Aside from their expertise, tools are the most important things that your home inspector will bring with them to your home inspection to assess the condition of your home. The home inspection is non-invasive, meaning it does not take apart or move anything within the home.
The inspection is a purely visual evolution of what the inspector can see and assess. To help with the amount of information they can gather, inspectors will utilize various tools, some simple, other specialized, that give them and their clients a better understanding of the home. Here are some of the tools your inspector may use during your inspection and what they do.
Pretty much every home inspector will arrive with the basics of a camera, flashlight, and ladder to effectively conduct their home inspection.
- A camera might be the most important and most used tool your inspector uses. Throughout the inspection, your inspector will be taking pictures along the way so that everything is documented.
- Seeing everything is paramount for your home inspector, so having a robust and reliable flashlight is essential for viewing dark areas like the attic and crawlspace effectively.
- Ladders are used to provide proper access to the roof and areas indoors like attic entries and high ceilings.
The rest of the inspector’s basic equipment is rounded out with conventional tools you will find in any tool bag. Tools like screwdrivers, levels, and tape measures come in handy throughout the home inspection and report writing process.
As the name suggests, moisture meters are used to detect moisture in a specific area. Water intrusion is a common issue that leads to many different defects, such as leaks from the roof or plumbing system resulting in mold other damages. The tools help your inspector catch more water-related issues and allow them to get a better understanding of its source.
This handy little tool is helpful for the safety of your inspector to detect if any wire or components have an electrical current running through them. These sniffers keep your inspector safe during the inspection, and they let you know about any hazardous issues in the home they come across to remedy them as soon as possible.
Electrical Circuit Tester
Testing outlets are a regular part of the home inspection, and using these testers is effective for your inspector to find any issues with the electrical system. Common issues found are lack of grounding often found in older electrical systems and can lead to shock hazards or fires. Many testers come with GFCI testing, which will test outlets in the kitchen, bathroom, or outside to ensure they are correctly shutting off.
Gas Leak / Carbon Monoxide Detectors
These detectors are professional-grade, highly sensitive tools tuned to pick up the home’s faintest amounts of dangerous gases. Both gases can be difficult to detect, especially in small quantities, but their presence can be detrimental to the health and safety of your family and home. The inspector will use these detectors to ensure no traces of these gases and will alert you if they come across any.
Infrared thermometers are used to verify the temperatures of various components throughout the inspection, such as HVAC, plumbing, electrical panels, to catch any defects associated. These tools are helpful for your inspector as they allow them to access the temperatures of things that may be difficult to access otherwise.
For your inspector, using an infrared camera is the closest thing to having x-ray vision. IR cameras allow the inspector to see the temperatures of everything in the frame, which helps determine any voids or gaps in the insulation or finding moisture in the walls. A savvy inspector’s hand, an infrared camera can help them catch any subtle defects.
Some areas of the home, like the crawlspace or attic, may have a high concentration of airborne particles that may be hazardous. They come in the form of viral, bacterial, or fungal organisms. For inspectors who are in these conditions for an extended period on a day-to-day basis, it is advisable to wear a respirator in these areas before they inspect it for their clients.
High Traction Boots
If safely accessible, your inspector will want to walk the entirety of the roof to evaluate its condition fully. To ensure their safety, the inspector will often wear high traction boots, the grip on the exterior better than regular shoes so they can traverse the roof with greater security.
There are even more tools and gear that your inspector may bring. Each inspector is different, and the tools they choose to bring on the inspection may differ. Every inspector brings the tools they need to provide their clients with the complete picture of their prospective home. For more specialized or niche tools, some inspectors may own them but keep them in their vehicle until needed. If you attend your home inspection and you’re curious about the tools they are using, feel free to ask them about it. You will likely learn more about their methods and in turn, more about the home.