Home Inspection Blog

Welcome to Sean’s Home Inspection Corner

This blog is all about home inspections, and the relevant information that people need to know about when considering the purchase of a home. You’ll see articles describing various topics within the inspection industry, along with photos and videos from time to time.

Do you have a question? Just let me know and I can write about it.

Keep checking in to Sean’s Home Inspection Corner because you’ll never know what is lurking behind the next page.

When Is The Best Time To Hire A Home Inspector?

Posted by on Nov 2, 2014 in Articles | 0 comments

Finding a good inspector when you need him/her can be tricky business. It is best to the find one when you want, rather than scrambling at the last minute because you have to close on a deal.

Considering property prices, I suggest setting aside enough time to research the best inspector for your needs. The top inspectors will be booked up to a week or more in advance, especially during the busy season. (Spring & Summer) Take care of the “inspector interview” long before the offer. It is much less stressful this way. Also, in my opinion, only you should be the one to choose the inspector, although many real estate agents will offer their suggestions.

If you want to sell your home and would like to know the deficiencies prior to listing it, call an inspector for a Pre-listing inspection. You can address the problems before the home goes on the market.

After the inspection, you can share the findings with potential buyers. This can make your home easier to sell. More than likely, the buyers will find their own inspector as well. If your pre-listing inspector does a good job for you, there will be few issues. The added bonus… Now you have someone for your own purchase.

Consider the following questions as you choosing your inspector.

  • Will they allow you to tag along during the inspection?
  • Do they communicate clearly?
  • Are they open to taking calls and providing advice after the inspection?
  • What kind of report do they provide? Do they include photos with their reports?
  • Are they licensed, insured and belong to a professional association like CAHPI?
  • Will they provide their standards of practice and contract before the inspection?

Check online to see how others view their work.

Most importantly, find someone who truly cares about protecting you, while providing the best value for the service. You can gauge this by how they react to your interview questions.

For example… Find out if they will allow you to shadow them during the inspection.

It is really a business decision and there is really no right or wrong answer. In my opinion however, clients gain a much better understanding of the home when they can learn throughout the inspection. Others disagree for a variety of reasons.

My last tidbit… With home inspectors as with all professions, I believe you get what you pay for. Anyone with the proper training will learn the skills to be a competent inspector. However, character, ethics & common sense (which can not be taught in any classroom) are the key personality traits that will put any inspector to the test when you really need him. So listen to your gut feeling on this. Hire the one that feels right for you, not the one that fits the last minute time slot or the pocket book.

For more information, feel free to contact me about this or anything home inspection related.

Safer Stairs – Through the eyes of a Home Inspector

Posted by on Jul 8, 2014 in Articles | 0 comments

Although every aspect of a home inspection is important, I want to focus my attention for this piece on stairs, both inside and out.

Every year, many people fall down their stairs because they are unsafe for a number of reasons. Preventable falls contribute to thousands of hospital visits each year due to incorrectly, outdated, damaged or structurally inadequate stairways.

If we go back a number of years, the average stairway was unsafe for a whole host of reasons. It seems, people had to fall (while suffering injuries along the way) before changes took place to allow for better, safer stairways. Even today, despite the injuries many to children and the elderly, unsafe staircases continue to be overlooked.

So what do home inspectors look for when we check out the stairs?

The rise & run – The rise, which is the height of each stair, should be 8 inches. Often and especially along the lower and top stairs, they are either more or less than this height. This can cause tripping, so it is important that they are consistent for safety. If you walk up and down the stairs, you will usually be able to “feel” if it is comfortable. The run, or the tread is the surface that you walk on. It should be at least 10 inches. When these areas are off, then this is a sure sign that the rise (height) or run (length) is off. All stairs should be consistent. When building stairs, be sure to hire a competent contractor with experience building proper stairways.

The Landing – All stairs should have proper landings at the top and bottom. Essentially the landing is a platform at the top or bottom of the stairs. This is important for safety, especially if there is a door at the top of the stairs. Older homes often turn at one side, leaving 1-3 inches along the corners. This is no longer permitted with new construction, and subsequently where many people slip. If you have this arrangement in the place where you live, see if you can have it fixed. If not, be very careful and stay to the side that has a wider and longer tread.

