What I'm Seeing Now

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The Long Arm Of The Law

Arriving early at a home inspection in a condo development, just after sun up, I did my usual walk around to check out the general upkeep of the units.  It was very cold.

This gives me information about the condo association and how on top of maintenance it is generally.

I was met by a lady standing on her  lower-level patio.  She saw the sign on my car and thought to take advantage.  She said her column was rotting at the bottom and would I mind looking at it.

"Why is it rotting? My neighbor's column on the balcony above mine isn't rotting."

Glancing upward she was right.  But I could immediately see why hers was rotting.

I said, "Ma'am, your column is rotting because of the long arm of the law."

"What?!"

So I said, "The law.  The law of gravity.  It never fails."

"Do you see the frozen splatter on the bush beside your column?  Look up.  Where do you think it is coming from?"

She did and saw.  "It is even dripping now, from the melting dew on the roof," I added, as she watched.

The bush you see is below the column above, but right beside her column.  This had been happening for a long time.

Appreciative, she went back inside.

My recommendation:  If you see a home inspector in the neighborhood and have a problem you think he might be able to quickly diagnose, ask him!  He won't mind!  It might just be as easy an answer as the one above.

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 14 commentsJay Markanich • January 29 2010 02:32AM

Comments

I wonder how long the lady has been pondering the cause of that wood rot without reporting it to the condo association.

 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 9 years ago

So many questions Lenn!  Unless it is raining they aren't likely to find that on their sweeps.

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

Kudos to you for giving her your expertise and TIME and answered her question...

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 9 years ago

Jay,

She thinks you are a wizard now, a kind wizard, too, and you just can't have too many people saying nice things about you.

Good job!

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) over 9 years ago

Wallace - I am a home inspector and love to help.  I am also a Scoutmaster and am bound, therefore, to do a good turn daily!

Mike - never hurts!  Who knows what else I have people saying about me...

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

Thanks for sharing. Many of us overlook the small things that can become major maintenance issues. Keep up the good work.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 9 years ago

Jay. I don't understand.  It would seem that wood rot would be visible whether or not it was raining, which is how I read your answer.  In fact, the cause of wood rot, while important to understand, isn't necessary to know to know that the wood rot must be repaired asap.

 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 9 years ago

I make it a point to talk to the neighbors of properties I'm inspecting when they are outside. Not only do I offer to answer their questions, but I can ask them questions about their house which very often was built by the same builder and may have had problems that the house I'm inspecting has. You can never have too many sources of information.

Posted by Calvin Cowles (Cowles Home Inspection Services Inc.) over 9 years ago

Thanks Roy!  "Tis true, 'tis.

You are correct Lenn!  The dripping was coming from a hole in the gutter (see the black spot?) even when it wasn't raining, which she could easily have seen.  But you are right, she should have called it in.  I think some people assume things will be "taken care of," and you know what happens when we assume!  Being behind the bush the association people would not have seen the rot unless they actually went onto the patio.  If it was raining during their inspection they MAY have seen the dripping.

Calvin - agreed!  I do that too.  Usually I arrive early at the inspection and take a peak at other houses nearby.

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

Soooo kind of you to offer advice....and know that there are many people who would have told her to pay for an inspection...

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

Jay, this fits with my previous discussion about home inspectors never being "off duty":)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

S&D - As a Scoutmaster I am bound to do my good turn daily!

Charlie - we just can't go anywhere anymore.  Soon they'll be asking for autographs.

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

Jay,

Clever title and good informative information there. Getting ready to come home if I ever find my assistant.

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

Steve - take a rest break!  Wow, I think that's repeatedly redundant.

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

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