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APRIL is Nation a Inspec l Home tion M onth

Inspection News & Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc.



8 Exterior Steps and Landings 14 Nontraditional HVAC Systems 18 AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action, Part 1 20 How a Simple Head Bump can Cause an Insidious Brain Injury

38 Insider Tips: Switches and Caulking 40 Postcards From the Field 42 Stories From the Field



April 2016


8 Exterior Steps and Landings

The Industry’s First AFCI Outlet


Alan Carson, Carson Dunlop

Nontraditional HVAC Systems



Mike Collignon, Green Builder® Coalition, and Carol Dikelsky, ASHI Reporter

AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action, Part 1 Alan Carson, Carson Dunlop

Your Health: How a Simple Bump can Cause an Insidious Brain Injury Danial Zwerdling, © 2016 National Public Radio, Inc.


April is National Home Inspection Month Examining Ethics and Morals

Don Lovering, ACI

Departments 6 Being Frank From ASHI’s Executive Director 12

Around the CoRner Jim Funkhouser, Speaker of the CoR

26 Affiliate Spotlight The ASHI School ®

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ASHI Community






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Chapter lising, New Inspector Status, Chapter Events, Council News and Education

Vol. 33, #4

Please Support Our Advertisers: Leviton Target Perma-Boot Palm-Tech Wagner Fort Reports US Inspect RTCA How To Operate Your Home 3D Inspection System America’s Call Center BusinessRisk Partners OREP The ASHI School Allen Insurance Group ASHI Online Learning Center American Home Warranty Co. InspectIT NHIES Study Guide Sun Nuclear Corporation

2 leviton.com/afci 5 TargetProIns.com 7 perma-boot.com 11 palm-tech.com 11 wagnermeters.com 13 fortreports.com 13 844-268-2677 17 RTCA.com 17 HowToOperateYourHome.com 19 3Dinspection.com 19 AmericasCallCenter.com 21 inspectorinsurance.com 25 OREP.org 26 theASHIschool.com 27 allenins.com 32 ASHI.org 35 ahomewarranty.com 37 InspectIT.com 39 NHIEStudyGuide.org 43 sunradon.com


44 HomeGauge.com


Membership News, Event Calendar, Endorsed Member Programs & Anniversaries

Insider Tips

Tom Fezia, Mr. Fix-It, Inc.

Postcards From the Field It’s Wacky Out There

On My Mind

Randy Sipe, ASHI President



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AFCI ASHI AD 7.375x9.875.indd 1

ASHI Reporter • April 2016

10/2/14 1:22 PM

3April 2016

• www.ASHIReporter.org


ASHI National Officers and Board of Directors Educated. Tested. Verified. Certified.

A SH I M ISS I ON S TATEM ENT To set and promote standards for property inspections and to provide the educational programs needed to achieve excellence in the profession and to meet the needs of our members.

Officers Tim Buell, Treasurer Marysville, OH, 614-746-7485 tim.buell@gmail.com

Howard Pegelow, President-Elect Gilbert, AZ, 414-379-4186 hpegelow@yahoo.com

Scott Patterson, Secretary Spring Hill, TN, 615-302-1113 scott@traceinspections.com

Robert Walstead, Vice President Sun City Arizona, 623 695 4789 rwalstead@aol.com

Alden Gibson, Immediate Past-President Breslau, ON, 519-648-3963 alden@inspectgib.com

Directors Bruce Barker 2015-2017 Cary, NC, 919-322-4491 bruce@dreamhomeconsultants.com

Donald Lovering 2015-2016 Auburndale, MA, 617-928-1942 lovering@earthlink.net

Ken Harrington 2015-2017 Delaware, OH, 614-507-1061 inspectorken@rrohio.com

Blaine Swan 2016-2018 Columbus, OH 614 506-0647 goodeyeinspections@gmail.com

David Haught 2016-2018 Huntington, WV, 304-417-1247 inspector@wvchi.com C. Blaine Illingworth III 2015-2017 Harleysville, PA, 610-565-4181 housemechanic@hotmail.com Keven Kossler 2015-2017 Huntersville, NC, 704-875-3200 Team@CastleCheck.com Bruce Labell 2015-2017 Scottsdale, AZ, 602-765-2140 inspect@cox.net

Tony Smith 2015-2017 Cedar Rapids, IA, 319-533-4565 inspecthathouse@netscape.net Mike Wagner 2014-2016 Westfield, IN, 317-867-7688 mwagner@ralis.com John Wessling 2016-2018 St. Louis, MO, 314-520-1103 john@wesslinginspections.com Kevin Westendorf 2014-2016 Mt. Pleasant, SC, 843-881-7842 kevinw@lowcountryhome inspection.com

Speaker, Council of Representatives: James Funkhouser 2015-2016 Mark Londner 2014-2016 Manassas Park, VA, 703-791-2360 Purcellville, VA, 540-668-6339 jfunkhousr@aol.com mark@LBIhome.com

Publisher: Frank Lesh Editor: Carol Dikelsky Art Director: Arlene Zapata, Jr. Designer: Kate Laurent American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc. 932 Lee Street, Suite 101 Des Plaines, IL 60016

847-954-3186 Reporter calls only 847-299-2505 (fax) Reporter only E-mail: frankl@ashi.org Advertising: Dave Kogan Phone: 847-954-3187, E-mail: davek@ashi.org

ASHI REPORTER – ISSN 1076-1942 – the official publication of the American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc. (ASHI), 932 Lee St., Suite 101, Des Plaines IL 60016, is published monthly. Annual subscriptions: $44.95 to non-members. Periodical postage paid at Des Plaines, IL 60016 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ASHI Reporter, 932 Lee Street, Suite 101, Des Plaines, IL 60016-6546. Copyright© 2016, ASHI. None of the content of this publication may be reproduced, in any manner, without the prior written consent of the publisher. Inclusion of or specific mention of any proprietary product within does not imply endorsement of, nor does exclusion of any proprietary product imply non-endorsement, by the American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc. Opinions or statements of authors and advertisers are solely their own, and do not necessarily represent the opinions or positions of ASHI, its agents or editors. See above for information pertaining to submission of articles, advertising and related materials.


ASHI Reporter • April 2016

Main Phone: 847-759-2820, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm Mon. - Fri., CST Executive Director

Randy Sipe, President Spring Hill, KS, 913-856-4515 randy@familyhomeinspections.com

Richard Hart 2016-2018 Conyers, GA, 770-827-2200 ashi1@comcast.net


Frank Lesh, Executive Director, 847-954-3182, frankl@ashi.org Bonnie Bruno, Executive Assistant, 847-954-3177 bonnieb@ashi.org Education, CE Approval, Smart Track, InspectionWorld

Michele George, Director of Education & Events, 847-954-3188 micheleg@ashi.org Membership, Chapter Relations, Booth Rental, Product Orders

Russell Daniels, Assistant Executive Director, Director Membership and Chapter Relations, 847-954-3185, russelld@ashi.org Mark Lester, Membership Services Coordinator, 847-954-3176 markl@ashi.org Janet George, Membership Services Supervisor, 847-954-3180 janetg@ashi.org Jen Gallegos, Membership Administrator, 847-954-3175 jeng@ashi.org Kate Laurent, Administratove Assistant, 847-954-3179 Katel@ashi.org Accounting

Toni Fanizza, Bookkeeper, 847-954-3190, tonif@ashi.org Beverly Canham, Financial Assistant, 847-954-3184 beverlyc@ashi.org Website, Information Systems, Database

Mike Rostescu, Director IT & Internet Communications 847-954-3189, miker@ashi.org Publications, Advertising, Marketing, Public Relations

Dave Kogan, Manager of Marketing & Business Development 847-954-3187, davek@ashi.org Arlene Zapata, Graphic Design Manager, 847-954-3186 arlenez@ashi.org The ASHI School

Kendra Eiermann, Manager, 888-884-0440 or 847-954-3178 kendra@theashischool.com Steve Reilly, Senior Sales Representative, 888-884-0440 or 847-954-3181, steve@theashischool.com Kimberly McGraw, Administrative Assistant, 847-954-3198 kim@theashischool.com

5April 2016

• www.ASHIReporter.org


From ASHI’s Executive Director

It Never Rains in California – It Pours, Man, It Pours

The weakest link in a modern roof: The vent stack gasket The Problem:


ou’ve seen a lot written about InspectionWorld® 2016 in past issues of the ASHI Reporter. There’s good reason for that, at least from my perspective. IW 2016 was the 27th consecutive ASHI annual conference I’ve attended. At each one, I learned valuable information that helped my business immensely. Although this IW was no exception in that regard, I don’t think that any of them were as much fun as the one in San Diego. Maybe part of the enjoyment was the mild climate. Having temperatures in the 60s is a real treat for someone like me, traveling from Chicago in January. Perhaps another reason was the open-air venue, which allowed walking through the pool area and fountains between meetings and catching a light breeze and warm sunshine on my face.

But, as we all know, accidents happen. Kim “Michelin Man” McGraw was on the mound when apparently an equipment malfunction occurred, causing the chair to collapse and my toes to get a little wet. No hard feelings. Kim was a great employee who, I’m sure, will find happiness in whatever line of work she finds. All in all, between the raffles, dunk tank and contributions from Mike Crow (the Millionaire Inspection Community), InspectPac raised $16,000. That will go a long way to ensure that ASHI is well represented on the Hill. A great time with great fun at a great conference…InspectionWorld 2016! H

The Perma-Boot is a gasket-less, high performance pipe boot system designed to permanently repair the most common type of roof leak, the leak around the vent pipes that penetrate the roof.

Eating, drinking and having a genuinely good time reviving friendships while collecting money for our lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C., was an “immersion” in fundraising I’ll never forget. Nor will President Randy Sipe or Directors Scott Patterson, Bob Peterson and Shannon Cory.

Left to Right: Jen Gallegos, Scott Patterson, Shannon Cory, Robert Peterson, Randy Sipe, Bonnie Bruno, and Frank Lesh


ASHI Reporter • April 2016

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Realizing that no one would even consider dunking me, I happily agreed to sit on the collapsing chair. To my surprise, a few future former ASHI staff members were reluctantly talked into lobbing a few balls at the target while I was on the “hot seat.” Thanks to James Allen for donating his throws to any staff members who were willing to risk new employment. Not that I was taking names, but Russell “Southpaw” Daniels purposely missed the target with a fastball clocked at 96 mph. Janet “Bulldog” George tossed a couple of underhand balls with such finesse that they bounced right off the target. Bonnie and Jen just wanted me to enjoy the cool, refreshing pool, while Michele “InspectionWorld” George, who must not have known that I was the one on the seat, threw a couple of mean pitches that narrowly missed the target.

While modern roof shingles often offer a lifetime warranty, these rubber gaskets usually deteriorate in as little as 3 to 5 years. As a result, water begins to flow into the home causing damage to roof shething, insulation, ceilings, interior walls and carpet.

Problem Solved:

But I think the most fun I had was at the InspectPac fundraiser/ reception.

Why? Well, let me say that if you ever have the opportunity to volunteer to be a target for a dunk tank, there’s no doubt you’ll experience a physical cleansing that’s unforgettable. It’s great to know that—whether fully clothed or wearing nothing but a Speedo—some of ASHI’s elected officials weren’t afraid to drown their pride in ice-cold water. Not to be outdone, ASHI staff members Jen “Cheese Cake” Gallegos and Bonnie “I can do anything the boys can do…only prettier” Bruno were, for most attendees, the main event. Longtime inspector Brian Murphy gave an encore presentation in the tank and helped raise even more money.

The plumbing vent pipes that penetrate your roof are typically sealed with a rubber gasket to keep rain from entering the home. These rubber gaskets deteriorate when exposed to the sun and high temperatures. Over time they get brittle and crack thus losing their ability to protect the home from water intrusion.

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Top: Bonnie Bruno Right: Frank Lesh

www.perma-boot.com 919-662-9894

7April 2016

• www.ASHIReporter.org



Exterior Steps and Landings

Exterior Steps and Landings Rise is too high and tread is too short on these steps— a trip hazard.

Exterior Steps and Landings By Alan Carson, Carson Dunlop, www.carsondunlop.com, 800-268-7070


he floor level of most homes is higher than the exterior grade level. Usually, steps are needed to get up to the door. Landings at the top of steps should be large enough to open the door without having to step down off the landing. Concrete steps and landings can be built in several ways: • supported by the building foundation • have their own foundation (pier or continuous) • be allowed to float • poured in place or precast Settling or heaving problems are common.

