Columbus, MN 55014 * Phone: 651-464-3470

Inspected Once * Inspected Right  * Protect Your Family * Your Investment!

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Certified by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors - Click here to verify.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super Snooper's Services

These are very brief descriptions to assist you in making a choice without spending a life time weeding out the typical hype and super sales tactics in most web-sites. It's important that you review the Standard Home Inspections "Standards of Practice" link as that is the all inclusive and the limitations of the standard home inspection being offered by our company. We inspect according to the National Association of Home Inspectors professional standards of practice.  I sincerely thank you for your time and consideration.

Standard Home Inspection            Order Standard Home Inspection       

 

This is the basic and typical inspection required for most home transactions.  Buyers, sellers, builders, lenders and investors would generally start with a standard home inspection and if "red flags" (moisture, odor, hot-spots, etc.) become an issue during inspection we can simply do an addendum in the field to accommodate further needs as they arise.  Read more...

 
Mold Sampling and Analysis            Order mold services
 
Mold sampling is typically a service that is offered as a result of apparent visible fungal growth, musty odors or elevated moisture in an area of the home during the standard inspection.  Read more...
 
Radon Testing                                     Order Radon Testing
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that each year 21,000 people die of lung cancer as a result of being exposed to elevated levels of radon. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer for smokers and the leading cause of cancer for non-smokers.  Read more...
 

Water Quality Testing                        Order Water Quality Testing
 
        (Water Quality Testing is typically ordered with the Standard Home Inspection.)

 

It is highly recommended that well water be tested on a regular basis.  Read more...

 

Infra-red Thermal Imaging                Order Infra-Red Thermal Imaging Services
 

Musty smell and no visible signs ? Put Infra-red thermography to work. Find the source of air infiltration causing a cold room, cold floors or a cold house in general. Click on link for thermal images and more information.  Read more...

New Construction Inspections and Progress Reports      Order  New Constructions Services
 
Builder your own home, Lender Phase Inspections, Insurance Inspections, all new construction concerns. Call or email for individual quotes.  Read more...
 
Move-in Certified
 
Put your perspective buyers at ease with a "Move-in Certified" listing. Home Warranty protection plan included with each "Move-in Certified" Inspection.  Read more...
 

Standard Home Inspection
 
Our Full Inspections include:

        Roof, vents, flashings and trim.

        Gutters and downspouts.

        Skylight, chimney and other roof penetrations.

        Decks, stoops, porches, walkways, and railings.

        Eaves, soffit and fascia.

        Grading and drainage.

        Basement, foundation and crawlspace.

        Water penetration and foundation movement.

        Heating systems.

        Cooling systems.

        Main water shut off valves.

        Water heating system.

        Interior plumbing fixtures and faucets.

        Drainage sump pumps with accessible floats.

        Electrical service line and meter box.

        Main disconnect and service amperage.

        Electrical panels, breakers and fuses.

        Grounding and bonding.

        GFCIs and AFCIs.

        Fireplace damper door and hearth.

        Insulation and ventilation.

        Garage doors, safety sensors and openers.

        And much more.

Go back to top menu ....  OR .... Order Standard Home Inspection.....

..... OR CONTINUE TO SCROLL DOWN FOR OTHER OPTIONAL SERVICES.


Mold Sampling 

Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. 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. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.

Ten items to consider regarding mold.

  1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.  
     
  2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
     
  3. If mold is a problem in your home, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
     
  4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
     
  5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60% ) to decrease mold growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.
     
  6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
     
  7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
     
  8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
     
  9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
     
  10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

Go back to top menu                       Order Mold Services


Radon Testing

Radon is a colorless, odorless and tasteless naturally occurring radioactive gas that continuously decays and releases radiation. It is produced from decaying minerals in soils such as uranium and radium.
Any amount of radon carries some risk, even at or below the recommended action level. The risk of lung cancer increases with higher long-term average radon levels. Because it isn't possible to reduce radon to zero, the best approach is to lower it as much as possible. In Minnesota there are only regulations for new construction, so people must decide for themselves how much radon they feel is acceptable in their home.

