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What Does Internachi Certified Home Inpector Mean?

You have decided that a home inspection is in your near future, and you realize that is the smart move — the money-saving move. Naturally, you want a trained, experienced eye to evaluate your property and apprise you of any issues with the structure. Since you are visiting our website, you are likely either purchasing a home or planning to sell your home and are doing your homework before making a final commitment. Perhaps you already own the property and want to be sure you are maintaining all aspects of your current home. KDG Home Inspections can help you with all of these.Perhaps you have already learned that home inspection in Wisconsin is supervised by the Department of Regulation and Licensing. It is for the consumers’ protection that Home Inspectors are licensed by the state. Enhanced Professionalism Offered by InterNACHI Membership While state certification is good, it is just the first step in becoming a top-notch Home Inspector. On this site, you will discover that I am also an “InterNACHI Certified Home Inspector.” I am proud of my association with the International Home Inspectors Inc., also known as InterNACHI. It is the largest professional association for home inspectors and has stringent requirements for membership. InterNACHI is a non-profit organization based here in the United States. Its members number about 50,000 and are located in all 50 states, Canada, and at least 65 other countries. Each of us is an entrepreneur striving to be the best in our field. InterNACHI helps us achieve and maintain a professional edge that gets us talked about — in a good way. Members of this premier organization are required to adhere to InterNACHI’s strict Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. To join InterNACHI, a home inspector can’t just go online, log in and pay dues. In order to become a member of this prestigious organization, an inspector must pass exams, demonstrate on-the-job expertise by submitting five home inspections for grading by InterNACHI personnel, and must continue his/her education in order to provide clients with always-improving, superior home-inspection service. Imagine how much things have changed in home construction products from the time the historic home you are purchasing was built. Its plumbing may be decades old. To properly evaluate such a home, an inspector must be highly trained, skilled and experienced. InterNACHI gives me that. Even if a house is just a couple of decades old, problems have had time to develop. Training and experience are your best chance of getting a valuable assessment of any issues with this property. Here, too, InterNACHI has polished my skills to help me give you the most informative report on which to base your decisions. So, whether you are buying and want to avoid expensive, unforeseen problems or are selling and want to fix problem areas before listing the property, a thorough home inspection can save you time and money. A reliable assessment of your property requires the services of a highly trained, experienced professional. A Home Inspector’s membership in InterNACHI assures you that the inspector is serious about professionalism — both in the technical aspects needed to do the job and in operating a business with the highest ethics. We at KDG consider ethics and our reputation particularly important as our clients are not just professional acquaintances but friends and neighbors here in Southeast Wisconsin. To maintain a good reputation in business, an inspector must provide clients with the highest-quality work. To do that, he/she must keep abreast of new developments and technology. Why InterNACHI Members Never Stop Learning My membership in InterNACHI assists with that....

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Older Home Inspections – What you need to know

