STRICTLY BUSINESS: More Than Just Inspections

866-366-3700 | strictly-business@sb-energy.org
New York Office: (718) 877-8735 | New Jersey Office: (908) 202-2208 or (732) 497-2674

FAQ

Home - Frequently Asked Questions

Prior to the inspection, prepare a list of questions or concerns about the property. Relate these to the inspection company in advance to ensure that such matters will be properly addressed and that any special arrangements can be made if necessary. Bring your list to the inspection. 

We understand that listing and purchasing a home take a lot of your time and energy. That's why we provide you with our comprehensive summary of your home's condition.

Why should I have a home inspection? 

A home purchase is one of the biggest investments you will ever make. A home inspection provides you with the information you need to feel more confident in your decision. Our inspection will provide you with a detailed, objective report of the home's condition so you can be aware of what you are about to invest in. 

How long does the inspection take? 

A typical inspection of a property less than 2,000 square feet lasts approximately two and a half hours. 

Do I need to be present at the time of the inspection? 

Yes, it is to the buyer or seller's benefit to be present at the time of the inspection. The point of a home inspection is not just to inspect the property, but also to educate the homeowner or potential buyer of the condition of the property. This can be better achieved if you are present at the time of the inspection. 

  • See first hand the condition of each key component throughout the house and property so you will have a better understanding of your house and of the inspection report.
  • Allay concerns about findings which, on paper may seem distressing buy in fact may be superficial. For example, the inspector might explain that some lubricant can quiet an alarming noise coming from an appliance; that an unsightly column needs only a coat of paint, or that the problem that caused a water spot has previously been corrected.
  • Learn about the operation of your new home-how the heating system works, how to control pilot lights, how to turn on various appliances and components, where shutoffs are to save time and avoid frustration. The inspector can point out maintenance needs and procedures and explain how and when to check items needing periodic monitoring.Have all of your questions and concerns addressed immediately as they arise.

By accompanying the inspector you will gain additional insight. 

How will the inspection help me determine the condition of the home? 

During the course of the inspection, the inspector will explain the condition o f the property. After the inspection if performed pursuant to the standards of the National Association Of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI), the inspector will provide you with your home inspection report so that you can make an informed decision on purchasing or listing the property. 

What is included in the report? 

The inspector will provide you with a fully detailed report. The report outlines all major areas of the home including heating, air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, roofing and more. It is a narrative report written in full English sentences, easily understood with jargon, and complete with photos of everything. 

The easy-to-read format makes the report useful as a quick reference tool should questions arise regarding the home. 

Commercial - Frequently Asked Questions

Coming soon.

Environmental - Frequently Asked Questions

What is mold?

Mold is a living organism that is found around the world. Mold needs three things to live; Oxygen, Moisture and Food. Mold does need liquid or standing water. Mold can thrive on as little as 40% humidity and mold likes to hide. 

Is mold making you sick?

Strictly Business Mold Inspections understands all to well that mold is a problem that every person at some point in their life will be exposed to. Mold is more prevalent in our area as well as in parts of the country where mold is given its ideal habitat. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are extremely susceptible to extreme mold problems. Mold will make you sick and mold can even cause death. You do not have to see mold, smell mold and more times than not, you will not even know you have a mold condition. You need to let a qualified professional inspect for mold. 

Mold is the second leading cause of naturally occurring reparatory distress in the home. Mold causes everything from Asthma and sleeplessness to headaches and lethargy. Mold could actually be ruining your life. 

Mold Overview

Molds are fungi that grow both indoors and outdoors and create spores that travel through the air in search of a good place to grow. Some people are sensitive to molds and experience allergy-type reactions. A few people experience severe reactions. Certain groups are more at risk of bad reactions to mold exposure such as infants, the elderly, people with respiratory conditions such as asthma, and people with weakened immune systems. However, prolonged exposure to excessive levels of mold will negatively impact the health of nearly anyone, that's why a mold inspection by a certified mold specialist is a vital part of ensuring a clean, safe and healthy environment. 

There are around 1,000 types or species of mold in the United States, and around 100,000 worldwide. Some molds are beneficial to make cheese and penicillin. Others are known to be highly toxic. Outdoors, molds play an important role in nature by breaking down organic matter such as toppled trees, fallen leaves, and dead animals. Indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Problems may arise when mold starts eating away at materials, affecting the look, smell, and possibly, with the respect to wood-framed buildings, affecting the structural integrity of the buildings. 

All molds share the characteristic of being able to grow without sunlight; mold needs only a viable seed (spore), a nutrient source, moisture, and the right temperature to proliferate. This explains why mold infestation is often found in damp, dark, hidden spaces. Mold does not like light and air circulation that dry areas out, making them less hospitable for mold growth. 

If you suspect that you have a mold problem and need remediation, call Strictly Business Mold Inspection. Strictly Business serves Brooklyn and Staten Island in New York, and in New Jersey, the cities and towns of Princeton, New Brunswick, Ocean City, Atlantic City, Belmar, Camden, Manasquan, Trenton, Point Pleasant and Morristown, among others. Mold inspection services are also provided in the Philadelphia area. 

Energy - Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Energy Audit? 

A home energy audit determines how much energy your home uses, and how it loses energy through air leaks, missing insulation, and other factors. 

A home energy audit also determines the efficiency of your home's heating and cooling systems, as well as your hot water heater. These can be major factors in your heating and air conditioning costs, and you costs for hot water. 

We examine all aspects of your home, and how you use it that affect your energy costs, and tell you how to lower your costs without lowering your standard of living.

