Crafting Your Construction Budget: A Complete Walkthrough

You’re about to start a new construction project, but find yourself getting nervous about the cost. What can you do?

The best move is to craft a construction budget!

Today we’re guiding you through the process of crafting an accurate budget that not only anticipates the obvious expenses but also prepares you for the unforeseen ones!

Construction Budgeting

When we talk about a new construction budget, we’re diving into how much money you need to bring your building dreams to life. It’s all about planning and predicting the costs of your new construction project.

A well-made budget does more than just add up prices. It guides you through the financial part of building something new. It helps you see where your money is going and why.

Budgeting for a new project is different from planning expenses for something you’re fixing or updating. With new construction, you start from scratch.

This means you need to think about every single cost. From the ground up, every brick, nail, and hour of work needs a place in your budget.

Having a budget keeps your project’s money matters in order. It makes sure you have enough cash to cover everything from the big stuff like materials to the small things you might not think about at first.

Estimating Your New Construction Costs

Estimating costs is the first step when planning a new construction project. It’s about making an educated guess on how much everything will cost.

Before you dive deep into the details, it’s wise to do some homework. Look into the current prices for materials and labor in your area. This early legwork helps set a realistic starting point for your budget.

Reaching out to professionals for estimates can also guide you. Experts in construction know the ins and outs of budgeting for these projects.

They can provide valuable insights that you might not consider on your own. This step is about getting a clearer picture of what your project will demand financially.

Using construction budgeting software is another smart move. These tools are designed to make budgeting easier. They can help you keep track of costs and manage your money better.

This technology can be a real game-changer in staying organized and making sure your project doesn’t go over budget.

Construction Direct Costs

Direct costs are the expenses you can directly link to the construction work. This includes materials, labor, and equipment. These are the core components of building something new.

For materials, think about everything from cement and bricks to nails and paint. The prices can vary widely based on quality and availability. Labor costs are what you pay your workers.

This can be a big part of your budget, especially if your project is labor-intensive. Then there’s equipment. Some projects need special tools or machines, which you might need to buy or rent.

Construction Indirect Costs

Indirect costs are not tied directly to the physical construction but are essential for completing the project. This includes things like project management.

A good project manager keeps everything moving smoothly, but their expertise isn’t free. There are also permits.

Most construction projects need some form of official permission to start. Getting these permits costs money.

Insurance is another indirect cost. It protects you against potential losses or damages during the project.

Safety measures are also part of indirect costs. Making sure your work site is safe can involve special equipment or training for your team.

Managing and Allocating Funds

Handling money for construction materials is a big part of keeping your project within budget. It’s not just about buying what you need. It’s also about spending wisely and not wasting resources.

To do this, planning is essential. You need to know exactly what materials you need, how much of them, and when they should be delivered to the site.

One way to save money is by comparing prices. Don’t just buy from the first supplier you find. Look around and see if there are better deals.

Sometimes, buying in bulk can save you a lot. But be careful not to buy more than you need. Excess materials can become wasted money.

Contingency planning is another important strategy. This means setting aside a bit of your budget for unexpected costs.

Maybe you find out you need more of a certain material or prices go up. Having a contingency fund helps you deal with these surprises without breaking your budget.

Waste management is also crucial. Try to estimate accurately how much material you’ll use to reduce leftovers.

And if you do have extra materials, think about how you can use them in other parts of the project. 

The Unseen Hurdles

In new construction, there are often financial surprises and hidden costs that can pop up. Being ready to adjust your budget is key to dealing with these challenges.

One of the first steps is to identify potential surprises. These could be anything from finding out the land needs more preparation than you thought to a sudden rise in material costs.

When these things happen, having a flexible budget means you can handle them without too much stress.

Adjusting your budget also involves making tough choices sometimes. You may need to decide what’s absolutely necessary and what you can do without.

This might mean changing your plans or finding more cost-effective solutions. It’s all about balancing what you want with what you can afford.

Finally, staying open to changes and being willing to update your budget are important. It’s unlikely that your first budget will be perfect. As your project moves forward, you’ll learn more about what you need and how much it costs.

Budgeting for Construction Success

Crafting a budget for new construction requires careful planning, flexibility, and continuous monitoring.

Central Florida Building Inspectors was established to provide accurate and trust-worthy residential, commercial and industrial inspections for a potential buyer or seller. We have been in business since 1988 and perform thousands of home & commercial inspections every year.

