General home inspections
We perform general home inspections on new and existing construction for buyers and for sellers. These are the items that the inspection covers:
Roof – roof covering, gutters, vents, flashing, skylights, chimney or other penetrations, and general roof structure.
Exterior – brick veneer, siding, doors, porches, decks, stairs, windows, surface drainage, retainer walls, driveways, sidewalks, and sprinklers.
Structure & Foundation – basement, concrete slab, crawl space, sub floor, floor joist, sills, water penetration, and settlement.
Heating & Cooling – proper function of normal operating controls along with energy source and method of heating.
Plumbing, Kitchen, & Bathrooms – water supply, shut-off valve, water heater location, energy source, and venting, toilets, sinks, tubs, showers, faucets, stoppers, drains, vents, whirlpools, garbage disposals, ranges, ovens, dishwasher, microwaves, exhaust fans, cabinetry, counter tops, and caulking.
Electrical – indoor and outdoor outlets, indoor and outdoor lights, ceiling fans, switches, G.F.C.I. protection, smoke detectors, door bells, service location, amperage, grounding, and origin, panel box location, and breakers.
Attic & Ventilation – insulation and ventilation of the attic.
Interior – fireplace, doors, windows, stairs, railing, garage door, garage door openers, sheetrock, and flooring.
Energy Efficiency services
HERS ratings – HERS is a national standard for measuring a home’s energy efficiency with the use of computer software to model the home. A score is assigned for each home that is rated and it works like a golf score where lower is better (more efficient). We perform these ratings on a lot of new construction so that builders can advertise the energy efficiency of the homes that they are constructing. Many builders participate in programs such as Georgia Power Earthcents and Energy Star.
Existing homes – We can utilize Remrate software that is used to calculate the HERS index to also recommend energy efficiency upgrades to items such as insulation, mechanical equipment, water heaters, appliances, lighting, etc. and show the savings from these upgrades to easily calculate return on investment and payback period. We also utilize Beacon software on homes of Georgia Power customers to participate in the Georgia Power Home Energy Improvement Program (HEIP) where customers can qualify for rebates from Georgia Power for making energy efficiency upgrades that result in reduction of electricity consumption.
A home energy audit will consist of the following services:
Blower door test – With this test we will depressurize the entire home to test how leaky or how tight the home is and if necessary with the aid of an infrared camera we can use this to determine where the leaks are coming from to determine what is necessary to seal these leaks.
Duct seal test – With this test we will seal off all supplies and returns and hook a fan to one return and pressurize the duct work. It is like blowing up a balloon. We do this to determine how much air is leaking through the duct work. If duct work is leaky it reduces the efficiency of the system and puts additional strain on the equipment. In some situations we recommend all duct work to be replaced and in some situations sealing the duct work already in place is sufficient.
Visual inspection – We perform a visual inspection to determine, insulation values, locations of mechanical equipment, home layout, lighting, etc.
Combustion safety test – In any home with gas appliances we perform combustion safety testing to make sure appliances are not backdrafting or creating carbon monoxide from poor combustion.
Gas leak test – We check to make sure all gas line connections at the appliances are free of leaks.
Other Inspection Services
Lead based paint inspections and risk assessments – Any home built prior to 1978 and even some homes after this date have the potential to contain lead based paint. Lead at low levels in the blood can cause brain development problems in children. Higher blood lead levels can cause kidney and nervous system damage in both children and adults. Extremely high blood lead levels can cause seizures and even death. Some real estate transactions may require a home to be tested for lead based paint prior to closing. HUD funded projects require lead based paint inspections and also require a lead risk assessment if any painted surfaces test positive for lead based paint. We utilize an XRF (X-ray fluorescence) analyzer to examine the presence of lead. This instrument uses gamma rays from a radioactive isotope to excite the electrons in lead atoms to determine the concentration of lead in the paint. We follow the inspection protocol and report template as prescribed by EPA 40 CFR Part 745.227 and Chapter 7 of the HUD Guidelines for the Evaluation and Control of Lead-Based Paint Hazards in Housing.
Asbestos surveys – We are AHERA accredited inspectors who will perform an asbestos assessment to determine the presence of asbestos containing materials (ACM) through bulk sample analysis. This is necessary prior to renovation or demolition of a structure no matter the age of the structure. Many asbestos containing materials have been banned by the consumer product safety commission but not all. Building materials containing asbestos can still be found on the shelf at the local hardware store.
Mold inspections – We can perform a mold assessment to determine the presence of mold growth or conditions conducive to mold growth through visual assessment and any necessary sampling. At a minimum two air samples should be taken. One sample is taken outdoors to determine a baseline of spore counts and spore types. The other sample is taken in an open area of the home to determine the spore counts and spore types inside the home. The expectation is for the spore types inside the home to be similar to that found outside but at lower concentrations. If mold is visible a tape sample or swab sample can be utilized to determine the genus and species of the mold that is growing. The air samples provide a broad overview of the fungal ecology of the home and provide guidance on where to proceed afterwards. We provide this service following the standard of practice set forth by the International Association of Certified Indoor Air Consultants (IAQ2).
203k consultations – 203k loans are an FHA backed loan where a buyer or homeowner can borrow money for home improvements to be completed. The money is put into an escrow account and available for draws as the contractor completes items on the work write up. As a 203k consultant we create a scope of work for the contractor to bid by and follow as the work is being performed, make sure that all paperwork is submitted, that work is performed to code, and submit draw requests.