InspeXperts - STL
Tuesday, February 05 2019
"Home inspectors are trained to run water and observe that it drains correctly, that the lines aren’t clogging or backing up. However, experienced home inspectors will tell you that it is not uncommon to test running water at a home for over 10 minutes with no problem observed, yet once the client moves in—the drain almost immediately backs up! Why? The problem is often that the main sewer line is clogged, or worse, has been broken and obstructed by tree roots in the yard. The inspector only runs the water for five to 10 minutes, which isn't enough water to find a backup in the main line from the street all the way back to the house."
Thus begins the opening lines from the cover article of this month's Working RE Home Inspector Magazine, by Isaac Peck. (Click the link in red to read the whole article) Every month, this magazine arrives in our office - full to the last page with helpful articles and relatable incidents in the Home Inspection arena. This month highlights an all-too-common issue in the Home Inspection process. ... the buyer ordered inspections, but they skipped the Sewer/Lateral scope... (it was "too expensive"; it was an "as is home"; there is a municipal sewer program in place so why bother now, etc.) But, I guarantee you, standing in your basement of your new home, with sewage swirling around your ankles...you will be WISHING you had done this one!
Don't believe me? Read the personal story of our company owner, Liz, and see for yourself!
"My family of 5 moved into our home 18 years ago. Sewer Lateral Scopes weren't really a thing when you purchased a home. Of course, my husband "The Inspector" ran water, flushed toilets, pushed the water like he always does during an inspection before we moved in - No Backups!
Fast forward to move-in week. It's never fun moving and having sick kiddos, especially when more than one gets the stomach flu. Well, I felt like I was running laundry and giving baths around the clock those first couple of days, all while getting moved into our new home. Water was flowing, and then it flowed backwards, right into my basement. All water usage had to stop. The plumber found a block a couple of hundred feet from the house near the connection to the City Sewer Line at the street. If the backup had been closer to our house, it would've backed up more quickly. Because it was so far down the line, it took longer and more water to reach the house. Either way, it backed up and entered my basement.
No one can predict if something will back up or if lines are broken. You will only know through the camera lens of a Sewer Lateral Scope. Make sure you don't skip this process. It is worth the money to have the knowledge of the conditions of the lines."
Is a Sewer/Lateral Scope cheap? - Probably not. But compared to the $5,000 to $10,000 cost to repair a broken, collapsed, or damaged lateral sewer line, it's PENNIES!!!! And the peace of mind, seeing clear pipe from your home to the street is worth the cost.
Still not convinced? - Alright, let me add a little more comfort to the equation. If you had your Home Inspection with us, and it included a Sewer/Lateral Scope (which indicated no issues at the time of Inspection) ....
You are protected for an additional 12 months at no cost to you!
That's right! The SEWER/GARD protection plan for your home is included with every home inspection absolutely FREE! It provides automatic coverage for the first 90 days if you did not order this service and is extended to 12 months when your services included a Sewer/Lateral Scope.
And that's not ALL..... Our Home Inspection services include a complete array of additional coverages, from top to bottom, ABSOLUTELY FREE to you! Feel free to check out all of our included services on our website: Castle Home Inspections, Inc. or give us a call and we can go over the entire program with you!
Thursday, December 27 2018
Make sure you are getting what you paid for. It's wise to invest in your own inspection, even if you are the 2nd or 3rd accepted contract on the home.
Thursday, December 20 2018
Did you know the weather outside actually changes what gets Inspected? It does indeed. And the weather can also prevent things from being inspected. Check out the rest of the blog to find out what and when changes occur based upon current weather conditions...
I see the snow on the ground and that tells me the A/C unit wasn't operated. Doesn't say it wasn't inspected, but it was not turned on and run.....Why? ....you can Google it, I'll wait.... Because the compressor inside that condensing unit is not designed to be run in weather with an ambient air temperature lower than 60 degrees. And if you do, it can permanently damage the compressor.
It creates the perfect "Catch 22"... we can't fully check it due to weather; if we do it may fail in June when you fire it up; if we don't it may have an issue that isn't clearly identified at the Inspection.
So....what do you do? Well, lucky for you, we work with certified and insured HVAC partners who have the ability to test the system fully, no matter the weather. There is an extra fee for it, since it's outside the scope of the Natural Gas Inspection, but it absolutely CAN be done. Now, as far as the specific steps....we leave that up to the experts (our Natural Gas/HVAC Inspectors) but I assure you, the drop in temperature and the snow can be overcome.
And the weather doesn't just affect the HVAC...it also affects the roof, gutters, sewer scope, and septic inspections as well...WHY????
BECAUSE IF WE CAN'T SEE IT, WE CAN'T CHECK IT!
You would think that would make sense, but trust me when I tell you it doesn't always. Numerous calls come in to the office that begin "There was snow on the roof and he wasn't able to complete the Inspection and..." STOP! RIGHT THERE! The truth is, he did complete his inspection and he reported the conditions that were present at the time. And technically, he is actually DONE and not obligated to return to the home without an additional fee...
