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Stay Cool, Central Texas!

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Well Austin, it didn’t take long for things to heat up! Before we know it, summer will be upon us and long days of sunshine and radiating heat will send us indoors for relief while memories of the 2021 cold snap become a distant (and potentially fond) memory.

Before you put your home’s cooling system to the test this spring and summer, let’s review a few things every homeowner needs to know about heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) filters. Tune in for the latest episode of “Under the Roof with Randy Barfield” as Randy, Ashley, and Mary discuss the virtues of clean air (and Torchy’s Tacos!).

If you’re looking for a few quick, handy tips, here’s what you need to know:

  • Air filters truly are the heart and soul of your home’s AC system. Air filters purify the air you breathe, leaving behind an array of dust and contaminants in their folds. Because the air runs more in the summertime, filters fill up faster. Be sure to change these monthly to keep cool, clean air flowing.

Bonus: If you are looking to sell your home this summer, your inspector will definitely check those filters, so it pays to keep them clean.

  • Know your filters. Air filters come in a variety of sizes and it’s important to know what type you need for your home. Most air filters follow the traditional one-inch disposable fiberglass forma, with measurements displayed on the packaging for ease of purchase and replacement; these need to be replaced every one to three months. Alternatively, lots of new construction homes are equipped with media filters with greater surface area and increased filtration. These filters only need to be changed once or twice a year! For more details on the types of home HVAC filters, visit This Old House.
  • Dirty filters can cause serious problems. Air filters are like your home’s referee. As a first defense, they keep dirt and contaminants from entering and circulating your home. When they become clogged, it becomes more difficult for your home’s air system to run properly. Here are the most common problems that can occur:
  1. Increased strain can put additional wear and tear on your fan motor.
  2. Reduced air will create a warmer home (read: a grumpier you).
  3. Strains on the system means it has to work harder, resulting in higher (yet easily avoidable) energy bills.
  4. For individuals with serious allergies and asthma, an inefficient air system can result in breathing complications and discomfort.

We always recommend having your cooling system inspected at the beginning of the season. Visit our Preferred Vendors for a list of companies that can help.

While these tips aren’t miracles, they can increase your cooling efficiency and by proxy reduce cooling costs. For more home maintenance tips and tricks, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Stay healthy, cool, and safe out there!

Goodbye Frost, Hello Spring!

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Well friends, after perhaps the harshest Central Texas winter on record (certainly in my decades here), we have made it to spring. Although the vernal equinox is nearly a week away, I always set my seasonal calendar by the start of daylight saving time (quick reminder to check those clocks!), and am ready to celebrate blooming wildflowers and warmer weather, Texas style.

With our last frost (hopefully) in the rearview mirror, it’s time to set our sights on landscaping and establishing beautiful curb appeal whether you intend to list your home or are just putting down roots. First things first, clean off your gardening tools and equipment that have been in storage for a few months and get ready to put in some elbow grease. If you accept the challenge, here are a few tips to keep your lawn and garden beautiful all spring and summer, courtesy of the Central Texas Gardener:

  1. Now is the time to plant trees, shrubs, and roses. Even though we’re still recovering from winter, it won’t be long before it’s too hot for these plants to settle in. It’s also a great time to plant perennials, grasses, and herbs.
  2. If a vegetable garden is in your future, seed your tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, corn, and get the full planting guide from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.
  3. Prune your shrubs, roses, and grasses, and damaged oaks. However, if you need help clearing debris or structurally trimming large sections (especially casualties from this year’s heavy ice) be sure to contact a professional arborist.
  4. Although it’s tempting, don’t fertilize your lawn quite yet. I always recommend waiting until April, though March is the perfect time to add a high nitrogen fertilizer to your citrus trees. Use that extra time this month to mulch and weed instead!

By following these tips, you can get your yard and plants in tip-top shape for spring. Enjoy your time outdoors and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more monthly home maintenance tips!

Recovering from Winter’s Wrath

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The storm has passed. Thank goodness. But in the wake of the subzero disaster that swept across Texas last month, homeowners are left with questions. Good thing Randy Barfield has answers!

Tune in for the latest episode as Randy and Ashley discuss the storm’s impact and ways you can prepare yourself and your home for future events. From generators to post-storm inspections, we cover it all from the ground up to the roof down!

Schedule Your Post Winter Storm Inspection

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I hope this message finds you warm, safe, and well as we celebrate the end of a long, record-breaking week across Texas. I encourage you to use precaution as you venture outside your home. Ice sheets and icicles that formed on many roofs and overhangs pose a new danger, while sidewalks and roadways remain slippery. Remember to only go out if you must and pay close attention to your surroundings. 

As we take a step back to assess the damage left in the wake of winter’s wrath, the Texas Department of Insurance has issued tips to help with insurance claims. From broken water pipes to downed trees and damaged roofs, we have seen it all across Texas!

Additionally, we are proud to offer a Post-Winter Storm Inspection to help homeowners and buyers identify damage caused by the storm. Contact us today at 512-350-0123 to schedule your inspection.

At Barfield Home Inspection, we care about you and your home. Remember to bundle up, stay safe, and stay well. As the sun literally and figuratively shines down on Central Texas, we can finally see the light at the end of the winter storm tunnel. Thank goodness!


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Ever wondered what information is contained within the home inspection report? Well, open it up and find out!
In this episode of Under the Roof with Randy Barfield, we walk through the ins and outs of the inspection report and its intrinsic value for homeowners. Ever wondered where your water heater is located? Read the report! Do you know how old your heating and cooling system is? Read the report! What was the Delta T at the time of your home inspection? Read the report and find out.
The home inspection report is your inspection team’s way of giving you the 411 on your home. Follow along with Randy, Mary and Ashley to learn just how helpful this document can be, especially in competitive buying situations. Thanks for listening! And as always, when you need a home inspection team you can trust, we’ve been telling it like it is since 2003. Give us a call at 512.350.0123 to schedule your inspection and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more home maintenance tips!

