5 Places That Water Damage Occurs

Water can damage your home without anyone knowing about it until it’s severe. However, when you know the places that water damage occurs most commonly in a house, you can keep an eye out for the signs. Try to catch water damage before it causes serious problems and mold.

Bathrooms are Places That Water Damage Occurs

Water is used in the bathroom more than any other room in the house, so it makes sense that it’s susceptible to water damage. An issue as minor as water splashing out of the shower can damage the drywall and floors. Dry up any water that makes it out of the shower or bathtub immediately. Use ventilation fans to reduce condensation in the bathroom when bathing. If you notice caulk deteriorating around sinks and tubs, remove it and apply new caulking to protect the drywall.

Attic

Attics experience water damage when there’s a roof leak. Since people don’t usually go into the attic, the damage can become extensive and costly before it’s discovered. Mold may begin to grow and your belongings that are stored in the attic can be ruined. Water leaking through the attic boards will cause water stains on ceilings. Once this happens, boards in the attic are probably already rotted.

Basement

Basements experience water damage due to floods, clogged gutters, and improper grading around the foundation. Waterproofing the walls and floors of the basement is an effective way to prevent water from getting in, but some basements with persistent flooding problems need a sump pump.

Behind Walls are Places That Water Damage Occurs

Leaking plumbing pipes behind walls often don’t show immediate signs of a problem. The water damage is advanced before visual signs and mold odors occur. Once you do notice a problem, finding and fixing the source of the leak is an invasive procedure that requires removing and replacing drywall.

Under the Kitchen Sink

A leak under a kitchen sink is easier to deal with than in some other situations. Once you notice standing water or moisture in the cabinet under the sink, it is fairly simple to troubleshoot and find out where the leak is coming from. The pipes are usually exposed just inside the cabinet, so they are easy to access and fix. The cabinet may be damaged by water, but in the worst-case scenario you’ll only have to replace the cabinet after fixing the pipe.

Premier Home Inspection Services offers home inspection services, including mold inspections, to Northern New Jersey. Contact us to request an appointment.

4 Benefits of a Pre-Listing Inspection for Home Sellers

When getting your home ready to sell, one thing you can do to prepare is a home inspection. Getting this done before your property ever hits the market can save you time, money, and frustration. Here are the top four benefits of a pre-listing home inspection.

1. Make Repairs After a Pre-Listing Home Inspection

The home inspection report will note areas and components that need work. Because you have not listed your home yet, you can take care of these repairs before a buyer sees the house. If the buyer discovers the problems after their own inspection, you might have to scramble and address them quickly.

During certain times of the year, work crews can be very busy, and it could take some time before a contractor can even get to the property to assess the job. Because you are not racing against the clock, you can wait for the tradesperson of your choice. You may even choose to fix some of the issues yourself or not make any of them and adjust the price instead.

2. Attract Buyers

When it comes to attracting buyers, you can use the home inspection results. A pre-listing inspection tells the buyers essential details about the structure and the components in it. Sharing the report with them shows a level of transparency, and it can help a buyer make a quicker decision.

3. Negotiations

A pre-listing inspection can make the negotiation process smoother. If you did not get the inspection ahead of time, the buyer will likely get one once you have accepted their offer. If anything concerning comes up in the report, it might cause lengthy negotiations. Having already ordered a home inspection could eliminate most of that process and get you to the closing table faster.

4. The Benefits of a Pre-Listing Inspection Include Peace of Mind

If you are unsure about the condition of your property, a pre-listing home inspection can answer any of your questions. Your report can be used as a tool to help you make repairs or adjust the price. Getting an inspection will give you solid information so that you can confidently list your home.

Premier Home Inspection Services provides home inspections to Northern New Jersey. If you’re selling a home, contact us to schedule an appointment.

Reasons to Order a Home Inspection on New Construction

When you’re building a brand new home, you expect the finished house to be in great condition. Unfortunately, with the number of workers on the job, mistakes can happen. Here are a few reasons to order a home inspection on new construction.

Your Builder May Not Notice Mistakes

Your builder basically oversees the construction of the home. He or she will hire subcontractors to complete various parts of the project. There will be roofers, framers, electricians, painters, and plumbers on site.

