What I'm Seeing Now

head_left_image

You Have To Think Ahead

When we were building our house I checked on it now and then.  Once I entered the kitchen and saw that a red slurpy had been spilled on the kitchen floor.  Right in front of the sink in fact!  We were going to get a vinyl there and I just knew it would not stick.  I was right.  To this day, 13 years later, no stick-o!  It has always bothered me.  This might seem like a small thing, but really it is not.

Here is what I saw on a pre-drywall inspection this week.

This is a kitchen floor too.  It is going to get a vinyl covering.  You can see that a sub-floor joint has already been sanded in anticipation of the vinyl floor.  This location is at the end of an L shaped kitchen island.

It appears to be where workers collect to eat lunch.

And drip off.

And clean the mud off their feet.

It's wet now, but it will dry.  And obviously it needs to be cleaned.

If not, do you think the vinyl will stick there?

But do you think it will stick even if it is cleaned?

Neither do I!

The supervisor knows this is going on.  If I can see it, so can he.  He can also see that this is not a one-time occurrence.

There should be some instruction to workers that the house is not a place to go to drip dry, and eat, and clean mud off their feet.  If it's raining and people want to eat inside, that is understandable, but there is a garage where that can be done.  Indoors should be off limits.

You have to think ahead.

Unfortunately, this spot can be cleaned and cleaned.  Vinyl flooring mastic will not stick.  Mastic is generally water based, and contains latex.  This needs something to bond to.  Dirt is not a good bonding surface.

My recommendation:  when you are walking through an unfinished house with your clients, or if you are buying a new house and just checking in. look for where common sense is not being employed and bring it up with the supervisor.  Better yet, make sure at the outset that people understand that this is someone's future home and should be treated as such.  And remember the Golden Rule...

 

 

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 30 commentsJay Markanich • October 11 2010 07:13AM

Comments

Thanks for the great tip Jay!  I had no idea that this would be a problem.  I have seen things spilled on the plywood and then cleaned but I didn't realize that it would cause a problem with the linoleum sticking.

Posted by Brenda Busch (Morris Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Jay, now that's something I didn't know about 'tainted flooring'. Lack of consideration, even to things that do not appear to be a problem, can have down the road adverse effects. I learn so much for these informational posts. 

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 9 years ago

Jay,

Great point.  Too many workers only think of their own trade, and the supervisor needs to be the one who keeps the big picture in mind.  All the time!

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

Yes, this is bad.  They should be putting stuff on top of the floor to protect it - even if it's plywood.  At this point, looks like they could just replace the plywood which shouldn't be that expensive.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 9 years ago

Dirt not a bonding surface? Well, I guess you can use nails or staples. That'll surely hold the floor in place won't it?

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Brenda - some flooring, like ceramic, will get another sub floor on top of this so any dirt is not so much a problem.  But I asked my client what flooring was to get installed and he confirmed vinyl.  Not good!

Thank you Ed.  I am glad you do!  Water has to be kept out, things need to be nailed properly and stuff needs to stick!

Mike - that is his job!  And the rules should state what is appropriate and what is not.  Later there will be a sign on the door that demands that shoes be removed or the workers will be fined.  They surely understand that!

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

Of course, Debbie.  You know that.  I know that.  The supervisor knows that.  The workers?  Unknown...

C'mon Michael! You've seen that!  YOU HAVE!  ADMIT IT!

I know you are joking, of course, but for humor to ring funny it must have elements of truth!  ADMIT IT!

Have you gotten around to my wishes?

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

Jay, sure I'm kidding - well kinda sorta. I did see where one imaginative soul stapled the vinyl surface at the edges before the molding was installed. I suspected that the above scenario had happened...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

As have I.  When I see it I always wonder if it was a "pro" flooring guy or homeowner (or Uncle Bob) who did it!

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

Dam Slurpee's, what color was it and was it yours.

It comes down to doing the job right and respect and I'm not sure which has any sustaining power with some people these days.

Enjoy the day

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

We have a spot in our kitchen where there must have been a big glop of something or another....as it still 11 years later rises up....about a quarter size....not a huge issue but i know it is there!!  uuggghhh    In new construction I see a lot of stuff that may look cool on paper but real life if just doesn't work in the floor plan!!     ANother oops in our house....the garage is 6 in longer than it should be....problem...????  well  lets put it this way....it is a problem if the laundry room lose the 6 inches and won't fit the washer and dryer...my builder was sweating hard when he saw this problem...luckily for all both washer and dryer fit....with about an inch to spare....but I do miss that 6 inches that ended up being about 48 inches of lost closet space when it was said and done!  ...

