Let’s face it, buying a home is a long, tedious process and it often feels like everywhere we turn we are asked to write another check for another service that we are being told we will need. So, why would you as a client want to invest in a home inspection? What makes hiring Kelting Home Inspections essential to the purchase of a home? How can you be sure that you would not be simply throwing money away when you are desperately needing to watch where every dollar goes?

  • Our inspectors are both internationally and nationally certified.

    We have a team of inspectors that has spent countless hours attaining education on just what a home needs for it to be a safe and wise investment for a client. Our team has been trained in how to look for tell-tale signs of issues throughout a home and how to explain them to our clients.

  • Our inspectors check the safety of your roof, windows, HVAC, and electrical unit.

    These 4 components are some of the costliest areas of a home to have upgraded and replaced. The last thing you want is to move into your new home only to find out that the wiring in your electric box is not up to code and a fire hazard. You also don’t want to find out that there is a leak in your roof due to improper fastening in the attic. We look for these and other potential issues during an inspection so that you can purchase a home with the knowledge of knowing what is up to date and what may need some repairs.

  • Our inspectors provide information on the age of various components in your home and what that means for you.

    Not only do our inspectors check the current condition of your home, but we educate ourselves on the history of the home as well. We find out when the roof was replaced, what upgrades were done, etc. While this information cannot predict when issues may arise, it does provide you with the information needed to know that a component in your home has aged and may be reaching the end of its shelf-life.

  • Our inspectors only want to help.

    Our inspectors are happy to have you walk through the home with them or call them and ask questions. They genuinely just want to help. We understand that unless you are used to building homes there are things that may arise that may result in more questions. You will have access to your inspector even after your inspection is completed for these questions. Not only will our inspectors be able to help give you directions and clarity, but we work hard to network with any experts in the field that can answer questions or help in areas that we are unable. Our goal is for you to enjoy your new home and move in with peace of mind!

What to Expect on Home Inspection Day?

  • Your inspection will last about 3 hours (it may be longer or shorter depending on the size of the home, but 3 hours is the average).
  • Your inspector does not mind if you ask questions. We want to help and are happy to answer any questions you feel you’d like to ask.
  • Your inspector does a visual inspection, which means we cannot move any personal property from the seller or take apart anything on the property. This is for your safety as well as the seller’s safety during negotiations.
  • Your inspector will check the roof, windows, doors, appliances, electric panel, HVAC, appliances, etc. We will make sure they are in working condition and no assembly or performance issues are present at the time.
  • Your inspector will send you a report the next day. For this reason, be sure to sign your agreement before the inspection. This agreement will explain in detail what we will be looking at so that you know what questions to ask during the inspection as well as what to look for in your report.

Thermal Imaging Cameras can be used to identify and troubleshoot many different components of the home:  Moisture: The IR can be used to determine if a suspected water stain on any material is WET, or expose WET areas not seen by the naked eye. Although the suspected cause of the water stain should always be […]

Preparing your home, buying supplies, and making the choice to evacuate or hunker down can be very stressful for families in Florida. We always think about preparing our home before the weather comes, but what about when the hurricane has hit and moved on, leaving destruction in its wake. Have you ever considered Kelting Home Inspections to evaluate your home for hurricane damage? We evaluate damage that you may not be able to see or know to look for. Working with an inspector to go over your home after a weather event like a hurricane can help you assess the damage and create a plan going forward.

One major area you want Kelting Inspection to inspect after a major storm is your roof. Your home inspector will need to check for missing shingles, compromised supports, and in serious cases, holes or structural damage. These will need immediate repair to prevent interior damage to your home and should be prioritized. You will also want your post-hurricane home inspection to take a look at major electrical work to make sure it did not sustain severe damage. While the inspector will not be able to fix anything, they can provide guidance as to whether or not this needs an electrician. This will assist you greatly if an insurance claim is needed.

If your home experienced large volumes of water inside from flooding or storm surges, you may want to consider a mold inspection. As a Certified Professional Mold Assessor, Kelting Inspections will check common areas for mold, to be sure you won’t uncover this costly issue down the road. Your inspector can also check your heating and air systems to make sure they did not sustain damage that would cause replacement. If hit with major debris, they may be compromised and your inspector can point these issues out to you.

If your home experiences moderate to severe weather phenomena such as hurricanes, working with your local home inspector to check your property for damage can save you in the long run. At Kelting Inspections, our team has worked all over the state of Florida and knows exactly what to look for. We are here to support you through this season.

