New Home Inspection Technologies

Advancements in technology are making the inspection process easier for people looking to purchase a home. Thermal imaging with infrared technology allows the inspector to examine temperature changes wherever the camera is pointed. It can detect water moisture behind a wall where plumbing lines could be leaking. Water damage could occur from a leaking roof with water running behind the sheetrock when it rains.

The technology can detect wet installation on the inside of the interior walls. It can determine where leaks could be located with heating and cooling ductwork. Water damage inside the attic can be detected with infrared cameras. It helps allow inspectors to do a more detailed inspection using other equipment to determine problems.

Sewer scope technology
Inspectors are using a video inspection of sewer lines with a sewer scope. This technology helps determine what kind of condition the pipe is in. It reveals blockages and damage to the sewer line. This technology can help potential homebuyers decide on whether to purchase a house that could need sewer line repair.

Sewer scope inspections are important to help people avoid risking thousands of dollars on sewer line replacement after purchasing a home. This is a cost-effective method to avoid buying a house that has hidden problems underground. Tree root growth inside the line can be a terrible and costly reality. Sewer scope inspection has made it possible for people to learn more about a home.

Asbestos testing

Asbestos is found in many building materials used in home fabrication before it was discovered that the fibers could cause cancer. Inspectors use asbestos testing to learn if a home has the materials with asbestos. A sample of suspected material is sent off to a lab for testing. This is an important procedure for anyone to have completed before purchasing a home.

Checking water quality

Tap water is another concern many people worry about. Many contaminants are present in the public water supply. Water quality testing provides answers to what can be present in a municipal water supply. Chlorine and fluoride are used for disinfecting the water for safety. Heavy metals and minerals are found in the water supply.

Checking water quality ensures the water supply is safe. Many people will take the results to decide whether they want to install a water filtration system in the home they could purchase. Inspectors can check water quality with on-site results or send off to a lab for extensive testing.

Mold testing

Inspectors can test a home for mold in two ways. Air samples detect mold with a spore trap sample. It captures particles on a sticky surface that are sent off to labs to check for mold. Surface samples can be checked with several methods.

A bulk sample is a small amount of material sent off to the lab. Swab samples involve collecting a sample from a suspected area to send off for results. Tape samples use a piece of clear tape pressed against material that will pick up the mold presence for testing at a lab. The lab analyzes the samples for positive or negative results.

Technology will continue to improve with more improvised methods to test homes for potential problems. This is the exciting reality of our world in the present age.

Automated Marketing and Consolidation in the Home Inspection Industry

The common traditional marketing strategy of visiting multiple real estate offices is slowly being eaten away by the introduction of various automated marketing methods. Technology is on the rise and everything is being consolidated into automated marketing systems for the home inspection industry. Knowing how to calculate your ROI (Return On Investments) or knowing which real estate office to visit can be a challenge with relationship-based marketing. Good news is with new automated technology, insightful changes are coming on the marketing growth in the inspection industry.

Automated marketing system
An automated marketing system can be defined as a process in which technology automates several repetitive functions that are undertaken regularly on a marketing campaign. There are a lot of marketing strategies such as email marketing, Google AdWords, or even social media marketing. With automated marketing systems on the rise, prosperous inspection companies with high financial backings are figuring out how to adjust these systems to fit their respective home inspection needs. Marketing
specialists are less reliant on online leads and are trying to come up with more self-reliant ways.

Automated agent retention system
There is a new development called Automated Agent Retention System, by Austin Hintze from Waypoint Property Inspections. Austin’s motivation was the lack of any systems that automate the handling of referral relationships from start to finish. The current process involves running reports through a company’s CRM to try and maintain new/current relationships or revive indolent relationships. The development helps his company to fully follow-up on agents who did their first inspection with them. The system assists in reaching out to inactive referral sources plus maintain
relationships with their current referral sources. Austin is working next on a system that will track ROI on presentations and events.

More sophisticated systems have been developed in recent years, by other companies catering to home inspectors. They include access to MLS data, the system will help find agents worth marketing to, those to be avoided and upcoming top agents. Inspection companies marketing agents are able to know their exact ROI for relationship-based marketing. Insurance companies can find homes of high liability risk too using the data.

Home Inspection Tips for Home Sellers

A home seller should have a checklist with the help of their agent to make sure they have everything is in place. The buyer on the hand has a checklist too they make with the help of their inspectors. There are stakes involved for buyers and sellers during a home inspection. After making a deal with a buyer and they accept it, the seller will get a once-over from the buyer’s home inspector. The inspection is a contingency of the deal meaning the buyer can back out if there are serious problems with the property. When the inspection is conducted the home inspector will have a list of problems. Your agent may be able to negotiate and have the buyer fix the problems with their contractor by negotiating a price credit.

