Galveston homes (1800-early 1900) take almost a day (5-6 hours easy) to inspect and another day to write report. Older homes require thought, experience and successful report writing skills to provide an inspection and comply with the SoP. Knowledge of environmental CYA’s are a major plus in these older properties. Probably lead-based paint is the greatest threat to children and women of child-bearing age. The other are the chemicals they used around homes in the soil.
Still find knob & tube, terrible electrical installations and not so great plumbing. These inspections can be a PITA.
Thermal infrared may be a waste of time. Walls, ceilings, floors were not insulated before the invention of any kind of air-conditioning. Some times a buyer gets lucky where insulation was added in the past. Still see a lot of window a/c units in Galveston. Some homes have been upgraded to central air but not as many as you would think. Every home is different but a pleasure to see some of the craftsmanship before power tools came into being.
Small rattler under house last Friday. 3.5 feet of clearance and plenty of light. Problem is the rattler blends in with the sand so it takes precious seconds to spot him. I always take a 6 foot broom handle with me under homes and usually wait for the WDI guy so we can tag team the underside. WDI guy has a snake lasso and turns them loose elsewhere on his way home.
Galveston was raised 6-7 feet with sand/spoils after the 1900 storm. There are streets under streets. First floor of many brick built structures filled with compressed cotton bales and sand. Some buildings you now enter through the second floor but you’d never know it. Wood built homes were simply raised.
Biggest structural concern is termite damages and lack of repairs/maintenance.
Asbestos siding and roof materials are common. Not so much on any mechanical equipment.