What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the structure, systems and components of a home – from the foundation to the roof. Objects that are evaluated include the following:
|· Attic||· Exterior and siding||· Plumbing|
|· Basement||· Floors||· Roof|
|· Ceilings||· Foundation||· Sidewalk|
|· Crawlspaces||· Garage||· Structure|
|· Doors||· Heating and air conditioning||· Ventilation|
|· Driveway||· Interior–water penetration||· Walls|
|· Electrical system||· Major appliances||· Windows|
While a home cannot fail an inspection, it’s components can. A home inspection provides you with an independent opinion as to the condition of the property at the time of the inspection. An inspector typically spends between three and half to four hours evaluating a home, and may recommend further evaluation if problems or symptoms are discovered. Unlike many home inspection companies K&K Consultants strongly encourages you to attend at least part of the inspection with our consultant so that you can ask questions and learn all about your home.
2. Environmental testing upon request for:
- radon testing
- mold testing
- lead based paint testing
- asbestos testing
- water quality testing
3. Radon Information – http://www.nsc.org/EHC/radon/rad_faqs.htm#1
What is Radon
Radon is a radioactive gas. It is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and chemically inert. Unless you test for it, there is no way of telling how much is present.
Radon is formed by the natural radioactive decay of uranium in rock, soil, and water. Naturally existing, low levels of uranium occur widely in Earth’s crust. It can be found in all 50 states. Once produced, radon moves through the ground to the air above. Some remains below the surface and dissolves in water that collects and flows under the ground’s surface.
Radon has a half-life of about four days – half of a given quantity of it breaks down every four days. When radon undergoes radioactive decay, it emits ionizing radiation in the form of alpha particles. It also produces short-lived decay products, often called progeny or daughters, some of which are also radioactive.
Unlike radon, the progeny are not gases and can easily attach to dust and other particles. Those particles can be transported by air and can also be breathed.
The decay of progeny continues until stable, non-radioactive progeny are formed. At each step in the decay process, radiation is released.
Sometimes, the term radon is used in a broad sense, referring to radon and its radioactive progeny all at once. When testing measures radiation from the progeny, rather than radon itself, the measurements are usually expressed in working level (WL) units. When radiation from radon is measured directly, the amount is usually expressed in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L).
What are the Risk Factors?
The EPA, Surgeon General and The Center for Disease Control, have all agreed that continued exposure to Radon gas can cause lung cancer.
In fact, their position on the matter is that all homes should be tested for radon gas exposure, and all homes testing over 4 pCi/L should be fixed.
How Does Radon Enter the Home?
Typically the air pressure inside your home is lower than the pressure in the soil around your home’s foundation.
Due to this difference, your house acts like a vacuum, drawing radon gas in through foundation cracks and other openings of your home.
Radon may also be present in well water and can be released into the air in your home when water is used for showering and other household uses.
Potential Entry Points:
|1||Cavities inside walls||2||Cracks in solid floors||3||Construction joints|
|4||Cracks in walls||5||The water supply||6||Gaps in suspended floors|
|7||Gaps around service pipes|
Radon, the second leading cause of lung cancer, is a radioactive gas emitted from the ground that may seep into the home. K&K Consultants uses Radon Testing equipment which boasts excellent accuracy. In most cases we can provide accurate results in as little as 24 to 48 hours.
This service determines whether harmful mold is present in a home. Exposure to bacteria and fungus in indoor air has emerged as a significant health problem in residential environments as well as in occupational settings. Molds and mildews are names given to thousands of species of filamentous fungi. They have clusters of spores, which are the reproductive product of the mature mold, that are located on the end of tiny stalks. The web like body, or mycelium, attaches to porous surfaces and may contain chemical compounds, some of which can be poisonous and toxic to humans. Spores pose a larger health concern because they become airborne and can be inhaled. They can also create health problems ranging from allergic reactions to respiratory tract inflammation and infection, depending on the exposure and tolerance of the individual. We use a combination of swab testing and airborne sample testing to determine if there is a significant IAQ issue present in the home.
Lead Based Paint
Lead is ever-present in all urban environments due to its pervasive use in industrial, automotive, and household industries over the past 100 years. It remains a common element in older homes, either in paint, dust, or in sites soil. We use swab tests to determine the presence of lead base paints and help educate the risk associated with this pollutants
Water Quality Testing
We strongly recommend all wells are tested for water quality and for flow rate. We have encountered low flow wells that fail to meet the needs of larger families. Also, occasionally water quality is such that treatment is needed to resolve the issue. We typically use the local testing facilities that return results in approximately 72 hours. All water tests are available including heavy metals if desired.
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has been used commonly in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire-retardant. EPA and CPSC have banned several asbestos products. Manufacturers have also voluntarily limited uses of asbestos. Today, asbestos is most commonly found in older homes, in pipe and furnace insulation materials, asbestos shingles, millboard, textured paints and other coating materials, and floor tiles.
Elevated concentrations of airborne asbestos can occur after asbestos-containing materials are disturbed by cutting, sanding or other remodeling activities. Improper attempts to remove these materials can release asbestos fibers into the air in homes, increasing asbestos levels and endangering people living in those homes. We will identify products that are suspected to have asbestos in them and test them if requested. In general we have found most asbestos based products to be in the form of steam line insulation, attic insulation(vermiculite), popcorn ceiling textures and exterior siding material.