Get in touch today to find out how we can help your projects!

How Well Water Quality Testing Can Impact Property Value and Home Sales

We all know curb appeal can impact whether a home sells, but did you know that water quality can have an impact, too? Don’t neglect to factor in the water running from your taps when you’re getting ready to sell a home.

And that’s especially true if you’re relying on well water to stay hydrated. Read on to learn how well water quality testing can affect your property value and home sales!

Understand How Well Water Works

First, it’s wise to be clear on where well water comes from. You might even be asked about your well water source if you’re selling a home.

In general, well water is sourced from below the ground, and some wells may extend as deep as 1,000 feet. Ultimately, that hole in the ground has to extend far enough to reach an aquifer, which is a level where soil and rocks can yield water. 

Well water is brought up from beneath the ground using an electric pump. From there, the water travels through a supply pipe to reach someone’s home. Each time water is pumped to the surface, the supply is replenished thanks to gravity forcing more water from the rocks. 

Wells tend to be more common in rural areas where there isn’t a public water supply. And unlike public water sources, wells are not governed by a national entity. This can mean that the water quality and well’s condition will be more variable.

Even so, wells can last for around two decades or more if they’re in good repair. But as a resident in a home that uses wells, you don’t want to assume anything. Instead, you’ll want to verify that the water you’re drinking is safe.

Check Your Water Quality

With well water, it’s critical to test your water regularly. There’s always a risk of contamination from sources such as bacteria or chemicals.

If you live in a rural area, for instance, runoff can carry pesticides from farms that impact your water quality. Or if your well hasn’t been maintained effectively, it might not be producing clean water. 

A good home inspection company can work with you to conduct a water test during the inspection process as you’re buying a new home. If you’re a buyer, you want to know that you’ll be drinking clean water. Since well water is not governed as stringently as public water sources, you’ll need to do the testing yourself. 

Plan on testing your water each year. This is especially important if you’re working with an older well. Water quality can change over time, and you’ll want to monitor spikes as well as more gradual changes.

You can find water quality testing kits that are user-friendly to ensure that you actually commit to annual water tests. These tests can look at things like nitrate levels or bacteria. Some can show if you’re getting too much iron or other minerals in your water, as well. 

You don’t want poor water quality to bring down your property value. But if you’re not able to show that your water source has normal pH levels and contaminant-free water, it could. When a house sits on the market, at some point the asking price will need to go down.

Know How to Maintain Your Water

The best way to maintain a well system is to test the water regularly and fix common issues. For private wells, you may need to replace parts, such as pumps, if you live in your home for over a decade. 

You can take care of some of the more common issues with well water at home, too. For instance, well water can be high in calcium and other minerals that make it turn into hard water. Hard water can leave behind scaly marks on your drinking glasses and faucets.

Because of this, it pays to get a water softener. A water softener helps remove excess minerals so your water doesn’t leave behind residue. You may even notice a better flavor after using a softener. 

Additionally, you may want an iron filter to remove excess iron. Iron can adversely impact your home by causing iron stains or rust in your water pipes. If you’re diligent about changing an iron filter every few months, you can prevent these issues and help maintain a fresh and healthy water supply. 

And if your water quality is good, don’t be shy about it. Especially when you’re trying to sell a home, you can leverage good water as a selling point. 

Explain the Benefits of Well Water

If you’re trying to sell a house that uses well water, you can use this fact to your advantage. After all, access to water is an essential, life-giving component of every home.

For starters, you can count on a constant supply of water when you’re using a well. A public water supply, by contrast, may be more susceptible to problems. Contaminant issues or disruptions due to weather conditions can stop the flow of water to your faucets.

Similarly, your risk of disruptions is lower simply because well water won’t be traveling across a large metropolitan area. Shorter distances can mean fewer issues with pipes or chemical intrusions.

Some people prefer the taste of well water, too, saying that it tastes fresher. Well water tends to have more minerals and nutrients that are beneficial as part of a healthy lifestyle. For an individual considering buying a home that sources its water from wells, these benefits may be enough to tip the scales in the seller’s favor.

Pursue Well Water Quality Testing

With well water quality testing, you don’t have to be nervous if you’re diligent about maintenance. You can stay on top of changes to your water quality. And in doing so, you’ll keep your water supply healthy and reliable, and boost your home’s appeal to potential buyers. 

