New member introduction

Hi, new member there (long-time lurker but first-time poster)!

I’ve been taking home inspection classes at a public college for the last year (560 hrs) and now just starting out. I’ve got insurances (E&O and general liability), made a little website and joined InterNACHI (Quebec chapter, thanks to Gilles and Tony).

Having another full-time job as an investigator (you know, like in “social skills”, “sense of observation” and “report writting”…!) with plenty of spare-time (I have 4 days off a week), I’m not in a hurry and won’t be the craigslist starving $300 inspector either. I know some argue that one’s better to take the plunge, quit everything else to do it full-time, even if it mean eating every other day, but I’ll do it at my own pace, 'cause I can.

I’m glad to be part of your community: what a incredible wealth of information! I thought the college classes were pretty completes, but I’m now digging through the required and additional courses and found they’re really detailed.

I’ve had my firsts few paid inspections in the last weeks and found it really rewarding, particularly one that I’ve done for a co-worker that prevented him from buying a real money-pit. He was litteraly in love with the house, before I found mold growing 4ft. high into the corners of the unfinished basement, previously-repaired foundations cracks that reopened, star-shaped cracks on the slab and signs of water-intrusion behind the stone cladding (water was seeping through the mortar, no weepholes, numerous cracks in the cladding, and so on).

So I simply want to introduce myself and hope to participate here. Please feel free to drop any comment or advice.

Thanks (and sorry if my written English may seems awkward, this isn’t my first-language).

Bienvenue , Steve .
Avertissement juste … prendre ce qui est utile et laisser le reste derrière .

Pardon my French. It is not my first language.

Pas mal Monsieur! Très bien écrit!

Excellent post and well written! You write better than most kids today! :wink:

Best regards,

Bienvenue Steve!

Your English is quite good! You’ll find the Guys will go out of their way to provide help. You’re in the right place!

Si tu as des questions, mes points de contact sont la dessous! Pas de problèmes… Le Français est ma première langue.


Welcome Steve!

Salut Steve, bienvenue.


Thank you for the warm welcome guys!

Hi Steven.
I concur InterNACHI is a reliant source of great information.

Interesting how you phase yourself.
I am going to remark on a subject you mentioned and talk about liabilty.
1: prevented him from buying a real money-pit.:frowning:
2: mold growing 4ft. high into the corners of the unfinished basement.:frowning:

I am certain we all want to contribute as professionals during the sales transaction.
1: Preventing someone from purchasing a home is not diligent business behaviour.
You are actually obstructing the sales transaction of a home which can hold unnecessary and unwanted ramifications.:twisted:

“I am sure you meant to say is, upon my reports findings and recommendations therein, the purchaser decided to wave the transaction addressing the home inspection contingency clause.”
That would be how to describe a past client passing on the purchase.

2: mold growing 4ft. high.
Did you have it tested?
You can suspect a condition though.

There are over 1.5 millions species of mold in the world. However, only about 100,000 have been identified.
There are 7 Fungi as aero allergens. Several fungal species (usually molds) cause allergic reactions in humans.
The most common and best described mold allergen sources belong to the taxonomic group fungi imperfecti (usually asexual stages of Ascomycetes), which includes Alternaria, Cephalosporium, and Aspergillus species. Species of Basidiomycetes and yeast, such as Candidiasis albicans, are also important allergen sources.

Did you recommend any assessments be continued by professional consultations?

Although you might be anxious to start building a business, to which 90% will not succeed within 18 to 36 months, some after spending tens of thousands. Expect to be in for $10,000 easy as a start up cost.
I would be more prudent in how you commit to working with everyone involved.

Maybe Giles or Tony can help.

Good luck with your endeavours.

Thanks Robert,

You were right, and that’s not how it’s been written in my report. More like “black spots that have the appearance of mold, further evaluation recommended”, and I shoud have said the the buyer “reconsidered the purchase”!

For your viewing pleasure, here’s the basement corner where the water supply is located…

As for the seller’s agent that also followed me during the 3hrs inspection, he commented a few times about how complete and thorough it is (meaning it’s way too long!) and even ask for my card at the end, but I suspect it’s purely for politeness. ��

Not depending on that income to live while beginning, I choose from Day 1 to work for the customers who paid me, instead of writing soft, vague reports to please the Realtors who can refer more customers, at the risk of business being slower, but I can live with it.

And I know that I still have a LOT to learn, both in professional relationship and technical knowledge, from you guys!


Welcome Steve!!

