Why You Should Never Choose a Cheap Home Inspector

Shane Serra - Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Many people generally view all home inspectors as the same and therefore may have a tendency to hire the cheapest home inspector they can find, big mistake! A typical observation is that most people assume all home inspectors are the same and therefore will provide the exact same level of service while conducting your home inspection. Wrong!

Unfortunately, the home inspection industry in Ontario is self regulated at this time and anyone who feels they are competent enough, can print off business cards, launch a website and plaster their vehicle with graphics calling themselves a “home inspector”. This can be a bit scary and unnerving for most folks who are looking to hire an inspector to help them make an informed decision about the home they are about to buy. Fortunately there are a few things you can consider while shopping around and interviewing potential inspectors.

What type of background does the inspector have?

Generally, a good home inspector will have some sort of background in construction or contracting, engineering or architectural disciplines. People with this type of background generally have the knowledge and experience needed to conduct a proper inspection and identify problems and areas of non performance within a residential home.

What type of training does the inspector have?

Having a suitable background isn’t enough, proper training is also required. Has the inspector worked with a seasoned home inspector and been mentored? Has the inspector taken a credible training program, such as the Carson & Dunlop Inspection Training Program? What other education and training does this person have? Be wary of so called “certified inspectors” that have taken nothing more than a 2 hour online course to get their “certification”.

Is the inspector a full time inspector or just doing it part time to supplement their income? This is important because many people perform home inspections on a part time basis and have little to no vested interest in their business or their clients should something go wrong. Someone doing inspections on a full time basis will surely have much more experience than a part timer.

Is the home inspector insured?

This one is really important should something unforeseen or big happen. Humans can indeed make mistakes, therefore it is imperative that the home inspector be properly insured, carrying both general liability and error and omissions insurance.

What type of report is provided?

Gone are the days of chicken scratch and checklist style reports. A quality report should include photos of problem areas in an easy to understand and read computer generated format.

When looking for an inspector consider these tips and factor them into your decision making process for hiring your inspector. If you are shopping home inspectors and one is much cheaper than the other you must ask yourself, why? Chances are you won’t be getting the service you require and the few bucks you saved will end up costing you in the long run. Don’t make your decision based solely on the inspection fee alone.

Above Grade Home Inspections Inc. provides home inspections, WETT inspections, mould inspections and thermal imaging in Barrie and across Simcoe County.

Why Thermal Imaging is Essential in a Home Inspection

Erich Kelter - Monday, March 12, 2012

When homeowners call in a company to do a home inspection, few realize just how many options they have in the type of inspection they get and that thermal imaging is pretty much an essential these days. No matter what the age of the house is, there is any number of things that can go wrong, and the only way to keep these problems from becoming major crises is to get thermal imaging done.

With this type of inspection, special equipment is used to see behind the walls without even having to remove any drywall. Of course the benefits of getting a thermal inspection done are endless, but here are five of them:

  1. It shows if your home has proper ventilation. One feature of our homes that we don't think much about is the airflow, which has to be operating properly for the health and safety of those inside the home. Of course having the proper ventilation is also a critical part of keeping your home in good shape because it doesn't allow moisture to build up inside the walls where you can't see it. Condensation from the air conditioner can create mold and mildew inside the walls of your home if it does not have proper ventilation.
  2. Thermal inspections reveal any leaks or other moisture problems. Leaking water can cause a lot of damage inside your home. Hundreds, if not thousands of homes are damaged by leaking water every single year. If the leak is in someplace conspicuous, then you might get it fixed rather quickly, but if it's located behind a wall, you might not find out that it exists until it's too late unless it is found with thermal imaging.
  3. Potential problems with the structure of the home may be revealed. If there is a ventilation problem or if it seems like the hot or cold air you're pumping into your home is just disappearing into thin air instead of heating or cooling your home, then the easiest way to find the structural problems that are causing this is to look for them thermally. These problems are certainly not going to be seen with the naked eye, but whenever you are dealing with something that's either hot or cold, it can't hide from the thermal camera.
  4. Electrical hot spots can be located and fixed. Every year thousands of homes are also lost to electrical fires that could have been prevented if the hot spot that caused the fire had been fixed. The problem with these hot spots is that most of the time you don't know that you have them until your home catches fire. A thermal camera can help identify these problems before a fire starts so that you can get them fixed before tragedy strikes.
  5. Inspectors can identify places where energy is being lost. You could be giving away a lot of money each month to your electric company, simply because your home is leaking energy. Thermal cameras will help you conduct an energy audit so that you know where the energy is going and can correct the problem.

