Frequently Asked Questions
Since 1989, Residential Inspector of America has provided thorough, detailed home inspection services throughout the Atlanta area. We provide the knowledge and protection you need so you can confidently buy the home you want. Schedule an inspection online now or get an instant quote by calling (770) 476-4963.
Since there is no licensing in the state of Georgia for home inspectors, it’s important to choose a company who has the experience, certifications, insurance, and reputation to stand behind their inspection.
When shopping around for a home inspector, there are a few questions that are very important to ask in addition to the price. Be wary of inspectors who are much cheaper than others. You get what you pay for when it comes to home inspections!
Since buying a home is the largest investment you will make in your lifetime, you want a qualified, experienced inspector to guide you through the process – not a brand-new guy willing to offer cheap inspections to gain more business.
What credentials do Residential Inspector of America inspectors carry and why are they important to me?
There is no required licensing for home inspectors in the state of Georgia. That means that anyone, even a person with little knowledge of homes, can call himself a home inspector. We have inspectors that are certified through the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) which is the highest nationally recognized organization for home inspectors today. ASHI sets guidelines for inspecting, report writing, and ethical practices for home inspectors.
We also have inspectors that are ICC code certified. ICC is the International Code Council, a nonprofit organization that writes building codes in accordance with which homes should be built. The state of Georgia has adopted the 2012 ICC codes, in addition to annual state amendments, for use in all its counties. Having this certification means our inspectors can tell you if a home you are purchasing is built according to state mandated code regulations. In addition, any renovations should be done according to current code standards, so our inspector will look at those items as well.
It is important to make sure your home, or the home you plan to buy, meets code for safety reasons to avoid potential costly problems and for resale value as well.
All our inspectors are Certified Inspection Experts. Every general home inspection from a Certified Inspection Expert goes beyond the minimum standards most inspectors adhere to in a meaningful way. This means we check for major appliance recalls, guarantee our work with a real mechanical and structural warranty, and offer guarantees about the condition of items that can’t be inspected like underground water and sewer lines. In many ways, the inspection from a Certified Inspection Expert exceeds all others in the marketplace. Every home inspection from a Certified Inspection Expert is of incredible quality. To ensure this quality, the Certified Inspection Expert is the only certification that requires ongoing quality control from a third party.
RIA carries Errors and Omissions (E&O) and General Liability insurance. Errors and Omissions insurance protects you in the unlikely event we do not report a major defect in your home. General Liability protects you in the event we accidentally damage something in the home.
If you need to cancel your inspection, please call our office at least 24 hours in advance to avoid a $95 charge. Same day cancellations will be charged half of the inspection fee. If you are purchasing a new construction or foreclosure home, you or your realtor should make sure the utilities are turned on at least 24 hours before your inspection is scheduled.
The inspection agreement ensures that you will be covered by our Errors and Omissions insurance. You will be emailed a copy at the time of scheduling, and the inspector can also have you sign the agreement at the time of the inspection.
During the inspection, our inspector will look at all aspects of the house, including the exterior, interior, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. The average inspection takes approximately 2.5 - 3.5 hours.
For a pre-drywall construction phase inspection, the inspector will look at the structural components, as well as the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC rough-ins. This inspection will take approximately an hour and a half.
When scheduling your final inspection, be sure all the utilities are turned on. Cosmetic items and inaccessible areas are not part of the inspection process. View all services to see a more detailed list of what each inspection includes.
If at all possible, you should attend the inspection. It is best if the inspector can point out problem areas to you and ease any additional concerns you may have. If you cannot attend the entire inspection, you can come to the inspection about an hour and a half after the scheduled time.
When you arrive, the inspector can go through the areas of concern with you. If you cannot attend, payment and agreement must be received before you will be able to access your report.
All reports are computer generated and provide digital photos where applicable. A link to your report is emailed the evening of the inspection and you will be able to download it as a PDF file. For descriptions and samples of specific reports, please view all services and choose an inspection type.
Your report is confidential, and we cannot give it to anyone without your permission (other than your realtor). You are not required to give the report to the homeowner or the listing agent.
You can pay by credit card through an email link that is sent to you at the time of scheduling. If you cannot attend the inspection, payment and agreement must be received before you will be able to access your report. You can also pay cash at the time of the inspection. RIA does not accept checks.
Does Residential Inspector of America offer radon gas testing, and should I have a radon gas test completed?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends radon gas testing on all homes. Radon gas is the number one cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers. It can seep through many places in a house, including cracks in a concrete slab, block foundations, slab footing joints, exposed soil, sump pump openings, weeping tile, mortar joints, loose fitting pipes, granite, and water. Once radon is inside a home it has no way to disperse into the outside air. The gas becomes trapped and may reach dangerous levels.
Radon gas is especially high among areas where granite is present, and Atlanta sits upon a large reserve of granite. Radon gas is colorless, odorless, and tasteless and can only be detected through a radon gas test. Many times, there is a simple solution to a radon gas problem; however, you must know about the problem in order to fix it! RIA uses a continuous monitor which is left at the home for 48 hours to test for radon gas. Results are sent by email once the machine is retrieved.
