What I'm Seeing Now

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I Got My First Earthquake Inspection!

Interestingly, within an hour of the earthquake my phone began ringing!  People with questions about what to do and what to look for around their houses.

I had to admit to them that I have never done this before, but I visualized my house and checked off a verbal list for people to follow.

When the earthquake hit I was home in "my" chair.  The house shook sideways and up and down!  It was strong enough to knock books and things off the shelves in my office!  The dog ran into the room and jumped in my lap!  It really scared her.

Immediately I walked around my house to check it out.  My neighbor was in her yard and said pictures had actually fallen off their walls.

The epicenter is said to have been 3.7 miles deep and 70 miles away in Mineral, VA.  It reached 5.9 on the Richter Scale.  And I have never experienced anything like it!

One client, for whom I had done an inspection a couple of months ago, called and wants an immediate inspection on the house.

Why?

Because they are settling Friday afternoon and want to make sure it is still in good shape!  So I'll swing by late Thursday.

What will I check for (having no experience at this you understand)?

>  The grounds to see if any new openings or sink holes have developed.
Smell the gas meter to see if there is any odor.
>  The exterior skin of the house for openings or abnormalities.
>  Cracked windows.
>  Any roof abnormalities.
>  Chimney cracking or movement.
>  Damage to the AC condensers or their connections.
>  Indoor abnormalities to the walls, ceilings, floors and coverings.  Any cracking in the slab.
>  Inside the attic looking for cracking or separation of roof trusses, sheathing and structure.
>  Movement of or cracking of the fireplace, inside and out.
>  Plumbing leaks.
>  Damage to or separation of HVAC ducts in the walls and at the unit.
>  Any gas odor near the furnace and water heater.
>  Check kitchen and bath cabinetry for movement, cracking, separation from the wall.

Of course this is a visual look around.  That's the list off the top of my head.  And that's what I looked for at my house when I did my sweep.  When I arrive for my inspection other things might impress me to look at.  It depends on the house!

And my dog is still following me all over OUR house!  She is making sure daddy is right nearby in case this thing happens again!

 

 

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 79 commentsJay Markanich • August 24 2011 05:35AM

Comments

How interesting.  I did not feel the quake here as I was driving, but lots of people here felt it.  How weird for you guys.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 8 years ago

Good morning, Jay. I did not hear about the quake until hours after it passed. I was in a restaurant and someone told me about it... 

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

Debbie - it's interesting that I was home.  Usually at that time I am not.  But it was a very different experience!

Michael - apparently the vibrations went north, south and east.  What I have heard is that the underlayment here is very hard rock and it sends the shivers and shakes out faster when hard like that.  Not so much was felt to the west, but I don't know why.  It was a very good shake!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago
Hi Jay, thanks for the list. Keep us posted if their other things we should look for. Great information. Unfortunately it is my understanding that insurance may not cover folks since most in this area do not have earthquake insurance.
Posted by Peggy James, Woodbridge Virginia Area Real Estate Specialist (EXIT Realty Associates) almost 8 years ago

I wondered if you were possibly on an inspection.  No one in a building could possibly have missed it. 

Very smart of that gentleman to want to know if there was any damage before settlement.  I suspect I'd be doing the same thing if I was just before settlement.

The vibrations when north because that's the direction of the tectonic plates that transmit the energy.  It was all east of the Appalachian.  Those old, cold rocks transmit energy very efficiently.  Amazing and. . . .

Fascinating. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Between quake and aftershock, I stood on ladder and cleaned the mildew off my bath walls.  I did not know it was an earthquack until I checked FoxSnooze....I thought it was my washer out of tilt!  NOTHING like in CA - HARDER and MUCH LONGER!

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) almost 8 years ago

If a huge gap opens up on my roof, can my insurance say that it was caused by the earthquake and therefore not covered Peggy?  I have to wonder!

Lenn - this is my first experience with such a shake in this area.  And I heard the reports about the plates and hard rock and found that very interesting also.  That happened right under the nuclear power plants - I haven't heard any news and had there been problems that news would have exploded!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay, the quake was felt in our area as well but registered more like a 5. I certainly think this is a great idea if one is going to closing in short order...or any order for that matter. If a buyer has concerns better to be prepared. Thanks for the list which a handy home owner could easily run through on their own for the piece of mind! Now, how about a Hurricane Irene checklist?! ;-)

Posted by SarahGray Lamm, Realtor - 100K Hours of NC Real Estate Experience (Allen Tate Realtors Chapel Hill, NC 919-819-8199 ) almost 8 years ago

I don't know how long it lasted Wallace, but it seems to me 20 or 30 seconds or so.  But you know, we live on the largest and oldest fault line in the country, so a bigger one is not out of the realm of possibility.

