Does it seem like Termite Inspections, also called wood destroying insect inspections (WDI), are yielding more recommendations for treatment these days? You are probably right. It’s not that there are more termite infestations. It’s more likely the result of the 2020 rules changes. What changes? Read on.
On January 1, 2020, a new standard for the termite inspection and wood destroying insect inspections took effect and the changes are significant. In July 2019, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) released an updated and revised NPMA-33 Wood Destroying Insect Inspection Form. That’s the standardized form that all pest inspectors use for real estate WDI inspections. According to NPMA, all previous editions are now obsolete. That means for real estate transactions, only the current form bearing a revision date of 7/1/2019 should be accepted.
There are a few revisions you need to know about. There are changes in language such as the replacement of the word “defects” with “wood destroying insect damage.” More significantly, the section on page one of the report noting evidence of previous treatment has been eliminated and the page two guidelines regarding when to recommend treatment for termites has changed.
Pest inspectors have always recommended treatment whenever live termites are observed. The new standard says “if no evidence of a previous treatment is documented and evidence of an infestation is found, even if no live termites are observed, treatment or corrective action by a licensed pest control company should be recommended.” The new guidelines call for documentation of treatment, not just evidence like drill holes.
In the past, if a termite inspector found shelter tubes or other evidence of infestation without observing live termites and also found evidence of prior treatment, they generally didn’t recommend treatment in their report. Under the new standards, unless there is documentation of prior treatment, termite inspectors are recommending the property be treated.
evidence of termite activity
Home sellers who have had their homes treated for termites in the past are advised to have the documentation of treatment at the ready. Be advised that the new guidelines also give the pest inspector latitude to recommend treatment if documentation is too old or in some other way inadequate.
Heavy rain and flooding can negatively impact a home’s termite protection system. The NPMA has published a technical update explaining what you need to know. Get it here
click here for a copy of the NMPA TECHNICAL UPDATE:
Roof Coverings: Balancing Aesthetics with Performance
How is your roof? According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), during storms, your roof does a lot to protect your home. Besides keeping you and your family safe from rain, lightning, sleet, hail, and windblown debris, it keeps the inside of your home dry and can even act as a structural diaphragm in certain situations, keeping your home from falling down around you. In order to protect the home, your roof must resist both high and low temperature extremes, rain, high winds, exposure to ultraviolet radiation, snow, ice formation, and hail.
Of all the hazards your roof faces, wind is the most problematic according to FEMA. Living in the Midwest, you already know extreme weather with high winds or tornadoes can devastate a home. Even an average Midwestern thunderstorm can wreak havoc on a home’s roof. When wind force is greater than the roof system can handle, it can be disastrous. Wind can tear roof coverings from roof decks. It can separate roof decks from framing. And roof punctures from windblown debris can seriously impact the roof’s integrity.
Repeated exposure to wind events can wear down a roof’s first line of defense, the roof covering. Choosing the right roof covering for your home can make a big difference in how it weathers the storm. Homeowners have a lot to consider when balancing style and budget with performance.
Three Popular Options for Flat Roofs
Built Up Roofing (BUR): Hot-mopped built-up roofing (BUR) is one of the oldest types of roof coverings for flat roofs. They’re installed using several layers of roofing felt impregnated with asphalt and hot mopped with a low-grade crude oil called bitumen.
Hot-applied coal tar pitch blends with the bitumen-soaked felt creating a fused roof membrane generally two to four layers thick. Finely crushed stone granules may be applied to the top layer of tar to give the roof additional protection from the elements. A BUR roof is relatively in expensive. If well maintained, it can last 20 to 30 years.
Torch Down Roofing: Sometimes called “torch on” roofing, it requires an open-flame propane torch for installation. Torch down roofing is the most common type of roofing used on flat or very slightly pitched roofs. It’s a two- or three-layer roofing product consisting of a tough membrane of bitumen modified with rubber or plastic and embedded in a thick layer of asphalt. Torch down roofing can tolerate changing temperatures well and expands and contracts without melting or cracking. It’s usually a little more expensive than BUR roofing, but it also tends to be more resistant to punctures and UV rays.
