Some inspectors write the inspection report up during the inspection. They waste the customer’s time and the Realtor’s time typing descriptions for each item that is deficient on their laptops or tablets. Many of these inspectors are finished with the inspection in an hour or less. These inspectors rarely work up a sweat or get dirty.
At Palm Coast Inspection Services, I spend all of my time inspecting. My camera photos are my notes and I used hand signals in the photos to note the problem. So two or three clicks with the camera and I have all the notes I need to write up the report. I take photos up close so you can see the problem and photos at a distance so the location is easy for my customers to find.
A good home inspection is very thorough. The Inspector visually inspects one room at a time. I usually start in the kitchen with the appliances. The dishwasher takes 60 to 90 minutes to run through a cycle. So I want to get the dishwasher started and inspect the rest of the appliances.
The electrical outlets are inspected for proper wiring and if they are GFCI protected. I operate the lighting and light switches.
The plumbing is inspected for proper operation. The drain lines are checked for leaks and the interior of the cabinet is check for previous leaks with a moisture meter. The type of plumbing will be identified in the report and deficiencies will be photographed and described in detail in the report.
Next the built in kitchen cabinets are inspected for loose hardware or physical damage to the doors and drawers. Thermofoil cabinets are inspected for the condition of the plastic finish to be sure it is not coming loose or damaged. The condition of the floor covering is inspected and noted for the report. Any damage will be photographed and described in detail in the report. The condition of the ceiling is inspected.
Then I move to the next room and visually inspect and test every thing in that room. I think being very thorough is easy. You just concentrate on one room at time and be sure to check every item in that room.
The HVAC system is inspected and the Ambient Air Test is performed. Conducting Ambient Air Test, I take a temperature of the air going into the air handler and the temperature of the air coming out of the vent. This temperature should fall between 14 and 22 degrees to be operating properly. If possible the cooling coil fins are inspected for their condition.
The Electrical panel cover is removed and the wiring is inspected. Improper wiring is found quite often. Double taps are very common. That is when two circuits are wired to one electrical breaker. This can cause an overload to the breaker. Sliced insulation on the wiring is common also. This happens when the casing on the Romex wiring is stripped off with a razor knife and the insulation on the is accidentally sliced.
After inspecting the interior of the house, I scan the ceiling and walls with an infrared camera. This commonly is called Thermal Imaging. The infrared camera only sees temperature differences. I look for temperature anomalies that may indicate moisture intrusion or electrical hot spots. An infrared camera is a tool every inspector should use, but an infrared camera is in the minority of inspector’s tool boxes. Some inspectors that have infrared cameras charge extra for using them. Palm Coast Inspection Services includes Thermal Image scanning with every inspection.
The attic is an important part of a home inspection. The roof sheathing and truss can be inspected for moisture problems due to roof or flashing leaks. Many times electrical problems are found as well as ventilation problems. Bathroom exhaust fans sometimes are ducted into the attic pumping excess moisture into the access. Sometimes the dyer ventilation duct has become separated and blowing lint into the attic. Lint is highly flammable and it is a hazard in the attic.
Inspecting the exterior is complete from the top down. Inspecting the roof is important part of the home inspection. Replacing the roof covering is expensive. Getting up on the roof is easy on a single story home and little more difficult on a two story home. A three story home is not possible with a ladder. Palm Coast Inspection Services uses a state of art drone with a 12 megapixel camera and 4k videos to inspect tall structures like pole/stilt homes, concrete or clay tile roofs and metal roofs. The tile roofs and metal roofs can be damaged when walking the roof. With the drone I can take photographs of roof covering hovering over the roof. Then back at the office I download the photos to the computer for a thorough inspection of the roof. I can zoom in and see thin cracks in the tiles. Finding slipped tiles or damaged tiles is easy. Damaged areas are circled in red and described in the report.
When inspecting the exterior I do one side at a time and pay attention to the condition of everything on that side. Grading, vegetation, wall covering, windows, doors, soffit and fascia. In the back of the home there may be a fence or a pool. Pools get a cursory visual inspection of it’s condition and pump equipment. If there are leaks in the pipes above ground it will be photographed and noted in the report.