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Reporter JANUARY 2015

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



Being Frank: Looking at the Past to see the Future Radon Mitigation Systems in Existing Homes The Word: Kitchen Appliance Inspections Mentoring Makes a Difference On My Mind: The State of ASHI 1

| 6 | 12 | 14 | 22 | 38

December 2014 |



Reporter January 2015

Vol. 32, #1

Features 9 |

Electrical Fires Rank as one of the top Safety Hazards in Homes


Leviton Manufacturing 10 |

Limitations of Two-Day Radon Screenings By Kurt Solomon


12 |  Radon Mitigation Systems in Existing Homes

Ready for Inspections Sally Chapralis

14 |

The Word: Kitchen Appliance Inspections Bruce Barker, ACI

20 |

Service Philosophy – Reversing Risk for Buyers Alan Carson, ACI, Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd.

22 |

Mentoring Makes a Difference: Offers Benefits and Opportunities, Keeps both of you Current Sally Chapralis

30 |

ASHI Officers for 2015

32 |

Council Elects new Directors

34 |

ASHI 2014 Committees: Thank you for Your Service

Departments 6|

Looking at the Past to see the Future

18 |

Herspective From the Women of ASHI "Have you thought about performing inspections for HUD?" turned out to be the sentence that saved my business Arlene Puentes

26 |

ASHI Community

33 |


Frank Lesh, Executive Director


New Inspector Status, ASHI Staff, Chapters Membership News & More

36 |  Postcards From the Field

It’s Wacky Out There

38 |

On My Mind The State of ASHI Bill Loden, ASHI President


ASHI National Officers and Board of Directors ASH I M I S S I O N S TAT E ME N T

Main Phone: 847-759-2820, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Mon.-Fri., CST Michael Stephens, Treasurer Fairfax Station, VA, 703-307-8678

Alden Gibson, President-Elect Breslau, ON, 519-648-3963

Howard Pegelow, Secretary Milwaukee, WI, 414-545-4186

Randy Sipe, Vice President Spring Hill, KS, 913-856-4515

Bill Jacques, Immediate Past-President Ravenel, SC, 843-556-3755

Frank Lesh, Executive Director, 847-954-3182, Virginia Baker, Executive Assistant, 847-954-3177 Kimberly McGraw, Executive Assistant, 847-954-3179

Michele George, Director of Education & Events, 847-954-3188

Scott Patterson 2013-2015 Spring Hill, TN, 615-302-1113

Membership, Chapter Relations, Booth Rental, Product Orders

James Allen 2013-2015 Overland Park, KS , 913-894-5893

Robert Peterson 2013-2015 Carmel, IN, 317-581-0774

Mark Lester, Office Services Coordinator, 847-954-3176

Eric Barker 2012-2014 Barrington, IL, 847-408-7238

Bob Sisson 2012-2014 Boyds, MD, 301-208-8289

Tim Buell 2012-2014 Hilliard, OH, 614-777-7922

Bill Sutton 2012-2014 Milton, MA, 617-698-0945

Larry Cerro 2014-2016 Tallahassee, FL, 850-222-4404

Mike Wagner 2014-2016 Westfield, IN, 317-867-7688

Shannon E. Cory 2013-2015 Fayetteville, GA, 770-461-3408 shannon@rainbowhome

Robert Walstead 2013-2015 Colorado Springs, CO 719-495-2652, Kevin Westendorf 2014-2016 Mt. Pleasant, SC, 843-881-7842

Mark Londner 2014-2016 Purcellville, VA, 703-409-9762

Speaker, Council of Representatives: Tony Smith 2013-2014 Cedar Rapids, IA, 319-533-4565

Publisher: Frank Lesh

847-954-3186 Reporter calls only 847-299-2505 (fax) Reporter only E-mail:

Editor: Sally Chapralis American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc. 932 Lee Street, Suite 101 Des Plaines, IL 60016

Advertising: Dave Kogan Phone: 847-954-3187 E-mail:

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.

Janet George, Membership Services Supervisor, 847-954-3180 Bonnie Bruno, Membership Administrator, 847-954-3175

Accounting, Human Resources Belienda Schultz, Accounting Manager, 847-954-3190 Beverly Canham, Financial Assistant, 847-954-3184,

Website, Information Systems, Database Mike Rostescu, Director IT & Internet Communications, 847-954-3189

Available For Android™ · iPad®

Publications, Advertising, Marketing, Public Relations Dave Kogan, Manager of Marketing & Business Development 847-954-3187, Arlene Zapata, Communications Design Manager, 847-954-3186

The ASHI School Jack McGraw, Managing Director, 888-884-0440 or 847-954-3178 Steve Reilly, Senior Sales Representative, 888-884-0440 or 847-954-3181, Kendra Eiermann, Administrative Assistant, 847-954-3198

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ASHI Reporter | December 2014

Russell Daniels, Director of Chapter Relations, 847-954-3185








Copyright© 2015, 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.

The InspectIT Home Inspection Software is the most complete reporting application on the market today, with a user-interface that is simple to use - to maximize your time. InspectIT was designed by industry professionals that understand how this tool will help make your job easier and your business more successful.

Education, CE Approval, Smart Track

Lisa Alajajian 2013-2015 Milford, MA, 508-634-2010

C. Blaine Illingworth III 2012-2014 Harleysville, PA, 610-565-4181


Executive Director


Bill Loden, President Madison, AL, 256-464-7060




ASHI Staff



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.

Revolutionizing Home Inspection Reporting



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December 2014 |


We’re Hiring Inspectors at All Levels!

Being Frank From ASHI’s Executive Director

Looking at the Past to see the Future

WE TALKED ABOUT ASHI’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS last month in December’s ASHI Reporter. By the time you read this, though, we’ll be wrapping up one of the most successful InspectionWorld conferences we’ve ever had. With over 81 exhibitors, 45 classes, pre-and post-conference classes, “lunch and learn” sessions, and a new attendance app that revolutionized the flow of information to and from attendees and exhibitors, it’s easy to see why IW has become such a huge success. Watch for videos posted on ASHI’s website highlighting this year’s IW. But let’s talk about this month’s Reporter. I’d like to suggest some new ideas for the year ahead that will culminate in ASHI’s 40th Anniversary in San Diego! I would also appreciate your feedback on what you’d like to read about. We’ll continue with our old favorites, like Postcards from the Field. But we’re adding a new twist. In December’s issue, we had a video submission from President-Elect Randy Sipe. If you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, go back, click on the link and check it out. Randy’s submission eliminates one of the drawbacks to Postcards. It’s sometimes hard to get a perspective of what the photo shows. Randy solved this by recording a video so we could follow him to the humorous (usually) conclusion of homeowner creativity.


If you liked what you saw on that video postcard and you’re a budding filmmaker, please send us your cinematic masterpiece and we’ll include them in our never ending battle for truth, justice and the American way of making us home inspectors shake our heads at the same time we justify our fees. Another idea is to look back over the past 40 years of home inspection to see what we used to do and what we now do. I remember starting my inspection career by purchasing a 2D Maglite®. It was a fantastic product, clearly the best-built flashlight around. Introduced three years after ASHI was founded, it was a must-have for home inspectors: durable, solid with an adjustable beam and a lifetime warranty. Durable until I dropped it and the filament bulb broke (although there was a spare in the tail cap). Solid … it weighed down my belt so I was constantly hitching up my pants (but it could be used as a baton to ward off assaults by ferocious felines).


ASHI Reporter | December 2014

And best of all, unlike the candle that Ron Passero and the other founding members of ASHI had to use before it, the 2D Mag tripled the candlepower with 36 lumens! Now, before you techies jump on me about lumens and candlepower not being comparable, let it be known I’m taking some artistic license here. You’re welcome to write an op-ed if you’d like. So, what we’ll do this year is compare the past to the present. We may even look to the future of home inspection and conjure up Hestia and go to that Mount Olympus place Bruce Barker is always talking about.

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December 2014 |


Electrical Fires Rank as one of the top Safet y Hazards in Homes

Electrical Fires Rank as one of the top Safety Hazards in Homes BY LEVITON MANUFACTURING

With electrical fires ranking as one of the top safety hazards in homes, it’s good to know that homeowners are now on the radar when it comes to arc-fault protection to help reduce the likelihood of their electrical system being the cause of a fire. Requirements for residential arc-fault protection were first introduced in the 1999 National Electrical Code® (NEC®) cycle, but have been expanded in every Code cycle since. The 2014 NEC is the most inclusive to date, mandating AFCI protection in residences in the following locations: • Kitchens • Family rooms • Dining rooms • Living rooms • Parlors • Libraries • Dens • Bedrooms • Sunrooms • Closets • Hallways • Laundry areas • Recreation Rooms

ASHI Suggestion Box Do you have a great idea for the ASHI organization or Reporter magazine? All suggestions are welcomed. Please e-mail:

It is important to note that the 2011 Code requires that AFCI protection be added when changing/replacing a receptacle in an “AFCI” location. Even if the geographical area you service is not currently on the 2014 Code, it is advisable to encourage homeowners to add AFCI protection, especially in older homes where there is a higher likelihood of an electrical fire. This will not only save time and money in the future, but more importantly, will provide a safer living environment for their family today.



There are two ways to incorporate AFCI protection into an electrical system: AFCI Circuit Breakers or Outlet Branch Circuit (OBC) AFCI Receptacles. OBC AFCI Receptacles are fairly new to the market, but offer a sensible alternative to AFCI Circuit Breakers, particularly because they provide the benefit of localized TEST and RESET buttons on the face of the device. This makes them convenient for homeowners to respond to if the device trips.



ASHI Reporter | December 2014


OBC AFCI Receptacles are designed to help prevent electrical fires that can be caused by potentially dangerous arc-faults in an electrical circuit. These devices contain electronic components

that constantly monitor a circuit for the presence of “normal” and “dangerous” arcing conditions. Based upon an established threshold of arc energy, the OBC AFCI can be triggered to quickly react and cut power to a circuit if “dangerous” arcing is detected. It is important for residents of a home to understand the difference between “normal” arcing, which is normally safe, and “dangerous” arcing. Below are a few typical examples of each, which you can use to educate residents during an inspection. Low-Energy/Operational Arcs – Typically Safe • Naturally occur when contact or switch opens/ closes • When a motor with brushes runs • Generated by household appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, tools or fans

as well as upstream series arc-faults. Utilizing an AFCI receptacle offers homeowners the benefit of localized TEST and RESET. Applications include installation in living rooms, dining rooms, family rooms, bedrooms, parlors, dens, libraries, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, dormitories or similar areas. Blank Face AFCI The Blank Face AFCI offers the ideal solution for outlet branch circuits where AFCI protection is desired, but located where a receptacle is not needed. This type of application could include installing a Blank Face AFCI in a location to make AFCI protection readily accessible per the 2014 National Electrical Code. A Blank Face AFCI may also be used on circuits feeding lighting loads and/or other loads such as smoke detectors where a receptacle is not used. Combination AFCI/Switch A Combination AFCI/Switch provides AFCI protection, plus the convenience of a single-pole switch to control the lights. This combination is ideal for kitchens, family rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms and hallways. The AFCI Switch may be used for new circuits or modifications to existing circuits where a switch is the first outlet on a branch circuit. 

