I Got My First Earthquake Inspection!

Real Estate Agent with Allen Tate Realtors Chapel Hill, NC 919-819-8199

I wasn't in Chapel Hill, NC for the earthquake excitement but I know many of my friends, co-workers and clients felt it! Our experience of the event may not have been exactly like that of the folks near the epicenter but Jay Markanich, a Virginia colleague who is a knowledgable home inspector, was called into action to check out the homes of some of his clients who were getting ready to go to closing!

He outlines here what he would look for in such an inspection and it occurs to me that any of you who are just interested in being certain all is well with your home might want to check it out! Thanks Jay!

Original content by Jay Markanich 3380-000723

Interestingly, within an hour of the earthquake my phone began ringing!  People with questions about what to do and what to look for around their houses.

I had to admit to them that I have never done this before, but I visualized my house and checked off a verbal list for people to follow.

When the earthquake hit I was home in "my" chair.  The house shook sideways and up and down!  It was strong enough to knock books and things off the shelves in my office!  The dog ran into the room and jumped in my lap!  It really scared her.

Immediately I walked around my house to check it out.  My neighbor was in her yard and said pictures had actually fallen off their walls.

The epicenter is said to have been 3.7 miles deep and 70 miles away in Mineral, VA.  It reached 5.9 on the Richter Scale.  And I have never experienced anything like it!

One client, for whom I had done an inspection a couple of months ago, called and wants an immediate inspection on the house.


Because they are settling Friday afternoon and want to make sure it is still in good shape!  So I'll swing by late Thursday.

What will I check for (having no experience at this you understand)?

>  The grounds to see if any new openings or sink holes have developed.
Smell the gas meter to see if there is any odor.
>  The exterior skin of the house for openings or abnormalities.
>  Cracked windows.
>  Any roof abnormalities.
>  Chimney cracking or movement.
>  Damage to the AC condensers or their connections.
>  Indoor abnormalities to the walls, ceilings, floors and coverings.  Any cracking in the slab.
>  Inside the attic looking for cracking or separation of roof trusses, sheathing and structure.
>  Movement of or cracking of the fireplace, inside and out.
>  Damage to or separation of HVAC ducts in the walls and at the unit.
>  Any gas odor near the furnace and water heater.
>  Check kitchen and bath cabinetry for movement, cracking, separation from the wall.

Of course this is a visual look around.  That's the list off the top of my head.  And that's what I looked for at my house when I did my sweep.  When I arrive for my inspection other things might impress me to look at.  It depends on the house!

And my dog is still following me all over OUR house!  She is making sure daddy is right nearby in case this thing happens again!



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia


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SarahGray Lamm is a licensed, full time, residential real estate professional in the Triangle area of North Carolina with over 100,000 hours of experience. She specializes in serving the real estate needs of home sellers, home buyers and investors in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham and Northern Chatham County and is proudly associated with Allen Tate Realtors, the Carolinas #1 independent realty company.

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Comments (2)

Kim Delia
Remax Professional Associates - Charlton, MA
Realty Delia Group

Wow, that's so crazy.  I can't believe we had one on this side of the coast.....

Aug 23, 2011 11:41 PM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Sarah - yep, thre is something new and that new is an earthquake n the east coast.

Aug 23, 2011 11:48 PM