What I'm Seeing Now

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Thank Goodness For Duct Tape

You have to understand before I even begin that I am being facetious when I say thank goodness for duct tape.

From outside this house we saw a rather large vent covering on the front of the house.  It was rather ugly too, and damaged as if it had been hit by a fallen tree limb. 

Of course my client asked me what it was.  "A vent cap.  Likely a bathroom vent, but we will see once we get into the attic."

Little did we know what we would run into in the attic!

It was an older house, and both bathrooms had new vents.  And they both had new, wonderfully plastic vent tubes which met inside the one wide vent directing their air toward the attic penetration.

The smaller bathroom vent tubes each barely entered the wide tube.  So how much air was actually exhausting outdoors is minimal.

But the wide tube is not even directing the air toward the hole!

Fortunately, though, the tube is held in place (not the right place mind you, but in place) with DUCT TAPE!

And not that fancy, schmancy aluminum tape.

Actual DUCT TAPE!

It is not going anywhere!

Well, actually, I'm not sure about that.

But I am sure that this is not a very effective vent.

The reason there is no mold on the sheathing is probably because not much air is actually getting to the roof!

In order to accommodate both bathroom vent tubes, he bottom of this wide tube is positioned such that for the rafter, and DUCT TAPE,  to hold it in place, it cannot really be directing the air outside the house.  So it is a failure in every respect.  But to fix it into this incorrect position intentionally, and with DUCT TAPE, might not be the mark of a true professional.  Who knows how long these sellers have lived with this installation.

My recommendation:  be sure to check the attic space!  You never know what you might find!  When people ask me what in the world I could possibly be interested in when I go into the attic I say that there are more than a dozen things I want to look at, and only one of them is the underside of the roof! 

 

 

 

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 29 commentsJay Markanich • November 21 2011 05:27AM

Comments

Surprise, surprise, that's why we recommend buyers, and even sellers hire a home inspector before any transaction.

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 7 years ago

Jay - had a home inspection last week where the inspector noted duct tape on the ductwork, and the buyer looked at me and said "I thought that's what duct tape was for!"....

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

Jay, A wonderful application of that miracle material :)  Wonder if this made it into the Duct Tape Uses book?  A few inches short of vent tube, so duct tape to the rescue! :)  Just reason #2156 to have a home inspection!

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 7 years ago

Ken - this post was somewhat tongue in cheek.  Somewhat...

Carol - actually the name got changed to "duct" from "duck."  There is a long history behind it.  But overall, in the long run, it doesn't hold up, especially when used for ducts!

Bliz - duct tape can be used for so much!  I would be disappointed if this application wasn't in that book!

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

Duct tape find a new use for it daily, who knows it may be good for patching up almost anything

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) over 7 years ago

Oh, this is so funny.  I couldn't stop laughing when I saw the picture and then "heard" you voice reading those words.  Too funny.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 7 years ago

Got rust on your car James?  Duct tape it!

A bit of a production Debbie?  That was the intent!  Facetiously of course...

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

Jay - Duct tape is extremely useful.  In Canada, we had a comedy show that ran from 1991 to 2006 on network television (CBC) called the Red Green Show.  It was well known for showing many ways to use duct tape!!!

Posted by FN LN over 7 years ago

I remember it well Marc!  I found it very enjoyable, but admit I didn't see that many episodes.

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

Jay,

If the original intention was to duct tape that piece so it wasn't stolen, I'd say they're successful so far. The air flow stuff is just to complicated for us civilians.

Rich

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Jay,

Isn't it funny how some people go through so much trouble to go up into the attic with a roll of duct tape and say they fixed the problem?

It makes me wonder if the homowner actually paid a handyman or someone else to fix the problem and the owner just assumed the work was done?

The last time I paid my deductible on a Home Warranty Policy to have an HVAC technician go up into my attic he spent about 30 minutes up there. I did not follow up or check up on him. He finally came down, he told me my unit was at the end of its life cycle and he did the best he could to keep it going for awhile; however, I should expect to replace it in the very near future. Then he handed me a card and told me he had connections to get a new unit outside of the Home Warranty Company.

