What I'm Seeing Now

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They Used The Old Plumbing Boots, To Boot

Metal roofs can last forever it seems, a century or more.  Even when they are old looking and rusty they are still sound.  A metal roof installation is truly a Best Practice.

But plumbing penetrations need new rubber collars, also called boots, as they dry out, crack, split and leak.

So when I saw the newer metal roof I also noticed they used the old plumbing boots, to boot. 

Taken from a window, this photo reveals an old, beat-up collar.  It is one of three.  Neither of the other two is so easily seen, but you have to assume they were installed with old boots just like this one.

But the photo also reveals something else.

The installation was, as they say, quick and dirty.

They cut a section of the seam to accommodate the base for the collar.

And glued the collar onto the roof.

And screwed the collar onto the roof.

And added caulking to seal the seam holes!

First, it's never a good idea to screw through a metal roof.  And caulking doesn't last forever.

But look what they used to screw the base on!

Drywall screws!

Well, of course.

What else should drywall screws be used for?

DRYWALL SCREWS ARE USED FOR EVERYTHING EXCEPT DRYWALL!

I'm surprised doctors don't have them in a leather pouch to screw bones and other medical paraphernalia back together.  Why not?

Break an ankle?  Drywall screws!
You need that weird helmet attached to keep your head still?  Drywall screws!
Can I secure that leg brace, sir?  No problem - I have drywall screws!

Metal roofs are great!  I love seeing them!  But I especially love it when the roofer does it right. 

And sure, I was very disappointed no duct tape was used in this installation.  Honestly, that would NOT have surprised me, but THAT would really have disappointed me, despite my sarcastic "joke" above.

My recommendation:  a metal roof is one of the best roofs out there for durability, protection and good looks.  But just like every construction material, there are special ways to do the little things.  And, as we know, when the little things are done right, you can usually count on the big things having also been done right.

And I refrained from a title that uses the word "booty!"  You should be proud...

 

 

 

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 49 commentsJay Markanich • May 30 2013 03:52AM

Comments

Whatever works, who is going to look up there anyway was most likely the attitude of the installer.

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

You are probably right Richard.  Nobody will ever see it!

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

Jay, this seller should be livid over this roof installation. He got most likely less than he bargained and paid for and will end up paying double. Good job saving a buyer a future headache!

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (Realty One Group) almost 5 years ago

I too love metal roofs and am happy to see on on an older home in this area.  What I can't grasp is why would anyone believe that rubber lasts as long as metal???

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 5 years ago

Unbelievably Norman, this is a historic home and was maintained by "the city."

Lenn - what you say?  It doesn't?  Fairfax City probably didn't know these boots are so old, but might not understand your point anyway.

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

Good morning Jay,

It will give me something new to look for when showing a home.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) almost 5 years ago

Bring the good pogo stick so you can bounce up there to have a good look Raymond!

Or, maybe, use a window.

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

Good morning, Jay.... you crack me up.... I really enjoy your posts and your humor...

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) almost 5 years ago

Sure, you laugh Barbara, until you get into that operating room to see the doc with a tool belt and a leather pouch.

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

I saw something like this the other day also.  I can't believe these guys think they can get away with this type of work.

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

Obviously either they think they can Gabe, or they don't know what else to do.

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

Morning Jay that explains who sometimes I squeak with the right knee.  I think its time to change and get a new sheet metal screw.  :)

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

Obviously the screw is wearing out James.  Go new.

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

I was looking at the gap under one of the screws as if it were not tight and also nothing to seal it like caulk, a spot just waiting to leak. Also Jay what would be a good or correct method to anchor down the flashing that holds the collar? Great post

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

That's awesome. It's always amazing to see how people will try to save a couple dollars on some home repairs that will likely cost them a lot more down the road. Being short-sighted gets you nowhere.

