Home inspectors look at the ceilings, floors, walls and a sample of cabinets for signs that the house is settling or was built using sub-par materials. They also examine a sampling of doors and windows.
If you can, encourage your clients to accompany the inspector on the inspection. It will give them a first-hand view of what issues the report may include and help them gauge how serious each problem is.
Home inspectors use many tools to help them find and identify issues with a home’s structure, roof, electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems. But perhaps the most important tool a home inspector has is the infrared camera.
The infrared camera looks for heat signatures that are different from the surrounding environment. For example, moisture and water give off a cool signature that the infrared camera detects. This helps the home inspector quickly spot areas that could be leaking water and potentially creating mold, which can be very costly to fix.
These cameras can also spot other problems, such as a lack of insulation or the presence of air leaks in the building envelope. A quality home inspector will use the infrared camera to check for these issues and provide recommendations on how to correct them.
When choosing a thermal imaging camera, it’s important to look at several factors, including resolution, field of view and temperature range. The resolution is the amount of detail that the camera can capture. A higher resolution allows for more precise readings and can be easier to interpret.
The field of view is the angle that the camera can cover, which is important for home inspections because they usually take place indoors. A larger field of view will allow the home inspector to see more detail in the images. The temperature range is the maximum and minimum temperatures that the camera can read. The lower the temperature range, the less accurate the readings will be.
Another factor to consider is the size of the camera, which is important for home inspectors because they need it to be easy to handle and fit in tight spaces. Handheld thermal imaging cameras are a great option for this because they look and feel similar to a smartphone and are light enough to hold with one hand. The FLIR C5 is a popular handheld thermal imager that is a good choice for home inspectors because it looks and feels like a smartphone, weighs about one pound and has a 3.2-inch screen. It also connects to Wifi, making it easy for home inspectors to upload images and videos to their laptops.
Access to the Attic and Crawl Space
When it comes to quality home inspections, full accessibility is key. If the attic or crawl space is difficult to access, a significant amount of information could be missed. This is because a lot of systems (plumbing, electrical, framing, and foundation) are visually accessible from the attic or crawl space.
During an inspection, inspectors will look for insulation gaps, signs of water leaks, mold growth, and rotted wood. They will also look for sloping floors, which may be a sign of foundation settlement. They will check for a properly functioning HVAC system and adequate ventilation, and they will test outlets to ensure they work. They will also look for any signs of electrical wiring problems, which can be dangerous for homeowners if not addressed quickly.
The inspector will need to be able to walk through the crawl space and attic, so it is important that there aren’t any boxes or storage items blocking these areas. If they are stacked up, it can make it more challenging to inspect for signs of water damage or pests. It is a good idea to minimize the amount of items stored in the attic or crawl space, and if you have to store them, place them on shelving to prevent moisture buildup. If you are storing temperature-sensitive items, such as clothing, it is recommended that they be packed in plastic bins to protect them from damage and rodents.
When choosing a home inspector, be sure to choose someone who is knowledgeable and experienced. They should be willing to discuss their qualifications with you, and they should also be able to provide references from previous clients. You should also be able to find reviews online, as these can give you an idea of the inspector’s professionalism and how satisfied past clients have been with their services.
A quality home inspection is one of the best investments you can make when buying a new home. It can help you avoid costly repairs and ensure that your home is safe and livable for years to come. If you are looking for a quality home inspector, contact Scott today!
Access to the Plumbing System
The plumbing system is one of the most complicated in a home. It also is expensive to repair if it isn’t done correctly. More than 13 percent of the issues found in home inspections are related to plumbing. From a leaky faucet to a clogged drain, these problems can be costly. A qualified home inspector will examine the plumbing system to make sure it is safe and in working order. They will look for the proper installation of pipes, a clear flow of water and no signs of leaks or mold.
Another part of the plumbing that home inspectors will check is the drainage system. This is especially important in a new construction home. If the drainage isn’t adequate, it can cause foundation problems and a variety of other issues. Home inspectors will look for any signs of poor drainage, such as water pools around the home or puddles in the yard.
Home inspectors will also inspect the windows and doors for safety. They’ll open and close the windows to make sure they operate. They’ll also look for signs of rot and other damage.
In addition to looking for structural issues, home inspectors will also check the roof. They’ll look for loose or missing shingles, damaged mastic, and cracked or loose vents. They’ll also look for chimneys that are leaning or sticking out of the roof.
While most inspectors don’t check for specialized problems, like termite damage or site contamination, they’ll likely give you a heads up if they suspect any of these issues. They’ll also recommend additional specialized inspections as needed.
A quality home inspection can protect you from huge surprises after you’ve purchased a house. It can also help you understand your home so you can maintain it better and avoid costly repairs. Then you’ll be able to enjoy your dream house for years to come. If you’re considering buying a home, call a qualified home inspector to schedule an appointment. Having a thorough home inspection can save you tens of thousands of dollars in the long run. So don’t wait until it’s too late.
Access to the Electrical System
Electrical systems are often given a great deal of attention during the design phase, but they’re rarely thought about again — until something goes wrong. During the home inspection, the inspector will need to be able to access electrical boxes to check the connections and wiring. This will include looking for GFCI or AFCI protection and making sure the breakers are in the on position, but it also means examining the condition of the wires themselves. If the wires are exposed or if there’s a missing cover plate on an outlet, for example, that will be recorded as an electrical defect.
The inspection will also include checking the garage for proper ventilation and ensuring that the gas water heater is located high enough off the ground to minimize the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from gasoline fumes mingling with the flame. The inspector will also look at the laundry room to make sure the dryer vent is properly installed and that it’s rated for sufficient capacity.
The inspector will also examine the attic for signs of moisture and to make sure that it has a fire-rated roof covering. The inspection will also cover the exterior of the home, checking things like whether the grading slopes away from the house or if it’s sloping toward the foundation. The inspector will also check the gutters to make sure that they’re functioning and that the downspouts are adequately protected from ice and snow.
A good home inspector will take the time to explain his findings and answer any questions that you may have. He’ll also provide recommendations on how to improve or maintain the home.
While a quality home inspection can uncover a lot of problems, it’s important to remember that no home is perfect. Even new constructions can have issues, and it’s unrealistic to expect a seller to fix all of them. Instead, focus on getting the major problems resolved before moving in, and use a quality home inspection as your guide. This will give you peace of mind knowing that the house you’re buying is a sound investment.