Phase I Environmental Surveys
and Professional Engineer
Building Inspections

Performing Home Inspections at this time risks spreading COVID-19 and places people at risk. Heimer Engineering will not be performing pre-purchase Home Inspections until it can do so without risk to the public.

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In keeping with Governor Cuomo's announcements, Heimer Engineering℠ has stopped performing home inspections.

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A boilercovered by suspect aspestos. Like most Inspectors, Our Licensed Professional Engineers point out visible evidence of suspect environmental issues.A Phase I environmental survey is a visual survey designed to disclose to a prospective purchaser some of the environmental risks associated with a building purchase. Phase I environmental surveys are often required by banks before they will grant a mortgage on commercial properties. The banks are concerned that past environmental problems have contaminated the property, and want to be sure there are no environmental liabilities associated with the property before they grant a mortgage.

Phase I environmental surveys are generally not required on residential properties, nor are they commonly performed on residential properties of fewer than four families. If a house was never used for commercial purposes, there is probably little reason to have a Phase I environmental survey.

Most Phase I environmental surveys are conducted according to standards set forth by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Requirements include a visual survey of the site, a visual survey of the surrounding sites, and searches of federal, state, and local databases. Because a Phase I environmental survey is a visual survey,  Underground problems will usually not be detected unless they have been recorded in some environmental database.


If you buy a building, you also buy the environmental problems associated with the building. You are responsible for the site's environmental cleanup even if you did not contaminate the site. This is why many banks require Phase I environmental surveys. Phase I surveys may reveal problems such as:

  1. Asbestos-containing materials
  2. Lead-based paint
  3. Radon gas
  4. Buried fuel storage tanks
  5. Waste disposal facilities
  6. Proximity to sensitive areas
  7. PCB-containing materials
  8. Fuel or solvent contamination
  9. Contamination from prior use

Suspect asbestos on a basement forced hot air ductA Phase I environmental survey is different from and supplemental to a pre-purchase engineering inspection. First, have an Engineer inspect the building. If the pre-purchase engineering inspection does not reveal any serious defects, then you should arrange for a Phase I environmental survey.

Even if you are buying the property without getting a bank mortgage, you should have a Phase I environmental survey completed for the site. You will probably sell the property some day. When you sell the property, the buyer will probably have a Phase I survey, which may find problems. If you are not diligent prior to your purchase of the site, you may be held responsible for the site cleanup, even if the contamination had been caused by a previous owner or tenant. Extensive environmental problems may reduce property values and jeopardize any future sales of the site.

Pre-purchase inspection standards specifically state that a pre-purchase inspection is not a phase I environmental inspection. Pre-purchase inspections, including those performed by Heimer Engineering's Professional Engineers, do not include performing phase I environmental inspections.

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Performing Home Inspections at this time risks spreading COVID-19 and places people at risk. Heimer Engineering will not be performing pre-purchase Home Inspections until it can do so without risk to the public.

Call Heimer Engineering℠ for a Home InspectionHeimer Engineering℠ has stopped performing home inspections in accordance with Governor Cuomo's order. We cannot provide any information as to when home inspections will resume and cannot provide fee information.

Clients with questions and Attorneys with personal injury questions can email

Heimer Engineering℠ PC BBB Business ReviewHeimer Engineering℠ serves the Greater New York area, including New York City (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island), Long Island (Nassau County, Suffolk County, and Upstate New York (Rockland County, Putnam County, and Westchester County).

Heimer Engineering℠ respects your privacy. Some home inspection firms share information with insurance, landscaping, home maintenance, moving, cable, mortgage, and other companies. You will not receive phone calls or solicitation emails from third parties as a result of providing Heimer Engineering℠ with personal information. For more information, see Heimer Engineering's℠ Privacy Policy.

Call 911🚑 🚒 🚓 In the event of a life-threatening emergency call 911. Emergency situations need to be handled by first-responders who can evacuate buildings, shut utilities off, and take other steps necessary to preserve life.

Standards of Practice
and Code of Ethics

Heimer Engineering's℠ Professional Engineer Home Inspectors substantially adhere to the InterNACHI® Code of Ethics, to Subpart 197-4 of the State of New York Code of Ethics and Regulations for Home Inspectors, the ASHI® Standards of Practice, and the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE®) Code of Ethics. In the event of a conflict, the Professional Engineer Home Inspectors use Engineering judgment to decide what standard or Engineering principle takes precedence. All State of New York Licensed Professional Engineers are bound by New York State Education Law Article 145.


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Performing Home Inspections at this time risks spreading COVID-19 and places people at risk. Heimer Engineering will not be performing pre-purchase Home Inspections until it can do so without risk to the public.

Inspections are performed only after the client signs a Pre-Inspection Agreement. Use of this website is governed by our Terms of Use. This website is made available for informational purposes and does not represent a professional opinion of your situation.

Heimer Engineering PC℠ performs home inspections, building inspections, condo inspections, and co-op inspections in the State of New York. Expert witness services are provided regarding playground injuries, parking lot, walkway, and stairway slip, trip, and fall.

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PO Box 1078
Commack, New York, USA 11725-0942