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Owning a home is the single most important investment most of us will make, and understanding how your home is constructed, as well as how the systems in the home operate is important.  YOUR SkyTech Team is constantly striving to make sure that you are equipped with the knowledge and understanding that will allow you to keep your home in good condition for years to come.

Here are some informational and technical articles and documents that we hope you and your clients will find interesting and helpful. Fee free to browse our technical library for any information that you may find interesting, informative, and helpful.  It’s just one more way that YOUR SkyTech Team is looking out for YOU!

Give Your Clients Some “Bang For The Buck” In 2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND YOURS!

2018 was a great year and we’re thankful for having the opportunity to work with professionals like YOU. We’re looking forward to a happy and prosperous 2019 and wish the best for you and your clients as well!
We at SkyTech of New Mexico consistently strive to provide our Real Estate Professionals and their Clients with as much useful information as possible regarding potential listing or purchase properties, so you won’t want to pass up this valuable limited-time offer…
For a limited time,YOUR SkyTech of New Mexico Team is offering a FREE Certified Home Energy Report with every Standard Residential Inspection that we perform for you!
Your FREE Home Energy Reportwill help you and your clients to:
  • Estimate the home’s yearly energy usage
  • Pinpoint potential energy inefficiencies
  • Develop recommendations for energy improvements
  • Determine potential future energy savings
You’ll also be able to gain valuable information about the efficiency of the major systems in the home, and your report will provide recommendations for improvements that can help reduce energy costs while making the home more comfortable year round.
The FREE Home Energy Report is also a GREAT tool when listing a property!!
Take advantage of this FREE offer TODAY by contacting us at 505-445-8300 or scheduling ONLINE at www.skytechnm.com and using the promotional code 19ENERGY
It’s just one more way that YOUR SkyTech of New MexicoTeam is looking out for YOU!

Resolutions Are Out!

Resolutions Are Out!

2019 Has Arrived!

Many people will be optimistically setting themselves New Year’s resolutions. It seems to be an unwritten rule. Common resolutions are to eat healthier, get more exercise and to save more money. Other people agree that they won’t be bothering with any resolutions. The problem is resolutions are hard to keep! All that wasted effort thinking them up… then they are out the window before the end of January. How about trying something different this year. Maybe it would be easier to stick to your goals for 2019!

Make a list of FUN things to accomplish.

Forget the pressure. Create a list of fun things to accomplish this year. No order, no time limits just a list to choose from. Go to the restaurant that you have been wanting to go to for years, take up a new hobby, learn to cook or to play an instrument, find volunteer opportunities that allow you to meet new people, read more books, or set a goal to do something kind every day for 2019. Make the things on your list something to look forward to. Don’t pressure yourself to accomplish them all.

Challenge Yourself Monthly

Pick a different task to focus on each month. Home improvement, volunteerism, money, hobbies and fitness are all great goals. Choose goals that are important to you. Challenge a family member, friend or co-worker to do this with you. Friendly competition can make things fun and exciting. Keeping the challenge short term helps keep the momentum and focus going. Reward yourself when you meet your goal each month.

Make a Top 10 list

Start by making a personal top ten idea list for 2019. Keep these ideas in mind when you make your monthly challenge. Don’t use the list as a must do but as a resource to motivate yourself when you need inspiration.

MAKE IT FUN IN 2019!

 

Holiday Resources for Veterans And Service Members

VETERANS HOLIDAY ORGANIZATIONS

Christmas can be a hard time of year for many veterans. There is help out there, not only during the holiday season but year round. There are many organizations who will assist active duty members and veterans in crisis or with day to day needs. Whether it is temporary holiday help, or longer term assistance, veterans can connect with any of these organizations by phone or online and they will assist you with your needs, or connect you with an organization that is best suited to help you. CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW FOR MORE ASSISTANCE.

AMERICAN LEGION POST 1 – The American Legion has a number of programs to stand by and support the veterans and their families during their service to the nation and when they return home.

  • 1601 Berry Ave  Santa Fe, 87505
    • 505-982-9622
    • www.legion.org

VEHICLES FOR VETERANS NEW MEXICO – Supporting Disabled Veterans

VETERANS CRISIS LINE

DAV NEW MEXICO – Veterans transportation to medical appointments at the various VA hospitals and clinics around New Mexico.

