Entering the garage I looked up at the ceiling. I always look up first.
As I looked up, what did I see? A swelling stain in the drywall. One of many actually.
But this one looked like a question mark!
(I couldn't take it's picture with the flash, as the swollen stuff was whited out. And there wasn't enough light to take it without a flash. But I did find some orange cellophane and used it as a makeshift filter, and viola! Eat your heart out Thornton...)
I began questioning what I saw!
So I looked down.
What did I see? Puddles!
So what's a home inspector to do? I looked all around! I went into the garage attic.
On the left I saw wet!
On the right I saw wet!
About now I'm thinking there is a roof leak.
Gee, it seemed to me that the clues were everywhere.
But what is the source?
This is a new roof! An expensive new roof.
It was raining furiously so the picture is taken from a bedroom window (I know, I'm a baby...).
The homeowner wanted to preserve this cupola on top of the garage roof. It isn't a real cupola, as those are intended to allow for ventilation.
It is merely sitting on the top of the garage roof and they wanted it to stay.
How is it attached? NAILS!
This roofer decided to not put any flashing around it, apparently to maintain its antique appearance. THEY DECIDED TO CAULK IT INSTEAD!
Well, beauty is one thing, physics is another.
Water will get into what it is allowed to get into and gravity works!
And this water is getting into the garage! Through the roof. Around this cupola.
This is just one more example of a quillion examples that caulking does not flashing make!
Roofers know this! Why did they do it? They were asked to try to seal it to maintain the beauty of the cupola, or they thought this would work. Maybe they only hoped it would work, at least until the warranty expires.
EITHER WAY, IT IS AN UNPROFESSIONAL INSTALLATION. IF THE CLIENT WANTS SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T WORK, YOU EXPLAIN TO HIM THAT IT WON'T WORK AND OFFER A SOLUTION THAT WILL!
My recommendation: When you go places, feel free to look up, look down, and look all around! Don't worry, your pants won't fall down. But you might just see some interesting stuff!
And that question mark stain was really convenient, wasn't it!?
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560