I’ll inspect the structure, systems and components of the home, inside and out, from the foundation to the roof, using the latest tools and technology. I encourage you to attend your inspection so that I can describe my process, explain my findings, point out important maintenance items, and answer all of your questions. I adhere to a comprehensive Residential Standards of Practice. This means that I will inspect all of the following, when visible and accessible:
- Electrical System
- Exterior Cladding
- Plumbing System
- Porch & Deck
- HVAC System
- Attic, Insulation & Ventilation
- Attached Garage
- Interior Structure
Following my evaluation I will compile my findings in an easy to read report, which will include detailed descriptions, high resolution digital photos and videos of any issues that I have discovered. Your report will be available the same day in most cases, or within 24 hours via email or online download, and my job isn’t finished until you understand everything in it.
Review the Standards of Practice at www.NACHI.org for complete details.
FREE with your Standard Home Inspection:
You will receive a FREE copy of Now That You’ve Had a Home Inspection, the home maintenance manual that includes tips for keeping your home safe and in top condition.
If I miss anything on your inspection, per InterNACHI’s Residential Standards of Practice, InterNACHI will buy your home back and pay you whatever price you paid for the home within 90 days of closing— it’s that simple.
What Really Matters in a Home Inspection
While most people are aware that air pollution can be hazardous to their health, many do not know that the air they breathe inside their own homes could be killing them. Millions of homes and buildings contain high levels of radon gas. What is radon? Radon is a colorless, odorless and tasteless radioactive gas that occurs naturally in most rocks and soil. It is produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. Radon is harmlessly dispersed in outdoor air, but when trapped in buildings can increase the risk of lung cancer, especially at elevated levels. It typically enters a home the same way air and other soil gases enter the home, through cracks in the foundation, floor or walls, hollow-block walls, and openings around pipes, sump pumps, and floor drains. It can also be present in some construction materials and in water from underground sources including private wells. Any home, regardless of age, energy-efficiency, or foundation type, could have a radon problem. The only way to know whether or not a particular home has a problem is to test THAT home. Find out more information about radon levels in your county.
Much of the soil in the Upper Midwest contains widespread uranium and radium. These minerals continuously break down to release radon gas. Therefore, Minnesota’s geology provides an ongoing supply of radon. In addition, a large percentage of Minnesota homes have high levels of radon in the indoor air because of how they are built and the local climate. One important risk factor is that many Minnesota homes have basements that are used as living spaces. MDH estimates that about one in three (1/3) Minnesota homes has enough radon to pose a large risk to the occupants’ health over many years of exposure. In some areas of the state, the percentage of homes that have high levels of radon is even larger. Homeowners can reduce this risk by mitigating if they have radon problems, which typically costs between $800 to $1200.
When radon decays and is inhaled into the lungs, it releases energy that can damage the DNA in sensitive lung tissue and lead to lung cancer. In fact, prolonged exposure to high levels of radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, contributing to between 7,000 and 30,000 lung cancer deaths each year. Smokers are at higher risk of developing radon-induced lung cancer. There are no short-term radon exposure symptoms that have ever been documented. You will not have any other bodily symptoms such as joint pain, stomach or intestinal problems, headaches, or rashes from short-term radon exposure at natural environmental levels (4 pCi/liter or less).
Radon is not regulated in Minnesota, so it is up to homeowners to decide for themselves how much radon is acceptable in their home. However, the USEPA action level for radon is 4.0 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L). The risk of developing lung cancer at 4.0 pCi/L is estimated at about 7 lung cancer deaths per 1000 persons. Thousands of preventable lung cancer deaths annually in the United States are attributable to indoor residential exposure to radon. Either smoking or radon exposure can independently increase the risk of lung cancer. However, exposure to both greatly enhances that risk. (At exposures to 4 pCi of radon per liter of air, the lifetime lung cancer risk attributable to radon rises from 2 cases per thousand in non-smokers to 29 cases per thousand in smokers). The USEPA and IEMA recommends reducing your radon level if the concentration is 4.0 pCi/L or more.
The MDH recommends that all Minnesota homeowners test their homes for radon. The results of a properly performed radon test will help homeowners determine for themselves if they need to take further action to protect their family from the health risks of radon in the home. MDH recommends that all new homes in Minnesota be built to include radon-resistant construction features that minimize radon entry into the home and make future radon problems easier to fix should they occur. It is more cost-effective to include radon-resistant features when building a home rather than retrofitting an existing home. If elevated radon levels are found after you move in, radon-resistant features can be easily activated to become radon reduction systems. Ask your builder if they are currently using radon-resistant construction techniques.
Additionally, all newly built homes in Minnesota should be tested for radon after they are completed and occupied. Early detection of elevated radon levels can help protect the homeowner’s financial interests if the radon problem is due to construction problems and can allow the homeowner to take appropriate actions to lower the radon level and protect the health of their family.
Radon information provided by mn-radon.info
Are you building a new home? I will come out during different phases of the construction to make sure that your project is being executed according to your specs. I can verify that scheduled work has been completed before you make a payment to your contractor. I will also come out prior to project completion to help you and your general contractor devise a punch list of remaining items. This is not a code-compliance inspection for your contractor, but a New Construction Inspection for you.
Protect your dream home with an 11th Month Warranty Inspection
Most builders offer a one-year warranty on a new home. We’ll come out during the 11th month and perform a full home inspection before the builder’s warranty expires. Our non-invasive inspection is based on observations of the visible and apparent condition of the interior and exterior of the structure, including its major systems and components. Following your inspection, you will receive a comprehensive report, complete with photos, that includes information on any material defects observed on the date of the inspection. Armed with this information, you can take any necessary steps to hold your builder and his subcontractors to their warranties while they’re still in force.
In the northern U.S., moisture vapor problems can occur when high indoor relative humidity (RH) levels combine with low outdoor temperatures during the winter. Moisture intrusion can cause problems for the home, including the deterioration of structural components, as well as mold and mildew. These problems can also compromise your home’s indoor air quality, which can cause health issues for family members. I will check your home for past or present water intrusion, which can be caused by air infiltration, diffusion through building materials, leaks from the roof, plumbing leaks, and flooding.
I use a state-of-the-art infrared camera to find problems that aren’t always apparent to the naked eye. An IR camera translates the heat signatures of objects into colors on a gradient scale, with higher temperatures appearing as lighter colors, and lower temperatures and wet areas appearing as darker colors. By evaluating these images, I can detect sources of energy loss, locate areas of moisture intrusion, pinpoint dangerous hot spots in the electrical system, and uncover other problems, such as punctured or severed water lines and electrical elements located in radiant in-floor heating systems.
Does your home incorporate green building systems or materials, such as passive solar technology, straw bale insulation, or thermal radiant floor heating? I will go through a checklist with you to determine the types of green items built into your home and inspect them for energy efficiency and functionality. This inspection can earn your home Green Certification, which means that you may be eligible for home loan and insurance discounts, depending on your lender and carrier.
To conduct a Home Energy Inspection, I will collect approximately 40 data points related to energy. I will then use an advanced energy calculator developed by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors to:
- estimate the home’s yearly energy usage
- pinpoint potential energy inefficiencies
- develop recommendations for energy improvements
- determine your potential energy savings
The Home Energy eBook is included with your Home Energy Report™. In addition to the energy-saving recommendations in your Home Energy Report™, this companion ebook describes additional ways to save energy, increase comfort, and protect the environment. It also includes do-it-yourself tips to save energy right now.
- Move-In Certified™ Seller Inspection
- Home Preservation Inspection