Our professionals have over 5 decades of experience
These sometimes turn out to be very important
Since 1975, Neal Development Group has been there to meet all of your inspection needs. We are here to close the deal
The terms are simple:
If I miss anything on the inspection, InterNACHI will buy the home back.
Here’s the “fine print”:
The Buy-Back Guarantee excludes homes with material defects not present at the time of the inspection, or not required to be inspected per InterNACHI’s Residential Standards of Practice, which can be read online.
Take the stress out of moving with utility setup. We will set up all of the utilities for your new home. This is a one stop service. One call does it all.
We are committed to raising the standards of your home inspection. That's why we offer FREE RECALL CHECKS for your home appliances with every inspection that we do.
It is the inspection of the four main components of the home including Air Conditioning, Electrical, Plumbing and Roof. This is typically required from the insurance companies.
Before closing on the purchase of a new home, it is important to have two home inspections. The difference between these inspection types may not be apparent to everyone.
Your basic Home Inspection – Hire a qualified home inspector who will do an inspection of the structural condition of the home including electrical, HVAC, plumbing, roofing. They will test appliances and look under sinks for leaks.
Your WDO Inspection – A WDO is an Inspection for Wood Destroying Organisms. This inspection is more commonly referred to as a termite inspection. It’s called a WDO because termites are not the only wood destroying organisms in the world. The WDO inspector is trained to look for things that we are not. They inspect the attic for minute damage that indicates the house has an issue. Always hire a qualified inspector to perform your WDO.
Additionally, the inspector will point out conducive conditions that could lead to a new termite infestation, or support an existing termite infestation, including firewood and other debris stored against the home, wood siding contact with the soil, and grade that does not slope away from the foundation. Other potential concerns may include mulching materials, landscape timbers and deteriorated wood in the home’s vicinity. The WDO inspector will provide detailed reports on the condition of the home, including notations of structural damage related to termites and other WDOs.
Termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage each year, and are known as “silent destroyers” because of their ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected. Unless a buyer knows what to look for, termites can be hard to find with the naked eye and therefore it could take three to eight years before the signs of an infestation are apparent. To avoid getting stuck with extensive damage that is typically not covered by homeowners’ insurance, buyers should always request a wood-boring pest inspection before finalizing the purchase of a home.
Not all home inspectors can legally perform WDO inspections unless they work for a licensed pest control company and have been properly trained. Always hire a qualified home inspector to perform your WDO.
Very few first-time home buyers ask for a sewer inspection before buying a home. Sewer inspections are not something most buyers think about. They know to get a home inspection, but sewer lines are almost an after-thought if it crosses a buyer's mind at all. Yet it's one of the most important inspections a buyer of older homes should conduct.
The time to find out if a sewer is faulty or needs replacement is before buying a home, not after the fact.
Neal Development Group recommends to buyers that they obtain a sewer inspection if the home is older than 20 years. Although the sewer line may be fairly new as compared to homes built before 1950, for example, tree roots can still clog up a 20-year-old sewer line.
If you are buying a home with a septic tank, you should consider having it inspected by a professional septic contractor. Our standard home inspection does not include this type of specialized, intrusive inspection. To properly inspect the septic tank and system in Florida, the contractor will need to dig holes to access the underground parts of the system. This will include inspecting the tank, as well as the leach field.
Everything that goes down any of the drains in the house (toilets, showers, sinks, laundry machines) travels first to the septic tank. The septic tank is a large-volume, watertight tank which provides initial treatment of the household wastewater by intercepting solids and settleable organic matter before disposal of the wastewater (effluent) to the drain field.
FUNCTION OF THE SEPTIC TANK
While relatively simple in construction and operation, the septic tank provides a number of important functions through a complex interaction of physical and biological processes. The essential functions of the septic tank are to: receive all wastewater from the house separate solids from the wastewater flow cause reduction and decomposition of accumulated solids provide storage for the separated solids (sludge and scum) pass the clarified wastewater (effluent) out to the drain field for final treatment and disposal.
