Joined: 06/30/2014 05:28 PM EDT
Location: 52188 Van Dyke, Suite 411; Shelby Twp., MI 48316
If you are looking for a new home, don't wait until your offer is accepted to look for a home inspector. You want to make sure you have enough time to check out each candidate / company to be sure to hire the most experienced professional. Here is some advice for how to find good candidates and what to look for in an inspector.
Where to look?
Your realtor will give you a list of 3 home inspection companies. You can review those companies for the below items as well. It is NOT a requirement to choose one of the companies that your realtor recommends. You may choose any company you want. You can check with friends who have recently purchase a home if they recommend the person they used. Look online at Yelp, Angie's List and HomeAdvisor for some names. Other resources to find inspectors include professional organizations such as International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), etc.
Once you've selected a few candidates, search online to find their reviews. Go to their website to find details about the following. Call & ask them about these specific items as well. Make sure you obtain information on the following:
+Certification - are they a Certified / Licensed Home Inspector?
Michigan is a non-license state. Meaning there is currently no state licensing required to become a home inspector in Michigan. Are you ok with that though? Protect yourself and your family. Make sure the inspector is Certified thru a national organization. Make sure the inspector completes continuing education courses every year to keep up on certifications.
Although Michigan doesn't have requirements regarding insurance for home inspectors, many real estate boards require their members to meet certain coverage standards.
Verify that the inspector has ALL of the following insurance:
General Liability Insurance - This insurance protects their business from bodily injury, property damage, advertising injury, copyright infringement and reputational harm.
Errors & Omission Insurance (E&O) - This insurance helps protect from negligence, errors in services given, omissions, misrepresentation, violation of good faith & fair dealing, inaccurate advice.
Workmen's Compensation Insurance - This insurance provides benefits to employees who get injured or sick from a work-related cause.
+Tools used during an inspection are very important.
The days of a home inspector just showing up with a flashlight, screwdriver and clip board are long gone! The home inspector must have the proper tools to inspect the home. Some of the important tools they should be using are as follows: (This is not an all inclusive list of tools & equipment)
-Ladder - Used to access the roof and attic.
-Carbon Monoxide Gas Detector - this is a portable detector that detects CO gas concentration in the environment. Once the gas concentration reaches the level of warning, the unit will sound an alarm and vibrate.
-Combustible Gas Detector - this device is used to detect the presence of combustible, flammable, toxic and oxygen depleting gases in the area. They are used to detect gas leaks before it can reach an explosive level.
-Circuit analyzer - this is a test device designed for AC low-voltage distribution line quick fault location. This can detect multiple problems in a line, such as causing to electrical shock, electrical fire, abnormal operation of equipment, etc.
-GFCI receptacle test - A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter tester is used to reduce the risk of electrical shock generated from outlets by testing the electrical circuitry to see if there is imminent danger.
-Moisture meter - This device is used to identify potential problems & damage to structures from moisture buildup. They indicate the moisture content in %. This will quickly identify wet areas in walls, ceilings and floors.
-Thermal Imaging camera - This device translates thermal energy (heat) into visible light in order to analyze a particular object or scene. This is used to view differences in temperature between a wet and surrounding area. This can help detect moisture issues that may not be visible otherwise.
-Crawlbot - This is a motorized device used to get into small crawlspaces that a person may not have access to. This device has a 360 degree panning camera, full size tilt with HD pictures and video.
-Mold pump - Air samples can be used to gather data about mold spores present in the interior of a home. These samples are taken by using a pump that forces air through a collection device which catches the mold spores.
-Sewer Camera - This is a waterproof video camera snake that is used to push through a pipeline to complete a visual inspection of sewer lines and other difficult to reach pipes. This camera reveals any cracks, clog sources or structural issues inside the pipe. The video is recorded & provided as part of the inspection.
Verify that home inspection company that you are choosing will be there for you after the inspection. What if you move in and something is no longer working? Make sure they provide FREE Warranties with their inspection.
-NXT Structural Warranty - this is a 1 year structural warranty that covers structural malfunctions / failures in footings & foundation systems, beams, girders, lintens, masonry arches, columns, load bearing walls, partitions, roof framing systems & floor systems.
-90 Day Warranty - This is a limited mechanical & structural warranty. The mechanical coverage includes Plumbing, Electrical, Appliances, HVAC, Pool/Spa, Garage door openers and sump pumps. The structural coverage includes poured concrete & block wall foundations. Floor joists, bottom & top plates & wall members. Roof leak repair, load bearing walls, and attached garage doors.
