What I'm Seeing Now

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"Please Come And Figure Out Why Our Windows Are Leaking!"

I get this phone call a lot - something like, "Please come and figure out why our windows are leaking!"

So, Mighty Mo and I made an appointment, got in the car and went to see.

Honestly it wasn't too hard to figure out.

A new siding job had been put on the house a few months ago, with aluminum wrapping on all the wood window and door trim.  The professional siding company had been by many times and nobody seemed to be able to figure out what the problems was.

Typically wrapping woodwork with aluminum makes things protected and water proof!  I said typically.  Nothing should be leaking.

We waited for a rainy day, and I went just after it had rained.

It wasn't too hard to see that there was leaking into the windows.  The dripping water was a big clue (says he, sarcastically...).

And with a wink.

Mighty Mo wasn't really necessary.  But people really like seeing thermal images of a leak so I took and gave them a few.

However, I knew right away what the problem was.

All it took was to go to an upstairs bedroom window and look down at the new aluminum wrapping of the window trim below.

Looking down this is what I saw.

Can you see what the problem is?

Remember, this woodwork is wrapped with aluminum to protect it and keep it water proof!

Look closely.

Looked long enough?

The professional siding company knew that with aluminum wrapping aluminum nails should be used.

So far so good!  But the aluminum wrapping should never be nailed through the upward-facing horizontal surface.  That, um, kind of punctures the aluminum wrapping!

A puncture is a hole.  A hole will leak.  There are many holes in the aluminum wrapping over each window and the front door.  Each of these holes will leak water. 

And nobody could figure this out?  Now, if you don't understand that the top surface should not be nailed, and you inspect it to see what the leaking problem might be, you will not know that these nails are incorrectly placed. 

I was pretty sure I knew what the problem was when they told me over the phone that they had leaking since the new vinyl siding was installed.  This is NOT rocket science.

My recommendation:  call a home inspector after you have work done, and BEFORE you make the final payment, to insure it was done right!  Even when it's done by a "professional" company!   Home inspectors are knowledgeable, objective and will give you an honest opinion!  And if there's a problem, it is better to find out at the outset of the work done than months later after many problems have manifest themselves!

 

 

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 15 commentsJay Markanich • March 09 2015 02:57AM

Comments

Yes sir not rocket science and you said the siding was installed by a professional.  Sorry that was a statement not a question..  

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

Yes, that is sad, and it should have been obvious to the installation company.  I hope they will own up to their mistake and fix it.

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

Yes, James, professional.  With reviews.

Debbie - you have to wonder how many other jobs are just like this.  I expect many, many.

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

Jay, the installer must have had his brain in Park when it should have been in Drive! Enjoy your day!

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

Good morning Jay,

I'll stick to the extra work of staining my cedar siding every few years.

Make yourself a great day.

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

Since they couldn't figure the problem out, Wayne, I expect this is how they have always done it.

Raymond - I know a guy who stains one side every year so he is never in for a big job!

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

Good morning Jay. So called professionals often screw up or cut corners. I dealt with two until I got a good guy. 

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) almost 4 years ago

Jay, I am sure when people pay a reputable company for work such as this, they just expect it will be done correctly. And they should expect that. However... 

 

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 4 years ago

Quick, quick, get it done, right Sheila?

Disappointment comes when expectations do not meet reality Andrea.

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

You are right... holes will leak! Obviously the installer doesn't know that. Maybe he was on auto pilot, he's probably been doing it that way for years!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 4 years ago

Gotta wonder how many nails were bent over and the holes enlarged by driving them at an angle Fred.

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

Hello Jay,

Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer professionals available for hire...good thing there is Jay Markanich to find the problems created by those with less than stellar skills...

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

Thank you Lisa.  Some of them aren't this easy, but to me this one was obvious.

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

Jay,

Shouldn't the leading edge of the material wrapping the window be tucked under the siding?  It looks like there is a gap in your picture.

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) almost 4 years ago

Um, yep Stephen!  Lots going on here...  There were other issues too!  I just brought this one out as one that should certainly be understandable to a siding installer!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

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