming from above you. As a homeowner, you are deeply afraid of what it could be. Rodents include, rats, mice, bats, and squirrels are all possibilities. You decide to take a look outside the home to inspect it for any obvious signs of entry. Surprisingly, you notice an opening under your soffit. It’s time to call your local pest control company. You must act fast before the damage is too extensive. What sort of damage do rodents cause? They will chew through anything. Wires, cardboard, plastic, and insulation. They love it all.

Let’s take a look below at some details regarding what kinds of damages rodents can cause.

What Type Of Damage

Believe it or not, rodents like to chew on a lot of items There really isn’t anything that a rodent won’t chew through. They gnaw on things like wires, cardboard, drywall, plastic, and anything that can provide them with food. In doing so, structural damage is highly possible through their gnawing, nesting, and defecating. Let’s take a look at some of the damages caused by rodents.

  • Flooding – a rodent can chew on your pipes. Eventually, this will cause a leak in your home, and flooding could occur.
  • Electrical failure – rodents like to chew on electrical wires. Once they break through the rubber coating of your wiring system, they can crush through the wiring and cause a shortage in your electrical system. This could end up starting a fire when you go to turn the circuit breaker back on.
  • Insulation – they love to eat through your attic and wall insulation. The fibers in the material provide a great source of food for a rodent’s digestive system. They will also use the insulation for their nesting purposes.
  • Electrical appliances – they will either nest in your appliances or chew the wires up, which could result in a fire.
  • Automobile – if a rodent gets access to your garage, it can end up nesting under your hood. They will find a way to get up into the engine area and begin chewing on the wires that are associated with your car’s electrical system. This will cause some major damage.
  • Furniture – rodents like to gnaw on your upholstered furniture so that they can create a nest for themselves.
  • Anything – rodents really do not care what they eat. Rodents damage anything in your food storage area. They will chew on books, paper, heirlooms, photographs, frames, and anything wood, or easily chewed.

Mice and rats like to build nests in your home and leave their feces and urine everywhere they go. Rodents like these are capable of spreading diseases and using their sharp teeth to eat through wires. Any rodent infestation that occurs will need proper rodent control.

Rodents love to chew on wires. This can cause major damage and potentially start a fire.

How Can I Prevent This

The easiest way to prevent rodents from causing damage in your home is to hire a local pest control company. However, there are some things that you can do to not make it so attractive to rodents. Let’s take a look below at what we can do.

  • Place bait – rodent bait, poison, or something environmentally friendly are all options. If you place these items in high-traffic locations, it could lure the rodents in. They are very curious creatures and will likely eat the bait regardless.
  • Pet food – always keep your pet food inside the home. The easier the rodents can access the food source, the more attractive your home becomes. They will end up inviting their friends to join at the moment they have a strong food presence.
  • Dispose of your garbage – keep your waste in a tightly sealed trash bag and keep the trash bag in a tightly lidded trash can. Make sure that everything fits tightly together so that they cannot gain access to your trash bags.
  • Yard cleanup – always keep your yard landscaped properly. Keep trees trimmed and away from your home. You don’t want to give them a direct bridge to your attic space. Also, keep leaves and other items from piling up. They use these piles as nests before they gain access to your home.
  • Seal the home – check for all cracks and crevices or entry points and make sure that they are sealed up. Use items like caulk, mesh wiring, and wood to cover up or seal up openings that would allow a rodent to gain access to your home.
  • Environmentally friendly – items such as peppermint oil, ammonia, onion, garlic, black pepper, instant potatoes, and mothballs. Scents like these will drive the rodent away. They do not like these scents and will die when ingested.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you understand what type of damage rodents can cause, let’s look into what a rat’s nest looks like. If you understand what the nests look like, you can better understand what to keep away from your home so that rats don’t use it as a nest.

Next, if you notice that you have rodents in your walls, you might want to read up on how to get them out. The local pest control company might not be available to get to you in a timely manner. If this is the case, you will want to act fast and work to get them out on your own.

