I’m trying to decide what are the best PPE items to have. So far, my list looks like this:
Attic & Crawlspace Gear:
Hard Hat (I already have 4)
Respirator - I think I would prefer a full face at this point partly because I am now stuck with glasses full time. Also I have a 3M 1/2 face but really don’t like the way it fits, the beard doesn’t really help, and neither do my glasses.
Gloves - I have basic goatskin, cowskin, and the rubber dipped Milwaukee mesh - is there something with a tad more dexterity I should be looking at?
…also recommendations, if any, for gloves to use in crawlspaces?
Coveralls - I have canvas mechanic type (dickies brand) for working on equipment - does anybody actually wear tyvek? …and if so, how many times do you wear them? …and how do you store them between inspections?
Other Inspection Areas:
Class 00 electrical gloves - I used to have a pair, can’t find 'em… I used them in the skyscrapers in Charlotte and they came in handy on more than one occasion… How many home inspectors actually use them though?
Safety glasses… I have a whole box full of decent ones, but now that I’m wearing glasses all the time - I’m having a hard time finding something that can protect my Rx glasses and provide proper eye protection - but I don’t want to pay $600-$700 for an RX pair of safety glasses, and I sure as hell don’t want to wear goggles!
ARC/FR rated clothing? I wore Bulwark during my time with the electrical company working uptown… I’ve dealt with circuits where the lockouts were removed soooo… and while many will probably think this is overkill for a HI, I always err on the side of caution, dead panels aren’t the only dangers lurking about… Just curious if anyone doing HI’s are wearing something similar and if so, what brand?
Footwear - My Carolina 8" comp-toe boots are done - both pair, so it’s time to replace them for construction work, but I’m almost thinking I’d rather get out of those for inspections and go with something lower cut but probably not oxfords. – Looking for suggestions, preferably American made with a goodyear welt, composite safety toe, and electrical hazard rated.
Just to set the tone… I will be wearing an embroidered button up shirt and jeans or trousers (my preference is ARC/FR rated), and probably an embroidered ballcap.
Anything I’ve left out? I really don’t want to go to an inspection looking like I just came from a construction site or a water line dig, plus I also don’t want to throw safety and a professional appearance to the wind either.
I use 6 mil (I call them tattoo gloves) in most areas of the home. On the roof and crawlspaces, I just wear a pair mechanics gloves. I wear tennis shoes with soft soles. I wear tactical pants. Collar shirt tucked in, embroidered ball cap. I have a pair of outdoor waterproof shoes for walking the yard.
Rain gear is essential. Boots, pants, jacket, umbrella, towels and a change of clothing always.
Before pulling up, check nose, teeth and hair. Use mouthwash.
I have a tool pouch attached to my belt, so I use a thick gun holster type leather belt.
I do not like washing coveralls. I use disposable tyvek coveralls with shoe cover and hood in the crawl with kneed pads.
Thanks for sharing all of that Brian!
I have bad knees, any particular brand/style of knee pads? I have a couple broken pair of hard cap, so I’m thinking those might only be useful in a crawlspace, they’re cheap and I don’t really like them though. was thinking of getting a good pair of Milwaukee, or maybe giving the Husky Soft Cap Gel a try for that purpose. Thoughts?
Tool pouch brand/style?
Where do you get your shoe covers? Is there a better place to buy tyveks than the orange and blue stores?
This is a little Husky tool bag. About 5 years old, cost $5. Inside
Klein HVAC multi tool-love it
Old screwdriver - digging, probing, whatever
Ruler- great for illustrating gaps and cracks
Camera - cannon sx620hs
Non contact voltage detector
Flashlight - thrunite TN12 (cool lamp)
Magnet - confirms galvanized water pipe
Small combo screwdriver - tedious shit
Batteries and more batteries!
3 light receptacle tester, C-5 thermal camera and moister meter go in my pants pocket.
Just ordered my C-5 from Inspector Outlet earlier today… getting ready to purchase a Canon SX70 … and I definitely need more batteries!
I was also gonna order a few photo evidence rulers, but I can’t seem to find them in imperial measurement - it’s all metric…
Warning with that camera. It has a pop up flash and it fails. Now I take an extremely large amount of photos, especially on commercial jobs, often 1200 a day so I am really hard on it. I buy about 3 a year.
I just changed brands with a built in (non-movable) flash. I have not tried it in the field yet. I also have several back-up cameras I pick up a pawn shops and such as well as two water proof ones. Dust is your enemy and will wipe out a camera pretty quick.
Elbow pads and, of course, knee pads are nice for crawl spaces.
Carrying a roll of 6-mil vapor barrier with you is nice to get partially into really nasty crawl spaces to get some better pics than you would not otherwise get. It also makes the agents and buyers happy that you attempted to go into the crawl space. Refusing to go sets everyone off for some reason. Disappearing 8’ into the crawl changes everyone’s perspective.
I’ve never been a fan of shoe covers. For one they are a total PITA to take on/off each time you come/go. But mainly, stomping around in boots (with covers) is a sure way to miss imperfections in the floor and sloping/structural problems. One of the worst structural misses my company had was a guy with HUGE work boots with shoe covers and he totally missed uneven floors. I carry standard cheap slippers that I sometimes use but it’s honestly more for show so everything knows I care. I usually just roll around inside in my socks (except when removing the electric panel cover).
After stepping on a tack a few years ago when I was in my socks in a basement, I now change from my outside shoes/boots to a pair of loafers with the disposable shoe covers.
Depending on the attic, I may wear coveralls or complete Tyvek. Safety glasses or goggles, bump cap, respirator and gloves.
I also take a lot of pictures. I use the Sony cyber shot with built in flash. I go through maybe one a year. I buy them on eBay. I actually have 2 spares.
Though on the 23rd of December when it was 0 degrees here the lens would not open. I had to use my backup Nikon. Once inside it worked fine!
highly suggest compression sleeves, if you dont already have them (they shouldnt be used if you have your knee replaced, i believe)
and be mindful of your form! home inspection can wreck your joints over time without proper form, it seems like. don’t let your knees go past your toes when you bend down to check outlets.
I used to kinda throw my ladder up on my shoulder when i was carrying it… that is no good. your joints shouldn’t be supporting much weight fully extended or contracted. I carry my ladder like a suitcase now.