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Triage order of 'gadgets'


ctgo4it
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As you can see from my other posts, I'm fairly new at this Home Inspection business. I don't have the cash to buy all the tools and gadgets I would love to. In what order of importance would you say I should buy tools, and which tools are the 'must haves' and which are just handy to have? I plan on buying one at a time as I can afford them.

I'm not talking about screwdrivers, flashlight, camera etc, I mean moisture meter, CO detector, voltage meter etc.

Thanks a lot

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A ratchet screwdrivers is a good idea. Thanks

Since I already have ladders, flashlights, a camera, outlet tester and various screwdrivers, I'm going to be looking into moisture meters. Anyone have any preferences / opinions on which one to get?

Thank you

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Do a search for moisture meters and you'll probably find a dozen discussions on that topic - one of them within the past few weeks. There's a lot of stuff in the archives here. That's the first place you should go when you want to get info and the search feature works pretty nicely now.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike (Sometimes Editor of this joint)

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Agree with the above,and might add a lasor measuring devise for the client to use while you are busy.

They can be had for as little as $10.00.

I hate to be so picky but one can buy ultrasonic measuring devices that have laser pointers for around ten to twenty bucks. The actual laser measuring devices are significantly more money.

http://www.amazon.com/Stabila-LE100-Las ... 8&sr=1-115

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Originally posted by ctgo4it

As you can see from my other posts, I'm fairly new at this Home Inspection business. I don't have the cash to buy all the tools and gadgets I would love to. In what order of importance would you say I should buy tools, and which tools are the 'must haves' and which are just handy to have? I plan on buying one at a time as I can afford them.

I'm not talking about screwdrivers, flashlight, camera etc, I mean moisture meter, CO detector, voltage meter etc.

Thanks a lot

My humble opinion: For indoor work, get a Streamlight rechargeable flashight. I've got one that's worked fine for over 10 years. Buy cheap ($20) rechargeables for crawl spaces.

Any decent digital camera will do. (Disclosure: I hardly ever used a pic in a report. I used words. But that's just me.)

We used no-pin Tramex Moisture Encounter meters ($300) for inside. We used a Delmhorst with pins (about $250) for outside & crawl space stuff.

Speaking just for myself, I wouldn't go near a CO detector. I would not trust portable gas-testing equipment for life safety issues.I just wrote in every report: Install CO detector(s) per the manfucturer's instructions. Let First Alert or Nighthawk shoulder the liability for CO. Plus, CO detectors work 24/7, long after the HI is gone. The CO-detector recommendation will likely save more lives than a one-time CO check with a hand-held gizmo.

IMHO, the SureTest is overkill. Few HIs, and even fewer electricians, understand the readouts, particularly voltage drop. SureTesting leads to endless arguments. Buy a cheap 3-light tester, and spend the $300 on a Little Giant ladder.

If you can type and compose on the fly, get a decent laptop, so you can at least start your reports while you're still at the house.

WJ

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To answer your question about moisture meters. I use a Protimeter Surveymaster, vintage 1999. I dropped it 4ft. last week and dislodged another component off the circuit board. Didn't have any superglue or anything available to glue it back in place so I could finish the job, so I took a wad of toilet paper and closed it up between the case and the circuit board and voila'! it was working again.

The next day, I happened to be onsite the same time as a guy from a local environmental testing lab was there. He had one of the new GE branded Protimeter Surveymasters with the more nicely rounded case. We compared mine against his. Without bothering to calibrate both, we were within 1-2% points of each other after 7 years of hard use and 4-5 $10 repairs, because I keep dropping the poor thing onto concrete.

Here's the house from Saturday. Like the bat ears? The wall behind the dark sofa in the basement recreation room ranged from 22 - 64% moisture in the drywall, and nearly 90% in the baseboard. It was raining cats and dogs. The gutters outside were leaking, a rainbarrel next to the foundation at that side was overflowing and the concrete crocks around the foundation were clogged, backed up and overflowing next to the foundation.

Everything looked great until I scanned that drywall and the Protimeter went nuts. Now they're contemplating whether they want to make an offer, knowing that there's moisture in that wall and that side of the basement likely has some nasty stuff growing all over the backside of the drywall. By the way, there was another inspector onsite the same time as I. I didn't see him using a moisture meter and he left after an hour. I was there 3-1/2. I'm wondering if his clients are planning to make an offer, and, if they are, do they know about the drywall? Well, maybe he's reading this.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Hey Les!

To heck with those danged shoe covers. They are a pain to get on and off and they rip all the time. Yung and I each has a set of bedroom slippers that are clean as a whistle that we use for inside the house. They go on and off really easy. No wrestling with those stupid tyvek pieces of crap.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Some basic things that I find useful are;

Strap on headlamp - keeps my hands free

Cheap plastic compass that is pinned to my shirt - enables me to locate and document where I am in the building.

Lighted magnifying glass - to read difficult print

Lighted headset magnifying visor - even more hands free examinations.

Inspection mirror + lit magnifying glass = reading (or viewing) difficult things around corners.

These items are all cheapies, but I can't tell you how happy I am to have them when the need arises. Which is quite often.

By the way, I have given up trying to wrestle with shoe covers, but from working in hospitals, I discovered that the hair covers that are used easily slip on and off my shoes. They are made out of the same material as the shoe covers

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  • 13 years later...

Answer: If you're in the construction business, such as a home inspector, you know that at some point your shoes will enter a wet area. Doing this can cause an unwanted transfer of dirt and hazardous material from one location to another. 
This is where shoe covers come in! You need something that's easy to slip on and off when needed, providing protection against water and other contaminants while also be breathable enough so your feet stay cool on even the warmest days.

One of the biggest differences we've found is whether or not they are made with rubber soles or fabric - which affects durability (most rubber bottom shoes cover tend to last longer) but most importantly how well they grip onto surfaces like carpeting and tile floors. You can buy a shoe cover from amazon. Another place i bought from is<link removed>

 

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