ELKS LODGE #460 – Elks pledge “So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them.” The Elks National Veterans Service Commission takes that pledge one step further, and promises service to our nation’s veterans and military members, with a special focus on service to those in need.

  • (505) 983-7711
  • 1615 Old Pecos Trl
    Santa Fe, NM 87505-4736
  • www.elks.org
  • ADOPT A VETERAN
  • WELCOME HOMEHONOR FLIGHT NORTHERN NEW MEXICOHonor Flight of Northern New Mexico is a 501c-3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing Veterans with honor and closure by taking them free of charge to reflect up on their memorials in Washington, D.C.  Priority is currently being given to World War II and Korean War Veterans as well as terminally ill veterans from other conflicts

IRAN AND AFGHANISTAN VETERANS – We know coming home isn’t easy. If you’re a veteran or a veteran family member facing transition-related challenges or have questions, we can help.

OPERATION HOME FRONT – We  build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive — not simply struggle to get by — in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. For over fifteen years, we have provided programs that offer: RELIEF (through Critical Financial Assistance and transitional housing programs), RESILIENCY (through permanent housing and caregiver support services) and RECURRING FAMILY SUPPORT programs and services throughout the year that help military families overcome the short-term bumps in the road so they don’t become long-term chronic problems. OPERATION HOME FRONT HAS CRITICAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS IF YOU ARE IN NEED.

NATIONAL COALITION FOR HOMELESS VETERANS – IF YOU NEED HELP WITH HOMELESSNESS CONTACT THEM TODAY

  • www.nchv.org
  • Call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838)

RED CROSS – The Red Cross helps members of the military, veterans and their families prepare for, cope with, and respond to, the challenges of military service.

SALVATION ARMY – The Salvation Army exists to meet human need wherever, whenever, and however we can.

SEMPER FI FUND – Proven. Effective. Immediate. We provide financial assistance and lifetime support to combat wounded, critically ill and catastrophically injured service members and their families.

SOLDIERS ANGELS – Soldiers’ Angels has many wonderful programs to support our military families, deployed service members, wounded service members and veterans. Our programs are broken into categories based on the population they serve. Soldiers’ Angels offers programs for wounded, deployed, families, and others.

VA VOLUNTEER SERVICES

VFW – The VFW offers a wide range of assistance programs aimed at helping veterans of every generation. Whether that means providing free, professional help filing or appealing a VA claim, offering scholarships for post-secondary education or providing emergency financial relief when times get tough, the VFW is there for America’s veterans.

 

Vincent A. Lopez Joins SkyTech of New Mexico as Vice President and Director of Field Operations

Vincent A. Lopez Joins SkyTech of New Mexico as Vice President and Director of Field Operations

Vincent A. Lopez has recently joined SkyTech Home Inspection Services of New Mexico LLC as Vice President and Director of Field Operations.

Vince is a Santa Fe Native who holds an MBA from LaVerne University, as well as a Bachelor of Science Degree from New York Regents College. Vince has extensive experience in all disciplines of technical operations management, quality assurance and performance of technical evaluations.

SkyTech Home Inspection Services of New Mexico is a full service, Santa Fe-Based Professional Property Inspection Company with over 15 years of experience in both the Residential and Commercial Property Inspection disciplines, serving all of Greater Albuquerque and Northern New Mexico.

Time To Change Your Smoke Alarm Battery

Time To Change Your Smoke Alarm Battery

When you turn back the clocks, don’t forget to also do this 1 crucial thing

When you adjust the clocks for the end of daylight saving time, make sure you do this other very important chore, too.

With daylight saving ending, everyone knows its time for our clocks to fall back (to turn clocks back an hour to the appropriate new time). But there’s one more crucial task that should also be completed with every anniversary of turning the clocks (spring and fall): changing the batteries in smoke alarms, too.

For the last 29 years, Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs have worked to get the word out: When you change the clock this Sunday, November 4, 2018 to end daylight saving time, take the time to also change the batteries in smoke alarms and smoke detectors.

