Tag Archive | home inspection

Time

 

Time sometimes can be a friend or a foe. Let me explain. When we are prioritizing our daily activities we do the most important first and then go from there. Like getting groceries and wine but washing the car not as much. Well the same goes into an inspection. So let’s begin.

When we do general inspection we prioritize as well. If we know a storm is coming we will be on the roof first instead of last. If someone is going to use the bathroom to get ready for work we normally inspect that element first instead of going in to inspect the shower when you are bathing. (not a good idea). But seriously, there are other ways time is affected. Well water testing. Time is critical and there is a cost due to the time the samples arrive at the lab. If they arrive late the test is not valid. Same goes with radon testing. An extremely amount of time has to be prepared for the home prior to the test. If not then the test will be invalid. Just as we take time to make sure the testing lab is doing there proper standards of practice for the results.

Lastly, the time in preparation of the reports. No matter how many fancy apps an inspection company has. Preparation of the report and delivery is the the utmost importance. Would you want to wait for a wind mitigation report for 5 days. No. The time to do the report is minimal. Just like the time to research properties takes time but we know how to utilize it properly.

So remember when reports are generated there is time to prepare and time to deliver. Just as much as the time for the home owner or to take the time to prepare maybe the home for a certain inspection. When both work together. The time is priceless.

Until next weeks blog, thank you again. 352-322-2700. http://www.emeraldinspectionservice.com

Infrared Thermography

If you have been following our feeds on social media, lately we have been posting about infrared thermography. This is not some word we made up for new social media phase. This is actually a technology that some home inspectors will agree on that it is a must needed tool and some will say its a waste of money. We have spent time on research and have found that this gives the client a much clearer reference point and better reporting then using other tools. So this blog will explain a bit more of infrared thermography and why client’s should ask about it. So lets begin.

Infrared technology has been around for several years. The military and medical field has used it for many years. From night vision glasses to examining a limb on the body. The different type of equipment can range from $150.00 to thousands of dollars. But for home inspectors doing a one type reporting few times a week it has to be economical and clearly able to explain to the client of what they are reporting and difference between moisture being present and insulation in the wall. The different type of cameras will go from showing a small moisture area in side the wall cavity, for example to being able to determine heat loss from lack of insulation. The inspector has to be trained and certified in infrared. Without the certification, the inspector has a very expansive gadget and a lot of times may report a finding incorrectly. For example; “Emmittance” which means a measure of how much heat a material will radiate as a material cools down. Or my favorite Thermal Imagery. This term only means that property of an object that describes its ability to absorb and radiate heat. So while doing a spot target picture. The wall may show inside the wall cavity at 115 degrees Fahrenheit. OK, that’s the temperature but where does that figure come from. That is up to the trained inspector to determine.

Its not rocket science to determine these images. The biggest thing is knowing your tools. Some cameras are great for showing if electrical components are going to fail. Some will give more precise detail and there are the ones that will just tell temperature. And here is a thought. Chef’s even use these now instead of the old fashioned temperature probe. So as you can see this technology has been modernized for various types of trades. Keep in mind a chef is not going be able to determine what the factor of a leak is or issues in a wall cavity. Nor is a home inspector using infrared technology determine the diagnosis of a broken arm with the camera as well.

So in closing, why are we adding this service. Several reasons. One we want to be ahead of the competition. Secondly, we want to be able to have a various of avenues of clients that can call on us. A small apartment complex just last week in #Brandon Florida reached out to us because of moisture intrusion. We were able to provide a synopsis and detailed report with clarity to explain the scope of work that should take place to repair this issue.

We provide this type of service as many others throughout the Tampa, Brooksville, Lakeland and Clearwater Florida areas. And many more. This type of service can be added as an ancillary service or as the general purpose of the service. For more information, please visit us on the web at: www.emeraldinspectionservice.com Or call us anytime at; 352-322-2700.

As a footnote, I would like to add to this blog. That 9/11 is upon us. Please take a moment of silence to remember those in New York City, The Pentagon in Virginia and Shankesville Pennsylvania for those who were killed in the horrible terrorist acts. May we never forget that day and may one day we end the fight against terror by defeating our enemies foreign and domestic.

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Rib Cook Off Charity Event

This weeks blog is to announce the charity event that Emerald Inspection Service is co-hosting. Also, the story behind the reason we are doing this event. So, lets begin.

Emerald Inspection Service is co-hosting a Rib Cook-Off for charity on Sunday, 25 September 2016. The time is 1-5. The event will take place at the Land O Lakes Community Center at, 5401 Land O Lakes Blvd. Land O Lakes, FL 34639. The charity we have selected is TAPS. Tragedy Assistance Programs for Survivors. The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) offers compassionate care to all those grieving the death of a loved one serving in our Armed Forces. Since 1994, TAPS has provided comfort and hope 24 hours a day, seven days a week through a national peer support network and connection to grief resources, all at no cost to surviving families and loved ones. Their website is: www.taps.org     for more information about this great charity.