Rise, Run, Tread Width and Slope Problems A successful staircase is one that is easy to walk up and down. The rise, run and tread width (depth) have to be within certain guidelines, often dictated by your local jurisdiction. Because this is a safety issue, you don’t have much room for latitude or interpretation. The uniformity of the steps is as important as their rise and run. It is not unusual for the top or bottom step to have a different rise than the rest. This can be a trip hazard and is most serious if it’s the top step. Stairs that have settled or heaved may have a slope. Generally speaking, any slope is dangerous. The standards for rise, run and tread width vary slightly from area to area. You should learn what is acceptable in your area. Rise is usually 8 inches maximum, and runs are typically 8 to 10 inches minimum. The tread width is usually 1-inch more than the run. In some areas, this is called tread depth; in others, it is head width. This is accomplished by adding a 1-inch nosing to the tread.

Rise is too high on these porch steps.

Missing or Undersized Landings Where the steps come up to an exterior door, there is often a storm door that opens outward. Good building practice dictates that someone coming up the steps should not be knocked down by someone opening the door from the inside. There should be room for the door to swing out over a landing without knocking a person off. Minimum dimensions for landings often are described as three feet by three feet. Whether the door to the building opens in or out, there should be a landing. Some jurisdictions will allow a landing to be omitted in situations where there are three or fewer risers serving a secondary entrance. Three risers serving the main entrance would require a landing, even if the door opens inward. Check your local rules. A missing or undersized landing is an original construction issue. This is a safety issue. People may fall down the stairs. Advise clients of the benefits of a proper landing and point out where they are not present.

Look for a step going up into the house from the landing or top step. The landing should not be flush with the threshold. Water and snow are likely to get in around the bottom of the door unless there is a step up. The step up into the house should be no more than a typical rise on any step (for example, 8 inches). Settled or Heaved Steps Settled steps may be dangerous because of the tread slope and lack of uniformity that results. They also may indicate movement of the entire structure. Repairing steps that do not have a proper foundation or are not properly supported by the building is expensive. This is especially true of concrete or masonry steps. Settling or heaving may be caused by a failure to provide a proper foundation and footing system on undisturbed soil below the frost line. In situations where the steps are supported by the building, settlement is usually the result of inadequate attachment. In rare cases, the building walls may yield, causing settlement of the concrete or masonry steps and other more serious structural problems. The trip hazard that is created is the first implication. An expensive repair is the result. In severe cases, structural problems can develop. Look carefully at the junction between the steps or landing and the building itself. Where there is settlement, there is often a gap. Where the gap is wider at the top than at the bottom, the steps may be settling down away from the building. Pay attention to the step uniformity and the slope of the treads, both side to side and front to back, as you walk up the steps. Pay attention to the slope of the landing, bearing in mind that landings should slope a little to drain water away from the building. In some cases, frost or expansive soils will cause the steps to heave rather than to settle. The resulting problems are similar. It may be safer to describe “movement” rather than mistake heaving for settling or vice versa. Because the movement is often rotational, this is an easy mistake to make.

Wood steps and landings should be looked at the same way as interior stairs (with respect to dimension and stability) and the same as exterior woodwork (with respect to wood or soil contact). Wood steps in contact with soil is a condition that is frequently found and can lead to rot and step settlement. The following are common problems with exterior steps and landings: • Rise, run, tread width (depth) and slope problems • Missing or undersized landings • Settlement or heaving • Spalling masonry or concrete • Rot, wood or soil contact or insect damage • Springy, loose or sagging steps • Carpeting over wood


ASHI Reporter • April 2016

Problems with rise, run, tread width, uniformity and slope may be because of the way the stairs were built or because of settlement or heaving. This is a safety issue. People may fall on stairs that are improperly arranged. Although it is not your role to insist that changes be made, it is your role to point out that the steps are not conventional and that people may fall. Most home inspectors do not measure these dimensions on every set of stairs on every home. With very little practice, one can detect stairs that are outside normal ranges and can pick up irregularities in rise and slope of treads, visually and by walking on them. If it feels awkward, it’s probably wrong.

Severely settled steps against a retaining wall.

9April 2016

• www.ASHIReporter.org



Exterior Steps and Landings

Carpeting on Wood Carpeting on wood prevents a close inspection and may hold water against the wood. This is a red-flag situation. Often, carpeting is added for esthetic reasons or to provide a nonskid surface. Carpet on wood steps and decks will hold moisture, inhibit drying and lead to rot. Premature failure of the wood should be anticipated. Wood covered with carpeting cannot be repainted or stained on a regular basis and cannot be readily inspected for damage.

Settling and deterioration on a masonry landing

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Explain the disadvantage of having the carpeting and recommend its removal for functional reasons. Some people will keep the carpet because of the advantages. Make sure you report your concern about the condition of the wood below the carpeting and your inability to fully inspect it.

Spalling Concrete or Masonry Spalling refers to the crumbling or flaking of the surface of the material. Causes include the following:

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• de-icing salts • poor quality concrete or masonry • water accumulation and freezing in the masonry or concrete


Spalling is often the result of the using of de-icing salts or the freeze/thaw cycles. Spalling also can be the result of an improper concrete mix or masonry that is not suitable for use as a paver. In some cases, the implications are only cosmetic. In severe cases, the safety of the stairs may be compromised. Repairs are usually expensive and often involve sandblasting the concrete prior to refinishing. Check horizontal surfaces and edges, in particular, for spalling or, in some cases, chipping. Look for loose material on the steps or landing. Even in the early stages, this should be documented. Don’t mistake a textured nonskid surface for spalling. Many recommend urea-based de-icing agents rather than salts. Salts are harder on concrete because they crystallize and expand below the surface, causing spalling.

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Carpeting on wood steps promotes rot and limits inspection.

Summary In this article, we have briefly discussed exterior steps and landings typically attached to porches and decks. We outlined some of the common conditions. In the ASHI@HOME Training Program, we explain the details of other common conditions and their associated causes and implications, along with strategies for inspection. H

Spalling is very common on concrete and masonry steps.


ASHI Reporter • April 2016

11April 2016

• www.ASHIReporter.org


C. Blaine Illingworth III (ASHI Board Member) 4/17/1950 - 3/3/2016

“Blaine was a great friend, mentor and lighthouse to us all, with his wisdom and insight. Blaine is no longer in pain but we all feel the pain of his loss and we will keep his family in our prayer for God’s guidance.” –Shannon Cory

Around the CoRner

From the Speaker of the CoR


found a frog in a crawlspace. Not really the sort of thing one normally gloats over or immediately takes to the phone and Facebook to share. A passing remark is about all you would expect, right? However, when you change the context, the story has a reward you didn’t anticipate. I found a frog in a crawlspace in February in Northern Virginia with the outdoor temperature being 31 degrees, and the frog was ALIVE! Now, THAT’s unusual.

“When I think of courage it is Blaine who comes to mind first. He will be missed.” –Blaine Swan “A good man of faith and an asset to our profession. He will be missed. Thoughts and prayers to his family.” –Mike Wagner

Here’s another “frog in a crawlspace” story, chapter membership. What’s the big deal? Lots of folks belong to a chapter… So what? Actually, chapter membership is now held by only 40% of ASHI members, which means that 60% of ASHI members do not belong to any chapter. “Ribbit.”

“Blaine will always be one of the people who made me a better person just for knowing him.” –Bob Walstead “Blaine was one of the really good guys. He’ll be sorely missed by his ASHI family and his real family. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family at this trying time.” –Kevin Westendorff

Had I not been part of a chapter, I wouldn’t have had the personal support, one-on-one educational opportunities and amazing experiences that I’ve had. The chapter is where you build your local market for ASHI inspectors, where you get help from and give help to each other. Where you make those friends you will have for the rest of your life—the guys and gals who understand exactly what you’re talking about. I want those things for every one of you because you deserve it. Here’s a new way that we in the Northern Virginia (NOVA) chapter of ASHI are trying to build our membership: On February 23, 2016, NOVA ASHI held the first experimental webcast of our monthly chapter meeting. By way of GoToMeeting.com, we sent out an interactive video link so that people could join the meeting online. Our Chapter Relations Committee Chairman, B.K. Thompson, and I monitored and critiqued the technical aspects (as the NOVA ASHI Webcast Committee fumbled with the newly purchased equipment… me, worst of all) and we learned a lot. Soon, we’ll be sending out widespread invitations for next month’s meeting. There will be a special membership classification for those who are “Satellite Members” of NOVA ASHI, with a reduced membership fee and the ability to receive continuing education credits and discounts on chapter seminars. The NOVA ASHI Board of Directors is working out the complete list of requirements. Once the details are finalized, we will export a “How To” manual, along with CRC and CoR support, to other chapters. Eventually, everyone in ASHI will have an easy way to participate in a chapter. And even though those of you who’ll be participating in your local meetings from home can wear “comfortable clothing,” those who attend chapter meetings in person must still wear pants. Just sayin’. Now, What’s YOUR Great Idea? Write me at Speaker@ashi.org and share your ideas with the CoR.

~ Jim James Funkhouser, Speaker, ASHI Council of Representatives, Speaker@ashi.org H

“The ASHI Board of Directors will miss his to-the-point attitude and experience that he brought with him.” –Randy Sipe “Blaine was the kind of guy who could disagree with me 100%...then turn the corner of his mouth up with that smile of his and make me forget what the argument was about. A great thinker and an even better human.” –Frank Lesh H

ASHI Reporter • April 2016

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ASHI Council of Representatives Speakers and Group Leaders Speaker: Jim Funkhouser 571-214-4039 jfunkhousr@aol.com Alternate Speaker: John Wessling St. Louis, MO 314-520-1103 John@wesslinginspections.com

New York/ New Jersey Kevin Vargo 732-271-1887 kpvargo@comcast.net

Mid-Atlantic Hollis Brown 703-856-7567 Hollis@thorospec.com

Secretary: Brendan Ryan 724-898-1414 brendan@csahomeinspection.com


Group Leaders

New England/ Canada Mike Atwell 617-630-5629 mike@jmhi.com



South Midwest John Wessling 314-520-1103 john@wesslinginspections.com

North Central Dave Haught 304-417-1247 inspector@wvchi.com


Michael J. Von Gunten 262-945-2446 mike@lahigroup.com

Kurt Salomon 801-523-6060 kurt@inspectutah.com

South Atlantic


Richard Hart 770-827-2200 ashi1@comcast.net

Darrell Hay 206-226-3205 darrellhay@aol.com

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Gulf John Knudsen 334-221-0876 jgknudsen111@elmore. rr.com

13April 2016

• www.ASHIReporter.org



Nontraditional HVAC Systems: What Should You Know?

Nontraditional HVAC Systems: What Should You Know?

Nontraditional HVAC Systems: What Should You Know? By Mike Collignon, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Green Builder® Coalition, and Carol Dikelsky, Editor, ASHI Reporter


s, ERVs, high-velocity systems and ductless mini-splits…

…the use of these modern HVAC systems is growing exponentially in homes across the country. It’s important that air ventilation systems work correctly to ensure good air quality. Do you know the basics about these systems, including what to look for and point out to clients when you encounter them?

We asked three experts to put themselves in a home inspector’s shoes and describe important aspects of these mechanical systems that are becoming more and more common in energyefficient homes. Heat-Recovery and Energy-Recovery Ventilators A conversation with Paul Raymer, Chief Investigator, Heyoka Solutions, Falmouth, MA (email praymer@heysol.com, www. heyokasolutions.com)

Paul Raymer specializes in HRVs/ERVs and authored the book Residential Ventilation Handbook: Ventilation to Improve Indoor Air Quality. He emphasized the idea that a house is a system in which every part relates to every other part. HRVs use the heat in outgoing stale air to warm the fresh air coming into a home. Typically, HRVs use one fan with two wheels (one removes household air and one brings in fresh air) and a heatexchange core that transfers heat from 14

ASHI Reporter • April 2016

the outgoing to the incoming airstream. The core’s narrow alternating passages for the airstreams allow it to transfer heat from the warm side of each passage to the cold, without mixing them.1 “HRVs are ideal for tight, moisture-prone homes because, in the heating season, they replace the humid air with dry, fresh air. In climates with excessive outdoor humidity, an energy-recovery ventilator is more suitable. This device is similar to an HRV, but dehumidifies the incoming fresh airstream.”1 Raymer said, “With newer, superinsulated homes, internal comfort may be achieved through effective ventilation systems.” He suggested that, when inspectors see a home’s mechanicals, they should note whether the BTUs of the furnace are lower than what is considered normal. And if an ERV is in place, ask this question: “Are these systems working in tandem?” ERVs can often reduce the necessary tonnage of the furnace by lowering the moisture that might be drawn into the home. Raymer said, “Balance is the key factor of HRVs/ERVs. I see more oversized than undersized A/Cs. Oversized A/Cs often have an excessive electric load. For example, if there’s a window A/C unit installed in the master bedroom, this tells me that the home may have an oversized A/C unit that’s short-cycling, which means that it’s not running long enough to effectively dehumidify the air. Sometimes you’ll see a 5-ton A/C in a house that should have a 2-ton A/C.” Codes and resources. Look for documentation on the HRV/ERV unit (or ask for it if it is not clearly marked on the unit). The International Energy Conservation Code

(the model energy code) requires wholehouse mechanical ventilation, in addition to bathroom ventilation. American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and AirConditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 62.2 is the ventilation standard for low-rise residential buildings in the United States that requires ventilation performance to be tested. (Refer to www.ashrae.org for more information.) The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (www.acca.org) provides various quality-related resources about HRV/ERV standards, installation, maintenance and restoration that could be useful for home inspectors and their clients.

