The Four Levels of Mould Inspections

Erich Kelter - Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When it comes to asking for mould inspections, it is very important to understand that there is more than one kind of inspection. In fact, you have four different options in mould inspections, so it helps to know exactly what you get with each kind of inspection. After all, not everyone requiring mould inspections has the same needs. Sometimes a more thorough inspection is needed, while other times the answer may be more obvious to inspectors.

Here are the four levels of mould inspections available through most inspectors:

  1. Basic – This first level is mostly a visual check for mould and sources of moisture that could cause mould. Inspectors may take air samples to check for indications of problems, take photos, and write up a report.
  2. Intermediate – In addition to a visual check and air samples, intermediate mould inspections may include bulk or surface samples. Inspectors also take pictures and write up a report.
  3. Complete – Home owners or buyers who really want thorough mould inspections will be interested in the complete inspection, which includes thermal imaging to point out problem areas where hidden moisture may be present. It also includes surface and air samples, along with a written report and photos.
  4. Remediation – In some cases, it may be necessary to do a remediation inspection. These types of mould inspections focus on making sure that any mould or moisture problems identified in the first three types of inspections have been taken care of.

If you're looking at buying a home, you will probably want to get a complete inspection so that you know the home does not have any serious problems that will require you to shell out a lot more money in the near future. If there are any problems, you've got to find them before you sign on the dotted line so that you can get the problems fixed or move on to a different home. You simply can't be too careful when it comes to protecting the investment that is your home.

Not every inspector can offer all levels of mould inspections, so it's important to ask exactly what you're going to get with each company. For example, thermal imaging is not something offered by every inspector, so if that is something you want, then make sure that it is being offered.

Above Grade Home Inspections provides all levels of mould inspections in Barrie and Simcoe County.

Four Reasons to Get Thermal Imaging on a Home Inspection

Erich Kelter - Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Getting thermal imaging on a home inspection is an important part of the inspection process that many homeowners are not aware of. The average home inspector can't see behind walls, so it's important to include thermal imaging as a part of the home inspection process because it shows you things that cannot normally be seen with the naked eye. Here are four reasons you should include thermal imaging on your home inspection before you buy:

  1. Thermal imaging shows you places where insulation is missing. When there is insufficient insulation inside the walls of your home, you lose heat and cool air very rapidly because there is nothing to stop it from escaping. Your heating and cooling bills will be much higher than they would be if you did have sufficient insulation in your home, so it's worth it in the long run to make sure that there is enough insulation before you purchase the house.
  2. Getting thermal imaging on a home inspection helps identify leaks in the plumbing. Any home inspector can check underneath the sink to see if a pipe is leaking, but it's difficult to see if there are any leaks behind the walls. Thermal imaging solves this problem so that you can avoid any expensive and messy repairs down the road. If a leak is present, thermal imaging can also help pinpoint the problem area so repairs can be performed quickly and more cost effectively.
  3. Thermal imaging protects your home from future fire by allowing a home inspection to reveal any electrical components that are overheating. The only way you can know that there is a problem with the wiring in a home is to check it thermally and see if there is too much heat coming from the electrical components. Too much heat indicates a major problem with the wiring and is a warning sign that the home could be susceptible to fire in the near future.
  4. Moisture infiltration is another part of the home inspection process that is often overlooked because homeowners don't understand how it works. If moisture is allowed to get into walls and ceilings, it can cause a serious mould problem. Identifying these issues before you buy and before they become a big problem is vital to avoiding expensive repairs.

Above Grade Home Inspections offers thermal imaging and complete home inspection services in Barrie and Simcoe County. The company offers non-invasive methods of ensuring that your home is safe and free of problems that will become major issues and expensive repairs in the near future.

How Thermal Imaging on a Home Inspection Works

Erich Kelter - Monday, August 22, 2011

Thermal imaging is an important part of a home inspection because it reveals many problems within a house. Homebuyers can't be too careful these days, so getting thermal imaging provides an additional layer of protection before a sale is finalized. A standard home inspection just can't identify the problems that thermal imaging can because it allows inspectors to actually "see" behind the walls without having to cause damage to do so.

