December, 2003
News in Brief
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Radon IS Real

EDITED BY ASHI STAFF

“If you live with radon…you could die from lung cancer.” – Headline on USEPA Office of Indoor Air Quality exhibit booth.

Radon is tested in only about 10 percent of homes professionally inspected during a real estate transaction,” ASHI’s Tim Tucker told more than 300 state, local and federal agency officials, radon program directors, educators and radon industry professionals on October 7, 2003, in Nashville, Tenn. He spoke to a joint session of the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists’ (AARST) annual International Radon Symposium and the Conference of Radiation Control Directors’ (CRCPD) National Radon Meeting. In his speech, Tucker urged policymakers to do more to assist home inspectors in educating the public and real estate professionals on the health effects of radon. Home inspectors, he told the conference, must test for radon and educate the public about this invisible health risk right in the middle of a major life event – the sale and purchase of a home.

As the conference attendees learned, AARST may have the tool home inspectors are looking for – in a short film designed to educate the buyer, seller or real estate agent, and to build community awareness at the same time.

How You Can Save Lives

AARST/ARPC, ASHI, the American Lung Association and many oncologists, scientists, educators and other professionals strongly urge home inspectors to help educate policymakers and the public about the real dangers of radon exposure. At the Nashville radon conference, scores of attendees purchased customized versions of a short film, “Radon Is Real – Community Awareness Program.” This film is available in either CD or VHS format with Dr. Lane Mathis Price introducing the viewer to actual patients and their families to stress the health risks of this silent radioactive killer.

You can order the film at the NEHA-NRPP booth (booth 100) at ASHI InspectionWorld in Albuquerque. For more information on this film or to pre-order your copies, please visit www.aarst.org or call 1-866-77AARST.

Inman reports on homebuyers use of services

In October Inman News, an online real estate industry newsletter, reported the following from the 2003 NAR Survey of Real Estate Services.

“First-time and repeat buyers reported similar usage of various real estate services across the board, but the study found a few notable exceptions. Half of the first-time buyers obtained an environmental inspection for toxic mold, lead paint, radon or other hazards, but only 46 percent of repeat buyers ordered such an investigation. Eighty-five percent of first-time buyers, but only 80 percent of repeat buyers hired a home inspector to report on the home’s physical condition and components. But repeat buyers were more likely (92 percent) than first-timers (88 percent) to obtain a termite or pest inspection.

“Both first-time and repeat buyer relied heavily on real estate agents to recommend services providers. Such recommendations were sought most frequently for home inspectors (78 percent), title insurance companies (71 percent), mortgage lenders (69 percent), insect inspectors and appraisers (both 62 percent). Those percentages were slightly higher for first-timer buyers.”

Inman News is available at www.inman.com.

Can demand for tile installation inspections put dollars in your pocket?

According to the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation, expert opinions are in demand for on-site inspections, pre-construction consulting, depositions, insurance claims, etc. and the Foundation has the courses to prepare you to add this type of inspection to your list of services. To learn more, visit www.tileschool.org.

Technical Committee member shares info about new products

Arlene Puentes, October Home Inspections, Kingston, New York, serves on ASHI’s technical committee. She recently identified the following new products  of interest to home inspectors and provided contact information for each.

Dryerbox
A 21-inch recessed dryer vent box molded box that will house and collect the flex transition hose, allowing the clothes dryer to be installed right against the wall.
Contact info:
In-O-Vate Technologies
810 Saturn Street #22
Jupiter, FL 33477
www.dryerbox.com

Redi-footing prefabricated plastic footings for decks
Contact info:
Premier Plastic Products, Inc.
21 Brayton Street
West Warwick, RI 02893
401-586-6082 or 401-338-0424
www.redifooting.com

Fiber Cement Wall Systems for exterior and interior sidings
Contact Info:
NICHIHA
5855 Oakbrook Parkway, Suite P
Norcross, GA 30093
866-424-4421 (toll-free)
www.n-usa.com

Mortar Net
Mortar net is a material placed in the cavity of brick masonry walls, vertically on top of the flashing inside the wall cavity, where it catches and suspends mortar droppings above the level of the weep holes and flashing.
Contact info:
Mortar Net
541 S. Lake Street
Gary, IN 46403
800-664-6638
www.MortarNet.com

RIM roof and gutter heating systems for ice dam and icicle prevention on roof eaves
Contact info:
Bylin Engineered Systems
4800 Golden Foothill Pkway
Eldorado Hills, CA 95762
888-313-5666
www.bylinusa.com

Manufactured roofing slate made completely from recycled car tires and re-engineered polymers.
Contact info:
Welsh Mountain Slate Inc.
249 Bridge Street
Campbellford, ON, Canada
K0L 1L0
800-865-8784
www.welshmountainslate.com