Driving & Inclement Weather (UPDATED 9/27/17)
As an inspector, it is important to always keep an eye on the weather and have a good weather app on your phone. When you know the weather is going to be bad you want to set your alarm earlier and give yourself double the time you normally would to get to your inspection. It is better to beat the traffic without stressing to ensure that the client and agent are not sitting at the house waiting for you while you’re stuck in traffic. If you get to the inspection early you can relax and catch up on any paperwork or write any reports from previous inspections. This would also be a good time to review the website for new defect pictures and procedures from the past week. There are plenty of ways to utilize your time when you show up to an inspection early and it gives a good first impression. There is a HUGE difference between showing up 15 minutes early and 15 minutes late.
It is a good practice to always carry an extra pair of shoes with you in your vehicle (one pair should be outdoor shoes and one pair should be indoor shoes). Even though you have a pair of shoes designated as your indoor shoes, you would still want to wear shoe covers while inspecting the interior of the home. As the weather begins to get worse heading into Winter, there is a better chance of your outdoor shoes getting wet and muddy while you are inspecting the exterior of the home. Shoe covers will not be good enough if your shoes are covered with mud and are soaking wet, which is why it is important to have the second pair of shoes. We do not want to damage the floor of the home we are inspecting and get complaints from the homeowner. While inspecting the exterior of the home it is recommended to have weatherproof boots and a weather proof jacket. Also, you should always carry an umbrella with you in your vehicle. To really be on the safe side, carrying a pair of snow pants (especially when inspecting mountain homes) would also be recommended.
Just like shoes, it is important to have two ladders as well. If we set a ladder up outside the base of that ladder could get wet or muddy, so if we use that same ladder to access the attic, or just set it down on the carpet, you can run the risk of damaging the floor. For the exterior, the sturdy/taller ladder should be utilized. If this ladder is going to be used inside the home as well, make sure to dry off the ladder with a towel, especially the legs and the bottom of the ladder.
Here are some other items that you want to make sure are don’t get wet:
- iPhone – Make sure your phone has an weatherproof cover and/or otterbox case to protect against rain and snow, so you can still fully operate it while inspecting the exterior but it won’t get damaged or wet.
- Tools and Tool Bag – There are a lot of expensive and electronic tools in your bag, so you want to make sure it doesn’t get wet or full of water. Make sure to leave the bag under a porch or some other area where it is shielded from the weather. This is one instance where you don’t want to carry your tool bag around with you. Just like your ladders, make sure the bottom of your tool bag doesn’t get wet or muddy, and then you set it down on the carpet inside the house.
As you can already see, there are a lot of different factors and procedures that come into play when you have to deal with inclement weather.