What I'm Seeing Now

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Missing Furnace Vent Cap - NOTE TO SELF

Missing Furnace Vent Cap - NOTE TO SELF.

That's what I thought walking around this house.  It had been inspected by a relo company, another home inspector pre-listing and then by me.

From way in the back yard I noticed an odd furnace vent.  It looked like the cap was missing.

Looking at it with my binoculars it was clear - the cap was missing!

To me it seemed that two things were obvious:

1.  It had been like this for a while as it was very rusty, even on the shingles.
2. Given that time without a cap, there would be issues with the furnace vent and possibly the furnace.

NOTE TO SELF, check the furnace under that vent!

Inside the attic, I found the vertical stack, but it was far away and dangerous to get to. 

It did attach to a nicely-sloped vent leading a good distance toward the furnace.

NOTE TO SELF - that's a long vent.  And it's been getting wet!  Doesn't metal rust?

Approximately 10' from the furnace that sloped tubing transitions to a flat tube, which eventually connects to the furnace.

That transition joint is very rusty.  And it has been dripping onto the insulation underneath.

NOTE TO SELF - yep, it's wet and rusty!  If water is getting out, furnace exhaust gases are getting out too.

We know that there are problems with the vent. 

Unknown if there are also problems with the furnace.  But probably!

Interestingly, none of these things had been noted on the previous inspection reports, provided by the seller on the kitchen counter.

This all started with a missing vent cap on the furnace flue, and a NOTE TO SELF.

It probably helps that I have 20/10 distance vision, and 20X, image-stabilizing binoculars to follow that!

My recommendation:  hire your own inspector and have your own inspection!  You may or may not have to make a NOTE TO SELF...

 

 

 

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 33 commentsJay Markanich • February 25 2012 02:50AM

Comments

Jay, I have so much to say here.... but sadly can't... or shouldn't...

Oh what the heck...

Never, ever ever count on the inspection report by anyone else. What seems to be the trend is to hire the least effective company for an "inspection".... if you could call it that...

OK, I have said way to much. Let me go wipe the blood from the corners of my mouth now....

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 7 years ago

Well as usual I was going to make a wise crack and then I read Andrea's comment and she said it all nothing left to say except for have a nice day

 

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

Andrea - I have been met by sellers at the door who say they already had an inspection and fixed everything!  I politely say thanks, but I am still hired to do one!  

James - while I always enjoy what Andrea has to say, don't let that discount your biting comments!

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

Jay: Even when the seller has had an inspection done, we strongly recommend the buyer hire their own inspector anyway.

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

I agree Anne!  So often I follow with more things.  But I am convinced, when two inspectors look at a house they see different things.

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

Jay, There's such a wide variety in the thoroughness of home inspections.  Our sellers recently had one inspector pop the attic hatch, poke his head up, shine the flashlight around and that was all.  Not that we suspected that their was anything wrong in the attic, just seemed pretty cursory.  Good for us, perhaps not so good for the buyers, but as the saying goes, "that's thier problem!".  The buyers weren't our clients.

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

You do have to kind of walk around Bliz, unless it's too dangerous.  On this house, getting over to that vertical stack was dangerous and I didn't go there, but I could still see it clearly.

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

I'm with Andrea on this one. I see many home inspections on a regular basis, unfortunately some of them aren't very good.

In reading your blogs for some time now, I am confident the work that you do is outstanding.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) almost 7 years ago

Thanks Joe, but nobody is perfect!  I have been saying that one day inspections will be done by satellite.  How cool would it be to do 10,000 inspections a week!

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

Great blog and great job. Keep up the good work and good luck to you this year. Thanks

Posted by JOSH EVANS *JoshEvansHomes 516-655-5000 (Village Properties of Mineola, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Thanks again Josh, for stopping by and for your comment!

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

I don't get how someone misses this.  Do you think the person was stupid or just dishonest?  I always wonder about this stuff.

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

Keep on venting yourself with these blogs. 

Unlike many blogs that are just hot air, this one heats up my interest. 

A good inspection protects the agent as well as everyone else.