Most importantly, an audit will show you problems that will, when corrected, continue to save you money in your energy bills for the rest of the time you live in the house.

Some things will save a significant amount of money while some may save a little. 

Some things will be very easy to “fix” and some things will be more involved, but by following as many of our recommendations as closely as possible, you will be able to make your home more energy efficient, and a more comfortable place to live at the same time. 

Why do I need an Energy Audit? 

How heat (and A/C) is produced, distributed, and (most importantly) lost in your home is quite involved. 

Some things are obvious. You certainly don't need a professional to tell you that if you have old drafty windows, you should change them for new high insulating windows, but there are many factors that are not so obvious, or are hard to detect. 

You may be losing heat (or A/C) through areas of your home you never thought of. 

For example, you may be losing heat (or A/C) because there is no insulation in part of your wall. How would you know that you are missing insulation without ripping open the wall to see? 

An energy audit can find those kinds of things and much more (without ripping open your walls!). We use an Infrared Camera that can actually SEE THROUGH WALLS, just like Superman using his X-ray vision! 

A “Strictly Business energy audit” checks over 100 separate things, any of which could save you money on your heating and air conditioning costs! 

Will I have to “freeze” in the winter, and “sweat like a pig” in the summer in order to save money on energy? 

Not at all! 

Strictly Business will show you how you can “lower your thermostat” WITHOUT being cold in the winter (Yes, you read that correctly!), and “raise your thermostat” without “sweating” during the summer. 

By following our recommendations, you will be able to be MORE comfortable in your home, AND pay LESS in energy costs. 

Will your recommendations cost me a fortune to do? 

Some of our recommendations won't cost you anything at all to follow. Some of our recommendations cost very little money to follow, and others may involve an investment in your home, that will more than pay for themselves over the time you continue to live in it. 

HERE IS THE BEST NEWS: 
The government, and many utility companies provide REBATES to help you pay for many home improvements such as high efficiency heating and cooling units. 

YOU GET MONEY BACK JUST FOR MAKING AN IMPROVEMENT that not only saves you money every day you live in the home, but also INCREASES THE VALUE OF YOUR HOME when it comes time to sell it. 

What kinds of things are checked in an energy audit? 

In your house, I will check using an infrared camera:

  • Insulation in walls
  • Air leaks through windows and window frames
  • Air leaks around doors
  • Insulation in the attic
  • Heat loss through electric outlets , switches, etc
  • Heat loss through the floor into the basement
  • Heat loss through the ceiling into the attic
  • Heat loss through water pipes
  • Heat loss through heating pipes
  • Heat loss through your windows and doors
  • Weatherstripping under and around doors
  • Any skylights, and how to make good use of them for energy efficiency
  • Air flow in your house, and how it affects your energy bill
  • Heat loss through any fireplaces you may have
  • The type and location of flooring that may influence heat retention
  • Means of heat (A/C) distribution in your home, and how it affects your energy bill
  • Condition and maintenance of radiators (if you have steam or baseboard heat) to maximize their heat radiation into the room.
  • Water leakage in your basement foundation walls.
  • The type, age, and condition of your boiler, and your hot water heater, and any Air Conditioning equipment.
  • Any chimney related issues.

How much money can I save? 

That depends on how your house is set up, it's age and condition, how serious your energy leaks are and how many of the recommendations made by our Energy Audit report you can and choose to implement. 

Are there any things that I can check myself, and how will I know what to do about what I find?

There are many things you can check yourself, but it's advisable to hire a professional to assist in your efforts. When searching for air leaks yourself, focus on the big culprits: the attic, and the basement. Look for holes in the walls and ceiling, and check insulation levels in your attic (if you have blown in insulation in the attic, it should come up well above the rafters).

Are there energy saving tips and ideas I can do myself? 

Yes! There are many things you can do around your home and office to help conserve energy. Many of them are NO COST recommendations, and many are LOW COST recommendations. BEST OF ALL, many of the things that cost more to implement have REBATES given by the Federal Government, and by your Utility Company. This not only gives you an energy savings at a REDUCED COST, but also adds to the value of your home, making it more valuable when it comes time to sell it. 

How does an infrared camera work? 

An infrared camera takes pictures using heat (infrared radiation) similarly to a camera that forms an image by using visible light. Instead of showing light and dark, an infrared camera shows you hot and cold. This lets me see where heat or A/C is escaping from your home. CLICK HERE for more information on Infrared Cameras. 

What are your qualifications? 

This is my full-time occupation, not a part-time job or a side-line from my “Day Job”. I am a Certified Infrared Thermographer, which means that I have been trained, and have passed both a practical and a written test, in how to use an Infrared Camera to inspect homes (and businesses) for energy efficiency, and heat loss.,br> My training included 40 hours of advanced thermodynamics, which is the study of the flow of heat, as well as the use of an Infrared Camera. 

Understanding heat flow is crucial to understanding energy efficiency, and how your home uses and loses energy. Equally important to my ability to help you, is that I am a Licensed Home Inspector, and have inspected over 1,000 homes of all ages, types, sizes, and conditions, as well as commercial buildings. This gives me the background to recognize problems with a home that may contribute to energy loss, and more importantly, it gives me the ability to recommend cost-effective (sometimes no-cost) repairs that will make your home more comfortable, and more energy efficient as well. 

Do you do Energy Audits for large commercial and office buildings? 

Yes! Commercial and office buildings can save a tremendous amount of money on energy use, and should definitely be checked for energy efficiency! Call for information on how I can help you with your particular building.