I went up into the attic and saw pieces taken apart and nothing was put back together - not even with duct tape! Plus the unit didn't work! I reported him and I know he isn't working for the company anymore; however, I'm sure he's working for himself or somebody else and it frightens me to know there are people out there who will do such a thing.

Well, I just had to vent!

Have a nice day!

Patricia

Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) over 7 years ago

Jay, they must've gotten that missive: when in doubt, use duct tape. What I love about these inspection posts of yours is that they are both fun AND informative.

Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) over 7 years ago

Jay, got to love ducting in the attic. Always some fun to be had.  You must know by now that duct tape is an essential element of all engineering design.

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

Jay - I don't care what anybody says; I heart duct tape:)  I learned about the importance of checking the attic at my first abode.

Posted by Jason Sardi, Your Agent for Life (Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina) over 7 years ago

It's complicated because air is invisible Rich, so it's hard to see what is happening.

Patricia - that is totally out of bounds for someone to do that.  And to leave you hanging to boot.  Good for you for turning him in.  But you're right, these guys are certainly out there.

There are many ways to teach a lesson Gayle.  I try to make it as understandable and light as I can.

Don - I went up into an attic this morning wondering why it was so warm.  I found five ducts completely disconnected, so they were heating the attic more than the upper level!  We'll hope this afternoon's appointment is just as fun!

Jason - I love those guys on TV with their fun - got a broken window?  Duct tape!  Is the drawer on your bureau loose?  Duct tape!  It is really funny, my opinion of course...

 

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

love the 1,001 uses for duct tape, but this was not to be one of them!  Yet another reason why it's a good thing to have a home inspection.

Posted by Margo Otey (REMAX EXECUTIVE REALTY) over 7 years ago

Jay there is an episode of "Mythbusters" that you might find amusing... Adam and Jamie, along with the gang explore the possible uses for duct tape... like building a bridge or stopping a speeding automobile...

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

Marge - I was happy to be able to add reason 1,002!

Chris - didn't they use it to wrap around and pick up a car?  I think I saw that one.  There, 1,003 uses!

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

Jay, this reminds me of the old bathroom sign:  We aim to please---will you aim too please?

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 7 years ago

Jay -- maybe the person who used the duct tape had aimed the large vent tube closer to the vent cap, and the tape just stretched over time, to allow the tube to move away from where it should be.   Wonder why they went with big tube when it would have been cheaper to just add to the separate smaller tubes?

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

Good evening Jay. Good to see another fine use of duct tape to add to our already impressive list. Yikes.

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

That was not a very good shot, was it Charlie?  A bit hard to tell from the angle of the picture, but the vent is totally missing the hole.

Hard to tell Steven.  I think the rafter angle made it impossible to get that vent pointed in the right direction.  And the "repair guy" left it like that.

Randy - the list is impressive!  I think it's growing myself.

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

If the air was just a little smarter, it would know to leave the attic.

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

Ah shucks Jay, I thought you were going to have a another great tip on how to use duct tape. For all of my FHA appraisals I have to at least poke my head and shoulders into the attic, at least now I've learned something to look for.

Posted by Michael S. Bolton, MN Appraiser (Michael S. Bolton,Inc.) over 7 years ago

I don't know Reubs.  Air must be pretty smart - it understands physics.  I don't...

Michael - I see duct tape in attics all the time!  Just yesterday I saw it on various HVAC ducts, all of which had become disconnected over time.

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

Jay, Sardi always cracks me up. The men in my family also heart duct tape. It seems to be the solution for everything. My son was too funny with duct taping everything imaginable. Great post and I agree that it is so nice to combine the humor of it all along with the knowledge base. You write well and it is enjoyable!

Posted by Jeanean Gendron, Specializing in Selling Unique Properties (The Address Realty) over 7 years ago

Thank you Jeanean.  Duct tape has its uses!  Don't discount that.  But there are many more NON uses!

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

My two girls have duct tape in patterns. My favorite is the flames. How cool is that? They use their duct tape to make duct tape crafts. Yes that's right crafts from duct tape. You gotta love duct tape :)

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

Years ago, Jim, my son made a duct tape wallet and it lasted a long time!

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

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