Thermal Imaging: Home Inspectors Technology

When in the market for home inspectors Oceanside property buyers and sellers have several services and service providers to choose from. After finding a service provider such as Russco Home Inspection – known for excellent customer service and a family-owned-and-operated model – property buyers and sellers might still not know what services are available. When it comes to thermal inspection Oceanside home buyers and sellers are often unaware that this service even exists. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, you should understand that thermal camera technology can be a useful service to add on when potential conditions are suspected. Here are some answers to questions you might have about this technology:

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What is a Thermal Inspection?

A thermal inspection uses infrared thermography. This technology involves special cameras designed to find, show and record thermal patterns (cold spots and hot spots) that even the most experienced home inspector might miss during a visual inspection. This is an additional service, which is not traditionally included in a standard home inspection. A good inspector will suggest this service when they detect certain abnormalities such as unwelcome moisture, loss of energy, or irregular heat sources. These abnormalities, which can bring side-effects ranging from high bills to harmful bacteria, are explained in further detail below.

Moisture. If your inspector believes unwanted moisture is present in the home you’re buying or selling, they should prescribe a thermal inspection. With a thermal imaging home inspection Oceanside property buyers and sellers can confirm the location of moisture areas and move forward accordingly. Once an inspector has found the cold spots, moisture can be further confirmed with a moisture meter.

Energy. When conditions in a home are causing a loss of energy, utility bills are bound to rise for residents. No one wants that, so if you are buying or selling a home it pays to know whether insulation is missing or has collapsed in the ceilings, soffit areas or wall cavities. If your inspector suspects such conditions, a thermal imaging camera can provide confirmation.

Heat. If your inspector believes heat abnormalities may be present in the home, they may also decide to use an infrared thermal camera to confirm their suspicions. This special technology can locate hot spots that could cause mechanical and electrical system failures down the line.

If you want access to infrared thermography and other leading home inspection technologies, contact Russco Home Inspection today. You might not need a thermal inspection but it’s good to know this resources are available should you need them.

Understanding CREIA Standards of Practice for Home Inspectors in San Diego

Although there are plenty of home inspectors San Diego real estate buyers and sellers shouldn’t trust just anyone. Whether they’re looking for a standard home inspection or a thermal imaging home inspection San Diego property buyers and sellers should always be sure their inspector is CREIA certified. The California Real Estate Inspection Association is the state’s leading non-profit trade association for home inspectors, and its Standards of Practice is a benchmark for the industry. When you’re working with a CREIA Certified Home Inspector, like Russco, you can expect them to adhere to high Standards of Practice for the following areas of the home and property:

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Attic and Roof Framing. An inspector should always assess the framing, insulation, and ventilation of an attic or roof framing area, according to CREIA.

Basement, Foundation, and Under the Floor. Your CREIA inspector should examine the foundation, floor framing, under-floor ventilation, foundation anchoring, cripple wall bracing, insulation, and soil (for wood separation).

Building Exterior. Inspectors should look at doors, windows, balconies, patios, porches, attached decks, enclosures, stairways, handrails, guardrails, wall cladding and trim, as well as the driveways, walkways and surface grade right next to the building.

Building Interior. A CREIA inspector will always look inside the home to inspect the ceilings, doors, floors, handrails, guardrails, stairways, smoke/carbon-monoxide alarms, walls, windows, and vehicle doors/openers. They will also inspect any permanently installed cabinets, cook-tops, dishwashers, food waste disposals, mechanical range vents, and ovens.

Electrical Systems. If you’re working with a CREIA certified inspector you can be sure that they will examine the circuit wiring, electrical panels, switches, receptacles, outlets, lighting fixtures, and service equipment on the property.

Fireplaces and Chimneys. According to the CREIA Standards of Practice, a good home inspector will always examine the fireplace and/or chimney of a property, if applicable. This includes the chimney exterior, damp box, firebox, hearth extension, and spark arrestor.

Heating and Cooling. CREIA maintains that a qualified home inspector should be able to review a property’s central cooling equipment, combustion air vent systems, condensate drainage, conditioned air distribution systems, exhaust vent systems, heating equipment, and all energy sources and connections.

Plumbing. A CREIA certified inspector will always inspect the drain piping, fuel gas piping, vent piping, waste piping, water supply piping, functional flow, functional drainage, water heaters, faucets, and fixtures of a home.

Roof Covering. The CREIA Standards of Practice includes requirements to inspect the roof covering, skylights, flashings, drainage, and penetrations of a building.

