Not To Forget

Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

I think it's human nature to purposefully forget when something bad has happened, either personally or on a broader scale such as witnessing a natural disaster. The emotions we feel at the time are strong and unpleasant, subsequently we push them away into a dark corner of our mind, buried deep under our memories.

The winter just past here in Connecticut was one of much pain and suffering for many people. Record snowfall in January caused homeowners to experience water infiltration into their homes from ice damming. Some unfortunate souls had structural issues. Roof collapses were common.

It is spring now, the snows are gone and winters breath is fading quickly form the winds. The colors of spring are peeking from the ground. People are cleaning up and fixing up from the winter. The hardships of this past winter fading quickly from their minds.

As a Connecticut home inspector I can not let myself forget what occurred here just a few short months ago. It has a direct impact on my inspections.

A dip in the roofAs I mentioned structural issues and roof collapses were widespread, but not every roof collapsed. Some were damaged structurally. The damage would of course still present, but quite likely undetected.

Looking at a roof from the ground while inspecting the exterior of a home during a recent inspection, I noticed a large divot on the back side of the roof. When I climbed the roof this bowl was quite pronounced.

I made a note to look closely while in the attic.

This home was built in the 1920s. Like a good many older homes, the roof was under framed. And yet it still stands.Bowed rafters

But the weakness has begun to show.

Looking at the framing in the attic under the depression, the framing was noticeably bowed. I saw day light between the rafters and the roof sheathing.

And I found a cracked rafter.

Right at the crack was the lowest point of the dip in the roof. I was amazed the roof hadn't fallen in during the snows of January.

Cracked rafterDamage such as this surely exists in many homes through out Connecticut. When the high summer sun is shining, it will be easy to forget the snows that blanketed the roofs in January.

As for me I won't forget.



James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
2010 - 2011 SNEC-ASHI President
NRSB #8SS0022
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:

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Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.

Posted by

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

 ASHI Certified Inspector

To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:

Learn more about our Infrared Thermal Imaging & Diagnostics services.

Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.


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Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass

I am still trying to forget this winter but the damage that was done to so many homes from the ice damming is a constant reminder.


Apr 19, 2011 03:58 AM #22
Chris and Berna Sloan
Group 1 Real Estate - Tooele, UT
Tooele UT

Living in the Wasatch mountains where we receive hundreds of inches of snow a year, we are a bit more mindful of roof issues, but you are right, come summer, it'll be hard to look hard for the type of damage you mention. Thanks for the reminder!

Apr 19, 2011 04:10 AM #23
Justin Dibbs
Pearson Smith Realty - Ashburn, VA
REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale

I guess its a good idea to have an inspector come check out your house every couple of years ;-)

Apr 19, 2011 04:20 AM #24
Pat & Wayne Harriman
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 - Wallingford, CT
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate

We won't forget it either...a few houses in our neighborhood experienced collapses, including one whose entire garage collasped. Even our own home developed a leak next to the chimney. We had it fixed, only to find during the next rain storm that it still leaked, just not as much. We had it re-fixed, lo and behold it still leaks, even though it's just a drop every few seconds now. Such is the life of a homeowner in New England...

Apr 19, 2011 05:37 AM #25
Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986.
eXp Realty, Victoria BC - Victoria, BC
Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490

Hi James,

Great post and great advice for any property owner anywhere, with your okay we will reblog this excellent information, thanks for sharing.

Apr 19, 2011 06:02 AM #26
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi James,  I remember the snow on the roofs in Michigan and how we used to chip away at the ice dams.  A roof buried under 1- 25 inches of snow qwas not uncommon.  How many tons would that have weighed ?

Apr 19, 2011 06:11 AM #27
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

James - The snow does take its toll and certainly something to never forget.  I suppose it is better to find it now (and fix the situation) than deal with the probably consequences later.

Apr 19, 2011 06:34 AM #28
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jim, you will be finding this damage for years----in ten years reports will refer to damage likely caused in the "Great Snow of 2011)  :) I still see stuff related to the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake

Apr 19, 2011 07:00 AM #30
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

James we do carry the past, structural, weather, or otherwise into the future, and we need to be cognizant of the past's influence on the present, as you say, not forget it.

