What I'm Seeing Now

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The Walls Were Wet In The Middle But Not At The Bottom? Why?

The walls were wet in the middle but not at the bottom?  Why?

And that was the question.  I couldn't answer it!  I only knew what I found.

During the thermal image sweep of this condo I found walls and ceilings wet, but only on the lower level. 

The areas were all under the kitchen.  The reason? 

Stitching together various thermal images into a panorama the conundrum comes alive.

The middle of the wall registered 100% moisture.  And the floor registered 18%.  You can see my footprints on the floor where I measured that wall.

How was that possible?  Water and moisture flow down.  The floor was too wet, and the middle of the wall, but the bottom of the wall and the floor molding was not.

The builder said everything was dry, and they had a report indicating that.

Report?  Yes!

Apparently there had been a leak caused by a plumber in the sprinkler system over the kitchen pantry! 

They replaced the flooring in the kitchen, and drywall in the pantry.  So no moisture showed up there on the thermal image sweep. 

But below, downstairs where my camera detected moisture, they had removed the lowest 6" of drywall in the walls and the floor molding.  Why?  To "dry" the walls!

And a report by an environmental company "proved" everything was dry, with hard to see, blurry photos of a moisture meter and another blurry photo of a thermal camera showing "no moisture" present in the wall.  I thought the report was not very indicative of anything.

That report answered my questions!

Water had come down from above and wicked up from below, and the lower materials had been replaced, so the middle of the wall was wet, but not elsewhere.  Yes the ceiling was wet, but those were different images.

My recommendation:  here we have new construction where a problem happened and was "repaired."  Did the repairs work?  Not really.  Everyone assumed the problem was solved and the buyer would not be the wiser.  Thermal imaging proved the difference here.  Don't do a new home inspection without thermal imaging!

 

 

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 20 commentsJay Markanich • August 08 2017 10:45AM

Comments

Thank you very much for sharing your experience and your advice.

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

Good morning Jay. Perfect example of why you need a home inspection on new construction! Enjoy your day!!

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

Good morning Jay Markanich ,

Wow..this sure showed the buyer what had happened and it was not repaired properly. Thank goodness you conducted thermal imagining!

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

Good catch with this one, Jay.  The buyers would have had some potential mold issues in the future.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) 2 months ago

Jay, How long after the incident were you there? Looks like someone did not get it dried out correctly.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) 2 months ago

Good afternoon Jay. Always scary but always telling too. Amazing catch.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) 2 months ago

Well done Sherlock!  I doubt anyone else could have figured that one out.

Also, welcome back.

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) 2 months ago

I always recommend a home inspection even on new construction since they are built by humans and humas err.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) 2 months ago

You're welcome as always, Roy.

Yet one more, Wayne.  And they will continue to come.

Dorie - these were only a couple of the thermal images, and photos of the many wet places.  But this panorama was very indicative.

Gabe - that was one concern.  The builder tried to cover themselves with an air quality company report (which I found pathetic), and after our inspection emailed my client to say they had done their "due diligence" on her behalf.  I rather think I was her due diligence!

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

Don - not sure.  Apparently something like a week or ten days.  I expect it was quite the deluge as in these condo buildings it takes a while to get the sprinkler systems cut off. 

Shiela - the process I do is basic to my home inspections.  And these sorts of things will pop up if they have happened.

Stephen - again, this is what I do on every inspection!  As to AR, I have spent much less time as I am finding that my posts, which I think are very instructive and useful, get fewer and fewer eyeballs.  So the value has diminished here, at least for me.   That may be so for home inspectors in general - I have noticed fewer and fewer posts.  Maybe we aren't as well regarded as in the past.

Too true, Joe.  Somebody nicked a plumbing line here!  Once in a town nearby a plumber nicked a gas line and after that slow leak, later that night, the house exploded, with all the family inside.  It was tragic.

 

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

Absolutely! I do a thermal scan at all my inspections. So many flat roofs here, I think it's a must! Good job Mr Inspector!

Posted by Fred Hernden, Albuquerque area Home Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) 2 months ago

The panorama feature for the software is a great tool also, Fred.  It's great to see a whole ceiling, or house, or apartment building!  I saw a stitched panorama of Las Vegas once, and it was pretty interesting.

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

I am not aware of that feature Jay, is it a software upgrade? I have a Flir E6

Posted by Fred Hernden, Albuquerque area Home Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) 2 months ago

It's in the software package you have to buy, Fred.  Doesn't come with the free package that you got with the camera.  I think it's $295, unless that's changed over the years.

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

I'll check it out, I like the wide views. Thanks!

Posted by Fred Hernden, Albuquerque area Home Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) 2 months ago

Susan - I have been getting the idea that I'm not reaching many people.  Fewer and fewer seem to read my posts, so my time is spent on other sites.

I've noticed the same trend with other home inspector posts in that they are read less and less.  They have scaled back also in the number of posts.

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

 I have cut waaay back on my posts.... too busy these days! But I still log in each day and make some comments...

Posted by Fred Hernden, Albuquerque area Home Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 1 month ago

Thanks Fred.  You commented on this one!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 1 month ago

Good morning, Jay Markanich you're like Superman.... you always save the day and future expense for the new homeowner....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) 7 days ago

Thank you Barbara.  This was the first purchase for this young lady and she got more than her money's worth!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 7 days ago

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