Friday, September 28, 2012

How Termites Damage a Bedroom Floor Pest Inspections

Termite damage can ruin your day. Follow pest control expert Steve Filkins as he takes mortgage pro Jeremy Drobeck through a house to see damaged wood flooring and hear about termite and wood-destroying insect prevention.

Pests can destroy window sills, stairs, the sill plate, floorboards, flooring, bookshelves and more. Make sure you know what to look for so you can call a professional. Protect your first home and your budget: get a pest inspection. Courtesy of

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hidden Electrical Hazards P.3

A segement from State Farm Insurance's "Fire: The Unforgiving Nature." In this clip, Mark and Jane Walsma discuss the electrical wiring problem they discovered in their attac - behind a kitchen light.

Copyrighted, State Farm Fire and Causualty Company, 2008, used by permission.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Snapshot for Realtors

There are countless inspection companies in the Panhandle area who promise “excellent service” or state that they are the “Number 1 Inspection Company.” Many of them are exemplary. However, with the Panhandle continuing to grow day after day, it is important that agents have at least 2-3 inspection company choices to meet the needs of their clients.

We understand how important it is to be able to reach an inspector after hours or on the weekends. After all, most agents believe in doing “Whatever it Takes” to make a client happy and close a deal. Why shouldn’t your TEAM members like your Mortgage Company, Appraiser, Title Company or Home Inspector do the same?

At SitePro, we will provide services that not only compliment the needs of our agent’s clients, but provide detailed and professional reports that limit liability. See more at

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hidden Electrical Hazards Part 1

A segement from State Farm Insurance's "Fire: The Unforgiving Nature." The video discusses the dangers of arc faults in old or damaged wiring.

Copyrighted, State Farm Fire and Causualty Company, 2008, used by permission.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Kids Take on Real Estate

Cute video!

Coldwell Banker Real Estate asked some children what their thoughts were on various aspects of real estate. Their response are pretty priceless.

Friday, September 14, 2012

So You've Made an Offer on a Home. What's Next? How About a Home Inspection? by Kevin McMahon

You've finally found the home of your dreams, 3 bedrooms, attached garage, great neighborhood. You fix sights on the freshly painted walls, new carpeting, beautiful cabinet and a huge back yard.

What are you forgetting?
Everything else! Don't forget about the plumbing, heating, A/C, electrical, insulation, ventilation, exterior and roof. These are the most overlooked items because most people know very little about these types of items, or what to look for. You decide to make an offer on the home.

What's next?
Don't forget about getting the home inspected. When you made the offer, your realtor should have gone over the inspection contingency in your contract. Simply stated, it's a clause in the contract that your offer is contingent upon a home inspection, and you have a certain amount of time to get the home inspected.

It allows you to have an unbiased professional look beneath the cosmetic items into the complex working components of a home. It also allows you to either renegotiate your offer based on the inspection, or at the very least know what lies ahead of you if you do decide to purchase the home.
A seller's disclosure statement is nice and most seller's are honest, but don't even realize that problems exist in their home.

Ask your realtor for a list of home inspectors in your area.

Most will be happy to provide you with a list of inspectors in your area. If not, pull some brochures from the realtors lobby, try the phone directory or the internet. Most inspectors these days have a website where you can read about the services they offer.

Take the time and call a few from the list to form your own opinion. Some realtors will offer to hire an inspector for you on your behalf. Be sure your realtor has your best interests in mind if you go this route.

This is your money and your lifetime investment you're talking about.
When you call a home inspection company, here are a few important questions to ask:
  1. Are you licensed by the state?

    If the answer is no, say thank you and politely hang up the phone. All home inspectors are required to be licensed in the State of Wisconsin, and to keep their license are require to attend 20 hours of continuing education per year.
  2. Are you affiliated with any organizations?

    Most good home inspectors are associated with a National organization like NACHI (National Association of Certified Home Inspectors) NAHI (National Association of Home Inspectors) or ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) and/or a local organization like WAHI (Wisconsin Association of Home Inspectors).

    Each organization has is pro's and con's and like any organization, are suited to that inspectors specific needs. Most importantly however, these organizations have strict guidelines to a code of ethics and continuing education.
  3. How long will your inspection take?

    A thorough home inspection should take between 2 1/2-4 hours or longer depending on the size, age and condition of the home. In some cases a smaller home (1000sft or less) can be inspected in 2 hours.

    If the inspector says he can do it in less time, think about how thorough the inspection is going to be.  
  4. What type of report do you use?

    Some inspectors use computer generated onsite reporting, some use a handwritten checklist, some do computer generated reporting and send you the report after they've had time to look it over twice before sending it out. Each has their pros and cons. Computer generated onsite reporting is nice and you get your report right away.

    The downside is the inspector doesn't have time to look any items up that may be in question or be very descriptive in their report. A hand written checklist in my opinion is the most incomplete type of report.

    You do get your report right away, but it is usually something like: Kitchen countertop: poor. This doesn't give you much of a description of the defect, like what exactly is wrong with it.

    The computer generated report is in my opinion the best style. You get a neat, professional looking report, the inspector has had time to be descriptive and to look up any items that he may have had questions on (no, we don't know everything and if we say we do, take that as a sign).

    The downside is you don't get your report for a day or so, but the report can get to you quickly if he/she emails it to you.

    All inspectors should be able to provide you with photos of the problem areas in their reports. A picture is worth a thousand words. If they don't include photos in their report (digital or otherwise) you may want to find an inspector that does.

    Ask for a sample report. Most good inspectors will be happy to send you a copy.
  5. What is your experience and background?

    Most home inspectors started out with a construction-based background. This is very useful in home inspections. Attending a University with emphasis on construction, or attending a Home Inspection School is almost a necessity in this trade.

