What I'm Seeing Now


Another Of Many Leaks On A One-Year Warranty Inspection

This is just another of many leaks on a one-year warranty inspection.

How can so many leaks happen in just one year?

The answer, of course, can be given in one word -


And when I say professionalism, obviously I mean the lack there of.

When different materials abut, like siding and roofs, there are well-known, tried and true techniques that have been around for many decades, if not centuries, that can permanently close gaps to prevent water penetration.

Why is it so hard to understand then?

Why is it that on one-year inspections so many leaks have opened up?

Because the people doing the work do not know how to do the work!


You know the answer to that - follow the money.

I knew what was causing this leak before I even went to investigate.  But I needed a photo.  Not hard.  

In my car I have this ladder thing.  It gets me places I cannot get myself!

It's a, well, shall we say, a little giant that makes me a real giant!  I can go high and far.

So what's causing this leak?

You can see from the photo above that this is a bay window.

Outside that bay window there are many angles where the roof abuts the siding.

That can represent a long area where a good sealer is needed.

The little corner is right over that leak indoors.

A closer look reveals a sizable hole.

A closer look reveals inadequate flashing.

A closer look reveals flashing improper situated behind the siding.

A closer look reveals no step flashing under the top shingles along the left edge.

A closer look reveals that all along the roof the flashing is bulging, improperly nailed and haphazardly caulked.

A closer look reveals that this buyer was set up from day one.

Remember, on new construction, EVERY builder will say something like this:

You don't need a home inspection.  This house has had many inspections by the county.  Our supervisor is on site every day inspecting the house, and making minor corrections every day as construction moves along.  You don't need a home inspection.

My recommendation:  YOU NEED A HOME INSPECTION!  You need independent and objective eyes looking at your new home from the pre-drywall stage, to the final walk through and then at the one-year warranty time.  Those inspections find and help avoid many things that were not seen, or completely ignored, by the other thousands of  "inspections" done along the way.  It's amazing what I can find in a couple of hours.





Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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


Comment balloon 8 commentsJay Markanich • May 29 2013 04:03AM


Good morning, Jay....I had one builder who would send out a letter just before the one year point to ask if there are any issues and to visit the property.... after reading your post, this might have been his way of eliminating the home inspector by making the visit himself....he's retired now....I thought it was great that he was the only builder in our area who did that!!

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 7 years ago

That's closing the door before the cows get out Barbara.  Seems pre-emptive to me.  I'm the builder - I know this house top to bottom.  I see all.


Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

Builders would rather they do their own inspections of course...after the buyer does what we call the "blue tape tour"...not with the experienced or more importantly...objective eye of an inspector.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 7 years ago

Of course S&D!  And who would want to guard the hen house?

The blue tape thing is fine.  I tell my clients to do that before I arrive so we can talk about anything they know to be funny.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

Giant Jay - I often think that the one who is doing the work has never seen the results of doing the work improperly. So the employee who didn't build correctly still does not learn from his mistake.

Good catch 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 7 years ago

Mornin' Jay,

Another excellent post. AND, you have a way of inciting further conversation. Tom (5) makes a good comment that I take to mean that the offending tradesman will never learn unless he sees the error of his ways and can learn from the experience. This may be true and would be appropriate for a trade school competition but hardly for a real life - mortgage in place - running out of warrantee time situation. Better would be if the offending tradesman had to do the repairs at his expense and pay the homeowner a very substantial fine to boot. If that individual could not be located, then the contractor would be required to repair and pay the fee times two.

Posted by Brad Rachielles, REALTOR, CDPE, Upland, CA (CENTURY 21 Peak, Ca BRE# 01489453) about 7 years ago

Jay -- now Brad (#6) has come up with a great incentive for builders to make sure their workmen do the job properly, and that  they keep the same workmen, instead of hiring different ones on every project.  Hmm, thinking the insurance industry would love this one.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) about 7 years ago

Tom - for all I know this week that roofer is a plumber now!  And next month an electrician...

Brad - I like the sentiment, but I am not sure I want this joker doing any new work.  It would be fine if he watched, and paid for, a professional to do it!

Steven - see my comment to Brad.  People ask me if this or that is a good builder, and my answer is that it depends on the supervisor on site every day and the subs the builder hires.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

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