Home inspection findings by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck, Professional Real Estate Inspector TREC# 9073

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A Tail of Two Dogs

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Thisweek my dog Fritz has a playmate coming over, my father’s dog Senta. Fritz is a Golden Retriever who loves playing in the water, while Senta, the Doberman, does not. Fritz tried to show her the joys of splashing and rolling in puddles, but Senta felt it was beneath her diginity. When my daughter came home, the pair went wild for her attention. My daughter wanted to be in the middle of their play, but it was a bit wild for her. She convinced Fritz to come on the slide, but Senta was just perplexed at this method of play.

Dogs are loving creatures, to their owners at least, but they do present some problems. If you are selling your home, you will never be able to stage it properly with active dogs going about their day. Dog toys, bowls, and whatever they decided to pull off of your counters would not leave a good impression. You may not notice it,but there is the odor too. It may be best to let your pet take a vacation during that time.

After this week is done, I will have to repaint doors. You just cannot convince a dog to use the door handle every time. With scratch marks, you have to sand, prime, and then paint. A little touch up paint does not work, since the scratches will have dug into the wood of the door. Fritz decided that he was not going to use the door at one point. He removed the carpet, so he could dig under the door. The cement did not give, but he gave it his best shot. If your dog manages to pull the carpet away, check to see if the edges are frayed. If everything is in tact, pull the carpet back onto the strip with the nails poking out. Personally, I found that tile floors work best with our four legged friends. I just have to mop up after muddy adventures. For mud tracks in carpet, use a little ammonia in water. Dab up and down to remove the stain. Swirling about drives the dirt down into the carpet.

The backyard has suffered the most. I did plan out my garden based on Fritz’s needs rather than my own. Dogs love their paths, and they will simply remove any obstacle that is in their way. Since Senta follows him, most of my pants are safe. Watch how your dog moves through the space in the yard, and you will know where you should not plant, and where you can. The lawn takes the most harsh treatment. Their bathroom breaks can kill grass. I use some agricultural gypsum every so often to lessen that blow. I spread it by hand. However, my lawn is not all grass. Under the abuse of running dogs, I found that I would need to put a lot of care into the lawn, if I wanted it to look nice. Adding fertilizers was not in my plan. I did not want to overdo this treatment, and have the excess run off with the storm water. Even organics can have a detrimental effect when overused. I leave my grass clippings on the lawn, which helps with the health of the grass. In the backyard, I do allow non-grasses to be part of my scheme. Dollar weed is actually a Chinese herb. It has a taste between celery and carrots, and it is said to help with memory loss. I allow it to nuzzle into my lawn. I have also planted thyme in the yard. Lemon thyme gives off a wonderful aroma when cut. I do have some mint, but it can grow quite high at times. I planted some bulbs too. Their heads are stating to pop up now. I cannot wait for the flowers. I think the bulbs where just my excuse to my wife to explain why I cannot cut the grass. In general, I do not try to fight the weeds. I let them bring their own shades of green to the yard.

Dogs make wonderful pets, and thieves have been less likely to enter a home with a barking dog inside. However, you do need to learn to live with them.

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© Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Home Inspector Houston, Texas
Frank Theodor Schulte-Ladbeck
home inspector, TREC# 9073
Houston , Texas , 77063 United States

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