Our General Services
- General Home Inspections
- Termite & Wood Destroying Insect Inspections
- Radon Testing DEP#4375
- Water Quality Testing
- Septic Evaluations
Indoor Air Quality Services
Payment for Services is due at the time of the inspection.
We accept Cash, Personal Check, Visa, or MasterCard.
Appointments Available 7 days a Week
No additional fees for weekend, holiday, or evening appointments
All inspection services are performed by:
Phil Houck CRI, MIES
CRI (Certified Residential Inspector)
MIES (Master Indoor Environmental Specialist)
General Home Inspection
Click on the associations below to see our Standards of Practice
InterNACHI (InterNational Association of Certified Home Inspectors)
Member ID# 04092172
NAHI (National Association of Home Inspectors)
CRI # 2005184
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
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
For more information on termites go to: What Are Termites or Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet
"PDF format of the Termite Fact Sheet"
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
Bureau of Radiation Protection
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)
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.
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.
||Importance of Test
||Used as an indicator that other harmful bacteria may be present
||If present, may indicate that the coliform bacteria is from a septic system
||Importance of Test
||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
||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
||Levels higher that .03 may cause off-color water, metallic taste, or stains
||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
||Higher Levels than 500 mg/L will likely cause scale formations, hardness, and a salty taste
||If noted on the report, permanent problems with metal pipes and metal fixtures
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.
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.
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)
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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, Eastern Pennsylvania Testing & Inspection Services, LLC
All rights reserved
© 2011 LazrWeb all rights reserved