What I'm Seeing Now

head_left_image

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 areas were all under the kitchen.  The reason? 

Stitching together various thermal images into a panorama the conundrum comes alive.

The middle of the wall registered 100% moisture.  And the floor registered 18%.  You can see my footprints on the floor where I measured that wall.

How was that possible?  Water and moisture flow down.  The floor was too wet, and the middle of the wall, but the bottom of the wall and the floor molding was not.

The builder said everything was dry, and they had a report indicating that.

Report?  Yes!

Apparently there had been a leak caused by a plumber in the sprinkler system over the kitchen pantry! 

They replaced the flooring in the kitchen, and drywall in the pantry.  So no moisture showed up there on the thermal image sweep. 

But below, downstairs where my camera detected moisture, they had removed the lowest 6" of drywall in the walls and the floor molding.  Why?  To "dry" the walls!

And a report by an environmental company "proved" everything was dry, with hard to see, blurry photos of a moisture meter and another blurry photo of a thermal camera showing "no moisture" present in the wall.  I thought the report was not very indicative of anything.

That report answered my questions!

Water had come down from above and wicked up from below, and the lower materials had been replaced, so the middle of the wall was wet, but not elsewhere.  Yes the ceiling was wet, but those were different images.

My recommendation:  here we have new construction where a problem happened and was "repaired."  Did the repairs work?  Not really.  Everyone assumed the problem was solved and the buyer would not be the wiser.  Thermal imaging proved the difference here.  Don't do a new home inspection without thermal imaging!

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 20 commentsJay Markanich • August 08 2017 10:45AM
The Walls Were Wet In The Middle But Not At The Bottom? Why?
share
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
share
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
share
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
share
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
share
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
share
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? "
share
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
share
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
Do You Know What A Gas Lantern Mantle Is?
share
Do you know what a gas lantern mantle is? Gas lanterns, or gas lamps, are popular around here in neighborhoods that are made to look old fashioned. They provide the street lights via little pear-shaped cones called mantles. You can see two mantles… more
Faux Painting At Its Best
share
Faux painting at its best. I don't often see faux painting. And I certainly don't see it done so well! Faux - adjective - imitation, artificial, made to look similar. This kitchen had some very classy wall tiles, placed subway fashion. And this… more