Below are a few websites that I have used to prepare my own home and family for hurricane season. I hope you find them useful. We pray for a safe season.

https://www.fema.gov/strategic-plan

https://www.charlottecountyfl.gov/services/emergencymgmt/Pages/Know-Your-Zone.aspx

https://www.charlottecountyfl.gov/services/emergencymgmt/Pages/Hurricanes.aspx

http://charlottecountychamber.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Business_Partners_Disaster_Preparedness_and_Continuity_Guide1.pdf

http://www.ci.punta-gorda.fl.us/home/showdocument?id=186

 

Respectfully,

Wesley Bulifant, Owner & Inspector
Florida Licensed Home Inspector & Mold Assessor
License HI7956 & MRSA2484

Kelting Home Inspections & Services, LLC
PO Box 510058
Punta Gorda, FL 33951
(941) 655-8888

www.KeltingHomeInspections.com

 

 

 

There is an old saying I have heard many times, “There are two types of stucco houses, one that is cracked and one that is going to.” Concerns about stucco cracking are some of the most asked questions during a home inspection. Like most cement-based products stucco cracking is inevitable.

There are many reasons for stucco cracking: expansion, stress, and craftsmanship are a few examples. However, there are certain patterns that can help identify what caused the particular cracking on a home. Below are some of the different types of cracks and information about them.

 

Hairline Cracks:

It is normal for the plaster to crack from movement and stress, especially in a new home. Construction materials drying, vibrations, and other factors can play a significant role in this process. Hairline cracks are typically around a 1/16 of an inch wide or smaller.

 

Foam Trim Cracking:

A lot of cracks on the foam trim that is used on stucco houses appear quite often where two pieces of trim meet. The cause is usually because a mesh tape was not used on the seam connecting them. If installed like this, it will likely crack over time due to shrinkage, expansion, and contractions that are brought on by the elements.

Spider Cracking:

This type of cracking is basically a sign that the base coat did not cure properly. This is caused by either drying too quickly, too much water in the mix, an incorrect mix, or the product applied when it was too cold or too hot the day.

Wall Patterns:

When there are defining vertical and/or horizontal cracking occurring throughout the wall, then more than likely it is caused by the lath. The lath (the wire specifically) was not nailed or stapled off properly, which is a more serious kind of cracking. Because the wire is essentially loose in some spots, then it will actually have a higher potential for forming even more cracks as time goes on. To correct the problem, the stucco must be removed and the lath has to be nailed off or replaced.

Step Cracking:

Sometimes you will see an angle-typed pattern, like steps, from the top corner of the home going down diagonally, signifying some other type of issue. These patterns are usually from the home settling. Some are more serious than others but a good rule of thumb is to look at the size and depth of the crack. If it is more than 1/8 of an inch wide, then it should be a bit higher on your priority list than smaller ones.

 

Maintenance Tip:

For the minor typical stucco cracking on most homes it is recommended to seal cracks with a caulking designed for cement-based components and applying paint on top of that. This will help keep moisture from intruding and causing unnecessary damage to the home.

However, it is hard to match the color of stucco exactly because it is porous and the color matching software used will pick up on the “shadowing effects” of the uneven surface. Keep this in mind if you are planning on painting and need to have your stucco color matched.

Hope this helps! Please feel free to call or email any questions:
office@keltinginspections.com
941-655-8888

Ask about our Environmental inspection package deals saving clients hundreds!

 

 

 

Take care not to let enthusiasm blind you to potential problems you may face when buying a new home. Curb appeal, nice landscaping, and a great location do not mean obvious problems – such as cracks on the wall, musty smells, or rotting floorboards – should be overlooked.

To help with ruling out potential problems before finalizing the sale a professional home inspection of the property should be considered.

You can also help protect your interest by asking some questions from the current homeowner. It is possible to have a face-to-face conversation with a homeowner who is working with a different Realtor to discuss any potential issues of which you may need to be aware. Sometimes arranging a meeting is as simple as just asking.

Here are a few questions to help with the conversation once a meeting is arranged:

What damage to the home are you aware of?

Are there any cracks in the walls? Rotting floorboards? Problems with the foundation?

Electrical or plumbing problems?

Has the roof ever leaked? Was it repaired or completely replaced? How old is the current roof?

Most fiberglass or asphalt-shingle roofs have a lifespan of about 20 years. If the roof is approaching – or past – that age the replacement could be expensive.

Has there ever been a termite problem?

