What I'm Seeing Now


Not Venting Is, Well, Not Venting

When it comes to bathroom vents, not venting is, well, not venting.

This is after the "repair."  There were a number of things on a house that needed doing.

The selling agent, and my client, received notification from the other party that "everything on the addendum list was done."

One thing to be done was to exhaust the bathroom vents outdoors.  On our original inspection, I noticed that they both vented into the attic.  Easy enough.

During my reinspection, I checked.  Neither was drawing air.  So I looked in the attic!

Both looked like this, serpentine, up and down and connected to that cone on the lower left side.  Any vent going up and down like this is compromised and won't work.

Looking closely on the upper left you might notice that despite being there less than a week, one tube is already torn.

Then there's the problem of them both venting out the same hole.

They should each vent separately.  That way exhaust from one bathroom does not go into the other!

No matter though. Lookie here!

That single cone has already come loose from the roof anyway!

Notice how well it was "taped" into place!

That 6" of tape just wasn't enough it seems.

The rest of the "repairs" were similar.  My follow-up report was almost as long as the original one!

How fun is that!

My recommendation:  I don't do it very often, but sometimes a follow-up inspection of promised repairs is necessary.  It really depends on the other side.  Did they really use professionals in each trade?  Do they provide receipts?  The tip off in this deal was that there were no receipts for the many plumbing or electrical items, which "repairs" were a joke.  It turned out that a local handyman did the "repairs."  For sure that is true.



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


Comment balloon 33 commentsJay Markanich • July 26 2012 03:31AM


I had a brand new home that the bathroom vents where just laying in the attic under the insulation.

They were covered over and no one noticed till the home inspector seen the problem.

Posted by Richard Burge Realty/ Burge Homes, Broker in Charge/Owner (Richard Burge Realty/Burge Homes) about 8 years ago

Venting is a crucial issue in attics Richard.  So it is good the inspector looked for it.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Some top shelf work. Or should I say top of the house. I requested similar repairs on a new house recently. When I returned the builder did everything correct. It was a pleasure to see and best of all, no long report. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 8 years ago

Morning Sir Jay that is some interesting routing of the vents.  I just don't understand the reasoning behind some people.  I think Uncle Bob has struck again.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) about 8 years ago

Jay, I typically warn Somerset County townhouse buyers/sellers that when we get to the home inspection we may find that the bathrooms vent into the attic.  It seems to be the rule, not the exception unfortunately.  Sometimes it's harder to fix than other days.

Posted by Carol Faaland-Kronmaier, PhD, e-PRO, Manville, Hillsborough, Somerset NJ (Weichert, Realtors; Hillsborough) about 8 years ago

Thirty years ago I installed a vent in my bathroom of my then house. Your articles make me wonder if I did it right way back then.

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) about 8 years ago


Venting the bane of bathrooms everywhere.  I can't believe how much effort the "handyman" went to install the vents incorrectly when it would have been so much easier and cheaper to do it right the first time, straight up only about 10' of tube instead of the mess he has up there.  Maybe he was afraid of heights and didn't want to get on the roof.  I hope the roof vent was re-inspected as well, if he couldn't get the ducting right I'm pretty sure he didn't know how to do the boot.


Posted by Tamara Elliott-Deering (Central Metro Realty) about 8 years ago

I'm assuming most of us know that an attic area has to breath and you are certainly correct, not venting property into any attic area can cause numerous problems.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) about 8 years ago

Jay, this was a good find. I had a new bathroom vent put in a couple of years ago. I never looked in the attic to see how it was done. We had a reputable company do the work so hopefully, it is venting to the outside.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 8 years ago

I don't think you could call those "repairs" could you? A good percentage of the reinspections I do are done by handymen and not done well. Wait... maybe you can't even call them "handymen" could you?

Have a great day Jay!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 8 years ago

More and more here in Naples the inspector is asked back to do a re-inspect.  Or the inspector offers to do a re-inspect.  Unfortunately with people trying their best to cut corners they still try.  It really can cost more to cut corners than to do it right in the first place.

Posted by Chris and Dick Dovorany, Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty ( Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida) about 8 years ago

Jay, That ia an item I see come up time and time again Our building code says they have to be run to the outside, too.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) about 8 years ago

In today's day and age, any repairs made out of reach or sight should be photoed and submitted prior to asking for payment...this is a good post to get something like that going....thank you Jay....

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 8 years ago

Jay, that looks like an "attic humidity control device"---they are very effective in my neck of the woods

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 8 years ago

Wow they need more tape to tape up all the holes. Can you imagine how shocked we would be if people actually started doing the work properly.

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) about 8 years ago

Jay, Curious do they require insulated ducting for exhaust in your area?