Thermal imaging shows home inspectors:

  • Any potential problems with electrical components
  • Leaks in the plumbing
  • Places where insulation is insufficient or missing
  • Excessive air infiltration or leakage
  • Moisture infiltration which may result in mould

It's a valuable tool that provides essential protection for homeowners who want to be sure they're not purchasing a money pit. Here's how the thermal imaging process works during a home inspection:

  1. The camera used by qualified home inspectors analyses infrared energy within the home.
  2. The camera creates a "heat map" of the area being scanned.
  3. The home inspector watches the camera display and uses it to identify parts of the home that are displaying unusual thermal variations.
  4. The home inspector examines problem areas carefully, checking to see whether the issue is a lack of insulation, faulty wiring or electrical components, leaks in the plumbing, or moisture infiltration.

Adding thermal imaging to a home inspection is relatively inexpensive when compared to all the problems it will prevent by purchasing a home with issues. Prospective homebuyers pay just a few hundred dollars or less for thermal imaging. Not all home inspections have thermal imaging as part of the process, so it certainly does pay to be an informed consumer and ask for it to be included. You just can't place a value on knowing ahead of time what kinds of issues you might face when purchasing a home.

Above Grade Home Inspections provides thermal imaging during the home inspection process to ensure that homebuyers are protected against houses that may have hidden problems. When you ask for thermal imaging as part of your home inspection, you can rest assured that you have plenty of protection against problems in your new home.

Home Inspections and Home Energy Audits for Realtors

Erich Kelter - Friday, July 22, 2011

Buying or selling a home can be challenging in today's market and a home energy audit can really help you make sure that you get the best price possible. An unstable economy can make things difficult for sellers, but it opens up the availability for those seeking to buy. No matter your position-buyer or seller-it is imperative that you have someone you trust to inspect your home.

Selling your home is stressful enough without the added worry of unwanted surprises that may be found when home inspections are completed. The wise thing to do is to have a pre-listing inspection. A good inspector will search the nooks and crannies of your home to be sure you are free serious defects such as structural damage. Once you have found the flaws in your home, you can begin the process of repair before putting it on the market. A home inspection would save you the heartache of a failed deal due to unknown defects.

A home energy audit would also be helpful. An eco-energy audit could provide an edge in the current market. You could improve the performance of your appliances and cut energy costs even before you sell. You would have the ability to provide potential buyers with information regarding energy costs and list what you have done to ensure that your house is energy-efficient. Not only would this help save money in the future, but it protects our environment. The government is also currently offering grants for some energy efficient improvements and appliances.

If you are attempting to buy a home, the climate is in your favor. However, you must be shrewd and aware of the possible pitfalls of buying. You may want to believe the best of people, but it would be imprudent not to protect your investment with a home inspection. A thorough home inspection prevents unwanted surprises. Superior inspectors scour the house to find serious defects which may be lurking. They guard against dishonesty and shield you from financial disaster. You may also want to ask if the seller has had a home energy audit. The cost of home ownership goes far beyond the initial price of the dwelling; you must take the energy bill into account. To be sure that the home is energy efficient, you may want to consider an energy audit before you agree to buy.

Above Grade Home Inspections Inc. has been conducting home inspections and home energy audits in Barrie and Simcoe County for many years. They are certified and trusted, offering many services to meet the needs of their clients. To learn more go to

The Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

Erich Kelter - Friday, July 22, 2011

Oil and gas fuel our lives, and a home energy audit can do wonders for your utility bill and your wallet. Energy is a very important aspect of life. Unfortunately, the cost continues to rise. Consequently, home owners are searching for ways to cut down on their monthly bill. There are many factors to consider when attempting to conserve energy; the best way to start is with a home energy audit.

Home inspections are imperative for anyone wanting to buy or sell a home, but a home energy audit is just as necessary. Many people do not take into account the cost of owning a home outside of the mortgage. Appliances that do not work correctly, gaps in windows and doors, and lack of insulation can contribute to wasted energy and unnecessary loss of money. A good inspector will search the home and check the furnace, hot water tank, insulation, windows, doors, and toilets to make sure that all are in working order. They will provide you with an audit evaluation that details the appliances or equipment that should be repaired or replaced. This report will also give you a plan and tips to help you reduce your energy bill. With a little time and effort, you can guarantee that your home is efficient and that your hard earned money is not being wasted.