One small mistake in construction or using defective materials could lead to a serious issue in the future. With so many teams contributing to the build, it is impossible for the builder to monitor every aspect of construction.

An Inspector Knows What to Look For

A home inspector is a trained professional who you can hire to examine your property. Their knowledge of components and household systems gives them the skills to assess the condition of your newly-built home.

After the inspection, your inspector will provide a report that includes details of his or her findings. You can then use this information to discuss any concerns about the property with your builder.

An Inspection on New Construction Examines All Components

Local code inspectors will visit the property to verify it meets minimum requirements. The code inspector only needs to make sure the home is habitable.

By comparison, your home inspector will do an assessment of the entire house. He or she will examine the foundation, HVAC system, roof, electrical components, grading and drainage, and all other systems to make sure everything is functioning properly and safely.

Save Money with a Home Inspection on New Construction

Your new home is a big investment and no new homeowner wants to spend more money on repairs shortly after move-in. Hire a home inspector for peace of mind that the property is well-built, safe, and ready to house your family. When you discover defects before you move in, you can hold the builder responsible for making any needed repairs.

Premier Home Inspection Services provides inspections to northern New Jersey. If you’re building a new home, contact us to schedule an appointment.

5 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Home Inspector

If you’re buying a new home, hire a professional home inspector to provide a thorough inspection. There are probably several different professional home inspectors in your area that you could hire. Here are questions to ask when hiring a home inspector.

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Home Inspector

1. Who Recommended the Home Inspector?

If your real estate agent recommends a home inspector, you always have the option of adding them to your own list and doing some research to see if they will be a good fit for you. You might consider asking family or friends who have recently bought a home if they recommend a home inspector, or you can do a search online and read reviews. After you’ve put together a list, ask the following questions to each home inspector.

2. What Qualifications Does the Home Inspector Have?

Ask the home inspector about his or her qualifications and credentials. The home inspector needs a license in most states. Some have more advanced certifications from trade associations, and special training in specific inspections and testing, like for mold and radon.

3. How Much Experience Does the Home Inspector Have?

When it comes to questions to ask when hiring a home inspector, this is one of the most important. Inquire about the home inspector’s background and if he or she has other experience in the home construction industry.

Someone who has been working with homes for years has seen a variety of different issues, and knows how to recognize issues that aren’t obvious. Working with an experienced home inspector could save you a lot of money and frustration in the long run.

4. What Does the Home Inspection Include?

To know what to expect out of the home inspection, one of the questions to ask when hiring a home inspector is what is covered. Before spending money to have an inspection done, ask about which systems and components are included in the inspection.

5. Are Questions Welcome After the Inspection Report is Delivered?

Ask the inspector you are considering hiring if you can stay in contact after you have received your report. There may be questions that come up that you didn’t think to ask during the inspection. A good inspector will provide you continued support.

Protect Yourself and Your Investment

Buying a home is expensive, and you don’t want to find that you have to invest more money to make repairs after you move in. Hiring a qualified home inspector before filling out the final paperwork is the best way to protect your investment.

Premier Home Inspection Services provides inspections from a Certified Master Inspector. Contact us to schedule an appointment in Northern New Jersey.

4 Signs of Termites in the Home

 

Termites are a destructive pest found throughout the U.S. They can cause thousands of dollars in damage before you even know they are there. Look for signs of termites before the infestation becomes severe. Here are four things to watch for.

Visible Damage is Among the First Signs of Termites

Termites are known for eating wood, but they will eat paper and cardboard as well. This includes the paper backing on drywall, so one of the early signs of termites could be chipped or peeling paint. You may dismiss this damage as just a sign of an aging home, but with a little investigation, you might find that the paper backing was eaten by termites.

Signs of Termites Found in a Home Inspection

Termites tend to stay out of view by building their tunnels in the dark and isolated parts of your home. This is why so many infestations go unnoticed until they’re severe.

A WDI inspector will examine crawlspaces, foundations, basements, and other remote locations to find signs of termites. The inspector’s report will identify probable sites of termite problems based on these observations.