At Central Florida Building Inspectors, we’ve been offering comprehensive property inspections since 1988. You can trust we have the expertise to answer any questions and help you make an informed choice about a home or commercial property. Contact us today to learn more!

Understanding the Importance of Manufactured Home Tie-Down Certifications

Did you know that manufactured home tie-down certifications play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and stability of your dwelling? As a home buyer or real estate agent, understanding the significance of these certifications is paramount. According to studies, properly installed tie-downs can prevent catastrophic damage during severe weather conditions.

So, let’s delve into the world of manufactured home tie-down certifications and explore why they are essential for your peace of mind and security.

The Basics of Manufactured Home Tie-Down Certifications

Tie-down certifications are the first line of defense when securing your manufactured home. They ensure that the home is properly anchored to the ground, minimizing the risk of displacement during high winds or storms. Without a valid tie-down certification, your home is susceptible to instability and potential damage.

Additionally, having a certified tie-down system can also help lower insurance premiums and increase the resale value of your manufactured home. It is important to regularly inspect and maintain your tie-down system to ensure its effectiveness in protecting your home from severe weather conditions.

Why Certification Matters

A key aspect of manufactured home tie-down certifications is the verification process. During a tie-down inspection, a certified professional assesses the condition of the anchors, straps, and foundation to ensure they meet safety standards. By obtaining a “home certification,” you can have peace of mind knowing that your home is secure and compliant with regulations.

This certification also provides documentation that can be useful for insurance purposes or in the event of a natural disaster. It is important to regularly maintain and update your tie-down certification to ensure ongoing safety and protection for your home.

Regular maintenance and updates can help prevent potential hazards and ensure the longevity of your home’s foundation. Keeping up with these certifications can also increase your property’s value in the long run.

The Importance of Inspection and Certification

Regular inspections and certifications are essential for maintaining your manufactured home’s safety and structural integrity. These evaluations ensure compliance with building codes and identify any issues that may compromise the property’s stability. By investing in inspection and certification services, you are proactively safeguarding your investment and the well-being of your household.

In addition, having up-to-date certifications can provide peace of mind, knowing that your home is in good condition. Regular inspections are recommended to catch any potential problems early on.

Enhancing Safety with Certification

Safety certification is not just a piece of paper. It is a testament to the structural robustness of your manufactured home.

By obtaining a safety certification for your tie-down system, you are prioritizing the security of your family and property. In the event of severe weather or natural disasters, a certified tie-down system can mean the difference between minimal damage and catastrophic loss.

Investing in a safety certification for your tie-down system can also potentially lower your insurance premiums, as it demonstrates a commitment to risk mitigation. Additionally, regular maintenance and inspections of your tie-down system can further ensure its effectiveness in protecting your home.

By staying proactive and ensuring your tie-down system is up to code, you can know that your home is secure in any situation. Regular maintenance and inspections can also help identify any potential issues before they become major problems.

Securing Mobile Homes with Tie-Down Certifications

Mobile homes, also known as manufactured homes, are particularly vulnerable to wind uplift and shifting soil conditions. A properly certified tie-down system can mitigate the risks associated with mobile home ownership. Whether you are a first-time buyer or a seasoned investor, ensuring that your mobile home has a valid tie-down certification is essential for long-term peace of mind.

By securing your mobile home with a tie-down certification, you can protect your investment and ensure the safety of your property and loved ones. Additionally, regular inspections of the tie-down system can help maintain its effectiveness and prevent any potential issues from arising.

Ensuring Home Safety and Stability

Safety should always be a top priority in the realm of manufactured home ownership. By prioritizing home safety through tie-down certifications, you are taking proactive steps to protect your investment and loved ones.

With a secure and certified tie-down system in place, you can rest easy knowing that your home is built to withstand unforeseen challenges and maintain its structural integrity for years to come.

Regular inspections of the tie-down system can help identify any wear and tear that may compromise its effectiveness over time. By staying proactive and addressing any issues promptly, you can ensure that your home remains stable and secure in the face of potential hazards.

How to Get a Home Tie-Down Certification

To get a home tie-down certification, contact a professional inspector or engineer specializing in evaluating and certifying tie-down systems. They will assess your home’s current system and make any necessary recommendations for improvements to meet certification standards.

By investing in this certification, you are ensuring your home’s safety and potentially increasing its value and insurability.

