Applying Scientific and
Phase I Environmental Surveys
and Professional Engineer
Professional Engineer Inspectors
Applying Scientific and Engineering
to Home Inspections
and Building Inspections
Pre-Purchase Home, Building, Condo, and
Co-op Inspections in Manhattan, Queens,
Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Nassau,
Suffolk, Rockland, Putnam, and Westchester
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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:
- Asbestos-containing materials
- Lead-based paint
- Radon gas
- Buried fuel storage tanks
- Waste disposal facilities
- Proximity to sensitive areas
- PCB-containing materials
- Fuel or solvent contamination
- Contamination from prior use
A 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.
Contact Heimer Engineering℠
Heimer Engineering℠ is happy to help you. Senior Staff members are available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM. After 5 PM, please leave a message. Messages are checked during the day on Sunday, and Sunday evening through Thursday evening. Inspections are performed seven days a week.
Heimer Engineering's℠ inspection fees are competitive with non-Engineer Home Inspector's fees, especially when you consider that many non-Engineers charge extra for termite inspections, swimming pools, etc.
Inspection orders are taken by senior staff members. A real estate purchase is complex and you should be able to speak with someone who can answer your inspection questions.
To set up an appointment for a pre-purchase inspection or to find out about Engineering services or expert court testimony email Info@heimer.com, text 888.769.6910, or call 646.757.4500. If no staff member is in the office, leave a message.
Ask About a Web Discount
Heimer Engineering℠ serve 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).
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.
Ask about a web discount. Discounts are also available for referrals (attorney, real estate broker, mortgage broker, co-worker, friend) first time buyers, senior citizens, military (army, navy, air force, marines, coast guard), first responders (police, ambulance, fire), municipal employees, security personnel, and union members.
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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.
The Heimer Engineering PC℠ website was designed and is maintained by Harold Krongelb PE. The contents of this website were written by Harold Krongelb PE. This website is not intended to offer Engineering opinions or advice. Sitemaps and indexing information can be found at Page Sitemap, Image Sitemap, Mobile Sitemap, and Video Sitemap.
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Commack, New York, USA 11725-2947
Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island: 646.757.4500
Nassau County, Suffolk County, New York: 516.487.2100 631.858.5500
Westchester County, Putnam County, Rockland County, New York: 914.576.6100 845.638.4900