Let's face it, the only time an attic is inspected is during a real estate transaction (that is, if the home was inspected by a professional home inspector). No one goes into their attic unless they absolutely HAVE to! When was the last time you checked your attic? If we inspected your home prior to you purchasing it, that may have likely been the first and last time that your attic was inspected. I'm a home inspector and I'll be honest, I do not regularly check my attic as often as I should.
You might be wondering why you should inspect your attic regularly and how often it should be inspected. Generally, an attic should be inspected every six months but that might not be realistic for most homeowners. So, once a year should be the bare minimum. I tend to inspect my attic either in the spring or fall. In the winter it is way too cold up there and in the summer, it is way too hot. So spring or fall are the ideal times in my opinion.
For a minimal charge, Home Inspection Consultants Inc. can come in to inspect your attic. We have the proper tools, know what signs to look for and we provide a detailed report. Also, we won't fall through the ceiling! Make sure your attic is accessible and inspected by Home Inspection Consultants Inc. We Provide Peace of Mind!
A very concerned homeowner contacted Home Inspection Consultants to do a home inspection and she had stated on the phone that the floor structure to her home was sinking! When the caller said that they had a home inspection prior to the purchase, our first thought was that the buyer did not read the report before committing to the purchase or the inspector was negligent in providing the proper information.
When I entered the home, it was quite evident that the floor structure had settled and was continuing to settle after the buyer took possession of the home. The floor structure from the living room to the hallway was sloping towards the bathroom. The floor was separating from the baseboards and cracks were appearing in the walls.
I asked who had performed the inspection to try and figure out what went wrong. When the name was given, I informed the buyer that the 'inspector' she had originally hired is also a local real estate agent. The homeowner said she should have seen the red flags when she contacted him to do an inspection because the home inspector (AKA realtor) said that no written report would be given (just a verbal) and he wanted cash.
When the realtor.... oops home inspector ..... had completed his 'inspection', he said that there is a cut floor joist in the crawl space and he apparently minimized the issue.
After Home Inspection Consultants did the inspection, our written report indicated several cut floor joists with considerable settlement and that these joists happened to be located in one of the worst locations, which is under the tub/shower unit and toilet. So imagine the added weight when the homeowner fills the tub with water and wants to take that relaxing bath. This was going to be an expensive repair to the floor structure in the crawl space.
The way I see it, the homeowner has some blame in the matter because the sole reason she hired that 'inspector' was price and now it is a "he said, she said" situation. So the few dollars she thought she was saving is now going to cost her thousands.
Due to the blatant conflict of interest that this 'inspector' has with performing home inspections and being a local realtor, he is no longer a member of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI). It is a wonder that the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) has not done the same thing. I guess it boils down to ethics or the lack thereof.
Caveat emptor (buyer Beware)
Funny thing happened during a home inspection on a townhouse in LaSalle recently. This townhouse is on the water and features many upgrades. With the monthly maintenance fees and the high asking price, this townhouse is suited for a relatively narrow group of home buyers.
The buyer's realtor decided to follow the home-buyer and I around as I was doing the home inspection. As I checked under the sinks and noted that copper and ABS plumbing was present, this was the moment that the realtor felt confident to make the statement that the buyer was very lucky that there was no Kitec plumbing in this meticulous townhouse. She then went on to elaborate how Kitec plumbing was very BAD!
I chuckled under my breath and continued with the inspection. Then, lo and behold, we entered the furnace room and I announced that Kitec plumbing was the primary water supply plumbing in this townhouse. I proceeded to educate the home-buyer on this type of plumbing and how some (maybe even most) home insurance companies will not insure a home that has Kitec, they'll charge a premium for homes with this type of piping, they will exclude coverage of water leaks or they will insist on having all the Kitec removed and replaced with approved piping. Needless to say, the realtor had surely regretted her previous comments. When I discover Kitec plumbing, a realtor usually tries to down-play it but due to her previous comments, that was now impossible.
Kitec plumbing was introduced in 1995 and by 2005, it was recalled by the manufacturer due to leaks that occurred due to material failure. Plumbers liked Kitec because it was cheaper and more flexible compared to traditional piping. However, the drawbacks became apparent when these pipes began to fail under high water pressure and under high water temperatures. These leaks resulted in thousands of dollars in damage to the interior finishes of the homes.
Although the $125 million dollar settlement to the Kitec class action lawsuit was approved in 2011 and ended in 2020, it may not be too late to submit a claim to www.kitecsettlement.com/.
Once again, Home Inspection Consultants Inc. saved the day for this home-buyer and for the realtor for that matter. Had the home-buyer relied on the realtor's comment that there was no Kitec present, that may have become a sticky situation when it was time to obtain house insurance. Whether they go ahead with the purchase or not, at least they are now well-informed on what they are purchasing and that is how We Provide Peace of Mind!
