Home Inspections – Why & Types Available

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When buying a home, the question you may be asking is “Why do I need a home inspection?” The answer is quite simple, to have the best possible evaluation of the home and the issues you may be taking on. Keep in mind that as the future home owner it is also your responsibility to understand that the home you are looking at has been dressed up by the seller to accentuate its best features and minimize its potential flaws. When you look at the home look beyond the furnishing that have been set in the home, beyond the aromas that are intentionally drifting through the it and beyond the aesthetic appeal. Instead, look under the sink, flush toilets, check appliances, look under rugs and area carpets – in other words unwrap the package being presented and look what is inside. Look critically at what you are wanting to buy. Make a list of concerns you have with the home as well as other items you want a home inspector to assess. Remember, you as the future home owner can address these issues before the sale if you have placed contingencies on your purchase contract. After you purchase the home those issues become yours.

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What a Home Inspection Entails

Home buyers should be aware of what the home inspection process entails. Generally, a home inspection will include a report on the home’s heating and cooling systems, electrical system, plumbing, walls, ceilings, flooring, foundation, roofing, drainage and basement. Typically, the home inspection will not include termites, chemicals and gasses (methane and/or asbestos), lead or rodents. What the home inspector may tell you is that there’s a good chance there may be a termite problem because of the area the home is located. It is then up to you to call a professional in that field to give a written analysis. Generally, home inspectors are not licensed to inspect for specific issues like pests, gasses, etc. If you are in a high-risk area, a specialized inspection to assess the house’s susceptibility to those risks would be advised to do as well.
Yes, the cost of home inspections can present a major factor for some home buyers that are already facing down payments, closing costs and loan fees. While you, as the future home buyer, may hope to save money on property inspections please keep in mind that the cost of these inspections will save you money in the long run. So what inspections are essential? Keep in mind that you should look for inspectors that will inspect the property ONLY. Do not look for inspectors who also mitigate or repair the damage as well. This creates an issue of credibility of the inspection report.

Lincoln and Omaha Home Inspectors

In urban and suburban areas:
1. Wood-destroying pest inspection
a. This includes a licensed pest inspector who can exam the property for pests, water damage, fungus and mold.
2. General home inspection
a. This includes the condition of the home’s heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, insulation which is visible, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation, basement and structural components. Keep in mind, no house is perfect. Also keep in mind that no home inspector has a crystal ball to investigate the future of your home. He/she will assess and review the house that day and give you an assessment on the condition of the home on the day of the inspection.

Optional Inspections:
1. Chimney inspection
a. These inspections are relatively inexpensive and sometimes include a cleaning of the chimney.
2. Roof inspections
a. If the home inspector raises an alarm about the condition off the roof, regardless of when the roof was applied, it is smart to get a   roof inspection. Roofing companies can analyze problems and provide free estimates. It is not the clients best interest, however, to suggest a roofing company analysis over an inspection by a qualified roof inspector. Remember, it is the roofing companies interest to sell you a roof.

Omaha and Lincoln Home Inspector

Inspections for country properties:
1. Septic system inspection
a. Septic system inspectors check the operation, calculate how recently the system has been pumped, determine whether the system requires pumping prior to sale and identify the boundaries of the leach-field. Keep in mind that leach fields cannot be built over, and they don’t make good vegetable gardens either!
2. Well inspection
     a. Inspectors provide information on the age, condition and depth of the well and the quality of the water being pumped.

     Optional inspections:
1. Boundary survey
a. A preliminary title report that includes a plat map, showing the boundaries and size of the lot. If the buyer wants boundaries marked and/or verified this should be considered. These inspections do take time and may significantly delay the close of escrow.
2. Soil and geological studies
a. These studies are crucial on hillsides and some flat areas where you may want to invest in a potential vineyard. Typically, this test is used to identify the stability of the home on the land it is positioned.