That stuff (using term mildly) should be stricken from the box stores or any store so people can not buy it.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Good morning Jay. Scary that we need to spell out and recheck professionals. How the seller could have thought the serpentine vent was ok I don't get.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) about 8 years ago

In the words of my wise stepfather - "If you don't have time to do it right the first time, where are you going to find time to do it a SECOND time?".  This is a classic case. Surely it didn't take any less time to make this worthless setup than it would have to do it correctly.  Good for them that you were willing to investigate and reveal all of this nonsense.


Posted by NoCo Home Team, Sell Smart, Buy Wise & Live Well in Nrthn Colorado (C3 Real Estate Solutions) about 8 years ago

Jay, thanks for sharing...i see alot of these just not this bad...and always recommend that the homeowner have the inspector come back to check it out- some just don't take the advice.

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) about 8 years ago

Jay, I bet the seller was not happy because of the second report. I just love it when I see vent exhausts from kitchen stoves going to the cabinet above and not to the outside. Not a true exhaust and I'm not even a licensed contractor. I guess the builder was hoping no one would notice: "Hey, it's got an exhaust fan! What more do you want?" 

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) about 8 years ago

Follow-up inspections on promised repairs is a great idea.  

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) about 8 years ago

Good tell-tale sign no receipts is a good sign that the work wasn't professional done.

Frustrating for the homebuyer I'm sure. 

Posted by Adrian Willanger, Profit from my two decades of experience (206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com) about 8 years ago

There are many agents who do not encourage a follow-up inspection of the requested repairs.  This post makes you understand why it might be a good idea to "trust but verify!"

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) about 8 years ago

i see he same item around here all the time. There are quite a few contractors who vent into the attic, or even worse, I saw a vent fan with no exaust simply burried under insualtion.


Nice blog!

Posted by Mike Auger, Certified Master Inspector (Patriot Property Inspections, Auger Enterprises, Inc) about 8 years ago
Hi Jay, When my clients make a request for repairs, it states that the repairs are to be done by licenced contractors and receipts obtained. Anything short of that and one would most surely be disappoiinted with homemade repairs.
Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) about 8 years ago

Hi Jay,

 I agree with William, I never recommend anyone to do repairs except a licensed contractor. I only let licensed contractors do work at my house and of course I wouldn't want some inexperienced person to do repairs at my clients home either.

There are so many good experienced contractors but some real inexperienced handymen too who cause extra work and money for unsuspecting people needing help. Unfortunately a bad electrical job can cause a fire and even worse.

I really enjoy your posts and I learn so much too.

Posted by Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor, (909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning (Sun Lakes Realty) about 8 years ago

CongratulationsYour PhotoBlog Post has been Featured in the ActiveRain PhotoBlogger Group

Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) about 8 years ago

Jim - that's the fun stuff!  I find that follow-up inspections take more report time because the clients want photos to "prove" everything.  Like, um, it isn't obvious!

James - fan present, tubing needed.  Hook it up.  What more?

And this time of year it's no fun Carol!

Gary - it's right if the air can get easily out.  Here they are using insulated tubing also, to cut down on condensation making its way back to the fan.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Tamara - if it had been straight up, he would have only needed about 5' for each one!

Joe - as is often the case, one thing leads to another!

Michael - let's hope!  Reagan used to trust, but verify!

Fred - semantics, semantics.  Crap and crapola often work well, and are useful words in so many circumstances.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

C&D - it's getting to that point here too!  Some of the work is comical, if not also sad.

Debbie - and they should!  Insulated tubing is recommended around here as well.

Richie - it would save me a trip to have photos after the work just sent to me.  I could charge a small "consulting" fee!

Charlie Shadow Bud - that's not bad.  I will have to suggest that to the buyer and say that in that context these are well done!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

C'mon Rob!  What fun would that be!?  And then all the coolest blogs would dry up.

Don - that stuff replaced the plastic for the most part, which is still out there!  I don't know if insulated stuff is "required," but it is used in all newer construction.  So why not for repairs?

Randy - we don't have to recheck professionals!  It's these other guys that are getting all the attention!

Dee - we went to the same school because I say that to my clients all the time!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Ginny - trust springs eternal, or something like that.

Pamela - you don't have to be a contractor to understand common sense!

I'm doing them more and more Chris Ann.  It's a much smaller fee than the inspection.  In this case I didn't realize I was in for a 15 hour re-report!

Adrian - the other side was hemming and hawing so much the buyer's realtor got suspicious enough to call me.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

It's getting to where follow-ups are necessary Kathryn.  And I used that phrase in #29!

Mike - the under-the-insulation thing is pretty common too!  And harder to verify!

That was the case here too William, and receipts were provided for everything!  Very impressive.

Kristin - all the repairs had receipts attached!  See my previous post and today's!

Thanks for the feature William!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

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