Weatherstripping Your Windows and Doors

Homeowners know the importance of ensuring that weatherstripping is installed correctly in their homes. Doing so ensures that your home is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Many home inspectors make checking a home’s weatherstripping a key part of the inspection process. However, it should be proactively checked by homeowners whether it was added recently or during the initial construction. Here is how it’s done and what to look for.

What Forms Are Available?

Weatherstripping comes in multiple forms for both windows and doors. One of the most popular options is in tape form. As a self-adhesive, it can be cut to various sizes and installed easily. Also available are door sweeps. These keep air from leaking out from the bottom of doors. Made from either vinyl or rubber, they are attached with either screws or adhesive tape. Finally, v-seals, which are for both doors and windows, compress to fill in gaps of air entry points.

Checking For Air Leaks

You likely are aware of the core areas where air leaks can occur. However, there are additional areas that aren’t usually thought of. It’s easy to check these areas yourself. One method is by feeling around your windows and doors for any drafts. This also gives you a sense of places in your home where you may need additional insulation. An energy auditor or home technician also performs these types of inspections.

Applying Weatherstripping

While it can be done by professionals, installing weatherstripping is a relatively straightforward process. Once you decide on the material you want to use, determine how much you need. This includes measuring the perimeters of all areas where the material will be installed. You also want to install it when the temperature is over 20 degrees Fahrenheit, and on a dry, clean surface.

Other Factors To Consider

There are other things to know before you decide on installing weatherstripping. First, the best time to replace any existing weatherstripping is when you hear, see, or feel any changes to airflow around doors and windows. Experts suggest checking it every year. Also, for doors, it should be installed on the inside or around frame grooves for best results. With windows, depending on the style, place around the window jamb or between the sash and jamb for double hung versions.

Call Us To Check Your Weatherstripping

Having your weatherstripping checked is a key part of owning a home. Whether it’s done yourself or by a professional, it provides huge benefits in terms of energy efficiency. When installed correctly, it allows you to save money and keep your home comfortable all year long.

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Proactive Home Inspection Preparation

Once you’ve decided to sell your home, there are numerous elements to consider for the buying process. This includes finding an agent, determining a listing price, and making sure it’s ready for presentation. An important part of this process is home inspection preparation. A solid home inspection report is key to ensuring the sale goes through. The good news is that there are steps you can take to make the inspection process goes as smoothly as possible.

Clear All Access Points

When setting up an inspection, the last thing you want is for it to be impossible for the inspector to get where they need to be. Ensure that inspectors have a clear path to necessary areas, including attics, basements, and under sinks. Experts suggest leaving 4 to 6 inches of space clean around the perimeter of your home’s exterior for access. This means removing unnecessary plants and items like trash cans.

Look at Functionality

If you know there are specific items that an inspector will review in your home, you can check their functionality before the inspection happens. This includes everything from opening windows and doors to testing all your light switches. In addition, make sure your home’s weatherstripping is intact, run fans that are in your home (both ceiling and bathroom), and check the manual and automatic garage doors.

Check for Water Damage

A home inspector will look for leaks or water damage during an inspection. Getting in front of them helps you repair them before the inspection occurs. Look for leaks in key areas, such as around faucets, toilets, and bathtubs. Also, check appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators that are prone to leaks. In terms of water damage, you want to review areas like walls, floors, or ceilings. This is to look for damage signs such as buckling, warping, or sagging.

Make Repairs Before Home Inspection

If there are issues that you can fix before the inspection, do so. From broken light bulbs to clearing clogged drains, any proactive fixes you make help the inspection process go smoothly. Other repairs you can make include fixing insulation in attics and crawl spaces, replacing cracked windows, and updating missing pieces of a roof.

Call Us For a Home Inspection

A home inspection is an important part of the home buying process. By doing proactive home inspection preparation and maintaining a checklist of tasks to do before the it occurs, you make it easy for an inspector to complete.

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What is a Wind Mitigation Inspection?