Don’t skip this important chore

This isn’t a feel-good idea, folks. It could save your life. “Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire nearly in half,” Sinclair explained. And the reason almost 71 percent of those smoke alarms failed to operate was because they had missing, disconnected or dead batteries. Don’t make excuses. Change the batteries when you change the clocks!

While you’re at it, Sinclair urges everyone to check and change batteries in carbon monoxide detectors and other safety monitors in your home. But don’t stop there. Offer to change and check batteries in all of these devices for elderly family members or neighbors, too.

Mark your calendar now for 2019. The time change dates are:

The start of daylight savings time: Sunday, March 10, 2019

Daylight savings time ends at 2:00 AM on Sunday, November 3, 2019

When to replace smoke alarms and detectors

Before you head to the store to buy batteries, you should know that the IAFC suggests replacing smoke detectors and smoke alarms every 10 years. How old are your smoke detectors and smoke alarms? Don’t rely on outdated or worn-out devices to protect your family. Replace them. Can you think of a better use of that hour you’re going to gain this weekend?

For more information on the program and to download home safety tips and materials, please visit the Energizer home safety site and the IAFC website.

Credit to:
/ Source: TODAY/TODAY.com

How To Be Sure You Get A Thorough Home Inspection.

How To Be Sure You Get A Thorough Home Inspection.

How to ensure that your New Mexico Home Inspection is performed in as thorough and professional manner as possible…

In order to make the most out of a Home Inspection in New Mexico, it’s important to work with an Inspection Company that that has the experience and technical knowledge necessary to perform a comprehensive evaluation and assessment of the physical structures and systems of the home.

It is important for your Inspection Company to adhere to a comprehensive set of Standards and Practices set forth by a Nationally Recognized Certification Entity or Association such as The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI / www.nachi.org).

At a minimum, your Home Inspection should include an evaluation of the following aspects of the home:

  •  The Structure (Including the foundation, exterior siding or wall cladding, porches and entryways, eaves, soffits and fascias (if applicable), and any other visible and accessible components of the structure.
    •    The Roof (Including the exterior covering and any visible and accessible structural components).
    •    Plumbing System (Including visible and accessible supply and drainage components).
    •    Main Electrical System (Including Circuit Breaker and / or Fuse Panels, Polarity of Interior and Exterior Outlets and Connections, etc.).
    •    Central Heating and / or Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems (As Applicable)
    •    Interior Floor and Wall Components
    •    Ventilation Systems (Including bathroom exhaust and dryer vent systems)
    •    Built-In Appliances
    •    Solid-Fuel or Gas Fireplaces (as applicable)

Your SkyTech Professional Inspection Report will provide a detailed description of the above systems, as well as any problems, deficiencies, or discrepancies discovered during your inspection process in a concise, easy to read format complete with digital photos. In addition to a comprehensive evaluation of the home, your The SkyTech Team will provide you with lifetime technical advice, online scheduling and payment, and prompt, accurate, courteous service.

Give us a call TODAY, or SCHEDULE ONLINE at www.skytechnm.com

Why have a New-Construction Phase-by-Phase Home Inspection?

Why have a New-Construction Phase-by-Phase Home Inspection?

Why request a New-Construction Phase-by-Phase Home Inspection from SkyTech New Mexico?

There are plenty of good reasons to have SkyTech of New Mexico perform a comprehensive, Third-Party New Construction Phase-by-Phase Inspection on your newly built home.

Buying a new house is likely one of, if not THE largest purchase decision you’ll ever make. At times, the entire process can seem to be fraught with emotion and stress.

A Professional, Third-Party New Construction Phase-by-Phase Inspection performed by a SkyTech of New Mexico Professional can help to substantially reduce any risks that may be associated with your large investment. It just makes good sense to learn as much as possible about the installation and serviceability of the systems and components in you newly built home from a neutral, experienced Professional.

Building a new home is a tremendously complex endeavor. It usually involves many people, sometimes separated as large groups of sub-contractors, technicians, and artisans. Even for the best of builders, oversights sometimes do occur. We here at SkyTech of New Mexico understand that.
Perhaps it’s a plumbing fixture that wasn’t leak-tested, or an electrical outlet / supply circuit that is incorrectly wired or not powered, or any one of dozens of minor problems that can easily be overlooked during such a major undertaking.

