David Kee of Kee Findings has completed over 4,000 inspections. He points out some of the most common issues home and condo owners face. Equipment that is being used currently in the home inspection business include moisture detectors which use probes that can detect moisture behind surfaces, gas detectors which are able to detect gas leaks that otherwise wouldn't be found, infrared cameras that allow the user to detect the heat generated from the evidence of moisture in walls.
Most Common Issues:
1) Asbestos: (floor tile (1950's -1970's) the most common tile size is 9" x 9" , there also is 12" x 12" tile that is asbestos based. If the tile is in good condition nothing needs to be done with it. Asbestos pipe wrap (used through the 1970's) is common found in older buildings. There is a honeycomb pattern when looking at the end. If the pipe wrap is in good condition it can be encapsulated or removed. The decision is normally up to an asbestos professional. Attic insulation: W.R.Grace owned and operated a vermiculite mine in Libby, Montana. Much of the vermiculite from this mine was used in the company's Zonolite attic insulation, a product that the company sold from 1963 to 1984 when its sale by the company was discontinued. More than 75 percent of the vermiculite ore mined in the world came from the Libby mine, which has been closed since 1990.
The Libby mine was unusual because the area also included a natural deposit of tremolite asbestos. As a result, much of the vermiculite from the Libby mine was contaminated with tremolite asbestos. In light of the amount of vermiculite that came from Libby, it may be best to simply assume the vermiculite attic insulation will contain trace amounts of asbestos and act accordingly.This material is identified by its appearance. It has a metallic shine, and has a foam appearance. If this insulation is tested at a lab and found to contain asbestos it suggested that it be professionally removed.
2) Radon: Houses are now being tested for radon The EPA set an action level for radon in homes is a reading of 4 pCi/L or higher. Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer next to smoking. The remedy is to have a mitigation system installed which removes the radon from the home.
3) Mold: Mold is a very common issue currently. There are several different types of mold. Some molds are harmless, and others are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins (specifically mycotoxins). Common molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria. We do not have precise information about how often Stachybotrys chartarum is found in buildings and homes. While it is less common than other mold species, it is not rare.The only way to determine types of mold is to have swab samples, and air samples taken and analyzed by a lab. There are mold companies that do professional clean-up in cases of harmful mold. This is where periodically checking your house for any signs of mold in the attic area, basement area, and crawlspace for any signs of staining can save you thousands in potential damage and clean-up.
For more information:
Kee findings Home Inspection, LLC