What I'm Seeing Now

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Before The Drywall Goes Up, Things MUST Be Dry!

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

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 45 commentsJay Markanich • September 26 2011 04:58AM

Comments

Jay: Copper naphenate is a really big word for this early on Monday morning! Another thorough and insightful post on the importance of new home construction and all the phases. Do these bulders think pple are deaf, dumb and blind or does the right hand not know what the left hand is doing?

Posted by Anne M. Costello (Weidel Realtors) almost 7 years ago

Another good job Mr. Jay.  Good morning to you, I'm still learning, 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 -) almost 7 years ago

Jay - a great post, that outlines: if you don't do it right at first, you can't always go back and make it better.

Posted by Carol Zingone, Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty) almost 7 years ago

Jay, thanks a lot for the info, I learned something, which makes me a smarter agent! Have an awesome day!

Posted by Michael L. Brownstead, ABR, GRI, MRP, SRS, 1SG US Army (Ret.) (Keller Williams Realty) almost 7 years ago

Good morning, Jay. I when doing a construction inspections, I often look for sloppy workmanship. It really abounds in the construction industry...

Posted by Michael Thornton, Nashville Area - Photography & Videography (RadnorLake Video) almost 7 years ago

Golly gee whiz....to everything there is a time...you would think that a builder would have that figured out...

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 7 years ago

If the builder is willing to allow this problem, I would wonder what else is already done (and hidden)....

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 7 years ago

Ahhhh, good old NV Homes.  They are supposed to be "the" top quality new home builder, at least in NOVA (according to them of course).  

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) almost 7 years ago

Good morning Jay. Never heard of copper naphthenate before. Sounds like a great preventive maintenance item. Trapping moisture is asking for trouble.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) almost 7 years ago

Jay,

This happens quite often in western Washington also. During many times of the year it is almost impossible to get a building up without the the sheeting and framing getting wet. And like you point out many times they may start along without the area being dry.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Jay, great information.  I have never heard of Copper Napthenate before.  Thank You, this information will be helpful to many of my clients.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 7 years ago

Jay thanks for the heads up on the copper naphthenate. Sounds like something that needs to be negotiated with the builder up front.

Posted by David Gibson CNE, 719-304-4684 ~ Colorado Springs Relocation, Relocation, Luxury & Lifestyle residential (Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC ) almost 7 years ago

ouch that really is scarry, esp. since I do not see tape joints on the house wrap and proper nailing as per instructions from manufacture.  oppps some one forgot to read the directions......

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) almost 7 years ago

Jay -- If the roofing hasn't been completed, how can the builder have received sign off from the building department to continue with sheet rocking the place?  David (#13) also makes a good point.

Does this mean you get to back for another pre-drywall inspection after these things have been resolved?

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) almost 7 years ago

Anne - this supervisor may not have been as far along as he wanted the buyer to think.  They try to discourage inspections, pretty much any way they can!

Thanks Ken.  I think Michelangelo said that at age 87, so you are in great company!

Carol - I hope they make this better before they put up drywall!

Michael B. - glad to contribute to the library!  Hope it's useful!

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

Michael T. - this seems to be something they just didn't get to yet!

S&D - I know the Proverbs say that, as did the Birds in "Turn, Turn, Turn."  They have figured that out, just need to get to the end before they jam us into an inspection they "might not have time to do..."  And burgundy really does go best with gold...

Lisa - hopefully not much - that is why I like to do pre-drywall inspections!  The house is skeletal, and easy to see everything.

Justin - at least they have supervisors who have been there a while.  But in this case, I think they were trying to make it seem like they didn't have time for the inspection, when in fact they had a lot yet to do.

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

It is Randy, and that stuff is a great preventer.

Wow, Don, they must seal in lots of problems!  What can be done?  Do they spray everything with copper?

Chris - most people haven't and I have been preaching it for years.  Some builders around here are using it on lower levels.

David G. - or at least find out if they do it.  It can be done as a prophylactic and as a remedy.

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

David P. - again, I wonder how ready they were for this inspection, pretending that there was no time.

Steven - they didn't have any permits yet to proceed, so I think their trying to make us feel rushed was a trick to avoid an inspection.  They really weren't ready for me.

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

Good call, Jay.  You seem to do a lot of new construction inspections - is there a lot of new construction in your area, or do you just have the market cornered on those things?

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 7 years ago

Reuben - yes and I don't know.  There is a lot of new construction and I do a couple a week, more or less.  As to how many buyers actually do them, I don't know.  For sure I haven't cornered the market.

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

Wow, that's a lot of new construction inspections!  I might do one a month.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 7 years ago

The nice thing about them is that it virtually locks me into the final inspection just before closing.

Plus, um, the blog fodder!

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

Why hasn't the builder sided the house? Around here the shell is done first, then the interior. No wonder this house leaks.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 7 years ago

The saying at Ma Bell used to be "Never time enough to do it right, always time enough to do it over."

