I was 520 pm yesterday. I was finishing up my last inspection for the day. The mobile phone rang.
A lady was having moisture issues with the HVAC system ducts, dripping on the ceiling between the first and second levels. It was causing mold development in many spots in the ceiling and general staining all over. "I just found your website and want you to do a thermal image examination of this problem. I have had two HVAC companies over and they can't tell what the problem is."
"Sure, I can help you. When would you like this inspection, morning, afternoon or evening?"
"How about right now? I work at the Pentagon but happen to be home this afternoon. I don't care what it costs."
Now, what am I going to say to that! "OK, I can do it now. It will take me about an hour to get there. Is that alright? Is your AC on? (She said yes.) Good, keep it on!"
"Yes! Thank you! I will be home."
The problem turned out to be the rear wall of the house. It just happened to be in the sunlight when I got there, very hot, and easy to evaluate with the camera. PERFECT!!
There is a small roof overhang over the rear door and windows. It starts over the window on the left and extends all along the rear wall. Two sections of it had little to no insulation. They just happened to be in line with the two ceiling registers. You can see the duct trail as it turns left to service the ceiling register. That lack of insulation and open-web floor trusses would heat the area between the floors dramatically. In the image, that area over the kitchen door is 98.7 degrees F. The max temp at the window is 131F. The duct work is 50.1F. They are circular, solid metal ducts. I think that Delta T (difference in temperature) might just cause those ducts to sweat. What do you think?
This second picture is of mold development (which I called "evidence of mold" in the report) on the ceiling. It is one of many spots - all with a colorful, moldy appearance.
It is 60.2F, as opposed to the ambient air of 68.7F. So it is moist. I didn't put my moisture meter on it because I didn't want to disturb it. But it is moist.
I think the problem was evaluated. I recommended that she have an insulation company come and add insulation to those areas. With my photos, they can see exactly where they need to install insulation, and perhaps improve the other areas as well. I also recommended a mold remediation company to evaluate any mold problem(s) and get rid of it.
While there I swept the rest of the house, for fun, which really impressed her. I found a lack of insulation in many aspects of a cathedral ceiling of the upstairs TV room (4th level of a townhouse). She said, "So that's why this room is hot." Yeah, I guess so!
So, because of my website and diligent SEO work, my site popped up and I was available to this client. She was very happy last night to get her report. She was impressed with - my website, its rankings, my professionalism, my willingness to come late in the day and the final product. And how cute I am...
I ended my day a few hundred $ richer than I thought I would be when I started! It all began with the website.
Thanks Dom *!
* That's Dominic Maricic, owner of Home Inspector Pro -- computer, inspection software and website man en excelsis! Call him, you will be glad you did...
My recommendation: Have a great website, work on it to get it onto page 1 of Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc., and answer the phone!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560