Thinking of getting into the business, and I have some questions.

Hello all. Hope you had a good holiday season and New Year. I am an associate certified entomologist with 15 years experience in the pest control/termite industry. In the past several months I have done three WDIR reports for persons buying/selling homes. While going underneath in the crawl spaces, I looked for, of course, wood destroying insects. I also found issues in the crawls varying from broken floor joists, fallen ductwork and moisture levels in the 20% range.

When I do a WDIR, I report on my paperwork only the insect findings. I verbally report anything else I find just to be helpful. In all three cases, the different owners/buyers said that the home inspector did not get into the crawl, as it was unsafe, not access-able, etc… I had no problem getting into the crawls, clearance was ok in all, and didn’t find any unsafe situations. Over the years I have found the best way to approach this when doing WDIR’s or any other crawl inspection is to tell the client that I am NOT a contractor, or a “Home inspector”, but am only there for the bugs. I always tell them they might want to have non insect related issues checked out by someone qualified.

All these particular clients were blown away. One paid 350.00 for the home inspection, and was floored to find he had a split/cracked joist. (no pun intended) So when I told him he might want to consider getting a contractor out to look at the joist, or a home inspection before buying, he basically freaked. He had already had it done, and was only getting the WDIR done because closing on his new home was only a few days away.

So here are my questions about being a home inspector:

  1. Are home inspectors not required to go into crawl spaces?

  2. If you don’t go in, and problems are found later, are you liable?

  3. Is it considered unethical in the field to just call a crawl unsafe (and then not crawl it) to get out of going underneath? (I ask this specifically because I make it a point NEVER to ask who did the home inspection, not my business, but two of these were literally on the opposite ends of the state, so I assume it was two separate inspectors)

  4. What is the training received as a home inspector on termites and related damage? (Many time over the years I have had to go back out to take pictures of fungal damage or rot, after a home inspector called it termite damage in error)

Now, my questions about the business and specifically NACHI:

A. I read somewhere here on this site that you can not be a member and have affiliations with any other business ventures. The business venture I was considering was becomeing HI certified, and doing both HI’s and WDIR’s, sort of a package deal, get both done for one amount at one time. The way I would do this is by working under a colleagues pest control operator’s license. So, technically, I would be an employee of a PC company while doing the WDIR. Would this bar me from being a member of NACHI?

B. Can a NACHI member offer corrective services for problems found? i.e. Muddy wet crawl, offer to put down a poly vapor barrier for a fee?

C. Can you take the continuing education credit services offered by NACHI if you are not a member?

I appreciate any answers that you might give. In the area and market I live in, being diversified will be a big help in staying in business. Offering more than just home inspections alone might help keep food on the table, ya know?

Neil ,read the SOP.

Basic reply is you should not do work on an inspected place at least one year.

You do not ever have to go on a roof or crawl in any place to dangerous , and common sense is used in those areas.
Give a reason why in the report.

Document everything.
Spread your business wings , but keep HI separate.

Join NACHI to learn and get CE credit.

Answered in order asked:

  1. No. Especially if the inspector deems it unsafe or if the inspector can’t fit.
  2. No. The inspector is not liable for anything he can’t see.
  3. No, it is not unethical. An inspector can deem a crawlspace unsafe without entering it.
  4. Generally none, although InterNACHI has a course available to members A general home inspection does not include a WDO inspection.
    A. You read wrong. No such rule.
    B. No. That is prohibited under or Code of Ethics.
    C. Yes. Some of our educational offerings are open and free to all (even non-members): and some are open to all for a fee.

Thank you… Your response was very helpful \:D/