360 Home Inspections

Pool Inspection as a Growing Industry

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To keep up with the growing demand more and more home inspectors are now providing pool inspection. According to estimates from the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), there will be 10. 4 million residential swimming pools in the US by 2020. For inspectors this increasing pool population offers a substantial commercial opportunity, especially in states like California Florida and Arizona where there is a high concentration of pools. Pool inspections are in high demand according to inspectors working in these areas. Experienced inspectors frequently decide to offer pool examinations as a result of their regular interaction with pools while conducting routine commercial property inspections, as mentioned in the last blog. In-person conversations with real estate brokers or other inspectors in the area can help new inspectors gauge local demand.

Enhancing Customer Service

Providing pool assessments is another calculated step toward delivering top-notch customer service. Inspectors can save their clients time and lessen the inconvenience of scheduling multiple visits by combining assessments of the home and pool into a single visit. This method relieves homeowners of needless stress while streamlining the inspection procedure. For instance, David Fields of Pillar To Posts Fields Team in Georgia arranges for concurrent home and pool inspections offering his clients a more effective and convenient service. The inspector’s dedication to providing homeowners with a thorough and stress-free experience is demonstrated by their integrated service model. 

Investments Home Inspectors Make for Pool Inspections

Education, Licensing, and Equipment

States and counties have different requirements for education and licensing for home inspectors who offer to inspect pools. For example, Florida requires that inspectors conducting these inspections hold a license or certification. Enrolling in pertinent courses is beneficial even in fields without official training requirements. These courses assist inspectors in expanding their business safeguarding themselves from future lawsuits and learning the ins and outs of pool examination. Prospective inspectors can take extensive pool inspection courses from organizations like the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) and The ASHI School. Make sure the courses you take fulfil any requirements for licensing or certification that your county or state may have. 

Endorsements in Pool Inspection

Endorsements are necessary modifications or additions to your insurance policy that provide coverage for additional services, such as pool assessment. Most standard home inspection insurance policies exclude these services, meaning you won’t be covered for claims related to pool examinations unless you obtain an endorsement. If you conduct pool inspections or want protection against claims involving pools, you should adjust your existing policy by adding the appropriate endorsements. This change ensures that you have the necessary defence and indemnity coverage for these specialized services.

Limiting Your Liability Against Pool Inspection-Related Claims

Carrying Endorsements

Carrying a pool endorsement is crucial for protecting yourself against related claims. However, additional risk management techniques can further safeguard your business. Here are some suggestions:

Pool Inspection – Know What You’re Inspecting

When performing swimming pool assessments, home inspectors should focus on three key areas: 

  • Safety features per local regulations (such as fences)
  • Structure and decking
  • Equipment (including pumps and filters) 

It’s essential to understand the differences between pool types, such as concrete and vinyl pools, and be able to identify potential defects in skimmers and gutters. Additionally, knowing how to operate pumps and motors is crucial. If you lack the necessary knowledge, you may miss critical issues, leading to claims for unseen problems later when conducting pool inspection.

Have an Addendum

Home inspectors are not code inspectors, but clients may not be aware of this distinction. They might expect you to identify all ways their pool might violate local laws, assess if it’s fit for a diving board, or even test the pool water’s quality. To manage client expectations appropriately, it’s vital to clearly communicate the limitations of your pool examination. While verbal communication helps, it’s imperative to spell out these limitations in writing. Jerry Stonger of Preferred Inspection Services in California recommends including an addendum in your pre-inspection agreement to specify the terms of your pool assessment services.

Take Lots of Pictures

The phrase “a picture is worth 1,000 words” is especially relevant in home inspections and pool inspections. Photos help clients understand your findings, provide context, and bring technical descriptions to life. From a risk management perspective, photos serve as evidence of the pool’s condition on the day of the inspection. If a crack or leak appears after the inspection, having photos can prove the issue wasn’t present during your assessment. Thoroughly document your inspection process with photos of both defects and non-defects. The more photos you take, the better equipped you are to dismiss frivolous claims.

Pool Inspection – When in Doubt, Contract It Out

Specialty inspections may sometimes involve issues beyond your expertise or the scope of your inspection. In such cases, it’s advisable to refer clients to a more experienced contractor. Thus 360 Home Inspection recommends this approach to ensure clients receive the most accurate assessment possible.

Conclusion

Expanding into pool inspections can significantly grow your business and meet increasing demand, particularly in areas with many pools. By investing in the right training, licensing, and insurance endorsements, and implementing effective risk management strategies, you can provide comprehensive, high-quality services that enhance customer satisfaction and position your business for success.

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