Eastern Pennsylvania Testing & Inspection Services
Eastern Pennsylvania
Testing & Inspection Services, LLC
Nazareth, PA 18064
Phone: 610-417-1006
eastpenntest@aol.com
 
  » Home

  » Who We Are

  » Our Services

  » Radon in Water

  » Pricing

  » Testimonials

  » Certifications & Affiliations

  » Why a Home Inspection?

  » Newsletter

  » FAQ

  » Great Links

  » Homeowners Encyclopedia

  » Inspection Agreement

  » Contact

  »  Phone: 610-417-1006

Our Services


Our General Services
  • General Home Inspections
  • Termite & Wood Destroying Insect Inspections
  • Radon Testing DEP#2475
  • Water Quality Testing
  • Septic Evaluations

Indoor Air Quality Services
  • Mold

Payment for Services is due at the time of the inspection.
We accept Cash, Personal Check, Visa, or MasterCard.
However, Credit Cards are subject to a 3% premium to recover the credit card acceptance fees.

Appointments Available 7 days a Week
Full home inspection starting time is 8:30am
No Additional Fees for Weekend or Holiday Appointments

General Home Inspection

InterNACHI (InterNational Association of Certified Home Inspectors)
Member ID# 04092172

American Society of Home Inspectors
ASHI Member ID# 249906

A home inspection helps provide home buyers peace of mind by giving valuable information on the investment they are about to make. Our thorough "top to bottom" inspection provides a visual examination of all of the major components and systems in a home.

Our Full Inspections include:
  • Roof, vents, flashings, and trim.
  • Gutters and downspouts.
  • Skylight, chimney and other roof penetrations.
  • Decks, stoops, porches, walkways, and railings.
  • Eaves, soffit and fascia.
  • Grading and drainage.
  • Basement, foundation and crawlspace.
  • Water penetration and foundation movement.
  • Heating systems.
  • Cooling systems.
  • Main water shut off valves.
  • Water heating system.
  • Interior plumbing fixtures and faucets.
  • Drainage sump pumps with accessible floats.
  • Electrical service line and meter box.
  • Main disconnects and service amperage.
  • Electrical panels, breakers and fuses.
  • Grounding and bonding.
  • GFCI's and AFCI's.
  • Fireplace damper door and hearth.
  • Insulation and ventilation.
  • Garage doors, safety sensors, and openers.
  • And much more.


Eastern Pennsylvania Testing & Inspection Services, LLC's comprehensive inspection findings are packaged in an attractive, hard bound, easy-to-reference report. Your Home Inspection Report features a comprehensive evaluation of the home, a glossary of terms, the Standards of Practice of the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors, a pre-closing check list, and a full color copy of "The Homeowners Handbook", A Guide to Preserving the Value of your Home.

Remember, Eastern Pennsylvania Testing & Inspection Services, LLC is here to help you.
To schedule a home inspection or for more information, call us a 610-417-1006


Termite & Other Wood Destroying Insect Inspections

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
ID# 704687

Yes, they can literally eat you out of house and home if left unchecked. Your inspector looks for insect damage and the presence of termites and other wood destroying insects. We also alert you to the conditions that are attractive to wood destroying insects so that measures can be taken to reduce the risk of infestation.

For more information on termites go to: What Are Termites or Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet

"PDF format of the Termite Fact Sheet"



Radon Testing

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
Bureau of Radiation Protection
Radon Division
Radon Certification ID # 2475

DID YOU KNOW... Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths that radon, and if your home has high radon levels and you smoke than your risk of lung cancer is especially high. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Lung Association both agree that long term exposure to elevated levels of radon poses a significant health risk to you and your family. Since radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas, the only way to determine if radon is in your home is by performing a simple and affordable test.

What is Radon?

Radon is naturally occurring radioactive gas that is produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. Air pressure inside your home is usually lower than the pressure in the soil around your home's foundation. Because of this difference in pressure, your house acts like a vacuum, drawing radon in through foundation cracks and other openings. Your home then traps the radon inside, where it can build up. Any home can have a radon problem. This means old or new, well sealed or drafty, and with or without basements.