High-Energy/Hazardous Arcs – Potentially Dangerous • Should not occur or should be safely contained • When insulation on a wire has been damaged • Loose connections that expose wire • Loose connections where wires separate, causing an arc to jump from one place to another

AFCI 15-amp

When installed as the first outlet on a branch circuit, OBC AFCI Receptacles provide series arc protection for the entire branch circuit. They also provide parallel arc protection for the branch circuit starting at the OBC AFCI receptacle. OBC AFCI Receptacles may be used on any wiring system regardless of the panel and are ideal for older homes, which often have electrical panels that are not compatible with AFCI breakers. OBC AFCI Devices are available in a number of different models to satisfy a range of applications. AFCI Receptacle OBC AFCI Receptacles address the dangers associated with both types of potentially hazardous arcing – parallel and series arcing. They provide feed-through protection and are able to detect downstream parallel and series arc-faults Kid's Bedroom AFCI


December 2014 |


Limitations of Two -Day Radon Screenings

444 Limitations of Two -Day Radon Screenings

Nancy Bredhoff — Young Pioneer in Radon Testing

Limitations of Two-Day Radon Screenings

Appreciates Ongoing Challenges, Rewarding Experiences


IN TWO PREVIOUS REPORTER ARTICLES (Radon is Real and It Causes Cancer — Parts 1 and 2), we discussed what radon is, the dangers associated with it, and the protocols for proper testing and mitigation of it. This month, we will discuss some of the limitations that are inherent in the type of testing that we perform as part of a real estate transaction. A Moving Target In most homes, the radon level is a moving target. It varies from hour to hour, from day to day and from one season to the next. Wind, rain, snow, varying temperatures and barometric pressure can all cause dramatic changes in indoor radon levels. Sample Size Back in the days before 1989, the first radon tests for real estate transactions consisted of samples taken during a 24hour period. Nowadays, we take a 48-hour sample. While this modern standard gives us much more data, it still can only tell us what is happening during those two days. It cannot tell us what radon levels are like for the other 363 days of the year. Even when we follow the EPA protocols in an effort to create worst-case conditions, these samples can provide misleading information. Year-long tests that use alpha track devices provide an average of radon levels for an entire year, but only that – an average. They don’t show the peaks and valleys that can be so important. If you have one foot in ice water and one foot in boiling 10

ASHI Reporter | December 2014

water, you might feel average. Likewise, a year-long alpha track test might experience wide swings in radon levels, but only show a moderate average. The health risks from radon are associated with a time-based exposure: how long you’re exposed and at what level. The peaks are more important to us than the valleys or the average. Seasonal Fluctuations Based on 1,800,000 tests done by a national test organization, AirChek, there is a seasonal variation of radon levels depending on the month the test is done. The seasonal variation is repeatable. This is a table of variation of radon levels. MT PA OH KY WV UT Winter 11.1 9.4 8.0 8.8 7.0 4.7 Summer 3.7 5.5 6.3 5.0 4.6 2.4

The flowchart shows more distribution levels.

There are several reasons that account for the seasonal variation. One reason is thermal stacking. The stack effect is the movement of air in a building resulting from air buoyancy. The buoyancy result is either a positive or negative. The greater the thermal difference and the height of the building, the greater the buoyancy and thus the stack effect. During the heating season, the indoor air rises up through the house and escapes through open windows and ventilation openings. This rising warm air reduces the pressure at the base and cold air causes the radon to get trapped in the house. A second reason is frost on the ground. Gases travel the path of least resistance such as a dry basement and dry crawl space. Then the thermal stacking has an effect.

Weather Effect The following is an example of a third-day test. If a radon tester checked a house for radon and found the level at 3.9, according to the EPA there is no problem. However if the tester tested the same house at 5.3, there is a problem. Does the tester know what he is doing? Are the test results reliable? Was there a storm coming through the tested area? The EPA states the guideline for high winds are at 30 mph over the average wind. How often are winds over 30 mph? Weather can and does affect radon levels. Abnormal Effect A most unusual radon test from a home in Saratoga Springs, Utah, produced a graph with a bell-shaped curve. At the height of the curve, radon levels exceeded 60, while at the lower end they were below 2. Even odder, the bell-shaped curve reappeared during the clearance test, after the mitigation system was installed. After discounting correlations with the weather and the possibility of tampering, we suspect that

the wide swings in radon levels were the result of water movement underground. Summary There is a seasonal variation to radon levels. Storms during a radon testing period can also elevate the radon levels. The real estate industry has imposed an unrealistic time frame of two days. The real exposure to radon is how long you are exposed to radon and at what level. At best, a two day test shows the potential for elevated levels of radon. The true test of radon is a year-long period. This is unrealistic in a real estate transaction.  Kurt Saloman was 2011 ASHI President, founded the Utah ASHI Chapter, has been a home inspector since 1992 and has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois. He serves on two American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST) Standard Committees, Radon Resistance New Construction and Radon Testing.

In 1985, Nancy Bredhoff wrote the initial business plan for Radon Testing Corporation of America (RTCA), which became operational in 1986. It wasn’t until the mid-80s that the public understood the health issues and challenges of indoor radon. In 1986, the home inspection industry was an emerging market and radon testing as part of the real estate transaction was also an emerging market. The RTCA business plan addressed the importance of marketing to home inspectors to become radon professionals. Today, almost 30 years later, Nancy Bredhoff is President of RTCA, after first serving as Managing Director. When she developed the plan, however, she had just received her MBA degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. Young as she was, her professional commitment to indoor radon testing was initially inspired by Stanley Watras and Andreas George. “I heard the story of Stanley Watras, whose experience prompted government interest in indoor radon. One day in 1984, when he went to work at the Limerick Power Plant in Pennsylvania, he triggered the radiation alarms. But it turns out the plant was not the problem. Watras had unknowingly brought the radiation with him from his home, where the radiation levels were 700 times above the safe level,” Nancy explains. He and his family were immediately evacuated. Nancy also met Andreas George, physical scientist and health physicist with almost 40 years of experience in the radon field. His credentials and professional contributions are so impressive that RTCA refers to him as the “Radon Guru.” As she began her career at RTCA, “it was a big education process, always learning more myself and educating mortgage brokers, realtors and home inspectors about indoor radon health issues and testing challenges. “When I attended ASHI’s annual conference in 1988 in San Francisco, RTCA was the only radon exhibitor, and I was the only female and probably the youngest. And it was a challenge Continued on next page...


December 2014 |


Radon Mitigation Systems in Existing Homes

...Continued from previous page because not many of the home inspectors understood the need for radon testing in the real estate transaction.” In September of 1988, the Surgeon General had a joint press conference with the EPA and recommended that all homes be tested for radon. As a result, consumer demand for radon test kits surged overnight. Also in 1988, Ralph Nader’s Consumer Advocacy Group, Public Citizen, conducted a blind testing of different radon labs. The result was that, in 1989, RTCA was rated #1 Radon Laboratory in the United States and was featured in the media and recognized by professional associations and government agencies. However, the survey also revealed the poor quality of other radon test kits, which had a negative effect on the retail market. “We survived because we had a quality service and had developed a computerized lab information management system for all aspects of the lab analysis, which included bar-coding all test devices. We were the first to link different dimensions of the process, which resulted in quality control and reliable results.” RTCA’s quality service has been its benchmark and it continues to get top ratings by the leading consumer agency. Nancy was one of the founding members of the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST) and served on its Board of Directors for 12 years. She currently serves on the Board of the National Radon Safety Board (NRSB) and was President of the NRSB from 1998 to 2012. The NRSB became responsible for certification of radon professionals when the U.S. EPA closed its program and privatized the radon proficiency program in 1998.

“I am proud to be a woman in the radon testing field, and I’m encouraged that more women are becoming home inspectors. My credibility rests on RTCA’s quality of service. During the 1980s and 1990s when developing our products, I was very fortunate to work with great scientists. While most were men, gender was not the issue. It has always been about securing great talent.”

Radon Mitigation Systems in Existing Homes Ready for Inspections

ASHI Reporter | December 2014




Many ASHI members have added radon testing to their home inspection services since the early 1990s. ASHI is now considering a certificate for completion of an educational program focusing on inspection of radon mitigation systems in existing homes.

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“Radon systems have been installed since the 1980s, but many systems, which were ‘permanent’ installations, may no longer be performing as expected,” explains Shawn Price, President of The American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST). “Properly installed systems may have been altered, damaged or simply showing their age, while others may have been put together in a rush, leading to sloppy workmanship, and violations in the mitigation standards such as substandard materials, wiring without licensed electricians, improper discharge points. These problems often affect the long-term operation of the system and, quite frankly, are dangers to the families living in these homes. It is in our best interest to properly train professionals to identify the problems and potential hazards. It makes sense that home inspectors could fill this need of system inspection.”

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Shawn notes that builders who are installing radon mitigation systems at the time of construction often do not understand the qualities of a fully functional system that makes them work, much less meet the standards. “Instead, when making a decision about a system installer, they often turn to the plumbers since they are the subcontractor who glues PVC pipe, going with convenience and price and not on knowledge and experience. Furthermore, if the system is, for example, ten or more years old, it’s already getting old and may not be functioning properly. So, while many systems have been installed, no one is looking at them. This could be a new and important role for home inspectors.” As ASHI explores this critical issue and opportunity for its members, it will consult with AARST about the content for an ASHI Continuing Educational program and certificate of completion. AARST is an accredited standards developer (by the American National Standards Institute ANSI) and is the caretaker of national radon standards in the United States. AARST also administers the National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) that certifies radon testing and mitigation professionals, and many of them are also members of ASHI. “While radon mitigation system testing may be considered an ‘ancillary’ service and is not yet covered in home inspection schools and Standards of Practice, it becomes more critical every day,” Shawn adds. “The complexities of standards are always evolving and, thus, so is the need for training to remain current and relevant.”

“While existing systems must be inspected and we have to retrofit systems that may have worn out, builders are being pressured to install systems in new buildings.” “It’s obvious that radon inspection is required for public health concerns, and, as our nonprofit association’s members understand, AARST is dedicated to high standards and ethical performance. We look forward to working with ASHI as it addresses its educational and professional goals.”  Sally Chapralis is the Consulting Editor for the ASHI Reporter. Her writing, business communications and PR experience includes working with construction and real estate industry publications.


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December 2014 |


The Word

444Kitchen Appliance Inspections

A look at terms used in home inspection reports

Dishwashing Machines Inspecting the dishwashing machine (dishwasher) involves determining if it fills with water, operates and drains. Running the dishwasher on any cycle that requires it to perform these functions satisfies the inspection requirement.

