Home Inspections across Chicago, Plainfield, Shorewood, Lockport, Romeoville, Naperville, Lisle, Bolingbrook and over 55 surrounding Communities
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Tom Kollias state licensed and certified home inspector
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Choosing the right home inspector can be difficult. Unlike most professionals, you probably will not get to meet me until after you hire me. Furthermore, different inspectors have varying qualifications, equipment, experience, reporting methods, and yes, different pricing.

One thing for sure is that a home inspection requires work, a lot of work. Ultimately a thorough inspection depends heavily on the individual inspectors own effort. If you honor me by permitting me to inspect your new home, I guarantee that I will give you my very best effort.
This I promise you. Tom

At Kollias Property Inspections Inc, all the homes systems and components that are readily accessible and visible are inspected with the same Experience-Education-Comittment and Professionalism regardless of which City or Village that the property is located in.

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Please feel free to contact us at any time you have a question or concern about us or the inspection process. We will be happy to give you an honest answer, and if we don't know the answer we will get it for you as quick as possible.

Tom Kollias (Kollias Property Inspections Inc.) Home Inspector based in the Orland Park and Tinley Park area

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we are a full time, State of Illinois licensed home inspection company

Inspection Blogs

Property Drainage
During a heavy rainstorm (without lightning), grab an umbrella and go outside. Walk around your house and look around at the roof and property. A rainstorm is the perfect time to look at how the roof, downspouts and grading is performing. Observe the drainage patterns of your entire property, as well as the property of your neighbor. The ground around your house should slope away from all sides. Downspouts, surface gutters and drains should be directing water away from the foundation.

Poor drainage. Most problems with moisture in basements and crawlspaces are caused by poor site drainage. The ground should slope away from window wells, outside basement stairs, and other ways of egress. The bottom of each of these areas should be sloped to a drain. Each drain should have piping that connects it to a storm water drainage system (if there is one) or that drains to either a discharge at a lower grade or into a sump pit that collects and discharges the water away from the building.

Water Service Entry
Curb Valve. A homeowner should know where the curb valve is located. It is the way for the main water supply to be turned off. It is typically located at the junction of the public water main and the house service main, usually at the street. The curb valve is usually the responsibility of the municipal water department.

House service main. The house service main begins at the curb valve and ends at the inside wall of the building at the master shutoff valve.

Main water shutoff valve. A master shutoff valve should be located where the house service main enters the building. If the water meter is not located inside the building, the water meter will likely be outside in an underground crock. Home inspectors typically do not test this main valve during a visual-only inspection.

Water meter. The water meter is normally the property of the municipal water company and may be located near the street, adjacent to the house, or within the house. If the water meter is located inside the house, look for two shutoff valves, one on the street side and one on the house side of the meter.

GFCI electrical outlet
GFCI. A GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet is a device that adds a greater level of safety by reducing the risk of electric shock. Most building codes now require that GFCI protection be provided in wet locations such as the following: all bathroom receptacles: all exterior receptacles: receptacles in laundry and utility rooms: receptacles next to wet bar sinks: all garage and unfurnished basement receptacles, except receptacles that are not readily accessible or single receptacles for appliances that are not easily moved; receptacles near a pool, spa, or hot tub and; light fixtures near water.

Downstream. A GFCI outlet may be wired in a branch circuit, which means other outlets and electrical devices may share the same circuit or breaker. When properly wired GFCI trips, the other devices downstream from it will also lose power.

If you have an outlet that doesn't work, and the breaker is not tripped, look for a GFCI outlet that may have tripped. The non-working outlet may be downstream from the GFCI device. The "dead" outlets may not be located near the GFCI outlet; they may be several rooms away or even on a different floor.

GFCI outlets should be tested periodically-at least once a year. All GFCI devices have test buttons.

Basement air leaks. Along the top of the basement wall where floor system meets the top of the foundation wall is a good area to look for open holes and gaps. Since the top of the wall is above ground, outside air can be drawn in through cracks and gaps where the house framing sits on top of the foundation.

Sealant or caulk is best for sealing gaps or cracks that are 1/4 inch or less. Use spray foam to fill gaps from 1/4 inch to about 3 inches. We also recommend you seal penetrations that go through the basement ceiling to the floor above. These are holes for wires, water supply pipes, water drainpipes, the plumbing vent stack, and the furnace flue.

Attic and basement air sealing will go a long way to improve your comfort because your house will no longer act like an open chimney.

Asphalt shingles. Asphalt or "composition" shingles have a service life from 15 to 40 years depending upon shingle quality, installation and maintenance. When they begin to lose their granular covering and start to curl they should be replaced. No more than two layers of asphalt shingles should normally be in place at any one time. If the second layer of asphalt shingles has been applied, check to see if all the flashing materials of the first layer were removed and replaced with new flashing at the second layer.

