What are the most common issues found during a home inspection? The answer is, electrical deficiencies. After performing over 1600 home inspections, electrical deficiencies have been the most common issues we've found in homes. These issues are more common in older homes, 30 years old or older. More importantly, electrical issues are the most dangerous.
With older homes, in most cases, there were multiple homeowners. In order to save money, homeowners would attempt to repair, add and install electrical components themselves or have their Uncle Todd who knows very little about electrical make repairs for a 12 pack of beer as payment. 99% of electrical work performed by homeowners is wrong, unknowingly putting themselves and their family at risk. Unprofessional electrical work can cause electrical hazards such as shock, fire and some in cases death.
Electrical deficiencies are the third leading cause of home structure fires. An estimated 24,000 electrical related home fires happen every year in the United States, causing over $700 million in property damage.
Most electrical fires are caused by faulty outlets that are old or outdated. Some are caused by frayed or damaged cords, light fixtures, electrical space heaters, outdated wiring and electrical components such as breakers that don't trip when needed.
Homeowners should never attempt to perform their own electrical work. It is highly recommended to hire a licensed electrical contractor to make repairs.
What is a 4-Point inspection? A 4-Point inspection is basically a "mini home inspection" for home owner's insurance companies. Your insurance company may request this type inspection to help determine the condition and age of your home's electric, plumbing, HVAC and roof systems. They also want to know if there's any deficiencies with these four systems. If deficiencies are found during the inspection, your insurance company may want these items repaired before moving forward with your insurance coverage. Your insurance company may will request that you hire a licensed home inspector within your area to perform the inspection and produce a report with the information they need. Since you're the one hiring the inspector, the home inspector only delivers the report to you, not the insurance company. However, it's your responsibility to send the report to your insurance company within a certain timeframe.
Here's a quick break down on what we inspect:
As a home inspector, we comment and document on these items during the inspection. Home inspectors are not affiliated with home owner's insurance companies or make decisions on behalf of the insurance company's coverage or policies. It's the insurance company's responsibility to make their own determination with the information provided to them.
Regardless of deficiencies that are found during the inspection, it could also help the home owner aware of any potential problems that may exist within their home which could become bigger and more expensive problem if not addressed in a timely manner.
If you would like to know more about 4-Point inspections or you would like to schedule an inspection, give us a call or email at J. Gregory Home Inspections.
Wind Mitigation inspections are one of the most requested reports we get today. A number of homeowner's insurance companies here in Florida have left the state or went out of business, leaving tens of thousands of customers scrambling for a new insurance company. Other homeowners are looking for cheaper rates because their insurance rates went up substantially. Most or all of these companies are requesting insurance inspections before binding a policy. One of the most common inspections are the "Uniformed Mitigation Verification Forum" or Wind Mitigation, for short.
When customers are shopping for new or cheaper rates here in the state of Florida, they find that insurance companies are requiring the Wind Mitigation report. They're requiring this report on almost all homes regardless of age or size. So, if you're in the market for finding homeowners insurance, be prepared for this request.
Licensed home inspectors and licensed general contractors are the only two professionals that are qualified to perform this type of inspection. Most general contractors are either too busy or will charge substantially more for this type of service so that will leave you with hiring a home inspector like J. Gregory Home Inspections.
A Wind Mitigation inspection is a very limited inspection so, when performing this Inspection, we look for several items such as:
There are a few things to have ready before the home inspector shows up to your home that would help the process go smoother:
If you need addition information about the Wind Mitigation inspection, feel free to call or email our office. We're glad to answer any question about this process.
J. Gregory Home Inspections uses the latest technology the home inspection industry has to offer, thermal imaging. Our thermal imaging service comes free with every General Home Inspection which is not offered by many of our competitors.
Thermal imaging is a non-invasive, non-destructive way of evaluating conditions below the surface. Because everything from faulty wiring to the presence of termites to microbial growth to wet insulation affects the surrounding temperature, heat-sensitive photography can reveal these and other issues that just cannot be seen by the naked eye or with conventional or digital photography. In providing thermal imaging reports we can document a hidden fault for corrective action or to prioritize repairs. For an energy audit we can show exactly where cold air is entering the home or heat is being lost, along with energy dollars. We are also able to document the safety of a property by revealing dangerous electrical hot spots or the presence of harmful microbial growths. Thermal photography lets us deliver a more thorough and in-depth report to our clients when we can show them what lies beneath the surface.
