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Concrete Cracks

We were on an inspection last week and part of the inspection is about concrete cracks in the driveway, sidewalks and other concrete areas on the exterior of the home.  A lot of times the cracks go unnoticed and are forgotten about. And we do our due diligence by reporting them. But this time it struck me odd. And the realtor almost broke her ankle due to the cracking in the driveway. So I wanted to take this time about the cracks and why they are a so a must to repair. So lets begin.

Normally when we see cracks there is either 3 different causes. Your typical settling and aging cracks of the concrete. These are those tiny hair line cracks that you will notice in the garage, the driveway, sidewalk or porch. Sometimes they appear around the decking of the pool. They are not major but they should not be overlooked. Over time these cracks will seperate more. This is the time to have them repaired and be done.

Then we have the type of concrete cracks that over time have been ignored. The concrete has gotten moisture intrusion and with hot and cold temperatures the cracks have separated more then a 1/4″ gap.  This usually happens after a freeze or winter. Still a moderate easy fix. But anyone who wears any type of heal will catch the heal in the gap and is definitely a safety hazard. When we see this, it is noted as well but more of a safety hazard instead of monitor. Now this separating of the crack should not had happen overnight. Its over time. Remember it starts out as a tiny hairline then grows to a 1/4-1/2″ gap.

And lastly we have the omg style cracking. This is usually occured when some type of structural or mechanical elements fail. For example water lines under the slab. Or you may have an area that ground erosion has started to occur. This is a bit more serious. The concrete may have lifted or settled and sometimes be intact. (tree roots sometimes do this) There is a cure to fix this but it will be more costly then the simple hair line crack.

So in closing remember every few months while doing exterior maintenance on the home, walk and check the concrete around your home. Unless you specifically look for something you may not see it.  To learn more about this feel free to look us up at; http://www.emeraldinspectionservice.com or better yet give us a call. 352-322-2700. We perform concrete scanning and all concrete is noted on our inspections such as annual home maintenance, general inspection, and 11 month warranty inspection. The areas are the Gulf Coast, Central Florida, Brooksville, Tampa, Polk City, and Webster areas are just some of the areas. Thank You.

14gap

New Home Warranty

This week’s blog is about new home warranty.  When we buy a home after 1 year the builder will conduct an inspection.  So why should you obtain a 3rd party inspection on your home. Well let’s begin.

When we buy new homes, we really don’t think of deficiencies with our home. Then after we buy the home, we really do not think of issues with our home after a year.  However, it happens.

When you buy a new home the Realtor will inform you about the warranty from the builder. Now this is nice. But, they just usually say. The builder has a warranty with the home in case of any small drywall cracks so they can come back and repair.  True but not true. The builder is responsible for everything they did to the home. Small cracks to Windows and doors not functioning properly.  And after you move in, if these deficiencies are not corrected promptly the warranty will expire.

So you maybe curious of how a 3rd party inspector plays in this role.  (me too).

Before the 11 month of new home ownership the builder will want to schedule your appointment to do a walk thru and make a list of deficiencies.  This is when you call a home inspector for the inspection too. Yes you want to compare apples to apples. Remember this is your home.  The builder will not conduct an inspection such as a home inspector.

Once the appointment is made let the home inspector know why you want this. And also let the builder know you are obtaining a 3rd party inspection. Let’s be fair to everyone. The inspector will conduct a normal home inspection. Check every room, roof, appliances, mechanical systems and exterior to report the deficiencies.  Once this report is obtained let the builder know.  They will send an employee out to do an inspection. Compare the two reports. Have the builder agree to the deficiencies to be repaired. Then schedule the appointment for the repairs.  This appointment is crucial for keeping do not miss this appointment as you maybe pushed back weeks and then a simple repair may turn into a major job and cause a conflict between the builder and home owner.

Normally, after the repairs are done there will be one more inspection near your 2 year mark. Alot of times it’s a simple follow up. However, things can occur.  Let the builder know and if you feel you need another inspection, then call the same inspection company.

So in closing the main purpose of this type of inspection is so that you and the builder know that an independent 3rd party inspected the home to report the deficiencies and it’s properly recorded. Most builders will honor the reports and repair the deficiencies.  But just in case a builder will not then you have the report to refer too.

