Why Should I Inspect My Home If I'm Not Buying Or Selling?

While it is critical to have your current or potential home inspected, those are not the only reasons. Many people forget that a home is a near closed environment that can directly affect the health of your family. Problems can come from many areas, some obvious and some hidden. An inspection by Parisen Associates can uncover many of these potential problems.


Radon

Radon is a potentially deadly, invisible and odorless gas that can harm you and your family. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection describes radon as:

"Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas, which has always been a part of our environment. It's a natural decay product of uranium and is found in soil everywhere in varying concentrations. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have found that radon can also be an unwelcome part of our home environment.

Radon gas can accumulate in enclosed places, such as a house, but its presence, even in high concentrations, cannot be detected by human senses because the gas is invisible and has no odor. Long term or chronic exposure to radon has been linked to lung cancer. The greater the concentration and the longer a person is exposed, the greater the risk, so all people are encouraged to reduce their exposure. However, because of its physical characteristics, the only way to detect the presence of radon gas and measure the level is by a test. So people wanting to limit their exposure must first conduct a test to determine what their exposure levels are.

In New Jersey, there is a particularly uranium-rich geological formation, called the Reading Prong, which stretches from Pennsylvania through northwestern New Jersey into Southern New York State. Testing of homes built along this geologic formation has revealed high indoor levels of radon gas. Further testing in New Jersey, beyond the Reading Prong area, has shown additional areas where homes have elevated radon levels. This has led the DEP to conclude that radon is a statewide health issue. All homeowners are encouraged to test and, if levels are elevated, residents are urged to consider remediation.

Radon can move easily through soil and tiny cracks in rock. When it reaches the surface of the soil, it disperses and is diluted to very low levels in the outdoor environment. However, when the gas moves upward through soil beneath a home, it may enter through cracks or other openings in the foundation and build up to unacceptable levels...

...Lung cancer is the only known health effect linked to radon exposure at this time. The EPA estimates that between 15,000 and 22,000 of the 125,000 annual deaths from lung cancer may be attributable to radon exposure. In New Jersey, of the annual 4,700 lung cancer deaths, as many as 140-250 may be associated with radon exposure. These estimates of cancer risk from radon exposure are less than those caused by smoking, but are far greater than the number of cancers estimated to occur as a result of exposure to other environmental hazards, such as toxic chemicals in drinking water or pesticide residues on food."

Fortunately, Radon, once detected can be controlled. Parisen Associates can detect radon levels in your home and suggest steps to take.

Carbon Monoxide

Proper maintenance of combustion appliances in the home is critical in reducing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. A carbon monoxide detector can provide added protection, but is no substitute for proper use and upkeep of potential carbon monoxide sources. No detector is 100% reliable and some individuals may experience health problems at levels of carbon monoxide below the detection sensitivity of these devices.

It is important that all your appliances be kept in good operational condition and detection is your first step. Parisen Associates can help spot potential carbon monoxide hazards in your home.

Termites and Other Destructive Animals

Termites, along with other insects, can be highly destructive to the structure of the home. Even if your building is not old, periodic testing for pests can uncover many problems that can become serious if left alone.

If you are considering adding on to your existing structure, it is a good idea to get a comprehensive test for destructive creatures as part of your complete planning process. The cost of a termite test many be small compared to unforeseen problems in the renovation project. In the case of remodeling that requires an additional mortgage, termite testing is mandatory.

Mold

A mold inspection in your home determines whether harmful mold is present. Exposure to bacteria and fungus in indoor air has been discovered as a significant health problem in homes, as well as in occupational settings. Molds and mildews are names given to thousands of species of filamentous fungi. The molds have clusters of spores that are located on the end of tiny stalks. The spores are the reproductive product of the mature mold.

There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-addressed. At this time, there is no practical way to eliminate all molds and mold spores in the indoor environment. The only way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.

However, an inspection by Parisen Associates can help uncover the sources of moisture that may be causing problems with mold. This is especially true right after a sudden problem with moisture, such as a recent flooding.

Well Water

New Jersey is the only state in the nation that requires mandatory statewide private well testing upon the sale of a house. The New Jersey Private Well Testing Act as set forth by N.J.S.A. 58:12A-26 et seq., was signed into law in March of 2001 and became effective in September 2002.

However, you should not wait until you sell your home to get your well tested. Toxic well water can be dangerous and the earlier you find out about any problems, the better...both for the health of your family and your investment..

Chimneys and Fireplaces

Not all chimney inspections are alike and at Parisen Associates, we go to extreme measures to make sure that your home is safe from any potential fire hazards. Regardless of the age of your home, the installation of a flue liner has been recommended since the early part of this century, but now many codes mandate chimney liners for masonry chimneys.

However, most masonry chimneys are built with clay liners that can break down over time or can incur damage from weather, hidden chimney fires or foundation settling. This deterioration or damage can cause missing or cracked clay tiles that leave the chimney unsafe. The lack of flue tile can allow flue gases from a fire to penetrate the brick and mortar, reducing the life of the chimney and creating gaps in the mortar joints.

Unless you take it upon yourself to have your chimney and fireplace inspected by a qualified professional, you could be living with a catastrophe waiting to happen. It is recommended that you have your system inspected regularly, regardless of the age of the building.

Septic Systems

A septic system is composed of only two basic components: a septic tank and a disposal field. Each component is important in the treatment and disposal of wastewater resulting from everyday use. This simple system of wastewater treatment can effectively remove disease-causing pathogens and chemical nutrients from wastewater for the life of the home when it is properly designed, constructed, operated and maintained.

However, regardless of the age of the home, a poorly functioning system can cause severe health problems for you, as well as the surrounding areas. To avoid problems, have your system inspected right away to avoid costly and dangerous problems.

Inspect Your Home For Any Health Hazards With Parisen Associates

We want you to have complete confidence that our home inspection services are the most accurate and dependable anywhere. We have served the New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania area for over 30 years. Please have a look at our qualifications, as well as our reporting system. We are a family-run New Jersey home inspection company with a great reputation for quality and dependability.

Live healthy. Contact us today.

Our Services

Call today to discuss your property:

(973) 492-1398

Convenient to You

  • Serving New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania
  • Home inspections 7 days a week
  • Spanish speaking inspector on staff

Member of NJ-ALPHI

New Jersey Association of Licensed Professional Home Inspectors

Parisen Associates Home Inspector Licenses

David Parisen

Inspector LIC: 24GI00074700

Robert Parisen

Inspector LIC: 24GI00065500

Ian Parisen

Inspector LIC: 24GI00152200