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We’re Hiring! Apply Now!

Licensed NC Home Inspector
Full-time job
Triad Area, NC.
Job Requirements:
Must have an active NC Home Inspector License, or close to completion in a pre-licensing program.
Ideal candidate would possess the following skills:
Strong attention to detail.
Understand the importance of quality and consistent customer service.
Basic knowledge of residential home systems and components.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Great listening skills.
Proficient computer skills.
Have the aptitude and mental ability to problem solve and conduct professional conversations with real estate agents and customers.
A great attitude, good presence, and energy.
Integrity and strong work ethic.
Punctual and ability to work unsupervised.
A valid driver’s license and insurance.
Must be able to work in various weather conditions, climb ladders, walk on roofs, access crawl space, enter attics as well as stand for long periods of time.
Available to work some evenings and weekends.
Contact us to apply!

NCLHIA Conference

In North Carolina, the home inspector licensure board requires that all home inspectors complete continuing education each year to ensure inspectors are kept up to date on important topics in our state.

Our industry is very vibrant and there are many organizations inspectors can associate with in order to obtain continuing education credits. This past week, we attended the North Carolina Licensed Home Inspector Associations conference held at the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord. We believe in NCLHIA’s vision and standards for North Carolina home inspectors. The conference was held from Wednesday through Saturday. We received valuable training in HVAC systems, adhered masonry and stucco, and an update on NC requirements for energy loss from homes. We were able to learn from several speakers in addition to the required education component and network with vendors who offer services that can help our clients. NCLHIA is a large organization, so we were also able to meet with other inspectors from across the state and discuss what common themes inspectors are seeing out in the field.  When several inspectors are talking about the same issues popping up, awareness of these problems helps us all become better inspectors.

Home Inspection is an ever-changing profession, and there is always more to learn. This was a very valuable trip and are excited to implement what we learned so that we can better serve you, our clients.

I Fried My Hair Dryer in England

Okay, I didn’t really do this, but there are plenty of people who have! This blog talks about electrical circuits and why some are 120-volts and others are 240-volt.

Electricity comes into houses through two “hot” wires. By convention, one is called black and one is called red, although in real life, both are often black. We also bring in a neutral wire, but it doesn’t carry any electricity into the house. It is a path back to the ground through the transformer at the street.

Houses have 240 volts available, and yet most of the household circuits are 120 volts. Each of the two hot wires coming into the house carries 120 volts.  When we make a circuit from the black wire to the white wire, it creates a pressure of 120 volts. Additionally, a circuit from the red wire to the white wire also creates a pressure of 120 volts.

We can create a pressure of 240 volts by making a circuit between the black and red wires. Remember when we blogged awhile back about Tesla’s alternating circuits? The theory is in practice here with electricity. The two 120 volt wires alternate their current in a stable fashion and 240 volts is achieved.

So, if most household circuits run on 120 volts, why do we need the capability to pull 240 volts? It just depends on what you want to do. Most small household appliances are designed to run on 120 volts. Large appliances such as stoves, water heaters, and central air conditioners usually run on 240 volts. The larger pressure allows us to do more electrical work without large current flows. Although we could design these appliances to run on 120 volts, we’d have to use very large wires to safely carry the large currents. That is expensive and inefficient.

It boils down to what is most practical. In North America, we use the 120/240-volt system. In Great Britain, for example, they use a 240-volt system. Even their small appliances are designed to run on 240 volts, and all the circuits in their homes are wired for 240 volts. You probably know someone who’s traveled abroad and fried their hair dryer or electric razor. Now you know why!

Inspections in the Snow

The Piedmont Triad area of NC typically only receives what many northern parts of the country may call a “dusting” of snow once or twice over the winter months. However, this weekend, a nice thick blanket came down. Winter home shoppers are fortunate our area has such a mild climate, because, snow is one of several conditions that can inhibit a home inspector’s ability to observe and report defective conditions.

In any season, inspections have encounter challenges observing key components of the home. Often we find issues which have been concealed by furniture, storage, landscaping, or simply by containment within the construction or burial beneath the ground. Snow, however, is particularly problematic because it can prevent inspection of two particularly sensitive and essential areas within the scope of a home inspection: roofing conditions and ground drainage.  As experienced inspectors, we can still look for clues that can provide insight if the systems are working properly.

