What is not included in the home inspection?
There is a lot of confusion in the general public as to what exactly is included in a home inspection. Unfortunately, home inspectors are not able to see behind drywall, nor are we authorized to remove sections of wall without the home-owners written consent. Because of this, home inspections are considered to be visual and non-invasive. This simply means we can’t inspect what we can’t see. We also can’t see behind large furniture items, or inspect items which are blocked from our access. While it may seem simple to slide a couch or dresser in order to see behind it, what if the dresser is an antique and is damaged, or if the hardwood floor is scratched by the couch because it didn’t have protective padding under the legs? Likewise, moving stored items to inspect basement walls for damage to concrete could lead to breaking stored items, possibly family heirlooms.
A home inspection is not exhaustive in the sense that it cannot cover 100% of the components of a house. If a basement is completely drywalled and has flooring, it would be nearly impossible to examine for moisture or structural damage without damaging the flooring or wall finish. While it would be nice to be able to see through walls, buyers must be aware of the limitations of a home inspection.
It is also important for potential buyers to understand that home inspectors are generalists, not specialists. We are knowledgeable in the various house systems, but are not experts in everything. As such we offer an overview of the current status of a house, but are not able to make any predictions as to what the future may hold.
Understanding the limitations of a home inspection will contribute to a more positive experience for buyers and home inspectors, and will help to avoid misunderstandings.
Do you walk the roof?
While inspecting the roof of a house, we will walk on it if it is safe to do so as this is the best way to determine the quality of the roof covering and to determine if it has sustained any damage. Walking on the roof will also test the structural integrity of the roof sheathing underneath the shingles. However, we will not walk on any roof if, in the opinion of the inspector, it is unsafe to do so. The following situations constitute an unsafe situation:
-snowy, icy or wet conditions (anything that causes the roof material to become slippery)
-shingles that are so badly deteriorated that they will break under the weight of the inspector
-steep pitch roof, which prevents solid traction
-metal, tile or clay roof
-2 storey roof (in most cases there is a lower section of roof that can be inspected)
Are your home inspectors licensed?
All home inspectors in Alberta are required to be licensed under the Alberta Fair Trading Act. We are fully licensed by the Province of Alberta and are certified through the Alberta chapter of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, which is the largest governing body of home inspectors in North America and certifies home inspectors around the globe.
Will you recommend repairs and provide estimates?
To avoid potential conflicts of interest, home inspectors are not authorized to provide estimates on potential repairs, nor are we able to recommend contractors.
Can I call you with questions after I move into my home?
Absolutely! Our service doesn't end the moment we put the inspection report in your hand. This is especially true if your inspection is in the winter when snow prevents a proper inspection of the roof and lot grading. Once the snow disappears, give us a call and we'll come back at no extra cost. If you have any questions regarding your home after the inspection, you are always welcome to give us a call or send us an email.
Do you use thermal imaging?
The use of thermal imaging is a hot topic right now in the home inspection industry. Some inspectors use it as their main selling feature, while others don't use it al all. At Fortified, we use thermal imaging as a supplement to the home inspection, not the main focus of it. Our home inspections follow the InterNACHI Standards of Practice (available here), and use thermal imaging in high risk areas (around doors, windows, skylights & ceilings) as a supplement to the main inspection.
Fortified Home Inspections Ltd. is committed to safeguarding the personal information entrusted to us by our clients. We manage your personal information in accordance with Alberta's Personal Information Protection Act and other applicable laws. This policy outlines the principles and practices we follow in protecting your personal information.
Personal information means information about an identifiable individual.
We collect only the personal information that we need for the purposes of providing home inspection services to our clients. Information is collected directly from our clients or an authorized representative.
We use and disclose client personal information only for the purpose for which the information was collected.
If we wish to use or disclose your personal information for any new business purpose, we will ask for your consent. We may not seek consent if the law allows this (e.g. the law allows organizations to use personal information without consent for the purpose of collecting a debt).
We protect personal information in a manner appropriate for the sensitivity of the information. We make every reasonable effort to prevent any loss, misuse, disclosure or modification of personal information, as well as any unauthorized access to personal information.
We retain personal information only as long as is reasonable to fulfill the purposes for which the information was collected or for legal or business purposes.
Individuals have the right to access their own personal information in a record that is in the custody or under the control of Fortified Home Inspections Ltd., subject to some exceptions. For example, organizations are required under the Personal Information Protection Act to refuse to provide access to information that would reveal personal information about another individual.
You may request information about our use of your personal information and any disclosure of that information to persons outside our organization. In addition, you may request a correction of an error or omission in your personal information.
If you have a question or concern about any collection, use or disclosure of personal information by Fortified Home Inspections Ltd., or about a request for access to your own personal information, please contact Kevan Rapley.
If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, you should contact the Information and Privacy Commissionner of Alberta:
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta
Suite 2460, 801 - 6 Avenue, SW
Calgary, AB T2P 3W2
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Why Choose Us?
- BBB Accredited
- Free Post-possesion Inspection
- 10% off future inspections
- $10,000 Honour Guarantee
- Free Home Maintenance Book
Kevan was very meticulous and took his time to carefully go over our home to look for any deficiencies or issues...next time (we move) we'll just call Kevan as he knows what he's doing and we were very happy with him.Kim N. Edmonton, AB
Kevan was polite, thorough, knowledgeable and respectful...we enthusiasticaly endorse his services. Should we ever be contemplating a move we'll be calling Kevan!Kevin K. Fort Saskatchewan, AB
Kevan, thank you very much for your great job! Your very detailed report plus your explanation and advice helped us a lot in making a decision on our house.Franjo G. Edmonton, AB