The railings – Often, older homes do not have stairway railings, especially in the basement. And if they do, many of the rails are not safe. All railings must be at least 36 inches in height. If facing an open space ithey must have pickets installed every 4 inches. (Have you ever noticed a main hall or entrance stairway where there are no pickets on the rails leading up to the top floor?) Neither have I. This would seem weird, even for a non-home inspector.  So, why is it ok for basements? It isn’t, but people tend to miss this detail all of the time. Interior railings should be properly secured to the wall along the inside and sturdy.

Outside handrails are often too wide. They must be no more than 4 inches wide and round, to allow people to hold on in case they slip. Also, any set of stairs with three or more requires a railing.

The structure – the stairs must be properly supported so they do not move. If they are outside, the posts should be placed in proper footings & the stringers adequately secured. Wood stairs should not be in contact with concrete, as moisture can seep into the wood and cause rot damage sooner than later. Exterior stairs should not rise above one floor without a turn in direction or proper landing.

Maintenance – Exterior wooden stairs should be pressure treated and painted/stained to allow them to last longer. I recommend placing a non-stick adhesive, such as asphalt strips on the treads to prevent slipping. It is a good idea to test the railings to ensure they are strong and secure. Loose and rotten stairways can lead to unnecessary injuries.

Whether you are on a search to buy a home or if you own your own, make sure to check the stairs for safety. If you see areas for improvement, then take the necessary steps, (haha) to ensure they will be safe for you and your family.

For more info, send me an email or call and I’ll help you out

Moldy Washing Machine?

Posted by on Jan 26, 2014 in Articles, Case Studies | 0 comments

Do you ever notice musty, moldy smells coming from your front-loading high efficient washing machine? This problem may in fact be more common than you think…

Over the past year or so, when conducting mold inspections with my Mold Detection Dog Marni, we have discovered that many of these newer high efficiency front -loading machines smell like mold.

Actually, it was Marni who showed me first. She is specifically trained to alert me by sitting, and then pointing with her nose when she finds an area of the home where she suspects past or present mold growth. After a number of inspections, she kept sitting right in front of these newer front-loading washing machines.
Sure enough, they had a musty odour.

I thought this was unusual at first because washing machines are designed to wash and clean, not promote mold growth. But as this pattern of musty washing machines continued, I wanted to learn more.
I did some research and found out that some of the top manufacturers of these machines are facing lawsuits. Large concentrations of indoor mold can be a health concern especially if it is growing inside thousands of washing machines. Intriguing, yet scary… so I thought I would dig a little bit deeper and get to the bottom of it.

I ended up calling Chris Hilliker from Cambie Appliance and Refrigeration (a local & very credible expert on appliances) to see if he could give me some insight on the situation and provide some ideas for at least reducing the affects of moldy washing machines. After a great discussion I thought I would share some of his
suggestions below.

1) Make sure the detergent is HE or (High Efficient) and use as little as you can get away with. Add ½ to ¼ a cup of vinegar to the wash cycle, resulting in cleaner softer clothes.
2) Be sure to leave the door open slightly between washes.
3) When washing, use a product called Affresh according to manufacturer instructions. This can be found at Trail Appliance in Richmond at the back of the store in the Reliable Parts section.
4) It is a good idea to clean out the rubber drum after each use to prevent scum, hair and debris build up.
5) Consider adding about 5-6 drops of Lavender oil in the fabric softener side of the machine. However, it is best to check with the manufacturer to see if it is acceptable for your machine.

In addition to reducing those moldy smells from your washing machine he has a number of other tips for washing machines, dishwashers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, garburators, stove and ovens.

If you are in the Vancouver area and looking for and credible appliance expert check out, http://cambieappliance.com

Common Signs of Marijuana Grow-ops

Posted by on Dec 17, 2013 in Articles | 0 comments

Common Signs of Marijuana Grow-ops

Over the past few years I have had the privilege of learning about legal and illegal marijuana grow-ops. According to the RCMP (the foremost authority on the subject) thousands of illegal marijuana grow operations exist in the lower mainland & throughout BC. Knowing the signs of a grow-op is an important part of our job as we work to protect the interests of the public.

When residential homes are used as grow-ops, they are subjected to significant structural and mold damage. More disturbing, many grow ops have people living inside, which is very unsafe. Electrical safety issues, combined with barred windows can turn these properties into firetraps. The excess moisture created from these activities often promotes the growth of toxic mold, which can result in significant health concerns for the people living inside.

