In the previous article, we compared licensed and unlicensed contractors. We talked about the dangers and problems of hiring unlicensed contractors and, on the other hand, the benefits of working with the ones with CSLB license. However, we’ve only scratched the surface regarding how wood flooring inspector can assist you in solving the problem with a contractor, but now that you have some basic idea what does a flooring inspector do, it’s time to dive in a bit deeper.
What to do when a problem occurs?
But, first things first, let’s get back to our scenario where the homeowner noticed problems with a floor installed by a licensed contractor. It typically takes from six months to a year after the installation for a problem to become noticeable, depending on the nature of the issue. The initial reaction of a homeowner would be either to call the guy who sold the floors or the person who did the installation, and tell them that there’s a problem with flooring.
Cupping, buckling, lifting, cracking, changing colors – the list of possible issues goes on and on and in most cases, a contractor who did the job wouldn’t know what caused the problem. And even if he comes on-site and figures out that it was his fault, he may not tell you the truth! He’d maybe say that it’s normal, temporary and that it would get better in, let’s say, a year. Or he’d blame your dog, cat, kid, improper maintenance, etc… anything except admitting a mistake, because in that case, he’d have to do the work all over again. Of course, not all of the contractors are like that, but some are and it’s important to be prepared.
So, instead of being stuck, thinking “Oh, what do I do know”, while looking at your big investment cracking below your feet, you shouldn’t believe the first thing you’ve been told. Don’t hesitate to ask for a second opinion, preferably from the unbiased and objective side, such as certified flooring specialist – Flooring Detective. For a really affordable amount Flooring Detective would come out to your house and conduct thorough flooring inspection and give you a report based on facts and 25-year experience in the hard surface industry.
One thing that might sound a bit unusual at first is that Flooring Detective Jeff Meltzer requests on being paid prior to the inspection process. Even though it may seem strange, it’s actually a proof of how serious and devoted to this profession Jeff is. A good flooring inspector MUST remain unbiased and objective during the inspection process. However, sometimes people expect that since they’re paying you, you must be in favor of their side. If you don’t take their side, and they don’t like what you have to say in a report (a true state of facts) they simply won’t pay you!
So instead of being subjective in favor of the commissioning side and jeopardizing his own opinion and expertise in order to be paid, Jeff insists on being paid upfront. That way he can do the inspection professionally, in an unbiased and objective manner, like it should be done.
Talk about the problem
The first thing Flooring Detective will do when he comes on-site is to ask you, the homeowner, to explain the problem. The conversation is as important as physical inspection so it’s necessary for you to be honest. Don’t hide any information from the inspector as something that may seem unimportant to you might be the key and the explanation for flooring failure.
For example, recently you adopted a puppy that gets all excited when someone knocks on the door so he pees a bit out of happiness and excitement. But that’s not important since you immediately wipe the wooden floor with a clean, soaking wet mop, so you shouldn’t bother an inspector with that somewhat embarrassing situation, right? NO! In this case, the inspector will immediately know that the cause of the problem was that soaking wet mop even though for you it seemed unimportant and not worth mentioning.
Through a conversation, Flooring Detective will obtain important information such as whether the seller visited the site prior to delivery, took moisture readings, and made an assessment whether the house was suitable for the upcoming installation of new hardwood flooring. It’s also good if you could remember an approximate date when the floor was delivered and the place where it was kept as it can help to rule out some potential problems (and rule in some other).
After a thorough interview, Flooring Detective will continue the inspection by assessing the conditions on-site, such as humidity, temperature, moisture, etc. He’ll measure the dimensions of the flooring, size of gaps if there are some, the spacing between nails for nail-down flooring, etc. The list of inspection techniques used by Flooring Detective goes on and on and mainly depends on the type of problem as well as the type of flooring in a house. But whatever the flooring material is and whatever problem emerged (cupping, crowning, lifting, cracking, changing colors… there’re literally hundreds of potential problems), Flooring Detective will figure out what caused the failure.
Also, after the flooring inspection, depending on the nature of the problem and whose fault was it, Flooring Detective will help you with the next steps in resolving the issue and guide you through your options. That being said, be smart, call Flooring Detective, and benefit from Jeff’s huge experience.
Flooring Detective can be hired by any side in a dispute, not necessarily just a homeowner. For example, a contractor can also ask for a flooring inspection if he thinks that he did a correct job and that the problem appeared due to somebody else’s mistake (homeowner’s, manufacturer’s etc…). Sometimes homeowners deliberately make up an issue with new flooring so they wouldn’t have to pay the contractor. Whatever the case is, the most important for flooring inspectors is to be objective and unbiased – which Flooring Detective definitely is.
Thanks to that, whether the problem arises from an honest mistake, or it was made deliberately to take advantage of someone, the truth will come in sight!