The following are frequently asked questions from potential and existing Building Specs Hawaii, LLC clients. To get the answer, click on the question and the response will appear below it.
How do we contact Building Specs Hawaii, LLC?
What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a snapshot of the condition of a house on a certain day. It is a non-invasive, visual evaluation of the property’s basic structure, foundation or basement, interior, exterior, roof, electrical, plumbing, and heating/cooling systems. The purpose of an inspection is to detect a property’s visible problems, defects, and unsafe conditions. A home inspection is commonly used to help a client make an informed purchasing decision and ultimately, purchase with confidence. The inspector may also educate the buyer as to typical life expectancy of home building materials, items to budget for replacement, as well as how to take care of and maintain the property.
What should I expect from a home inspection?
Standards! Building Specs Hawaii, LLC abides by the standards of practice set forth by the National Association of Home Inspectors. Our inspector’s services and reports will review the condition of the home’s main components such as:
- Grades and grounds near the home
- Electrical system
- Sewage system
- Roof and exterior finishes
- Attic spaces
Once the inspection has been completed, we offer same day, on site computerized reports delivered with a digital customized burned CD, printed cover page, along with inspection summary notes.
The inspection is limited to the accessible areas of the home. The inspection is not intended to be an exhaustive inspection of every component present in the home, cosmetic items, or environmental concerns and issues. Services of this nature are available from other companies, however at a much higher fee than the standard home inspection. The inspection will also include a review with the inspector. If you are present during or at the end of the inspection, the review will take place at that time. If for any reason you cannot be present for the inspection, the inspector will review the report with you over the phone at a scheduled time.
What should I ask my inspector?
- Are they a member of a home inspector trade association?
- Do they conform with local and state requirements?
- How many inspections have they performed?
- How long have they been performing full fee paid inspections?
- Does they have any formal training and do they maintain continuing education in the industry?
- What is their background? Contractor? Engineer? What qualifies them to inspect homes?
- Does their company carry errors and omission insurance?
- Are they a full time inspector?
- How long should the inspection take? The average is one hour per thousand square feet, however this can vary depending on the house and the parties present.
- Does they get on roofs when possible?
- Does they get in crawlspaces when accessible?
- What kind of report will you receive, and when will you receive it?
What is a listing inspection and why do I need one?
As home inspections become more frequent and more popular, there is a growing trend towards the use of pre-listing inspections. Realtors and sellers are recognizing the benefits of obtaining a pre-listing home inspection. Statistics have shown identifying and addressing potential problems before the property is listed results in a quicker sell. Furthermore, the seller can list the house with more confidence. Listing the various property issues with potential buyers will allow for a more informed offer, decreasing negotiation time.
What is mold?
Molds are part of the natural environment. Molds are fungi that can be found anywhere inside or outside throughout the entire year. About 1,000 species of mold can be found in the United States, with more than 100,000 known species worldwide.
Outdoors, molds play an important role in nature by breaking down organic matter such as toppled trees, fallen leaves and dead animals. We would not have food and medicines, like cheese and penicillin, without mold.
Indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Problems may arise when mold starts eating away at materials, affecting the look, smell, and possibly, with respect to wood-framed buildings, affecting the structural integrity of the buildings.
Molds can grow on virtually any substance, as long as moisture or water, oxygen, and an organic source are present. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth often will occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains uncorrected. While it is impossible to eliminate all molds and mold spores, controlling moisture can control indoor mold growth.
All molds share the characteristic of being able to grow without sunlight; mold needs only a viable seed (spore), a nutrient source, moisture, and the right temperature to proliferate. This explains why mold infestation is often found in damp, dark, hidden spaces; light and air circulation dry areas out, making them less hospitable for mold.
Molds gradually damage building materials and furnishings. If left unchecked, mold can eventually cause structural damage to a wood-framed building, weakening floors and walls as it feeds on moist wooden structural members. If you suspect that mold has damaged building integrity, consult a structural engineer or other professional with the appropriate expertise.
Since mold requires water to grow, it is important to prevent excessive moisture in buildings. Some moisture problems in buildings have been linked to changes in building construction
practices since the 1970s, which resulted in tightly sealed buildings with diminished ventilation, contributing to moisture vapor buildup. Other moisture problems may result from roof leaks, landscaping or gutters that direct water into or under a building, or un-vented combustion appliance. Delayed or insufficient maintenance may contribute to moisture problems in buildings. Improper maintenance and design of building heating/ventilating/air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, such as insufficient cooling capacity for an air conditioning system, can result in elevated humidity levels in a building.
How can I prevent the growth of mold?
The quantity of mold fragments and spores needed to cause health problems varies from person to person. Besides inhalation, people can become exposed to mold through skin contact and eating moldy food.
Toxic molds can produce several toxic chemicals called mycotoxins that can damage your health. These chemicals are present on the spores and small mold fragments that are released into the air.
In high concentrations, mold fragments, spores, and mycotoxins can trigger symptoms even in individuals who have no allergies.
There are four kinds of health problems that come from exposure to mold:
- Allergic reactions
- Irritation of tissues
- Toxic effects due to mycotoxins
Mold can trigger an allergic reaction and asthma in sensitized individuals (repeated exposure to mold or mold spores sometimes causes previously non-sensitive individuals to become sensitized). About 15 million Americans are allergic to mold. The most common reactions are flu-like symptoms and asthma. Those with chronic lung or immune problems, are at risk for more serious reactions like fever, lung infections and a pneumonia-like illness.
Some toxic molds such as Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Penicillium, Stachybotrys, and Trichoderma produce mycotoxins capable of causing severe health problems.
If you have any question that we have not answered, feel free to contact us via e-mail, phone at 808.306.9664, or by fax at 808.263.7707.