About & ASHI >
Serving the San Francisco greater bay and Tri-Valley area, Homespec provides home and roof inspection services. Years of experience and knowledge means we get the job done right! What we provide:
Licensed General Contractor
Licensed Roofing Contracor
Certified Member of ASHI
Certified to walk on tile roofs
Excellent rapport with clients
John Quintal began his career in the construction industry over 30 years ago. Over time his experience led him to become a home inspector with over 19 years inspecting Bay Area homes and roofs. John Quintal is certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), ensuring consistent reporting techniques and continuing education on a yearly basis. Our company brings experience, knowledge, technology, and trust to every real estate transaction we encounter
John has been educated and certified to walk on tile roofs without causing damage. He performs thousands of roof inspections every year for insurance adjusters and has a vast knowledge of the roofing industry, and in detecting roof leaks.
The combined knowledge of his construction background with his experience in roof inspections makes him one of the best qualified professionals for a home inspection.
ASHI is an organization of independent, professional home inspectors who are required to make a commitment, from the day they join as ASHI Associates, to conduct inspections in accordance with the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, which prohibits engaging in conflict-of-interest activities that might compromise their objectivity. Mandatory continuing education helps the membership stay current with the latest in technology, materials and professional skills.
Only an ASHI inspector can provide your customers with a professional, personalized inspection that combines more than 40 years of the highest technical standards, adherence to a strict code of ethics and the very best in customer service and education. We call this “The ASHI Experience”.
When you choose ASHI, you’ll be working with a professional home inspector who has passed the most rigorous technical examinations in effect today, including inspectors who are required to perform more than 250 professional inspections before they’re even allowed to call themselves ”certified”. No other professional society can match the credentials of an ASHI inspector.
Roof Inspections >
We specialize in Home Inspections for home buyers or sellers during the transfer or purchase of a property. Our inspections are exceptionally thorough, comprehensive, and cover over 2000 items in a given home inspection. We take approximately 1.5 days to produce an electronic report with an itemized summary detailing discovered defects, categorized by primary and secondary concerns. We take the time to explain defects and/or areas in need of attention, along with why the item is incorrect and how to rectify the problem.
For the purposes of inspection and evaluation, all buildings can be broken down into their component systems. This analysis helps to identify areas of concern in greater detail. For example, a building with a leaking roof and peeling paint may be structurally sound but need astatic work only. Another building, however, may be astatically sound, but have an older plumbing system that needs new copper water supply pipes.
We welcome the questions and concerns of our clients and address them as we walk through the building together. After participating in our on-site inspection and reviewing our comprehensive and straightforward report, you can confidently enter the final stages of an informed purchase. Our inspections are performed in accordance with ASHI's (American Society of Home Inspectors) Standards of Practice. ASHI is the most recognized and respected organization of home inspectors in North America.
We specialize in Roof Inspections and have been providing inspections and reports for the Insurance industry for over 18 years. We inspect every visual aspect of the roof and report on the condition of each roof slope and related component. The level of detail and scope our reports provide far surpass those of our competitors. Reports consist of detailed documentation on the location of defects and provide suggestion on how to correct the issue.
Our inspectors have been educated and trained, not only to report on roof defects that are the source of leakage, but to also walk on tile roofs without causing damage.
Up to 1,000 sq.ft
Up to 1,700 sq.ft
1,000 - 1,500 sq.ft.
Inclusions all S.F.H:
1,600-2,500 sq. ft.
2,500-3,500 sq. ft.
These prices are an approximation. Each building is unique and requires more details...
Up to 5000 sq. ft.
Mainly an empty warehouse.
Focus on roof and electrcal componnents.
Should not take more than 2-3 hrs. to inspect.
These prices are an approximation. Each building is unique and requires more details...
Up to 5000 sq. ft.
Offices, stores, and/or apartments.
Focus on all building componnents
Should take approx. 5-6 hrs. to inspect
Up to 1700 sq. ft.
1800-3000 sq. ft.
An ASHI inspector looks at over 2000 items in a typical home inspection which cover the roof, foundation (including entering the crawlspace), testing of the heating system, plumbing system, electrical system as well as visual inspection for safe connections and installation of each system. In addition, the inspector will inspect the exterior grounds, including the grading around the building, the exterior siding and windows, porches, patios, and decks, as well as interior components like bathrooms, kitchens including ovens and dishwashers, laundry facilities, interior walls, ceilings, and floors. All our home inspections conform to the Standards of Practice from ASHI which itemizes in great detail what is included in a home inspection, from top to bottom, a copy can be obtained from their website at ASHI.ORG
Items such as pools/spas, termite inspections, moisture-related damage, code violations, home appraisals are not within the scope of our inspection and are not included in any service we provide.
