Our team of professionals perform all types of services.
A home inspection is a visual examination of the physical, structural and mechanical components of a home. The inspector is inspecting everything he/she can visually see, get their hands on and operate at the time of an inspection. They start with the exterior from the foundation up to the roof surface, on the interior from the attic down to the basement. Note: Home Inspectors are not Superman; they do not have x-ray vision and cannot see through walls. They will inspect and operate all plumbing, electrical and heating systems and major appliances staying with the home. We follow the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics set forth in 266 CMR. A copy of the Standards of Practice and Definitions are provided with every home inspection.
Please click here to check out the Massachusetts State website to view the Standards. From a value perspective, we’re confident you’ll find a thorough home inspection will prove to be the best money you’ll spend during the home buying process.
Commercial Building Inspections
Similar to a typical home inspection, a commercial building inspection is a visual examination of the physical, structural and mechanical components of a building (or a complex of buildings). The written report is in a narrative format that lists the discrepancies observed/found during the inspection and is furnished along with photo documentation. As with home inspections, a thorough commercial building inspection offers total peace of mind during the buying process.
Wood Destroying Insect Inspections
The Building Inspector of America offers wood destroying insect inspection services (more commonly referred to as “termite” or “pest” inspections) for both residential and commercial properties. Beyond subterranean termites, we look for any type of wood destroying insects that can potentially eat away at the structure of the house/building including carpenter ants, powder post beetles, and carpenter bees.
During a wood destroying insect inspection, our inspectors check the exterior and interior of the structure for visible signs of current or previous wood destroying insect infestation and/or any related damage. Beyond reporting activity, our inspectors will look for conditions which may be conducive to attracting wood destroying insects to your property and give you pointers on remedying those conditions. This inspection is performed to the National Pest Management Association’s standards and utilizes their Wood Destroying Insect Inspection Report (WDIIR) Form NPMA-33. Note: This form is accepted by all banks and leading institutions in the country. The Building Inspector of America is a National Pest Management Association member.
Massachusetts Title 5 Septic System Inspections
The Building Inspector of America is proud to offer MA Certified Title 5 Septic System inspection services (weather permitting). We offer an impartial inspection to determine its condition. We avoid conflicts of interest; therefore we do not offer pumping or repair services.
A typical septic system inspection involves us contacting the city/town’s Board of Health for any records regarding your septic system, as builts, pumping records, and water usage if on city/town water. At time of inspection we need access to the interior of the house to determine the number of bedrooms, the presence of a garbage grinder/disposal, where the building sewer exits, and where the main water supply enters the house. The inspector must try to locate all of the septic system components. The septic tank’s outlet cover must be removed to inspect the interior of the tank for scum and sludge levels, fluid level in relation to the outlet invert, condition of baffles or tees, for concrete deterioration, substantial ex-filtration and infiltration, and evidence of previous backups. If there is a distribution box, its cover is removed to inspect for evidence of solids carryover, fluid level in relation to the outlet inverts, concrete deterioration and evidence of previous backups. The inspector will also try to determine the location, type of soil absorption system and its condition, and the approximate high ground water level.
We provide you with a typed Title 5 Septic System Inspection Report along with an additional copy for the buyer. A copy is also mailed to the local Board of Health.
Water Quality Testing
Our basic water quality (or potability) test is a thirteen point analysis of the drinking water. The water analysis tests the following: odor, turbidity, pH, color, nitrite nitrogen, nitrate nitrogen, chloride, hardness, iron, manganese, sulfate, sodium and coli form bacteria. This determines the overall quality of the tap water in a residential or commercial structure.
Water samples are collected by our inspectors and then analyzed by a professional, independent laboratory. The lab needs a minimum of 48 hours to perform their analysis. Upon completion, the results are sent directly to our clients.
Additional water testing is available upon request for specific chemicals, pesticides and radon in water for additional fees.
Radon is an invisible gas that is present in all structures. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined highly concentrated levels of radon gas may be harmful for human life and recommends everyone test their living and working environments. It is known to be one of the top lung cancer causing agents (carcinogen). The Building Inspector of America offers a radon air quality test for both residential and commercial clients.
Our inspectors set up two small activated charcoal canisters to collect air samples on the two lowest levels on the interior of the structure. After 48 to 96 hours of undisturbed exposure, the canisters are collected and forwarded to a professional, independent EPA approved laboratory for analysis.
Our inspectors are responsible for setting up the radon canisters only. The canisters need to be left undisturbed for a minimum of 48 hours, then their caps replaced, the information sheet completed and the canisters and information sheet placed in the mailing box, the box secured and dropped in the mail. Once the canisters are received by the lab they are processed immediately and the results mailed to you.
Mold is a naturally present micro-organism in our environment. Studies suggest some molds may be toxic and therefore harmful to our health and living environments. Beyond the potential health hazards, mold can eat through building materials and, if undetected and untreated, can cause structural damage.
The Building Inspector of America offers thorough mold screening services to determine mold type(s) and the amount of airborne contamination in a structure. Additionally, our inspectors collect swabs and/or carpet samples from suspected surfaces. All samples are then forwarded to a professional, independent laboratory for analysis and the results are sent directly to our clients.
Our team of inspectors is available for consultations. We are often hired to inspect and report on a single or few items of concern which are not pursuant to a sale of a property. This service is available at an hourly rate. Consultations can take place before, during or after a building project is complete.
Expert Witness Consultations
Our company owner, Michael McDowell, is both qualified and available to serve as an expert witness on behalf of clients who opt to pursue legal remedies against home improvement, general contractors, builders, etc. Michael has a reputation for working for homeowners and builders alike as he is an objective and impartial third party.
For more information on Michael’s qualifications and certifications, please feel free to give us a call at 800.626.4408 to obtain his curriculum vitae and/or confidentially discuss your specific situation with him directly. Michael is a Certified Building Official, Licensed Construction Supervisor, Licensed Mason, and also a Real Estate Broker.