How did you find the home inspector for your home? Google, your realtor or maybe referred by a friend? I want to share with you a way you may not have thought about until now. We received a call from a woman who was looking to have a home she wanted to purchase inspected. She called the office and booked the inspection. When I arrived at the home, the introduction was made and I proceeded to go through the expectations of the home inspection with her. Well, after the home inspection was completed, I began to summarize the findings and that is when the buyer began to explain to me how she came to call on our company. She said that she fasted and prayed for 3 days so that the Lord would direct her to the right inspection company. She said "I did not want to take any chances. I don't have a lot of money and I had to do this right so I was going to let the Lord choose". Needless to say when I heard how she got our name, that was refreshing. We took some time afterwards to reflect on the goodness of God. We always say that this is likely the largest purchase you will ever make. Call around and make your own choice based on qualifications, experience and if you're still unsure, go to The Source as this woman did!
In the 28 years of performing home inspections, the story does not change much. Purchasers focus on the ambiance of living on the water. A place to relax not too far from home and yes it all sounds appealing, but what about the crawl space.? The part of the home inspection that matters the most. That waterfront living that you come to enjoy on those stressful days often times will migrate into the crawl space and cause structural issues to the home. The majority of cottages will have some level of wood damage in the crawl space and of course it is due to the location. When it comes to a home inspection though, the crawl space is where the rubber meets the road. Not all home inspectors go into the crawl space! Many buyers will overlook issues with electrical, plumbing, heating/cooling etc. to have that vacation home.
We don't notice a difference with our new HRV system!
Plugged air intake vents are very common and the builder may not have educated you on the equipment in your home. The reason for the HRV or the heat recovery ventilation system is to remove the stale air in your now air-tight home and bring in fresh air to help improve the air quality in your home. In addition, the system can also be helpful in removing excess moisture content in the air. A home inspection is very educational. This is why it is always encouraged that all home-buyers attend the inspection.
A home inspection should be a part of every purchase.
When a home inspection takes place, one of the instruments in the inspector's bag of tools is the thermal imaging camera. What you are seeing is the older style heating system where electrical elements were embedded into the plaster ceiling revealing the radiant heating system. A previous home-owner decided to upgrade to a forced air gas furnace with a central air conditioning system. However, they did not eliminate the radiant heat from the ceiling. You cannot see if the heat is on based on the digital picture below. However, when we conducted a home inspection, the thermal imaging camera revealed the radiant heating system had been in operation year round, yes all through the summer! No one in the household had noticed that the wall-mounted thermostat was turned on. Do you think maybe the previous home-owner was selling their home because they just could not deal with the heat to the upper level of the home. Hmm. But now because of the home inspection, the prospective buyer was informed about the issue.
digital picture of the same image
When called to perform a home inspection, sometimes one of the red flags is that air fresheners are present throughout the home. We know everybody likes a nice smelling home and the sellers want to present a nice impression to prospective buyers. Indoor air quality is important to the health and well-being of the occupants of the home. As a rule of thumb, the air in the crawl space is the air you are breathing in the home. The air moves upward from the lowest part of the home and this is what you breath. Although the living area of the home may look nice, the smell and/or odour can be a red flag as to what is hidden in the crawl space. In this case, raw sewage was discovered during the home inspection. The seller did not disclose this to the buyer. This was due to a damaged sanitary pipe that opened and spilled raw sewage into the crawl space. Although the pipe was repaired, the seller did not spend the money to remediate the crawl space from the sewage. Call Home inspection Consultants (WE PROVIDE PEACE OF MIND).
Sometimes we receive calls that are just unusual to say the least. However, it is needful to follow up on all calls.
Home Inspection Consultants - Home Inspection Consultants how can we help you?
Caller - Hi yes, we just had our home inspected by your company.
Home Inspection Consultants - So you're the home-owner?
Caller - Yes. When I got home, I realized that my fridge door no longer closes properly.
Home Inspection Consultants - Well ma'am, I don't know why that would be, but can you describe the issue.
Caller - Well my fridge door used to close tight but now it won't and I am afraid my food in the fridge is going to spoil.
Home Inspection Consultants - Yes ma'am, well I will contact the home inspector and have him go and look at it today when he is between his inspections.
Caller - Oh thank you as this is quite an issue for me.
Home Inspection Consultants - Not a problem, someone will be there soon.
Conclusion - The ketchup bottle in the fridge door was positioned in a way that it was not allowing the door to close properly. The home-owner was very apologetic and the inspector was put at ease and everyone was happy. We like happy endings. :)
Often, we receive phone calls from homeowners trying to find solutions to their problems.
Inspector - Home Inspection Consultants, how can we help you?
Caller - Yes I was wondering if you could help me. I have little black spots on the walls and ceilings to various areas of my home.
Inspector - How old is your home?
Caller - Approximately 10 years old.
Inspector - How many people live in the home?
Caller - We have 7 people living in the home.
Inspector - The little black spots are likely mold spores as a result of too much moisture in your home. Do you have excess condensation at your windows?
Caller - Why yes I do!
This dialogue went on for a little while and the bottom line was that on average, each person gives off 1 litre of water per day and in their case, 7 litres of water would be in the air on a daily basis. The moisture content was ideal for mold growth and diminished air quality. Newer homes are air-tight and the moisture needs to be removed by mechanical systems built into the home i.e. kitchen and bath exhaust fans and even an HRV system. Lifestyles in the home can also create air quality issues. Call Home Inspection Consultants as we "Provide Peace of Mind".
I've come across a lot of interesting tidbits of information during my 29 year career as a home inspector. I've been told that I'm pretty meticulous and a good 'teacher', so hopefully you'll find some interesting information here..