features NAHI by jennyyingdi


									                                         ®                   Winter 2012

                                             5 | There’s Still Time to Renew!
                   7 | Working in a Troubled Market, In a Troubled Economy
                                                 10 | Pictures and Reporting
                  14 | Basement Cracks and Leaks—Ouch! What You Can Do
                                           19 | Annual Chimney Inspections:
                   Preventing Chimney Fires and Carbon Monoxide Intrusion
The NAHI® Forum                                                            Winter 2012 | 1
2 | Winter 2012   The NAHI® Forum
C O N TEN TS                                                                                                                         NAHI® BOARD
                                                                                                                                     OF DIRECTORS
                                                              WINTER 2012                                                            President | Curtis S. Niles, CRI
                                                                                                                                     Armored Home Inspections, LLC
                                                                                                                                     7101 Wayne Ave | Upper Darby, PA 19082
                                                                                                                                     P: (610) 352-2212 | F: (866) 203-0656 | nilesent@msn.com
                                                                                                                                     Vice President | Forrest A. Lines, CRI

                                                                  7                                                                  By-Lions Home Inspections, LLC

                 5                                                                                                                   146 N. Hamilton Rd., PMB 189 | Gahanna, OH 43230
                                                                                                                                     P: (614) 855-9310 | F: (614) 855-9320 | fglines@aol.com
                                                                                                                                     Treasurer | William Dare, CRI
                                                                                                                                     Spotlight Home Inspection, LLC
                                                                                                                                     P.O. Box 75
                                                                                                                                     Perkiomenville, PA 18074

                                                                14                                                                   P: (215) 234-0505 | F: (215) 234-4209
                                                                                                                                     Secretary | Michael R. Greenwalt, CRI
                                                                                                                                     MGI Home Inspection
                                                                                                                                     2715 Mockingbird Rd. | Milford, KS 66514
                                                                                                                                     P: (785) 226-2912 | F: (785) 762-2344

                                         10                                                                                          michael@mgihomeinspection.com
                                                                                                                                     Director | Michael Holmes, CRI
                                                                                                                                     Holmes Inspections, LLC
                                                                                                                                     5891 Picarn | Jackson, MI 49201
                                                                                                                                     P: (517) 782-2073 | F: (517) 990-1985
                                                                                                                                     Director | Claude E. McGavic, CRI

                                                                 19                                                                  Home Check Inspections
                                                                                                                                     3811 - 23rd Avenue West | Bradenton, FL 34205
                                                                                                                                     P: (941) 750-0475 | F: (941) 748-6362
                                                                                                                                     Director | Sean McKenzie, CRI
There’s Still Time to Renew! | 5                                                                                                     Burlington Home Inspection Service
Working in a Troubled Market, in a Troubled Economy | 7                                                                              137 Mansfield Ave. | Burlington, VT 05401
Chapter Meeting Schedule | 8                                                                                                         P: (802) 238-6558 | sean@burlingtonhomeinspection.net
Chapter News | 8                                                                                                                     Director | Charles Allen, CRI
Chapter Contacts | 9                                                                                                                 National Property Inspections
                                                                                                                                     713 Augusta Drive | North Aurora, IL 60542
Committee Chairs | 9                                                                                                                 P: (630) 879-5715 | F: (630) 406-0759
Pictures and Reporting | 10                                                                                                          callen2777@sbcglobal.net
Education Webinars | 12
The Vent | 13                                                                                                                        Staff
Basement Cracks and Leaks - Ouch! What You Can Do | 14                                                                               Interim Executive Director
                                                                                                                                     Director of Education
2012 National Education Conference Save the Date | 17                                                                                & Chapter Relations | Julia Kloehn
Class Notes | 18                                                                                                                     julia@nahi.org
Annual Chimney Inspections: Preventing Chimney Fires and Carbon                                                                      Director of Strategic
Monoxide Intrusion | 19                                                                                                              Development | Brenda Riner
The Inspector’s Exchange Corner | 23                                                                                                 Website Coordinator | Tom Westlund
NAHI Awards | 24                                                                                                                     tom@nahi.org
New Members | 26                                                                                                                     Conference Coordinator | Melissa Serres
Wacky Photos | 28
Advertising Index | 31
Take the NAHI Virtual Home Inspection Tour! | 32                                                                                     National Association
                                                                                                                                     of Home Inspectors, Inc.
                                                                                                                                     4248 Park Glen Road
NAHI® is a non-profit association dedicated to promoting and developing the home inspection industry. NAHI®’s objectives              Minneapolis, MN 55416
are to further the professionalism of the home inspection industry by promulgating standards of practice to provide a consistent     (800) 448-3942 | P: (952) 928-4641
method of performance of home inspections; to promote educational opportunities to benefit its members, the home inspection           F: (952) 929-1318 | info@nahi.org
industry, and consumers of home inspection services; to inform the public of the importance of a reputable home inspection
as an integral part of the residential real estate transaction; and to protect consumers from fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive   www.nahi.org
practices. The NAHI® Forum is available free of charge to members of the National Association of Home Inspectors and those
interested in the promotion and development of the home inspection industry. Statements of fact and opinion in this publication
are the responsibility of the authors alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of the members, directors or staff of NAHI®.
Material may not be reproduced without written permission.

The NAHI® Forum                                                                                                                                                              Winter 2012 | 3
                                FROM THE NAHI PRESIDENT’S DESK
                                By Curtis Niles, CRI, NIT, Armored Home Inspections, LLC, Upper Darby, PA

     hope all of you had a very special Christmas and joyous New          time to help make NAHI the best association it can be. So when
     Year celebration. Going forward many of us are refocusing our        you have a chance, send a board member that you feel is making
     attention to the 2012 calendar year and revisiting our business      a difference an encouraging note of thanks. Let them know you
plans. As business owners we all have to do this. As an association,      appreciate them! In this day of email correspondence, it is easier
the Board of Trustees must do this as well. The Board is taking a         than ever.
hard look at the overall processes of NAHI and its operations and
seeking to be as efficient as possible with the resources available.       Second, our members like having access to other business
It is our belief and desire that a new and improved website is part       professionals in their respective service areas to learn from, to share
of the efficiencies that will assist NAHI in streamlining some of          ideals, and to help them in their businesses. Our chapters are said to
our processes and reducing some of our day-to-day medial tasks.           foster brotherhood and camaraderie second only to what national
As we attempt to bring this desire to reality, we understand that it      educational conferences can do, and in some cases often exceeds
will not be a quick process; but we believe it will be well worth the     that venue. Experienced members/business owners say they hate
investment of time, energy, and money when it finally does come to         to miss a well-organized chapter meeting. Well-produced chapter
fruition.                                                                 meetings provide huge intangibles that are invaluable to members
                                                                          that attend. If there is not a chapter in your area, rally some NAHI
With the bittersweet departure of our dear friend JR, long-standing
                                                                          brothers/sisters together and start one! You will be glad you did. If
Executive Director, we will have large shoes to fill. It was a pleasure
                                                                          you are not getting this type of experience from your chapter visits,
working with him and he will be sorely missed. Conversely, I am
                                                                          something is wrong. You need to reach out to one of the board
happy that Julia Kloehn is available, and—as equally important—
capable in handling the task at hand. Thank you, Julia, for being         members (listed in this publication) and let him know. A board
willing to carry the baton until a permanent solution is obtained.        member may be able to provide the necessary assistance to get
                                                                          things on the right track.
As I write these words, I marvel at the uniqueness of our profession,
generally speaking, and the competitive nature of our varied              Third, our programs have been proven to increase member
associations. Other professions such as medical, legal and real estate,   income opportunities and/or and have rewarded those for doing
to name a few, have only one non-profit association to represent           a good job in promoting NAHI! This one is near and dear to my
them. Why does our profession have at least three prominent and           heart because this was my focus when I was elected to the board.
distinct groups to represent us? While we all may have our opinions,      For NAHI to grow and retain our members, we must provide
it is clear that each group has benefits that attract members to           programs and initiatives that members can realize as a substantive
them. What is interesting to me is that many, if not most ,members        benefit, particularly in states where no association membership is
of each association maintain multiple memberships to obtain the           required by law. From this mindset, our Branding Contest, our
benefits they find desirable in other competing associations. I often       NIT Program, Business Partnerships, the Leadership Rewards, and
ask members who maintain additional association memberships               our Chapter Leadership Rewards Programs were conceived. There
what attracts them to NAHI, and three answers in particular stand         are other plans in the works but I cannot publically divulge these
out to me: our personality, our chapters, and our programs.               programs yet. Rest assured there will be more to come on additional
                                                                          opportunities that demonstrate why it is a “no brainer” to be a
First, NAHI’s “personality,” or approach in our organizational and
                                                                          NAHI member in 2012.
operational structure, appeals to the masses. We are described as
having a “personal touch” when communicating with our members             As I wrap up this issue of the President’s letter, it may be my
which they find refreshing in today’s age of automation. Our               last so let me say, it has been quite a challenging—yet rewarding
governance is conveyed to be another appealing trait. Our Board           experience—in serving our membership in the capacity of this
of Trustees is elected by our membership and our executive team is        chair. Subsequently, I have become a better man as a result of
elected by our presiding board. This process is very unique to NAHI       the experience and my hope is that the association as a whole has
when compared to the leadership of other associations. There is no        realized the same. Thank you fellow members for the profound
dictatorship or automatic ascension here. I believe this is a healthy     privilege to serve this association we call NAHI.
means by which to establish leadership and our membership
enjoys taking ownership of who serves them on the board. Board            Happy 25th Anniversary NAHI!
members sacrifice their time and their income to serve the NAHI
membership. They are not compensated for the important roles              Inspectfully,
they are asked to fulfill and they dedicate so much of their personal      Curtis S. Niles Sr., CRI, NIT, CMI

