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Water Testing

This weeks blog is about water testing. Water testing is crucial whether you are living in a community that has public water or you have a private well. We will discuss a few different aspects of why it is important to test the water.

In real-estate transactions a lot of lenders will require the future home owner to obtain a water test when the property has a private well.  This maybe for FHA/VA funding. When performing the test there are 3 parts. We test for bacteria, lead and nitrates. The test capsules are rushed to a lab for next day early am delivery. Our lab that we use we have the results within 48-72 hours.  We review the report with our clients then send it immediately to  the client. Sometimes the lab report will come back with a fail for one of the tests. Does this mean the well is not suitable for drinking water. No. Alot of times it could be minor maintenance and updates needed for the drinking water to be safe. A well is just like any other part of the home. It has components that need to be maintained. This is one area that is a lot of times forgotten about in a home. So you may ask, I have been in my home for a while, should I get mine tested. The answer to that question is yes. If you can not remember the last test results it would be recommended just for simple knowledge that the drinking water is safe.

Now lets talk about, if you have public water. Alot of home owners have invested in a small purification system for water at the kitchen sink. But lets think about that. We may drink the water from bathroom sinks, shower or the refrigerator that has the ice maker. Some may have built in filters that needs to be changed periodically. But is the water coming into that filter safe. It may sound odd but the water traveling thru the pipes may or may not be safe even though it is from a public source. Like the city or a big water tower for the community. As mentioned in the previous paragraph the test is 3 parts. Lead is part of that. Plumbers can not use lead solder on water pipes anymore. As said, lead is part of that test. So it would make sense for piece of mind to have the water tested as well. As the water maybe safe from the source. The travel that it has to go thru may not. The after market filters also have to be changed periodically and the aerators as well. It should be a semi to quarterly idea on home maintenance to change your aerators. Next time remove the aerator from the bathroom sink and you will see debris in the screens of the aerators.

Lastly, in a commercial setting the water should be tested too. To protect the staff of the office. I just found out this week, especially in Hillsborough County, that for day care providers they need the water tested quarterly under health regulations by State of Florida. So in closing, if the State of Florida wants water tested on a routine basis, it maybe a great idea to have the water tested for your home as well.

At Emerald Inspection Service, we do water testing as part of our regular services and schedule this type of service rather quickly. We perform this type of service in a 48 hour time frame in Pasco, Hillsborough, Hernando, and Pinellas Counties. We can perform this in other areas as well. To learn more contact our office at 352-322-2700 or visit our website or the EPA page,



Tools Of The Trade

Camera, Infrared, Endoscope

This weeks blog, I wanted to share is about the tools inspectors use and how they can make a report better and additionally assist the buyers and sellers in an inspection.  Now while each state has its own standards of practice for inspections, normally most inspectors will be up to date on technology and tools.

Years ago, the typical inspector would have a camera, (Polaroid Instant), clip board, electrical tester, and flashlight.  They may have forms that were printed or they just take notes and complete the report when they return to the office. Believe it or not some inspectors are still this way but upgraded to a digital camera.

So lets begin with the inspector of today. When I started Emerald Inspection Service, my initial investment was approximately $700.00. You may say ok, what did you buy. Well first of all, we use a tablet that has a camera and is internet ready. We don’t use our phone. Then over the course of the year we upgrade on tools and equipment.

We use a laptop for wind mitigation, 4 point inspections and Chinese drywall inspections with a camera because of the standard forms. Our digital camera is waterproof and is very high in pixels. We have CO2 detector, for any type of gas lines. We don’t use soap or the bubbles as they will corrode the pipe eventually. We have a million candlelight power hand held spot light. This is great if somebody, painted over an old stain.  We use pin-less and pin moisture meters to determine if any wood or drywall or flooring is holding moisture. If we suspect something in the wall or can’t get to an area, we use a 16’o inspection camera scope or use our endoscope camera. Additionally, some inspectors can not perform energy audits because they are not certified nor have an infrared camera. We have that too.

So, as you can see this is just a sample of the tools in our toolbox. When you are looking to hire an inspector, ask him what type of tools they have. Also, ask them if there is extra charges for using some of these. Some we don’t charge because it makes the report a lot better. However for an Infrared Inspection, we charge in the range of $250-550, depending on the type of inspection.

If you like to know more about this or have questions, feel free to call us or email us anytime. Our office numbers are 352-322-2700 or toll free at 844-RADON-40. Email anytime at;

Crawl Spaces

Crawl Space Inspection, Tampa, Webster, Brooksville, Plumbing, Electrical, HVAC

If you live in the Tampa Bay area, Brooksville, Clearwater, or Webster Florida you more then likely have a crawl space or some other style where the house is on bricks, columns or piers. The crawl space is a vital part of the home. You need to have adequate insulation and ventilation for the space. Additionally, this is where critters and rodents like to live too. Each quarter you should inspect the crawl space to make sure there is no pests starting to intrude, varmints residing and that the mechanical is in tact.

The main plumbing service line is usually P.V.C. piping. A lot of times this sits on the earth. This pipe should be insulated and additionally be resting on a concrete brick to avoid contact. The main reason for this process is so the plumbing line does not freeze during the cold nights and erosion. Secondly, if there is a leak on the pipe, you maybe allowing dirt, and other particles in your drinking water. This process is very economical and will be a blessing if you sell the home.

While we inspect the crawl spaces, we look for items such as this, electrical conduit that has not been chewed upon, wet stains on drain lines, HVAC connections in place and not torn, the insulation beerier intact, recommend not storing items in the crawl space,  and no pest tunnels along the dirt or along the underneath of the home.

To learn more about crawl space inspections, go to our website; or call us at 352-322-2700

Annual Home Maintenance

Annual, Home, Maintenance

We have now officially entered the Spring season. Flowers starting to bloom, planning vacations, getting the outside cleaned up from the winter. Possibly moving into a new home. But did you ever think about the maintenance on the home all year round. This is true no matter where you live. For example, our office in Florida is catering to residents in Orlando, Tampa, Clearwater communities. In Maryland, the Baltimore area.

Your home needs attention all year long. And now is a great time to make a plan for every month and continue to follow this each month. For example, now maybe a great time to power wash the exterior and concrete because of the snow salt in north or the moss in the south. Cleaning the furnace and changing the filter, from the dust that has accumulated from the heat mode. In April, is a great time for cleaning the gutters and checking the eaves and roof for any possible deficiencies. This list can go on and is very simple to maintain. Some new home owners, we can assist in this for a very reasonable cost. We will create a plan for your home, provide an inspection later in the year to see the progress and if you have an area that needs attention but unable to maintain or inspect we can assist with that too. Always check our Twitter and Facebook accounts, as they may have home owner tips periodically too.

For more information, feel free to go to our website; or email us at; or feel free to call us 352-322-2700 or  888-295-9879

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