Fact is...

Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

Can you see something odd?Stranger than fiction or so it's said. As a home inspector in Connecticut, I happen upon the strange and unusual, and dare I say innovative, at least several times a month. The mind it is also said works in strange and unusual ways or am I mixing up my adages. No matter, the creativity of people will never cease to amaze me.

Take for example this nice little ranch house. You may be able to tell that this part is an addition. Nothing strange or unusual about that, right? But if you're sharp eyed you might be able to spot something that perhaps looks a tad odd. Or maybe not.

Duct tape on roof used to stop leaks.

Let me provide a better perspective.

This is a picture behind the chimney from the first photo. Yes that is duct tape. This is not the low quality cloth duct tape, no sir, not at all. This repair person is obviously someone who knows quality. This is the good metal stuff that the HVAC contractors use....

on duct work.

Looking at this section of roof, it's not surprising to me that that it leaks here. The chimney creates a dam for water, snow and ice. The roof should have been installed with a diverter above the chimney, a half cricket if you will.

A more tried and true method of "repairing" leaks.Looking in the attic I found the roof sheathing was well stained from years and years of leaking. I also found a more conventional, tried and true, leak repair...


There is something to be said for the old ways...they don't work either.


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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Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Hey, doesn't duct tape fix everything???  I even heard that pageant girls use it around their waist and thighs under their evening gowns!  What are people thinking?

Jul 30, 2012 11:56 PM #10
Tamara Elliott-Deering
Central Metro Realty - Austin, TX

I guess they need to revise the title of the book from 101 uses for duct tape to 102.  Maybe next time he could line the roof under the shingles with duct tape thereby stopping air from penetrating the attic and hiding the tell tale signs. (In accordance to a post I read earlier I will point out that I was being sarcastic, I don't want anyone to think I would use duct tape as a vapor barrier - it's too expensive:))

Jul 30, 2012 11:59 PM #11
David O'Doherty
Raleigh Realty Inc - Clayton, NC
Clayton NC Homes, Raleigh, NC

Looks fine I'll take it!

Jul 31, 2012 12:02 AM #12
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

That guy is into "percentages"  with the tape he only has to empty the buckets half as many times---kind of like 1/2 a cricket :)

Jul 31, 2012 12:39 AM #13
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi James, you have to marvel at man's ingenuity. After all that effort in taping, you'd think that he would have tackled the real job instead.

Jul 31, 2012 12:54 AM #14
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Try try try to get away with whatever you can and just maybe no one will notice.....how stupid people can be when it comes to the place over their head through rain and snow and wind and etc.  A stitch in time.......

Jul 31, 2012 01:35 AM #15
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

James, you can fix ANYTHING with duct tape and a hammer. Was it 200-mile/hour tape as in Nascar?  Thanks for posting along with the pics, I enjoyed it and had a good chuckle.

Jul 31, 2012 02:27 AM #16
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

James -- as previously noted, he did some very precise work with that duct tape.  However, when it does wear out, isn't it going to damage the shingles?  The fact that he still needed the buckets should have told him that his repair wasn't good enough and move to the next stage.

Jul 31, 2012 03:48 AM #17
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

I want me some of that fancy duct tape, I have a million things I could use it for. I think it beats that stupid bucket any day. Buckets lead people to believe that there is a leak. Duct tape leads people to believe you are dumber than dirt.... too busy laughing to realize what is really going on.

Unless of course you are a cracker jack home inspector...

Jul 31, 2012 04:08 AM #18
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

James, pretty resourceful homeowner. I just replaced my flashing and rain barrier around my chimney. It's just a matter of time before these remedies give way. 

Jul 31, 2012 05:36 AM #19
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Good evening, James. HA!!! Looks like one of my "impromptu" repair jobs that lasted for two years. The trick is to seal the edges with silicone sealant once the tape is down...

Jul 31, 2012 10:03 AM #20
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

So are you trying to imply that you can't use duct tape for everything? I'm certain that can't be right. =)

Jul 31, 2012 01:24 PM #22
Rob Ernst
Certified Structure Inspector - Reno, NV
Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor

Why use buckets when you could put a piece of gutter in and drain it out through a hole in the soffit.

Jul 31, 2012 02:02 PM #23
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jim,  Now why would give such a chap such a hard time? Darn creative he was. Only thing missing was drain out of the bucket to the gutter system and all would be complete ; )

Jul 31, 2012 04:11 PM #24
Jon Quist
Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996

Very funny. Sad, but still funny. And what do you mean, you can't use good quality duct tape to patch a roof?

Jul 31, 2012 05:46 PM #25
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

Obviously they just need to re-apply the tape.  Easy fix.

Jul 31, 2012 08:09 PM #26
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

thanks for sharing this one with us James, I often wonder why people place chimneys half way down a roof, regardless of the diverter, they almost always leak eventually.

Jul 31, 2012 08:58 PM #27
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Mark, You have a good eye for professional work ;)

Jay, The ramp is a bonus for sure. I also think you might be half baked. 

Michael, Yes we are seeing the work of a true creative genius.

Anonymous, Well actually yes we are seeing another use for duct tape. 

Gary, Ain't that the truth. Pay now or pay more later.

Clint, Thanks. It was a big bucket! 

Kathy, Glad you liked it. It was too good not to share :)

Richie, I think every family has one of those relatives :)

Kathryn, I don't either, but they sure are fun to find :)

Jul 31, 2012 10:25 PM #28
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Paula, Is that low budget liposuction :)

Tamara, Good point, hide the tape.

David, Plenty of that tape at Home Depot.

Charlie, Actually I think the percentage may be lower, after all he used the good stuff :)

Sandy, You would think and apparently he was :)

Chris & Dick, Foolishly funny. 

Richard, Not sure if is 200 mph tape, but it has been there a while.

Steven, Actually not to worry, the roof is shot and needs to be replaced. 

Andrea, Home Depot has rolls and rolls of this fancy tape, just in case you're wondering ;)

Jul 31, 2012 10:34 PM #29
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Adrian, I don't think I have every found chimney flashing that hasn't leaked. 

Michael, Thanks for the tip.

Erica, Absolutely :)

Melissa, I know it's hard to believe, but no duct tape can't fix everything :)

Rob, You're scaring me. I hope you saw that on an inspection and it's not how you fixed your leaky chimney ;) 

Don, You my friend are a mad genius. A drain from the bucket, of course! 

Jon, Apparently you can ;)

Reuben, Yep. Then it will be all better :)

Bob, Yes they do. 

Jul 31, 2012 10:40 PM #30
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