In addition to standards for what is required, CREIA also has standards for what is not required in each standard real estate inspection. For example, if you’re looking for a thermal inspection San Diego real estate inspectors would not be required to provide this as part of a standard inspection. This is typically an additional service that is only advised in specific circumstances, such as when there seems to be an unusual presence of moisture in the home. Many other services that you might want your inspector to provide, such as assessing the energy efficiency of your home or checking on issues related to the home warranty, are also not required of real estate inspection professionals. And, of course, your inspector is never required to perform services that put him or her in danger. When you invest in a property inspection from a CREIA Certified Home Inspector such as Russco, though, you will always get what you need, what you deserve, and what you paid for.

What is CREIA and What Does it do for Home Inspectors in Temecula?

With all the home inspectors Temecula real estate buyers and sellers can potentially choose to inspect a property they’re planning on buying or selling, how do you know which ones are best? One factor that should always be considered first is whether they are CREIA certified. The California Real Estate Inspection Association, better known as CREIA, is the leading organization of certified real estate inspectors in the state. It offers a Standards of Practice that inspectors from Temecula to Trinidad should always follow, and knowing that your inspector lives up to these standards should give you peace of mind. As a CREIA Certified Home Inspector, Russco Owner Craig Russell is proud to be an active member of this state-wide association. Keep reading to learn more about what CREIA is, what it does, and what this means for you as a real estate buyer, seller, or professional.

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Just What is CREIA?

CREIA was founded in 1976 as a non-profit trade association for home inspectors in the State of California. There are eight chapters of the association dispersed throughout the state, a board of directors consisting of five state directors and six regional directors, and various standing committees that report to the board. The association has thrived as a member-driven organization, and continues to provide educational opportunities so members can learn more about new technologies such as thermal inspection Temecula clients might be interested in. With a core purpose of protecting lives, health and investments – and core values including integrity, competence, belonging and passion – it is the leading organization for California property inspectors and those interested in working with them.

What Does CREIA Do?

The California Real Estate Inspection Association is on a mission to represent the property inspection industry, promote property inspection as a unique and professional discipline, provide leadership through education and ethical/technical standards, enhance consumer protection, and promote public awareness of the association. CREIA also provides opportunities for its members to network, both locally and state-wide. More importantly, the association takes pride in being unsurpassed in the industry in terms of the testing, training/education requirements, performance standards, and code of ethics required of its members. California Law even mentions the association as a benchmark of quality in its industry, and membership is a benchmark of quality for consumers.

From standard home inspection to thermal imaging home inspection Temecula property buyers and sellers can always be sure they’re getting an honest, thorough, high-quality examination of the property in question when they turn to a CREIA member. This association remains the shining beacon in the real estate inspection industry.

How to Spot a Bad Home Inspector (and Find a Good One!)

With so many competing home inspectors San Diego property buyers and sellers may find it hard to find the right service provider for their needs. While a home inspection is not required for all home buyers and sellers, mortgage lenders often require them before providing a loan to a potential buyer and they can be highly informative for well-intentioned sellers. So, if a home inspection is such an important step in the home buying (and selling) process, you ought to find an inspector you can trust. If you spot any of these red flags, though, it’s probably a sign that you are dealing with a less-than-reputable home inspector:

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Your Inspector Doesn’t Want You to Be There

Of course, many people work better when they aren’t deterred by someone following them around and asking them questions, but a home inspector should never tell you that they only work alone. In fact, a good inspector should be willing to answer all your questions and more than happy to perform the inspection right in front of you. This makes it easy for them to point out and explain things that will appear on the inspection report, and you might even get some additional information about repair work they aren’t too impressed by.

Your Inspector Isn’t Licensed in Your State

In order to provide the most relevant information about state regulations and leading techniques, an inspector should obviously be licensed. More specifically, they should be licensed to work in your state. This even holds true if you live just a few miles from the border of another state. When it comes to state-specific real estate issues, those few miles can make all the difference.

The Information They Provide Is Confusing

When you hire a home inspector, you should expect that they know more about the intricate issues relating to residential buildings than you do. But you should also expect that they can discuss these issues in a straightforward way. Even when addressing complex technologies such as thermal imaging home inspection San Diego inspectors should be able to break things down into a language you can understand. And if you see something in the written report that is confusing, they should be able to explain it to you. If not, you might find yourself in need of a second opinion, and you’ll be the one paying for it.

They Don’t Find a Single Concerning Issue in the Home

Believe it or not, a home inspector who tells you everything is absolutely fine and there is nothing to worry about might not have your best interests at heart. Of course, your instinct is probably to believe that everything is fine, because you want to buy a home without any problems. But this also may be a sign that you should have asked more questions, or that your inspector didn’t dig deep enough. The fact is that even a great home worthy of investing in will likely have some small issue that you may need to address at some point in the future.

