Not Venting Is, Well, Not Venting

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

When it comes to bathroom vents, not venting is, well, not venting.

This is after the "repair."  There were a number of things on a house that needed doing.

The selling agent, and my client, received notification from the other party that "everything on the addendum list was done."

One thing to be done was to exhaust the bathroom vents outdoors.  On our original inspection, I noticed that they both vented into the attic.  Easy enough.

During my reinspection, I checked.  Neither was drawing air.  So I looked in the attic!

Both looked like this, serpentine, up and down and connected to that cone on the lower left side.  Any vent going up and down like this is compromised and won't work.

Looking closely on the upper left you might notice that despite being there less than a week, one tube is already torn.

Then there's the problem of them both venting out the same hole.

They should each vent separately.  That way exhaust from one bathroom does not go into the other!

No matter though. Lookie here!

That single cone has already come loose from the roof anyway!

Notice how well it was "taped" into place!

That 6" of tape just wasn't enough it seems.

The rest of the "repairs" were similar.  My follow-up report was almost as long as the original one!

How fun is that!

My recommendation:  I don't do it very often, but sometimes a follow-up inspection of promised repairs is necessary.  It really depends on the other side.  Did they really use professionals in each trade?  Do they provide receipts?  The tip off in this deal was that there were no receipts for the many plumbing or electrical items, which "repairs" were a joke.  It turned out that a local handyman did the "repairs."  For sure that is true.



Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


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

Jay, that looks like an "attic humidity control device"---they are very effective in my neck of the woods

Jul 26, 2012 12:40 AM #14
Rob Ernst
Certified Structure Inspector - Reno, NV
Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor

Wow they need more tape to tape up all the holes. Can you imagine how shocked we would be if people actually started doing the work properly.

Jul 26, 2012 12:46 AM #15
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jay, Curious do they require insulated ducting for exhaust in your area?

That stuff (using term mildly) should be stricken from the box stores or any store so people can not buy it.

Jul 26, 2012 01:08 AM #16
Randy Ostrander
Lake and Lodge Realty LLC - Big Rapids, MI
Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI

Good morning Jay. Scary that we need to spell out and recheck professionals. How the seller could have thought the serpentine vent was ok I don't get.

Jul 26, 2012 01:35 AM #17
NoCo Home Team
C3 Real Estate Solutions - Fort Collins, CO
Sell Smart, Buy Wise & Live Well in Nrthn Colorado

In the words of my wise stepfather - "If you don't have time to do it right the first time, where are you going to find time to do it a SECOND time?".  This is a classic case. Surely it didn't take any less time to make this worthless setup than it would have to do it correctly.  Good for them that you were willing to investigate and reveal all of this nonsense.


Jul 26, 2012 02:29 AM #18
Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond

Jay, thanks for sharing...i see alot of these just not this bad...and always recommend that the homeowner have the inspector come back to check it out- some just don't take the advice.

Jul 26, 2012 02:59 AM #19
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Jay, I bet the seller was not happy because of the second report. I just love it when I see vent exhausts from kitchen stoves going to the cabinet above and not to the outside. Not a true exhaust and I'm not even a licensed contractor. I guess the builder was hoping no one would notice: "Hey, it's got an exhaust fan! What more do you want?" 

Jul 26, 2012 03:01 AM #20
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Follow-up inspections on promised repairs is a great idea.  

Jul 26, 2012 03:03 AM #21
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Good tell-tale sign no receipts is a good sign that the work wasn't professional done.

Frustrating for the homebuyer I'm sure. 

Jul 26, 2012 04:01 AM #22
Kathryn Maguire (757) 560-0881 - Chesapeake, VA
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach

There are many agents who do not encourage a follow-up inspection of the requested repairs.  This post makes you understand why it might be a good idea to "trust but verify!"

Jul 26, 2012 05:11 AM #23
Mike Auger
Patriot Property Inspections, Auger Enterprises, Inc - Warwick, RI
Certified Master Inspector

i see he same item around here all the time. There are quite a few contractors who vent into the attic, or even worse, I saw a vent fan with no exaust simply burried under insualtion.


Nice blog!

Jul 26, 2012 05:44 AM #24
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional
Hi Jay, When my clients make a request for repairs, it states that the repairs are to be done by licenced contractors and receipts obtained. Anything short of that and one would most surely be disappoiinted with homemade repairs.
Jul 26, 2012 02:23 PM #25
Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor
Sun Lakes Realty - Banning, CA
(909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning

Hi Jay,

 I agree with William, I never recommend anyone to do repairs except a licensed contractor. I only let licensed contractors do work at my house and of course I wouldn't want some inexperienced person to do repairs at my clients home either.

There are so many good experienced contractors but some real inexperienced handymen too who cause extra work and money for unsuspecting people needing help. Unfortunately a bad electrical job can cause a fire and even worse.

I really enjoy your posts and I learn so much too.

Jul 26, 2012 03:00 PM #26
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

CongratulationsYour PhotoBlog Post has been Featured in the ActiveRain PhotoBlogger Group

Jul 27, 2012 07:21 AM #27
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Jim - that's the fun stuff!  I find that follow-up inspections take more report time because the clients want photos to "prove" everything.  Like, um, it isn't obvious!

James - fan present, tubing needed.  Hook it up.  What more?

And this time of year it's no fun Carol!

Gary - it's right if the air can get easily out.  Here they are using insulated tubing also, to cut down on condensation making its way back to the fan.

Jul 27, 2012 08:01 PM #28
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Tamara - if it had been straight up, he would have only needed about 5' for each one!

Joe - as is often the case, one thing leads to another!

Michael - let's hope!  Reagan used to trust, but verify!

Fred - semantics, semantics.  Crap and crapola often work well, and are useful words in so many circumstances.

Jul 27, 2012 08:03 PM #29
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

C&D - it's getting to that point here too!  Some of the work is comical, if not also sad.

Debbie - and they should!  Insulated tubing is recommended around here as well.

Richie - it would save me a trip to have photos after the work just sent to me.  I could charge a small "consulting" fee!

Charlie Shadow Bud - that's not bad.  I will have to suggest that to the buyer and say that in that context these are well done!

Jul 27, 2012 08:07 PM #30
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

C'mon Rob!  What fun would that be!?  And then all the coolest blogs would dry up.

Don - that stuff replaced the plastic for the most part, which is still out there!  I don't know if insulated stuff is "required," but it is used in all newer construction.  So why not for repairs?

Randy - we don't have to recheck professionals!  It's these other guys that are getting all the attention!

Dee - we went to the same school because I say that to my clients all the time!

Jul 27, 2012 08:10 PM #31
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Ginny - trust springs eternal, or something like that.

Pamela - you don't have to be a contractor to understand common sense!

I'm doing them more and more Chris Ann.  It's a much smaller fee than the inspection.  In this case I didn't realize I was in for a 15 hour re-report!

Adrian - the other side was hemming and hawing so much the buyer's realtor got suspicious enough to call me.

Jul 27, 2012 08:14 PM #32
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

It's getting to where follow-ups are necessary Kathryn.  And I used that phrase in #29!

Mike - the under-the-insulation thing is pretty common too!  And harder to verify!

That was the case here too William, and receipts were provided for everything!  Very impressive.

Kristin - all the repairs had receipts attached!  See my previous post and today's!

Thanks for the feature William!

Jul 27, 2012 08:43 PM #33
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