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.
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
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