Your SkyTech of New Mexico Professional Property Inspection Report can help to identify those types of problems while it’s still early enough in the construction process to bring them to the attention of your builder, and have any problems corrected before you “sign on the dotted line” and start moving in.

We at SkyTech of New Mexico will work WITH your Builder in order to ensure that you receive the quality end-product that you deserve.

For a relatively small cost when compared to the cost associated with future repairs, a Third-Party New Construction Phase-by-Phase Inspection of your new dream home performed by SkyTech of New Mexico Professional can pay big dividends in peace of mind and taking care of potential problems BEFORE they can become an unpleasant and COSTLY surprise.
Give us a call today or schedule an appointment online at www.skytechnm.com to see how we can help YOU.

Learn More About Your Roof

Learn More About Your Roof

If you’ve ever experienced a roof leak you never forget it. What a mess! I remember looking up and seeing the spreading stain in our roof when I was stationed in Florida. Envisioning a the soggy mess that our house was about to become, I call a roof specialist and in panic mode explained what was happening. We were lucky to contact a company that was professional and took our panic in stride. We learned a lot and the completely soggy adventure we envisioned was avoided.

Here is some information about roofs that might be helpful in buying a house, talking to your insurance company about homeowners insurance, or helping to avoid panic mode should you be looking at a soggy mess on your ceiling.

Roof Shape Basics

A roof is one of the critical defining elements of any residential dwelling or building. The shape of a roof is important because it determines how well the structure can withstand certain environmental elements like wind and rain runoff. As a homeowner it is important to understand some basics about your roof shape and structure.

Typical Roof Shapes

Most roofs can be categorized into three basic shapes: Gable, Hip, and Flat (or Low Slope).

Gable

A gable roof is identified by a straight slope falling from the top ridge to the eave where the roof structure meets the upper wall sections. Visually, this creates a triangle shape above the walls on the side, front, or rear of a dwelling.

Below are some basic illustrations of some gable roofs:

Hip

A hip roof is easily identified by its “pyramid” shape. On a hip roof, the roof plane breaks along the slope line allowing the roof shape to “bend” or wrap around the structure creating “valleys” at each junction.

Below are some simple illustrations of some hip roofs:

Flat

A flat or “low-slope” roof is self-explanatory. Many roofs in New Mexico fall in this category. Most building codes require that a flat roof must have a certain amount of slope to allow for rain runoff and to avoid standing water or “ponding”. To the left is a sample of a flat roof.

Additional Roof Shapes

Below are some simple illustrations of other roof shapes that are seen across the United States. All of these shapes can be seen in New Mexico:

Eave Details

The eave of a roof system is the outer edge of a roof that encompasses the entire perimeter of the roof.  Most eaves are the “closed” type with a soffit section between the outer edge of the roof perimeter and the building wall.

Below is a breakdown illustration of a typical eave section:

A. Roof – The upper exterior surface of the home.

B. Fascia – A flat horizontal band around a roof’s perimeter.

C. Soffit (Or Box Eave) –An overhang enclosed with a ventilated soffit section that runs horizontally from the eave edge to the side of the building.

D. Cornice –The decorative section just below the roofline. The cornice may be simple or ornate depending on building style.

E. Rake –The pitched edge of a gable roof. Rakes may be close, or extend from the building to allow for an overhang.

The complexity or simplicity of a roof design is normally a combination of engineering specifications and aesthetic preferences, but most roofs fall within the categories described above. Resistance to wind forces during extreme weather conditions is also a function of a roof’s design and shape. This is particularly important to insurance professionals to determination to determine your homeowner’s insurance policy. As A SkyTech client feel free to ask us questions ab0ut your roof and any details that we have provided in your inspection report.

Saving On Energy Costs This Winter

Saving On Energy Costs This Winter

Saving On Energy Costs This Winter

Winter is fast approaching. If you’ve questioned whether your house is insulated enough to provide you with warmth at home and save money on your heating bills, now is the time to understand the R-Value of your home and to deploy some strategies that will help with heating your home and lowering your heating costs. The energy saving tips in this article and an understanding of R-Value and insulation (explained below) will get you started for the sake of your personal comfort, and to ward off a scary heating bill.