Depending upon the severity of weather conditions and the depth of snow coverage, inspection of roofing can be significantly limited by winter conditions. Removal of snow buildup is typically not advised because a heavy layer of snow and ice sliding off a roof can cause personal injury. However, it is possible for an inspector to gain some perspective with regard to roof conditions without viewing the entire roof surface. Exposed edges can reveal the numbers of roof layers, and a representative number of shingles can be inspected by scraping the snow from roofing at the eaves. Additionally, the likelihood of roof leakage can be ascertained because the slow melting of ice and snow can produce leaks more readily than rain runoff.

Regardless of snow coverage, the attic space remains accessible, and this is another area where evidence of leakage can be detected. Additionally, an attic inspection can reveal when snow loads are adversely affecting the integrity of the roof framing.

Snow coverage also prevents evaluation of site grading and ground drainage, conditions that can have major implications in some cases. If possible, snow should be cleared at the building’s perimeter to enable a reasonable inspection. If this is not possible, you can request that some of the sellers’ proceeds be withheld at the conclusion of the sale, pending further inspection during warmer weather. Sellers may not be warm to this kind of arrangement, but such proposals are definitely negotiable. As much as possible, assume the approach that protects your financial interests and seems most reasonable, in accordance with observed conditions at the property.  Fortunately, we thaw out pretty quickly here in North Carolina, so a re-inspection is typically not an issue.

Private Water Supply: Quality and Quantity

Homes with a private water supply are common in the Piedmont Triad. Private water sources most often consist of a pump and a source of water, such as a well, river, lake, or cistern.  Some developments will institute community wells, where water is drawn from a single source, pumped, and distributed to many houses within the development. In these cases, homeowners will pay a fee to share in the maintenance of the equipment.   Private water supplies are not monitored by the city, so when you buy a home not connected to a municipal source of water, maintenance and testing will be your responsibility.   In all cases where a private water supply is involved, it is important to know the quality of the water and the quantity of water to the home.

Water quality testing is a service we offer at Parkwood. We check your water quality by sending a sample of the water to a laboratory.  Certain mortgate loans require testing of water for bacteria, pH, and other impurities, such as minerals, chemicals, and silt. Even if your loan doesn’t require a test, it is good to sample during the due diligence process so that you can be aware of any potential problems before you buy the home.

Another critical component of buying a home on a private water supply is knowing if you will have a sufficient supply of water.  When we do a water quality test, we also do a basic test for flow rate.  In general, a flow rate of 5 gallons per minute, that can be maintained over time, is considered to be good. A flow rate of 3 gallons per minute is considered acceptable. It is important to note that water volume from a well can change seasonally.  Requesting owner disclosure about year-round supply is highly recommended.  When in doubt, some buyers may opt to pay for a well-drawdown test to verify well capacity.  In these tests, which are typically several hundred dollars to conduct, the water level in the well is monitored while a steady supply is pumped out.  If the water supply is strong, the well will be replenished by the groundwater quickly, and the water level in the well will not drop dramatically.  Although again, due to the seasonal fluctuations in groundwater, a good test in April may not yield a good test in September and new homeowner have a tough time knowing the overall water supply situation.  Further, some owners may not allow the more invasive well drawdown test because the large volumes of water drawn off the well may stress the well. Additionally, if the water out of the well is put into the septic system, it can create stress on the septic system.

If the owners, for whatever reason, can’t disclose the year- round adequacy, neighbors may be an invaluable source of information.  At Parkwood, we are happy to offer guidance and talk you through the process to understand your results thoroughly and your next course of action.

November 5th: Operation Inasmuch

Being part of the community is one of our core values.  Two organizations we support in our community, Community Housing Solutions and Housing Consultants Group, partner with the City of High Point to do “repair blitzes” on homes in areas in need of financial support.  Home ownership comes with expenses, and in low income communities, these expenses can start a downward spiral into a home’s disrepair. We can all relate with unexpected repair bills dramatically impacting our month financially.  In the homes we are supporting, we encounter home owners who have become desperate because when you can’t afford one repair, it leads to more damage, and everything begins to snowball.  These homeowners are proud of their homes and their community.  These nonprofit organizations support home ownership in low income communities because home ownership promotes pride in an area.   In addition to helping with these repair blitzes, these organizations support the community with educational support.  

Sherlock 5K Dog Walk

Want to see dogs in cute costumes? Parkwood Property Inspections is proud to team up with Keller Williams Realty of Greensboro in sponsoring a booth at the Skerlock 5K Dog Walk!
The event is THIS SATURDAY, October 22, 2016, from 9:00 am to 12:00 at Country Park in Greensboro. Admission:$25 10/11 – 21; $35 walk up. Be sure to find us to receive a treat for you AND for your pup! See the link below, and hope to see you there!

http://earlier.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=597

Update: Here are some pictures of our event!