Inflation could affect growth this year in the pool industry
In the wake of Covid-19, a whole new cottage industry has sprung up. Virtual pool inspections are becoming increasingly popular in the state of Florida, where a new legislature recently enacted now means pool inspections can be done remotely.
Traditionally, pool inspections are performed by certified pool inspectors or building inspectors who are able to submit an official report on the overall condition of the owners pool and equipment. Pool inspections are essential as they are used to determine if pools comply with local building and safety regulations. These inspection reports also help buyers and owners identify potential safety hazards or repairs.
A white-hot market for swimming pool construction has seen the demand for these services increase dramatically. The process of performing an inspection has traditionally involved setting a date and time for the inspector to visit the job site.
Changes in Legislation Open the Industry to Virtual Pool Inspections
Changes to Florida law have recently been made to streamline this process. With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, a bottleneck began to occur for many builders. An incredible backlog of requests for inspections and a drastically reduced number of inspectors available to perform them has eased the way forward for legislation to allow virtual pool inspections.
Why the need for virtual inspections?
Recent changes to Section 553.79 have allowed a “state or local law enforcement agency” to “conduct virtual inspections.” Effective July 1, 2021, SB 1382 now requires building authorities to allow remote, electronically submitted virtual inspections.
As the Sunshine State adjusts to new rules and regulations regarding inspections, one company has recently become a leading service provider. We caught up with Inspected.com President Anthony Perera to learn more about their offering and how they plan to partner with the pool industry.
Use new technologies in the field
As we now enter our second year of the pandemic, people have adapted to doing business virtually. Telecommuters became too familiar with products like Zoom when they started relying on these services to conduct their business using video conferencing technology. The inspected platform is based on a similar concept but is directly linked to the inspection process.
“We developed patent-pending technology that geolocates the conference call to a specific worksite,” Perera said, “we realized that with all these laws passing and with these new internal bills that municipalities were allowing third-party suppliers to carry out single-trade inspections throughout the country. That’s kind of how and why Inspected was born.
Perera, who was an HVAC contractor by trade, deployed an impressive platform to perform virtual inspections remotely. “We’re basically replacing the city inspector on the job sites,” Perera said, “The time when you got to a certain stage of the pool inspection and you had to stop the project and call the city inspector city to do this inspection is over; we are able to do it in real time now.
Streamlined Inspection Process for Pool Builders
The technology will also significantly streamline the process for builders, says Perera: “The efficiencies we create is that when that team is at that phase of the project, they can virtually join one of our approved inspectors at that exact time and we will be there. for them to do an inspection on their behalf.
How are virtual pool inspections different?
One of the biggest differences between a regular pool inspection and a virtual pool inspection is obviously that the inspector is not physically on site. “The contractor becomes the avatar of our inspector,” Perera said, “We have our municipality-based checklist of things we need to inspect. We go through the checklists, take the photos, and do the documentation. appropriate to ensure that all code standards have been met.”
During a virtual pool inspection, the process is very similar to what would normally be done during an on-site inspection, Perera explains. “Our inspectors drive the contractor to the site and say, show me this, show me that and at the same time document all of these processes.”
Benefits of Virtual Pool Inspections
Perera believes this is a more thorough documentation process than what would typically occur during an on-site inspection. A physical inspection performed visually relies on the inspector to write a report based on their inspection. Conversely, during a virtual pool inspection, all videos, photos and the entire inspection session are actively stored in the cloud. One of the most unique aspects of Inspected.com’s proprietary video conferencing platform is its ability to geotag each inspection session. In effect, this correlates all of the data collected during the virtual inspection to a physical address.
Why Builders May Consider Moving to a Virtual Inspection Platform
One of the biggest benefits of moving to a virtual inspection platform is the accessibility in terms of scheduling appointments on a more flexible schedule than builders are used to. Perera says the average time it takes to complete a virtual inspection on their platform is around 10 minutes, which is significantly shorter than an in-person inspection. Another key benefit is that reports always come from trusted and vetted inspectors, says Perera, who mentioned that all inspectors at Inspected.com are either ICC-certified or state-certified.
Ultimately, Perera says virtual inspections create a more transparent process for builders and expects mass adoption soon. Although not available everywhere, virtual inspections are slowly being introduced in different cities, states and municipalities. Here is some information on what some jurisdictions are doing to adapt virtual inspections.
Listen to our entire conversation with Anthony Perera and learn how Inspected.com seeks to partner with the pool industry as the virtual inspection platform of choice.