One of the most important aspects of any home sale is the inspection. These men and women are responsible for ensuring that the home is free from major issues and meets the state requirements for the sale. As such, every inspector has a wide range of tools they use for various aspects of the job and if they don’t have the right ones, they may miss something crucial during the inspection.
If you’re entering the home inspection job field or just wondering what kind of gadgets they use and what they’re for, check out this quick guide we put together.
The Basic Basics
Aside from a few specialized tools (discussed below), there are a few things that you probably already own. This includes a quality ladder, tape measure, and a flashlight of course, but you should also have screwdrivers, a level, and a telescoping mirror to help you see into all the nooks and crannies.
If you don’t already have one, get a quality pocket knife too. You may be surprised by how often it comes in handy.
Other Home Inspection Tools
Even though laws and rules may be quite different depending on whether you’re working with realtors in VA Beach, California, or somewhere in between, there are a few tools that every inspector simply has to have on hand.
- Laptop – while not necessarily a “must-have tool, for the home inspection, a laptop will let you take notes for your report as you go as opposed to trying to remember everything later.
- Camera – some inspectors simply use their phones for inspection photos but you should really invest in a quality camera to help you accurately record the state of the home. Especially if you find any damage or other serious issues because you’ll want/need high-quality photos for documentation.
- Respirator – you’re going to be crawling around in attics, crawlspaces, and basements and a respirator can help protect you from hidden dangers. You should wear one anytime you enter a new area of the home until you’ve had a chance to check the air quality with a gas detector.
- Gas Detector – this is one of the most important tools to have because you have to be completely sure that there are no leaks within the home. Get yourself a handheld multi-gas detector that looks for CO, H2S, O2, and LEL.
- Moisture Meter – used to determine the moisture levels in the drywall, masonry, wood, etc of the home and whether there is too much or too little fluid inside. This can help reveal hidden issues with leaks, improper insulation, and even dry rot.
- OHM/Voltage Multimeter – helps you check the continuity of the wiring and ensure that there are no electrical issues in the home.
- Probe Thermometer – this specialized tool helps with the HVAC inspection portion of the process because it will show you the correct air temperature and help you determine if the system is indeed functioning properly.
- Infrared Thermometer – a standard infrared thermometer can quickly help you verify the temperature of the hot water throughout the home as well as the breaker box and circuits.
Lastly, for safety, make sure you have goggles and gloves, and to ensure that your clothes don’t get completely ruined or covered in dirt, dust, and who knows what else, invest in a good pair of overalls. Sure, there are other tools such as continuous radon monitors, infrared cameras, microwave testers, and smoke pens that some home inspectors use but the above are the most common.