4 | Winter 2012                                                                                                                The NAHI® Forum
                                                                                             Time to
Most NAHI memberships expired December 31, and if yours was among them, and you did not
yet renew, send your renewal form in today!
In the home inspection industry, there’s no organization quite like NAHI. Your $355 yearly dues amount to less than $1.00 per
day—and that spare change adds up in big ways for your career. NAHI members-only benefits include:

• Premier continuing education and
  professional development opportunities
  including educational webinars, chapter
  meetings and conference educational
• Unparalleled networking with industry peers
  around the country
• NAHI brand recognition and logo access
• Referral listing on NAHI.org
• Real-world leadership training
• Significant discounts on NAHI conferences
• Lifetime friendships, and
• A lot of fun!

In addition to renewing by mail, you can also
renew online. Just go to the “Renewal” button
on top of the member’s only home page and fill
out the online form. It takes about one minute

As an added bonus, members who renew
for 2012 AND attend the 2012 conference in
Myrtle Beach will receive a $50 rebate.

Stay with us. Reap the benefits! ■

The NAHI® Forum                                                                                                      Winter 2012 | 5
6 | Winter 2012   The NAHI® Forum
                          By Michael S. (Mick) Holmes, CRI, NIT, RT, Holmes Inspections, LLC, Jackson, MI

W     hen I started in the home inspection business, I had
      no idea that it would lead me to a hobby that involved
defensive-style shooting.
After hearing stories from other inspectors, with regard
to their safety while on the job( e.g. occupied foreclosed
homes, drug labs in empty homes, meth heads trying to
extort money, a gang shootout at an adjacent property, and
an article in the NAHI Forum about an animal attack) I was
motivated to apply for a concealed pistol license (CPL). In all
the previously listed instances the inspector was only armed
with a flashlight, awl, or a screwdriver.
I understand this may not be an option for all inspectors
across the nation, however, I live in a “shall issue state” and
training was a requirement. I am also fortunate to have
shooting clubs within a 30 mile radius of my home that
provide defensive shooting programs.
Being a CRI, where continuing education (training) is
a requirement, I was looking for the same requirement
(training) that would apply to my CPL. I started with the
National Rifle Association (NRA) - www.nra.org - and the
International Association of Defensive Pistol Association
(IDPA) - www.idpa.com.                                            with several shooters from the Brooklyn Sportsman’s Club
We have all heard about the NRA and their efforts to protect      (my club and 2nd V.P.) taking home plaques for their
your Second Amendment Rights but how many have heard of           placement. I missed by 3.68 seconds, taking fourth place in
the IDPA?                                                         the Stock Service Revolver (SSR) division, Marksman Class.
The IDPA created a competition that imitates real life            I currently sit on the NAHI Board of Directors and am
shooting scenarios. This is a timed competition with a point      always looking for new ways to expand NAHI exposure, so,
down scoring system; with each point down adding a half           on the stage that I was working, and which the Brooklyn
second to your time. There are also procedural errors that add    Sportsman’s Club sponsored, I flew the NAHI colors and
time with the lowest overall time winning the event.              answered questions about the organization.
The competition is broken down by two categories, Firearm         Working in a troubled market, in a troubled economy, I have
type and the level of the shooter. The shooter’s level is         had to travel further into unfamiliar areas and I want to be
determined by shooting a classifier; a 90 round prescribed         safe, for my family and for my clients. I have made a personal
course that is timed, so that in competition, you will be         choice that may not be for everyone. I will continue to train
shooting against other shooters at your level.                    in all areas of my life and promote NAHI whenever possible.
I had the opportunity to work and compete in the 2011             Who knew? The home inspection industry creating a personal
Michigan State Championship held at the Wayne County              necessity, which developed into a hobby with additional
Raccoon Hunter’s Club in Romulus, Michigan on September           marketing potential for home inspectors.
16-18, 2011. The event was attended by shooters from              About the Author: Mick Holmes is currently serving on the
across the state and around the nation, with four countries       NAHI Board of Directors and is President of the Michigan
represented.                                                      NAHI Chapter. He is the owner of Holmes Inspections, LLC in
The competition at this level was pretty intense and exciting,    Jackson, MI. ■

The NAHI® Forum                                                                                                    Winter 2012 | 7
Jan 16, 2012                                  Feb 15, 2012                                   Mar 19, 2012
GA Chapter                                    IL Chapter                                     Southeast PA Chapter
OK Café, Atlanta, GA                          Casey’s Restaurant, Lombard, IL                Best Western Inn at Towamencin,
7:00pm                                                                                       Kulpsville, PA
Dinner Debrief - We’ll start off with         Feb 20, 2012                                   6:00pm
a show and tell of fabulous roof-             Southeast PA Chapter
gripping shoes (thank you Gene!)              Best Western Inn at Towamencin,                Apr 03, 2012
and also share some helpful                   Kulpsville, PA                                 MI Chapter Meeting
information on window flashing.               6:00pm                                         Bakers of Milford, Milford, MI
Jan 16, 2012                                  March 2012
Southeast PA Chapter                          Date: TBA                                      Apr 15, 2012
Best Western Inn at Towamencin,               OH Chapter Inspector’s Expo                    IL Chapter
Kulpsville, PA                                                                               Casey’s Restaurant, Lombard, IL
6:00pm                                        Mar 03, 2012
                                              MN Chapter Meeting                             Apr 16, 2012
Jan 17, 2012                                  Heartland Credit Union, Inver Grove            Southeast PA Chapter
Rocky Mountain-NAHI Meeting                   Heights, MN                                    Best Western Inn at Towamencin,
Perkins, Denver, CO                           9:00am                                         Kulpsville, PA
6:00pm                                                                                       6:00pm
                                              Mar 06, 2012
Feb 07, 2012                                  MI Chapter Meeting                             Apr 20-21, 2012
MI Chapter Meeting                            Bakers of Milford, Milford, MI                 Florida Chapter
Bakers of Milford, Milford, MI                6:00pm                                         “How do you do it?” – Onsite
6:00pm                                                                                       training at four different homes with
                                                                                             chapter leaders explaining how
                                                                                             they perform inspections.
                                                                                             Fort Myers, FL

What have NAHI chapters been up to in the last several months?
Take a look at these recent events.

The Florida Chapter met on August 12-13 in West Palm Beach, FL. Twenty-three members were in attendance for presentations on new
construction, marketing, pools, legislative updates, and mold inspections.

The Michigan Chapter met on December 6 at Baker’s of Milford in Milford, MI. Fifteen inspectors were in attendance for a presentation by
Kevin Plagens titled “The Good, Bad and Ugly of Home Inspection Contracts.”