10 Ways to Save on Energy Costs This Winter

  1. Use the sun for free heat. …
  2. Bundle up with warm accessories. …
  3. Use ceiling fans to your advantage. …
  4. Adjust the thermostat at night. …
  5. Only heat the rooms you use. …
  6. Keep your furnace clean and unblocked. …
  7. Get a humidifier to add moisture to the air. …
  8. Invest in insulation.
  9. Decorate with LED lights for the holidays.
  10. Only use exhaust fans when necessary.

Click this link from US News for more information on these suggestions.

Insulation R-Value Defined

Energy efficiency has become an increasing concern to homeowners and the Real Estate and Property Insurance Industries. The performance of the insulation products installed in a building or dwelling are important factors to be considered when building, purchasing, or renovating a home or commercial property.

R-Value Defined

RValue is defined as “The measurement used when quantifying the level of a specific material’s thermal resistance”.

How Does R-Value Relate to Insulation?

The function of insulation is to provide resistance to the flow of heat, and R-Value is the measure a material’s resistance to this heat flow.

A high R-value equates to higher resistance to heat flow. An insulation material’s R- Value, in conjunction with where and how it is installed, determines its overall effectiveness.

Quick Fact

Heating and cooling costs for a typical home in the US account for approximately 65% of the home’s total monthly energy usage.

Factors to Consider Regarding Thermal Resistance

When considering R-value as a means to determine the thermal resistance of a building component, there are other factors that must also be taken into account. While R-values are an excellent guide for comparing the attributes of different insulation products, they apply only when the insulation is properly installed.

• For example, if two layers of insulation are compacted and forced into the space intended for only one layer, the R-value does not double.

• Likewise, if a single layer of insulation is compressed during installation, it will not be as effective. Stuffing “batt”-type insulation sized for 5 inches into a 4-inch wall cavity will actually lower its R-value!

• Ensuring that insulation is correctly installed will help allow the product’s full benefits to be realized.

Calculating and Converting R-Value

The equation used to calculate R-value can be helpful not only to Industry Professionals, but it can be helpful to Homeowners as well.

If the R-Value of the insulation is known, the following equation can be used to help calculate heat loss. The equation for determining R-value is as follows: R-Value = Temperature Difference x Area x Time

Heat Loss

  • The Temperature Difference is expressed as T (“Delta T”) and is measured in degrees Fahrenheit (Deg F)
  • The Area is expressed as A and is measured in Square Feet (Sq Ft)
  • The Time is expressed as T and is measured in Hours (H) The Heat Loss is expressed as L and is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU)
  • R-Value = T x A x T / L

Current Regulations Regarding R-Value

In the 1970s, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) created a rule requiring insulation manufacturers to disclose the R-Value of insulation material. This was intended to protect purchasers from false manufacturer claims, as well as to create a standard by which insulation products could be compared. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) regularly issues recommendations for insulation R-values in new and existing homes. The recommendations are based on a comparison of the cost for installing insulation versus potential future energy savings.

Quick Fact

The DOE R-Value recommendations for attics, cathedral ceilings, walls and floors are generally greater than what is actually required by most current building codes.

R-Value Thickness Comparison Matrix

Below is a simple matrix that can useful in determining the R-Value of a material as compared to its thickness:

Knowledge of R-value ratings can be useful, especially when comparing the effectiveness of insulation products, but understanding a bit about how other factors affect a building component’s thermal resistance is important if insulation is to be used to its full benefit. Industry Professionals who are familiar with the basics of insulation R- values can provide “value-added” to their clients should questions regarding a property’s energy efficiency arise.

Water Heater Basics

Water Heater Basics

Most residential dwellings have a tank-type water heater which consists of a cylindrical free-standing tank with plumbing supply and outlet lines at the top of the unit. The most common heat sources for tank water heaters are electricity or gas (either propane or natural gas).

An electric water heater will have a large electrical conduit attached from the dwelling’s main electrical power source (main circuit breaker panel).

