What I'm Seeing Now

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Water Flows Downhill

This is the basic rule of thumb for plumbing, drainage and how things abut outside any structure - water flows downhill.

After continued leaking in a unit in a two-year-old condo building, they wanted an investigation.

Certainly a spot is evident in the corner of the unit.

The moisture meter registers 100% moisture, so it is an active leak.

Not large, it does drip and the homeowner has put a string there to wick the dripping into a bowl on the floor.

And the culprit?

Immediately above is a doorway to another unit.

It's the rear door to a patio.

Standing on it the incline is toward this door.  A repair was made, which has cracked since.  This location is about 18" from the thermal image above.

Incline + water + crack = moisture inside.

My recommendation:  this was not the only unit with leaking.  A thermal camera can provide definitive information when there is continued moisture.  It's best to do an inspection as soon after a storm as possible.  And even slow, small leaks can be found.  Water is difficult to evaluate no matter what!  Sometimes a leak on the left will demonstrate drips or stains on the right, with the water finding a convenient path.  Why does it follow that path?  Because water flows downhil...

 

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 26 commentsJay Markanich • October 10 2014 03:47AM

Comments

Good morning Jay,

Does not look like a good repair just a patch.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) over 4 years ago

It was exactly that Raymond.  And any repair will likely be temporary.  The bigger issue would be the incline.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Hopefully the repair will not be expensive.  If a professional did it they need to go back and make it right. 

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) over 4 years ago

That's why I was there James, to determine what is happening and how best for them to handle it.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Water has got to be the most insidious and destructive force that contributes to the deterioration of our homes.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 4 years ago

And I get calls all the time Lenn!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Nice sleuthing.  I have an issue now in my ceiling...coming from the roof.  Building is in process of trying to fix and then repair ceiling.  Eventually, I think they are replacing the whole roof - next yr I think.  I'm not alone in having issues.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 4 years ago

Tell them slopped tar and glued-down shingle material will not last long Debbie!

Sounds like it's time for a new roof.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Roof roof....repairs when tearing off and determining the culprit of the leak in the end is a money saving remedy.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 4 years ago

I can understand doing a quick fix for a temporary solution, but eventually it has to be fixed the proper way so as not to cause any more damage. Come on people! 

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) over 4 years ago

S&D - certainly after many repairs and many complaints that would seem the better way!

Suzanne - temporary is just that, and when it doesn't last you are still left with having to fix it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Is this a settling problem? When first constructed, water probably ran away from this building like crazy. Now I suppose the concrete slopes the wrong direction, with cracking no less! Ugh.

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) over 4 years ago

"Incline + water + crack = moisture inside."

Sounds like a great equation to memorize Jay! 

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) over 4 years ago

Water will also take the path of least resistance, so it will travel a long way beofer showing up!

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) over 4 years ago

Hard to tell Tom W. , it's a patio outside the door and a walkway.  There were plants growing in some cracking!

It will be on the test Tom.  So will ab=ba.

Than - and sometimes show up where it isn't expected.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

 Good evening Jay. Yup! You are absolutely right, water does go downhill. So does that same stuff that hits the ground rotating mechanism. – LOL

P. S. I'm just in one of those moods tonight

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 4 years ago

Hence the start to the post Michael - everything flows downhill.  Your key to plumbing...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Jay, most understand that water flows downhill and then easily ignore the fact. Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) over 4 years ago

It flows like night follows day Wayne.  And they do sometimes ignore that!  Or things settle...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Jay, It goes downhill till it goes up : ) Surface tension and air pressure can push upwards but in general gravity is king ; )

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

I'm inclined to believe the installed failed geometry :)

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 4 years ago

What, oh, sure, like it can rain upwards or sideways, right Don?

Hay, wait, I have seen it rain like that!

Jim - ummm...  AB=BA.  No, that's algebra.  Isosceles is two equal sides, something like that?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Obtuse, that's the ticket, um angle. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 4 years ago

That's a word I am accused of being very often Jim!  After some of my acute comments, or posts...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Super Jay + thermal camera = mysterious water leak solved!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) over 4 years ago

Thanks Lisa.  It is a fun device and helps in so many ways to solve issues.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

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