This weeks blog is about the dreaded heat switch. Our blogs this year some will have a twist with guest bloggers from the industry and few topics that haven’t been talked about before. The biggest thing is making sure our information is correct and up to date. This weeks blog is about heat loss. So, lets begin.
When it comes to heat loss we really do not think about it until the outside temperatures are cold. Cold enough for us to put the dreaded heat switch on. A lot of us will try to put extra layers on before that happens. And some just accept the fact. (me I dread the heat)
Lately you may have noticed the heat comes on and goes off. And if it is doing it more than coming on for about 15 minutes per 50 minutes you could be experiencing heat loss. Now homes will loose heat. Unless you are in a new condo or apartment you will. Doors, windows, fans will allow cold air in and heat out. This is normal and we aren’t trying to sell you a remodel. But this will tell you how much and what to do.
What we tell customers before we do an inspection or service for this we ask them to go to the windows or door with heat off and ask them to place a match or lighter next to the area. If the flame is moving slightly you will be experiencing heat loss. We will use infrared technology to determine this. Also, if you feel the ceiling is cold some insulation maybe needed to upgrade.
Now you maybe asking ok, what do I do. Well the minimum is put plastic on the windows. Bubble wrap is a good inexpensive way. Another is check to make sure the caulking is good. Not cracked or missing. Check the insulation in the attic. If its blown and dense, you may need to upgrade. Also you can call us to perform an energy audit, infrared test or blower door test. And one last thing. Your thermostat. If its old, or in a spot near the door or windows, consult with an HVAC contractor.
We hope this helps with the dreaded heat button. If you have any questions, feel free to call us anytime or look us up at www.emeraldinspectionservice.com
Well I know its been a while since our last blog. Some family travel and work. So today I wanted to blog about Mobile Home Inspections. And the key point that should be known if you plan on buying one. So lets begin.
A mobile home inspection is similar to a regular home inspection. There are some differences though. For example, they do not have a foundation, they sit on blocks. They normally have a heat pump or an air conditioner with auxiliary heat. And a lot of times the piping for the plumbing maybe PEX instead of CPVC. Now I am going to get into abit of technical below of what is good and bad and should be upgraded.
Mobile homes have straps to hold the home down incase of bad storms, especially in Florida. The concrete block should be in a shoe or resting on a plate. Older homes will not. The biggest key to the blocks is making shore they do not crack. If cracking is involved in the block then there is some kind of movement. The HVAC system hardly ever has an air handler unit. Its normally one unit outside. Its very important to keep these maintained. The heater part is 3 coils like a toaster with a small fan. The air conditioner part has coils and need to be cleaned to improve air flow. And now the piping. Years ago manufactures where using polyethylene style pipe. The fittings were faulty and would blow apart. Now not all gray pipe is this style. A newer system has come out and is PEX. The key component to this is making sure the fittings are proper.
Additionally, for a mobile home you may want to consider adding a salt treatment for the water and probably some kind of purification system. Your roof if it is metal you will want to keep clean and remove debris. You want your inspector to inspect the crawl space fully! And lastly the major difference between a mobile home and a slab style home is the data tag. This is the vin number of the home or side. If it is a double, you have 2. Key reference point to any mobile home inspection.
For more information about mobile home inspections or any other type, feel free to call our office anytime at 352-322-2700. Look us up on the web at www.emeraldinspectionservice.com
We will glad to perform this type of inspection and several others in Mulberry, Hernando, Clearwater and Land O Lakes Florida anytime. Thank You.
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”!
To learn more about these type of inspections, please visit our website for the following links;
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.
This weeks blog is about 4 point inspections. The purpose of 4 point inspections and some tricky sales gimmicks of other companies that inflate the inspection process. So lets begin.
A “Four-Point Inspection” is an inspection catered to the insurance companies. With this type of inspection an insurance carrier does not want to go thru 50 plus pages of a home inspection report. There is a lot of software out there and all is different reporting styles when it comes to the actual 4 points.
The 4 Points inspected are: Roof, Electrical, Plumbing, and HVAC. So for example, the roof is inspected to make sure no leaks, no turn shingles and also no condensation in the attic. The electrical has to be in good working order. This means the panel box has no double taps, no over heated breakers and that if aluminum multi-strand wire, the wire has an oxidizing agent applied to the wire. When the plumbing is inspected there can not be any leaks under sinks, hot water heater is in good working order, no corrosion on pipes and if a well is on premise the well pump and filtration system is in good working order.