Once a home has been labeled as a grow op, it can be very difficult to sell, which is why some home owners will try their best to cover up the damage. Sometimes the signs are obvious, but sophisticated and clever techniques can make diagnosing a past grow op more challenging.

Below, I have listed a number of clues to look for, which will hopefully give you some additional knowledge before purchasing such a property.

  • A strong moldy odour inside the homeGrow ops rely on significant amounts of water and heat to create the ideal growth opportunity. Along with that comes the excessive humidity that can migrate into the walls of the building. Overtime, moisture, heat and drywall (food source for mold) create the perfect environment for mold to flourish. The more mold growth, the more problematic for the building and inhabitants.
  • Circular stains on the floors from potted plantsIn many grow ops, the floors are filled with pot plants. The excess water and chemicals used to grow these plants leave circular stains on the floors. Often these stains are on basement floors, but not always. Also, prior to selling, homeowners may install carpets over the floors to hide the staining. This clue may not be apparent until you renovate.
  • Strange, unusually altered or disconnected ductworkGrow operators have been know to reconfigure the existing heat ducts to accommodate the venting requirements needed for a grow op. Sometimes this arrangement is accompanied by the use of the carbon monoxide given off from furnaces and water heaters. In this case, their flues have been disconnected to provide the nourishment for the plants to thrive. This condition is especially dangerous to anyone either entering or living in the home.
  • Random, holes or repairs in the floors, walls, ceilings & the Foundation wallThis damage is created to provide the necessary venting and electrical runs that all grow ops need to work. Voids can be felt under carpet floors and patches seen along the walls and ceilings. At times, serious structural issues can arise when load bearing beams, floors and foundations have been compromised.
  • Evidence of security cameras installed on the exteriorThey are typically located in the front and back of the home along the corners, on the second level for the best coverage. Many times the cameras have been removed, but the mounting holes have been left behind. These cameras offer operators some peace of mind from rivals or the police, but would be overkill for the average homeowner, which makes it an obvious sign.
  • Strange modifications to electrical panels and/or sub panels installed randomly throughout the homeThis would certainly be a most probable sign pointing to the presence of a past grow-op. As mentioned, significant dangers can arise from these electrical configurations as well as the possibility of “creative” wiring behind finished areas, which is often accompanied by exposed junction boxes. All of these concerns can lead to electrical fires.
  • Significant mold growth in the attic, or dark stains seen from the soffits belowIf it doesn’t seem feasible to vent the exhaust through the roof or out the exterior wall, some operators will try and vent out through the soffit or into the attic. Soffit venting is common, (and in my opinion not recommended) even for a non grow-op home. When excess humidity is being pushed out through the soffit, visible staining will become apparent. Inside the attic the sheathing will quite likely be covered in dark fungal staining and mold growth. The longer the operation, the more damage to the roof decking.
  • Fortified doors with brackets and a 2×4, or several windows with barsAnother form of protection apart from the security cameras would be is the fortification of exterior doors and windows. I usually see them in the basement. This too would certainly cause me to raise my eyebrows and ask a few questions. Here again is an example of a firetrap.
  • Melted snow on the roof, compared to snow covered roofs on nearby homesAfter a snowfall, properly insulated roofs will be covered with snow. The upper attic will be cold and the floor will be warm. However, grow-ops produce a lot of warm, humid air that rises into the attic. This warm air causes the rooftop snow to melt.
  • Significant condensation along the windowsThis is caused by the excessive indoor humidity, resulting from the high heat, moisture and inadequate venting. This interior moisture contributes to the overall moisture damage & mold growth inside the home.

Depending on the type of conditions found, and areas affected, costs for rehabilitation can vary dramatically. In some extreme cases the entire home will have to be demolished.

Noticing a few of these signs does not mean that the home was in fact a grow-op. But the more signs you see in one home, the more likely it is to be.

If you suspect that a home for sale may have been a grow-op, ask to find out why certain modifications have been done. See if the owners have permits for the renovations, especially if they involve electrical or structural changes. Ask if you can have permission to call the city about the home to discover more. Essentially, you want to obtain as much historical information about the property as possible.

