What I'm Seeing Now

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Top To Bottom

It is said that a home inspector looks at a house from top to bottom.  And that is certainly true.

Often what is happening on top can be manifest at the bottom! 

Why?  Gravity and things, like water, flow downhill.

So when I saw a couple of roof problems, part of the manifestation of those problems was visible in the front of the house.

My client asked if what we saw here could be causing a problem indoors.

"Certainly!" I said.  "We'll look."

You know what?  We looked!

Merely 10' away from this problem, in the corner of the room under the roofing issues, and removing the easy chair, we saw this.

That appears to be microbial growth.

Yes, that's right, mold.  Mold is not the problem (although it is a problem).  Mold is the symptom of the problem.  The problem, in this case, is water flowing downhill!

Moisture is trapped inside this wall and by the framing on top of the basement ceiling.  Having no where to go, it stops, and feeds any and every microbes residing there, encouraging microbial growth!

It's a simple formula really.  Microbes need food and air and water and then they do what they do best!

My recommendation:  when you are looking at a house, start at the top and see what it might be doing to the bottom!  Things really do flow downhill.  Water from there could be getting here.  Water from here could be getting there.  It's not rocket science, just fluid dynamics!

 

 

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 24 commentsJay Markanich • August 29 2012 02:42AM

Comments

Yes, it's amazing what an impact damage on the roof can have.  Water is one of the home's worst enemies.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 6 years ago

Jay, Don't use the term "fluid dyanmics".  Shudder....one of my least favorite college classes!   Bill  :)

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) about 6 years ago

Debbie - it is the MOST damaging!

Bliz - I thought I'd throw that in there - juxtaposition, rocket science and fluid dynamics...

It was a yoke, or a yolk.

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

Well said Jay.  Water intrusion is a big problem in homes all over.  And it all flows downhill from there.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) about 6 years ago

Water water ...,ANYWHERE is a problem...and u r of course, correct...there are clues one place that often lead to another.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 6 years ago

Jay, water does have a way of showing up where it doesn't belong. No surprise as to what is behind the paneling.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 6 years ago

Morning Jay congrats on the feature of course it is because you wrote it.  Hope this week has been well for you as wen wind it down.  Enjoy the day

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) about 6 years ago

It is not a good sign when there is rotten wood.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (Real Estate and Beyond, LLC) about 6 years ago

It is fascinating that almost half of the issues you find have to deal with water and it flowing where it should not.  And it only gets more expensive if left to continue.

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) about 6 years ago

Water...sustains life...not only ours and our pets...but unwanted guests such as the mold.  Absolutely start at the top and work your way down. The pictures show a problem tha the seller absolutely had to know existed don't ya think?

Posted by Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker, Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940 (Mike McCann - Broker, Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska) about 6 years ago

My post today has to do with a water issue and mold growth also. Water is the enemy. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 6 years ago

I think water is taking a "bad hit" Jay. Water is just water Jay.  :)

Enjoyed the post today my friend.

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) about 6 years ago

Start your day with Jay....It works and it makes sense....thank you and good post

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 6 years ago

We certainly get our share of water damage in the Jacksonville, FL area. It is a constant battle.

Posted by Nan Jester, Realtor, Exit Real Estate Gallery (Exit Real Estate Gallery Jacksonville Beach, FL ) about 6 years ago

Gabe - everything, it seems, flows downhill!

Valerie - sometimes things are "artfully" placed.

S&D - it's good to be outside and predict what will be found inside.

Mike - behind the paneling and inside the wall!

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

Thanks James.  When posts can benefit many people apparently that is the feature criteria!

Harry - never a good sign!

Kathryn - this has been happening for some time.  There was even some manifestation in the basement.

Yes, Mike, thanks.  Water is THE killer of houses, inside and out.

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

Jim - we think alike again!  I don't know what I have coming tomorrow, but when I read yours will it be the same?

Tom - water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink!

Thanks Richie.  Hoped you found it instructional.

Nan - you are storm central down there!

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

Jay -- I thought things had dried up in your neck of the woods, after the heavy rains earlier this year.  Apparently not enough.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) about 6 years ago

At my house this has been a very dry summer Steven.  This house is far south of me and I don't know the weather there, but this is not a recent problem!  It's had a long time to fester.

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

It's funny how people don't believe me when I tell them that something we're looking at outside or on top is likely going to be a problem inside the house. Then when I find something they always say,"How did you know that?" I'd like to say-That's why I get the big bucks. But I don't. 

Posted by Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector, The Home Inspector With a Heart! (SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno) about 6 years ago

One thing we inspectors understand is interplay Scott.  The house is a bunch of systems, all of which interact.  One thing can lead to another, and when logic is followed does!

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

Excellent way to look at a house...start at the top! Water is bad when it is where it is not supposed to be!

Margaret

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) about 6 years ago

We need to keep the water going down the drain not down the wall.

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) about 6 years ago

Margaret - for me, doing that reveals patterns.  And water certainly creates a pattern.  It is both easy and hard to see!

Note the lack of gutters on the house Rob!  That wasn't the issue here, but contributed its own problems to the crawl space below the spot in the photo!

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

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