Posted by Erv Fleishman, Luxury Prop Specialist Realty Associates (Realty Associates) almost 7 years ago

Don't know Debbie.  But it is a very high house and from the yard that cap is a long way away.  It could be my eyesight is very good and I could see it.  But I don't know!

Erv - that is true too.  And I have known this agent for a long time.

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

I had one of these pre inspected houses a few weeks back. I know the company that did the inspection, but not the the inspector. Did he miss things, yes. Obvious stuff that any competent home inspector should have found, again yes. It wasn't one thing or something small, it was numerous items, some safety related. 

My advice, never, ever rely on someone else's inspector. 

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

Good morning Jay,

"Eagle Eye Jay" to the rescue!  What a shame that the other inspector didn't note the obvious rusting on the shingles and track it back to the problem.  I think we should have an award for bad inspections, and the trophy will be a cracked magnifying glass.  LOL  And, I know what you are thinking, we need categories for bad Realtors, bad Lenders, etc....

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

I hear you Jim.  Not that I am some superific guy, but I find things all the time missed by others.  And who knows how often stuff is found that I missed!

Lisa - you are right.  The rust was the give away.  It made me look closer and then with the binocs.  No industry is exempt from the fringe people!

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

Hi Jay - Very good detective work and a good example why a knowledgeable and curious inspector is important.

Posted by FN LN almost 7 years ago

Jay, I am with you here all th way. After seeing what some of the relo companies are looking for I would never let anyone I know rely on that information.

When buying or selling hiring the best inspector should be paramount.

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

Agreed Valerie.  Any report provided by the seller is irrelevant to my clients.

Marc - curiosity might have killed the cat, but not the home inspector!

Don - I have found relo inspections to be quick box check offs.  And the pre-listing inspection must have been a quickie too, cause it missed a whole lot!

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

Jay - That's similar to a builder saying, "The house has already been inspected by the local building authority, so another inspection is unnecessary." Humans can legitimately miss things; and unscrupulous "humans" deliberately miss things. A second look from a "qualified" inspector should be on any buyer's list.

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) almost 7 years ago

John - who knows who did what inspection, but you are right, just because it has been inspected, doesn't mean it has been inspected!

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

So many things are easily fixed with just a little common sense and observation.

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) almost 7 years ago

Right Than.  I think this cap had been off for a long time.

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

Great catch Jay, and the fact that other inspectors missed it only adds to your lustre

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

I don't know about the luster Chris, but we try, we really try!

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

Jay, Can certainly understand not getting up on some roofs.  The slope is too steep to gain traction.  We're fortunate that our house is easily accessible with the extension ladder and the slope isn't too bad.

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

Jay -- this was a good result, from taking time to look things over thoroughly from outside, before heading inside.  One wonders about the inspectors who just walk the perimeter, without really checking out the roof.

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

Bliz - this was one of those roofs I don't go on.  But still, there are other tools to be able to see stuff, and even my camera has a 21X scope so I can take a picture!  That photo is only about 15X.

Steven - I do outside twice before the client comes - once looking from the middle down and the other from the middle up.  And then, after all that, when I walk around with the client, often I find something I missed on the other two sweeps!

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

Have you seen those "Property Condition Assessment" forms that look, taste, smell, and feel like a home inspeciton report, but clearly state they are not?  

What has been your experience with 'em?

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

I have only seen them once, Reubs, and it was left by the County on a house they were flipping and selling cheap to someone in "need."  It was worthless.  That was the house the buyer was told clearly did not need a home inspection.  It was also the one Mr. Jay wrote about, with the Flipper having light glint off his gold tooth...

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

By the County?  Odd.  I usually find them when a relocation company has purchased the house.  They hire a company to do a PCA, and the report is always heavily focused on identifying plumbing defects that aren't really defects, burned out light bulbs, nicks in walls, stains in carpets, and other tiny little issues.   They miss all the major defects.  

Some day I'm going to write a post explaining what a waste of paper they are.

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

Yes, the County!  I found the whole scene disgusting.  This guy was hired to "flip" the house, and the County then sold it to someone with all kinds of benefits.

And Flipper wrote the PCA and did the home inspection for the buyers!  Wunnnnerful!

http://activerain.com/blogsview/2019273/mr-jay-s-neighborhood-meet-flipper-

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

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