Archive for November, 2014

Buyer’s Checklist: Spa and Pool Inspection

Posted on: November 29th, 2014 | No Comments

Floatation device in a pool ready for pool inspection.

Buying a new property is exciting, but don’t be wowed by the inclusion of a pool and forget the pool inspection! A poorly maintained pool or spa can not only suggest a poorly cared for home, it can also mean thousands of dollars in repair or reconstruction costs to make the property safe and functional for your family. Don’t get hosed by a lack of knowledge; instead, have some conditions and warning signs to look for going into the home buying process and then consider a pool inspection before signing the paperwork.

 

 

 

Before taking the plunge into a house purchase that includes a backyard pool or spa, there are important points to consider:

  1. Asset or Burden? – The first question to ask is if you will utilize a swimming pool. If not, don’t settle for a house in which you’ll have to care for one, or worse yet, pay for upkeep. You might think a swimming pool is an automatic asset as a buyer, but don’t be fooled. In warm climates, a pool might add a 10% resale value to a home, but that’s not true of everywhere! The winter weather in midwestern states, for instance, can damage and deteriorate a pool each year. Maintenance and pool inspection expenses can rack up to between $50-100 per month, even in good weather conditions. The water itself costs, along with heating, chemical balance, water filtration, liability, and mechanical problems that may arise in a pool inspection. In addition, every few years, a pool should be resurfaced. All in all, a pool can amount to an extra few thousand dollars each year for homeowners.
  2. Is the pool or spa up-to-date? – Hoses, pumps, liners, ladders, railing, slides, steps, diving boards – all of these may have cracks, safety concerns, or be in another state of disrepair. Only a pool inspection technician can fully investigate what may require repair and replacement. Even certain external pool conditions such as nearby outlets should be checked for proper circuit-interrupter devices that are missing from older pools. A lack of pool inspection services on pumps and heaters could result in electrocution.
  3. Proper Fencing – Erecting and maintaining proper fencing is critical to your family and guest safety, not to mention the neighborhood (if you have an open backyard). There are codes and local requirements for height and gate closing so as to prevent potential mishaps.
  4. Filling a Pool In – If you love a house but the pool inspection came up with a few thousand dollars in repair costs, you might consider filling it in. But this, too, can be extremely expensive. Quotes for larger pools have been up to $20,000.

Ultimately, deciding to buy a house with a pre-existing pool or spa comes down to money and time. A buyer must weigh the potential use and eventual resale value against repair, upkeep, and pool inspection costs. How do the sides measure out? It might end up being more beneficial to search for an equally lovable home and avoid pools altogether. But if you are considering taking the dive into a house investment, Inspect It 1st offers quality pool inspection services to give you all of the facts and figures for an informed decision.

Series on Safety: Termite Infestation

Posted on: November 14th, 2014 | No Comments

Termites easting away at a piece of wood. What:

There are five common types of termite: dampwood, drywood, conehead, formosan, and subterranean. All of these types of termite consume cellulose-based material, a material that exists to some degree in and around every home in the form of dead plant, wood, and cellulose bits in soil. A termite may only be a single centimeter in length but can cause considerable and costly damage, especially because where there is one, there are always others.

 

Where:

A home foundation is not the only place to find a termite, though it may potentially cause the most danger and damage. Termites also feed on furniture, books, shelves, and antiques (such as sleds or wooden plaques).

 

Drywood termites are the stereotypical kind of termite that often comes to mind to represent the little pest. It is the kind that lives within the wood it consumes, infesting walls and furniture in colonies.

 

Signs:

Often called the “silent destroyer,” a termite can threaten the home without leaving any obvious signs of damage. However, wood that sounds hollow when tapped may indicate a problem. Additionally, watch for “discarded” wings, droppings, and mud tubes on exterior walls and crawl spaces.

 

When a colony is matured, winged “swarming termites” may be visible around windows and doors. They are most active in springtime, which is when they typically mate and spread to other locations to start new colonies.

 

Prevention Steps:

  1. Eliminate moisture problems such as leaks, blocked gutters and vents, standing water, etc.
  2. Seal pipe and utility line entrance points.
  3. Keep firewood away from house foundation.
  4. Check fences and wooden decks for damage.
  5. Keep any wood on and around your home from directly contacting the soil.

 

Treatment:

Contact a trusted expert like Inspect It 1st to investigate. If termites are found, further spray treatment may be needed.

 

A termite problem is detrimental to health as well as safety, but they are not the only pest or concern that may be hiding in a home. Whether you are selling and want to ensure that your house is safe for the next family or you are buying and want to make sure your investment is sound, Inspect It 1st! Take a look at the various inspection services offered by Inspect It 1st and allow the experts to build your peace of mind surrounding termite pests and other potential issues.

 

Our home inspection company's history began in 1991 with the establishment of American Home Inspection. Over the course of the following seven years, a home inspection business prototype was developed that could be implemented anywhere in the United States. Our founders believed they had a unique methodology of providing homebuyers and sellers with consistent, professional and unbiased home inspections.

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