The Southeast PA Chapter met on October 17 at the Holiday Inn in Towamencin, PA. Nineteen members and guests were in attendance for
a presentation on plumbing issues. ■

8 | Winter 2012                                                                                                        The NAHI® Forum
  CHAPTER                                                                              COMMITTEE
  CONTACTS                                                                             CHAIRS
  ALABAMA                     HAWAII                       NEW YORK – WESTERN          CHAPTER RELATIONS
  James E. Mason, CRI         Martin J.                    Paul J. Nagalski, CRI       Open
  Pillar To Post, Inc.        DiAntonio, CRI               Accurate Home
  jamese.mason@               Hawaii Inspection            Inspection Services         CONFERENCE
  pillartopost.com            Services, LLC                accupaul@rochester.rr.com
                                                                                       David Corey, CRI
  (205) 919-1913              his01@hawaii.rr.com          (716) 681-9739
                                                                                       Landmark Inspections, Inc.
                              (808) 261-3805                                           bishopdlc@comcast.net
  ARIZONA                                                  OHIO
                                                                                       (304) 274-9000
  Daniel E. Haydon,           HEARTLAND – MO/KS            Forrest A. Lines, CRI
  CRI, Ph.D.                  Michael S. Pritchett         By-Lions, Inc.
  DEC Inspection Services     Accurate Home                fglines@aol.com
  nahidan@msn.com             Inspections Inc.             (614) 855-9310              JT McConnell
                                                                                       Dragon Ridge Home Inspections
  (602) 308-8722              mpritchett2@kc.rr.com
                                                           PENNSYLVANIA –              jt@DragonRidge
                              (816) 682-0673
                                                           NORTHEAST                   HomeInspections.com
                                                                                       (703) 472-8400
  John St. George, CRI        ILLINOIS                     Garfield R.
  California Construction     Chuck Allen                  Beynon, CRI
  Consultants                 National Property            Garfield Beynon Home
  jstgeorge@roadrunner.com    Inspections                  Inspection Service          Open
  (818) 266-8300              callen2777@aol.com           beynons@epix.net
                              (630) 879-5715               (570) 430-7103              MARKETING &
  COLORADO                                                                             PUBLIC RELATIONS
  Ray A. McDowell             MICHIGAN                     PENNSYLVANIA –              Curtis Niles, CRI
  McDowell’s Home             Michael Holmes, CRI          PHILADELPHIA                Armored Home Inspections, LLC
  Inspections, LLC            Holmes Inspections, LLC      James A. Makara, CRI        nilesent@msn.com
  ray@mcdowell-inspect.com    holmesinspectionsllc@        County Wide                 (610) 352-2212
  (970) 669-4919              comcast.net                  Inspections, Inc.
                              (517) 782-2073               info@                       MEMBERSHIP
  FLORIDA                                                  countywideinspections.com
                                                                                       Peter Hawley, CRI
  William L. Jurek, CRI       MINNESOTA                    (215) 355-4726
                                                                                       HomeCheck Home Inspection
  The HomeTeam                Monique                                                  peter@homechecknv.com
  Inspection Service                                       PENNSYLVANIA –
                              McClure-Hegge                                            (702) 400-6889
  Hometeam60@aol.com                                       PITTSBURGH
                              Nook & Cranny Inspections
  (239) 489-3334              monique@nchimn.com           Wilbur Robinson, CRI        STANDARDS OF PRACTICE –
                              (651) 334-4874               Contractors Corporation
  GEORGIA                                                  webrobinson@hotmail.com
  Rob Golden, CRI             NEVADA                       (724) 776-1201              Bill Laughlin, CRI
                                                                                       Prairie Home Inspection, LLC
  Safeguard Home Inspection   Robert F. Knauff, CRI                                    wglaughlin1@juno.com
  info@safeguardinspect.net   Beacon Inspection Services                               (612) 250-9251
  (770) 992-5575              Bob@BeaconInspection
                              (702) 205-3167

The NAHI® Forum                                                                                              Winter 2012 | 9
                                            By Gerry Aubrey, Blue Bell Consulting, Inc., Blue Bell, PA

            ith the popularity of digital cameras, the vast majority      This might seem obvious but there are times when shrubbery can
            of home inspectors are now including photographs in           block the view of the front door. Try not to have the sale sign or any
            their reports. Many of the inspection report services         cars in the shot if you can. You can then use that picture to make
have programs where the pictures are entered automatically,               up a set of return address labels with the picture of the home and
or the location and type of picture used is suggested. When I             send them to the buyers.
entered the business, I did not include pictures. I have been in the
construction industry since the days of taking Polaroid pictures          It is always a good idea to take pictures of areas that are difficult
of the roof and bringing it down to the client. Before we discuss         to access. Include a roof top shot of the home to document you
including pictures in the report, let’s back up a bit. When you write     were there. If you don’t walk roofs or the roof is too steep, take a
your report, you write the report to protect yourself first; your          picture from the eave. If you don’t get on a ladder and get to the
client second. This may sound selfish but it’s true. No matter how         eaves of the roof, you are making a big mistake. Obviously, try and
much we bond with our client during the inspection, if something          get a shot of any defects you observe on the roof. The same can be
goes wrong and they feel you should have found it, you are                said for the grounds.
suddenly a complete stranger. I was in the business for a while and
                                                                          Kitchens are the heart of the home. Try to include a flattering
a friend of mine bought a house out of state. She showed me the
                                                                          picture of the kitchen in your report. Once there I will often
report they got and I saw defects in the pictures that were not in the
                                                                          take a picture under the sink. This area is frequently blocked by
report. That experience made me very hesitant to include pictures
                                                                          possessions. If it is, the picture can protect you if there is a problem
in my report, but I finally modernized.
                                                                          all the way in the back where you can’t see. If you want to remove
Why do you put pictures in your report? Think of your report as           all the cleaning products and the plastic bags from under the sink
a story of the house. Whoever reads it will know the house better.        to check more thoroughly, that’s your decision. Bathrooms can
Every house has its strengths and weaknesses. The pictures should         be difficult to photograph. It is often difficult to get an angle that
be used as a part of that story. I have seen reports with 30 or more      properly represents the space. A picture with the access panel off is
pictures in the report. The report is not a photo album. The key to       a good idea, particularly if it’s an older home. A shot of the master
effective use of pictures is to edit. The first picture I include is the   bedroom is nice but only if the bed is made and the room is neat.
front of the house. Try and include the front door in the picture.        We may not like to admit it but we are part of a sale. Our goal is to

10 | Winter 2012                                                                                                                The NAHI® Forum
inform the buyer of the overall condition       don’t know what it is, and often don’t know      to fifteen pages. I also find the pictures to
of the home, but trust me, including some       where it is in their present home when I ask     be very helpful when writing my report.
pictures of a nice clean home in the report     them about it.                                   If I am busy doing several inspections in a
has a positive effect on your client and the                                                     day on back-to-back days, the houses begin
realtor.                                        There are a few basic rules about pictures
                                                that I try and follow. I ask myself how this     to blend together. The pictures keep them
Moving on, it absolutely makes sense to get a   picture contributes to the overall report. I     separate. A picture says a thousand words.
picture of the attic. People often don’t want   include pictures that help present the home      Make sure those words are reinforcing your
to go up there, but they frequently want to     in a positive light. I include pictures that     report, not discrediting it.
see what’s there. Document the presence,        inform - such as the location of items like
type, and depth of insulation. I find clients    the main water shut off. I include pictures      About the Author: Gerry Aubrey has
appreciate this picture. Also document the      that present defects mentioned in the report     been involved in construction and, more
type of framing and the type of sub-roofing      with a brief description of the item and         specifically, roofing since 1974. He worked
present. If access to the attic is severely     the defect it is showing. Always include a       for Miller Roofing Company from 1974
blocked and inaccessible, get a shot of the     description of what the picture is showing       to 1992 and was heavily involved in all
stack of boxes completely blocking the closet   no matter how obvious it is to you. You will     aspects of roofing and roofing repair. In
with the scuttle above them.                    be amazed at how differently two people          1990, Certainteed Corporation of Wayne,
                                                can view the same picture. I include pictures    PA retained his services as part of a seminar
My report includes a section with the           that show very difficult places to get, and
                                                                                                 program to develop professionalism in the
photographs of the major systems of the         pictures that document why I did not get to
home. I include the HVAC system, the                                                             roofing industry. Gerry began Blue Bell
                                                some places blocked by possessions. In the
water heater, and the electrical panel. I       course of an inspection I take an average of     Consulting in 1994 and has also been an
photograph all of them with the covers off.     about 25 to 30 pictures. My report contains      expert witness throughout Pennsylvania and
You may include the washer/dryer if they        about 15 to 18 pictures. They are in a           New Jersey. He is a certified home inspector
are staying in the home. I also include the     separate section at the end of the report just   and conducts roofing seminars throughout the
water main. It is amazing how many people       before the summary page. I limit my report       United States.

The NAHI® Forum                                                                                                                Winter 2012 | 11
                   NAHI Educational
                   W E B I N A R S
                   Calling all NAHI Members! Mark your calendars for the third Thursday
                   of each month! All you need to participate is a computer with an
                   internet connection. Invitations to attend will be sent out via email
                   approximately 2-3 weeks before the presentation. Never participated
                   in a webinar before? See our FAQ’s (below) for details. Visit NAHI.org for
                   the most up-to-date schedule information.

                   Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
                   Q: What is a webinar?
                   A: A webinar is another term for a web conference or web meeting. Everyone is familiar
                   with the NAHI National Education Conference where members travel to a host city to
                   meet for educational sessions/trade show. A webinar allows people to “meet” over the
                   internet; no travel involved. Inspectors earn 1.5 CEUs for attending.

                   Q: How does it work?
                   A: There are two components: visual and audio. In a webinar, each participant sits at his/
                   her own computer and is connected to other participants via the internet. This is a web-
                   based application where the attendees will simply enter a “URL” or website address to
                   enter the live meeting. Participants can hear the audio through their computer’s speakers
                   or by dialing in via phone. There you go!

                   Q: Who can attend?
                   A: The webinars are open to any NAHI member.

