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Inspecting Your Home Inspector

  • By Donny Lambert
  • 25 Apr, 2017
Most people don’t hire a home inspector on a regular basis. Knowing the correct things to ask when contacting them is important to ensure that you receive a quality inspection that meet all your requirements.

  • Are you certified - Reputable home inspectors will be members of the  American Society of Home Inspectors  or the  International Association of Certified Home Inspectors .
  • Background, please - The best home inspectors are typically those who have experience in the real estate or building industry. This is especially important if you’re planning to purchase an older home, as inspectors may need to look for problems in older homes that are uncommon in newer properties.
  • Years of Experience – There is nothing quite like working with someone who has a proven track record. Training and years in the field allow qualified inspectors to know exactly what to look for during the inspection process.
  • How long – An average home inspection should take two or three hours to complete. Someone who says they will be in and out in under an hour is probably not going to do a very good job.
  • What is included – It is not a home inspector’s job to inspect things that can’t be seen. Your inspection will not reveal wiring problems hidden behind drywall or any mold problems under the shower tiles, unless the inspector is trained to spot these issues.
  • Can I attend the inspection – A refusal to this simple request should be a huge red flag. A home inspection is a great way to learn about your home and find out what repairs might be required. A forthright inspector should be happy to let you be a part of the process and give you this important insight.
  • Inspection report - Most inspectors will provide a report within 24 hours. It is crucial that the inspector’s reporting style meet the requirements of your mortgage lender as well as your own personal requirements. If you are concerned about this, request samples of previous home inspection reports.

At  Bona Fide Home Inspections , we have thirty years of experience in the inspection industry. We offer complete home inspection results within 24 hours, and provide comprehensive details on our findings.  Contact us  to set an appointment today.

Did You Know...

By Donny Lambert 14 Aug, 2017
While a home may seem clean and tidy on the surface, many problems could be lurking beneath a beautiful exterior. There are few problems that homeowners dread hearing about more than mold.

Under the ideal conditions, mold can grow in multiple areas of your home, mainly, areas of your home where moisture exists. It is a common misconception that if the presence of moisture is simply removed, then the mold will eventually die and cease to be a problem. While eliminating moisture indoors will repair a portion of the problem, that doesn’t mean that mold still cannot exist there. According to Home Inspector Sean , mold spores can lay dormant months or even years if the right temperature and nutrients are available, even if the moisture environment has changed.

It seems like an intimidating problem for a homeowner, especially considering the fact that there is nothing you can do to stop mold spores from existing into your home. But what you can do is be aware of where mold is most likely to form and be proactive if you spot a problem.

If you are concerned about harmful mold forming in your home, here are places that you should especially pay attention to:

The Bathroom
Your home’s bathrooms are a common sense place for mold to grow, because that’s where a great amount of moisture gathers on a daily basis. While mold can grow around your toilet, under the sink, or by having wet towels incorrectly put away, the shower is by far the most frequent place mold grows in a bathroom. And by far the most expensive place to repair mold in your home. This most often happens when cracks form in the mortar between ceramic tiles, and moisture gathers into the walls.

If you start to notice a strange smell around your shower area or if you are suddenly and inexplicably experiencing allergic reactions in your bathroom, harmful mold could be the culprit.

Your Attic or Basement
Mold often forms in a home’s attic if it is not properly vented or if there is roof damage. These potential issues are further exemplified as warm air naturally rises to the highest point in your home.

Basement mold is common if your home is older, has foundation cracks, sits on a poorly constructed slope, or is missing waterproof elements. All of these conditions combine to create a habitat of moisture in your home, a perfect environment for harmful mold to fold.

One way to help prevent the harmful spread of mold in your attic or basement is to carefully select your storage containers. Choose hard, plastic, and sealed containers rather than cardboard boxes. Cardboard is a perfect material for moisture to gather.

Your Kitchen
Keep a careful eye under your kitchen sink, near your refrigerator, and your dishwasher for mold forming. A musty smell in this area of your home is another clear indication that surface mold has formed. We recommend doing a quick check on these kitchen areas at least once a month to prevent the spread of damaging mold.

