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Expert Advice on Pool and Spa Inspections: An Interview with Randy Pierson of South Bay Home Inspections

By Randy Pierson

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

South Bay Home Inspections has been serving the South Bay and Los Angeles County for over 15 years. Our inspection services include professional inspections and reports for single family residences, as well as multi-family units such as duplexes, triplexes, etc.

Randy Pierson is a Board Certified Residential Mold Inspector with thousands of moisture intrusion investigations conducted. This allows South Bay Home Inspections the ability to offer air quality testing, moisture intrusion investigations and mold inspections that other inspection companies can not.

South Bay Home Inspections maintains professional credentials with ASHI - American Society of Home Inspectors. The nation's oldest and most prestigious home inspection association. ACAC - American Council for Accreditation and Certification. The largest air quality association in the country.

SBHI has always and will always carry E&O as well as general liability insurance.

Can you briefly describe what pool and spa inspections cover/test?

Pool security in the form of perimeter fencing that is at least 4 feet tall and not climbable, with self closing and latching gates is the standard for most cities. (Please check your own city's requirements.) Pool Safety in the form of confirming that the pool and spa light is properly grounded. I always recommend to clients that they have a licensed electrician confirm the not only the presence, but the condition of the grounding system! I have heard several accounts of the ground wires being so badly corroded that they no longer provided the necessary safety net we expect.

The rest of the inspection is visual. We check the clarity of the pool water. We also want to make sure that the water line is level. Usually there is a line between the two levels of tiles. We want to be sure that the water is to that point and most importantly, the water line is level. Then there is the expansion joint that goes around the perimeter of the pool, and the coping stones that need to be evaluated and their condition noted. The inspection of the pool and spa equipment is conducted to make sure all components are functional and most importantly safe.

SBHI will only conduct a free pool and spa inspection with the scheduling of a home inspection. We do not offer stand-alone pool and spa inspections. This is because there are many facets to owning a pool. The first is safety!

What are some of the most common issues that you've seen in pools and spas in Southern California?

The most common issue is the pool heater is not operational. Trust me! You are going to want a pool heater. Unless it is about 75 degrees+, you will not enjoy the pool.

What is the benefit of getting a pool and/or spa inspection, and when do people usually have them done?

Pool and spa maintenance is a weekly chore. If you don't stay on top of a pool it can go south quickly. I recommend that you maintain the pool and spa weekly. Always have a pool and spa inspection done when buying a house with those amenities.

What are the least expensive and most expensive pool and spa repairs?

The least expensive repair is not to make one to begin with. That stems from my previous comment that a pool and spa be maintained weekly. So proper maintenance is the least expensive repair in my book. Obviously the most expensive is re-surfacing the pool and spa.

Do you have any tips to help homeowners keep their pools/spas up and running?

I hate to sound like a broken record. But properly maintaining a pool and spa is the key. Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance! Stay on top of your pool and or spa, or you will be sorry.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

South Bay Home Inspections can be reached at (310) 265-0833. Also by email -

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