As stated, the main function of the septic tank is to remove solids from the wastewater and provide a clarified effluent for disposal to the drain field. The septic tank provides a relatively quiescent body of water where the wastewater is retained long enough to let the solids separate by both settling and flotation. This process is often called primary treatment and results in three products: scum, sludge, and effluent.
Scum: Substances lighter than water (oil, grease, fats) float to the top, where they form a scum layer. This scum layer floats on top of the water surface in the tank. Aerobic bacteria work at digesting floating solids.
Sludge: The "sinkable" solids (soil, grit, bones, unconsumed food particles) settle to the bottom of the tank and form a sludge layer. The sludge is denser than water and fluid in nature, so it forms a flat layer along the tank bottom. Underwater anaerobic bacteria consume organic materials in the sludge, giving off gases in the process and then, as they die off, become part of the sludge.
Effluent: Effluent is the clarified wastewater left over after the scum has floated to the top and the sludge has settled to the bottom. It is the clarified liquid between scum and sludge. It flows through the septic tank outlet into the drain field.
HOW LONG LIQUIDS MUST REMAIN IN TANK
Effective volume: The floating scum layer on top and the sludge layer on the bottom take up a certain amount of the total volume in the tank. The effective volume is the liquid volume in the clear space between the scum and sludge layers. This is where the active solids separation occurs as the wastewater sits in the tank.
Retention time: In order for adequate separation of solids to occur, the wastewater needs to sit long enough in the quiescent conditions of the tank. The time the water spends in the tank, on its way from inlet to outlet, is known as the retention time. The retention time is a function of the effective volume and the daily household wastewater flow rate:
Retention Time (days) = Effective Volume (gallons)/Flow Rate (gallons per day) A common design rule is for a tank to provide a minimum retention time of at least 24 hours, during which one-half to two-thirds of the tank volume is taken up by sludge and scum storage. Note that this is a minimum retention time, under conditions with a lot of accumulated solids in the tank. Under ordinary conditions (i.e., with routine maintenance pumping) a tank should be able to provide two to three days of retention time.
As sludge and scum accumulate and take up more volume in the tank, the effective volume is gradually reduced, which results in a reduced retention time. If this process continues unchecked-if the accumulated solids are not cleaned out (pumped) often enough-wastewater will not spend enough time in the tank for adequate separation of solids, and solids may flow out of the tank with the effluent into the drain field. This can result in clogged pipes and gravel in the drain field, one of the most common causes of septic system failure.
In order to avoid frequent removal of accumulated solids, the septic tank is (hopefully) designed with ample volume so that sludge and scum can be stored in the tank for an extended period of time. A general design rule is that one-half to two-thirds of the tank volume is reserved for sludge and scum accumulation. A properly designed and used septic system should have the capacity to store solids for about five years or more. However, the rate of solids accumulation varies greatly from one household to another, and actual storage time can only be determined by routine septic tank inspections.
While fresh solids are continually added to the scum and sludge layers, anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that live without oxygen) consume the organic material in the solids. The by-products of this decomposition are soluble compounds, which are carried away in the liquid effluent, and various gases, which are vented out of the tank via the inlet pipe that ties into the house plumbing air vent system.
Anaerobic decomposition results in a slow reduction of the volume of accumulated solids in the septic tank. This occurs primarily in the sludge layer but also, to a lesser degree, in the scum layer. The volume of the sludge layer is also reduced by compaction of the older, underlying sludge. While a certain amount of volume reduction occurs over time, sludge and scum layers gradually build up in the tank and eventually must be pumped out.
FLOW INTO AND OUT OF THE TANK
The inlet and outlet ports of the tank are generally equipped with devices such as baffles, concrete tees, or in more recent years, sanitary tees (T-shaped pipes with one short and one long leg).
