What I'm Seeing Now

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Not A Double Whammy - This Is The Quad Whammy

Not a double whammy - this is the quad whammy.

Climbing up into the attic space I saw this small leak on the front roof.

It was raining heavily during the inspection and this spot was definitely wet.  It had moldy-looking surrounds and a small spot of white fungus in the middle.

It was an active leak.

But I thought, what is that smell?

The smell was horrific.  I had not smelled it until I got into the attic.  I saw nesting material in the corner and thought perhaps something had died up there.   Then I turned around.

What I saw was a confluence of problems.

The first thing that got my attention was the plumbing vent!

This was a newly remodeled house, with a new kitchen, lower-level bath and upstairs bath.  I had already seen many evidences that no permit had been pulled to do this work.  It was discharging its gases into the attic space.  It kinda, sorta should discharge outdoors.  Incorrect.

Whammy 1!

Looking at the moldy spot on the roof sheathing directly above this indoor discharge had been happening for some time!  And it's too small!  It's only 1 1/2" wide.  In this jurisdiction it should be 3".  It vents all the plumbing in the house as the kitchen, lower bath and upstairs bath are all against the same wall.  Incorrect.

Whammy 2!

Well, that answered the smell question.

See the crumpled flex tubing?  That's the bathroom vent.  It has been exhausting bathroom air into the attic space since the remodel too!  Incorrect.

Whammy 3!

You can see a bit of a spot of bare wood.  There were many gaps and holes in the new insulation.  There were many areas where I could actually see drywall.

The two purple spots in the center of the image on the right are representative of such areas where drywall could be seen from above.  Incorrect.

Whammy 4!

This is the quad whammy!  And all left by the same remodeling specialist.  This is a homeowner who "works in construction" and thinks he knows how to do things.  There may be basic ability, but little understanding of proper anything.

My recommendation:  when the sign out front says "It's gorgeous inside!" or "Newly remodeled!" (as it did at this house) it may be a sign that your antenna should go up.  It is always the case that things are done improperly?  NO.  But it really pays to have a home inspector stop by and poke around.  YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT HE MIGHT SMELL!

 

 

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 18 commentsJay Markanich • February 25 2016 02:12AM

Comments

Good morning Jay. The second objective set of eyes is critical! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) over 2 years ago

More are better than fewer, Wayne.  But here I got to use the smell sense also!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

Oh yuck. They definitely need some work to take care of those issues properly.

It's amazing how many times bathroom vents vent into the attic. It seems to be an epidemic.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) over 2 years ago

That plumbing vent is something that I see now and then, Kat, and every time I wonder what in the world people are thinking!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

We see the vents in lots of condos as it wasn't required years ago to vent outside.

Posted by Dennis Swartz, MBA, GRI...experience counts! (Full Circle Property Management) over 2 years ago

That is unbelievable to me, Dennis!  What an incredible thought.  You get to share attic air with all your neighbors!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

Oh dear.  This just goes to show that hiring the right person for the job is the way to go.  DIY is never a good idea if you don't do this stuff for a living.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 2 years ago

Four whammies and she goes down faster than Ronda Rousey! Soon as you assimilate there has been some handyman work done... the antennas definitely go up! I can small that from here!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 2 years ago

Chris Ann - the house is in Manassas Park.  The seller works in construction.  The seller thinks he does this stuff for a living.  The seller did the work.  Are things adding up?   Oh, I speak the seller's language...

Get it?

Fred - Ronda rarely does down!  My buyers are going to ask for demonstration of pulled and closed permits (per their excellent home inspector's report recommendation(s)) and if not will ask the local jurisdiction to stop by.  Do you think this seller will agree to that?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

Oh Geeze.  Someone really cut corners on this one.

Posted by Belinda Spillman, Colorado Living! (Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado) over 2 years ago

I don't know, Belinda.  It was "Gorgeous Inside!"  And it was, to the untrained eye.

Says he, with a wink.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

Hi Jay - Yikes! That's a perfect storm of bad work. The smell alone probably kept it from being a 5-er by driving out the nesting critters.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) over 2 years ago

Dick - the nesting material was empty so maybe the smell did drive them off!  That attic was pretty, um, smelly...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

The bathroom vents can r=create so many issues and all for lack of a few dollars of piping

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 2 years ago

Some days I think our job security is just plain too secure.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 2 years ago

Ed - the proper tubing here would not be much more expensive.  The proper knowledge before installation?  Priceless.

Charlie - whatever do you mean?  I looked at that leak and wondered how it could be causing so much odor.  Then I turned around...  Ripe!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

This construction job "stinks" Jay Markanich .   I just hope that his job isn't superintendent.

Posted by DEANNA EARLY - ( NMLS #268590 ), Virginia Mortgage Loan Originator (American National Bank and Trust) over 2 years ago

Not sure Deanna!  And I agree with you!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

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