The goal is to achieve efficiency and balance. An unbalanced HRV/ERV is either bringing in or putting out unequal amounts of air. An HRV/ERV can’t be balanced if it’s using both supply and return. HRVs are, by design, balanced systems, but they do not add air to the house—an HRV only brings in an equal amount to what is expelled. Indoor units. Accessible placement of the HRV/ERV unit is critical. If it’s difficult to reach the unit, it will be difficult for the homeowner to check and maintain it. Inspectors can check the flow tabs on the sides of the HRV unit; these can help with balancing the system for HERS ratings and/or energy audits. An unbalanced HRV/ERV can put the house under negative pressure, causing an atmospherically vented combustion appliance to spill exhaust gases into the house. Raymer has seen HRVs/ERVs in which the filters had never been replaced. To address this, open the unit to check that the filter is inside and note the state of the filter as well as the condition of the exchanger core. Open the HRV/ERV cabinet to see if it has been maintained. If the core is not clean or if the cabinet is full of leaves, nests or other debris, then the core is drawing in unclean air and distributing that throughout the home.

Duct systems. Ventilation—not cooling or heating—is the purpose of an HRV/ERV. These systems ideally have a dedicated duct system, so in addition to the ducts used for heating and cooling, there should be another set of ducts for ventilation. If an HRV has its own duct system, it can be balanced, but if it’s connected to an air handler, it can

driven, which guarantees delivered CFM of air to all space, and the system delivers an even temperature (within 2 degrees) throughout the space.

be unbalanced when the air handler is operating. Raymer cautioned inspectors to be aware that an HRV/ERV can tap into either input or output ducts, but if the HRV/ERV is tapped into both of these, the performance of the HRV may be useless.

HRVs have defrost cycles to melt ice on their cores. The internal drain pan should be clear of debris. Outdoor units (exterior hoods). Inspectors can do a simple test with a garbage bag to determine how well the HRV outdoor unit is working. Check out the online factsheet 2 for step-by-step instructions.

Exterior hoods should be 10 feet apart so that air doesn’t mix and contribute to cross-contamination. Appliances. Check whether the intake and exhaust vents of range hoods or clothes dryers are clear and appear to have been installed and maintained properly. If an HRV or ERV has not been properly balanced, it can cause problems with appliances that use the chimney flue. High-Velocity Systems A conversation with Shawn Intagliata, Sustainable Business Development, Unico, Inc., St. Louis, MO (email shawn@unicosystem. com, www.unicosystem.com)

Shawn Intagliata is a great source of information about small-duct, high-velocity systems. Unico, his family’s business, produces an architecturally friendly, sustainable HVAC system. Intagliata emphasized that home inspectors should understand the basic principles and the history of building science. He said, “The green industry is pushing the understanding of the building concept and the science behind it. The more knowledge that home inspectors have, the better they can help their clients understand details about their significant purchase.” This primer of high-velocity systems is based on the Unico system: Unico’s ductwork is one-quarter the size of conventional ducts and is virtually leakfree. The system can be designed to work with multiple levels or ceiling heights and produces optimum indoor moisture management, which is critical in tight thermal envelopes. Its motor technology is software-

Unico systems have been installed in one of the largest affordable LEED platinum projects in the nation: Make It Right Foundation’s redevelopment project in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, LA. This partnership has provided cooling and heating for 1,440-square-feet homes for an average cost of $0.68 per day. High-velocity systems may become more prevalent in homes, owing to their optimum heat transfer and affordability. Because the ducts are much smaller than standard options, high-velocity systems can be found in metropolitan areas, custom homes and high-performance buildings. In the Northeast, they pop up in retrofits. They are also prevalent in Texas and in cities like Denver and New Orleans. Intagliata said, “It’s a myth that a house can be ‘too tight.’ I’d argue that the house is mechanically mismanaged. If mechanical systems are working properly, then the house should not be too tight.” Having high-quality indoor air reduces the risk for mold and allergens. “Selling agents may hope that an inspector’s report will indicate that everything’s perfect about a house,” Intagliata said, “but home inspectors know they have a responsibility to give accurate information that can affect the cost and value of the home. When reporting about HVAC systems, inspectors could make an effort to provide their clients with information that could increase their knowledge base about their purchase and to reach for better outcomes.” Intagliata recommends that inspectors use these strategies with high-velocity systems: • Detect whether there’s an even comfort level of conditioned air; in other words, it should be hot and cold in appropriate places. • Check whether the outdoor unit is working properly; pay attention to the amount of leaves or debris and the way the unit sits on its base.

15April 2016

• www.ASHIReporter.org



Nontraditional HVAC Systems: What Should You Know?

• Turn on the high-velocity unit to be sure it flows hot and cold. Check the filter placement and status. • Turn on the fan and listen. A noisy fan could indicate an undersized system that lacks appropriate air flow or it could indicate that the system was not installed properly. • If the house has an attic that sits above a living space, determine whether it appears to be reasonably sealed. Check whether there is a secondary drain pan under the unit and that the drain line slopes out. • Check the indoor coil; it should be clean. • Pull out the blower wheel; it should be clean. Blower wheels can become dusty; even 1/8 inch of dust can denigrate the motor’s efficiency by up to 20%. • Look at the coil from the outside. If there is a top discharge, check inside the cabinet to make sure there’s no buildup of debris and dust. On the condensing unit, the compressor—the copper coil—dissipates heat outdoors. The copper coil, which can be cleaned with water, should be free of debris and dirt. • Check whether air is flowing from every outlet. For example, if there are three outlets in one room but only two are blowing air, this could signal a shoddy duct split. • Understand Energy Star levels. (Look for an article addressing this topic in the May issue of the ASHI Reporter.) • Empower your clients by sharing information. For example, when inspecting an older home that lacks modern mechanicals, consider suggesting that the buyer invest in a high-velocity, small-duct system to better manage indoor relative humidity. Ductless Mini-Splits A conversation with Ken Nelson, Northwest Regional Manager, Panasonic Eco Solutions – North America, Olympia, WA (email ken. nelson@us.panasonic.com, www.business.panasonic. com/products-hvacventilationproducts)

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), 3 ductless, mini-split system heat pumps and air conditioners (often 16

ASHI Reporter • April 2016

simply referred to as “mini-splits”) are becoming more common in multifamily housing. These units can be good retrofit add-ons to houses with “non-ducted” heating systems, such as hydronic (hot water heat), radiant panels and space heaters (wood, kerosene or propane). Mini-splits might be found in additions where extending or installing distribution ductwork isn’t feasible and in efficiently built new homes requiring only a small space conditioning system. The DOE recommends using Energy Star-compliant units and getting an experienced technician to install the system.

When describing the affordability and efficiency of ductless systems Ken Nelson explained that in a 2,000-square-foot house, for example, you could feasibly add a ductless mini-split heat pump as a supplement to a gas furnace and during the winter months, the home’s combined energy costs could drop by approximately $100 per month. This overall savings likely would involve a decrease in gas costs and an increase in electric costs. Nelson noted that, although many builders typically install traditional HVAC systems, many buyers are looking for a more efficient zonal approach to heating and cooling indoor air, and this is particularly true where he lives in the Pacific Northwest. Ductless systems fit nicely with this choice. He said, “In my own home, I have two ductless mini-split register heads—one in the great room and the other in the master bedroom. The units bookend the house, pointing toward each other, and by providing heat zonally, they require less than 2 tons of heating/cooling energy on even our coldest days.” He explained that ductless systems work to continually rotate the air. Nelson said, “Overall, operational costs are low. In some

cases, for about $1 of energy costs put in, a system might put out about $5 worth of heat. Ductless systems are remarkably efficient, with the primary reason being that the heating and cooling functions only occur inside the conditioned space of the home.” Ductless heat pumps consist of an outdoor condensing unit connected to an indoor wall (or ceiling) register head. Outdoor and indoor units are connected by a line set (a gas line and a fluid line), control wiring and a small condensate hose that drains potential moisture from the indoor unit outside the house. Condensation can occur when the ductless heat pump is in the air-conditioning mode. Nelson described that, ideally, a ductless wall unit should be placed on an exterior wall mount with a condensate drain line at one end; in this way, gravity helps pull the moisture down and away. Ductless units can be placed on interior walls, but there is a risk that condensation could become an issue so these units may need a condensate pump. Some ductless units are designed in a “cassette” style and have their own condensate pumps.

Did you Miss This? With Spring here, along with the wet weather that often engulfs it, we need to pay special attention to one of the profession’s least popular areas…the dreaded crawl space! The ASHI Reporter has printed many great articles about how to inspect them (March 2015 and November 2011); have you overlooked when you can’t inspect one? You may want to check out a past issue of theASHI Reporter written Michael Casey and Robert Pearson, about Lessons in Risk Management: The Inaccessible Crawl Space. It’s in the September 2010 ASHI Reporter. Copy the link below and paste it to your browser: http://www.ashireporter.org/ HomeInspection/Articles/ Lessons-in-Risk-ManagementThe-Inaccessible-Crawl-Space/1954 H

Concealed short-run ducts also are beginning to be installed in some new construction. Functioning like forced-air units, these systems can be “hidden” in the upper sections of compact spaces such as closets or bathrooms. Nelson offered these suggestions for inspectors who encounter ductless mini-splits: •O  pen the register head and observe the status of the filters. Filters should be cleaned periodically to enhance the unit’s efficiency and ensure clean air, and more often if there are instances of heavy pollen or other indoor air-quality issues. •F  ind the condensate tray, which should be unclogged and free of bugs and debris. Trays should be routinely cleaned. The tubing should lead to a drain hose. •O  n the indoor unit, turn on the fan and listen. The fan should run smoothly and without unnatural noises. •T  ry out the remote control to be sure it works properly with the system. Continues on Page 39 17April 2016

• www.ASHIReporter.org


AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action, Part 1

AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action, Part 1 By Alan Carson, Carson Dunlop, www.carsondunlop.com, 800-268-7070


is an acronym for Attention – Interest – Desire – Action. Focusing on these words can help guide you when writing material designed to persuade potential clients to act in a certain way. Whether you’re creating an advertisement, blog post, video, brochure, direct mail piece (such as a postcard) or a newsletter for real estate agents or homebuyers, you should be “thinking AIDA” when you write. This article is not meant to be a college-level course in writing ad copy, of course, but here are a few tips you can try.

ATTENTION Immediately grab the reader’s attention with a headline and subhead. Because advertising fills our daily lives—ads cover almost every conceivable surface and fill the airwaves—most people are desensitized to them. We look, but we don’t see. Successful advertising finds a way to break through our desensitization. Some ads use shock tactics to get your attention. It doesn’t matter if the shock has nothing do to with the product or service. The goal is to jar you into paying attention and to create a memorable connection to the product or service. Humor is another tool of the advertising world. If the advertiser can make you laugh, you might remember the product or service with fondness. Another timehonored strategy is using sex to sell. Again, the goal is to make a connection in the consumer’s mind between something pleasant and the product or service. Although sex is used in many ad campaigns, not surprisingly, we don’t believe it works well for home inspection advertising. On the other hand, we’ve seen both shock value and humor used effectively. Using an image—in addition to or instead of words—also can help grab your audience’s attention.


