If you’re just embarking on your home inspection career, you might wonder what tools you will need to do the job. While there are no hard-and-fast rules about which home inspection tools are necessary and which aren’t, many home inspectors agree on some basics that will help you get your job done.
The most basic of these is a good flashlight. As a home inspector, you will constantly be delving into dark corners and the furthest recesses of basements and attics, and you want to make sure you can see the condition of the home clearly. While no one is immune to making mistakes, you can ensure a complete inspection with a well-lit examination.
It can be hard to see mold growing on dark wood or evidence of a rodent or termite infestation in dark corners without proper lighting. You may also miss the presence of moisture, or small cracks in foundations or roofs.
Your best bet may be a rechargeable variety of flashlight or a model that takes rechargeable batteries. You will use this tool frequently, and you don’t want to have to constantly replace the batteries — or worse, find yourself with a weak beam or nonworking light during an inspection.
The American Society of Home Inspectors has reviewed and recommended a number of top-notch flashlights that get the job done well.
While a flashlight is helpful in finding leaks and damp areas, a moisture detector takes it one step further. This instrument will identify moisture that you, as a home inspector, may not be able to see with your naked eye. Sensitive detectors can even discover moisture behind walls. A high-quality detector has separate settings for different materials, such as drywall and masonry.
Electrical Tools for Your Home Inspection Career
You will likely frequently use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) meter to check outlets. It’s so simple — just plug it in and the tool’s lights let you know if any part of the circuit is faulty.
Depending on the types of buildings you inspect, you may benefit from getting an arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) as well.
A voltage tester will tell you if electrical wires have current flowing through them. Different types measure different levels of current, so if you plan to inspect commercial buildings, make sure you get a tester with a wide range.
An infrared thermometer detects the presence of heat. This tool is helpful in identifying duct leaks, problems with insulation and varying temperatures in general.
Another tool that can come in handy is a telescoping mirror. It can allow you to look into areas of an attic where you would not otherwise fit. You can also use it to check under floorboards, inside gutters and chimneys, and more.
Recommended Tools for a Successful Home Inspection Career
Other items you may want or need include:
- Tool belt
- Gas/CO detector
- Mask or respirator
- Safety goggles
As you inspect more homes, you may find other items that are handy in your home inspection process that you may want to add to your toolkit. What you need most can sometimes depend on the area in which you work and the types of buildings you inspect most often in your home inspection career.
Perhaps the most important tool you need is the proper education to perform home inspections. For more information on embarking on a home inspection career, get a demo of our instructional classes today.