From the way they are licensed to the way they explain thermal inspection San Diego home inspectors should leave you feeling comfortable with the real estate transaction you’re embarking on. If they don’t leave you feeling confident, then it may be a sign you should move on and hire a real professional that you can trust.

What Is Thermal Inspection Technology, and How Is It Used?

When looking for home inspectors Temecula residents have many options, but not all inspectors are created equal. In fact, some home inspection service providers are not even certified by a respected professional organization. Another factor that sets the best home inspectors apart from the rest is access to the latest technologies available for this industry. Thermal camera technology is a great example of this. With a thermal inspection Temecula home buyers and sellers will have a definitive answer regarding any potentially problematic conditions lurking on the property. But what is thermal camera technology, and how is it used? Keep reading to learn more about this revolution in the home inspection industry.

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What is Thermal Camera Technology?

Home inspection service providers such as Temecula’s Russco Home Inspection use thermal camera technology to find, display, and record thermal patterns in a residence or other building. It is also known as “infrared thermography”. The thermal patterns that these special cameras detect include hot spots and cold spots that are not otherwise visible to human eyes. Such hot and cold spots typically indicate abnormalities in the home’s heating system, conditions that cause energy loss, and the presence of moisture. And, of course, these are all issues that must be addressed before buying or selling a home.

How is Thermal Camera Technology Used?

If an inspector deems it necessary to perform a thermal imaging home inspection Temecula homebuyers or sellers should only expect the camera to be used in the area(s) of the home where suspicious conditions have been detected. If you request a full thermal scan of the home in addition to a standard home inspection, however, you can expect additional charges. These are the three areas where a thermal inspection may be necessary:

  • Building Frames, Insulation, and Other Materials. If it seems like excess moisture is present in a home, the inspector may use an infrared camera to detect and record cold areas. A moisture meter can also provide an additional layer of detection. Moisture may be found in building materials such as the framing members and insulation, which can lead to damage in the ceiling, floors, and wall cavities.
  • Electrical and Mechanical Systems. If an inspector suspects heat abnormalities in a home, they may use a thermal imaging device to look for hot spots around electrical and mechanical systems. Such heat abnormalities don’t just make a home less comfortable – they can even indicate potential fire hazards that put lives in danger.
  • Ceilings, Soffit Areas, and Wall Cavities. Moisture isn’t the only potential problem lurking in ceilings and wall cavities. Thermal imaging cameras can also detect collapsed or missing insulation in these areas and the soffit areas of the home. When insulation is missing or damaged it can lead to energy loss, which is bad for the environment and homeowners’ pocketbooks.

It’s important to remember that a trained home inspector will only suggest using an infrared camera when there are visual signs of abnormalities that require further investigation. But if it is deemed necessary, it can make a world of difference.

5 Common Property Problems Found During Home Inspections

After the initial home inspection, Murrieta homebuyers often assume their property won’t need to be professionally inspected again until they sell it. This is not always the case, though. If you need to assess the property’s value to secure a loan, for example, or have simply lived in the home for many years and need to know if the structure is sound, you will need another property inspection. Murrieta home buyers, owners, sellers and real estate professionals should all know that there are many common defects lurking in American homes, and they’re not always easy to spot without the assistance of a certified home inspector. The following article will explore five of the most common problems that might be lurking in your property, but rest assured there could be many more.

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  1. Attic Insulation & Ventilation

Issues with insulation in the attic and issues with ventilation in the attic are both extremely common for homes that have this additional space up top. Just ask any experienced, local property inspector. Murrieta home buyers, sellers and owners should be concerned about these issues not only because they make the home less comfortable to live in, but also because they make the home more expensive to live in. Whether it’s an issue of poor insulation keeping the attic cold and drafty, or poor ventilation keeping the attic stuffy and stinky, no one wants to live with that.

  1. Cracks and Window Separations

Property inspectors also commonly find problems pertaining to cracks in the structure of the home and window separations that allow water to seep in. Moisture in the cavities of the walls can produce the perfect environment for mold to grow, and the worst part is that you might not even know it’s gotten in there without a professional inspection.

  1. Drainage

Making sure water is draining away from a structure is just as important as keeping water out of the wall cavities of a home. So poor drainage, as you might imagine, is another one of the most common problems that home inspectors find. Fixing the problem might be as easy as adding or repairing downspouts and roof gutters, but you probably won’t know it’s a problem until it’s too late without the expert eye of a professional inspector.

