What I'm Seeing Now

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"While The Chimney Gently Weeps"

Nobody likely changed the Beatles' song, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," until this inspection - "While The Chimney Gently Weeps."

I look at the flashing I notice it's turning,
While the chimney gently weeps.
Every mistake we must surely be learning,
While the chimney gently weeps.

I don't know how the flashing was diverted,
The chimney was perverted too.
I don't know how you were inverted,
No one alerted you.

And yet the chimney gently weeps.

NOBODY CHANGED THE WORDS UNTIL I CAME ALONG!

This was a very high roof with sloping terrain all around the house.  The best I can do with that is to examine the roof with my 20X binoculars.

They are special binoculars though (great at Redskin games) because there is an image-stabilizing button and what I am seeing is dead still.

So with them, something that is 100' feet away looks to me as if I am standing 5' away.  I can see it very well!

The chimney on this house was almost center roof, but slightly down from the apex.  The flashing had been worked on many times with some form of goop.  It did not look good at that moment. 

Going into the attic my impressions were correct!

And I thought of the Beatles song!

Gently weeping to be sure!

Staining is evident on the wood work, and also on the chimney itself!

And we know this has been a long, slow leak due to the fungal growth at the lower edge of the chimney.  Rot loves a slow leak!

There was other staining at various transition points as well.  These are roof shingles and flashing with a short future!

My recommendation:  can't you just imagine George Harrison playing Lucille (he named his guitar after Lucille Ball) and singing my lyrics above?  Well, I can.  While it might be a proud moment for him, it was not for this buyer, or homeowner.  Some work needs to be done here!  Like I said above, and these are lyrics in the original song, "No one alerted you."  Until I came along that day!  Remember, shingles don't last forever, and good flashing is one of the most important features on a roof!

 

 

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 12 commentsJay Markanich • September 21 2015 01:29AM

Comments

Good morning Jay Markanich not only are you a "top shelf" home inspector, but you are wonderful poet....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 4 years ago

Thanks Barbara, but it's easy to change someone else's words!  Albeit fitting...

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

 Good Monday morning Jay. Yes, I have seen chimneys gently weeping for years now. No bueno!

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

It's an easy call Michael.  Buyers sometimes ask why homeowners don't check for things like this, and I admit that I have not been in my own attic for years!

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

A song writer with a home inspector twist is a great twosome, Jay...yes, I had to have my chimney rebuilt a year after I bought my house because the homeowners hid the leaks & it was not caught on home inspection.  How one learns & weeps!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) about 4 years ago

Well, Ginny, like Ted Nugent says his guitar never gently weeps, you probably didn't gently weep either.  Sorry to hear that!

I rebuilt the top 3' of a chimney once.  Not cheap.

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

Good morning Jay. Wow, a moving poem and an informative and instruction post all. Great job.

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

Sheila - I weave rock and roll silliness into my posts often.  It's a curse.

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

Just needs some more goop! I hear the thicker, the better. And I am glad shingles don't last forever... in case I ever get them 

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

You seeing all tile now Fred?  They had gooped this chimney a bunch of times, it looked like.

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

Jay, I never quite figured out how flashing on a chimney works over time.  Eventually the material used to seal the flashing is going to harden and crack.  I guess like many other building techniques, doing it right is an art.

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

Stephen - the old school technique is with lead sheets that are tucked and sealed into the mortar.  That does not fail for a very long time.

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

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