Because One Thing Leads To Another

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

I have the tendency to notice things about a house I am to inspect when I am driving up to it.  When pulling up to this seven year old house I noticed even before I got into the driveway that the front porch roof seemed to incline toward the house.  Looking closer I determined that it did!

That isn't good.  Because one thing leads to another.

Then I noticed the staining on the brick.  You can see it running from the inside corner of the porch roof all the way to ground beside the garage door.  It also caused efflorescence on the brick.

Beside the front door there was staining and rot in the molding.

Inside the house there was staining on the drywall over the transom window.

In the living room there was staining on the floor molding and some damage to the hardwood flooring under and to the left of the window nearest the front door.  And staining and cracking in the drywall.

In the garage, there was staining on the ceiling under that window and in the drywall on the upper left corner of the garage door.  And more cracking in the drywall there.

That isn't good.  Because one thing leads to another.

It had not rained in some time.  There was no moisture to detect, either with an IR camera or a moisture meter.  But there looked like there was stress over the garage door.  Was the front of the house resting on a steel beam for support or a built-up micro-laminate (wood) beam?  The brick would have its own angle-iron or steel beam support.  But sometimes the house itself is supported another way. 

The cracks in the drywall, in the living room above and in the garage below, indicated movement.  And that movement was right where moisture had been getting in from that front porch roof.  Not being invasive during a home inspection, I had little choice but to suggest that it be evaluated by a structural engineer.  My clients took my advice.

After all, by then I had convinced them of that because one thing leads to another.

The sellers allowed an engineer to the house.  He opened up the wood trim covering the support behind the brick work to expose the support.  He called me telling me that I would want to see this! 

This is what that revealed.  The entire front of the house was resting on a triple micro-laminate beam.  While very strong when dry, this beam system had gotten so wet it had begun not only to rot but attract termites!

The engineer said that the house was essentially resting on the one remaining interior beam.  That is testimony in itself as to how strong those things are!  A later termite inspection revealed that the vertical support under those beams was similarly infested with termites!  Yikes!!

The engineer said it was only a short period of time before the house may have collapsed!  Maybe even before settlement.  What a DISASTER that would have been...

And why?  Because one thing leads to another!

Even the sellers were grateful for the home inspection.  It cost them the immediate sale of the house, but allowed them the opportunity to fix it and make their house safe.  But still, they were grateful for the home inspection!

Wouldn't you be?

My recommendation:  recognize that houses are intricate systems.  Things are interconnected.  One thing does lead to another.  If you pay attention to the little things, the big things will often take care of themselves.

And get a home inspection!

 

 

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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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Sally K. & David L. Hanson 08/13/2018 05:30 AM
  2. Roy Kelley 10/25/2018 01:00 AM
Topic:
Home Buying
Location:
Virginia Prince William County Bristow
Groups:
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Professional Home Inspectors
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Tags:
termite damage
structural damage
roof leak
termite invitation
roof leak causing structural damage

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Rainmaker
1,769,320
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Marte - years ago I had a blog post on that very metaphor!

Georgie - I have been doing this for 38 years and know where the first clue can ultimately lead.  And in this case it did!

Aug 10, 2018 03:06 AM #26
Rainmaker
1,981,927
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

What a crisis that could have been. Can't help but think of lives saved. Perfect title for the post!

Aug 10, 2018 03:20 AM #27
Rainmaker
65,973
Allen Lomax
Steed Talker Realty is with two hours of Tryon International Equestrian Center and we offer the best properties in th... - Sylva, NC
WNC Mountain Homes & Horse Farms Specialists

So much for the old saying, "Don't sweat the small stuff."

Aug 10, 2018 05:30 AM #28
Rainmaker
666,963
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

It is always interesting how these problems tend to snowball.  We got a new AC installed at one of our properties and because the old unit was not pushing out enough cold air, the new unit was able to do double the output.  Well this led to condensation forming on one of the interior ducts.  Something you would have no way to predict.  

Aug 10, 2018 10:05 AM #29
Rainmaker
445,854
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

That's quite a story. Fortunately this was all uncovered during the inspections.  I enjoy reading blogs from inspectors--always an interesting post

Aug 10, 2018 12:05 PM #30
Rainmaker
1,203,634
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

You are absolutely correct. One thing leads to another, and water is not a house's friend.

Aug 11, 2018 03:56 AM #31
Rainmaker
1,769,320
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Possibly Sharon.  But imagine if someone had been hurt and I had not identified the problem!

Allen - a roof slanted the wrong way may seem small, but obviously isn't!

Kevin - is it an older house?  Older ductwork was not intended to handle the amount of air newer systems demand and put out.

Thank you, Mary!  I enjoy reading them too!

Water is THE killer of houses, Kat.  And will always be!

Aug 11, 2018 06:21 AM #32
Rainmaker
428,119
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

Well done, Jay Markanich. A professional inspection is a must and common practice in our area. I'm surprised an estimated 30% in yours don't do one. This story should be proof to anyone doubting the importance!

Thanks for sharing,
Bruce

 

Aug 11, 2018 07:58 AM #33
Rainmaker
1,769,320
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thank you, Bruce.  I think it's a must no matter what!  Pre-drywall on new construction is just as important (despite what the builder says...)!

Aug 11, 2018 12:23 PM #34
Rainmaker
1,502,521
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

Jay Markanich - DO you go as far south as King George? I have a sale there (I hope) - it is a Ryan home - new construction - and if the owner gets his loan approved he will need to do a home inspection 

Aug 13, 2018 05:32 AM #35
Rainmaker
1,769,320
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I was there just a few weeks ago, Lise.  It's about an hour and a half drive.  I do hit the buyer up for an additional fee, but not huge.  We can talk about it!  New construction is the perfect candidate for thermal imaging to see the insulation.

Aug 13, 2018 05:37 AM #36
Rainmaker
4,697,243
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Congratulations, Jay, on your feature recognition. This is quite a story to share.

Aug 13, 2018 06:01 AM #37
Rainmaker
1,769,320
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Roy.  The story had a good ending.

Aug 13, 2018 06:10 AM #38
Rainmaker
3,074,493
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Jay. This is very very scary but thank G-d you saw it and the house was able to be fixed.

Aug 13, 2018 08:02 AM #39
Rainmaker
1,769,320
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Like I said, Sheila, the story had a good ending!

Aug 13, 2018 10:31 AM #40
Ambassador
3,376,006
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Jay- I'm so glad that this was featured!! And yes, one thing leads to another but in this case thankfully it was not someone getting hurt. Just think if you had not discovered this, the sellers might have had serious injuries. 

Aug 13, 2018 12:14 PM #41
Rainmaker
1,769,320
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Kathy.  This could have been a real disaster.  Some things I really do see driving up to the house!  And they scream for further investigation.

Aug 13, 2018 03:02 PM #42
Rainmaker
4,356,262
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Wow!  Great catch Jay.  This saved a huge issue for the buyers.

Aug 14, 2018 04:47 AM #43
Rainmaker
1,769,320
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

It was very important, Gabe.  The sellers fixed it and the house sold at a later date.

Aug 14, 2018 04:49 AM #44
Rainmaker
531,374
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

That's a good instinct to have, I have that also.... sometimes a curse and hard to turn off! How many stores or malls do you go to and see that stuff and can't stop looking at it... lol, help!

Aug 14, 2018 08:23 AM #45
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Rainmaker
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Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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