Mold can be removed quickly and safely from your home if you are aware of not only how mold can form, but where it is most likely to thrive. If you are considered that harmful mold is in one or more of these areas of your home, call Bona Fide Home Inspections right away to swiftly and carefully repair the damage. Reach our Rhode Island location at 401-644-3930 and or Massachusetts location at 617-390-1590.
By Donny Lambert 24 Jul, 2017
Cleaning up most messes is pretty easy. You spill something, you wipe it up. You drop something and it breaks, you pick up the pieces and throw it away. Something gets stained, you ask grandma the best remedy for that particular substance and you’re good to go. However, cleaning mold is a completely different kind of monster. Mold isn’t like a spill. You can’t just spray some cleaner on it, wipe it up and expect it to be gone for good. If you’re a homeowner who is experiencing a mold problem, here are a few mistakes to avoid to ensure you eradicate the problem for good on the first try.

Don’t Assume Bleach is the Answer
According to Moldpedia  (yes, it exists), the products to use for mold removal are substances like bleach, borax, vinegar, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, detergent, baking soda, tea tree oil and even grapefruit seed extract. One would think a good dose of bleach to any surface would kill just about anything lurking there; however, contrary to popular belief, bleach is actually quite ineffective on porous surfaces. And in order to completely rid a surface of mold, you have to get every last piece.

Paint Won’t Solve Anything
Much like putting newspaper over a spill and assuming it will just go away, the same can be said for painting over mold. When you paint over mold, it will continue to grow underneath the surface until it once again breaks through. Mold resistant paint  should only be used when the surface has been thoroughly cleared of all mold.

Don’t Help it Spread
One potential hazard that can occur during a mold clean-up is spores spreading to different areas and causing even more outbreaks. Always ensure that when cleaning mold, there is adequate ventilation and the work area itself is sealed off from other areas. Always remember to remove the outer layer of your clothes before stepping out of the room and making sure all infected materials and well as your clothing is sealed properly in plastic bags.

If you are concerned with mold issues in your home, contact the experts at Bona Fide Home and Mold Inspections . They can help  identify the issue  and offer remediation solutions.
By Donny Lambert 18 Jul, 2017
Mold is probably one of a homeowner’s worst nightmares. It causes an unpleasant, pungent odor as well as dark growths on walls, floors and ceilings. Mold growth is not always so obvious. There are several things that could indicate you have mold or that a specific place in your home might be a prime habitat for growth.

  • Musty odors - Mold is typically accompanied by an unpleasant odor. If your home persistently smells musty, there is a good possibility there is mold somewhere. Follow the odor to where it is strongest, find the mold and remove it. If the mold is in an unreachable area, like inside walls, you will need to call in a professional to help you remove it.
  • Growth - There are many varieties of mold which can make it difficult to identify the type solely on a visual inspection. The growth can be fuzzy and dark looking more like a stain or it can be several colors including black, white, orange, green or brown. Take some time to identify areas of your home that are prone to moisture and inspect them for possible signs of mold growth. The fungus thrives in cool, damp areas so it will be easier to find it by limiting your search to places that are affected by excess moisture.
  • Symptoms - Poor health can be a sign of excess mold in a home. Symptoms of mold include a constantly runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, dizziness, headaches and even memory loss. While these symptoms are the sign of other health issues such as the common cold, if you are only symptomatic within your home, mold could be the culprit.
  • Condensation- Excess moisture on your windows or condensation dripping from your pipes can mean excess moisture in your home. Dehumidifiers are a good solution to reduce excess moisture.
  • Water Problems -If your home ever had standing water problems, whether a toilet overflowed or a sewer backed up, it is at risk for mold. The best places to look are areas where water remained for a long time. If your home has ever flooded, mold could grow underneath the flooring and behind walls.

If you are concerned with mold issues in your home, contact the experts at Bona Fide Home and Mold Inspections . They can help  identify the issue  and offer remediation solutions.
By Donny Lambert 26 Jun, 2017
As the weather warms up and the spring rains fall, the world blooms to life. While the grass is greening and the flowers are growing, so too are hidden allergens such as mold. In addition to proliferating outside, warm weather can amp if the growth of mold inside your home.
 
