An "advanced" course on something a home inspector must know on his very first inspection?
Jim, I don’t think knowing how to use an IR camera to detect defects during an inspection of a crawlsapce is
Your course description does include IR as a part of the course, while disclaiming that IR by itself does little. I didn’t interpret that to mean that IR is a significant part of your course. If it is, then I apologize for my misunderstanding.
It’s not. The course is advanced so it has lots in there: IR camera use, moisture meter use, possibly unknown inspection techniques, personal protective equipment, building standard compliance, tic tracer use, infectious diseases contracted in crawl spaces, mold, radon, structural concerns, undermining, access code requirements, HVAC duct issues particular to crawl spaces, WDO, better report writing techniques, etc.
Our www.nachi.org/advancedcourses.htm series leaves nothing out and covers a broader bandwidth in greater depth than what one would need to know to simply perform an inspection to SOP.
Most of what you are teaching (as determined from your post, above) is what most home inspection associations, including ours, purposefully excludes from the SOP. Possibly for good reason. I suppose “advanced” defines its applicability…?
This does not “exceed” the SOP, but simply adds things that are not normally considered to be part of a regular home inspection by NACHI, ASHI, or NAHI.
Accordingly, I go back to my original statement.
Your orignial statement
is opposite of your recent post
Anyway, the correct answer is… BOTH.
Our www.nachi.org/advancedcourses.htm series covers that which
but also includes
For example, no SOP requires one to use an infrared camera or to pull back rim band insulation and check for plate bolt positions.
We exclude from our SOP those things that are not a part of a regular home inspection. A home inspector, on his first inspection, must be able to inspect in accordance with the SOP…completely.
He will not need…as a new inspector or as an experienced inspector…to perform services not included in the SOP in order to inspect a crawlspace.
Inspecting a crawlspace…as per the NACHI, ASHI, or NAHI SOP…has nothing to do with radon, mold, code requirements, or WDO — nor is there anything unique about these areas in terms of a crawlspace (as opposed to basements or other parts of the structure) in which they could be present.
These are additional services offered for additional fees by those qualified to perform them…in addition to and not a part of a regular home inspection.
Correct. An inspector
to know any of that stuff or own any of those gadgets to perform an inspection to SOP.
Some may want to know more though.
Advanced Course = "at a higher level in training or knowledge or skill; "
Is learning how to tie a bowtie while learning how to inspect a sump pump…more knowledge, as Nick says…or higher knowledge…as John says. They are not the same thing. I would go along with Nick’s description.
My point is that, at a minimum, a first day home inspector in his first crawlspace (for pay, in which he is totally responsible for his report) should be able to identify and describe the conditions of everything found in the crawlspace he inspects. This is what the SOP requires.
There is no “higher level”, “next step” or “advanced” manner of doing this.
There are “additional” things you can do while you are in the crawlspace…such as measure radon, look for WDO, test for and identify mold, etc…but these are all seperate and additional (not “advanced”) services.
Are there “advanced” courses? Sure. Identifying and describing foundation cracks and trust splits is a basic HI skill. Learning to what extent they can be related, the various causes, the variances in severity — this is “higher” knowledge that would come from an “advanced” course.
So…when I saw what was called an “advanced” course on crawlspaces but found nothing there to “advance” one’s knowledge to a “higher level” of crawlspaces…I asked my question.
Radon does NOT get measured in a crawlspace. It gets measured in the lowest LIVING or LIVABLE area of a structure.
A crawlspace fits into neither category.
Ummm… volt meters?
Instead of advanced courses, would it be better to call them something else?
Call them what they are. Basic courses for people who might, someday, want to be a home inspector and refresher courses for the rest of us.
I was under the impression that Radon measurement was to be done in the lowest possible living area of a home. If I am wrong please accept my apologies for that but I must ask is a crawl space the lowest possible living area and if it is shouldn’t it be called a basement???
Sorry Joe never got to the bottom of the page before I replied. Didn’t see you reply.
A crawl space would not be considered as a “living area” within a home for a variety of IRC definable reasons. As you and Joe have pointed out, radon would probably not be an issue since it is not inside the home.
The course does NOT depict anyone performing a radon measurement in a crawlspace. Me thinks Joe didn’t actually take the course.
Anyway, radon entry points (unsealed main DWV line penetrations in the crawl space wall) and radon mitigation systems are both found in crawlspaces. Holes in the membrane (thick mil plastic sheeting/visqueen) of a crawlspace sub membrane depressurization system can only be found from inside the crawlspace. Often the liquid pressure gauge (showing that the radon fan is working) of a radon system is only visible from the crawlspace. Crawlspace ventillation, or rather lack or it, is also a contributor to radon problems… many homeowners close off their cross-ventillation crawl space vents in the winter. Unsealed cold air return ductwork also reduces crawlspace pressure and thus not only increases radon levels in the crawlspace through increasing negative pressure but also causes that radon to be carried to the living sections of the home via the furnace/ac system.
Take a peek at those seller disclosure forms folks. They often reveal the latest radon test results and/or if a mitigation system was installed. Where a home has a radon problem and a dirt crawlspace, most of the time, the crawlspace will be the main cause of the radon problem.
Presuming there is a plastic vaqpor barrier installed, unless sealed at all edges, this solution is generally not an acceptable measure where depressurization is required. Concrete rat slabs are also somewhat querstionable, as they are only 2" thick and prone to cracking, but are far superior in crawlspaces than plastic membranes. Sealing cracks, openings, and gaps is an absolute must-have. An EPA mitigator will warn the client that a plain clear or black plastic vapor barrier will likely NOT result in the measurements desired.
Radon mitigation in crawlspaces is possible, if the barrier is hermetically sealed. I would not recommend entering a crawlspace where such a membrane is installed, as damage or defect could result.
Some photos here… http://www.radon-mitigation.org/rhmmcrawl.htm
Depending on the system, and where the suction tube is installed, this may or may not be perfectly accurate. It depends on if the components in the crawlspace are stand-alone or part of another system