Posted by Aaron Hofmann, aka Mr. Smyrna Vinings (Atlanta Communities) almost 5 years ago
Just had a bad boot on a home inspection. Roof had been replaced not too long ago but they left the old boot. There was almost no rubber sleeve at all. You could see right into the attic. Guess the roofer thought it was a plumbers job.
Posted by Bill and MaryAnn Wagner, Jersey Shore and South Jersey Real Estate (Wagner Real Estate Group) almost 5 years ago

Jay, my first thought was at least they didn't use duct tape, but you beat me to it. Dry wall screws may be the new duct tape. They are more permanent.

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

C'mon Jay, a little caulk can fix anything!  The screws are just for a little extra security.

Posted by Marc McMaster, Putting my clients before myself (RE/MAX Centre Realty) almost 5 years ago

Jay:

Gives me more information for properties with a metal roof.  Why, oh why, is there no more pride in workmanship?  Sad.  Of course, " it was only the city" who owned the property. LOL

Thanks.

Posted by Kathy Scipione, Kathy Scipione, CRS, GRI, AHLS, ABR, (Long and Foster Re Inc) almost 5 years ago

Hi Jay,

The drywall screws are used everywhere in the home and on the outside as well.

I hate to see this. But I found some yesterday when inspecting the roof on a newer home built in 2006.

They had screwed down the solar light cap with screws. That did'nt work so they just moved them leaving the holes in the roof and flange.

Way to go guys. LOL

Have a good day in the Bristow area.

Best, Clint McKie

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

Haha...I love you humor Jay. By the way, I used drywall screws when I attached lattice outside to my fence. Should I not have done that? ;-)

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) almost 5 years ago

Someone cut corners and got caught...Those screws reminds me of duct tape and how everyone uses it for everything

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 5 years ago

Jay, while there are replaceable rubber boots made specifically for metal roofs---those ain't them :)  Do you mean to say that drywall scrrews are not OK for "everything?"  Whooda thunk.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 5 years ago

Drywall screws are the fastener of choice! They are handy... always some lying around during construction.

I found a set of attic pull down stairs installed with drywall screws the other day... nice, there must have been 1/4" of screw into the ceiling joists!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 5 years ago
Jay, That's scary! Although your comment about drywall screws being used for everything EXCEPT drywall made me laugh out loud.
Posted by Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl, The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate (Samsel & Associates) almost 5 years ago

So that is what the home remodeler did with his dry wall screws.  What would the weekend auto mechanic do with his welder?

Posted by Dwight Puntigan, Dwight Puntigan (DRP Realty, LLC) almost 5 years ago

Good reason to have a professional home inspection along with a termite inspection.

Posted by Edward & Celia Maddox, EXPERIENCE & INTEGRITY - WE TAKE THE HIGH ROAD (The Celtic Connection Realty) almost 5 years ago

Hmmmmm, drywall screws - broken heel on the way to an appointment - drywall screws!   Add another use to the list!!

Good information, and good humor - thanks for the post!! 

Posted by Angela Reeves, Angela Reeves (Royal LePage West Real Estate Services) almost 5 years ago

Great sense of humor, Jay! It amazes me when people actually try to take the "Short Cut" to getting something done, and yet they don't stop to think of how much extra delay and problems that can cause.

Posted by Tamra Lee Ulmer, FORCE~NRBA ~ Over 1000 REO Assets SOLD! (Arizona Resource Realty) almost 5 years ago

Jay -- it is amazing what some of these construction folks come up with as a new way to do something that won't last!  ;-)

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

Chuck - loose screws or not loose, wrongly done!  Metal roofs have specially designed paraphernalia for the small stuff.  One plumbing vent looks like this.  The rubber sections are cut to fit the diameter of the tube.  There is a special bottom and glue to use to secure it.

Aaron - never time to do it right the first time.  Let's come back later, spend more time and cost more money!  Great idea...

Bill - obviously you had that mixed up - it was intended as roof venting.    ;>)

Mike - they are everywhere!  It's amazing all the uses!