-Platinum Roof Protection - This is a 5 Year plan that protects against new leaks that were not present at the time of the inspection.
-Sewer Gard - This 90 day warranty covers exterior water & sewer lines against failure from normal wear & tear. Coverage for line breakage, collapses or significant leaks that affect the functionality of the homes sewer & water systems. If a sewer scope is performed on the home and the results are satisfactory, this coverage automatically extends to 1 year for FREE.
-Mold Safe - This coverage is for 90 days following the inspection. This covers new visible mold or moisture issues. This policy pays for remediation (removal) of visible mold on surfaces permanently installed in the subject property.
-Recall Chek - This service provides homeowners with valuable information on how to receive FREE repairs or replacement from manufacturers in the event they have a recalled appliance. This is a lifetime service.
One Call to schedule all?
Does the home inspection company perform all the necessary inspections that you may need? Or will you have to hire another company for these other inspections? Meaning another company to check out, another appointment, more time needed to know all about your potential home purchase. Here are some other services that the home inspector / home inspection company should be certified to do:
- Septic Inspections - Households and businesses that are not served by public sewers depend on onsite wastewater treatment systems to treat and dispose of their wastewater. Wastewater treatment systems are most commonly known as septic systems. Failing septic systems are expensive to repair and replace. Some Counties require evaluators to be approved to inspect on-site sewage disposal systems. Check with your county to be sure.
-Sewer Scope - A camera will be inserted into the sewer lateral (exterior sewer line) This camera reveals any cracks, clog sources or structural issues inside the pipe.
-Mold Test - During the standard residential inspection, the inspector should be looking for visible signs of a mold like substance. This test includes 3 samples. The samples are either taken of the air in the home to determine if there is any unseen fungi or 3 samples of the visible fungi. These samples will then be sent to the lab for analysis.
-Radon test - Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and approximately 1 in 8 homes in this region has radon gas concentrations above the EPA Action Level of 4.0 pCi/L. EPA protocol requires a 12 hour delay plus 48 hour test to check for radon. The home inspector should use an electronic radon device. These are the most accurate and they detect tampering as well.
-Pool Inspection - This is a visible inspection of the pool tank and components to determine the functionality and condition of the systems.
-Water Quality Analysis - recommended for all homes that utilize a private water supply. A sample of potable water is taken and analyzed by a state approved testing facility. You can choose a basic test, which checks for Coliform Bacteria, E-Coli Bacteria, Nitrates and Nitrites. Or you can also check for Arsenic and Lead.
-Deck Inspection - Because decks appear to be simple to build, many people do not realize that decks are, in fact, structures that need to be designed to adequately resist certain stresses. Like any other house or building, a deck must be designed to support the weight of people, snow loads, and objects. A deck must be able to resist lateral and uplift loads that can act on the deck as a result of wind or seismic activity. Deck stairs must be safe and handrails graspable. And, finally, deck rails should be safe for children by having proper infill spacing.
-Termite Inspection - A termite inspection is a visual inspection of the readily accessible areas of a home for evidence of wood-destroying insects. The inspector will visually inspect the entire interior of the home (including the basement and / or crawlspace) as well as the exterior of the property. The inspector will provide proper documentation as required by your lender.
The best way to determine how thorough an inspector will be—and how well he will communicate the problems he finds—is to ask for a sample copy of an inspection he has done on a home like the one you’re considering buying. After comparing reports you will begin to see which ones are detailed in their observations and which are just filling their reports with generic information. Make sure the reports include color photo's of the deficiencies. Make sure they cover the findings on all the major systems of the home.
Training & Experience:
In addition to the professional certifications, look for someone that has been in the field inspecting for several years. He is more likely to have seen a variety of home types and a broad range of home issues.
There is definitely a lot to consider when choosing a home inspector. Do you like surprises? For a birthday maybe, but NOT when it comes to purchasing a home. Choose the inspection company that will tell you everything about the home you are buying. That way you can make an informed decision. When it comes to the health and safety of you and your family, it pays to do your due diligence in picking the best company for your needs.
Looking for a Home Inspector?
En-Vision Property Inspections includes everything listed above. Our inspectors have the certification, insurance, experience, tools and equipment needed to perform all the inspections mentioned.
Call or text us 24/7 to 586-453-8755 to schedule all your home inspection services.
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