The Disaster AFTER The Repair

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

It would be difficult to explain what this configuration looked like when I first saw it.  There were a multiplicity of problems, all identified on my original inspection report, and the seller agreed to many repairs.  This is what we saw when we returned to what is apparently thought to be the Bestway* to do it.

The list of what was wrong to begin with was enormous. These repairs are as you see them.

The water heater exhaust hood is still disconnected where it exits the unit.

The previously single-walled furnace vent is now a new double-walled vent, but still angled downward.

It exits the wall on the left, but we can't see if it is still touching the wood framing.  But it is still horizontal inside that chase above the water heater, coming from 15' to the left.  It hooks downward at a dramatic angle to turn again as it extends to the chimney.

It no longer loosely enters the chimney (on the right) as it is attractively glued with polyfoam.  We see polyfoam in so many places used in so many ways!  It is as ubiquitous as duct tape!

It is time for thermal images!

The furnace is on the ground in the crawl space to the left of the first image above.  The vent goes up and inside the chase, after it makes many turns.  It is a single-walled vent inside that chase!  It touches wood framing, drywall and the AC line seen in the photograph above.  That AC line follows that furnace vent along the entirety of the 15' chase.  It can't be in a good condition.  The middle image above is similar to the photograph at the top.  The hottest spot, as demonstrated by the white color, is just to the left of the left tube connecting to the top of the water heater.  That spot is 183F!  The corner, where all the tubing makes many turns and goes downward, is 177F.  Imagine how hot it is inside the chase!  The right image shows where the two tubes enter the chimney.

I think that when they connected the double-walled vent to what existed before, they disconnected things inside the chase, accounting for the high temperatures.  Heat doesn't vent downward well!  It clogs, as you can see, and builds up.  I don't know what is going on at the chimney connection.  I suspect the wide gaps between the vent and brick work are still there behind the metal plate.  It still lacks a clean out port.

* Bestway Construction asked to have me call them with anything that might still be wrong or not to code.

I'm sorry, a home inspector's purview is not to tell a supposedly licensed "construction" company if their work is wrong or not to code...  Any company worth it's salt, um, soy sauce already knows that!

My recommendation:  Hire professionals to do work when repairs need to be done!  And remember, heat should be vented upward!  It isn't heat that flows downhill...

 

 

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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Groups:
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Professional Home Inspectors
The Vent
Adventures in Home Inspecting
Tags:
thermal imaging
unprofessional work
thermal infrared
unthinking installation
improper gas furnace vent

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Rainer
38,213
Paul Todd
Mentone Cabins Realty, LLC - Mentone, AL
Vacation and Second Homes Sales and Management - Mentone Alabama

I first thought that the homeowner made the repairs and then to find out it was a construction company.  Wow and home improvement guy is getting into the construction business.  I love the comment by them "call them with anything that might still be wrong or not to code". Scary

Jan 31, 2010 12:38 AM #20
Rainmaker
69,165
Vince Santos
StepByStep Home Services LC - Canton, MI
Southeast Michigan Home Inspector

The work of a "Jack of all trades" and certainly no a master of HVAC.

Jan 31, 2010 01:01 AM #21
Rainmaker
1,843,115
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Glen - I do re-inspections only now and then, and you are right, it probably should be more often.  Hey, I'm worth it!

Jim - Great Stuff in more ways than one!  I think it is surpassing duct tape in popular use.

Richard - such a good point.  People, in my experience, for the most part, are trusting and accepting of what they want to be true.  Gee, how often does it not meet what it should, as you say?

Paul - isn't that a riot!?  Call them, geez.  And I think all this transaction was inside the same family.

Vince - I don't know how many people actually populate this "construction company" but I suspect it is only two or three.  And not Jacks of anything apparently.  There is far more than this!

Jan 31, 2010 01:10 AM #22
Ambassador
1,631,047
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

On older homes especially, people ask me why i recommend a reinspect to see if the repairs were done properly. Could be the cheapest $50 to $75 fee they will ever pay with this as an example.

Jan 31, 2010 03:12 AM #23
Rainmaker
1,843,115
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Joe - you are correct sir!  And I get very few calls for re-inspections.  The Realtors often think one is not necessary if the get a receipt from a professional repairman.

Jan 31, 2010 03:35 AM #24
Rainmaker
226,377
Suesan Jenifer Therriault
JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team - Blakeslee, PA
"Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own".

Jay I am both impressed and totally speech speechless. I never thought a contractor could actually get paid for such an obvious abundance of stupidity. Good thing there was a re-inspect, since I find that so many times there is none.

Jan 31, 2010 04:05 AM #25
Rainmaker
1,843,115
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

That's true Sue.  I am seldom called and now I think I may have found a new market to advertise!

Jan 31, 2010 04:07 AM #26
Ambassador
1,333,700
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jay, at the core of reinspect is reinspect   :)

Jan 31, 2010 05:07 AM #27
Rainmaker
1,843,115
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Yes, and try to conduct oneself in the Bestway possible.

Jan 31, 2010 05:09 AM #28
Rainmaker
125,416
Kim Dove
Watson Realty Corp - Jacksonville, FL
Realtor - Jacksonville FL

This would be funny if it weren't so scary. It's hard to believe that licensed professionals did this.

Jan 31, 2010 06:50 AM #29
Rainmaker
1,843,115
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

So they say Kim.  I don't know if they really are licensed, but it is frightful!

Jan 31, 2010 07:00 AM #30
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Jay--super post! I think this is a total insult to humans...if something should happen, like say a death or something...who has the responsiblility should a lawsuit ensue??? Do we know?

Jan 31, 2010 07:10 AM #31
Rainmaker
1,843,115
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Paula - I would guess the people who did this the Bestway possible.  So to speak.

Jan 31, 2010 07:33 AM #32
Ambassador
890,780
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

I'm not an inspector and I know that the picture isn't good... 

Jan 31, 2010 01:19 PM #33
Rainer
333,502
Frank Castaldini
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in San Francisco

Great points.  I usually like to get it done right the first time.  When I get a house ready for sale I don't want something coming back to bite the seller or me in the arse...LOL

Jan 31, 2010 03:53 PM #34
Rainmaker
350,840
Aaron Vaughn | Builder | Investor
Conifer Homes - Buda, TX
If the deal makes sense, the cash will follow.

I advise my clients to never ever accept repairs made by a do-it-yourselfer!

Jan 31, 2010 04:55 PM #35
Rainmaker
1,843,115
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

And you would be right Lane - lots going on there.

Frank - I think all this deal, the listing, and repairs, were all in the same family.  They all wanted it done before the Chinese New Year.

And this construction company appears to be populated entirely with do-it-yourselfers Aaron!

 

Jan 31, 2010 09:23 PM #36
Ambassador
1,958,999
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

Amazing tool and very telling   pictures, thanks for sharing it with us.

Jan 31, 2010 11:35 PM #37
Rainmaker
131,333
Karen Pannell
Real Living / Home Realty - Owensboro, KY
Owensboro KY Real Estate -270-903-2167 Homes, Cond

This is the scariest thing I have ever seen!  Love the thermal images.  Very professional.  I would have confidence in what you told my clients.  Keep up the good work.

kp

Feb 01, 2010 03:55 AM #39
Rainmaker
1,843,115
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Fernando - the IR camera is the best arrow in my quiver.

Erica - the gas company had about a thousand words when they saw those pictures too!

Karen - aren't the thermal images fun?  The shots are definitive and you can have every confidence once they are seen.

Feb 01, 2010 11:04 AM #40
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Rainmaker
1,843,115

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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