Nashville Home Inspector – What’s Wrong with this Picture 10-29-12?

Please look at the photo below.  I found this on a roof at a plumbing vent penetration.  What’s wrong?

HINT:  Do-It-Yourselfers love duct tape.

ANSWER:  The neoprene composite boot for residential plumbing vent penetrations is good for only 7-8 years before they start to crack due to the effects of sun and rain.  There is a cheap fix available at most home supply stores that is a boot sleeve that simply slips down on top of the damaged boot.  You cannot see the damaged boot in the photo above because a do-it-yourselfer solved the problem with some duct tape.  At least they used black duct tape so it looks like the composite boot.  But soon this amateur repair will fail also because tape does poorly in sun and rain as well.  And speaking of failing, when we see this installation, we make a note to check below this area in the attic to see if there is evidence of water intrusion.  After all, most folks would not make this effort with the tape unless there was an event that drew their attention, right?  Look at the photo below to see what we found in the attic below this taped repair.

That is a bucket strategically placed below these vent pipes.  Unfortunately there was nothing on the disclosure statement about previous water leaks.

To comment or ask questions send email to richard@habitecinspections.com.

Thank you,

Richard Acree

logo

http://habitecinspections.com

Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, and contributing members of the Active Rain Real Estate network, and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings. HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill and more! In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis. Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at http://habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753.

Home About HABITEC Home Inspections Commercial Building Inspections Environmental Services Public-Guest Speaker Meet Your Inspectors Residential REALTORS Education Material Service Providers Sample Reports References Contact Us Articles FacebookLinked ActiveRain Blog Blogger WordPress FAQ Payment and Fees Thank You Facebook  LinkedIn  ActiveRain Blog  Blogger  WordPress Thank You

A Nashville TN Cat-Like Home Inspector

Cat-Like Home Inspector in Nashville Tennessee

Do you need to hire a Home Inspector in Nashville Tennessee with cat-like abilities?  Check out the photos below.  This may be the guy for you!

“I think I can, I think I can!”

“I know I can, I know I can!”

And then he was gone!  Luckily I was up on the roof to grab him and send him back down to earth.  The REALTOR on the ground took these photos.  This all went down, or up, on a recent home inspection near Franklin Tennessee.

Thank you,

Richard Acree

http://habitecinspections.com

Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, and contributing members of the Active Rain Real Estate network, and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings. HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill and more! In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis. Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at http://habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753.

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections ActiveRain Blog and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. You can also join HABITEC on Facebook or Linked .

Beware the Flat Roof!

Nashville Home Inspections – Beware the Flat Roof

While many commercial buildings have flat roofs, there are not that many homes that have flat roofs.  And I say good!  It seems that the challenges of flat roofs are just too great for most contractors to overcome.  This article deals with how a flat roof can go bad, and the ripple effects when it does.  Look at the picture below.  What’s wrong?

HINT:  Flat roofs do not drain very well.  They may be cheaper to build on the front end, but in the long run they can be fragile and problematic.

  Flat Roof

Flat roofs are frequently made of built-up material such as asphalt based slurry over layered composite sheeting.  Usually, the last layer of material is a cover of rock, or aggregate.  See the photo below.

Flat Roof Ag

Answer:  Two fold.  Flat roofs are not suppose to be truly flat.  They should have a small amount of grade that slopes to the edges or to drain ports.  Also, flat roofs without the aggregate layer are in direct line for damages from the sun.  The purpose of the rock is to reflect the sun’s rays, especially UV rays.  Without this aggregate, the sun has a straight shot at the bituminous slurry and that can lead to drying and cracking.  See the photo below.  Between that and the build-up of tree debris, this is a disaster waiting to happen.

Dried Flat Roof

Eventually this will crack and allow water and whatever else is on the roof penetrate the building.  If there is a buildup of tree debris, like leaves, then that “whatever” can be a mold soup.  See the photo below.

Flat Roof with Debris

The photo below is of the area above with an opening kicked through.  Mold soup like no other!

Mold Soup

If this roof leaks, the results in the space below can be significant.  See the photo of the walls in the room below this roof.  Parts of the ceiling have fallen down and mold is growing on the walls.

Wall Mold

The pic above of what happens when the mold soup runs down inside the walls below.  Back up on the roof, if this soup is allowed to stand long enough, stuff starts to grow in it!

Roof Growth

So while it may be cheaper to build a flat roof on the front end, in the long run, flat roofs require greater care and attention to make sure they are working properly.

Thank you,

Richard Acree

Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC,  and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings.  HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill, Lebanon, Gallatin and more!  In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis.  Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at http://habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753. 

Richard Acree is the author of  the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress, and Blogger, and Founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors.  All are welcome to join and comment on those blogs and group.   You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook and Richard on Linked.  Thank you!

Roof Drainage Systems – Extensions

Nashville Home Inspections – Roof Drainage Systems – Extensions

Nashville area building inspections completed by HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, involve inspecting the roof drainage systems.  These systems are critical to maintain the condition of the foundation and avoid issues with mold.  These components of the roof drainage systems commonly take the form or splash blocks, plastic extensions across the ground, plastic extensions under the ground, or rigid underground piping systems.

Look at the pic below of a downspout to extension system at a Church.   This is a metal downspout connecting to a plastic extension that goes out across the ground.  What’s wrong?

HINT:  Two things need to be mentioned to the Client.

Disconnected Downspout - Abandoned Underground

ANSWER:  First, it should be apparent that the downspout-to-plastic extension connection has separated and should be repaired.  Failure to do so will allow water from the roof to be deposited at the foundation wall.  This defect is known to cause foundation movement and resultant structural failure as well as water intrusion into crawl spaces and basements.

What may not be so apparent is the open plastic underground drain pipe in the background and below the downspout.  What’s up with that?  Some may think this is there to catch the downspout water, which was true at one time.  Originally the downspout connected to an underground drainage system that carried water away from the building to hopefully a functioning termination point.  But, in this case, that underground system has been abandoned and the above ground extension has been installed to carry the roof drainage away.  This is OK, but the Client who is buying this property needs to know that, in addition to the disconnected downspout, there is an underground system present but that it has been abandoned, versus being repaired to work properly.

Thank you,

Richard Acree

Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC,  and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings.  HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill, Lebanon, Gallatin and more!  In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis.  Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at http://habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753. 

Richard Acree is the author of  the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress, and Blogger, and Founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors.  All are welcome to join and comment on those blogs and group.   You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook and Richard on Linked.  Thank you!