A typical inspection should take around 2 hours for a home of 1500 sq. ft. Add another 20 -30 minutes for each additional 500 sq. ft. thereafter.
We email reports on the second day after the inspection, usually in the morning.
We accept cash, check, and paypal at this time only. For a nominal fee, you can use your credit card through paypal as well. Payments are expected on the day of inspection. There is a $50 escrow processing fee if you would like to bill escrow.
Our inspector travels the entire greater bay area from San Jose, to the Penninsula, North Bay, East Bay, the Tri-Valley, Antioch, Brentwood, and as far east as Manteca.
We carry Errors and Omissions and General Liability insurance for your protection.
In the state of California, you do not need any kind of certification or qualifications to become a home inspector. Therefore, anyone can say they can inspect your property, however not everyone you hire will be qualified for the job. Not only is our inspector a member of ASHI, the national leader in providing certification for home inspectors, but he has been providing home inspections for almost two decades and has worked in the construction industry long before his current profession. In addition, he has worked with a Roof Inspection company for almost two decades, providing roof inspections for insurance adjusters, so there is no home inspector in our area that has better knowledge of roofing systems.
"John is a no-nonsense guy who knows his business and presents the facts. His reports are thorough, clear and concise. John's knowledge of roofs and his ability to walk on them without fear of damage brings an added dimension to his worth."
- Rich Moreno, Sotheby's International Realty.
"John is the best guy for my home inspections. Quick, prompt, knowledgeable, professional, comprehensive, detailed with the touch of sense of humor. With vast knowledge of plumbing, electric, heating, foundation, roof, structure systems, he will explain to my client with plain English and suggest easy solutions. Way better than many inspection companies which have no clue on roofs and charge you extra."
- Tommy H, Yelp
"I have worked with Homespec and John Quintal for 20 years. His honesty, integrity, and professionalism are beyond reproach. I recommend him highly and have used his services both professionally and personally."
- Margaret Lomba of Harbor Bay Realty
As odd as it may seem, water causes more damage to masonry chimneys than fire. Think about it for a moment. All the brick and other materials that make up your home are protected by the roof and eaves, all that is except your chimney. The chimney bravely sticks up above the roof, constantly exposed to all the elements; rain, frost and freeze/thaw cycles.
A masonry chimney is constructed of a variety of masonry and metal materials, including brick, mortar, tile, steel and cast iron. All of these materials will suffer accelerated deterioration as a result of prolonged contact with water. Masonry materials deteriorate quickly when exposed to the freeze/thaw process in shich moisture that has penetrated the materials periodically freeze and expand, causing undue stress. Water in the chimney also causes rust in steel and cast iron, weakening and destroying metal parts.
Water penetration can cause interior and exterior damage to your home and masonry chimney including:
The following are the main ways to help prevent water damage: Install a chimney cap - Chimney caps, also called rain covers, are probably the most inexpensive preventative measure that a homeowner can employ to prevent water penetration and damage to the chimney. Chimneys have one or more large openings (flues) at the top that collect rain water and funnel it directly to the chimney interior. A strong, well designed cap not only keeps this water out, but will also prevent birds and animals from entering and nesting in the chimney. Caps also function as spark arrestors, preventing sparks from landing on the roof or other nearby combustible materials.
Repair or replace a damage chimney crown -The chimney crown, also referred to as the chimney wash, is the top element of a masonry chimney. It covers and seals the tip of the chimney from the flue liners to the chimney edge. Most masonry chimneys are built with an inadequate crown constructed from common mortar mis, the same mixture used to lay the bricks of the chimney. This mortar is not designed for this and will not withstand years of weathering without cracking, chipping or deteriorating; situations that allow water to penetrate the chimney. In fact, most sand and mortar crowns crack almost immediately after installation due to shrinkage. A proper chimney crown should be constructed of a portland cement-based mixture and cast or formed so it provides an overhang or drip edge projecting beyond all sides of the chimney. This will help direct runoff from the crown away from the sides of the chimney's vertical surfaces. There are also some water proof, non shrinking cement like coatings for repairing damage mortar crowns that seem to work fine.
Repair or replace flashing - Flashing is the seal between the roofing material and the chimney. Flashings prevent rain water from running down the chimney into living spaces where it can damage ceilings and walls, or cause rot in rafters, joists or other structural elements. The most effective flashing is make up of two elements, the flashing and the counter-flashing. The base flashing is an L shaped piece of metal extending up the chimney side and under the roofing material. The counter-flashing, which overlaps the base flashing, is imbedded and sealed into the chimney's masonry joints. This two element flashing system allows both the roof and the chimney to expand or contract at their own rates without breaking the water proof seal in either area.
