Thursday, November 3, 2016

1 stop shop for all your Inspection Needs... Septic Too (and I don't mean a dye test)

Pro Chek Home Inspection Services & Onsite Environmental Experts is truly a Homebuyer's, Sellers, & Real Estate Professionals ONE STOP SHOP during any/all Real Estate Transactions.  We performed the Home Inspection, WDI, Termite Inspection, Radon Testing, Water and Septic Inspection at the home in this photo this week and after digging up the tank and 4+ Dboxes, it's like we were never there.!! We respect and appreciate all Parties involved in the Real Estate transaction and the
#Home itself, so we go the extra mile to throw grass seed down or place sod over dirt areas when the grass is green and healthy. 
#homeinspection #septicinspection #1sttimehomebuyer #hombuyer #fairfieldcountyrealestate #westchestercountyprivatewelltest
#westchestercountyrealestate #eastfishkillwatertest #dutchesswater test #putnamcountyseptic
#westchestercountysepticcontractor #licensenumber553 #engineeringinspection @prochekhomeinsp @onsiteenviroexperts #oee #onsiteenvironmentalexperts #onsitewastewatertreatmentspecialists #prochek #honestbusiness #prochekwhereourclientsareourfamily


Your Roof Needs to Breathe

Did you know your roof needs to breathe just like you do? Proper roof and attic ventilation is critical to prolonging the life of your roof — adequate ventilation regulates temperature and moisture levels. In an improperly vented roof, heat and moisture can build up causing damage to rafters, sheathing, shingles, insulation, raising energy costs, any may also lead to some ugly mold and mildew problems. Proper ventilation can help prevent many of the most common roofing problems and prevent even greater expenses later on.
Vents should be installed at the base of the roof and near the top. This allows warm air and moisture to leave through the top while cool air is drawn in through the bottom. If adequate ventilation is not installed, serious problems such as attic condensation, wood rot, mold, mildew and rusting metal can occur. These problems can affect the integrity of the roof as well as the integrity of the house, and can even cause health problems for family members in the home, particularly if mold and mildew are present.
There are several types of vents to be aware of:
Roof Vents — though available in a standard or powered version, this vent is best installed toward the top of the roof.
Soffit Vents — are able to be used as either inlet or outlet of air and are best combined with a ridge or roof vent.
Gable End Vents — these vents are placed at the top of the gable area on both ends of the house.
Ridge Vents — these vents are placed along the entire ridge of the roof to allow hot air to escape as it rises to the top of the attic space.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Ever been told that 'there is NO lead in your Water and your tap water is fine b/c you have City Water'?? That's FALSE.... The Lead in your Water Making you sick is coming from INSIDE OF YOUR HOME..........

Ever been told that 'there is NO lead in your Water and your tap water is fine b/c you have City Water'??  That's FALSE.... The Lead in your Water Making you sick is coming from INSIDE OF YOUR HOME..........

Whether you have a home with City Water Service or a Private Well Water System, the simple fact is that the the Lead concentrations or elevated Lead in Water Level is COMING FROM YOUR INTERNAL PLUMBING SYSTEM.  Take a walk to your basement and look up at your Plumbing supply lines that deliver water to each faucet and tub.  I bet my house that the majority of you that do this will see copper pipes with areas of the pipe that is joined together and discolored (copper coloring is now silver).  These are likely areas where a Plumber has soldered or done previous work, normally soldering is the primary culprit of the Lead found in Tap water, along with lead piping and even corroding brass or some faucets found in BRAND NEW Homes as of 2016.  

Lead in Plumbing Today

Aging infrastructures, including pipe and plumbing system components, are the main contributors of trace amounts of lead in the water supply today:
  • Nearly all homes built prior to the 1980s still have lead solder connecting copper pipes.
  • Some major U.S. cities still have 100 percent lead piping bringing water from the utilities to homes and businesses. The dissolved oxygen in the water combines with the metal at the surface (copper, zinc or lead) to form a metal oxide. This oxidation layer naturally develops through the decades to coat lead piping. When water conditions require it, water utilities also add lime or orthophosphates as a further barrier to prevent lead from getting into drinking water. When water chemistry is carefully controlled, it prevents dangerous levels of lead from entering the drinking water system from the pipes.

