Author Archives: Integra Inspections

Mid adult realtor evaluates a property for sale

What Are Home Inspectors Not Allowed to Do?

The world of a Calgary home inspector involves many different decisions and actions. Whether or not to include a minor fault is a key consideration, but it is just the tip of the iceberg. Throughout the average workday, a home inspector will find themselves making judgement calls, tough choices and more.

Therefore, in establishing what Calgary home inspectors can do, it is equally important to determine what they cannot do. Below we look at some of the activities that home inspectors will not do and why. 

Activities that Calgary Home Inspectors DON’T Do

Issue a Passing or Failing Mark

Perhaps the biggest misconception about home inspectors is that their job is to allow the sale or occupancy of a house. This is not the case. Instead, home inspectors are trained to identify potential problems in the construction of the house, record them and submit their findings for review. 

Telling people that they should or shouldn’t buy a house is not part of a home inspector’s responsibility. This prevents potential conflicts of interest and protects home inspectors from opening themselves up to potential liability. Additionally, it prevents purchasers from making decisions based on incomplete information or opinions.

Perform Destructive Testing

During an inspection, there are several methods of determining the acceptability or rejectability of a particular area. Take corrosion, for example. A metallic support with visual rust typically indicates some amount of corrosion or degradation in the material. It does not determine the exact amount of corrosion, however. This would require physical inspection and testing.

Senior Black Man Construction Manager Inspection

Home inspectors do not participate in this level of destructive testing. They are there to perform visual assessments and referrals to specialized services when required. Performing destructive testing could lead to rework or repair that do not involve a home inspector’s services.

Determine a Home’s Value

Home inspectors in Calgary and other areas are not required to determine a home’s value. Nor should they, in many circumstances. The reason for not performing this activity is similar to the previous examples. 

It is simply not the responsibility or duty of the home inspector to provide their opinion on this information. Realtors and real estate agents work in the housing industry to offer this information, along with municipal governments and other relevant professionals.

Integra Inspections is a Home Inspection Company in Calgary that provides unbeatable service for home inspections. With over 15 years of experience and the latest technologies such as thermal imaging, you can count on Integra Home Inspections to get you the facts and have you ready for your next home!


Things To Look For In A Home Inspection

You’ve chosen a home, made the offer to purchase, and now comes the home inspection; a vital cog in the process of you owning a home. 

Without undertaking a home inspection in Calgary, you run the risk of problems arising, leading to expensive repairs or replacements, that can significantly devalue your home, or cost you more than expected. 

But having a qualified Calgary home inspector can ensure that you all defects are caught and dealt with sooner rather than later. 

What a Calgary Home Inspector Must Have

Make sure you look for a Calgary home inspector that has the following attributes:

  • Has experience in the industry and knowledge when inspecting homes
  • Highly qualified with certifications from major associations 
  • Knowledge of building codes
  • Referrals (from people you know), ratings (from online) and references (from the inspector themselves) 

Once you have hired a professional, schedule a time that works for all parties. At the inspection, your professional will look at the following in the home:

  • Attic (to check proper ventilation) 
  • Basement (to inspect if there is a solid foundation and no water damage) 
  • Bathrooms & Kitchens (ensure that there are issues with plumbing, and for the kitchen, if the appliances are functioning) 
  • Ceilings (look for uneven levels, stains or cracks) 
  • Electrical systems (ensuring that you have up-to-code circuit breakers, functional outlets and smoke detectors)
  • Exterior surfaces (to check for damage to siding or stucco) 
  • HVAC (inspecting the condition of the air conditioner and furnace) 
  • Plumbing (to look for damaged or leaking pipes and proper hot water temperature)
  • Roof (to check for damaged or loose shingles and functional gutters)
  • Windows & Doors (to check for damage, proper alignment and ventilation) 

Overall, the entire process will take between two to three hours to complete. 

Home inspection

What Happens if the Inspection Fails? 

After the review, the inspector will provide you with a report on all the defects within your property. If there is significant damage and the home inspection is classified as a failure, it’s best if you reconsider purchasing the home unless some concessions are made, saving you on expensive costs and labour. 

You can make an agreement where if the seller completes the repairs, you purchase the home. Or, you can also consider renegotiating the purchase price to cover repair costs. Speak with your real estate agent about the process going forward. 