Older Home Inspections – What you need to know

Love the charm of older homes and the character of established neighborhoods over newer homes and their standard cookie cutter fare? You don’t have to buy new to get a great home! You simply need an experienced inspector with an attention to detail, armed with a comprehensive home inspection checklist. Inspections on older homes are unique Though all homes, including new, should be inspected prior to purchase, older homes are another can of worms entirely. Major components of older homes may be reaching the end of their lifespan, from the outer structure to the appliances within. In addition, depending on the age of the home, you have no idea of the number of DIY-ers who have lived in it prior to your purchase, cutting corners on everything from electrical (“We’re out of electrical tape, Bob, hand me that wadded up newspaper over there.”) to plumbing (“Crawlspace? Meh. Too much work. Just open the shower drain right under the house.”). Worse, many of the most dangerous and expensive problems are in areas most homeowners will never see. Historic, pre-1925 homes are particular susceptible to these issues. Home Inspection checklist for older homes: Foundation Have you ever wondered why people always talk about having a good “foundation” in reference to education? It’s because it’s important. Without a good foundation to build upon, anything you add can come tumbling down. Like your house. With you in it. An unsteady foundation is a serious issue, and cracked foundations can be common in older properties. Wiring Outdated wiring such as aluminum or knob and tube wiring, in addition to defective, shoddy, and quick-fix wiring jobs are dangerous. Inadequate power supply, insufficient outlets, and grounding issues in older homes are also common, such as homes with ancient, 2-prong style outlets. Missing GFCIs in areas exposed to water/moisture such as bathrooms and kitchens are also a cause for concern. Avoid potentially shocking experiences and costs. Make sure your new-to-you home is up to code for the safety of your family before you move in – with the help of a complete home inspection checklist. Plumbing Older plumbing systems such as galvanized piping can cause a literal boatload of problems in older homes. Ineffective draining can also be an issue due to the use, abuse and neglect of pipes over time. Regardless of the age of the property, checking for leaks, clogs, and other age-related plumbing issues are essential to avoid expensive repairs due to water damage and mold proliferation later on. Attic The attic should be an essential part of any home inspection. Roof condition (structure, stability, leaks, long-standing water damage), ventilation (mold and moisture issues), insulation levels, even ductwork and wiring problems can be detected with proper inspection of a home attic. Ensure the attic of a prospective home is easily accessible so it can be part of a complete home inspection checklist. Basement In older homes, basements should always be inspected for rotten wood, musty or damp smells that could indicate water damage, leaks, or mold, and cracks that point to foundation issues. Decks and porches Decks and porches can pose huge safety risks, and should be checked for stability, rot, unstable stairs and railings, and a proper foundation (not simply resting on the soil). Hazardous building materials Depending on the age of the structure, lead paint and asbestos can also come into play, and are very expensive to contend with after-the-fact. Put it in the contract An inspection clause will help you avoid losing earnest money, and allow you to either walk away from the purchase or start some serious negotiation for repairs...

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Questions for Your Home Inspector

Questions for Your Home Inspector

For anyone that wants to know the true condition of a home, a home inspection is a necessity. Whether you are thinking of selling your house, interested in buying a house, or you already own a home and want to know of any potential problems, a professional home inspection can give you the answers you are looking for. But the home inspection checklist must be conducted by someone who knows what he or she is doing. At KDG Home Inspections, we encourage our customers to be informed about the inspection process. The following is a list of questions that you should ask any home inspector before you hire someone. Inspections are conducted to get answers, but those answers will only be accurate if the inspector meets the right criteria. Questions For Your Home Inspector 1. What experience do you have? Every qualified inspector will be able to list his or her experience in the field. Things like how many years worked in the industry, how many homes inspected and a list of referrals are all information you want to know. Of course, a new inspector can do a great job as well, and will often explain that he or she has the assistance of a more experienced inspector if it is needed. 2. What does the home inspection include? You want to know what the inspection will cover, and whether it will meet all applicable guidelines required by the state. Ask to review a copy of the home inspection checklist that the inspector will use, and don’t hesitate to ask him or her to review specific things on the home as necessary. 3. How long will you take to conduct the inspection? You want an inspector that will take his or her time with the inspection. On average, reviewing a single-family home takes around two to three hours. The bigger the house, the longer the inspection will probably take. If the property is big enough, it could require more than one inspector. Be cautious of any inspector that promises a faster inspection than this. 4. How much does the inspection cost? There are no regulations determining what a home inspection should cost, so the charge for an inspection may vary widely by provider and based on the property. However, the inspector should be able to give you an estimate based on your specific property. 5. Can I come with you on the inspection? Attending the inspection is a great way to learn more about the home your are examining, and something we at KDG are more than happy to accommodate. By going along with the inspector, you can get a much better understanding of the condition of the home and what “good” means when it comes to different parts of your house. 6. What do your reports look like and how long does it take to receive them? The information gathered by the home inspector is only useful if you can understand it. Ask to see an example of what a report looks like and verify that it gives you the information you want. It should only take about 24 hours for the report to be finished, so expect a quick turnaround. 7. Do you stay up-to-date with your inspection training? The best home inspectors never stop learning. Make sure your inspector takes the time to continue his or her education through training and classes. This is especially true when you want an inspector to look at an older house, or a home with a lot of new technologies. You want to know that the inspector has the know-how...

