ONE of the things that sets Buyer's Edge apart from our competitors is our utilization of every tool available to us.
Every Buyer's Edge inspector is required to carry a full set of tools. This set has been carefully selected over the course of our history to guarantee our inspectors have the ability to uncover every issue within the home. One tool that is not pictured is our most important tool, our eyes. The eyes of a good inspector make a substantial difference in their ability to take in every detail. When you have a Buyers' Edge Home Inspection, there will be no doubt that it is our winning combination of highly trained eyes and specialty tools that gives you the Buyer's Edge.
Since our eyes are our most important tool, the next most important tool is one which aids our eyes. A good flashlight lets us seek out problems in the darkest of places while also highlighting issues in bright rooms. Since it is such a valuable tool we always carry a backup.
Inspectors are only required to check one outlet per room. This would be a huge limitation as one outlet may be wired correctly and another may not. We check every outlet every time. A good outlet tester is paramount to providing accurate results. Just like the flashlight, our inspects always carry extras not only in case one fails, but to double check questionable results.
One of the major issues we find with homes concerns moisture. Leaking from the outside, around toilets, pipes in the wall or even through the foundation are all areas moisture can enter the home. Left unchecked, this can lead to rot, mold and more. Moisture issues are also extremely hard to detect without a tester. Our testers allow us to get readings from the surface and even read into materials.This is one of our most important tools as it allows us not only to discover such issues but can give definitive proof if the issue is ongoing or the area is dry. Without a moisture meter we would be left guessing.
Carbon Monoxide Meter
On average 430 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year. Since it is impossible for people to detect with their senses it is critical to have CO detectors installed in the home. Still these detectors will not show if there are small amounts of CO in the air. We test every home with a CO meter. Even if there are trace amounts in the air we are able to detect them. Since any amount of CO over the normal ambient amount is indicative of a problem this gives Buyer's Edge inspectors a great advantage to search possible causes out.
Combustible Gas Detector
The reality is that gas lines in your home aren't much different from your water lines. And just as water lines can leak, so can gas lines. When a leak is small it may not be detectible by human senses and that is where our gas detector comes in handy. Our detectors can "sniff" out even the smallest gas leak. Better yet, it will be able to give us the exact location. We find gas leaks on a decent amount of the inspections we perform. While often small, finding these leaks is imperative to the safety of our clients. What one day is a small leak may pose extreme danger the next.
While many inspectors may offer this as an additional charge, all Buyer's Edge inspectors carry an infrared camera. The possible uses for these cameras are truly endless. From electrical, plumbing, structure, insulation, moisture leaking, poor ventilation to rodents and much more this is one tool we know we have to carry in order to find every thing possible.
Temperature/ Humidity Meters
We carry two different temperature/ humidity meters with us. One is an infrared thermometer which allows quick and accurate measurement of spot temperatures. We use this to check that radiators are working, the air temperature the A/C unit is putting out and even the temperature of the hot water in the home to warn against possible burns. The other measures ambient temperature and humidity. This can give accurate measurement of air temp in the home/ attic. It can also alert us to high humidity situations in attic spaces which may lead to mold.
Electrical Circuit Analyzer
Taking our ability to test outlets and circuits to a new level is our circuit analyzer. While our outlet testers alert us to many potential problems, there are many they simply cannot catch. A circuit analyzer allows us to uncover many issues in a wiring system that otherwise would be impossible to catch. Overloaded circuits, false ground, high resistance in wiring, long wire runs and loose connections in a circuit are just a few of the many problems this specialized tool can uncover.
Clamp Multi-Meter/ Non-Contact Voltage Testers
As you can see electrical issues are a major concern for us. Many of the tools we carry are designed to help us find any issues in an electrical system. Since the electrical system is mostly enclosed in your walls, the only way to discover possible issues are these tools which provide results that a Buyer's Edge inspector is trained to decipher. Our clamp multi meter can show us voltage, continuity of grounds, proper frequency and duty cycle of the power, temperature and allows us to measure current being used in a circuit. Non-contact voltage testers allow us to determine if electrical wires have power running through them. If these wires are not properly protected or run through inappropriate areas they can pose a serious shock hazard.