ASHI Reporter • April 2016

INTEREST Keep your headline short to make sure it will generate immediate interest. For example, don’t say, “Get a Home Inspection to Protect Your Investment.” The “Get a Home Inspection” part makes the headline long and it’s unnecessary because the reader will realize they need a home inspection when they read the next part of your ad. Here are some better headline ideas: • How to Avoid a Money Pit • Don’t Gamble When Buying a Home • Reduce the Risks in Buying a Home • How to Avoid Buying a Lemon • Will Your Dream Home Become Your Nightmare? • Invest $400, Save Over $10,000! • Knowledge is Power—Let us Empower you • Protect Your Investment • Make the Right Decision • Don’t Get Burned

DESIRE After you’ve captured the readers’ interest, you should increase their desire for your product or service. State the benefits from a reader’s perspective. For example: “You have enough tough decisions to make when buying your new home. Our professional evaluation gives you one less thing to worry about.” Remember, prospective clients will find the benefits of your service more valuable than the features of your service. (Refer to recent issues of the ASHI Reporter for more information about benefits and features.) Coming soon: ACTION! This introduction to AIDA marketing covered Attention, Interest and Desire. Next month’s column will give you tips for Action and outline strategies for writing great headlines in your advertising. Stay tuned! H

You’ll notice that many of these titles create a problem and suggest a solution in just a few words. The idea is to grab readers’ attention by telling them that buying a home can be a big financial risk and then keeping their interest by reminding them that a home inspection can dramatically reduce that risk. Next, you must continue to develop your readers’ interest. There should be a seamless flow from reading the headline to discovering important or interesting information. Posing a question can be a good way to follow up on a headline. For example: “Did you know that 40 percent of homes in the Chicago area have a problem with wet basements?” Also, the word “free” usually makes people look twice. If it doesn’t work in the headline, try including it in another part of your ad. You’d think that with so many companies offering free things, people would become desensitized to these claims, but it hasn’t happened yet! So, what can be “free” about a $450 home inspection? Perhaps you could offer one of the following: • FREE home encyclopedia for every client •F  REE checklist of things to look for in a home during the home-buying process •F  REE telephone consultations with you for as long as the client owns the home •F  REE seminar for first-time homebuyers 19April 2016

• www.ASHIReporter.org


Your Health How a Simple Head Bump can Cause an Insidious Brain Injury

Your Health

How a Simple Bump can Cause an Insidious Brain Injury by Daniel Zwerdling

© 2016 National Public Radio, Inc. NPR news report titled “How a Simple Bump can Cause an Insidious Brain Injury” by Daniel Zwerdling was originally published on NPR.org January 6, 2016, and is used with the permission of NPR. Any unauthorized duplication is strictly prohibited. 

pain was so intense. So a neurosurgeon, who had treated Arling’s back problems before, ordered an MRI of Arling’s spine — and also his brain. When the MRI technician saw Arling’s pictures taking shape on his screen, he called the radiologist and said, “You need to see this right away.”

Updated January 7, 2016, 5:07 PM ET. Published January 6, 2016, 12:46 PM ET.

The images showed a big, white, lake-like shape where Arling’s brain should have been, inside the top right side of his skull. It was a pool of blood that was pushing down on the brain, causing it to shift from right to left.


t’s not just football players or troops who fought in the wars who suffer from brain injuries. Researchers estimate that hundreds of thousands of ordinary people in the U.S. get potentially serious brain injuries every year, too. Yet they and even their doctors often don’t know it. One such doctor is Bryan Arling, an internist in Washington, D.C. His peers often vote to put him on those lists of “top doctors,” published by glossy magazines. So it’s ironic that the brain injury he failed to diagnose was his own. And he could have died from it. Last spring, Arling went looking for some files in his walk-up attic. It was jammed with boxes of Christmas tree ornaments, old clothes and other odds and ends that define decades of family life. After an hour of searching, he found the files in a box, grabbed the folders and stood up. He then felt a shooting pain in the center of his back. “It’s a pain I’ve had before,” says Arling, who has battled back problems for years. “But it was more intense than I’ve ever had it before.” He took painkillers and went back to work. Weeks went by, and his back was still hurting him.

An MRI scan shows Bryan Arling’s brain from above. The white-looking fluid is a subdural hematoma, or a collection of blood, that pushed part of his brain away from the skull, causing headaches and slowing his decision-making. Courtesy of Dr. Ingrid Ott, Washington Radiology Associates

They sent Arling straight from the MRI to the emergency room at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. He says as they started prepping him for open brain surgery, the medical staff kept asking about his fall. “And I said, ‘I haven’t fallen,’ ” Arling says.

Then, just as they were wheeling him into the operating room, Arling remembered: The day he stood “Then I began noticing that I was shuffling. I was so weak I couldn’t up in the attic and threw out his back, he had forgotcarry my plate out to the back deck. I would just drop things. And ten he was under the eaves, and had knocked the everybody commented on how I seemed different,” he says. top of his head against a wood beam. But he didn’t even get a cut, so he forgot about it. And gradually, Arling says, his thinking seemed different, too. “I could make sense of things, I could get things done, I could make decisions,” he says. “But I was slower at what I did.” Arling thought he was having trouble focusing because his back 20

ASHI Reporter • April 2016

Everybody knows you can get hurt if you fall off a ladder, or slip and bash your head on the ice. But Arling got a kind of brain injury that’s usually more insidious — a subdural hematoma.

21April 2016

• www.ASHIReporter.org




Your Health How a Simple Head Bump can Cause an Insidious Brain Injury

A subdural hematoma is different from the typical blast injuries that affected hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. In those cases, shock waves rattled their brains and caused microscopic damage that’s hard or impossible to detect. It’s also different from the usual football concussions, in which blows to the head damage the brain’s electrical wiring. The main population at risk for a subdural hematoma is the elderly. To understand why, it helps to picture an aging brain. The brain is wrapped and protected by a membrane called the dura mater. Inside the dura, there’s a network of veins that connect it to the surface of the brain.

How To Detect A Possible Injury Brain specialists say you should see a doctor if you develop these symptoms: • A headache, even a low-grade headache, that doesn’t go away • Weakness in the legs or arms • Any cognitive changes: You feel, or people say you seem, “different.”

Researchers say if you simply bump your head on the eaves of your attic, as Arling did, or if you simply start to fall and then catch yourself — so your head doesn’t strike anything, but it jerks in the air — that can be enough force to jostle your shrinking brain. “And those veins stretch, and you’ll get tearing in those veins,” says Dr. David Cifu, who runs a joint research project studying brain injuries for the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. And because blood from veins tends to ooze, instead of pump as it does from arteries, Cifu says, “when the veins tear, we get a very low-pressure ribbon of blood that’s layering on top of the surface of the brain.” As that blood starts to pool over days or weeks, it irritates the brain cells. And if the pool’s big enough, it presses on the brain and damages it, much like a tumor. Researchers studied the problem a few years ago at a sample of 20 percent of the nation’s hospitals. As they reported in the Journal of Neurosurgery, those hospitals alone diagnosed almost 44,000 subdural hematomas in one year. So the researchers estimate there could be more than 200,000 subdural hematoma injuries diagnosed annually at all the hospitals across the country.

Your Health How a Simple Head Bump can Cause an Insidious Brain Injury

They say an unknown additional number of subdural hematomas are misdiagnosed, or simply missed: Half the patients studied have trouble remembering they hit their heads at all.

“It’s so easy to come away from a story like mine, and to feel fragile, and so to worry unnecessarily,” Arling says. “The body is phenomenally well-designed, and it has a phenomenal ability to heal itself.”

Like Arling. And like Tom Feild, a retired computer systems analyst who used to work for the VA.

Correction Jan. 7, 2016 In the audio of this story, as in a previous Web version, we incorrectly say Bryan Arling was sent to Georgetown University Medical Center after his MRI. He was actually taken to another part of the same complex, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. H

Feild says his own medical mystery began with headaches. “It wasn’t a constant headache — it was a low-grade headache. But it wouldn’t go away,” he says. Then he was driving his wife on an errand, and he kept drifting across the yellow line. “I said, ‘Tom, you’re going on their side of the road.’ He said, ‘I know...I can’t seem to help it,’ ” Jody Feild says.

Tom Feild made an appointment with his local doctor. And the next thing he knew, a helicopter was rushing him to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond. Neurosurgeon Bill Broaddus drilled three holes into Field’s skull and vacuumed out roughly 8 ounces of blood that had pooled since he developed a subdural hematoma.

The Mid Missouri ASHI Chapter participated in a panel discussion for the Columbia Women’s Council of Realtors in February. The Chapter members presented the realtors with helpful tips to get their seller’s home ready for a home inspection. The event was a huge success with questions and interaction with the realtors after the presentation.

Broaddus says before the surgery, he asked Feild what type of accident had injured his head. It took awhile before Feild could remember. He had put a sprinkler away under his porch two months earlier and bumped his head against the floorboards when he stood up before backing out all the way. “We may see 50 to 100 [similar subdural hematomas] here at this institution every year,” says Broaddus. Brain specialists say it’s important to view these injuries in perspective: Most people who get a subdural hematoma will never know it. The brain will reabsorb the blood, the victim’s symptoms will disappear, and life will go on as normal. But for tens of thousands of others, it’s serious. Doctors say they often see families who think loved ones are getting dementia, and it turns out they hit their heads and have a bleed. Some victims die.

Studies suggest that as you get older, your brain shrinks and pulls away from the dura, especially after you’re 60 or 70 years old. But the veins keep holding on to both the dura and the brain. So as your brain pulls away, some of those veins become more exposed and more vulnerable. 22

ASHI Reporter • April April2016 2016

Researchers like Cifu say you don’t need to consult a doctor the second you get a headache. But they say it’s sensible, and responsible, to follow some simple guidelines: Consult a physician as soon as possible if the headaches don’t go away, or if you begin to have trouble with your balance or feel weakness in your legs or arms. Also, if the way you think starts to seem “different,” Cifu says. Tom Feild looks at a brain scan with his doctor at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond, Va. Feild had brain surgery after experiencing a low-grade headache that wouldn’t go away and difficulty driving. Matailong Du for NPR

(left to right) Bobbi Wilson, Scott Wilson, Mike Rawlings, Mario Trevino, Stuart Spradling, Randall Smith, John Watkins, Melanie Spradling and Mark Kelsey. H

Has your chapter had an event recently? Please send your event details, photos and photo captions to: arlenez@ashi.org

Internist Arling says even if it turns out that you do have a bleed, he’s living proof that these brain injuries can be cured if you catch them in time.

23April 2016

• www.ASHIReporter.org


“Thank you. We sure do appreciate everyone at OREP. Worry free service year after year!”

Examining Ethics and Morals

— Alan, HousePro Home Inspections

April is National Home Inspection Month

Examining Ethics and Morals

Home Inspector E&O & GL Broad Policy, Peace of Mind

By Don Lovering, ACI

Are we home inspectors who are in business or are we businesspeople who happen to be home inspectors? Do we represent an industry or a profession? Professional groups and organizations like ASHI have created and affirmed codes of ethics to which professionals who belong to these groups are expected to follow. According to the Boone and Crockett Club, the definition of ethics is “when you do the right thing when nobody is looking.” Simple, direct and to the point, just the way I like it. One definition of a profession is a paid occupation, especially one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification. And one definition of industry is an economic activity concerned with the processing of raw materials and the manufacturing of goods in factories. So, I’d say that we are professionals working within the home inspection profession.

•E  motional awareness. Staying in control of your emotions can be difficult when someone firmly disagrees with you, especially when you are certain that you are right. Say “thank you” and move on, and remember that the pen is mightier than the sword. Your wellworded report can solidify your position on the issue, whereas any hasty words or emotional actions can destroy your position. •S  elf-control. I remember a time when I heard some inspectors comment about the abilities (or lack thereof) of another inspector. During their conversation, they named two other inspectors who they believed also agreed with their assessment. Bad-mouthing your fellow inspectors is bad business, and it is the sort of behavior that’s likely to come back to bite you when you least expect it. Attempt to work from these premises: “I am confident that I offer a better product. I charge what I am worth; others can charge what they believe they are worth.”

With that established, let me review the elements that should guide inspectors in both ethical and moral determinations on a daily basis. By adhering to the guidelines listed below, each one of us can help elevate the home inspection profession as a whole and raise up ASHI in particular as the go-to organization for buyers and sellers of housing stock. •P  ersonal competence. Your competence improves by gaining continuing education and by playing an active role within the home inspection profession. •S  elf-awareness. Be the beacon (not the foghorn) in any situation. Shine and keep shining, realizing that many people are watching your actions and your delivery. •S  elf-confidence. As you continue to climb the ladder of success, bring your knowledge to every event, function, meeting and inspection. There’s no need to be argumentative; simply state your case and move on. •K  now your strengths and weaknesses. When attempting to find a solution to an inspection dilemma, issue or unknown, refrain from seeking advice on chat rooms and social media. Instead, buy a relevant book, go to the manufacturer’s website, call the manufacturer’s tech department or take a class on the topic the next time you see one being offered. If you don’t know something, say, “I don’t know, but I can try to find the answer.”