Why Should You Fix Your Home

Yes, you may have been living in a high radon environment for a long time but just like smoking tobacco the sooner you stop the better. Radon, like smoking, shows it effects over a period of many years. If you quit living in a high radon environment you reduce your risk of lung cancer. If you don't want to fix your home for yourself, do it for the children. The US Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you fix your home if your radon level is 4.0 pCi/L (Pico Curies) or higher.

Our Preferred Method of Measurement

We use E-PERM® Electret Ion Chamber technology for our radon testing. Currently the E-PERM® Electret Ion Chamber System is the most accurate EPA listed Technology and has maintained that status for the last seven years.

Fast Accurate Results

The short term radon test must remain in the home for a minimum period of 48 hours. The ion chambers are then returned to our office and analyzed. Your results will be available the same day that the ion chambers are retrieved from your home. When testing is performed for Real Estate transactions, fast accurate results are required to avoid delays in the sales process. All other passive radon measurement devices must be shipped to a lab, often half way across the country, to be analyzed. This means that everything stops on weekends and holidays and it isn't unusual for 3 to 4 days to go by waiting for a result.

What Are Electret Ion Chambers

E-PERM® Electret Ion Chambers are essentially electret ion chambers fabricated from electrically conductive plastic which use an electret as both the high voltage source for ion collection and the integrating ion sensor. They are passive devices requiring no power to function. They employ an electret (electrically charged piece of Teflon) to collect ions generated by radon. The loss of surface voltage on the electret and the exposure period determines the average radon concentration in the place where they were located during the exposure. The electret, which is a charged disk of Teflon, collects the negative ions (the electret is charged with a positive polarity) generated by the radiation emitted by the radon and radon decay products as they undergo radioactive decay in the chamber. These ions are drawn to the surface of the electret where they cause a reduction in its surface voltage. The amount of that voltage reduction, which is measured with a special voltmeter, is directly related to the time integrated average radon concentration, which the electret was exposed to during the measurement period. E PERMs provide a true integrated radon concentration reading, i.e., the sensor retains all of the radon signal they "see" from the beginning to the end of any exposure period.

We perform all of our radon testing following the EPA's protocol for Real Estate Transactions. Two monitors are deployed at the same time and the results are compared and averaged to calculate the radon level of your home.

The EPA document A Citizen's Guide To Radon (Third Edition) provides the basic information everyone should know about Radon. For more information on how to reduce your radon health risk, call your state radon office for copies of these guides:

Another great site for additional information is: www.howstuffworks.com/radon.htm

Your inspector is certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to conduct radon testing in the state of Pennsylvania.



Water Testing

This inspection is a limited sampling of certain water systems and components using normal operating controls. The purpose of the Inspection is to provide you with information about the condition of quality of the water of the home at the time of the Inspection. The test will be performed in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) protocol for the collection of water samples. The sample is then delivered to a DEP certified Laboratory for analysis.

Water testing for a real estate transaction typically consists of two very important tests, a Bacteria Test and/or a Chemical Test.

Bacteria Test Importance of Test
Total Coliform Used as an indicator that other harmful bacteria may be present
Fecal Coliform If present, may indicate that the coliform bacteria is from a septic system

Chemical Test Importance of Test
pH Results lower that 6.5 could result in water with a bitter taste or that is corrosive.
Results higher than 8.5 could result in water that has a salty taste, causes scale, or is very hard
Hardness Hard water may cause scale formation
Soft........... 0 to 5.2 Grains/Gallon
Moderate ... 5.3 to 7.5 Grains/Gallon
Hard ......... 7.5 to 9.9 Grains/Gallon
Excessive .. 10.0 or higher Grains/Gallon
Total Iron Levels higher that .03 may cause off-color water, metallic taste, or stains
Manganese Levels higher than .05 may cause off-color water, metallic taste, or stains
Nitrate / Nitrite Total levels higher than 10 mg/L could result in serious medical problems with pregnant woman and children under 6
Total Solids Higher Levels than 500 mg/L will likely cause scale formations, hardness, and a salty taste
Corrosive Water If noted on the report, permanent problems with metal pipes and metal fixtures including copper,
could result over time. Pinhole leaks may develop caused by metal piping in contact with corrosive water

Water testing for Lead, Volatile Organic Chemical (VOC's) and Inorganic Chemicals (IOC's) is also available.