The inlet device dissipates the energy of the incoming flow and deflects it downwards. The vertical leg of the tee extends below the liquid surface well into the clear space below the scum layer. This prevents disturbance of the floating scum layer and reduces disruptive turbulence caused by incoming flows. The inlet device also is supposed to prevent short-circuiting of flows across the water surface directly to the outlet.
The upper leg of the inlet should extend well above the liquid surface in order to prevent floating scum from backing up into, and possibly plugging, the main inlet pipe. The open top of the inlet tee allows venting of gases out of the tank through the inlet pipe and fresh air vents of the household plumbing.
The outlet device is designed to retain the scum layer within the tank. A sanitary tee can be used with the lower leg extending below the scum layer. The elevation of the outlet port should be 2 to 3 inches below the elevation of the inlet port. This prevents backwater and stranding of solids in the main inlet pipe during momentary rises in the tank liquid level caused by surges of incoming wastewater.
Gases are produced by the natural digestion of sludge at the bottom of the tank, and particles of sludge can be carried upward by these rising gases. Some tanks have a gas deflection baffle, which prevents gas bubbles (to which solid particles often adhere) from leaving the tank by deflecting them away from the outlet and preventing them from entering the drain field.
THE EFFLUENT FILTER
In newer systems, there is often an effluent filter: one of the significant improvements in septic tank design in decades. They range from 4 to 18 inches in diameter. As we have described, the most serious problem with septic systems is the migration of solids, grease, or oil into the drain field, and the filter is effective in preventing this. A filter restricts and limits passage of suspended solids into the effluent. Solids in a filtered system's effluent discharge are significantly less than those produced in a non-screened system.
The septic tank also provides a buffering of flows between the house and the drain field. Large surges from the household, such as toilet flushing or washing machine drainage, are dampened by the septic tank so that the flows leaving the tank and entering the drain field are at substantially lower flow rates and extend over a longer period of time than the incoming surges.
It makes good sense to have the tank pumped at the time of this inspection. A professional septic contractor can perform both the inspection and pump the tank, killing two birds with one stone and assuring that you begin with an empty tank and a system that has been inspected. Often, you can negotiate with the seller to have them pay for the pumping.
It’s important to find out what is involved with a house foundation inspection. No matter what area you live in, including Dallas, Fort Worth, professionals utilize a specific process and most provide free estimates for repairing foundations. Having an inspection on your house foundation typically involves meeting with a contractor, having them check your foundation elevations and also perform a visual evaluation of your home. Learn more about foundation inspections performed on houses. You’ll see they entail looking for foundation cracks, damaged walls and floors, and other signs of trouble.
What is involved in the house foundation inspection process?
The procedure entails performing specific tasks such as looking for foundation cracks, damaged walls and floors, and other signs of trouble. This is done to ensure that your Dallas, Fort Worth structure is stable and not prone to sinking or cracking. As part of the process, a foundation company representative will meet with you and listen to what you have to say. Next, the contractor will evaluate the exterior of your property. If you have a slab foundation, the process involves walking around the perimeter of your house to look for cracks in your slab, brick veneer, fascia boards and other things.
If your house has a pier and beam foundation, the procedure is slightly different from examining a slab foundation. In the event that you have a home constructed using piers and beams, the contractor will enter the crawlspace under your structure and carefully examine it to determine if it’s wet or musty. They will check out the condition of your piers, beams and joists. If any wooden members are wet or rotten, you may have a plumbing or foundation drainage problem that will need to be corrected.
In both cases the foundation repair contractor will enter your home to check for further damage. During the procedure he or she will look for cracks in floors, walls and ceilings and take measurements to determine how out of level your foundation is. The contractor will be able to tell if certain parts of your home are 1” lower than others, or even as much as 6” lower. Once the contractor has completed this process, he will speak with you regarding your foundation inspection and make recommendations about where foundation piers should be installed. It is common to find that foundation repair is not needed. That’s because some cracks are cosmetic and do not need to be fixed.
HUD/FHA Manufactured Home Foundation Requirements
The following improvements beyond the minimum manufactured home installation regulations are necessary to meet the more stringent requirements of the Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Housing, HUD Publication HUD-7584, which must be met for a home to qualify for FHA financing.