Lastly, make sure to inspect your roof vent pipes. There are a few varieties of vent pipes and rodents like to nest in them. Also, birds will often create a nest in the roof vent pipes and this could be bad for getting gases out of your home as needed. Look into what products you could use to cover certain roof vent pipes. Mesh screening is one item that often works.

You might have to trap a rodent with bait. Hire a professional to assist.

When Do I Call A Professional

As soon as you notice a sign of a rodent, you will need to call your local pest control company. As a homeowner, it is not warm and fuzzy thinking about what the squeaks and scratching in the walls might be. Be sure to call a pest control company that takes your health seriously. Having an environmentally friendly approach is important. If you aren’t sure who to call reach out to your local home inspection team. They can inspect your home for any potential rodent access and also refer a reputable pest control company.


If you notice a rodent’s nest in your home you will likely have to temporarily move out. Exterminating rodents is not the easiest, especially when there are a lot of them. For your health and safety, moving out while the pest control team takes over and exterminates the rodents is key. Rodents can carry diseases and also turn your home into a very foul-smelling odor. Reach out to Warren Inspections in Eastern and Central Massachusetts for a pest inspection along with a full home inspection.

Plumbing roof vent pipes.

Should Roof Vent Pipe Be Covered

When it comes to covering a roof vent pipe, it will depend on the type of vent pipe you are looking at. Homeowners will often look to cap a plumbing vent pipe with the idea that this keeps debris from the plumbing system. However, this could end up causing the homeowner more issues with their plumbing systems’ functionality. Should a roof vent pipe be covered? Keeping a vent pipe covered is meant to keep birds from nesting and other debris out of the pipe.

Let’s take a look below at some more details regarding the covering of a roof vent pipe.

What Is A Vent Boot

In some cases, a vent boot is needed on your vent pipe. A vent boot is a rubber vent cap cover that helps seal the pipe and protect the pipe from dirt and debris. Since a vent boot is made of rubber, it can expand and contract in various weather conditions.

The moment that you begin to notice dirt and water damage in your home, it is potentially due to a worn vent boot. Vent boots can break down over time due to extreme weather conditions. Let’s take a look at some warning signs that our vent boot has broken down.

  • You will begin to notice water marks on your ceiling or walls
  • If you have wallpaper, it will start to peel.
  • Painted walls will begin to crack.
  • You will also notice that the shingles around the vent pipes are damaged.
There are a variety of roof vent pipes. Some with covers and some without.
A roof vent.

How Many Types Of Pipes Are On My Roof

Believe it or not, there can be a variety of vent pipes on your roof. Depending on where you live, determine the building code requirements for considering whether should roof vent pipe be covered. Let’s take a look at the main vent pipes.

  • Attic fan – if you have an attic, then you are likely going to have a fan installed. The fan’s job is to pull hot air from the attic and keep it dry. More often you will see an attic fan in a southern home vs a northern home.
  • HVAC vent stack – this is needed to release any fuel or gases that are created by a fireplace, burner, water heater, or boiler.
  • Small vent box – this is connected to your bathroom fan and acts as an exhaust system to pull moisture out of the air. There are protective screens over these vent boxes to keep rodents and birds from nesting in them. You might also have your dryer vent for your clothes dryer attached to the roof. It will have a small vent box.
  • Plumbing vent stack – these allow gases to be released from the plumbing lines and also create pressure to flush your toilets.

What If It Gets Clogged

In the event that a roof vent pipe gets clogged, you will notice a few signs regarding this issue. These are the reasons why homeowners aren’t sure if roof vent pipes should be covered. Let’s take a look.