Not only will a home energy audit help you reduce your costs and save you plenty of money in the future, you may also qualify for government grants. Because of the environmental impact of energy consumption, governments are taking action by offering rebates to home owners who obtain energy audits and take action to make eco-friendly changes to their homes. By purchasing environmentally sound products and reducing the amount of energy they consume, homeowners can help take care of the earth and ensure that future generations can enjoy a similar lifestyle. If everyone does their part, we can reduce the harmful effects of wasteful practices.

If you own a home, you cannot afford to forego a home energy audit. Start saving money and living more efficiently! Above Grade Home Inspections Inc. is a trusted company that offers home energy audits and many other services in Ontario. For more information, visit

The Importance of WETT Inspections

Erich Kelter - Friday, July 22, 2011

Most people love the idea of having a fireplace in their home, but they do not realize all of the responsibilities that come with it. Fireplaces do take a bit of care to ensure that they do not cause any problems. Just one little issue with a fireplace could result in your house catching fire, so having regular WETT inspections is very important. WETT inspections are performed for a variety of reasons, including insurance company requests, code compliance, and simple safety precautions.

WETT stands for Wood Energy Technology Transfer, and it is the basis for making sure that fireplaces and wood burning stoves are functioning properly. Homeowners who have either a fireplace or a wood burning stove should have WETT inspections performed every year so that they can be sure that the units are still in good working order. A WETT inspection should also be part of a home inspection if you are considering buying a home that has a fireplace or a wood burning stove in it.

In many cases, insurance companies will require you to have your units WETT certified, although this is a bit of a technical problem because of how the process works. WETT inspectors do not certify appliances, although they do provide certified inspections for the insurance company to show that all parts of the fireplace are in good working order.

During a WETT inspection, a certified inspector will come to your home and examine all parts of the fireplace or wood burning stove. They will inspect everything from the height of the chimney to the inside of the fireplace and look for signs of deterioration.

There is no actual process provided by WETT, so every inspector will have his own way of doing things. The inspection typically involves a visual inspection of everything, and if the inspector is concerned about anything he sees, then he will make a recommendation about the unit and whether any repairs are needed.

To find a certified WETT inspector, check with your local home inspection company. One company that has a solid reputation for providing quality WETT inspections is Above Grade Home Inspections Inc. The company inspects the chimney, flue, smoke chamber, firebox, damper, and hearth. They also make sure that there is enough clearance between the wood burning appliance and other combustible surfaces inside the home. A report is delivered the same day right after they finish up the inspection.

All About WETT Inspections

Erich Kelter - Monday, July 11, 2011

There are several things inspectors will look at when they perform a WETT inspection. Items such as the chimney, the liner, the smoke chamber, damper, firebox and other working parts inside the fireplace or woodstove to make sure that they are working properly. The inspector will also make sure clearances to combustible materials are sufficient so you can use your wood burning appliance safely.

How do companies become certified to perform WETT inspections?

In order to be a certified provider of WETT inspections, inspectors first have to go through a code compliance course to make sure they have the knowledge. Then they can choose to become a certified tech or advisor, earn their certification in chimney sweeping, or earn a WETT certification in SITE basic. Inspectors only become certified after at least 80 weeks of work in the field and require a letter of reference. Inspectors who choose to become WETT certified in SITE basic also have to complete 30 inspections of wood burning appliances, which further ensures that they know exactly what to look for.

How do I find a qualified company to perform a WETT inspection?

Before you let anyone come over to inspect your fireplace and chimney, it is very important that you ask them specifically if they can perform a WETT inspection. Also ask if they are certified to provide WETT inspections, because some companies that perform WETT inspections may check most of the right things, although they aren't certified to be able to ensure your safety. Above Grade Home Inspections Inc. has a great reputation for quality WETT inspections that come with a report delivered right after the inspection is complete.

Mould Inspections Can Improve Your Family's Health

Erich Kelter - Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mould inspections can help improve your family's living environment and, in turn, their overall health. Many people are affected by mould each day and have no idea what is going on. Some types of mould can actually lead to tragic health conditions while some are mild, but still dramatically affect the individual's life. Hiring a professional mould inspection service is the best way to ensure all mould is gone from your home.

