What I'm Seeing Now

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Home Inspections In The Rain

Sometimes people will call me to ask if our scheduled home inspection should be canceled because it's a rainy day.  Of course I say NO!  When it's raining and water is flowing, on, off and around a house, you can see things not otherwise manifest!

Take this house for instance.  When I got there it had been raining all night and well into the morning.  It was raining hard at the time I arrived.  Taking the time to carry my things to the front porch, I noticed this leaking under the front porch roof.

There isn't any reason why water should be dripping from around that wood trim, the ceiling drywall and inside the siding!

There was a pretty good puddle at the bottom, so obviously this had been happening all night.

Was it leaking inside too?

Let's see, um, yep, it's leaking! 

The moisture meter stopped at over 30%.  That's lots of moisture!

The house is one year old and never lived in.

It is custom built and expensive.

Such leaking would be exceptionally unusual.

So, why the leaking?

 

 

 

Just a slight issue with a lack of step flashing where the siding meets the shingles over the front porch roof.

It has been like this since the day they installed the shingles.  Flashing was an after thought.

Now, had we postponed this inspection due to rain, this slight flaw would not have been so easily noticed!

Remember, CUSTOM builder!

So next time you're tempted to postpone a home inspection due to rain, think again!

My recommendation:  If it's raining, and you are scheduled for a home inspection, keep the appointment!  Come prepared for the rain and plan to look around.  You might see something revealing, and that you might not otherwise have opportunity to see!

 

 

 

 

 

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 59 commentsJay Markanich • April 21 2011 05:44AM

Comments

I agree. I like inspections when it rains. We can find out about leaks.

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

Good job Gita!  Me too!

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

Hi Jay, We don't get that much "rain" here in Carlsbad. But when I did home inspections in Michigan I liked to see the rain. It hides nothing. If it's going to leak, it will during a rain.

p.s. if you have any extra rain, send it my way 

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 9 years ago

I'll try Clint.  I'm much better at sending it northeast!

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

Great post.  I get that question all the time and love being able to do inspections in the rain.  I once had a final walk-through the day after we had an intense rainstorm where the rain was blowing in every direction possible.  When we were walking through, we saw water stains on the ceiling in the master bedroom and wondered why the french door was so hard to open to walk onto the deck.  Water had gotten in because of old dried up calking and buckled the hardwood flooring and swelled around the door frame.  I was so thankful for the rain.  Had it happened in the evening after we conducted our walkthrough, my clients would have had an expensive problem the day after they spent a lot of money on the house.  The interesting thing is that I did my own walk-through without the clients the morning of the rain storm to catch any surprises prior to when they got in town and there was no issue.  What a difference a day makes!  What a difference, the rain makes :-)

Fortunately, the listing agent was great, and immediately got every contractor available out there to assess the issue and start fixing things right away.  3 years later, still no issues with the home and my client loves it.  It's amazing how poorly caulked/sealed areas can really cause lots of damage.  The seller had to pay thousands of dollars to replace & refinish the hardwood, fix the door frames, caulk and seal and repaint certain areas of the house.

I was so thankful for the rain to reveal these issues prior to my client settling on the home.

 

Thanks again Jay...

 

Posted by Kieno Simeon Your South Riding Real Estate Consultant (Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

Hi Jay,

I am glad to see someone likes a rainy day.  I love when it rains during a home inspection as long as I am representing a buyer and not a seller.  It all depends on which side of the fence you are on when it begins to pour.

 

Laurie

Posted by Laurie C. Bailey-Gates, ABR, SFR (Robert Paul Properties) over 9 years ago

Once inspected on a very dry day, to see water pouring down the back wall of a Victorian house.  A toilet that the tenant didn't use (3 kids and that was the bedroom on the kids' floor???) had been used and leaked that afternoon. One thing led to another and a myriad of bathroom leaks and issues were uncovered. Since an addition had been installed and the kitchen would have needed to be partailly ripped out to fix, my clients walked away. Funny, it sold pretty quickly, for higher than my client had been willing to pay. I wondered if the toilet had been used, taped with yellow tape or whether the seller disclosed.  Hmmmm...

Posted by Anne M. Costello (Weidel Realtors) over 9 years ago

Hi Jay - It is also a good idea to inspect your own house after a major rainstorm to check for leaks so you can fix them before the leaks get worse and mould grows.

Posted by FN LN over 9 years ago

Thanks Kieno.  Good job!  I don't like walking around in blowing rain either, but hey, it's a good thing!

Laurie - it's a good time to see things in, um, perspective!

Wow, Anne.  How did they pull that off?  Gotta be the yellow tape!

Marc - absolutely.  Leaks never get better on their own.  And water is the killer of houses.

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

Wow!  I have to get up early to hit the suggest button on your posts.  7 A.M. is too late to call the shot.   Another great post.  Thanks.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -) over 9 years ago

Not sure how that happens Ken, but glad you had a notion!  And enjoyed the post!