Other steps you can take include hiring an environmental company for indoor air quality & mold testing, an electrician to check the electrical system, speaking to the RCMP, and of course hiring a home inspector.

For more information, feel free to call me and I’ll point you in the right direction.

Hidden Junction Boxes & Outdated Smoke Detectors

Posted by on Dec 2, 2013 in Case Studies | 0 comments

Hidden Junction Boxes & Outdated Smoke Detectors

I was on a recent home inspection in Vancouver, looking through a 1970’s home. The house had been renovated a few times, so I had my radar tuned for what I would call “creative building practices”. One of the clues that immediately piqued my curiosity was the installation of suspended ceiling tiles in the basement.  In practice, there is nothing wrong with them. However, homeowners install these ceilings to make ongoing renovations easier when working with heating, plumbing or electrical systems, for example.

As home inspectors, we are not required to remove ceiling tiles. At the same time, I think it can be beneficial in selected areas, especially when inspecting renovated homes.

On this fine day I found a hidden smoke detector and some junction boxes without a cover plates.  BTW, these issues would be considered electrical safety concerns.

First I’ll discuss the smoke detector. All levels of a home must have a current smoke detector installed, on the ceiling, ideally outside the bedrooms. Before I lifted any of the suspended tiles, I was busy searching for a smoke detector, which I could not find. I thought that it had either been removed or was hidden.

Although I was happy to finally discover the smoke detector (above the ceiling tiles), I was quick to point out that it was outdated and quite possibly non-functional. Since the mid 1990’s all smoke detectors should be hardwired and interconnected throughout the entire home. This way, the inhabitants will hear the alarm even if one has been activated on a different level. Smoke detectors typically last 6-10 years and are 50% less effective after 10 years. In addition, they require testing approximately every 6 months. My recommendation was to have an electrician install new, interconnected and accessible smoke detectors throughout the home as soon as possible.

Now on the to hidden junction boxes… I found at two hidden, unprotected junction boxes above the suspended tiles. I was curious about this because the home was over 30 years old and had gone through some renovations. (no permits provided) Also, I was not able to find any junction boxes, so I knew they were somewhere hidden from view.

Without exception, all junction boxes must be accessible & protected with cover plates to contain possible fire or electrical hazards.  Other associated concerns include connecting aluminum & copper wires (incorrectly), exposed wires, loose connections, overloaded wires and splices and any missing junction boxes when connected to light fixtures; to name a few. Switch boxes and outlets need to have cover plates as well. All of these issues can cause electrical fires and or shock hazards.

So, with a bit of extra effort, I was able to uncover some electrical concerns for immediate repair. I explained the potential implications of what I found to the buyers. I recommended immediate correction of these electrical issues by a licensed electrician… while suggesting a thorough check of the electrical system for overall safety. I also thought that it would be a good idea to provide a new, accurate label on the service panel for easy reference in the event of future electrical repairs or renovations. Other electrical recommendations were noted, but for the purpose of this case study, I will not mention them all

By the end of the 5 + hour inspection I was tired, yet satisfied that I was able to arm my clients with some important safety information that they needed to know about.

For additional details relating to some common electrical issues that home inspections find, take a look at the link Common Electrical Problems and be safe.

Mold In The Crawl Space

Posted by on Oct 31, 2013 in Articles | 0 comments

Mold In The Crawl Space

Here in the wet west coast, or in the city I like to refer to as “Raincouver” we are at a considerable disadvantage to dryer areas, so understanding the moisture issues that affect the home is critical.

The No.1 reason for continued mold growth in the crawl space (or anywhere else for that matter) is due to moisture.

Why is mold in the crawl space more problematic than other areas of the home, such as the attic? Accumulated crawl space mold can go undetected for years, negatively affecting the indoor air quality for the people living above. Attic mold, although not desirable mainly for structural reasons, will not likely affect those living in the home below. Air in the attic tends to rise, as does air in the crawlspace. When attic air rises, it escapes. When crawl space air rises, it pollutes the household.

Heath issues associated with prolonged exposure to mold, especially for young children, the elderly and those with respiratory issues is already a large-scale concern.

Crawl spaces with dirt floors are the worst. The earth continually releases litres of vapor moisture into the crawl space. In as little as 24 hours, if the conditions are right, mold can grow and eventually migrate into the home. Moisture seeps from the outside in, through concrete foundation walls.

