Moving into a new home -- whether it be newly constructed or decades old -- can be a stressful time for military families preparing to settle in. The last thing Mary Scott wants service members and their families to worry about is whether or not their new home is safe and move-in ready.
Scott, Fort Gordon Housing Division chief, recently hired two quality assurance housing managers (housing inspectors) for the Housing Services Office (HSO), bringing the total to three. The hiring action was in response to the Army-wide housing campaign.
"We've used this opportunity to get the skill-sets on-board that can help us to ensure that the work is being done correctly as we move forward," Scott said.
To the best of her knowledge, Fort Gordon is the only installation that sends an inspector with tenants moving into on-post housing. The inspector is there to support the service member and family in the event they find something unsatisfactory with the home or in case they have questions. It is a service Scott said should help put tenants' minds at ease.
"We're there to make sure that the maintenance our privatized partners say was done has been done, and if it hasn't been, we will make sure it is addressed," Scott said. "If there is anything they are not completely comfortable with, we can address it with Balfour Beatty right there."
For many families, the walk-through/inspection becomes a valuable learning experience they can take with them on future moves.
"We realize it may be their first home, so when we're there with them, we actually show them what they need to look for as we walk through the home, and we tell them to document everything," Scott said. "A lot of residents, when they walk into a home, they just want to make sure it's clean and everything works -- the electricity, a/c and plumbing -- that's as far as they go."
But as Scott and her team knows, there is more to a working home than flipping a light switch or turning on a water faucet. One example is the electrical panels in the Maglin Terrace neighborhood, which were replaced due to an electrical problem discovered by HSO inspectors.
"Our inspectors are taking the extra steps and they're looking deeper into things to make sure work is done thoroughly and complete the first time," Scott said.
And they do it using top-notch equipment including infrared cameras, moisture meters, psychrometers and hygrometers. Had the issue not been detected by the inspectors and equipment, the problem would likely have gone unresolved and worsened.
HSO inspectors are also available to accompany tenants who live off-post and during move-out inspections.
"Anyone can go out and just look at the cosmetic defects, and while cleanliness is very high on our radar, you need more than just the cosmetic inspection," Scott said. "We needed -- and now we have -- the expertise to inspect the buildings' systems."
To learn more about how the HSO can assist or to schedule a home inspection, contact HSO at: email@example.com, 706-791-7067, or stop by Room 129, Darling Hall.
A wealth of knowledge, experience
Each quality assurance inspector with Fort Gordon's Housing Services Office bring unique skill-set to the team and have extensive experience in a variety of backgrounds including residential and property management, Certified American Home Inspector Training (AHIT), Commercial Inspection Certification, thermal imaging, Residential Mechanical and Electrical Certification, radon, mold, water mitigation, InterNACHI, energy efficiency for residential, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) inspection, indoor air quality, and more. One of them is a military spouse who is working towards possibly bringing drone technology to assist in the inspection of roofs. In addition to being QA inspectors, all of them are housing managers and liaisons.