Here Flashing, Flashing, Flashing...

Reblogger Maureen McCabe
Real Estate Agent with HER Realtors

 

Home inspector Jay Markanich is in Virginia but his advice in the second to last paragraph "Always have a home inspection before the final walk through of a new home."  is valid in Central Ohio. Not only old roofs leak....

Original content by Jay Markanich 3380-000723

When a roof abuts anything, there needs to be some sort of flashing to prevent water from getting between the roof and what it abuts.

On a recent inspection on a one-year old house I noticed something missing.  Flashing.  I looked everywhere.  Still could not find it.  I called, held up a box of treats, called and called and no flashing showed up anywhere.

I looked around the neighborhood.  There were five other houses like the one pictured here.  Only one had been flashed correctly.

That is more than disappointing.

What you are looking at is a roof that was completed before the brick work.  Sometimes, often, well usually,  the bricks are installed first, but not in this case.  These shingles actually extended under the bricks!  After the mason was finished placing the bricks along the roof line, the roofer should have returned to install flashing.  He probably didn't because it would have required cutting each shingle to fit flashing underneath.

Properly done, there were be "step flashing" installed under each shingle, starting from the bottom and all the way to the top. 

Then that flashing should have been sealed against the brick.  They usually use a black tar material.  But that can look a bit erratic and unsightly.  It's unsightly appearance can be corrected.

On top of the erratic step flashing is installed a counter flashing.  This would be a solid strip, cut to fit appropriately, which begins at the bottom and runs to the top.  The counter flashing leave a nice straight line, and actually adds another layer of protection to the step flashing.

When done, the two together provide a very good water seal. 

In the case above there was no such seal, as you can see.  Inside this roof the ceiling forms one of two very  pretty cathedral peaks in the master bedroom.  What do you suppose we saw inside?  Your guess should be staining and evidence of leaking.  And this after only one year.

Of the other five houses in the neighborhood, only one was done correctly, as I said.  One looked just like this, two had step flashing only which had not been glued to the brick (!!), and one, interestingly, had only counter flashing, which did not even reach the shingles!  On that one not even mortar was placed to fill the space...  I was tempted to knock on their door, but withheld. 

Keep in mind, this is a one-year old neighborhood.  The builder's supervisor was there every day and never noticed this?  Not to mention the county...   Paaaleeeeease...

My recommendation:  Always have a home inspection before the final walk through of a new home.  This is the kind of thing that a home inspector would have caught on that inspection.  Don't buy the builder's line that there have already been many inspections on your home before your walk through and that the supervisor is there every day to make sure things have been done correctly.  There is no guarantee that they have been!!

Personally, I usually have more problems on brand-new homes than on older ones.  FYI

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Topic:
Home Buying
Location:
Ohio
Tags:
new construction
home inspection

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Rainmaker
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Jim Valentine
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Gardnerville, NV

Maureen,  I think your are saying that there should have been a blinding "flash" of the obvious if somebody was paying attention.  (had to work my pun in)  I like your overriding point - just because its new doesn't mean its right.  There are a lot of parts to a home and it is essential to make sure they all got put together correctly.   I have probably been relying too much on the merits of the contractor.  Thanks for the reminder. 

Jun 27, 2009 01:31 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,478,261
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Jim said "I like your overriding point"

Jay's overriding point... 

I don't think the % of new home buyers having inspections in my area is high.  I have had some clients do it but most don't want to spend the money.  If a buyer is  really, really, really knowledgeable about construction that is one thing... but for most people I think it is money well spent.

Something else I have run into is the second buyer not doing a inspection because the house is only 1 year or two years old... when they go to sell in year 5... the buyers home inspector says " the _______ was never installed correctly."  I have a picture of that on my blog from one of the biggest builders in Columbus.  

Thanks for the pun, it was kinda corny but I appreciate corny.

 

Jun 27, 2009 01:54 AM #2
Ambassador
1,334,402
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Maureen, I have inspected a lot of old and new homes.  For the life of me I can not understand how the idea that new construction does not need to be inspected has a following.  While generally the issues are "different" they are always there.

Jun 27, 2009 01:59 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,478,261
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Love your new avatar....  not that your old avatar was not wonderful too.... 

I think when I was a very, very, very new agent I might have believed that....new homes could NOT have issues and might not warrant a home inspection except buyers did not always do home inspections then...  I was in a different market but I bet I believed the municipal inspectors or the builder's own superintendents would catch a roof put on wrong, windows not flashed, missing insulation etc.  

thanks for the comment...

Jun 27, 2009 02:25 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,850,472
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Maureen - I just learned that my post was featured and then learned that it was reblogged.  I don't know how often that happens, but suspect not very much!  Thanks.  Hopefully it is useful information in Central Ohio.  I do LOTS of new home inspections.  It should catch on there too!

Jun 27, 2009 10:06 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,478,261
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

I have had new home buyers do inspections particularly if their employer is paying for it as part of relocation. I have had others pay for the inspection too but too many feel like the superintendent is doing such a great job... and between the superintendent and the building inspector, it has to have been be done right.  

Thanks for writing a good post for consumers.  I believe I've Re-Blogged your content before. 

 

Jun 27, 2009 11:06 AM #6
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Maureen McCabe

Columbus Ohio Real Estate
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