Mold growth around the home
Inside your home, molds can be found in a variety of locations. This can include damp basements, stuffy closets, under baseboards and behind walls. In addition, they thrive in warm and moist environments such bathrooms, the laundry room and kitchens. They can also live quite nicely in food storage areas and drip pans. Other areas you might not expect to find mold include:
  • Mattresses
  • Upholstered furniture
  • Pillows
  • Chimneys
  • Carpeting
  • Drapery
Fighting mold in your home
Diligence is the key to combatting mold in your home. By fighting it at the source, you are less likely to have a mold growth issue this spring and summer.
  • Gutters and roof –   Keep your roof in good repair to avoid pooling water up that can cause damage inside your attic or other areas of your home. In addition, be sure the keep your gutters free of leaves and other debris so that water does not collect inside.
  • Inspect foundation areas –   Be sure that the ground next to your foundation slopes away from your home. This will ensure that as water drains it will roll away from the foundation.
  • Fix leaks –   If you have leaking pipes, roofing, appliances or other areas in your home, repair them immediately eliminate standing water.
  • Condensation –   Wipe up any condensation that forms on walls, windows or pipes to avoid drips and excess water.
  • Visible mold –   If you see mold growth in any area of your home, clean it up immediately with a bleach and water mixture.
  • Clean air conditioner –   clean the drip pans, drain lines and even your HVAC system to ensure that mold not is blowing around your home.
  • Reduce humidity levels –   When possible, run and air conditioner during humid weather. Keeping the   relative humidity levels   in your home between 30 and 50 percent offers an ideal climate in your home.
If you are concerned about mold growth in your home, contact the team at   Bona Fide Home Inspections   to schedule a   mold inspection .
By Donny Lambert 25 Apr, 2017
Most people don’t hire a home inspector on a regular basis. Knowing the correct things to ask when contacting them is important to ensure that you receive a quality inspection that meet all your requirements.

  • Are you certified - Reputable home inspectors will be members of the  American Society of Home Inspectors  or the  International Association of Certified Home Inspectors .
  • Background, please - The best home inspectors are typically those who have experience in the real estate or building industry. This is especially important if you’re planning to purchase an older home, as inspectors may need to look for problems in older homes that are uncommon in newer properties.
  • Years of Experience – There is nothing quite like working with someone who has a proven track record. Training and years in the field allow qualified inspectors to know exactly what to look for during the inspection process.
  • How long – An average home inspection should take two or three hours to complete. Someone who says they will be in and out in under an hour is probably not going to do a very good job.
  • What is included – It is not a home inspector’s job to inspect things that can’t be seen. Your inspection will not reveal wiring problems hidden behind drywall or any mold problems under the shower tiles, unless the inspector is trained to spot these issues.
  • Can I attend the inspection – A refusal to this simple request should be a huge red flag. A home inspection is a great way to learn about your home and find out what repairs might be required. A forthright inspector should be happy to let you be a part of the process and give you this important insight.
  • Inspection report - Most inspectors will provide a report within 24 hours. It is crucial that the inspector’s reporting style meet the requirements of your mortgage lender as well as your own personal requirements. If you are concerned about this, request samples of previous home inspection reports.

At  Bona Fide Home Inspections , we have thirty years of experience in the inspection industry. We offer complete home inspection results within 24 hours, and provide comprehensive details on our findings.  Contact us  to set an appointment today.
By Donny Lambert 03 Apr, 2017
Mold growth within a home can be a very serious issue. Black mold can render a home uninhabitable and can cause a wide variety of health issues. Most homes have mold at some point or another, and often it is minor and can be removed with common household cleaners. Do you know when is mold a serious concern and warrants a mold inspection?
 
If you see, smell or find mold growth within your home, it might be a good idea to consider testing. This is especially true if a member of your household has allergies, asthma or other breathing issues. Hiring a professional inspector, experienced at collecting and analyzing mold samples is the best way to ensure accurate results.
 
Smell
One of the first clues to a mold issue either inside or outside of your home is a significant moldy smell. Many people describe the smell as musty or damp and is not covered up by deodorizers or air fresheners.
 
Visible mold growth
Seeing mold is by far the most reliable way to determine that there might be an issue. However, looks can be deceiving. Even if just a small amount of mold is found, there could be far more growing inside walls. With mold, what you see is not always what you get and the growth you cannot see is often the most detrimental.
 