These neat little testers serve an important job, ensuring that your new microwave will actually heat up. It still amazes us how many microwaves turn on and appear to function but produce no microwaves. Without testing for this you may go to heat up food your first night in your new home and come to find out you will have to spend hundreds of dollars on a new unit. These simple and effective testers are just one more way Buyer's Edge makes sure everything in your new home works the way you deserve it to.
While inspectors are typically not required to disassemble any component, the reality is to do our job we need to take apart a few things. A full set of hand tools guarantees that we are never left unable to inspect something. This may be okay for other inspectors but we feel it our duty to do our very best to inspect every area of your new home.
We have to measure a lot of things. The tools we carry ensure that we have the capability to do so. Whether we are checking that a/c units are level or measuring foundations for leaning and bows, we have the tools to get accurate measurements. We even carry tools to provide us with slopes of roofs and laser measures so that our clients looking to measure areas of the home themselves can do it much quicker and easier than with a measuring tape. Just one more way that we provide you with the Buyer's Edge.
Power Drills/ Bits
We can do a lot with hand tools but we can also admit we are not Paul Bunyan. When hand tools take too much time or are not sufficient to perform the job, we bring out power drills. These allow us to save time when taking face plates off electrical boxes or entering crawl spaces and attics. To go along with our drills, every inspector carries a very complete set of bits designed to fit any fastener that we come across.
Have we mentioned how important our eyes are? Sometimes we can't get close enough to something to get good look at it. High peaks around the sides of the home or roofs which are too steep or tall for us to safely get onto require a good pair of binoculars. Often, even when we can get onto roofs, we still use or binoculars to get a second vantage point from the ground.
Water Testing Tools
While we do not perform water testing as part of our services we do carry water hardness test steps and a total dissolved solids tester. We are able to use these tools to show that water softeners are working, needed or that filters are not functioning. This is just one small test we perform for our clients but often show them something they otherwise would not have thought about.
Personal Protective Equipment
Safety is the most important consideration our inspectors have to take into account. Whether it is going up on a roof or entering an attic or crawlspace, having the right protective equipment is important. We carry tools such as respirators and rubber gloves that ensure we feel comfortable entering spaces where potentially harmful things may reside.
A simple tool no doubt but still a very important one. All of our inspectors carry indoor shoes that are never worn outdoors. Whether normal shoes are allowed in a home or not our inspectors always wear their indoor shoes. The very least we owe our clients is a clean home when they move in!
(Tools Not Pictured)
A few important tools not mentioned here are ladders, phones, drones and batteries. Our inspectors carry two ladders with them at all times. A heavy duty ladder that is used outside of the home to inspect siding and roofs. Another collapsible ladder that is only used inside the home. This allows us to keep dirt and debris outside and not track it in. Our indoor ladders also allow us to get into tight spaces such as attic scuttle holes in closets. Our phones are typically used as a camera. We document every problem we uncover with a picture ensuring that you are not left guessing about what we described. Special apps allow us to also use our phones as compasses, measuring devices and much more. We also often carry remotely operated fronts with us. In cases where we cannot get onto roofs, these give us the same ability to inspect them. Where binoculars may fall short, drones allow us to fully inspect. Finally, one thing all our inspectors carry with them are batteries. When another inspector might apologize and say they can't inspect a furnace because the thermostat batteries are dead, a Buyer's Edge inspector replaces the batteries and completes the inspection.
Every tool in this list has a specific function. Many of the tools overlap to guarantee that our inspectors never miss a thing. If you're considering another inspector, ask if he/she carries all these tools. When the answer is no, your answer will be clear. Schedule an inspection with Buyer's Edge Home Inspections and give yourself what only we can provide. The Buyer's Edge!