What I'm Seeing Now

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Upstairs Ceilings Can Bulge For A Reason, Or Many, Many Reasons!

When on a home inspection the group goes to the upper level, and when looking around notice a serious bulge in the ceiling drywall, well, upstairs ceilings can bulge for a reason, or many, many reasons! 

Some things surprise even a seasoned home inspector, to whom, people will say, "Gee, you have probably seen everything!"

I can tell you with a straight face that home inspectors will NEVER see everything!  And when we think we have we can be shocked to our cores!

The bulge did not photograph well. 

Some things don't.

But it sure did demand some further investigation!

While outside, the thing I noticed initially about this very old farmhouse was that it had a terrific metal roof, with what looked like a new chimney protruding through on one side.

It's interesting to see something like that as the rest of the house was not in such good shape.

It was time to look into the attic. 

Of course we were greeted with the interesting array of insulation, typically haphazard, yet wonderfully styled, and not very effective!

But off in the distance, over what was the bulge below, was something I have never seen before in an attic!

A LARGE PILE OF OLD BRICKS!

Remember the new chimney?

This must be what they did with a bunch, if not all, of the original bricks!

Even though it was very tempting to count the number of bricks, I was EXCEPTIONALLY unwilling to go over there to have a look and add my weight to that of the bricks!

This officially became a dangerous home inspection!

Literally, people could have been killed, including me!

THIS WAS A LOT OF BRICKS!

Those "contractors" who left that pile there were very lucky fellows.  One side of this pile is over the staircase, so a collapse would have been devastating, if not deadly.

My recommendation:  home inspectors will never see everything!  And I don't even want to!  It is too much fun running into new things every day!

 

 

 

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 25 commentsJay Markanich • March 30 2013 04:37AM

Comments

Good morning, Jay. I find it interesting to see so many properties look fancy on the inside but when you start looking beyond the beauty - Oye Veh!!!

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 5 years ago

This little beauty has provided me a lot of blog fodder Michael!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Hi Jay... I always learn something from your posts. But I must say there are days when what you have to say makes me very nervous thinking about the next inspection!

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | Charlotte, NC) over 5 years ago

The good news is those bricks will make good edging on a patio or walkway.  The bad news is they are in the attic and someone needs to get them down...safely.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 5 years ago

I wasn't nervous on this one until I saw this Nina, and this is the house with the barrel in yesterday's post!

The suggestion would be to send up a really, really light person Cindy!  And throw the bricks down one by one.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jay, I'm surprised the owner didn't investigate what was causing the bulge in the ceiling. An accident waiting to happen.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 5 years ago

Maybe the owner did this many years ago Michael!  And has been living with it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Over weight in the attic is common as the home get older.  I had a home that was an estate sale and up in the attic where bowling balls that the deceased owners had collected over the years being an avid bowlers.  He and his wife had 22 bowling balls some 16 pounds and some 14 pounds. 

Posted by Richard Burge Realty/ Burge Homes, Broker in Charge/Owner (Richard Burge Realty/Burge Homes) over 5 years ago

This does not sound like something a trade would do... maybe a not-too-bright homeowner with no clue?  Anyone who has lugged bricks around is aware of what they weigh, so this is a strange one for sure. 

Posted by Jean Jannopoulo, Coppola Realty Group (Love where you live) over 5 years ago

Heck of a place to store those bricks. Certainly cut down on the clean up and haul off.

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) over 5 years ago

That is not a whole lot of weight Richard, but still, weight is weight and in the wrong spot can be very bad.  In this case, my best estimate is over a ton.

They built a chimney which, Jean, from the outside, looked straight and true!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

It cut down on all of that Than!  And they are conveniently stored for future use!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Yikes. Maybe cut a hole in the ceiling, put a mattress on the floor and let them fall?  Don't forget the hard hat too.

Posted by Athina Boukas, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) (Virginia Capital Realty) over 5 years ago

Jay, you were wise not to go over to count the bricks!

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 5 years ago

That's thinking outside the box Athina!  Or at least outside the attic!  You would need a biggie mattress!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Hi Jay,

Really? I bet the contractors were paid pretty well to leave the bricks in the attic. But then they were probably just too lazy to remove them. I think it was the later.

Very good find.

Have a great day in Bristow an a very Good Easter Sunday.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 5 years ago

The things that home inspectors see. The stories that could be told, especially in some of the older parts of the country.

Posted by Matthew O'Hare over 5 years ago

All I can say is WOW. The safety part of you inspection form now has a new list " Watch out below" and Hard Hat Area signage need.

Posted by Chuck Mixon, Cutler Bay Specialist, GRI, CDPE, BPOR (The Keyes Company) over 5 years ago

I was afeared Brian!  Afeared I tell you.

Lazy is as lazy does Clint!

And we tell them Matthew!  I love reading the exploits of other home inspectors on AR!

For sure Chuck.  I have one in my car, but not enough for everybody!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jay, your home inspections are very informative. This is a good lesson to homeowners w/ older homes, they might want to check what's in the attic. Thanks for your post today,

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) over 5 years ago

Thanks Pamela.  It is seldom that I am not able to get into the attic.  There is a lot of important stuff to see there!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

It will be interesting is see how the people are going to get rid of those.  Any ideas? 

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) over 5 years ago

My clients bugged out of the deal James.  I had not thought about it, but I suppose it will take some very light people.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jay, Attics are not dumps, especially for bricks. It is amazing how much garbage gets left in them over the years.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

I've seen so much stuff Don, including old furnaces and water heaters!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

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