Membrane Roofing (Rubber Roofing): Single layer membrane roofing is the most popular for commercial buildings, but it’s being used in residential roofing too. EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber roofing is perhaps the most synthetic rubber is the most common single-ply membrane roof material in both residential and commercial use. It’s also one of the more durable option for homes with flat roofs. Installed as thin sheets and being made of rubber or polymer, they’re flexible, elastic, and can handle temperature changes better than built up roofs (BURs). It also costs a little more with a similar lifespan.
Several Popular Options for Pitched Roofs
Asphalt Shingles: Widely considered the best choice for most homes. They are relatively light, inexpensive, and easy to install. Sheets of roofing are layered to give the illusion of more expensive single shingles, like cedar or slate, that are installed one shingle at a time. This means the asphalt shingles take less time to install. An asphalt shingle roof typically has a lifespan of 12 to 30 years.
Metal Roofing: Metal roof covers are an Eco-friendly choice that’s highly recyclable and energy efficient. It’s also wind and fire resistant. The most common type of metal roof is the standing seam roof. It’s made up of aluminum or steel roofing panels with interlocking raised seams. Installation is generally faster than most other roof covering types. For those who want the longevity and fire resistance of metal, but don’t like the look of standing seam roofs, metal shingles fill the bill. These steel or aluminum shingles or shakes can mimic asphalt, wood, or slate shingles, or even clay tiles. Metal roofs can last 30-50 years or more, but typically cost four to five times as much as asphalt shingles.
Clay Tile: This is a traditional choice that offers an exceptional aesthetic appeal. They can be left as unglazed red clay tiles or glazed and fired to become ceramic roofing tiles. Clay tiles have been used to cover roofs for centuries. They’re particularly good at resisting salt and heat damage, making them a popular choice in desert and coastal areas. They are a rather expensive choice, costing as much as $30 per square foot. But since a properly maintained clay tile roof can last more than a century, they are a one-and-done solution.
Concrete Tile: If you love clay tile but just can’t bring yourself to pay the price, concrete tile presents a similar looking, but less expensive option. Unlike clay, concrete tiles can be dyed to taste. Because it is molded, concrete tiles can be shaped to mimic rolled clay tiles or low-profile roofing like wood shakes. Concrete tile is a very heavy roofing material, making it a good choice in high-wind regions. It’s also fire resistant, last up to 50 years and is little as half the price of clay tiles.
Wood Shake and shingles: Wood shingles are precision sawed, thin slabs used to cover the roof. Wood shakes are hand-cut, making them thicker and more durable than machine-made wood shingles. Wood is a good insulator, and hand-cut shake shingles can last up to 40 years in a relatively dry climate with proper maintenance. But wood is not very fire resistant and moisture can shorten the lifespan of a wood roof considerably. They are one of the more expensive options, but also considered one of the most attractive roof covers on the market today.
Slate: Very popular for historic buildings, slate roofing is very long-lasting and durable. Slate shingles are thin sheets of real stone. This traditional choice combines beauty with enhanced protection, making it one of the most desired roof coverings available. It’s pricier than most other options, costing double or triple the price of even clay tiles. A slate roof represents a compromise between cost and near-permanence since slate roofs have been known to last centuries.
Synthetic Slate: Love the look of slate shingles, but not the price? Enter synthetic slate shingles, also called rubber slate. These engineered shingles look surprisingly similar to natural slate from the ground. Made from engineered polymers and recycled plastic and rubber, synthetic slate is a lightweight alternative that makes it an option for houses that can’t support natural slate’s the heavy weight. The rubber slate shingles are not as durable as slate but can last 50 years or more. They’re also priced closer to the cost of wood shake or metal shingles, making them much more affordable than real stone.
With all the roof covering choices available to homeowners, there really is something just right for everyone. Just as each type brings a unique style and benefit to the task, it also brings its own shortcomings and wear issues.
A Certified Roof Inspector is well versed in the positives and negatives of each roof covering type. They have the specialized training to properly gage the condition of the roof covering, spot installation issues, weather damage, and wear issues that could compromise your roof’s integrity. Since the roof covering is your roof’s first line of defense against the elements, it’s important that your home inspector has the expertise needed to properly inspect the roof. Protect your investment. Insist on a certified roof inspector.
