Mermin inspections Blog

Uncategorized

THE CONCIERGE CORNER: BY Jacob Mermin

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

WELCOME

Jacob Mermin Inspections Concierge Listing and Networking Group has been looking for a local Home Security Company to join the Concierge listing and we are now happy to announce that we have found such a company. We would like to welcome Devcon Security as a new member.

Devcon is a National company with a local office in SW Florida. The office is located at 17162 Alico Center Road #4 Ft. Myers, Fl. 33967. The local General Manager Ryan Hercek explained that Devcon Security has been serving SW. Florida for over 15 years and they are a Florida based company operating out of Hollywood, Fl.

Devcon Security prides itself on customer service. They are the only company in the industry that can confidently say we self-perform the entire security process. What this means to the customer is that their business is never sub-contracted out to the lowest bidder. Devcon Security sell, install, service, and most importantly MONITOR all of their customers. Their employees are all background checked, finger printed, and drug screened. Their monitoring centers and monitoring specialists are all UL and 5 Diamond Certified, which again, to the customer means that the same monitoring specialists that are monitoring banks, and jewelry stores are also monitoring your home.
Devcon Security continues to grow throughout the country and are now the sixth largest security monitoring company in the United States. Devcon Security has 57 locations nationwide and serves over 300,000 customers.

Ryan Hercek asked me to let everyone know that they are offering a great introductory offer to all in Southwest Florida. He explained that a standard package security system ranges in cost from $99.00 to $399.00 depending on what you want. He is offering a $100.00 discount off any of the packages for all customers that come through the Concierge Listing and or Networking group.

Ryan told me that one of the reasons he decided to join the Jacob Mermin Inspections Concierge Listing was because it was also a Networking Group. He liked that fact that there were no weekly breakfast meetings and that everyone would be helping all members in the group gain local market share. We both agree that because of the current economy it is very important for all local companies to not just sit around waiting for the phone to ring. We must be pro-active and go out and get the business. We must find all those local companies who have the same beliefs and invite them to join the group. I want the Jacob Mermin Inspections Concierge listing to have as many trade categories open as we can. With a large diversified Networking Group we can help all members achieve that large market share.

Again I would like to say how proud we are at Jacob Mermin Inspections that Devcon Security is now apart of our group. Lets all help provide them with new potential customers. I have all members on a hand out that I plan on giving to all my clients and any that will listen. I will have this hand out available for all our members to give to their customers as well.

Good Luck,
Jacob Mermin

THE INSPECTOR’S CORNER

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

THE CONCIERGE CORNER: JACOB MERMIN FLHI/FLMA/IE

WELCOME

JMI’S CONCIERGE LISTING is very excited to announce that DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Naples is now a member of the Concierge Listing.

DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Naples is located in the Wiggins Pass Crossings Center at 13500 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 10 Naples, Fl. 34110.

“Today’s kitchen has a live-in plan,”says Meriam Reed, “where families gather and activity centers provide work spaces for various projects.”

When my wife and I walked into the show room I knew I was in trouble. My wife liked everything, especially the white cabinets with the dark granite counter tops. This is one beautiful showroom with so much to choose from. DreamMaker has an Interior Designer and a Design Consultant to help their clients determine what will work best with their budget and lifestyle – from traditional or contemporary design – to value oriented or top- of the line luxury.

When clients meet the folks at DreamMaker they see that they have professional designers and a full – service contracting team under one roof, and it makes a big difference for their peace of mind.

Jacob Mermin Inspections (www.jminspector.com) will be recommending DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Naples to everyone we can. I like the fact that just like JMI they are a one stop shop. There clients will realize no matter their budget they will receive top notch service. Jacob Mermin Inspections is very proud to be associated with DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Naples. When a client or someone I meet tells me that they need a new bath or kitchen I can’t wait to say,”boy do I have a company for you”. Remember DreamMaker is a full service contractor who can do any job big or small. DreamMaker serves Collier and South Lee county.

DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Naples
13500 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 10 Naples, Fl. 34110

meriam@naplesdreammaker.com
www.naplesdreammaker.com
239-591-2019
239-593-6609 fax
License number CBC056039
Client testimonials upon request

CHINESE DRYWALL REMEDIATION MONITORING

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

INITIAL VISIT January 6th & 7th 2011
In this section of the report I am showing what I saw when introduced to this project. It is the before part of the before and after approach to documenting any type of remediation or remodeling project. It is my initial walk through of the property. The after part of the before and after will come at the end and is also known as the reveal. This will show the completion of the project as basically a brand new home.
 

drywall-1drywall-2drywall-3 

It all has to come down to the bare studs. Once all the drywall has been removed every thing can be treated with a remediation chemical.

