Choosing The Right Home Inspector

Look for Experience

American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is the oldest national home inspection association. It has a stringent Standard of Practice which all members must adhere to. These comprehensive standards have been closely copied by all competitive organizations and state licensing laws. To become a full ASHI member you must have completed 250 paid home inspections and have each one reviewed by an association peer. This many inspections will take most inspectors 3 to 4 years to complete. Many inspectors don’t even make it through the first year and less than 10% make it to year five. Then to retain membership 20 hours of continuing education must be completed each year.

Look for Out for ‘Bogus’ Certifications

Unfortunately home inspection is a career that is more demanding than most people who enter the industry realize. Anybody can join a trade association and most have no requirements to be ‘certified’ by that organization. As long as the annual fee is paid, the association calls you certified, but this label is worthless as there are no standards to be met.

There are many excellent home inspectors who have joined associations other than ASHI or who have never joined an association at all. You could after doing your due diligence on an inspector choose one of them, and be perfectly satisfied with the result. However…

Look for True Certification

ASHI is the only home inspection association that has completed a recognized third-party certification process. They were required to adopt the most rigid standards and then verify that each member meet all the requirements. ASHI member qualification and professional competence is certified by an independent third-party.

Just the act of joining ASHI demonstrates that a home inspector is willing to meet the highest standards and is prepared to operate a professional business employing these standards of practice and meeting a stringent code of ethics.

A good place to start looking for an inspector is by seeking out ones that are ACI certified. This certification is not given lightly.

Doug Hastings
MN Home Inspector, Minneapolis & St. Paul
ASHI certified inspector, ACI
Kaplan University, Home Inspection Lead Instructor

Rob Leslie
Kaplan Professionals, Retired

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My Ice Dams Are Really Bad

Icicles indicate the formation of ice dams. What do ice dams indicate?

Icicles form where water is dripping from the roof when snow is melting and the air temperature is less than freezing. Older houses are most prone to ice damming and large icicle formation. Recent building and energy codes addressed this problem and provided solutions. Assuming homes built in last 40 years are properly constructed, they have little to no problem with icicles. This is because the heat loss through the ceiling is small and warm house air does not reach the roof. Current roof ventilation design and adequate ceiling insulation will not allow snow to melt and refreeze as it crosses the cold overhang of the roof. This refreeze forms the ice wall that causes water backup under the roof shingles. This is also how the interior ceiling, wall, wood structure and insulation become water damaged.

Remember mold forms in building materials that remain wet longer than 48 hours. 

Today, what can be done about a problem that is knocking on the door? The only answer is to have the ice dam professionally removed by an insured contractor. However, the long term solutions is to have an expert assess attic insulation and ventilation levels, examine for proper roof flashing and shingle underlayment, determine if poor roof design necessitates using heat cables.

Converting roofs to meet a standard that will prevent ice dams is not difficult, but it can be costly. 

Begin the solution to your ice dam problem with an unbiased home inspector analysis. Or ‘Like Us’ on Facebook for more day to day information.

Doug Hastings
MN Home Inspector, Minneapolis & St. Paul
ASHI certified inspector, ACI
Kaplan University, Home Inspection Lead Instructor

Rob ‘Pops’ Leslie
Kaplan Professionals, Retired