Work With Central Florida Building Inspectors for Your Inspection

In essence, manufactured home tie-down certifications are not just a legal requirement. They are a fundamental aspect of home safety and stability.

Whether you are a prospective buyer or a seasoned real estate agent, understanding the significance of these certifications is crucial in making informed decisions. For your peace of mind, take the necessary steps to ensure that your manufactured home is properly anchored and certified.

Unlock the potential of your manufactured home with reliable tie-down certifications. At Central Florida Building Inspectors, we’ve been in business since 1988 serving Orlando and the surrounding counties. Every year, we perform thousands of home and commercial inspections, and we focus on putting our customers first.

We’re here to provide accurate and reliable inspections that allow you to move forward with confidence. Our experts in the field have years of experience providing certifications for customers’ peace of mind and security. Reach out to our team today to learn more about how we can assist you in obtaining the necessary certifications to safeguard your investment and ensure the safety of your home.

The Benefits of Hiring a Professional for Balcony Railing Inspections in Florida

Imagine enjoying a beautiful Florida sunset from your balcony, only to have the railing give way beneath you. That’s terrifying!

Balcony railing inspections in Florida aren’t just a formality. They’re a crucial safeguard against accidents and potential liabilities. Keep reading to learn why hiring a professional for this task is wise.

The Harsh Reality of Balcony Failures 

Faulty Florida balconies are more common than you might think. The consequences of poor balcony integrity can be devastating.

A Threat to Life and Property 

If a faulty balcony railing fails, it can lead to severe injuries or even fatalities. A balcony collapse can cause significant property damage, resulting in costly repairs and potential legal issues.

The Silent Dangers 

Many factors can contribute to balcony railing failure. And they’re easy to overlook if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

  • Corrosion and rust
  • Improper installation or construction
  • Weather-related wear and tear
  • Lack of maintenance

Do you have a balcony with any of the following issues? How would you know if you did? Often, these issues aren’t visible to the untrained eye, making regular professional property inspections critical.

Why Professional Balcony Railing Inspections in Florida Matter 

While a DIY approach may seem tempting, several compelling reasons exist to hire a certified professional. Also, on commercial buildings of 3 or more stories, regular inspection and certification are required by the State of Florida. Here at CFBI, we are very familiar with the Division of Hotels and Restaurants’ requirements for these inspections.

Expertise in Local Code Requirements 

Different states and municipalities have varying regulations on balcony construction, material usage, and safety standards. A certified inspector understands Florida’s requirements and ensures your balcony complies with all necessary codes.

Identifying Issues Before They Become Disasters 

A certified inspector will have a keen eye for identifying potential problems before they escalate. Regular inspections can catch small issues and stop them from becoming significant liabilities.

Minimizing Risks and Liabilities 

Balcony railing failures can lead to severe injuries and expensive repairs, making them a significant liability for property owners. A professional inspection can identify potential issues and help reduce risks and liabilities.

Comprehensive Evaluations 

Professional inspectors don’t just look at the surface. They dig deeper to uncover hidden problems that could spell disaster. They’ll also provide detailed reports with recommendations for repairs or replacements.

Unbiased Assessments

Unlike a homeowner or property manager, a professional inspector has no vested interest in the outcome, ensuring an objective evaluation of the balcony’s condition. This can be especially helpful when a dispute arises over liability.

The Added Value of Balcony Safety 

Beyond the obvious safety benefits, investing in professional balcony railing inspections in Florida can pay dividends in other ways.

Peace of Mind 

Knowing your balcony is secure can reduce stress and worry for Florida homeowners and Florida property managers alike. It’s about ensuring the safety of your loved ones and tenants and protecting your investment.

Liability Protection 

Ensuring experts check your balcony railings can significantly reduce the chance of accidents and potential lawsuits. It’s a proactive step that keeps you and your visitors safe and protects you legally in the long run.

Increased Property Value 

Regular balcony railing inspections can enhance the value of your property. It signals potential buyers that the home is well-maintained, safe, and secure.

Expertise in Local Codes and Regulations

Knowing the local building codes and safety regulations is necessary to comprehend Florida’s balcony railing requirements. A professional inspector has the knowledge to conduct thorough inspections that meet state and regional standards.

Navigating Complex Requirements 

Florida’s building codes and safety regulations can be intricate and are constantly evolving.

A professional inspector’s expertise ensures your balcony meets these stringent standards, safeguarding people and property. They guarantee your balcony meets the requirements of current materials, construction methods, and safety features.