Most homes are inspected for termites prior to sale, but it can’t hurt to know the history of infestation.

Has the home been tested for the presence of lead-based paint (if applicable)?

A house built before 1960 may have been painted with lead-based paint, which was still used in some homes constructed during the 1970s. This is a particular concern for clients with young children: Kids are at risk for serious brain injury if they swallow chips of peeling lead-based paint.

Has the home has been tested for radon?

Consult both the home inspector and the local chapter of the Environmental Protection Agency about requirements concerning radon levels.

Ask if any local residents have encountered this problem.

How often is the HVAC system serviced?

Also, ask about the heating maintenance and its servicing schedule. Heating elements should be periodically serviced for safety reasons.

What improvements have the current homeowner made?

Did the homeowner do the job or hire a professional?

Can the homeowner supply records concerning the improvement?

Was the homeowner satisfied with the quality of the work?

Prospective buyers should use these questions to learn as much as possible about the property. Then they can sign on the dotted line with confidence.


Hope this helps! Please feel free to call or email any questions:

office@keltinginspections.com
941-655-8888

Ask about our Environmental inspection package deals saving clients hundreds!

 

 

Federal Pacific Electric Company (FPE) manufactured circuit breaker panels in North America from the 1950s to the 1980s. The panel was well known in the building community as a cheaper alternative to some of the more recognizable panel companies such as General Electric/I-T-E and Square D. Millions of homes throughout the United States and Canada had the FPE panel installed.

Most Federal Pacific panels sold were “Stab-Lok” named after its breaker functionality. The breakers would “stab” into slots in the bus bar and “lock” into place.

However, issues began to emerge as some experts suspected that the panel was causing fires. An investigation by the Consumer Product Safety Commission was conducted and ultimately closed without a full verdict of panel problems.

Investigations by independent companies began testing the panels to determine their safety. It was found that the breakers had a dangerous and potentially life-threatening flaw. The breakers had a high rate of failure with multiple reports of overloaded breakers failing to trip.

In 2005 a New Jersey court ruled that the company was guilty of fraud in a class action lawsuit settlement. The court found that the FPE company “…knowingly and purposefully distributed circuit breakers which were not tested to meet UL standards”.

While there are no federal mandates these panels should be removed from homes, there has been quite a bit of evidence that the original breakers can be a hazard. Because of this, when we see Federal Pacific, we recommend a qualified electrician follow up and review the panel.

Replacing a main electrical panel can be a difficult job, depending on the home. It can be labor-intensive and costly. If the wiring is in good condition and compatible with newer panels, then an electrician can typically swap the panels without much hassle.

However, Federal Pacific panels overlapped the aluminum wiring years. Aluminum electrical wiring was used from the mid-60s and early 70s as a cheaper alternative to copper. Later, aluminum was found to cause fires. While that is an entirely different topic, having aluminum wiring installed in a home can make a panel replacement even more costly.

Finally, in the earlier days of Federal Pacific panels, the home may have been built without grounded outlets. In the past, a 3rd ground wire was not included with the electrical wiring like it is today. There are several ways to repair ungrounded outlets, but this can also complicate a panel replacement.

Although we can call these panels out, we cannot tell you how easy or difficult it may be to perform a full panel replacement. The above issues can complicate the repair, and home inspectors are not able to give repair estimates.

Consult with a qualified electrician when an FPE panel is installed in your home or future home. Keep yourself and your family safe by removing and upgrading potentially dangerous electrical components in your home.


Hope this helps! Please feel free to call or email any questions:

office@keltinginspections.com
941-655-8888

Ask about our Environmental inspection package deals saving clients hundreds!

 

 

This newsletter gives brief information about polybutylene plumbing, aka Grey Piping. It is recommended you always have a professional inspect your new home before purchase. This `is just one of many possible hidden defects creating unexpected cost when insurance companies review in the home’s insurance report (4-Point). We are providing this quick fact article regarding Polybutylene for those unknowing buyers and new Real Estate Professionals for reference when you suspect it may be in a home:

 

Polybutylene piping can be found in homes and condominiums in Florida that were built between 1978 and 1995. On some occasions, it has been found in homes after 1995, possibly from plumbing companies’ leftover stock, etc.

  • YEAR RANGE: Manufactured from 1978 through 1995.  It is unknown the final STOP date for installation in homes and buildings after 1995.
  • Description: Polybutylene is typically grey and sometimes white in color with a dull finish. It is often difficult to locate because most plumbing piping is in the walls, under slabs or under attic insulation. In many homes or buildings where polybutylene exits the walls, such as under bathroom sinks and at water heaters, it is fitted with copper piping, which is used for connecting the plumbing fixtures etc. As a result, it can appear to be a copper piping home even though all the hidden piping is Polybutylene.

