A Northern Virginia Home Inspector's Perspective

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Home Inspector - Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Warning- sarcasm to follow.  Is this a pro job or not?To be truthful, I saw the brick work from the parking lot and knew it would be a thermal camera issue inside.Is it a pro job?  Probably not.What happened? Likely the front hose bib was not winterized and it froze.However, to repair that you do...
When staircases are lemons.From my Oxford Dictionary of English -Lemon - informal - an unsatisfactory or feeble person or thing.In this 21 year old townhouse, three levels, when walking up and down the staircases, all of them, that is ALL OF THEM, bounced, sagged, squeaked and felt unstable.  Som...
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? Sti...
A flat roof must provide a way for water to go.If not, water sits, and finds any small opening it can. Since we know gravity works, if water can go down, it will.  On a flat roof surface, that means eventual destruction.This is a 17 year old EPDM roof surface.  EPDM is a synthetic rubber surface,...
Thermal imaging art.Thermal imaging can check a lot of things. It can be a precursor check for electrical issues.  Heating and air conditioning can be evaluated.  Roof and plumbing leaks are a given.  And the best way (the only way inside walls) to see the quality of an insulation installation or...
When any upper level is hot insulation is almost always the reason.And why else wouldn't it be?  It could be that the air conditioning does not reach or blow hard enough into the upper level.  But that air pressure is an easy check.When air is blowing well through a register I have my client feel...
My client asked if there was no insulation in the wall.Often during a home inspection my client follows me around when I do a thermal image sweep to check for insulation issues or roof leaks.  They like looking over my shoulder and listen to my explanation of what they are seeing.Sometimes I show...
In new construction the thermal barrier in the attic should be verified by an attic insulation certificate.This house is supposed to be Energy Star compliant for Virginia standards.  As such there are criteria that are to be met.  For example, windows and doors should have certain U-factors and s...
Can you repair a leak with a handy can of miracle "spray?"Of course you know the answer.You've seen the commercials. They are incessant! A handy can of spray which will repair everything from your pipes, your roof and gutters, a kitchen counter top, and, well, you can seal a window screen so well...
This is the case of FRT plywood that needs further investigation.FRT plywood (Fire Retardant Treated) came into use in the 80s when masonry firewalls between townhouses were replaced with a thick, fire-resistant drywall fire barrier wall.  This material is intended to resist or impede the spread ...

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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