Kitchen Appliance Inspections BY BRUCE BARKER, ACI

ONCE AGAIN, THE WORD INVITES you to travel into the dark realm of subjects that are sometimes misunderstood by home inspectors. The Word hopes you will find this trip informative and maybe a little entertaining. Our topic this month is kitchen appliance inspections. The Word finds this topic interesting because the new ASHI Standard of Practice (SoP) requires us to inspect kitchen appliances. Some of us may be wondering what we’re supposed to be doing. Let’s start by reiterating the disclaimer at the end of every The Word column. The following is The Word’s considered opinion, for whatever it’s worth. This is not an interpretation of the SoP, and this is not a statement of ASHI policy. The Standard SoP Clause 10.1.F states: The inspector shall inspect installed ovens, ranges, surface cooking appliances, microwave ovens, dishwashing machines and food waste grinders by using normal operating controls to activate the primary function. The first thing to note is that the SoP identifies specific appliances. The SoP excludes appliances such as refrigerators, trash compactors, clothes washers and clothes dryers. You may inspect other appliances if you wish, but it’s not required. The SoP also ex14

ASHI Reporter | December 2014

cludes appliances that are not installed. This includes counter-top microwave ovens and other counter-top cooking appliances. The second thing is that the SoP describes the inspection method. You inspect by operating the appliance’s primary function to determine if it functions properly. What does that mean? We’ll address this for each appliance. An interesting question, for Standards geeks, is how does SoP Clause 2.2.B.1 apply to inspecting appliances? What? You don’t remember this clause? Inspectors should have it tattooed on a readily accessible part of their anatomy. This essential clause tells us we are looking for defects that involve not functioning properly, significantly deficient, unsafe or near the end of their service lives. Identifying appliances that are not functioning properly is the goal of inspecting appliances. Significantly deficient does not apply to appliance inspections because the SoP directs us to inspect appliances by operating them. The SoP does not direct us to inspect for significant deficiencies in the appliance itself. We may find significant deficiencies in and around the appliance while inspecting it and if we happen to find any, we should report them. Refer to the July 2012 Reporter for more about inspecting for and reporting significant deficiencies. We should inspect for clearly visible

unsafe conditions in appliances regardless of whether we operate them. Identifying aging appliances is a good client service and a task you may wish to perform, but it’s not required. Remembering SoP Clause 2.2.B.4 is also important, although framing it on a wall in your office is probably sufficient. This clause instructs us to report if we do not inspect a required system or component and to report the reason why. There are good reasons why you might not operate a kitchen appliance. If you don’t, you should report the fact and report why not. By the way, reporting that you did not inspect the appliances is required even if you disclaim appliance inspections in your inspection agreement. We’re going to divide the tasks for inspecting each appliance into two categories. Tasks you should perform are those that The Word believes are important for determining if the appliance is functioning properly. Tasks you may wish to perform are those that The Word believes may be a good idea, but are beyond the intended scope of the SoP. There is one other caveat. Use your state SoP and any interpretations thereof if your state requires you to inspect appliances. Some states may require more than what The Word believes is adequate.

Tasks you should perform before you operate the dishwasher: • Check the floor around the dishwasher and check in any cabinets in which the drain or water supply hoses run for evidence of water leaks. • Check the type, size and condition of the drain hose. The drain hose should be at least ¾ inch diameter and have no visible splits, holes or blockages. Drain hoses supplied with dishwashers are usually not rated to pass through walls or floors. • Check the type and condition of the water supply hose. The water supply hose may be a flexible stainless steel connector, copper tubing or a material recommended by the dishwasher manufacturer. Copper tubing may pass through walls and floors; connectors usually may not. • Check the drain hose termination connection under the sink. The hose should be connected to the connection port on the disposal or to a wye fitting in a sink tail piece upstream from the sink trap. Be sure the hose clamp is installed. • Determine that the food waste grinder is clear of debris if the dishwasher drain hose is connected. The drain water may back up in a blocked food waste grinder. • Check the condition of any visible electrical connection, including whether the dishwasher is disconnected. You are not required to, and probably should not, connect the dishwasher to the electrical supply. • Check the water supply hose connection. The hose should be connected to the hot water supply and the supply should be on. You are not required to, and probably should not, turn on the water supply. • Determine if something in the dishwasher might be damaged if you operate it. This could include operating instructions if the

dishwasher is new and expensive china or silverware. You are not required to, and probably should not, move occupant belongings out of the dishwasher. • Consider not operating the dishwasher if any of the above are not satisfactory. • Check for the presence of the drain hose high loop or air gap device. Check around the air gap device for evidence of water coming out of the device. This usually indicates a blockage in the drain hose. • Determine if the dishwasher is attached to the counter top or kitchen cabinet. • Determine if the dishwasher is reasonably level. If the racks slide out by themselves, it probably isn’t. This could affect whether the dishwasher drains properly. • Check door operation. It should move freely without binding or scraping on the counter top or cabinet. If the door drops hard when opening, the springs are probably weak or damaged. • Determine if the dishwasher has been operated recently. It could be months since a dishwasher in a vacant home has been operated. You may wish to pour about one quart of water in the bottom of the dishwasher to avoid running the pump while dry. Also, keep a close eye on the dishwasher during operation. The seals tend to dry out and may leak. Be sure to run the hot water through the supply pipes, especially to the dishwasher. This helps avoid the exploding dishwasher caused by the buildup of hydrogen sulfide gas in the water heater.

• Check the condition of the heating element. Set the dishwasher to heated dry to test operation. • Close the detergent dispenser. We’re not required to check this feature, but doing so only takes a second. Finding a detergent dispenser for an old dishwasher could be difficult, so someone might want a new dishwasher instead.

Tasks you may wish to perform: • Check door and control condition for significant damage and absent parts. • Check the door seals for damage and deterioration. • Check the sump area in the bottom for significant water accumulation (a little is normal in many dishwashers) and for accumulation of debris that might block water flow. • Check operation and condition of the racks and utensil tray. • Check the tub for damage, deterioration, and rust.

Tasks you should perform before you operate the appliance: • Check inside the oven and check all burners to determine if anything could be damaged by operating the appliance. Consider if you wish to move/remove anything that might be damaged. • Check the condition of the oven and burners to determine if it appears safe and prudent to operate the appliance. Excessive food spillage and visible damage to heating elements are examples of situations when you might consider not operating the appliance.

Inspecting dishwasher operation: • Listen and observe that the dishwasher fills, operates and drains. Check the sump for excess water after operation. Check any air gap device for evidence of leaks. • Check the detergent dispenser lid; did it open? • Check the floor around the dishwasher and in any cabinets in which the drain or water supply hoses run for evidence of water leaks. • Confirm that the dishwasher is off before you leave. Range, Wall Oven, Cooktop A range is an oven and cooktop in one cabinet. A wall oven is one or more ovens installed in a cabinet. A cooktop consists of burners mounted in a kitchen counter top. Inspecting an oven involves activating one element, usually the lower (baking) element. Inspecting a cooktop involves operating all burners and any warming area at the highest temperature. Tasks involved in inspecting these appliances are similar, so we’ll discuss them together.


December 2014 |


444Kitchen Appliance Inspections

444Kitchen Appliance Inspections

• Check for absent and damaged knobs and controls that might make operation difficult. • Check that the wall oven and cooktop are attached to their cabinet/counter top. • Check door operation. It should move freely and not bind, scrape or hit nearby objects. If the door drops hard when opening, the springs are probably weak or damaged. If it binds or scrapes, the door might be installed incorrectly or the hinges might be bent or damaged. • Check the condition of visible electrical and gas connections. Remember that plug-and-cord cables and flexible gas connectors may not pass through walls, floors and ceilings. You are not required to move the appliance to do this. You are not required to, and should not, connect the cooking appliance to the electrical or gas supply. • Consider not operating the appliance if any of the above are not satisfactory. • Check for the presence and operation of the range anti-tip bracket. Tasks you may wish to perform: • Check door glass for cracking and other damage. Staining between panes isn’t really damage, but you may want to report if it’s significant. • Check the door seals for damage and deterioration. Damage could be a safety issue during the self-cleaning cycle by allowing escape of very hot gasses. • Check the operation and condition of any pan drawer under the range. • Check operation and condition of the racks. • Check the cabinet for damage and deterioration. • Check the operation of the oven element that you don’t test. • Check the operation of any self-clean lock lever (don’t test the self-clean cycle). • Check if the range is visibly level. • Check the carbon monoxide level produced by a gas oven. 16

ASHI Reporter | December 2014

Inspecting appliance operation: • Determine that the tested oven element and all burners glow red at the highest temperature (note: this may not work with some induction ranges/cooktops). • Leave the oven door open while operating the oven. It’s a good way to remember to turn off everything before you leave. Note that some ovens do not permit operation with the door open. • Don’t put anything back into a hot oven or on hot burners. Microwave Ovens and Exhaust Fans Microwave ovens that we should inspect include those above the range/cooktop and those built into a cabinet. Some high-end microwaves include a convection oven. We should inspect the convection oven like a wall oven if it has a convection bake function that can be used without the microwave. Tasks you should perform before you operate the appliance: • Check inside the appliance to determine if anything could be damaged by operating the appliance. Consider if you wish to move/remove anything that might be damaged. Remove the metal rack, if installed, to avoid arcing. • Check the condition of the appliance to determine if it appears safe and prudent to operate the appliance. Excessive food spillage and visible damage to the door are examples of situations when you might consider not operating the appliance.

• Check for absent and damaged knobs and controls that might make operation difficult. • Check that the appliance is attached to its cabinet/counter top. • Check the condition of visible electrical connection. Remember that plug-and-cord cables may not pass through walls, floors and ceilings. Look at the microwave if you test the kitchen GFCI receptacles. If the microwave goes off, it’s not on its own dedicated circuit as it should be (and it’s connected to the kitchen small appliance circuit, which it shouldn’t be). You are not required to, and probably should not, connect the appliance to the electrical supply. • Consider not operating the appliance if any of the above are not satisfactory. • Check the visible exhaust duct material. It should be smooth-wall metal, usually galvanized steel or copper. The exhaust duct should run to the outdoors, not into the attic or crawlspace. Schedule 40 PVC or ABS may be used for downdraft units if the duct is installed in a concrete slab. • Check the exterior termination fitting. If there’s a damper, determine if it moves freely. A termination opening smaller than about 6 inches diameter or an equivalent area in a rectangle might be too small. Tasks you may wish to perform: • Check door operation. It should move freely and latch securely. • Check the cabinet for damage and deterioration.