BUT... one of the reasons our Agents are loyal and continue to refer us for almost 22 years...because my guys will go back out to a property, at no charge, to re-check a roof when the snow is gone! 9 out of 10 times, we just drop it on the inspectors' schedules and off they go. No charge for the trip OR the amended report!!!
Just one thing about roofs - you will need to let us know when the snow is gone! Sun, shade, temperatures, insulation and roof pitch all play a factor in how quickly the snow melts on your home. What may be melted on a neighboring home may not be melted at your new home.
We want to make absolutely certain the buyer gets the most Inspection for their dollar. On every single Inspection. It's important to us. The truth is, in this business, word of mouth is the best referral and we get 4 out of every 5 Inspection appointments in this exact way! So Baby, when it's cold outside, don't be afraid to book an Inspection!
Thursday, December 06 2018
You know that phrase "If I had a nickel for every time I heard that, I'd have a lot of nickels"? - Here is ours..."I'm going to talk it over with my (insert person here) and if we decide to go with you, I'll get back to you." That is the sound of LOTS of nickels dropping. If the person, or persons, on the other end of the call hasn't scheduled with me when we get to this point, I know one thing for absolute certain...THEY ARE JUST PRICE SHOPPING! I know, I know, you are reading this thinking "what's wrong with getting the best deal?" Nothing. Not one thing is wrong with finding the best deal. As I've stated before, your home is probably the single most expensive purchase you will ever make. And every single step, including the inspection, needs to be wisely chosen.
Which brings me to you, the buyer, and YOUR 2nd part of "doing your due diligence" in the home inspection process..KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING WITH YOUR INSPECTION!
Ask yourself these 3 important questions about your Inspection:
This? That's the ASHI Standards of Practice. And that defines (in 12 pages or less) exactly what we do and do NOT do. Our Clients get this a minimum of THREE times before we ever do the Inspection. It's up front and clearly defined for them. Because we want them to know for certain what they are getting!
I've already addressed the care we take choosing our partners in Home Inspection in part 1 of this "due diligence" blog. So, now I am going to address us....that's right, get the trumpets and confetti ready because I'm about to tell you what sets us, Castle Home Inspections apart from the crowd....
Longevity: Let's start right there. We've been inspecting the St Louis Metro, St Louis, St Charles & Jefferson counties for 22 years! Go ahead and Google the other guys, I'll wait...the truth is there are only a few others out there that can say they have been here that long. And we have been the SAME company since 1996! Nobody got sued and vanished and then re-opened a few months later under a different name. Nobody decided to join up with a franchise and camp out under the big franchise umbrella. Same company, same name, same owners...for 22 years (and counting).
Cutting Edge Digital Inspections: In a word, COMPLETE. No checklists, no punchlists, no handwritten Xerox pages and ZERO guessing what area of the house they are talking about. Our reports are delivered electronically within 24 hours following your Inspection appointment. They include clear type-written comments, digital photos, video, thermal images, and 360 degree photos of every room in the home! (Yup, that's right.. you can tour your new home again - inside your inspection report - whcich means your Mrs. can remind herself what the rooms look like so she can calculate the really important details: furniture placement, paint colors, blinds/curtain counts, etc.)
Team: It's not just your primary inspector you're getting when you schedule with us, it's the WHOLE Team! Primary inspector, Affiliate Vendors, After-Hours Support Team, and yup, us over here at the nerve center, the Office staff! 24/7 - And just like any great team, everybody has something they must do to make it all function perfectly. And that also includes our partners who back you (and us) LONG after the closing...
I've got $25,000.00 worth of coverage for you!
WHAT???? It's absolutely true! We have $25k in added support for you. With every single inspection we do! That's
25k ways we have got you covered!
Every single Inspection. Every single time. - Period. in the end, you want the most value you can possibly get for your inspection dollar. And we have it. Guaranteed. And guess what, it's FREE! Don't believe me? Check us out directly on the website. And while you are there, read a few reviews. We've spelled it all out for you - when you're done, you'll be hearing trumpets and seeing confetti also! www.stlinspectors.com
Thursday, November 29 2018
Are you purchasing a vacant home? If so, you want to verify that utilites are on before the inspections are done. Then your inspections will be as complete as possible and you won't have surprises when you move into your new home.
Wednesday, November 21 2018
The home inspection process can be unsettling for many home buyers and sellers. The fear of what poor conditions will be discovered is real. But what happens when little to nothing is discovered outside of satisfactory? Read this true story to find out...
Wednesday, October 31 2018
Fall means dropping temperatures, changing leaves, closing windows....and smells trapped in your home. Make sure Fluffy and Fido aren't preventing offers from coming in on the sale of your home.
Treating You Like Royalty, From Contract to Keys!