                   Q: Is there a fee to attend?
                   A: Yes. The fee to attend is $25.

                   Q: How do I access the webinar?
                   A: Once you’ve registered, you will be forwarded two separate emails: a receipt and login
                   details including the url you will click to access the presentation. Login information will,
                   again, be forwarded to you one day and one hour before the presentation begins. If you
                   do not receive this email, please check your email spam filter or contact Tom at NAHI
                   Headquarters at tom@nahi.org or (800) 448-3942.

12 | Winter 2012                                                                             The NAHI® Forum
                                                                                                         By Lisa Parker, CRI
                                                                                                         Parker Training Services, LLC,
                                                                                                         Wellston, OH

         ere it is, 2012...(wow time flies) yet here we are still   First and foremost, photos are for OUR protection! We take
         having “conversations” about whether to use photos        photos not only of defects, but of all sides of the exterior,
         for inspection reports. Heck, some of you are still       and at least 2 angles of every room, attics, crawls spaces,
using the old triplicate pen and paper reports! Did I mention      etc., as they were on the day of the inspection. Then, should
THIS IS 2012!!!!!!????                                             someone later call with the “you missed it” you have a frame
If you are using the paper and pen method, please turn             of reference to look at, AND photographic evidence of
past this page, you are already not of this century and your       furnishings, “strategically placed clutter,” and design of the
competition has blown past you. Update or continue to lose         house when you were there. 99.9% of the time, these photos
business to those who are staying current on technology and        will benefit YOU.
training. And do NOT tell me you are “too old” to learn how        If your concern is giving the client too much to review,
to use the technology for reporting. We have had students          then include in your report only photos of deficiencies you
who are well into those “golden years” who leave our class         comment on. Other methods of handling photos are to issue
doing automated reporting and many have never used a               all the photos on a CD or memory stick for an additional fee
computer. These days there is an affordable system and a           and mail them later, or issue the photos with a 48 hour review
method of delivery that will work for you....find it!               disclaimer. At any rate, TAKE THE DAG GONE PICTURES!
“If you are using the paper and pen                                Another advantage of photos is the ability to archive them.
                                                                   We use an external drive. Again, should issues or lawsuits
method, please turn past this page, you                            arise you have photos to remind you of the house, and issues
are already not of this century and your                           you identified. You are also building a professional photo
competition has blown past you.”                                   library for your portfolio, and that library becomes priceless
                                                                   when you begin to expand your business and services.
At the 2010 conference in Nashville, there was a “heated”          I will gladly argue with any of you if you feel you should not
exchange with a presenter and a NAHI member on the
                                                                   be taking photos at an inspection.....but come well-armed. I
use of photos. The concern was “litigation.” Our entire
                                                                   am really good in “debating” ....AND THAT’s MY VENT!
profession is steeped in the concern for litigation! If you fear
your work that much, then you are not performing your              About the Author: Lisa Parker, along with her husband Calvin
task at hand properly. Use the proper contracts and due            Parker, CRI, has conducted inspections in Ohio for the past 18
diligence, and then do your job. THESE days, as reflected           years. With their partner Jim Vaughan, they operate Parker
again at the 2011 conference in Cincinnati, the expectation        Training Services, LLC, an inspector training school in several
is photos will be taken.                                           Midwestern states. ■

The NAHI® Forum                                                                                                         Winter 2012 | 13
           —Basement Cracks and Leaks—
                                          By Tom Feiza, “Mr. Fix-It, Inc.”, Waukesha, WI

           ost basements eventually show some signs of leaking and      CRACKS – THE GOOD AND THE BAD
           cracking. Through the years, problems with water, poor       How can you determine whether a crack is good or bad? There
           soils, grading, drainage and possible settling affect the    is no easy answer. It depends on the type of construction and the
integrity of a basement. We should know how to recognize small          history of the basement. Understanding basement cracks requires
problems and then take steps to avoid larger ones. Maintenance or       recognizing basic types and knowing how they occur. Take a good
simple repairs often eliminate the need for major expenses.             look at the sketches of various types of cracks. Which ones does
Let’s talk about typical basement cracking and the keys to              your basement have?
understanding whether the problem is serious. As you review the         What distinguishes a minor crack from a major problem? The key is
text, refer to basement wall sketches that depict various problems.     often the amount of wall movement. Any movement over 1/2 inch
THE BASIC BASEMENT PROBLEMS – CRACKS AND SEEPAGE                        signals a potentially serious problem. Any long horizontal crack at
Most damage to basements occurs slowly, over many years, and            the second or third mortar joint, under the top block or over the
homeowners may not notice a problem until there is a water leak or      bottom block combined with step cracks and inward movement
a major crack and wall movement. Homeowners should take some            indicates a problem. While step cracks near windows and corners
time to inspect the basement and its environment. A little common       are often not serious, if combined with floor cracks, shear, or
sense and simple maintenance will prevent potentially serious           vertical cracks, you should be concerned. Sound confusing? It is;
problems. Knowledge about changes in the foundation’s condition         read on.
is essential to recognizing problems. Remember, water is the real       TYPICAL BASEMENT CONSTRUCTION
threat to any foundation.                                               A typical basement or foundation is constructed to support the
Cracks can be signs of overload or excessive stress on a wall. As       home, resist lateral soil pressure, and to resist the movement
homes get older, cracks have a better chance to appear. Excessive       of frost. Often, in heating climates, basements are constructed
displacement, continuing movement, differential settlement, and         because the foundation must extend below the frost line – and
certain combinations of cracks are real problems we will discuss.       once you dig down four feet to get below the frost line, a full-
The exception – those little hairline cracks that appear in floors and   depth basement makes sense. In mild climates there is little or no
walls – are often caused by shrinkage and are not a concern since       frost, and the foundation often consists of a concrete slab on grade
they are just cosmetic in nature.                                       or a crawl space.
Seepage, another common problem,                                                                  A typical basement is constructed of
may occur in combination with                                                                     a footing or footer that supports the
cracks. However, seepage problems                                                                 basement walls and floor. The footing
are not always directly related to                                                                must rest on solid or undisturbed soil.
cracks. Seepage is often caused by                                                                The wall may be constructed of cement
surface water reaching the exterior of                                                            block, poured concrete, brick, stone, or
basement walls. Ineffective or poorly                                                             tile. In the past 80 years, most foundation
maintained drainage systems can also                                                              walls have been constructed of cement
allow seepage. If seepage and leaks                                                               block or poured concrete. The floor
continue after correcting drainage                                                                is poured concrete supported on the
and water removal systems, they need                                                              edges by the footing and in the center by
further investigation.                                                                            compacted gravel.
Remember: a dry basement may have                                                                 In areas with soils that don’t drain well,
serious cracks and structural problems,                                                           such as clay soil, a drain tile system is
while a leaky basement may be                                                                     often installed. Drain tiles (today “tiles”
structurally sound. Cracks, movement,                                                             are made of perforated plastic tubes) are
and leaks do not always go hand in                                                                laid outside or on the footing and inside
hand. Surface drainage issues often                                                               under the floor. Bleeders are installed
cause seepage problems. Wet soil from                                                             through the footing to allow water to pass
poor surface drainage causes leaks, and                                                           from the outside to the inside. The inside
pressure from the wet soil can cause                                                              tile is then connected to a sump pump
cracks and structural failures.                                                                   crock and sump pump. As water drains