• Check for the presence of exhaust fan filters. • Remove filters when the exhaust fan exhausts directly out the back wall and try to see the exhaust duct. Sometimes the fan is blowing into the wall cavity without a duct. • Check the distance between the floor and the top of the microwave and check the distance between the cooktop and the cabinet. Some manufacturers recommend at least 66 inches between the floor and the top of the microwave and at least 30 inches between the cooktop and the cabinet. There is no generally accepted minimum distance between a microwave and a cooktop, although The Word gets a bit nervous from a safety and convenience perspective when the distance gets below 13 inches. Inspecting appliance operation: • Pour a few drops of water on the glass tray or insert a wet paper towel and run the microwave for about 10 seconds; the water should be hot. • Check the condition and operation of any glass tray. • Check operation of any light. • Check operation of any exhaust fan. Feel around the top and sides of the appliance for excessive backflow of air with externally exhausted fans. This may indicate that the fan isn’t connected to the duct or that the exterior damper is stuck shut. Food Waste Disposer The term garburator will be the first entry in the Canada/U.S. translation dictionary; garburator is one term for this appliance north of the border. Don’t call it a Disposall (unless it is the GE brand). Disposall is a brand name and, like all brand names, use of a brand name is poor reporting practice unless the appliance is that brand. Inspecting the disposer involves turning it on and listening for unusual sounds. Feeding the disposer is not required or recommended.

Tasks you should perform before you operate the appliance: • Check the condition of the disposer exterior to determine if it appears safe and prudent to operate the appliance. Run water in the disposer to check for leaks. You might want to feel around and look for water. Leaks and significant rust or deterioration of the case are examples of situations when you might consider not operating the disposer. • Check the condition of visible electrical connection. Remember that plug-andcord cables may not pass through walls, floors and ceilings. The cable should be terminated at the disposer in a strain relief clamp. NM cable should be protected against physical damage. You are not required to, and probably should not, connect the disposer to the electrical supply. • Check the plumbing fittings and trap. Pay special attention to when the disposer discharge pipe is at the same level as the waste pipe from the adjacent sink. The disposer may send waste into the adjacent sink without a directional fitting where the two pipes connect.

The Bottom Line Many of us have been inspecting kitchen appliances for years, but without really thinking about what we’re doing. The Word is among those. Perhaps this will serve as a start for a more uniform protocol for inspecting these appliances. Memo to Hestia (goddess of the home and hearth): The Word does not reside on Mt. Olympus (just at its base) and welcomes other viewpoints. Send your lightning bolts or emails to The thoughts contained herein are those of The Word; they are not ASHI standards or policies.  Bruce Barker operates Dream Home Consultants. He has been building and inspecting homes since 1987. He is the author of “Everybody’s Building Code” and currently serves as chair of the ASHI Standards Committee. To read more of Barker’s articles, go to

Tasks you may wish to perform: • Check the presence and condition of the flexible splash guard at the disposer mouth. • Check the condition of the grinding mechanisms by shining your flashlight into the disposer and looking at them. • Check the location of the power switch. Is it reasonably convenient? Inspecting appliance operation: • Run cold water in the sink before starting the disposer. Start the disposer. Listen for loud or unusual sounds, or no sounds. Disposers sometimes freeze up when not operated for awhile. You might recommend that someone try to unfreeze it with the Allen wrench before replacing the disposer. • Check for leaks.


December 2014 |


Herspective From the Women of ASHI

“Have you thought about performing inspections for HUD?” turned out to be the sentence that saved my business. ARLENE PUENTES INTERVIEWED BY SALLY CHAPRALIS

I WAS REMINDED OF IT when a PastPresident of ASHI, Frank Lesh, asked me to write an entry for “Herspective.” “But Frank,” I wrote him, “I can’t write an article for ASHI. I don’t even think I’m still a home inspector. For the past couple of years, I’ve only performed about 20 home inspections a year.” “Of course you’re still a home inspector,” Frank wrote back. “There are a lot of home inspectors who only perform 20 home inspections a year.” Who knew? And that reminded me of the 2006 telephone call I received from another PastASHI President, Marvin Goldstein. He wanted to best serve ASHI’s Board and so was calling home inspectors to ask their opinion on ASHI’s direction. During that phone call, he allowed me to vent about the slowdown in my home inspection business. It turned out this slowdown was common for home inspectors nationally and would only get worse.

“Have you thought about performing inspections for HUD?” he asked. No. I hadn’t. Marvin told me about it and so, with his encouragement and guidance, I got a badge from HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) and began performing REAC inspections for HUD through 18

ASHI Reporter | December 2014

Marvin’s company, BISCO. I did this until the end of 2013 when I voluntarily gave up my REAC badge and began the more satisfying and more lucrative full-time work of consulting for the properties that are subject to this inspection. This is why I’m still in business and this is why I only have time to perform about 20 home inspections a year. Is it worth it for you to go through the trouble of getting an REAC badge? Here are my thoughts on the matter. Good points about the REAC inspection work: • It’s more or less regular money. If your home inspection business is floundering, this just may be the ticket to getting it afloat. • You don't have to commit to an inspection if you don't want to. • You get to know large commercial buildings. I have inspected thousands of commercial roofs, AC systems, water tanks, heating systems, plumbing systems, electrical systems, venting systems, etc. I have spoken to countless maintenance supervisors about their work, their local codes and the components they maintain. I will never be intimidated by a commercial inspection. • You meet wonderful people. The property managers and maintenance staff who work in the field of affordable housing often work under difficult circumstances. And yet I have found most to be extremely competent, hard working and caring.

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• You have the option of working with Marvin Goldstein’s company, BISCO. They're a much appreciated buffer between you and HUD. • It may lead to something else. As I said, I have happily and successfully branched out to related consulting work. Not-so-good points about the REAC inspections: • It’s not easy to get an REAC badge. There’s a waiting period and a training period and written tests and field tests. • Working with HUD can be frustrating enough to make you want to chew the inside of your cheek. Their directions to the inspectors are infuriatingly badly written and subjective. • It's more work (physically and time-wise) for about 2/3rd the money of a home inspection. • You may have to buy a new laptop or tablet that can run REAC software. • It will take time away from your home inspection marketing efforts. • You will not be your own boss. HUD is the boss. When HUD says blue is green, well, then, blue is green. HUD does not give your experience as a building professional the respect it deserves. It was more unnecessarily humbling than I wished it had been. • You will probably have to commit to a schedule many weeks in advance and so will lose some home inspection work. • There are regular HUD surprise audits of your inspections. These audits are a pill. • You will have to learn the REAC inspection protocol and, for that, you have to turn off your brain and focus on HUD-speak. I liked performing home inspections more than I liked performing REAC inspections for HUD. But I like my REAC consulting work — counseling the properties that are subject to REAC inspections — more than I like performing home inspections. I’m glad to have traveled my recent career path. And I know that none of it would have happened without ASHI. 

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December 2014 |


Ser vice Philosophy – Reversing Risk for Buyers

444Ser vice Philosophy – Reversing Risk for Buyers

In Memory: Coleman M. Greenberg

Service Philosophy – Reversing Risk for Buyers BY ALAN CARSON – CARSON, DUNLOP & ASSOCIATES LTD.

HAVE YOU EVER WATCHED LATE-NIGHT television and seen a commercial for a product such as a set of steak knives or a piece of exercise equipment? Who buys that stuff after seeing it on television? How can they tell if the product is any good? To know its worth, you need to be able to touch it, to see how the parts are put together, then to try it out and so on. So why would a buyer take that kind of risk? Professional services are much the same. Your prospect can’t evaluate your service with any accuracy, especially over the phone. Not only does your prospect have no idea what they will get from your service, but the prospect does not even know what you look like. The bottom line is that the prospect or client assumes all of the risk in the transaction. They take a leap of faith when they say, “Okay, I will hire you.” Because there is risk involved, they may choose to call a few other home inspection companies until they get a good feeling from someone. Remove Risk How do you overcome this problem? The same way the late-night television people do it. Do anything you can do to remove or reduce the risk. The television people tell you to order it and enjoy it for a week. If you are not happy, send it back for a full refund. You can do the same thing with your prospects. If they are hesitating, just tell them to book the inspection. If they are not happy at the end of the inspection, they don’t have to pay. That is risk reversal. 20

ASHI Reporter | December 2014

Now the risk is all yours. You risk doing an inspection for a client who might not pay you at the end. Makes you feel a bit uncomfortable, doesn’t it? Now you know how your prospects feel. But the risk to you is not as great as it seems. The fact is, almost every client is pleased with the inspection. Few people, if any, will tell you they are unhappy in order to get a free inspection. We have never had a problem with people taking advantage of this kind of offer. It’s unlikely that you will, either. The upside far outweighs the risk that you may get cheated the odd time.

one agent out for lunch per week. At the end of the lunch, you plan to ask the agent if he or she will refer their next inspection to you. What is the risk to the agent? The risk is substantial. The agent may already have a home inspector to whom they refer business. And the agent’s home inspector is especially good because he or she doesn’t alarm the clients unnecessarily. If the agent refers you instead, he or she risks that you will not be as levelheaded as the agent’s current, preferred home inspector. You may kill the sale and cost the agent a big commission.

Risk reversal is a tool you should use in just about everything you do, not just when you are booking an inspection. Here are some steps you can take:

Step 2: How can you eliminate the risk for the agent? You could offer to pay the agent the commission if you end up killing the deal. Or, you could tell the agent that if the client is not happy with the inspection, the client doesn’t have to pay. The second offer presents a more reasonable risk for you and no risk for the client, but it still leaves risk for the agent.

Step 1: For each transaction involving your business, identify the risk involved for the prospect. Step 2: List as many ways as possible to reduce or remove the risk.

Step 4: Select a strategy that has the best balance.

Step 3: What are the risks to you? Offering to pay agents their lost commissions if you kill the deal is too big a risk for you, not to mention that this offer has ethical implications. Offering to absorb the cost of the inspection reduces the client’s risk, has little risk for you, but does not really reverse the risk for the agent.

Here is an example. Step 1: You’ve developed a strategy to get more real estate agents to refer business to you. You have decided that you will take

Step 4: Strike a balance everyone can live with. Our strategy is a combination of reducing the risk for the client and quantifying the actual risk for the agent. For

Step 3: For each of your ideas in Step 2, identify what the risk is to you.

instance, when you meet with the agent, explain how good you are with clients and how you put problems in proper perspective so that the client doesn’t walk from the deal over small issues. Let the agent know that you understand the state of mind of someone buying a home, and that it helps no one if a client overreacts to a common, minor problem, and walks away from a good home. You may tell the agent that your role is to advise and help your client, not to impress them. You feel no pressure to find problems to help justify your fee. Then extend the offer so that if the client is unhappy for any reason, they will not be required to pay. You are not reversing the risk for the agent at all, but because you have explained your client-friendly approach, the agent may feel that your strategy does, in fact, reduce the risk of the client walking away from the deal. You can make another point to the agent. If their client does not buy the home based on the results of the inspection, they will still buy a home. While the agent will have to spend more time with the client to find them another home and earn the commission, the agent/client relationship will be stronger because the client appreciates that the agent saved them from making a mistake by introducing them to you. What we have done here is outline the concept of reversing risk, and provided simple steps for you to employ this in your business as part of your service philosophy. In future articles, we will discuss other topics for service philosophy such as using the “underpromise and over-deliver” approach, and winning customers by fixing mistakes fast. Stay tuned! 

