My client complained more than once about a leaking front porch roof, and finally heard this - "My guy looked at it, and he says it's okay..." said the builder rep.
Interesting. Of course the roof was looked at when the homeowner was known not to be home, but that is an aside.
Just a little later, and before the one-year warranty expires, I was called to look at it. This is a small, flat roof, approximately 8'x6', and covered with a rubber membrane called EPDM.
REMEMBER, A HOME INSPECTOR IS AN OBJECTIVE EVALUATOR AND HAS NO FINANCIAL INTEREST BEYOND THE HOME INSPECTION FEE.
This front porch roof had been dripping underneath every time it rained for nearly a year. Despite many phone calls the builder did nothing about it, until the approach of the one-year warranty. Then they sent out "my guy."
Were they hoping to deflect any further communication until after the warranty expires? Were they hoping to be able to say that it had already been looked at when the one-year walk through takes place?
Well, "the homeowner's guy" saw the following. Let's compare and contrast.
"The homeowner's guy" found two tears at the back side where the EPDM roofing meets the house.
Score: "the homeowner's guy" 2, the builder's "my guy" 0.
"The homeowner's guy" found wrinkles and bubbles all over the place. It appeared to him that the single-membrane, synthetic-rubber roofing was never glued! Those bubbles and wrinkles were causing puddles all over the roof, a big NO NO with EPDM roofing. "The homeowner's guy" also found that the roofing that abuts the brick wall of the house was never flashed! It is wide open behind (which is why he could stick his hand back there to take a photo of his cute fingers).
Score: "the homeowner's guy" 4, the builder's "my guy" 0.
"The homeowner's guy" could plainly see that the edge of the roof where it abuts the house was never finished, was wide open to the weather, had two nails in it, and the corner and edge were never flashed. "The homeowner's guy" could also see that every single brad, THAT'S EVERY SINGLE BRAD, was rusting and the holes had never been filled with putty. Why are they rusting you ask? Because they are made for interior applications and are not galvanized. "The homeoner's guy" suspects that the "professional contractor" picked up at the 7-11 parking lot to install the guardrail and trim has never heard of "galvanized" anything. Yes, "the homeowner's guy" can get sarcastic when he gets disgusted.
Score: "the homeowner's guy" 6, the builder's "my guy" 0.
Now, "the homeowner's guy" remembers from ping pong and air hockey that 7-0 is a skunk. And "the homeowner's guy" was a little disappointed that the score here was not a true skunk.
But still, we all know there's a skunk here anyway.
My recommendation: if ever the builder sends out "my guy" to have a look at something you are complaining about, and you don't get satisfaction because they want you to feel like an uninformed homeowner, call for your own guy! You might find that your own guy, "the homeowner's guy," can skunk the builder's "my guy" even though the final score isn't 7-0. Remember, the home inspector is an objective evaluator and has no financial interest beyond his fee.
AND THE HOME INSPECTOR WILL MAKE HIS CASE AND PUT HIS FINDINGS IN WRITING!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560