  1. Environmental Issues

Before buying a piece of property and the structure sitting on it, you will definitely want to rule out mold growth and other environmental issues that could make the home unhealthy to live in. This is one issue that you can never be too cautious about, whether you’re buying, selling, or currently living in a home.

  1. Heating & Cooling Systems

When hiring a home inspector, Murrieta property buyers, sellers and owners may also discover that there are issues with the heating and cooling systems, as this is one of the most common types of problems detected during the inspection process. The heating and/or cooling system in a home may have been improperly installed, for instance, or the previous owners may not have maintained the system properly. The heating and cooling systems in older homes are also often outdated, and simply need to be replaced.

Whether you’re buying, selling or securing a loan with a home – or simply looking to live in your current property for years to come – it’s always a good idea to invest in a professional inspection. Otherwise you’ll never be sure whether the preceding problems (or countless others) are lurking in the shadows.

Don’t Think You Need a Home Inspection? Common Issues That May Change Your Mind

Without a professional property inspection, Temecula home buyers would be in the dark about many of the problems potentially hiding inside their big investment. But home inspections aren’t only good for buyers. Whether you’re buying a home, selling a home, currently maintaining a property or assisting clients as a real estate professional, you ought to know what condition the structure and property are in. Many problems can be easily fixed, especially if they’re caught early on, while other serious problems are more complex to fix but equally or even more important to address right away. And some problems are more likely than others to be discovered during a home inspection. Temecula home buyers, sellers and owners are better off understanding some of these most common issues, such as the following:

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Home Maintenance

Many of the problems that home inspectors discover in homes around Temecula and across the country can actually be attributed to a lack of adequate maintenance. Putting off maintenance projects can lead to serious situations that are much more expensive to resolve than the relatively low cost of ongoing maintenance. So if you think you might ever want to sell your home, don’t put those little maintenance tasks off until later.

Plumbing

Ask any local property inspector; Temecula homes are rife with plumbing problems. Some of the most common problems are leaks and outdated systems, including the polybutylene plumbing systems that were once popular for their low cost and easy installation. As plumbers and inspectors now know, this type of pipe that was common from the late-1970s until the mid-1990s was not necessarily designed to stand the test of time and often needs to be repaired or replaced.

Structural Damage

We often think of small and hidden issues when we think of common defects in homes, but some of the most common issues are much bigger and hiding in plain sight. It’s not uncommon to find homes with components of the structure completely missing, for example, or attics with damaged trusses. Fortunately, these issues are often simple to repair if they’re caught early on.

Roofing

In addition to structural damage, roofing issues are also often discovered after hiring a home inspector. Temecula homes may have problems due to improper roofing installation, or even transition areas where the flashing is missing altogether. More often than not, however, it’s simply a matter of aging. While a well-built roof can and should last for a long time, nothing lasts forever. If a professional inspector finds problems with your roof, you’ll want to contact a certified roofing professional right away. You can’t have a home without a roof, after all.

Wiring

And finally, it’s time to talk about wiring. This might just be the most common type of problem found during home inspections, whether in Temecula or Timbuktu. Electrical problems are especially common in older homes, but even a newer home could have improperly installed electrical systems. These types of issues can pose safety hazards and must be addressed immediately upon discovery.

As you can see, there are many issues hiding inside American homes. Don’t wait for the problem to show itself; contact a certified inspector such as Russco Home Inspection, Inc. today.

Top House Inspector’s Finds from Various Building Periods

A professional house inspector is always going to be the best person to tell you whether there are problems with a home. Whether you currently own a home, or are considering purchasing one, this is an essential step. And as most professional inspectors will tell you, the year a home was built will often be an indicator of what kinds of problems may lie within. Here are some of the most common problems that appear during inspections of homes from various decades throughout the last century and beyond:

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1900-1950: Outdated tube and knob wiring, which run through fuses and fuse boxes, are often insufficient for handling the needs of modern electronics. This is still a common problem lurking in homes built during the first half of the 20th century and updates can be very expensive and complicated.

1942-1958: Issues with outdated sewer piping are more common in homes built during this period. Some homes were even built with papier mache piping connecting to the sewer line, which obviously does not last forever! Many of these homes have been updated, but not all. If the latter is the case, repairs are going to be inevitable and they’re going to be costly.

1984-2000: During this more recent time period, home builders often used ABS piping. This type of piping, which was constructed using recycled plastic, often cracks at the joints. Replacing ABS piping might be inevitable, and if that is the case it will not be cheap. But it’s always better to know than not know, and the best way to know is with a professional home inspection. Murrieta homeowners might even be able to avoid costlier repairs later on thanks to this knowledge.