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Why You Should Have a Pre-Sale Home Inspection Before You Sell Your House

Why You Should Have a Pre-Sale Home Inspection Before You Sell Your House

If you are looking to sell your home, having a pre-sale home inspection will provide you an opportunity to fix any defects found before you sell your house. This pre sale home inspection should be performed by a home inspector who is licensed in the state where you are selling the home. This will ensure that the inspector has the right knowledge and skill set to pick up on both minor and major issues both inside and outside of the home. The purpose of a pre-sale home inspection is to check and report on the condition of your houses structural and mechanical components before you decide to place your house on the market. Having the knowledge of any major or minor issues can give you the opportunity to repair any issues found before the potential buyer hires their inspector after an offer has been excepted. What to Expect at a Pre-Sale Home Inspection •A pre-sale inspection will generally take between two to three hours and will cover all areas of the home, here are some integral pieces that an inspector should look at. • Roof – An inspection of the property’s roof should be performed. This inspection should include the general quality of the roof. A good inspector will look at the gutter’s, roof, flashing, and any skylights. The inspector will look at the roof for signs of cupping, curling and/or cracked shingles. • Chimney – When it comes to the chimney, an inspector will make sure that the chimney is structurally sound, and that the chimney is clean and ready to be used. If the chimney is not structurally sound or cleaned correctly this can present safety issues. • Fireplace – Inspectors should check fireplaces to make sure that they will not cause any danger to the home’s structure. Fireplaces and/or wood stoves should be properly installed and also cleaned annually by a qualified contractor. • Exterior – The inspection of the exterior of a property will include the condition of sidewalks, driveways, steps, windows, doors, siding, trim and drainage. This inspection should report on the condition of the exterior, any lighting, and whether there is correct clearance between ground and siding materials. A note should be made of any visible drainage issues or grading problems as this could result in water damage to the home. • Heating and Air Conditioning Systems – The inspection of heating and cooling systems will be an overall look at the condition and age of the systems and whether they are working correctly. If the system is broken, malfunctioning, or has not been maintained sufficiently, the purchase of a new heating and cooling system may be necessary. Keep in mind that most manufacturers recommend that central air conditioners should not be operated during the winter months. • Attic – A thorough check of the attic will be completed and should report on whether there is sufficient insulation in place. The inspection of the attic should also include ventilation and whether there are any signs of water damage, excessive moisture, mold and/or leaks. If there are signs of water damage or poor ventilation this could cause mold issues within the attic. • Electrical – All electrical systems must be up to code when it comes to the condition of the system and the current wiring in place. An inspector will check that all outlets, circuit breakers, fans, and light fixtures, are installed and working correctly. Wiring that is insufficient must be listed on the report as it may lead to a serious safety hazard. • Foundation – The foundation is one of the...

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Radon Gas Testing – Should Your Home Be Tested

Radon Gas Testing – Should Your Home Be Tested

No one likes the idea of an invisible, poisonous gas seeping into their homes. Yet radon – a gas created by the breakdown of uranium – is found in homes and buildings all across the country. It is a major health hazard that everyone should be aware of. Fortunately, radon is something you can easily test for. If you have dangerous levels of radon in your home, you can install radon remediation systems that will keep you and your family safe. You just have to know the gas is there in the first place. The Dangers of Radon Exposure Uranium can be found in small quantities in soil, rock and water throughout the United States. As the uranium breaks down it releases radon. Normally this is not a problem, at least not in the open air. The problem arises when the gas is released into buildings that we live and work in. Because it is released from the surrounding rock and soil the building is standing on, radon tends to accumulate most densely in the basement and lower levels. The walls and ceilings prevent the radon from escaping, thereby concentrating the radon and creating a legitimate health hazard. Radon is an invisible threat, one that EPA estimates to cause around 21,000 deaths every year due to lung cancer. People live in homes without realizing the gas is there, and they breathe in this gas day after day. Over time those breathing in the gas can develop lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General says that radon is one of the most significant causes of lung cancer – only beat out by cigarettes. Of course, if you smoke and have radon in your home, you are at even higher risk of lung cancer. Radon Testing is Important Once you understand the risk radon exposure poses, it is easy to see why radon testing is such an important thing to do when you own a home. There is no reason to put the health of you and your family at risk when testing for radon is so easy to do. If the test indicates that you have a dangerous level of radon in your home, you can then take steps to remedy the problem. Radon reduction measures are inexpensive and very effective. In almost every situation, it is possible to take a home with high radon levels and reduce those levels to a safe threshold. Some systems can even achieve a 99% reduction in the levels of this harmful gas. You just have to know that it is there to begin with. For Home Owners, Buyers and Sellers The benefits of testing for radon in a home you own are obvious. It is an important step for you and your loved ones. However, it is also an important consideration when you are buying or selling a home. As a buyer, you want to know that the home you are purchasing is safe to live in. If the seller has not yet conducted a radon test, you can request that he or she does so before you agree to purchase the home. As a seller, it only makes sense to have your home tested before you put it on the market. Having your test results in-hand will streamline your sales process. If there is a radon problem, you can address it now. If there isn’t, you will have evidence to show to potential buyers. It is one less thing to negotiate over. It is Easy to Test Your Home for Radon We have the necessary training and experience to accurately test for radon...