Home inspection checklist
Home inspections are important to both the seller and buyer. The buyer is able to know the condition of the property and the seller is able to get a good deal if the property is in good condition. The home inspection checklist may vary depending on the home. The basic things covered in a home inspection checklist include, exterior e.g. paint and outdoor lighting, plumbing systems, electrical systems, kitchen appliances, HVAC equipment, foundation and basement, attic insulation, grounds, as well as doors and windows. The only thing a home inspection won’t cover is unseen issues.

The seller should make a checklist to prepare for the inspection. First off, you should assemble your paperwork for transparency, ideally include invoices on renovations, repairs and maintenance. Present the documentation to the buyer during the inspection. Second, ensure your house is pristine to create a good first impression. Third, ensure the inspector has access to everything needed and remove all blockers that may hinder the process. Fourth, utilities must be connected for the home inspector to test items such as the stove and air conditioning. Lastly, ensure you fix minor problems beforehand such as a broken light fixture.

Keep in mind, some sellers also consider hiring their own inspectors to check the house before it is listed for a pre-listing inspection.

Home Inspection Tips for Home Buyers

If you’re looking to buy a new home, the inspection process always comes before the sale. It could be the most critical step when going through the home buying process. An inspector can help you find any issues and reopen the doors for renegotiation, or help you prevent any problems if you are looking to sell.

Typically, as a buyer, you would hire an inspector to come and take a look at the house. The home inspector will then point out any health, safety, or other significant issues they may find. A buyer’s inspection will generally occur after you’ve made your first offer on the home, and this will then allow you to renegotiate the price if any issues are found.

As a seller, a home inspection will need to be taken care of before the home is listed. A smart seller will get their home inspected during the beginning stages of selling their house so they can ensure any issues are fixed before the buyers come knocking. This will save time during the closing process.

Things home inspectors look for include:

  • Water damage
  • Any major structure issues
  • Status of the roof
  • Electrical/plumbing systems
  • Pests
  • HVAC systems

After the buyer’s inspection is complete, the seller can then have their inspection to confirm any of the issues found. If the new inspection has shown any discrepancies with the buyer’s initial investigation, the seller can then choose to walk away from the sale. Not a bad idea if there are other buyers waiting in the wings.

Once the home inspections are complete, the buyer and seller can then negotiate the updated contract. The buyer can, at this point, also choose to drop the deal. If the buyer decides to walk away, then the seller will need to put their house back up for sale. When they do this, they will have to show that the house was pending sale. This is a red flag when purchasing homes and an excellent time to ask the seller to explain why the previous deal didn’t work out.

Home inspections are meant to keep buyers and sellers safe, and it’s a necessary step before you decide to purchase any home.

Indoor Air Quality Pollution and Health

Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later.

Immediate effects
Immediate effects may show up after a single exposure or repeated exposures. These include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Such immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable. Sometimes the treatment is simply eliminating the person’s exposure to the source of the pollution, if it can be identified. Symptoms of somaticizes, including asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and humidifier fever, may also show up soon after exposure to some indoor air pollutants. The likelihood of immediate reactions to indoor air quality pollutants depends on several factors. Age and pre-existing medical conditions are two important influences. In other cases, whether a person reacts to a pollutant depends on individual sensitivity, which varies tremendously from person to person. Some people can become sensitized to biological pollutants after repeated exposures, and it appears that some people can become sensitized to chemical pollutants as well.

Certain immediate effects are similar to those from colds or other viral diseases, so it is often difficult to determine if the symptoms are a result of exposure to indoor air quality pollution. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to the time and place symptoms occur. If the symptoms fade or go away when a person is away from home, for example, an effort should be made to identify indoor air quality sources that may be possible causes. Some effects may be made worse by an inadequate supply of outdoor air or from the heating, cooling, or humidity conditions prevalent in the home.

Long-term effects
Other health effects may show up either years after exposure has occurred or only after long or repeated periods of exposure. These effects, which include some respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer, can be severely debilitating or fatal. It is prudent to try to improve the indoor air quality in your home even if symptoms are not noticeable. While pollutants commonly found in indoor air are responsible for many harmful effects, there is considerable uncertainty about what concentrations or periods of exposure are necessary to produce specific health problems. People also react very differently to exposure to indoor air pollutants. Further research is needed to better understand which health effects occur after exposure to the average pollutant concentrations found in homes and which occurs from the higher concentrations that occur for short periods of time. 

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