  1. The toilet gurgles – this will occur if the plumbing roof vent pipe is clogged. This occurs when you flush the toilet and the water has to compete against the pressure in the pipes. If the air build-up is not allowed to escape, then the water is essentially slow draining as it pushes back against the air in the lines.
  2. Slow drain in your sink or bathtub – clogs in the sink drain or bathtub can be caused by many things. However, the moment you have the line free and clear and still notice an issue, it is likely the vent pipe.
  3. A dry P-trap – if the P-trap is dry or missing from your plumbing then the issue of methane gas getting into the home becomes a problem. These sewer gases are hazardous to your health. Double-check the P-traps under your sink and the shower drain to make sure they are working properly. If your bathroom smells like sewage check all vent pipes and P-traps.
  4. Leaves and Debris build-up – rodents, birds, and other scenarios could cause debris to get into your vent pipes. If this happens, make sure to have your roofing contractor remove all leaves and debris from your vent pipes.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you know about the vent pipe, let’s take a look at other areas of maintenance on the roof. If you are noticing your roof tiles are looking dull, you can paint them to make them shiny. However, if they are terra cotta material, then you cannot. This is because terra cotta is made of clay and is porous so a good cleaning will help the color.

Another area is finding a roof leak. If you don’t have an attic and are trying to find where the roof leak is, you can let the water run down the damaged spots on your roof and then check the stains. If you aren’t sure, contact a professional for assistance.

Lastly, if you are doing a home inspection, a home inspector will check for visible mold. However, if they don’t have a mold testing service, you will need to hire an additional company to find and test the mold. It is a good idea to hire a home inspection company that has both as it will save you time and probably money.

A roof vent pipe with a cover on it.
Another type of roof vent pipe.

When Do I Call A Professional

When it comes to anything related to your roof, you should call a professionally licensed roofing contractor. They could explain to you what each pipe is associated with that is on your roof. If you aren’t sure who to use, call on your local home inspection team. They can inspect the roof for any damage and recommend a reputable roofing contractor.


Always know that roof pipes are vital to the functionality of your home. Your roof pipes’ purposes are to keep your home clear of bad gases. If you notice an issue with your roof pipes you will need to get them fixed right away.

It is a good idea to conduct a roofing inspection with your local home inspection team once a year or after a major storm. Reach out to Warren Inspections in Eastern and Central Massachusetts for roofing inspection along with a full home inspection.

Radon testing is important for keeping you safe.

Are Radon Levels Higher In The Basement

When it comes to owning a home, there are many projects that homeowners must remember. However, testing your home for various elements in the air is not typically one that homeowners remember. It isn’t often that homeowners even consider testing anything in their homes. Additionally, testing is necessary for your home when you buy, sell, or live in the home. The great thing is that there are licensed contractors and home inspection teams that can conduct these various tests for you. For example, testing for Radon in your home is a fairly common necessity. Radon gas comes from the earth and can enter your home fairly easily if the correct options are presented. Are Radon levels higher in the basement? The assumption is based on a basement having many accessible entry points.

Let’s take a look below at what Radon is and where it comes from.

What Is Radon

A radioactive gas that is a product of decaying uranium and is naturally occurring in the soils on earth is Radon. The gas rises and as it makes its way through the soil it releases into the air. Radon gas can enter your home through cracks and crevices in your walls and the home’s foundation or basement. Radon gas can also be found coming from well water.

Where Does It Come From

There are many places Radon gas is known to come from. Since it is a naturally occurring gas that is released from our soil, we have zero control over it. Are Radon levels higher in the basement? Let’s take a look below at where Radon gas is known to come from.

  • Radon is odorless, tasteless, and colorless. It comes from the rocks and soil around us. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one out of fifteen homes contains elevated levels of radon in the U.S. Radon gas is known to increase the chances of developing lung cancer.
  • Radon can access your home through cracks in the foundation, construction joints, cracks in your basement walls, holes in the sump pump, cracks in your slab, non-encapsulated crawl space, and unsealed plumbing areas.
  • As uranium decays it becomes radium. Radium then releases its gas into our soil, water, and rock formations. This is a naturally occurring event that cannot be controlled or stopped. We can only learn to protect our health and safety from it.
  • Air pressure in a home is lower than in its outside areas. As the gas leaves the home through the exhaust fans, radon gas is sucked into the home as it replaces the escaped gas. During the colder months, the hot air rises and escapes, and new air moves into the home. The new gases are sucked in from the surrounding areas to replace the air that has left the home. Changes in the air pressure, are what create this vacuum-type action.
  • Radon can enter any home that is in contact with the ground. Testing for radon every two years is highly recommended. Also, consider installing a radon mitigation system.
Encapsulated crawl space with vapor barrier and mitigation system pipe.
Mitigation system piping and vapor barrier to protect the home from radon gas.