A fuel-type or “gas fired” unit will have a large vent duct at the top and a fuel source line close to the bottom of the unit.

A tank water heater not only heats water but stores it until it is needed. This is why all tank water heaters are fitted with insulation material that helps maintain the water at a high temperature between heating cycles.

Tank Water Heater Operation

At the top of all tank water heaters there are the water supply and delivery lines. The supply pipe routes cold water to the bottom of the tank through a Dip Tube. A Delivery Pipe takes water from the top of the unit and delivers it to whatever plumbing fixtures need it such as clothes washers and faucets.

All tank water heaters are equipped with a safety device known as a T&P Valve (temperature-and-pressure relief valve). This valve is designed to open if either the temperature of the water or the pressure inside the tank exceeds a safe limit.

Quick Fact

The T&P valve of a tank water heater is required to be plumbed to expel high-pressure, hot water the exterior of the building or dwelling if the water heater unit is installed on the same floor level as the living area of the home, or if it is installed in the attic space.

If the tank unit is installed below the main floor level of a home (as in the lower floor
area of a garage, it may be plumbed to expel to a drain pan installed below the tank unit.

Tank Water Heater Construction

Most tanks are made of steel with an interior glass lining to help prevent internal corrosion. All tanks also have an Anode Rod designed to control corrosion.

The anode rod essentially protects the tank by corroding in place of the steel. Because the rod is designed to corrode, it will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. It’s a good idea to check the anode rod once a year, and replace it if necessary.

At the bottom of every tank is a drain for emptying the tank. There is also valve on the supply pipe (usually at the top of the unit) which allows the ability to shut down the hot- water plumbing without affecting the cold-water supply to the home.

Electric Water Heaters

A typical electric unit is wired to a 220-volt circuit. To heat the water, current passes through heating elements—usually two, one at the middle of the tank and one at the bottom, via a thermostat (a switch that senses water temperature). When the temperature of the water drops below a preset value, the switch closes to allow current flow and opens again when the temperature reaches its preset limit. Most thermostats have a dial for setting the maximum water temperature.

Fuel-Fired Water Heaters

Gas water heaters have an internal burner that is fed fuel through a control valve and a thermostat switch. This burner is usually situated so that the tank is heated by the flame from the burner. Exhaust gases are vented either through a hollow core at the center of the tank or around the tank sides.

Quick Fact

Because fuel-type water heaters use actual flames to heat the water in the tank, the unit experiences a higher degree of material wear and degradation when operating. The life expectancy of a gas-type water heater is usually less than an electric unit.

Heater Effectiveness

The capacity of the tank, and the rate at which water is heated, affect the supply of hot water at the plumbing fixtures.

The speed at which a unit heats water is called its recovery rate. This figure indicates the amount of
water in gallons that can be heated to 100 degrees F in 1 hour. When water is drawn from the tank faster than it is being heated (as during a 45 minute College Student shower…), the temperature of the water will drop. This is commonly known as “Running out of hot water”.

Typically, heaters with low recovery rates have a high tank capacity. Although it takes longer to heat the water, there’s more of it for intermittent use. Electric units fall into this category. Conversely, a fuel-fired heater with a high recovery rate needn’t have as large of a large tank, because it can heat the water faster. In general, electric models have the lowest recovery rate, and gas units have the highest.

Tankless Heaters

Tankless water heaters are becoming more and more common due to their energy efficiency and virtually unlimited supply of hot water. They are available in both electric and fuel-fired (gas) varieties. Because tankless heaters only heat water as it’s used, no energy is required to maintain water at a specific temperature for long periods of time like the tank-type units.

Tankless Unit Principle of Operation

The tankless system uses a heat exchanger to heat the water. The heat exchanger aids in transferring the heat from the gas burner (gas heater) or electric coils (electric heater) to the incoming cold water.

When a hot water tap is opened, incoming cold water passes through the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger heats water according to the specified temperature and hot water is supplied back to the tap via the hot water piping system.

There is flow sensor or flow switch which detects the water flow and turns on the system to heat the water.

Regardless of the type of unit installed, a basic understanding of the principles of water heater operation is helpful when advising clients during the real estate or insurance transaction process.