SarahGray - Irene is coming!  We are getting it this weekend, and you perhaps more than I!  The checklist just seems like common sense to me.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay - 10 years ago if someone would tell me that we could have 4 hurricanes in one year, I would laugh, and then came 2004.

Now we have earthquake on the east coast...

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) almost 8 years ago

with 9/11 so close for an instant I though of the worse being so close to the nation's capital. . relieved it was just a small earthquake. . 

My 4 year old son had the best quote. . "maybe is a giant walking by. ."

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) almost 8 years ago

Jay,

I've experienced one earthquake in my lifetime, and was surprised that one occured on the east coast!  Our kids in NJ felt it.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 8 years ago

Well that did not take long for your phone to ring! I did not feel anything in Cary NC but many people did. Thanks for the checklist of things to check/ Hopefully this will be our last earthquake...

Posted by K.C. McLaughlin, Realtor, e-PRO, Homes for Sale - Cary, Raleigh NC (RE/MAX United) almost 8 years ago

Jon - in the east we live on the oldest and largest fault line in the country.  Future earthquakes can certainly occur!

Fernando - logical!  He is probably right, although it was an underground troll.

Mike - we have had 4 in the last 20 years in Washington.  This was the most severe in my experience.

K.C. - sure didn't!  Don't count on this being the last one!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

I did not feel it.  Others in our area did. 

I was just hearing about all the sites in Washington that are closed now to investigate cracks.

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) almost 8 years ago

Jay - great checklist.  I heard there was an earthquake in Colorado this week as well and that was their first in 40 years...Mother Nature is unpredictable...

Posted by Carol Zingone, Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty) almost 8 years ago

I heard that too Maureen.  Older structures are more likely to have less resistance to movement.

Thanks Carol.  It will probably grow.  Faults are faults.

Was this Bush's Fault?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay, a great list. This was my first quake since 94 and it really took us all by surprise!

Posted by Scott Fogleman, New Home Team (New Home Team 804-573-9592) almost 8 years ago

Thanks Scott.  It will likely morph as I do it, but this is what I thought off the top of my head when the people called.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

It was surprising to hear out of the blue about the earthquake. Good to see you put a list together for people to refer to.

Posted by Linda Edelwich, Glasotnbury Office's #1 Top Producing Agent-not on (William Raveis Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Good Morning Jay, we felt it all way up here in New Hampshire. Mother nature is flexing her muscles only to follow it up with Hurricane Irene due here in New England on Sunday with a direct hit.

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) almost 8 years ago

Linda - the idea is to be instructive!  And maybe do a few inspections here and there!

Scott - I understand that the hardness of the rock in the plates transferred the vibration really quickly northeast.  To the west they felt very little.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

OK Jay, you're busy with earthquake inspections, what next post-hurricane inspections?

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) almost 8 years ago

Jay, I've experienced a coupe of earthquakes before, but the rumbling noise this one made was rather unusual. Plate tectonics at work!

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA almost 8 years ago

Gabe - looks like Irene is coming!  Should I quick come up with a post-hurricane checklist too?

Michael - that impressed me too, although this was my first experience.  It sure shook the house a lot!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Good morning Jay.

We felt the earth quake in Long Island.

Posted by Joshua Zargari, MJ Decorators Workshop (MJ Decorators Workshop LI staging and home decorating) almost 8 years ago

Here in Manhattan being in these tall condo buildings the swaying of the earthquake was quite evident. 

Posted by Eileen Hsu, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Jay, great idea and something everyone should consider! Thanks for the posting and have an awesone day!

Posted by Michael L. Brownstead, ABR, GRI, MRP, SRS, 1SG US Army (Ret.) (Keller Williams Realty) almost 8 years ago

Jay, thanks for the list.  I was in an REO yesterday during the shaking.  I'll follow your list when return this morning.  Excellent!

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) almost 8 years ago

Jay, I think your earthquake inspection will be so much more thorough than a homeowner doing a quick walkaround.  You supply peace of Mind.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 8 years ago

I could see why a lot of home buyers about to close on their property will be rushing out in that area to have another inspection to make sure that no damage took place to the home becaues of the earthquake. 