Coleman M. Greenberg of Sedona passed away on January 17, 2014, in Houston, Texas. He was 75 years old. He was surrounded by Pinky Greenberg of Sedona, and his sons, Richard and Martin Greenberg of Mahopac, NY. Cole was born on February 23, 1938, in Omaha, Nebraska to the late Samuel M. Greenberg and Mildred Lipsey Greenberg. At Cole's request, his body was donated to science. Many people found Cole provocative. One can see why by noting his email signature line: “Always Question Authority!” He was deeply passionate about the individuals and causes he supported. Cole was President of ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) National, AZ-ASHI, NY Metro ASHI and Keep Sedona Beautiful. He volunteered with Youth at Risk, Freedom Gardens, Hunger Project, Holiday Project, the Sedona Airport Noise Abatement Committee and other organizations. He had an uncanny ability to make friends, impact others and stir up lively debate. And while Cole was unmistakably dedicated to his volunteer activities, he always found time to share his kindness, warmth and animated sense of humor with family and friends. Cole is survived by his two sons and their wives, Karen and Jane: his four grandchildren, Austin, Jack, Sam and Miles, and his siblings Barbara Seglin, Joseph Greenberg and Philip Greenberg. A Celebration of Life service was held on Thursday, February 6, 2014, at the Jewish Community of Sedona and consistent with Cole's wishes, the celebration continued at the Oak Creek Brewery with music by The Bresnan Blues Band. Memorial donations should be sent to: Keep Sedona Beautiful, Inc., Environmental Stewards of Sedona Since 1972, Pushmataha Center, 360 Brewer Road, Sedona, AZ 86336

Volunteer and Earn CEs CEs may be earned for each instructional hour attending conferences, chapter events and ASHI approved seminars as well as through online educational programs. Did you know that ASHI recognizes your volunteer efforts? Volunteering on the ASHI Board, the Council of Representatives and at your chapter will earn you CEs. Attending the Leadership Training Conference provides 6 CEs. Earn credit for authoring an article that's published in the Reporter or instructing at an ASHI event. In mentoring a new inspector, you both earn 2 CEs. Volunteering has its rewards for both you and ASHI. 21

December 2014 |


Mentoring Makes a Dif ference

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JULES FALCONE STARTED DOING HOME inspections in 1972, and began mentoring in 1977, a few years after launching his home inspection business and training his brother. “Back then, there were no training programs, no online resources, and the importance of a home inspection was not yet understood or fully appreciated like it is now,” Jules says. “To train my brothers and then future employees and more than 100 other inspectors, I had to learn every detail about homes and performing accurate, in-depth inspections. I created a loose-leaf folder, running about 500 pages, so that I could record instructions and information for myself and as part of training other inspectors. I would tab sections as each related to the system in a home.” Today, almost 40 years later, Jules is president of Jules Falcone & Associates/ Inspection Pros, Media, PA, which employs three home inspectors. “By the mid-1990s, we understood the importance of training and many educational resources and opportunities became available.” Jules’ loose-leaf book has also evolved into several published works, courses, presentations, articles and media coverage. As one of the first 60 ASHI charter members, he has served on several national committees and the national Board of Directors. He has also served as President of the Tri-State Chapter and received the John


ASHI Reporter | December 2014

Cox Award for a member who contributes the most at the chapter level.

answers to off-beat questions and general attitude toward others.

Jules’ inspection and mentoring experience and success has, of course, influenced his approach to home inspection, serving as a mentor and offering advice on choosing a mentor.

“I can teach people about home inspections, but I cannot teach them how to be nice and deal with others. That’s why I would recommend all of my inspectors because all are stars and have character as well as professional knowledge.”

> Problem-Solving, Added Value, Communication & Character “My role as an inspector is finding problems, maybe ones that others might not see, and then explaining, in-depth, how they should be solved,” Jules explains. “This information is included in my report and the buyer, seller or realtor decides how they want to follow up, but at least I’ve given them information on the best solution. This approach adds value to my inspection and reinforces my reputation, which is critical. I don’t want to compete on price, only on my knowledge.” However, Jules adds, “Character is the most significant factor in home inspection and your people skills are critical. Yes, you’re not only responding to a buyer, seller or realtor’s goals and perspectives during an inspection, but you have to acknowledge and communicate with family members and friends and anyone else present at the inspection. I stress the issue of character when mentoring. And when we’re hiring for our company, candidates go through four separate interviews. We observe their body language, patience,

Jules explains that a home inspector’s reputation also includes appearance and dress code. “This means everything – shoes, clothes, personal appearance, clean and organized auto and truck. The minute a client sits down on the passenger seat, the tone is set and becomes part of your character. Home inspection is a great profession and we want to reflect this in every way.” > Mentoring – a Learning Experience

“Our parents taught us that integrity and character are important in every area of life and places we go. I also remember that when I was 28 years old, I knew that I had to become a problem-solver, which meant continuous learning and being receptive to new approaches.

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December 2014 | 7/31/2014 3:08:04 PM


444 Mentoring Makes a Dif ference

“This included being ready for questions and answers and developing them for home inspectors and for clients. When someone asks ‘how much will this cost and what will it include?’ I give an example and then give a price range depending on their goals and needs. The cost explains the extent of the problem.” Jules also reminds us that, when a home inspector saves clients money, now or in the future, it adds to the inspector’s value. Did Jules have a mentor? “No, it was too early in the 1970s. For the first five years as a home inspector, I had to train myself. But my dad was a great mentor when I worked with him in the carpentry business. While home inspection and carpentry are entirely different, there are common denominators in terms of professionalism.”

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However, Jules did learn more about writing reports after inspections. “ASHI’s Standard of Practice is an important starting point. Then, write a report that is easy to read, defines the problems and inspector feedback, and includes necessary disclaimers. Don’t make it overwhelming. Keep it short but substantive. And, don’t use more than 20 to 30 photos, not 100, to define and illustrate the issues.” >C  hoosing a Mentor If you’re considering a mentor for yourself (or becoming one), Jules suggests that you ask a prospective mentor these questions: • How many years of home inspection experience do you have? • W hat is your mentoring history? • W hat is my responsibility as a mentee? 12:59 PM

• How do I prepare myself to be mentored? • Will there be limitations to the number of questions I can ask when being mentored? • Will you teach me how to work with buyers, sellers and realtors? • How will we work together in the mentoring process?

Mentoring can be a mutually rewarding experience for both mentor and mentee at any stage of your career. Consider the possibilities and your potential.  Sally Chapralis is the Consulting Editor for the ASHI Reporter. Her writing, business communications and PR experience includes working with construction and real estate industry publications.

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ASHI Reporter | December 2014


December 2014 |


ASHI Community New Inspector Status, ASHI Chapters, Council News

New ASHI Associates


As of November 1, 2014.

H D enotes graduate of The ASHI School John Roberson

Keith Carr

John Benson

Corey Williams

Paul Lorrah

Precision Property Inspections, LLC Montgomery, AL

AmeriSpec Inspection Service Ocala, FL

Hamilton Inspection Services Carmel, IN

HouseInspect Media, PA

Ryan Castillo

Patrick Fitzsimmons

Steven Hallmark

The BrickKicker Home Inspection of Kansas City Excelsior Springs, MO

Bill's Home Inspection Services, Inc. Green Valley, AZ

GHIS Martinez, GA

Cornerstone Inspection Services Carmel, IN

Brycen Sateren

Mark Fleury

GHIS Martinez, GA

Paul Grise

Mike Gitt Home Inspections Omaha, NE

Michael Johnson

Mark of Excellence Home Inspections Phoenix, AZ

PG Home Inspections Hopkinsville, KY

M. Aren Cleven Superior Home Inspection Kailua, HI

Don Henson Bill's Home Inspections, Inc. Green Valley, AZ

Robert Jeglum Dollhouse Home Inspections Scottsdale, AZ

Troy Bradley

Sean Lathrop Garden Island Home Inspections Kilauea, HI

H Brian Dixon Burlington, IA

Bradley Home Inspections Redding, CA

Keystone Home Inspections Pocatello, ID

Phillips H.E.R.S. Rating & Home Inspection Redding, CA

Brian Maw

Home Inspection Engineers Wheat Ridge, CO

David Demastus There's No Place Like Home Inspections Abingdon, MD Esham Inspections Berlin, MD

Jorge Marmol

Davis Inspection Services Westland, MI

Paul Dionise

Danbury, CT

Midwest Adjustment Services, Inc. Blue Mound, IL

Dave Barbagallo

Kevin Austin

Kensington, CT

Cornerstone Inspection Services Carmel, IN

Technical Inspections LLC Burnsville, MN

Joseph Andrews

New ASHI Inspectors


Reed Poitra

Tim Mitchell Mitchco Enterprises, LLC Wentzville, MO

Timothy Kelley

Randy Cottrell

Home Inspection by Kelley, LLC Madison, AL

OC Home Care LLC Joppa, MD

Glenn Crowl

CTR Home Inspections Blauvelt, NY

Home Inspections LLC Prescott Valley, AZ

LX Inspections, LLC Westfield, NJ CHENMOO HOME INSPECTION Fresh Meadows, NY

Brian Schnee KL Home Inspections Services, LLC Rockville Centre, NY

Stephen Carter

Justin Harper Pillar to Post Phoenixville, PA

Charles Hawkins

Holt, MI

As of November 1, 2014.

Lixin Wang

AmeriSpec Inspection Services Powell, OH

Richard Davis

Warren Elder

Mike Gitt

Ling-Hsiang Huang

Clarksburg, MD

Accurate Test & Inspect Inc. Victor, ID

Anthony Eulberg, P.E.