The following table shows the level of risk from radon at several different levels. These are estimates of lung cancer risk due to long-term exposure to radon. The risk estimates were adapted from the EPA's Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes. They show that there is no "safe" level of radon and that risk increases with higher levels of radon. The risk to smokers from radon is significantly higher than for non-smokers. MDH estimates that one in three (1/3) Minnesota homes have radon levels above the EPA's recommended action level.

Radon (Annual
Average) Level
Additional Lung Cancer Risk
for People Who Never Smoked
20 pCi/L 36 out of 1,000
10 pCi/L 18 out of 1,000
8 pCi/L 15 out of 1,000
4 pCi/L 7 out of 1,000
2 pCi/L 4 out of 1,000
Radon, because it is a gas, is able to move though spaces in the soil or fill material around a home's foundation. Minnesota homes tend to operate under a negative pressure - this is especially true in the lowest portions of the home and during the heating season. This negative pressure acts as a vacuum (suction) that pulls soil gases, including radon, into the lower level of the structure. Some causes of home vacuum are:
  • Heated air rising inside the home (stack effect).
  • Wind blowing past a home (downwind draft effect).
  • Air used by fireplaces, wood stoves, and furnaces (vacuum effect).
  • Air vented to the outside by clothes dryers and exhaust fans in bathrooms, kitchens, or attics (vacuum effect).

Radon can enter a home through the floor and walls -- anywhere there is an opening between the home and the soil. Examples of such openings include dirt floor crawl spaces, unsealed sumps, cracks in slab-on-grade floors, utility penetrations, and the tiny pore spaces in concrete block walls. A basement, of course, provides a large surface area that contacts soil material.

Go back to top menu                    Order Radon Testing


Water Quality Testing

BASIC           (Coliform Bacteria, Nitrates)

BASICplus    
(Coliform Bacteria, Nitrates & Lead)

DELUXE         (Coliform Bacteria, Nitrates & Arsenic)

Hardness/Iron/Tannin Combo
 

Go back to top menu                       Order Water Sampling


Infra-red Thermal Imaging    

 

 

Blue indicates cold air infiltration above and around door.

Air infiltration through exterior entry light above door. Result is a condensation issue and moisture damage.

Unhealthy leg issue.

This thermogram was taken on the same floor as the healthy horse to determine the impact of the cold floor on both horses. Note varying temps. in the knee, pastern and fetlock areas ot the unhealthy horse.

Healty Horse

This image taken at the same time and on the same spot as the unhealthy horse to make a proper analysis by subjecting both horses to the same floor and ambient air temperatures. Note varying temps. in the knee, pastern and fetlock areas ot the unhealthy horse.

In-floor Radiant Heat Manifolds with Supply and Return Lines.

Minutes after activating the system we are viewing four warm (yellow/orange) supply lines and four (dark blue) return lines. Image to the right shows all four lines hot after about an hour.

Same In-floor Radiant Heat Manifolds as image to the left after about one hour.

This anomoly indicates a fully operational unit as all lines are now showing hot. To determine if any leakage it would be necessary to image all floors in this system.

Heat loss at North basement wall.

Heat loss at fnd/framed wall intersect. White area (hot spot) next to cross bar indicates a significant amount of heat loss at the horizontal and vertical block/framing intersect. Easily cureable with caulking and/or foam insulation.

Heat loss noted from exterior image.

Bright yellow is heat loss at top of foundation and below sliding patio door. An obvious air infiltration and moisture problem beneath patio door. Particularly during the snow season.

Wall Insulation missing at adjacent drop ceiling.

Blue area is missing insulation entirely. Majenta color below the blue area was yellow until it got wet from the moisture produced from the blue area. Yellow is properly insulated and unaffected.

Attic Concern. This is what you see with the naked eye.

A very nice layer of blown insulation. Picture on the right shows what's beneath all this.

Attic Concern. This is what the "Infrared Camera" sees.

Below all this insulation is a heat supply that has been compromised or otherwise improperly attached during installation. Significant heat loss (yellow hot spot area) showing through the insulation. An issue of fungal growth and building product deterioration.

Service panel hot spot.

This would not be visible with the naked eye. A potential fire hazard and easily verified with multitester to determine the current flow and cause of the hot spot.

Significant heat loss

Retro blown-in insulation in stucco wall cavities. Very spotty and uninsulated rim shows major heat loss.