Integra Inspections is a Home Inspection Company in Calgary that provides unbeatable service for home inspections. With over 15 years of experience and the latest technologies such as thermal imaging, you can count on Integra Home Inspections to get you the facts and have you ready for your next home!

The danger of radon gas in our homes - concept image with copy space

What is a High Radon Level?

It seems like there is always another risk to humans on the horizon. As we regulate personal transportation emissions, we discover trapped greenhouse gases in our soil. We switch to paper or plastic-less parcels and find straws as the seventh most common item on beaches. It feels like our very existence is at constant risk.

But what else is new? Humans have always had to fight, band together and innovate to grow and fend off our wildest predators and most dangerous environments. Comparatively speaking, standing a couple of extra feet away from the microwave (when in use) seems less invasive than keeping a well-lit fire to stave off wolves at the light’s edge. Still, though, caution must be observed.

Calgary home inspection is just one of the ways our society maintains its diligence and ensures our dwellings are safe for residency. However, only so much can be done at a home inspection, and living in the house will present different challenges as time goes on. One of these challenges is Radon, and we look at this dangerous gas in detail below.

The Basics of Radon

What is Radon?

Radon is “a radioactive gas that occurs naturally when the uranium in soil and rock breaks down. It is invisible, odourless and tasteless.” This information comes from the Government of Canada, who further explains that the process of diffusion removes the danger of Radon from our natural environment. Inside our homes, though, this gas may cause long-term problems to our health.

Radon Monitoring System in House Basement

In particular, the government publication continues to state that Radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. It gets into our home through fractured bedrock, groundwater evaporation and small openings in the structure of our buildings. So, how do we protect against this unseen danger?

How Calgary Home Inspection Identifies Radon 

While every Canadian home will have some amount of Radon present at all times, the most effective way to ensure it is not hazardous is to test the area. The Canadian Government sets out a guideline for amounts not exceeding 200 Becquerels per cubic metre (200 Bq/m3), which can be tested with either a do-it-yourself kit or with the help of a radon measurement professional. 

For more information on Calgary home inspections or to learn where you can meet a radon measurement professional, contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you.

Integra Inspections is a Home Inspection Company in Calgary that provides unbeatable service for home inspections. With over 15 years of experience and the latest technologies such as thermal imaging, you can count on Integra Home Inspections to get you the facts and have you ready for your next home!

Check off completed tasks on a to-do list

What Do Home Inspectors Check

Are you buying a new home or planning to sell yours? Well, a home inspection in Calgary is a must. Having an expert take a look through all the parts of a home can guarantee if it’s’ worthwhile investment or if you have to make necessary repairs before selling.

But what do home inspectors check when working? 

The answer is: a lot. So we’ve narrowed it down to a few key sections that they check while inspecting your home. 

What do Calgary Home Inspectors Check? 

A typical home inspector checklist consists of the following: 

The Soil

  • Home inspectors always check your grounds and soils, which might seem like a strange choice. But it’s important to know if there are any current or future water issues such as faulty grading or downspouts, that can cause foundation problems later on. 

The Foundation

  • Home inspections always consist of a foundation check of the home. They will look at current or potential issues that can arise from the foundation, such as if the homes are aligned and if the frames are holding firm. 

The Roof 

  • Roofs are pivotal for protecting the home while providing adequate cover when needed. As such, the Calgary home inspector will look at everything related to the roof, such as shingles, flashing, soffit and fascia, loose gutters; and defects in chimneys and skylights and so forth. They will also inspect the attic and see if there are any ventilation issues. 

The Exterior of the Home 

  • The likes of siding damages and cracks, windows and doors are always inspected from the outside in. This way, the home inspector can determine if there are any issues with ventilation, as well as ensure that the siding is not rotting or decaying quickly. 
Male housing inspector taking notes on problem area of home

The Interior of the Home 

  • When it comes to the inside of your home, Calgary home inspectors will be looking out for leaning walls, faulty framing, stained ceilings (which means a potential leak somewhere) and adequate insulation. All these factors are going to impact your everyday living and will cost you down the line if not repaired sooner or later. 

Plumbing Systems 

  • Inspectors will evaluate pipes, drains, water heaters, and water pressure and temperature throughout your home, particularly in wet areas (bathrooms, kitchens, laundry). They will look for water damage and to see how your system is holding up. 

