A Northern Virginia Home Inspector's Perspective

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



This new stair repair is a prime set up for problems.What are they?The second set of stairs (and driveway) are not original to the house, added at a later time.  I have never seen this model in this neighborhood with two sets of stairs, and a driveway that extends to the back of the house.  And p...
When I turned on the furnace my client said, "It sounds like the house is vibrating."The crushed vibration damper.A vibration damper does just that.  It is intended to dampen, or eliminate, any furnace vibration transferring through the house via the metal duct work.And in this house there was a ...
Good thing there was a light in the attic to show the lack of insulation.Gee, how else would we have known?There was no mistaking the fact that there was a light there.The fixture was excellently installed.  Not!Okay, the switch didn't work, and the bulb didn't light up, but I'm sure it will one ...
Despite what I routinely see, caulking is not intended to be used as a filler.Caulking is a sealer!  It is a weather guard!  It can also act as a glue!But it is not putty.  It is not foam.  It is not intended for gaps or openings wider than 1/2"!  Typically the gap should not exceed 1/4".  And fo...
Ghost lines on drywall - and how a thermal camera sees them.You've seen ghost lines, those shadowy lines on drywall.  You can see them in the walls and on the ceiling.What are they?They have been called ghost lines, drywall shadow lines, ghosting - but it doesn't matter what you call it.  Ghost l...
Markanich Theorem - Inappropriate repairs are inappropriate.Just like AB = BA and a straight line is the shortest distance between two points (except on a globe).The roof - flat EPDM.The repair - goop.The repair - inappropriate.EPDM is a good roof if installed correctly.It is a synthetic rubber p...
So, do you see it?Look closely.  Do you see it now?           ------->I expect you saw it right away.In case you didn't, look below.Shower heads that keep the corner clean are a great idea.  But not if you want to take a shower!Now, here is the other issue.When I straightened the head to point it...
It is very important to handle a broken CFL bulb with care.Yes, it contains mercury.  Not a lot, but the mercury is in powder form which is a very dangerous form, especially if inhaled.  But if you breath in the powder, how much is a dangerous too much?  Nobody seems to want to touch that one.So ...
Watch that first step.  It's a doozy!Things change. Sidewalks settle.  Soil erodes.And those things combined, stairs become too high!Putting some cute tape on the edge, and slathering a bit of creamy mortar on top of it probably doesn't solve the problem.Okay, it really doesn't solve the problem!...
There are many means of inappropriate use of extension cords.Extension cords are NOT meant for long-term, or permanent, wiring to operate appliances or fixtures. Especially dangerous, and often seen, is when the cord is undersized for what is asked of it.  I see extension cords, (and even speaker...

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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