ASHI Reporter • April 2016

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Plus  “A” Rated, Admitted Carrier, Prior Acts, Additional Insured for Agents and other Referring Parties.  No Hassle, No Quote Application saves time. Automatic annual renewal for most insureds at the same rate or lower with no application.  “First Defense” defends and protects insureds against merit-less and frivolous complaints before they take root, potentially saving inspectors deductible expense, higher premiums and a negative claims history.  Coverage for all inspectors employed by the firm and the first two independent contractors free.  OREP Professional Support Network: free on-demand technical support, contract review, discounted approved CE, Working RE Magazine, corporate rates on office supplies, technology and more.

$300,000 Limit/$1,250 •M  otivation. Take classes, go to InspectionWorld,® attend chapter meetings and seminars. Definitely spread the word that you are part of ASHI, the organization that has been the pinnacle of the home inspection profession for over 40 years. Seek out your chapter’s “go-to members”—nine times out of 10, they will have answers to your questions and the experience to back it up. But also remember that you have to make an effort to get to know these and any other members—don’t expect anyone to call you every week to ask how you are doing. Continues on Page 36

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6760 University Ave. #250 • San Diego, CA 92115 Fax: (708) 570-5786 • info@orep.org David Brauner: Calif. Insurance Lic. #0C89873 25April 2016

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Affiliate Spotlight

News From the ASHI School By The ASHI School Staff


he ASHI School offers a full range of high-quality educational programs to anyone affiliated with or interested in the home inspection field and related professions. Getting your home inspection training with The ASHI School is your best opportunity for succeeding in this growing profession. Pre-license home inspection courses are our specialty; however, we also offer several supplemental classes that can advance or enhance your home inspection career. Our pre-license courses are designed to include an intelligent blend of pre-class study materials, live classroom lectures and hands-on home inspection training. At The ASHI School, you will receive more live field training than at any other school for home inspection. Most successful home inspectors agree that hands-on training is the best way to learn the trade, so we put you in the field nearly every day! We want you to experience actual home inspections on real houses so that you can learn from knowledgeable, practicing home inspectors who will guide you through the process. In addition, when you take our home inspection class, you will receive a first-year associate membership in the American Society of Home Inspectors. This membership allows you to join your local ASHI chapter, and there are ASHI chapters located across the country. Being a member of your local ASHI chapter will increase your ability to secure “ride-along” field training with seasoned inspectors, provide you with numerous networking opportunities and help you continue to increase and refine your knowledge about the home inspection business from the best resources…ASHI Inspectors. The ASHI School currently holds pre-license classes in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington state. At all locations, courses are taught by ASHI Certified Inspectors who have a wealth of knowledge and experience. We believe that

our educational program is the best because of these instructors and the highly regarded curriculum we offer through Carson Dunlop. The ASHI School has recently added three new sites: In Columbus, OH, and Baltimore, MD, you can attend two-week courses in Home Inspection, and in Brentwood, TN, you can take our “Fast Track” program, which provides 40 hours of online instruction, followed by six days of classroom and field events. In January 2016, the students at our site in Brentwood, TN, met a special guest, Ms. N. Avers, Executive Director of Regulatory Board, Commerce and Insurance, State of TN, Director of the Home Inspection Board.


Calling all U.S. Veterans! Use your qualified G.I. benefits at our Illinois Location. The ASHI School has been approved by the Illinois State Approving Agency for the enrollment of qualified veterans to receive G.I. Bill Educational Benefits.

w w w.t h e A S H I s c h o o l .c o m 1- 8 8 8 - 8 8 4 - 0 4 4 0 Upcoming Pre-License Classes

In addition, The ASHI School soon will launch a new 60-hour online Home Inspection Course. Stay tuned for details on this upcoming class.

• Nashville, TN


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We cover all of this for one low cost starƟng at $1,375 with $1,500 DeducƟble • Errors & Omissions and General Liability (each within it’s own limits)

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We have made some significant additions to our curriculum, and we look forward to incorporating many more updates and additions in the future. The ASHI School has expanded its ancillary classes as well. We now offer a four-point inspection and wind mitigation class in Florida, a two-day live webinar on residential radon measurement and a three-day commercial class. In the past, we have offered mold identification/remediation and infrared imaging, and we hope to include these topics in our schedule later this year.

The ASHI School provides a free set of the National Home Inspector Examination Manual and Study Guide to each student. These resources are must-haves to prepare for and pass the National Home Inspector Examination (NHIE). By providing these resources to each student, The ASHI School ensures that each student is fully equipped to study for the NHIE, which is required by many states.

Insuring Home Inspectors Since 1992

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ASHI Reporter • April 2016

27April 2016

• www.ASHIReporter.org



www.ashicentralpa.com Second Monday, 6 pm, except Jan. & July, Bonanza Steak House, Walnut Bottom Rd., Carlisle William Weitzel, 717-919-5087 bill@centralhomeinspections.com

Keystone (PA)

www.keystoneashi.org First Monday, 5:30 pm The Crowne Plaza, Reading David Artigliere, 610-220-1907 artihi@gmail.com


www.ohioashi.com Howard Snyder, 330-929-5239 ohashi@neo.rr.com

North Central Ohio

www.ncohioashi.com William Stone, 216-308-9663 wstonehomeinspection@gmail.com

Pocono-Lehigh (PA)

www.pocono-lehighashi.org Third Tuesday, Tannersville Inn, Tannersville Ronald Crescente, 570-646-7546 amerispec@pa.metrocast.net


www.proashi.com Second Wednesday of Jan., March, May, July & Nov. John Fleenor, 412-862-1443 jthefleenor@gmail.com

Tri-State (DE, NJ, PA)

www.tristateashi.org Second Tuesday except April, Aug. & Dec., Dave & Buster's Plymouth Meeting, PA Vince Tecca 215-527-5710 bioainsp@aol.com

MIDWEST Central Illinois

www.cicashi.com Second Monday, 6 pm Kevan Zinn, 309-262-5006 info@inspectwithzinn.com

Great Lakes (IL, IN, IA, KY, MI, MN, OH, WI) For monthly meetings: www.greatinspectors.com/ schedule-of-events/ Carol Case, 734-284-4501 carol@greatinspectors.com

Greater Omaha (NE)

www.ashiomaha.com Rick Crnkovich, 402-779-2529 Rick2@cox.net


ASHI Reporter • April 2016

Heartland (IA, MN, ND, SD, WI)

www.ashiheartland.com Reuben Saltzman, 612-205-5600 info@ash.heartland.org

Indiana ASHI

www.inashi.com Quarterly Danny Maynard, 317-319-7209 danny@inspectinc.net


www.iowaashichapter.org Fourth Tuesday, 5:30 pm Clarion Inn, Cedar Rapids Craig Chmelicek, 319-389-7379 elitehomeandradon@gmail.com

Kentuckiana (IN, KY)

www.ashikentuckiana.org Allan Davis, 502-648-9294 elitehomeinspections@ insightbb.com


www.midmoashi.com Second Thursday, 12:00 pm, Even months of the year; Columbia Board of Realtors office. 2309 I-70 Drive NW, Columbia, MO Stuart Spradling, 573-874-9797 Stuart@SpradlingInspections.com

Northern Illinois

www.nicashi.com Second Wednesday (except Dec.) 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm Crazypour, 105 E. North Ave., Villa Park, IL Jeremy Meek, 630-854-2454 jeremy@discoveryinspector.com


www.azashi.org Tony Hecht, 480-507-0837 tony@tonyhecht.com

New Mexico

www.ashinm.org Every other month, Second Saturday, (Jan., May., Sept.), Mimi’s Cafe, Albuquerque - 9:15 am Bodega Burger Co., (March, July) Socorro - 11 am Lance Ellis, 505-977-3915 lellis@amerispce.net

Northern Rockies (ID, MT) Lamar Rase, 406-531-4848 completehomeinspectionsinc@ msn.com

Rocky Mountain Fourth Tuesday, 6:30 pm Kathleen Barbee, 303-646-3413 info@ab-inspections.com

Southern Colorado

www.ashi-southerncolorado.org Second Thursday, 6:30 pm Valley Hi Golf Club, Colo. Springs Mike Meyer, 719-686-8282 mikehome07@msn.com


www.ashiutah.com First Tuesday, 7 pm Marie Callender’s, Midvale Fred Larsen, 801-201-9583 Fred.larsen@pillartopost.com


SOUTH MIDWEST Arkansas Lonnie Moore, 479-503-5792 mhinsp@cox.net

Great Plains (KS, MO)

www.ashikc.org Second Wednesday of even months The Great Wolf Lodge, Kansas City Miki Mertz, 913-268-0222 mikimertz@aol.com

Midwest PRO ASHI (KS)

Alaska Second Thursday, Jitters Coffee House, Eagle River Jim Foss, 907-522-2378 jim@inspectbest.com

ASHI Hawaii

www.ashihawaii.com Alex Woodbury, 808-322-5174 Woodburya001@hawaii.rr.com


Jack Koelling, 316-744-9990 jackkoelling@cox.net

Randy Pierson, 310-265-0833 randy@southbayinspector.com

St. Louis (MO)

Central Valley CREIA-ASHI

www.stlashi.org Second Tuesday, 6:30 pm Spazio’s at Westport Frank Copanas, 314-456-0783 Acropolis-inspection@live.com

Peter Boyd, 530-673-5800 Boyd.p@comcast.net

Golden Gate (CA)

www.ggashi.com John Fryer, 510-682-4908 johnfryer@gmail.com

Inland Northwest (ID, WA) Chris Munro, 208-290-2472 chris@peakinspections.net

Orange County CREIA-ASHI (CA) Third Monday, 5:30 pm Hometown Buffet, 2321 S. Bristol, Santa Ana Ralph Bertke, 714-317-3792 ralphbertke@msn.com


www.oahi.org Fourth Tuesday, 6:30 pm 4534 SE McLoughlin Blvd., Portland Ken Meyer, 503-997-4120 kmpdx@easystreet.net

San Diego CREIA-ASHI First Tuesday each month Dave and Buster's, San Diego Sean Blasius, 619-804-8111 sean@bestpropertyinspections.com

San Joaquin Valley (CA)

British Columbia

www.cahpi.bc.ca Gary Poirer, 604-220-0305 gary@walkaboutinspections.com

CAHPI Atlantic

www.cahpi-alt.com Blaine Swan, 902-890-0710 goodeyeinspections@gmail.com

CAHPI Ontario

www.oahi.com Donald Beneteau, 519-995-0235 don@beneteauinspections.com Coastal Connecticut www.coastalctashi.org Third Thursday, 6 pm, Westport VFW Lodge, 465 Riverside Avenue, Westport Gene Autore, 203-216-2516 gene.autore@gmail.com

New England (ME, MA, NH, RI, VT)

www.ashinewengland.org Fourth Thursday, 5 pm The Lantana, Randoph, MA Michael Atwell, 617-630-5629 mike@jmhi.com

Los Angeles-Greater San Gabriel Valley Second Tuesday, 6 pm Old Spaghetti Factory, Duarte Larry Habben, 714-685-0321 habbenshome@earthlink.net

Los Angeles-Ventura County ASHI-CREIA First Thursday, 5 pm Holiday Inn, Woodland Hills Bob Guyer, 805-501-0733 guyerinspections@roadrunner.com

South Bay (CA) Webinar meetings Randy Pierson, 310-265-0833 randy@southbayinspector.com

Western Washington

www.ashiww.com Michael Brisbin, 425-742-1735 seaviewinspections@comcast.net

Quebec AIBQ

www.aibq.qc.ca Germain Frechette, 514-694-4350 Insp.glf@sympatico.ca

Southern New England (CT)

www.snecashi.org First Tuesdays, 6:30 pm Billy T’s, 150 Sebethe Dr., Cromwell, CT Richard W. Hall, 860-281-4238 rhall@usinspect.com


www.goashi.com Third Thursday, 7 pm, Doratos Steakhouse and Pub, Guilderland Robert Davis, 518-885-7949 rdavis@home-inspection.com

Central New York

www.cnyashi.com Second Wednesday, 6 pm, Tony’s Family Restaurant, Syracuse Peter Apgar, 315-278-3143 peter@craftsmanhomeinspection. net

www.greaterbaltimoreashi.org Third Thursday except July & Aug., 6:30 pm, Maritime Institute Conference Center, 5700 N. Hammonds Ferry Rd., Linthicum Heights, MD George Fair, gfair2004@yahoo.com


www.ashisouth.org Quarterly, Homewood Library, Homewood Derl Nelson, 205-529-1657 dbnelson@bellsouth.net

Central Florida

Hampton Roads (VA) Second Thursday, 7 pm, Cypress Point Country Club, Virginia Beach Guillermo Hunt, 757-245-3100 huntshomeinspections@gmail.com

www.centralfloridaashi.org Second Tuesday, 6:30 pm Bill Labita, 407-977-9182 hbis@cfl.rr.com

