Is Stainless Steel Really Stainless?

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

Is Stainless Steel Really Stainless?

Well, no.  It would be better to call it stain less, with two words.

It can be stained!

This is a stainless steel kitchen sink in BRAND NEW CONSTRUCTION.

We were doing the final walk through inspection.

The kitchen sink had small brown stains all over it.  They would not come out.  Running water and trying a rag did not remove the stains.  I have to think the cleaners tried also.

So, what stains stainless steel?  The list includes many things, and this is not exhaustive:

  • Sulfuric acid
  • Muriatic acid
  • Chlorine (pure bleach or a stronger bleach product)
  • Glue products that contain cadmium
  • Wood polish and cleaners
  • Paint strippers that contain benzene
  • Household cleaners containing methanol

Obviously these stains were caused during construction.  I expect the only solution (no pun intended) was to replace the sink.  I'm sure the builder loved that.

People often ask me if this or that is a good builder.  My answer?  It depends on the supervisor on site EVERY DAY (if he's not beware) and the subs they use (again, beware!).  If the builder employs a lot of what I call "7-11 Construction" then the work is even less professional or careful.  People who don't understand what they are doing or anything about the chemicals and products they are told to use then damage can and will be done.

My recommendation:  hire a home inspector for a pre-drywall and final walk through on new construction!  This is an old song, and you will hear from the builder that these inspections are "unnecessary."  After all, the builders say, there have already been hundreds of inspections!  Even the local jurisdiction does inspections!  Don't count on that.  And in Northern Virginia I suggest that you insist on Jay Markanich!

 

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. Barbara Todaro 05/10/2019 03:44 AM
  2. Roy Kelley 06/04/2019 01:00 AM
Topic:
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Virginia Prince William County Bristow
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Rainmaker
1,833,654
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thank you, Kathy.  Baking soda and white vinegar work for many things, but these stains were odd.  Some stains that get etched into the product just won't come out!

Carolyn - that's been a complaint for a long time.  They have come out with stainless that is fingerprint "resistant..." now.

Marte - what do you bet the list grows as new chemicals come on the consumer market!

Jon - my line for decades is that drywall hides a multitude of sins.

May 11, 2019 03:16 AM #29
Rainmaker
1,833,654
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Debra - wasn't everything mostly like that then?  Things were made to give the company a good name, not to break down quickly, or have to be replaced real soon with the "upgrade" whatever, like computer programs.

I have friends in your state, Andrew, who come here and are shocked by the numbers of illegals here.  They congregate where the state policies encourage congregation (the same goes for homelessness and drug abuse).  And certainly any product can be damaged, even porcelain.  Just yesterday I saw a brand new porcelain bath tub that had been chipped.

Myrl - and there is often a lot being hidden!  Poorly-done framing behind drywall is still poorly-done framing.

May 11, 2019 03:21 AM #30
Rainer
291,730
Andrea.B Ferreira 954-303-8289 CRS
Keyes Co. - Davie, FL
Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County in FL

Your knowledge is priceless, thank you for sharing. Very important to know this to better educated our customers. Love it.

May 11, 2019 05:58 AM #31
Rainmaker
2,476,277
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Great advice, Jay. For home inspections in Northern Virginia, call Jay Markanich.

 

 

 

May 11, 2019 06:39 AM #32
Rainer
5,400
Robert Buys Houses DFW
Robert Buys Houses DFW - Dallas, TX
We Buy Houses Fast in Dallas-Fort Worth

Great post Jay Markanich... I too have had brand new stainless steel stained just before the opening day to show the house. I have changed product brands, only to have the same results.

 

Much Appreciated

Robert Hernandez

https://www.robertbuyshousesdfw.com

May 11, 2019 07:55 AM #33
Rainmaker
487,348
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Hi Jay: Great post---something I often wonder about but have never really seen (a stained stainless sink!)..I find that good old soap and water, and then a dry cloth are the very best thing to use on sainless steel; otherwise there is a residue and that makes it look alike a stain or at least not clean! I have twin sinks and the whole kitchen looks new if I spend the time to use my soapy sponge, rinse and wipe hard with a dry cloth.