Highland Home Inspections, Inc. Glenelg, MD

Otis (Bud) Esham

Devin Anderson

Bill Phillips

Edward Columbia

Lakota, ND

3 Rivers Construction Services Aliquippa, PA

Mark Jones Pillar to Post South Hampton, PA

Stephen Mulrooney SJC Property Services LLC Lincoln University, PA

Seamus Sharpe Philadelphia, PA

Frank Pino On Target Home Inspections, LLC Providence, RI

Tonya Antonevich Pillar to Post Home Inspectors Charleston, SC

James Wood Hampton Home Inspections Hampton, SC

Patrick O'Connor Serenity Home Inspections Lorton, VA

Scott Stewart Pillar to Post/Green Peak Inspections LLC Dorset, VT

Rob Hager R. H. Inspections Tacoma, WA

Bill Barber Cochrane, AB, CA

Tony Bukkems Westerose, AB, CA

New ASHI Certified Home Inspectors

Thirty Years Wosyl Pilipczuk Robert Mulloy Mark Reinmiller Michael Poli, P.E. Ernest Simpson Roman Paul Korobij Mark Mitman Phillip Thornberry Patrick Casey Jack Milne Larry Greenwold Twenty Years Albert Innamorati Thomas Rooney Chris Keeling Michael Williams Donald Lawn Fifteen Years Robert Reese Jeffrey Donaldson, P.E. Craig Smith Don Cessna Rich Able Roger Priest Sergio Angione

Ten Years Steve Jacoby Michael Blagg Thomas Brennan David Shumaker Tom Carter Jim Radcliffe John Clason Robert Major Eric Babcock Stephen Sutton Jason Gruhn Aaron Mainelli Fidel Esposito Frank Harmon Five Years Pete Sutch John Blough Glenn Schwartz Kirk Harding Mark Orso John Fordyce Jim Browning Karl Sanders Eric Villaverde Dan McPhee Steven Gerke Devin Lehmann Fred Alati Zak Kuczynski Ryan Goeglein Angus McPhaul

ASHI Chapter Education The MAC-ASHI Chapter Winter Seminar When: January 24, 2015 Where: Rockville, MD, in the Rockville Senior Center What: M  ike Casey will offer an update on electrical systems. JD Grewell will present a session on defect recognition with effective report writing and then a comparison to the ASHI SoP and the Maryland SoP. CEUs: Proposed to allow for 8 CEs Watch for future email announcements, visit Mid Atlantic Chapter: American Society of Home Inspectors or contact David Goldberg at for further information.

Jerry Schooley Perfect Inspections Canton, GA

Jeremy Meek

Michael Cotter

Mile High Home LLC Denver, CO

Charles McCracken CFM Home Inspections, LLC Mount Pleasant, SC

Discovery Inspection Services Oswego, IL

David Fletcher

Patrick Leahy

Juan Jimenez

AccuSpec Home Inspections, Inc. St. Paul, MN

Norman Tyler


To have your chapter seminar listed here: Email all information about your chapter seminar to micheleg@ Information also will be picked up from CE applications.

To share details of a chapter event and photos of events that have already occurred, please send your information to Deadlines are the 1st of the month prior to the issue in which you would like your information to appear.

Pillar To Post Cleveland, TN A House on a Rock Home Inspections LLC North Chesterfield, VA

1. Go to 2. Under Education & Training 3. Click on ASHI Online Learning Center

Continue learning at the click of a button!

Easy. Education.

FREE ASHI Member access to past IW sessions.


Sage Inspections, LLC St. Louis, MO ASHI Reporter | December 2014

When: February 27, 28 and March 1, 2015 Where: Holiday Inn, Worthington, OH CEUs: 17 ASHI CEs

As of November 1, 2014.

Nick Buffington


North Central Ohio & Ohio ASHI Chapters Inspector Expo


December 2014 |


ASHI Chapters

Find the Chapter Nearest You and Join Today Chapter meetings and contacts are subject to change. Please contact the chapter to confirm meeting time and location.

NEW ENGLAND/CANADA Bert Bruinsma, 403-348-5550 Second Wednesday, 6 pm, Tony’s Family Restaurant, Syracuse Dan Hager, 315-440-1237

British Columbia

First State (DE)

Alberta Gary Poirer, 604-220-0305

CAHPI Atlantic Blaine Swan, 902-890-0710

CAHPI Ontario Donald Beneteau, 519-995-0235

Coastal Connecticut Third Wednesday, 7 pm The Buzz Ware Center, 2121 The Highway, Arden Mark Desmond, 302-494-1294

Garden State (NJ) Second Thursday, The Westwood, Garwood Bret Kaufmann, 973-377-4747 Third Thursday, 6 pm, Westport VFW Lodge, 465 Riverside Avenue, Westport Gene Autore, 203-216-2516

Greater Rochester (NY)

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

Hudson Valley (NY) Fourth Thursday, 5 pm The Lantana, Randoph, MA Michael Atwell, 617-630-5629

Northern New England (ME, MA, NH, VT) Bob McDonald, 207-475-7758

Prairies (Alberta) (CAHI) Bert Bruinsma, 403-348-5550

Quebec AIBQ Germain Frechette, 514-694-4350

Southern New England (CT) First Tuesdays, 6:30 pm Billy T’s, 150 Sebethe Dr. Cromwell, CT Richard W. Hall, 860-281-4238

NEW YORK/JERSEY/ DELAWARE Capitol Region (NY) Third Thursday, 7 pm, Doratos Steakhouse and Pub, Guilderland Robert Davis, 518-885-7949


Central New York

ASHI Reporter | December 2014 Second Tuesday, 6 pm, Murph’s Irondequoit Pub, Irondequoit John White, 585-431-0067 SecondTuesday, 6 pm, Daddy O’s Restaurant 3 Turner Street Hopewell Junction, NY 12533 Michael Skok, 845-592-1442

Long Island (NY) Third Monday, 6 pm, Domenico’s Restaurant, Levittown Steven Rosenbaum, 516-361-0658

New York Metro Last Thursday, Eldorado West Restaurant-Diner, Tarrytown Stephen P. Tyler, 845-521-4144

Southern New Jersey (NJ) Third Wednesday, 6:30 pm Ramada Inn, Bordentown Rick Lobley, 609-208-9798

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

MID-ATLANTIC Central Virginia First Thursday, 6:30 pm, Independence Golf Club, Midlothian Ray McMurdy, 804-639-1171

Greater Baltimore (MD) Third Thursday except July & Aug., 6:30 pm, Snyder Willow Grove Restaurant, Linthicum Stephen R. Dallmus, 410-323-7600

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

MAC-ASHI (MD, VA) Second Wednesday, Rockville Senior Center, Rockville John Vaughn, 800-767-5904

NOVA-ASHI (MD, VA) Fourth Tuesday, Associate hour 6-7 pm, Membership meeting 7-9 pm Northern Virginia Resources Center, Fairfax Ferando Barrientos 703-255-6622

Piedmont ASHI (VA) Robert Huntley, 540-354-2135

SOUTH ATLANTIC ASHI Georgia Gregg Allen, 770-745-7574 gregg@totalhomeinspections

East Tennessee Third Saturday of Feb., May, Aug. and Nov. Paul Perry, 866-522-7708

Mid-Tennessee Ray Baird, 615-371-5888

Mid-South (TN) Steven Campbell, 901-734-0555

North Carolina Third Wednesday, 3 pm, Quality Inn at Guilford Convention Center, Greensboro Larry Conway, 336-669-0679

Southwest Florida Second Wednesday, 6 pm Holiday Inn, Lakewood Ranch 6321 Lake Osprey Drive, Sarasota Michael Meesit, 941-321-6962

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

GULF ASHI South (AL) Quarterly, Homewood Library, Homewood Derl Nelson, 205-529-1657

Central Florida Second Tuesday, 6:30 pm Bill Labita, 407-977-9182


NORTH CENTRAL ASHI Central PA Second Monday, 6 pm, except Jan. & July, Bonanza Steak House, Walnut Bottom Rd., Carlisle William Weitzel, 717-919-5087

Keystone (PA) First Monday, 5:30 pm The Crowne Plaza, Reading David Artigliere, 610-220-1907

Ohio Howard Snyder, 330-929-5239

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

North Central Ohio

Florida Wiregrass Third Tuesday, Tannersville Inn, Tannersville Ronald Crescente, 570-646-7546 Second Wednesday, 6:30 pm Hyundai of Wesley Chapel Nancy Janosz, 813-546-6090

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

Gulfstream (FL) Ralph Cabal, 305-256-7369

Lone Star (TX) Craig Lemmon, 817-291-9056

Louisiana Quarterly Michael Burroughs, 318-324-0661

Suncoast (FL) First Tuesday, 6:30 pm, Please see our website for meeting locations. Steve Acker, 727-712-3089 William Stone, 216 308-9663

Pocono-Lehigh (PA)

PRO ASHI (PA) Second Wednesday of Jan., March, May, July & Nov. George W. Kasimirsky, 724-747-7321

Tri-State (DE, NJ, PA) Second Tuesday except April, Aug. & Dec., Dave & Buster's Plymouth Meeting, PA Vince Tecca 215-527-5710

MIDWEST Central Illinois Second Monday, 6 pm Kevan Zinn, 309-262-5006

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

Greater Omaha (NE) Rick Crnkovich, 402-779-2529

St. Louis (MO) Second Tuesday, 6:30 pm Spazio’s at Westport Frank Copanas, 314-456-0783


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

Indiana ASHI

First Saturday, 10 am Charles Smith, 505-670-4442 Quarterly Danny Maynard, 317-319-7209

Iowa ASHI Fourth Tuesday, 5:30 pm Clarion Inn, Cedar Rapids Mike Tomash, 319-310-1557

Kentuckiana (IN, KY)

New Mexico

Northern Colorado Second Thursday, 6:30 pm Fairfield Inn, Loveland Chris Elliott, 970-567-7393 chris@homelandinspectionservices. com

Northern Rockies (ID, MT) Lamar Rase, 406-531-4848 completehomeinspectionsinc@ Allan Davis, 502-648-9294 elitehomeinspections@

Rocky Mountain


Southern Colorado Second Tuesday, 12:00 pm Daniel Boone Regional Library 100 W. Broadway, Columbia, MO Joe Pangborn, 573-228-4509

Northern Illinois Second Wednesday, 5:30 pm 237 W. St. Charles Street Villa Nova Restaurant, Villa Park Steve Reilly, 630-248-6500

SOUTH MIDWEST Arkansas Richard Kirkman, 501-327-9794 homeinspectionplus@conwaycorp. net

Great Plains (KS, MO) Second Wednesday of even months, The Great Wolf Lodge, Kansas City Miki Mertz, 913-268-0222

Midwest PRO ASHI (KS) Jack Koelling, 316-744-9990 John Fryer, 510-682-4908

Inland Northwest (ID, WA) Chris Munro, 208-290-2472

Orange County CREIA-ASHI (CA)

Arizona Tony Hecht, 480-507-0837 Todd Wiessner, 612-747-6382

Golden Gate (CA)

Fourth Tuesday, 6:30 pm Phil Tatro, 303-838-5175 Second Thursday, 6:30 pm Valley Hi Golf Club, Colo. Springs Mike Meyer,719-686-8282

Utah First Tuesday, 7 pm Marie Callender’s, Midvale Fred Larsen, 801-201-9583

PACIFIC Alaska Second Thursday, Jitters Coffee House, Eagle River Jim Foss, 907-522-2378

ASHI Hawaii Alex Woodbury, 808-322-5174

California Randy Pierson, 310-265-0833

Central Valley CREIA-ASHI Peter Boyd, 530-673-5800

Third Monday, 5:30 pm Hometown Buffet, 2321 S. Bristol, Santa Ana Ralph Bertke, 714-317-3792