Standing water
Mold loves to grow in damp areas. If you have had a problem with standing water, previous flooding issues or leaks, it might be just the start of bigger issues if it the water not cleaned up in a timely manner.  
 
Health issues
Black mold is by far the most detrimental to health and can cause skin issues, respiratory problems and much more, including:
 
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Irritation of the mucous membranes
  • Internal organ damage
  • Mental impairment
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Immune system suppression
 
If you are concerned about mold within your home, it is important to contact a qualified home inspector.   Bona Fide Home and Mold Inspections   will conduct a thorough examination of your property and provide a comprehensive report within 48 hours of inspection.   Contact us   today to schedule your inspection.
By Donny Lambert 01 Mar, 2017

Mold—it’s one of every homeowner’s worst nightmares. What makes it so dangerous is how easy it is easy for homeowners to underestimate it. Mold can quickly infest a home when there is a constant source of excessive moisture. The more mold that is present, the worse for your health, especially if that mold is airborne. It can also grow at a rate that is alarmingly quick. In worst case scenarios, mold can grow to the point where it is impossible to remove.

Before Bona Fide Home and Mold Inspections can visit your home to properly detect mold , it may be helpful to determine what kind of mold you are dealing with.  Cladosporium, aspergillus, penicillium, acremonium, stachybotrys and alternaria are among the most common types in residential homes. The best way to detect the mold often depends on the type of mold it is. Of these variances of mold, be especially cautions regarding aspergillius, acremonium, and stachybotrys. If you suspect that the mold is dangerous or potentially harmful to your health, stop what you are doing and call us immediately to safely eliminate it.

You should also keep in mind that mold often forms in damp environments. Take a tour of your home’s basement and really examine it.  If your home has leaking pipes or cracked foundations, for example, additional moisture is forming in your house. This often allows excess water to enter your home and remain there—an ideal breeding ground for many types of mold.

While watching for the signs of mold can be done unsupervised at your convenience, we highly recommend that a professional business like Bona Fide Home and Mold Inspections takes the required steps to properly inspect your home.

If you are noticing one or more signs of mold in your home, Bona Fide Home and Mold Inspections is just a phone call away. We are committed to keeping your home as clean and safe as possible. If you live in the state of Rhode Island, give us a call at 401-644-3930 to schedule an expert inspection. Reach us at 617-360-1590 to schedule an inspection in Massachusetts.


By Donny Lambert 04 Feb, 2016

Stairways and Handrails

Whenever you have more than 3 stairs either outside or inside, it’s always recommended that there be adequate hand rails / railings that you can grab on to both for support and in the event that you or someone trips and starts tumbling / falling down. The important thing with railings is to have handrails / railings that you or a child can grab onto by wrapping your hands easily around the railing(s). 2x4 wood studs do not qualify as adequate railings because you can’t grab on to them.

Additionally, for child safety reasons, no vertical or horizontal railings should have more than 4 inch spacings between them at any area if the stairs are above 30 inches in height ( these height levels vary from community to community…so please consult your local building and safety department for height requirements ).

So, always be sure to have approved wood or metal railings installed at the appropriate heights so that they can be easily grabbed on to in the event of a fall or just for support while going up or down stairs.

By Donny Lambert 27 Jan, 2016
If your home is equipped with GFI’s at various areas….it is important to know that you must occasionally push the Test Button on each receptacle periodically in order to keep the GFI working properly. When you push the Test Button, you should hear a little snap which means that the Test Button is working properly, the Reset Button has popped out slightly and the power to the GFI has now been shut off. To restore power, simply push the Reset Button back in to the GFI and the power is now restored. If however, upon pushing the Test Button, the Reset Button does not pop out or the Reset Button has popped out but you cannot push it back in… then the GFI is no longer working properly !!
By Donny Lambert 14 Jan, 2016

If you have a free standing water heater ( they usually come in 30, 40 and 50 gallon sizes ) and you’re ever in need of some additional water for whatever reason…you can drain whatever water is in your water heater by opening the bottom valve that looks exactly like a valve that you would connect a hose to.

In fact it’s recommended that you connect a hose to this bottom valve at least once a year and let the water drain out in order to clean the interior of the water heater of sediment that can build up on the inside of the heater over a period of time. Additionally, doing so can extend the life of the water heater in most cases.

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