What I'm Seeing Now

head_left_image

Not A Well-Hidden Repair, This Time Revisted With Photos!

This is the better post about something all too common - not a well-hidden repair, this time revisted with photos!

I like to Shine your light!raise my arm high and shine my light onto ceilings to see if there have been any previous drywall repairs.

This tells me if there may have been previous leaks from plumbing or the roof.

In this case this is the upstairs hallway.

From underneath, even with the light on, these repairs are not visible.

They are very thick, not-so-smoothed-out spackle.

The repairs were done more than once.

With the flashlight they are easy to see.

So I knew I was in for some fun in the attic space.

I was not disappointed!

There had been leaking from the furnace vent just above this photo.

From outside I could see many missing shingles.

From outside I could see many poorly-repaired shingles.

From outside I could see the flashing on the furnace vent tubing was not nailed properly.

From outside I could see we were in for some fun in the attic!

And when I shined my light inside and saw the hallway ceiling, I knew it would be interesting!

But this interesting?

Seeing that this was a slow drip, this inventive homeowner climbed up into the attic and onto the rafters.

He created a perch for himself!

Using that he draped a towel over the truss rafters.

Then about five feet below he draped a second towel.

This was a slow drip, and obviously only when it rains or snow is melting.

The upper towel may have been enough.

But this careful guy added a second, um, let's call it, insurance towel!

You can see the second towel has its own perch too!

It could be that the second spackle repair in the ceiling just below was because that first towel wasn't enough.

Obviously the second towel sealed the deal and veeeeeooola!, no more leaking!

My recommendation:  repairs are indicators!  Follow the trail where they lead you!  You might just come to the source of the original problem, and be treated with a clever and original repair!  I was!

 

 

 

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 62 commentsJay Markanich • October 04 2013 02:03AM

Comments

Yes, it's much easier to follow with the pictures.  Yes, homeowners can be creative.

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

Band aid for a gunshot primary water intrusion wound. Works and out of sight. But shoddy workmanship...no place for it in a home. Especially the roof.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) almost 5 years ago

I would almost say it looks like an Uncle Bob quick fix job.  However there was no mention of duct tape so he is safe on this one.

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

Those are some really different towel racks Cousin.  I guess the towels dry faster when they are separated.

I agree Andrew.  Why not just fix the source of the leak?

James - he spent more time creating these towel holders and racks than it would take to fix the roof.  I wonder sometimes...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 5 years ago
Jay, You should write a book called DDIY (Don't Do It Yourself) Guide To Home Repairs. I'm always amazed at the repair solutions you find.
Posted by Bill and MaryAnn Wagner, Jersey Shore and South Jersey Real Estate (Wagner Real Estate Group) almost 5 years ago
Amazing....a towel will fix what the missing shingles bring in......
Posted by Carol Zingone, Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty) almost 5 years ago

Good morning Jay,

I was waiting for the hot tub; as per the repair I started and ended up with a professional for my ceiling; what anight and day difference.

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

Bill - this is a guy thinking outside the proverbial box!  Rather than fixing the furnace flue or shingles, he tries to solve the leaking! 

Carol - two towels working in tandem!  That is the true genius here!

Raymond - go with the pro!  It is cheaper in the long run.

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

Jay,

At least he used the right tools for the job. Those are cotton towels renowned for absorbtion.

Rich

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 5 years ago

Jay, correct me if I am wrong, aren't those perches from the Billy Jays collection? I believe they have multiple uses for the owner. They can be used as above"repair" a leak, if the home owner purchases the extra hooks they can attach buckets if the leak is really bad. They can be used as a drying rack for clothing, food, flowers and errr... hemp should we say... AND they can be used as a tree stand for the hunter!!!!! I believe there are extra accessories for the tree stand such as a bow holder and a special harness to hold you in.

But I am disappointed this home owner didn't purchase the duck tape accessory. 

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 5 years ago

new term to add to my Real Estate dictionary, " Insurance Towel " Used to stop leaks; Used when selling a house.

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

Thanks for the morning chuckle...I love when the home inspector goes into the attic and finds pots filled with water, the buyer doesn't understand right away, but gets it soon.

Posted by Yvette Chisholm, Associate Broker - Rockville, MD 301-758-9500 (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) almost 5 years ago

And the right color too Richard - sea foam blue.

Andrea - you would bring a tear to Billy's eye!  And remember all the different duck tape colors Billy offers!

Chuck - your dictionary is growing!

Yvette - a while ago I got into the attic and started to chuckle as there were many buckets of water!  And a large tarp under all of them to capture any overflow!

