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Lee and Collier County Home Inspection Blog Spot

April 9th, 2012 12:47 PM

A windstorm mitigation is an inspection performed by our licensed, certified experts that can help you save money on wind insurance. Our experts are looking for key elements in a home that make the home less susceptible to damage by hurricanes or other windstorm events. These features include hip roof, concrete block construction, single or double roof straps, the presence of gable end bracing, shutter and opening protection or the presence of a secondary water resistance barrier.

With insurance prices sky-rocketing it is important, to most, that they are paying the least possible insurance premium. With a quick inspection it is possible to save as much as 45% on home owners wind insurance. Most people save enough on insurance to recoup the money spent on a wind mitigation inspection within the first year.

For more information on what will and will not qualify for insurance credits go to these websites.

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Posted by Christian White on April 9th, 2012 12:47 PMLeave a Comment

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February 21st, 2012 10:02 AM

12 Ways to Avoid Contractor Cons

USAA Insurance offers 12 great suggestions to help you choose reputable, reliable contractors for your homeowner needs and to avoid shady scam artists. Get your home repairs or projects done correctly. See their list of common-sense recommendations.

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Posted by Christian White on February 21st, 2012 10:02 AMLeave a Comment

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Do you know of a house, you are trying to sell or buy, that is missing the A/C compressor?

Now, there is a cheaper solution to this problem. A few years ago, new environmental laws made the A/C companies create units that only work with a new refrigerant (410A). This new refrigerant was created to take the place of the older refrigerant (R22). The problem this created, is that if one’s (R22) A/C compressor was stolen or damaged you would have to replace the whole system. This replacement would include the air handler. This made an average repair of $2,000 to $2,500 into a $4,500 to $5,000 repair.

The Solution For Some!

The A/C company Rheem has created a line of units that are technically compatible with the older R22 system. Now, in some cases, one can just replace the exterior compressor without having to replace the air handler. That can lead to a great savings, or even save a sale.

This could be a great solution for buyers or sellers who are dealing with a home that has a stolen or damage compressor.

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Posted by Christian White on August 15th, 2011 12:32 PMLeave a Comment

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These are some tips that you may not have thought about.  There are several reasons for a defective drywall inspection other than the obvious! Here is a list to help you decide it you may need an inspection:

  • Lenders may require a report with purchase of a new home
  • Insurance Claims
  • Mortgage Forbearance
  • Property Tax Appeals- presence of "Chinese" drywall will impact the value of your home
  • Selling your home- having a report available to buyers can help prevent deals from falling apart

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Posted by Christian White on August 5th, 2010 10:40 AMLeave a Comment

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Although, we have been dealing with this issue of "Chinese" drywall for sometime now, many home buyers and even some Realtors are still looking for a tool to help them identify some symptoms of "Chinese" drywall.   This is for you! 

There is nothing more frustrating for buyers and Realtors than making offer after offer and finding out that the home has "Chinese" drywall.  Not to mention the cost involved every time you have these homes inspected.  There are some symptoms you can look for to help you in considering whether you should move forward with an offer at all.   

The Florida Department of Health has a great Self Assessment tool that can help you be proactive when looking at homes to purchase. If the home doesn't have any of these symptoms than you can move forward with an offer and with an inspection on that one property you can feel more secure in your decision.   I think you will find this very helpful.


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Posted by Christian White on August 2nd, 2010 3:58 PMLeave a Comment

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Hot off the Press! I thought that this information may be of use to homeowners that have “Chinese” Defective Drywall. Read the letter from Senator Bill Nelson to the Florida Surgeon General. There may be help for those homeowners with Defective Drywall that have loans with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Check out and share this link to learn more:

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Posted by Christian White on July 26th, 2010 2:14 PMLeave a Comment

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Recently, I have received a few calls asking me if I use a portable XRF to test for “Chinese drywall”. So I just wanted to answer some of the questions that people may have.

Portable x-ray fluorescence, or XRF, measures Strontium. Strontium is an element that can sometimes be found in elevated levels in “Chinese drywall”. Some inspectors believe elevated levels of strontium is a good indicator of “Chinese drywall” however, there appears to be a few major issues with this testing method.

1. In most cases, homes have been built with multiple brands of drywall in them. If a subject house does have “Chinese drywall” there could just be a few sheets in the whole house. With the XRF, if you do not test the specific sheet that is defective, than you could get a false negative.

2. Most importantly, it was stated in sections 1 and 3 of the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) Draft Report, June 2010, “IDENTIFICATION OF PROBLEMATIC DRYWALL: SOURCE MARKERS AND DETECTION METHODS”, that testing for strontium, alone using XRF to identify “Chinese drywall”, could produce some false positives and false negatives.

3. One other problem that I am hearing is that inspectors using portable XRF are charging high rates for the inspections.

As far as chemical testing for “Chinese drywall” the CPSC states that “Orthorhombic sulfur (S8) is a sensitive and specific marker of problematic drywall”. Testing for (S8) is usually done in a lab environment. This testing is destructive and can be expensive.

Here at safeguard Inspectors LLC we have spent hundreds of hours inspecting “Chinese drywall” homes and many hours deciphering the data and information produced from the CPSC and other agencies that are researching “Chinese drywall”. All of Safeguard Inspectors LLC drywall inspections implement the suggestions and methods that are recommended by the CPSC. We also implement some proprietary testing methods that we have refined using our experience and data of hundreds of inspections. We know that “Chinese drywall” is a concern for buyers, so here at Safeguard Inspectors, LLC we include a “Chinese drywall” inspection in our Full Home Inspections at no extra charge.

If you have any questions on testing methods for Chinese drywall or questions about anything else regarding home inspections, please feel free to contact us.

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Posted by Christian White on July 8th, 2010 3:15 PMView Comments (1)

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