Mermin inspections Blog

Archive for April, 2009

The Mortgage Broker’s Corner:Give me money.

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Give Me Money… That’s What I Want

The Beatles weren’t singing about the US economy, but they may as well have been. Earlier this year, the government unveiled its new $787 Billion Stimulus Plan to infuse the economy with money and confidence. That’s some serious money!

But have you ever wondered who’s actually getting that money. what types of projects may be funded. and how it impacts your state and local community?

Here’s your answer:! was built to help the government keep its pledge to invest stimulus money smartly and to add transparency and accountability to the process.

At, you can find and review projects that are candidates for funding by federal grant programs. You can even sort the projects by activity, expense, and need.

Better still, you can access a list of projects by state, so you can see how the Stimulus Plan may impact your state and local community – including costs, number of jobs, and exact locations! Simply select your state and review the projects under consideration. You can even add comments about the value of the projects listed!



Jim Marcinkowski

Mortgage Consultant

Neighborhood Funding, Inc.

8695 College Pkwy.

Suite 2440

Fort Myers, FL 33919

Your Direct Lender!

239-936-4232 Office

239-826-6400 Cell

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Apply online @


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From the inspector: Chinese Drywall Testing

Monday, April 13th, 2009
Copper ground wire has turned black

Copper ground wire has turned black

I have been promising everyone who would listen that a fellow Inspector and I have been developing an affordable laboratory test for Chinese Drywall. I wasn’t lying, it just seemed like it. Jacob Mermin Inspections has this testing available for those who qualify. My fellow inspector and I have decided that the right thing to do is require a visual inspection first, before people just start spending money because they are desperate for help. I will come to your home and do a visual inspection to see if there is evidence of the effects of Chinese drywall. Believe it or not, not every home has Chinese Drywall. I did five inspection in Lehigh Acres, Fl. last week and all five house were negative for the effects of Chinese Drywall. I have an extensive checklist that I go by to determine if there is any visual evidence of the effects of Chinese Drywall. My visual inspection checklist will be filled out and left with the homeowner.

Tarnished silver bowl

Tarnished silver bowl

I will also take digital pictures and put them in a report to explain this visual inspection. This report will then be e-mailed to the client in a day or so. With this checklist, digital pictures, and a written report the homeowner can make a intelligent decision on whether to go ahead with lab testing.  The good news, is that the air testing available will determine if your home contains the four gasses that are causing these effects. The four gases are Carbon Disulphide, Carbonyl Sulfide, Sulfur Dioxide and finally Hydrogen Sulfide. There is also a bulk drywall lab test available. The great thing about the air testing is that we can give you the results right then and there in your home. The bulk drywall testing requires us to cut a piece of drywall out and send it to the lab. This test takes approximately 10 days.

Dryer plug starting to turn black

Dryer plug starting to turn black


I have been able to help people with my certified home inspections, mold inspections, indoor air quality inspections, and air conditioning inspections, but when I came across the effects of Chinese Drywall I couldn’t answer those final questions. “What do we do now, and where do we go from here”. I hated hearing that, mostly because I had to say, ” Very expensive testing “. I am very happy that I have all these new answers and I am able to talk to these folks about very affordable lab testing. There are dishonest people out there who are taking advantage of the fear that so many homeowners have about the possibility of having Chinese Drywall. I am not going to allow this. I am not going to let people spend their hard earned money on even affordable lab testing with out first having a visual inspection. If after we do this visual inspection together we decide it would be a good idea to have the testing done, we will do it.  My clients are going to be in control. Go to my website at and take advantage of my Chinese Drywall Visual Inspection Special. Or you can call me directly at 239-243-7322. Together we can get the honest answers everyone deserves.

Call someone you can trust.

I tell everyone to use a qualified inspector who is also certified to open your air conditioner. It makes sense to call Jacob Mermin Inspections. Your one stop shop.

Jacob Mermin CHI/CMI

From the Inspector:Chinese drywall update

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Here we go again. Unfortunately I have found another development in South West Florida that I found visual evidence of the effects of Chinese drywall. A colleague of mine requested that I visually inspect a Lennox air handler manufactured in 2006. Since I am a EPA Certified Type ll air conditioning technician as well as a certified home and mold inspector he asked me to open up the air handler to see if we had any visual evidence of  the effects of Chinese Drywall. Well it is official. The condo in the picture is located in the Moody River development in North Ft. Myers, Fl. As you can see in these pictures the copper of the evaporator coil has gone from shinny copper to flat black in color. There were other items that I saw myself in this condo that I did not get pictures of since I was only responsible for the air conditioner. I have had a dilemma  about if I should report the names of the developments that have this visual evidence of the effects of Chinese drywall. I decided that as a InterNachi certified home inspector it is my responsibility to report what and where I see it. I do not feel I should give the exact address or the homeowners name. I feel if they want to let the world know what they are experiencing that is up to them. moody-river-chinese-drywall-006




As you can see in this picture we have the air conditioners copper line sets. These copper lines connect the inside air handler with the outside condenser. It is very obvious that the effects of Chinese drywall are at work in this home. There is black rubber armor flex insulation covering the larger line. This is the way it should be as it is insulating the copper pipe because it carriers the cold freon. The smaller pipe carriers the hot Freon after it has absorbed the heat from your house. The smaller copper tubing is under high pressure and the corrosion caused by the effects of the Chinese drywall could cause the copper line set to leak and lose Freon.


