At San Diego Home Inspection we also perform Phase I Environmental Assessments (EAs). Our environmental assessments look at both the current and past usage of the building to determine if there is environmental degradation. Phase II Assessments focus on on-site soil and ground water testing for the property as well as surrounding areas. Environmental degradation from nearby properties has the potential to contaminate an investment.
Environmental Assessments help lenders assess the risk they are taking with a specific property. Mild or severe soil, building or groundwater contamination not only affects the purchase price of the property, but can also involve liability issues concerning health problems or contamination to neighboring properties. Oftentimes the source of environmental degradation comes from businesses that used the property decades previously. Some of the most common businesses associated with contaminated soil and water are gas stations, dry cleaners and industrial facilities. Properties that have been abandoned for any amount of time may have been used as illegal dumping grounds making an EA critical.
Our Assessments involve inspecting the interior and exterior of the property, including the area surrounding the physical building. Through ownership records we evaluate what types of businesses have utilized the area and assess the potential for environmental degradation based on the types of businesses or activities performed on-site.
As we do with our Property Condition Assessments, we analyze records that include both regulatory and historic records. These often provide information on hazardous material spills, buildings that have processed, manufactured or utilized hazardous materials and more. We also interview people who have worked at, owned or managed the building, as they often offer information not previously documented. We make sure to verify their stories before citing them as fact or concrete evidence of environmental degradation.
Additional assessments can be performed to determine if there is asbestos or lead paint in buildings, mold or water damage or high levels of radon. These are not currently included in the Phase I Environmental Assessments.
We work according to standards set out for Environmental Professionals. Once we have documented our findings we also offer solutions for cleanup or remediation of hazardous materials.