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The Most Common Home Inspection Issues: An Interview with April Kass of LaRocca Inspections

By April Kass

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

LaRocca Inspections has been in business since 1994 and has performed well over 100,000 inspections. We are the premier inspection company in Los Angeles County. We perform both residential and commercial property inspections, post-earthquake building evaluations, and schedule moisture and mold inspections, mold sampling, sewer line video inspections, and fireplace/chimney video inspections.

What areas should a standard home inspection cover?

There is no licensing for home inspectors in California, however there are trade associations such as the CA Real Estate Inspection Association, which outline standards of care and practice. An accredited inspector should be examining the attic areas and roof framing, building interiors, electrical system, exterior, foundation, basement, and under-floor areas, heating and cooling system, plumbing system, pool and spa equipment (if applicable), and roof covering.

What are a few of your biggest safety concerns when you're inspecting a house for sale?

When it comes to the safety of the inspector, the height and pitch of the roof are of concern, so that he or she is able to safely access and walk on the roof. The same goes for confined spaces such as attics or crawl spaces. In regards to items we find during an inspection that would be a major safety concern to a buyer, we follow the CREIA standard, reporting on safety issues with the major systems, paying particular attention to electrical hazards, any gas burning appliance hazards and structural safety issues.

What are the most common significant defects you've seen during home inspections in Southern California?

The top three most common significant defects would be: improper site drainage, leading to moisture intrusion in the envelope of the building and settlement of the structure; unsafe electrical modifications; and unsafe plumbing modifications.

How should a potential buyer follow-up on the information in the inspection report?

If the client has questions about the inspection report that are unanswered, they should either email their inspector or call our office at 818-951-1795 to get their questions answered. If the client needs referrals for reputable repair people to make repairs to the property, they can go to our website for a list of contractors.

Is there anything that most people don't about home inspections that they should know before working with an inspector?

As mentioned earlier, the state of California does not require or offer licensing for home inspectors. This means that is particularly important to look for a "qualified" inspector. Some great qualifications to look for are: Certification with a trade association such as CREIA or ASHI, errors and omissions insurance, a background in construction or contract work, and experience performing inspections. I would suggest looking for someone who has performed a minimum of 250 home inspections.

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

The most direct way to reach us is to call our office at 818-951-1795. We can also be emailed atinfo@laroccainspections.com.

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