A home inspection is a visual examination of accessible major components of a residential property. The Inspection process is designed for the inspector to identify defects within specific systems and components of the property as defined by published Standards. Home inspections are based on the observations made on the date of the inspection, and not a prediction of future conditions.
Home inspections are non-invasive and not technically exhaustive because home inspectors are not experts in every system of the home. Home Inspectors are trained to recognize conditions that should be further evaluated by a specialist (if any). For example, if the inspector suspects something wrong with a furnace, they will not disassemble the furnace, but instead recommend a HVAC pro come and investigate the issue.
Since home inspections are visual inspections, parts of the home hidden behind floor, wall and ceiling coverings, to personal belongings can not be inspected. The official home inspection report should also disclaim, or call out, portions of the home not inspected.
Standards of Practice (SOP) are created and published by national home inspection organizations. In the case of Wholesome Homes Co, we use InterNACHI's SOP. These standards are designed to identify both the requirements of a home inspection and the limitations of an inspection. Inspections are reported using narratives that include:
To get the most out of your inspection, we recommend you:
Are you on city water? Do you want to know what is in that water? Each utility is required to publish a testing report annually. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has created a Tap Water Database that is very helpful in understanding these reports.
The seriousness of dealing with mold has been around since the Old Testament. Leviticus 13 and 14 give a snapshot of how important mitigating mold was. From allergies, asthma, and skin reactions to serious mycotoxin issues. Mold Toxicity is more common than you think. Fortunately we now we have a great deal of resources available to help:
Brian Karr - Mold Finders Radio Podcast
Dr. Andrew Campbell - mymycolab.com
The U.S. Government's Healthy Homes program has establish guidelines to create a healthy home. The guidelines state a healthy home is:
According to the EPA, radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States every year. Radon exposure is not elective like smoking. Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that may be harmful to humans. The amount of radon in the air is measured in picocuries of radon gas per liter of air, or “pCi/L.” While any radon exposure creates some risk to health, the EPA considers a level of 4 pCi/L or higher dangerous and recommends that you take remedial measures to reduce or eliminate radon.
Radon testing professionals must be licensed with the state of Indiana. We are currently pursuing training and certification to offer this testing. Until then we recommend our clients purchase a residential home monitoring unit from EcoSense starting at $170. These units provide continuous monitoring and provide more accurate results over time. Be sure to purchase in time for delivery and at least 48 hours of testing at the property.
Another option is to use a simple radon test kit and set them out for 48-96 hours at the property. Lab results are usually available 3-5 days after you ship to the lab. This only provides a snapshot in time and is inferior to the continuous monitoring method.