** For confirmation, a common stamp found on Grey Polybutylene piping is – PB2110 -. (See photo)**

Grey Piping

Photo showing the “grey piping” and PB2110 stamp.

 

  • PROBLEM 1: The piping reacts with oxidants in the water supply causing it to become brittle and fail.  The water supply composition determines how long the piping will last. Failures occur without warning.
  • PROBLEM 2: Many Insurance Companies will DENY coverage for properties containing Polybutylene piping.
  • SOLUTION: Replace the Polybutylene with modern reliable piping, such as CPVC or PEX, for example.
  • COST: The typical price range for replacing Polybutylene piping could be $3,000-$8,000.  Since size of home and other variables can change the price a Plumbing Contractor should be consulted for a final estimate on any property.

Hope this helps! Please feel free to call or email any questions:
office@keltinginspections.com
941-655-8888


Ask about our Environmental inspection package deals saving clients hundreds!

 

 

When a public sewer system is not available, usually, the only other option is a private septic system to capture waste from the homes plumbing drains.

 The purpose of the septic tank is to separate the wastewater from the solid waste allowing only wastewater to enter the drain field. Heavier solid waste settles to the bottom becoming sludge. The lighter waste rises to the top and becomes scum. It is from the middle of these layers the wastewater is drawn.

If the tank is never cleaned these layers can thicken, merging. At this point sludge and scum escape the tank infiltrating the drain field causing the soil to clog. This usually goes unnoticed until the drain field clogs to the point

of failure and begins to back up. After this point, cleaning the septic tank usually does not solve the problem and a new system may have to be installed.

A typical Home Inspection includes a limited, non-invasive, evaluation of the septic system. Part of that evaluation includes the home inspector running a heavy load of water on the drainage system by operating multiple fixtures, while at the same time, observing for any signs of potential backflow or blockage. Also, the home inspector will visually inspect the drain field and surrounding areas for any deficiencies without being invasive. Keep in mind, though, time constraints hinder the home inspector from fully evaluating the homes drainage system under normal daily loads, such as Laundry, Bathrooms and kitchens etc. This would require more than the typical 3-4-hour home inspection.

 

So how do I have my Septic System fully evaluated using invasive techniques?

A full evaluation by a licensed Septic Contractor is recommended. This normally includes pumping out the tank and evaluating the performance of the drain field at the same time. The use of cameras inside the tank and piping, etc. is also an option. Depending on location and/or tank size, these inspections usually cost between $300 – $500 dollars or more. Septic tanks should be evaluated and pumped empty every 3- 5 years, according to experts. Regularly cleaning your tank is the key to the life of your septic system. So, starting out with a well-maintained septic system is highly recommended.

Also, having it serviced immediately will also bring peace to mind, because things can change. Even if the septic system wasn’t serviced recently, many events could have occurred causing hidden problems. The horror story I’ve always heard was the angry tenant who poured concrete down the pipes. Obviously, that is an extreme example, but there are many things to check for.

Tree roots growing into the drain field is something that could change fast damaging the system. Knowing the maintenance is up to date is one less thing you will have to worry about before purchasing a new home.

A word of caution, though: Not all septic companies are equal. Some companies may only pump out one compartment of a two-compartment tank; some may only pump out the liquids and leave the solids in the tank. So, asking the right questions is important.

Kelting Inspections can help you ask the right questions and make sure you get all the right answers. We can help, making sure the septic system is working and has up to date maintenance. Being caught off could cost many thousands of dollars. Hope this helps!

Influenced by the changes in the economic and legal environments over the past 30 years, home inspection reports have changed to accommodate increased consumer expectations, and to provide more extensive information and protection to both inspectors and their clients.

 Development of Standards

 

Prior to the mid-1970s, inspection reports followed no standard guidelines and, for the most part, there was little or no oversight or licensure. As might be imagined, without minimum standards to follow, the quality of inspection reports varied widely, and the home inspection industry was viewed with some suspicion.

With the founding of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) in 1976, home inspection guidelines governing inspection report content became available in the form of a Standards of Practice. Over time, a second, larger trade association, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), came into existence, and developed its own standards.

Reports should describe the major home systems, their crucial components, and their operability, especially the ones in which failure can result in dangerous or expensive-to-correct conditions. Defects should be adequately described, and the report should include recommendations.

