If you’re in the process of buying a home, you might be wondering how the home inspection is going to go with all of the social distancing measures in place currently. There are precautions you and your home inspector can take to reduce the possibility of transmitting COVID or any other germ. You can also opt for a virtual inspection. A virtual inspection can be done in a few different ways. The main thing to remember is if you feel ill, don’t do an in-person inspection as you will put the inspector and the family living in the home at risk for catching an illness.
Some in-person inspections are still happening but with an abundance of caution. If you do have an in-person inspection scheduled, there are things you should do to protect yourself and others (and so should the inspector).
1. Wash your hands before the inspection and again as soon as you leave or use hand sanitizer (though washing your hands kills more germs than sanitizer).
2. Wear a face mask. Put your mask on in your car and secure properly and don’t remove it until you are back in your car.
3. Wear gloves. When you leave, peel the gloves off inside out and dispose of properly.
4. Wear shoe covers. Slip on shoe covers before coming inside the front door and wear them until you leave. Germs can live on the bottom of shoes for up to five days.
With the restrictions and social distancing for COVID, many inspectors have switched to virtual inspections. There are two main methods inspectors are using for virtual inspections. In either case, you always want to make sure to thoroughly read the inspector’s report and ask any questions you have. Here are the two methods of virtual inspections most inspectors are using.
1. Video-taped inspection – Some inspectors are video-taping portions of their inspections and providing the buyer with the video footage afterward when they send the inspection report.
2. Video chat inspection – Many inspectors are using various video chat apps to show buyers about their new home in real time. This allows the inspector to answer questions as you go and in many cases, the video chat can be recorded also (not all apps have a record function). Some popular ways inspectors and buyers are engaging in a home inspection are iPhone FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, Zoom, Skype and Google Duo.
If you are in progress of buying a home, you want to ensure you work with a home inspector that has your needs and safety precautions in mind. Even with masks, gloves and shoe covers, many people are not comfortable doing an in-person inspection. Your inspector should be flexible and able to work with you in whichever way is most comfortable for you during this difficult time.