A while ago, I arrived at a house to do a home inspection. I habitually get to home inspections early to get various things done before others arrive. The buyer's realtor knew that, she knows me too well, and she told the listing agent. I was met early by both realtors, buyer and seller. They told me that the seller was a single, very senior, recently-widowed woman who desperately needed to sell the house for financial reasons. They outlined all that had been done to the house to ready it for sale. And, oh, that there was a new, one-year old roof.
The message was not too subtle. At the time I thought they were trying to sway my opinion before I had one.
Feeling undue pressure, I was not happy about it then, but I was happy to hear yesterday of the end result. I had an inspection yesterday with the selling agent, who brought me up to speed.
The roof was a shambles. From the street I could see various downward bulges. The roof flashing had not been replaced and was coming loose. The shingles were curling. The plumbing penetration sleeves had not been replaced. I was not impressed from the outside. All I could think was uh-ohhhh.
The interior was beautiful. It reflected the beauty of the seller, whom I adored immediately.
The roof was a mess. The bulges were caused by two things - broken sheathing and the lack of clips between the panels. Two trusses were cracked. I found five leaks, particularly near the chimney. The bath vent had been disconnected and was blowing humid air onto the roof, causing "evidence" of mold. There was no FRT plywood. Well, there were no stamps indicating that it was FRT. It had the same general appearance as regular roof sheathing. Some FRT plywood has noticeable coloring, and this did not. I thought it was not FRT.
I told the group of what I found. The seller had the receipt from the "roofer." It clearly stated "new FRT plywood," "new plumbing penetration sleeves," "new flashing," "top-grade sheathing," (it was 17/32" oriented strand board, not top grade to be sure), yadda, yadda. I thought it a bit pricey too, but that is opinion.
She called the roofer. "He is a home inspector and he is supposed to find problems. He doesn't know what he's talking about. Of course it's FRT."
Houston, we have a problem.
You have to understand - I felt HORRIBLE. But what to do? When I left, everyone there was distraught. So was I.
Well, mystery of mysteries, someone got involved. Anonymously, but involved. Is that outside the purview of a home inspector? YES, yes it is! He must not have done it as a home inspector. That someone must have done it as a friend.
Somehow three roofing companies and a county inspector contacted the surprised seller. Out of the blue! They all did so with no strings attached. They made severe, um, recommendations to the previous roofer. It seems the home inspector did know what he was talking about after all...
The end result - the seller got a newly installed roof, top to bottom, with a very interested county inspector making sure it was done correctly, EVERY STEP OF THE WAY - total value $14,100.
The agent yesterday told me the whole story. Afterward she gave me a wink and said, "Thanks for your help."
She knows me too well...
My recommendation: Wink and thank your home inspector. They really like that!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560