Frequently Asked Questions
For over 30 years, Step By Step Inspections has provided a wide range of home and commercial inspection services throughout the Charleston, SC, area, including North Charleston, Goose Creek, Mount Pleasant, Summerville, and all nearby communities. Call us today at (843) 870-8726 for an instant quote or schedule online now.
We recommend you choose a home inspection company that has the experience, certifications, insurance, and reputation to stand behind their inspections.
When shopping around for a home inspector, you will want to ask some very important questions along with also asking about the price. Cheap inspectors are not always the best choice. Remember, you get what you pay for when it comes to home inspections!
Since buying a home is the largest investment you will make in your lifetime, look for a competent, experienced inspector that will conduct a thorough inspection as well as guide you through the entire inspection process.
All Step By Step home inspectors are licensed through the State of South Carolina.
- We go beyond the minimum standards required by State of South Carolina.
- We check on recalls for all major appliances in the home.
- Our work is guaranteed with a mechanical and structural warranty.
- We offer guarantees about the condition of the items that can’t be inspected such as underground water and sewer lines.
Inspections from a Step By Step Certified Inspection Expert exceeds all others in the marketplace today. To ensure high-quality services, the Certified Inspection Expert is the only certification that requires ongoing quality control from a third party.
We carry Errors and Omissions, General Liability, and Workers Comp insurance to protect all parties involved.
Please call our office at least 24 hours in advance If you need to cancel your inspection. If you do not cancel within 24 hours, there will be a charge of $95. If you cancel on the same day as the inspection, there will be a charge equal to half of the inspection fee. When purchasing a new construction home or foreclosure home, you or the realtor should have the utilities turned on at least 24 hours before the inspection is scheduled.
This is our contract that must be signed prior to the home inspection. It will outline what the inspection includes and does not include. It will also have important notes about the standard protocols we follow. It is important that you read and understand the agreement prior to your inspection.
Our inspections include a thorough review of all aspects of the home, including the interior and exterior, the plumbing and electrical systems, and the heating and cooling systems. The average residential inspection takes about 2.5-3.5 hours.
For a pre-drywall construction inspection, the inspector will look at the structural components, as well as the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC rough-ins. This inspection will take approximately an hour and a half.
When you schedule your final inspection, make sure that all utilities are turned on before our inspectors arrive. Inaccessible areas or cosmetic items are not included in the inspection. View all our inspection services to see a more detailed list of what each inspection includes.
If you can, we highly recommend you attend the inspection. At that time, the inspector can point out areas of concern, and you can ask questions while the inspection is being conducted. If you cannot attend the entire inspection, you can come to the inspection about an hour and a half after the scheduled time.
When you arrive, the inspector can review the results of the inspection, including any problem areas. Payment and agreement must be received before you will be able to access your report.
YYour inspector will email a link for the digital report to you within 24 hours of your inspection. You can then download it as a PDF file if you wish or view it as an HTML. The report includes digital photos and details of what we discovered during the home inspection. For descriptions and samples of specific reports, please view all services and choose an inspection type. Each inspection report is considered confidential and other than your realtor, no one can view it without your permission. You are not required to give the report to the homeowner or the listing agent.
When you schedule your appointment, we will send an email link that allows you to pay by credit card or ACH. You may also pay in cash at the time of the appointment. If, however, you are not present during the inspection, payment and agreement must be received before you can access the report. We do not accept checks.
Does Step By Step Inspections offer radon gas testing, and should I have a radon gas test completed?
Radon gas is a tasteless, colorless, and odorless gas that is difficult to detect by conventional means. It is the number one cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers. For this reason, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends radon gas testing on all homes. Once radon is inside a home, it has no way to disperse into the outside air, allowing it to reach dangerous levels for you and your family members.
- Cracks in the concrete slab, block foundations, or slab footing joints
- Exposed soil
- Sump pump openings
- Weeping tile
- Mortar joints
- Loose footing pipes
Because of the nature of radon, it can only be detected through a radon gas test. Radon gas is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. There are usually simple solutions to radon gas problems, but you have to know there is a problem in order to fix it! Our inspectors use a continuous monitor which is left at the home for 48 hours. Results are sent by email once the machine is retrieved.
