When people call me for a one-year warranty inspection, I always recommend they add a thermal-infrared image examination to it to check insulation. That is really the main reason I recommend IR as leaking usually isn't a problem they haven't already discovered.
During this particular exam I found water getting behind gutters, into the interior where stucco meets vinyl siding or faux stone and in the bases of porch columns. While none of those things is terribly unusual, it is important to try to find out why water is getting in.
Well, a drip edge is really needed on most any roof. It is intended to prevent water from wicking back under the shingles and soak the sheathing, particularly where there is not much slope to the roof. This builder dutifully installed a drip edge all around the roof. However, it seems his roofing contractor is in the habit of not extending it all the way to the ends.
Water is getting behind the gutters at the edges where large holes have been left for it. Water uses the most convenient path provided it.
Just under this location, and at the opposite end of this porch, are columns. You can see the top of one at the bottom here.
There is also stucco siding (synthetic stucco), which needs to be sealed carefully where it abuts anything.
This next photo might give a hint as to why water may be getting into the interior walls and columns.
I would assume the faux stone (and siding, not pictured here) were installed prior to the synthetic stucco. Those gaps simply have to be sealed. There is a special sealing caulk that installers use. It could be that all over the house, where such large gaps were left, the installer intended to get back to work after lunch, or on Monday. But it is obvious he never did.
This is the smallest gap left on top of the columns. On a couple the gaps were 3". Well, THAT is a convenient path for water to flow!
Before I got my ladder out of my back pocket to make sure, I already knew where the water was getting in. But I wanted to be sure, and take a picture. Or two. Or thirty.
My clients always ask the same question, "Is it supposed to be like that?" or "The supervisor told us that those gaps allow it all to breath." Well, no. At this house, the damage is done and obvious as to why.
My recommendation: Agents should recommend a final inspection to your clients on any new construction. It is amazing the kinds of things I find on a final walk through. It is also amazing to me how a supervisor can be on site for 100 or 150 days and not find the things I come up with in a couple of hours! These are problems that home inspectors would find on a final walk-through inspection. And that BEFORE the damage is done.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560