Why The Basement

Believe it or not, the basement is not the only place Radon gas can enter a home. However, the Radon gas levels in a basement are likely to be higher, as basements have many possible entry points. Let’s take a look at some of those entry points.

  • Holes or gaps around your plumbing as it enters the foundation
  • Crawl space that isn’t encapsulated
  • Sump pump pit in the flooring
  • Cracks and holes in your concrete slab and walls
  • Floor-to-wall joints that aren’t sealed
  • Floor drains that are exposed and not sealed.

Also, keep in mind that Radon gas can pass through a concrete slab regardless of how sealed up cracks and crevices are.

How Is It Detected

Most homeowners are not aware that there are a variety of ways to test for radon. There are systems available called Radon mitigation systems, that detect and alert you of the Radon levels in your basement and in the home. They provide great functionality in protecting your family’s health and safety. Let’s take a look below at the various ways a professional service can test for radon.

  • Short-term Radon testing – these tests are activated charcoal-based or electric ions. They can measure your radon gas levels between 2-7 days. Next, you will mail your test measurements to the local lab for review.
  • Long-term Radon testing – these tests can also be purchased at your local radon agency or online retail site. These tests are conducted over a 90-day to a one-year period. Also, they are considered more reliable as they capture gusty winds, snow levels, moisture in the soil, and drop in air pressure.
  • Continuous Radon testing – these can be plugged into a standard electrical outlet. This technology will test every second that it is plugged into a power source. As air moves through your home, it is sampled and measured for any potentially harmful issues.
A newly installed Radon mitigation system to keep the Radon gas levels lower in the basement.
A radon mitigation system.

How Much Does It Cost

Getting a Radon mitigation system installed in your home could cost you between $750 and $5,000. This cost variation is dependent upon how big your home is. If you are simply looking to have your home tested for radon, the national average cost for a Radon test is $150 to $350. This is a great investment into your family’s health and safety. Also, keep in mind that if you get a full home inspection conducted, you could get an add-on radon test for a cheaper rate.

Other Recommended Maintenance

While you are on the topic of inspections and testing. It is also a great idea to get a wind mitigation inspection completed. Your local home inspection team can conduct a wind mitigation inspection at the same time as they conduct your Radon gas test. It is always a great idea to have multiple inspections or tests done on your home at the same time, to save money.

Additionally, you should not forget to have a mold inspection conducted on the home. A great way to prevent any major damage and health issues in your home is by taking the extra step and having a mold inspection completed. Your local home inspection team can complete this at the same time as they conduct their Radon gas test.

Lastly, make sure that your mold inspection is thorough. Just like how Radon gas can travel up and out of the home, mold spores can also travel up from the basement and into the main living space. Any basement that is damp and dark and has high moisture immediately becomes a breeding ground for mold production. Be sure to have your basement thoroughly inspected for mold.

Cracks in the homes exterior can create high Radon levels in the basement.
Radon gas can enter the home through various cracks and crevices.

When Do I Call A Professional

Hiring a Radon mitigation team to conduct a test for radon levels in your home is a great idea. Taking an aggressive approach to monitoring and testing various gases in the air will only help preserve your health and safety. As a homeowner, it is imperative to conduct a Radon mitigation test approximately every two years. Reach out to your local home inspection team and they can conduct the test for you.


No matter where you live, it is a great idea to conduct a radon mitigation test every two years. In order to protect your family’s health and safety, you will want to test your home for various gases such as radon and carbon monoxide. Because these gases are odorless, tasteless, and colorless, you have no idea of the levels in your home. Testing of the home should be done regardless of if you are buying, selling, or living in the home. Call on your local home inspection team to get your Radon gas test conducted today. Reach out to Warren Inspections in Eastern and Central Massachusetts for a radon test and all of your home inspection needs.