Clean Water and Faucets

Many faucets sold in the U.S. and around the world are made from brass, a mix of copper, zinc and a minute amount of lead. Lead seals microscopic cracks that occur between the copper and zinc crystals as they cool, and provides the malleability for brass to be forged and converted into the machined components that are vital parts of every faucet.

Friday, September 2, 2016

What's your opinion in Residential Fire Sprinklers

What's your opinion in Residential Fire Sprinklers?

The case for residential fire sprinkers
May 17, 2016
Fire. It’s one of the most destructive forces that human beings encounter. It destroys homes and businesses. It devastates communities. It takes lives.
The National Fire Protection Association’s latest U.S. data notes 92% of all civilian structure fire deaths resulted from home structure fires. So doesn’t it make sense to protect ourselves from fire whenever and wherever we can?
Today, commercial buildings, offices, hotels and restaurants have fire sprinkler systems installed to protect property as well as the lives of the occupants/customers. Yet attempts to add such systems to residences has met with resistance from builders and homeowners.
“The No. 1 misconception that is used the most to fight against the sprinkler requirements is the cost,” explains Melisa Rodriguez, design services supervisor for Uponor’s fire safety division. “A few years ago, the national average was around $1.60 per sq.-ft. The newest published data has actually dropped it to about $1.30 per sq.-ft. I think the easiest way to frame it in the mind of a homeowner is that it costs about the same as upgrading to granite countertops.”
She adds fire sprinkler systems will be less expensive in areas where a lot of sprinklers are installed with a good pool of contractors trained to install them. If homeowners live in an area where home fire sprinklers are still new and the contractor base isn’t there, it could cost more than the national average.
The second misconception is how sprinklers deploy.
“I’ve found that people believe all the sprinklers are going to go off at the same time,” Rodriguez says. “So a lot of homeowners and builders are worried about water damage if they burn their toast. The movies still show all the sprinklers going off at once and every time I see that, I go, ‘No!’ It’s only the sprinkler closest to the fire that will go off and it’s only activated by high heat.”
What constitutes high heat? She explains that a standard residential sprinkler will activate around 155° F to 165°, meaning a sprinkler will usually activate within one minute of a fire starting. A single sprinkler will put out between 13 gal. and 18 gal. per min., compared to a fire hose that pumps water at 150 gpm.
Timing is the third misconception. Many people believe, since they have smoke detectors in their homes, they will have plenty of time to get out of the house before the fire gets to the point where it’s life-threatening, Rodriguez notes. Yet flashover  — the point at which a fire will overtake a home or building — occurs in as little as four or five minutes. And when flashover occurs, the temperatures in that room are more than 1,000°.
“By the time the fire department arrives and is putting water on the fire, you’ve got a lot of fire damage,” she adds. “You can dry things out, but you can’t unburn them.”
Modern home design and construction materials play a big part in flashover, says the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition. Research conducted by Underwriters Laboratories and the National Institute of Standards & Technology indicates engineered lightweight materials, combined with modern open layouts, create more dangerous conditions faster and fail sooner compared to older dimensional lumber systems.
Engineered lightweight construction materials are strong and economical (reduces build times and saves money), as well as more environmentally sustainable and structurally stable under normal circumstances. For these reasons, homebuilders prefer to use such materials when building new homes.
Another feature of modern homes that contributes to faster and hotter fires is the popularity of open layouts. Large homes with open areas and high ceilings provide no barriers to the spread of fire. The greater volume of air available in such homes allows fires to grow larger and more quickly, making them lethal to occupants and firefighters. They also are much more difficult to extinguish when fire crews arrive.
