More Blog Posts on Home Safety and Similar Subjects:

  1. There’s old insulation in the attic labeled “rock wool.” Is it really dangerous asbestos?

  2. Why does the laminate wood floor move when I walk across it?

  3. Should I use bleach to clean up mold?

  4. There’s an old fuel oil tank underground in the yard. Is it a problem?

  5. What’s is my chance of buying a Gainesville home over a sinkhole?

  6. How can I prevent mold in my Florida winter home when I’m gone for the summer?

  7. How do I remove cigarette odor in a house?

  8. What are the warning signs of a dangerous attic pull-down ladder?

  9. What do you check when you inspect an electric garage door?

  10. What are the warning signs of a dangerous deck?

  11. What causes cracks in a driveway?

  12. When should I replace my smoke alarms?

  13. Why are window security bars dangerous?

  14. Are house numbers required by law in front of a house?

  15. How can a tree damage my house?

  16. What can I do right now to prepare my house for a hurricane?

  17. How do you inspect a dryer vent?

  18. What is radon? Should I be concerned about it in Gainesville?

  19. What is a “cross connection” in a home’s plumbing system?

  20. Is a bare bulb light in a closet alright?

  21. What safety checks will limit my tenant liability in a rental house?

  22. What are the warning signs of a dangerous attic pull-down ladder?

  23. Are carbon monoxide alarms required to be installed in homes in Florida?

  24. How can I check my garage door to make sure it is safe?

  25. What can I do to avoid kitchen accidents and injuries?

  26. Do I need to test for radon when buying a condominium?

  27. What are the warning signs of a dangerous deck?

  28. How can I tell if a window or glass door is safety glass?

  29. What are the green plastic discs in the ground around the house?

  30. How do I look for mold in my mobile home?

  31. Are open stair risers acceptable?

  32. What is aging in place?

How to Look

at a House

A blog with answers
to your questions about

Welcome to our blog!
We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

February 2016 UPDATE:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has acknowledged that they miscalculated the amount of formaldehyde emitted by Lumber Liquidators’ laminated floor products. The agency stated that its “indoor air model used an incorrect value for ceiling height. As a result, the health risks were calculated using airborne concentration estimates about three times lower than they should have been. The higher concentration “could cause increased frequency of asthma symptoms and other respiratory issues for people with asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).”

   Lumber Liquidators plead guilty in 2015 to charges of making false declarations on import documents about the source of the disputed flooring materials, and agreed to a multi-million dollar settlement with the Justice Department. They no longer sell the laminate wood products made in China.

While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
©2016 - McGarry and Madsen Inspection. -

by the material exceeds safety levels set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Over 100 million square feet of Lumber Liquidators laminate flooring is installed in American homes every year, and the company  countered with charges that the wrong test protocol was used.

   It’s important to understand that formaldehyde is present at low levels in even outdoor air all the time, at around 0.03 parts per million (ppm). Also, it is not just produced by industrial processing: automobiles, cigarettes, and burning of wood or natural gas generate formaldehyde gas.

   But reducing the formaldehyde level and eliminating formaldehyde-producing sources within your home is still a sensible thing to do. Here’s a few ways to do it:

  1. If you buy pressed-wood products, confirm that they are made with composites meeting the Ultra Low Emission Formaldehyde (ULEF) or No Added Formaldehyde (NAF) requirements.

  2. Open doors and windows occasionally and use an exhaust fan to air out the house. Modern houses are tightly sealed and insulated, so a regular airing-out is a good policy.

  3. Buy only solid wood furniture or composite wood furniture with sealed surfaces. If you have any newer composite wood furniture that is still emitting formaldehyde gas, remove it from your home. Because the formaldehyde off-gassing diminishes over time, storing the pieces outside of your living area for a while may solve the problem.

  4. Increase ventilation of your home while doing any interior painting or use low VOC paint.

   For more information about formaldehyde, symptoms of formaldehyde exposure, and further recommendations for reducing levels in your home, click on the link below to download the recent report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) entitled “An Update on Formaldehyde.”


Click Below to Link
to Collections of
Blog Posts by Subject

Search This Blog