What Is An Inspection? An inspection is a visual examination of the structure and systems of a building. If you are thinking
of buying a home, condominium, mobile home, you should have it thoroughly inspected before the
final purchase by an experienced and impartial professional inspector.
What does it cost and how long does it take? Although there is a base price (see pricing), the exact price is determined after a few questions
are answered concerning things like type of home, square footage, age of the home, and if there
are any known existing problems that may require extra time inspecting. A typical inspection on
an average size residential home may take two to four hours.
What type of things do you inspect? Please read the Standards of Practice and Contract and Scope pages for details. A complete
inspection includes a visual examination of the building from top to bottom. The inspector
evaluates and reports the condition of the structure, roof, foundation, drainage, plumbing, heating
system, central air-conditioning system, visible insulation, walls, windows, and doors. Only those
items that are visible and accessible by normal means are included in the report.
Do you inspect Mold and Radon? I do not do a separate inspection for mold. If, after the regular inspection, there are concerns, we
would discuss the option of specialized testing at that point. I have made arraingments with a
professional mold testing company to perform a moisture and preliminary mold test for free.
I can also help you with Radon testing.
*Mold - There are many things that can indicate the probability of mold. The observation of
anything that appears to be Mold would be duly noted in our report. We do not do lab testing or
sample testing but are currently offering a free preliminary test performed by a professional mold
testing and remediation company.
*Radon - Radon evaluation can be done by you, the homeowner, with EPA approved Radon Test
Kits that are available for under $20 from the locations on the following page; Radon and Real
Estate. The EPA and Minnesota Indoor Air Quality Dept considers these test kits to be just as
accurate as any professional "paid for" test. If you would prefer a professional test I can help you
with that as well. *Two standard methods exist for testing a home for the presence of radon gas. Short-term
testing methods are designed to provide a quick snap shot in time of the radon value to
accomodate the Real Estate industry only (long term testing is still recommended by the EPA
and World Health Organization for accuracy). Short-term tests can be as short as 48 hours and
as long as 90 days. Long-term testing methods are designed to provide an annual average of
radon gas. Long-term tests run for a minimum of 90 days, and usually for 6 to 12 months. The
EPA recommends performing a short-term test for radon. If that test comes back below the EPA
Action Level ( 4.0 pCi/L), then no further immediate action is warranted. However, the home should
be tested again after any air sealing work, heating/air conditioning system changes or foundation
modifications. If the short-term test returns with a radon value of 4.0-10.0 pCi/L, the EPA
recommends performing a long-term test to gauge the home's annual radon concentration. The
results of the long-term test should be used to determine the necessity of radon mitigation
(reduction). Another option is to conduct a second short term test if quicker results are desired. If
the first short-term test returns above 10.0 pCi/L, then the EPA recommends performing a second
short-term test to verify the results and using the average of the two short-term tests to determine
the necessity of radon mitigation. You can see paying for these tests could be quite costly.
Performing these test is really quite simple. Just follow directions. If the results show elevated
levels, you may then want to call a radon mitigation company.
NOTE: It is important to remember that short term radon tests may not reflect the true and
accurate level of radon. Radon levels are affected by a multitude of factors and are in a contant
state of change. The EPA told me in a discusstion I had with them that a radon test performed in
the same home can never be duplicated to acheive that same results which tells me the radon
levels and radon test results are probably going to be different at any given time. Long term testing
is a more accurate relection of the radon levels in a home. The EPA used to recommend 12 month
testing for accuracy until the Real Estate industry needed a shorter test time to fit into their time
frame for selling homes.
Are test kits for measuring radon gas accurate? Yes...to the degree that the EPA allow these
approved test kits to be. They are allowed to be off by as much as 25%. The largest source of
error in radon testing does not come from the type of device used, but rather from the failure to
maintain appropriate closed house conditions during the period of the test. It is important to
carefully follow test kit instructions if you want accurate results. The accuracy of almost all
commercially available radon measurement devices has been evaluated in the Environmental
Protection Agency's (EPA) Radon Measurement Proficiency Program (RMP). This program
exposed the devices to established radon levels and returned them to the company or individual for
evaluation. A minimum passing requirement was that the result must have been within plus or
minus 25% of the established radon levels. Most devices have better performance at the EPA
guideline level of 4 picocuries per liter of air. Laboratories and measurement service providers have
quality assurance programs and controls to maintain reliable performance and accurate results.
When do I get the report? The report is usually e-mailed to you the same day as the inspection
but occasionally within 24 hours.
Are you licensed? No. There is no license available or required in the State of Minnesota. I am
"CERTIFIED" by all 3 national home inspector organizations. In addition to my extensive
experience with all aspects of a home, I have had extensive professional training, and participate
in on-going continuing education programs through various schools and/or our professional
organizations, and have successfully passed tests given by nationally recognized home inspector
organizations. See About Me
Can a residential property "FAIL" an inspection? No. A professional inspection is simply an examination into the current condition of your
prospective real estate purchase. It is not an appraisal or a Municipal Code inspection. An
inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a residence, but will simply describe its condition and
indicate which items will be in need of minor or major repairs or replacement.
What If The Report Reveals Problems? Talk to your Realtor. If the inspector finds problems in a building, it does not necessarily mean
you should not buy it, only that you will know in advance what type of repairs to anticipate. Most
of time the deficiencies noted are typical for the vintage of the property. A seller may be willing to
make repairs because of significant problems discovered by the inspector. If your budget is tight,
or if you do not wish to become involved in future repair work, you may decide that this is not the
property for you. The choice is yours.
Why Do I Need An Inspection? The purchase of a home is one of the largest single investments you will ever make. You should
know exactly what to expect --- both indoors and out -- in terms of needed and future repairs and
maintenance. A fresh coat of paint could be hiding serious structural problems. Stains on the
ceiling may indicate a chronic roof leakage problem or may be simply the result of a single
incident. The inspector interprets these and other clues, then presents a professional opinion as to
the condition of the property so you can avoid unpleasant surprises afterward. Of course, an
inspection will also point out the positive aspects of a building, as well as the type of maintenance
needed to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding
of the property you are about to purchase, and be able to make your decision confidently.
As a seller, if you have owned your building for a period of time, an inspection can identify
potential problems in the sale of your building and can recommend preventive measures which
might avoid future expensive repairs.
Can I Inspect The Building Myself? Even the most experienced building or home owner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a
professional inspector who has inspected hundreds, and perhaps thousands of homes and
buildings in their career. An inspector is equally familiar with the critical elements of construction
and with the proper installation, maintenance and inter-relationships of these elements. Above all,
most buyers find it difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the building
they really want, and this may lead to a poor assessment.
Should I Attend The Inspection? The inspection process is very tedious and detailed with over 400 things to be considered on every
home. The inspector should be left to do his job during this inspection process. After this
procedure is complete, you are welcome to attend a "walkthrough" of the property with the
inspector where he will discuss the concerns he has uncovered as you go room to room, floor to
floor, and around the exterior. This will also give you a chance to ask questions about any
concerns you may have. This information will be of great help to you to understand the home
before you move forward and after you've moved in.
What should I know about Asbestos? Any area that appears to have asbestos would be duly noted but you should have a asbestos
technician or specialist in this field do a thorough asbestos inspection of this problem and make
It is advisable to get information on this problem. You may contact Asbestos and Mesothelioma
News for more information.