Steve, welcome to the world of inspection! Enjoy yourself and the ride! : )

Cracks can be shrinkage in a slab.
Cracks in a foundation can be from settlement.
I see nothing there leading me to suspect water intrusion on the concrete but you did not post all the images.
You mentioned Mould. Why?
Black Staining…

KISS, (Keep It Simple Student)
Plenty of time to learn and how to react to what you observe.
You have the basics and that’s all.
Over reach, you will be doing **everyone **an injustice.
You will be making it tough on yourself, your businesses and name, and eliminating a referral base if you make inappropriate/misleading observations.
It can come back to haunt you for one, Steven.
Did I mention 1 in 10 will make it as a business?
Yes I did.
Good luck.
Took me three years I invested upwards of 60,000 K so fare.

What type of heating in that home? Oil furnace?
Was there a wood burning appliance, a fireplace, kerosene auxiliary heater?
Chimney clean out in the basement?
Lots of appliances create atmospheric grime.
Corners can be air dead zones.
Cold air settles.

What was the ambient humidity in the basement?
What concrete moisture level readings did you get?
I see no efflorescence what so ever.
Observation: Ghosting, atmospheric grime, black staining.

Do not scare the buyer nor seller period!
Mould can be troubling call out. Same as foundation inconsistencies. Watch.Watch watch yourself.
Limit your liability by remaining professional.
Know your limits period.
Observe, Recommend, Limitation.

I might write;
Observation: Cracks in the concrete foundation and slab.
Cracking in a concrete foundation and slab can be normal. Typical settlement or other building condition factors. Shrinkage, curing times are known to cause this effect.
Then write a condition assessment.

Steven, recommend the right professional.
Reach out to colleagues when in doubt.
You can call me any time of the day or night.
You pass on all your liabilities completely.

Here is what I see:
Plumbing: Domestic water source; Well water.
Heavy minerals in well water can be a concern on type copper as well as human consumption.
Material: Copper/galvanized metal.
Observation: Oxidation on the domestic water supply plumbing.
Location: Basement left/rear.
Oxidized galvanised steel.
a. Recommend: Water testing by a licensed bonded water testing company on the domestic water supply.
b. Recommend a licensed RBQ plumber evaluate the oxidized steel/piping domestic supply plumbing in the basement.
Limitations: Water quality, isolation/relief valves, concealed plumbing, tub sink over flows, floor drain performance, perimeter drainage performance.

All the best.

Yep Mr. Young, I completely agree about the recommendation to only describe what we see and not draw conclusions, as it could sometimes be misleading.

For that particular property, there’s only an electric forced-air furmace, no chimney. Here’s the opposite corner, in which there’s also a crack:

Here’s what can be seen when pulling out the insulation to expose the rim joist:

And efflorescence at the base of another previously-repaired crack that reopened:

Without trying to afraid anybody, and I understand the liability issue, isn’t also in the “duty to care” of the inspector to mention the possibility of mold, when there’s enough observations?

Maybe use “observed organic growth” and refer it out to a qualified mold professional.

Larry, I concur.

I see reason for concern but measure, measure, measure.
Dew point condensation and capillary action combined with a dead air zone and you will likely find what Steven offered,
As for moving back the insulation at the sill,:slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: koodoo’s Steven

If the condition is small, you can verbally refer how professionals eradicate/remediate/condition/restore a small space you exampled, over toning the reported condition and recommendation of suspect organic growth.
I never use the word mould.
Larry used the narrative, organic growth.
Then again, Larry’s the King Mate!

IMO from what you showed me, Space needs air recirculation.
Looks dry as a bone.

Good camera by the way.
They one thing you should never go cheap on because images of condition, tag and labels will save your BUTT!
I like my hinee:)

Thanks a lot guys for the kind advices, and I’ll remember to err on the cautious side regarding the wording.

Re: cameras. I’ve got 2 Pentax Optio WG-2, shockproof, weatherproof and use them on the lowest quality setting (3MP) taking 250-300 pics/inspection. I realize that those and the flashlight (a Fenix UC35) were the tools you use continuously, so it’s not where one must try to save a few bucks. Like the saying goes, I’m too poor to buy cheap!

Steve what are you trying to achieve with a “low quality” setting ?

I never saw the need for more than 3MP, and still can easily zoom-in, so I thought mainly about storage space (I keep all pics on my PC and on a backup HDD), but it’s so cheap nowadays that I may reconsider this setting if I need to.

At which quality setting (on mine it range from 3MP to 16MP) did you take and save pics?

Bienvenue Steve,

I would suggest using the highest quality setting that your camera allows. There will be times when you’ll need the high resolution when rechecking your photographs.