WHAT WE INSPECT
Radon is estimated to cause thousands of deaths per year from lung cancer. You can't see radon and you can't smell it. It is estimated that one in 15 homes has dangerous levels of radon. For this reason I highly recommend a radon test for any home you are considering. Fortunately, if a house has high levels of radon, it can be fixed at reasonable cost.
Radon can also be in water although this is much less common. However if testing reveals high levels in the air and you have a well, it is recommended to test the well for radon.
How radon enters a home
If the house you are considering has a well, I recommend an inexpensive test for total coliform. The organisms in the total coilform group are not themselves harmful. However, the presence of coliform bacteria indicates that a pathway exists for disease-producing organisms. If I find coliform bacteria you'll want to have further testing done to identify the pathway to contamination so that it can be eliminated.
Older shallow wells are more susceptible to contamination.
Termites and other wood destroying insects
In addition to being a licensed home inspector, I am a licensed pest technician. This means I will thoroughly inspect for signs of active and past termite activity and damage as well as the presence of other wood destroying insects including carpenter ants, carpenter bees, powderpost beetles and old house borers. It also means that I am qualified to fill out form NPMA-33, the Wood Destroying Inspection Report required by some lenders. This will save you the expense and trouble of hiring a pest control company to do the inspection and report. When done as part of a home inspection, I charge only $50 additional for this service and the fee is waived for veterans, police officers and other first responders as well as medical personal working in the fight against Covid-19.
The illustration above will give you a quick idea of all the elements of a home that are included in a standard home inspection. A standard inspection takes 2 to 5 hours, depending upon the size of the home.