Covid-19 Corona Inspecting Houses in this climate

Home inspectors conducting inspections on occupied homes in areas of known Covid-19 Corona outbreak. How should we handle inspection? Only inspect outside not likely. Wear mask? If wearing a mask, this might be cause concern for buyer and Real Estate Agent will surely not like it. But we can’t pretend that this Corona is not an issue. Wear Gloves for sure, use hand sanitizing wipes by the dozen, yes. I use an Iphone for my onsite reporting and I am on my phone all the time. I will be using gloves the whole time and hand sanitizing wipes allot and washing my gloved hands any chance I get. Always remembering not to touch my face. At the end of the inspection I wipe down my tools and phone, take of gloves off and wash hands. I will jump in shower the moment I get home. This is all we can do I guess, any thoughts?

I just did a rental inspection for the county and the Property Manager (a Real Estate Agent whom I’ve worked with many times) showed up in a face mask and rubber gloves. I thought it was overkill but whatever.

We don’t have a high incidence rate here, but I can see where you might want to wear rubber gloves (they say it can live on surfaces for three days). They also say the face masks offer little protection unless you are the sick one. You can see how this might work in surgery. Face masks prevent the patient from receiving germs, not the other way around.

Full protection is only available with a bio-hazard suit! That might really flip out the client!

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Did you ask the agent I if they had the virus? People that do are the ones who should be wearing the mask.

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Would make more sense! :grin:

For now I’ve curtailed full home inspections where realtors, kids, owners, buyers dogs, and inlaws are a crammed in and sharing breathing space… So, I’m down to performing wind mitigations for healthy clients. I have a few face masks and a box of gloves but my plan is to save them for me and my wife, since I turned 66 I’m no longer calling myself semi-retired, now I label myself as retired-working meaning that I’ll choose the time and place where I’ll work not buyers or realtors. Chances are that homebuyers will be waiting too.

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Welcome back to our forum, Angel!..Enjoy! :smile:

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Today I used my Supra key for the first house and the second had a key in a lock box on the door knob. No Realtors, no customers. I wish every day was like this. If I had only remembered to bring a bluetooth speaker and some doughnuts it would have been perfect. LoL.
Maybe for the next few weeks or whatever I’ll request these conditions when setting up appointments. I take a ton of pictures and videos so it’s really not hard to do a summary over the phone with the client. How do you guys feel about inspecting without the client present?

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I do a good number without clients or realtors, etc. Sometimes it’s easier to explain and show, when some clients attend the inspection (we have a lot of foreigners moving here). I call the clients that can’t make it, and go through a summary of what I found. A detailed report is a plus, lots of photos as well. I also take videos.

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Junior, I agree, face-to-face communication is often the most effective.

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Yes, it seems to be the best for some clients. Other clients you can just call, a few words over the phone, and they understand. Easy-to-understand reports is key as well. No useless filler in between.

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In the province of Quebec Canada, the govt here is encouraging social distancing. This means staying about 2 meters /yards from other people. Apparently the easiest means of transmission is through eyes mouth and nose …by touching theses areas after touching an infected surface. So disinfecting / washing hands regularly is one of the best forms of protection if going out in public.
As an inspector usually I wear gloves for the exterior anyways. There is not much to worry about outside except for handrails and doorknobs anyways. Inside it might be prudent to wear disposible nitrile gloves (carry extras since they do break). Make a point of keeping 2 yards away from others. Remember that someone showing no symptoms can still be contagious although less than someone coughing in your face. You may want to spray down your equipment with Lysol when your done and throw your clothes in the washer when you get home. Although younger inspectors may not feel so vulnerable, remember that you don’t want to be spreading it to the more vulnerable age groups and immuno-compromised.
Happy inspecting

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I am already having clients doing elbow bumps. So far, I’m not doing anything special. In a normal inspection, my hands are always in things that I don’t want near my face until I’ve washed them, anyway. The good news is that everyone’s awareness about common courtesy hygiene has been raised. People are actually turning their heads to sneeze, or sneeze into their sleeves. This too, shall pass.

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I definitely ask about the health of everyone in the building before I enter. I don’t shake hands. I stay 5 feet from everyone. I carry disinfecting wipes in the truck, so I can wipe everything down before I leave. I put the coat and shoes I wore in the building in a box in the bed. I keep an N95 respirator in a sealed bag in the truck in case anyone in the building is known to have been a confirmed case.

All these precautions might not work, though. I heard on This Week in Virology this morning that there is a confirmed case of a Super Spreader in the US, where a man walked from the front door of an ER to the registration desk, and then to a side hallway stretcher, and in the 30 seconds it took him to do that, he infected 19 people. China also documented a Super Spreader on a bus, where he infected every human being on it who wasn’t wearing a mask. Fascinating read. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8094933/How-one-man-spread-coronavirus-NINE-people-bus.html

So Super Spreaders are real. But they appear to be very rare.

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I believe this current scene will affect the Real Estate market for a few months.
Let’s use the theory “suspected infected” for the hell of it.

~Does the Realtor want to be in the same vehicle or with the infected buyers, to be in the infected home with infected sellers?
~Do the buyers want to be with the infected Realtor & venture into an infected home with infected sellers?
~Does the seller want infected Realtors & buyers running around their home?
~Does the seller want the infected home inspector & appraiser running around their home?

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Hey, who is still doing sewer scope inspections… How do you keep your hands clean? Yuck! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Bert, I have done a few without the client present or agent. Usually out of town buyers. I am fine with or without the client, though sometimes with the client the inspection takes longer.
I use rubber gloves, have Tyvek suits/masks/N95 respirator/booties etc in my truck as well as wipes/disinfectant etc. I do septic inspections so I try to keep safe.

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I use 9mm NITRILE gloves. Thick enough that I don’t have to worry about tearing then but thin enough that I can do what I need to do.

9mm thick gloves? Shaking hands with you must feel like grabbing a bunch of bananas. (9mm is about 3/8 inch)
Which makes me wonder what it is that you “need to do” with those banana fingers :rofl:

Has anyone put out an email of your current process during this National Emergency? If so, would you consider sharing it?

Bert, these are my 9mm thick gloves.

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