Posted by Morgan Evans, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Jay, that was an amazing experience!  It must have been even stronger in your neck of the woods.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

An earthquake is always a surprise. As a property owner it's a good practice to check it or have ut checked after an upset event like an earthquake or major storm. Good list Jay.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) almost 8 years ago

Jay, I imagine that call was the first of many to come.  I was oblivious to the earthquake until after I got home at 5:00 and turned on the news.  Hope it didn't do too much damage in your area.

Posted by Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528, Real Estate Salesperson (Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956) almost 8 years ago

I am happy that home owners see the benefit of a home inspector beyond a home purchase. 

Posted by Corinne Guest, Barrington Lifestyles (Corinne Guest, Realtor | Barrington Realty Company) almost 8 years ago

I felt the vibration, however I was sitting in the office and am very padded there. Others in our building were quite alarmedA psot earthquake inspection is a great idea. Thanks for a comprehensive list.   Reblog!

Posted by Anne M. Costello (Weidel Realtors) almost 8 years ago

Jay, Great blog on what to look for during an inspection.   I've never been through an earthquake and never want to be.  Here in Texas it's hail storms and tornados.   We just had a big one April 21 with golf ball hail coming down at 70 plus mph... pretty dang scary....   Good thing we had insurance to cover the loss of our windows and roof.  Be safe....

Posted by Stephanie Stringer, Mortgage Loan Originator (First Choice Loan Services NMLS#210764) almost 8 years ago

Earthquake on Tuesday, hurricane to finish the week. I think you may be even busier come next Monday.

Posted by Christian Bastian, Christian Bastian - Douglas Elliman Real Estate (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Hi Jay, After this you can add earthquake inspection to your list of learning  something new each day.         

Posted by Sandy Acevedo, RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale (951-290-8588) almost 8 years ago

Jay - Yesterday certainly was a strange day. I know I went and inspected my home visually for anything I could see. Your list is something that I am going down now to see if I have any of in my home. Good luck on your inspection.

Posted by Robert and Lisa Hammerstein -201-315-8618, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Keller Williams Valley Realty) almost 8 years ago

Never having done it before would scare me as I wouldn't want to be liable for missing something I forgot to look for... Good luck!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) almost 8 years ago

Very smart of them to have the house rechecked before settlement. I would do the same thing. We felt it here on Long Island. A very strange feeling for sure.

Posted by Jackie Connelly-Fornuff, "Moving at The Speed of YOU!" (Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY) almost 8 years ago

Great post and a great idea to have a property inspection after a shaker.  Not something I would have thought of and I have lived through more than one quake!  RE: insurance--here, without an earthquake rider to your property policy, insurance companies can (and will) refuse to pay claims related to earthquake damage.  Hope that is not the case there!

Posted by Ed Gillespie almost 8 years ago
Jay - your client is wise tocall you up for an inspection. You ne'er know what the movement could have done to the property.
Posted by Mike Yeo (3:16 team REALTY) almost 8 years ago

My dog didn't even wake up as I contemplated grabbing her and running downstairs! It's smart for people to get a home inspection after something so traumatic to property.  They could end up with crack foundations, etc.

Posted by Jennifer Chiongbian, Real Estate Broker - NYC (Specializing in all types of Manhattan apts & townhouses) almost 8 years ago

I didn't feel a thing, but was told by someone that they evacuated a building in the next town. I found that sort of strange. I'll be curious to know what you find.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 8 years ago

There's a first time for everything.  And it makes a lot of sense to have a home rechecked after yesterday's shake, rattle and roll.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 7 years ago

The vast majority of real property damage from the 7.1 Loma Prieta earthquake in October 1989 was broken chimneys at the roof line.  Horizontal cracks in the mortar that required stress testing to detect.  Chimneys built without rebar, even though building code required it. 

I've personally had more than a dozen listings where sellers had to re-build chimneys, usually from the shoulder up.  They didn't know the chimney was broken until there was a stress test as part of pre-listing property inspections.

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) over 7 years ago

My goodness this graphic is getting a lot of use today. Both Chris Ann and I used it for our blog posts ... I feel like such a copy cat! A dog feels the earthquake before the human does. Now that your dog has had her first earthquake experience, the next time you have an earthquake she'll be in your lap before you feel the shaking.

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA over 7 years ago

Joshua - it sure went a long way!

Eileen - my house swayed and it is only three stories!

