March 12, 2020
Here are some basics steps home inspectors can take to help avoid getting ill from performing home inspections.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent the coronavirus (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. For more information about the coronavirus, please visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person:
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, or possibly inhaled into the lungs. Ideally, a home inspection would be performed at an unoccupied or vacant house. Usually, home inspectors are doing their work along with their clients, real estate agents, and occupants.
Wash your hands often.
Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Be sure to wash your hands before and after the home inspection.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting sick, such as the elderly, and people with underlying health issues. Ask your clients if they're willing to consider not showing up at the inspection.
There are many home inspectors who will video-record the inspection for absent clients. Their clients can then play the inspection video from the comfort and safety of their own homes.
Home inspectors can use live video chat or FaceTime with their absent clients during the inspection. Facebook Messenger, iPhone FaceTime, and Google Duo are options.
Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick. The CDC recommends that people who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness should self-quarantine until they are free of a fever, which is a temperature of 100.4° F (37.8° C) or greater (using an oral thermometer), as well as those who exhibit signs of a fever, or any other symptoms. Recommendations are changing almost daily, so be sure to check with national and local news sources and medical experts for self-quarantine recommendations and other tips to help prevent the spread of the disease.
Inspectors who work for a larger company should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
When you perform a home inspection, ask the homeowner or their agent to have the current occupants leave during the home inspection process.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes your inspection vehicle, inspection tools and equipment, and your phone.
Monitor your local news to find out if there are school closures, cancellations of public events, and other actions taken that may affect your workday, as well as plans with your family. Minimize your attendance at large gatherings. Most importantly, don't panic. Keeping informed and taking basic precautions for health and hygiene are your best defenses against any illness, including COVID-19. Visit the CDC website for the latest information.