Seller: You Can Cover It Up, But You Can't Hide It

Home Inspector with King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. Home Inspector Lic #207

It probably has less to due with deception, and more to do with ignorance, but many sellers paint right over the top of the rot. Anytime there is an older house on the market, if the home inspector has experience in the field, he or she will be on the lookout for fresh exterior paint that is in place to hide problems under the paint.

I have written articles on this topic before, but the photo below is a wonderful example of someone having painted right over the top of the rot at a rafter tail. The problem area is the wood at the left end of the gutter.

If the person who did the roof had put a shingle or a flashing over the rafter tail, so rain water coming off the sloped roof would have been routed over and past the wood tail, this might not have ever been a problem. In this case, and oh so common, the rain coming off the roof soaks into the wood and rot prevails. That is the simple science of rot and very important to remember, when building so the structure will last, in the wet environs of Bellingham and Whatcom County.



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Posted by

Steven L. Smith

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Comments (6)

Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Steve, you forget that painters are trained to know what rot is :)

Nov 26, 2010 11:02 AM
Dale Baker
Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections - Claremont, NH
New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information

Howdy and evening to you Steve

it sure is mighty amazing just what some sellers will do to cover, and hopping to keep a problem area from being seen.

Have a good one
Dale in New Hampshire

Nov 26, 2010 02:53 PM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Good morning Steve. I wonder how much extra it would have cost to extend the gutter another 4-6". That would have been too easy now wouldn't it...

Nov 26, 2010 08:22 PM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

You know, if you spray it first with shellac, it firms it up to accept the paint better!

Tell them to try that first next time.

Nov 27, 2010 12:28 AM
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

I found some  wood very damaged by termites the other day. The seller had done the same painted over it. Maybe they thought the paint would reinforce the wood.

Nov 27, 2010 10:02 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Not without the shallac...



Nov 27, 2010 11:18 AM

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