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FAQ's

What qualifications and experience does a BAI Services Inc. Building Inspections inspector bring to an inspection?

Where are you located, which areas do you serve?

What is a Building or Site Inspection?

Why do I need a Building or Home Inspection?

What does a Building or Site Inspection include?

Do I need to be there during the Inspection?

How long will the Inspection take?

Does a newly constructed building or home need an Inspection?

Why can't I do the Inspection myself?

What if the Inspection uncovers problems?

Will you fix the problems you find during the Inspection?

What if I have questions after the inspection?

What does an inspection cost?

Deposit payments why are they required and when is it necessary?

How can I improve air quality in apartments or homes

 

What qualifications and experience does a BAI Services Inc. Building Inspections inspector bring to an inspection?

A: Our lead commercial or residential inspector has extensive experience in building construction & operation, which gives him a unique advantage when evaluating a building and its components. He is also highly trained and has performed thousands of commercial residential and environmental inspections. He/She is:

  • Licensed by the state of Washington as a Licensed Inspector 
  • Certified Environmental Consultant.
  • Certified by the National Association of certified Home Inspectors.
  • Certified AHERA Building Inspectors for Asbestos.
  • Licensed EPA Lead based Paint Inspectors.

Where are you located, which areas do you serve?

A: We are now located in Tacoma Washington. We serve all of the Greater Seattle area, along with locations outside the Seattle area. For more information please see our "Area's Served" page.

What is a Building Inspection?   Back to top

A building inspection is a professional, complete visual examination of the all the systems and physical structural elements of a home. Our emphasis is on identifying existing or potential problems that would affect a purchasers buying decision.

Why do I need a Building Inspection?   Back to top

A commercial building,site property,industrial site and or home is the largest purchase most people will ever make. It only makes sense to find out as much as you can about the structures you are interested in before you buy use or occupy. That way you can avoid costly surprise repairs and problems with your new site. Our report will also advise you of what maintenance is required to keep your facility in top condition. A professional inspection will give you a clear picture of the many systems and structural elements that make up the property. If you are selling your property, a listing inspection will point out any potential problems that might be uncovered later by the buyers inspector. Finding them early will allow you to address them before listing your site, making for a faster and smoother sale.

What does a Building or Home or Site Inspection include?   Back to top

Our standard inspection report covers all the major systems and structural elements of the facilities grounds. This includes the condition of the buildings heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing and electrical systems, roof, foundation, attic and visible insulation, walls, doors, windows and all visible structures.

Do I need to be there during the Inspection?   Back to top

No, you aren't required to be there for the inspection. But we highly recommend that you be present. It's a valuable learning experience for most people and will help you get the most benefit from the inspection. By following the inspector you can ask questions directly and the inspector can explain maintenance tips for specific areas. We feel you'll be able to best understand the finished report and get the most benefit from it by having been there during the inspection.

How long will the Inspection take?   Back to top

The time will vary depending on both the size and condition of the structures and or home. For most homes, 3 hours is pretty typical. But for larger building complexes and or structures,  or homes in poor condition, it may take longer.

Does a newly constructed building or home need an Inspection?   Back to top

Absolutely. A professional inspection of a structure and /or site location is important. We can spot potential problems early, while they are still easy to correct. It's especially valuable to arrange an inspection before the first ground breaking or interior walls are finished. As building professionals, we may find problem areas where the builder has taken shortcuts or not done good work.

Why can't I do the Inspection myself?   Back to top

Chances are that even if you are very familiar with building construction or site specific plan, you still don't have the knowledge, training and experience of a professional inspector and consultant. We've inspected thousands of commercial buildings industrial sites and homes. We are not only familiar with all the systems of a commercial facility and home, and how they work and need to be maintained, but we also know what to look for to tell us that they are getting ready to fail. But beyond the technical expertise and experience a professional inspector brings, it is important to remember that the inspector remains an impartial third party. If you are involved in buying or selling a commercial property or house, it's impossible for you to remain completely unemotional about the house, and this may cloud your judgment. The professional inspector will provide an objective outside reporting of the facts.

What if the Inspection uncovers problems?   Back to top

Our report will tell you the condition of the structures site or house, including needed repairs and expenses. No building structure facility or house is going to be perfect. It is up to you to decide how any problems the inspection uncovers might affect your decision to purchase. If major problems are discovered, you may want to try negotiating with the seller to have them repaired before closing the deal. Or perhaps the seller will lower the price, or offer more favorable contract terms. In the end, the decision rests with you, but knowing about potential problems, before you buy, gives you the power to negotiate and make the best decisions.

What if I have questions after the inspection?

A: We always allow time after the inspection to go over any questions you might have. We also encourage our clients to call us anytime for technical advice--even years after the inspection!

What does an inspection cost?

A: We determine our inspection fees based on several criteria, such as the square footage of the home, age, presence of detached structures, and other unique and distinguishing features of a property. Therefore, a description of the property is required before an exact quotation can be provided.

Will you fix the problems you find during the Inspection?   Back to top

No. The code of ethics of The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and ASTM American Society of Testing Materials prohibits its members from doing repair work on properties they inspect. This assures that there will never be any conflict of interest by the inspector. Our purpose is to provide an unbiased, objective third party report on the condition of the building structures industrial site or home.

Deposit payments why are they required and when is it necessary?

