Personal Protective Equipment During Home Inspections



I just wanted to go over a few things about how we will be doing business as we loosen up the controls over Covid-19. As of June 15th, Enbridge has allowed us to do Energy Audits again and I’ve decided to open for home inspection at the same time. But some things have changed. Obviously, we can't operate in the same way that we did before so there are going to be a few changes. First, I'll talk a little bit about Home Inspection service changes,  booking and the whole process.

 

Typically, I prefer to have clients with me as I do a Home Inspection, so that I can explain and show things to them.  It's easier to explain, to show exactly what I'm talking about. I just find that's the best way to do it. Under the circumstances we face now though, we have to reduce contact as much as we can. So, I'm recommending, I won't say it's a hard rule, but I am recommending that clients not accompany me during the home inspection. The less people are going in and out of the house the less chance there is of transmission of something either to the occupants or to me, and to other homes that I will go into later. So, we need to limit that as much as we can.

Then for how we interact. I’ll explain all of these details during the booking process and try to get as much of the communication done in advance. Because we won't have a lot of chance to talk at the property I'm going to do a zoom call (or a phone call if you prefer) so that we can see each other face to face and talk. You have a chance to ask questions and go over the inspection agreement and that sort of thing beforehand. Then, we'll repeat it after and talk about specific questions that you may have about my findings and the report. So it’s just a little bit different way of having communication but will still maintain as much communication as we can.

 For Energy Audits,  it's a little bit different because it's the home that the client lives in. The client can be in the house but we're not going to spend a lot of time together. We'll do a lot of the paperwork electronically beforehand. Typically we ask for the client to have a tax bill or a tax statement and their gas statement available to take pictures and get some signatures on forms. If possible we'll try to get some of that done beforehand. So, if the client can take a picture of their tax bill and the gas bill and send it to me that saves an interaction that we have to have during the audit. Other than that, the audit should go fairly similarly to normal. There's going to be a part where we look for air leaks when we do the blower door testing, and that will be a little bit different. Because, again, we don't want to be walking side by side and pointing things out. So, we'll be communicating that in other ways and that might entail the zoom call later on as well. But we'll see how that goes.

The other thing we're going to be doing differently is personal protective equipment. I'm going to kind of go a little over the top as far as personal protective equipment goes. I'm going to wear more than would be necessary, probably, but just to go that extra mile and be safe. I have some experience wearing personal protective equipment because I worked in government research laboratories for many years, and even in a clean room environment. I’m very comfortable using it and it’s an easy thing for me to do to add that bit of safety for everyone.

So first of all, I'll be wearing a mask. I’ll use a disposable surgical style mask. It's not an N95 mask.  I prefer to keep those in the hands of the frontline workers and the first responders. But it will certainly be sufficient to prevent droplets, when I speak or if I cough or sneeze, from that to going airborne. The other thing I'm going to do, which may seem excessive, is I'm going to wear a full face shield. The reason for this is so that I don't touch my face because we tend to, you know, do that. If I've touched something and then I touch my face, there's potential for me to pick up virus and then pass it on to someone else and that's what we're trying to avoid.

Another item that is probably unnecessary but I'm going to wear anyway is coveralls. These are disposable coveralls so I will put them on before I enter the house and remove when I leave the house. The mask, the coveralls, gloves (I will be wearing gloves as well) all of that stuff will go into a bag immediately after I leave the home. It will all be disposed of so that I don't transport it back to my office or my home. And any contact that has been made with them is contained.

I mentioned gloves, and I will also be wearing boot covers. Typically, when I enter a home, I will wear indoor only shoes. They never go outside. So, what I'll do now is, I will put on those indoor shoes just at the doorway and then put these disposable boot covers on. I'll wear those through the house. Again, they will be disposed of. The surface that is coming into contact with other things in the home will be disposed of and will be contained and won't be at risk of infecting anyone else. Then finally, as part of an inspection I have to operate doors, windows things like that. I open the electrical panel and furnace. I have to make contact with them. So, I will be carrying around disinfectant spray and wipes and will try to wipe down everything that I come into contact with as I go through the home. We have to do it in order to prevent any sort of transmission.

 So, as I said, this might seem excessive. But I’ve had some experience with it and am comfortable using it. It’s an easy way for me to add a layer of protection for everyone involved. So, if there are any questions or comments you have about how I’m doing inspections or Energy Audits, or any suggestions (I'm always open to suggestions) please contact me. I’d love to hear from you.

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