Because of this, new codes are requiring that floor joist protection is provided in areas where wood floor joists are exposed, Rodriguez says. “In legacy construction, you wouldn’t see a potential for floor collapse for at least 20 minutes,” she explains. “The testing done on new floor joist construction sees floor collapse in less than 10 minutes and sometimes in as little as three.”
If a homeowner wants to leave the basement unfinished, the International Residential Code now requires exposed floor joists be protected with either a layer of Sheetrock, spray-on fireproofing chemicals or a partial sprinkler system.
The ultimate protection
Despite these misconceptions, more homeowners seem to understand that fire sprinklers will save the lives of themselves and their families. A May 2014 Harris Poll conducted on behalf of the HFSC notes 74% of respondents would be more likely to buy a home with fire sprinklers, 69% say a sprinklered house has more value and 78% say fire sprinklers provide the ultimate protection for residents.
“People who have lived in homes with fire sprinklers are more likely to prefer that their new home also has fire sprinklers,” Rodriguez notes.
California and Maryland mandate fire sprinkler systems in all new homes built statewide, Rodriguez says, noting Minnesota had a sprinkler mandate for homes more than 4,500 sq. ft. However, various builder associations filed a lawsuit saying 4,500 sq. ft. was an arbitrary number, and the requirement was taken out of the code.
“There was no scientific backing about why that specific number,” she explains. “So we are confident that in the future, perhaps over the next code cycle, Minnesota will have a residential fire sprinkler mandate with no cutoff.”
Other states that have gotten close include Pennsylvania, she notes, and there’s a push to mandate them in Texas and New York. Many jurisdictions have local requirements for home fire sprinklers, sometimes in areas not accessible to the fire department, including parts of Oregon, Washington, Florida and Illinois. Scottsdale, Ariz., mandated home fire sprinklers more than 30 years ago.
“Statewide, a sprinkler mandate may be a difficult sell, but these local jurisdictions can do it, as long as the state doesn’t prohibit it,” Rodriguez says.
Some builders are finally realizing fire sprinklers are another life-quality option they can offer their clients, Rodriguez adds, equating them with car seatbelt and airbag requirements that the auto industry fought for years to have implemented.
Just as other systems and equipment in the home need maintenance, home fire sprinkler systems require annual checkups to ensure they are in proper working condition, HFSC says, such as making sure sprinklers aren’t painted and that nothing is hanging from them or blocking them. Valves should similarly be checked to ensure they are turned on.
The NFPA says that, once a month, homeowners or sprinkler contractors should test the pump (if any) and visually verify that all valves are open and the storage tank (if any) is full. Twice a year, the water-flow device and monitoring service (if any) should be tested.
Filling a niche
Fresno, Calif.-based Richard’s Plumbing has been installing plumbing systems in tract homes for almost all of its 39 years in business. The area has available land that developers quickly snap up to build tracts of homes at reasonable prices, notes Vice President Randy Smith. “I believe that’s why we’ve stuck to that niche,” he says. The local builder the company does the most business with is McCaffrey Homes.
California mandated residential fire sprinklers in 2010. Company President Terry Fletcher immediately signed himself up for fire sprinkler planning school, where he spent several weeks learning how to install fire sprinkler systems in homes. He also obtained a C16 fire protection license required by the state at that time in order to install these systems; that requirement has since been rescinded.
“We believe fire sprinklers are a life-safety issue,” Smith says. “They are meant to give people time to get out of the house, not preserve the structure.”
Richard’s Plumbing used Uponor PEX pipe for all the plumbing systems it installs in those tract homes, so it just seemed natural for Fletcher to stay with the company and its AquaSAFE multipurpose product when the company moved into the home fire sprinkler business.