May 11, 2019 08:50 AM #34
Rainmaker
1,514,871
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Jay, I wish more buyers would take your advice and hire their own inspector for pre-drywall and final walk through on new construction. I'll never understand not having inspections done, the builders and the county are a far cry from a licensed home inspector who is looking out for the buyers best interests. I hope this buyer requested the builder replace this sink. Unacceptable, those stains would drive me crazy.

May 11, 2019 11:49 AM #35
Rainmaker
495,929
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I am skeptical re: quality of new construction. Seems like the builder just slap up the houses as quickly as possible.  I see jagged sheetrock, incorrect carpet install.  I also don't think there is anyone checking work on a regular basis

 

May 11, 2019 02:22 PM #36
Rainmaker
1,833,654
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thank you for your kind words, Andrea.  I try!

And thank you, Rebecca.  I love what I do!

Sounds like Murphy is following you around, Robert!  Keep those caustic chems away from the kitchen sink!

Paula - I keep our stainless sink clean with soap and water too.  But you have to avoid any chemicals that cannot be so cleaned!

May 11, 2019 06:35 PM #37
Rainmaker
1,833,654
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Some of the things I find in new construction are unbelievable, Amanda.  Sometimes I come away from inspections really worrying about my clients.  It is often apparent that the builder is not worrying so much....

Mary - sometimes drywall looks like an 8 year old did it.  I blame it on (my sarcastic term) 7-11 Construction.  The builder has a pick up truck go by the local 7-11 and say, "I need drywall guys today."  Twenty come up yelling, "I drywall, I drywall!"  And behold the results.  They are all paid in cash under the table so they aren't employees and don't show up on any paperwork.  Years ago I was saying that these guys sweeping and cleaning up would one day get into the trades, and here we are!  It's pathetic.  Don't get me started.

 

May 11, 2019 06:39 PM #38
Rainmaker
153,740
John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Thanks for the great info.  So many products are not quite as advertised!!  How about metal clad windows?  How long do they really last, and how does the color hold out??  

May 12, 2019 10:52 AM #39
Rainmaker
1,833,654
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

John - there are surely different grades of stainless, and the lesser was surely used in this house.  I have never seen metal clad windows.  They stopped making metal framed windows a couple of decades ago because they conducted heat and cold.

May 12, 2019 01:50 PM #40
Rainer
93,436
Brian DeYoung
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ithaca, NY
Brian DeYoung

Recycled cheap stainless. I imagine its foreign. Not to be jingoistic, but the cheapest comes from afar.

Corian also stains, and boiling wayter down your corian sink will cause problems. 

May 13, 2019 08:16 AM #41
Rainmaker
1,833,654
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

True all that, Brian.  Cheap and foreign, no doubt.  And Corian has gone the way of the world for those reasons too.

May 13, 2019 09:08 AM #42
Rainer
470,908
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Once again, an interesting and informative post. I'm curious when a buyer hires an inspector and misses to report a repair issue, is the inspector liable in any way after closing to correct the issue? 

May 13, 2019 09:40 AM #43
Rainmaker
1,833,654
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Kimo - that's never happened to me but Virginia requires me to have errors and omissions insurance.  I don't know what California's rules are.

May 13, 2019 09:44 AM #44
Rainmaker
1,459,140
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Great feature worthy post!  I hear the "new" stainless is much better at staying shiny.  Home inspections for new construction is very important, so don't skip this step.

May 13, 2019 11:46 PM #45
Rainmaker
1,833,654
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Georgie - this was new stainless in new construction!  Never used!  But obviously cheap and more easily damaged.

May 14, 2019 03:01 AM #46
Rainmaker
3,185,168
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

We are working with a client on kitchen updates and just "voted in" a granite rather than stainless sink !

Jun 04, 2019 02:56 AM #47
Rainmaker
1,833,654
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Interesting, S&D!  I've never seen one and will have to look into it!

Jun 04, 2019 03:04 AM #48
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