The following topics are of concern to homebuyers and sellers in today’s market. See below for detailed information. If you have any further questions, send us an email!
- Synthetic Stucco
- Lead Based Paint
- Polybutylene Piping
- Louisiana Pacific Siding
- Masonite Siding
Radon is a gas emitted from decaying Uranium found in soil, rock and water. It is especially high in areas where granite is present. Radon is colorless, odorless and tasteless, but it is a very deadly gas when inhaled in large quantities.
How does radon get into a home?
RIA tests for high levels of radon gas in homes. The EPA recommends radon testing upon the sale of all homes. Our inspectors conduct a 48 hour test using a continuous monitor. The monitor is left in the home and the inspector returns to pick it up after two days. Results of the radon test are ready shortly thereafter. Read what the EPA has to say about radon.
Read more about RIA’s Radon Testing.
MOLD IN THE HOME
Mold spores are in the air all around us, but it can grow due to water entry inside homes and cause health issues. It’s important to understand what types of mold may be growing in the home and how to eliminate it.
It is not possible to determine whether a mold is allergenic or toxic without lab analysis. RIA’s inspectors can provide mold testing and a lab will analyze the spores to determine the type of mold and how the clean-up should be handled.
Some types of molds can be cleaned-up relatively easily and others must be taken care of by an industrial hygienist. RIA can help you locate a mold remediator if necessary. For more information about mold testing, see Mold Sampling.
Subterranean termites are a major issue in Georgia because our temperatures and humidity are perfect conditions for these pests. Termites forage 24/7 and researchers predict almost 100% of untreated homes in the southeast will be infested with termites!
Although a home may have a termite warranty, you always want to have a third party working on your behalf inspect for termites when purchasing a home. RIA offers termite inspections that can be scheduled at the same time as the home inspection.
A home with stucco siding is either hardcoat or synthetic. Synthetic stucco can usually be identified by the following: it gives slightly when pressure is applied, it can be easily penetrated with a small screwdriver, and it is hollow sounding. Synthetic stucco was manufactured because it was more energy efficient than hardcoat, came in a variety of colors, and could be molded into any shape.
Synthetic stucco poses problems to the home owner not because it is a bad product, but because it has been consistently improperly installed. Because of improper installation, the stucco retains water, causing moisture problems including wood rot.
Homeowners and potential buyers can care for synthetic stucco by having an inspector conduct a moisture test, properly flashing and caulking all problem areas (doors, windows, gutters, bottom edges near soil), and having any necessary repairs made. Moisture will dissipate from the stucco if it is properly cared for.
RIA can inspect a synthetic stucco home for moisture problems using moisture scanners and probe meters.
Read more about RIA’s Stucco Inspections.
Rodents find their way into homes through gaps at the roof line where shingles overlap and through holes around the foundation. Once in the structure, rodents can cause damage to insulation, duct piping, and electrical wiring. They also urinate and leave feces throughout the area which can lead to allergies and other health concerns. Trapping, removal and exclusion repairs combined is the only method to guarantee that rodents will be eliminated from a home permanently. RIA offers rodent inspections as part of a termite, pest, and rodent evaluation that can be scheduled at the same time as the home inspection.
LEAD BASED PAINT
According to the EPA website, a high percentage of all homes built before 1978 contain lead based paint:
1940 – 1960: 69%
1960 – 1978: 24%
The paint deteriorates, chips, and forms dust particles. Inhaling or ingesting lead based paint dust particles causes health problems in adults and especially children. The CDC ranks lead poisoning as the number one threat facing small children today. Areas that should be paid special attention include window sills, doors, and other areas of friction. By law, sellers and landlords must disclose known lead based paint hazards.
Polybutylene Piping was used in homes from 1979 -1995, and is estimated to be in one out of every four homes. Polybutylene pipes can be blue, gray or black and are used for interior and exterior water piping.
Since Polybutylene Piping was cheaper and easier to install, it was seen as “the pipe of the future.” However, the pipes are susceptible to brittleness and sudden failure due to reactions with oxidants in the public water supply. In most cases failure take 10-15 years. Pipes deteriorate from the interior out, so it is difficult for the untrained eye to determine the condition of the pipe.
The deadline to file a claim for polybutylene piping in a home that has leaked has now expired.
LOUISIANA PACIFIC SIDING
Louisiana Pacific Siding is composed of wood chips and resins, including wafer board and OSB. It was manufactured because it was better for the environment and was easier and cheaper to work with. LP Siding retains water due to improper manufacturing and causes shrinking, cracking and molding of the siding.
LP has a unique identification feature that shows an L and upside down P in the knothole. Your inspector can definitively identify if your home has LP siding. The deadline to file a claim in the LP class action suit passed on January 1, 2003.
Masonite is a siding production company and does not encompass all hardboard siding. In other words, Masonite is commonly used as a generic term. Before Louisiana Pacific siding was a known issue (around 1996), many inspectors called LP siding Masonite siding. An old inspection report naming the siding as Masonite could possibly be incorrect.
Masonite siding can be identified by a series of markings printed on the backside of a piece of siding. You must have a piece removed to see these markings, and thus positively identify the siding.
Masonite siding has experienced many problems, and a class action suit has been filed against the manufacturers of Masonite. Problems include: buckling, penetrating nail heads, swelling, fungus growth, and wax bleeding. The deadline to file a claim in the Masonite calss action suit has passed.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring material that can only be identified under the microscope and is used in a variety of products for fire resistance, flexibility and strength.
Asbestos fibers can remain suspended in the air for a long period of time because of their size and shape and can easily penetrate body tissues after being inhaled or ingested. Fibers can remain in the body for many years and can become the cause of an asbestos related disease that may take up to 30 years to appear. Diseases include asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other related problems.
If a home has asbestos, what should I do? If the asbestos is in good condition, it should be left alone. Removal is complex and hazardous and should only be conducted by a professional.