Home Inspection Services | Inspecting Houses and Attics for Animal Damage
Most animal infestations are realized by homeowners that notice subtle symptoms of the problem. These subtle symptoms can be anything from scratching in their walls or ceilings, strange droppings outside the house or in attics or even staining in ceilings and walls. When we receive a call from a homeowner about a possible animal problem in their home the first thing we do is schedule an inspection. Our home inspections will reveal exactly what type of animal (if any) are inhabiting the home. During this inspection we will crawl through attics, dig through insulation and other areas of the home looking for signs of animals or other pests. Our inspections are most often performed from both the interior and exterior of the home. Once we're done crawling through the attic we use ladders to inspect roof and roofline to locate entry-points being used by animals. Once are inspection is complete we provide our customers with the results of our inspection and then provide them with an EXACT quote to fix their problem, NOT an estimate.
No attic? No Problem!
In houses with finished attic space or cathedral ceilings we are able to perform our inspections from the roof (and from ladders) and can diagnose the problem strictly from the exterior inspection of the home. It is NOT necessary to cut holes in ceilings to diagnose a problem or even to remove the animals that live inside these small, inaccessible voids. We use methods that allow us to extract animals in these areas without causing any damage to the interior or exterior of your home.
Why Home Inspection?
Almost every day we get calls from people that THINK they know what type of problem they have but aren't sure. You wouldn't believe how many "raccoon in the attic" inspections turn out to actually be mice, how many calls for bats turn out to be flying squirrels and how many "bats in the chimney" call turn out to be chimney swifts. For this reason we always insist on conducting at least an exterior inspection of the house before we provide a quote to handle a problem.
Some people that call us have a tendency to get upset when I cannot provide them with a quote over the phone. The reason for this is because every single situation that we encounter in the field is unique. No two jobs are the same, simple as that. At least once a week I have this exact conversation with someone on the phone:
Caller - Hello, I hear a scratching noise in my ceiling. How much does it cost for you to come out to fix the problem?
Me - I'm sorry but I can't possibly provide you with a price over the phone without first inspecting the house. However, i'd be happy to setup an appointment with you to perform an inspection.
Caller - Well can you give me ANY idea on what this might cost over the phone?
Me - I'm sorry but I can't.
Caller - Well why not?
Me - Because I don't know what type of animal it is (It may not even be an animal), I don't know what type of house you live in, I don't know the condition of the house, I don't know what type of damage has been done to the exterior of the house by animals, I don't know how many entry points exist in the roof, I don't even know what town you're in. I'm sorry but I can't give you a price over the phone. I'll have to come out to conduct an inspection first.
That is when they usually hang up frustrated with me.
I refuse to spend all day on the phone talking about what MIGHT be going on and blurting out inaccurate prices for a job that I know nothing about. To do so is just foolish. A noise in a ceiling or wall can be anything from a mouse, raccoon, bat, squirrel, flying squirrel, bees nest or even a branch scraping against the roof or siding. A thorough home inspection takes all the guess work out of these situations and allows us to provide accurate quotes for our customers every time.
You'll notice that I used the term "Quote" and not "Estimate". You may not realize it but they are two completely different terms that have totally different definitions. A quote is an exact price. When you provide someone with a quote you are giving them an exact price for their job. For no reason will the total amount of the invoice be any more money than the amount listed on the quote that you provided before the start of the job. An estimate on the other hand is just that - an "estimate" of the total cost of the job. You could get an "estimate" from a company for $500 and at the end of the job they hand you a bill for $700 because the $500 is what they estimated that the job would cost. As it turned out the job actually costs $700 "Oops, our estimate was off, now pay the bill".
For this reason we do not give out "estimates" and we never have.
On July 17th 2008 I inspected a home in Raynham Ma. for what the customer believed (actually convinced) was a raccoon in her attic. She was hearing "growling" noises from a section of her roof every single night from a nocturnal animal and the noise was driving her crazy. She did some research online and determined that the noise she was hearing was juvenile raccoon chatter. There was even a broken blade in the gable vent on the side of her house so it made sense that this was the raccoon's entry-point. There was no access to the attic so I had to perform an exterior inspection of the house. When I got up to the gable vent on my ladder I found that the flimsy screen on the inside of the vent was brittle but still intact. There was no possible way that a raccoon was entering through this vent. The broken blade had simply rotted away and fell out. After scouring the rest of her roof I ended up looking at the area that she was hearing the noises from. After some digging I found a set of beady little eyes staring back at me. From what you ask? A tree frog!
If you're ready to have your problem inspected and diagnosed by licensed professionals please contact us to setup an appointment.