On a recent pre-drywall inspection, which usually happens a day or two before the insulation and drywall are installed, I noticed a section of the house that was very wet. And, before the drywall goes up, things MUST be dry!
This is behind a gas fireplace, with a very large cavity above where a TV would be installed on the wall, with two large shelving units beside.
The cavity is only about 15" deep, but it will be entirely enclosed, not accessible from the back side.
I wondered where this water was coming from. The roof was supposed to have been finished.
ALL ROOFING HAS TO BE FINISHED BEFORE DRYWALL IS INSTALLED!
Nothing else makes sense. So where is this water coming from?
And it's a lot of water! Things are soaked.
We have had lots of rain and it was to continue raining, so they said, for a few days.
So this source of water has to be stopped.
Well, the roof over the fireplace/TV cavity has not been installed yet!
We were jammed into a very small time frame in order to do this inspection (the builder always makes it sound like there's simply no time to do one), because he had "a very tight schedule to get the drywall done."
WELL, I DON'T THINK SO!
And if roofing is quickly placed on top of that little fireplace area and that cavity is sealed with drywall, a lot of moisture will be sealed with it.
AND THAT WILL LEAD TO THE ENCOURAGEMENT, IF NOT DEVELOPMENT, OF MICROBIAL GROWTH SUCH AS MOLDS AND FUNGI.
I suggested to my clients, who should communicate to the builder, that because that area is vulnerable to moisture, and enclosed without access or air flow, that it be sprayed with an protective agent, like copper naphthenate, to help with any future mold issues.
Copper naphthenate is a wood preservative and protector. It is essentially a knock off of what equine vets use to soak into medical wrappings around surgeries and infections on horses. It makes the bandages impervious to water, and prevents microbial growth, so wounds can heal. Builders are spraying a derivative of it now around the wood framing of basement walls, up about 2', to help control any moisture and discourage termites. Termites won't touch it!
I have recommended it for years.
This little roof is on the back side of the house, and maybe they just didn't notice. You have to finish the roofing before you can do the drywall!
I also discovered they had not yet put on the ridge vent cap on top of the roof.
So all in all, they are not ready for drywall!
My recommendation: on pre-drywall inspections, things need to be done in order. All phases that need to be completed, must be completed, before the next phase can begin. When you and your clients are on a pre-drywall inspection, try to insure that things have been done in their proper order! AND DON'T CLOSE IN MOISTURE BEHIND DRYWALL!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560