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Does Your Home Need a Maintenance Inspection?: An Interview with Steve Nicolosi of SJN Home Inspections

By Steve Nicolosi

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

SJN Home Inspections is a full-service home inspection company. We do wind mitigation inspection, 4-point inspections, pre-purchase inspections and maintenance inspections. We also do UPCS inspections for HUD properties. We do these for HUD or for the servicing mortgage company. I have over 40 years of construction experience. I have been a general contractor, so I know the nuts and bolts of how a structure should be put together. This gives me a great advantage when doing inspections as I know the most likely places to fail.

A lot of people know about home inspections, but not as many know about maintenance inspections. Can you briefly talk about some of the main benefits for homeowners?

A maintenance inspection helps the homeowner take care of their investment. A home like anything else needs preventive maintenance.

Does a maintenance inspection cover the same areas as a pre-purchase home inspection?

The two inspections are basically the same but I spend more time explaining what should be done to extend the life of the home. Typically in a pre-purchase inspection you point out the defects only. In a maintenance inspection you would also discuss taking care of the different systems in the home. Most people don't realize that a little maintenance can save a lot of money in the long run.

When should homeowners get a maintenance inspection? About how often?

You should get one as soon as you take possession of the home so you have a baseline. Every 2-3 years would be good for subsequent inspections. You can then compare items to your first inspection and see what will require the most attention.

What is one of the most common questions (and the answer) that you're asked about maintenance inspections?

People ask about the black fungus on their roof and want to know if they should pressure clean it. The answer is never pressure clean a roof. You will take years off of the life of the roof by pressure cleaning or using bleach. The fungus is harmless to the shingles just looks displeasing. You can install zinc strips on the top of the roof that will naturally remove and prevent the fungus.

Do you have an example of how a maintenance inspection helped homeowners catch a major defect and saved them some money and hassle?

I found a small leak around a second-story window. It was not enough to show up visually only by using a moisture meter. If left unchecked it would have cause major damage to the wall and floor system. A good example where a $5 tube of sealant will save tens of thousands of dollars in damage. You notice I said $5 tube of sealant not a $2 tube of latex caulk. There is a difference! Small leaks around windows are very common because most windows are installed with $2 caulk

What's the best way for people to contact your company?

I can be reached by email: sjncontracting.corp@gmail.com or phone: 772-678-9421.

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