What I'm Seeing Now


The Stairs Are Wrong, But What's That?

The contractor, of course, said they didn't need a permit, and the stairs are wrong, but what's that?

One should exit the door to a 36" platform, the stairs are not of proper or equal height, there should be two handrails and the stairs cover the siding and rim joist (moisture and termite invitation).

Well, I see that so much lately none of this was a surprise.

But why would solid concrete stairs have a hole in the middle of a stair?  What's that?

I sidled up to have a peek inside.

Thinking that surely the cover could be removed I tried, but it was glued in there tightly!  Trying to remove it previously might be how it got broken.

Getting closer, can you see what it is?  I was shocked to see it is the dryer vent cover!  And looking inside it was easy to see how clogged it is.

Looking deeper reveals how much more clogged the tubing is.  And the photo does not do it justice.  It's clogged!

Such covers are NOT appropriate for dryer vents.  In the winter they are cold and the air is hot.  That tube gets cold throughout its run from the rim joist to this point.  And the warm air that passes through it creates condensation, and the lint in the tubing and vent sticks and clogs.


Additionally, the vent from the dryer is the typical 4" solid metal tube, and that is great.  But it funnels down and into this 2" plastic tube, which also causes clogging.

My recommendation:  before a project always check to see if what you are doing requires a permit.  Doing that first is always a Best Practice.  It probably only takes a phone call.   My county has a link on its website that says, "When do I need a permit?"  And clicking brings up a list.  It's best to check to make sure you are not left with dangerous conditions or remodeling that does not meet codes.  Codes are minimum standards, to be sure.  But certainly one of the best reasons for them is safety.



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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


Comment balloon 48 commentsJay Markanich • June 28 2014 02:53AM
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