The following outside conditions can be blamed on moldy crawl spaces:

  • Foundation cracks
  • Poor above and below grade drainage
  • Leaking or overflowing gutters
  • Vegetation against the foundation
  • Conditions favorable to pooling, such as poorly sloped homes
  • Soil beds and sprinkler systems against the foundation wall
  • Homes without water proof membranes or moisture barriers

Other contributing factors to mold growth include storage items of any paper based or organic material. Mold grows on anything organic, especially paper or cardboard. Subsequently, mold destroys not only wood, but also personal documents and cherished photographs. If you must use the crawl space for storage, put these items in dry, sealed plastic bins.

As mentioned above, mold is dangerous to people and animals living in the home. Mold spores travel up into the house through voids caused by heat and plumbing contractors. All gaps between the crawl space and the living quarters should be properly sealed, with insulation, or tuck tape for example. The crawl space access door should be weather-stripped, insulated and tightly sealed.
Typically, crawl spaces are dirty, damp, harbour pests and can be unsafe, which is why most people tend to avoid them… and why I always wear a respirator when I inspect them.

If all crawl spaces were built like basements, they would be tolerable. In fact, crawl spaces should actually be conditioned, or heated like a basement. Contrary to conventional wisdom, they should not be vented. The reason for this is two fold. Vents allow moist cold air into the crawl space during the winter, so the issue is obvious. In the summer the vents allow warm air in. When the newly introduced warm air comes in contact with the cooler materials inside, condensation forms. So, it really doesn’t matter what the weather is like, vents contribute to mold in the crawl space.

If you happen discover a significant mold problem in your crawl space, you will have to call a remediation company. Costs to both your wallet and health can be considerable, so consider the tips in this article. My best advice… keep the crawl space dry, sealed, insulated and warm.

For more information on this topic, take a look at the other mold related articles on my blog or feel free to contact me. Take care and keep your crawl space mold free.

Mold Detection Dog Marni

Posted by on Mar 2, 2013 in Articles, News | 0 comments

Here is an article about my Mold sniffing dog Marni as featured in the Richmond News for her incredible ability to sniff and seek out mold in buildings…

Click here to learn more…

Window Condensation in the Winter and What To Do About it

Posted by on Dec 12, 2012 in Articles | 0 comments

Window Condensation in the Winter and What To Do About it

Why does condensation accumulate on windows and sills in the winter?

The answer stems from indoor humidity levels and temperature. Cold air does not have the ability to hold moisture as well as warm air. In addition, there is always moisture in the home. When this moisture cannot escape, it makes contact with the cold window surface… Now you have a perfect scenario for creating condensation.

Consider this example: When you take a can of pop out of the fridge and place it on the table, you’ll quickly notice water droplets on the outside of the can. (Condensation) The principle is the same, except we are talking about windows.

Other contributing factors include vapor diffusion throughout the home from wet building materials, poor balance of ventilation systems, improper use of exhaust fans in the bathrooms and kitchen, wet items left in the home and, believe it or not… people breathing.

If you are concerned that you may have high humidity levels in your home, you can purchase a hygrometer to measure moisture levels. For our environment in the Vancouver area, a good level to maintain is 55%.

Condensation is especially problematic with single pane, metal framed windows, most commonly found in older homes. When left unchecked, these older window assemblies will result in moisture damage, creating wood rot and mold growth to the window sills and corners. Newer, homes with tight building envelopes experience problems as well when metal framed windows have been installed. Be mindful however, windows are not the cause of condensation, high indoor humidity is the problem.

So how do we solve this problem?  The best way is to reduce indoor moisture levels by…

