Screwdriver Solid State Home Inspections

Probably the lowliest tool in the home inspectors tool belt is the common screwdriver. However, a screwdriver plays many invaluable roles during a home inspection.

Probing Tool

Home Inspectors are expected under standards of practice to probe a representative number of places where the inspector may suspect rot or damage is present. This is very well accomplished by a common flat heat screwdriver. As a flat head screwdriver has many other uses during a home inspection, it makes for a great multi-tool itself in the home inspectors tool kit.

Picquic Super 8 Plus Screwdriver

Go to any hardware store, grocery store, or dollar store and you will find hundreds of multipurpose screwdrivers which changeable heads. A multipurpose screwdriver is an excellent tool for home inspectors to reduce the number of separate tools we need to carry around a house with us. There is one multipurpose tool that stands out for home inspectors for a very good reason, the Picquic Super 8 Plus.

Picquic Super 8 Plus  Screwdriver

Includes the 8 most common screwdriver heads and 2 common hex heads used in some heating equipment.

The Picquic Super 8 Plus has a little party trick ideal for home inspection. In addition to the 8 most common screwdriver head sizes, when you remove the screwdriver bit, there is a reversible shank with two hex-screw sizes that are common for heating contractors to use (5/16" and 1/4"). This little party trick is a huge headache savers for the rare circumstance that a furnace access panel is closed in a Home Inspection with a pesky little 5/16" hex screw. It potentially saves home inspectors carrying two additional hand drivers or having to run out to the truck to get the tools needed and it takes up no additional space in the tool kit than any other multipurpose screw driver.

What If I want to Carry Independent Screwdrivers?

A home inspector needs to be highly mobile around a home and the less tools we can carry the easier it is to work around the home. If you prefer to carry 8 separate screwdrivers (or the 4 most common anyway), that is fine. At Solid State Inspections we carry a single flat head screwdriver with a slightly longer shaft for probing, pointing, and light prying at painted on electrical panels or stuck latches. We also carry the Pickquic Super 8 Plus and between these two tools we can cover any screwdriver job.

Should I Use a Power Drill or Electric Screwdriver?

Some home inspectors carry power screwdrivers with them and others do not. It is just a matter of personal preference and home many tools one wants to carry around a home. The most common screws to remove in a home inspection are at the electrical panel. Proper panel screws should not be too tight and in some cases can be removed in only 3-4 rotations which a hand tool is very capable of removing quickly and there are no concerns about batteries. There are however times when a crawlspace access may be closed with 2-3" long construction screws and removing these by hand is very slow and painful. All home inspectors tend to get comfortable with a few tools that work well for them and there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to a powered or hand held screwdriver. 

Final Thoughts

There are thousands of possibilities for screwdrivers for home inspection. Home Inspectors should try out many different configurations and products as there really are many great products available. The key is to be able to carry the right tool for the right moment and to save time doubling back, looking for extra tools, or being burdened down with too many tools. Home Inspections are largely a visible non-destructive process so fortunately, tools for the trade are at a minimum.

By James Bell - Owner/Operator of Solid State Inspections Inc.