14 | Winter 2012                                                                                                            The NAHI® Forum
into the crock and the level rises, the pump turns on and removes        STEP CRACKS
the water. (In some parts of the country the drain tiles may even be     Step cracks, stairstep cracks or stepping cracks all refer to cracks
connected to a combined sewer system through a check valve in the        that follow the mortar joints in a block wall. The cracks step up or
floor drain prior to 1954.)                                               down along the mortar. In many cases this type of crack is caused
                                            BLOCK OR POURED              by minor movement of the footing, shrinkage or wall movement,
                                            CONCRETE                     and by itself is not a major cause for concern; but wide cracks or
                                            WALLS                        step cracks combined with other cracks and movement indicate a
                                            A block or cement            problem.
                                            block wall is laid up like                                                        Step Cracks at
                                            a brick wall. Mortar is                                                           Windows and
                                            used to set the block                                                             Beam Ends
                                            in place and bond the                                                             Step cracks will
                                            block together. Today,                                                            often occur at
                                            a block is called a                                                               the weak point
                                            concrete masonry unit                                                             of a wallaround
                                            (CMU), and blocks                                                                 window
                                            are built to specific                                                              openings. Step
                                            engineering standards.                                                            cracks are
                                            Most blocks used                                                                  common at
                                            in basements have a                                                               “beam-end”
                                            hollow core. The term                                                             walls. At the
                                            block also refers to a                                                            beam-end
                                            cinder block – an old                                                             wall, the beam
                                            block that may have                                                               transfers a large
                                            some cinder or burnt                                                              point load to the
                                            coal content.                wall. The load often creates step cracks down and away from the
A block basement wall easily supports the weight of a home. Block        beam as the footing settles ever so slightly. Block walls do not like to
is very strong in compression. However, block walls, if subjected to     move but they do like to crack. A vertical crack may also occur at
horizontal pressure, have less strength than poured concrete. Some       the beam end wall, below the beam.
block walls are reinforced with special metal bars and grids built       Step Cracks Combined with Horizontal Shear
into the mortar joints for increased strength.
                                                                         Combinations of cracks often indicate a more serious problem. Step
The basement walls can also be made of poured concrete. These            cracks may be found with horizontal cracks, vertical cracks and wall
walls typically are stronger against horizontal pressure, and they       movement. A combination of cracks needs professional review.
easily support the weight of a home. The construction looks the
same except that poured concrete is substituted for cement block.                                                             VERTICAL
The texture inside the basement may be smooth or may be a                                                                     CRACKS
decorative brick texture.                                                                                                   Vertical (up and
In newer construction, grooves are often cut into the poured                                                                down) cracks
concrete wall or formed in the wall to control cracking. We know                                                            can be caused by
the walls will shrink and crack, because poured concrete shrinks                                                            simple shrinkage
about 5/8                                                                                                                   of materials.
inch per 100                                                                                                                These cracks
feet if the mix                                                                                                             often occur in
is properly                                                                                                                 the control joints
controlled                                                                                                                  of poured walls.
and weather                                                                                                                 They appear as
conditions are                                                                                                              hairline cracks in
correct. With a                                                                                                             mortar joints and
poor mix, extra                                                                                                             through blocks
water or poor                                                            in a cement block wall. Some vertical shrinkage cracks in poured
weather, the                                                             concrete can be up to 1/8 inch wide. Cracks in block walls should be
wall may shrink                                                          very narrow without horizontal movement.
even more. The
grooves allow
cracks to occur
in a controlled                                                                                      CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

The NAHI® Forum                                                                                                                  Winter 2012 | 15
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15                                                   Frost in exterior soil
                                                                         causes similar movement
Vertical cracks are an issue if they are wide, tapered from top to       and cracking as the frost
bottom, or found in combination with other cracks. They can occur        expands the soil.
because of settlement, wall movement, or tipping walls. Vertical         If soil settles behind a
cracks also occur if a wall is pushed in and breaks away from the        wall when the wall is
adjacent corner or surface. Vertical cracks with horizontal or shear     bowed seasonally, it
movement at the crack always indicate a problem.                         will remain displaced.
Vertical shear cracks at a corner with no horizontal cracks indicated    It cannot move back
a large amount of water freeing at the corner. In this case, the         against the soil.
center of the wall can be stable.                                        A horizontal crack can
                                                                         happen suddenly under
                                                                         adverse conditions.
                                                                         Rain and snowmelt
                                                                         combined with freezing
                                                                         temperatures can cause
                                                                         a wall to move and crack
                                                                         GREEN MORTAR HORIZONTAL CRACKS
                                                                         One type of horizontal crack may not be a concern if there is little
                                                                         movement and the mortar in the joint of the crack moves up
                                                                         and down inside the crack; sticking to the top block and then the
                                                                         lower block. It will look like a snake of mortar in the open crack.
                                                                         This crack is often called a “green mortar crack,” and it probably
                                                                         occurred during construction of the basement. No step cracks
                                                                         at the ends of a green mortar crack indicate no movement after
                                                                                                                    When a home is built, the
                                                                                                                    foundation is constructed
                                                                                                                    in a hole or excavation. As
                                                                                                                    soon as the block wall is
                                                                                                                    laid, backfill may be added
                                                                                                                    to the outside of the block
                                                                                                                    walls because construction
                                                                                                                    needs to move ahead. If
                                                                                                                    the walls are not braced
                                                                                                                    from the inside or if a large
                                                                                                                    bucket of dirt hits a fresh or
                                                                                                                    “green” wall, the wall can
                                                                                                                    be bounced out of plumb
                                                                                                                    and the joint cracks open.
                                                                                                                    Because the mortar is not
HORIZONTAL CRACKS                                                                                                   fully cured (“green”), it is
Horizontal (left to right) cracks can appear at the mortar joints in                                                still partially plastic, and it
block walls. They indicate that the wall is displaced horizontally. As                                              pulls away from the block.
the wall is pushed in, the joint opens up inside the basement, and a     Green mortar cracks are serious if combined with other cracks, if they
similar crack will occur outside near the base of the wall. Horizontal   continue to open up, or if there is significant displacement of the wall.
cracks are caused by wet soils, poor maintenance of surface water,
and frost. Horizontal cracks in block walls always need to be taken      Article will be continued in the NAHI Forum
seriously. A horizontal crack combined with step or vertical cracks      magazine Spring Issue with a discussion on Measure
indicates a problem. When the crack is over 1/8 inch wide and there      Displacement.
is horizontal wall movement of 1/2 inch or more, the problem needs
                                                                         About the Author: Tom Feiza, Engineer, Writer, Home Inspector,
to be addressed.
                                                                         Speaker, Tom Feiza - Mr. Fix-It, Inc., N8 W28892 Shepherds Way
Horizontal cracks will often change seasonally. When there is water      Waukesha, WI 53188, Tom@misterfix-it.com, Office - 262-303-4884,
in the soil, the soil may expand – a common trait of clay soils. When    Fax - 262-303-4883, Websites: www.htoyh.com; www.misterfix-it.com
the wet soil expands, the wall may be pushed in and the horizontal       (Books and Marketing Materials, Engineering Reports Information for
crack may open further. When the soil dries, the crack may close.        homeowners and home inspectors). ■

16 | Winter 2012                                                                                                               The NAHI® Forum
   Join us in Myrt le Beach!

      2012 NAHI
      National Education
      Sand, Surf and CEUs
      September 13-16, 2012
      Embassy Suites Myrtle Beach
      – Oceanfront Resort
      Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
      Mark your calendars! NAHI turns 25 in 2012 and
      we’ve got some exciting things planned. Join us
      on the beach for top notch education, access to
      the industry’s best suppliers, and much more!

The NAHI® Forum                                         Winter 2012 | 17
                                                                                                     By Forrest A. Lines, CRI,
                                                                                                     By-Lions Home Inspections,
                                                                                                     LLC, Blacklick, OH

                                 or this edition of Class Notes I      to the upcoming hustle and bustle of Christmas. It put us all in a
                                 am sending an article written by      festive mood, and laughter could be heard for most of the time we
                                 my wife Gail. This article will go    spent together.
                                 into our Ohio chapter newsletter      All those who made the choice to stay for more festivities were
                        in February. As I read my wife’s               rewarded with gifts for all the women present, an open bar social
                        comments, some things came to mind             hour, appetizers, dinner, a live performance of Christmas music,
                        that I would like to share with you.           and a passing out of gift cards and holiday centerpieces.
                          The home inspection business is similar      We witnessed a passing of the guard so to speak, as the new
                          to other businesses in a lot of ways, but    presidents for ASHI/ OHIO (Ken Harrington) and NAHI/ OHIO
has some unique twists. These twists are the reasons we stay up        (Kent Sauber) were introduced. The Bill Kozusko award (NAHI)
late at night and rant and rave at dinner. We carry on about the       and the James Thompson award (ASHI) were also heartfeltly given
shape of the houses we inspect. We also go on about how little         and received.
we charge and how much responsibility we assume. Certainly
                                                                       As I was lunching, touring, and listening to singing, I was also
last but far from least is the realtor that questions our findings or
                                                                       getting to know everyone. I learned how the inspectors got into the
sugar coats them to our client.
                                                                       business, how much their wives support them, and how proud these
So we talk all through dinner about these things and to whom do        men are of their businesses and their wives.
we speak? The answer is our wife, husband, or significant other.
                                                                       As the evening progressed, I began to realize how much Forrest and
My wife is kind and understanding and answers me with things
                                                                       I had in common with these people and I began to view them as
like “no kidding”, and “Oh that’s too bad”, and, too often, “what
                                                                       friends and not just acquaintances.
do you expect?”.
                                                                       Because of that experience, I know that I will be more tolerant and
The point I would like to leave you with is that they support
                                                                       understanding of the hours my husband spends returning emails
what we do. They stick by us in both good times and bad. They
                                                                       and phone calls. He will be talking to friends that I know and not
sit alone while we input reports in the evening and shut the
                                                                       just faceless business associates who are keeping me away from time
door to our office when we are talking too loud on the phone. I
                                                                       with my guy.
want to thank my wife Gail and all others who are so kind and
understanding. Their support makes our business more bearable          I rated the day a total success and I believe that everyone who
when things don’t go as we planned.                                    attended feels the same. My hope is that more inspectors will come
                                                                       in the future; for the education, but also…….
                                                                       FOR THE FRIENDSHIPS THAT CAN BE MADE AND
My Wife Gail’s Letter                                                  CHERISHED.
December 3, 2011 was the second annual ASHI OHIO/NAHI                  Happy Holidays to all. Gail Lines
OHIO Seminar and Christmas Celebration. While the inspectors
got first rate information and education, the wives enjoyed a
festive lunch at the Worthington Inn followed by a tour through        About the Author: Forrest is owner of By-Lions Home Inspections,
the Orange Johnson House (a historical home in the heart of            LLC in Blacklick, Ohio. He has been in the business for 12 years.
Worthington). The lunch and tour were organized and planned            Forrest opened the ITA school in Ohio and was managing instructor
by Marianna Buell. It was a great way to have all the wives get to     there for 3 years. Forrest is president of the Ohio chapter of NAHI
know each other and provided a much needed and deserved start          and currently sits on the national Board of Directors. ■
18 | Winter 2012
Annual Chimney Inspections:
by Melissa Heeke, Chimney Safety Institute of America, Plainfield, IN