Here you can see the distinctive blue label of Chinese Drywall.

All bathrooms will need to be brought down to the studs. Here you can see metal studs and PVC inside the walls.

THE STARTING POINT……PRODUCT DOCUMENTATION
Each Chinese drywall remediation project starts with identifying as much of the Chinese drywall as possible in all areas of the home. When the project is a house of this size this can be a large task. I was able to visit the project house in the beginning of the demolition. Here we will show how sections of drywall were removed, identified as Chinese drywall. This identification was made by the end label, stenciled printing of the manufacturer or the country of origin. In each room the number of sheets found to be of the type known as Chinese drywall is labeled.
Here we have a ProWall end label on a sheet of drywall from the Avner home. ProWall is a brand of drywall that has documented laboratory proof that it contains the chemical associated with Chinese drywall. Then we also have sheets of drywall that have MADE IN CHINA stenciled on the back of the sheet.

drywall-4 

 More pictures are available upon request.

All drywall was inspected and all those sheets that had this label were removed and labeled with what room they were found in. I will show a sample of how this was done through out the home. There were hundreds of sheets of drywall in this home and most of the sheets were found to be of the Chinese drywall type. It would not be realistic to show every sheet of documented drywall. My main objective is to show those concerned how the sheets of drywall that were determined to be of the Chinese type were documented. Also a few samples of the
infected Chinese drywall were removed by me and are being stored at a separate location for future testing and evidence for future litigation.

Here are examples of how these sheets of Chinese drywall were labeled for documentation.

drywall-5 

  As you can see from these pictures each area of the home where infected drywall was found has been meticulously documented where that particular sheet was found. The number that you see is the number of sheets in that area that were found to be of the Chinese drywall type. As I mentioned earlier there were hundreds of sheets of drywall that were determined to be Chinese drywall sheets. It would not be practical to show all the pictures of these sheets of drywall. All the pictures that I took during this project will be placed on a flash drive and will be made available to Mr. Jones.

drywall-6

 It will of course be up to the homeowner Mr. Jones who will have access to these pictures. It was my job to take these pictures and to safely store them for this report and any future need. Note: more pictures are available upon request.

drywall-7

 SHOW ME THE LABELS
We found many sheets of drywall in every room with the MADE IN CHINA lettering as well as the blue and yellow label of PRO WALL. I have tested this drywall through Assured Bio Labs of Oak Ridge, Tn. many times and it has always come back positive for the chemicals associated with Chinese Drywall.

drywall-8

PROJECT MONITORING AND DOCUMENTATION

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Jacob Mermin Inspections has done thousands of Chinese drywall and mold inspections. We have performed them from Marco Island in the south to St. Petersburg and Tampa to the north. We have traveled from Sanibel Island in the west to Ft. Lauderdale and Miami to the east. We have always done what ever our clients needed to protect their families’ health and their major investment of a dream home. We have found all types of molds, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) and small to large amounts of Chinese drywall.

Now we have been asked to monitor and document a major Chinese drywall remediation project. This is the third such project and by far the largest. Prior to this we have done a 1700 square foot house in Cape Coral Florida and a 2000 square foot house in south Lee County Florida. This latest project is a very large house in a very upscale development in south Lee County Florida. It is my policy that the development name and client name will not be mentioned. We feel that it is not necessary to invade the privacy of our clients. In the case of this home we have determined that a majority of the drywall in this home was imported from China. It is common knowledge now what Chinese drywall can do to items in a home. I am not going to take the time in this posting to explain what Chinese drywall is and how it affects the building materials in the home. For all those who do not know what Chinese drywall is, all you need to do is Google Chinese Drywall and you will have all the definitions that you need.

I have become very good friends with the owner of this home, just like we do with most of our clients. As I have previously stated I will not disclose the development or the client’s name. For the purpose of this posting lets just call him Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones has given me permission to use his remediation project as a series of blog postings at www.jminspector.com. He feels very obligated to show the millions of homeowners who access the World Wide Web what he has been going through in hopes that it may make it a bit easier for those who may have to experience the same tragedy. I am not going to get into the politics of this Chinese Drywall issue. Both Mr. Jones and I believe that President Obama and the United States Congress should step in and do the right thing and help the American Home Owner. General Motors received a bailout because they were too big to fail. I believe the American Homeowner is too big to fail. I guess we will see.