Oregon Fourth Tuesday, 6:30 pm The East Bank Saloon, Portland Jon Nichols, 503-324-2000

San Diego CREIA-ASHI First Tuesday each month The Butcher Shop Steakhouse, San Diego Sean Blasius, 619-804-8111

San Joaquin Valley (CA) Third Tuesday, 6 pm Rice Bowl, Bakersfield, CA Sam Jabuka, 661-664-8629

Silicon Valley ASHI-CREIA (CA) Felix A. Pena, 510-573-0367

Southwestern Idaho Second Monday David Reish, 208-941-5760

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

Los Angeles-Ventura County ASHI-CREIA First Thursday, 5 pm Holiday Inn, Woodland Hills Bob Fuywe, 805-501-0733

South Bay (CA) Webinar meetings Randy Pierson, 310-265-0833

Western Washington Michael Brisbin, 425-742-1735

December 2014 |



444ASHI Of f icers for 2015

ASHI Officers for 2015 Alden Gibson

Randy Sipe

Howard Pegelow

Timothy Buell, ACI

Larry Cerro



Vice President



Family Home Inspection Services, Inc. Spring Hill, KS

H.A. Pegelow Investigations Milwaukee, WI

Tim Buell, LLC dba Pillar To Post Hilliard, OH

A Building and Home Inspection Service by Larry Cerro Tallahassee, FL

Inspections by Gibson Breslau, ON

1. Building the membership is critical to maintaining low dues. The cost of living continues to rise. The economy is slowly starting to recover. We must build the membership to maintain our low fees. The membership must assist ASHI in building the society. 2. AEI has great potential to produce income for AEI & ASHI. The AEI Board must pay close attention to the operation of TAS and provide support and guidance when needed.

Membership Highlights • • • • • • •

1992, Joined ASHI/OAHI 2011-2012 Board of Directors, Treasurer 2010 Board of Directors, Secretary 2007-2010 Board of Directors, Director 2001-2002 vice president, OAHI 2001-2002 officer, OAHI 1997-1999, 2000-2002 Board of Directors, OAHI

Growing membership to increase revenue is the most significant issue facing ASHI. Marketing to existing inspectors in licensed states and franchised inspector companies will increase our needed revenues. Marketing to existing inspectors who have established businesses will help with long-term renewal. The second issue is getting ASHI operating in the black, which can be achieved by growing membership, careful planning and budgeting.

Membership highlights: • • • • •

1999, joined ASHI 2002-08, NOVA Chapter Director 2004-06, NOVA Chapter President 2008-11, ASHI Director 2014 Vice President

• 2014 President-elect

Officers Who Will Lead ASHI for 2015 The president-elect automatically becomes the president. The winners will be installed at the IW 2015 Board Meeting in Philadelphia and will serve immediately afterward.


ASHI Reporter | December 2014

There is no question positive membership growth and, more importantly, membership retention are the two most significant matters that require continued diligence and awareness. As for the paths to follow, it would appear the committee and the board are proceding in such matters by the development of various contacts with franchise entities and amending current membership catagories. Furthermore, the equalization of the current dues structure has been addressed and is being monitored. Allowing ASHI School students to become paying members has shown positive reaction as well.

The two significant issues facing ASHI are increasing membership while keeping and developing strong chapters. ASHI needs to budget funds to market on a national level while providing marketing tools to local chapters and members to help them advertise, promote, and market ASHI® and their business. In addition to a strong marketing/advertising campaign, putting on quality education is a must. Continuing to promote IW and chapter education is the key. Quality education not only improves the profession, but provides value to national and chapter membership.

1998, joined ASHI 2007-08, Great Lakes Chapter president 2009-2010, Governance Task Force 2006, Complaints Committee - Logo Use 2004-2008, 2009-2013, EBPHI/NHIE, director and Treasurer • 2008-2014, Amvets, VFW • 2009-2010, Speaker of the CoR • 2014 Secretary

Membership highlights: • 2012-2015 Director ASHI National • 2013, Director ASHI Education Inc. • 2013, Board Liaison Membership Committee • 2013, Board Liaison Finance Committee • 2013, Member Strategic Planning Committee • 2010-2011 Member Council of Representatives • 2011, Instructor, The ASHI School • 2009-2011, President Ohio Chapter

Officer and director candidates for 2015 were asked what they considered to be the two most pressing problems ASHI would be facing in the next 12 months. The comments shared here and on the following pages were taken from their answers to this question in the matrices they submitted to be considered by voting members for their respective offices. Links to all the matrices can be found in

Membership highlights:

Membership highlights: • • • • •

ASHI should separate itself from the other home inspectors and convince the public about what the difference is. ASHI’s strengths lie in the experience of its inspectors and their professional attitude. It is time we take that experience and professionalism on the road and convince the world that there is a difference between an ASHI inspector and a home inspector. If done right, our numbers will grow automatically. Build it and they will come. This is how we can face the challenges of competing inspector organizations — by keeping our bars higher than all the rest.

Candidates identified issues in matrices

• 1990, 1994, Bylaws Committee • 1992-1993, 1995, Education Committee • 1992, 1996, 2005-2009, 2012, Officer Nominating Committee • 1998-2000, Legislative Committee • 1998-2000, 2001-2002 Public Relations Committee • 2001-2002, 2006-2009 Technical Committee • 2010-2012, Technical Committee BoD Liaison • 2003-2004, Speaker of the CoR • 2002, 2005, Group Leader • 2006-2008, 2013 Southern Group / Gulf Group • 1992-1995, President Florida ASHI Chapter • 2014, Director, ASHI National

this section of the January issue at


December 2014 |



444Your ASHI

Council Elects New Directors Five new Directors and one Alternate will take their seats at the April Board meeting The Council of Representatives elected five new ASHI directors and one alternate. The introductions are excerpts from the matrices submitted by candidates for the three-year terms. Links to the candidates full matrices are available via the online January 2015 ASHI Reporter,

Bruce A. Barker

Bruce LaBell

Dream Home Consultants, LLC Cary, NC

Royal Home Inspectors LLC Scottsdale, AZ

Good answers require good questions. The better question is how can ASHI better serve its members? A professional association like ASHI has two primary functions. The first and most important is to help create an environment that enables members to improve profitability. The second is to help members reduce risk. ASHI can enable member profitability by driving leads to members. The ASHI website is an important part of this. One or two leads converted into inspections pays a member’s ASHI dues. All other converted leads contribute to member profitability. ASHI Can help members reduce risk through its move toward (or low cost) education for members.

Ken Harrington Kustom Home Inspection Delaware, OH During his 11-year membership in ASHI, Ken has largely been focused on the importance of providing quality education for our members. He is currently serving as Chapter Relations Committee Chair and, with the help of staff, presented the 2014 Leadership Training Conference. Ken has been involved in his local chapter at every level of leadership and demonstrates a commitment to the ASHI Organization throughout the state of Ohio and at the national level.

Keven Kossler Castle Home & Building Inspections Huntersville, NC For his last 12 years in ASHI, Keven has been working on different committees, has been a member and officer of several different state chapters, and has been a Director on the ASHI Board. He believes this has given him a clearer understanding of how an ASHI home inspection Business should be conducted. “Operating my own business gives me the experience and management skills that are required to function as an Officer for ASHI business.”


ASHI Reporter | December 2014

Bruce is returning to the ASHI Board and hopes to lead the way to enticing a younger generation to join. He believes we should start at the chapter level and encourage all ASHI members to take an active role in their local chapters. Bruce would like to see ASHI work on Allied Affiliations and Allied Associates to add more people to our membership. “We need to raise the bar of awareness using social media, public relations, marketing and working on models for individual chapters.”

Donald Lovering Advantage Home Inspections Inc. Auburndale, MA Don believes that one of ASHI’s strengths is its dedicated members. He will bring experience to the Board to help transition from the past to an even brighter future. Don has served on the ASHI Technical Committee. He has authored three articles and has been published internationally. He is currently certified for continuing education by the MA Board of Home Inspectors and he continues to provide education to home inspectors and builders.

Tony Smith House and Home Inspections Services Cedar Rapids, IA Tony believes that being a good listener, a good communicator and a team player are qualities essential for being an ASHI Director. He believes the Board should stay focused on the ASHI Mission, which includes “meeting the needs of the Members.”.As a past ASHI Board member and current Speaker of the CoR, Tony has developed the skills and knowledge needed to be an effective member of the ASHI Board.

John Biegalski (Alternate) Alpha Check Inspections Wayne, PA John has spent several years sitting on both Chapter and National Boards and involved on several ASHI Committees. He currently offers himself as a mentor to anyone in his area who would like to ride along with an inspector. He is involved in setting up the Master Inspector program in Philadelphia. John has run his own company for more than 36 years.

Congratulations to

New Certification Committee Members Elected members: Scott Johnson Welcome Home Property Inspection Marietta, GA Vince Tecce The Building Inspector of America Yardley, PA

ASHI Council of Representatives and Group Leaders

ASHI-ENDORSED MEMBERSHIP BENEFIT PROGRAMS ASHI’s E&O Insurance Program: Business Risk Partners (BRP) 866-268-1327 ASHI Personal Lines Insurance Program: Liberty Mutual ASHI Service Program BuildFax Susan Ward, 855.237.8711 ASHI Customer Appreciation Program: Brent Skidmore, 864-386-2763 Brett Symes, 913-529-2683 LegalShield Joan Buckner, 505-821-3971 Dave Goldstein, 800.882.6242 OneSource Solutions 877.274.8632

ASHI Rebate Program Dana Fishman, 800.634.0320 x1417 Platinum Provider Millionaire Inspector Community Mike Crow Mention that you are an ASHI member

ASHI-ENDORSED EXAMS ASHI Standard and Ethics Education Module Go to, click on Education and Training, then click on the link for the ASHI Standard of Practice Education Module. NHIE Exam: 847-298-7750

ASHI@Home Training System 800-268-7070

Affiliates: 68 TOTAL: 4,808

as of December 12, 2014

Gulf: John Knudsen 334-221-0876 jgknudsen111@

Secretary: Brendan Ryan 724-898-1414

GROUP LEADERS New England/Canada: Mike Atwell 617-285-8554

Midwest: Michael J. Von Gunten 262-945-2446

South Midwest: Paul MacNeill 314-392-9313 North Central: Brendan Ryan 724-898-1414 Mountain: Marcus Richter 520-271-8582 info@handsonhome Pacific: Scott Swickard 949-454-1389

ASHI Event Calendar 

J anuary 6-9, 2015 InspectionWorld and ASHI Board Meeting Philadelphia, PA

April 23-25, 2015 Finance Committee, AEI and ASHI Board Meetings Des Plaines, IL

Inspectors/Logo: 88 Retired Members: 86

Alternate Speaker: To be decided

Mid-Atlantic: Jim Funkhouser 571-214-4039

The ASHI School Jack McGraw, 888-884-0440

ASHI Certified Inspectors: 3,063 Associates: 1,503

South Atlantic: Richard Hart 770-827-2200

New York/New Jersey: Jerry Sanangini 856-232-6607 jsantangini@comcast. net


Current ASHI Membership

Speaker: Jim Funkhouser 571-214-4039

J uly 23-25, 2015 Finance Committee, AEI and ASHI Board Meetings Des Plaines, IL


October 22-24, 2015 LTC and ASHI Board Meetings Des Plaines, IL

December 2014 |



ign & s e D r u o Y

During 2014, ASHI members chaired and served on the society’s standing committees, contributing ideas and plans and carrying out the Board’s directives. They deserve recognition for their service.

