Home Anatomy Inspection Services        TRAR

AHIT Certified

Certified by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors

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AHIT Certified

 

Chicago area inspected home
 

Click Here for Info on the Radon Test

The Home Inspection

 

What to Expect

The purpose of a home inspection is to evaluate and determine whether everything in the home works as it should. We will also advise you about potential safety hazards and upcoming maintenance/repair costs due to items reaching their end of life. Because a home inspection covers so many aspects of a home, it does take two to three hours, depending on size and features of the home. As our customer, you are encouraged to accompany the inspector throughout the inspection, during which, the inspector will point out things that need your attention. For safety reasons, we ask that you do not plan to participate in any on-the-roof evaluations.

Every item in a home has an expected lifespan, but that lifespan varies greatly depending on previous use and care of the home. Your inspection report will include pictures of the issues we find, thereby eliminating the need for guesswork when it comes time to make a repair on a later date. See a sample on our document download page!

When your inspector arrives, they will take the time to explain what is going to happen, and determine if there are any areas that may not be inspected due to inaccessibility. For instance, are there any rooms you do not want inspected because someone is sleeping. If there is snow on the roof, they will inspect only from the ladder or the ground. They will not walk on a snow-covered roof for obvious safety reasons. If there is water on the floor in front of the electrical panel, it will not be inspected.

If there are personal belongings preventing access to something you want inspected, we ask that you move those items prior to the inspection. This way, our inspector will not have to go through your personal belongings.

It is best that the utilities are on for a complete and thorough inspection.

We love pets. We don't even mind if they are around during the inspection, as long as they do not bite.

Have there been any repairs recently performed on the home? Are there any areas of particular interest to you? Let your inspector know if you have any concerns or questions.

 
 
What does the Department of Housing and Urban Development say about Home Inspections? 
 
http://publications.usa.gov/epublications/inspection/home.htm

What is Covered?

The Following Areas Are Covered In Our Report:

  • External Conditions and Surfaces
  • Roof, Attic, Vents, Flashings, and Trim
  • Eaves, Soffit, and Fascia
  • Gutters and Downspouts
  • Skylight, Chimney, and other Roof Penetrations
  • Grading and Drainage
  • Garage, Walls, and Driveway
  • Garage Doors, Safety Sensors, and Openers
  • Decks, Stoops, Porches, Walkways, and Railings
  • Steps and Stairs
  • Appliances (Basic Operation)
  • Walls, Floors, and Ceilings
  • Windows and Doors
  • Insulation and Ventilation
  • Basement, Foundation, Slabs, and Crawlspace (if accessible)
  • Fireplace, Damper Door, and Hearth
  • Heating Systems
  • Cooling Systems
  • Water Heating System/s
  • Interior Plumbing Fixtures and Faucets
  • Drainage Sump Pumps with Accessible Floats
  • Electrical Service Line and Meter Box
  • Main Disconnect, and Service Amperage
  • Electrical Panels, Breakers, and Fuses
  • Safety Controls
  • Grounding and Bonding
  • GFCIs and AFCIs (Ground Fault and Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters)
  • And more...

What Do We Use During Our Inspection?

We will supply our own tools and ladders. We also care about your home so we will either wear covers over our shoes while inspecting the inside, or take our shoes off.

We will use the latest in technology and equipment during the inspection.

Below is a sample of what we will use:

  • Carbon Monoxide and Combustible Gas detector
  • Digital Moisture Meter
  • Infrared Thermometer 
  • Wall Receptacle Testers
  • Digital Multi-Meter and Voltage Detectors
  • Water Pressure Gauges
  • Digital Inclinometer
  • And more...

What About The Report! Who Gets a Copy and How?

Ordinarily, we supply the report to you, our customer, but we can provide a copy to anyone else you authorize. The report is provided in electronic form as a pdf document. PDF, (Portable Document Format), is an open standard format that does not require the purchase of any specialized software to view. There are many programs that will allow you to view pdf files, but most commonly, the free "Adobe Reader" is used. We will provide the report, in its electronic form, the same day. At the time of, or before the inspection, you just provide us with the email addresses for anyone you wish copied, and we will email a copy to everyone on the list.