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

Jay, this was a lot safer than climbing on the roof and a whole lot cheaper. Who knew those rafters would come in handy some day.

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

Hahaha.  Some of these finds are really quite funny.  So instead of actually fixing the problem, let's just climb up on the rafters and add some sponges.  

Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) almost 5 years ago

I don't know about the safety Mike.  If he falls, and falls through the drywall, he goes down a whole flight of stairs!

Kat - well, it controls the leak!

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

How creative this guy was Jay!

Spreading the towels out allows for proper evaporation, even a back up evaporative unit. If the heavy rains are coming, we can use the beach towels.  :)

 

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

Well....that's one way to fix a leak. He better hope those aren't his wife's good towels.

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

I'm going to go out on a perch here and agree with Andrea that this is a fabulous opportunity for Billy Jays! Think "Billy Jays' Patented Two Towel System". Easier and faster the Doterator! And just as effective!!

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) almost 5 years ago

Those and the beach umbrella Tom!

They might be HIS good towels Suzanne!

On my original post about this, last week when we could not migrate photos into the posts, I suggested Billy Jays would have a field day with this.  Who know, Tom, he just might!

I'm thinking something like, Drape Yer Drip!

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

Jay, it absolutely amazes me how creative and inventive some people could be.  It would be nice if these types would use their creativity towards good things instead of bad.

Posted by Marie Story, Broker Associate, Pinecrest (Miami) Specialist (Coldwell Banker - Pinecrest (Miami)) almost 5 years ago

Hi Jay,

They went through all the effort to get the towels up into the attic and lay them out. With all the effort going into that.....Why did'nt they just fix the roof leak and then the interior after they knew the leak was repaired?

Makes no sense. They must have watched the Uncle Bob show last week.

Have a good day in Bristow.

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

Marie - sometimes the creative solution takes more time than to do it right!

Clint - you got me!  But this was one cute hammock arrangement!

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

Your closing statement...a call to track down the repair origin to find the root problem...well done Jay

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

The purchase of the towels at an outlet was a few dollars. The repair of the roof was several hundreds of dollars. Money saved provided the buyers didn't look too deep, and then you came and exposed the mess.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 5 years ago

We always need to find the original source of the problem Richie.  Fixing that is always preferable.

Ed - it's alright to do something like this temporarily, especially if rains are to come.  But to sell it to someone else is never advisable.

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

Oh my goodness. The towells are killing me! Good and throrough inspections are so important!

Posted by Katherine Gooding, Google Trusted Independent Photographer, Get your business on the map! (Soundview360.com & Katherine Gooding Photography) almost 5 years ago

I'm always fascinated by the creative ways people try to fix things they should never be done by the homeowner. 

Posted by Bryan Robertson, Broker, Author, Speaker (Intero Real Estate) almost 5 years ago

Mmmm...moldy oldy towel fix...that sounds like a worthwhile remedy with lasting permanence !

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

Hey... they were color coordinated insurance towels, I think they should be commended for their inventiveness! Or beaten for their stupidity, but definitely one of the two...

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 5 years ago

I hope one day we can use your services as buyers Jay . .

but as sellers?, I hope the buyer picks someone else!

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) almost 5 years ago

Awesome find, Jay. it is kind of an inventive repair.Are you sure the towels weren't beds for squirrels? :-D

              Best,

               Eli

Posted by Charlotte Luxury Real Estate, Eli Magids (Keller Williams - Ballantyne Area) almost 5 years ago

Do you have a source for super absorbant invisible towels and high speed tape that is too quick to see?

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

Jay -- shouldn't they have used yellow or beige towels to fit in with the color of the lumber/insulation?  ;-)

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

Gotta give the owner points for ingenuity I guess.

Posted by Donny Carter, Mountain Maryland Real Estate Expert (Carter & Roque Real Estate) almost 5 years ago

Gotta give the owner credit for coming up with a system that worked-now it's time to fix the cause.

Posted by Michelle Carr-Crowe-Top 1% Diamond Certified Real Estate Team Sells Cupertino San Jose Homes-Just Call 408-252-8900, Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years (Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900!) almost 5 years ago

and not smart enough to remove the towels for the inspection... DUH!

Posted by Robert Rauf (HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ)) almost 5 years ago

OH my goodness, Jay That's redneck repairwork at its finest! YIKES!!!

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties) almost 5 years ago

Curious why he at least did not put down multiple towels!

Posted by Jay & Michelle Lieberman, Creating Calm in the Buying and Selling Chaos (Keller Williams World Class) almost 5 years ago

Be fair Katherine.  They are color coordinated and well spaced.