Water proof your chimney - Most masonry materials are porous and will absorb large amounts of water. Common brick is like a sponge, absorbing water and wicking moisture to the chimney interior. Defective mortar joints or the use of improper mortar or brick can greatly increase the tendency to absorb and convey to the interior of the chimney structure. Several products have been developed specifically for use as water proofing agents on masonry chimneys. These formulas are vapor permeable which means that they allow the chimney to breathe out, but not in. Thus, water that has penetrated the chimney, or moisture that has origninated from inside, is allow to escape, while the water proofing agent prvents water from entering from the outside. Paint or any non vapor permeable water sealer should never be used as a water proofing agent because it will trap moisture inside the chimney, accelerating deterioration.
In conclusion, water damage to masonry chimneys is usually a slow, subtle process. The problem is often not evident until it has become quite serious. Although these water prevention measures may cost a few dollars initially, they can save you the major expense of large masonry repairs or rebuilding of the entire chimney
The primary function of wall finishes is to protect the building skeleton and interior from weather and mechanical damage. In some cases, the wall surfaces enhance the structural rigidity of the building. Now is time to inspect the exterior of the building for signs of damage and areas of needed maintenance.
Vines and other vegetation are often found growing on wall surfaces. The disadvantages include increased levels of moisture held against the wall surfaces, and increased insect and vermin problems in the house. Depending on the type of plant and the surface, considerable damage can be done. In the majority of cases, extensive damage does not occur. Each case should be examined individually and if no damage is apparent, periodic inspection should be continued to ensure integrity. However, the portions of the exterior obscured by plant growth are not accessible to routine inspection and may conceal defects needing repair. Vines should be kept away from wood siding, wood trim around windows, doors, and eaves and should not obstruct water flow through gutters and downspouts. Tree branches can cause damage to the siding or roof surfaces, especially in high winds or stormy weather. Trees can also deposit a large amount of leaves and debris on the roof surface, resulting in poor drainage and roof damage.
There are many different types of wood siding. Problems associated with wood siding include rot, water penetration and buckling. Rot will occur wherever wood surfaces are subject to excessive moisture. Therefore, painting, staining or other water proofing techniques are required on a regular basis. Even rot resistant woods such as cedar and redwood are helped by such materials. Stain reduces warping, splitting, rot and discoloration. Water penetration and rot problems are most common at joints in the siding. Joints should be designed in such a way as to prevent water penetration. The horizontal joints on lap siding, for example, overlap one another, however, most vertical joints on this type of siding do not.
Therefore, vertical joints should be caulked on a regular basis. With panel type wood siding, the majority of problems occur at horizontal joints, as there is usually no overlap or batten strip. The best installation method is a z-bar flashing installed at the horizontal joints to prevent water penetration. Many wood siding systems require pieces of wood trim to be installed over the joints. The top surfaces of these pieces of trim are prone to rot. The rotted wood eventually allows water to penetrate the joints. Horizontal surfaces should be kept well stained, painted and caulked, should be slightly sloped so water can drain off and caulking should be inserted at all vertical joints. Wood siding may split if improperly nailed.
Too many nails may prevent natural expansion and contraction. Nailing too close to the edges will result in splitting. Wood to soil contact should be avoided, as it promotes rot and provides and ideal environment for wood-boring insects. Adequate clearance between soil and wood is a recommended eight inches. It is important to avoid raising the soil level too close to the siding when gardening adjacent to the structure. Areas of potential wood to soil contact should be checked periodically as part of routine maintenance.
Stucco consists of a cement and sand plaster, reinforced with wire mesh and installed over a water resistant membrane. New stucco is typically unpainted and is porous to water. Stucco cracking is common and may be caused by movement in the wall framing, foundation settling, seismic activity or stucco shrinkage. Minor cracks usually do not need repair and are normally filled when the stucco is painted. Cracks large enough to allow water entry should be caulked or patched. The bottom of stucco typically has a metal trim called a "screed" in newer construction. The soil surface should be maintained at least 4 inches below this edge to help prevent moisture and termite entry behind the stucco. In older buildings, the bottom of the stucco often extends below soil level and may conceal moisture and termite entry. These areas should be inspected regularly by a pest control firm.
The primary purposes of trim components on the exterior of a house are to protect the structural components from the weather, prevent the entry of vermin and improve the appearance of the house. Trim is typically found around doors and windows, and at the eaves. The two most common components of the eaves are soffits and fascia. The soffit is installed horizontally and covers the underside of the eaves. The fascia is a vertical component at the edge of the eaves. Normally, gutters are fastened to the fascia. Trim components are often found to be rotted, missing or loose and damaged by vermin or moisture and are prone to weathering and opening up at the seams or joints. Painting and caulking these areas should be performed on an yearly basis as part of property maintenance.