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

Jay, my most memorable one was during our FLood of 2010...it killed the deal but brought forward issues the seller must have been closed mouth about...inspect in the Rain!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Jay, absolutely a great time for inspections.  Only problem for the inspectors is getting on a slippery roof.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 9 years ago
Sounds like rain is a good blessing on a thorough home inspection.
Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) over 9 years ago

You have to wonder how many closed mouths there are out there Ginny.

Gabe - that I won't do.  But this house had lots of windows and I have great binocks!

Cheryl - it can be!  Lots of times things are revealed and easy to describe.

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

Jay, my father used to love to go house hunting on rainy days for that very reason!

Posted by Sandi Davidson (Florida's Realty LLC) over 9 years ago

I have never heard of anyone cancelling an inspection because of rain. If it is SO bad out that the exterior part of the inspection cannot be done, than come back JUST for that another time.

Posted by Donald Reich (Prudential Centennial) over 9 years ago

Another GREAT post Jay!!! Nothing like a rainy day to see what is REALLY going on with a house!!!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 9 years ago

Great advice, Jay.  There definitel are advantages to having an inspection in the rain.

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Another fantastic post jay. We're always happy to see rain on inspection day.  Especially because we're not the ones who have to be out there getting wet.

Posted by Howard and Susan Meyers (The Hudson Company Winnetka and North Shore) over 9 years ago

Great post Jay. A good point for buyers to know about. I 'use' the rain like that myself.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) over 9 years ago
Great post, Jay. The rain turned unto blessings. With the rain, do you still inspect the roof? Some inspector would just do a cursory check from the side and not perform a full walk in the roof since it is dangerous. That is kind of like a catch 20 thing.
Posted by Mike Yeo (3:16 team REALTY) over 9 years ago

Often those small items like step flashing will be overlooked but they turn into the time consuming problems down the line when they create the bigger problems to fix.

Posted by Morgan Evans, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Looks like we have similar posts today, all though mine would be the before and yours the after.

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

I don't mind inspections in the rain.  After all, I'm not the guy crawling around getting wet and I'm not made of sugar.....just spice and everything nice.

Posted by Anthony Daniels, SF Bay Area REO Specialist (Coldwell Banker) over 9 years ago

There have been times when I wanted to take a garden hose, climb a ladder and soak the roof. I consider the rain a gift when it does come especially when I am working a deal....good post and question...thank you Jay

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 9 years ago

Having the camera that see's within the walls is an awesome tool.  I'm sure you can find out all sorts of hidden defects with it. 

Posted by Eileen Hsu, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) over 9 years ago

What is getting a little wet compaired to things you may uncover in rain.... Great Post!

Posted by Scott Fogleman, Greater Good Group (New Home Team 804-573-9592) over 9 years ago

One time, the fact that it rained on a final inspection let us discover a huge defect the Seller 'forgot' about...

Posted by Michael (Mike) Robinson, CRS, CIPs, REALTOR (Broadmoor Realty, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Shame this is not mandatory. Better to find it before the sale and have possible repercussions afterwards.

Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) over 9 years ago

You're so right on it's ideal to view after the rain...worst condition.  I learned that 2 yrs ago from a customer where we refinished her hardwood floors and it rained.  The inspector did not see the hole in the roof/sun window and floor had to be repaired and resanded...after the window was fixed...so it delayed everything and cost extra money.

In retrospect, the inspector should have noticed the bit of green on the floor and looked up.

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

Hi Jay,

As always, your posts are so perfect in offering great information in a clear and none panic creating manner, good for you, and we have reblogged it for our readers. Thanks for sharing with us.

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC www.pfanntastic.com) over 9 years ago

Jay,

My buyers had their inspection in the rain and the only thing they ended up asking for was gutters and downspouts. Big surprise! LOL

Posted by RYAN Kruithoff - TEAM K, My family Serving Yours! (Five Star Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Aside from the girlyness of getting soaked trying to get in and out, I agree that inspections in the rain are a good thing!  Seen some interesting things crop up when it gets wet out!

Posted by Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits (Realty World Alliance) over 9 years ago

I PREFER to inspect in the rain! It tells me more about the house than I could ever find in sunny weather. 
I carry 2 umbrellas, one for me, and the other for the client(s). 
When its raining, I usually start by saying..."Its a BEAUTIFUL day for an Inspection!" That puts the buyer in a more open setting.

Posted by Mike Roberson (Pioneer Consulting) over 9 years ago

Gee, only a "slight flaw"?  I think that might be major in a while, but I think you were being tongue in cheek as well!

Glad it was raining to catch that.

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

Sandi - raised by a smart guy, huh?

Donald - once I did an inspection during a hurricane and found a roof leak!