The Water Company is always testing their water

As a home owner, only you can assure that your tap water is safe. For this reason we strongly advise that you have your water professionally tested (for bacteria at the very least) once a year. If your have a water purification system in your home it is advisable to have the water tested by someone other that the company that installed or services the system.

Drinking Water Standards Program
Contains information on standards EPA has implemented on a number of topics related to Drinking Water.

Ground Water & Drinking Water Homepage
EPA's Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water protects public health and the environment by setting standards for drinking water contaminants and protecting sources of drinking water.

Local Drinking Water Information
Provides local drinking water information for each state.

Water on Tap: A Consumer`s Guide to the Nation`s Drinking Water
Report provides information about the quality of U.S. drinking water safety.

Drinking Water contaminants
These fact sheets are about chemicals that may be found in some public or private drinking water supplies.



Septic Evaluation

NOTICE
Although many realtors, bankers, and home buyers still request Septic Dye Tests, we will no longer perform them. Dye Tests tell you next to nothing about the performance of a septic system. We feel that they do not give the information needed for such a large purchase decision.

Because septic systems are buried it is impossible to thoroughly inspect all of it's components without digging up the treatment tank(s), the distribution system (which includes all of the piping including any dosing tank, lifting tank, or grinder tanks(s) and their components), and the drain field or absorption area. Digging out the entire system would destroy the system, destroy the landscaping, and be prohibitively expensive.

For this reason, Eastern Pennsylvania Testing & Inspection Services, LLC performs a relatively non-invasive septic evaluation that is designed to indicate of there is a problem or situation that we feel should be addressed by a septic system service provider. My inspection is based on industry standards and is the type of inspection that I would perform if I were purchasing the property myself.

Keep in mind that older systems were not built to the standards of a new system that is built today. You must be aware that older systems generally will not have the capacity to dissipate affluent into the environment as well as a new system. Septic systems do have a life span, but unlike a furnace or dishwasher it is impossible to predict if a system will last a week, a month, or a hundred years.

Systems that have worked fine for many years as well systems only a few years old can fail at any time with little or virtually no warning. Varying usage and maintenance practices can also affect the useful life span of a septic system. My inspection is based on the condition of the septic system at the time of the inspection and is not a guarantee of future performance.

Inspection Protocol

Septic system inspection is not an exact science and there is no state or federal regulation governing their inspection. There are, however, various associations of septic service providers and septic inspectors that have developed guidelines based on experience, knowledge of various systems and components, their function, and how they relate to each other.

Our inspection requires that the all of the treatment tank lid(s) be exposed, accessible, and that the lid(s) to the tank(s) be easily removable without using special tools or equipment. The level of the affluent in the tank will be noted. The inlet baffle that keeps the contents of the tank from agitating and the outlet baffle that only allows liquid to leave the tank will be checked. If there is a dosing, lifting or grinder pump tank(s), the electrical and pipe connections, the pump operation, and the pump float and the alarm float will also be checked if visible.

If the absorption bed is able to be located and the condition of the soil conditions allows it, the level of standing water and the amount of dry aggregate (crushed stones) will be measured using a probing rod (maximum depth of 4 feet). If the home has been continuously occupied and the level of dry aggregate is adequate, the seepage bed can be deemed satisfactory.

If the home has not been continuously occupied; using the water supply of the home, approximately sixty gallons of clean water per bedroom will be introduced into the system (minimum of 120 gallons). During the introduction of the clean water, the liquid levels of the tank(s) will be monitored. At the completion of the clean water introduction, the absorption area will again be probed to determine the level dry aggregate.

All visible drain pipes will be examined to determine if all waste water is directed into the septic system and not to another location.

