When Problems Are Hidden

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

One thing I do on every inspection, because I have long arms and reach eight feet, is raise my flashlight up parallel to ceiling height and see what I can see in the drywall.  Any previous repair will be revealed, unless they are as good as I am at doing drywall...  (yes, that was a bit of a toot on my horn).

And my practice is always revealing when problems are hidden.

I saw this from across the room.

When leaks require drywall repairs, I will see them from across the room.

When leaks only stain the drywall that needs to be primed and painted, I will see that from across the room.

Do you know what you are looking at here?

That is the pattern created by the material at the bottom of a can of spray KILZ.

KILZ is a stain-blocking primer.  It is good stuff.  It seals the brown stains that leaks develop on drywall.  You can paint those stains 40 times and unless you seal them back with a stain blocker first they will continue to come back.

How do I know this is the bottom of the can?  C'mon!  Experience!  I have used the stuff!

There is another way to see KILZ.  If the KILZ is not itself sealed back with a second layer of flat paint, it will itself bleed through a single coat of paint and is shiny!  Flipper doesn't know that!  Yeah, this same guy.  And I already told you how I know about KILZ, and the shiny bleed through...

But what's above this repaired spot?  An old stone fireplace and hearth.  And new hardwood flooring.  Nothing significant that would leak.

But it's still wet!  17% moisture is not dry!

Where's the moisture coming from?  This is a repair, and the stain is localized.  So it must be a one-time leak.

Could it be from here?  We know that plumbing wasn't done properly.  And we couldn't see under the tub.  So I filled the tub up and let it drain.  No leaking.  It might be that the tub leaked a couple of days earlier and it has been repaired.

Could it be the fireplace?  In the basement wall, under the fireplace, there is a cavity in the foundation wall used to help support the chimney's weight.  Drywall and book shelves were put in the cavity.  All around the floor molding and up the drywall the moisture registered over 30%.  That is active moisture intrusion!

But is that getting inward to the basement ceiling and under the hardwood flooring?  I would doubt it.  The moisture would have a more dispersed pattern, and would probably be moist all over the basement ceiling.

I think it was a leak.  BUT THAT BASEMENT WALL IS STILL A HUGE PROBLEM!  PROBABLY A DIFFERENT ONE!

My recommendation:  people sometimes try to hide problems.  Especially flippers!  While I am not necessarily looking to see if they are hiding something, disclosure is not something required in Virginia and I must be diligent in trying to find things.  Like seeing the clue above!  Again, when you hire a home inspector, get a bull dog with experience.  They pay off in the end!

 

 

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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Rainmaker
1,849,772
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

You may have been right about the cause, Chris, but sometimes it is just a lousy drywall job that squishes too much mud out from under the tape.

But either way, get an inspection!

Jun 02, 2011 08:06 AM #59
Rainer
479,314
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Great information, thanks.

Jun 02, 2011 08:44 AM #60
Rainmaker
1,849,772
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Glad you enjoyed it Kimo!

Jun 02, 2011 09:16 AM #61
Rainer
247,800
Gerard Gilbers
Higher Authority Markeing - Asheboro, NC
Your Marketing Master

Great information. Experience is definitely the best way to spot things!

Jun 02, 2011 10:17 AM #62
Rainmaker
226,833
Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent
BROKER Allison James Estates & Homes BRE 01885684 - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

Have not used KILZ...im gonna have to look for it.

Thanks for the photo, I have seen that before and had no idea what it might indicate.

Jun 02, 2011 10:24 AM #63
Rainmaker
1,849,772
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Gerard.  That is what we are there for!

Liane - well, now you know!  The spray KILZ is only in oil, but it dries pretty fast.  There is latex brush on which does not smell so bad.

Jun 02, 2011 11:24 AM #64
Rainer
171,130
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

Your KILZ is new to me, but Zinzer is used around here. 

Us long armed bull dogs have to stick together. Do they really expect us NOT to shine a light on it?

Jun 02, 2011 02:44 PM #65
Rainmaker
131,417
Mike Henderson
Your complete source for buying HUD homes - Littleton, CO
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848

Good post.  Way to use your height as an advantage.  I need to find a taller home inspector.

Jun 02, 2011 05:39 PM #66
Rainer
69,054
Robert Courtney
Lihue, HI
Century 21 All Islands, RA, CDPE, MCRE, CIAS

I like the ability of an inspector that is not only thorough but not afraid to give the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth and let the seller and buyer work it out.  You act as a third party and to me that ads credibility to what you do for us.

Jun 02, 2011 08:31 PM #67
Rainmaker
1,849,772
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Robert - we have Zinsser around here too.  There are many on the market.  But I recognize this KILZ pattern.

I am not so tall Mike, 6'0", but my wingspan is 6'8".  So I can reach 8' easily.  Makes for lighting things up easier!  I could also dunk a basketball in college!

Robert - we are a third party, but on the buyer's team!

Jun 02, 2011 11:42 PM #68
Rainmaker
3,266,239
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Hey Detective ,...I am confused...your arms are 8 feet long?....that is never how I imagined you  in person !

Jun 03, 2011 01:25 AM #69
Rainmaker
1,849,772
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

They drag a bit S&D, but when I fold them up like a bat wing they aren't so pronounced.

Jun 03, 2011 01:28 AM #70
Rainmaker
234,380
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty

Interesting post...I didn't know that you could spray on KILZ or that it left those shiny areas on walls.  Thanks for the info.  All of these flippers trying to conceal things in homes will probably get in trouble down the road.

Jun 03, 2011 03:42 AM #71
Rainmaker
1,849,772
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I don't know Patricia!  But I point it out now!  Years from now nobody will know who did the flip!

Jun 03, 2011 03:54 AM #72
Rainer
9,580
Thomas Haught
The Russell Realty Group - Saugus, MA

Great post!  I have seen many couver-ups in homes over the years and I never knew of KILZ showing itself that way, thanks for the info!

Jun 04, 2011 03:51 AM #73
Rainmaker
1,849,772
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Thomas.  It's a sure sign!  Then you start looking underneath!

Jun 04, 2011 02:07 PM #74
Rainer
92,374
Ellen Wright Adams
Academy Mortgage.......We are a Equal Housing Lender - Eugene, OR
LoansByEllen- Licensed in Oregon

Jay:  this is great info not just professionally, but for myself or those I know looking to buy a home.  You are obviously EXCELLENT at what you do!

Jun 05, 2011 09:22 AM #75
Rainmaker
1,849,772
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thank you Ellen.  I hope you can use the information to your benefit, and to your clients' benefits!

Jun 05, 2011 12:47 PM #76
Ambassador
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Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor
Sun Lakes Realty - Banning, CA
(909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning

Great article Jay, You are the type of home inspector I want for my clients. So many sellers trying to hide defects but water intrusion seems to be the biggest issue. I have used Kilz before and it does work in covering old yellow spots. Disclose, Disclose, Disclose.....

Jun 06, 2011 06:01 AM #77
Rainmaker
1,849,772
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

This was a flipper Kristin, and would dane disclose anything!  Thank you!

Jun 06, 2011 08:01 AM #78
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Rainmaker
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Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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