I must admit I'd never heard of copper naphthenate good informations, Thanks.

 

http://www.forestprod.org/Freeman.pdf

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

Ya think?! Fast workers=wrong techniques, slow them down and make them be accountable for the process in real time...

Posted by David Evans, HUD NLB Cumming GA (RE/MAX TOWN AND COUNTRY) almost 7 years ago

I learn something new every day. Thank you for the post on Copper naphthenate .  Sincerely appreciate it~!

Posted by Jayson Holland, Jay Holland (Listings.com) almost 7 years ago

Maybe they were using that new Chinese waterproof drywall? Hah!

Posted by Tim Bradley, Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY (Contour Investment Properties) almost 7 years ago

I learn something new everyday.  The roof must be finished, before the drywall is installed...It is amazing to hear about the things you see.

Posted by Karen Steed, Associate Broker Haralson Realty (Tallapoosa, Bremen, Waco, Buchanan, Temple, Carrollton) almost 7 years ago

I'm curious, wouldn't the city, county building inspector require the contractor to determine where the water came from and fix it prior to drywall installation? In your opinion, wouldn't the building inspector and the agency be liable for any future health or safety damages if mold was found after construction was completed?

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) almost 7 years ago

Is Copper naphthenate standard? I've seen shows where they used it but haven't noticed it on new builds around here. Should we recommend our clients ask for it on new builds?

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

Well, having spent my first 4 years working for a builder, I'm a big fan of those pre-drywall inspections for reasons like this situation.  At it's best, building is organized chaos.  Builders should welcome inspections but they rarely do.  

Posted by Beverly Femia, Broker Realtor Stager - Greater Wilmington, NC Are (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) almost 7 years ago

Where was the building inpsector I thought the roof was suppose to be completed and signed off before any drywall is to be installed?  At least that is the process in this area.

Posted by Michael Singh,Broker (Singh Real Estate) almost 7 years ago
I am glad to see new construction selling. Good thing the buyer has you keeping an eye on the orogress.
Posted by Alan Grizzle, Full Time Realtor, Lifelong Resident of Dahlonega (Chestatee Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

I agree Jim.  Here they tape the windows, Tyvek the sides, put on the roof and start rocking.  They usually have the siding flow charted at the same time, but not always.

I hear that Marshall!  That PDF is the same as in my post.  Click on the blue!  I have been using it at my house for a long time, and recommending it to builders.  Nobody has listened really, but some use it in the basement.

David - real time is money!  Must save time!

Jayson - that's the same PDF in my post.  Click on the blue.

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

I hear that's great stuff Tim!  And aromatic to boot.

Karen - glad you got that order correct!  It's important...

Kimo - they didn't have the finals yet, but it's a good bet the county wouldn't see this.

Derrick Team - standard?  Nooooo.  You can recommend it to builders.  Use my link!

 

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

They sure don't in my experience Beverly.  I wish we were more in sync, but alas, we are not!

Michael - I don' think they've been by yet.  They made us think the drywall was going up 15 minutes after we got there, but when I arrived I knew they weren't that far along!

Alan - we have so many gubment employees around here new construction is always in the works.

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

Jay - You need to do a post about that copper naphthenate so we all can learn about it.    Seems not very many of us know much about it.   Great feature!

Posted by Dagny Eason, Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo (Dagny's Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

I actually have to do a repair at my house Dagny, and when I do I will use the stuff!  I'll talk more about it then.

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

 

Good post, Jay.

Regarding building inspections, many cities allow "windshield inspections" where they only drive by homes under construction with builders who have a generally good track record. Even if they walk though the house, they may only take a cursory look at some of the items on their checklist. In that case, it would be easy to overlook missing roofing over the fireplace if everything else appears to be OK.

I'm not suggesting that these practices are desirable, but the inspectors are on a tight time frame and tend to be overburdened, too. More reason for the buyer to employ a home inspector during the construction process.

Posted by Phil Amodeo ABR,CRS,e-PRO,SFR, Carmel, Fishers, Geist, Indianapolis North (C21 Scheetz) almost 7 years ago

Wow, I guess they are in a hurry to drywall but you have to completely finish other things first to do it right. Sounds like a bunch of bone heads.

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

I don't think that happens around here Phil.  This particular county has different inspectors for each different system and insulation.  But I don't think they were that far along yet.

Lyn - they surely had things to finish before the drywall!  I think they were on track, just making us think they were further along so maybe the buyer would back off the inspection.

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

One of the biggest problems with construction that leads to litigation is a work schedule that has things done out of order.  It is very much a management problem.

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

Gene - hopefully all is done properly now and things are dry so they can drywall.  But I still recommended the copper naphthenate!

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

Nice catch. I'm not sure copper naphthenate is allowed on Oregon anymore. I have not seen it in years. And it sure worked!

Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) almost 6 years ago

You found an oldie but a goodie Wayne.  They use a watered-down version of copper around here, which has the naph in it.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

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