        hroughout history, fire has been       system. Whichever form it takes, creosote
        crucial to human existence.           is highly combustible. If it builds up in
        Primitive people relied on fire to     sufficient quantities – and the internal
cook their food, keep them warm and           flue temperature is high enough – the
provide light. Although we no longer          result could be a chimney fire. Certain
depend on fire in quite the same way,          conditions encourage the buildup of
images of children around campfires            creosote. Restricted air supply, unseasoned
and holiday gatherings around an open         wood and, cooler than normal chimney
fireplace abound. Our use of fire has           temperatures are all factors that can
changed over the centuries, so too have       accelerate the buildup of creosote on
fireplaces and heating appliances that         chimney flue walls. Air supply may be
contain the fire and make it useful. One       restricted by closing the glass doors, failing
thing that has not changed is that the        to open the damper wide enough, and
performance of the fireplace remains           the lack of sufficient make-up air to move
dependent upon proper construction and        heated smoke up the chimney rapidly (the
effective maintenance.                        longer the smoke’s “residence time” in the
Annual chimney inspections by a               flue, the more likely is it that creosote will
qualified professional are recommended         form). A wood stove’s air supply can be
to help prevent chimney fires and carbon       limited by closing down the stove damper
monoxide intrusion. This article will         or air inlets too soon or too much. Burning
provide you with a better understanding       unseasoned wood – because so much
of these dangers and the steps that a CSIA    energy is used initially just to drive off the
Certified Chimney Sweep will take to           water trapped in the cells of the logs– keeps
determine (and address) the root cause of     the resulting smoke cooler than if seasoned
those issues.                                 wood is used. In the case of wood stoves,
                                              overloading the firebox with wood in an
PREVENTING CHIMNEY FIRES                      attempt to get a longer burn time also
                                              contributes to creosote buildup.
At the most basic level, fireplaces and
stoves are designed to safely contain         HOW CHIMNEY FIRES HURT
fires, while providing heat for a home,        CHIMNEYS
regardless of fuel type. The chimneys
that serve them have the job of expelling     Masonry Chimneys
the by-products of combustion – the           When a chimney fire occurs in a masonry
substances produced when fuel burns.          chimney – whether the flue is an older,
These include smoke, water vapor, gases,      unlined type or tile-lined to meet current
unburned wood particles, hydrocarbon,         safety codes – the high temperatures at
tar fog and assorted minerals. As these       which they burn (around 2000°F) can melt
substances exit the fireplace, wood stove      mortar, crack tiles, cause liners to collapse
or furnace and flow up into the relatively     and damage the outer masonry material.
cooler chimney, condensation occurs. The      Most often, thermal shock occurs and
resulting residue that sticks to the inner    tiles crack and mortar is displaced, which
walls of the chimney is called creosote.      provides a pathway for flames to reach
Creosote is black or brown in appearance.     the combustible wood frame of the house.
It can be crusty and flaky; tar-like, drippy   This event is extremely dangerous. Call 911
and sticky; or shiny and hardened. Often,     immediately.
all forms will occur in one chimney           CONTINUED ON PAGE 20
The NAHI® Forum                                                                                Winter 2012 | 19
Pre-Fabricated, Factory-Built, Metal Chimneys                           Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Environmental
To be installed in most jurisdictions in the United States, factory-    Protection Agency, the National Fire Protection Association, and
built metal chimneys that are designed to vent wood burning stoves      the American Lung Association are some of the organizations that
or pre-fabricated metal fireplaces must pass special tests. Most tests   now encourage regular maintenance of home heating systems and
require the chimney to withstand flue temperatures up to 2100°F –        their chimneys in order to keep carbon monoxide at bay.
without sustaining damage. Under chimney fire conditions, damage         A well-tuned furnace or boiler – connected to a venting system
to these systems may still occur. When factory-built metal chimneys     or flue that is correctly-sized, structurally-sound, clean and free
are damaged by a chimney fire, they should no longer be used and         of blockages – will operate efficiently and produce a warm and
must be replaced.                                                       comfortable home.
SPECIAL EFFECTS ON WOOD STOVES                                          Consumer confidence in the convenience and safety of today’s
                                                                        home heating systems is usually well-placed. The oil and gas heating
Wood stoves are made to contain hot fires. The connector pipes that
                                                                        industries have achieved impressive safety records. Nonetheless,
run from the stove to the chimney are another matter. They cannot
                                                                        over 200 people across the nation are known to die each year from
withstand the high temperatures produced during a chimney fire
                                                                        carbon monoxide poisoning caused by problems in the venting
and can warp, buckle and even separate from the vibrations created
                                                                        of toxic gases produced by their home heating systems. This is
by air turbulence during a fire. If damaged by a chimney fire, they
                                                                        according to statistics compiled by the U.S. Consumer Product
must be replaced.
                                                                        Safety Commission. Other agencies estimate actual numbers at
PREVENTING CARBON MONOXIDE INTRUSION                                    between 2,000 and 4,000.
When most homeowners think of fireplaces or furnaces, it is natural      In addition, around 10,000 cases of carbon monoxide-related
that they think solely of wood burning appliances. Considering          “injuries” are diagnosed each year. Because the symptoms of
the risks involved when gas or oil systems are neglected - and          prolonged, low-level carbon monoxide poisoning mimic the
the benefits that accrue when they are properly maintained -             symptoms of common winter ailments (headaches, nausea,
homeowners would do well to have those chimneys checked                 dizziness, fatigue and even seasonal depression), many cases are not
annually.                                                               detected until permanent, subtle damage to the brain, heart and
                                                                        other organs and tissues has occurred. The difficulty of diagnosis
In the United States, numerous agencies and organizations now
                                                                        also means the number of people affected may be even higher.
recognize the importance of annual heating system inspection and
maintenance in preventing carbon monoxide poisoning. The U.S.           CONTINUED ON PAGE 21

20 | Winter 2012                                                                                                             The NAHI® Forum
Why is poisoning from carbon monoxide on the rise? And why does        to standardize the services provided by chimney professionals
it stem primarily from home heating systems that, at first glance,      nationally.
seem the same as those that have been used safely for years?           Below is an explanation of the three levels of inspections and what
• Today’s houses are more airtight. Homeowners are aware of            services CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps are expected to provide for
  the cost of heating drafty homes and have taken steps to seal up     each level.
  windows, doors and other areas of air infiltration. Consequently,     • Level 1 inspection - If the appliance or venting system has not
  there is less fresh air coming into a home and not as many             changed and you plan to use the system as you have in the
  pathways for stale or polluted air to leave it. And, when furnaces     past, a Level 1 inspection is a minimum requirement. A Level
  and boilers are starved of the oxygen needed to burn fuels             1 inspection is recommended for a chimney under continued
  completely, carbon monoxide is produced.                               service, under the same conditions, and with the continued use of
• Manufacturers have designed new, high-technology heating               the same appliance.
  appliances with greater efficiency to help us save money, conserve    In a Level 1 inspection, the chimney service technician should
  natural resources, and decrease environmental pollution. However,    examine the readily accessible portions of the chimney exterior,
  the new breed of high-efficiency gas and oil furnaces, when vented    interior and accessible portions of the appliance and the chimney
  in to existing chimney flues, often do not perform at an optimum      connection. The technician will be looking for the basic soundness
  level. The differences in performance create conditions that allow   of the chimney structure and flue as well as the basic appliance
  toxic gases to more easily enter home living spaces.                 installation and connections. The technician will also verify the
These conditions point out a number of older, ongoing problems         chimney is free of obstruction and combustible deposits.
that still require detection and correction in order to prevent        • Level 2 Inspection – A Level 2 inspection is required when any
toxic gases from filtering into the house. These include damaged          changes are made to the system. Changes can include a change
or deteriorating flue liners, soot build-up, debris clogging the          in the fuel type, changes to the shape of, or material in, the flue
passageway and animal or bird nests obstructing chimney flues.            (i.e. relining), or the replacement or addition of an appliance
CARING FOR YOUR CHIMNEYS & FLUES                                         of a dissimilar type, input rating or efficiency. Additionally, the
                                                                         NFPA 211 indicates that a Level 2 inspection is required upon the
When gas and oil burn in vented heating systems, in order to             sale or transfer of a property or after an operation malfunction
produce household heat, the dangerous fumes that are by-products         or external event that is likely to have caused damage to the
of combustion range from soot (particulate matter) to nitrogen           chimney. Building fires, chimney fires, seismic events as well as
dioxide (also toxic) to acidic water vapors formed when moisture         weather events are all indicators that this level of inspection is
condenses. None of these pollutants should be allowed to leak from       warranted. A Level 2 inspection is a more in-depth inspection
the chimney into the living space.                                       than a Level 1 inspection.
In addition to carrying off toxic gases, chimneys also create the      A Level 2 inspection includes everything in a Level 1 inspection,
draft (flow of air) that provides the proper air and fuel mixture for   plus the accessible portions of the chimney exterior and interior
efficient operation of the heating appliance. Unfortunately, many       including attics, crawl spaces and basements. It will address proper
chimneys in daily use in homes throughout the country either are       clearances from combustibles in accessible locations.
improperly sized or have conditions that make them unable to
perform their intended function.                                       There are no specialty tools (i.e. demolition equipment) required to
                                                                       open doors, panels or coverings in performing a Level 2 inspection.
                                                                       A Level 2 inspection shall also include a visual inspection by video
                                                                       scanning or other means in order to examine the internal surfaces and
                                                                       joints of all flue liners incorporated within the chimney. No removal
                                                                       or destruction of permanently attached portions of the chimney or
                                                                       building structure or finish shall be required by a Level 2 inspection.