Barbara-Jo - it does make some things easier to see.

Thanks Margaret - I always recommend that people keep the inspection!

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

Howard and Susan - not out there!?  How fair is that?     ;)

I think so too Robert.  All it takes is a demonstrable post to show why to keep a rainy-day inspection.

Mike - this is a four-story house on a hill.  Too high to climb when wet.  I did see a lot out windows and also with my 20x binocks.  Then of course from inside the attic.  Fourteen years ago I fell from a high roof and shattered just about everything on my left side.  It's all still in bad shape.

Morgan - to a roofer, siding guy interested in "best practice," step flashing is NOT a little thing!  And you're right about the problems later!

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

Jay, nothing more to add to this excellent post, except to congratulate you on the feature!

Posted by Yolanda Hoversten, Broker - O Fallon, IL Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties) over 9 years ago

Jim - I don't know how we connected.  I thought it was you and Charlie.  But he called me a couple of days ago and apparently some of the mojo sloughed off onto me and we posted together today!  Yours is a VERY good before representation of a VERY typical siding problem!  In this case there was no step flashing, don't know why.

But didn't I post before you and you were after...?         ;)

Well, Anthony, I don't think a real drenching would hurt!  Some days I am literally wet all day long!

You're welcome Richie!  And send me a photo with the hose test!

Eileen - it is a definitive view, but best when coupled with a moisture meter!

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

Thanks Scott.  Part of the job!  And an important part!

Mike - once I had a forgetful seller, who was a local real estate broker.  She "forgot" that a huge tree collapsed onto the middle of the house and the interior third of the house had to be rebuilt.  She had tried to make the attic inaccessible as possible, but I got in and found the new material.  Then, when she showed up, she suddenly remembered.   Hmmmm...

Hella - would that I could call on rain when and where I wanted!  Probably a lack of faith on my part.  I'll work on that one!  You have a very good idea!

Debbie - a green spot is a very good indicator of something else going on!  They didn't notice it?

 

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

P&L - thank you for the reblog and that you find it such useful information!  We try to be instructive, sometimes more so than others.

Ryan - good tip from the rain!  Once you see something in action it becomes very clear.

Sheree - girlyness?  You?  Get out there!  Go and do that (wet) voodoo that you do so well!

Mike - I had my daughter's umbrella!  Mine were removed from my tool box in the truck.  Nobody seems to remember doing it...

 

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

Jeremy - what?  You can't see the twinkle in my eye as I write that in a blog?

Thank you Yolanda.  But you can add anytime you wish!

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

Here's a river running through a basement that wasn't there the 1st time we went through. But we went through on a rainy day ... later. 

Posted by Schuylkill Appraisal Services (Schuylkill Appraisal Services) over 9 years ago

Wow, Schuylkill!  Good thing you went back.  What a difference!

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

Jay, as you probably know, my brother is a home inspector also and he agrees with this 100%

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

Hey Jay,

I always tell clients, the house will tell us a lot more when its raining than any other time.

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

Damon - rain is a great time to see outside the house, and inside the attic.

Eric - wow, you hear the same voices I hear?

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

Jay, the only thing better than inspecting a house in the rain, it showing it in the rain. Those errors can be seen before the buyer even writes up an offer and saves them the aggravation.

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

I agree Ed.  Rainy days and Mondays always get me ... up!

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

I've sold a fair amount of new construction and have worked for two different builders. I know my way around a job site and it has served me well with buyers.

Last year I had a buyer refuse a home inspection before the closing of her newly custom built home. Their  real estate attorney also told them to get an inspection. Now, a year later, with an incomplete punch list and several pretty significant problems, I am writing up my recollections of the final days before the closing and the builder's verbal promises.

Posted by Leslie Ebersole, I help brokers build businesses they love. (Swanepoel T3 Group) over 9 years ago

Jay,

If we canceled inspections out here for rain, we would all be bankrupt home inspectors on the dole.

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

Leslie - a year later and things aren't so rosy?  Did they get a thermal image inspection to see how much the drywall slipped?  Bummer about the list.

Steve - yes, but you all are so spoiled out there with so many rainy days.  We aren't so spoiled out here as you all.

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

Great advice, Jay.... very similarly, when I look for a new car, I try to pick a miserable day in February so I can put it through the paces...

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

That's a great idea Chris, especially where you live!

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

We know an inspector who brings a hose for sunshiney inspections....he is his own rainmaker and does catch things that may not otherwise be so obvious.

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

S&D - this rain was about 2" in 24 hours, which is thousands of gallons in this yard and on this house.  I would bet a hose wouldn't get that much water into stuff!

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

I completely agree.  Inspections in the rain are no fun, but they can make it much easier to prove that something is a problem.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) over 9 years ago

I am glad you are pleased Reuben.  Now inspections in the heavy snow are a different matter...

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

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