The other Co-Host is James Harris. Great friend of mine and opening up a new commercial mobile kitchen.  Jimmy BoDeans BBQ & Catering. www.jimmybodeansbbq.com   His charity is Paws For Friendship. www.pawsforfriendshipinc.org   Their purpose is; Paws for Friendship commitment to visiting those in nursing homes, hospitals and assisted living centers is paramount. There are 2 other sponsors I also would like to mention. RGA, www.rganetwork.net and Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair. www.pascoremodel.com

The winner of the cook-off will have 50% of the proceeds donated to their charity. As other cookers are on board the other 50% will be donated and split equally to their charities.

So in closing I would like to let everyone know how this event came about. About a month ago I was asked to cook ribs for a cookout at a friends house. It had been about a year or so since I did this. With the help of a friend of mine, the ribs were slow cooked and the taste was delicious. As James saw the pictures of the event on Facebook, there was a bit of talking going back and forth about ribs. So, I initiated the challenge. With that it was going to be a small party at my house and from there with the guidance of RGA it formed an official event. If you like to make a donation, please call or email us. 352-322-2700 or info@emeraldinspectionservice.com Please see flyer link below.

Rib Taste Flyer1

Happy 3rd Anniversary

Wanna share the story of how Emerald Inspection Service, LLC came to life. About this time 3 years ago, Emerald Inspection Service, LLC was born. Emerald Inspection Service was born in Columbia Maryland originally. In Maryland I was in class for education hours for home inspection. During this process it was an exhilarated course. 7 days a week 10 hours per day. During this time we had mock inspections, learning different mechanical systems, new technology in the homes and administrative and legal as well.  Once I completed the course and passed I was certified with American Home Inspectors Training Institute. However that was not licensing.  The next step was to take what I learned and prepare for my test. I found out that Maryland accepts the National Certification Of Home Inspectors test. This also allows me to work in other states as well without taking another state test. Different states may require additional education hours, such as Florida.  Once I passed the test, I was legally in business.

In February of 2014, I received my Florida Home Inspectors License. Now moving to Florida, I learned that Florida required about 40 more educational hours. Being the aggressor that I am. I enrolled in about 120 more hours. This giving full course credit from #AHIT. Since then, I have completed other courses as well to stay up on industry standards and license requirement.

Moving forward into our new year, Emerald Inspection Service has serviced over 200 clients in MD and FL. We provide certified floor consulting, 203k consulting, construction inspections for contractor or the home owner, and radon testing just to name a few. We offer warranty service with our inspections and this has expanded to termite warranty. Our normal service coverage area ranges from #Hernando to #Sarasota. And from #Clearwater to #Clermont Florida.

So in closing I would like to thank the clients and referral partners that have helped us get where we are today.  Alot of people have asked why then name Emerald Inspection Service? Well in short, the Emerald is the stone of prophecy. The stone can keep the worrier calm and bring to reason. So at Emerald Inspection Service, there is no reason to worry about your next property inspection service. Which is why our slogan, Quality Inspections With Clarity! Again, Thank You!

New Home Construction Inspections

This weeks blog is a bit late but is more organic and about an actual occurrence that happened the past weekend.  A good friend of mine is buying their first home in the Riverview Florida area. In the north we call them town homes down in the south they are refereed to as villas. The name description of your new home is what they use wording according to the area.

I was asked to inspect their home. When I saw that it will be a built up stucco home for the second level, I took note to the outside sheathing. Additionally while inspecting the interior we noticed framing deficiencies in rooms over 6 inches. This is huge. The potential home owner can not be at site during construction in all phases. But when a small villa is to be built, it needs to be built by the specifications of the blue prints.

When building a home you have stages and yes you have rain delays in any type of construction. However, your General Contractor  should have a representative to coordinate daily construction activity and know typical deficiencies about the sub contractors. When I went to inspect the home, I found that the sheathing on the top floor has brown wood, turned edges and additionally the window wells are not covered for moisture.  Brown wood refers to a pieces of sheathing that is over weathered and should not be used, as it is has gathered extreme moisture in that pieces. The turn edges reflect that the corners that the ends have moisture entered the ends of the sheathing and needs to be replaced. These are items that should be addressed to the builder or general contractor to replace these deficiencies. Also, a home inspector should inspect the final product. A true home inspector will use their tools in the tool box to make sure moisture is not irreverent in the home.

We can do these type of inspections and we are working to gather our building inspection certificate with State of Florida. We will gladly perform this inspection from Clearwater and Sarasota to Orlando and Hudson.  To find out more contact us at 352-322-2700 or get us on the web; www.emeraldinspectionservice.com  Thank You.

Electrical Inspections

This weeks blog is about inspecting the electrical systems in the home. Now when I mention about this remember you have low voltage systems as some home still have outside lighting or be apart of the intercom, alarm panel and security systems, and then the main electric panel and circuits. So lets begin about our process and why this is a main entity in any inspection and has been a stand alone service as well. So lets begin.