For residents that live in Florida, scheduling a wind mitigation inspection offers many benefits. They help give potential homeowners an idea of how well their property withstands strong winds and water intrusion. Additionally, a completed inspection provides homeowners an opportunity to have their overall home insurance premiums reduced. Here is what to know about wind mitigations inspections.

How a Wind Mitigation Inspection Works

Typically, a wind mitigation inspection covers specific areas of your home. The report you receive after the inspection highlights everything that was looked at. In addition, you get recommendations for repairs or improvements. The areas covered include:

  • Roof Covering. Verifying the roof is up to building codes and checking its age.
  • Roof Decking Attachment. An inspector looks at the type of decking used. This includes decks with nails or staples.
  • Roof to Wall Attachment. This reviews how the trusses are attached plus the strength of the attachment.
  • Roof Geometry. This determines the roof’s sustainability during strong winds.
  • Gable End Bracing. Inspectors check homes with a gable-style roof. For these, they check to see if the ends meet building standards for proper reinforcement.
  • Wall Construction. The reviews the supplies used for reinforcements, framing, and other materials. This checks for sustainability and strength.
  • Secondary Water Barrier. Tailored more towards newer homes and roofs built after 2008, the inspector reviews this barrier for proper installation.
  • Opening Protection. Inspectors check any openings in your home, like shutters, doors, and windows to ensure they are hurricane-proof.

What Are the Benefits?

A mitigation inspection provides homeowners and buyers with multiple benefits. One of the most important advantages is savings on insurance premiums. According to the Florida Division of Emergency Management, 15-70% of premiums are the result of risks due to wind damage. There is an upfront cost to add features for wind mitigation to your home. However, doing so offers larger savings in the long term. On top of the financial benefits, mitigation adds safety to your home, especially during major storms. Just adding hurricane shutters and straps reduces the risk of damage due to flying debris.

Inspector Details

On average, a wind mitigation inspection is a relatively quick process. In many cases, inspectors can complete the process in 30-60 minutes, with a detailed report available the same day. The specific amount of time depends on multiple factors. For example, documentation of windows and shutters adds extra time. In terms of cost, an inspection can be around $100, though this will vary based on the company. In addition, inspectors can combine wind mitigation with other types of inspections they offer.

Schedule a Wind Mitigation Inspection With Us

A wind mitigation inspection is an essential item for Florida homeowners or home purchasers. For owners, it ensures their property is protected during a major storm. Plus, there are opportunities for substantial insurance savings down the road.

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Home Inspectors and Realtors: How They Work Together

You may not consider a potential link between home inspectors and realtors. Ideally, they would team up to provide home buyers with necessary assistance and help them make proper decisions on their property. This isn’t always the case, however. The fact is that when both groups trust and understand each other, they can best serve the client. Here is how a relationship between home inspectors and realtors is beneficial for all parties.

The Role of Agents

Typically, a home buyer or seller will ask their agents for recommendations on a home inspector. A buyer or seller will typically ask their agent for recommendations on a home inspector. Most agents have a list of inspection companies depending on a number of factors. These include licensing, certifications, and accuracy of work. In addition, they want an inspector that will provide necessary context on the level of damage found. Agents also look for services that have written reports consistent with items noted in person.

Do Agents Attend?

Every real estate agent has their own view of whether they should attend an inspection. While they aren’t required to attend, it can be beneficial for them to be there. It gives them a chance to see an inspector’s work first-hand and allows them to know what happened should a client have questions about what was found. It also allows for agents to evaluate the inspector for future work. Agents will attend a few inspections to understand how they work and why specific items were noted.

Business Boost for Home Inspectors

One of the main benefits of the link between inspectors and realtors is that it can lead to increased business for inspection companies. As inspectors don’t work directly for agents, it’s important for them to build relationships with realtors so they can serve as a recommendation. The top real estate agents want to work with inspectors that do a quality job, including following all details and completing an inspection in a timely manner. Inspectors have the opportunity to be selected in the future by providing the best information on a property,

Call Our Home Inspectors

Real estate agents and home inspectors have an important relationship. They both work together for the benefit of a home buyer or seller. Also, there is the potential for professional benefits from the partnership as well.