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At Hawley Home Inspections, we are always working to find ways to add value to the home inspection experience. And our FREE Home Wizard is one of our most popular bonus offerings. It’s a customized newsletter, and a whole lot more! It’s FREE to all our home inspection clients and offers something special for the realtors who represent them.
Our Home Wizard includes a FREE Appliance Recall Service that keeps homeowners up to date on recall notices issued for their appliances. They can add any appliances they want tracked and add more or swap them out when they buy new ones.
The monthly Interactive e Newsletter includes personalized home care recommendations, tips, and home improvement ideas based on the homeowner’s individual goals and priorities. They fill out a short questionnaire about their home and their goals. Then, the Home Wizards builds a personalized e Newsletter filled with helpful articles and videos geared to maintaining their specific home.
The Personal Home Manager makes it easier for individuals to take care of their homes with helpful tips and seasonal tasks customized just for them. Recommendations and articles are based on:
The type of home (single family, townhouse, high rise condo, duplex, or vacation cabin, etc.)
The type of heating and cooling systems
The homeowner’s personal goals like saving energy, lowering repair costs, maintaining home value—even allergy management and child proofing!
The homeowner’s personal knowledge level (to determine how basic or advanced the tips should be)
The homeowner’s priorities. Tasks and tips are prioritized on a scale of one to five stars. Those with the most stars have the highest benefits relative to their costs. Each reader chooses the priority of the tips they want to see.
Choose how to be notified about recommended tips and tasks. Home Wizard can send monthly alerts via email, or readers can use their own calendar app (Google calendar, Remember the Milk, Reminder Fox, etc.) to get their alerts.
There’s also a FREE Home Care Library at your fingertips! The constantly growing library includes scores of articles, how-to instructions, and frequently asked questions about everything from furnace systems and sump pumps to outdoor lighting and solar energy. Want to know when and where to look for signs of mice infiltration or how to keep leather furniture looking good? The Home Care Library has it covered.
All the personalized home care recommendations, appliance recall service, articles, and home care library can be accessed online using a computer browser or download our free Home Wizard app for access on mobile devices.
There’s a special value-added feature for realtors—when we send our interactive e Newsletters to clients you have referred to us, we send these e Newsletters co-branded with your name, email address, phone number, photo, company name, and company logo.
We’ll give you a Co-Branding Dashboard where you can customize your branding, preview the e Newsletters, add subscribers, and more! In addition to all the great home maintenance tips and ideas, you’ll also have access to specialized articles focused on helping you market and grow your real estate business.
We hope you and your clients find our Home Care Wizard useful, and that it makes it easier for you to take care of your home, your clients, and your business. This free service is our way of saying ‘thanks’ to our valued customers and to show you how much we value our relationship with you, their realtor. Thank you.
For more useful home maintenance tips and information visit us at:
As we begin to reopen our communities while still dealing with Covid-19 in our communities, we are again reviewing and revising our policies and procedures. We want to keep you up to date on changes in our practices aimed at protecting our clients, employees, realtors, sellers, and others involved in the home inspection process.
One significant change in our policy: we are again allowing buyers to attend inspections in vacant homes. (We are still asking buyers to refrain from attending home inspections in occupied homes.)
All buyers, whether in attendance or not, receive a full, written report, complete with pictures. When buyers and agents are not present during the inspection, our inspectors are arranging to go over their findings with them by phone and answer any questions they may have. (You can always call and get your home inspection questions answered. We’ve always been here for you and remain so.)
Other safety measures we’re still using include:
Protective gear: Our inspectors are wearing booties over their shoes and boots any time they are inside a home. They’re also donning protective gloves and masks when appropriate.
Frequent hand washing: Our inspectors are washing their hands when they enter a home and before leaving. If it’s not possible to do so, they are using hand sanitizer.
Keeping equipment sanitized: Our inspectors wipe down all their equipment with sanitizing wipes between inspections, so everything they bring into a home is clean.
Certified Covid-19 safety training: All our inspectors have completed the Covid-19 Safety Guidelines course through the InterNACHI School, a home inspector college accredited by the US Department of Education.
Maintaining social distancing: We are asking buyers who attend home inspections to maintain proper social distancing and to wear masks when indoors. We are asking buyers not to attend home inspections in occupied homes as a courtesy to the people living there. Anything we can do remotely and by phone helps to keep everyone safer.