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What Is Checked During a Typical Home Inspection?

What Is Checked During a Typical Home Inspection?

The most important component of a good home inspection is a good home inspector. In the early days there were few standards for training or proficiency and almost anyone could buy a flashlight, a ladder and print up business cards. Home inspectors are now required to be state certified and they need to maintain continuing education or their license will be suspended.  Our company follows the Standards of Practice set forth by the state of  Wisconsin and your inspection will include: The Structure Our inspector will inspect entry ways, foundations, siding and porches looking for such symptoms of trouble as sagging roof lines, gaps in or damage to the siding, porches pulling away from the building, obvious signs of rot or certain types of cracks in foundations. The Exterior The exterior inspection will include a visual assessment of decks, balconies, eaves, soffits and fascias. The inspector will look at the grading of the land around the house for obvious drainage problems and check walkways and driveways for apparent deterioration or safety concerns. We will also visually inspect vegetation surrounding the house for obvious problems such as; the intrusion of roots near the foundation, buried utilities or overgrowth. Electric garage door openers will be checked to confirm they are in compliance with current safety standards. The exterior inspection is not expected to include outbuildings or fences. Roofing Inspection Inspectors are not required to get up on any roofs. Portions of the roof visible from the ground maybe inspected from the ground or with binoculars.  Where safely possible, an inspector will also report on roof drainage systems, flashings, skylights, chimneys, and roof penetrations (for vents and flues). Plumbing Inspection The plumbing inspection will consist of testing the interior water supply and distribution system including water pressure, water heating equipment and the appropriateness of vents, flues, and chimney. We will also flush toilets to check for leaks and run all faucets to assess water pressure. Electrical System Inspection The electrical inspection will consist of over current protections, grounding, and the presence of any aluminum wiring (a serious fire hazard and banned for many years in most states). We will remove the face of the electrical panel if it is safe to do so, check a representative number of switches and outlets with-in the house. Heating and Air Conditioning Systems The furnace will be tested by turning up the thermostat and checking the response. Air conditioning will also be tested if the ambient air temperature is above 65 degrees. Home Interior: The interior inspection will include a visual scan of floors, walls and ceilings for signs of water intrusion, or sagging. Stairways and railings will be checked for safety and a sample of windows and doors inspected for condition and ease of operation. The basement will be inspected for indications of previous water intrusion in addition to signs of structural problems. Ventilation Poor ventilation can lead to rot, mold, poor air quality or excessive energy consumption. We will inspect the insulation and vapor barriers in unfinished areas of the attic and in the foundation area and look for the presence and operation of any mechanical ventilation systems in the attic and other high humidity areas such as kitchens and bath. Fireplaces Fireplaces, particularly in older homes are a frequent source of problems. We will inspect the integrity of the flue, proper draft, any blockages in the chimney (even a birds nest can be a major problem), and will visually inspect, as much as possible, the exterior of the chimney for damage to bricks, pointing, and flashing....

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