Looksmart Home Inspections | Professional Home inspection services for New Jersy | License Number : 24GI00058700
Client Testimonials

Thank you John, I received the inspection report and I have to say I am very impressed at the thoroughness of it. I just went though the whole report and it was very easy to understand and loved the pictures in the report. I just emailed it to my Atty I am sure I will be discussing issues with him tomorrow. Thanks for explaining everything and for being so patient. You are a true professional.
Sonia A. Buzzelli

I actually researched dozens of inspectors, I contacted John approximately 10:15pm and he answered the questions I had concerning the services he provides. I could not have made a better choice he saved me thousands and helped me�re-negotiate my contract with his findings.
-A. Armstrong, Plainfield, NJ

"I’m extremely satisfied. I genuinely feel I choose the right person for the job. John was pleasant and most importantly informative and knowledgeable"
A. September, Oakland, NJ

"Thanks so much for such an amazing job on the inspection and for such a thorough and detailed report! I have to say - I remember the last home inspection we did about 6 years ago when we bought our last house - and I thought our inspector at the time was really good. Mind you, it was a smaller house, but his report was like 8 pages. Yours is over 40 with pictures and coverage down to the individual outlet, window, etc. So much really valuable detail!"
C. Cerruto, Glen Ridge, NJ

"Thank you for the outstanding service in inspecting our potential home. We really enjoyed meeting you and the time and care you put into inspecting the house. We felt as though you were inspecting your own house.�The report with the pictures was really very valuable and the turn around time was outstanding. We would definitely recommend you to others as well as call you again"
M.C Landing, NJ

"It was a great experience working with John. He has a very sharp eye. Very detailed and thorough inspection. John does not cut corners. After a home inspection with LookSmart you will know exactly what you are buying"
B. Aboulenian, Avenel, NJ�

"Home buying can be a very stressful experience.�Hiring John Martino at Look Smart was probably the easiest part of my home purchase. His fees are affordable and his schedule is very flexible. John is�extremely thorough with his inspection and�the inspection report can be completed�in less then 48 hours. I�was also�impressed by the�quality of his reports containing�photos and summaries of�his findings. I highly recommend LookSmart!!"
Yvett Plaza, Dover, NJ

"The home inspection was very thorough and the inspector (John) was very knowledgeable"
G. Urena, North Bergen, NJ

"Thanks again for coming out to the house twice.�You did a real through and professional�job"
I. Walsh, Flanders, NJ�

"I knew "Dilip cannot be wrong", when he recommended your name. I am extremely satisfied with the details of your work. Now, I am another client of yours, who will be talking about you in our friend circle".
S. Prandhan, Hackettstown, NJ

"I am very happy with the service. I received all that was promised....Very satisfied"
R. Khandelwal, Parsippany, NJ

Expansion tanks

By : John Martino | In : Home Inspections

What is that tank there?

The question relates to an expansion tank found on water boilers. When the water inside the boiler is heated the water expands. The space in the expansion tank provides room for the water to expand as it is heated. Inside the expansion tank there is water and air. As the boiler heats up it takes up some of the space provided by the air in the expansion tank. The expansion tank is normally located above the boiler. Some of these tanks are sometimes attached to the ceiling. More modern expansion tanks are connected right above the boiler. The main issue with old expansion tanks is that they can completely fill with water over time. When this occurs there is no room for the pressure to expand. As a result the boiler pressure relief valve may expel. To remedy this issue the older expansion tank should be emptied by a heating professional to avoid this issue. The more modern expansion tanks have a bladder or diaphragm that is installed inside the tank. The diaphragm prevents the water and the air from mixing and thus the issue of the tank filling with water is alleviated. For the most part modern expansion tanks are maintenance free. If

Collar ties-what are they?

By : John Martino | In : Home Inspections

What are collar ties and what do they do? Collar ties are wood frame members that are installed across the rafters. They are connected from one side to the other side of the opposing rafter. Collar ties add stiffness to the rafter and roof structure. They help in keeping the roof from sagging and also prevent rafter spread. They are simple members but rather important for the integrity of a roof structure. Ideally there should be one collar tie for each opposing rafter.

During a New Jersey home inspection I viewed a deep sag in a house roof. There was only one layer of roof covering installed and there was plywood decking. There were however no collar ties installed. You could see the bow from the interior of the attic which is very rare. Usually roof sagging is more easily viewed from the exterior of the home. I felt the reason for the defects was the lack of collar ties and roof rafters that were too light. I am not an engineer so I directed my home inspection client to have the condition evaluated by a structural specialist to determine what the proper corrective actions would be to correct the issue.

Some defects that I find with the collar ties

Urea-formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI)

By : John Martino | In : Home Inspections

I had a home inspection client ask me about UFFI insulation and I thought I would say a few things about the product.

Urea-formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI) was used in residential construction until the early 1980’s. It was determined that this type of expandable insulation produced high levels of formaldehyde gas. The gas was then determined to have negative health effects.

UFFI insulation was developed in the 1950’s as an alternative product to retrofit insulation into residential dwellings. This type of insulation was usually prepared on site and then pumped into the wall cavity. The foam insulation would then harden and become an effective means of insulation. Formaldehyde was often added to the mixture to help the hardening and curing process. The negative health effects were caused by the release of formaldehyde gas.

Some known negative heath effects of high levels of formaldehyde are nausea, dizziness, watering eyes, difficulty in breathing, flu like symptoms, fatigue and increased risk of developing asthmatic conditions. There may be elevated cancer risks associated with it. There are two opposing studies done on the cancer e

Brick Veener

By : John Martino | In : Home Inspections

A brick veneer exterior wall consists of a wood frame inner wall and a four inch thick brick outer section. The veneer does not have any load Bering capacity. Usually metal ties are installed to secure the brick work to the frame. One very important detail that is often omitted is the weep holes should be provided at the bottom of the wall to allow for proper drainage. Rain water will pass through a brick wall, as a result there should be a space between the brick veneer and the frame. Water can pass the brick and can run down the inner area of the brick. At the bottom row of bricks typically every fourth mortar joint is left empty to allow for drainage. A flashing is used to allow water at the bottom of the wall cavity to drain out through the weep holes. The flashing prevents the water from entering the foundation. Another reason to have brick veneer weep holes is to help balance the pressure on both sides of the bricks. Air is allowed into the space to help reduce the tendency for water to be driven through.

Buying a house is one of life’s biggest decisions. Before you close, you’ll want a professional inspection of the house to ascertain its true condition. John Martino is a formally trained New Jersey home inspector and member of the American Society of Home Inspectors...ReadMore