Two types of fire sprinkler systems are available for installation — stand-alone and multipurpose. With stand-alone systems, the piping only is to be used for fire protection. Contractors used to be limited to the type of piping used in stand-alone systems — copper, steel and CPVC. Now PEX tubing is allowed in the residential fire protection standard, NFPA 13D, as an installation material.
Stand-alone systems will have stagnant water in the lines, and in many jurisdictions a backflow prevention device is required to keep the stagnant water or water in contact with leaded fittings from getting into the drinking water. However, plumbers can’t touch such systems; usually a fire sprinkler contractor is required to install a stand-alone fire sprinkler system.
Multipurpose systems can be used for potable domestic water and fire protection. Because of the potable water connections, all system components must be lead-free — sprinklers as well as fittings. This can drive up the cost a bit, Rodriguez says. But plumbers can and do install these systems as fire sprinkler contractors only can run the sprinkler and sprinkler pipe. A licensed plumber is required to connect to the cold-water fixtures.
“With multipurpose, the cold water supplying the fire sprinklers also supplies domestic plumbing cold water,” Smith explains. “So the PEX is installed in loops and connected with tees, etc., to balance the system.”
Uponor’s Fire Safety Design Department can prepare stamped and certified designs for contractors who don’t have a qualified designer on staff. When Richard’s Plumbing gets a plumbing and sprinkler job, it supplies an Uponor designer with the basic information needed for the design and calculations, such as available water pressure, available size of the supply pipe, distances covered to any given fire sprinkler and the type of sprinkler to be used. Uponor then provides a floor plan with size and sprinkler-head locations. The plan is then sent to the city of Fresno for approval.
“In a tract development, there may be four to eight different floor plans,” Smith notes. “So we can use the Uponor sprinkler design in a similar house within the development, not just on one home. That makes it cost-effective for us.”
Uponor requires every home sprinkler system have a field-conducted flow test where sprinklers discharge water into buckets, the water volume is measured, and a verification form is filled out and signed by the contractor.
Local requirements
Most jurisdictions require a licensed plumber for multipurpose fire sprinkler installations. Some states have considered a second requirement — a C16 fire sprinkler license. As previously mentioned, California did require C16 certification but has since eliminated the requirement. Minnesota also considered a special level of certification, Rodriguez notes, but legislators decided they didn’t want to limit who can install the systems if they decide to mandate them for new home construction.
Other states may have special licenses or certifications, or they may not. “It’s important for plumbing contractors to find out what is required in the area they are working in,” Rodriguez says. “Some of that information can be found at”
Regardless if your jurisdiction requires fire sprinkler certification, your technicians need to be trained on sprinkler installation. Uponor requires its plumbing contractor clients to attend its AquaSAFE training classes before placing even one sprinkler inside a home. Two levels of training are available: Level One, which is classroom-based training on how to read NFPA 13D; and Level Two, which is hands-on training at a building site or at the corporate training center in Apple Valley, Minn.
Rodriguez says that while some states, such as Wisconsin, may provide training for plumbers on home multipurpose systems, much of the education in the industry is geared toward commercial sprinkler solutions. This includes the NFPA, the National Fire Sprinkler Association and the American Fire Sprinkler Association.
Plumbing contractors will need a different kind of insurance coverage to enter into the fire sprinkler business, Rodriguez says, so they’ll need to talk to their insurance company and find out what their options are.
Fire sprinkler services can be a lucrative add-on to a business. “It’s been great for us, another piece of the pie,” Smith says. “While we’re in the house doing the domestic plumbing, we’re also including the fire sprinkler system. So it’s a matter of one contract instead of two for the builder, and time savings for the homeowner.”