Some projects large in scale such as phase one environmental site assessments or commercial property condition assessments require that we purchase expensive data from government or other third party agencies or your project may require us to purchase materials to be incorporated or hire sub contractors and or laboratory fees in testing is involved.  In some cases of out of area jobs per diem and travel expences have to be paid for and each case is contracted in advance and agreed upon by each party prior to the mobilization. 

How can I improve Air Quality in Apartments or Homes?

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVING THE INDOOR AIR QUALITY  IN APARTMENTS AND HOMES

The quality of the indoor environment is controlled by several things: The building: its’ condition and how well it is maintained Ventilation: how much fresh air is brought in every day Cleaning habits: how often and how thoroughly occupants clean Lifestyle: amount of clutter, cooking, pets, smoking in the space Furnishings: age condition and how clean they are

Our experience after investigating thousands of buildings is that most indoor air quality problems come from excessive amounts of mold or dust in the air. Molds will grow when building materials stay wet for over 48 hours. Molds and yeasts in a building can cause health problems for occupants, especially children or the elderly. The larger the area that is covered by mold and the longer the mold has been there, the greater the risk to the occupants. See attached articles for examples of how mold in homes can affect people.

House dust is a conglomeration of fine dirt particles, fibers, animal dander, human skin flakes, dust mites, their body parts and feces, parts from other insects, mold spores, soot, tire fragments and an innumerable amount of other particles. "House dust that is heavily contaminated with the fecal pellets of dust mites is one of the most strongly allergenic materials found indoors" (Indoor Air Pollution Control: Godish, 1990).

The Building

Leaks in the building that are not repaired ASAP are the biggest cause of mold growth in buildings. The most common locations are roofs, windows, siding, toilets, showers, dishwashers, and other plumbing fixtures. Water leaks must be fixed before molds or dryrot can destroy the walls, carpets and furnishings. If leaks continue, mold or yeast can make health problems worse.

Building dust particle problems can be caused by insects, rodents, birds, loose or flaking lead paint or heating devices that are not maintained.

Ventilation

People breathe all day and the buildings they live in also need to breathe all day, every day. The Washington State Ventilation Code requires 15 cubic feet of air per minute per person, or .33 air changes per hour. This is to insure that pollutants generated inside the building are exhausted outdoors, and fresh air is supplied to the occupants to prevent pollutants building up to unhealthy levels in the residence. Relying on building air leaks to do this will not give adequate ventilation.

Bathroom and kitchen range hood fans should be vented directly to the outdoors in sealed (air tight) metal ducts. The bath fan should be controlled with a solid state speed controller set to run at 1/2 to 2/3 speed at all times. A one-hour crank timer turns the fan up to high speed for 1/2 hour after each shower. The range fan should be run every time cooking is done, and the bath fan should be run at high speed for 20 minutes after each shower. 2

If your apartment does not have fans, or has fans that are noisy or do not work, request that good fans be installed, and in the meantime keep the windows open. A window or two should be kept open a crack even in the winter. In the spring, summer and fall keep them open as much as possible.

Cleaning Habits

How often and how thoroughly you clean will have a significant impact on the air quality of your home. Every home needs to be cleaned weekly. This should include damp dusting all horizontal surfaces, vacuuming carpets and washing bathroom and kitchen fixtures and floors. Open all the windows when you clean to flush the dust raised by the cleaning out of the house. All bed linen should be washed in water that is 130° F in the washing machine, or dry-cleaned.

Once or twice a year the entire house should be "spring" cleaned. Thorough "spring cleaning" should include damp wiping, allergy or HEPA vacuuming, and washing horizontal surfaces. All furnishings and appliances should be moved and cleaned under and behind. Furnishings should be steam cleaned with 180º F dry steam, vacuumed well and/or beat and aired out in the sun.

Lifestyle

It is very difficult to effectively clean a home that is full of hundreds of things covering all surfaces. It is easy and fast to clean uncluttered spaces. It is important to clean up food and water spills ASAP because damp floors with nutrients offer ideal conditions for molds and insects. Smoking and pets contribute many pollutants and allergens to the space. At a minimum, pets should be kept out of bedrooms.

Furnishings

Soft furniture and rugs that are very old can hold millions of fine dust particles that contain pet dander, dust mites, mold spores and other allergens that can have a negative impact on the air quality.

A FEW ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR HAVING A HEALTHIER HOME

1. REMOVE SHOES BEFORE ENTERING HOUSE

Studies have shown that house dust can be dramatically reduced by removing shoes at the front door, or by using a good quality wipe off mat.

2. REDUCE DUST MITE LEVELS IN BEDROOMS

There are several steps you can take to greatly reduce your exposure to dust mites, particularly in bedrooms.

Remove wall-to-wall carpeting, especially if they are old or thick

Replace pillows

Install allergy control barrier cloths over pillows, mattress, box springs, and comforter

Wash bedding weekly in 130°F water

Keep humidity in bedroom below 60%. Dust mites cannot survive at humidity levels below 50%, so a humidity level between 40-50% is optimal for reducing dust mite levels

Consider purchasing a humidity monitor to track indoor humidity levels.

3. NON-TOXIC PEST CONTROL

Do not use any toxic pesticide sprays or powders. Use only non-toxic pest control methods. If you or someone in this home is sensitive it may be necessary to limit the use of all chemicals in the home. The Washington Toxics Coalition ((206) 632-1545) can help you find healthy and effective alternatives to toxic household products.

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