Tips For Choosing The Right Infrared Camera for Your Home Inspection Business

As the world of real estate and real estate inspections change, the competition in the home inspection business is heating up. Actually, it’s been heating up for a long time now. Inspectors are constantly on the look out for the next hot tip or technique that will give them a leg up on the competition. Currently it seems infrared thermal imaging cameras are the hot ticket.

More and more home inspectors are signing up to take training classes and investing in state of the art infrared cameras in hopes of cashing in on this trend. You yourself may be considering this very move. But how do you go about choosing the right infrared thermal imaging camera? Here are a few tips to consider before taking the plunge.

First off, ask around and see if there are other inspectors in your area who are using infrared cameras. If they are, ask if you could do a ride along and watch them use it and maybe let you examine it. Chances are, if you’re a local guy, they’re gonna say no. You may have to ask some one else over in the next town or two before you find someone willing to do this. But keep looking because some one will.

Next, shop around and get yourself acquainted with all the different brands and models of thermal imaging cameras. You have models that start out around six hundred dollars all the way up to 20 thousand doallars and beyond! Which one is right for the job you’ll be using it for? You don’t want ot over pay and you don’t want to buy the wrong camera. This is why it’s important that you thoroughly research cameras and familiarize yourself with them.

Before plunking down a chunk of change on a camera, you should seriously look into getting some training. Chances are the Instructors or School will have a variety of cameras on hand to look at. Not only will you be getting modernized training on the latest thermal cameras, you’ll be getting to see all the features from several manufacturers. This can be invaluable when it comes time to buy yours.

Look at how you’ll be using the infrared camera. Will you be mainly looking for water intrusion or will you also be looking for things such as insect damage or perhaps inefficient amounts of insulation in the walls and ceilings? All these will have an impact on which type of thermal imaging camera you buy.

Lastly, remember that the most expensive brand or model is not necessarily the best for you. The latest point and shoot cameras from Flir and others make it easy to use their imaging equipment. One of these models may be just what you need if you only inspect residential homes.

On the other hand, they may not be sufficient if you do a lot of commercial type inspections. Fortunately Flir is the leader in thermal imaging and can meet your needs no matter how large the job is. Just remember to take all these tips into account before buying your first or your next infrared camera.

Tips For Reviewing Your Home Inspection Checklist and Why Home Buyers Should Have a Contingency Fund

Why should new home buyers have a contingency fund in place before closing on a new home? A new home purchase is exciting and emotionally draining at the same time. Many factors contribute to the selection of your home. The financial decisions and hoops that have to be jumped through can completely exhaust you. Even through all this, you move into your new home jumping for joy! You spend a night or two in your home and BAM! Something goes haywire. Maybe the water heater goes out, or the HVAC won’t heat, or there’s a plumbing leak in the crawl space.

How could this happen in your brand new home?

Well, remember, the home is generally not BRAND new. ALL homes have issues, even in new construction, and there are items that require attention. Although annoying, things will happen and timing is uncertain, generally bad timing at that!

The first reaction may be to call the realtor to complain, or to call the home inspector to place blame. If a step is taken back though, a discussion surrounding the problem-at-hand might have existed during the home inspection and it may even be noted in the report. This leaves the new home, as well as the repairs, in the hands of the new home buyer.

How do you AVOID this?

Implement these simple steps BEFORE you finalize the contract:

1. Thoroughly READ the home inspection checklist. What may look boring and tedious happens to include valuable information you need to evaluate your prospective home. You have leverage at this point before completing the contract to either agree to the condition of the home or, you can work with your realtor to negotiate necessary repairs with the seller.

2. In the SUMMARY section of the report, major concerns and deficiencies are generally identified. Don’t overlook these! Contacting the recommended specialists or addressing these issues will save you many headaches and possibly lots of money.

3. Set aside a CONTINGENCY fund to deal with the somewhat predicted and unforeseen issues that arise following closing. The home inspection only documents the condition of the home at the time of the inspection. As with any home, important elements generally go out at the most inconvenient times. If your home inspection checklist / report states “… at the end of it’s life,” take this seriously and plan accordingly. Water heaters and HVAC units often fit this category, yet they seem to be commonly overlooked. These items also have pretty specific limitations on their duration of operation. Not only are they likely to cause the most physical discomfort, they will also add to the mounting emotional stress surrounding your new purchase.

Following these simple steps should prevent unwanted hassles and a smooth transition into the home of your dreams!

5 Home Inspection Tips For Open House Visits

Fortunately, prospective homebuyers do not have to be professional home inspectors to be able to identify certain problems in a home.

Regardless of whether you are the “handy” type or more of the “book” type, you will be able to spot certain problematic areas with a little bit of guidance. Thus, if you are going through the home purchasing process and you are viewing different homes, keep yours eyes open for some of the following.

NOTE: to better prepare you before heading to your next open house, go on the Internet to look up images regarding some of the problems noted below (e.g. water damaged ceiling, termite damage, flooded basement, mold, cracked foundation).

1) Discolored Walls and/or Ceilings

Discoloration on walls and/or ceilings is usually indicative of water damage or mold. Neither one is good for the home. If you see this, make a note of it.

Water damage could result from leaky pipes, broken pipes, improperly installed window flashing, or even a leaky roof. Each of these can be quite expensive to repair. Where there is excessive moisture, there is a chance that mold will grow. This is especially concerning since mold exposure is linked to certain health concerns. Mold can also cause structural damage to any property it inhabits.

2) Wood Damage

If there are hardwood floors in the house be sure to look for any signs of damage. More specifically, look for lines that resemble trails of some sort. This can be indicative of damage caused by termites or other wood-destroying insects.

In addition, if you can observe wooden beams in the basement, be sure to have a close look for any impairments. Damaged wooden beams can also be attributed to a wood-destroying insect.

3) Dampness in Basement

If the home you are viewing has a basement, look for any signs of excessive moisture while you are down there. Such dampness can mean that the basement floods or that there is water seepage during rainstorms. It can also lead to the growth of mold, which thrives in dark and moist environments.

4) Drafty Windows

While you are in the house, run your hands across some of the windows to feel for any air getting through. On a hot summer day this will be more difficult, not impossible to do, but try it anyway.

Windows can become a much bigger headache than most people think. Repairing windows can be rather expensive, depending on the type and quality you’re seeking. This does not necessarily mean you will have to repair the windows; there are some inexpensive remedies that work well. But, having this knowledge prior to making your purchase permits you to take it into consideration when deciding whether or not to place a bid.

5) Cracked Foundation

At some point before you leave the house, be sure to look around the exterior of the property for signs of damage to the outer structure or foundation. Sometimes there will literally be a large crack going across a section of the home’s foundation. Although this doesn’t always indicate a serious problem with the house, it is worth knowing about and looking into.

Closing

These are just a handful of home inspection tips that you should keep in mind when you are viewing different prospective houses. The benefit is that you can identify some problems on your own and possibly eliminate certain houses from your list that you weren’t too sure of in the first place.

Once you have found a home that you feel comfortable with, have a professional home inspector conduct a thorough inspection. This will ensure that you have all of the information you need regarding the actual condition of the home to make your final purchasing decision.

Best of luck!