An attic inspection is a major part of a home inspection.  Why?  That portion of the home usually tells if there will be structural issues, water issues, insulation issues and so much more.  There can be expensive repairs in the attic.  When a roof is not able to be inspected due to ice or large amounts of snow I inspect the openings in the roof a little more diligent that normal to make sure that there are no possible entry points for water to the building components.

I recently was hired for a home inspection in Park Ridge, Illinois for a young family that was excited about their new purchase but concerned about possible issues that may arise and cost them money.  Generally I start all home inspections  in the attic when I enter the home.  This was exactly where I started at  the Park Ridge home inspection where I immediately found that there was an active water intrusion into the attic from the flashing around the plumbing vent stack.  The water did stain the ceiling below in the bathroom but there was no mold or any issues that would concern me to tell my clients to keep looking.  There was also another past leak from a humidifier.  In some of the larger homes, there may be a furnace in the attic.  The Park Ridge home inspection did have a furnace in the attic.  What the furnace did not have was a overflow pan limit switch that would stop the furnace or air conditioner if there was a blocked drain.  This limit switch stops damage that may occur from water that would come from condensate or a humidifier.

Back to the  leaking flashing from the plumbing vent stack.   Since the structure of the deal for the Park Ridge home would not allow for payment for issues found during a home inspection I suggested to my clients to staple a bag to the rafters, cut an opening in the base of the bag and insert that bag into a 5 gallon bucket to prevent further damage to the home.  I suggested that a roofing contractor be hired to replace the plumbing vent flashing as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the home.

Little issues like this can be seen as a big issue.  There are no problems in a home.  Just questions waiting for answers.  If you are a person will questions and tired of waiting for an answer please contact me at ~ The Thermal Home Inspector or 312-961-4228.

Thanks for stopping by and stay safe.

Jim Kolke

If you are looking at homes in this market you might find garage floors that are a perfectly finished concrete floors or you might find concrete slabs that are all cracked up.  If your floor in the garage is cracked up that is probably due to the fact that there are no leaders on the downspouts.  This article is about epoxy floor coatings in garages so I wont go to far off the subject.

Our home inspection on the Palatine home started on the exterior of the home then into the garage of their home.  My clients from the Palatine home inspection were elated about the cleanliness of the garage of the home.  The garage floor had an epoxy floor covering installed over the slab.  This epoxy floor covering can be a good thing if installed properly.  It can be a nuisance if not.  it all depends on the installation.

There are procedures on the installation of an epoxy floor covering in a garage that should be followed if you want to have this floor looking great for many years.

  • Empty garage completely before starting the procedures to installation of your epoxy floor covering in your garage.
  • Sweep the floor so that there is no dirt on the floor at all.  If there are areas that have paint chips are pieces of debris stuck to the floor these areas must be scraped.
  • Repair of cracks must be done after the floor is swept and suggest waiting 24 hours prior to the next step.
  • Etching solution installed over the whole garage floor to prepare the floor to accept and bond to the epoxy floor covering solution.  This is probably the most important step in the installation of a epoxy floor covering.
  • Rinse floor from all the etching material.
  • Drying of the floor for 24 hours but 48 hours would allow for the floor to be perfectly dry.
  • Mixing of the epoxy solution and the installation of the colored particles that will complement and add traction in your garage.
  • Installation of the finish coat should be your final step.  Suggest an added grit for traction on the epoxy flooring material.
  • Drying of the floorshould be for at least 48 hours to assure proper drying time.

These are the procedures to have a beautiful epoxy floor covering in your garage.  The Palatine home inspection did have a floor that seemed to have no visible blemishes that would develop into paint chipping and deterioration to the flooring material.  The repair costs for concrete epoxy floor covering can be in the thousands because the existing epoxy floor covering would have to be taken off and reinstalled.

If you see any area that has chipping or cracking this is a floor that will require repairs or replacement.  If you have further questions about this subject you can contact me at The Thermal Home Inspector or 312-961-4228.

Thanks for stopping by and stay safe.

Jim Kolke

A recent article I published about “good, fast and cheap pick two” will be revisited to explain why cheap home inspectors and cheap home inspector services should be feared.  Feared?  Yes that’s right!  Lets do the math.  The purchase price of the home you are about to purchase is $200,000.00 for a 3 bedroom / 2 bathroom home.  Your discount inspector charges $200.00 for his professional home inspection services?  This sounds like a good deal?  Unfortunately for you this home inspector does not carry E and O insurance, generally liability insurance, no pictures on the report and no abilities to even be in this business.  In fact he has only been in the home inspection industry for 2 years.  Not bad?  What did he do before home inspections?  You forgot to ask.  He was a mechanic at Jiffy lube!  That’s great!