  •  Removing condensation from windows. On cold mornings, you’ll see a build up of moisture, or in some cases, frost. Simply take a cloth and wipe it away.
  •  Using proper ventilation when you cook, shower, wash clothing & dishes. All of these activities contribute to considerable moisture levels within your home. So it is always a good idea to keep the bathroom exhaust fan on before, while and after a hot bath or shower for a period of at least 20 minutes. Ensure that the fan is in good working condition and pulling enough CFMs (cubic feet per minute). In the kitchen, it is necessary to have a working fan that vents outside. Recalculating fans do noting to solve your indoor moisture issues.
  •  Maintaining a warm dry indoor temperature. When the temperature is warmer, less condensation will occur.
  •  Moving plants away from windows. Plants release a lot of moisture, so it is best to keep them away from the windows.
  •  Opening windows daily, for short periods of time. The introduction of fresh air into the home will help dilute and allow some of the moist air to escape. If you have the budget, install an HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation) system.
  •  Servicing your furnace or boiler. The proper heat distribution balance and air intake for these combustion appliances can affect indoor moisture levels.
  •  Venting all large appliances outside. Laundry machines need to have all of the warm moist air to exhaust outside. So check the laundry connection points to ensure that they are properly installed and venting outside, not in the walls or attic.
  •  Installing double/triple pane, low E, vinyl windows. If you have double pane windows that have lost their seals, or there is significant damage in and around the window frame, then I suggest replacement.  Vinyl frame windows do not fluctuate in temperature as metal does. Note- Replacing your windows is expensive, so don’t run out and buy new windows without addressing the indoor environmental factors first.

When it comes to maintaining the window sills, be sure to monitor them often, keep them clean and paint only in the summer when the weather is dry.

To learn more about this topic or other issues relating to the home, call me at 604-729-4261 or send an email. 

Vancouver Home and Design Show ~ Innovative solutions

Posted by on Oct 14, 2012 in Articles | 0 comments

Yesterday afternoon, I made a trip down to the Vancouver Home + Design show at BC place stadium. There were a large number of exhibitors at the show… Everything was there, including home maintenance to cleaning products and food sellers.

If you are a potential or new homeowner, this is a good place to spend an hour to two, if not just to get a few ideas for making your home more comfortable, for that rainy day (which it was of course).

Some of the more interesting vendors/services that stuck out in my mind were BC Hydro. October is Power Smart month. If you go to their website, www.bchydro.com you can save some money on energy efficient light bulbs and learn more about saving energy as well.

Another company that I thought had some interesting products was Garage Guru. They provide excellent storage solutions for making the best use of a garage space… because let’s face it, we all could use better storage ideas for a cluttered garage.  The website is http://garageguru.ca. If you are in Vancouver, check out their local site… http://www.garagestoragevancouver.ca/

If you want to engage in a green approach to doing your laundry, check out this company. www.smartkleanlaundry.com. They provide a solution that allows you to do your laundry without the use of detergent, saves money, does not pollute and apparently reduces allergens, just to name a few. They also claim to have solutions for a clean septic system.

Did you know that you now have an option to rent a water heater in BC? This is the first I have heard of this in our province. As an inspector, people ask me from time to time about this. This makes sense for a homebuyer that may not want to pay up front for the cost, or if you are planning to make a move and want to invest elsewhere. Take a look at www.rentatank.ca to learn more.

For those of you worried about mold in the home, Basement Systems Vancouver has a new type of flooring system called “A mold free flooring system”.  I have mentioned this company in prior blogs as they are useful in providing solutions for leaky basements & crawlspaces. You can learn more by going to www.bsv.ca.

These were just a few of my personal highlights from the show… but you can take a look at the exhibitor list on the website to find other interesting ideas for your home at www.vancouverhomeanddesignshow.com.

To learn more about home inspections, mold and maintenance tips I am always happy to help you out. Contact me at 604-729-4261.

Habitat for Humanity – Volunteer For A Great Cause

Posted by on Oct 2, 2012 in Articles | 0 comments

Habitat for Humanity – Volunteer For A Great Cause

Recently, I was invited to make a presentation on Home Maintenance for a number of families in the Habitat for Humanity circle of Greater Vancouver.  This was a truly a rewarding experience. As a home inspector, I see the importance of home maintenance, especially when it comes to realizing the responsibly of home ownership. It was especially gratifying to see the level interest and curiosity, as I received a number of questions from the families I was presenting to.

I’m sharing this post to give you a better about this organization and acknowledge them for the wonderful work and service they provide to our communities.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization, dedicated to helping low income families find affordable housing. They have a number of programs set up to assist their families with achieving the dream of independently owning their homes.

There are several programs and ways to support Habitat for Humanity… through donation, sponsorship, shopping, volunteering or advocacy.

One of the easiest ways for you to contribute is to shop at one of their ReStores the next time you are looking for a something for your home.

Visit their website at http://www.habitat.ca to lean more about Habitat for Humanity and the many ways you can make a difference.