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Successful Contractors must learn to P.A.N.I.C.

Why You Must Lear...

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Annual ROI of a City Tree


Feel feel to read more below and click the link for the full article..... I am going to plant a few trees!!  #prochek @prochekhomeinsp #homeinspector #buildinginspectorny #buildinginspectorct #treevalue #homeowner #homebuyer #homeseller #1sttimehomebuyer #honestinspectioncompany #westchesterrealestate #fairfieldcountyrealestate ##homeinspectorct #inspection #engineeringinspection

Researchers from the US Forest Service and the University of California at Davis have calculated that the annual cost to keep a city tree alive is $19. For every dollar spent, they say, we reap $5.82 in benefits—a pretty good return on investment. The benefits include everything from providing shade—and thus reducing the urban heat island effect—to mitigating air pollution, retaining stormwater and reducing peak flows, and increasing real estate prices

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

3 Important Roles of Homeowners

Check out @Prochekhomeinsp's Tweet:

Friday, May 6, 2016

Ever Wonder what's happening in the chamber of your oil fired boiler?

Check out the photos below of a Burnham Oil fired Boiler at work and also,at rest once the desired temp is reached.

Monday, May 2, 2016

On-Site Wastewater Specialists (NY & CT)  coming soon.... Professional Licensed Westchester County Septic Contractor and PSMA Septic and Sewer Line Inspections in NY and CT

Septic and sewer line inspections coming soon.  Keep an eye out for the launch of On-Site Wastewater Specialists (NY & CT) and contact us for your Septic Inspections...

The Pennsylvania Septage Management Association (PSMA) is a trade association for companies that are involved with the following: septic systems, on-lot sewage disposal systems, on-site sewage disposal systems, individual wastewater treatment systems, anaerobic treatment tanks, aerobic treatment tanks, cesspools, seepage pits, septics, seepage beds, trench systems, elevated sand mounds, peat filters, Biomicrobics® and Ecoflo® units, subsurface sand filters, drip irrigation systems, recirculating sand filters, Zabel™ filters, at-grade systems, IRSIS or individual residential spray irrigation systems, holding tanks, privies, septic inspections, onlot wastewater treatment system inspection, real estate transfer inspection, grease traps, grease pits, system installations, system maintenance, chlorinators, UV lamps and all related issues.

We are glad that you found our web site! We appreciate other web sites that have chosen to link to this site.

You will find explanations of PSMA/NOF's Onsite Wastewater Treatment System Inspection Standards on many web sites. Do not be misled. Because an inspection company has a link to this site, does not mean that the company is a PSMA member or employs a PSMA/NOF certified inspector

Friday, February 19, 2016

House Flipping: A Guide For Success

House Flipping: A Guide For Success                  
Flipping a house means buying a home with the intention of fixing it up and selling it within six months for a profit. Americans flipped 26,947 single-family homes in Q3 2014, accounting for 4 percent of all home sales in that period, according to real estate data firm Realtytrac. The average gross return for investors was $75,990 per home, up 2 percent from Q2.

Flipping houses can be profitable, particularly when home values are rising and interest rates remain at historically low levels. The Federal Housing Administration stopped enforcing anti-flipping regulations—which prohibited insuring any home for less than 90 days—in 2010. If you're looking to get into the home flipping business, follow these four guidelines for the best chance of success.
Build a Bankroll
Everything in life requires money, and house flipping is no exception. You could take out loans to buy properties, but then you are just creating debt in the hopes of making money. A smart house flipper who wants to profit immediately will often use his or her own money.
The best way to build a bankroll is by saving over time. Consider selling your own home if the proceeds will pay off the mortgage and leave you with enough to get started. Those currently receiving regular payments from a structured settlement or annuity can consider selling their future payments to a company like J.G. Wentworth for a lump sum of cash now. Make sacrifices like selling off an extra vehicle, disconnecting cable television and giving up the $5 lattes in the morning to pad your bankroll further.
Buy at Discount
You'll make the most money if you buy a house for less than its actual value at the time of purchase. The best way to do this is by seeking out motivated sellers. These are people who need to sell quickly to relocate for a job or simply need to make fast money.
Use your social media networks to generate referrals. Inform friends and followers that you are looking to buy properties. Knocking on doors in prime neighborhoods can also generate leads—target homes with "for sale" signs and distressed properties that appear neglected.
Location, Location
The total value of all homes in the U.S. was $27.5 trillion at the end of 2014, according to data compiled by Zillow. That represents a 6.7 percent increase from 2013 and the third consecutive year of positive gains. But certain markets are doing even better.
Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Orlando and Las Vegas experienced the largest gains for 2014, with each up at least 11.5 percent on the year. These markets offer the largest margin for error for those flipping homes, particularly with a major housing market correction being predicted by several economists for 2015. This is mostly due to the Federal Reserve ceasing its quantitative easing program and no longer artificially inflating the markets.
A good rule of thumb when buying in areas that experienced low or negative year-over-year home value change (i.e., Indianapolis and Phoenix) is to only purchase homes at 10 percent or more below current market value.
DIY Where Possible
You'll likely need to hire plumbers, electricians and other contractors to tackle major home improvements. But the more you do yourself, the higher your profits will be. You and a few friends can install new sinks and countertops and even shingle a roof. Youtube has hundreds of instructional videos that cover everything from replacing water heaters to installing shower faucets. Creative landscaping can increase the value of a property by 13 percent, according to a study by Virginia Tech University. The DIY Network has several ideas for easy landscaping projects that anybody with a little ambition can complete.
House flipping is a cyclical endeavor that is only profitable when economic conditions are positive. Now is a great time to get started.