    If an inspector tells you he was in retail (for an example) this may be a time to look elsewhere, or ask a follow-up question as to why he went into the profession and what he has to offer that others inspectors don't.
  6. How much do you charge?

    This is a very important question. The question you really should be asking yourself

    "how much are you willing to spend on the most important investment you're ever going to make?"

    Think about this.

    Do you really want to price shop on something this important?

    Yes, you don't want to pay too much, but you don't want to scrimp either. You're paying $100,000+ for your home and now is not the time to go with the lowest price. Inspectors have overhead costs like any
    • company
    • Insurance
    • vehicle
    • gas
    • equipment training
    • professional organization dues
    • a home, etc.
Regardless of what any might say, they don't work every day of the week, every week of the year.

An average inspection is between $250 and $400 or more depending on the size, age and condition of the home. Some inspectors base their fees from the listing price. Based on what is uncovered in the inspection, you will probably be able to save that much and maybe more.

For example:
A new water heater will cost you in the neighborhood of $800, and if the inspector finds that the one in the home is nearing the end of its useful life, the inspection just paid for itself and then some. Its money spent wisely.

Most good home inspectors encourage you to follow them on the inspection, and I highly recommend it. It will give you a chance to see what he sees, and ask questions. Be sure to ask questions!

The inspector will usually to be happy to answer them for you or if he doesn't know the answer right then, he should offer to look it up and call you with the answer. This is also a time to find out where key components like shut-off valves or the breaker panel is located in case of an emergency, or get tips on routine maintenance items.
A home inspection is a visual, non-destructive examination of a home. It is not technically exhaustive. Inspectors cannot see defects behind a wall, ceiling or furniture.

He or she will just use their knowledge and experience in their visual examination. If a component doesn't work by normal means of operation the inspector won't try to get it operating by any other means. He/she will only open those panels that are normally used to service a piece of equipment. If a danger exists to the inspector, he/she will not inspect that piece of equipment.

They will just defer to a professional more experienced in that type of application. They do not move furniture to inspect, so having the home ready for the inspector prior to the inspection will not only speed the process, but also give you a more thorough inspection.

You will more than likely not get the chance to meet your inspector before the inspection, so asking these important questions will help make your decision easier.

Having the home inspected is the best thing you can do to have a more informed decision on the purchase or sale of your home. After all, this is probably the biggest investment you will ever make.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Infrared Thermography, thermal imaging Services

The image on the left is a visual image and on the right is a thermal image of the same attic area. The numbers are actual temperatures and there is a scale on the right. The spot marked with 97.9 + is an obvious cooling spot from evaporating water and a leak in the roof. Read all about infrared thermography below.

Infrared Thermography, thermal imaging, is a type of infrared imaging science. Thermographic cameras detect radiation in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum (roughly 900–14,000 nanometers or 0.9–14 ┬Ám) and produce images of that radiation, called thermograms. Since infrared radiation is emitted by all objects based on their temperatures, thermography makes it possible to "see" one's environment with or without visible light. The amount of radiation emitted by an object increases with temperature, therefore thermography allows one to see variations in temperature. When viewed by thermographic camera, different temperature objects stand out well.

The appearance and operation of a modern thermographic camera is often similar to a camcorder. Enabling the user to see in the infrared spectrum is a function so useful that ability to record the output is often optional. A recording module is therefore not always built-in.

Thermographic cameras are much more expensive than their visible-spectrum counterparts, and higher-end models are often export-restricted.

In building science and home inspection infrared thermography is useful in detection water, missing insulation and air conditioning leaks. As water evaporates it creates a cooler area and is visible with a thermal camera, aiding in the detection and location of water leaks and sources. Water intrusion and leaks are easier to fix the sooner they are located. Undetected leaks can cause all kinds of issues, the longer left un-repaired the more likely they are to cause significant damage. Insulation in a home keep a home more comfortable and cheaper to regulate the temperature. Many homes have some missing insulation that goes unnoticed for years, costing the homeowner every month in heating and cooling costs. These are just some of the useful places for infrared technology, if your home inspector does not use it he/she may be missing important issues. A home inspection is non-invasive and visual so many issues can easily be hidden

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Looking Beyond the Obvious

Buying a new home may be the biggest investment you'll ever make. Although the process is very exciting it quickly becomes overwhelming. While the home you have selected may appear to be just what you're looking for, how can you be sure there aren't potentially serious unknown defects which can make your investment in your future a costly one. Having your new home professionally inspected by SitePro as early as possible in the buying process can save you thousands of dollars on items which you may be able to have the seller or builder correct.
SitePro is dedicated to providing you with valuable information about your new home. We thoroughly inspect all major components of the subject property to expose unknown defects and advise you about future maintenance about your home once the purchase is complete. SitePro will give you the information you require to make an informed decision.

  • Inspectors working for YOU 7 days a Week!
  • RUSH Inspections for Out-of-Town Clients
  • Nationally Recognized "Easy to Read" Computerized Reports
  • General Liability and E&O Insurance
  • Free Digital Pictures with every report
  • No "Trip Charge" within Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Bay Counties
  • Decades of Construction Experience
  • Prompt, friendly service with an eye for the detail ….”Looking Beyond the Obvious”
See more at

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pass & Seymour: Feeling Safe

Check out an impressive line of electrical devices from Legrand/Pass & Seymour that are designed to not only enhance safety, but are required by the National Electrical Code® as well.

For more information, visit:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Welcome To My Brand New Blog

Thanks for stopping by. This is my brand new blog. In this blog, I intend to share some interesting things that surround the business of home inspections. I am a certified and licensed home inspector in addition to being a 203(k) consultant. I have just begun and expect to have a lot of fun with this.