J. Gregory Home Inspections is Infrared Imaging certified through the international Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).
As a licensed home inspector, I've found single strand aluminum wiring in older homes located in Pensacola, FL. Single strand aluminum wiring was typically used in homes built between 1965 to 1973. Copper wiring was replaced with aluminum during this time mainly because it was cheaper. Years after it was introduced as a new, less expensive product, electricians began to notice the aluminum metal, when exposed to the elements, became brittle, causing the homes electrical system to overheat and in some cases, cause fires. Many insurance companies will not cover homes with single strand aluminum wiring. This can be problematic for both sellers and buyers. As a home inspector, I instruct my clients to consult with their insurance company first to determine if they will cover the home, if in fact aluminum wiring is found during the inspection. The client should also consult with a licensed electrical contractor who is an expert on this matter to further evaluate and correct problem.
Home Inspection; Electrical
Having a home inspection preformed on your new home purchase in Navarre, FL can make anyone feel nervous about potentially killing the deal over costly repairs or worse, safety issues that could be found during the inspection. This is ok, it's not the last home left on earth and you certainly don't want to live in a home with issues that could put you and your family in danger right?
As an inspector, when I think about safety issues in a home, electricity comes to mind, especially when talking about older homes 20 years or older. Over a period of time, homeowners sometimes take it upon themselves to add or repair electrical components in their home in hopes of saving money rather than hiring a licensed electrical contractor to preform the work. Doing this kind of work yourself could put you or any future homeowner in danger.
Amateur electrical work could have the potential of causing fires from short circuits or electrical overloading and better yet, electrocution.
A home inspection is limited and non-evasive. We can't see through walls, concrete foundations or attic insulation. Much of the electrical wiring/components during the inspection will be unseen by the inspector. Here's what we are able to inspect;
Home Inspection Process
The home inspection process can feel confusing right? If someone asked me about anything related to the medical field, I wouldn't have a clue where to start. You've found your dream home and you tell the realtor you want to put in an offer. The offer then gets accepted. Now your realtor says you should get a home inspection preformed on the property. Wait, what? A home inspection? Many first time home buyers don't have a clue what this is but it's OK! Many home buyers don't. After they've come accustomed to the fact they should have one, it's even more difficult to interpret what was found during the inspection and how severe the issues are. This is where J. Gregory Home Inspections stands out from many other companies. We like to hear questions from our clients about what's in the report. We always tell them "if you have any questions just ask".
Many homes in the Navarre, FL area, that we inspect, are around 20 years old or newer. This is good because you may not see as many problems as you would in homes that are 25 years and older which would require a 4-point inspection from most lenders or insurance companies. This is probably a good reason why homes in Navarre are more expensive than the surrounding areas.
Inspection Timeline Process
Often times while preforming a home inspections in Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas, we find minor defects ranging from an interior door not opening and shutting properly to ceiling fans that don't work. Sometimes we find major defects. These defects can be safety issues with electrical components or material defects in the structure that can be costly. I would like to go over 4 of these major defects and explain why it's important to our clients when these issues are found.
The number one hazard for children is falls, which are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries in the U.S. for this age group. About 8,000 youngsters wind up in emergency rooms every day for injuries related to falling, adding up to almost 2.8 million per year. With those statistics in mind, it is worth looking at what can be done to prevent such injuries in the home. If you're looking to buy a home in Pensacola and the surrounding areas, We at J. Gregory Home Inspections can help look for items that could pose as a safety risk to you and your family during our home inspections.
In trying to fathom how so many children can be injured on a daily basis from something as simple as slipping and falling, we need to consider an important factor, which is height. Oftentimes, when observing small children at play, we are amazed at their dexterity and ability to take what looks like a fairly serious tumble and hop right back up, unfazed. Likewise, a slip or fall for most adults, more often than not, leads to little more than a poorly chosen expletive being uttered. However, imagine a small child falling a distance equivalent to the average height of an adult, and we begin to see where the danger lies. With this to consider, let’s closer look at two of the most important areas to childproof in a home: windows and staircases.
