Garbage disposals can cause more problems than they help solve if they aren’t used correctly. There’s a lot of food that you can’t put in them unless you want to pay a plumber to fix a clog. Check out our new article on garbage disposals for inspectors to find out more. Find out how to check for leaks, proper wiring, and what you can and can’t put in them.
Inspectors who don’t have a moisture meter should think about getting one. These instruments can accurately measure the amount of moisture in building materials without causing any damage. Take a look at our new article on moisture meters for inspectors to find out more about how they work and the ways that they can be used. Some options are so high-tech that they can accurately measure moisture nearly an inch beneath the surface of tile concrete.
With the number of foreclosures in today’s real estate market and the long lengths of time homes stay on the market before selling, many properties must be winterized and de-winterized. Winterization is the process that prepares a home to sit vacant without heat/utilities and with the water turned off. It reduces the risk of the plumbing supply lines freezing and causing damage and/or flooding. Often real estate agents or banks will ask home inspectors to perform this service. For those inspectors who offer winterization and de-winterization services, InterNACHI offers this Winterization/De-Winterization Services Agreement.
Sump pumps are probably the most important appliances in the homes that have them. They keep water from seeping into the basement and causing damage to the home’s interior. It’s too bad that many homeowners spend thousands of dollars on TVs and furniture yet get the cheapest sump pump they can buy. The pump is what protects their possessions from being destroyed by water! Sump pumps are self-activating but must be maintained regularly. Read our new article on sump pump operation and inspection to find out more.
NACHI.TV’s filming crew just came back from being on location at Clayton Home’s modular home plant. The new modular homes are all green. Some models include a flex room that “powers down” when not in use. Warren Buffet owns Clayton Homes BTW. Watch the new episode featuring Tennessee InterNACHI inspectors and learn how to inspect modular homes.
In order to prepare a home for winter, especially if the home will not be occupied, a number of preventative measures must be taken to protect it from the cold. Catastrophic damage can result from water damage if unheated pipes burst, and leaky windows can create uncomfortable drafts. Take a look at our new article on home winterization to learn why winterization is important and how it should be done.
In NACHI.TV’s latest video 10 Top Success Tips, instructor Ben Gromicko covers 10 things you can be doing right now to move your business forward. One of the tips that Ben talks about is inspector education, which is something that we take very seriously at InterNACHI. Check out the video and then take a look at over 190 more inspection success tips.
Did you know that in rural parts of California homeowners are required by law to have 100 feet of defensible space around their house? This is done to protect houses from wildfires and some level of defensible space is recommended virtually everywhere. These spaces are areas where vegetation has been removed so that wildfires will stop or slow down as they approach houses. Check out our new article on defensible space to find out more.
You are a home inspector, but do you know the difference between a manufactured home and a modular home? The two terms are often used interchangeably but they could not be any different! Modular homes, once assembled, are practically identical to traditional homes and may offer advantages to that option. Manufactured homes, by contrast, are cheap and mobile. Find out more about both in our new article on modular and manufactured homes.
Efflorescence can be unsightly and it is important that inspectors can explain to their clients how it can be removed and prevented. While it is harmless it may indicate the presence of a more serious condition – excess water. Too much water in a residence can lead to mold and interior damage. In our new article on efflorescence for inspectors you can find out plenty of useful things about this substance.
Polybutylene (PB) was a popular material used in home plumbing systems for many years but production ceased due to fears that it was vulnerable to sudden failure. Although manufacturers place the blame for leaks on installers, homeowners have successfully sued the makers of PB and have walked away with over a billion dollars in settlements. In our new article on polybutylene for inspectors you can find out why these pipes fail and learn how to determine that they are PB and not some other material.
I’m sure at this point you’ve heard about imported Chinese drywall and how might cause health problems in homes. Class action lawsuits against builders, importers, and manufacturers of the material have been filed by people, mostly in Florida, who say their appliances are breaking and their health is suffering due to toxins. The companies that make and use the drywall claim there is nothing wrong with it but the Florida Health Department says different. Take a look at our new article on Chinese drywall information to find out more about how it can be identified and its potential dangers.
Bidets are becoming pretty popular in the US and here at InterNACHI we believe home inspectors need to know more about them. Check out our new article on bidet basics that covers bidet operation, history, and safety precautions. Did you know that “bidet” is a French word meaning “to mount”? In Japan, Italy, and many other places bidets are virtually everywhere and people believe they are more hygienic and effective than toilet paper. See, they aren’t just a sick European fixation!
Using a Customer Satisfaction Survey combined with an inspection book such as “Now that You’ve had a Home Inspection” reduces liability and gets you more inspection work. InterNACHI’s Customer Satisfaction Survey hits 7 birds with one stone:
- It gets the customer on record describing the quality of your inspections.
- It alerts you to weaknesses in your inspection services. Often a client it too shy to tell you face to face.
- It reminds your customer (in writing) that you don’t have x-ray vision and can’t find every defect.
- It up-sells additional inspections by alerting your customers that you offer ancillary inspections.
- It provides you with written permission to discuss the report with others.
- It lets your customers know you care about their opinion.
- You can send a copy of the survey to the agent that referred you, so that he/she gets third-party feedback about you.
InterNACHI’s Customer Satisfaction Survey is free. There are several versions available depending on whether or not you provide your customers with a book.
If you want to know more about AFCI indicators, also known as testers, please check out my new article on AFCI Indicators. There, you will find out why many believe they are not truly “testers”, how they work, how they are valuable and how they differ from the test buttons on AFCI circuit breakers.