What Comes Next and What Should I Expect when the Purchaser has a Building Inspection done on my Home?
The Inspector, selected by and paid for by the purchaser, will perform tests required by his client, the Buyer. Tests such as: RADON, WATER, STRUCTURAL & MECHANICAL, Etc., and for whatever concerns the Buyer may have about the property. They will need complete access to the basement, attic, interior, exterior of the home or property as well as any outbuildings and roofs. So doors that are normally blocked by the owner, due to lack of use, will need to be opened or made clear for the inspection. Utilities must be on to complete and inspection, such as Water & Power. So if they are turned off, please do make sure to arrange for turning them back on for the inspection.
Radon tests will or may start earlier than the actual home inspection, since the kits need to sit undisturbed for up to 3 days or so…in a central location in the home…Windows should not be opened but living in the home as “normal” otherwise, is certainly fine. In summer, it can be a real challenge if the temps are very hot and the a/c needs to be on…as that can jeopardize the results or void them and a new test may need to be started. The Inspector will stop by to pick it up again after a few days if the test was placed at the building inspection date…or if placed earlier, then they would pick it up on the inspection day. The limit is 0.4 pCi/L. Venting is the cure for a home that tests high. A System is designed for removing the radon from the house in question. Sellers may be asked by the purchaser, to pay for the correction or to have corrected prior to the purchase, should the purchaser wish to move forward with the transaction and is not adverse to the radon condition in the home. The State offers a free Radon Kit to self test your home.(800-439-8550) It might be a good idea, in that it may prevent a building inspection need to test in Hot weather should the homeowner have the results handy, plus there is no cost! I have a Form to request the kit, or attached here.
The water test can be a simple Bacteria Test for e-Coli or Coliform or it can be very comprehensive and test for all sorts of minerals and other properties such as , Manganese, Magnesium, Arsenic, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Lead, Sodium, Chloride, Color, Harness, Nitrate, Odor, PH & Turbidity. There can be so many more properties of water that a buyer might test for and they can get quite expensive to test for them. If the water is supplied by a community or public source, the State has guidelines that must be strictly enforced and complied with. Generally, the purchaser does not test Public or Community water sources as these are routinely monitored, although I suppose it is possible for them to do so should they wish.
Common Bacteria tests may take only 2-3 days to get the results depending on when the test is taken, and delivered to the lab. There are many labs and the lab that the test is taken to will depend upon the tests desired by the purchaser. Many homeowners/sellers never consider that their water is not sanitary. Yet it easily happens and is rather frequent. Some financing terms may require a clean water test. I can tell you more often than not, the well needs to be sanitized as part of normal maintenance. Every time a private water source is tampered with or changes are made to it, makes it subject to contamination. Changes such as well pumps, Faucet updates or other fixture replacements or even rubber washer repairs, Plumbing upgrades or repairs, filters, etc….Water Well owners should test and sanitize from time to time to be certain they have bacteria free water. Sometimes septics fail and that can contaminate a normally good source of water! Keeping the septic pumped and inspected from time to time is also recommended! Normal maintenance may be dropping a gallon or two or so, of bleach, depending on the depth and capacity of the well, letting it circulate by placing an outdoor hose into the well and opening the valve. Then drawing the sanitized water through all the faucets in the house, flushing toilets, turning the washing machine on etc.. After that is done, the hose is removed from the well and allowed to drain off the bleached water in the well. Once the well has recharged with fresh water, and the water lines in the house are bled off from the chlorine, by drawing new clear water from the well, the water is ready for testing. The most difficult part may be in getting the well head opened, as some are rusted shut, or very heavy concrete lids that may even need to be dug up to access…and also, not being able to use the bleach water in the well for about 12 hours while sanitization is being performed and then the time to recover the well after draining off the bleached water…so preparation needs to be Provided for drinking, cooking, laundering water in the home prior to the sanitization process.
If the purchaser is having the water tested and it fails, the seller is then to sanitize and retest on the seller’s own account and provide the clear results to the purchaser, in order for the contingency in the contract to be satisfied and both parties can move forward with the other contingencies. Therefore, it is actually best for the seller to sanitize the well and test and provide the results to the purchaser along with the Seller Property Information Disclosure. The seller can let the purchaser test it first, and if it fails, the seller will then pay for the sanitization in addition to the test. If it passes, wonderful, no problems! However, waiting for failed test results to be corrected, could jeopardize the Purchase Offer, if Time is an issue or if the well needs to be sanitized during the dead of winter, it can be a nasty job then! Freezing hose lines, scrubbing the inside of a shallow well in freezing temps…not the best.