If you like to learn more about our 11 Month Warranty Inspection, go to www.emeraldinspectionservice.com or call us anytime at 352-322-2700. We perform these type of inspections on new homes in Plant City, Tampa, Hernando, and Pinellas Park Florida as well as other areas.

Also, from our Family here at Emerald Inspection Service, we like to wish everyone a Very Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Mobile Home Inspections

Hello everyone. This weeks blog is about mobile home inspections. We did a blog about this a year or so ago and wanted to re-visit this because people have the perception that its not needed. So lets begin.

A mobile home inspection is very similar to our general home inspection. There are a few differences though. First the crawl space has to be inspected. This is a must. In the crawl space you will see a lot of deficiencies guaranteed. For example there will be electrical lines not in conduit. Plumbing pipes will be there, so to see if there is a leak on drain or the main service. My favorite is the main service water line is never insulated. Also you have the vapor barrier. If there was a previous leak a lot of times the vapor barrier will be open and insulation will be dangling.  This is just a small portion of the deficiencies you may find.

Now, you also have the roof and inside that has to be inspected. On double and triple wides you have a “marriage wall”. This is where each portion is tide together. And you wanna make sure there is no leaks. (we use an infrared camera).  So your inspector needs to know where to look and inspect. Also you have a data tag. For mobile homes this is the identification number for each portion. Singles have one tag, doubles have 2 and so on.

Then you have the remaining part of the inspection which is room to room and utilities. A lot of times the panel box inside the home is energized by the main disconnect at the meter. Your main shut-off valve for the water is at the meter but you also have a valve in the crawl space about 6’0 before the water enters the home too.

So you may be thinking OK, this is easy. No its not. A true inspector will have to undergo some extreme conditions to inspect the home properly. Crawl space usually has varmints or water, the roof is hot and need to know where to walk, the main disconnect can have insects inside the box. The reason I mention this is because these are 3 areas of major concern about the mobile home and are usually neglected.

So if you are thinking about buying a mobile or modular home think about these things. You want an experienced inspector that will do, due deligience. We take pride in these type of inspections as this is a major investment for a home owner. We provide mobile home inspections in Clermont, Ocala, Largo, and Winter Haven Florida to name a few communities. We will gladly inspect in the State Of Florida.  Feel free to call us or look us up on the web: 352-322-2700 or www.emeraldinspectionservice.com or www.tampahomeinspectors.net

Working With The Realtor

Good Morning Everyone. Its been a bit since our last blog. But with vacation and family issues back north, I had to put off the blog for a bit. So this weeks blog is about working with the Realtor. Its important that the buyer, seller, home inspector, finance company, title company, pest contractor, and all other parties have a working relationship that helps the sale go smoothly. So lets begin.

Normally, the buyer agent will be a key person in the real estate transaction. That person will be managing appointments with several individuals. The process literally starts from the time the offer is accepted to the buyers being qualified. I know for a fact alot of Realtors will not even talk to you unless its a cash sale or you are already qualified by a lender. The term pre-qualified is really not qualified. They just look over your tax records and make sure you can afford a certain bracket.  Anyway, the home inspection, pest inspection and certain testing should be done all coordinated at one time. Certain home inspection companies can coordinate this. For example on our inspections we work closely with a pest company. We perform the pool inspection. We also can perform the well testing, radon monitoring and insurance inspections.

The seller agent also will take notice of how the transaction can go smoothly. For example, if they are alot of issues with the transaction, the seller may pull out of the deal. Mainly because the agent will know the house can be sold just not to that person. Also, agents are now looking for a one stop shop. If a home inspection company can take care of alot of the process instead of multiple people, this eases the stress on all parties.

So the next time somebody is about to purchase a home. Look at the steps that it takes from qualifying to closing. If you can combine the process in some of them, this will make it easier for everybody. We perform this style of inspections in Wesley Chapel, Tampa, Clearwater, and Hernando Florida all the time. For more information, visit our website: www.emeraldinspectionservice.com or call us anytime, 352-322-2700. Thank You.

Pre-Sale and Seller Inspections

This weeks blog is about home owners that are going to place their property on the market after they have been in their home for several years.  There is a mis-understanding about the term, pre-sale inspection or seller inspection. In this blog we will discuss the differences and additionally, as a bonus what a “Move In Ready Home” is. So lets begin.

