We wholeheartedly believe that nothing replaces the training and experience that make a great property inspector. Exceptional inspectors use tools to enhance their experience, not make up for a lack of it. In many instances, a flashlight and a screwdriver are the only tools needed.
There are, however, a handful of go-to tools our inspectors use to provide more information for you and your client. Here are our top four.
Our inspectors carry top-of-the-line FLIR infrared cameras. This technology allows them to view a thermal image, in a non-invasive manner, to gather additional information about an area of concern including:
Identification of lacking or deficient insulation
Identification of possible moisture intrusion
Identification of overloaded or overheating electrical systems
Identification of leaks or defects in a roof
Identification of defects with the HVAC system
Infrared cameras do not see behind walls, but instead display temperature anomalies. They are most effective when used by an experienced inspector and in combination with a moisture meter. The infrared camera alone doesn’t produce a definitive diagnosis, however it can provide a clue.
You may have seen our inspectors routinely probe basement baseboards and other areas prone to moisture intrusion. Our quality moisture meters are highly sensitive instruments which will detect moisture on a dry human hand. In addition to the routine use of this tool, your inspector will use it to test areas under a visually-detected plumbing leak, for example, as well as stained areas in a ceiling (to determine if a stain may be from past water damage vs. an active moisture situation.)
Moisture meters may only be used when in direct contact with a potentially wet area.
GFCI Outlet Tester
Exterior outlets and interior outlets located within six feet from a sink must be equipped with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter to shut off electric power when it senses an imbalance between outgoing and incoming current. These outlets prevent us from receiving electric shocks from faults in the devices we use in our home. Outlets that do not trip correctly will be identified on the home inspection report. An added benefit is that the location of reset buttons in the home, if not located on the outlet in question, will be determined during the inspection.
Air Quality Sampler (Mold Testing)
Whether it’s a peace-of-mind air quality test for a buyer whose allergies or immune system make them highly sensitive to mold, or an air sample taken when there is reason to suspect the existence of mold in a home, this test is the only way to definitively identify mold spores in the air of a home. Mold remediation today – as compared to a dozen years ago – is a relatively simple and frequently affordable fix. Sampling the air / mold testing during an inspection answers questions quickly and keeps everything moving forward.