As owner of True Check Home Inspections, I’ve struggled with the idea of investing in a drone and FAA licensing needed to perform roof inspections from the ground. Yes, drone roof inspections are a good marketing tool that sounds cool & visually entertaining. They are useful for high or steep pitched roofs as well.
However; The drawbacks to drone roof inspections have led me to stick with doing things the old-fashioned way of actually getting on the roof. First, drones can be difficult to operate on very windy days which are frequent in the Springs area. Also, when I’m on a roof; I can perform a lift test on the shingles. A lift test is simply lifting the bottom edge of some shingles to make sure they are sealed to the shingles underneath. It’s very important that the shingles are sealed. When on the roof, I can also detect soft spots in the sheathing underneath and get an important visual inspection of the furnace flue pipe.
But…What about the high, steep pitched and clay tile roofs? Well… (NACHI) National Association of Certified Home Inspectors has a product I purchased called the Spectoscope. The telescoping poll has a remote camera mounted on one end and extends 25 feet. The wifi enabled digital camera allows me to see on my smartphone what the camera is seeing at the top of the pole. I can zoom in, out and take high res photos. The Spectoscope is a great alternative to getting on the roof. But, only when needed.
I go to an inspection on a vacant, realtor owned home with some typical improvements like; fresh paint, new carpet, hot water heater, etc.
My client and his realtor come on time. As we chat going to the door, we’re all anxious to go in and see the interior. Of course, ladies and client first. I look around and think, “this should be fairly easy.” Within a few minutes I noticed a fairly strong, foul odor in the large living room. It was difficult to pinpoint the source of the smell. The realtor says “it must be the new carpet and paint fumes lingering.” I’m thinking “possibly, but there is a lingering gas smell in the mix as well.” I’ve learned; lingering gas doesn’t always smell like rotten eggs. I decide to fire up my gas leak detector and see if a leak was slowly filling the air with gas. When I ran the detector over a heat register on the floor, my detector went crazy. The gas pipes are below in the crawlspace.
I said “let’s open the doors and get this place cleared out.” The realtor decides to call the selling agent and give them a heads up while I played it safe and turned off the main gas valve and red tag it. At this point I figure I’ll need to comeback after the leak is found and fixed so I can inspect the water heater and furnace.
The next day I get a call from the realtor who says “there was no gas leak, you can finish the inspection.” What!!!
You can imagine what’s going through my head as I headed out the door to meet the realtor back at the house. She shows up with the buyer as I’m getting out of my truck. Feeling stupid, I apologized to them for needing to come back out. We walk to the front door and went inside.
Of course, the fairly strong pungent smell is still present and I’m not convinced there’s not a gas leak. The realtor explains the person who installed the new water heater came out turned the gas back on and said there is no gas leak. Again, I pull out my gas leak detector and asked the realtor to humor me. She’s also not convinced there’s no leak and say’s “go for it.” Once I verified a gas leak was present and narrowed down the location. We decided it would be best to call the local utility and report the problem. Rather than put our faith in the seller’s handyman.
45 minutes later the gas man came out verified the leakage and turned off the gas.
Even though I was vindicated; there was a lesson to be learned. If at all possible find the exact location of a gas leak, document it with photo’s and insist the issue be resolved asap. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. I’m glad I was safe and not sorry!
Why do I need a home inspection?
Why do you need a home inspection. To protect yourself from hidden defects, poorly maintained systems and components, safety issues and questionable construction techniques. That could leave you with an expensive money pit!
Even new homes and homes built as little as five years ago can have hidden problems that even the seller is not aware of. Or components the contractor just didn’t build, install or complete properly. Examples of these are; roof flashings not properly installed or missing, incomplete exterior finishing, electrical issues, decks not built to safe standards, undersized heating and cooling systems. Just to name a few. Of course, the older the home is. The greater chance there is of finding material defects. Systems that need maintenance or repair, safety hazards, or even home owner repairs that were poorly done, etc. As a home buyer; you at least need to be aware of repairs and maintenance items that are needed in order to make sure your new home is and will remain safe, comfortable and in the best possible condition. Most importantly; if there is a major problem such as a foundation or structural issue which is discovered during the inspection you’ll have an opportunity to back out; if some kind of resolution can’t be reached with the seller.