A few weeks ago, a client asked to have his properties inspected. Basically the client is going to place the homes on the market in the Tampa Bay and Inverness Florida area. As time has gone by since we launched these campaigns we have changed a bit for the market we are in. First we explain the difference between seller inspection and pre-sale inspection. And as you are reading this blog you are asking the same question.

A “seller inspection” is an inspection that a home inspector will report the deficiencies that are to be recorded at the time of the inspection. We consult with the seller to advise them of the repairs that should be corrected, before placing the home on the market. This can be useful in several ways as when home owners are in a home for a few years they get compalicent and maybe their eyes do not see or don’t know what is happening in the home. The inspection report is delivered to the home owner and or Realtor and let them know to correct the deficiencies.

Now lets talk about “Pre-Sale Inspections”! This is our favorite type of inspection. This inspection is very similar to the “seller inspection” but has a huge difference in the reporting. The inspector should be educated to report on how a property should look for potential clients. For example, when inspecting under the kitchen sink, home inspection reports will inspect to see if any leaks and visible water stains. The Pre-Sale inspection will take this several steps further. When we inspect this element, we inspect age, deterioration, condition of piping, and additionally water stains. Then we consult with the client how to improve elements of that part of the report. Now keep in mind, that’s one element of the report. We fully consult each area of our report with clients when it is a “Pre-Sale” Inspection. This report advises the client of how to correct and or update the deficiencies to place the home on the market.

And lastly, the big way to help your property sell quickly then other properties. There is a National Accredited Program called “Move In Ready”!  This program takes the inspection whether its a “seller inspection” or “pre-sale inspection” and make the home “Move In Ready”! Sort of the best of best of both worlds. What Emerald Inspection Service does, we consult with home owners how to take deficiencies on the report and advise them to not only correct but improve the home. When a client decides to move forward with this program, we re-inspect the property to make sure the deficiencies are repaired or corrected.  We place a Certificate that states “Move In Ready”! From there the potential home owner can understand better of the deficiencies that were corrected to make the home; “Move In Ready”!

 

moveincertified

 

To learn more about these type of inspections, please visit our website for the following links;

https://www.emeraldinspectionservice.com/move-in-certify.html

https://www.emeraldinspectionservice.com/services.html

Feel free to call us anytime at 352-437-5300. We can perform these type of inspections and many more in a 36 hour notice, from Clermont to Ocala, from Kissimmee to Polk City Florida and other communities as well.

 

 

Wind Mitigation Inspections

This weeks blog is about wind mitigation inspections. For some in certain places of the country, you do not have this type of inspection. However in the south, Florida, we do. So I want to share with you about how to save money on your insurance and what is actually performed during the inspection process. We perform these type of inspections in Citrus, Hernando, Sumter, Hillsborough, Polk, Pinellas and Pasco Counties of Florida normally within a day notice. We use the Citizens Insurance Reporting Form. There are others that we use but this is the most popular reporting form.

So lets begin. A wind mitigation or wind-borne inspection is a process where the home inspector will inspect the roof for any shingles that may be loose, separated or torn. Additionally check the ridge vent and valleys for defects. Also the inspector has to determine the roof style for the report.  And then the skylights. The sky lights will have a rating on there if its rated for hurricane winds.

Secondly, the inspection process is to check to see if there any shutters that maybe attached to any windows. These type of shutters are metal shutters that cover the window or patio door in case of hurricane winds. These type of shutters have a rating that can be used to determine what the shutter can sustain in case of an object being flown and impacts the shutter. This is not the shutter that attaches to the home next to the window or the wood style that close. While inspecting for any shutters, the inspector additionally inspects the glass. The glass if it has sticker that states, Brovard County or Miami-Dade rated then this is additional discount. This is also if you are going to update the windows get the rating for this, to save money on the home owners insurance. After this, then the inspector checks to see if there is any glass block. Some older style homes will have glass block maybe for crawl spaces, bathrooms or part of the wall that allows light thru in a sun room for example. There are different ratings for glass block but also a great idea to have shutters for these as well.

Thirdly, the inspection process continues if there to check the garage door. The garage door normally has a style of missile bracing on the inside of the door. This is to protect the interior. Not necessary the door. Missile bracing is referred to if a small limb or tree is being blown around. Normal garage doors are thin metal and an object flying around can be a missile and go thru the door.