Avoiding Costly Violations 

Failing to follow local codes can result in costly fines, legal battles, or even mandatory balcony demolition in extreme cases. By hiring an expert, you can avoid these headaches and ensure your balcony is compliant from the start.

Future-Proofing Your Investment 

Building codes improve safety. An inspector familiar with upcoming code changes can advise you on any necessary upgrades or renovations, future-proofing your balcony and protecting your investment.

Access to Specialized Equipment

Professional balcony inspectors use tools and equipment that the average homeowner cannot access, making their assessments precise and reliable. This specialized gear ensures every inch of your balcony is examined for safety and compliance.

Beyond the Naked Eye 

High-tech tools such as infrared cameras and moisture meters allow inspectors to detect hidden problems that aren’t visible during a simple visual inspection.

This means they can uncover issues like internal corrosion or water damage before they lead to major safety concerns.

Thorough Load Testing 

Thorough load testing involves applying weight to the balcony to ensure it can hold the expected load without signs of distress or failure. This critical step helps prevent accidents by confirming the balcony’s structural integrity and safety.

Detailed Reporting and Documentation

Understanding the condition and safety of your balcony is one thing, but having a tangible record of this assessment is another. This is where detailed reporting and documentation come into play. The DBPR has a required form to be filled out every 3 years so don’t chance this vital inspection report to an inexperienced company. Let CFBI complete the HR-7020 form for your establishment.

A Roadmap for Maintenance 

After the inspection, you’ll receive a detailed report outlining any issues found, recommended repairs or maintenance tasks, and a suggested timeline for future inspections. This roadmap ensures your balcony remains safe and functional for years to come.

Evidence for Legal Matters 

Regular professional inspections and maintenance documentation can be crucial in case of an accident or injury. They help to show due diligence and reduce liability exposure.

Streamlining Transactions 

When it comes time to sell or rent your property, potential buyers or tenants value inspections. They will have peace of mind knowing that we inspected the balcony and addressed any issues, streamlining the transaction process.

Find Balcony Railing Inspections in Florida

Florida is a state where outdoor living is a way of life. So, balcony railing inspections should be a top priority for homeowners and property managers. 

By hiring a professional inspector, your balcony meets the highest safety standards. Protecting your loved ones, your property, and your peace of mind is worth it. Choose Central Florida Building Inspectors for the most reliable, comprehensive balcony railing inspections in Florida.

Schedule your professional balcony railing inspection with Central Florida Building Inspectors today.

The Benefits of Regular NNN Lease Inspections for Commercial Properties

When investing in commercial real estate, the longevity and profitability of your investment hinge on several factors. Property management practices play a pivotal role.

One often overlooked but crucial strategy is conducting an NNN lease inspection. This detailed scrutiny goes beyond a mere formality. It is a critical component in safeguarding your investment and ensuring it yields the expected returns.

Today, we’re exploring the indispensable benefits that regular NNN lease inspections afford commercial property owners. We’ll also show you why it’s worth it to make these part of your routine with commercial properties. 

Enhanced Property Maintenance: Proactive Maintenance Over Reactive Repairs

The essence of enhanced property maintenance through regular NNN lease inspections lies in the transition from reactive to proactive management. This shift not only ensures that the commercial property remains in optimal condition. It also significantly reduces the potential for any unexpected repair costs.

For instance, regular inspections of the roofing system can prevent water damage. If left unchecked, even small leaks could lead to costly repairs and disrupt tenant operations.

Similarly, proactive HVAC system checks ensure energy efficiency and tenant comfort. Both are key factors in tenant retention.

A detailed inspection checklist should include components such as:

  • Electrical systems
  • Plumbing
  • Structural integrity
  • Safety and security equipment
  • Exterior elements such as landscaping and parking lots

This comprehensive approach ensures that no aspect of the property is overlooked. It also verifies that potential issues are addressed promptly. This helps maintain the property’s functionality and aesthetic appeal.

Improved Tenant Compliance: Ensuring Tenants Uphold Their Responsibilities

Enhancing tenant compliance through regular inspections goes beyond ensuring that tenants adhere to their maintenance responsibilities. You also need to ensure that they comply with the use provisions outlined in the lease.

For example, if a tenant operates a manufacturing business within a commercial space, inspections can ensure that their use of the property does not exceed noise, waste disposal, or chemical storage regulations. All of these issues could endanger the property or its occupants.