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Mold Testing and How Home Inspectors Do It

You may not think of mild testing as a key step in the home buying process. However, it is an important step to consider no matter if you are a buyer or seller. It gives you an idea of if there are serious problems that need to be addressed before purchasing. Not every home inspection company provides an investigation into mold. That said, those that do can look at multiple aspects of your home and find potential problems, saving you time and money down the road. Here is how home inspectors perform mold testing.

Is Mold Testing Needed?

There are a number of benefits of doing a mold test before you decide to buy a home. It provides a sense of the quality of the are in the house. This is important especially if you are unsure how well the home has been maintained. In addition, the smell of mold indicates a significant issue in most cases. By having a mold test done, potential homeowners are performing due diligence to ensure the quality of the home is sound.

How Mold Tests Are Done

The process of mold testing is relatively straightforward. It starts by visually inspecting potential mold sources. Inspectors may ask during a consultation if you have a suspicion where mold could be located. From there, a sample of the surface is collected. This can be done in multiple ways. An inspector may want to take a bulk sample of the possible area for review. In addition, a cotton swab can be used to swipe a smaller section of the surface in question. If an inspector wants to take samples from the air, they will use a trap to capture spores. Once the test is complete, inspectors suggest remediation if mold is found.

Areas That Are Checked

The majority of mold inspections involve looking at specific locations throughout the home. This includes examining the HVAC system the house has. Many times, mold can be found in the indoor air handler or furnace and even on vent covers. This can be problematic, as spores located in an HVAC unit can circulate throughout the home. Another location checked is the attic. It’s not difficult to detect mold growing on wood, and checking for it early prevents the possibility of wood rot and structural damage.

How Long Does It Take?

On average, a basic inspection for mold takes 2 hours to complete. For more detailed inspections on an entire house, it can take up to 6 hours. Following an inspection, an inspector will have an idea of the amount of mold the home has. However, they will wait until the full results of the inspection arrive before fully indicating the presence of mold. Typically, the results take 24-48 hours to appear. The report will indicate the count of specific spores in a room, as well as visual findings.

Call Us for Mold Testing

Inspecting for mold is an essential part of buying a home. It provides the information needed for homebuyers to determine if a house needs remediation. Schedule a mold test with our team of inspectors today.

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Drone Home Inspection: What You Need To Know

As technology advances, more and more businesses are finding newer ways to incorporate it into their day-to-day operations. This is especially true when it comes to drones. These devices allow companies to gain new perspectives and views on anything from buildings to events. One industry that has increased its usage of this technology is home inspections. By incorporating drones, an inspector can get an overview of a home’s structure while doing so safely. Here is what to know about drones and their use during a home inspection.

Advantage Of Drone Home Inspection

Using drones for home inspections has many benefits, especially when it comes to searching areas like roofs and chimneys. One of the biggest advantages is increased safety. Most home inspectors are not required to walk on top of a roof during an inspection. In addition, for those that do decide to climb up, various factors can make it dangerous to do so. By using a drone, these risks are reduced and inspectors have the ability to get a detailed look at a roof while on the ground. It is more accurate compared to standard inspections. Drones can be beneficial for homeowners as well. Some roofs cannot handle the pressure of people walking on them. A drone gets the information needed without damage due to excess pressure.

Drawbacks

While drones are a major help to inspectors, they aren’t without their drawbacks. For starters, weather conditions make it difficult to launch, especially during rain, snow, or high winds. Certain locations are unable to have drone flights as well. The Federal Aviation Administration does not allow drones to fly within 5 miles of an airport, which can cause complications in some areas. They also prohibit night flights without a waiver, a factor that’s important to certain areas during the shorter winter days. Finally, there may be some elements that a drone can’t catch, like compromised areas.

How Much of an Investment?

For inspectors, there are multiple steps involved in getting a drone. First, the FAA requires obtaining a remote pilot certificate for commercial drone users. They also need to recertify on a biannual basis, register their drone and follow additional rules. Getting a pilot certificate involves passing a test on regulations and operations. There is also training to go through, which inspectors can try the first class of to see if they want to make the investment of a drone. Once training is complete, inspectors usually take time to practice flying in an open environment. This ensures they are familiar with how it works before using it on a job.