Greater Rochester (NY)



www.mac-ashi.com Second Wednesday, Rockville Senior Center, Rockville John Vaughn, 800-767-5904 John.vaughn@yahoo.com

First Tuesday except July, 6 pm Golden China, 11112 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville David Sorge, 904-484-4847 safetekk@comcast.net

Hudson Valley (NY)


Florida Wiregrass

www.ashirochester.com Second Tuesday, 6 pm, Murph’s Irondequoit Pub, Irondequoit John White, 585-431-0067 john@iihomeinspections.com Second Tuesday, 6 pm Daddy O’s Restaurant, 3 Turner Street, Hopewell Junction, NY 12533 Michael Skok, 845-592-1442 ashistatewide@yahoo.com

Long Island (NY)

New York Metro

www.cahpi-ab.ca Bert Bruinsma, 403-348-5550 Red.deer@homealyze.com

Greater Baltimore (MD)

www.gardenstateashi.com Second Thursday, The Westwood, Garwood Bret Kaufmann, 973-377-4747 bretkaufmann@optonline.net

Prairies (Alberta) (CAHI)

Silicon Valley ASHI-CREIA (CA)

Second Monday David Reish, 208-941-5760 dave@antheminspections.com

Garden State (NJ)

www.nnec-ashi.org Bob McDonald, 207-475-7758 omnispect@gmail.com

Northern New England (ME, MA, NH, VT)

Southwestern Idaho

www.firststateashi.org Third Wednesday, 7 pm The Buzz Ware Center, 2121 The Highway, Arden Mark Desmond, 302-494-1294 mark@delvalleyhome.com

www.liashi.com Third Monday, 6 pm, Domenico’s Restaurant, Levittown Steven Rosenbaum 516-361-0658 inspector@optonline.net

Third Tuesday, 6 pm Rice Bowl, Bakersfield, CA Raymond Beasley, 661-805-5947 rbinspector@aol.com Mail: 3305 Colony Oak St. Bakersfield, CA 93311 www.siliconvalleyinspector.com Felix A. Pena, 510-573-0367 homesavvyinspections@comcast.net

First State (DE)

www.nyashi.com Last Thursday, Eldorado West Restaurant-Diner, Tarrytown Raymond Perron, 914-329-2584 pres@nyashi.com

Southern New Jersey (NJ)

www.southernnjashi.com Third Wednesday, 6:30 pm Ramada Inn, Bordentown Rick Lobley, 609-208-9798 rick@doublecheckhi.com

Western New York Second Thursday, 6:30 pm Tony Rome’s, West Seneca Andy Utnik, 716-636-9676 esimail@aol.com

MID-ATLANTIC Central Virginia

www.cvashi.org First Thursday, 6:30 pm, Capital Ale House, Midlothian, VA Bronsoson Anderson 540-932-7557 2inspect4u@gmail.com

www.novaashi.com Fourth Tuesday, Associate hour 6-7 pm, Membership meeting 7-9 pm Northern Virginia Resources Center, Fairfax Ferando Barrientos 703-255-6622 fernando@abodecheck.com

Piedmont ASHI (VA) Robert Huntley, 540-354-2135 rwhuntley@cox.net


www.ashigeorgia.com Gregg Allen, 770-745-7574 gregg@totalhomeinspections atlanta.com

East Tennessee

www.etashi.org Third Saturday of Feb., May, Aug. and Nov. Paul Perry, 866-522-7708 cio@frontiernet.net

Mid-Tennessee Ray Baird, 615-371-5888 bairdr@comcast.net

Mid-South (TN) Steven Campbell, 901-734-0555 steve@memphisinspections.com

North Carolina

www.ncashi.com Third Wednesday, 3 pm, Quality Inn at Guilford Convention Center, Greensboro Larry Conway, 336-669-0679 ncashi@triad.rr.com

www.ashiwiregrass.org Second Wednesday, 6:30 pm Hyundai of Wesley Chapel Nancy Janosz, 813-546-6090 ProTeamInsp@aol.com

Gulfcoast (FL) First Thursday, 7 pm, The Forest Country Club, Fort Myers Len Gluckstal, 239-432-0178 goldenrulehi@comcast.net

Gulfstream (FL) Ralph Cabal, 305-256-7369 info@cabalinspections.com

Lone Star (TX)

www.ashitexas.org Craig Lemmon, 817-291-9056 craig@reioftexas.com

Louisiana Quarterly Michael Burroughs 318-324-0661 Mburroughs2@comcast.net

Suncoast (FL)

www.ashisuncoast.com First Tuesday, 6:30 pm, Please see our website for meeting locations. Steve Acker, 727-712-3089 steve@buyersally.com

Southwest Florida

www.swashi.com Second Wednesday, 6 pm Holiday Inn, Lakewood Ranch 6321 Lake Osprey Drive, Sarasota Michael Meesit, 941-321-6962 mike@acu-spect.com

South Carolina First Saturday of Feb., May, Aug. & Nov., 8 am Roger Herdt, 843-669-3757 herdtworks@msn.com

29April 2016

• www.ASHIReporter.org




New ASHI Associates

New ASHI Inspectors

As of February 1, 2016

As of February 1, 2016

Barry Rodgers

Sylvia Dellamula

William Silverman

Karl Bowling

Best Inspection, Inc. Anchorage, AK

Golden State Home Inspection Cathedral City, CA

Top to Bottom Services Poolesville, MD

Embudo, NM

Trained 2 Train Consulting, LLC Fredericksburg, VA

Tony Spano

Carrie Cassel

Steve Lawhead

Jones-Warren Home Inspection Birmingham, AL

Front Range Complete Home Inspection Thornton, CO

Cross Country Home Inspections Hagerstown, MD

Aldi Home Inspections Inc. New Hartford, NY

Darrell Jackson

LyTRE Home Inspections Group LLC Breezy Point, NY

Warrick Cromer

Ask the Inspector, LLC Rockville, MD

Premier Property Inspections Alexandria, VA

Josef Horst

Reese Perkins

Steven Richer

H Andrew Jenkins

George Meegan

Perkins Home Services, LLC Bangor, ME

Primo Home Inspections Roselyn Heights, NY

Quality Home Team LLC Falls Church, VA

Douglas Atherholt

Gary Feenstra

H Robert Kinney

Burnsville, MN

North Coast Residential Inspections, LLC Mentor, OH

Leesburg, VA

Peerless Home Inspections LLC Monticello, AR

Eric Erickson Proline Inspection Chino Valley, AZ

Dave Moon Reality Check Inspections LLC Holiday Island, AZ

Gunnar Alquist

ELM Inspections Aurora, CO

Austin Loyd Great West Inspections LLC. Montrose, CO

Ricardo Avila D’avila and Associates Services Miami Lakes, FL

Full Circle Inspection Inc. Santa Rosa, CA

D. Brant Cotterman

Justin Barshaw

Gerard Stuckart

Premier House Inspections Simi Valley, CA

National Property Inspections Loxahatchee, FL

Rick Duchin

Robert Hart

Rick Duchin Inspections Oakland, CA

Residential Inspectors of Georgia Marietta, GA

Brandon Ertman Ertman Property Inspections San Marcos, CA

Ron Ertman Ertman Property Inspections San Marcos, CA

Steven Flowers Fresno, CA

Terrence Hundley Hundspec Inspection Services Murrieta, CA

David Jones Apple Inspection Services, Inc. Aliso Viejo, CA

Kevin Kapin Keystone Inspection Services Ojai, CA

H Blake Mathews Mathews Inspection Group Corona, CA

David Pace Pace Inspection Services Brentwood, CA

Jau Pu JP Home Inspection Hacienda Heights, CA

John Pugh John Pugh Home Inspections Sun City, CA

Jacksonville, FL

Ian Bender Ship to Shore Custom Builders, LLC Kihei, HI

Alma Chanco

Jeffrey Pace

H Richard Cusick Raytown, MO

Patrick Feldmann Washington, MO

John Neff J Neff Inspections & Consulting LLC Saint Clair, MO

Michael Duncan Advantage Inspections Service Missoula, MT

H Steven Johnson Lakeside, MT

Eric Coates Detailed Home Inspections, Inc. Fuquay-Varina, NC

West Des Moines, IA

Emily Lauterer

Robert Caulfield

National Property Inspections Denver, NC

Caulfield Krivanek Architecture PTY LTD Camberwell, VIC, AU

David Deering

Chuck Loignon Happy Home Inspections LLC Yadkinville, NC

Epoch Property Inspections, Inc. Ingleside, IL

DC Riley

H Mark Manzo

Alex Sequenzia

Crystal Lake, IL

Ross Neag Chicago Building Inspections Chicago, IL

H James Stuckmann

Z & H Enterprises Lincoln, NE Home Buyers Protection Company Omaha, NE

Sean Cordrey HomePro Home Inspections, LLC Palmyra, NJ

Lakewood, IL

Tim Kreppel

Harold Baker

Ogdensburg, NJ

Five Star Home Inspections Leavenworth, KS

Donald Pierson

H Rebecca Huang

All NJ Home Inspections, LLC Chester, NJ

West Rexbury, MA

Eugene Reagan

Armand Paladino

Home Stat Inspections Inc. South Amboy, NJ

Homeinex Corporation Lunenburg, MA

Richard Ruff Yardville, NJ


Joe DeMars

Todd Plumhoff

Christopher Cook

ASHI Reporter • April 2016

ASHI’s Recruit-aMember Program


H Denotes graduate of The ASHI School

Robert Aldi

Adam Lynch

Craig Grossman Ohio Certified Inspections, LLC Dayton, OH

H Melvin Hicks Oregon, OH

H Timothy Hicks Oregon, OH

Tim Davis Davis Consulting Services dba Pillar to Post Mississauga, ON

Branden Brainard Downingtown, PA

Matthew Horvath Horvath Home Inspection, LLC Quakertown, PA

H Christopher Lucci Pittsburgh, PA

H Kevin Schuster

Kevin Burns CW Burns LLC Glen Allen, VA

J. DeMars Enerprises, Inc. DBA HouseMaster La Mesa, CA

Timothy Rohrbeck Royal Inspection Services Escondido, CA Lewes, DE

H Pablo Sardinas Greenwood , VA

H Jay White Quality Home Team LLC. Falls Church, VA

WIN Home Inspection Bedford Pembroke, NH

HELP ASHI GROW & Earn $50 in Gift Cards

As of February 1, 2016

H Roman Zelenchuk Sterling, VA

Perry Knowlton

Shane Peterson

Jeff Hunt

Vergennes, VT

HomeGuard Incorporated San Jose, CA

PHI, dba HouseMaster Carmel, IN

Pillar to Post Kennett Square, PA

Todd Clark

David Frechette

Mark Goodman

David Williams

Jax House Doctor Home Inspections Inc. Orange Park, FL

Brewer Inspection Services Arnold, MO

Real Estate Inspections Garnet Valley, PA

Jeremy Dillard

Dustin Hagar

Adam Donaldson

Apple Inspections LLC St. Louis, MO

US Inspect Chantilly, VA

Gary Haggard

Rebecca Laird

Complete Inspections LLC Pearl, MS

AmeriSpec Madison Madison, WI

H Douglas Tolles HomeQuest Inspection LLC Spokane, WA

Joe Pruitt The House Reporter Greenbank, WA

Greg Seeligson Practical Inspections Bellingham, WA

Residential Inspector of America Canton, GA

Jeffrey Gunter RIA Cumming, GA

Michael Rogers Tiverton, RI

Douglas Moorer

Seth Catron

Common Ground Home Inspections, LLC Summerville, SC

HouseMaster Home Inspections Carmel, IN

Joseph Densford

Pillar to Post Professional Home Inspections Crown Point, IN

Denton, TX

Noel Nason

New ASHI Certified Home Inspectors

Residential Inspections of America Marietta, GA

Ken Lichtenberg

Walker Property Inspection, LLC Martinsville, IN

Marshall, VA

John Hart

Double L Inspections DBA Pillar to Post Lubbock, TX

Anthony Walker

Clinton Salada

Michael Rogers

Lee Lauderdale

Dynamic Home Inspection Services, LLC Arlington Heights, IL

Preferred Property Consultants, Inc. Park Ridge, IL

McKeesport, PA

Advanced Home Inspections Millington, TN

Kevin Raugstad

Tim James

Nicholas Jette Premier Home Inspection Services, LLC Brookline, NH

Jay Brzezinski General Home Inspection Garfield Heights, OH

J. Hershberger Pillar to Post Home Inspectors Wadsworth, OH

( Who knows best how to sell ASHI membership? YOU!

Who deserves to be rewarded for helping ASHI grow? YOU!