Lets talk about the electric panel and circuits first. Every home is going to have a service entry cable coming from the pole. Some newer homes are underground buried in conduit that is connected to the meter on the side of the home. This is becoming more common now especially with wind and heavy rain storms. It is a lot safer and in time more economical for utility companies. However, you do have the overhead type as well. This goes to a mass head that is fed to the meter from the roof or side of the home. The biggest part of this is that their is enough clearance and a rain loop on the wires so water does not drip on the wires going into the conduit. Also you do not want tree branches near the service cable either. Now in the panel box newer systems are using copper multi-stranded wire instead of aluminum. Aluminum is fine as long as its not used for the branch circuits. Additionally, an oxidizing agent needs to be applied to the wires to maintain them so rust does not appear on the wires over time.

The branch circuits in the home start at the panel box. You have a breaker that will control usually up to 6-8 receptacles and or switches. For example you may have one breaker that controls receptacles in the living room but will control the bedroom adjacent to it. Normally circuits in each room there is one light or device on another circuit so the room does not go completely dark if the breaker trips. Alot of times when we are inspecting the circuits, some will have an AFCI breaker and we usually test them with our tester. This is a different type of tester then GFCI. We also test them in the kitchen and bathrooms. When we are inspecting we find alot of open grounds, reverse polarity or my favorite the hot and neutral are reversed. This is not an alarm to kill a deal. It just means an electrician needs to repair it properly. Also, another of my favorite is the ground slot usually is broken on the receptacle. This comes from pulling the plug from a device. This should be replaced too.

So, lets touch base on the low voltage systems. These have been becoming more popular in newer homes. Alot of homes are being pre-wired for internet, cable, intercom, sprinkler and some for outside lighting. All of these have a transformer. Even the thermostat on the wall has low voltage. Alot of inspectors do not inspect these. We do. We need to know in advance but we do. Here is why. Lets say the outside lighting is not working properly. The receptacle on that branch circuit is ok. But if the transformer is bad or bad wiring to these lights its just as much as a hazard as it is for an open ground on the branch circuits in the home. Same with the sprinkler system. Again, low voltage but you want to make sure the sprinkler heads are installed in proper place as to not rust out the housing on an ac unit or cause damage to windows.

So in closing when we are performing these type of inspections we give a complete, prompt, and accurate report. Not just a one line item. We have performed #electrical and #low voltage system inspections from #Largo to #Lakeland, from #Hudson to #Howey In The Hills Florida. Additionally this is part of the 4 point inspection process as well. For more information about electrical inspections and other services Emerald Inspection Service can provide, please call us anytime at 352-322-2700 or visit our website; www.emeraldinspectionservice.com

Concrete Scanning

We are proud to announce that we offer concrete scanning as one of our new services. So you may think ok why do I need the concrete scanned. Well down here a lot of pipes are underground and same with wires.  By hiring us we can pin point exactly where a wire, pipe or other objects are. You do not want to take a chance of redoing some ones home and hit a wire or pipe.  But that’s not the only reason. Say for example you are working on a home and some of the concrete, whether it be a slab or driveway, needs to be repaired. So you use a demo hammer and not knowing touch a wire and you become the ground.

So to find out more about this service we will be doing a live demonstration at the summer expo in Largo FL. Or call our office 352-322-2700 anytime. We perform this and other services throughout Florida. For example; Clearwater, Tampa, Clermont, and Hudson.

Inspecting Older Homes

We get asked a lot about inspecting older homes. There are several older homes in St. Petersburg, Dade City, Sebring and Brooksville, Florida that we inspect all the time. Age wise, an older home is about 20 or more years in age. When performing a home inspection, the inspector should have knowledge of systems in that era. For example, back then people were upgrading the panel box from 60 to 100 amp breaker panel. Now days it common to see 150 or even 200 amp service for a home. But what if it is an older home and not been upgraded. Is it a bad property. NO. The trained inspector is going to see how the house is. Yes, the appliances maybe aged or the windows are not energy efficient. But certain items can be upgraded and at the same time, they may not need to be.

If an older home has systems in place from 20 or more years the inspector should take extra time to see how that system is performing. For example, the range maybe aged, but is working just like a new one. To me there is nothing wrong with it, other then its not a stainless new one. Alot of people who bought homes back then, might had bought to down size or start over by themselves. You may had a couple that is just them, no kids. So there isn’t computers, hair dryers and other stuff on all the time. Just like water heaters, I have seen some that have gone into the bonus life way beyond the warranty. That is something that should be monitored but if there is no rust or the seams are not leaking then hey, leave it be until there is an issue.

So, when purchasing an older home, make sure that the home has been well maintained and understand how the people lived. Sure you may need to upgrade certain elements in the home for either more modernization or for your life style. But the biggest thing is making sure the inspector is experienced with inspecting those type of properties. For more information on this and other services, visit; www.emeraldinspectionservice.com or call us anytime at 352-322-2700 or 844-RADON-40. And Have A Happy & Safe 4th of July.

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.

 

 

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