Next is selecting the equipment itself. There are many drones on the market that are available for under $1000. However, experts caution against the lower-priced models. While a more expensive drone is a significant investment, they provide additional safety and features. A more reliable drone will also reduce the possibility of errors and omissions claims. When choosing a drone, look for good camera quality, solid flight time, and high-level quality service from the manufacturer. You may also want to consider investing in equipment coverage that insures the drone and additional accessories.

Schedule a Drone Home Inspection With Us

A drone is rapidly becoming a major component in home inspections. While they can be a major investment, they provide a great way to examine the highest points of your home. Contact us today to have us complete your home inspection.

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Frequently Asked Home Inspection Questions

When buying a home, you will likely hear a lot about the importance of getting it inspected. It’s key to knowing if there are any issues with the home before you purchase, saving you potential repair costs. Getting a home inspection done has numerous benefits, and will help you know the property you’re looking for is in good condition. However, you may have a number of questions before choosing an inspector. This blog will help provide answers and give you a better sense of the inspection process.

Why is an Inspection Needed?

Whether you are buying a new home or selling an old one, it’s recommended that you get an inspection scheduled. By doing so, you get complete details on the home’s condition. This also can be helpful in gaining new negotiating power during the buying process. For example, if there are any issues found during the inspection, it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker that halts the sale of a house. It gives buyers a chance to potentially negotiate a lower sale price.

What is Usually Looked At in a Home Inspection?

While it may vary depending on the inspector, the core inspection will focus on the home’s structure and systems. This includes HVAC units, water heaters, drainage systems, framing and foundations, and much more. In addition, some inspectors will test for radon or use technology to look at a home’s roof.

How Much and Who Pays?

In the majority of instances, the cost of the inspection will go to the home buyer. Since the inspection protects them, the buyer bears the main costs. From a pricing standpoint, it depends on the size of the property being looked at. Other variables are considered as well, such as the home’s age and location. But the average cost for an inspection is between $300 and $500. If additional elements such as radon testing and roof inspections are asked for, the price will increase.

Do I Need to Be There?

It’s not entirely necessary to be present during an inspection, but many inspectors recommend that you appear. The reason for this is that inspectors can point out potential problems as well as discrepancies with their reports. In addition, some inspectors will allow you the accompany them during the inspection itself. By being there for the inspection, you get a great look at every detail of your new home.

Can I Do a Home Inspection Myself?

There are some homeowners who feel that an inspection is something they can handle on their own. However, this is often not the case. Even if you’re an experienced home seller or buyer, you likely don’t have the training and expertise that a home inspector has. Using a certified home inspector means hiring someone with knowledge of construction elements and how they are installed and maintained. In addition, the majority of sales and purchase contracts require using a Licensed, Qualified, or Certified Inspector to handle the actual inspection.

Can a Home Fail an Inspection?

A professional home inspection serves as a thorough overview of a home’s condition. It doesn’t serve as an appraisal of its value or as a municipal inspection for code compliance. This means that a home can’t technically fail an inspection. An inspector will objectively and accurately describe the current state of the house, as well as indicate potential problems and concerns. From there, it’s up to the home buyer to decide if they want to purchase.

A home inspection is an integral part of the home buying process. While it may seem overwhelming, having a certified inspector handing it will make it painless. In addition, they can save potential homeowners money in the long run.

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Home Inspections vs Home Appraisals

If you are a home buyer, there are a number of steps that need to happen before closing. Two of the biggest are home inspections and appraisals. While there are some similarities between the two, there are also key differences. Both of these steps are important when it comes to the overall home buying process. Here is what to know about the difference between home inspections and appraisals.

