What I'm Seeing Now

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A Couple Of Clues That The Windows Were Leaking

In this vacant house (a short sale) I had to pick up on a couple of clues that the windows were leaking.

And there were just a couple.

Looking carefully you might pick up on them too.

Let's see:

  • The previous owners had rolled up towels inside each window.
  • One window had plastic over it, with the towel inside the plastic.  The plastic was torn.
  • All the windows had staining on the window sills.
  • A couple of windows had damaged drywall under the sills because so much water had come in.
  • All the windows had staining in the framing, along with mud.  Sometimes that mud overflowed the plastic window framing and came into the house!
  • Two of the windows had interior wood framing that had swollen so badly the moving window would not slide.

Gee, that's more than a couple!

Thinking carefully the home inspector told his clients it may be that the windows were leaky!  Okay, he may have been a bit more explanatory than that.  The buyers had seen it, of course, but did not know what it meant.  So that leave the home inspector with the necessity of teaching a bit of building science.

Windows leaking water and air!  Not a good combination.  There really is only one solution.

So, how would you feel about buying this house?

My recommendation:  sometimes the home inspection news is not good news.  These buyers are certainly in this purchase for new windows.  There is also seen and unseen damage that will have to be addressed.  That could include interior wood framing, along with insulation and drywall.  That the expense is known upfront is obvious, just not how much expense.  That always creates a lot of discomfort for a buyer, and difficulty with making the decision to proceed further.

 

 

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 • July 10 2016 04:13AM

Comments

Not good at all and I have a hunch this will be a domino effect including siding and flooring and painting.

I think I'd take a pass on this one.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 2 years ago

These buyers were looking at short sales because they were hoping to find a "cheaper" home, Debbie.  Sometimes the expenses that follow up the price considerably.

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

Well definately they will be a problem but it could be a humidifier that's run full up too. Either way or whatever problem, the windows need to be fixed.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) almost 2 years ago

Bargain hunters often do not end up with the bargains they were hoping for...

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) almost 2 years ago

Good morning Jay Markanich ,

This is definitely an issue I wouldn't want to tackle on a purchase. So many unknowns and could be considerable expense involved!

Posted by Dorie Dillard, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) almost 2 years ago

Those types of sliding windows are notorious for leaking and not sealing well over time - thanks for sharing Jay Markanich 

Posted by Jennifer Mackay, Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582 (Counts Real Estate Group, Inc.) almost 2 years ago

Leaky, foggy windows are a very common defect in homes....and one that most sellers do not correct and hope the buyers will over look in their shopping.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (Keller Williams 414-525-0563) almost 2 years ago

Good morning Jay. When it is that obvious you can give "Mighty Mo" the day off! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker (Wayne M Martin) almost 2 years ago

Lyn - this is a small, two-level townhouse in a low-income neighborhood.  They didn't have a humidifier on the heat pump.  The damage was all window related.

Susan - the low interest rates have encouraged a lot into the market who couldn't otherwise afford to be, but even then a lot need the low prices to get in.  the fixes needed often raise the price!

Dorie - I think the buyers realized that.  Unknown is not a good feeling.

Jennifer - they are around here.  Especially when they are as old as these.

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

S&D - foggy is one thing, leaking another.  And I can prove with a thermal camera that foggy windows do not lose much efficiency.

Wayne - he had another job there.  The insulation was trashed, and Mo demonstrated it.

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

Depending on how long those babies have been leaking... this could end up being a huge project!!

Nice catch... how did you ever see it? 

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

Yes, the inspector's job is to point out issues, even obvious ones! Yes, I would have concluded there might be a leak or two as well!

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

After reading the report, I would be on to my next house.  Pronto.

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) almost 2 years ago

Fred - it looked like that was leaking that had been happening for a while.  And if the property had been a rental that could have been a long while!

Kat - the problems weren't exactly hard to find!  And I think my clients were spooked by them, but who knows.

Stephen - the report succeeded a long discussion on window leakage, and possible damage.  The photos were mere icing on the cake!

 

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

Thanks, Jay, for sharing your experience. Many windows have been replaced in our neighborhood.

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) almost 2 years ago

You gotta do what you gotta do, Roy!

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

Just found this via re-blog. Very interesting, thank you for sharing. I would be very concerned with mold behind walls with this property. 

Posted by Cody Carmen, Market Analysis--Educational Content, Adhi Schools (Adhi Schools, LLC) almost 2 years ago

Cody - looking at the walls with my thermal camera it was obvious that there was damage.

And thanks!

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

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