The first thing that probably comes to mind when examining child safety in relation to stairways and staircases is a safety gate, and with good reason: falling down stairs can be a serious hazard for an infant or toddler who is just learning to navigate his or her surroundings. When properly installed, high-quality safety gates can help eliminate this possibility.
A safety gate is a gate that is temporarily installed in a door or stairway. It allows adults to unlock and pass, but small children will be unable to open it. There are two basic types of gates which differ in the way they are installed. The first type is a pressure-mounted gate. These safety gates are fixed in place by pressure against walls or a doorway. They can be used in doorways between rooms, such as for keeping crawling babies out of a kitchen during cooking, but they are not suitable for keeping kids out of other areas, such as the top of a stairway, where falling could be a risk.
The other type of safety gate, which is recommended specifically for stairways, is hardware-mounted. These gates will mount solidly in place with screws but are still easily removable for times when they are unnecessary. A hardware-mounted safety gate will prevent small children from entering stairways where accidents could occur.
When choosing a safety gate, you can refer to established ASTM standards for these products, and some manufacturers also participate in a certification program administered by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. Any gate you choose should meet the ASTM standards, which will ensure that the gate itself poses no hazard to the child. Products that comply with these standards will have a sticker on the packaging or on the unit itself.
For parents of children who have outgrown the need for safety gates but are still small and curious, especially those prone to climbing on things, baluster spacing on the handrail becomes a concern. An InterNACHI inspector knows that a stairway with four or more risers should have a continuous handrail not lower than 34 inches or taller than 38 inches on at least one side, with balustrades not more than 4 inches apart from each other. If you have spaces between vertical rails or risers that will allow an object larger than 4 inches to pass between them, they should be reported during an inspection as in need of repair because they pose a risk to a child who tries to climb on the rail or gets stuck between them.
If the dangers associated with falling are compounded by the height of the fall, then windows can present an even greater concern than stairways. It is estimated that more than 4,000 children are treated every year in emergency rooms for injuries sustained by falling from windows. There have been at least 120 such deaths reported since 1990. Risk of injury from window-related accidents in the home can be minimized by addressing
several common issues.
The first thing and simplest thing to do is to ensure that there is no furniture situated in areas that would make it easy for a child to reach and open or close a window. Any furniture a child could potentially climb on should be moved away from windows.
Latches, Stops and Guards
As children begin to grow to heights where they may be able to access windows from a standing position, it is important to install secure, child-proof latches. There are many types of window latches that, similar to safety gates, will allow an adult to easily open and close windows, but will prevent kids from doing the same. Also available are window stops, which will not allow the window to be opened wider than a pre-determined width. The recommended opening, similar to balustrade spacing, should not exceed 4 inches. This eliminates the possibility of a child or one of his limbs to pass through. These stops are easily removable by an adult whenever necessary.
An additional option to consider is a window guard. A window guard can be vertical or horizontal. It attaches to a frame and can be removed by an adult, but will deter a child. Guards have some form of bars or beams across them, which should be no more than 4 inches apart. Window guards maintain the functionality of the window while ensuring a child’s safety while the window is open. However, even with a guard installed, kids should not be allowed to play around windows, whether they are open or closed. Try to open windows only from the top, if possible. And never rely on window screens to keep a child from falling, as that is not the function they are designed for.
With some foresight, a few clever and fairly inexpensive products, and proper adherence to building codes, the risk of injury from falling can be successfully minimized. Your InterNACHI inspector can assess the safety issues in your home, and advise you on the most effective childproofing measures to keep your family safe.
When buying a home in Pensacola, FL you will most likely be told by your realtor agent to get a home inspection. After the inspection, you'll get the report with issues or problems found by the inspector. Some of these problems could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars but, this is the home you really want, no matter what. There's only one thing left to do. Negotiate! Some sales may have a repair cost allowance and some home may be an "AS-IS" sale because the seller doesn't have the extra money to do the repairs. In this case you could negotiate the sale price to help cover the cost of repairs. Some sellers are willing to do this because the house may have been on the market for a long period of time or they need to rush the sale because of unforeseen circumstances.
Here are several ways you can negotiate repairs: