What I'm Seeing Now


Markanich Theorem - Inappropriate Repairs Are Inappropriate

Markanich Theorem - Inappropriate repairs are inappropriate.

Just like AB = BA and a straight line is the shortest distance between two points (except on a globe).

The roof - flat EPDM.

The repair - goop.

The repair - inappropriate.

EPDM is a good roof if installed correctly.

It is a synthetic rubber produced by the Firestone Corporation.

I actually went to the Firestone facility years ago and had a 5 day class learning about their products and proper/improper installation thereof.

Their were 20 other home inspectors in that class of 50 or so.  It was very smart of them to invite so many home inspectors.

Goop is never a proper repair for a leak in an EPDM surface.  Over time the posts began admitting water.  When something like that is seen by a homeowner it has gotten bad.  I don't know who did these repairs, but they are inappropriate.

Measuring the columns directly under each post they both registered moisture.  It has not rained in four days, and this post (measured in the sunlight to make sure there was no dew to influence the device) registered 23% moisture.  The colored gage is the one to use to measure wood.  It only goes to 30% because wood is considered saturated at 28%.  So this wood is wet.  Necessarily - the goop is cracked!  It's an inappropriate repair!

My recommendation:  homeowners should have things done right!  Can homeowners do repairs themselves?  Yes.  And there is a BIG caveat attached to the word yes.  The caveat is - KNOW WHAT THE HECK YOU ARE DOING BEFORE YOU DO IT!  If you don't, you are likely making the problem worse.  The above isn't the only inappropriate repair  to that roof.  It's a mess.  That's my theorem, and I'm sticking with it.



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


Comment balloon 13 commentsJay Markanich • November 23 2015 02:53AM


QED.  Not good to see those results 4 days later.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 5 years ago

Good morning Jay. Do we need any other hints to conclude: "For your protection get a home inspection!"? Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) about 5 years ago

For sure, Debbie.  I confess to having to look up your Latin reference QED...

Thanks Wayne.  Not much more to say!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Jay, is there a repair kit, and does the repair require heat such as a torch and a pot similar to tar?  Or does the material come in sheets.  Years ago, I worked with a church with a leaky roof, and one of the men offered to fix the leak.  He used caulking.  Worked for awhile, but the following year the leak was back. A professional cam in to repair, and it turned out that caulking had been the bandaid for many years.  New roof installed.  This was a flat roof over the fellowship area.  It required a special collection for the correction.  You guessed it: depression survivors making things last.  I believe they extended the roof "life" almost 20 years; but the Subsurface damage was extensive and expensive.  


Did you ever see eighty year old men climbing ladders and roofing?  Two years ago, at age 67, I fell about 16 feet while building my big pole barn.  I slipped a disk, and dribbled my head on the ground, like a basketball.  I had double vision for about forty minutes, but managed to get to my truck and phone.  I managed to slip the disk back into place, and drove home.  I was fortunate to have no broken bones because I fell onto a fresh pile of dirt I had removed with the posthole digger the day before.  

I was talking to an appraiser friend recently who is in his mid seventies.  He had fallen into a large hedge at the corner of his house while on a ladder cleaning leaves from his gutter. Point: You be careful when on a roof or ladder.  Why, we are now irreplaceable antiques.

Posted by Fred Cope, Looking For Homes With A Smile (Reliant Realty in Nashville, TN) about 5 years ago

Good Monday morning Jay. No Bueno . . .

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) about 5 years ago

Even a non-professional can see that isn't a good repair job. Some things really should be cause to call a professional!

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) about 5 years ago

Good morning Jay,

A minor repair has become a major one; hope they are using bit coin to make it cheaper!

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 5 years ago

Good morning Jay Markanich,

You are so right! When repairs are handled in this manner you can only expect this repair can turn into a major one!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899) about 5 years ago

That is the best phrasing I've seen, Inappropriate Repair, well said. Home owners that were or are professionals should know when to ask for help. As an old builder myself, I've learned to know when I don't know.


Posted by Mike Warfel, Associate Broker (Mike & Rita Warfel Real Estate LLC) about 5 years ago

Hi Jay, My husband likes to do repairs himself so he knows that they will be done right. He is a builder and see what shoddy work some subs leave as a finished product.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties, The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730 (Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070) about 5 years ago

Patch it, sell it and hope they don't order a home inspection.  Once they realize how bad the problem is, it's too late.  All the more reason to ALWAYS order an inspection BEFORE buying. 

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) about 5 years ago

Fred - no and no to your questions.  EPDM is a specif material with specific needs.  It comes in rolls.  Call a professional!  Yep, caulking is a band aid!

Nineteel years ago I fell from a two-story roof onto a frozen deck.  Shattered my left leg, ankle and heel.  Still not right!

Yep, Michael, and wet-o!

Kat - but how many people climb up to a high roof to check out stuff like that?

Raymond - this is one of those "we aren't fixing anything" houses.  So who knows where it goes from here!


Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Dorie - any major it shall be! 

Mike - and we really don't know what we don't know!  Reconcile that one!

Debbie - I understand that sentiment exactly!  But, an EPDM roof isn't something anyone but a professional should try to tackle!

Stephen - this one was bad for a while, and apparently caulked more than once.  Close, but no cigar.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

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