Electrical Systems

  • One wrong electrical connection can result in a fire, so it makes sense that the inspector will check your electricity. They will conduct tests and overlook outlets, visible wiring, electrical panels, light switches and the HVAC systems to ensure they work correctly. 

This is a basic outline of what Calgary home inspectors will look when checking up on your property. Remember, that the checklist might be altered depending on the size, outlay and additional accessories that are part of your home. 

Integra Inspections is a Home Inspection Company in Calgary that provides unbeatable service for home inspections. With over 15 years of experience and the latest technologies such as thermal imaging, you can count on Integra Home Inspections to get you the facts and have you ready for your next home!


How Long Do Home Inspections Take?

A home inspection in Calgary is intended to provide you with information about the condition of a home’s systems. Depending on the report provider by the inspector, it can determine whether it is advisable for you to purchase the house or not. 

While homeowners wish inspections could be quick so they can get results faster, in most cases, home inspectors take their time to ensure that the information is accurate. To understand why it takes as long as it does, it is important to know what is included in the evaluation. 

What is Included in a Calgary Home Inspection?

A Calgary home inspector will conduct a visual inspection by looking at the home’s various systems and components, both indoors and outdoors. 

For indoor systems, the inspector will check the electrical circuits, HVAC (heating, air conditioning, ventilation) systems, plumbing and insulation systems to see if they are functional. They will also inspect the flooring, ceiling and walls, windows and doors to see if they are safe and secure. Depending on if your home has it or not, they will look at the chimney. 

Handyman checking of air ventilation

For outdoor systems, the inspector will look to see if there is no damage to siding, no loose or damaged stucco, no peeling paint, if the soffit, fascia and gutters are secure, and particularly if the roof has any damage, such as if there are any damaged or loose shingles, cracks or leaks. 

Finally, the Calgary home inspector will look at the attic (to ensure proper ventilation), the basement and foundations of the house to guarantee that no extensive work is required. 

Can The Calgary Home Inspector Give Advice? 

Typically, a home inspection does not include any quotes for repairs or appraisals. It is about providing a breakdown of the property’s value and whether it is a safe and secure property. The home inspector will not offer warranties or guarantees about the house’s condition or how well it works.

Home inspectors might provide you with information on the repairs and a range of costs involved based on experience if you ask for it. However, if there are problems beyond the inspection scope, the home inspector may recommend further evaluation.

Upon completion of the inspection, the home inspector will provide you with a written report detailing the condition of every primary system of your home. 

How Long Does a Calgary Home Inspection Take? 

An average-sized home that provides easy access to systems takes two hours or more to complete. Larger, and particularly older homes, take longer due to the property’s difficulties and the age of certain systems. 

The report itself is usually done during the inspection with touch-ups and a final assessment being done afterwards. Reports are sent to you the same day as the inspection or generally within 24 hours. 

Integra Inspections is a Home Inspection Company in Calgary that provides unbeatable service for home inspections. With over 15 years of experience and the latest technologies such as thermal imaging, you can count on Integra Home Inspections to get you the facts and have you ready for your next home!


7 Essential Components of a Home Inspection

There are many parts to a Calgary home inspection, but knowing which ones are the most essential will help you become better informed. Please inspect the list below to glean this knowledge:

Essential Components for Calgary Home Inspection

1. Foundation

The foundation of your home is one of the essential components of a home inspection. Ensuring cracks and crevices have not grown, or substantial portions of debris are not present, is a part of the inspection process.

2. Roof Drainage Systems

Another component of home inspections is the inspection of roof drainage systems. Here it is essential to look for kinks or pieces that have broken off. Improving these sections before the examination will yield better results.

3. Water Heating Equipment

Water heating equipment is another part of regular inspections. Ensuring the right system, tank or tankless, is installed, and there is sufficient power/ storage for the needs of the home are part of the inspection. Additionally, inspectors must check the adequacy of combustion air components.

4. Overcurrent Protection Devices

Overcurrent protection devices will have a part in your home inspection as well. These devices prevent power surges and are an essential safety component for all homes. Along with these devices, the power supply will also receive an inspection. 


5. Vent Systems, Flues, Chimneys

Another essential component of your home inspection is the vent systems, flues, and any chimneys present. Ensuring there is no substantial build-up of burnt material or smoke is necessary, as is the verification of structural integrity. 