Reports can be 30 pages or more. If you do not have an email address, a printed copy can be provided, but delivery will take longer.

Don't have Adobe Reader, see our download page by clicking here.

Is Your Information Secure?

Because you receive your report, and your receipt, by email, you may be wondering about security and selling of your information. We want you to know that your card-processing information is transmitted using the highest level, Level 1, PCI Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS). Our credit card processing methods are fully PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant, meaning card numbers, magnetic stripe data, and security codes are not stored on our devices. Only standard, well-reviewed cryptographic protocols and message formats (such as SSL and PGP) are used when transferring data.

In fact, your full credit card number is not even displayed to us, so there is no way to inadvertently display this data to anyone else. We never see it, and it is not stored on any of our servers. As per our Seller Agreement, Security Policy and Privacy Policy with our credit card processor, we will never sell information to third party vendors. You can rest assured that your information is safe!



The Radon Test

 

What to Expect

Radon testing can be done several ways using a variety of different testing devices. Some tests are called short-term (2 - 90 days), and some are long-term (91 days to 1 year). In real-estate transactions, time is of the essence, so normally short-term tests of 2 days are performed.

Performing a radon test in a real-estate transaction has some requirements that other radon tests do not require. To perform the test, the home needs to be in what is called a closed-building condition for 12 hours prior to the test, for tests lasting less than 96-hours, and for the full duration of the two-day test. What does this mean?

Unoccupied homes shall be tested with the HVAC system set and operating throughout the measurement interval in the normal range, such as 72 degrees F, plus or minus 5 degrees F.

According to 32 ILAC 422.130.b.1.C, Subchapter b, the following conditions shall be complied with during closed-building conditions:

A) Operation of permanently installed HVAC systems shall continue during closed-building conditions. Radon Measurement licensees shall inform the resident in writing that operation of dryers, range hoods, bathroom fans, and other mechanical systems that draw air out of the building may adversely affect the measurement results.

B) In buildings having permanently installed radon mitigation systems, the mitigation system shall be functioning for at least 24 hours before and during the measurement interval.

C) Air conditioning systems that recycle interior air may be operated during closed-building conditions.

D) All windows shall be kept closed.

E) All external doors shall be closed except for normal entry and exit. Structural openings due to disrepair or structural defects shall be repaired to correct their condition prior to 32 ILAC 422.130, subchapter B initiation of Closed-Building Conditions. All exterior windows and doors shall be inspected by a Radon Measurement Professional licensee or Radon Measurement Technician at the placement and retrieval of the devices and the result of the inspection documented for the measurement file.

F) Whole-house fans shall not be operated. Portable window fans shall be removed from the window or sealed in place. Window air conditioning units shall only be operated in a recirculating mode. If the building contains an air handling system, the air handling system shall not be set for continuous operation unless the air handling equipment is specifically used for radon control and is so labeled.

G) Fireplaces or combustion appliances, except water heaters and cooking appliances, shall not be operated unless they are the primary sources of heat for the building.

H) Ceiling fans, portable dehumidifiers, portable humidifiers, portable air filters, and window air conditioners shall not be operated within 20 feet of the detector. (For air conditioners not within 20 feet of the detector/s, see C above)


These conditions are very important so we can provide you with the most accurate inspection possible. There are many factors that influence the amount of radon in your home. Our trained personnel will take all of them into account when arranging your test.

  • The Weather (Rain, wind, etc...)
  • The Barometric Pressure
  • The Humidity
  • The Temperature
  • The Structural Condition of the Building
  • The Neutral Pressure Plane or Stack Effect (Airflow within a home)
  • The Pressure around the Home (Airflow outside a home)
  • The Hydraulic Pressure of the soil
  • The Amount of Radon in the Soil
  • And so on...

After performing a review of the entire house, our inspector will pick a suitable location for the test devices. During a real-estate transaction there will be two side-by-side devices used. These devices must not be disturbed during the test. If they are tampered with, the liability will transfer to the person/s involved with tampering and the additional costs associated with retesting will become theirs.