Bryan - what you say?  No DIY?  Well, what will all these TV shows do now?

S&D - there's no sunlight there, so those towels will last a life time!

Fred - the flogging should continue until moral improves.

Fernando - I rang a doorbell once and a former client opened the door.  He screamed, "Oh no!  Not you!"  True story.

 

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

Eli - they would make perfect squirrel hammocks!

Dwight - it isn't high speed, but Billy Jays, who has over three dozen products for sale through AR, does have Billy Grays Tape! for sale.  Click here.

That's good thinking Steven!  The right color and maybe I would never have seen them!

Donny - if that counts as ingenuity I guess.

Michelle - it was ALWAYS time to fix the cause!  And still is...

 

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

Robert - yeah but the staining around the furnace vent, and on the vent tubing, was extensive!

Joni - or maybe a bureaucrat.  Ooooh!

Cause the leak was caught up high J&M?

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

Jay, astounding pictures here.  Was this guy serious?  Once again taking the lazy way out when a proper fix probably would have been well within budget.

Posted by Matt Kombrink, Your #1 Source For Real Estate (RE/MAX All Pro) almost 5 years ago

I don't know what their budget was or is Matt, but I know that this did not fix the problem!

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

Jay, inventive---but perhaps a little too much familarity with swamp coolers?

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

I think they were trying to go with the water theme Charlie!  They could have done many things, as you know.

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

This actually makes me laugh.  When you have been in business as long as I have, you see a lot of "funny" (a.k.a. I can't believe they did that) things.  I am SOOO glad that inspectors are now taking pictures.  It is much easier to negotiate when we have proof via pictures.

Posted by Terri Woods, Selling Real Estate in San Antonio, Texas & Area (Bexar and Comal Counties) almost 5 years ago

if this doesnt scream attn to why everyone needs a thorough home inspection then you have to ask why!!! save 400 to inherit an expensive mess?

Posted by David Shamansky, Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg (US Mortgages - David Shamansky) almost 5 years ago

Jay, you always find the hidden secrets, don't you?

Posted by Elise Harron, Rural Vacant Land and Development Specialist (Dirt Road Real Estate) almost 5 years ago

They must have thought they were so clever or else they forgot about it altogehter because the leak didnt drip anymore?  You must have been a curious child looking for adventure...

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) almost 5 years ago

Another post which demonstrates how important it is to hire a home inspector who is a professional and knowledgeable person such as yourself.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 5 years ago

Jay - repairs are a part of home ownership, things will break, leak and wear out, but with the internet and books there is no reason not to do it right.

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

Maybe he should have put a third towel in the middle, especially when it started to stain the ceiling! I'm surprised that they didn't take the towels out before the inspection.

Posted by Gerard Gilbers, Your Marketing Master (Higher Authority Markeing) almost 5 years ago

Jay, excellent detective skills! Oh the lengths some people will go to to deceive. Thankfully, there are pros like you Jay to call them out!

Posted by Ralph Gorgoglione, Hawaii and California Real Estate (800) 591-6121 (Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes) almost 5 years ago

Jay, that is too funny! smh Sorry but not, home buyers really need to get an inspection by a qualified inspector like you before buying. 

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

Terri - are you sure these towels needed pictures for people to understand what was being identified?  ;>)

David - and on this inspection my fee was less than $400.

Elise - this wasn't exactly hidden!  The ceiling repairs were hard to see though, without my light.

You could be right Evelyn.  Who knows how long these towels have been up there.

Joan - I think my teenager daughter would have known this was not right.  But also might have thought it pretty cool too!

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

Eric - maybe this WAS on line, and is code in DIYistan.

Gerard - or colored different towels, like on a commercial boat identifying what skills are aboard!

Thanks Ralph, but pulling in to the parking lot I could hardly wait to go into the attic!

Pamela - yes they do!  And have some fun doing it!

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

Inventive if nothing else.  I wonder if they disclosed an issue.  If not, clearly fraud has been committed. 

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

No fraud Marc.  Virginia is a caveat emptor state - no disclosure.

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

very creative repair, not as effective as actually fixing the leak, but it seems to be keeping most of the water out.

Posted by Bob Crane, Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671 (Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities) almost 5 years ago

What? No caulk! no foam! no duct tape! Amateur.  

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

I couldn't tell Bob!  But maybe the drip is deflected enough by the first towel that the second one catches the spray!

Jim - disappointment reigns.  The duct tape could have been up on the furnace flashing, but I couldn't see it.

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

This blog does not allow anonymous comments