This Is What You And I See. And This Is What A Thermal Camera Sees!

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

This is what you and I see.

A pretty basement wall, in a flip, with new drywall, new receptacles, new floor molding and new carpeting.

This is what my clients saw on line.

Along with a couple dozen other photos.

All of the photos were just as spectacular!

My clients are in another state.

We have never met.  We had not even spoken on the phone!

They simply emailed me, based on a referral, reputation on line and my answer to a question - do you know the seller?  Do you have any relationship with the seller?

I did not and do not.  The seller is a local realtor/flipper.  My clients were diligent in asking.  Asking is a Best Practice.

Outside something bothered me.  An asphalt driveway, not new, extended all the way to the back of the house.  It was not this length originally, but was extended many years ago.

I know from experience that doing this can stress a foundation, and hold moisture against the house.

That would be all along this wall you see in the photo above.  Outdoors I also noticed asphalt crack fill between the driveway and foundation wall - ALL ALONG THE WALL.

Inside, in this basement, I noticed nothing amiss, and smelled nothing amiss.  It had been raining all night, and all that morning, sometimes hard, and would continue to rain into the evening.

As I was going up the basement stairs I noticed a pattern on the carpeting.  You can kind of see it in this photo.  When I had previously gone over to test that receptacle I left an odd pattern on the carpet, like the carpeting was laying down.

That pattern usually indicates moisture.  I had noticed nothing however.  So I got my moisture meter and tested the wall.  It registered 26% moisture!  The same with the floor molding.  That's a lot!

Breaking out Mighty Mo, my thermal camera, I saw this!

This is what you and I see.  This is what a thermal camera sees!

The wall is wet, the carpeting is wet (it actually felt wet to the touch) and you can clearly see a warm spot, the imprint of my knee on the carpeting!  That is clearly wet!

Even my knee cap is wet after measuring the wall for moisture!

There were many more things regarding this house, but this foundation moisture certainly stands out.  Is the wall cracked behind the drywall?  Does this happen every rain?

My recommendation:  it is good to ask questions of your home inspector.  I was honestly able to tell these buyers that I would do the same inspection for them that I would do for myself or a family member.  AND I DID.  Surely it's better to be present with your home inspector.  But when that isn't possible, ask all the questions you can.  Pick his brain!  And pick a home inspector with a thermal camera.  Those guys are all really cute.

 

 

Posted by

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


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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Tammie White, Broker 04/19/2014 12:13 PM
  2. Roy Kelley 04/20/2014 10:17 PM
Topic:
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Location:
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Tags:
wet basement
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foundation moisture
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Ambassador
1,526,538
William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE

I had a buyer in escrow on a flip and the inspection took five hours discovering so many things that were consealed. The Buyers felt grateful that they vacated the contrac. The Buyers offered the neighbors a copy of the report to give to the next buyer. They felt the $500 they paid would then be put to good use.

Apr 17, 2014 11:20 AM #52
Rainmaker
1,726,271
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Michael.  Easier said then done - they ain't cheap!

See comment above Gary.  But they are great tools - the sharpest arrow in my quiver.

Would that all neighbors would be so neighborly William!

Apr 17, 2014 11:28 AM #53
Rainmaker
1,032,409
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

I have not found a Dallas inspector who uses a thermal camera.  I am impressed by what you can see.

Apr 17, 2014 12:31 PM #54
Rainmaker
355,320
Tom White
Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN

Jay, that is one impressive piece of equipment! I'm talking about your kneecap!

Apr 17, 2014 02:32 PM #55
Ambassador
2,561,382
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Baltimore, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Might Mo might be the name of the burger but it looks like Mighty Mouse saved the day with these buyers using that camera. Do you inspect in the Baltimore area?

Apr 17, 2014 03:06 PM #56
Ambassador
3,576,235
Praful Thakkar
eXp Realty - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Jay, wow! great to know that thermal camera reveals lot more. Next home inspection, I'll suggest my buyers to go for it!

Apr 17, 2014 03:12 PM #57
Rainmaker
1,726,271
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

They are expensive devices Sharon, and the training is similarly expensive and it is super important to get training.

Tom - sometimes the low tech and high tech combine to reveal the problem!

I don't have a license in Maryland, Margaret, but Balmer is a bit far!  I used to live in Reisterstown.

It's good to do if you think there's a problem, Praful, but sometimes the camera helps find or define a problem!

 

Apr 17, 2014 08:24 PM #58
Rainmaker
4,231,618
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Thanks, Jay, for sharing this experience and your photograph. Home buyers should ask if the recommended home inspector is using a thermal imaging camera.

Apr 17, 2014 11:30 PM #59
Rainmaker
861,685
Les & Sarah Oswald
Eastvale Team Realty & Property Mgmt - Eastvale, CA
Broker, Realtor and Investor

Hi Jay, A thermal camera really tells a lot about the moisture condions of a home. Pick those cute home inspectors with a thermal camera for sure! Thank you so much for sharing these pictures.

Apr 18, 2014 03:20 AM #60
Rainmaker
1,726,271
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Very few do Roy.  But all who do are really cute.

S&L - the images are definitive.  And yes, the cutest.

Apr 18, 2014 04:47 AM #61
Rainmaker
1,105,406
Jeff Jensen
The Federal Savings Bank/Lending in 50 states - Greenwich, CT

Do home inspectors have thermal cameras as a rule?

Apr 18, 2014 07:46 AM #62
Rainmaker
1,726,271
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Jeff - my understanding is 3% or less.

Apr 18, 2014 08:52 AM #63
Ambassador
1,225,792
Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor
Keller Williams Realty - Redlands, CA
(909) 557-6966, GREEN, SFR, CHS-Redlands/Loma Lind

Hi Jay,

This is fasinating and glad you found it out for the buyers. Perhaps the sellers/contractors did not know but so glad you detected it. Moisture can cause all kinds of problems like the M.....word.

Apr 23, 2014 01:29 PM #64
Rainmaker
1,726,271
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Kristin.  Mold is not the problem but a symptom of the problem.  The problem is moisture!

Apr 23, 2014 08:07 PM #65
Rainmaker
2,541,528
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce - Short Sale

Yicks...wet is never a good thing....and now to get to the source of the problem and get Flipper to fix it !

Apr 26, 2014 07:52 PM #66
Rainmaker
1,726,271
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

If they want to S&D.  That wall has to come down!

They will probably just try to sell it to the next person, who hopefully will not have a home inspection, or at least one that does not include a thermal camera.

Apr 26, 2014 08:00 PM #67
Rainmaker
406,608
Tamra Lee Ulmer
Arizona Resource Realty - Payson, AZ
FORCE~NRBA ~ Over 1000 REO Assets SOLD!

Jay, great detection. You saved the buyers from having so many problems in the future. A Thermal Camera seems to be a necessity for all inspections. Thanks for sharing, great post!

Apr 30, 2014 04:05 AM #68
Rainmaker
1,726,271
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thank you Tamra.  I like to say my thermal camera is the sharpest arrow in my quiver.

Apr 30, 2014 05:36 AM #69
Rainmaker
1,359,362
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

that was certainly an issue that the buyers were lucky you found for them.  How did it turn out? Did they void the contract or did the flipper take the wall down and fix it?

May 01, 2016 08:46 PM #70
Rainmaker
1,726,271
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Lise - in this case the Flipper knew he was busted and took the house off the market.  I did another inspection for those buyers a week later.  We never met!

May 01, 2016 08:53 PM #71
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Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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