Posted by Deborah Byron Leffler BzyBee Real Estate Lady! (Keller Williams Realty Boise) almost 9 years ago

I did not know this!  Thanks for the very helpful tip.  The real question is, even if the workers know, do they care?  How hard would it be to slap down a piece of plywood or something to cover the area while they were using it?  No motivation to do that, probably, if they are even aware.

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) almost 9 years ago

Jay - So many of the problems you see could be resolved or would have never occurred if the workers just used common sense, but that seems to be a commody that is lacking today. And, of course, some chemicals/materials will "bleed" through vinyl flooring after a few years.

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) almost 9 years ago

Jay, around here no one would think of putting vinyl directly on the sub-floor----it would be installed over underlayment installed on top of the sub-floor.

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

Jay, maybe it is the same guy.  Still hasn't gotten over that Slurpee addiction.

 

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) almost 9 years ago

Just learned something...you can't fix slurpee spills.  Who knew??

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) almost 9 years ago

Wow, all they would have had to do was tape down some floor protection.  Simple, courteous, and necessary!

Or like you said, eat in the garage!

Posted by Jeremy Wrenn, C.O.O., Winslow Homes (Winslow Homes) almost 9 years ago

Don - HA!  I saw it happen!  The drywall guy had his family with him that day and they decided to have a picnic in our unfinished kitchen.  I knew then the floor wouldn't stick!  Oh, it was red!

Deborah - I hear you!  And our laundry is the same way.  We have about 1/2" on each side of our appliances!

Susan - obviously they do not care!  Plywood?  Come on!  Get real...      ;)

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

John - 'tis lacking, 'tis!  Common sense is hard to teach.  Oh, and a good Scout is considerate.  Muddy workers?  Not!

Get real Charlie!  That would require more money for Lauan, and staples, and the guy to cut, fit and install it.  And it would provide a really good underlayment for vinyl flooring.  Methinks thou dreamest?  Or smokest something rancidest?

Jack - I would understand it if it was Blue Slurpee day, but that day the featured flavor was Root Beer.

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

Well Kathryn, you do ... now!

Jeremy - work, work, work!  You are expecting quite a bit I think.  Building up a half inch of mud on the floor is easier!

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

Jay, but at least the warranty wouldn't be voided :)

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

Perhaps the supervisor should suggest the fellas use a vinyl table cloth while eating. :)

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

Charlie - that would be thinking WAY ahead!

Jim - go all out!  Canvas!  You know how messy wings can be.

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

Jay, down here in SW VA they put Louon down and then put the vinyl down....do builders in NOVA put vinyl down on OSB?

 

Another question for you, what do you charge for your thermal imaging?

 

Thanks!

Posted by Damon Gettier, Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE (Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert) almost 9 years ago

Jay, thanks for the informative post.  I had no idea about this problem.  It would seem construction peeps would know this and use common sense, but like one of the commentors said, seems to be lacking these days.

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) almost 9 years ago

Damon - Charlie said the same thing and I answered him in #19.  They go right down here.  Very good job!  As to IR - I charge a flat $400.  Distance might change that a bit, but that is probably the fee.  You can see it all on my website -    www.jaymarinspect.com

Pamela - it would seem to most of us too, but alas!  And this fleeting common sense thing is quite lacking!

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

Jay ~  I so wish I had known all of these "little nuances" when I was building my home; not to mention the number of times I've observed such things in new construction.

Posted by Tish Lloyd, Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) almost 9 years ago

I think one day I will compile all these articles, Tish, into a book called "Things to Know Before You Build Your Home."

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

Jay:  I was recently removing and re-caulking the siding on my home.  I found, without fail, that the areas of the siding that the caulking did not stick were where the siding boards had been dipped in mud before they were installed.  Duh!  Very iritating for sure!

Posted by Jim Allhiser, Salem, Oregon Home Inspector (Perfection Inspection, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

That is a big duh Jim.  By the way, from personal experience, I can tell you that before you recaulk, that mud is best cleaned off with spit and a rag.  Spit makes for a good primer coat!

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

This blog does not allow anonymous comments