Then the process continues to the attic. My favorite part on a hot summer afternoon. (no seriously) So in the attic, the inspector will measure the distance and determine what the lenght of the nails are for the sheathing. A good rating is usually 8D and about 2 1/2 inches in depth of the framing member. The inspector will also check to see what type of type downs there are. For example, the trusses or rafters may have wraps, or straps. There maybe clips holding framing members to a main roof structure. Then on a lot of newer homes there are bolts that go from the foundation to the top plate of the wall. And of course inspect the framing members to make sure no cracked or split joists. And to check for any moisture or leaks on the sheathing.

Once this process is complete, the inspector has to check with the local municipality to check for any permits when the roof was either installed or re-roofed. Without a permit or any roof information this could be a deterrent to getting any credits for the roof.

So in closing having a wind mitigation inspection could save approximately 10-40% off your home owners insurance premium. At Emerald Inspection Service we can schedule these within 24 hours if you live in or near the areas of  Tampa, Clearwater, Brooksville, Polk City Florida.  For more information check out our website link on wind mitigation at https://www.emeraldinspectionservice.com/wind-mitigation.html

Or feel free to call us anytime at 352-322-2700 Thank You.

Wind-Mitigation

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 www.emeraldinspectionservice.com or the EPA page,

http://www.epa.gov/learn-issues/water-resources#drinking-water

 

 

New Year New Homes

First Emerald Inspection Service, we like to wish everyone a Happy New Year.  Now for this weeks blog, we are going to talk about new home inspections. A new home inspection can be very crucial prior to closing. Having an inspection report to give to the builder is piece of mind for you and your family.

So, first thought maybe well its a new home. Why do I need this. Or everything should be perfect the builder would not let anything go. Well as your new home may look perfect there could be small deficiencies that can add up to having the home in need of those minor repairs.  Now our inspection report for a new home or a home that is 20 years old the report and the inspection process is the same.  However, we inspect a little more to detail, elements that could be over looked.

For example, all tile grout should be sealed 24 hours after its installed. The sealant is to resist any color fading or if any spills occur to prevent discoloring. Another element, is we inspect all the appliances. We operate the dishwasher for a full cycle to make sure that all cycles, cycle in the dishwasher. Also, one deficiency we always see is the irrigation system is installed because some of the heads are to close to the heat pump.

These are just a few things we see on new homes. With our report, you can always provide the report to the builder so they may correct any deficiencies. It is important that you have the builder acknowledge and repair the deficiencies prior to closing. We perform these type of inspections in Plant City, Tampa, and St. Pete all the time but will go anywhere to perform these inspections. For more information, go to our website; http://www.emeraldinspectionservice.com or call 352-322-2700.

Appliance Inspections

#Appliance, #Inspection, #Bartow, #Land O Lakes, # Sumterville, #Clearwater, #Range, #Outdoor, #Kitchen

This weeks blog is about appliances and an inspection process that very few inspection companies offer. So you may ask yourself, what is an appliance inspection?  And with Thanksgiving around the corner you don’t want to have grief while preparing your holiday dishes, so lets begin.

An appliance inspection that Emerald Inspection Service, LLC offers is different then a technician coming to your home to check for operation of that appliance. We do not just inspect the kitchen appliances. And we don’t come to your home to make sure the stove comes on and be done. Our inspection process is very detailed oriented, we inspect all the appliances and we can offer a warranty with the inspection.

The process of the inspection starts in the kitchen. With each appliance we check the door seals, then from there we check to make sure the unit is level, lights are working, and inspect the motor area. Normally, this area should be cleaned every 3 months because it becomes a dust area. For the range, we test all elements and make sure the oven is working at its designated temperature. Then the inspection process moves from the kitchen once all the appliances are tested and inspected. We inspect the HVAC system, the central vacuum system, the garage door openers, water softener, any whirlpool tubs, and exhaust fans. We can inspect the irrigation system, pool pump and outdoor kitchen for an additional nominal fee.

