Coming around to the rear of this house I immediately thought that when an oil tank is too heavy, it's too heavy!
This is an old tank! It has been here quite a while.
Certainly this patio was not made to handle its weight.
This is settling that has happened for some time.
It brings other problems with it. The differential settlement of the patio leaves the four legs of the tank unevenly planted. The front right leg is off the ground, putting more strain on the rear leg. This could lead to a catastrophic collapse one day when that tank is filled! Maybe the next time!
Also, the house was built in 1955, apparently with wood siding. Some time in the 70s I am guessing they covered it with this aluminum. The wood siding can be seen upper left where the aluminum siding has come off.
The problem is, the original wood, and now aluminum, siding is lower than the patio and soil.
As this patio has sunk, its inclination sends water toward the house, and this siding. That is quite the conducive condition for termites and interior moisture problems.
Beyond this is a crawl space. I was thinking it will be easy to scooch over there and have a look.
Well, the access hole was not much larger than my tape measure!
Even The Shadow isn't squishing into there, and I have seen photos of him going where few could go (except some of my 12 year old Boy Scouts!).
Reaching my camera in there, it looks like we have a healthy 12" or so to negotiate!
That's plenty of room!
Whoops. No vapor retarder over the soil and no insulation under the floor. This will be one moist house when it's wet and warm, and one comfy house come winter!
My client asked me how the termite guy will be able to see all this. He won't unless he has a chihuahua with a camera to go in there to walk around. A Little Doggie Cam!
In this case one thing is leading to another, which in turn is contributing to another problem not connected, which itself is yet another issue altogether!
My recommendation: remember, a home inspection examines things as they are. But the house has to be looked at as a whole as one system will certainly affect another, which can affect, in turn, yet another! The suffering of one can lead to suffering of other aspects of the house. It's all symbiotic interaction. And seeing and taking all of this into account is the very essence of a home inspection! I got an email early this morning from my client. He said, "Thanks Jay. I think you have given a very detailed assessment of the house which is useful for us to make some decisions." Indeed, he says with a wink and a smile.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560