Reports should also disclaim portion

s of the home not inspected. Since home inspections are visual inspections, the parts of the home hidden behind floor, wall and ceiling coverings should be disclaimed.

Home inspectors are not experts in every system of the home but are trained to recognize conditions that require a specialist inspection.

Home inspections are not technically exhaustive, so the inspector will not disassemble the HVAC to examine the inside, for example.

Standards of Practice are designed to identify both the requirements of a home inspection and the limitations of an inspection.

Checklist and Narrative Reports

In the early years of the home in

spection industry, home inspection reports consisted of a simple checklist, or a one- or two-page narrative report.

Checklist reports are just that; very little is written. The report is a series of boxes with short descriptions after them. Descriptions are often abbreviated, and might consist of only two or three words, such as “peeling paint.” The entire checklist might only be four or five pages long. Today, some inspection legal agreements are almost that long!

Because of the lack of detailed information, checklist reports leave a lot open to interpretation, so that buyers, sellers, agents, contractors, attorneys and judges may each interpret the information differently, depending on their motives.

In the inspection business, phrases that describe conditions found during an inspection are called “narratives.”  Narrative reports use reporting language that more completely describes each condition. Descriptions are not abbreviated.

Both checklist and narrative reports are still in use today, although many jurisdictions are now beginning to ban checklist reports because the limited information they offer has resulted in legal problems.

From the standpoint of liability, narrative reports are widely considered safer, since they provide more information and state it more clearly.

Many liability issues and problems with the inspection process are due to misunderstandings about what was to be included in the report, or about what the report says.

For example, in 2002, an investor bought a 14-unit hotel in California.  The six-page narrative report mentioned that flashing where the second-story concrete walkway met the building was improperly installed, and the condition could result in wood decay. Four years later, the investor paid out almost $100,000 to demolish and replace the entire upper walkway. In some places, it was possible to push a pencil through support beams.

Although the inspector’s report had mentioned the problem, it hadn’t made clear the seriousness of the condition, or the possible consequences of ignoring it. Today, a six-page report would be considered short for a small house.

Development of Reporting Software

 

Years ago, when computers were expensive to buy and difficult to operate, inspection reports were written by hand. As computers became simpler to operate and more affordable, inspection software began to appear on the market.

Today, using this software, an inspector can chose from a large number of organized narratives that s/he can edit or add to in order to accommodate local conditions, since inspectors in a hot, humid city like Punta Gorda, Florida, are likely to find types of problems different from those found by inspectors in a cold, dry climate, like Salt Lake City, Utah.

Using narrative software and checking boxes in categories that represent the home systems, an inspector can produce a very detailed report in a relatively short time.

Standard disclaimers and other information can be pre-checked to automatically appear in each report.

Narrative Content

 

Narratives typically consists of three parts:

  1. a description of a condition of concern;
  2. a sentence or paragraph describing how serious the condition is, and the potential ramifications, answering questions such as, “Is it now stable, or will the problem continue?” or “Will it burn down the house?” and “When?”; and
  3. a recommendation. Recommendations may be for specific actions to be taken, or for further evaluation, but they should address problems in such a way that the reader of the report will understand how to proceed.

“Typically,” is a key word here. Some narratives may simply give the ampacity of the main electrical disconnect. There is no need for more than one sentence. Different inspectors would include what they think is necessary.

Report Content

 

Inspection reports often begin with an informational section which gives general information about the home, such as the client’s name, the square footage, and the year the home was built.

Other information often listed outside the main body of the report, either near the beginning or near the end, are disclaimers, and sometimes a copy of the inspection agreement, and sometimes a copy of the Standards of Practice.

Inspection reports often include a summary report listing major problems to ensure that important issues are not missed by the reader. It’s important that the reader be aware of safety issues or conditions which will be expensive to correct.

Software often gives inspectors the choice of including photographs in the main body of the report, near the narrative that describes them, or photographs may be grouped together toward the beginning or end of the report.

 

A table of contents is usually provided.

The main body of the report may be broken down into sections according to home systems, such as “ELECTRICAL,” “PLUMBING,” “HEATING,” etc., or it may be broken down by area of the home:  “EXTERIOR,” “INTERIOR,” “KITCHEN,” “BEDROOMS,” etc.

It often depends on how the inspector likes to work.

 

At Kelting inspections, we value your trust in us for the last 8 years to provide a home inspection for your clients.