What I'm Seeing Now

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End of the Day Call

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

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 21 commentsJay Markanich • September 02 2009 09:42AM

Comments

Jay, I love it! A website with great info still has to be found. Congratulations on both and also answering your phone. Kate

PS I sent Croakster back this morning so he will arrive about 2pm your time. He is welcome to visit again.

Posted by Kate Kate over 9 years ago

Mr Jay,

I would like to see you go visit Mrs Kate and lock her in a room and board the door and the windows. Take her online connection away first. She is a bad lady.

Nutsy

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Note to Nutsy: You have as much clout as a marshmallow. Ms. Kate

 

 

Posted by Kate Kate over 9 years ago

Kate - thanks...! By the way, I will probably hear Croakster tonight, starting at about 930 or so.

Both Kate and Nutsy - this is exactly the reason Croakster was trying to get together a meeting.  This sniping back and forth does little to help his great effort at diplomacy. Do you want me to tell Croakster about this!?

Can't we all just get along?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Jay, unlike Croakster who understands from his vacation here, you may not know that I originally offered to co-godmother that squirrel because I saw the apparent need for fashion tips. But he was insistent before he would agree to the adoption of knowing how much of Grandpa Henry's fortune he could lay his paws on. When his attempts at embezzling the Ford fortune were thwarted, he became rude and caustic. This has escalated over the months and whenever I have attempted peace, he demands money. 

I am certain, like Croakster, you now understand why reconciliation is unlikely.

Kate Ford www.Peace-Keepers-R-Us.gov

Posted by Kate Kate over 9 years ago

Gee, Kate, that all sounds like such assumptive reasoning.  I worry about assumptions because, well, I know what happens when we assume... 

I seems to have begun with a potentially insulting judgment of fashion, which then became an assumption and then, sans evidence, some kind of embezzlement of a nondescript fortune?  "Grandpa" Henry's?  Really?

P.s.  I think you're too young to call Henry "grandpa..."  Unless now I am assuming that your photo is not 35 years old.  It's a mite too clear for that to be true.

By the way, do you know who invented what we now call charcoal for the grill?  You know, the kind we use for our backyard soires, and so forth?  And what did he call his invention?

Isn't this called thread drift?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Jay, 1st of all, there is no assumption. Only blatant and attempted robbery. So no a--es here, I assure you. In the Ford dynasty, we all call Henry "Grandpa" although you are right, he is a great gpa a few times over by now. 

Now that we have the critical points cleared, onto charcoal. All I know about charcoal is it's good for a BBQ! heheh

 

 

Posted by Kate Kate over 9 years ago

I would have thought that a true member of the Ford "Dynasty" would know all about BBQ charcoal.  Grandpa Henry LOVED barbeque.  He had a couple of BBQ buddies over all the time - Thomas Edison and his cousin Kingsford Ford.

He thought about the charcoal and how he had so much scrap lumber left over in the factories.  He thought that if he could put all that lumber in a special cooker he could create a boatload of ashes.  He then figured a process to smash all those ashes into a special pillow, which he could bag and sell as BBQ pillows.  A special name for them was needed for marketing.  He called his new BBQ pillows "Kingsford Briquettes," after his BBQ buddy, and cousin, Kingsford.  You sure you are a member of this "dynasty" and don't know that??

It's that kind of thinking that inspired me, a long time ago, to purchase Ford stock.  I have purchased it consistently, even last year as the price fell and fell.  The more it fell, the more I bought.  Having not bought into NObama's bail out plans, Ford has come out well.  I hope it continues.

Then I'll have a great barbeque!

If you doubt any of the above, go ahead, research it and get back to me.  Well, all, except for the stock part.  There's no way you could research that...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

I married into the Ford dynasty and while I have great respect for Henry I am not expected to know every detail to his life. But I am glad to read he was considering a Nutsy bbq even back then.

Posted by Kate Kate over 9 years ago

Jay, you're preachin' to the choir. SEO is the number one priority with a good web site. Nice job with the IR.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 9 years ago

Hey Jay,

You are showing that the value of a home inspection is priceless. Thanks for the insights on having a good website. I will keep working on mine.

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Kate - I know...   (;>)

James - I know...   (;>)

Eric - I have found my website to become essential to business.  I get four or five inspections every week just from website calls.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Jay, fantastic job with the IR. And hey, your website aint bad either. And yeah, I lke that Dom guy as well.

Posted by Ian Niquette (Square One Home Inspection) over 9 years ago

Ian - thanks man!  The trick with the site is that it not only be instructional, but come up high in the rankings!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Hey Jay,

Really? That's great! I'm going to get to work on my site right away and jazz it up a little and see what happens.

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Jay - Dominic is the man.  I haven't hired him, but I've taken a ton of his advice, and it has all done wonders for my web site.  Infrared is looking more and more attractive every day...

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) over 9 years ago

Eric - SEO is very important so you need to do what it takes to get your site high in the rankings, particularly on page 1 of the search engines.

Reuben - I think IR will be the most important part of all inspections in the coming couple of years.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Hey Jay, I hear what you're saying. I get at least 4-5 calls off my website a week and Mike recently scoured 2 jobs off his. The best one was the call he got Thursday off his AR blog which he barely ever touches. Now that he too is a believer he's bugging my to do some more work on his site and I think he put up two new posts. It's amazing what a little effort will accomplish.

I'm glad you got that extra IR job. Always nice to make a few more bucks than intended by days end.

Posted by Suesan Jenifer Therriault, "Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own". (JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team) over 9 years ago

Sue - it seems I am working on my SEO all the time!  I am not sure it is a little extra effort, but I do it anyway!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Our new site is "under destruction".....amazing what the internet can do !  And...a trouble shooting inspector that makes house calls...i know that sounds silly...but it is rare...except for inspections of course...enjoy your holiday my friend!

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 9 years ago

S&D - I worked today.  Just getting home!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

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