A home inspection is critical to the long-term value and performance of your residential real estate investment. Home inspection can protect you from property deterioration caused by neglect, from defects in structure and materials used or from pest infestation. When purchasing a home, buyers generally look for things like how well the house has been maintained and if it’s in good repair. However, a home inspection is much more than just a visual inspection. In fact, home inspection specialists for air quality testing are highly skilled professionals who can determine if there are any serious problems related to the building materials and systems.
It is estimated that millions of homes around the country have some form of air quality issues that require a thorough home inspection. A quality home inspection not only provides useful information about the condition of the building and systems on the inside, but the assessment also reveals hidden problems that may be detrimental to health or safety. For instance, a recent study by the National Institutes of Health found that as many as 40% of newly built homes may have excessive amounts of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in the air. The high levels of VOCs in the air may be contributing to allergic reactions, poor lung function and other serious health complications.
Home inspectors are experts on identifying sources of VOCs in the air and on the cause of VOC growth in carpets and upholstery. This helps them to eliminate sources of contamination in the building and recommend solutions to address these issues. They perform chemical gas analyses, indoor air quality tests and provide other important information needed by the buyer to make an informed decision. Some inspection specialists provide comprehensive pest control recommendations as well.
The goal of a home inspection is to identify and correct potential problems before they create costly maintenance issues or create a safety hazard. Most home inspection services are non-profit organizations that provide a service to buyers at no cost. When hiring a home inspection specialist, make sure you select someone who has expertise in this field. You may want to ask for references and referrals. In general, home inspection experts with more than five years of experience are highly qualified to make critical examinations of the interior and/or exterior of a potential purchase.
Be sure you understand what types of problems can be addressed by the home inspection services you are considering. Are you looking for assistance with: fireplaces and heating systems, plumbing, drainage, electrical wiring, flooring, roofing, insulation and vapor barriers. Can the inspection specialist offer a guarantee? If so, how long does this guarantee last and what does it cover?
Ask the home inspection services about their licensing and certification. Do they belong to any national association that allows them to conduct professional inspections? Are there warranties or guarantees specific to the type of work they will do on your house? What type of equipment do they use to conduct the inspection? Have there been any complaints filed against them with the appropriate government agencies? Is their customer service outstanding?
Before hiring home inspection services, have a written contract reviewed with the company representative. This contract should outline the inspection details as well as the costs. It is also advisable to consider the cost and time involved in working with each individual inspector before making a decision. Most inspections are usually completed in a week or two and you might want to schedule additional appointments if the inspection takes longer than anticipated.
Home inspection services can make choosing a new home much easier. Finding out about the kinds of problems they are capable of detecting and what they charge will help you make a better decision about the home you want to own. Once you find the inspection service that meets your needs and offers the guarantees you are looking for, you are more likely to hire them to inspect your house once you close the deal.