Apr 19, 2011 09:48 AM #31
Rosalie Evans
Meritus Group Real Estate - Sioux Falls, SD
The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale

Scary for buyers there! How much snow did you get that caused that much damage?? I did hear about ice dams here in SD but not so much about all out collapse. Just one of many reasons that it is prudent to get a inspection when buying a house. Thanks for the post.

Apr 19, 2011 09:53 AM #32
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

James, this is the reason that new home construction (at a minimum)should be made to follow the building codes.

Apr 19, 2011 09:55 AM #33
Dana Voelzke
loanDepot (203) 733-9408 - Bethel, CT
Loan Officer/ First time home buyer specialist

Hi James, a great reminder! Yes, we do forget. Maybe too easily at times.

Apr 19, 2011 12:13 PM #34
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

Charlie's got a good point there. Here "the Ice Storm" of 1998 is the 'big one' we still reference. This winter was the hardest in years, but no big deal here. We have to build for much worse.

Apr 19, 2011 02:32 PM #35
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


Interesting post. We, thankfully, do not usually get it in quantities to cause that kind of damage.

Apr 19, 2011 04:08 PM #36
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Weight is weight and gravity works every time.  But especially OVER time!

Apr 20, 2011 01:40 AM #37
Karen Cooper
Karen Cooper | Sr Retail Loan Originator ! NMLS # 223305 | 360 Mortgage Group LLC Austin Texas - Leander, TX
Helping Homeowners w/Home Loans in 27 US States

Great points you make, James. Speaking from immediate experience, yes one would very much like to bury one's head in the sand and hope issues go away, but the problem still exists even when the sun comes out. We are in the midst of legal and professional conduct issues that resulted in damage to our home and I sure wish the solution would be to wave a wand and make it go away, but alas this is not to be. Thanks for your post, and congratulations on the feature.

Apr 20, 2011 02:04 AM #38
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Chuck, If the snow fall was as unusually heavy as ours, you probably do have some weak roofs.

S & D, Yep, maintenance is not to be forgotten.

Julissa, Thank you. That is nice of you to say.

Andrea, I think some people will be dealing with this nasty winter for some time to come.

Barbara, Well said.

Michael, You would hope they wouldn't.

Mary, Thanks, you too.

Carol, For sure every region has it's unique weather.

Howard & Susan, I like the sound of that idea.

Ed, The buyer was surprised, but not that concerned.

Apr 20, 2011 11:25 AM #39
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Richard, We almost never see hail, but I know it can be damaging.

Bob, It sure does.

Morgan, It does help.

Melissa, We may, but I bet they won't.

Eileen, That's why inspection are so important.

Robert, Thanks, I guess it is.

Margaret, Yes it would.

Lorraine or Loretta, Sounds like you have your share of bad weather too.

Lisa & Robert, Good to find the crack now, it is repairable.

Michael, Thanks.

Apr 20, 2011 11:34 AM #40
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Jerry, Look at it this way, it helped the contractors.

Claudette, Oh for sure. I see reminders all the time.

Chris, Hundreds of inches! Now I don't feel so bad. Thanks.

Justin, No argument here :)

Wayne, Sounds like your getting closer to stopping that leak :)

Apr 20, 2011 11:39 AM #41
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Peter & Linda, Thanks and Reblog away :)

Bill, Lots.

Jason, For sure. The result later would be a large and unwanted skylight :)

Erica, Yes, the rains have been fierce this spring.

Charlie, Damage like this doesn't go away, unless it's fixed.

Gary, Well put.

Rosalie, We had one storm that dumped over two feet followed by a couple of smaller ones.

Mike, I would hope it exceeds them.

Dana, Yes, we may indeed.

Robert, No doubt you would need beefier construction in your area. Our homes here aren't built to take that kind of load.

Steve, Yes, I know. You guys go crazy over a few inches :)

Jay, Gravity has been working on my weight for some time :)

Karen, Thanks.

Apr 20, 2011 12:12 PM #42
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