This is the air handler in question. It is located in a condo in Moody River in North Ft. Myers, Fl. You can see where I tore the black armor flex insulation to take the picture of the copper line sets that were effected by the Chinese drywall in this condo.

It is my opinon that the manufacturers of these air conditioners are not going to continue to honor warranties on these evaporator coils. This is not a manufacturers defect. This is an outside influence on these units. Those out there that have had there evaporator coils replaced under warranty should feel lucky because I do not believe it will be honored in the near future. This unit is made by Lennox, thanks Dave but the new one will just turn black and eventually fail again. My family doctor in Cape Coral, Fl. has had 9 new coils installed in the last 2 years. The warranty doesn’t cover labor, so the home owner is responsible for the $400 to $800 dollars the average company charges to replace these coils under warranty. Labor is usually only for the first year after install unless a extended labor warranty is purchased. There are companies out there that are misleading customers about warranties. You may have been told that you have a 10 year warranty on the coils and parts. Unless you have paper work from the manufacturer that says you have a ten year warranty you may not. It may be one of those as long as I am in business warranties that is provided by the air conditioning contractor. Basically it may be worthless.

If you are purchasing a home that was manufactured between 2004 and 2007 you should get a Chinese drywall visual inspection. I charge $99.00. If you are buying a home you should get a home inspection. My home inspections includes a InterNachi certified home inspection, MICRO certified mold inspection, AIRE certified air quality inspection, EPA certified type ll air conditioning technician’s inspection, and now it also includes a Chinese Drywall visual inspection. Call and ask for detail on what I look for and inspect for the effects of Chinese drywall. Every time I see with my own eyes the effects of Chinese Drywall I am going to report it to all my potential clients. I am going to take pictures of it and put it in this blog. I will keep doing this until there is no more to report on. I will post another Chinese Drywall Update in the Inspector’s Corner as soon as I can take the pictures.

The Inspector

Jacob Mermin CHI/CMI


FROM THE INSPECTOR: Chinese drywall update

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Here is a quick report on what I have seen this week. I have done 8 of my Chinese Drywall Inspections this week. Out in Lehigh I did five inspections for a great builder by the name of DSD homes. A young man who is the superintendent for this company took me around Lehigh Acres Fl. on Monday and Tuesday to inspect five houses they were about to purchase. I have done home inspections for clients that were in the process of buying homes from DSD homes. I am very pleased to recommend to one and all if you are looking for a reasonably priced home in Lee county don’t hesitate to call DSD homes. The great thing about the young superintendent, Brian Saud is that as I am doing an inspection for one of their possible home buyers he is going around marking items with blue tape for repair. I have never seen in my 20 years in the field a company who was more professional or showed so much concern for their customers. Make sure you ask DSD homes to let you work with Brian Saud.

So back to the Chinese Drywall Report. There was no evidence of any Chinese Drywall in the 5 homes I inspected for DSD homes earlier this week. I inspected 3 Town Homes in the Meadows in Estero, Fl. which is near Pelican Sound off of U.S. 41 in south Lee County. All three had evidence of Chinese Drywall. They all had black copper evaporator coils in the air handlers. The picture in my $99.00 Chinese Drywall inspection is from that developement. I also found evidence of the effects of Chinese Drywall in the Rookery in Estero, Fl. The evaporator coil had been replaced in November and did not show any evidence. I found that most of the copper ground wire in the electrical outlets and light switches had turned black.

Today April first I was in the Hamton Park Neigborhood of Gateway in East Ft. Myers. I inspected two homes in that developement and I found that both had black evaporator coils and black copper ground wires in the electrical outlets and light switches. I also found several mirrors corroded along with plumbing fixtures. One of my clients has a silver plated bowl that has completley turned black. Now I did not want to find these examples of the possible effects of Chinese Drywall and I recommended that they have some lab testing done.

These inspections that I do are strickley visual in nature and the only way to be 100% shure is to have lab testing done. A coleague and I are developing a more affordable test for the average homeowner. This is coming and we should have more information on this in the blog in the next couple of weeks. As soon as we have the particulars especially the pricing I will post it to this blog. In the mean time if you feel you may have the effects of possible Chinese Drywall the first step is to have a visual inspection by a qualified inspector. I am a InterNachi certfiied home inspector, MICRO certfiied mold inspector,and  a AIRE certified indoor air quality inspector. But most of all I am a EPA certified Type ll air conditioning technician and inspector. This means I can open up the air conditioner and inspect the evaporator coil for signs of the effects of Chinese Drywall. Feel free to call me at 239=243-7322 for a free phone consultation or to make an appoitment for a Chinese Drywall Inspection.

Jacob Mermin CHI/CMI

Jacob Mermin Inspections