Teach Yourself Environmental Home Inspecting
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  NOTE: May Dooley passed away in March 2024. This site will remain available as a tribute to her.

Pre-purchase considerations when when looking for a new home

Ride around the neighborhood looking for cell towers. Avoid houses with nearby towers. Check locations of cell towers by searching for “tower locater”

Search on “toxic waste site locator”

Purchase a gaussmeter to rule out power line or other AC magnetic field issues prior to proceeding with inspections or contracts. See AC Magnetic Field tab.

Observe the path of rainwater. Would water flow toward the house or away from it? For more, see the Outside Observations page.

What smells do you notice when you first enter the house? If there are plug-in room air fresheners, could they be overriding other smells, such as mold?

If plug-in room air fresheners are present, and if you are sensitive to them, there is a chance that outlets would have to be replaced if sufficient smell doesn’t go away when the plug-ins are removed.

Is the house in sunlight, so that it can dry out after rain? Avoid houses surrounded by heavy vegetation.

Ideally, avoid houses with finished below-grade spaces. There is a risk for mold in wall cavities below-grade.

Check with the local municipality regarding burn regulations. Would you have any recourse if neighbors frequently use burn barrels?

Are the houses far enough away, so that objectionable laundry products used by a neighbor would not be an issue?

Where are the electric meter, gas meter, water meter located? Are they smart meters? What is on the other side of the wall from the electric meter?

The garage is preferably detached.

Check radon levels in air. If the area is known to have elevated radon, and if there is well water, there would be risk for elevated radon in the well water.

Has the house ever had a fire? Could there be mold in wall cavities, on subflooring, etc., from fire department activities?

Has a smoker lived in the house? Chemically sensitive individuals, as well as other health-conscious individuals, may want to pass on the house. Smoke can get into wall cavities.

I have just learned from Randy Fike, see below, that ozonation in a house leaves a permanent footprint.

Is the house smart-wired? Levels of radio frequency at outlets were much elevated.

What radio frequency is coming from neighboring units, if looking at a condo or apartment?

And your additions? Please email them to me.


  1. Getting Started with Environmental Home Inspecting
  2. Pre-purchase considerations when when looking for a new home (this page)
  3. Outside Observations of your home
  4. Preliminary Walk-through of the home
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Website by May Dooley     
may _at_ createyourhealthyhome.com  
   Phone: 717-273-1231
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