I like special sales and a 2 for 1 works on blue plate specials - but not bathroom vents.
Bathroom vents have a lot to do. They exhaust air from the bathroom and should always blow that air outdoors.
Sometimes homeowners know they have a problem. They know their bathroom vents are not connected correctly to vent tubing, or that the tubing is not blowing the air to the outdoors.
In this neighborhood the homes were built in the mid 70s, and I have been in this neighborhood enough to know that the bathroom vents were not done properly by the builder. Many simply blow into the attic or soffit vent.
If a bathroom is remodeled, of course, everything in it would need to be brought up to a modern condition, including code compliance. That means all receptacles would be GFI connected, the toilets would be 1.6 gallons per flush, etc. The bath vents would not be excluded.
Inspecting this house, it was obvious that both bathrooms had been remodeled. And pretty well!
Do you see the cables? Both bathrooms had been wired for cable TV! And you can see that the soffit vents are completely covered with insulation. To each his own... Those may be other stories yet to be told!
But the vent arrangement was interesting. The master bathroom had an exterior window and in that era no bath vent would have been required. But the interior bathroom had no windows and as such it would have been required then to have a vent.
Modern codes require that all bathrooms be vented regardless of the window situation. These people - homeowner or contractor - knew that! Now both bathrooms have vents!
But they both use the same exhaust hole through the roof! That would be alright if a special negative vent damper system was employed to prevent the one bathroom from venting its air into the other. But I'm pretty sure that isn't the case here!
This county has adopted the International Residency Code for much of its own requirements. Here is what the IRC says about bathroom vents:
IRC- M1506.2 Recirculation of air. Exhaust air from bathrooms and toilet rooms shall not be re-circulated within a residence or to another room or dwelling unit and shall be exhausted directly to the outdoors. (emphasis mine)
That would seem to indicate that each vent have its own outdoor exit! Not that the code is as creative as this arrangement above, but it is the code nonetheless.
My recommendation: your home inspector is NOT a code inspector and can require nothing. But sometimes to avoid any controversy, as he observes and reports, he may in addition indicate what a code states regarding something seen in a house. And the buyer and seller will have to take it from there! A minimum standard is, after all, the minimum acceptable! Even when there is a blue plate special!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560