6. Central Cooling Systems

Central cooling systems are also a necessary component of inspection during your home inspection. This would include air conditioners, for instance. However, electric air cleaning and sanitizing devices are not part of this type of review. 

7. Walls, Ceilings, Floors

Walls, ceilings, and floors are part of the standard home inspection, especially for the interior. For these items, though, paints, wallpapers, and finishes are not included in the inspection.

Get the Most Value for Your Home Inspection

When it is time for your Calgary home inspection, there are many choices you have to make. However, the easiest option is the company you choose to work with, and that makes the rest of the options even easier!

Integra Inspections is a Home Inspection Company in Calgary that provides unbeatable service for home inspections. With over 15 years of experience and the latest technologies such as thermal imaging, you can count on Integra Home Inspections to get you the facts and have you ready for your next home!

Male real estate agent shows new home

3 Reasons to Do Your Home Inspection in Spring

Having an annual home inspection, performed by a Calgary home inspector, is a great way to keep your home in tiptop shape throughout the year. Similarly, spring cleaning is the best time of year to book your regular professional inspections, including furnace, air conditioning, and plumbing inspections. Therefore, spring is the best time for a home inspection.

Although this line of reasoning does hold up against the most stringent inspection, you may feel like it is a little too simple. A little too straightforward, perhaps. Of course, that feeling is totally understandable, and you shouldn’t be left hanging with so little information. As a result, please consider the following reasons that further expound upon the value of springtime home inspections.

3 Reasons For Springtime Home Inspections

1. After-Winter Effects

Aside from the rationale described above, the best reason for a visit from a Calgary home inspector is the effect winter can have on your home. Winter can cause all sorts of problems, such as home settling, leaks, lawn damage, and more. Take, for example, the likelihood of pipes bursting during the winter months. This problem is a result of freezing water combined with a rush of pressure that your pipes simply cannot withstand. Every part of your home faces similar adversity during the winter months and immediately after the winter thaw.

2. Outdoor Considerations

An area of our homes that we seldom pay enough attention to is the exterior. The areas we exclude can include the foundation, eavestroughs, roof, and more. Yes, it is understandable that you believe these areas are permanent, and that they seldom see a lot of change. However, a home inspection can find issues that you had not considered before.

Home inspector, outside, examines a residential natural gas meter.

Issues that may include foundation cracks, dry or torn roof shingles, broken eavestroughs, or compromised window seals are all possible. Performing your home inspection after the harshness of winter and before the harshness of summer will give you sufficient time to get these repairs noted and addressed, as necessary.

3. Clear Visibility

The final reason on our list can appear obvious, initially. The visibility of your home and yard is reduced in the winter months as snow covers everything in a cool and refreshing blanket. However, this blanket is a disguise for the forces of erosion and corrosion, which are still very much active underneath the top layer. 

Therefore, having a home inspection when you can inspect every area freely and without obstruction is a good plan.  

Where to Find Quality Calgary Home Inspectors

There are many places for you to find quality home inspectors, and you should consider each of them with great scrutiny. However, if you were looking for a personalized opinion on the matter, the suggestion would be to read on just a bit further. Happy inspecting!

Integra Inspections is a Home Inspection Company in Calgary that provides unbeatable service for home inspections. With over 15 years of experience and the latest technologies such as thermal imaging, you can count on Integra Home Inspections to get you the facts and have you ready for your next home!

Townhouse Inspection

Most Common Issues Found During a Home Inspection

 Home inspections are incredibly commonplace these days and are required by law in many provinces. The reasoning here is that whether people are trying to sell or buy a home, other parties need to know what they’re getting into. For instance, if you went out and purchased a home that didn’t undergo a Calgary townhouse inspection, you could be dealing with rotted floors, a basement prime for flooding, and all sorts of other damages. 

 Inspections are also vital for banks and other mortgage lenders. If they’re going to put money up, or if they’re expected to make money, they need to know a home’s true value through appraisal, and no appraisal can be conducted properly without a home inspection. So here are some of the most common issues found during a house inspection. 

Townhouse Inspection Calgary

Bad wiring found during your Calgary townhouse inspection

 This is a big one. Many homes end up having wiring issues that fall short of inspection code. It could be because of today’s newer appliances and energy ratings being too much of a load for the home’s old style of circuit breaker. Maybe mice have chewed through some of the wiring. There are all sorts of reasons here why the home’s wiring might fail inspection. It’s certainly one of the most common problems in inspection assays. 

