Reuben Saltzman

COVID-19 and Home Inspections

We’ve seen a lot of unprecedented events over the past few weeks related to the coronavirus outbreak, and we’re staying current with this ever-changing situation. At Structure Tech the safety of our clients, employees and the safety of the occupants of the homes we inspect are of utmost importance. I want to share what we’re doing as a company to help keep everyone safe.

Action Plan

While we typically encourage our clients to attend the home inspection, we’re temporarily changing that request. We’re no longer encouraging our clients to join us at the inspection. Instead, we’ll have a brief call at the end of the inspection to sum up our findings and then later conduct a phone review of the inspection with the client after we’ve sent out the report. If our clients insist upon attending, we will allow it, but we’re are no longer encouraging it. In addition, only the client(s) and their real estate agent may attend the inspection, and cannot bring others along.

Update as of 3/21/20, 8 pm: We are now respectfully asking for nobody to attend the home inspection other than the home inspector. 

While on-site, our inspectors will take the following steps to help maintain a sanitary environment in people’s homes:

  • Wipe sinkWash hands multiple times during every inspection, especially after touching things like faucets and door handles.
  • Bring hand towels or paper towels for drying our hands. 
  • If available, we’ll keep hand sanitizer nearby and use it when needed.
  • If available, use disinfectant wipes or the equivalent on faucets and door handles.
  • We will not shake hands or bump fists.
  • We will avoid touching our faces.
  • If requested by the seller, our inspector will wear a mask during the inspection.
  • If any of our inspectors have a fever or cough, we will not conduct the inspection.
These steps apply to all Structure Tech inspectors, chimney inspectors, our radon technicians, and any technicians with DrainBusters, the sewer scope company that we use.
We will also ask that our clients do not touch anything in the home, and if they are showing any signs of illness, request that they not attend.

With schools closing and kids being left home alone, it’s also important to note that our policy is, and always has been, that we will not enter a home with minors present unless a second adult is present.

We will continue to monitor this dynamic situation, and we will adjust any of these policies as needed or recommended to help ensure everyone’s safety.

ps – If you’re another home inspector, feel free to copy this blog post and even put your own name on it. I won’t get funny about it. If you share this message and you follow these procedures, I think you’ll be doing a good thing.

Author: Reuben SaltzmanStructure Tech Home Inspections

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8 responses to “COVID-19 and Home Inspections”

  1. Jon Vacha
    March 17, 2020, 8:14 am

    Thanks Reuben, I copied most of this and passed it along to our agent list. Jon Vacha, Home Standards Inspection Services – Omaha, NE

  2. Andy
    March 17, 2020, 1:28 pm

    I am a rural physician. You are not performing a function critical to our society. Be a citizen. Stop working. at least for awhile.

  3. nick alati
    March 18, 2020, 8:42 am

    Why? A high percentage of the time I am alone at the home for 2 an half hours. Most home inspectors have what we call common sense. We don’t sneeze in your coffee tables or your countertops we put shoe covers over our shoes when we enter the home we’re running lots of water and our hands are getting wet quite a bit and by adding the precaution of wiping down faucet handles and items that we touch. By taking the extra steps of asking our clients not to show we’re doing nothing to harm or put anybody in harm’s way but we are providing a vital task and the home purchase process. Everybody says just shut down, I think you folks are crazy to be honest with you. Put common sense back into the topic, sneeze into your elbow, wash your hands get plenty of fresh air. Catching this virus is no different than catching any other virus.
    Nick J Alati
    Alatis Inspection Service established 2001

  4. Tami Godfrey
    March 18, 2020, 11:34 am

    Would you rather have that individual that has already put a notice in to their landlord,accepted an offer from a medical professional transferring from another location on the home they are in all go to a hotel together? This is housing we are talking about! We do not need people displaced and not have a home to stay home at.

  5. Margaret Conable
    March 19, 2020, 4:57 am

    That’s a good question, is our service “essential”? I think I will ask local government for an opinion.

  6. Chris Remy - TREC Inspector #6258
    March 18, 2020, 1:02 am

    Thanks! I have copied this and will pass it along to clients. Great/timely well written information!

    Chris Remy – Galveston Island Home Inspections

  7. Brad Fifer
    March 18, 2020, 9:08 pm

    Great response piece. I will definitely use
    Brad Florida Inside & Out Inspections.

  8. Margaret Conable
    March 19, 2020, 4:54 am

    So far I have followed this advice, but based on what CNN and other outlets are saying about asymptomatic transmission I am concerned that it may not be enough and am seriously considering shutting down my business. I am not finding that most people are able to actually maintain the 6′ social distance, if they even know about it, and probably all of us are less than 100% on face touching, etc. We cannot know and cannot control whether any of our customers are among those that are continuing to attend social gatherings or go to work in risky situations. We inspect in all communities and among all walks of life, so if we were unknowingly carrying the virus we could spread it from one social group or geographic area to another. Also, many of us are coming to inspection from previous construction careers and in or near the age group that is at risk. Finally, we typically have other lung exposures from our work (wear your masks, everyone!) and possibly other immune system challenges from the environments we are in – who even knows that answer? Obviously the financial consequences of shutting down are terrifying but we need to try and think about this. Margaret Conable, Elm City Home Inspections, New Haven CT

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