Michael - being the "expert" I am at these inspections, I thought I'd get something out there.

Mike - it seems like a common sense list.  Hope it helps!

Thanks Chris.  Just trying to be helpful.  These are things many don't consider.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Morgan - seemed logical to me too, so I got out this list hoping it helps them.

The house really shook Pat, and really shook the dog up!

Thanks Robert.  That's a list coming from a complete novice!

Leah - I hear people who were driving felt nothing.

Corinne - we can be utilized in many ways.  That's my perspective anyway.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Thanks Anne.  I hope it's instructive.

Stephanie - that sounds like destructive hail!  We are expecting 120mph winds this weekend!

Christian - I am not looking forward to his hurricane, but we need the rain!

Sandy - life is about experiences!  Hope this list helps people.

L&R - you might add to it as you look at your house!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Donna - I didn't consider any liability.  Who's list is comprehensive?  I have never seen a list, although in earthquake-prone areas they probably have them.

Jackie - it doesn't happen often!  I was very surprised myself.

Ed - how do they prove something happened because of an earthquake?  I guess if they could something would be denied, but how do they prove it?  There's another thought!

Mike - a walk around is a very good idea.  I agree!

Jennifer - it must not have been too much if the dog slept through it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jim - as you know, I'm such an expert at this!  I expect to find nothing, or if there is something, like a cracked window, and we can attribute it to the earthquake, they might not have a claim!

Chris - I shook a lot!  You're so much further west than I, what half a mile (?) - was it gentler?

Lloyd - I expect chimneys to be able to handle it the least.

Cynthia - it was the most generic and relevant one I could find!  If so many used it, it's because it was a good one!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay, This was my first earthquake experience... and now I know what to look for around the house. Thanks.

Posted by Juan Bassett, GRI (Long & Foster) over 7 years ago

Jay, reach out to some of the inspections you might know from blogging who are in California. They may have some good tips for you.

Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Every day is a new learning experience. I agree with the above post. Check with some California inspectors to learn how to spot the items that are no se readily visible.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max Southern Realty) over 7 years ago

Good information.

Posted by Jim McCormack, Nashville Short Sale REALTOR - Stop Foreclosure (Nashville Short Sale Specialist - Jim McCormack - Edge Advantage Realty, LLC - 615-784-EDGE (3343)) over 7 years ago

I realize that this was an unusual event for all of you East Coast friends, and that your buildings are NOT built for earthquakes....but you must forgive us Californians for finding it a bit amusing.

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 7 years ago

I always wonder if earth movement damage can show up later, like a sink hole near the foundation? Guess there is no way to predict that.

Posted by The Derrick Team - Indy Metro Realtors, Your Pet Friendly Realtors (Carpenter Realtors) over 7 years ago

I was not feeling particularly well the other day, so I decided to take a quick nap between appointments with my 3 Miniature Schnauzers.  When we woke up everyone was talking about an earthquake here.  I totally missed it - guess I really need more sleep!

Posted by Valerie M. Blake, Distinctive Marketing - Exceptional Service (RLAH Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Thankfully no one was injured, at least per the news reports.

Houses just aren't designed to be shaken. Damage could be almost anywhere. I'd think it would warrant a full inspection but if time were a factor I'd start with the foundation for any changes from your inspection. Step back and take a good look for any visible racking of the structure and then look for signs of separation in siding and shingles.

I think I would want a new inspection agreement to, just to keep your E&O people happy.

Posted by Marshall Brown, BSEE, CHI (Mid America Inspection Services, LLC) over 7 years ago

I saw broken pieces of brick in the fireplace today, and so I'm thinking the top of the chimney may not be as sound as the seller had hoped today in Arlington, VA

Posted by Claude Labbe, Realty for Your Busy Life (Real Living | At Home) over 7 years ago

Just goes to show that in every tragedy there is opportunity for someone.

Posted by Lucien Vaillancourt, Jacksonville Florida Real Estate (Native Sun Realty, Inc.) over 7 years ago

I'm across the river from you and I felt the earth quake too.  I really like your checklist.  Thanks

Posted by Denise Watkins, Realtor Serving DC and MD (Tristar Realty, INC) over 7 years ago

Don't have time to read all comments... but from personal experience... suggest you had pools, their filters and plumbing... 

Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) over 7 years ago

I'm with Karen on this one Jay...

Really? An earthquake inspection? seriously, we live on a couple of fault lines, and frequently forget to wake up when something hits... And we don't have earthquake inspections...