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Special concerns:
1. Electrical inspection
a. This inspection will provide information about electrical boxes which may be past their prime or recalled and need to be updated. If the home inspector raises an alarm about the box or wiring, further inspection by a licensed electrician can help you address questions about how to best address specific conditions of the home’s electrical system.
2. Foundation inspection
a. The home inspector will be able to tell you if the home’s foundation is sound or if there is scaling or cracking that warrants further inspection. If that is the case a structural or foundation engineer should assess the foundation issues that may exist.
3. Homeowners association (HOA) documents
a. If your home/condo/townhome has a HOA you will want to secure the HOA contract/agreement, which the seller is required to provide for buyers’ review. This document will include the governing documents, financials, covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) and more.
4. Historic overlay requirements
a. If your chosen home is in a local, state or nationally-recognized historic district, an additional layer of government oversight may be required for any exterior and sometimes interior changes.
5. HVAC system inspection
a. If the home inspector recommends further evaluation of the heating/air conditioning system a specialist should be brought in to test the system. These are also the specialists to contact if you want duct cleaning as well.
6. Landscape inspection
a. A landscape inspection would cover retaining walls, paths, stairways, terracing, patios and decks, outdoor kitchens, water features, fireplaces and fire pits, irrigation systems, fences, lighting, play structures/areas, lawns and trees. An arborist should be included in the inspection if the property is heavily treed or hosts environmentally protected species.
7. Lot size/boundaries
a. Your preliminary title report will provide the buyer with a plat map with identifiable boundaries. Fences are not always a reliable boundary marker. If you are concerned you may want to hire a surveyor to mark the exact property lines.
8. Permit history
a. You can request this information from the seller or from the city/county planning department.
9. Pool and spa
a. If your property has a pool or spa it should be inspected. Request a professional who specializes in installation and maintenance of pools and spas. These individuals will evaluate the estimated life of the pool and decking structures as well as the operating components of the pool/spa/heater/skimmer/etc.
10. Lead/asbestos/other health hazards testing
a. Homes built before bans on lead/asbestos/etc. may still contain some of the banned materials. Buyers have the right to have the home tested for these. Families with young children may be particularly concerned about the presence of lead.
b. Radon, mold and methane gas also requires specialized inspections. Radon is a hazard that exists in many parts of Nebraska as well as throughout the United States.
11. Sewer lateral inspection
a. Some cities and counties are requiring homeowners to upgrade aging sewer pipes (laterals) that runs from the main sewer line to each home. If this is the case with the home you are purchasing you will want to have that lateral looked at before you release inspection contingencies.
12. Square footage verification
a. County tax records generally state the square footage of both the home and the lot where the home stands. You may want those numbers verified. A property appraiser can measure and report the square footage.

Home Inspection - Omaha and Lincoln and surrounding areas

At Corspect Advanced Home Inspections we combine knowledge, experience and science to provide you with the highest level of inspection service. Corspect Advanced Home Inspections uses the latest technology to assess every detail of the homes systems. At Corspect Advanced Home Inspections we also have the unique ability, through Drone equipped HD Cameras, to inspect and photograph roof components. At Corspect Advanced Home Inspections it is our mission to make the home buying experience rewarding, informative and enjoyable for all. Contact Bob at Corspect Advanced Home Inspections to set up your home inspection.

Thank You to the Women’s Council of REALTORS of Omaha

Corspect Advanced Home Inspections would like to take this time to thank the Women’s Council of REALTORS of Omaha for the opportunity to sponsor a hole again this year.  We enjoyed meeting each of the teams that visited our hole for water, our pink golf tees and balls, business information and our putting game.

Friday, July 13, 2018 –
Women’s Council of REALTORS Omaha – Golf Outing

Home Inspection – Drone Technology

Home Inspection – Drone Technology

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For those who have had the opportunity to use or witness Drone Technology, known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s), you have had the opportunity to experience the world from an entirely different perspective. UAV technology is making a major impact in many industries including farming, ranching, insurance, roofing and home inspection. As a Home Inspector, UAV’s can provide you with a closer, more detailed view of chimney’s, roof tops, gutter issues, etc. The UAV also provides the home inspector with the ability to avoid dangerous roof angles and “slick” roofs due to algae contamination or rain or snow.

Currently, a wide range of Home Inspectors are not using UAV technology. Those numbers are expected to change dramatically as individuals within the industry begin to see the advantages that UAV technology offers not only to their business but also the homeowners. Concerns currently for some home inspection businesses are the cost of equipment and lack of knowledge as to how to use the UAV effectively for home inspection.

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Drone technology allows high-quality images of rooftops and other hard-to reach areas of a homeowner’s property. These photos provide a record of the details of the roof, as well as other areas, at a greater level of detail than the human eye can capture or record for the potential homeowner. These photos are then incorporated into the potential homeowner’s on-site inspection report providing greater detail to the overall inspection. This data can then be used to help the potential homeowner save money and time when negotiating the final real estate contract and/or insurance policy.

Corspect Advanced Home Inspection Omaha

At Corspect Advanced Home Inspections the use of the Drone or UAV provides yet another tool to help us achieve the best report that we can for the homeowner or prospective homeowner. At Corspect Advanced Home Inspections we combine knowledge, experience and science to provide you with the highest level of inspection service. Corspect Advanced Home Inspections uses the latest technology to assess every detail of the homes systems. At Corspect Advanced Home Inspections we also have the unique ability, through Drone equipped HD Cameras, to inspect and photograph roof components. At Corspect Advanced Home Inspections it is our mission to make the home buying experience rewarding, informative and enjoyable for all. Contact Bob at Corspect Advanced Home Inspections to set up your home inspection.

