Environmental Inspection in Boca Raton, FL

Boca Raton Real Estate

Homes that appear perfect can harbor serious health hazards that have yet to be discovered. The current owner may know nothing about them. Most home inspectors can perform the proper tests to ensure that your home is as safe as it can be. Here are some important tips:

1. Inspect your home inspector before the home inspection.
Most states do not require the licensing of a home inspector. In most cases, if you have a problem with a major defect after settlement that was not disclosed to you by the home inspector, the inspector's financial liability to you is limited to the inspection fee that was paid. So do your homework to determine that your home inspector is competent and has the ability to provide all necessary environmental inspections, such as water, radon and lead testing in addition to the general home inspection. Simply being a member of a trade association, or being "popular" in the neighborhood does not constitute competency or guarantee that you are going to be satisfied with the home inspection. Additionally, you are going to spend two to three hours with your inspector going through the home you are contemplating purchasing and will want to make sure that the inspector's personality and disclosure style are compatible with your expectations. You can receive a free "Hiring a Home Inspector Checklist" from www.hometest.com, a national, independent authority on the home inspection process.

2. Make sure the Boca Raton Florida home inspection contingency is properly worded.
The Boca Raton Florida home inspection contingency specifies what items in the home you have the right to inspect and under what terms and conditions you can require the seller to repair items or allow you to cancel the contract. Home inspection contingencies can be of a specific nature, whereby you are only allowed to inspect specific items, or can be of a general nature, where you are allowed to inspect the home for any structural, mechanical or environmental concerns. It is important to make sure that your Boca Raton Florida home inspection contingency is a general contingency that gives you a ten day opportunity, after signing the sales contract, to hire a home inspector of your choice to inspect the Boca Raton property for any structural, mechanical and environmental concerns that you or the inspector may decide to inspect. The contingency should give you the right to decide to not proceed with the purchase of the home, or ask the seller to make appropriate repairs. Additionally, the removal of a contingency should stipulate as to how and by whom the repairs will be made and that the repair will be verified to be satisfactory by your home inspector prior to settlement as part of the final walk through process. For a free guide that includes recommended wording for your home inspection contingency, visit hometest.com.

3. Make sure your Boca Raton Florida home inspection includes environmental inspections.
Determining if your new home is environmentally healthy is as important as determining if it is structurally and mechanically sound. An overwhelming amount of information from recent studies shows that environmental hazards in homes are contributing to chronic diseases. Although there are a host of environmental issues that can affect your health, the primary issues in housing are drinking water, radon, lead dust and mold and mildew. Read more about important environmental aspects to consider before you purchase a home.

4. Test the water.
Safe water for drinking cooking and bathing is an absolute necessity for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, a significant number of homes do not contain water that is considered to be safe or healthy. Most public water supplies obtain their water from underground aquifers. The water is tested and treated for contaminants found in the water. Although water leaving a public water supply may be tested and considered safe before leaving the plant, it must travel through underground piping that may be old and deteriorating and may contain lead and other contaminants that leach into the water. Additionally, the plumbing supply in the home may contain lead solder or have lead in fixtures that may contaminate the water. Private wells obtain their water from aquifers just as many municipal systems, however the water is not tested and treated for contaminants that are commonly found by the municipal system. As a result, the testing of the private well is solely up to the homeowner. Most lenders will require that the well water is tested, but many only request a bacteria test. To learn more about water testing and testing products that can be used by your home inspector visit www.hometest.com.

5. Test for radon.
Radon is a radioactive gas that has been in found in homes across the United States. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breath. Radon typically moves up through the ground and into your home through the foundation. Radon enters through cracks and holes in the foundation and can even seep through the foundation itself. Once radon is in your home it becomes trapped as a result of modern homes lacking a significant amount of ventilation. Additionally, radon can enter the home through well water. Any home can have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements. In fact, it is estimated that nearly one out of every fifteen homes in the United States is estimated to have elevated radon levels. Elevated levels of radon gas have been found in homes in every state. Radon gas is listed as a Class One human lung carcinogen. Prolonged exposure to high levels of radon gas can cause lung cancer. As a result, the EPA and the office of the Surgeon General recommend that all homes be tested for the presence of radon. Because radon is invisible and odorless, a simple test is the only way to determine if a home has high radon levels. In the event the test should reveal a high level of radon, mitigation systems costing between $800-$2000 can be installed to correct the situation. For more information on radon testing kits that can be used by your home inspector visit www.hometest.com.

6. Test for lead.
Lead is one of the most toxic elements known to man. It was used extensively for many years in residential paint and was not banned in the United States until 1978. As a result, over 75% of the nations housing contains lead-based paint. Exposure to lead causes permanent damage to the nervous system, especially in children and pets. The Centers for Disease Control name lead poisoning as the number one preventable environmental disease affecting our nations' children. Exposure to lead causes reduced I.Q., reading and learning disabilities, reduced attention span, even Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Lead paint exposure is normally not a result of chewing on lead paint chips. Rather, it is a result of being exposed to invisible lead dust that may be on windowsills and floors in the home. As the lead paint ages and deteriorates, or is disturbed by repainting or remodeling, invisible lead dust is created. Normal vacuuming does not remove the lead dust because the small particles pass through the bags and filter. In the event a home has a lead dust problem, it can normally be corrected by paint stabilization through repainting and specialized cleaning using a special HEPA vacuum. It is important to dust test any home built prior to 1978, especially if you have children or pets. Lead dust testing can be accomplished by a home inspector, environmental inspector, or can be done by the homeowner upon moving into the home. Visit www.hometest.com for more information on lead dust testing products, as well as a complete kit on maintaining a lead safe home.

[ ..More About Boca Raton Environmental Inspection ]

Home Search
Price Range:
Zip Code:
Zip Code City Name Keyword(s)  


Purchasing a home without the services of a licensed Realtor can lead to delays and contractual misrepresentations.

These pages are not intended to replace the services of your realtor.