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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; info@emeraldinspectionservice.com

Construction Inspections

203-K Consultant, Construction Inspection

This weeks blog is about “Construction Inspections”.  The past week, Emerald Inspection Service, LLC performed 2 construction inspections and resulted into a mold testing. This weeks blog will focus more on construction inspection. So to start, what is a construction inspection and is the home inspector licensed in Florida and experienced and certified  to perform this inspection.

A “Construction Inspection” is an inspection that is catered to the client. The construction inspection can be very detailed and code oriented, a 203-K Consultant,  or a quality assurance/quality control inspection. Most home inspectors will not perform this due to the paperwork involved depending on how the inspection is performed.  Below in detail will be a description of each type of inspection and credentials required to perform each type.

Lets talk about the 203-K Consultant and Inspection process. The inspector that performs this type of reporting first has to be a licensed home inspector in the state they practice. The inspector has to have liability insurance at the state’s requirements and should have and Error & Emission Policy. The inspector then becomes a “Consultant” for the new property owner to inspect the property under FHA Standards. This is not an inspection for a buyer or seller. The inspection process is known as “The Minimal Property Standards” by FHA. This process also requires the consultant to inspect the work being done by licensed contractors and performed to an acceptable building standard and during the construction work for draw  inspection.                                                                                    (A future blog will be on 203-K Inspections Only and a very detailed explanation of the process.)

For the next type of construction inspection, this can be detailed toward code and specifications of the building plans which sometimes mirrors a quality control/quality assurance inspection. A third party inspection that is generated to inspect that the contractors are performing the work as required to specs and code is usually simple. Yes, you will have a building inspection. Yes different trades will be inspected by the local municipality, however if the specifications in the blueprints state a specific item to be built over and above the local codes this may not be addressed by the local building official. This is where sometimes a third party inspection is required. The building official will inspect for their requirements and be done. A third party inspector may address deficiencies of code or specifications and need to be addressed to the contractors. This is the part that a QA/QC sometimes mirror each other. This is also where the client that wants this type of inspection wants to know that the inspector has a background in construction, remodeling and or a previous contractor. Not a handyman. If the inspector can safely state contractor experience and provide licensing, even if prior, then that maybe the inspector deemed toward this type of inspection.

Now for the third type of inspection. Quality Assurance and Quality Control. A QA/QC inspection starts when the homeowner has concerns about the quality of the current contractors and their performance. Usually, a homeowner seeing work performed by the contractor will know if they are happy in the performance of the specified plans and specifications. When they are not, a third party inspection is usually the best alternative to rectify any concerns. Specifications on blueprints will override any general documentation on the prints and supersedes what the plans are. For example, the client may had want “aging in place” support framing. The contractor did not perform that so the deficiencies are reported to state what the contractors’ need to correct.  With this, many deficiencies are usually noted to the client in a detailed report. The client of ours, then takes our report to let their contractors know of their concerns. Sometimes a repair verification report maybe required to make sure the deficiencies were performed correctly.

Lastly, is a great tool for any home owner. We all have our careers and family as well and a simple construction inspection will give you, our client piece of mind not to worry during remodeling times. Or as our logo states; Providing Inspections With Clarity.

Thank You for taking the time to read this lengthy blog. We are certified with the IRC for construction inspections. This process is performed a lot with us in Plant City, Mulberry, Tampa and Port Richey Florida. However, we will go anywhere in Florida to perform this type of inspection. But having construction inspections can be your best way to know the work was performed correctly, according to specifications and safely. For more information, feel free to contact us anytime at: info@emeraldinspectionservice.com or 352-322-2700. www.emeraldinspectionservice.com

Plumbing

Plumbing, Inspection

This weeks blog is about the plumbing inspection process during the general inspection. When we are inspecting the plumbing we always look for leaky or corroded pipes on the sinks, tubs, and water heater. But, alot of the times we also look at the dishwasher and the drain. The drain hose for the dishwasher is never looped. This should be looped because of a back up in the sink. You don’t want to have dirty water going into the dishwasher or backup into the motor. So, check to see if your kitchen sink has an air gap or a dishwasher drain loop.

Secondly, on this process we check the hose bibs. The hose bibs should have an anti-siphon device. This device protects the water service. For example, if you are washing the car and placing a hose back in the bucket with soapy water the device will allow the water to filtrate out at the handle and not allow the water to back feed into the house.

And lastly, we always check the vents on the roof and in the attic. We make sure they are connected properly and that they do not terminate in the attic. We provide this and many more elements during the inspection. Also, we can provide a plumbing inspection to any home owner. This can be done in Orlando, Sarasota, Dade City, or Clermont. The area and the home does not matter. The inspection is critiqued toward a general standard for all homes.

For more information, go to our website at: http://www.emeraldinspectionservice.com or email us: info@emeraldinspectionservice.com.. 352-322-2700

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; http://www.emeraldinspectionservice.com or call us at 352-322-2700

Home Inspections

Ever wonder the science of home inspections. What the inspector is looking for? What is not part of a home inspection? How to be trained as a home inspector? Or even better yet, the purpose of the home inspection. Well during the upcoming blogs we will talk about this any many more questions. This is the start. Stay tuned for more.

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