Home Inspection - Omaha and Lincoln and surrounding areas

Home Inspection – Infrared/Thermal Imaging Home Inspection

Home Inspection – Infrared/Thermal Imaging Home Inspection

As with any new technology, infrared or thermal imaging technology may not always be viewed as the latest/greatest new gadget to be introduced to a particular industry. Some will perceive thermal imaging as nothing more than scientific hype and not as a device which can be an effective part of a home’s inspection. No, it does not provide you with ex-ray vision into or through the surfaces of walls, crawl spaces, roofs, basements, etc.

Home Inspection

So, what can it do for the home inspector? In the home inspection business thermal imaging inspection provides both the homeowner and the home inspector the ability to view variances of temperature on different surfaces. Infrared/thermal imaging provides the home inspector with the ability to look beyond physical elements. Some homes may appear immaculate on the surface of an inspection – ceilings have no stains, no bubbling, no indication of problems of any kind. The infrared/thermal imaging camera can be used effectively to tell the home inspector and future home owner if water infiltration is occurring in the walls or insulation at the time of inspection. If water infiltration is detected, the home inspector can then further test with a moisture meter to see the extent of that infiltration.

Infrared Home Inspection

               Infrared Camera

How does a thermal imaging camera work? Thermography uses specially designed infrared video or still cameras to make images (called thermograms) that show surface heat variations. Images record the temperature variations of the surface ranging from white for warm regions to black for cooler areas. All materials on earth emit heat energy in the infrared portion of the spectrum. The thermographic, or infrared image, allows the user to reveal anomalies in electrical, mechanical, plumbing and waterproofing systems. Those abnormalities can then be further investigated through equipment like a moisture meter to analyze the extent of the anomaly.

Infrared Home Inspection

            Examples of Infrared Inspection   

What information can be gained using the infrared/thermal imaging camera?
1. Missing or damaged insulation
2. Faulty electrical-mechanical and HVAC systems and components
3. Leaking roofs – can look for missing or moisture soaked insulation.
4. Construction defects – identifying water intrusion in areas where flashing or sealants were not properly installed or are inadequate.

 

Home Inspection - Omaha and Lincoln and surrounding areas

At Corspect Advanced Home Inspections we combine knowledge, experience and science to provide you with the highest level of inspection service. Corspect Advanced Home Inspections uses the latest technology to assess every detail of the homes systems. At Corspect Advanced Home Inspections we also have the unique ability, through Infrared/Thermal Cameras, to inspect and photograph anomalies which may occur in your home. At Corspect Advanced Home Inspections it is our mission to make the home buying experience rewarding, informative and enjoyable for all. Contact Bob at Corspect Advanced Home Inspections to set up your home inspection.

Home Inspection – Radon Inspection

Home Inspection – Radon Inspection

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                        How Radon Enters Your Home

Let’s begin with what Radon is. Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and chemically inert radioactive gas. It is formed by the natural radioactive decay of uranium in rock, soil, and water. It can be found in all 50 states. Why is Radon a problem? The problem occurs when radon gas enters your home and gets trapped within it. Long-term exposure to high levels of radon can cause lung cancer. In 1998, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR VI) Report, “The Health Effects of Exposure to Indoor Radon.” The study reviewed and evaluated data from many prior studies and drew conclusions. It fully supports estimates by the EPA that radon causes about 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year. Though some people debate the number of deaths, it is widely agreed that radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Only smoking causes more cases of lung cancer.

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        Highest Levels in Nebraska by County

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    Radon Concentrations by County in Nebraska

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   Generalized Geologic Radon Potential of the                                   United States

So, how does Radon gas enter your home and create this exposure? Radon gas moves from the soil your home was built upon and seeps into your home through pores in concrete, gaps in walls and floors, your opening in your sump pump basin, etc. It is important to note that any house of any age is susceptible to radon gas – a new home just built or a home 100-years-old. It should be noted that one out of every fifteen U.S. homes have a radon problem. The only way to know what your home’s Radon level is is to test it.
According to the EPA and the Surgeon General testing of all homes below the third floor is recommended. The purpose is to identify the need for mitigation or reducing the radon level found in homes. Ideally, the test should be conducted in a regularly used room on the lowest level of the home, such as the living room, playroom, den, or bedroom. While testing, do not disturb the device being used to take the radon sample. Keep in mind that high humidity and drafty conditions can bias the results from some test devices.

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                                Radon Test Kit

EPA recommends that you hire a qualified professional to test for radon when you are buying or selling a home. Some states, including Nebraska, require radon measurement testers to follow a specific testing protocol. If you hire a contractor to test your residence, protect yourself by hiring a qualified individual or company.

 

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             4 picoCuries per liter or higher

What should you do if you find high levels of radon in your home? If you discover levels of 4 picoCuries per liter or higher, the EPA recommends doing a second radon test. Once you discover levels that are at or above 4 picoCuries per liter mitigation should be considered. Mitigation will either require an active or a passive system that will vent the radon of your home. Active systems will require a fan to move the gas from the home. Passive systems do not require a fan but will require a vent system to allow the gas to escape from the home through the vent system.