Regular inspections also serve as an educational tool. They reinforce the importance of compliance and the potential consequences of non-compliance, such as lease termination or legal action.

By fostering a culture of transparency and accountability, property owners can cultivate a cooperative relationship with their tenants. This leads to a mutually beneficial partnership and a well-maintained property.

Increased Investment Security: Safeguarding Your Real Estate Investment

The role of regular NNN lease inspections in increasing investment security extends beyond mere property maintenance. By systematically assessing the property, owners can identify and mitigate risks related to market shifts, tenant business health, and regulatory compliance.

For instance, staying informed about tenants’ alterations to the property allows owners to assess how these changes impact the property’s value. They also help maintain compliance with zoning laws and building codes.

Regular inspections also provide critical data that can influence investment strategy decisions, such as property upgrades, repositioning, or divestment. This data-driven approach enables property owners to adapt to market trends. It also ensures their property remains competitive and their investment secure in a fluctuating real estate market.

Financial Transparency and Predictability: Clear Insights into Property Expenses

Achieving financial transparency and predictability through regular NNN lease inspections involves a meticulous review of not only the physical condition of the property but also the financial obligations tied to its operation. For example, the inspectors can verify that tenants are correctly allocating funds for property taxes and insurance. These are responsibilities typically assumed by tenants under an NNN lease.

This level of oversight can prevent financial discrepancies and ensure that all property-related expenses are transparently documented and appropriately managed. Additionally, by providing a clear record of maintenance and repair expenses, property owners can more accurately project future financial needs, allowing for strategic allocation of resources toward property improvement projects that enhance value and attract premium tenants.

Long-Term Property Value Preservation: Maintaining Competitive Edge in the Market

Preserving long-term property value through regular NNN lease inspections is about more than just maintenance. It’s about strategic enhancements that align with evolving market demands. For instance, incorporating sustainable practices and green technology can significantly increase a property’s appeal to environmentally conscious tenants and consumers, potentially commanding higher lease rates and increasing the property’s market value.

Regular inspections also offer insights into tenant satisfaction and emerging trends, allowing property owners to tailor improvements that enhance tenant experience and retention. By investing in amenities like advanced security systems, high-speed internet, or communal spaces, owners can differentiate their property in a competitive market, ensuring it remains a sought-after location for businesses.

Leveraging Inspections for Strategic Improvements

Inspections offer a unique opportunity to gather feedback directly from tenants about the property and any desired amenities or improvements. This feedback can be invaluable in planning strategic property upgrades that enhance its appeal and functionality. For instance, if multiple tenants express a need for better parking facilities or more flexible office spaces, property owners can prioritize these improvements in their investment planning.

By aligning property enhancements with tenant needs, owners can ensure their investments yield the highest returns, enhancing tenant satisfaction and property value simultaneously.

Going deeper, regular inspections enable property owners to identify not only the immediate maintenance needs but also long-term trends and shifts in tenant preferences.

This foresight can be particularly beneficial in dynamic markets where tenant demands evolve rapidly. For example, a growing trend toward eco-friendly and sustainable business practices may prompt property owners to invest in green technologies, such as solar panels or energy-efficient lighting systems, during routine maintenance updates.

These improvements not only respond to tenant desires but also position the property as a leader in sustainability, appealing to a broader range of prospective tenants and potentially qualifying for tax incentives or reduced utility costs.

Importance of an NNN Lease Inspection 

An NNN lease inspection is more than a mere checkbox on the property management checklist. They are a cornerstone of a successful commercial real estate investment strategy. They not only protect your investment but also contribute to a transparent, compliant, and profitable leasing environment.

Whether you’re a seasoned investor or new to commercial real estate, the lasting benefits of incorporating regular inspections into your property management regime cannot be overstated.

Are you interested in this process? Get in touch today and learn more about our approach to commercial inspections. 

Radon Services: The Importance of Radon Testing for Homeowners

Roughly 88% of homebuyers get a home inspection when they buy a house. Out of those inspections, almost the same amount show some kind of problem that needs to be fixed.

In a best-case scenario, all a homeowner needs to do is patch up a hole in their roof or replace a bathroom fixture. However, a typical home inspection does not include radon testing services. They’re focused more on the physical aspects rather than more pervasive ones. 

Here’s why you’ll need to invest in radon services if you want to make sure your new Orlando area home is safe to live in. 

What Is Radon?