Karen is right, it's a bit amusing. Oh, and if you build to code standard, your houses are actually made to hoold up, you just don't know it.

Posted by Terkel Sørensen, Realtor, 951.805.0773 , Bank owned and Short Sales (Real Estate Places) over 7 years ago

They said there were a few after tremors. I'm sure that things move one way & other parts of the house are not so moveable (chimneys). How's that for technical talk.  Maybe a check list would be good?

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 7 years ago

Mine too Juan.  That's the list that came to me during a phone call.

Karen C. - I expect so, but you have different codes out there and building styles.  What I would look for you all might not!

Bill - I will check around!  I wonder why nobody contacted me?

Glad you enjoyed it Jim.  I hear you all didn't feel much.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Karen F. - I'm not sure what that means!  This was the first experience of my life, so I might not be the pro you are.  But we aren't children either!  The first time for something is always an experience.

Nevertheless, you do things differently there.  For example, you strap water heaters.  I have never seen a strapped water heater in my entire career.  Our water heaters are serviced by black iron gas pipes.  Yours probably are by flexible gas lines.  Black iron does not do well when shaken.  So it really wasn't amusing to me.  The first thing I did was check my water heater and furnace and smell for gas!

Our neighborhoods don't slide down hills every year and our neighborhoods don't burn every year (primarily because of our building codes).  But when they do out there I call my friends to see how they are.  I can imagine it isn't amusing.

Did you know that we live on the oldest and longest fault line in the country and the worst earthquake in US history happened on that fault!

Derrick Team - it could if there is a subterranean shift that won't affect the foundation until a heavy storm (like this weekend!!).

Valerie - my dog is still following me around so I can save her if the house shakes again!

Marshall - a WHOLE LOT of old, brick structures in Virginia have serious damage.  I had a chimney today with fresh brick chips and mortar powder at the bottom and cracks above!  We aren't designed for that here.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Claude - you should have a sweep look at it to make sure more won't happen and cause a problem when you light a fire.  I had a cracked three story chimney just today!

Lucien - I have been able to help two different households with inspections, and found damage they did not know about.  That's good for them!

Denise - you probably felt what I felt!  It was a very interesting experience.

Doreen - I bet pool owners did a lot of looking around.  Our pools here are concrete, so cracking could be very evident.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Yes, Terkel, really!  FYI - all three city government structures in Mineral (ground zero) sustained serious damage, and many, many dozens of older, brick structures all over the area.  These old structures are NOT made to "hold up." But we kind of knew that.

Did you hear that the Washington Monument had serious cracks through which light can be seen?  Was that made to hold up?  The Capitol Building also had damage.  It's been here a while too!  This is the first time it sustained such damage.

Most seriously for me as an inspector are water heaters.  They are NOT strapped here.  Gas lines are black iron and pretty fragile to serious movement.  I was very afraid for mine and checked it immediately.  I assure you it was not amusing!

I have done two earthquake inspections and both houses had recent damage.  Really.

Lyn - on older houses, chimneys are especially vulnerable.  I had cracking on a three-story chimney just today!  And the house is only 19 years old.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

You're no novice Jay. You know house construction about as well as I do, maybe better in some aspects. All you had to do was think about what could happen from a quake and list the places to check for damage.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) over 7 years ago

Thanks, Robert, but to me gas lines are nothing to pooh pooh!  I even went downstairs today when I got home to see if I smelled anything!

The checklist is really a quickie common sense list!

Interestingly, we don't know what we don't know and to wake up during a quake of any size and assume things are fine must be way above my pay grade.  I'm not that good!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I live in a split foyer and thought the house was getting ready to fall in on me, I thought I was on a boat for a short time! Great list for us to use.

Posted by Gerard Gilbers, Your Marketing Master (Higher Authority Markeing) over 7 years ago

Sounds like you got it as hard as I did Gerard.  We shook pretty hard!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Us pros in California could learn a thing or two from you.  Now I understand you are going to get rained on.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 7 years ago

In answer to your question, Jay, issues just like the ones you stated are likely the reason there are quite a few homeowner lawsuits against insurance companies after earthquakes!

Posted by Ed Gillespie over 7 years ago

Gene - a couple of "California pros" earlier thought they were amused by what happened here!  And we are due for a bit of rain, and wind and well a real mess!

Ed - I understood from a lot of people here that our insurance policies to not cover earthquake damage!  I didn't know that!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

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