Below is a sample list of the appliances we inspect. To find out more about this type of inspection and other services, call or email us anytime. We schedule these inspections normally within a 2 day time frame from the initial call. Our service area for these type of inspections are Bartow, Clearwater, Land O’ Lakes and Sumterville Florida. However, we do service other communities as well within this time frame. 352-322-2700 or info@emeraldinspectionservice.com

Inspected Appliances 
  • Dishwasher Inspection
  • Food-Waste Disposer Inspection
  • Range Exhaust Vent Inspection
  • Refrigerator Appliance Inspection
  • Electric/Gas Range, Cook-top & Oven Inspection
  • Microwave Oven Inspection
  • Trash Compactor Inspection
  • Mechanical Exhaust & Bathroom Heater Inspection
  • Garage Door Operator Inspection
  • Doorbell & Chimes Inspection
  • Dryer Vent Inspection
  • Whole-House/Central Vacuum System Inspection
  • Suggested Specific Limitations

Optional Systems

  • Lawn & Garden Sprinkler System Inspection
  • Pool, Spa & Hot Tub Inspection
  • Outbuilding Inspection
  • Outdoor Cooking Equipment Inspection
  • Gas Supply System Inspection

Home Inspection Prices

#Home, #Inspection, #Prices

This weeks blog is about the price of a General Home Inspection and how the price is constructed for the client. We get calls about how much a home inspection cost, but also we get calls for other types of inspection services and their costs. So lets begin of what the average national price may be, and why you should think when somebody drastically cuts everyone’s price.

Depending upon the area, the average price of a home inspection ranges from $320-350.00 for a home inspection that is approximately 2100 square feet or less. In a home of this size you normally have 2-3 bedrooms and usually 2 bathrooms. So a few of the rooms may not take as long during the inspection. However, you still have the major components of an inspection. For example; The Roof, The Exterior, The Grounds, The Porch and Deck, The Plumbing, The Electrical, The HVAC System, The Kitchen, one Bathroom, and possibly The Garage and Laundry Room.  From that point you then have your interior rooms, extra bathrooms, pool, spa, possibly of an exterior building and other areas of the property. To complete an inspection for this size usually takes about 2-3 hours. However, once the walk thru is completed with the client, there is normally a bit of paperwork to complete before the client receives the report. All quality inspectors usually review the report, create a summary and overview of the property. For each report that is generally about another 30-45 minutes of time that is not seen. So as you can see now a home inspection report can take up to 4 hours of time.

When the property is larger then the 2100 square feet, a lot of inspection companies will usually add $50-75.00 extra per 800-1000 square feet to the base price. This is to allow for the extra time needed to complete the inspection. Additionally a lot of companies will add a small fee for properties over 15 years of age and older. Again, the property inspection may take longer and the company may need to allocate for that time.

Now, with Emerald Inspection Service we try to provide additional services while we are on site doing the inspection. For example maybe a wind mitigation during the inspection process or radon testing, or possibly roof certification if the roof is over 15 years of age. This process saves the client, the realtors, the home owners and the inspector time as well. Remember, the scheduling of an inspection is critical to all parties and the worst thing anybody wants is to have to return for an additional service and coordinate with the realtor, home owners, etc.

So, lets talk about companies that charge differently then we and many of our friends do. Some inspectors are new to the industry, so they think by drastically cutting the price will make you as a consumer want to hire them. However, if their report takes 2 hours to complete totally, and is done. Is the report going to show every part of the element being inspected. Is the report showing colored pictures as the inspector takes them. Is that report going to be readable and understandable if problems exist in the future. So for a company to charge approximately $35-40.00 less to entice you for their business is something to consider. Additionally, will that company and inspector be there if you have questions in the future about an entity of the inspection report.

In conclusion of this weeks blog, remember that sometimes the cheaper price is not always the best price. Buying a home is a major investment in anybody’s portfolio. This maybe a first time home owner, an investor, or the family that is downsizing into a smaller home. Consumers should trust their judgement, listen to what the inspection company offers for the cost of the inspection and see what the norm is for that area. If 2 people are charging about the same price or within $25.00 and one is charging $40.00 less, then the question should be why is one far less and what does everyone bring to the table with their inspection package.

These summaries of prices can be in any area, however for reporting purpose we have used the Tampa, Hernando, Orlando and Sarasota Florida as reference for our research on this blog.

For more information, please visit our website: www.emeraldinspectionservice.com or call us anytime @ 352-322-2700 or email us directly to; info@emeraldinspectionservice.com

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