This is going to be a series of postings covering the remediation of this home. We will call it the Jones Project.My first visit with Mr. Jones was January 6th 2011. I am planning to post about once per week or so to give everyone a chance to experience this remarkable remediation. There will be many trades on this project that I will be working closely with. Again I do not plan to reveal their names either. I am not doing this series as a way to advertise for these trades. I can say that Mr. Jones picked the best sub contractors possible and did not make decisions based solely on price alone. Mr. Jones hired a project manager but also acted as his own General Contractor. This is a very common practice by homeowners who know what they want and what they are doing.

THE HOUSE

mermin-blog-1 mermin-blog-2

In the next posting I will show the start of the demolition and show the different Chinese drywall labels and stencils. I will explain how the documentation of each sheet of drywall was done. I will post pictures of items of the home that were affected by the chemicals associated with Chinese drywall.

In future postings I will show the completed demolition and how the house was treated with a special chemical that is used against Chinese drywall. I will show plumbing, electrical, insulation, HVAC, better known as Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. In future posting I will show some of the surprises I found after the demolition.

Every time I go to this home I feel like I am in an episode of This Old House. I am very surprised that there hasn’t been any programming on the so called home improvement shows on such net works as TLC, House and Garden Television, or the Discovery Channel. This project has just as much drama if not more than any episode on all of these Home Improvement Shows combined. My client the homeowner has gone through a major life changing experience. He has told me on several occasions that sometimes he can’t even go into the home because it makes him sick to his stomach. I believe that most people would feel this way, I know I would. This is Mr. and Mrs. Jones dream home. People work very hard all their lives to save up enough money to purchase a home that they can both grow old in. My job in all this is to make sure every thing in this  hole process is documented and the work monitored for the future. This home now has Chinese drywall attached to it. I am here to show all those interested that Mr. Jones removed that tag line, to prove that the remediation was done and it was done properly.

I value all those readers that may have questions and comments. I will post those and answer those that pertain to the Jones Project. Remember your comments and or questions that do not pertain to the Jones Project will not be posted. So it is my suggestion to not waste your time. My blog posts including THE INSPECTORS CORNER and other guest posts have generated 12,000 comments. I believe that this is a serious subject and I would like to hear from serious people. I believe that we are not only helping Mr. and Mrs. Jones but we could be helping thousands of people not only in the state of Florida but all over the United States. Remember the time period generally associated with Chinese drywall is 2003 to 2007. It is in direct response to the housing boom and natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. No one is to blame but the Chinese. All the distributors and small drywall companies in all the states where Chinese drywall was found did not know what they were distributing and what they were using. They know now and should honestly help all those they sold to.

Until the next posting remember you can not expect what you don’t inspect

Thank You,
Jacob Mermin FLHI/FLMA/IE

From The Inspector: Jacob Mermin CHI/CMI

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Chinese Drywall Update: Drywall bulk testing.

From Lynn Pope Assured Bio Laboratory Manager.

AssuredBio uses advanced infrared imaging analysis to detect contaminated Chinese drywall.  The technology is Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, or FT-IR.  By measuring the way the molecules in a drywall sample are excited across a spectrum of light, a fingerprint of the sample is created.  Like humans, every fingerprint is unique, but there are distinguishing characteristics that types of drywall have in common.  The contaminated drywall samples have a peak that is not present in uncontaminated samples.  That peak has been traced to sulfide and disulfide compounds and can be seen in the image below. 

 

This technology is not unique to the Chinese drywall issue.  In fact, is has been used in crime labs and court rooms for over 70 years to detect everything from illicit drugs to counterfeit currency.  The same technology is used to check the purity of all raw materials imported into the EU that will be used in pharmaceuticals. 

Many people wonder why this type of analysis is less expensive than other laboratory analyses available.  This analysis provides superior results while the time, labor, and materials that go into the analysis are far less than other analysis methods.  This allows us to provide a more cost-effective analysis than others on the market with better information. 

Currently, no analysis that can be conducted in-home to determine if there is contaminated Chinese drywall – only a visual inspection to find marked Chinese drywall.  Beware of quick and cheap tests, as they can provide false positives and false negatives.

AssuredBio (http://assuredbio.com) is a premier Indoor Air Quality Lab, specializing in DNA-based mold and bacteria analysis and contaminated Chinese drywall testing.  AssuredBio recommends Jacob Mermin Inspections for all mold and Chinese drywall inspections as a reliable, ethical, and valuable inspector.

 

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 www.mermininspections.com 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

jacob@mermininspections.com