Earn $50 in gift cards for every new member you recruit. Download the membership application form, have the new member fill it out (including your member number in the referral field), scan and email it to: russelld@ashi.org or fax to 847-759-1620. Questions? Contact Russell Daniels, russelld@ashi.org. 31April 2016

• www.ASHIReporter.org


ASHI Chapter Education Great Lakes Chapter

ASHI Suncoast Suntech Conference

Great Lakes Chapter

When: April 8-9 Where: Holiday Inn-Southgate, MI (near Detroit Metro Airport) Subjects: Friday: Peer Review, Board Meeting, Hospitality Suite Saturday: Vendors, Wet Basements/Craig Ceccarelli, Chimney Safety/Thomas Rhines, MI Builders Renewal Course + Code Updates/Frank Bayer Contact: 734-284-4501, www.greatinspectors.com

When: May 6-7, 2016 CEUs: 16 ASHI CEs Subject: Trusses/Crawl Spaces/Wind Mitigation/ Fireplaces & Chimneys/Plumbing/Tie-downs & Anchors/Foundations and more Where: Hampton Inn, Oldsmar, FL 4017 Tampa Road, Oldsmar, FL Contact: Kevin Koplar, ashisuncoast@gmail.com

When: July 22-23 Where: Holiday Inn - Mt. Prospect, IL (near Chicago O’Hare Airport) Subjects: Friday: Peer Review, Board Meeting, Hospitality Suite Saturday: Vendors, Asphalt Shingle Roofs/Attics – Proper Inspection and Reporting/Tom Feiza, Business & Marketing/Toby Adamson, IL CE Approved Course/Speaker TBD Contact: 734-284-4501 www.greatinspectors.com

Los Angeles-Ventura County ASHI Chapter – Special Michael Casey Presentation When: April 21, 2016 When: Knights of Columbus Hall #3601 Canoga Park, CA Subject: 7-hr Workshop - Commercial Inspections and Expert Witness Protocols for Home Inspectors Contact: Bob Guyer, guyerinspections@ roadrunner.com

Northern New England Chapter When: April 21, 2016 Where: The Alpine Club, 175 Putnam St. Manchester, NH Subject: Healthy Home Seminar CEUs: 7 ASHI CEs Contact: Tim Rooney, nnecashi.gmail.com

PRO ASHI Educational Event When: April 30, 2016 Where: Murrysville Community Center 3091 Carson Avenue Murrysville, PA 15668 Subject: House and Building Engineering CEUs: 4 ASHI CEs Contact: michael@ashburninspections.com

Continue learning at the click of a button! FREE ASHI Member access to past IW sessions. 32

ASHI Reporter • April 2016

MAC-ASHI Technical Seminar When: May 14, 2016 Where: John’s Hopkins University 9601 Medical Center Drive Rockville, MD 20850 CEUs: 4 ASHI CEs - Understanding and Applying the MD Home Inspector SOP 4 ASHI CEs - Inspecting Old Houses Contact: www.mac-ashi.org

South Carolina ASHI Chapter Event When: May 15, 2016 Where: Holiday Inn, Columbia, SC Subject: Moisture Intrusion in Cladding Systems Speaker: Tim Thigpen CEUs: 2 ASHI CEs Contact: Brad Johnson 864-580-3547 orchamist@aol.com


Great Lakes Chapter When: September 23-24 Where: Grand Rapids, MI Subjects: Friday: Peer Review, Board Meeting, Hospitality Suite Saturday: Vendors, Furnace Inspections/ John McAuliffe, Infrared Technology/Bill Fabian, Exploring the Metal Roof/ Mike Griffin Contact: 734-284-4501 www.greatinspectors.com

To have your chapter seminar listed in this section, email all information about your chapter seminar to: micheleg@ashi.org. BE SURE TO INCLUDE ALL INFORMATION: seminar subject, when, where, CEUs & a link for more information or contact information.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing Statistics to Help you Better Market Your Business F

or centuries, people have made big decisions and developed everyday preferences using the simple, yet resounding, power of word-of-mouth. It’s no coincidence that you and your best friend share a few of the same favorite things. Who doesn’t love hearing about a great product or service from a trustworthy source? As more brands work to boost their lead acquisition process using organic networks, there’s much to gain from developing a killer word-of-mouth marketing strategy. But before you start using a new referral marketing strategy to up your revenue using the remarkable power of recommendations and referrals, you need to fully grasp why word-of-mouth is valuable and how your brand can influence it. Here’s a comprehensive list of word-of-mouth marketing statistics to help you get started.


72% say reading a positive customer reviews increased their trust in a business; it takes, on average, two-six reviews to get 56% of them to this point. [Source: BrightLocal] On social media, 58% of consumers share their positive experiences with a company and ask family, colleagues and friends for their opinions about brands. [Source: SDL] 91% of B2B buyers are influenced by word-of-mouth when making their buying decision. [Source: USM] 56% of B2B purchasers look to offline wordof-mouth as a source of information and advice, and this number jumps to 88% when online word-of-mouth sources are included. [Source: BaseOne]

84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues and friends about products– making these recommendations the informaWord-of-mouth has been shown to improve tion source ranked highest for trustworthiness. marketing effectiveness by up to 54%. [Source: Nielsen] [Source: MarketShare] 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision. [Source: Ogilvy/Google/TNS]

84% of consumers reported always or sometimes taking action based on personal recommendations. 70% said they did the same with online consumer opinions. 68% trust online opinions from other consum[Source: Nielsen] ers, which is up 7% from 2007 and places online opinions as the third-most trusted source The average value of a Facebook fan in of product information. [Source: Nielsen] certain consumer categories is $174. [Source: Syncapse]

ASHI Event Calendar 1. Go to www.ASHI.org 2. Under Education & Training 3. Click on:

88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts. [Source: BrightLocal]

April 21-23, 2016 AEI, Finance Committee, ASHI Foundation and ASHI Board Meeting Des Plaines, IL

July 21-23, 2016 AEI, Finance Committee, ASHI Foundation and ASHI Board Meeting Des Plaines, IL

October 22 , 2016 ASHI Foundation and ASHI Board Meeting Des Plaines, IL

43% of social media users report buying a product after sharing or favoriting it on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Over half of purchases inspired by social media sharing occur within one week of sharing or favoriting, and 80% of purchases resulting from social media shares occur within three weeks of sharing. [Source: VisionCritical] Millennials ranked word-of-mouth as the No.1 influencer in their purchasing decisions about clothes, packaged goods, big-ticket items (like travel and electronics), professional services and financial products. Baby Boomers also ranked word-of-mouth as being most influential in their purchasing decisions about big-ticket items, financial products and professional services. [Source: Radius Global] 77% of brand conversations on social media are people looking for advice, information or help. 18% were positive reviews of the brand. [Source: Mention] 79% of people say their primary reason for “liking” a company’s Facebook page is to get discounts. 81% also said they’re influenced by what their friends share on social media. [Source: Market Force] H

33April 2016

• www.ASHIReporter.org



Education–ASHI Online Learning Center Now available: unlimited free continuing education hours for your ASHI CE requirements. Just log on to the ASHI website, put the mouse on the Education tab, click on the ASHI Online Learning Center, log on to the Learning Center with your member number and the word “password” and begin taking these exciting education modules. You earn two CEs upon successful completion of each module. You can also view a list of state-approved online education under each of the past IW course descriptions. A certificate of completion will be available to print out. H

CURRENT ASHI MEMBERSHIP ASHI Certified Inspectors: 3,253 Inspectors/Logo: 106 Associates: 2,576 Retired Members: 111 Affiliates: 68 Total: 6,326 Members as of 3/1/2016

Ap Anni ril versa ries

Thirty-five Years John Ghent James Nemastil

Thirty Years

ASHI MEMBERSHIP BENEFIT PROGRAMS ASHI-ENDORSED PROGRAMS ASHI’s E&O Insurance Program: Target Professional Programs www.targetproins.com 860-899-1862 ASHI Personal Lines Insurance Program: Liberty Mutual www.libertymutual.com/ashi ASHI Service Program BuildFax Tricia Julian, 877-600-BFAX x161 TJulian@BuildFax.com www.buildfax.com http://go.buildfax.com/ASHI ASHI Customer Appreciation Program: Moverthankyou.com Brent Skidmore, 864-386-2763 www.moverthankyou.com Brent@POWRsoft.com HomeAdvisor.com Brett Symes, 913-529-2683 www.homeadvisor.com ashi@homeadvisor.com LegalShield Joan Buckner, 505-821-3971 buckner.legalshieldassociate.com buckner@legalshieldassociate.com InspectionContracts.com Dave Goldstein, 800-882-6242 www.inspectioncontracts.com david@inspectoreducation.com OneSource Solutions 877-274-8632 www.osconnects.com/ashi/ Porch.com Eliab Sisay, 206-218-3920 www.porch.com Eliab@porch.com


ASHI Reporter • April 2016

ASHI Rebate Program Quill.com Dana Fishman, 800-634-0320 x1417 www.quill.com/ashi dana.fishman@quill.com ASHI-ENDORSED EXAMS ASHI Standard and Ethics Education Module Go to www.homeinspector.org, click on Education and Training, then click on the link for the ASHI Standard of Practice Education Module. NHIE Exam: 847-298-7750 www.homeinspectionexam.org ASHI-ENDORSED TRAINING PROGRAMS ASHI@Home Training System 800-268-7070 education@carsondunlop.com The ASHI School Kendra Eiermann, 888-884-0440 kendra@theashischool.com www.TheASHISchool.com PLATINUM PROVIDER Millionaire Inspector Community Mike Crow www.mikecrow.com dreamtime@mikecrow.com Mention that you are an ASHI member

Alan Carson Jay Tauber

Twenty-five Years Paul Bugge Mark Felion

Twenty Years

Mathew Adams Jay de Wolf Clifford Grohe Jim Hemsell Michael Herforth William Hirsch Timothy Hull Robert Jennings David Marshall Robert Matthews Michael Moir Mark Mustola Dell Oye Randy Payne Robert Peterson David Rushton Daniel Schuerman Warren Schultz Skys Sykes Frank Turner John Vaughn

Fifteen Years

John Bertone Henry Blau Dave Darpinian John Gibson George Hart Dwayne Hoffman Kevin Martelon David Martin Michael McKinney Matt Sievers Mark Soroka Don Stafford Brad Strange

Ten Years

Kit Beuret Mark Cassidy Jim Clements Joseph Dunlap David Fletcher Timothy Hemm Kami Karimloo Greg Kolar Edward Lampl Robert Lawrence Aaron Lore Kristian Meyers Barry Sigler Douglas Smith William Vicaire James Willis

Five Years

Brett Allendorf Matthew Bailey Joseph Belle Kathleen Clinton Darcy Herman Walter Lindberg Christopher Long Wayne Peterson Greg Petruska Craig Russell Chuck Ryan Jeff Thorsen Joseph Trimble

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Examining Ethics and Morals

Continued from Page 24 •O  ptimism. For those starting out, it can be a big deal to get three, four or five inspections in a single week. But sometimes, even after a strong series of busy weeks, the phone might stop ringing. Be patient. After 36 years working as a home inspector, I can tell you that the phone will ring again. (And when you become successful, you might find that the phone sometimes rings a little too often!) •A  chievement and drive. Be the best you can be and be humble when you learn of a downfall. Keep sharpening your skill set every day so that you can be successful. • I nitiative. Hone your ability to take charge before others do. Maintain control of your inspection and the events surrounding it. Having a clear understanding of the contract and the scope of work can be paramount to your success. •C  ommitment. Every day, commit to do the best you can for your family, your profession and your clients. Show people that they can rely on you to be at your best and to meet your commitments. •R  egulate yourself. Do you think that your skill set improves after you perform your third 4,000-square-foot, single-family home inspection of the day? If you have difficulty saying no, try raising your rates. Be the trendsetter in your area. Work half as hard and make the same income. Don’t think it will work? Try it and see. You are a professional—charge professional rates. And as mentioned previously, let others charge what they believe they are worth. • I nnovation. Drones, cameras, roof walking, IR scans, radon, EMR surveys, lead paint…the list goes on and on. Making follow-up phone calls and thanking clients can lead to great rewards. Set yourself apart by showing your good judgment, business practices and responsibility.