We’re here for you: Our inspectors and staff are happy to answer any questions you may have about our safety protocols and any other aspects of our home inspection process. As always, we’re here for you.
All of us at Hawley Home Inspections value our relationship with our clients and with you, their agents, and we appreciate your referrals. Please know that if there is anything we can do for you, we encourage you to let us know. We are here for you.
For more useful home maintenance tips and information visit us at:
Why should I have a roof inspection? Most of us take for granted that our roof will protect our home and everyone in it. We don’t give it much thought until there’s a leak. By then, you might be facing serious and expensive issues including structural damage, saturated insulation, ruined family treasures, and even mold.
The life expectancy of a home’s roof is 15-30 years, depending on the roof type, materials used, climate and other factors. Small amounts of damage from wind or hail can build up over time, compromising the roof’s integrity. Inadequate maintenance and poor drainage can allow moisture infiltration and accelerate deterioration, drastically shortening the roof’s life. Continue reading “Why have a roof inspeciton”
To operate properly the garage door must be firmly attached to the garage structure and all panels and moving parts must move freely. Here is a short video on how to check the operation of your door and operator.
Did you know radon causes cancer? That may seem like a silly question of course you know if you smoke or not, right?
Well before you answer too quickly, did you know about the dangers of long-term exposure to high levels of Radon Gas. Radon Gas is a tasteless odorless gas that occurs in all parts of the county. Unfortunately, concentration levels vary for many reasons and maybe high in one area and low just a few blocks away.
Radon Gas is estimated to cause 21,000 deaths per year in the United States. In contrast that is more than the 17,000 deaths caused by drunk drivers.
The Center for Disease Control lists exposure to Radon Gas as second only to smoking as a leading cause of Lung Cancer. Furthermore, both state that smokers are at greater risk of developing lung cancer when a smoker is also exposed to elevated levels of Radon Gas.
No level of Radon Gas is safe
However, levels of 4.0 pCi/L and above are the cut off level at which mitigation is recommended. Radon Gas mitigation is relatively inexpensive and non-intrusive for most homes.
In order to assure proper results Radon testing and mitigation should only be performed by licensed or certified Radon technicians.
Consequently, testing is the only way to find out your home’s radon levels. The US EPA and the US Surgeon General recommend testing all homes for Radon Gas.
If you would like to have your home tested contact Hawley Home Inspections LLC at 618-593-9631 or 314-257-0040 or send us an email at HawleyHomeInspections@gmail.com.
We offer discounts for Veterans and First Responders in honor of those who served. Hawley Home Inspections, LLC will give a discount on our home inspections. All veterans qualify regardless of length of service. Active first responders will also receive a discount.
This is our way of paying it forward for those who have ran towards trouble as other have ran away. We come from a family full of veterans and first responders and know the sacrifices you have made. This is but a small token of our appreciation of those who take the responsibility of serving others.
We are a veteran owned and family operated Home Inspection company operating in the St Louis and Southern Illinois area. We have been providing home inspection and ancillary services since 2010.
In addition to Home Inspections we also have the following services available:
Asbestos and Vermiculite Testing
Air Quality Testing (for mold and mildew)
Gas Leak Testing
Log Home Inspections
Sewer Camera Scopes
Termite Inspection (included with Home Inspection)
Well Water Testing
Our Inspectors are ASHI and InterNACHI certified and licensed by the State of Illinois. Each inspector is required to constantly upgrade their education through continuing education courses approved by the State. Your satisfaction is our reward for a job well done.
Our goal is to be “Your Home Consultant for Life” feel free to continue to contact us after your inspection. We welcome your questions and only ask that you refer to friends and relatives.
Millions of decks have been built in the US over the last 50 years or so. Many of the early decks were built with redwood or cedar lumber which have a natural resistance to rot and decay. Unfortunately redwood and cedar decks were very pricey and had an average life span of only 15 to 20 years. Depending on where you live and the care and maintenance of the deck some would last longer some less.
How to get Ready for a Home Inspection? So, you have a contract on your home and the buyer wants to have a home inspection. How do you get ready for a home inspection?Don’t panic, instead prepare for the inspection. Here are some steps you can take to make your inspection go smooth. Continue reading “how to get ready for a home inspection”