February Newsletter



Axiom Property Inspections

Monthly Home Inspection Newsletter

February 2011 Edition    

Spring Checkup Time Is Here

Spring time is a good time to catch up on all that maintenance you have been putting off all winter.  Plus it will allow you to really enjoy sitting in your yard.  Let me show you a list of small items that every home owner can do on an annual basis in the spring.  

  • Spring is coming and all the vegetation will be vibrant soon.  It would be a great time to check your sprinkler system coverage to make sure that everything is functioning properly.  To do that, operate your sprinkler system in the"Manual" mode.  The instructions should be inside your controller box.  Turn the stations on one at a time and go out and check each sprinkler or drip head.  Check to make sure the heads are not clogged.  Some sprinkler heads may be partially clogged making it spray on your house or your fence.  Las Vegas water and concrete do not do well together.  The calcium in the water here will break down concrete slowly and cause it to sluff off the house or fence.  Checking your sprinklers does more then protect your vegetation.  Check all the drip system head to make sure the are not clogged or broken off.  Clean or replace accordingly.  Also, replace them with the same size drip head.  Take each drip head you want to replace down to the nursery with you. Ask for assistance getting the same size drip head.  By design, the amount of water distributed from drip head varies greatly.  If you have trees or shrubs that have grown considerably you may want to increase the flow by adding a drip head that releases more gallons per hour. 
  • Have you fed your yard lately?  If you haven't it is probably hungry.  Now would be a great time to apply some fertilizer to your yard.  It is best to apply fertilizer to tender vegetation like grass when the weather is cooler.  If you are using a dry fertilizer be sure to water after the application.  This will wash the dust of the fertilizer off the grass and keep it from getting fertilizer burn.  You should never fertilize on a hot day during the summer as it is possible to burn or even kill your grass. 
  • Now that we have the grass and watering systems taken care of,  lets look at those trees.  It is a good time to cut any trees that are contacting your roof or any unsightly vegetation.   Tree limbs rubbing your roof can cause roof damage and should be pruned back or possibly eliminated.  No one wants to cut down that big tree, but depending on the tree, its root system may damage your homes foundation.  I have an Arizona Ash tree which had roots that traveled over 15 feet and damaged my sidewalk right here in Las Vegas.  With the dry climate here trees will send there root under a house foundation to get water because there is more there than there is out in an under covered area.  Home inspectors look closely for damage due to tree root.  Typically, a tree should not be within 20 feet of a homes foundation.  So, trimming those trees could save you a big foundation repair bill later.
  • If you are planning a spring garden now would be a good time to plant those tomatoes.  Tomatoes can not set their bloom when the temperature is 90 degrees or greater.  So if you want to actually get some ripe tomatoes you need to plant them earlier so the blooms set before it gets 90 degrees outside.  We all know how soon that happens in Las Vegas. 
  • If you are going to plant a container garden now is the time to get those pots ready.  Don't use clay pots as they will cook your plant's root system in the summer heat.  The best pots to use in our extreme heat are the styrofoam pots.  While they are not that sturdy they do provide insulation from the summer sun.  Group your pots closely together so they share the humidity from the soil and plant transpiration.  It is wise to install a drip system on a timer to keep your plants watered every day.  And yes, I did say every day.  Your plants wont make it here in the summer in pots if you dont water every day.  Even if you use the styrofoam pots the transpiration process of the plants in the extreme heat will cause the plant to pull the moisture out of the soil.  Also, some sort of plant sun screen is very beneficially in the summer.  Shading the plants will help them tremendously.  If you are going to build a planter don't do it against a wall or fence.  Las Vegas home Inspectors always write up those types of observations.
  • An old method of preserving tomatoes used by farmers prior to refrigeration and modern canning methods was taught to me by my grandmother.  She ran a 150 acres farm until she died at the age of 86.  I use to pick her brain and  one of the things she taught me in life was how to preserve tomatoes year round without canning them.  She told me that since they had pot belly stoves back then that they collected the all ashes for soap and preservation of food.  They would pick fresh vine ripened tomatoes and eat what they wanted at the time and the remainder were preserved in ashes.  She told me they took a wash tub and put a layer of paper in the bottom and then a layer of ashes about two inches deep.  Then the tomatoes were placed on the ashes one at a time making sure they did not touch each other.  Then another layer of ashes was added.  After each layer of tomatoes was covered with ashes they put a piece of newspaper between each layer so the tomatoes would not settle and touch each other.   And these layers continued until the tub was full.  Then stacks of tubs were set aside for when the tomatoes in the garden were gone.  The day you take the tomato out of the ashes it is as fresh as the day you picked it and tastes just like a fresh vine ripened tomato. 



Axiom Property Inspections

Hello, I am David Lawson, owner of Axiom Property Inspections.  Things are picking up a little now for most of us.  Most agents, as well as home inspectors, report that there work has picked up since the first part of January.  That is good news for all of us.

The cookies this months are my very favorite.  The recipe makes 48 very thick- 4 inch cookies.  You can cut this recipe in 1/2 if you like.  If you try them I promise you will love them.   

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4 beaten eggs

2 Cups of Sugar

5 cups of Flour

4 Sticks of 1/2 Butter 1/2 Margarine

1 Cup of Chopped Pecans

2 Tablespoons of Baking Soda

2 Cups of Team Flakes

2 Cups of Brown Sugar

4 Teaspoons of Vanilla

2 Cups of Oatmeal

12 oz of Milk Chocolate Chips

Beat the eggs well and mix all of the ingredience together.  Drop from an ice cream scoop and bake for 12 minutes in a 350 degree preheated oven. This dough freezes well if you want to save some.

Cow Chip Cookies (a Texas thing)


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