Indoor Air Quality Inspections
Environmental Solutions Association
(ESA) Member I. D. # 1353
Master Indoor Environmental Consultant (MIEC)
Certified Mold Inspector and Assessor (CMIA)
Certified Allergen Inspector (CAI)
Certified Indoor Air Quality Technician (CIAQT)

We follow the protocols and inspection standards formed and endorsed by
Environmental Solutions Association (ESA)


MOLD

Why has mold become such problem today?

Mold has received a lot of attention lately. Primarily due to the vast amount of sickness it has caused, to the many law suits it has generated, and to modern building practices.

Mold has always been around. It has been documented as the cause of the Ergot Epidemic (a mold induced food poisoning) which plagued Europe and limited population growth for over 500 years during the Middle Ages. The Irish Potato famine of the mid-1800's was caused by a species of mold that killed the plants causing the migration or starvation of millions of people. The bible even talks about mold in the Bible; Leviticus chapter 14: verses: 39-47.

The reason we see more mold in our homes is partly due to the fuel shortage of the 1970's and the high cost of energy today. Most homes are heavily insulated and many are wrapped on the exterior with a vapor barrier, which does save energy. However, these practices create less ventilation within the home and when there is a water event (condensation build up or a leaking pipe, window, roof, etc). If there is a water event there is the potential for mold growth. The Bureau of the Census reports that 35% of homes are damaged due to water or moisture each year. The products we use to build our homes such as wood, cellulose and other organic materials provide a fertile platform for mold growth.


Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of mold is it? Is it toxic?"

Unfortunately, mold can not be identified by sight and there are thousands of types of mold. Our job is the first step, which is to collect samples and have a lab analyze them. Molds can be divided into 3 basic groups based on their health affects: Allergenic, Pathogenic, and Toxic. Allergenic mold can cause allergenic symptoms such as wheezing or a runny nose. Pathogenic molds can cause suppressed immune systems or serious health effects in a person who already has a decreased immune system. Toxic mold can cause serious health effects in almost everyone. These effects may be short-term irritations or even cancer.

How do you test for mold?

There are two typical methods used for mold testing. One is air sampling (air is drawn through a Spore Trap with a vacuum pump) where air samples are taken inside the home and an additional sample taken outside the home for comparison to detect a problem. The other is a swab sample or tape lift of any visible mold to determine the type of mold.

Why an Indoor and an Outdoor Sample?

Mold exists everywhere in the outdoors. Mold spores enter a home through open doors or windows and attached to people or items brought into a home. These spores will likely remain dormant unless they contact an area with sufficient moisture to grow. The logic behind this method of testing is: If the level of mold spores inside the home is significantly higher than the level of spores outside the home, then there is mold growth inside the home.

Levels of Inspection Service

These services range from an inspection that is requested in a specific client defined area, to an inspection that can produce mold remediation specifications. All of the services have a clear understanding and written explanation, within the inspection agreement, of what will be inspected. Copies of inspection agreements are available upon request.

  1. Limited Sampling: the purpose of Limited Mold Sampling is to detect the presence of mold contamination in client defined areas of the home. This limitation of this service is that other sources of mold may be present in a home.

  2. Mold Screen: This level of inspection utilizes a visual assessment of the entire home, identifies "red flags" for mold, and a Limited Sampling for mold. If "red flags" are found, the client will be advised and offered the chance for additional sampling. The Mold Screen Inspection is the most popular inspection services for home sale transactions.

  3. Clearance Testing: Clearance Testing is designed to determine the success of remediation efforts. A containment area has been established remediation was done within that contained area.

  4. Post-Cleaning Testing: Post-Cleaning Testing is also designed to determine the success of remediation efforts. The difference between Clearance and Post-Cleaning Testing is no containment will be in place.




Eastern Pennsylvania Testing & Inspection Services, LLC
"For Peace of Mind"

Return to top of page


Copyright © 2010-2017, Eastern Pennsylvania Testing & Inspection Services, LLC
All rights reserved


© 2018 LazrWeb all rights reserved