E D , Erectile Dysfunction.................................An OMG File.

Home Inspector with Aspect Inspection

E D , Erectile Dysfunction.................................An OMG File.

chimney photo

Not what you were expecting?  Well neither was I.

I was inspecting the roof with the black shingles, sighting down the soffit for gutter slope when I did a double take on this chimney. O.M. G. indeed.

It took a few moments to realize how this got to be that way. It's obvious that maintenance repointing has been done.

And it's equally obvious that it was a DIY mason, likely the home owner. And this erectile dysfunction came about as the homeowner DIY mason has a well developed respect for heights (read fear of heights).

Either that or a ladder that only gave him access to the roof. This curve took some time to develop from multiple repointing repairs over time. The more easily accessible from the roof side got better attention and joints were kept filled (maybe overfilled), while those on the harder to teach out side got less repair and compressed.

On the other direction (90 degree view) there is no curvature evident. From this I can deduce that the mason was right handed. He could reach the sides facing us and facing away with his right hand, and of course the side to the left from our view point.

But the right side would have been hard to reach with his right hand, because he would be too close to the open roof edge on his distaff side. Anybody nervous or hyper aware of the height would rather use their left had and stand more securly in from the roof edge. The left handed work would be less dexterous and repairs maybe less frequent than otherwise.

A clear case of bias wouldn't you think.


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Comments (18)

Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Robert, great title for this photo. Enjoyed reading this post. Suggested.

Jun 02, 2011 05:46 PM
Peg Barcelo
Fluff My House! Home Staging Inc. 250.486.6369 - Summerland, BC
The FlufftasticStager from Summerland, BC

Robert, maybe he's from Italy; the Pisa region... Y'never know... (you're explanation sounds more feasible though) :D

Jun 02, 2011 05:52 PM
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

That's a classic, Robert!

Jun 02, 2011 06:06 PM
Doug Bullwinkel
Envoy Mortgage,NMLS ID 6666 - Sacramento, CA
Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS #281609

This thing looks like it could fall over in a heavy wind.  I've never seen one this crooked before.

Jun 02, 2011 07:04 PM
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker


I wanted to know how you were going to tie this into treal estate. Great post.


Jun 03, 2011 01:30 AM
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

The title and picture were funny enough. Thanks for bringing it all together with inspector sensibility Robert.

Jun 03, 2011 02:17 AM
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Robert - Whoa! Erectile dysfunction, indeed! That was a very interesting diagnosis about how the chimney became so lopsided. Thanks!

Jun 03, 2011 02:26 AM
Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips - Eureka, CA
Realtor and Broker/Owner

Good Morning Robert, if that chimney was in Eureka, it would be on the ground just after the next earthquake!  Excellent photo of a job not well done.

Jun 03, 2011 02:38 AM
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

Not to put you on the spot too much, but I have a question.  I specialize in Victorian homes.  Many times in the attic the brick chimney stack is a little twisted between the attic floor and the exit at the roof line.  Any idea why they did that?  The first few times I thought it was the same drunken mason, but it is too consistent, and I have always wondered why.  Have a blessed day.

Jun 03, 2011 03:08 AM
Malcolm Johnston
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario - Trenton, ON
Trenton Real Estate

Robert, you're the Hercule Poirot of home inspectors. You have come to some very logical conclusions. Good work and great post, I bet a few people clicked in just for the title alone.

Jun 03, 2011 03:22 AM
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


Funny lead in to something we see fairly often in this job.

Jun 03, 2011 11:01 AM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

That is awesome! The Leaning Chimney. And it looks like it was built like that. Maybe to garner some attention. Notwithstanding Steven’s comment above mine, I have never seen a leaning chimney. I have seen some that came tumbling down after an earthquake. Could be why we don’t have very many brick chimneys around here.

Jun 03, 2011 01:07 PM
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

Thanks Rebecca. The photo was the inspiration for the title.

Peg, would pee'sa make it a urinating chimney?

Hi Steve, classic and a homeowners headache.

Doug all that mortar works like glue, for a while anyway.

The title was inspired by this real estate Brian, the rest is deduction and reporting.

Hi Tom, If I don't have inspector sensibility who will?

You're welcome Judy.

No doubt it would be on the ground there Dan. Then I'd have to blog about a pile on the ground. Now what could that be analogous to?

Jun 03, 2011 02:51 PM
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

Mimi, great question. This will be a blog seen near you soon. Here's the link.

Malcolm, Hercule Poirot dresses much more nattily that I could stand, and the title did what it was supposed to.

Yeah Steve we see lots of chimney 'faults' in this job.

Yes Russel, earthquakes are the great levellers. Rigid materials don't handle movement well. Here earthquakes are a novelty,..to date.




Jun 03, 2011 03:53 PM
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC


Great title, it seems it always comes with age ; )

Jun 03, 2011 03:53 PM
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

Well Don maybe not always but age usually shows character, and character is a story, so titles fit in there somewhere.

Jun 03, 2011 03:56 PM
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Robert here in the NW chimneys behave like that over and over again and it has nothing to do with the way they were built.  It has to do with the side of the chimney that stays wet the longest so that the joints take on more moisture and are more affected by freeze/thaw cycles than the other side.  In our case here---all chimneys lean to the South---sooner or later.

Jun 06, 2011 03:41 AM
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

Interesting observation Charles. We don't seem to have any directional leanings here.

Jun 06, 2011 11:53 AM