What I'm Seeing Now

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There's Faux Stone. Sure There's Water Getting In, But Why?

While doing a one year warranty inspection I noticed stressed paint on the edge of a window.  There's faux stone.  Sure there's water getting in, but why?

Anytime you see the dripping, folded paint it indicates moisture leaking.

And it had not rained in three days but the moisture meter still registered >30%, indicating active moisture migration.

This is a problem!

But there is more!

And it concerned me greatly.

Looking at the window from the side I saw something that really bothered me.

But it's hard to capture with a photo.

The window is bulging inward!

This is a wide window arrangement.

It's 12' wide.

It is comprised of many windows all pieced together to get a large window area.

There are two casements on each side of a large, stationary center window.

And the window arrangement is bulging!

The bulge can be seen from inside and out!

From outside it looks to be getting sucked into the house.

This is a big deal! 

The header over the window, crucial in carrying the load over the window structure, is moving downward!

What's going on?

The front facade of the house is covered with faux stone.

I can see gaps all over the place!

But especially around the window.

AS I SAID, ALL OVER THE PLACE!

This gap is beside the window where the paint is stressed.  I can see all the way into the substrate plastic cover!

Faux stone is a huge problem when not installed properly!

On my reports with houses that have faux stone I include links to many manufacturer sites.  These links show dozens of diagrams which show how to provide flashing and drainage over and around everything imaginable - windows, doors, sills, interior and exterior corners - the works!

There are special needs products manufactured to facilitate drainage in all those areas.

They have funny names, like corner flashing, weep screeds, backer rods, casement beads, etc.

Without them, things will leak.  IT IS GUARANTEED!

Mortar should never touch a window, or its frame.  It should be separated by these drainage materials and caulking.

If I can see mortar touching this window, and into holes around the window, it is a 100% guarantee that water is getting in.

WHAT DO I THINK IS HAPPENING?  I THINK THE WINDOW FRAMING AND HEADER ARE SOAKED AND MOVING.  THIS CAN CREATE PRESSURE ON THE WINDOW ASSEMBLIES!  IT LOOKS LIKE IT ALREADY IS!  IF THESE WINDOWS BULGE ENOUGH, FEARFULLY, WHY WOULD THEY NOT ONE DAY REACH CRITICAL LOAD AND EXPLODE INTO THE HOUSE?

This is a big yikes!  All I can do is recommend a structural engineer's investigation, a faux stone installer's opinion and a window professional's determination here!  And I did!

My recommendation:  BE VERY, VERY CAREFUL WITH ONE YEAR INSPECTIONS!  SOME BUILDERS ARE "DEFINING" ONE YEAR AS 11 MONTHS!  In this case that was true.  When they called for their "one year inspection" I asked them to check to make sure of the date any home inspection report had to be in.  Had they waited until eleven months, two weeks, they would not have been in time!  And in this case, I fear, this front facade, and front window assembly, will need a complete make over!  WITHIN THE WARRANTY PERIOD!

But I'm not a structural engineer, faux stone installer or window professional...  he says with a smile and a wink.

 

 

 

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 • May 26 2013 04:40AM

Comments

Yicks...bulging windows....can the stress just make them break ?  That would be one way to find out the construction was not quite what was advertised !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 5 years ago

They will have to reach critical load sooner or later S&D.  That's a scary thought.

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

Oh gosh, that sounds pretty serious and not an easy fix at all.  So glad they called you in time.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 5 years ago

And this wasn't the only window leaking Debbie!

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

Wow, thre is a lot going on with this window. The header issue sounds serious. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 5 years ago

I think it's huge Jim.  Unfortunately the photo does not lend itself to showing the bulge, which was significant.

But the faux stone insufficiencies exist all over the front of the house!

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

Good morning,  Jay. Did you lick the stone? Did it taste like Chicken? It does here in this area...

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

Not only that Michael, but that mortar tastes just like good old flour gravy seasoned with drippings.

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

Yikes!!  Good catch Jay.  This is a disaster that's waiting to happen.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 5 years ago

This is a scary one Gabe, but not as much for the homeowners as probably the builder!

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

I don't think windows are designed to bulge Jay, was the work done by the owner here?

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) over 5 years ago

This is a one-year warranty inspection Tom.  The builder is still responsible.

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

Hi Jay.

And the builder say's "I thought Bill took care of that when he was working on the front window install"

Our Thought's "Uh no not taken care of". Now you have to fix it and fast.

No quality control. If there is any they are not doing there job correctly.

Have a great Memorial day Weekend in Bristow my friend.

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

None of the windows were done correctly Clint!  This installer simply doesn't know how to install faux stone.

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

Hello Jay,

And another case of "Super Jay" to the rescue in his spiffy PF Flyers (wink and a smile).  Another great post, paying attention to one's warranty and the necessity of professional inspections - two of the "must-do's for homeowners.

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) over 5 years ago

Thank you!  They turned me on to a couple of neighbors, Lisa, one of whom was beyond their warranty date!

How did you know I was wearing the PFs?

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

Jay - that's a huge problem, but another good thing that came out of this is - the value of a home inspection!

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) over 5 years ago

I agree Eric.  And now the work begins!

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

Wow talk about a costly repair.  Sad but we learn something every day here in the Rain. 

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

I think this might be a can of worms the builder will not like to hear about James!  Especially as there are other similar houses on this same street with the same issues.  And the neighbor's talk!

And I have already been referred to another neighbor for their one-year inspection.

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

Jay, Are you insinuating that the contractor should read the installation guide? I am appalled. 

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

This contractor doesn't know there is an installation guide Don!  He would be shocked to see all the installation diagram links I gave to this homeowner!

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

Jay -- it is great that they were able to get to you before their "one year warantee" date of "eleven months".  Hopefully the other specialists will be able to properly document the corrections needed here and on other homes in the development. I hope it doesn't turn into a class action suit (especially for those who are two weeks past their time.)

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) over 5 years ago

A neighbor called just this morning setting one up for Saturday, Steven.  Maybe I can roar through the neighborhood!

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

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