Inspect And Clean Your Microwave
It is easy to take your microwave for granted, since it is the appliance that most of us use every day, and it typically does not require much maintenance. However we suggest that you take a moment to inspect and clean your microwave. In particular we suggest that you thoroughly inspect and clean the door seal. If your microwave's door does not seal, then it could be allowing dangerous level of microwave radiation to be escaping during operation. If your door seal is damaged or the door is not closing properly, then this should be immediately repaired or replaced.

House Numbers
Ever wonder about your house number? Often, the previous owner installed the number and the new owner never had to think about it, leaving them clueless as to why it was placed where it is or why a particular color or size was chosen. These numbers are more important than you probably realize, and a lot of thought goes into making sure they are visible.

House numbers should be clear enough so that police, the fire department, paramedics, etc., can quickly locate properties in an emergency. Numbers are often the only way that first-responders can identify their intended destinations. Your city might even have laws requiring your house number to be of a certain size or color. Also, think of the poor pizza delivery guy who runs late because he can't find your house, or frustrated party guests who have to knock on neighbors' doors before they find yours.
Consider the following recommendations:
" The numbers should be large, within reason. Try to make them at least 5 or 6 inches tall. Smaller numbers may not be visible from the street if you have a large front yard. Replacement house numbers can be purchased from hardware stores and online.
" The numbers should be of a color that contrasts with their background. Reflective numbers are great because they are easier to see at night. Brown on black or white on yellow may look swanky but are bad choices for the purpose.
" Try not to put house numbers behind any trees, shrubs, or anything else that may obscure their view from the street.
" Make sure that the number faces the street that is listed in the house's address. It does emergency workers no good if the house number faces a different street than the one the workers are traveling on.
" Is your house not visible from the road? Then the number should be placed at the driveway's entrance.
" The next time you hire an InterNACHI inspector, ask him whether your numbers are adequate. Inspectors should know the laws in your area and be able to offer you a professional opinion.

Keep in mind that you may need to make adjustments.
Even if your house number is currently adequate, InterNACHI believes that it might need adjustment in the future. The following are common reasons why you may need to adjust your number in the future:
• The addresses assigned to houses by the city occasionally change, and you must adjust your numbers accordingly.
• The trees or shrubs in front of your house have grown so much that the number is no longer visible.

Clean the Exterior Condenser Unit and Components
The exterior condenser unit is the large box located on the side of the building that is designed to push heat from the inside of the building to the outdoors. Inside of the box are coils of pipe that are surrounded by thousands of thin metal "fins" that allow the coils more surface area to exchange heat. Follow these tips when cleaning the exterior condenser unit and its inner components -- after turning off the power to the unit.

    Remove any leaves, spider webs and other debris from the       unit's exterior. Trim foilage back several feet from the unit to       ensure proper flow.
    Remove the cover grille to clean any debris from the unit's       interior. A garden hose can be helpful for this task.Clean the       evaporator coil and condenser coil at least once a year.       When they collect dirt, they may not function properly.
    Straighten any bent fins with a tool called a fin comb.
    Clean the evaporator coil and condenser coil at least once a       year. When they collect dirt, they may not function properly.

• Check for leaks. Dripping faucets can waste as much as 2,700 gallons of water per year. Leaky toilets can waste as much as 200 gallons per day.

• You can check your toilets for leaks by placing a drop of food coloring into your toilet's tank. Don't flush. Check the water bowl in 15 minutes. If the color flows into your toilet bowl, there is probably a leak.

• Run dishwashers and clothes washers, only when full. Use the load size selector.

• Install a water displacement device in your toilet's tank. (A plastic bag/bottle filled with water to reduce the amount of water and still provide enough flush.)

• Soak pans rather than scrubbing them while the water is running.

• Rinse your vegetables in a pan of cold water.

5 Hidden Hazards

 Lead: Up to 20 percent of exposure comes from drinking water tainted by contaminated pipes. Ask your water authority to test your pipes - and repair them if necessary. Sometimes you cando: Install a faucet filter. Also older homes may contain lead paint and dust. A DIY test can detect lead, but you'll need a pro to remove it.

 Carbon monoxide: This invisible gas is a killer. Make sure you have a CO alarm on each floor.

• Radon: This colorless, odorless gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Test every three years, especially if you've made energy efficient improvements. A tightly sealed home increases your risk.

• Mold: Mold is bad for the respiratory and immune system. Get a DIY kit or hire a professional to detect it. Test every three to five years.

• Dust mites: These microscopic critters, which are found in carpeting, and bedding, can aggravate asthma and allergies. Get hypo-allergenic bedding and wash it frequently in hot water. You can also place a pillow in a plastic bag and putit in the freezer for 24 hours to kill mites.

Check back we are always adding new content to keep you informed.

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