As far as the inspection itself goes, it can be a bit invasive feeling while having others go through your home like a doctor’s physical. A building inspection can take about 2-6 hrs depending on the size of your home and it’s complexity. Most seem to take about 3 hrs as some sort of an idea. It may be best for homeowner’s to leave the property while the inspection is being performed. An agent will be with the inspector and purchasers during the inspection, unless other plans are made. Inspectors like to discern information by observation and when homeowners are in the home, it can skew their findings, good or bad, and take much longer. Seller’s are no doubt like expectant fathers are at the time of birth! The unknowing is uncomfortable for the homeowners/sellers.
The rest of the tests are basically observing what is apparent at the subject home. The Inspector looks for things such as: shaky handrails, cracked concrete steps, sagging decks, rafters, rooflines, boiler and furnace flue sealing, windows, roof, attic insulation, pests such as Powder Post Beetles, mice, rats, bats, ants, earwigs etc. Rot, mold, mildew, Venting, GFCI’s, Knob & Tube electric wires, electric panel, heating/cooling, loose wires, Asbestos, siding, and even yard issues such as drainage and septic failings.
Septic. Septic tanks should be pumped from time to time depending on the homeowners use. They should also be inspected from time to time as well after pumping to check the leach field or other parts of the functions. A company that runs a camera into the lines is an excellent choice to determine if roots are invading the tank or lines or any other obstructions are going on. Septics are quite costly to correct…preventive maintenance is key to worry free living in the home. Best to be on the safe side, pump per the Septic company’s recommendation.
Water Lab Testing in Rutland County:
Well Inspections & Testing:
Parker Water Wells: 802-287-4016, 802-235-2401, ParkerWaterWells@gmail.com Drills, Inspects
Green Mountain Water: Jeff Leonard, 802-236-0426 Sanitizes and tests
Northeast Environmental Labs, Inc.,PO Box 9,Hartland, VT 05048,(802) 436-1085,Fax (802) 436-1087 email@example.com
City of Rutland, Vt Water Laboratory: 10 Green Hills La, Rutland, Vt 05701, 802-773-1863
Lab Hrs: M-Thurs 7:30am-3:30pm Dlvr Sample by 11am $30.-50 now, 10:00am Wednesdays ONLY. $25.00 Per Bacteria Test (Pick up Test Kit in advance, Kit is FREE, to do testing during Mon-Thurs by 11am Wednesday Morning to drop off at Lab by 10am Wednesdays. No overnight storage of water (lest refrigerated) Coliform & E-Coli Tests only I believe.) “Tyson” is great there! Check to be payable when dropping off sample.
Plumbers can sanitize wells, and Homeowners can certainly handle this themselves as well.
Other Referrals can be made if requested. Drilled Well, Dug Well, Spring info is available. Ask if needed.
Endyne, Inc. 160 James Brown Drive Williston, VT 05495, PHONE: (802) 879-4333 FAX: (802) 879-7103
A-1 Sewer & Drain: 438-5722, has camera to inspect leach lines and tank for full septic inspection About $600-700 for pump and inspect
Doran: 634 West St, Fair Haven, Vt 05743 802-265-4724, 800-735-4724 General Tank Pumpings
Dorr Septic Systems Co, 209 Riverside Hts, Manchester Center, VT 05255, (802) 362-2344
Best Septic Service, 802 463-9444, 7752 US Rte 5, Suite 3, Westminster, VT 01518
Hubbard Brothers Inc, Cold River Rd, Rutland, VT 05701,(802) 773-2259 General Tank Pumpings and has “RAT” ,Radio tracking for unknown tank locations
Asbestos can be found in many products in the home. Typically it is found on old steam or hot water piping as the insulation wrap that was used years ago. If it is fraying, it should at least be encapsulated as they call it, wrapping with plastic or spiral taped together to prevent the fibers from becoming airborne. Do not disturb asbestos. It can be found in the old floor tiles, plaster walls, siding. It can be very costly to remove, often times, just floored or sided over with new materials can be the solution. Yet in the basement, it should be removed or encapsulated. Homeowners may be able to do themselves per State rules and regs. Contact the State Asbestos division to learn about this.
Catamount Environmental Inc PO Box 160 Wilmington, Vt 05363. 802- 464-2754, 800-639-3021, Inspectors, Mgmt Planner, Designer, Monitor,Dave Mack,CatamountEnvironmental.inc, 15 Catamount La,PO Box 160,Wilmington, Vt 05363,802-258-0648 Cell, 802-464-2754 Phone, 464-5942 Fax, 800-639-3021 Toll Free,CatEnv@sover.net,DaveM@CatEnv.net Dave Direct email
Or KAS Peter Schuyler, KAS, Inc, PO Box 787, 368 Avenue D Suite 15, Williston, VT 05495
Phone 802-383-0486, Fax: 802-383-0490
REMEMBER, ALL HOMES HAVE INSPECTION CITATIONS, even NEW ONES, oftentimes NEW ones have more issues than the older ones, since newer homes have unproven technology, where older homes the technology is simply worn out. Take a deep breath, and hang in there! 😊