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

Marc - tornado resisters.

Kathy - the city is selling it now, after much remodeling.  Pride did you say?

Clint - that's the value to the screws - you can install and remove them easily!

Suzanne - it would be okay if they are galvanized or zinc dipped.  But not indoor drywall - they will make your lattice rot quickly.

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

Richie - some things are used for everything!  No matter the application!

Charlie - but that's what they had down at the hardware store.  You sure?  And drywall screws are OBVIOUSLY okay for everything, or they wouldn't be used so much.

Right?

Fred - utter security!  Did you bounce up and down to test them?

W&J - I just call'em as I see'em.  Oh, and in drywall I don't see'em.

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

Make sure that car door is nice and strong Dwight?

E&C- the termite is required here, but not the home inspection!

You see Angela.  Now you're thinking outside the box shoe.

Tamra - like I said above, no time to do it right the first time!  Let's come back later!

Steven - hoping nobody sees it along the way.

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

I love drywall screws.  I use them for picture hanging, joining wood ( that is also glued ), small repairs ( great with a power screwdriver ), and some construction projects.  Well, they look like drywall screws, but usually they are brass with square head slots.  The tight threading is really nice.  Also, they do a great job of joining wood without splitting it.  Ultimately, they are just screws ...

Except ... they are not for joining metal ! 

Really ... with duct tape and drywall screws we can fix anything.  Just ask one of those house flippers !

Posted by Tim Stone, Tim4Homes (Evergreen Realty) almost 5 years ago

You are right about the Flippers Tim.  And those brass screws have a different neck than drywall and can be used in so many applications drywall screws can't!

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

You're too funny.  It is always a let down when something is done with the wrong tools or improperly.  Takes less time to do it right the first time than to go back and fix it later.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 5 years ago

Thanks Chris Ann.  Tomorrow I will quote Shakespeare, with my twist of course.

Stuff like this is disappointing!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 5 years ago
City Inspector came out on our last 2 roof installations...first time, he came with a ladder and inspected the finished roof and had the roofing company make changes before he gave his 'Stamp of Approval.' --- the roofing company gave us $$$$$$ back. Second time the City Inspector came out- NO LADDER, stood in back yard to view new roof of our 2 story Colonial. Think he could have missed the things you mentioned, Jay - caulking and drywall screws. :)
Posted by Jane Chaulklin-Schott, TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836 (TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766) almost 5 years ago

Looks like a homeowner repair to me. Don't have any handymen in my world that would work like that. I would be checking the rest of the house.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max Southern Realty) almost 5 years ago

A tale of two cities Jane.  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

Bill - I did!  And had a lot of fun!

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

"Screwy Ductape"---sort of an American Kōan

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 5 years ago

I guess the buyer would have been drywall "screwed" if you had not been on the ball!

Posted by Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC, ... a small office, delivering big service! (Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC) almost 5 years ago

Screwy, Dewey and Louie, Charlie?

I just looked out the window Gary!  Well, after I looked at those boots from the ground with the binocks.

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

Bootiful post Jay. There are better ways of doing this right?

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) almost 5 years ago

Good morning, Jay. I would have to say, "Give that roofer the boot." Some folks just have to cut corners...

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

So I have heard Tom.  Not sure I believe it though.

Michael - what, you don't believe in overkill?  That is one secure boot!

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

Jay, I'm in the middle of a master bath remodle and had to fire the tile installer due to bad work.  It seems it is getting harder to find truly experienced and responsible people who do the work right the first time.  I generally give everyone the benefit of the doubt till proven wrong.  But it seems there are less skilled folks out there.

Posted by John F Muscarella, Broker/Owner, Venice, FL, Florida's Suncoast (RIVER FARM PROPERTIES, LLC) almost 5 years ago

I find the companies that sell tile, where you go to pick it out and overload on the choices, have competent people associated with them John.  Hopefully where you are too.

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

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