What a Home Inspection Covers

Before you decide to schedule a home inspection or appraisal, it helps to know what you’re getting with both. With a home inspection, a certified inspector goes through a list of items associated with your home to ensure it’s in working order before the sale. This includes everything from major components like an HVAC unit to smaller details like doorknobs. They will also look at a home’s plumbing and electrical systems to verify they are working properly. In addition, there may be secondary inspections for things like mold, termites, and to check pools and basements.

From a standpoint of length, a typical home inspection takes around three to four hours, though this can depend on the size of the home inspected or other factors. Once the inspection is finished, a detailed report is provided listing any issues with the home. A buyer uses this report to negotiate a sale price based on the data in the report. For sellers, it gives a list of items that need to be fixed before a sale.

How Home Appraisals Differ

While a home inspection covers the majority of elements inside your home, an appraisal is dedicated to things that may affect the cost of a home. There are a number of factors looked at during an appraisal. For starters, the home’s square footage is looked at. In typical appraisals, the more usable square footage there is, the higher the value of the property. Other items reviewed include the home’s floor plan, amenities, and luxury items such as swimming pools and outdoor kitchens. The location of the house is checked as well, as its value can modify based on the proximity to schools, groceries, and large cities.

There are additional types of appraisals that have developed in recent years. Hybrid appraisals incorporate information from a third-party source to do an appraisal without needing to visit the house. A desktop appraisal is similar to the hybrid version but without the use of a third party.

The appraisal process takes longer than a home inspection, with an appraisal lasting seven to ten days. The majority of this time is creating the appraisal report, as the actual inspection of the property takes a few hours. An appraisal has a cost range of $300-$500, though this depends on a home’s size, condition, and location. In addition, unlike an inspection, an appraisal is usually required during the home sale process.

Are Home Appraisals or Inspections Better to Get First?

Now that you know what separates home inspections and appraisals, you may wonder which you should get first when buying a home. Experts say that the home inspection should be done first. The reason for this is relatively simple. If an inspection returns indicating a home needs major, expensive repairs, you may not want to proceed with purchasing. By getting the inspection done first, you may be able to save money on an appraisal for a home you have no intention of buying.

Schedule a Home Inspection With Us

Both home inspections and appraisals can be tricky to understand for people when buying a home. However, they both are key parts of the buying process. Knowing what each of these covers and when they are needed is beneficial and can save you significant costs in the long run. Contact us today to have us complete your home inspection.

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What is Looked For In a Basement Inspection

A basement is one of the key parts of any home. It serves as the underbelly of a house and can be the first place to look to determine if there are any troubles. Whether it’s visible foundation cracks or signs of pests, your basement is one of the best locations to get a look at the condition of your home. When an inspector examines a basement, it helps them get a sense of a home’s overall health. However, you may be unfamiliar with what elements are examined. Here is a look at what inspectors look for during a basement inspection.

Foundation Damage

When damage appears in a foundation, it could be a sign of larger issues. If left untreated, it could lead to water damage, flooding, or even structural damage. For homebuyers or sellers, it’s why having an inspection is so important. An inspector checks to examine if cracks appear within the walls of the foundation. These cracks may appear in numerous forms, including horizontal, vertical, diagonal, and stair-step. In addition, they look for gaps preventing windows and doors from closing as well as uneven ceilings and roofs.

Moisture and Water Damage

When it comes to basements, they can be a source of leaks and excess moisture. This is especially true of unfinished basements. When an inspector looks at a basement, they inspect the elements that could cause water damage. This includes leaking pipes, water that is seeping through cracks or windows, and if past flooding or damage has occurred. Similarly, some inspectors will look at the plumbing as a whole. Pipes that are exposed to excess moisture, especially in an unfinished basement, may also be a source of potential damage.

Sump Pump

A sump pump moves water from your basement out of your home. The pump itself resides in a basin underneath the main surface of your basement floor. If you have one, it’s good to have an inspector check it to ensure there are no clogs or any signs of damage. When a sump pump is damaged, it can prevent water from being able to leave your home, as well as lead to the chances of damage to your yard. If your pump has been working slower than usual, be sure to bring this up with your inspector.

