What I'm Seeing Now


IR To the Rescue!

I did an inspection as a follow-up favor for a realtor client. It seems her listing had an inspection which revealed moisture in the corner of a basement wall.

It is a 30 year old house and the seller is an older, single woman without much money. She needed to sell the house for financial reasons. I said I would look at the wall with my IR camera, no charge. The realtor is a long-time client and has sent me lots of business. The whole visit took not much time at all. The buyers were demanding that a "dry basement" company work up a solution to this "huge" problem.

Boy, did they work up a "solution!" They diagnosed a cracked block foundation. After suggesting much ditch diggage, French drainage, foundation wall sealage, indoor slab breakage, and new sump pumpage, they offered different prices for different "solutions." The prices ranged from $6K to +$20K. You know the drill, kill an ant with a sledge hammer.

My IR camera revealed moisture from what later proved to be a very slow, slight drip from a previously stubbed-out hose connection, no longer visible on the outside and apparently hidden when the house was re-sided. The foundation wall was not insulated and the drip was going straight to the sill plate.

I do not know if the "dry basement" company used an IR camera to diagnose the problem. I wonder what they would have done if they discovered the real cause of this moisture. Maybe they did! However, theirs was no solution at all and certainly very expensive. The true problem is easily corrected. There was no foundation crack.

My analysis was objective - I had no financial gain in providing a diagnosis/solution to this problem. The seller is happy. The buyers are happy. Both agents are happy. I have picked up a new client and further solidified an old one. You can give a happy-ending sigh now. A lot of business capital was purchased with very little effort.

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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


Comment balloon 10 commentsJay Markanich • December 27 2008 05:25AM


Good story. There are lots of con artist out there today. It's always wise to get a second opinion.

Posted by Mike & Cindy Jones, Real Estate - (904) 874-0422 - Jacksonville, Fl (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty) about 12 years ago

Jay, It just goes to prove that an objective, well informed opinion is always the best. Nice story.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 12 years ago

Thanks Jay, you sound like a great inspector to have on the team!




Twitter: @RobKellyCo

Posted by Rob Kelly, Louisville Colorado Realtor (RE/MAX Alliance) about 12 years ago

Good job.  I've got a nagging roof leak in my home where my inspector friend used an IR camera.  Unfortunately we still haven't found the exact cause.  Chimney guy coming next!

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) about 12 years ago

Jay, sometimes when we exhaust all the possibilites we can think of we come to conclusions that are not necessarilly accurate----great story.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 12 years ago

THIS is good business!  Done the RIGHT way!  Wish there were more like you...by chance, are you moving to Everett, WA any time soon?

Posted by Jim Eyre, Everett, WA (Bank of America Home Loans) about 12 years ago

Jim - I have a son in Seattle - does that count?  He is a lawyer for Microsoft, though, not an inspector.

Charles - I had to conclude what I did not see - that there used to be a hose bib there because there is one in that spot on all the other houses.  That's just experience speaking when one thinks something that should be is not.  There was new siding - why the hose as crimped I don't know.  But, once the drywall was removed it proved correct.

Gabe - sometimes it takes more than IR.  Some demons are only exorcised by fasting and prayer...

Thank you Rob.

James - there was a little bit of subjective extrapolative semaphore thinking there to say there should be a hose bib in that spot - where is it?

MIke and Cindy - it was a desperate call from a broker that got the second opinion there!  I can tell you the other company was not pleased.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 12 years ago

Jay, I have done that same thing with buried outside receptacles on townhouses.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 12 years ago

Jay - Inspectors amaze me.  I can't imagine doing what you guys and gals do.  Good story and keep contributing good info from your side of the Real Estate equation.

Posted by Jason Sardi, Your Agent for Life (Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina) about 12 years ago

thanks jason!  i, on the other hand, can't imagine what you guys and gals do on that side of the real estate equation!  

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 12 years ago

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