by Nick Gromicko and Kenton Shepard
Sump pumps are self-activating electrical pumps that protect homes from moisture intrusion. They are usually installed below basement or crawlspace floors to remove rising groundwater and surface runoff before it has a chance to seep into the home. Accumulated water can cause interior damage and encourage the growth of mold, mildew, and fungus. Pumps should be maintained and equipped with all necessary components in order to ensure their reliability.
How a Sump Pump Works
A pit, known as a sump pit or sump trench, can be dug at the lowest part of the basement floor to capture and contain any flowing water. A sump pump sits at the bottom of this trench (or beside it) and expels excess water through a series of interconnected pipes to a suitable discharge location. The pump can sense water levels through a float that rises and falls with fluctuating water levels in the trench. The sump pump becomes activated and deactivated based on the height of the float, providing a simple, automated way to monitor and deal with variable water levels.
Types of Sump Pumps
Inspectors should check for the presence of the following:
InterNACHI inspectors are not required to check for a proper discharge location. They can note an improper discharge if they see it, but searching outdoors for the discharge is not recommended. The following is good general information that can be passed on to the homeowner:
In summary, sump pumps are used to remove excess water from homes that would otherwise cause property damage. There are multiple types, but they all monitor water levels and ensure that they do not rise higher than predetermined levels. Proper maintenance and inspection will ensure pump efficiency and prolong their lifespan.
Felix Home Inspection now includes a free subscription to the Home Binder Software.
Now when you choose our inspection service. As a part of our service, you will be receiving a free lifetime subscription to HomeBinder ($120 value).
HomeBinder allows you to organize and save all related home information in a convenient online application. From storing paint colors, to getting maintenance reminders, HomeBinder will ensure you have all the details you need in the future right at your fingertips.
Soon after the inspection you’ll get an email from HomeBinder with a link to access your personalized binder. All you need to do is pick a password and you’ll have private access to that binder going forward. If you need or want, you can share the binder with your spouse or family member.
Best of all, we’ll get it setup for you to minimize the effort to begin managing your greatest asset. We’ll include a maintenance schedule and your inspection report at a minimum so you’lll get emailed maintenance reminders about key home tasks and always have access to your inspection report. Although you’ll probably not think about selling for some time, when you do, your HomeBinder will help with buyers, your accountant and the appraiser.
You can learn more at www.homebinder.com.
Whether you’re buying or selling a real estate property it’s a good idea to be familiar with the Home Inspection process. For this topic I will be focusing on a General Residential Inspection.
So, what is a home inspection? The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) Standard of Practice define a home inspection as follows:
"A general home inspection is a non-invasive, visual examination of the accessible areas of a residential property performed for a fee, which is designed to identify defects within specific systems and components defined by these Standards that are both observed and deemed material by the inspector. The scope of work may be modified by the Client and Inspector prior to the inspection process.
-The general home inspection is based on the observations made on the date of the inspection, and not a prediction of future conditions.
-The general home inspection will not reveal every issue that exists or ever could exist, but only those material defects observed on the date of the inspection."
In a nutshell, a home inspection is a visual examination of the different components of the house in order to identify Material Defects that may affect the value of the property and/or posses an unreasonable risk to people. There is no pass or fail grade on a Home Inspection, the inspector is only identifying material defects noted on the day of the inspection. The identified defects and/or any other findings will then be presented on a Home Inspection Report. The home inspection report format varies depending on the Inspection Company and Standard of Practice (SOP) that’s being followed for the Home Inspection. There are companies that only show a check list of items inspected and maybe a short comment on the defects and findings, others might include pictures on the report with a more detail explanation and maybe suggestions, the report can also (not recommended) be a verbal report with the inspector just pointing out the findings to the client.
When a home inspector is hired he/she will conduct the inspection according to the SOP specified in the inspection agreement. The SOP is established by the state (if in a state that requires home inspectors to be licensed) or by a Home Inspector Association (InterNACHI, ASHI, ect.). SOP’s varies slightly from state to state and/or Association, so it’s a good practice to become familiar with the SOP that will be followed. It’s also a good idea to verify the home inspector’s credentials, especially if your state does not require home inspectors to be licensed.
Home selling and/or buying is stressful to all parties involved and home inspections are part of the process. There are several suggestions in order to have a smooth Home Inspection whether you're a buyer or a seller. Its a good idea to be familiar with what needs to be done before, during, and after the Home Inspection, that way the process will be more efficient for everyone involved.
In conclusion, when hiring a Home Inspection Company to conduct a home inspection on a big investment like a house, ask questions such as: Does the state require home inspectors to be licensed? Does the inspector have a good standing license with the state? Is the inspector member of a recognized Home Inspector Association? And, has the inspector met the requirements to be certified by the Home Inspector Association? Also, visit the home inspection company website and find out as much as you can; do they have a sample Inspection Report and Inspection Agreement? What are their fees, warranties, guaranties, any additional ancillary services that can be added to the inspection (pool and spa, pest inspection, etc…). And very important, is the Inspection Company Insured? The Inspector will be going into attics, crawl spaces, checking the electrical system and climbing ladders make sure they have a good liability and errors/omissions insurance in order to cover everyone involved in the transaction.
Inspectors should be prepared to protect themselves and their clients from the unique challenges posed by flood-damaged buildings.
Hazards in and around flood-damaged buildings include the risks of: