What I'm Seeing Now


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 winterized and it froze.

However, to repair that you don't have to remove masonry.

Why was the masonry removed here?  Probably because an amateur did the work. 

Really amateur - the cute brick work is one clue.  And it was done not too long ago!

The other clue is the hose bib sticking out too far from the wall.

What does that bode indoors?  Drywall and insulation issues!

I could see the drywall installation.  It looked like a 10 year old did it.

And I asked my client how we could find out if the insulation was done well behind the drywall.

Shrug.  The Realtor was smiling though.

Breaking out Mighty Mo we could see the professional installation  inside.

The professional installer  obviously ripped out the insulation because he had to solder two joints - an elbow at the top of the wall and another down near the level of the hose bib. 

The hose bib location can be seen on the right side of the image.

Did a plumber do the pipe repair?  Maybe.  They are famous for cutting out joists and removing insulation.  But who did the rest?  An amateur.

My recommendation:  the clues are everywhere on home inspections.  My biggest clue is poor drywall repairs that indicate previous leaks.  I find them in walls and ceilings, and they lead me to investigate further.  And my thermal camera is the sharpest arrow in my tool quiver.  It will often reveal more.



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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


Comment balloon 24 commentsJay Markanich • August 16 2017 09:51AM
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
Thermal Imaging Art
Thermal imaging art. Thermal imaging can check a lot of things. It can be a precursor check for electrical issues. Heating and air conditioning can be evaluated. Roof and plumbing leaks are a given. And the best way (the only way inside walls)… more
When Any Upper Level Is Hot Insulation Is Almost Always The Reason
When any upper level is hot insulation is almost always the reason. And why else wouldn't it be? It could be that the air conditioning does not reach or blow hard enough into the upper level. But that air pressure is an easy check. When air is… more
My Client Asked If There Was No Insulation In the Wall
My client asked if there was no insulation in the wall. Often during a home inspection my client follows me around when I do a thermal image sweep to check for insulation issues or roof leaks. They like looking over my shoulder and listen to my… more
Attic Insulation Certificate
In new construction the thermal barrier in the attic should be verified by an attic insulation certificate. This house is supposed to be Energy Star compliant for Virginia standards. As such there are criteria that are to be met. For example,… more
Can You Repair A Leak With A Handy Can Of Miracle "Spray? "
Can you repair a leak with a handy can of miracle "spray? " Of course you know the answer. You've seen the commercials. They are incessant! A handy can of spray which will repair everything from your pipes, your roof and gutters, a… more
FRT Plywood That Needs Further Investigation
This is the case of FRT plywood that needs further investigation. FRT plywood (F ire R etardant T reated) came into use in the 80s when masonry firewalls between townhouses were replaced with a thick, fire-resistant drywall fire barrier wall. This… more