· The foundation piers must bear upon reinforced poured concrete footings that are constructed below the frost line.
· Foundation piers must be constructed of “solid materials”, such as reinforced concrete, masonry, steel, or treated wood. Dry-stacked block piers, which are commonly used in manufactured home foundations, can be upgraded to meet this requirement by applying an adequate coating of fiber-reinforced surface bonding cement.
· A permanent well supported perimeter wall (skirting) must enclose the foundation to keep out vermin and water. This wall must be self-supporting and must rest on a concrete footing. An access opening must be constructed in this skirting wall. Most often these walls are constructed of block or brick masonry. However, treated wood walls can qualify if properly constructed.
· The home must have adequate tie downs anchored to the footings to resist horizontal overturning, transverse and longitudinal loads. HUD-7584 specifically prohibits dependence on screw-in tie-down anchors commonly used in manufactured home anchorage systems. There are several anchorage systems that can be installed to satisfy this requirement.
· The tongue, axles, and wheels must be removed.
· An adequate number of screened vents must be installed around the entire perimeter of the building to provide air circulation in the crawl space (1 sq. ft. of net free area per 150 sq. ft crawl space floor area).
· The perimeter walls must extend at least 8 inches above grade.
· The exterior grade must taper away from the home for drainage.
· The dirt floor of the crawl space must be covered with 6-mil polyethylene plastic vapor barrier.
· Utilities must be permanently installed.
We will take a water sample from the home. We follow the Florida Department of Health procedures for collecting water samples. We will deliver the samples to two separate laboratories. The first tests for Hardness (CaCO3), pH, Iron (F+, F++), Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S), Tannins (Humic Acids), & Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). The second sample is tested by the County Health Department for BIOLOGICAL contaminates - coliform which is a micro biological indicator of harmful pathogens and bacteria - E. Coli, fecal matter, etc. We can also test for CHEMICAL contaminates - lead, nitrites, & nitrates which often come from fertilizer &/or pesticides.
If the home you are buying or selling has a pool, it is highly advised that your inspection include a through and detailed examination of the following
Pool an Spa Interior finish materials
Decks, steps and coping
Pumps, motors, blowers, skimmer, filter, drains, automatic safety controls, gauges, visible piping and valves
The water supply system to ensure there are no cross connections
External bonding of the pump motors, blowers, heaters and other equipment
Operation of underwater lighting, ground fault circuit interrupters, conduit, visible electrical components and timer assemblies
Diving boards, slides, handrails and ladders
The presence or absence of child safe barriers
Not every property has a connection to a public or community water and sewage disposal system, whether because of geography, topography and plenty of other reasons. Without a public connection, you’re likely talking about having a well, either unique to the property or a shared well that serves multiple homes.
An independent VA appraiser will assess the Minimum Property Requirements as part of the appraisal process (the other part being the home’s valuation). If you’re looking at buying a property with a private or shared well, both the VA and lenders want to ensure the water is safe, which means getting it tested. For properties with community water supplies, testing documentation from the local health authority can suffice.
Ideally, for private well tests, there’s a local health authority and one of their employees handles the water quality test, which would need to come from an internal water source like a kitchen sink or bathtub. If that isn’t feasible, then a commercial testing lab or another independent, third party can collect and deliver the water sample.
There are often local health authorities that have requirements for water quality. But that’s not always the case. When there isn’t a local authority with set requirements, the water will need to meet federal standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Tests on private wells are valid for up to 60 days if completed before a formal Notice of Value is issued for the property. It’s worth noting that you can’t simply promise to install a install a water purification system if the property’s well fails to meet health standards. You could only put one in once you close on the loan, which, at that point, would be there to adjust the taste or softness of the water.
Infrared is the cutting edge technology for home inspections. With this technology our inspectors can see what is going on behind your walls that may not be visible to the naked eye. This technology allows us to detect water damage, air leaks and other potential problems.