What I'm Seeing Now

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Stick 'Em Up

The electrical system of houses needs to be grounded.  Not in the psychological sense, but literally connected to the ground.

There are other things on a house that need grounding too.  The phone or cable system, satellite dish, the occasional TV antenna and even the aluminum siding, for example.  Without sufficient grounding these things can become real house zappers.  Or get zapped!

This homeowner decided to pour a new expanded, concrete driveway.  And, not knowing what he was doing, he simply poured it.  All the way to the back of the house.

The grounding rod you see here was in the way.  Not realizing that it extends 8 or 10' into the ground, I think he tried to bend the pesky little bugger to either get it out of the way or break it.  That not working, he poured around it!

You understand - spare the rod, spoil the driveway.

Or something like that...

And you can see the former ground line laying there beside the rod.  Who knows what it used to do, but it does nothing now!

Another problem here is that a concrete driveway should not be poured right next to a foundation wall.  It can do two things - 1.  put pressure on the wall, pushing it in and  2.  direct water toward and hold moisture against the foundation wall.

Such was the case in this house, with the basement wall beneath this photo holding a hefty 28% moisture.  Recently painted, it was hard to determine just how much mold they were covering up, but it sure smelled nice down there!  Real nice.

My recommendation:  If something doesn't look right, it probably isn't!  But check with your home inspector - that will likely be a good source of information!

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 7 commentsJay Markanich • June 13 2010 07:05AM

Comments

Big mistake!

Always plan ahead of time...

How can a house pass inspection without this important safety feature?

Posted by Joshua Zargari, MJ Decorators Workshop (MJ Decorators Workshop LI staging and home decorating) almost 9 years ago

Joshua - this house had about 300 items for blog fodder!  It was a riot!  Obviously the seller, or flipper, did this work with no permit.

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

Good post, Jay. I have to wonder, 'even if' a permit was obtained, if the Municipal Inspector would have even noticed the multiple issues showing in your photo, as he/she would be looking the driveway construction itself. Good chance not.

Posted by Jeffrey Jonas- Minnesota Home Inspector (Critical Eye Property Inspections / JRJ Consultants) almost 9 years ago

Jay, this is a good example of DIY gone bad.  Recently I have seen some horrific examples of well meaning but ill advised projects causing unforseen after effects, especially with mold.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

Jeffrey - yeah, things seem to be connected such that one problem leads to another!  Funny how that happens.  And you are right, no way would a local AHJ follow one thing to another.

Chris - a house is a system and one thing leads to another!

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

Good tip - "If something doesn't look right, it probably isn't!".

Aaron

Posted by Aaron Silverman, Improving Real Estate Experience through Education (SuccessfulRental.com, Bluewater Property Management, LLC and Lowcountry Turnkey Properties, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Thanks Aaron.  Kind of like the other phrase, if it seems too good to be true it probably isn't!

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

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