Mold is a hazardous substance that can cause several types of health problems. It can be found near sources of water such as moisture from flooding, plumbing leaks, roof leaks, showers and bathtubs, and refrigerator water pans. Mold and mold spores can travel through the air. Those with asthma or allergies as well as people with weakened immune systems (children, elderly, pregnant women, or cancer patients) will have a very difficult time coping with mold.
The only way to distinguish a toxic mold from a non-toxic mold is a laboratory analysis. If the mold in your home is toxic, it must be cleaned by an industrial hygienist and the source of the mold growth must be corrected; otherwise, it will most likely return.
Step By Step also performs indoor air quality testing to determine if mold is toxic or if it poses an unusual growth condition. Samples are sent to a laboratory for analysis, and it takes about 3-5 business days to receive the results. We will email you a PDF file of the lab results and also answer any questions you may have regarding them.
We highly recommend a home inspection for your new construction! Our new home inspections typically uncover items such as:
- Code violations
- Damaged roof shingles
- Nail holes in roof shingles
- Missing flashings
- Deck and railing problems
- Electrical issues
- HVAC problems
- Plumbing complications
County inspectors or builders may not spend the necessary time it takes to discover damage, problems, or specific areas of concern. Our certified inspectors spend anywhere between 2-3 hours inspecting your home. We catch problems early on which saves you thousands of dollars in repair in the future. If we discover code violations, the builder is required to fix them for you. If these violations are not taken care of now, they can cause problems down the road, especially when you choose to sell the house.
Our new home inspections include our five free warranties as well as RecallChek on appliances for life! These warranties work in conjunction with your 12-month warranty inspection.
The sale of a new construction home typically includes a one-year warranty in which the builder will correct any problems encountered within the first year of ownership. We highly recommend an inspection at the 11-month mark so the builder can repair or correct all problems inside the home before the one-year warranty expires. We can perform a one-year warranty inspection whether or not we conducted an inspection prior to purchase.
The stucco inspection is a visual examination of the exterior stucco. It includes a test of the moisture level within the stucco material and will determine the level of moisture that is within the stucco. Our inspectors use some of the most modern equipment currently available such as moisture scanners and probe meters.
Along with a moisture test, we also conduct a visual examination of the condition of the stucco, checking for proper flashing, bottom edge termination, cracking, and other problems.
Our stucco inspectors use probe meters on synthetic stucco inspections because it is the only way to get an accurate moisture reading. While the testing is invasive, it only creates a tiny hole about the size of a pinhead. We then re-caulk the hole after the inspection is completed. Our inspectors use every precaution ensuring we do not cause any damage to the exterior of the home.
Synthetic stucco (EIFS) is a “barrier system” and is a polymer based system installed over fiberglass mesh. It is frequently installed incorrectly, which allows water to penetrate the surface. Moisture becomes trapped inside with no way to escape. This can lead to mold, wood rot, and other problems.
Hardcoat stucco is made from portland based cement applied over a wire mesh. It can also have installation errors and can experience similar moisture issues to synthetic stucco.
Check with your builder at the beginning of the building process to find out when the framing phase will be completed. Since there are usually only a few days between framing and installation of the drywall, be sure to let your builder know you want to have a pre-drywall inspection conducted.
Pre-drywall inspections can only be performed before the drywall is installed and after the mechanical rough-ins, such as the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC, are completed.
During the inspection, we will make sure everything has been built according to current ICC codes. This inspection includes a review of the structural components, plumbing systems, electrical systems, and HVAC rough-ins.
Step By Step Inspection will come out before your final walk-through and complete a home inspection including an analysis of all structural and mechanical components. If you completed a pre-drywall inspection, our inspector would refer to that report ensuring that all repairs were made correctly. We will then complete a full inspection on the completed home.