Appliance Functionality and Basement Inspection

Your basement holds numerous pieces of equipment that are key to your home. Whether it’s an HVAC system, boiler, or electric system, it’s important to ensure they are all working at optimum condition. A basement inspector will check each of these to make sure that they work correctly. In addition to the potential impacts they can have on your home due to malfunctioning, they also could impact the total market value of your home.

Plumbing and Insulation

You likely know that a leak in your plumbing can be a sign of potential major damage. This is especially true when it comes to your basement. If a leak goes undetected, it could be a sign that your pipes could experience damage. This is where inspectors come in. They will check over the pipes and joints in your home to check for any signs of dampness. This also looks for signs of excessive moisture. In addition, your home’s insulation is reviewed for damage. If the insulation has problems due to dampness or a leak, there is the possibility that it could hold mold particles.

Schedule a Basement Inspection With Us

When you schedule an inspection for your basement, you want to make sure that it is as thorough as possible. By having a qualified inspector examine the basement, you can be certain they will examine every aspect to ensure that it is structurally sound. Contact us today to have us complete your basement inspection.

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Why You Should Consider a Condo Inspection

Many people know that having a home inspection done is a key step in the home buying process. By getting one completed, you are made aware of any potential problems with your home. In addition, you are able to have these issues resolved before you buy. What people may not be aware of is that condo inspections are just as important if you are in the market to purchase one. While there are some differences between the two, the process of having a condo inspected is largely similar to a normal home inspection. Here is what to know when scheduling a condo inspection.

What to Ask Before a Condo Inspection

During a condo inspection, the majority of the cost is up to the buyer. This means that it’s important to research and find a quality inspector. Doing so saves you money in the long run. There are specific things you can ask an inspector about before selecting one. For example, you should ask if technical audits exist for the community the condo is a part of. There are specific criteria most condos need to meet to have FHA loans accepted, and an audit will list issues that could result in future repair costs.

In addition, ask your inspector to review documents from previous meetings the condo has. When a condo’s board has a meeting, the minutes are recorded for posterity. You want to get access to the last year of these minutes.  They will note any exterior problems or maintenance issues that need to be addressed. You can also ask an inspector to review HOA finances, to ensure that should major issues arise, they have enough capital to make repairs.

Things to Look For in an Inspector

It can be challenging to find the right condo inspector to review your property. However, the main points to consider are similar to finding a traditional home inspector. You can go through recommendations from people such as your realtor or any friends or family members that have gone through the inspection process. In addition, sites like Yelp or Angi can also suggest inspectors. They also give you a chance to read reviews before choosing.

In terms of traits you should look for in an inspector, they are pretty straightforward. You want someone that will appear at the scheduled time to complete the inspection. Also, look for an inspector that has a history of completing reviews of condos and is familiar with what to look for.

What Do Inspectors Look For?

The first thing to know is the areas that inspectors look at during an inspection. From an interior standpoint, floors and ceilings are looked at to ensure there are no signs of potential problems such as water leaks and other types of damage. Kitchens and washrooms are also looked at. This includes checking appliances as well as any fixtures to make sure there are no gaps or hollow spaces in caulking. In addition, electrical systems and the HVAC unit are also inspected to ensure they are in working order.

Condo inspections are not only focused on what’s inside. There are many exterior elements that are checked as well. An inspector will check to make sure there are no stains, cracks, or signs of water damage on the walls of the unit. Also, exterior lighting is reviewed to see if it is at appropriate levels. For condos that offer amenities like fitness centers, swimming pools, or meeting rooms, these are checked to ensure they are clean and well-maintained.

Why a Condo Inspection is Important

There are many reasons getting a condo inspected is a necessary step for buyers. First, it provides detailed information on any issues within the unit. Some homebuyers opt to simply review a condo’s status from the seller. However, this doesn’t provide insight into the overall health of the unit. By having an inspection done, you know about potential problems within the condo. Also, you can work out a plan to have them resolved before they turn into major issues.

For those that are buying a condo, scheduling an inspection is a necessary step for numerous reasons. In addition to knowing that your condo is structurally sound, it also helps ensure that there are no major issues that could develop, saving you time and money.

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