John Biegalski, Chair Wayne, PA

Jay Balin Thiensville, WI

Jim Rooney

COMPLAINTS (CACC-Logo Use) Manass Hochstetler, Chair Middlebury, IN

Edward Green Temperance, MI

Riva, MD

Brian Thompson Lorain, OH

Skip Walker San Bruno, CA

CHAPTER RELATIONS Ken Harrington, Chair Delaware, OH

Bob Schacke Park Ridge, IL

Michael Conley Anna Maria, FL

BK Thompson Lorain, OH

Kenny Hart Virginia Beach, VA

Mark Mustola Linden, MI

Bob Schacke Park Ridge, IL

BK Thompson Lorain, OH


Kevin Vargo, Chair

Bill Jacques, ASHI Past-President Ravenel, SC

Bill Loden, President Madison, Alabama

Alden E. Gibson, RHI Presiden-Elect

Perth Amboy, NJ

Breslau, ON

Jim Yaskiewicz

Michael Stephens ASHI Treasurer

Clermont, FL

Allan Davis Louisville, KY

Fairfax Station, VA

Bill Sutton

Auburndale, MA

Streetsboro, OH

MEMBERSHIP David Goldstein, Chair Robbinsville, NJ

Jim Funkhouser, CRI

San Bruno, CA

Michael Von Gunten Bristol, WI

Jack Feldmann

FINANCE Michael Stephens, Treasurer Fairfax, Station, VA

B.K. Thompson Lorain, OH

Bruce Barker, Chair

Cincinnati, OH Garnerville, NY

Charlie Sessums Brandon, MS

OFFICERS NOMINATING Bill Jacques, Immediate PastPresident, ASHI/AEI

Cary, NC Indian Rocks Beach, FL

Jeff Frishof Redwood City, CA

Jim Funkhouser Manassas Park, VA

J. D. Grewell Silver Spring, MD

Ravenel, South Carolina

Truro, NS

Alden E. Gibson, RHI President-Elect

Bruce Barker

Chris Ueland

Cary, NC

Wayzata, MN

Breslau, ON

Tony Smith

Randy Sipe, Vice President

Cedar Rapids, IA


Spring Hill, KS

Manassas Park, VA

Hugh M. Kelso

Poquoson, VA

Seattle, WA

Howard Pegelow, Secretary

Stephen G. Wilson

Milwaukee, WI

JD Grewell

Columbus, GA

Silver Spring, MD

Joseph Cmar

Bill Jacques, Immediate Past-President

Gloria Linnertz Public Member

Carmel, NY

Ravenel, South Carolina

Waterloo, IL

Michael Hoberecht

Timothy Buell

Canton, MI

Hilliard, OH

Lawrence Hoytt

Belienda Schultz ASHI Finance Manager

Novato, CA

Vince Tecce

Des Plaines, IL

Yardley, PA

Harry Rosenthal, Esquire

Rod Beacham

ASHI Legal Counsel Ambler, PA

Richard Hart Conyers, GA

John Biegalski Wayne, PA

Kurt Salomon Midvale, UT

Tom Lauhon Leavenworth, KS

Jerry Santangini Sewell, NJ


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Manassas Park, VA

Blaine Swan, Chair Truro, NS

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Frank Libero

Ambler, PA


Don Lovering, Co-Chair, Federal


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ASHI Reporter | December 2014

Anna Maria, FL


Marietta, GA

Kenmore, WA

Michael Conley, Co-Chair, State

Mike Hesterberg


Anna Maria, FL


Milton, MA

Scott Johnson, Chairman

Michael D. Conley




ater! e Dogs W

nk th s of thousand ated lieve that amin e ficials be e of cont Health of come ill becausfolks think it is then people beery year. Most poisoning wh water ev flu or food e real culprit. stomach ated water is th ays contamin must alw me, you water from any le your ho d Around drinking or potabon. How coulur te ati yo ra in t sepa t Check ou of contam source ation happen? and think aboue th in et) contam hose bib (fauc the dog, leave en exterior use it. You water , and maybe ev ed how you g on the ground or chemical we is hose lyinit to a fertilizer aminated water it connect Then, if the contyuck, some of sprayer. to flow back‚ ng water. allowed with your drinki at mingles ility th a possibact drinking cont r there’s w Whereve ated water mightbe a backflose . in contam there should u attach the ho e water, s fitting where yong water. In som bras drinki e ick th th to at in is is th m backing up r hoses, th y exterio ps dirty water froa hose bib. rinklers, to . On man d lawn sp sto et preventer flow preventer ce may be built in boilers, anilt in: a tub fauc line. n bu ilers, steam This backe backflow devi the water t water bohave the separatio e ho th ov s, ab ng se di ca e, inclu Other fixtures l valve is placed m ter ho wa ur t your the ters. ilet fil vices in yo w preven me, contac re, and the to Many deec vices. Surth it to in your ho ial backflo of the tub, backflow of these safety de wo have sp sits above the rim is ter ce wa t vi y ou de erns ab n’t remove an but that safety always ns or conc d do off, any questiome inspector. Anwhen you turn it ho ot If you have y your fo umber or utility, pl ection may sprater in your home. m | hose conn an drinking wa ensure cle c. | mister Fix-It, In x-It Feiza, Mr. iza, Mr. Fi m Fe To m To by By ht 2009 (c) Copyrig Don’t Dri

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Only 23 More Letters to go! I'm working my way through the plumbing alphabet. I've seen "S" traps, "P" traps and now a "V" trap?! Andy Hilton ACI, IBR Hilton Home Inspection, Inc. Yadkinville, NC

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This is why we like to walk tile roofs when we can. Paul Staron, Valley Building Inspections, Inc. Scottsdale, AZ

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You've Heard of Innies and Outties? Alvin C. Miller, ACI Hawkeye Home Inspections, LLC Wellman, IA

Outside shower; I don't think this was a permitted addition. Fiberglass shower attached to an outside wall and supported on CMUs.

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ASHI Reporter | December 2014

Max Curtis MaxInspect Livermore, CA

Ed Massart The Speaker Says Santa Fe, NM

Pretty scary stuff! Neal Teitelbaum American Inspection Group, Inc. Finksburg, MD

Timothy Hemm Tim Hemm Inspections Yucaipa, CA

Indoor Grilling Phenomenon?

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Dave Grudzinski Advantage Home Inspections Cranston, RI

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December 2014 |


On My Mind By ASHI President Bill Loden

The State of FIRST, ON A PERSONAL NOTE, I close out the year as ASHI’s President for 2014 with mixed emotions. At times, the job has been exhausting, with long hours of face-to-face meetings and many more hours of teleconferences. There have been many days away from home, and business traveling from California to New York and from Tampa to Canada. Interspersed within all of this activity, there have been articles to write, crises to address and challenges to overcome. But the job has also been extraordinarily rewarding because during those meetings, teleconferences and trips, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with some amazing people. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that, among the list of amazing people, are the Past-Presidents of ASHI. During my tenure as President, I’ve received incredible support from this group of gentlemen. Bill Jacques is at the top of the list as Immediate Past-President. I learned a great deal from Bill as I watched him conduct the business of ASHI in 2013 and I have relied on his counsel during the course of my presidency. To all the PastPresidents of ASHI, I want to thank you for the sacrifices you made to serve ASHI. ASHI Growth On to the state of the association. I am happy to report to you that ASHI is experiencing sustained growth as our membership numbers have increased substantially for two consecutive years. Last year, Frank Lesh took over as interim executive director and because of the way he brought the staff together as a cohesive and energetic team, we made the position


permanent in 2014. The growth of ASHI can be attributed to the hard work of our staff that set and exceeded their goals for membership growth. Lobbyist I am also able to report that our influence inside the Washington, D.C. Beltway is growing thanks to ASHI lobbyist Randy Pence. As I’ve noted before, our relationship with HUD has turned 180 degrees and they are now reaching out to ASHI when they are looking for input on issues related to housing and home inspections. ASHI was asked by HUD to attend the National Healthy Homes Conference in Nashville and following the conference, we were asked to meet with HUD officials in Washington, D.C. to discuss ways we could work together supporting HUD initiatives that could result in new business opportunities for ASHI members in the future. Legal As you may be aware, this year ASHI was faced with some legal challenges from a Patent Assertion Entity (PAE) that filed a $9 million lawsuit against me, personally, for the work ASHI has undertaken to protect the inspection industry from what ASHI considers overreaching patent claims regarding the use of infrared technology in the inspection of a house. ASHI’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit and the judge hearing the case granted the motion and dismissed the lawsuit. While this does not resolve the questions surrounding the use of IR technology as part of a home evaluation, it is a positive step as ASHI continues to work to protect the profession. Public Relations ASHI also has a robust public relations program being implemented by public

relations firm Public Communications, Inc. (PCI). With decades of experience promoting professional associations, PCI brings a wealth of experience to bear in crafting an effective PR campaign for ASHI. PCI also has an understanding of the new social electronic media and the significant opportunities available to grow brand awareness for ASHI.

Make Homes


ASHI is the only association representing home inspectors with a public relations firm working to promote its members to a national audience. Our members benefit from being associated with the widely recognized ASHI brand. Governance This year, the Council of Representatives is considering a small change in ASHI governance. The change reduces the number of directors from 15 to 12. This is designed to lower board overhead costs. I encourage you to support this effort when it comes to the membership for a vote in the spring. Money saved in overhead costs can be repurposed to improve member benefits. The Future Many years ago when I was hired by NASA, I had absolutely no aerospace experience. Immediately after processing in, I was summoned to the program manager’s office for a little lesson in rocket science. The PM had started to work at NASA on the day it was created, so he was a man of great experience and knowledge. He told me there were two things I needed to know about rocket science. “First, the pointed end goes up and second, the fire comes out the bottom.” The “pointed end” represents the direction and the aim of the rocket and the fire is the force driving toward the target. As I turn over the presidency to Alden Gibson for 2015, my vision for ASHI is that we always keep the pointed end up and the fires that drive us higher always burning, pushing ASHI higher and higher. 

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December 2014 | 12/5/14 3:42 PM



Home Inspection education and information for home inspectors and consumers.


Home Inspection education and information for home inspectors and consumers.