1990-2000: The 1990s saw the rise of NOX rod consolidated furnaces, which run the risk of exposing people inside the home to carbon monoxide through cracks in the heat exchangers. The result can be very dangerous, which is why this type of furnace is on a recall list and should be looked for during a home inspection.

 

No matter what year a home was built in, things like moisture and drainage issues are always going to be common problems. As long as you’re working with a real professional who has the proper home inspector certification, though, you should feel confident that they will find any issues lurking inside. Whether you are a homeowner thinking about selling, or a buyer thinking about making an investment, a professional inspection will always be the best source of peace-of-mind.

5 Common Enemies Found in Home Inspections

There are many reasons why both home buyers and home sellers should be glad to get a professional home inspection before continuing with a real estate transaction. Ultimately, it all comes down to being informed and aware in order to avoid some of the worst enemies of a safe and sound home. In fact, homeowners might very well want to invest in periodic home inspections

to catch such problems before they become downright villainous. Here are five of the worst “enemies” of a home that are often discovered in professional home inspections:

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  1. Exterior Grade Slope

Lot grading and drainage have a significant impact on the building, simply because of the direct and indirect damage that moisture can have on the foundation. It is very important that surface runoff water be adequately diverted away from the home. Lot grading should slope away and fall a minimum of 1″ every foot for a distance of 6′ around the perimeter of the structure.

The faster you figure it out the better; especially if you are considering purchasing or selling the home in question.

  1. Electrical Wiring Nightmares

If not properly addressed, electrical wiring issues can present serious safety issues to human and animal lives. From exposed electrical wires to open splice wires, there are all sorts of serious problems that a professional inspector can find in your home (or a home that you are considering purchasing).

  1. Stucco Problems

Stucco can be a great material for a home’s exterior surfaces, but if it has been applied incorrectly, is damaged or shows signs of prolonged exterior moisture, there could be possible hidden problems. Flaws in the stucco surface of a home can lead to water intrusion as moisture seeps into the home through cracks and unsealed areas (such as outlets and lights).

  1. Roofing Headaches

Whether the roof in question is made with asphalt shingles, wood shingles, terra cotta, concrete or slate, the materials are not meant to last forever. Some materials do last longer than others. Depending on the material, a roof might have a life expectancy of anywhere from 15 to 100+ years. When inspecting a home, the question should be: at what point are we in the roof’s life cycle? A professional inspector with reputable home inspection certification should be able to tell you.

  1. Wrong Building Materials

Mismatched building materials is another common “enemy” that may be discovered in a home inspection. Temecula homes that were built in the 1940s might not be set up for modern additions, for example. A professional inspector should be able to tell you whether new additions that have been built onto a home are consistent with the building style of the home’s foundation. A different type of inspector may have to inform you whether these modifications meet local building codes, though.

As you can see, there are many enemies of a safe and sound home. A professional home inspection is the best way to find them.

The Big Benefits of a Pre-listing Property Inspection

Most people think of home buyers when they think about property inspection. Temecula home sellers are opting for pre-listing inspections more and more these days, though, because a bad home inspection can drive a good buyer away in no time. So, if you’re trying to cut costs as you prepare to put your property on the market, make sure not to cut out the pre-listing home inspection. Temecula home sellers can benefit from a pre-listing property inspection in several ways:

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Pre-Inspections Keep Sellers Informed

Sellers are simply more informed when they hire their own Certified Property Inspector. Temecula home sellers can either rest assured that their home is in tip-top shape, or take the time to decide what to do if they should find anything that needs to be repaired or replaced. If you’re in a hurry, for example, you might prefer to reduce the asking price rather than arranging for the repairs yourself.

A Pre-Inspection Can Save Money in the End

If cost is more an issue for you, a pre-inspection can also help you control your budget as you prepare to sell your home. You can take the time to shop around for a cost-effective contractor or replacement item should your inspector find any issues. The information from this home inspection allows sellers to determine how much they need to invest before selling their home and determine a solid budget. With expert advice from a realtor on how much to list the property for, you can get a pretty accurate picture of the financial future to expect once the sale is complete.

It Puts Power in the Seller’s Hands

In most real estate transactions, the buyers have the upper hand when it comes to the inspection. Anything negative that shows up during the inspection could potentially end a transaction that’s otherwise going smoothly, or serve as a bargaining tool allowing buyers to negotiate a much lower price. If you hire a professional inspector yourself ahead of time, you take back some control and give yourself time to find a good price on a contractor of your choice should you find anything that needs fixing.

Hopefully these three reasons are enough to convince you of the benefits of a pre-sale home inspection. Temecula home sellers are simply in a better position when they take this crucial step