5 Tools to Protect Your House That You Didn't Know About

Super High and Ultra-Low Tech Solutions
An infrared image of a window with an FLIR camera

Houses require all kinds of care with all kinds of tools, from vacuum cleaners to plungers to paint brushes and circular saws. But there are some tools you might be unfamiliar with that can help you maintain and protect your home.

Crack Monitor
A Humboldt crack monitor

New to your house, or haven’t been in the basement for a while and can’t remember if you’ve seen that crack in the concrete before?

This simple tool is the ultimate set-it-and-forget-it. Install it across the crack with screws or adhesive.

The two plates overlap for a part of their length and set a cross-hair at the center of the crack.

Come back in a month, or a year, to see if the plates have moved apart and the crack is growing, or if it’s a flaw in the concrete that’s been there forever and isn’t about to fail.

Noncontact Thermometer
A Humboldt noncontact thermometer

This one isn’t set-it-and-forget-it, but you can use it from your couch.

Point the thermometer at the edges of your windows and doors to check for temperature fluctuations, and see how warm or cool the air from your vents really is.

Also, you aim it with a laser. I guarantee you’ll point it at your food.

Infrared Smartphone Camera
A FLIR One infrared camera

This is quickly becoming available for all smartphones. Not only can the FLIR One tell you the temperature, but you can actually see the airflow around your windows.

You can also spot water leaks behind the walls or find overloaded wiring. Shoot photos and video of it all. Of course, you’ll also check out your face.

Leak Sensor
An Insteon leak sensor

Another one you can install and walk away from is this little leak sensor. Set one up by your water heater, washing machine or other place that might overflow, spill or leak.

Connected into your smart house system, the sensor alerts you instantly when there’s water on the floor, giving you a head start to shutting off the leak before water damage can cost you thousands.

Blackout Stair Light
A Mr. Beams stair light

Set up this stair light and forget about it until the power goes out.

When it does, the light comes on to illuminate your path down the stairs, keeping you safe on your way to find the candles.

It's good for hallways and dark corners too, and it basically blends in to the room, so you hardly notice it when it's not working.