Not every company that offers inspections has thermal cameras, but those that don't aren't able to tell you every important thing about your home. All they can tell you is what they can see with their eyes, but there is so much more going on with a home!

Be sure to have an inspection done before buying a new home, putting your current home on the market, and about once a year to make sure that everything is still in good shape. Above Grade Home Inspections offers thermal imaging as an option in their home inspection services.

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.

What Can a Thermal Imaging Home Inspection Find in Your Home?

Erich Kelter - Saturday, June 11, 2011

More homeowners are requesting a thermal imaging home inspection for their properties. This method of home inspection has become popular for many reasons. It is not invasive and makes locating problems within the home much easier. Thermal imaging also allows the homeowner to actually see the shape and size of the problem, rather than simply telling them it is there. What can a thermal imaging home inspection find in your home?

Water Leakage

Exterior water leakage can cause serious problems in your home. A thermal imaging home inspection can reveal wet areas that may otherwise be hidden from normal view. Stopping this problem before it gets worse is very important. An exterior water leak that is allowed to continue can cause rot in wood and other materials as well as lead to mould growth.

Points of Lost Energy

The thermal imaging home inspection can also show you areas in your home that could help reduce utility bills. Missing insulation or un-insulated walls can cause a loss of heat or cool air during heating and cooling seasons. This can lead to higher utility bills as your home’s furnace or air conditioning unit tries to make up for the loss. A thermal imaging home inspection can help you find these areas so they can be fixed.

Pipe Leaks in Your Home

Not all pipe leaks start out as a noticeable issue. The thermal imaging home inspection can reveal a leaky pipe, even if the leak is still small. Correcting the problem right away is very important or you could face a serious water damage situation later. Through thermal imaging of the area, you can begin to determine where it is coming from which can save your plumber time on the repair.

Electrical Components Overheating

Overheating electrical components can pose a serious threat to the safety of your home and its inhabitants. A thermal imaging home inspection can identify problem areas that could come from overheating electrical components before they turn into an emergency situation. Although any home can benefit from a thermal imaging home inspection, older homes with aging electrical components and wiring may get even more out of the service.

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What is a Thermal Imaging Home Inspection?

Erich Kelter - Saturday, June 11, 2011

Many homeowners have never heard of a thermal imaging home inspection. This technology is a breakthrough for residential inspections because it is non-invasive and requires no damage or alterations done to the home to work. It is completely safe and can quickly identify problem areas in any room inside your home. How does a thermal imaging home inspection work?

How does a thermal imaging home inspection work?

A thermal imaging home inspection uses infrared energy to reveal any problems in your residence. The system works by utilizing waves of energy that fall outside of the human eye’s visible spectrum. The inspector moves through the home with a thermal imaging device revealing the presence of hidden moisture, cold areas and hot areas. These could be caused by a leaky pipe, missing or a lack of insulation, electrical components that are overheating or areas where moisture is able to make its way into your home.

The Benefits of a Thermal Imaging Home Inspection

What makes a thermal imaging home inspection so much more appealing for some homeowners? The main draw is the un-intrusive nature of this type of inspection. The inspector uses a camera displaying the thermal imaging. Nothing needs to be inserted into walls or cut opened to view behind closed areas. The device handles the process without doing any harm to the home.

The thermal imaging home inspection provides a great deal of insight and detail that might have been missed. Homeowners can discover water leaks or moisture areas that they might never have noticed. These areas can weaken interior structures, walls and even cause mould growth that can turn into a serious problem. The thermal imaging home inspection can also take some of the guesswork out of determining exactly where a problem is originating. The color variations show the inspector where the problem is and can help direct the homeowner to its place of origins in their home. A thermal imagine home inspection is one of the most effective ways to find any hidden issues that may be lurking inside your home.

For more information contact Above Grade Home Inspections today.