Precise Inspecting is proud to announce the addition of infrared technology to its home inspection services. Infrared imaging, or thermography, is a physical science that allows for the capture of light in the infrared spectrum of the light scale. It measures an object’s heat radiating off itself.

Heat loss, moisture penetration, and electrical panel overload are the three areas of main focus in our Thermal Imaging service. As a fully Certified Residential Thermographer, I am able to perform a thermal image scan of your home and provide you with a dozen or more thermal images paired with their standard digital counterpart for comparison.

If you are purchasing a new home and want to identify possible hidden problems before you purchase, then you can now add thermal image scanning to your home inspection.

Above photos: The photo on the left is of an exterior wall where it joins a cathedral ceiling. Cathedral ceilings are often difficult to access and in this case, my customer was concerned with the possibility of moisture intrusion in the high, out of reach, ceiling. After shooting the area with an infrared camera we discovered a thermal anomaly*. Upon further investigation, we found that the area was only a cold spot due to the convergence of multiple wood framing members in the corner.

*thermal anomaly – refers to a departure from a reference value. In layman’s terms, it is the difference between what you would expect to occur and what is actually occurring. To further clarify, a positive anomaly indicates that the observed temperature was warmer than the reference value (surrounding area), while a negative anomaly indicates that the observed temperature was cooler than the reference value (surrounding area).

Roofs present many potential issues (like in this video) that can only be discovered by climbing up and making a visual inspection, which I prefer to do whenever it’s safe.

 

Recently I inspected the roof pictured above. My visual inspection revealed at least three layers of asphalt shingles. Without removing each layer there was no way to be sure that a fourth lay hidden beneath. Most homeowners who opt for a re-roof do so to save money in labor costs. Under ideal circumstances, the average savings is about 25%. Those ideal circumstances include solid decking, no existing leaks, and a roof with no sidewalls or chimneys where flashing is needed. Add to that the fact that a re-roof likely won’t last as long as a new roof on solid decking and you are left with a job that could end up costing you more.

Now that we have reviewed the upside, let’s look at the downside.

  • Number one: If you don’t strip off your shingles and tar paper down to the sheathing, you will never know the condition of your sheathing. Sheathing rot and water damage are common even in properly installed roofs.
  • Number two: with an overlay, you forfeit the opportunity to install an ice and water-leak barrier directly to the wood decking. Without this, ice could travel up the old layer of shingles, melt and leak into the home.
  • Number three: as mentioned above, flashing around roof penetrations are harder to address and can easily be compromised leaving the roof vulnerable to adverse weather conditions.
  • Number four: a second or third roof adds tons of weight to the roof framing and this could be a big problem if there is significant snow accumulation.

The Final Word – all of us are used to making decisions based on the pros and cons. In this case, the answer is obvious.

       

Recently Precision Inspecting, LLC underwent a name change to Precise Inspecting, LLC. The reason for the change was to avoid confusion with another home inspecting company in the Mechanicsburg area whose name is Precision Inspections and Radon Solutions. My desire is to continue to offer quality home inspections and ancillary services to the Lancaster, Lebanon and York areas while avoiding any unnecessary confusion. Thanks for your understanding.

HB1001 calls for the establishment of a board to oversee the home inspection profession in the state of PA. The newly formed Home Inspection Licensing Board will be composed of:

  • A secretary or a designee of the secretary.
  • The Attorney General or a designee of the Attorney General.
  • Six home inspectors who are licensed in the Commonwealth.
  • Three members of the general public without expertise or training as a home inspector.
  • One real estate agent or broker who is licensed in the Commonwealth.
  • One engineer or architect licensed in the Commonwealth.

Some of the powers and duties of the newly created Board will be:

  • Grant licenses to home inspectors.
  • Oversee regulations.
  • Examine, deny, approve, issue, revoke, suspend or renew home inspection licenses.
  • Conduct hearings on complaints.
  • Establish requirements for continuing education.
  • Spend money 🙂.
  • Submit a yearly report to the House and Senate.
  • Submit an annual budget request.
  • Maintain an up-to-date list of licensed home inspectors in PA.
  • Establish licensing fees.

Next post will be on requirements for licensure.

The bill coming before the PA Senate this week is 32 pages long. For anyone interested, and that should include real agents and home inspectors, The PA General Assembly will soon be voting on HB1001. The act broadly proposes the

“Regulating home of inspectors; establishment of  the Home Inspection Licensing Board; provisions for licensure and practice, for disciplinary action, for remedies and for penalties; for making an appropriation; and for repealing provisions relating to home inspections.”

In putting forth these regulations the act seeks to accomplish

  1. Enforce certain safety standards through regulation,
  2. Promote the public health, safety, and welfare,
  3. Set educational standards to protect the public from unqualified and unscrupulous inspectors,
  4. And to provide consumer protection, both economically and legally.

In future posts, I will highlight other important aspects of the bill.

 

HB1001, which I previously reported on (here), is being brought up by the Senate Labor and Industry Committee next Tuesday, January 23. The intention is to consider the bill as drafted without amendment. In as much as regulations can slow things down, this bill appears to be a good step forward in protecting Pennsylvania home buyers and by setting quality standards for home inspectors.

“In the near future, we plan to re-introduce legislation that will require licensure for all home inspectors in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Previously introduced as HB 1421)

A home is most likely the largest, most valuable asset a person purchases in their lifetime, but can quickly turn into the largest nightmare if a home inspection is not conducted completely or properly. Not reporting vital information to a homeowner or prospective homeowner can lead to costly repairs, health issues, and burdens that nobody should have to bear.

Currently, home inspectors are not held to any specific professional standard. This means that although the home inspection report is heavily relied upo, if a home inspector failed to report an issue to a homeowner or prospective homeowner, there is little or no recourse available. This legislation will set statewide standards for the profession of home inspecting and standards for the home inspection report.”     – Bill and Amendments

HB 1001 passed the House on October 17, and was sent to the Senate. On November 1st it was referred to the Senate Labor and Industry Committee. If enacted, the bill will regulate home inspectors by establishing the Home Inspection Licensing Board.

The board will be made up of six home inspectors, three members of the general public, one real estate agent and one engineer. Some of the responsibilities of the new board include:

  • Defining the standards of practice for a home inspection.
  • Creating a licensure program with fees.
  • Enacting and enforcing safety standards.
  • Provide for disciplinary action for non compliance.
  • Providing for remedies and for penalties.

Two items of significance are being proposed.

  1. If a home inspector identifies an immediate threat to safety he will be required to post a notice on the front door of the home noting the specific safety issue, before completing his inspection.
  2. A requirement to report on the visible evidence of mold, mildew or fungi and to disclose these findings in the report.

The overall effect of the bill should provide for safer and more professional real estate transactions. Once the bill clears Labor and Industry, it will go to the Senate for a vote.