What I'm Seeing Now


Our Church Stinks

Our church stinks.

I guess you could take that a couple of ways.  But they meant that it really did stink.  Especially on Sundays when so many people were there.

The stink had been getting worse for a month and was so bad some people had stopped coming to church.  The administrators did not know why.

Originally the church authorities had called me to investigate some structural issues.

Built in the 1800s they noticed some things that weren't right.

When I arrived they showed me the opening to the not-very-high crawl space, and before I entered said, "For about a month the sanctuary has been getting smellier and smellier, especially on Sunday.  While you're under there could you look into that too?"

Let's just say I found a problem with the main drain line coming from the facilities.

That's why the smell got worse on Sunday, with so many people using those facilities!

This is a teensy bit of what I found while in the crawl space!

When I got home, smelling really holy, I bathed in alcohol.  Not the kind you drink.  It was a mess!

Oh, they had structural issues too.

My recommendation:  you never know what you're going to get into during a home (church) inspection!  I was unprepared for this one!   There are reasons for everything, smells and sags.  And now, for this church, and a plumbing and engineering company, the fun begins!  As for me and that crawl space, um, not sure I want to get me some more of that...




Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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


Comment balloon 17 commentsJay Markanich • November 08 2017 11:47AM


Good morning, Jay Markanich ....that's the most disgusting photo....oh, you poor thing....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) almost 3 years ago

Barbara - I did not know where the plumbing issue originated and they really needed a photo.  Being a good Scout, and doing my good turn, I had to make my way over to see the problem.  It was not near the opening.  And it was, um, a problem.  With all due respect to your comment, that photo does not do the problem justice.

My jeans did not wash clean and so I canned them, and I tried!  I'm not even going to use them for painting around the house!

Oh, perhaps they make a camera, but not one that extends over 100'.  And my Camera Chihuahua would have drowned...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago

Good morning Jay Markanich 

Thank you for sharing your information with us.

Have a great day 11/08/2017. 

Posted by Anthony Acosta - ALLATLANTACONDOS.COM, Associate Broker (Harry Norman, REALTORS® ) almost 3 years ago

I guess you just don't think of church's having the same problems as homes, but of course they can because they are both structures.  Great blog...thanks for sharing!

Posted by Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team ( Elite Realty Group) almost 3 years ago

With  a title like that I am sure you will get many clicks....thanks!

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) almost 3 years ago

Yicks !  A new use for Holy water, hmmm ?

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 3 years ago

Good morning Jay! I would have had some alcohol for internal comsumption after the bath to complete the job! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) almost 3 years ago

Any time, Anthony.  Stop by again!

Norma - the materials are the same, commercial or residential.  And we all know what flows downhill...

Kristin - the intention, to be sure!

No, S&D, that stuff goes somewhere not entirely holy, whether inside a tube or not.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago

Wayne - some of us do that, and some of us don't!  Using it outside made me feel more comfortable, fer sher.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago

For me, it's just put on the coveralls and get through it... lol, it comes with the territory! Glad you survived!!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 3 years ago

At least they knew to call in a professional to check things out.

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) almost 3 years ago

Good morning Jay. This is so very very sad. Your post is really frightening albeit enlightening.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) almost 3 years ago

You had me at the headline and when I was a kid the church could smell sweet and I would have thought it still stinks!

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) almost 3 years ago

Jay- I hope you through out the clothes you were wearing as well. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) almost 3 years ago

Fred - I wasn't prepared for this surprise visit at the end of the day.  They told me that there was plastic over the soil down there, was was true.  About 5% had a plastic cover.

William - I'm glad they called me!  When I was done they thought I charged too much and I thought I charged too little!

Sheila - as bad as the smell was, they said it was worse on Sunday.  I expect so!  And some people aren't coming back!

Joe - the title had a fun double intent...

The clothes were a lost cause, Kathy!  I didn't even save them for future painting and junk projects around the house!


Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago

Oh my, Jay, that really is a problem. One of my electricians had a similar experience at a client's house. Before you knew it, he was standing in the front yard in his skivvies. Nasty business. 

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 2 years ago

Mike - I disrobed in the garage and cleaned my shoes with the hose.  The original building was in the 1800s sometime, and the electrical ranged from the 30s to recent. 

Nasty electrical too!

There was a lot needing to be done there!

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

This blog does not allow anonymous comments