Buying a home is the BIGGEST investment most of us make in our life time! True Check Home Inspections has the experience, knowledge, latest tools and testing equipment to investigate and uncover any possible defects in the home you are under contract for purchase. The easy to read, comprehensive report. Will be full of reference pictures to verify any defects or marginal issues that will need to be addressed. True Check doesn’t stop there. The report includes recommendations on maintenance and improvements to make your new home safe, comfortable, energy efficient and remain in the best possible condition.
True Check Home Inspections
There is some debate out there. About whether a buyer should hire a home inspector recommended by their agent. Or search for an inspector on their own.
Some agents will select an inspector they’re used to working with or know the results they’ll get. Others provide a list of inspectors they have used. And leave it up to the buyer to hire the inspector based on their sales pitch. Online resources like Home Advisor and Thumbtack. Will put you in touch with reputable inspectors. This can be good. Because the service companies perform background checks on their providers. It’s important to note. There are no licensing requirements for home inspectors in Colorado. Thus, it’s important to do some homework before hiring an inspector.
Experience and qualifications
The inspection company’s website is a good place to start. There you will find the inspectors credentials. If the inspector has a NACHI certification. International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. You can be certain they are well educated. See what’s included in a general home inspection. There should be a list of systems and components. These are part of the inspectors residential Standards of Practice. The more ancillary services they offer the more likely they have a fair amount of experience.
Most home inspectors come from working in a trade like heating and air conditioning. Or were an electrician or were even a building contractor at one time. Does this make them a better home inspector? No. By nature, a plumber may focus more on a plumbing inspection. An electrician may focus more on the electrical system. All the systems in a home should work in harmony. To create a safe, uncomplicated, inviting and comfortable living space.
An experienced home inspector should have at least 200 inspections under his or her belt. And a list of good reviews and some references.
Another important aspect of a good inspection. Is the time and thoroughness they put into an inspection. An inspector may have 20 years of experience and work for many realtors. But if they are pumping out three inspections in a day; your best interests may not be their priority. Usually an inspection on a 30-year-old home. Will take approximately three hours on site. Depending on its condition and square footage. From there the inspector still needs to write up the report and deliver it in a PDF format within a day.
You can negotiate pricing
If you decide to find your own home inspector. You’ll have a chance to negotiate the price as well as get a feel for who’s working for you. The industry is very competitive. And prices have dropped some in recent years. But keep in mind. If someone is giving away an inspection for bottom dollar. They may be new to the industry. And may not have the experience yet to see problems that could be an expense the seller should have covered.
Be there during the home inspection
If at all possible you should try to attend at least part of the inspection. Remember the home inspector is working for you. The buyer. So, make sure the inspector answers any questions you have. And you understand everything in the report. Check out our standard home inspection service.
True Check Home Inspections
Thermal Imaging Camera
A thermal imaging camera. In simple terms. Is a device that detects infrared energy. Or heat. That energy is converted into an electronic signal. The signal is processed into an image. As a result. The image is seen on the cameras viewing screen. In other words. The camera sees temperature differences in different materials. And processes those temperature differences into an image. The user will view the Images. Identify. Investigate. And determine. The severity of the heat or cold related problem.
Thermal Imaging Inspection
This type of inspection. Is similar in many ways to our standard home inspection. However; the focus is on energy loss. Rather than the general condition of the homes systems and components. Even though that comes into play as well.
Your home is basically a thermal envelope. And that envelope can develop holes. And have inadequate insulation. Consequently. Energy costs are higher. And the living space is less comfortable. A thermal imaging inspection. Will uncover those areas of energy loss. From there. Steps can be taken to improve the thermal envelope of your home. As a result. Your home will be more energy efficient. And a much more comfortable place to live.
First of all. The exterior of your home is thoroughly viewed. Incorporating the use of a thermal imaging camera. In addition. The interior of the home is thoroughly inspected. Using the camera there as well. As a result. Areas of energy loss can be seen and documented.
A specific thermal imaging inspection can pinpoint the location of a plumbing leak, an electrical system problem, a heating or cooling issue, or other hidden problems in the home. Thermal imaging is now incorporated into parts of our standard home inspection.
The inspection report is detailed. Including digital images. As well as. High resolution thermal imaging pictures that define problem areas. Therefore, Your report will be easy to understand. And includes recommendations to solve issues or make improvements. Because many of the recommendations are simple repairs and improvements. The homeowner can do many of these themselves. Consequently; the repairs and improvements. Will make the home more energy efficient. And make for a more comfortable living space.
Start today. By scheduling an appointment for your Thermal Imaging Inspection
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