Missing Insulation

Major air infiltration around vent. Inadequate insulation job.

Attic Insulation with Bath Fan Venting to the attic space.

Moisture laden heat from bath introducing fungal grwoth to this area and compromising the roof sheathing and framing members. Found in the dark by the Ifrared-camera image to the right.

Infrared picture of bath fan improperly vented to attic area.

This was temporarily disconnected for new roof and never re-attached.

Simply put .... thermal imaging is a non-invasive picture of the energy being emitted off the surface of the subject of investigation. This analogy is subject to the degree of which this item may absorb, reflect or transmit energy. The Flir IR camera has the capability of compensating for the many mitigating factors you encounter in the field such as wind, relative humidity, ambient temperatures and reflective energy etc. It may be important to note that the camera does not do this automatically, so it is very important that your thermographer is up to speed with his camera in addition to having the proper education in place to recognize these variations and apply them to the condition being investigated. i.e. Owning a camera doesn't make you a thermographer ....just like owning a hammer doesn't make you a carpenter. In building science we are doing qualitive analysis as opposed to quantative analysis so we are not as concerned with temperatures as thermal anomalies. That is why it is vitally important that your thermographer has experience in homebuilding, drafting and design and related fields to know how this house is supposed to work and how this condition will affect the home. A cold spot on the exterior wall would be a good indicator of air infiltration which in turn under certain conditions could cause a significant amount of moisture being trapped in the wall cavity. This condition with the right temperature applied will contribute to mold growth within the wall cavity. If actual moisture content of wood exceeds 20% then conditions at the right temperature ( 35-110 degrees) may be conducive to decay and damage to the integrity of the wall system. This is a condition without thermal imaging that could go completely unnoticed by the naked eye.   

Go back to top menu                                Order Thermal Imaging Services


New Construction

  • Project and contractor oversight.
  • New construction phase inspections.
  • Final walk-through inspections.
  • 1 year builder warranty inspections.
  • Annual inspections for home property owners.
  • Investor consulting.
  •  
  • Pre-listing, seller inspections.
  • Foreclosure inspections.
  • Insurance inspections.
  • Home inspections.

    Building your own home ??

  • The many ways we can help .....................
  • Project estimating, job supervisor, scheduling of subs, progress and final inspections.
  • From start to finish we are there for you !!

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Move-in Certified

Advantages of selling a home that has been Move In Certified: 
  • The seller can choose a certified InterNACHI inspector to inspect the home properly before the buyer's inspector arrives.
  • The seller can schedule the inspections at the seller's convenience.
  • It might alert the seller of any items of immediate personal concern, such as radon gas or active termite infestation.
  • The seller can assist the inspector during the inspection, something normally not done during a buyer's inspection.
  • The seller can have the inspector correct any misstatements in the inspection report before it is generated.
  • The report can help the seller realistically price the home if problems exist.
  • The report can help the seller substantiate a higher asking price if problems don't exist or have been corrected.
  • A seller inspection reveals problems ahead of time which:
    • might make the home show better.
    • gives the seller time to make repairs and shop for competitive contractors.
    • permits the seller to attach repair estimates or paid invoices to the inspection report.
    • removes over-inflated buyer procured estimates from the negotiation table.
  • The report might alert the seller to any immediate safety issues found, before agents and visitors tour the home.
  • The report provides a third-party, unbiased opinion to offer to potential buyers.
  • A seller inspection permits a clean home inspection report hosted on www.FetchReport.com to be used as a marketing tool.
  • Move In Certified yard signs attract potential buyers. 
  • A seller inspection is the ultimate gesture in forthrightness on the part of the seller.
  • The report might relieve a prospective buyer's unfounded suspicions, before they walk away.
  • A seller inspection lightens negotiations and 11th-hour renegotiations.
  • The report might encourage the buyer to waive the inspection contingency.
  • The deal is less likely to fall apart the way they often do when a buyer's inspection unexpectedly reveals a problem, last minute.
  • The report provides full-disclosure protection from future legal claims.

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To better understand the Home Inspection Process, please read our Standards of Practice which is adhered to by all InterNachi Certified Home Inspectors

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Send mail to frank@supersnooper.us with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: 04/21/12