•A  daptability. Home inspection is a fluid profession. Failing to adapt will leave you behind. I suspect that you don’t make it a practice to cancel inspections when it is raining or snowing or if it’s too hot, too cold or too foggy. Instead, you make adjustments and proceed with the task at hand. You are a self-starter who is motivated to succeed. 36

ASHI Reporter • April 2016

•T  ake responsibility. Not all inspections go well. Generally, if a problem exists in a home, it manifests within the first year after the inspection. If you are notified or implicated, put on your business hat and determine the best way to take care of the problem. But do it wisely. A lawsuit against a home inspector in my region, for example, can go on for three to four years. Consider whether you want this issue eating at you for the next four years. Then get out in front of it and don’t get trampled. •M  aintain standards of honesty and integrity. All too often in the quest for the buck, folks get sloppy. What might seem like a simple act can be interpreted in many different ways. Two cases in point: explaining the home’s issues to the sales professional before explaining the issues to the client. Or not engaging the client in the process during the inspection. It can benefit your practice to be familiar with the ASHI Standard of Practice, which has been and will continue to be used as the bedrock for state agencies to develop local standards. It is a living document that gets evaluated on a regular basis.

With April being National Home Inspection Month, it’s a good time to reflect on these key components of practicing ethical and moral behavior and actions. Remember that each of us has a duty to provide an unbiased, objective inspection and to report our findings to the best of our ability. When your market is slow, take some time to think about what type of changes you may need to make to provide your clients with a better product and to ensure that you have fewer sleepless nights. H Don Lovering is an ASHI Board Member and the Chief Inspector at Advantage Home Inspection, Inc., in Auburndale, MA. He still has a hard-line telephone 617-928-1942 and has been an active member of ASHI locally and nationally. Don has been a Chapter President and National Committee Chair, as well as a college professor. He is also a past-president of the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors (EBPHI). He has been published in the ASHI Reporter and testified on home inspector licensing in six states. Don’s leisure activities rotate around his farm and working with Vermont Fish and Wildlife as a volunteer instructor.

ASHI Ad.indd 6

37April 2016

3/25/15 10:33 AM • www.ASHIReporter.org



Insider Tips

for Smart Inspectors

Continued from Page 16

By Tom Feiza, Mr. Fix-It, Inc. • HowToOperateYourHome.com

Tip #16 Three-Way, Two-Way or One-Way Switch?


ome systems have some strange terminology. Why are the two light switches that control one light fixture called a three-way switch? You know–the kind with a switch at both the top and the bottom of the stairs. Sometimes it’s up/switch off and sometimes up/switch on.


The name relates to switching the power line back and forth and having an extra wire and connector. Electricians call this a three-way switch, and it takes a smart electrician to wire this properly. You may not care about the details, but you should care about the switches and what they control. Here is the quick tip: You can identify the type of switch by looking at the marking on it. Single-pole switches, with one switch controlling one light, are marked with an “on” and “off ” position. A three-way switch has no marking because there is no consistent on or off position. The on-off can change depending on the position of the second three-way switch. Take a look at the switches in your home. You may be surprised with what you have overlooked. H



o you filled that wide gap in the exterior trim with the best caulk you could buy and the next year it had pulled away from one surface, leaving a large gap. Or you tried to fill a wider gap and the caulk just fell in the hole. What went wrong? No backer rod. Before professionals fill a large gap with caulk, they bridge the wide opening with a stiff foam backer rod. The backer rod is wide enough so friction holds it just below the gap’s surface. The rod supports the caulk applied in an hourglass shape with a height-to-width ratio of about 1:2. Why? Caulk needs to expand and contract as surfaces move. The hourglass shape allows the caulk to bond to only two surfaces; the narrower section easily expands and contracts with movement. Caulk should never completely fill a space. It should never be applied to three sides or an unbridgeable wide gap or it will quickly fail. Caulk can’t expand and contract when it is pulled in three directions or when the cross section is too thick. You will find backer rods in larger paint and hardware stores. It is sold in lengths like rope and it comes in various diameters. Choose a diameter that is wider than the gap to be filled and force the rod into place with a blunt tool or putty knife. H


Inside view of a Broan ERV S100. A solution for high-rise residential owners.

• Consider using a thermometer to document the range of hot and cold temperatures that occurs when temperature adjustments are selected. Reduced temperature ranges can be an indicator of low refrigerant levels. • Take note of temperature differences between rooms and communicate expectations to the client if they are unfamiliar with this type of system. • Determine whether the outdoor condenser is raised above the ground and check that the area around the condenser is free of overgrown shrubs, pests and debris. • Look for ice or damage to the condenser unit or blades; this could be a the result of ice buildup and may indicate a low refrigerant situation preventing the condenser from completing a proper defrost cycle. H 1. K lenk T. How it works: heat recovery ventilator. Popular Mechanics. July 31, 2000. www.popularmechanics.com/home/interior-projects/how-to/ a149/1275121/. Accessed February 22, 2016. 2. C  anada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. About your house: maintaining your heat recovery ventilator. Revised 2010. www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/ odpub/pdf/62043.pdf?lang=en%29. Accessed February 22, 2016. 3. U  .S. Department of Energy. Ductless, mini-split heat pumps. (http://energy.gov/energysaver/ductless-mini-split-heat-pumps.) Ductless, mini-split air conditioners. (http://energy.gov/energysaver/ ductless-mini-split-air-conditioners.) Accessed February 24, 2016.

Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors

Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors

The National Home Inspector Examination (NHIE) is developed and maintained by the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors (EBPHI). This board has received many requests over the years for a study guide to assist those taking the NHIE. This study guide, and the associated NHIE Home Inspection Manual, were developed to address this need.

The National Home Inspector Examination (NHIE) is devel oped and maintained by the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors (EBPHI). This board has received many requests over the years for a study guide to assist those taking the NHIE. This manual, and the associated NHIE Study Guide, were developed to address this need.

The NHIE Home Inspection Manual addresses the technical aspects of the NHIE. This NHIE Study Guide addresses the non-technical aspects. Many come to the home inspection profession as a second or a third career, and may not have taken a professional entrance exam for many years, if ever. This study guide helps to familiarize the candidate with the examination itself, and with the associated administrative procedures. It also includes helpful insights into the types of questions the exam contains, and techniques for success.

This NHIE Home Inspection Manual is based on the most recent Role Delineation Study (RDS). This study surveys thousands of home inspectors in order to determine the services they provide, and the components they inspect. The questions in the NHIE are derived directly from this survey, Exam Administration and constitute the knowledge base for an entry level home inspector. This manual is the Content first of its kind to follow this Exam Outline format. It also informs the candidate about the knowledge base behind the current examination questions, and proHow to Take an Exam vides a technical reference for the experienced home inspector. $98.50

Mike Collignon is the Executive Director of the Green Builder ® Coalition, an organization he co-founded in 2010. He engages in national and statelevel advocacy, co-produces quarterly research reports, and publishes a monthly member publication and a monthly feature in Green Builder ® Magazine. He has presented at EEBA, RESNET, the Pacific Coast Builders Conference, Better Buildings: Better Business (Wisconsin), Green Building Focus, StormCon and the Sustainable Disaster Recovery Conference. Mike has also delivered testimony at the IECC and IgCC final action hearings. He also has served as the moderator for Green Builder ® Media’s Impact Series webinars from 2012 to 2014, and became the host in 2015.

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Tip #17 Caulking the Wide-Open Spaces

Nontraditional HVAC Systems: What Should You Know?

NHIE Home Inspection Manual Components and Systems Typical Defects Maintenance and Safety Issues Industry Standards References 100 Review Questions HomeInspectionExam.org

The NHIE Study Guide and the NHIE Home Inspection Manual together contain over 750 pages of technical and administrative information and are produced by the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors. They will benefit the exam candidate along with being a great technical reference for the experienced home inspector.

Be prepared. Get the NEW

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ASHI Reporter • April 2016

39April 2016

• www.ASHIReporter.org


NEW POSTCARDS EMAIL!! Please send your name, city, state, photos, headings & captions to: postcards@ashi.org

Just one Could Have Done the Whole Job

Easter has Passed Over... …and Peter Rabbit is ready for spring cleaning. Randy West Professional Building Consultants Prescott, AZ

Creative Plumbing 101

Water Flowing in the 3rd Dimension Jim Young Home Pro Professional Home Inspections Cleveland Heights, OH

MacGuyver desperately needed a large shim, but all he could find was a box of eye-screws.

Where’s the P trap? Stephen Tyler STAT Home Inspection Garnerville, NY

Michael Chambers BrickKicker of St. Louis St. Louis, MO

Hey, Peter! Hop over here for some more spring cleaning!

Matthew Steger WIN Home InspectionElizabethtown Elizabethtown, PA

Stinky Reception

I Found the Perfect Place for That Drain Cleanout There was a clear space right over the electrical panel. Michael Chambers BrickKicker of St. Louis St. Louis, MO

Creative Plumbing 102 Jim Young Home Pro Professional Home Inspections Cleveland Heights, OH

Larry Transue BPG Easton, PA

Installed by Jumpin’ Jack Flash Backward Faucet Controls

Save Money on Homeowner’s Insurance


Direct line to the fire department. Jim Young Home Pro Professional Home Inspections Cleveland Heights, OH It’s a gas, gas, gas! Jim Young Home Pro Professional Home Inspections Cleveland Heights, OH 40

ASHI Reporter • April 2016

We are running out! If you don’t know how to install it, just guess. If it’s wrong, mark it with a Sharpie so others can figure it out. Aaron Mayer Housewarming Home Inspections Kirkwood, MO

Please send your 1. name, 2. company, 3. city, 4. state, 5. photos, 6. headings & 7. captions to postcards@ashi.org 41April 2016

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By ASHI President, Randy Sipe

Stories from the Field W

ell, it’s me again. Last month, I mentioned the seriousness of our profession, so this month I’d like to cover the lighter side of our job. If you’ve been doing inspections for a while, you know that there are some stories we can tell to anyone and there are some stories we can tell only to our closest friends. Each month, we check the back pages of the ASHI Reporter to see “Photos From the Field”— pictures that blow us away and conditions that might even match what we’ve seen ourselves at some time. And there are some really bizarre photos.

It occurred to me that maybe the Reporter should have a “Stories From the Field” section to share the serious, the funny and the bizarre. So, let me give it a try. I’ll start with the category “Did they really say that?” A previous client referred a friend to me to do an inspection, but I’d never worked with this new buyer’s agent before. Well, you know how that can go. Both of you wonder how you’ll get along with each other and whether you’ll become known as the notorious dealkiller. As the inspection progressed with the usual twists and turns, the agent eventually pulled me to the side and said, “I know you are doing a good job, but it appears to me that you are just looking for things that are wrong.” Seriously? I guess the agent was under the impression that if you don’t have something good to say, you shouldn’t say anything all.

Then there’s the category “I brought my friend along to help.” I think we’ve all been to inspections when the buyer brings along a friend who “knows all about houses” and will be acting as the buyer’s personal advisor. One such incident happened to me not long ago and I’m still chuckling about it. Once again, this buyer was referred to me by a previous client and I didn’t know any of the parties involved. Here’s how the buyer introduced her friend: “This is my friend, William. He’s here to help me and to ask the right questions since he has bought and sold homes before and is very knowledgeable. He has a Ph.D. and teaches at the local community college.” 42

ASHI Reporter • April 2016

Well, you can guess where this is going. During the inspection, William asked me the same questions about everything in any way that he could think of to rephrase them, making the inspection drag on and on. Toward the end of the inspection, I’d had enough, so I politely shut down his questioning. I could tell that the agent was sympathetic and also annoyed with William’s unending questions about nothing. Finally, we made it to the basement to complete the inspection. As I inspected the furnace with William at my side, I heard the toilet flush several times upstairs. I didn’t give it a thought until water started running through the floor right in front of William and me. William looked at me and said, “I thought you checked the toilets.” I thought to myself, “Yes, I did, William. You were there at my side the whole time I’ve been inspecting, making sure I didn’t miss something.” I suggested that we investigate what happened and when we arrived upstairs, William’s girlfriend was walking away from the bathroom. When I asked if she’d just used that bathroom, she replied, “Yes, and the toilet clogged and overflowed.” Get ready, here it comes. William, the Ph.D. college professor and experienced homebuyer, looked at me and said, “Maybe we should see if the rest of the toilets will clog and overflow.” “Are you kidding me?” was my first thought, but I brilliantly responded, “Sure, I think she’s through, but William, if you want to do the same and clog a toilet, have at it. I’m going back to the basement to finish my inspection.” I smiled and the agent smiled, but I really don’t think that William got the joke.

So, here’s my point. As inspectors, we see, hear and experience many different personalities, situations and conditions that make our jobs unique. Remember never be too serious, but always do the best you can do and enjoy the ride. Life is too short and precious to do anything else.

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ASHI Reporter • April 2016

Profile for ASHI

April 2016 Reporter  

Useful information for home inspectors, home buyers and sellers, and realtors.

April 2016 Reporter  

Useful information for home inspectors, home buyers and sellers, and realtors.

Profile for ashi932