How do I know all of this info?  I was hired by his old clients from the Libertyville home inspection to do a real professional home inspection.  My inspection fee for this home was $425.00.  You ask why?  I carry 1 million dollars in E and O Insurance and general liability insurance to protect my client and all the affiliates I work with.  I use Fluke thermal imagers that cost $10,000.00 and other equipment to perform a professional home inspection. 

Do I get calls where people try to get”deals” on a home inspection.  Absolutly.  I dont do discount for anyone because I give a professional product that my clients can hang their hat on when purchasing a home.

My clients from the Libertyville home inspection were smart enough to ask their realtor for an extension on their attorney and inspection period and request a 2ND home inspection.  Luckily for them my inspection found items that would require repairs that exceeded $8000.00.   They see how important a professional home inspection is…now.

Hopefully you will learn that cheap home inspections can costs you thousands from my clients at the Libertyville home inspection.

If you have questions on what to ask your choice in home inspector please contact me at The Thermal Home Inspector or 312-961-4228.

Thanks for stopping by.

Jim Kolke

Everything looks good to the common eye when looking at an electrical panel?  I beg to differ.   Issues can still lye dormant even when electrical testing equipment is used on wiring in a breaker box.  I believe that a thermal imager should be used on every home inspection.  This is exactly why my clients hired me to perform a home inspection on their new home in Deerfield, Illinois.

In this article I will be concentrating on electrical scans primarily.  Please understand that the uses of the Fluke or Flir thermal imager is unlimited.  We use it for scanning of exterior walls for water intrusion, insulation issues and energy losses.  We use it for scanning ceilings below bathrooms for water issues from tubs, toilets, showers and sinks.  We scanned the interior walls of the Deerfield home inspection and found issues around the front and patio doors that had issues with energy deficiencies.

The Fluke and Flir thermal imagers are used on a breaker box to see if there is a temperature difference.  When we see that there is an issue like in the image supplied  we suggest an electrician come and investigate further.  The issue at hand is overloading of this circuit with to many fixtures in the home.  The remedy for this electrical box is to separate the fixtures throughout the home and run a dedicated breaker to eliminate overheating.

Remedies or repair costs for electrical issues that were found at the Deerfield home inspection range in costs from $200.00 -  $1000.00 depending on how much work it takes the electrician to find the junction box and start the separation of various circuits and fixtures.

If you are hiring a professional home inspection service I would ask if they use Fluke or Flir thermal imagers.  If they don’t you might want to find a professional home inspection service that does.  Its your home and your money why not do it right?

If you have further questions about the use of Fluke or Flir thermal imagers on electrical panels please contact me at The Thermal Home Inspector or 312-961-4228.

Thanks for stopping by and stay safe.

Jim Kolke

Do you inspect roofs as part of your home inspection service?  This is a standard question we receive when a client calls to inquire about a home inspection from Pinnacle Property Inspection Services, Inc..  If you are from the northern portion of the United States you know that we get quite a bit of snow in our winters.  When it snows it creates hindrances to do a proper home inspection on a roof.

I was hired to do a home inspection on a bungalow in Chicago, Illinois.   Luckily for me the roof was a 4/12.  That measurement basically means that the roof has very little pitch and can be walked.  My clients from the Chicago home inspection were concerned if I would inspect their new homes roof.  I explained to them as I do to all of my clients.  Safety first!  I have no problem going on a roof with snow on it as long as there is no ice on the roof.  If there is ice I will not attempt to walk this roof due to possible safety issues.  If there is snow I will broom the roof off in various areas to inspect the roofing material, valleys, flashing skylights, plumbing venting, chimneys, chimney flashing and so on.  Our standards of practice for home inspectors does not require us to climb a roof.  I believe it is hard to give a homes roof a clean bill of health with out landing a foot on it.

Luckily for my clients from the Chicago home inspection I cleared the snow from the roof and inspected the roof properly.  The homes roof had areas of roofing shingles that have been damaged and would require replacement.  Roofing repairs can be costly and thats why we do this type of inspection.

So we find ice on the roof and we cant walk the roof.  I would suggest that you, your realtor or your attorney hold money back at the closing table that would be put in escrow until a proper roof inspection was done.  By doing this you are covered if problem areas are found and are in need of repairs or replacement.

As you can see snow can cause problems in your home inspection process.  Now that you know what to look for it should make your buying experience a little easier.  If you have further questions about roof inspection please contact me at The Thermal Home Inspector or 312-961-4228.

Thank you for stopping by and be safe.

Jim Kolke