Read the Dang Report!

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If you’re looking to buy a home in and around Austin, Texas this fall, we have two words for you: Good Luck! The Austin real estate market is always as hot as our notorious summers, but the COVID-19 pandemic has added a competitive edge to the situation. Record low inventory combined with sky high demand creates a true sellers’ market.

While it’s not uncommon for multiple offers to result in a bidding war, we are seeing homes sell for $20-50,000 over their listing price this season. Even though we’ve been in the home inspection business for nearly 20 years, we are seeing things we’ve never seen before. Because many buyers fear they will not be able to get their desired property, they go in over asking price and with two-to-three-day option periods. To give you an idea, this time last year we saw an average of 14-21-day option periods.

As buyers make “as-is” purchases to secure their dream home, they sometimes ignore or even discard the home inspection report. Don’t make this mistake! The report is an investment in the life of your home and covers important facts you may have questions about in the future. Where’s your water heater? Look in the inspection report! How old is the HVAC? Look in the inspection report! You get the picture.

Take a tip from Randy’s toolkit and read the dang report! At the very least, you’ll learn about the status of your foundation, roof, and heating and cooling system which can help prepare for expenditures down the road.

Remember, at Barfield Home Inspection, we are licensed, trained and insured professionals who take your home inspection seriously. We don’t sugar coat things – we tell it like it is for the safety of you and your home.  Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @BarfieldHomeInspection for more home maintenance tips from the company that’s been telling it like it is since 2003.

Keep the bugs at bay!

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As if there wasn’t enough to be concerned about in 2020, it’s officially time to warn you: the bugs will be here soon, if they haven’t arrived yet! Thankfully, we aren’t talking murder hornets (although we advise you to be on the lookout!). While Texas is home to some real creepy crawlers, think the brown recluse, tarantula, and Texas redheaded centipede, ants and mosquitoes are more common. Even docile pests can be a nuisance to your health and your home.

Summer is peak for pests. Between warm (hot!) weather, doors opening and closing more often due to activities, and barbecues, your home may be more susceptible to pests during this time. Insects like ants, spiders and cockroaches may visit in search of food and water. In addition to spraying for pests or hiring a pest control service, follow these tips to secure your home’s perimeter and ward off crawling, flying and munching invaders:

• Clear the debris. Trash, leaves, lawn clippings and clutter around your yard can create a literal breeding ground for insects and a safe haven for other pests like snakes (eek!). Clean your gutters and keep these spaces clean to show these villains they are unwelcome.

• Seal them out. Seal any cracks and large openings around your foundation, water and gas pipes, windows, doors and cable lines. A quick shot of clear sealant will help to keep the pests out and your cool air in.

• Close your doors –  tightly. In addition to keeping exterior doors shut as much as possible, make sure your weather sealing is in good, tight condition. If you find yourself constantly running in and out to manage the grill or hop in the pool, invest in an inexpensive mesh screen door to keep the villains out.

• Go with the flow. What’s your home’s biggest enemy? Water! By eliminating water sources, you’ll help deter bugs and preserve your foundation. Consider using stone or cedar mulch close to your house. Check outdoor faucets for leaks and use gutter downspouts to help water flow away from your home.

• Give it a trim. Insects get hungry, too! Trim limbs and shrubs that grow close to your home, as these provide food sources, refuge and runways to your home for tiny critters.

These easy-to-follow weekend warrior tips can save you time and literal pain down the road. Keep the pests at bay and your home safe this summer. For more home maintenance tips and tricks, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Stay healthy, cool, and safe out there!

A Word About COVID-19, From Our Home to Yours

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Dear Friends,

Our deep Texas skies and budding bluebonnets herald the message that spring will soon be here. However, the coronavirus (COVID-19) is top of mind for all of us, especially those in the process of buying and selling their homes. We want to reassure all of our clients, realtors, home buyers and sellers of the precautions we are taking to protect you in the midst of COVID-19.

At Barfield Home Inspection, we pride ourselves in providing customers with the highest quality of service at all times. As a home inspection team, we enter homes with care each day and are responsible for testing and coming into contact with numerous items in each home. Our commitment, like our Texas heritage, is unwavering. During this time, we are taking thoughtful steps to reassure our clients’ comfort, while providing the same impeccable quality of trusted service we are known for.

Here are a few things you can expect to see from our team in the coming weeks:

  • We will continue to wear boot covers and gloves as part of our normal inspection routine. We also wear face mask respirators in areas such as attics and crawl spaces. The newly recommended protocols for health awareness are nothing new to us and we will continue to use these precautions to protect our health, our clients and their homes.
  • Hand sanitizer is also a standard part of our uniform, and we sanitize our hands regularly. We know that gloves are not a substitute for clean hands, and we wash and sanitize as frequently as possible.
  • No handshakes, we will greet you with a smile instead. Given the recent recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we will not extend our hands until the spread of contagion dissipates. Instead, look for your home inspector to offer an elbow, nod or even a foot bump as a courteous way to say hello!

We understand that this is a challenging time for everyone and appreciate your continued partnership and trust. Feel free to get in touch with any questions or concerns about our home inspection process. Visit the CDC website for the latest updates and information to protect your home and loved ones.

From our house to yours, we wish you safety and well-being. Stay healthy out there,

– Randy Barfield