Effective Prognosticating, Whatcom County, WA

Home Inspector with King of the House Home Inspection, Inc

Home inspectors are often in a position where we have to not only report on the past but, also, we have to predict the future. Whether all parties involved in a real estate transaction like that role of the home inspector is not the point. In this state, the law makes it clear that an inspector must forewarn clients of certain problems that are highly likely to occur as a result of a deficiency. For example, wood to soil contact causes rot, knob and tube wiring is old, might be unsafe, and it is often hard to obtain insurance when it is present.

It is satisfying to run into a case where my prognosticating was shown to be correct. The words from the report, and the photo, tell the story.

Wallpaper: Vinyl coated wallpapers, installed in damp areas (such as bathrooms or kitchens) may trap moisture and the paper may obscure moisture-related or fungal concerns. Some amount of damage to the wall or ceiling surface should be anticipated if/when paper coverings are removed in the future.


bellingham home inspector (king of the house)

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ActiveRain Community
Washington Whatcom County Bellingham
Puget Sound - WA Real Estate
king of the house
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Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

I'll be removing the wallpaper in 2 bathrooms in a home being vacated this month...when wallpaper looks good, it is a GREAT addition to a home's decor; however, when it begins to fade of peel, it must GO!

Jun 10, 2012 07:58 PM #1
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Lots of good stuff for mold to eat!  Just add water!

Was the source of the moisture from outdoors?  Doesn't look like an indoor spot where so much moisture would be generated.

Jun 10, 2012 08:43 PM #2
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Steven, looks the wall paper did a good job of covering it up until it was peeled away. Good job!

Jun 10, 2012 10:51 PM #3
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Jay, my neighbor upstairs in summer cubicle #2 said it best...just add water...How true and I will add poor ventilation too

Jun 10, 2012 11:40 PM #4
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


I cropped the photo to get the fungus across. Actually, this was just as conducive as you can get. Little tiny bathroom, no window, no fan and this was to the left side of the shower which had been built OVER the window -- which was still visible outside but on the inside you could only see the outline (daylight) shining through the thin plastic of the little shower stall.

Jun 11, 2012 12:05 AM #5
Tammie White
(615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty, Franklin TN

Steve, I didn't know this about vinyl wallpapers. This is very good to know. I always ask sellers to remove wallpaper. This is just one more reason why they should.

Jun 11, 2012 12:10 AM #6
Sussie Sutton
UTR Texas Realtors - Pearland, TX
UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers.

I hear you! I seriously want to remove all the sheet rock in my living room and re sheet rock but I am afraid of what may be behind the walls. So I hesitate. What say you?

Jun 11, 2012 02:33 AM #7
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

That's pretty conducive Mason!  From the photo it looked like a hallway to me!

Jun 11, 2012 03:35 AM #8
Kathy Fuhriman
Bear River Valley Realty - Tremonton, UT

I sold an older home one year-circa 1940-that had vinyl wallpaper covering most of the walls. The roof had asphalt shingles over wood shake and while the shingles were in good condition apparently the installation was not. The new owners called me over to see what was behind the wallpaper when they removed and all I could say was WOW!! A lot of ills hiding behind that vinyl wallpaper including massive amounts of mold. I contacted the sellers afterwards (I had the sellers side of transaction) and they mentioned how they had often been sick from respiratory illnesses while living in the home but had been feeling much better in their new abode.  Oh yes I have mentioned this scenario to many other people since as an FYI.

Jun 12, 2012 12:22 AM #9
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


Wow, that is a compelling scenario. It is just so impossible to figure out ever ill that might be lurking.

Jun 12, 2012 12:49 AM #10
Gretchen Bradley
Realty Source Inc. - Roseville, CA

Whoa....that is just aweful!  I can't imagine actually "living" in a house with that.

Thanks for the post!

Jun 12, 2012 01:12 AM #11
John DL Arendsen
TAG Real Estate Sales & Investments, ON THE LEVEL General Contractor, Crest Homes Factory Built Housing Developer - Leucadia, CA
TAG Real Estate Sales & Investments Coastal Living

You're spot on about the prognosticating. Folks hate to hear it when you tell them and they'll go into a state of denial when you do.

Jun 12, 2012 07:07 AM #12
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Interesting post but the music was awesome. thanks for bringing back some memorable music and the events and history during that time.

Jun 12, 2012 07:29 AM #13
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

A good home inspector will always alert buyers to potential future problems - if it is the law or not.

Jun 12, 2012 09:32 AM #14
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Steve, you are so right!  Had a similar incident just recently where laminate was laid in bottom of vanity where drain leaked.  Yuck!

Jun 12, 2012 08:19 PM #15
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg IL Real Estate - Northwest Suburbs of Chicago - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Homes

Thanks for the heads up on this.

Jun 13, 2012 09:37 AM #16
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Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspector
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