What I'm Seeing Now


"But It Was Just A Little Leak. We Turned Off The Dishwasher!"

"But it was just a little leak.  We turned off the dishwasher!"

Water from leaks has to go somewhere.  Even when the leak appears to be contained.

This client built a new home and I performed a home inspection.  All of the appliances were tested, including the dishwasher.  And they have been in the house over a week, using all of the appliances, including the dishwasher.

They were in the kitchen and the dishwasher was running.  There was a pop, and they could hear water splashing under the dishwasher.

So they quickly turned it off.

They noticed a little water coming from under the unit, so they put towels in front.

In the basement below water began dripping from a light fixture right underneath the dishwasher, so they put a large bowl under it to capture the drips.

They emailed me asking what to do.

Looking at my schedule I saw their house was only a short way from my first inspection.  Saying we needed to document this for the builder I asked if I could come over early in the morning to look at it with my thermal camera while it was still wet.  Mighty Mo immediately began to shiver.

Those images are what the dishwasher and bowl on the basement carpet looked like the next morning.  They were a little surprised to see so much water had gotten onto the carpet around the bowl.

But I told them that wasn't all.

Inviting them to look over my shoulder at the light fixture, which was turned on (!), I explained that often lights are the lowest point in the ceiling so water will collect there.

Look at how the water pooled around the fixture!

Knowing what we would see I asked them to step away with me and look at the whole ceiling.

The light fixture can be seen in the lower left corner.  They were shocked!

Look at how the water spread even as it was supposedly blocked by the floor joists!  Water will go where water can go, even if given only a little space to get through!

I heard, "But it was only a little leak.  We turned off the dishwasher!"  That was many square feet of ceiling area!

They had not noticed but with my flashlight I could show them how the ceiling had already begun to bow downward.  And I found a small brown stain, the first sign of what would eventually be a larger and growing brown stain.

The drain line from the dishwasher to the disposal had been hooked together, but not clamped.  It took it a few dishwasher loads, but water pressure eventually popped it off!  The problem was a less-than-professional dishwasher installation.

My recommendation:  thermal images make what is otherwise invisible to the naked eye quite clear as the camera can pinpoint exactly where thermal anomalies exist.  Selecting a color palette to best describe the result a thermographer can make the otherwise unseen totally come to life.  And seeing exactly where moisture exists the builder can go about making proper repairs.  Many trades will need to be involved with this repair!  But it only took one thermographer to document it...



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


Comment balloon 18 commentsJay Markanich • October 17 2017 08:40AM
"But It Was Just A Little Leak. We Turned Off The Dishwasher!…
"But it was just a little leak. We turned off the dishwasher! " Water from leaks has to go somewhere. Even when the leak appears to be contained. This client built a new home and I performed a home inspection. All of the appliances were… more
When Unprofessional "Roofers" Have Never Heard Of OSHA
When unprofessional "roofers" have never heard of OSHA. Many roofs in our neighborhood got shredded by a tornado in April. Mine included. Of course I hired a professional I have known for over 20 years - licensed to the hilt, insured,… more
Jay's 2017 Fall/Winter Maintenance Recommendations
It's that time of year again, and time to get ready for the seasons ahead, so these are Jay's 2017 Fall/Winter Maintenance Recommendations While not intended to be exhaustive, and you may have things you personally like to take care of, you might… more
True Or False - You Don't Need A Home Inspection On New Construction?
True or false - you don't need a home inspection on new construction? So, what do you think? This is what you hear from the builder or builder's Realtor: --> We only employ the best subcontractors to work on your house. --> We have a… more
Doing More Than The Client Expects. The Slight Edge Business Model.
Doing more than the client expects. The slight edge business model. What is your business model? Do you create a slight edge? I think exceeding expectation is an important business model. Or should be. Clients have expectations in every business… more
Why This Hose Bib Shut-Off Valve Replacement Is Incorrect
Why this hose bib shut-off valve replacement is incorrect. Apparently the old hose bib shut-off valve in this house broke and needed replacement. It's always best to have a professional do such work, or, if one is capable of doing one's own work, at… more
Warning - Sarcasm To Follow. Is This A Pro Job Or Not?
Warning- sarcasm to follow. Is this a pro job or not? To be truthful, I saw the brick work from the parking lot and knew it would be a thermal camera issue inside. Is it a pro job? Probably not. What happened? Likely the front hose bib was not… more
When Staircases Are Lemons
When staircases are lemons. From my Oxford Dictionary of English - Lemon - informal - an unsatisfactory or feeble person or thing. In this 21 year old townhouse, three levels, when walking up and down the staircases, all of them, that is ALL OF THEM… more
The Walls Were Wet In The Middle But Not At The Bottom? Why?
The walls were wet in the middle but not at the bottom? Why? And that was the question. I couldn't answer it! I only knew what I found. During the thermal image sweep of this condo I found walls and ceilings wet, but only on the lower level. The… more
A Flat Roof Must Provide A Way For Water To Go
A flat roof must provide a way for water to go. If not, water sits, and finds any small opening it can. Since we know gravity works, if water can go down, it will. On a flat roof surface, that means eventual destruction. This is a 17 year old EPDM… more