Mold is commonly found in homes and thrives where spores can find sources of water, including moisture from flooding, plumbing leaks, roof leaks, showers and bathtubs, refrigerator water pans, and more. Mold can be dangerous to one’s health as some molds are toxic and mold spores travel through the air, making it possible to inhale mold spores. Most molds only cause allergic symptoms in people; however, some molds have been linked to more serious conditions. Those with asthma or allergies and people with weakened immune systems (such as children, elderly, pregnant women, or cancer patients) will have more difficulty coping with mold.
It is impossible for anyone to distinguish between toxic and nontoxic molds from a visual inspection. Mold samples must be taken and sent to a mold laboratory for analysis. If the mold in your home is toxic, it must be cleaned by an industrial hygienist and the source of the mold growth must be corrected. If the source is not corrected, the mold will likely return.
RIA performs indoor air quality testing to determine if mold is toxic or poses an unusual growth condition. Samples are sent to a laboratory for analysis, which generally takes 3 - 5 business days. The analysis is emailed as a PDF file, and we provide assistance to interpret the results.
Yes! Our new home inspections typically uncover items such as code violations, damaged roof shingles, nail holes in the roof shingles, missing flashings, deck problems, electrical problems, HVAC problems, and plumbing problems. Many people feel that the county inspections and/or the walk through with the builder are adequate substitutions for completing a private inspection.
County inspectors may not spend the necessary time in your home to find all the issues. RIA will spend 2 - 3 hours inspecting the home on YOUR behalf! Catching problems early on can save thousands of dollars in repairs later. If there are code violations, the builder may be required to fix the items for you. Any code violations or problems that exist in your home may pose a problem when you decide to sell if they are not found and corrected sooner. Cosmetic items are not part of the final inspection.
In addition, a new home inspection includes five free warranties and RecallChek on appliances for life! These warranties work in conjunction with your 12-month warranty inspection.
The sale of a new construction home typically includes a one-year warranty in which the builder will correct any problems encountered within the first year of ownership. It is wise to have an inspection conducted shortly before the one-year warranty expires so you will know what the builder needs to correct. RIA can inspect the home whether or not we conducted an inspection prior to purchase.
The stucco inspection is a visual examination of the exterior stucco and typically includes a moisture test on the stucco. The moisture test determines the level of moisture that the stucco wall is retaining beneath the surface using moisture scanners and probe meters.
The inspection also includes a visual examination of the condition of the stucco for proper flashing, bottom edge termination, cracking, and other problems.
Our stucco inspectors do use probe meters on synthetic stucco inspections because it is the only way to get an accurate moisture reading of your stucco. The probe testing is invasive but only produces holes about the size of a pin head and the holes are re-caulked after the inspection is completed. We take every precaution to make sure we do not cause damage to the exterior of the home.
Hardcoat stucco is three layers of concrete applied over a wire mesh. Synthetic stucco is a concrete mixture with a rubber base which forms a synthetic product. Synthetic stucco is usually softer, gives when pressure is applied, and is easily penetrated with a screwdriver. Generally, synthetic stucco experiences more moisture retention problems than hardcoat, but both types of stucco have been known to retain excessive amounts of moisture.
Synthetic stucco, while not a bad product, has been consistently installed incorrectly. Subsequently, it has allowed water to be trapped underneath the surface of the stucco. Synthetic stucco is a “barrier system,” which means it is supposed to be impenetrable. The problem is, due to incorrect installation, the stucco is penetrable, and water gets trapped inside with no way to escape. The water builds up and over time leads to wood rot, mold, and other moisture problems.
Hardcoat stucco, on the other hand, has a natural tendency to retain water since it is real concrete, which is porous and prone to hairline cracks.
You should check with your builder at the beginning of the building process to find out when the framing phase will be completed. Since there are usually only a few days between framing and installation of the drywall, be sure to let your builder know you want to do a pre-drywall inspection.
Pre-drywall inspections can only be done right before the drywall is installed and only after the mechanical rough-ins (electrical, plumbing, and HVAC) are completed.
For a pre-drywall inspection, the inspector will look at the structural components, as well as the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC rough-ins. The inspector will make sure everything has been built according to the current ICC code.
RIA will come out before your final walk-through and do a complete home inspection which is a structural and mechanical analysis of the home. If you completed a framing inspection, the inspector will refer to the framing report to ensure repairs were made correctly. We will then complete a full inspection on the completed home.
Schedule Your Inspection Today
Get an instant quote by calling (770) 476-4963 or schedule online now. We serve the Atlanta area and the surrounding regions of Georgia including Sandy Springs, Roswell, Alpharetta, Marietta, and nearby communities. Be sure to also ask about our pool/spa inspections, light commercial inspections, and thermal imaging/infrared inspections, as well as our many other inspection services.