Believe it or not winter is right around the corner. Now is the time to start with fall maintenance that will help carry your heating and electrical systems through the winter and troubleshoot any problems that may exist before extended use. Most manufacturers recommend cleaning and servicing the heating system annually, including the blower, motor, pilot, vent system and burners. However unless the unit is in a particularly dirty area, such as the garage or an exterior closet, every two years will likely suffice. A furnace or water heater compartment should have two air openings leading to the outside, one near the floor and the other near the ceiling with both screened to guard against pest entry. We recommend using a minimum of 1/4 inch screen mesh to help prevent the screens from becoming clogged with dust and debris. Check these openings to ensure they are not blocked. Inadequate combustion air can cause the flame to roll out and may produce hazardous byproducts of combustion, such as carbon monoxide. Air filters prevent the accumulation of dust and dirt on the blower fan blades which can significantly reduce efficiency. Air filters should be checked monthly and changed or cleaned (depending on type) as needed. A clogged air filter can lead to reduced air flow over the furnace heat exchanger, resulting in premature heat exchanger cracking or failure.
Many newer furnaces have induced draft venting to improve efficiency. Visible mineral deposits may collect on the inducer, indicating improper venting. It may be possible to improve venting effectiveness by modifying the piping material or configuration. We recommend that inducers be checked annually by a qualified heating contractor.
Various materials have been used to vent heating appliances. The earliest were brick or masonry chimneys. These were followed by factory made, tile lined, sheet metal flues and cement asbestos flues. These materials heat up slowly and the low temperature may restrict the upward flow of flue gases. For this reason most manufacturers specify that only listed galvanized sheet metal vents which terminate above the roof line ,at a minimum of 24 inches, be used on their new equipment. Using older vent pipes with new equipment is not recommended and may result in vent system corrosion.
Many homes have decks and porches which have numerous areas of concern. One area is where they are connected to the building. The ledger is the horizontal board nailed to the structure to support a deck or porch. Ledger boards should be bolted directly into the framing and not the siding. The connections should have the proper flashing installed to help divert water away from the structure, however this flashing may not always be visible. To check for signs of rain water entry, examine the underside of the deck or porch for water stains or damage.
Wooden deck and stair posts are commonly supported by precast concrete pier blocks. These blocks should also be supported by poured concrete footings. The absence of the footings can cause movement or settling in the deck framing. The deck posts or supports should contain diagonal bracing to help protect against lateral movement. There should be no direct earth-to-wood contact at the base of the posts. Adequate clearance between soil and wood is typically 6 inches and should be maintained to help prevent moisture or insect damage to the wood.
Stairways should be examined for potentially hazardous situations. Exterior staircases with four or more steps should have handrails for safety. Handrails should be 1 1/2 inches wide and shaped so that they can be easily grasped. Guardrails are required when the stair or deck is greater than 30 inches above grade. Large rail openings can allow a small child to fall through and therefore should not be more than 4 inches in diameter.
Individual steps in staircases should have a consistent height for safe use. The difference in height between one step and any other step in the same stiarcase should not be more than 3/8 inch. It is common to find a low bottom step when the lower surface has been raised. These are trip hazards and should be corrected or highlighted (painted a different color) to help prevent injury.
Masonry or concrete landings and decks are often supported by wood framing. A membrane is typically placed between the concrete and framing to protect the wood. With age these membranes deteriorate, allowing water penetration. This condition can lead to decay in wood supports. Any cracks or openings in the masonry surface should be caulked or filled with mortar to help prevent water incursion. The wood framing beneath masonry should be checked regularly by a qualified inspector for signs of water penetration and damage. Any damaged wood needed for structural support should be replaced with pressure-treated decay resistant lumber.
An enclosed overhead area is called a soffit. These are common beneath the decks which have a water-proof coating and also at roof eaves. Soffits which are below areas which can get wet and any enclosed wood framed area should have sufficient screened vent openings to help prevent moisture condensation and decay.
Wooden decks should be examined periodically for protruding nails as they can be a hazard to foot traffic. Loose nails can be pulled and replaced with threaded, decking nails. Any loose or broken boards should be replaced. Leaves and debris which accumulate between deck boards and lock in moisture should be removed on a regular basis. Wooden decks can be periodically treated with water repellent or wood preservative to protect them from weather damage and decay. It is not advisable to install outdoor carpeting over wooden or coated deck surfaces. Carpet tends to retain water which can lead to accelerated deterioration. The carpet should be lifted periodically to examine for moisture damage of decay.