In our last article we said that this month we would focus on asbestos in your home and what you need to do about it. But as we have all discovered, we are in a new normal.
So, we’re going to put asbestos off for a month and instead focus on how we can provide a safe home inspection in the current climate.
Since real estate is considered an essential service under the state of Florida and local county regulations, homes continue to be bought and sold. And that means home inspections need to take place. This means home inspectors must develop creative alternatives to our traditional home-inspection process.
Under normal circumstances, the person hiring Informed Inspection might walk around the home with me inside and out as the inspection is being done. In all likelihood, they would not join me on the roof for obvious insurance reasons. But, given the Covid 19 crisis, the process needs to be modified.
All the appointments are set by phone or email, so there is no contact at that point and my normal scheduling process is not changed, but I am attempting to schedule only one inspection per day to avoid bringing my first inspection to my second.
The inspection process is being changed. First, I am asking that there is no one in the home while I am inspecting. Any pre- or post-inspection discussions regarding the inspection will occur external to the home observing a safe 10-foot distance between us preferably with masks.
If it is not possible for an owner to leave, then I ask them to occupy a garage or screened area while I work in the rest of the home. I wear gloves during the inspection but when the rest of the home or condo has been inspected, I will wipe down anything I touched and we swap our locations taking care to have minimal interaction, so I can complete the inspection in the area they occupied.
Usually, I start with the outside and the roof and arrive a half hour early to complete this portion of the inspection before the realtor arrives to give me access to the interior. I now recommend that if the client wishes to attend that they arrive about two hours after the start of the appointment. In this way, I will be done, or nearly done, and we can discuss findings outside the home observing the appropriate separation. Whether or not the client attends, a written report is emailed and a discussion by phone is offered.
Once I am done, the gloves and mask come off and are disposed of properly. After I get home, the clothes I wore are removed for washing.
While cumbersome and complicated, these procedures were created using guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control. Certainly, if done properly, a home inspection can be done safely for all involved. And that is my goal at Informed Inspection during these challenging times. I am providing the same quality service as always for my clients, and I am doing it in a way that I believe protects everyone involved.