Radon is a type of radioactive gas that is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. In other words, it is almost undetectable unless you specifically look for it with the right equipment.

On top of that, it’s a natural byproduct of uranium in soil, rock, and water. You can find radon entering your home through cracks in your foundation and walls, as well as through your water supply. 

All homes have some level of risk for radon exposure, depending on factors such as your soil content and your house’s condition. Some regions have higher natural concentrations of uranium in the ground than others. A house with a basement is also at higher risk of radon infiltration. 

A lack of data does not mean low radon potential. Nearly one in five Florida homes has tested positive for an elevated radon level. The only way to know for sure if your home is safe is with testing.

Dangers of High Radon Levels

Even though radon is naturally occurring, it can prove extremely dangerous to a person’s health through continued exposure. It has proven to be one of the leading causes of lung cancer and is estimated to have caused upwards of 14% of all lung cancers in a country. 

Homeowners who smoke have an increased risk of lung cancer if they breathe in radon than non-smokers. Inhaled radon can also deliver radiation to your other organs at a lower level than your lungs. 

Interestingly enough, radon in your water supply is not dangerous to ingest. It can become dangerous if you use that water throughout your home and that water evaporates into a gas. 

Safe and Average Radon Readings

Technically speaking, there are no safe levels of radon in your home, due to its radioactive nature. Since radon is naturally occurring, there are levels that are acceptable within your home before you must take action against it. 

The national indoor average is roughly 1.3 pCi/L, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Outdoors, you can find about 0.4 pCi/L. 

The EPA further recommends you deal with radon if the concentration exceeds 4 pCi/L, which is more than three times the national indoor average. 

If you use well water, you’ll also want to test it for any radon contamination. While radon is relatively safe to ingest, it becomes dangerous once you start using it for things like showering, washing dishes, and cooking. Evaporating water carries radon with it, which becomes dangerous when inhaled.

Radon Testing Methods

Short-term radon testing, such as for homeowners, is available in a few different ways. You can find these tests sold at hardware stores, online, and even available through county health departments. These provide an initial assessment over the course of a week. 

Charcoal canisters absorb radon gas in the air throughout the testing period. They are then sealed and sent to a lab for analysis. 

There are also alpha track detectors that can record tracks left by alpha particles as radon decays. 

A homeowner’s best option is to contact professional radon testing services that can use continuous radon monitors (CRM). These can detect radon levels over a short period, such as fluctuations, with more detailed results. 

Treating High Radon Levels

If a short-term test shows high radon levels, then you may want to get another test to verify the findings. A long-term test can also be performed for more accurate results, but this can take over 90 days. 

Those who plan to live in their home within that time period may want to take action to eliminate any radon on their property. 

Radon mitigation systems overpower the natural vacuum under your house to provide an alternate route for it to vent. You’ll also want to seal any cracks in your foundation and around pipes to prevent radon entry. This simultaneously improves how well the vent system works. 

These radon systems can cost a couple of thousands of dollars depending on the type and the design of your home. Some federal programs may be able to help reduce costs for low-income families. 

Legal Requirements

High radon levels can have a big impact on real estate transactions. More homeowners are requesting radon testing as part of their home inspection process. While it isn’t legally required to test radon before you sell a property, it may be necessary to make the sale. 

If the radon levels were known before the sale and there was a failure to disclose, then there could be legal ramifications for the realtor. Many states have specific disclosure laws that require sellers to disclose any known defects or hazards. 

The buyer could sue for damages or rescind the sale if they find themselves in this situation. Alternatively, they could require the seller to pay for mitigation costs. 

This is why an extensive home inspection is such a necessity when purchasing a house, even if you don’t think there’s anything wrong. 

In Florida, there are also some businesses that are required to test for radon prior to the State issuing a business license or CO (Certificate of Occupancy). Some of the mandatory testing requirements cover facilities like assisted living, Pre-K, Schools and nursing homes. If you have received a request to perform mandatory radon testing, CFBI can help!

Don’t Skimp Out on Radon Services

While radon services may not seem like the most important part of buying a house, they can save your life down the line. Long-term exposure to airborne radon can cause damage to your lungs and even lung cancer. It’s best to get testing done before you move into your new home. 

Central Florida Building Inspectors provides both residential and commercial building inspections. Our services cover mold, radon and gas, sewer scope inspections, and more. Tell us about your problem and schedule an inspection today. 

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