Long Cove Home Inspections LLC | Maine Home Inspector | Christopher Malliet
Long Cove Home Inspections LLC | Maine Home Inspector | Christopher Malliet
Long Cove Home Inspections LLC | Maine Home Inspector | Christopher Malliet
Long Cove Home Inspections LLC | Maine Home Inspector | Christopher Malliet
Long Cove Home Inspections LLC | Maine Home Inspector | Christopher Malliet Useful Information Long Cove Home Inspections LLC | Maine Home Inspector | Christopher Malliet


Just what exactly is a home inspection?

A home inspection is a non-destructive, non-invasive examination of a building’s condition by visual examination of its components. I look at the elements of the home from chimney to basement, outside and inside, as well as the mechanical systems: electrical, plumbing and heating systems. I look at the site as well, trying to determine if there are conditions that may impact the building. There are Standards of Practice, as well as a Code of Ethics all inspectors must follow. For more about this, go to www.internachi.org. I typically spend three to four hours onsite and the same amount of time or more writing the report.

Why do I need a home inspection?

For most of us, the purchase of a home is the largest single financial commitment we will make. The rewards of home ownership have been pretty well documented: identity, comfort, security and a good long term investment. The downside risk of buying a home is that a house has many components that require specialized knowledge. By hiring a qualified home inspector you gain peace of mind and assurance knowing someone with that knowledge has examined and assessed the various components. Most lenders require a home inspection before granting a mortgage.

And finally, the purchase of a home is a very emotionally charged time. You have found what seems to be the right house at the right price in the right location. You’re really excited about it and you really hope it works. But how good is that roof? How old is the boiler? Is there knob and tube wiring in this old house? Asbestos? Part of you probably doesn’t want to know… That can be a very costly mistake. An impartial home inspector can advise about these conditions. Sellers and realtors may not know, it may not be in a disclosure form, but once the papers are signed, it’s your problem. The cost of a home inspection is a small investment in future peace of mind. I’m getting ready to sell my house.

I am getting ready to sell my house, why is a pre-sale inspection a good idea?

Selling a house can be as stressful as buying one. The most successful sellers are well-informed and motivated. They have done the homework: interviewed realtors, listened to sales pitches, and researched comparable home sales online. They have come to a basic understanding of their home’s value, which will be used in determining their next move, but unpleasant and unexpected surprises can turn up with a home inspection. The informed and motivated seller will have a pre-sale inspection to get advance warning of unknown conditions that may negatively impact the sale. I can help with a pre-sale inspection, which is focused on finding hidden problems.

What about radon testing?

Radon is the second greatest cause of lung cancer after smoking. It is an odorless, colorless gas that occurs naturally in bedrock. It enters the house by air infiltration in the basement and is also sometimes found in large concentrations in well water. Maine is considered to be a state with high radon concentrations. Maine is considered to be a state with high radon concentrations. Testing for radon in air is required in any real estate transaction in Maine. Even buildings with previously installed mitigation systems must be tested.

Radon in water is not a required test because, if you are looking at a home with some form of public water supply, the agency providing the water will have treated it before it gets to the home. But… If the home is served by a well, the situation is completely different.

Radon in water has no correlation to a radon in air test. The air test measures radon gas entering the house through penetrations in the foundation or basement floor, while water-born radon is carried into the house by well water. Its source is a rock formation containing uranium that has groundwater passing through crevices on its way into a well. It almost immediately becomes air-born after passing through a faucet or showerhead so the greatest risk of exposure with high radon in water levels is in a shower or a laundry room. I always recommend a test for radon in water when the water supply is a well.

What about other water problems or issues?

Lead, arsenic, sulfur, manganese, sodium, VOCs, coliforms… The quality of well water is determined by geology and site conditions and can vary widely even between homes next to each other. Pollutants can travel a long way in groundwater. Lead can be found in water supply pipes both inside and outside the house. There is range of testing available. The decision to test is made by the prospective buyer. I will be happy to make recommendations.

What is “sick building syndrome”?

Simply put, a “sick” building is one that contains enough pollutants, allergens and or mold to make the occupants ill. There are many causes and the list is too long to include here. Most of us spend between a third and half our life in our home. The incidence of allergies and asthma has skyrocketed in the last thirty years as we have added more insulation and new materials to our homes in an effort to make them more affordable to heat and more comfortable. I am proud to be a member of the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council. I have benefited from their educational seminars and feel that I can provide guidance in this area.

Is Building Science real?

Yes, absolutely! This developing field is simply the application of physics to a building. The goal is improving durability, comfort and safety in building. Home building is a very tradition-bound trade. I was proud of my grandfather who was a builder in the 1940s and 50s. When I started out, I wanted to be like him. And build the same way. But change is constant and what worked in 1950 doesn’t work in 2017. Some awful mistakes were made in between (think urea-formaldehyde) and some of what was considered good then is now known to be harmful (think asbestos and lead paint). We have learned that a bad insulation job can be worse than no insulation, that moisture levels in a home need to be controlled, it is possible to make a building unhealthier by reducing air infiltration without considering additional ventilation - all because of building science.

What does a home inspection cost?

Basic inspections including a written report with pictures and a thermal imaging scan start at about $350. Larger homes will cost more. Radon air testing is $135. The cost of a water test depends on what is being tested. Laboratories offer a variety of options. Septic system inspections and sewer line inspections are quoted on a case by case basis. All prices are subject to change. Please contact me for an exact quote.


  • Radon: Two good places to learn more about radon and its effects is http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/environmental-health/rad/radon/radon-homes-sales.htm and www.radon.com – I am not endorsing Air Chek Inc. but there is a lot of useful information and links to other related sites.

  • National Association of Home Inspection Professionals (www.internachi.org): The nation’s largest organization of home inspectors. Refer to: Standards of Practice, Code of Ethics, Certification, Education Certificates.

  • Maine Indoor Air Quality Council (www.maineindoorair.org) - A great organization dedicated to improving indoor air quality through education and training. Maine Coalition of Home Inspection Professionals (www.mechips.org) - Another great organization dedicated to maintaining professional standards and promoting education in the home inspection industry in Maine.

  • Building Science Corporation (www.buildingscience.com) - This organization has been at the forefront of building science. The website has lots of excellent information about what works and what doesn’t in a building.

  • Green Building Advisor (www.GreenBuildingAdvisor.com) - This is another resource for people interested in energy efficiency in building.

  • The Mesothelioma Center (www.asbestos.com) - Understanding the Dangers of Asbestos.


  • Journal of Light Construction: (www.jlconline.com) - Although this publication is geared toward people in the construction industry, there is a great deal of information about different building techniques.

  • Fine Homebuilding: (www.finehomebuilding.com) - This is another excellent publication concerning the developing trends in the homebuilding industry.

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