What I'm Seeing Now

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You Have To Inspect From Top To Bottom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While walking around the outside of a house today I pointed out to my client that the shingles at the bottom of a valley, draining into a gutter too small, was apparently getting behind the aluminum fascia wrap and the vinyl siding.  The dripping can be seen on and coming from behind the vinyl siding all the way to the foundation wall.  I said we would check that when we got inside.

 

 

 

In the upstairs bedroom, about 4' from the corner, this could be seen on the floor.

The floor molding is stained and measured > 30% moisture (that's as high as my meter goes).  The carpet was wet and previous staining can be seen where things used to rest there.

Maybe the living room below should demand attention too?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That's a stain on the living room ceiling directly below the stain in the bedroom floor molding above.  The hardwood flooring was warped and, not surprisingly, registered > 30% moisture.  The moisture extended out between 2' and 3'.

 

 

Finally, in the basement, directly in line with both floors above, we see the sub floor under the living room.  Not only is it wet, it has been wet for some time, and it is moldy.  Mold can be seen also on the joist, and various other areas not seen here on the sub flooring.

Why is the drywall missing?  Because this house, foreclosed, had a flood in the basement.  A mold "remediation" company removed the drywall, some of the insulation and then sprayed to "kill" the mold.  (They missed the little problem you see in this post completely.)  Not only are they apparently not licensed to re-mediate mold, they aren't even licensed to do demolition in Virginia!

Everything they did was improperly done.  We found new, and old, mold in many areas of the basement.  And mold not related to the problems in these photos!

Houston (or where ever the bank is located), we have a problem!  This was a disaster all around.  And someone has a lot of work to do to make it right!  This job needs to be started from scratch and done properly.

My recommendation:  When your client wants to buy a house that has had mold remediation, make sure the company that has done the work is properly licensed to do the work!  Be careful - it might be two guys in a pick up who demo, demo, spray, spray, all done!  And be sure your home inspector knows to check things from top to bottom!

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 22 commentsJay Markanich • March 27 2010 05:23AM

Comments

No basements for us in Florida, but Mold is an issue. There may be many of these foreclosed homes with mold issues as we finally move into warmer weather. This should be a real concern of buyers. Some homes have been vacant for well over a year and after 20 degree nights this winter there maybe significant issues with Mold throughout Florida.

Posted by Sanna K. Thomas, PA GRI, E-Pro, SFR, AHWD, LH Ocala Florida Luxury (Sellstate Next Generation Realty) over 9 years ago

This whole business of foreslousres going around disclosures creates all sorts or issues for buyers. A good inspection byu a great inspection company is the only line of defense between unsuspecting buyers and disaster. Thanks for sharing Jay.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) over 9 years ago

Mold is a cause for concern and there will be a time when we may have to tell all buyers to inspect for mold like we do for radon.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 9 years ago

Good observation, valuable service to your client, and useful tutorial for all of us.

Posted by David North, for a rewarding real estate experience (Coldwell Banker Bain) over 9 years ago

I foudn this to be useful information but I'm wondering what happened to the people who fixed the mold problem.  Is there something one can do to put them out of business?

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 9 years ago

Sanna - basements or no, mold is an issue!

Randy - foreclosures are a big problem around here and some of them are a huge mess.

Gita - should that day come, it will be very expensive!

David - observe and report is what I am paid to do!

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

Just did the inspection yesterday James.  The very licensed and experienced mold specialist who came to review the work is on top of that as we speak!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago
  • and it is moldy. 
  • and it is moldy. 
  • and it is moldy. 

The four most deadly words in real estate today.

 

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

I sure am seeing a lot of mold Lenn!   And mostly the remediation stinks.  The banks, in another state, hire someone local sight unseen and apparently don't investigate them!

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

Jay,

Good post and good detective work!

I think water management is a science, and misunderstood about as much as mold remediation is.

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

Always, always always get an inspection.

This cost os minor compared to what potentially lies ahead.

Buyer or seller this is not written for the inspectors health, but your well being.as well as financial protection

Enjoy the day

Posted by Don MacLean, Realtor-Homes for Sale- Easton Mass (New England Real Estate Center Inc.) over 9 years ago

Maybe the bank should hire you BEFORE they put it on the market and save themselves some aggravation and a real slide in the price if anyone wants to sign up for more repairs.

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

I saw something very similar yesterday Jay. The roof had been repaired, but the flashing on the rake was improperly repaired. So of course the water continued to find its way into the attic causing quite a mess.

Posted by Troy Pappas, Virginia Beach Home Inspector (Safe House Property Inspections) over 9 years ago

Jay, great post.  People should keep in mind that all exterior surfaces shed water by being flashed such that every surface change is flashed to overlap the surface below it.  If water finds its way inside it is essentially flashed backwards :)

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

Jay,

Good post. Not stuff you would want to overlook.

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

Mike - water is THE killer of houses, inside and out!  And yes, misunderstood.

Don - we inspectors almost always pay for ourselves.  I think for this particular buyer, with all the problems we found, I saved him $40K.  My fee was less than 1% of that.

S&D - that would take forethought, circumspection and actually caring about what is put back on the market for resale.  Not happening...

Troy - water needs about one billionth of an inch to get in.  And it must be provided a way to go!

Charlie - well thanks!  I think your backwards comment is right on.  Water flows over or under, which ever way you give it to go.  We don't roof from top to bottom, do we?

Steve - gravity works and one thing seems to lead to another.  I'm sure we inspectors aren't 100%, but we need to be really close to that all the time!

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

Jay- I always suggest to people to be aware of mold in vacant homes before they buy, even have a mold inspection. I tell them if the walls and base moulding are repainted, a serious problem could be missed. The value of a home inspection - Priceless.

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

Eric - and this house had had mold remediation!  Wow, it was a mess.  The mold expert who came through after we were done is going to turn in the company that did the remediation.  I hope so...

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

The mold testing and remediation industry here in CT is for all intents and purposes unregulated. Quite honestly I believe most of the testing is unnecessary and the remediation costs are criminal.

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

Jim - I have a mold cert just to have it, so I am not a dope when I see stuff.  But I have no experience and because of that my insurance premiums would be prohibitive ($1500/mo).  And I learned a WHOLE lot on this inspection just listening to the mold professional.  Done properly remediation is extensive and can be expensive.  Not only does the mold have to be killed, but eliminated, because the spores hang around and redevelop, just like on this property.

This is what we saw under the bar, AFTER remediation:

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

I did mold testing for a while and found the whole process to be less than informative to the client. When you stop and consider the vast numbers of different mold species and how little is know about them, a one or two day certification does not really provide enough knowledge to sample mold and then advise people on what is found. However it is good to have mold education so as a home inspector you can intelligently recommend a course of action to the client.

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

Agreed completely.  That is why I went and took the class.

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

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