What I'm Seeing Now


Unfinished "Repair"

The clients who called me had been in their house just under a year.  It was time for their warranty to expire and they wisely called a home inspector for a one-year inspection.  An obviously circumspect search engine suggested that they call me!

Just after moving in they had severe leaking into the family room beside the gas fireplace.  The builder came out, found what they called "an issue with the roof," and stayed two days making repairs.  It didn't leak thereafter ... until the heavy snows we had here in February.  As things melted they experienced similar leaking.

From inside the house there is no window to see the area of the roof that the builder repaired.  There is a very high window in the family room, but from there you can only see the sloped roof beyond the valley beside the window.

From the ground I saw what looked like incomplete siding and something sticking out over the edge of the roof.  It was a rubber membrane.

When I got up onto the roof, this is what I found.

You can see how "finished" the job was.  I think they broke for a long lunch, 10 months ago.

There is the rubber membrane I saw sticking out!  And those are the family room windows, 20' high from the floor inside.

Apparently there was no membrane installed, certainly no flashing, and rain water was water falling down the sloped roof and crashing into the end wall.  There is a slope to divert it into the gutter, but it is too much water flowing too fast for that previous edge to handle it.  So it leaked.

The siding, James Hardy, and the shingles had to be removed to install a membrane.  The subsequent, and unfinished, siding repair is very cute.  The shingles were never replaced. 



That membrane is not supposed to be exposed to sunlight for very long.  It has been cleverly tucked under a piece of siding.  The siding is improperly cut and installed, the caulking was done by a 7 year old and the flashing not secured.

That is an extremely unprofessional and Mickey Mouse repair. 

No wonder it leaked again.

Below is what the caulking looked like around the windows!




In all fairness, I bet the builder did not check on this work.  The previous roofing contractor was sent out to effect repairs and the builder's misplaced trust let go a follow-up visit on this job.  Can I recommend a different roofer to get this done right?

My recommendation:  Always recommend that an inspection be done prior to the one year walk through on a new house.  In this case I was called to to a thermal image examination due to the leaking and to check on the insulation.  These were smart buyers.

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


Comment balloon 15 commentsJay Markanich • May 14 2010 07:30AM


Jay.....that's terrible....why didn't they have that roof inspected right after the repair was supposedly complete????

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired ) over 10 years ago

When I have gutters cleaned at my clients' properties in the fall, they note roof "issues" and we address ASAP * weather and funds permitting!!!  Out of SIGHT, out of MIND!

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 10 years ago

Jay - whenever I sell new construction I tell the folks to take the inspection fee, leave it in a jar and on month 11 call the inspector and pay him with the money you saved...it will be one of the best ivestments you make in your home.

Posted by Diane Osowiecki, Greater Nashville Real Estate (Diane O and Friends - Benchmark Realty) over 10 years ago

Barbara - I really can't answer that except to say I think the builder trusted the roofer and the customer trusted the builder.

Wallace - that is a sign of a good and a circumspect property manager.

Diane - that is sound advice!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

I'll bet the smart buyers had a smart agent...OR was it the smart home inspector who at month 10 after having done the inspection,noting the warranty in his computer, sent them a post card and an offer for re-inspection....ahhhhh marketing !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 10 years ago

Jay, cutting corners up front is not what the consumer wants to do as it can come back and haunt them later on.  I don't know how much more we can strongly suggest a whole house inspection.  I am not sure how it is across the country, but we have every inspection you can think of broken out individually, or the total whole house inspection option right in the agreement.  Each inspection they have to initial off on as waived or want performed.

Posted by Don Spera, Serving York and Adams County, PA (CR Property Group, LLC) over 10 years ago

Jay - Someone knew they hadn't finished their job.  Too bad they failed to follow through.  But the quality of the work does indicate the caliber of the individual doing the "repair."

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) over 10 years ago

Sally - they googled and I popped up.  Apparently I popped up 8 times on page 1!  Ahhh, marketing!

Don - THAT is the way to do it!

John - it does indicate caliber.  Even if those guys finished one day and were transferred to another neighborhood that night, they needed to communicate that they never finished the job they were working on!  When people ask me my opinion on the biggest problem in construction today, my response is:  "Professionalism!"  Or half-assed work, which ever you prefer...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Jay, what I want to know is why everyone blames the bad workmanship on Mickey Mouse.  Met him a long time ago at Disney World and I believe that he is getting a bad rap.  Only humans are so incompetent.

Do you think they forgot they were working on the roof?

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) over 10 years ago

Wow, that's a crappy job.  It looks like something a fix-n-flipper would do.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) over 10 years ago

Jack - that was the house with the ghost.  Maybe they were scared off!

Reuben - and it's been like that for almost a year!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago


I always hat finding that kind of thing. On the other hand, it does make them glad to pay the money to the inspector.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Steve - I wish a picture was worth a thousand dollars.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Jay, on good word, I was told that was a repair by the Billy Jays group. So you do not have to get me his number after all. NK

Posted by Kate Kate over 10 years ago

I'm not sure he has a group Kate.  In fact I don't think so.  And he sells no membranes, at least to date.  And it doesn't look like Q.U.I.L.T.ing!  I think you're okay to call.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

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