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Answers to your Home Inspection QuestionsFrequently Asked Questions

Q: How long will the home inspection take?

A: Most inspections take between 2-4 hours. These times vary depending on the age, size, and condition of the home.

 

Q: Should I be present during the home inspection?

A: The home inspection is a good time for the buyer to familiarize themselves with the home. The inspector will be very busy gathering and documenting information about the home. Our Company will produce and print the report at the time of inspection. So that the client and inspector can go over the report one item at a time while having the oppurtunity to look at specific deficiencies as needed. If you cannot be present during the whole inspection being there to go over the report at the end of the inspection is recommended. If you cannot be at the home at all during the inspection I will be available for you over the phone.

 

Q: Why should I use your company for the inspection?

A: Since buying a home is one of the largest investments that a family will make it only makes sense that you want a knowledgeable and experienced inspector on your side. Remember that during the home purchase process only one person works for you exclusively and that is the “Home Inspector” all other parties involved have other interests in the transaction. The home inspection is an opportunity for you to get to know the property before your purchase. While a home inspection cannot predict future performance it can pinpoint existing problem areas.

 

Q: Why should I use a Home Inspector instead of an Engineer?

A: Typically when you hire an engineer the engineer specializes in one area such as the “foundation”. While the engineer can provide you with detailed information about the foundation it leaves most of the major components un-inspected. The home inspector will inspect most components in the home. If the inspector is concerned about specific components he will direct you to a specialist like an engineer. In short hiring an engineer as your inspector will typically cost more and likely will not provide you with the results you desire.

 

Q: Can I have someone in my family with construction background or a contractor inspect my home?

A: While you may have family members that are knowledgeable about construction or a good contractor they have not been trained to inspect homes. As someone that was a contractor for 12 years prior to becoming an inspector and having a father that has been in the construction industry for more than 50 years. I know that this experience does not provide someone with the knowledge to perform a professional home inspection. Many contractors hire licensed home inspectors to inspect properties they are going to purchase.

 

Q: Do I need a home inspection if the bank is having the house appraised?

A: Absolutely! An appraisal is an independent assessment of the value of the home based on comparisons of other properties of similar size and location. The inspection accesses the condition of the home. Even FHA appraisers request a copy of an existing home inspection report for their valuation.

 

Q: What will the home inspection include?

A: A thorough home inspection includes items from the foundation through the roof. Below is a list of the items inspected.

Foundation-Drainage-Gutters-Ventilation-Roof/flashings-Attic-Retaining walls-Driveway/Sidewalks-Siding/Trim-Windows-Doors-Floors-Ceilings-Walls-Plumbing-Electrical-Heating/Cooling & Built-in Appliances (xtra's; Swimming Pools-Hot Tubs-Sprinkler Systems, Outbuildings, Detached Garages).

We also provide (WDI) Termite reports when added to the standard inspection.

 

Q: Do you inspect septic systems?

A: We do not perform septic inspections. Most home inspectors do not provide this service because of the type of equipment and work involved to perform the septic inspection properly. During a septic inspection the inspector needs to dig up and remove the lid of the septic tank. The tank then needs to be pumped empty for further evaluation. This service should be provided by a certified septic inspector or sanitary engineer.

If you are buying a home with a septic system we strongly encourage you to have it properly inspected. At least at the end of the septic inspection you will know that the tank is starting out empty for you and your family. If problems are discovered you will have the opportunity to negotiate the needed corrections.

 

Q: What if problems are uncovered during the inspection process?

A: The reality is that most homes have items that will be listed as “in need of repair”. The items may be due to age related deterioration, changes in building standards, or latent defects. This is when “time” becomes critical. Remember we will provide the inspection report “at the time of the inspection” not a later date. It is also when having a qualified and knowledgeable inspector that wants to “educate” you about your property becomes critical especially if you are present at the inspection. If you are not able to be present for the inspection I can E-mail you the report and I will be available to discuss the inspection with you over the phone.

 

Q: Can you fix the problems that are discovered during the home inspection?

A: No. It is a violation of the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) code of ethics. It is a huge conflict of interest for the home inspector to perform repairs of items identified during an inspection process. The situation also points out why it is better to have a home inspector that is also licensed to perform termite (WDI) reports instead of having a pest control company inspect the property.

Thermal Imaging

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can thermal imaging (infrared) cameras see right through the walls of my home?

A. Absolutely not. Although it does appear as if you are looking directly at components within the wall cavity, what you are actually seeing are the temperature differentials on the surface of the wall due to material or moisture conducting its temperatures directly onto the wall that is being scanned. Infrared cameras can not see through clothing, furniture, or windows.

 

Q. Is infrared Thermography safe?

A. Yes. It is non-invasive and does not require removing materials (your ceilings, walls, floors, etc.) in order to detect concealed issues.

 

Q. How does infrared Thermography detect moisture?

A. As moisture evaporates, it creates a cooling effect similar to getting out of the shower and standing under a fan. This cooling effect is clearly displayed on my infrared camera’s monitor. I then interpret the readings of this cooling effect directly to you (my client).

 

Q. Does your infrared camera detect the presence of mold, termites, or any other household invaders?

A. My infrared camera does not detect the presence of mold or insects. It can however be used to look for areas that retain moisture and therefore leave a different heat pattern (signature) than the surrounding environment. Since mold usually builds up in areas where the above average moisture resides, and concentrations of insects are usually only indicates as a heated area. Infrared cameras can be used to pinpoint suspect areas for mold build-up or insect infestations.

 

Q. Where can thermal imaging be used (in my home) for Predictive and Preventative maintenance?

A. There are no perfect buildings out there and many will have issues that are unknown to the occupants. I will virtually always detect something (whether it be minor or major) by performing a preventative & predictive maintenance scan. I am simply going to show you the areas of concern and help determine how the issues can be corrected.

 

Q. Will the infrared camera work in total darkness?

A. Absolutely. Lighting is not required when I am scanning your building. My infrared camera operates solely utilizing heat information and most objects will present different thermal signatures to their surroundings.

 

Q. How long does an infrared inspection usually take?

A. An average home (2,000 sq. ft.) can be scanned in approximately 1 hour. It will then take 2 hours to generate the professional IR report at my office. The times vary depending on the size, age, and condition of the building being inspected and how many images that are required to identify every issue within a particular building.

 

Q. Should a newly constructed home be inspected?

A. I highly recommend it. New homes simply do not guarantee perfection. I have performed many newly constructed homes and frequently detected defects such as missing insulation, HVAC air duct leaks, roof leaks, and plumbing leaks.

 

Q. Can I accompany the Thermographer during the inspection?

A. I strongly recommend that you walk right along with the inspector. I will point out areas in question, show you the IR monitor and give you options on how it can be properly corrected. If the scanning is going to occur during a standard property condition inspection I usually perform the scanning at the end after I have familiarized myself with the building.

 

Q. What is included in the report?

A. You will receive a comprehensive report with an inventory of all the scanned images. It will provide in clear written detail all the thermal anomalies that I have detected, as well as correction recommendations.

 

Q. Why should I have my home inspected with an infrared camera?

A. You’re home is most likely going to be the largest investment you’re going to make in you lifetime. While living in this home, you want to know (up front) where the hidden defects are lurking. If hidden defects go unattended too long or too late, the expense of having it repaired could be exorbitant. Also, thermal deficiencies that are corrected now, will more than likely pay for themselves within the first couple of years of repair. So keep your home comfortable and safe while protecting your investment. Get an infrared scan today.