Friday, January 8, 2016

What is the BEST Advice a Professional Home Inspector could ever give to their Clients????




Buying a home? Don't make these costly mistakes

Buying a home? Don't make these costly mistakes

The housing market is still going strong and millennials are a big factor.
Total mortgage application volume surged 25.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending Oct. 2 compared to the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Applications to refinance and to purchase homes are now at the highest level in five years.
Millennials represent the largest share of homebuyers, according to an analysis by the National Association of Realtors. Nearly one-third of all homebuyers, and 68 percent of first-time buyers, were 34 or younger last year. (Tweet This) And those numbers are expected to grow. 

Buying your first home or know someone who is? Here are three common, and potentially costly, mistakes to avoid.

Mistake #1: Overestimating what you can afford.
Real estate brokers say first-time buyers often focus on the down payment and monthly mortgage amount when calculating how much they can afford and forget to factor in closing and other costs.
"They get to the closing and they're shocked by the amount of money they have to pay," said Vicki Fillet, certified financial planner and president at Blueprint Financial Planning in Hoboken, New Jersey. 

It's important to remember too that monthly payments include not just the mortgage, but interest, taxes and insurance—something that buyers can often forget when figuring out their budgets.
It's a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan so you know how much a bank is willing to lend you before you make an offer on a home. But keep in mind that the amount you're pre-approved to borrow from a mortgage lender may be more than you can actually afford once you factor in taxes, insurance and other costs like condo or homeowners' association fees and maintenance.

As a general guideline, your total monthly payment (including mortgage principal, interest, real estate taxes and homeowners insurance) shouldn't exceed 28 percent of your gross, or pretax, income.
While some sellers are still asking for 20 percent down payments, it's possible to pay much less. Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced guidelines late last year for loans with down payments as low as 3 percent under a new program largely aimed at first-time homebuyers. Just remember that the lower your down payment, the bigger your mortgage loan (and the more you'll pay in interest).

Mistake #2: Letting your emotions get the best of you.
Don't get so attached that you buy with your heart and not your head. "It's difficult not to get emotionally attached. Homeownership is an investment in your future," said Chris Polychron, president of the National Association of Realtors.

But be careful. Get too emotionally attached and it can set you up to spend more than you can afford.
Cathy Moyano of Coccia Realty in Kearny, New Jersey, recommends prioritizing what you want in your home. Make a list of the most important qualities, whether you want a certain school district, updated bathrooms, a backyard, etc. Then figure out what you aren't willing to give up. You won't find the perfect home that meets your entire list so narrowing it down to what matters most can help you through your search process.
A real estate agent can help facilitate the searching and buying process. Using apps and sites like Zillow, Trulia, StreetEasy and Redfin can also help speed up your search.
Mistake #3: Not planning ahead.
Once you've narrowed the search and you are ready to make on offer, check with your agent about the demand. Is the home getting multiple offers? Has it sat on the market a long time? Will it require a lot of upgrades?
Make sure you get a thorough inspection. Fillet said buyers often don't get an inspector with expertise to check the pipes, the plumbing, or air conditioning. You want someone who knows what they are doing, not just an inspector from the real estate broker, she said.

Remember the resale opportunities. Consider the school district, Fillet said, because even if you don't have children or plan on having any, the next buyer might.

Don't overly improve the property either or "over customize to your personal taste," Moyano said. "Let's say you've painted your dining room purple, before you sell it, paint it back to a neutral color. This sounds like a little thing, but it does leave an impact on when you're showing homes."