Home Inspection Preparation With Radon Measurement
Too often I show up at a home inspection only to find the homeowner and/or real estate agents (even those in the business for decades) either did not know or seem to understand how important it is for me to be able to do the best job I know how to do for you, my client, while I am at the home.
My hope is these basic home inspection preparation tips and reminders about radon measurement protocols that have not changed since 1986 will allow your home inspection to proceed smoothly.
I hate having to tell clients I cannot perform a full or proper inspection because the utilities are not on, pilots are not lit, shut off switches or valves are off or that I can not fit into the crawl space opening. Far too often I encounter that areas are unsafe for me to enter due to debris, furniture, storage or clearance issues.
IN ORDER TO AVOID INCURRING DELAYS AND ADDITIONAL FEES PLEASE BE SURE YOU, ALL SALE RELATED REAL ESTATE AGENTS, THE OWNER AND ALL OCCUPANTS OF THE HOME AGREE AND UNDERSTAND:
1.) All the utilities (electric, water, and gas) must be operational upon our arrival at the home in order to allow the inspection to be completed as scheduled.
2.) The inspector will NOT turn on any: utilities, valves, circuit breakers, disconnect switches or light pilots or plugin anything that is not plugged in all under any circumstances.
3.) If the heating and or air conditioning systems do not respond to the thermostat on the day of the inspection, I cannot test or operate them. Testing the operation of the heating and or air conditioning systems (temperature permitting) BEFORE the day of the home inspection would be appreciated as it can prevent unfortunate surprises on the day of the inspection. Homebuyers often grow anxious when critical systems like these do not function during the home inspection.
4.) If there is more than one thermostat in the home have post-it notes installed on each of the thermostats indicating what function each one serves and what areas of the home they service.
5.) Make sure electric panels are accessible (with enough room to remove for me to stand in front of the panels and remove the covers), that all GFCI electric receptacles are accessible, and that post it notes are left to show where any hard to find GFCI resets are located.
6.) If the electricity is not on, I can not test or operate the electrical system or any components powered by electricity.
7.) If the gas is not on, I can not test or operate the gas distribution system or any components powered by gas such as many heating and hot water systems.
8.) If the water is not on, I can not test or operate the plumbing system or any components or fixtures that use water.
9.) All areas of the home must be readily accessible without moving storage, furniture, personal property and the like.
10.) All crawl spaces below the home must be readily accessible and safe to enter (inspector will remove unpainted screws) without moving storage, furniture, personal property and the like.
11.) All crawl spaces above the home (attics) must be readily accessible and safe to enter (inspector will remove unpainted screws) without moving storage, furniture, personal property and the like.
12.) Our inspection will last about two to three hours (for an average-size home).
13.) All animals must be removed or confined.
14.) Please make sure the homeowner and all occupants of the home are advised that the home inspector may arrive early and begin traversing and inspecting the exterior of the home.
15.) Have the owner and occupants post a prominent notice on the operating controls or faucets indicating any known defects including latent defects, defective components, leaking pipes and fixtures in order to avoid damages during the inspection the inspector will not be responsible for causing.
16.) If a camera inspection of the sanitary sewer main is being performed, please make sure the sanitary sewer cleanout is readily accessible.
17.) If an oil tank scan is being performed please make sure there is no storage or vehicles around the perimeter of the home and in the driveway.
18.) The inspector will operate the dishwasher. If you do not want it washed please remove it from the dishwasher.
19.) The inspector will operate the oven. If you do not want it damaged please remove it from the oven.
If the contract for home is not out of attorney review or if any addendum remains to be signed by either party please contact my office immediately.
Snow Exception: If at the time of the inspection the ground and roof are snow-covered to the extent that these areas can not be visually inspected, because in my professional opinion it is unsafe and/or likely to be dangerous to me to do so due to snow and/or ice, then upon your request then I will make one return trip to the property without charge, if the snow melts PRIOR to expiration of your home inspection contingency.
IN ORDER FOR RADON MEASUREMENT TO BE PERFORMED
PLEASE BE SURE YOU, SALE RELATED REAL ESTATE AGENTS, THE OWNER, AND ALL OCCUPANTS UNDERSTAND AND AGREE TO ALL OF THESE RADON MEASUREMENT PROTOCOLS:
A. N.J.A.C. 7:28-27.2 requires the following conditions be observed for 12 hours prior to the start of the test and continue for the entire time the radon canister is in the home (up to 6 days): EVERY window & door to the exterior (on every floor of the house) must be kept closed (except for normal entry and exit), external/internal air exchange systems such as fireplaces, (window air conditioners can not be operated in the vent open mode), window & all other exhaust fans are to remain off (furnace and central air conditioning can be used as may window air conditioning units, not on the fresh air setting). This requirement has been in effect since about 1986. If anyone doubts every window and door on all floors of the home must be kept closed except for normal entry and exit please direct them to the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Radon Protection Element’s web site at: http://www.nj.gov/dep/rpp/radon/dodont.htm
B. PLEASE check with the owner to determine if there are any special places or areas where they do NOT want the radon canister placed. Unless you advise the radon measurement technician PRIOR to the moment the radon canister is placed, the canister will be placed in a location using the technician’s professional judgment in accordance with state rules and regulations. Under NO circumstances will the technician return to the site to move the canister. Once the technician leaves, the canister must remain in place undisturbed until it is picked up (up to six days later).
C. Please make sure arrangements can be made for our technician to pick the canister up within the allowable two to six-day time frame. If the canister can not be picked up another radon measurement will have to be performed for a $125.00 retesting fee.
D. Should ALL of the above-listed conditions not be maintained for the entire time the radon canister is in the home a $ 125.00 retesting fee will apply. A $ 50.00 fee will also apply for a second trip to place the radon canister if it can not be placed during the inspection for any reason.
If you have questions: Please touch to call (973) 812-5100 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. business days and till 6 p.m. other days. A trained, full-time professional will be available to answer your questions 7 days a week.
Home Inspection Preparation for a New Jersey Home Inspection with radon measurement protocols: Our home inspection company teaches New Jersey home buyers what steps are necessary to prepare the home they are purchasing for a proper and full home inspection.