To help determine if environmental changes occurred, we also place environmental sensors, which record constantly (on the minute) over the entire test period. These sensors provide a graph of conditions that can be analyzed to determine if, for instance, someone opened a window trying to vent out the house. Actually, opening a window will create false highs as it causes the neutral pressure plane in the house to rise causing more suction on the gasses in the ground. Many people believe opening a window will cause a false low from venting. Whatever your belief, we provide the graphs along with our report.

With the many devices available, which do we use? Lets look at a few devices.

According to an analysis performed by the World Health Organization, and reported in the "WHO Handbook On Indoor Radon" a public health perspective / edited by Hajo Zeeb, and Ferid Shannoun, ISBN 978 92 4 154767 3, the most popular devices are listed in the table below.

Table 6. Radon gas measurement devices and their characteristics

Radon devices

 

Home Anatomy Inspections uses the Electret Ion Chamber (E-PERM) devices. We like their accuracy and they are not susceptible to humidity or normal temperature variations. Out of these types, the E-PERM is the most accurate.


Radon Gas Poisoning

 

What Are The Symptoms Of Radon Gas Poisoning?

Since radon is the #2 cause of lung cancer in the U.S., respiratory ailments are the most likely signs of radon-related distress. A persistent cough, hoarseness, breathing difficulties, and recurring respiratory infections are all possible indications of radon poisoning.

Recognizing Radon Poisoningglass


According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are no known physical signs or symptoms specific to radon poisoning, which makes it difficult to identify. Please tell your physician if you experience any of these symptoms to ensure you undergo a more thorough diagnostic evaluation.

Radon poisoning can occur where there are high concentrations of radon gas. This typically occurs in areas with poor ventilation, such as underground mines, crawl spaces, or basements in homes or buildings. Scientists first identified that underground uranium miners were being exposed to radon and dying of lung cancer at very high rates. Since radon originates in the soil through its decaying process, it also gives off tiny radioactive particles that can be inhaled into the lungs. These radioactive particles can then cause damage to the lungs, possibly resulting in lung cancer.

Radon poisoning symptoms resemble those of lung cancer: a persistent cough that doesn't get better, difficulty breathing, chest pains, the coughing up of blood, wheezing, hoarseness and recurring respiratory infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis.

In some cases, long-term exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer, the only cancer proven to be associated with inhaling radon between 15,000 and 22,000 lung cancer deaths occur in the U.S. each year according to the National Cancer Institute. Therefore, it is extremely important that you seek medical help as soon as possible if you begin to experience these warning symptoms.

 

Respiratory Issues

Two of the most common respiratory issues that a person can develop due to radon gas inhalation are pneumonia and bronchitis. It Is a must to treat these conditions at the earliest because the conditions can worsen upon non-treatment. The fact that radon gas affects our lungs, one can get severely prone to a host of other respiratory issues.

Coughing

Coughing is another common sign linked with radon gas poisoning. Most victims start off with mild coughing. Over a period of time, the coughing progresses to such a level that a person omits blood during the process.

Difficulty in Breathing

Difficulty in breathing is another warning sign associated with this condition. Poor functioning of the lungs is responsible for the discomfort a person experiences during breathing.

Decrease in Muscle Mass

Most victims also tend to lose muscle mass with every passing week. This in turn results into reduction in strength. Subsequently, a person may get tired pretty early even while performing day to day routine chores.

Paraneoplastic Symptoms

An individual may also experience a host of Paraneoplastic symptoms such as drastic weight loss, anemia, and unexplained rashes.

Chest Pain

Another common sign that should raise alarm bells over here is frequent occurrence of chest pain. The chest pain can get severe over a period of time.

Hoarse Voice

Development of hoarse voice should also serve as a potential indication of radon gas poisoning. Non-smokers should pay special heed to this sign because it is very uncommon for them to develop hoarse voice, unless they are affected by some sort of ailment. Radon gas affected person will experience one or combinations of the symptoms outlined above. Needless to say, the condition can get worse upon non-treatment, which is why one must seek medical attention as soon as possible. Experts reckon that one should take all kinds of necessary precautions to stay immune from the health hazards of radon gas. Testing your home and building for radon levels is an effective practice that should be followed over here.



 
 
 
 


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