                                                                                                               The Chimney Safety
                                                                                                               Institute of America
                                                                                                               provides educational
CSIA recommends annual chimney inspections for all appliances
                                                                                                               opportunities for
regardless of the fuel they burn. Annual inspections allow for early
                                                                                                               professionals in the industry.
identification of possible problems. Photo courtesy of Chimney Safety
                                                                                                               Photo courtesy of Chimney
Institute of America.
                                                                                                               Safety Institute of America.
In 2000, the National Fire Protection Association adopted three
levels of inspection into the NFPA 211 (Standard for Chimneys,         CONTINUED ON PAGE 22
Fireplaces, Vents and Solid Fuel Burning Appliance) as a method

The NAHI® Forum                                                                                                               Winter 2012 | 21
• Level 3 Inspection – When a Level 1 or Level 2
  inspection suggests a hidden hazard and the evaluation         Which Level of Chimney
  cannot be performed without special tools to access
  concealed areas of the chimney or flue, a Level 3
  inspection is recommended. A Level 3 inspection
                                                                 Inspection is Appropriate?
  addresses the proper construction and the condition
  of concealed portions of the chimney structure and             Situation                                NFPA 211
  the flue. Removal or destruction, as necessary, of
  permanently attached portions of the chimney or
                                                                                                          Level of Inspection
  building structure will be required for the completion of
  a Level 3 inspection.
                                                                 • Annual Inspection                      LEVEL 1
A Level 3 inspection includes all the areas and items
                                                                 • Routine Cleaning of Flue
checked in a Level 1 and a Level 2 inspection, as well as the
removal of certain components of the building or chimney         • Direct Replacement of a
where necessary. Removal of components (i.e., chimney              Similar Appliance
crown, interior chimney wall) shall be required only when
necessary to gain access to areas that are the subject of the
inspection.                                                      • Upon any sale or transfer              LEVEL 2
                                                                   of property.
                                                                 • After an operating malfunction
While CSIA recommends that home inspectors consider                or an external event is likely to
referring chimney inspections to a CSIA Certified
Chimney Sweep®, the organization offers these three                have caused damage to the
additional straightforward tips to help find a qualified             chimney.
chimney professional:                                            • Addition or removal of one or
  1. Verify advertised credentials. Reputable national             more connected appliances, or the
  credentials must be renewed on a regular basis to                replacement of an appliance with
  remain valid. Check with the organization granting the           one of a different type, a different
  credentials to be sure the individual you hire holds the
                                                                   input rating or a different
  credential he or she advertises.
  2. Ask for and check references. Conscientious
                                                                 • Prior to relining or replacement
  companies will have references available from previous
  clients and are eager to share reports from local                of the flue lining.
  consumer advocacy organizations such as the Better
  Business Bureau or Angie’s List.                               • Where necessary for the                LEVEL 3
  3. Learn the language of chimneys to level the playing           investigation of an incident which
  field. The interactive fireplace glossary at www.csia.org          has caused damage to the chimney
  outlines the thirteen most important terms you need to           or building.
  know to communicate with any professional chimney
  sweep. The site also offers short presentations on             • Where a hazard is detected or
  chimney sweeping and inspection processes.                       suspected as the result of a Level 1
                                                                   or a Level 2 inspection and the
About the Author: Melissa Heeke, CAE is the Director
of Communications & Marketing for the Chimney Safety               suspected hazard cannot be fully
Institute of America. She serves as CSIA’s primary contact for     evaluated without access
media relations, affiliated trades and homeowner outreach.          to concealed areas.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America, as a non-profit
educational institute, has established the CSIA Certified         • A Level 3 inspection may be
Chimney Sweep® credential in keeping with the CSIA’s               required when the construction
commitment to the safety and efficiency of chimney and              of all or part of the chimney is
venting systems and to the elimination of residential chimney      deemed critical to the renewed
fires, carbon monoxide intrusion, and other chimney and             or continued use of the chimney
vent-related hazards. ■
                                                                   due to potential concealed

22 | Winter 2012                                                                                                 The NAHI® Forum
                           The Inspector’s Exchange Corner
                                     By Richard Alexis, CRI, Accurate Building Inspection Service, Inc., Hollywood, FL

        his article of the new EXCHANGE          speak about medical effects of mold other      Additionally, the two publications I wrote
        CORNER subject dealing with              than to say that you are not a physician       about in the last Forum (1) The ANSI/
        moisture and mold related issues         and are not capable of answering medical-      IICRC S520-2008 Standard and Reference
will cover a few suggestions regarding your      related questions.                             Guide for Professional Mold Remediation
reply to various questions typically asked                                                      and 2) The ANSI IICRC S500 Standard and
by concerned clients and those associated        In my report I provide the following           Reference Guide for Professional Water
with the overall inspection results process.     paragraph regarding ‘Health Effects’.          Damage Restoration have wording that
                                                 Please feel free to use this wording if        is of value to those looking for suggested
To begin with I will not speak to anyone         you like. “This report is not intended to      report wording and additional information
other than my client (the individual(s)          render medical judgments. Health-related       on the subject of mold.
who signed my pre-inspection contract)           questions or concerns must be addressed
about any phase of the inspection without        (along with the laboratory results) by a       Finally, a great publication put out by
my clients’ permission. While you may feel       qualified physician to give appropriate         the EPA for you to provide to your client
pressured by the seller’s agent or by the        clinical meaning. This report is based on      about mold is: “A Brief Guide to Mold
seller to answer a question or two that he       the assessment, my findings, and upon my        Moisture and Your Home,” [publication
or she is curious about, my reply is usually     professional expertise with no warranty or     number] EPA 402-K-02-003.
“I’m sorry but I can’t answer that at this       guarantee implied herein.”
time. I need to speak with my client about                                                      This may be available at www.epa.gov/iaq.
the issues I find during my inspection and        I also provide the following paragraph         Put the publication number into the search
ask if they will allow me to answer any of       regarding ‘Exposure Levels’ in my reports.     box and hit search. It will bring you to the
your questions.”                                 “Currently there are no governmental or        page with the book available. You may have
                                                 industry guidelines regarding acceptable       to print the 16-page pamphlet yourself as
This is a strict policy I hold near and dear                                                    I am not sure if it’s available in print any
                                                 levels of microbial agents. Additionally,
to my heart. After all, the client is paying                                                    longer, but before you print it call to see if
                                                 researchers are still trying to better
us good money to represent them and                                                             it’s still available. (I used to get 50 copies at a
                                                 understand microbial agents and their
provide an unbiased and factual report of                                                       time for my clients and realtors.)
                                                 affect on individuals. Because of this,
the conditions of the house or commercial
                                                 industry guidelines for water damage           I trust this has provided you with some
building at the time of the inspection.
                                                 conditions are based on current knowledge      new and useful information for your tool
Incidentally, I had an instructor that
                                                 and thus recommend prudent procedures          box. I wish you luck in the coming months
continually repeated that “we are there for
the house,” meaning that we do not sway          to prevent the hazards associated with         and, like I always say, be safe, be prepared,
our findings one way or another. What             exposure to microbial agents.”                 & be professional.
is present and visible is what we report,        Both of these were the result of extensive     As usual feel free to send your questions
period. Whether we share that with the           on-line research and were found on either      or comments. If you choose to remain
sellers at the time of the inspection is up to   an EPA site or another reputable source.       anonymous I will respect that request.
your client and no one else.
                                                 My recommendation to you is NOT to             Remember…this is your FORUM. Let’s
Another important subject which typically        use any wording from a web site that is        raise the bar…TOGETHER.
comes up in questions is the possible            not a highly respected site with credible
                                                 accreditations. Wording from such sources       PLEASE send your questions or comments
health effects of mold and water intrusion
                                                 as the various AIHA (American Industrial       to me at: AccurateInfo @ aol.com
related damages. In the class I instruct at
Miami Dade College, within the first few          Hygiene Association) publications, as
                                                                                                (PLEASE include your company name, city
minutes of the first class I ask the following    well as the ACGIH (American Conference         and state for my records)
question of the attendees: “Who here is a        of Governmental Industrial Hygienists)
state licensed Physician?” Naturally when        publication ‘Bioaerosols Assessment            About the Author: Richard is a NAHI CRI,
no one raises their hand we have a very          and Control’ are top level resource            a FABI RPI and an IAQA & ACAC CIE
clear and concise fact, NO ONE is licensed       publications. These are relatively expensive   as well as the Educational Director of the
and therefore no one may make a medical          however, so my suggestion is to check          NAHI Florida Chapter. He’s also an Adjunct
determination. NO ONE, unless you are            them out from your local library for your      Instructor at Miami Dade College teaching
a doctor, should offer, reply to, answer, or     research.                                      Environmental & Mold courses. ■
The NAHI® Forum                                                                                                                  Winter 2012 | 23
      We are still accepting NAHI Award nominations. If
      you would like to nominate a deserving NAHI member,
      company, or chapter for one of the following awards, please
      send your nominations to Julia Kloehn at julia@nahi.org
      and include the inspector, company or chapter name as well
      as a brief description of why they are deserving of the award.
      Awards will be presented at the 2012 National Education
      Conference in Myrtle Beach.