Coming in Contact with Mold

If you notice a mould problem in your home, the best thing to do is avoid it completely. Physical contact can instigate health problems. Even after identifying the issue, some homeowners are reluctant to pay for a mould inspection. The important thing to remember is that just because you are not physically touching the mould with your body does not mean you aren't coming in contact with it. Mould can become airborne and will be inhaled by those living in your home. A mould inspection is the best way to identify this issue and fix it.

Allergies and Mould

A home mould inspection is a good way to help alleviate persistent allergies. Many individuals suffer from typical allergies, however some have no idea that they are living next to the main cause of their symptoms. A mould inspection can uncover the unseen presence of mould so it can be removed. Allergy sufferers can use a mould inspection and removal service to improve their living environment which can have a very positive impact on their skin and respiratory system.

Symptoms of Mould Contact

Your family could be experiencing the symptoms of mould contact without realizing it. If you notice a change in moods, lowered energy levels, irritability, weakness, burning eyes, chest pain and difficulty thinking, you may need a mould inspection performed on your home. A professional service can look for potential problem areas that could harbor mould. Your home should be a place that nurtures good health in you and your family. The presence of mould can completely change that. Paying for a home mould inspection today could help your family live healthier.

Mould Inspections Check List: Is Your Home at Risk for Mould Growth?

Erich Kelter - Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mould inspections handled by professionals offer the most effective option to determine if your home has a black mould problem. Some homeowners are reluctant to fork out cash for a professional inspection. There are many situations that can cause mould to grow, and in some cases you may not even notice it until it has become a serious issue. If you haven’t considered having a mould inspection performed on your residence then review the following check list to determine if you are at risk. If your home has experienced any of the following, then you may need a mould inspection.

Recently Replaced Roof

If you recently replaced your roof, consider having a mould inspection performed after the repair. The previous condition of the roof could have allowed water to seep into your home. Even if the damage was only present for a very short time, natural moisture could make its way in and lead to mould growth.

Sewer Issues

Any kind of sewer issue in your home that leads to a leak or back up can cause mould growth. Immediately after correcting the problem and removing any sewage and standing water, contact a professional to conduct a mould inspection. This situation is ideal for mould growth, even if it was corrected quickly.

Unsealed Windows and Doors

Windows and doors in your home should be resealed periodically. These tend to be weak points where moisture can enter your home. A mould inspector can look for any growth in and around door and window frames to stop a problem before it becomes worse.

Damp Basement

Many homes have damp basements. These dark, moist conditions can entice mould growth. A professional mould inspection can tell you whether or not mould has formed and how to get rid of it.

Aged or Damaged Siding

The siding on your home acts as a protective later that keeps the elements out. When the siding becomes damaged or needs replaced, this can provide a perfect entry point for water which can lead to mould growth. If you recently replaced damaged siding or all the siding on your home, consider hiring a mould inspection service to ensure nothing managed to grow.

Professional Home Inspections in Barrie and Simcoe County

Erich Kelter - Saturday, June 11, 2011

Is one of your life long dreams to own your own home? This is very common to want to own your own home. Unfortunately when most new home buyers look for a home in Barrie or Simcoe County they are generally surprised a month into ownership with major problems in the home. To put your worries to rest, before you sign those closing papers, you should have a professional home inspections check things out.

A home inspection will make sure that everything in and outside of your possible new home is working correctly and in good condition. A real issue example is previous water damage. Imagine a roof that leaks like crazy when it rains out side, how would you know if there is no damage present? Knowing this type of feed-back is crucial to getting the peace of mind knowing the home is safe and sound for you and your family. Knowing this information prior to the purchase you can have the seller to fix it before you move in so you do not even have to deal with it.

Some of the other things that an inspector will look over while performing an home inspection, include checking whether or not the roof needs to be replacing; which can be costly, if the plumbing is in good condition throughout the home, if the electrical panel is wired correctly, and if the foundation is sound. Now, these are just a few of the things inspectors will look over as they will check over a whole host of other things as well.

Having a professional home inspection in Barrie and Simcoe County is extremely important in helping you know as much as possible prior to buying your next home. Inspections are the best first investment you will ever make.