Home Inspections in the Mid-Hudson Valley Area

Did you know?


Radon is the Number One cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, according to EPA estimates.  Overall, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.  Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year.  About 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked.

Radon in air is ubiquitous.  It is found in outdoor air and in the indoor air of buildings of all kinds.  The EPA recommends that the problem be addressed if a home’s radon level is 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) or more. Because there is no known safe level of exposure to radon, the EPA also recommends that the problem be addressed for homes with radon levels between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L. The average radon concentration in the indoor air of the average American home is about 1.3 pCi/L.

Unfortunately, many Americans presume that because the action level is 4 pCi/L, a radon level of less than that is considered safe. This perception is all too common in the residential real estate market. In managing any risk, we should be concerned with the greatest risk. For most Americans, their greatest exposure to radon is inside their homes, especially in rooms that are below grade (such as basements), as well as rooms that are in contact with the ground, and the rooms directly above them.

Many people do not realize they are breathing air (which can include radon gas) from the basement of their house due to stack effect.

Foremost offers radon testing, which can be added as an additional request item to your base home inspection, or can be done completely separate from a base home inspection. The measurement samples are collected after a two day period of indoor air exposure and sent to a New York State Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP) approved laboratory. You will receive a summarized report with findings and recommendations. 

Septic Systems:

Maintaining your septic system protects your investment in your home. You should periodically inspect your system and pump out your septic tank.

If properly designed, constructed and maintained, your septic system can provide long-term, effective treatment of household waste water. If your septic system isn’t maintained, you might need to replace it, costing you thousands of dollars.  A malfunctioning system can contaminate groundwater that might be a source of drinking water. And if you sell your home, your septic system must be in good working order.

Top Four Things You Can Do to Protect Your Septic System

  1. Regularly inspect your system and pump your tank as necessary.
  2. Use water efficiently.
  3. Don’t dispose of household hazardous wastes in sinks or toilets.
  4. Care for your drain field.

Foremost offers septic die testing, which can be added as an additional request item to your base home inspection, or can be done completely separate from a base home inspection. A septic dye test involves the introduction of a florescent dye into the plumbing system and visually inspecting the area of the septic tank, distribution box and leach fields.

Mold and Mildew:

Molds are organisms that are found indoors and outdoors. They are part of the natural environment and play an important role in our ecological system by breaking down and digesting organic material.  Molds are neither plants nor animals.  They are part of the kingdom Fungi. 

Mold is Everywhere

Mold spores are ubiquitous; they are found both indoors and outdoors. Mold spores cannot be eliminated from indoor environments. Some mold spores will be found floating through the air and on settled dust; however, they will not grow if moisture is not present.

Why Be Concerned?

Mold is not usually a problem indoors – unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing.  As molds grow, they digest whatever they are growing on. Unchecked mold growth can damage buildings and furnishings; molds can rot wood, damage drywall, and eventually cause structural damage to buildings.  Mold can cause cosmetic damage, such as stains, to furnishings. The potential human health effects of mold are also a concern. It is important, therefore, to prevent mold from growing indoors.

Looking for evidence of mold growth is part of a Foremost home inspection. Mold requires favorable conditions to grow. If evidence of mold issues are observed, the inspection will drill down to identify what is causing the environmental conditions needed for mold growth and provide recommendations to reduce or eliminate those conditions. Addressing the conditions conducive for mold growth is essential prior to any remediation process that may be needed.

Informational video on helping control mold and mildew in your home
Certified Home Inspections in New York's Mid-Hudson Valley Area