24 | Winter 2012                                                       The NAHI® Forum
        Look to your chapter leaders and members for “stand-out” NAHI members.
        What better way to recognize them for their efforts and contributions to NAHI.

        Affiliate of the Year Award
        The Affiliate of the Year award is available to any current NAHI Affiliate Member who promotes NAHI to the general
        public and other home inspectors and strives to improve the home inspection industry through training, services, or

        Chapter Award
        The Chapter Award is available to any chapter who has gone beyond the call of duty to create, promote and operate
        a chapter. Chapters will be judged on enthusiasm, growth of members, legislative presence, and quality/quantity of
        chapter events.

        Lifetime Achievement Award
        The Lifetime Achievement Award is available to any current NAHI member who has supported NAHI by actively
        participating for at least 10 years and serving on the National Board of Directors. Applicants will be considered
        based on the following criteria: exemplary leadership, creativity and innovation, accomplishments, and personal
        development. This award is not presented annually.

        Member of the Year Award
        The Member of the Year Award is available to any current NAHI CRI member with over five years of service to NAHI
        who has demonstrated a passion for NAHI and the professional development of the home inspection industry.

        Educator of the Year Award
        The Educator of the Year Award is available to the affiliate member who has increased NAHI membership by bringing
        in the most new members in a calendar year. The recipient must be an instructor at a home inspection training school.

        Spirit of NAHI Award
        The Spirit of NAHI Award is available to any home inspector or affiliate that has promoted the spirit of friendship and
        cooperation which is the driving force of NAHI.

        Ross Landau Award
        This award was created and presented to Mr. Ross Landau at the 2003 National Education Conference in Clearwater,
        Florida. The Ross Landau Award is presented to a home inspector who has dedicated most of their time, energy, and
        loyalty to the growth and development of NAHI as a volunteer through thought, word and deed. This special award is
        not given annually.

        Advocate of the Year Award
        This award is presented to any NAHI Circle of Advocates member who, in partnership with NAHI’s National
        Legislative Committee, epitomizes through his/her actions, an unwavering commitment to ensuring the public policy
        goals of NAHI and its members are represented on the local level, in the state house, or in the Congress.

        Top Calibre Award
        A NAHI member who has stood out as contributing to the growth and benefit of NAHI over the past year. ■

The NAHI® Forum                                                                                                             Winter 2012 | 25
                                  Welcome to NAHI!
                      NEW MEMBERS FROM OCTOBER 16 - DECEMBER 15, 2011!

            ALABAMA                  NORTH DAKOTA           Canada
             Darrin Swan              Pamella Fultz         ALBERTA
             Justin B. Morrison      OHIO                    Dan Levia
            ARIZONA                  TJ Place               Congratulations to the
             Michael Murphy          Edward Pflaum           following members who
            CALIFORNIA               Timothy Brandt         have earned the CRI
            Gordon Hodgson           Steve Parton           designation!
            COLORADO                 PENNSYLVANIA           Thomas Atsatt, CRI
            Todd Brualdi              Jonathan Musselman    Frederick Freer, CRI
            Kenneth D. Lamb           Clifford Ardinger     Roger Kautz, CRI
            Richard Patterson         Omar Sewell           Douglas Laurent, CRI
                                      James M. Platt        James Makara, CRI
                                     RHODE ISLAND           Jesse Makainai, III, CRI
             Gary C. Mulka
                                      James Lamorge         Don Roussin, CRI
             Brett Marko
             Joshua D. Sapp           Ernest L. Silvio
             Wade White              TEXAS
            GEORGIA                   Scott Mick
            Kurt Puterbaugh           Wendell Moore
            Daniel Bacinsky           Bryan Boyd
                                      Jackson M. Owen, II
             Andrew Le Boeuf         VERMONT
                                      Patrick A. Call
             Eugene Knuth            WEST VIRGINIA
             Lyle Grate              Aaron Frasher
                                     David Byrd
                                     Gilbert L. Schneider
             Samuel D. Rayburn
                                     Richard L. Skiles
            David L. Phillips
                                     Mark Kilian
            Rusty Elliot

26 | Winter 2012                                                                The NAHI® Forum
The NAHI® Forum   Winter 2012 | 27
                                          Wacky Photos

     I have to plunge the kitchen drain all the time!          Atomic bomb or hot water storage tank?
     Photo submitted by Roland Weller, Franklin County       Photo submitted by James P. Krausmann, CRI,
              Office on Aging, Columbus, OH               Krausmann Home Inspection Services, Grosse Pointe, MI

28 | Winter 2012                                                                                 The NAHI® Forum
                                           Wacky Photos
                                                         Discount bidet
                                                         with a non GFI
                                                          electric outlet.
                                                        Who waits around
                                                         for the water to
                                                            warm up?
                                                          Photo submitted
                                                            by James P.
                                                         Krausmann, CRI,
                                                         Krausmann Home
                                                        Inspection Services,
             Get ready for a light show!                 Grosse Pointe, MI

    Photo submitted by James P. Krausmann, CRI,
Krausmann Home Inspection Services, Grosse Pointe, MI

The NAHI® Forum                                               Winter 2012 | 29
30 | Winter 2012   The NAHI® Forum
                  ADVERTISE RS
                                          W I N T ER 2012

                                        An advertising
                                         home that’s
                                        right for you.

       Allen Insurance Group | 11
                                         Advertise in
       America’s Call Center | 6         The NAHI Forum
       FREA | 27                         and on the NAHI® website
       Homexam | 12

       HomeGauge | 5
       Inspector Pro Insurance | 20      For further information contact
       Palm-Tech Home Inspection
       Software | 30                     c/o Brenda Riner
                                         4248 Park Glen Road
       Professional Equipment | 2        Minneapolis, MN 55416
       RTCA | 29
       Target Insurance Services | 28    (800) 448-3942
                                         p: (952) 928-4641
       Tom Feiza,                        f: (952) 929-1318
       Mr. Fix-It, Inc. | 6

                                         Mark your calendar for
                                         the Spring 2012 issue
                                         advertising deadline –
                                         March 15, 2012.

The NAHI® Forum                                                            Winter 2012 | 31
    4248 Park Glen Road
    Minneapolis, Minnesota 55416

 Take the NAHI
 Virtual Home
 Inspection Tour!
 Visit www.nahi.org
 This comprehensive tour has eight sections
 that display photographic examples and audio
 clips of what a home inspector may inspect
 during an inspection. Audio scripts and
 photographs were written and chosen based
 on NAHI’s Standards of Practice. This tour
 will help homeowners better understand the
 processes and procedures that every NAHI
 home inspector follows while inspecting
 a home. Check it out today, or even better,
 post a link to the tour on your own website.
 Instructions for doing so can be found on

32 | Winter 2012                                The NAHI® Forum

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