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         Passive Radon System

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                            Mitigation

The EPA provides more information about health effects from radon in their publication, A Physician’s Guide to Radon, as well as their booklet Reducing the Risk From Radon: Information and Interventions (A Guide for Health Care Providers).
For More Information:
• National Radon Hotline: Purchase radon test kits by phone.
1 (800) SOS-RADON (767-7236)

• National Radon Helpline: Get live help for your radon questions.
1 (800) 55-RADON (557-2366)

• National Radon Fix-It Line: For general information on fixing or reducing the radon level in your home.
1 (800) 644-6999

• Living Healthy and Green Hotline
1 (866) 730-4733

• National Radon Hotline En Español
1 (866) 528-3187

Home Inspection - Omaha and Lincoln and surrounding areas

At Corspect Advanced Home Inspections we combine knowledge, experience and science to provide you with the highest level of inspection service. Corspect Advanced Home Inspections uses the latest technology to assess every detail of the homes systems. At Corspect Advanced Home Inspections we also offer Radon Inspection to the prospective home owner at an additional fee for testing. At Corspect Advanced Home Inspections it is our mission to make the home buying experience rewarding, informative and enjoyable for all. Contact Bob at Corspect Advanced Home Inspections to set up your home inspection.

 

 

 

Home Inspection – The Roof

Roof Inspection

home inspection - the roof

In assessing costs of becoming a homeowner, the cost of replacing a roof will be one of the greatest expenses you will have. For that very reason it is critical that you get a roof inspection on the home you are wanting to purchase. It is also critical that you as the future homeowner do some research on the roof on the home also. Questions that you need to have answered are:
1. What type of roof is on the home? Most roofs in Nebraska will have asphalt or composition roofing shingles.
2. How old is the roof? The age of the roof is not a defining element on how good it is. Some asphalt shingles are made to last longer than others, while wood shake roofs have shorter lifespans than asphalt shingles.

home inspection - the roof

3. What is the overall condition of the roof? It is critical that you have the roof inspected. There are several questions that you will want to have answered including:
a. Are there any loose, broken or missing shingles, tiles, or shakes?
b. Are there any blistered, curled or split shingles or dark patches?
c. Are there large amounts of granules from the shingles in the rain gutters?
d. Is the flashing loose, missing or corroded?
e. Are there broken or loose shingles at the ridge and hip lines?
i. A home inspector can answer all of these questions through their inspection.
4. Has the current owner made any roof repairs? As with any system of the home it is important to know the condition of the roof, appliance, etc. and what repairs have been made, when, and why. If there was storm damage to the roof, make sure you know the damage, if the roof was supposed to be replaced and if it was by what roofer and what products were applied. If a new roof was installed be sure to ask if the warranty on the materials used is transferrable.

home inspection - the roof

5. Are there visible signs of the roof leaking? A home inspector will be able to help you assess this. Corspect Advanced Home Inspections offers infrared inspection, which will look for damage through state of the art inspection equipment. As the future homebuyer you can also check for visible signs in closets and on the ceiling.

Remember, getting the roof inspected by a professional home inspector and doing your roof research will cost you less now than paying for a roof you didn’t plan on replacing. Keep in mind that different professionals in the roofing world will look at your roof for different reasons.
1. Home Inspectors – a home inspector is looking at the installation practices, age and condition of the roofing materials, flashings, vents, chimneys, skylights, etc. The Home Inspector will report on the condition of the roof and its components at the time of the inspection. The home inspector will typically mention the job that the roof is doing for the home and what the probability of replacement is in the near or distant future.
2. Insurance Adjuster – an insurance adjuster is looking for damage to the roof surface, evidence of failure of the roof covering, and the remaining lifespan of the roof. It is their job to evaluate the risk that roof represents for the future. An insurance adjuster may not recommend that your insurance company will provide coverage because the roof will need replacement in 5-6 years.
3. Roofing Contractor – the roofing contractors job is to sell you a roof.

As the future homeowner you have the right to ask for more opinions of the condition of the roof before you buy the home, after all it will be one of the greatest expenses you will have if it needs to be replaced.

Home Inspection - Omaha and Lincoln and surrounding areas

At Corspect Advanced Home Inspections we combine knowledge, experience and science to provide you with the highest level of inspection service. Corspect Advanced Home Inspections uses the latest technology to assess every detail of the homes systems. At Corspect Advanced Home Inspections we also have the unique ability, through Drone equipped HD Cameras, to inspect and photograph roof components. At Corspect Advanced Home Inspections it is our mission to make the home buying experience rewarding, informative and enjoyable for all. Contact Bob at Corspect Advanced Home Inspections to set up your home inspection.