Swarming Adult Termites

The one exception to the private nature of termites is their spring swarming. Winged adult termites will emerge to look for a location to begin a new colony.

Because most people don’t think of termites as winged, these swarms are often a surprising sign. It is important to know what type of insects you are seeing. Winged ants are very similar to winged termites, so learn the differences and you’ll know which of these you are dealing with.

Mud Tunnels are Signs of Termites

Termites stay inside wood for a good reason, because they need dark, moist places to survive. One of the easiest signs of termites to detect is the mud tunnels they build on foundations and basement walls. The termites construct dirt tubes from one source of wood to another so that their bodies will not dry out as they look for food. These tubes are a sure sign of an infestation, so call a WDI inspector to investigate further if you see them.

By the time door frames are crumbling or paint is falling off the walls, the damage from termites is already extensive. Home inspections help catch termite infestations early. This gives homeowners a chance to take action and minimize damage.

Premier Home Inspection Services provides termite inspections to Northern New Jersey. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

The Dangers of Radon in the Home

 

You may know that radon gas is dangerous, but never thought it could affect your home. Radon in the home is a problem for a couple of reasons. First, it is not detectable without a special radon test. Second, it can cause lung cancer. Read on to learn what you can do to protect your family from radon.

Where Does Radon Come From?

Radon is a gas that naturally forms underground when other radioactive elements decay. It drifts upwards into the atmosphere and can easily enter houses through gaps and cracks. Once the gas is inside a building, it builds up. Exposure to elevated levels of radon has been linked to cases of lung cancer.

Testing for Radon in the Home

Homeowners need a radon test to learn about the levels of radon in a house. While inexpensive DIY radon testing kits are available, they often return inaccurate results. Experts recommend using a licensed radon measurement technician who uses superior equipment and has been trained on how to administer the test. For a matter as serious as your family’s health, you don’t want any errors.

What Happens if Radon Levels in the Home are High?

Fortunately, there are ways to lower high radon levels. The EPA says that any level at 4 pCi/L or higher needs mitigation. Radon mitigation companies employ a variety of techniques to suction radon from underneath the house and ventilate it out of the living spaces.

Every home should be tested for radon. The radon levels of one home and the home next door can be drastically different from one another. There is no way to tell if a home is safe from high radon levels without ordering a professional radon test.

Premier Home & Environmental Inspection Services conduct professional radon tests by licensed radon measurement technicians. Contact us to schedule a radon test in Northern New Jersey.

It is common for older homes in New Jersey and other states to have underground fuel storage tanks on the property. Many of these tanks are in place even if they are no longer in use. If you’re shopping for a house, an underground oil tank on the property may pose a risk if it hasn’t been properly decommissioned.

Usually, the only way to find out if a property has an underground tank is to have a trained professional perform a fuel storage tank search. In some cases, however, there may be visible signs that an oil tank is buried. These signs might include:

  • A vent cap or fill valve sticking out of the ground
  • Oil lines coming out of the basement
  • Stains visible near the furnace

If you are purchasing a new home, ask the sellers agent or current homeowner for information about fuel storage tanks on the property. If you find out that an underground oil tank is present, find out if and how it was decommissioned.

Decommissioning an Unused Tank

If the underground oil tank is no longer in use, it should be decommissioned. There are a couple of ways to safely close a tank.

  • Remove the tank from the property. This is the recommended method, though more expensive than leaving it in place.
  • Empty, clean, and fill the tank with concrete or other material to prevent collapse.

If an oil tank has been decommissioned properly, having an underground fuel tank is relatively risk-free, though some lenders will not finance a home with an underground tank. A home inspector who specializes in oil tank location can help you determine the status of the tank.

An Active Underground Oil Tank

There are some liabilities that come along with a home that is heated from oil stored in an underground tank. Fuel leaks are a serious problem that damages property and contaminates the soil. A leak will affect the resale value of the property and can result in fines. Oil tank insurance is available in some states, but the safest option is to remove the tank and establish a different heating source for the home.

Premier Home Inspection Services offers home inspections and oil tank scans in New Jersey. Contact us to schedule an appointment.