Lastly, is the HVAC system. Here in Florida, a lot of times we will see heat pumps. This is your a/c and heat. The air handler unit is usually in the garage or the attic. We check to make sure the system is performing properly. No burnt wires inside the housing, the coils are cleaned on the units, drip pans are not clogged, the disconnects to the units work properly and the thermostat is working properly. I usually check the ambient temperature to compare to the outside. Keep in mind that the a/c can not be checked if the outside temperature is below 60 degrees. This may cause damage to the compressor and other components of the system.
So above is the inspection points of the Four Point Inspection. The inspector also, has to check with the local government building department for permits on the home, for the 4 Points.
Now lets briefly discuss why insurance companies require them. First of all, any home over 25 years old the systems may start to enter the bonus life of the system. For example, if a hot water heater is over 15years of age. Its time to replace or really start to budget for that item. So the insurance carrier wants to see if there are any updates been done to the home. The 4 Point Inspection is not to be considered a full general inspection, nor is it never to be. The reporting for the 4 Point is on insurance dedicated forms. For example, “Citizens Insurance”, ” Tower Hill” or “State Farm” insurance.
In closing a lot of home inspection companies will offer this service as an ancillary service with the home inspection, only. We offer this service as a full service for our clients. And you may here from time to time catch phrases during the inspection process of 7 points, 21 points, etc. Pay no attention to them. At Emerald Inspection Service, you have your 4 Point Inspection, our self generated 5 Point Inspection which is for mobile homes and investors only, and the General Inspection. We perform these type of inspections from Sebring to Hernando. From Saint Petersburg to Sumterville Florida within a 24-36 hour time frame. For more information about #4PointInspections go to our website: https://www.emeraldinspectionservice.com/4-point-inspections.html
Or call us anytime, 352-322-2700 or 844 RADON 40.
This weeks blog is about the change of the season coming up and allergies. Here in Florida we do get a bit lucky, with the change of the season. Floridians, get to open the windows and get away from air conditioning mode. However, we can still suffer from allergies.
With the change of the season to Autumn, we are doing outside work in the yard, and that fall cleaning. Now is a good time, to replace the furnace filter but go one step further and have your ducts cleaned by a professional duct cleaner. Also, do that complete dusting around the house which could lead to allergens.
If you feel like for some reason you are sneezing and wheezing more, then you should have air samples taken to see what pollutants are in the air and duct work. We can provide that type of service. For more information on air quality and our tests, please contact us anytime. 352-322-2700 or www.emeraldinspectionservice.com
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; firstname.lastname@example.org
This weeks blog is about HVAC inspections and also yearly maintenance on the units. Most people in the Central Florida area usually have a heat pump or an air conditioner unit with auxiliary heating. The heat pumps are nicer do to they have a reversing valve and can go from heat to a/c when needed and are more energy efficient. The second type is you have a condensing unit outside and a furnace inside with an Evaporation coil and elements for your heat.
Which ever unit you have, there are simple factors when performing an inspection for the HVAC element. First on any outside unit, it has to be level. Secondly the coils should be cleaned probably every 2 years. This will make the unit run cooler and allow the freon to move at a cooler pace. When the coils are clogged, this creates high head pressure. Which from there the freon is restricted in moving between the coils. Secondly, the outside unit should be free of any debris near and around.
For the unit inside the home. This unit is mostly in the garage, attic, or maybe a closet, depending when the home was built and what part of Florida. Alot of newer homes along Port Richey for example are now in the garage mounted on the ceiling to save space. Either way, the unit should have an audible alarm in case the drip pan drain is clogged. The pan should always be directed to the exterior.
And lastly, you should want to change your filter no more then every 3 months. The filter is a source of allergen collections. Also a clean filter keeps the dust down from collecting in on the motor or swirl cage. Also, it is good to have the ducts vacuumed every so often. Dust can collect on the duct walls too. This process doesn’t matter if you live in Pasco, Hernando, or Pinellas Counties.
For more information about HVAC Inspections, feel free to check out my website: www.emeraldinspectionservice.com or feel free to call us anytime at 352-322-2700