Sometimes I want to leave a note for sellers that says, "You did a poor repair - why sell the consequences to someone else?"
Homeowners, or friends of homeowners, or the hiring of less-than-talented people, often leaves unprofessional repairs in a house that the homeowner wants to sell to people later.
These homeowners don't necessarily want to shaft the next owner, it's just that they know basically what needs to be done and go about trying to make it happen.
Even if they do it themselves. This can lead to continued problems if what is done is not done well.
Outside the house I suspected that what I saw was going to be a problem when I got indoors.
The flashing on the chimney had some sort of problem near the roof. And apparently something happened to the gutter. Someone nailed the flashing back.
Leaking onto the siding below the gutter is evident.
Looking under the chimney I saw a substantial amount of damp, damaged and rotting wood.
By simply nailing it back onto the chimney frame the flashing looks to be diverting water the wrong way and has left open gaps water will find.
Is it getting inside the house?
I always look for recently-painted stains.
In this case the stains were not only painted, but primed first.
But, what most homeowners don't know (or a lot of "professional" painters out there) that the sealer/primer/stain blockers need a coating of flat paint on top before the final coat of paint for the area.
If that additional coat of flat paint is not applied the primer will bleed through as a shiny spot. At the proper angle my flashlight beam will reveal it.
This is no secret. Professionals understand this.
Another trick I employ with primers is to tint them 1/2 of the color I will apply on top. If you are painting with a basic "ceiling white," merely tint the quart of primer 1/2 the formula that achieves the ceiling white color. This technique helps make the primer not as brilliant white as it is in the can and it will have less tendency to bleed through the paint.
BUT THERE IS NO POINT IN PRIMING AND PAINTING UNTIL THE LEAK IS CONTROLLED!
In this case the not-so-well-done flashing is going to be sold to someone else. Without a home inspection, or a knowledgeable inspector, this problem will continue to worsen. And people have bought a problem in waiting!
My recommendation: don't buy a problem in waiting! Hire a knowledgeable home inspector! Fresh paint may be just that, but sometimes it is fresh for a reason other than wanting to sell a house. Sometimes the paint is fresh to hide a problem that has been festering for a while. And if the problem causing the need for fresh paint is not solved that festering will return.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560