The process of buying or selling your home is a complex process. From the moment you put your house on the market to the closing paperwork, there are a lot of moving pieces all working in sequence to make sure things go smoothly. One of the most important steps that’s often overlooked is your home inspection. You may be familiar with the concept, but what does a home inspector actually do? What a Home Inspector Does A home inspector is trained to make a complete assessment of a home and its many components. This assessment, which is comprehensively documented in a report given to the home buyer or seller, is designed to provide useful information about the current condition of the home. This most often includes information about the age and condition of a home’s most costly structures like the roof, HVAC and electrical systems. Home inspections give peace of mind to home buyers that they’re making the best decision possible with their investment, and home sellers can benefit from knowing what repairs should be completed before starting negotiations with buyers. A Visual, Non-Invasive Inspection When you hire a home inspector, you’ll see that they describe their services as a “visual and non-invasive inspection”—what does this mean? Essentially, it means that an inspector only assesses structures and systems in your home that are readily accessible. For example, if you have locked doors or access panels in your home on the day of the inspection, then these areas won’t be inspected and will be documented this way in the inspection report. The inspector also won’t move furniture, boxes or other household items, so it’s best to order an inspection when the home is empty or nearly so. “Non-invasive” means that your inspector will not be dismantling appliances, drilling holes in walls or otherwise damaging surfaces to examine potential issues underneath. A home inspection is surface-level, but can shed light on hidden issues using certain specialized tools. Tools of the Trade While home inspectors make use of a number of common tools like flashlights, ladders and handheld mirrors during the inspection process, they also employ tools that need some explanation. Here are some of the most used tools in a home inspector’s arsenal: Carbon Monoxide Analyzer: Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that’s odorless, tasteless and produced by many common appliances like water heaters and furnaces. Your home inspector uses a carbon monoxide analyzer to check for leaks or improper venting of these appliances. Combustible Gas Detector: Similar to a carbon monoxide analyzer, a combustible gas detector helps your home inspector check for natural gas leaks around appliances or propane tanks. Continuous Radon Monitor: Radon testing is a supplementary service that many home inspectors perform. This rectangular instrument is placed in an area expected to have a high concentration of radon (like a basement). Taking regular air measurements every hour for a minimum of two days, the monitor collects data and gives an average reading of the home’s radon level. Drones: Your home inspector may use a drone equipped with a high-resolution camera to document the condition of your roof. Electrical Testers: Home inspectors use many different types of electrical testers to thoroughly determine the state of your home’s electrical system. Most of these testers work by measuring electrical current at the home’s outlets, which shed light on whether they’re functioning properly and are wired correctly. Infrared Camera: Infrared cameras allow inspectors to see beneath the surface and document issues with a home’s insulation or electrical system. By looking for excessively hot or cold spots in walls, ceilings and more, your inspector can document sparse insulation, wiring problems and even water intrusion issues. Infrared Thermometer: Infrared thermometers use a laser beam to take accurate temperature readings of hot water, air registers, circuit breakers and more. Moisture Meter: This tool searches for elevated moisture levels in your home, which can indicate leaks from the roof or pipes. Issues like mold also tend to accompany high moisture levels, so having a moisture meter can tell your inspector a lot about the condition of your home. Call an NPI Inspector Today NPI inspectors are professionally trained to provide the most comprehensive home inspections in the industry. Find your local inspector today and make an appointment.