Draining Systems/Plumbing 

 A lot of times when a Calgary townhouse inspection takes place, water and moisture are found around the home, causing the soil to be a wet mess. There would also be a lot of water buildup in the basement. These issues can also extend to the plumbing, with septic systems that are backed up, or leaking supply pipes, and much more. All of these areas will be checked during a house inspection, as any of these issues could become major. 

Roof Damage found during your Calgary townhouse inspection

 Another common problem in home inspection is a bad roof. This could be dry-rotted plywood, shingles that are falling off, or even holes and leaks in the roof. Though it could also be issues with the home’s gutters; maybe they’re falling apart or not draining properly. The roof is out there in constant face of the elements. It’s very common for roof issues to be found. 

 There are a lot of different problems a Calgary townhouse inspection could face that might cause it to fail. Going with inspection experts is a great way to find and fix all of these common issues.

Integra Inspections is a Home Inspection Company in Calgary that provides unbeatable service for home inspections. With over 15 years of experience and the latest technologies such as thermal imaging, you can count on Integra Home Inspections to get you the facts and have you ready for your next home!

Our COVID-19 Response – Business As Usual – With Some Cautionary Changes

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and to help protect the health of everyone involved, including our inspectors, our clients, the homeowner and our real estate partners, here’s what we’re doing to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

We are asking you, our clients, to stay home if possible. This is different from our standard approach in which we encourage our clients to fully participate in the inspection.

After the inspection report is sent to you, we will do a full review of the report over the phone, and we are available for questions at any time, as always. If you insist on attending, if possible, we ask that you limit your attendance to just yourself. Please don’t bring the kids, parents, contractors, and others.

During the inspection, we will wash our hands frequently using our own hand soap and towel. We will also bring sanitizer wipes to disinfect items that we have touched during the inspection, such as faucets. If hand washing is not possible, we will also have hand sanitizer with us. We also have latex gloves and will use those if deemed necessary, but everything we’ve researched suggests that hand washing is the best course of action.

If requested by anyone present at the inspection, we will wear a face mask.

None of our inspectors will attend an inspection if they show signs of a fever or a cough or any other symptoms of illness.

By taking these steps, we want to make sure people can continue to receive the benefits of a home inspection while respecting the current reality of COVID-19.

Home Inspector

Should You Get Your Home Inspected in Winter?

A home inspection is designed to make sure that your home is in good working order and that all systems are up to code. Most people contact a Calgary home inspector when buying a new home. However, you can also get an inspection for your own peace of mind. In fact, you may benefit from a home inspection this winter. Here are three simple reasons why a winter home inspection could be the right choice.

A Home Inspection Can Check Your HVAC System

Home Inspector Calgary

One great reason to hire a Calgary home inspector in winter is your HVAC system. In the winter, people rely heavily on their furnace. The furnace supplies critical heat throughout the home, keeping you comfortable during the colder months. However, constant usage can lead to problems. You want to make sure your furnace and HVAC system are in prime condition for the winter demand. A home inspector can test the system to make sure that nothing needs to be addressed. Moreover, a faulty HVAC system can actually be dangerous. Getting an inspection will keep you safe.

A Home Inspection Can Gauge Your Air Loss

A Calgary home inspector can also look at the insulation in your home. Some techniques gauge how effectively your home retains heat. The inspection can identify weak spots where lots of air is escaping. With this knowledge, it is possible to make simple fixes. These simple fixes can make your home more secure, which can help with heat retention. This will keep your home warmer in the winter while also controlling the cost of your monthly energy bills until the spring thaw finally hits. With these considerations, winter is the perfect time for a home inspection.

A Home Inspection Can Keep You Safe

Finally, a home inspection can keep you safe. In the winter, most people spend more time indoors. This makes sense. With the cold and the snow, it is not as fun to get out and about. However, do you know if your home is safe? Have you checked to make sure that there are no leaks? Do you know if you have radon in your basement? Many of these problems are hard for normal homeowners to detect, but they can have serious consequences for your health. Therefore, make sure your home is safe this winter. Hire a home inspector now.

Integra Inspections is a Home Inspection Company in Calgary that provides unbeatable service for home inspections. With over 15 years of experience and the latest technologies such as thermal imaging, you can count on Integra Home Inspections to get you the facts and have you ready for your next home!