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

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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.

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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!

Nashville Home Inspections – Roof Failure and the Ripple Effect

Roof Failure and the Ripple Effect!

So I was walking around the outside of a home the other day doing a Home Inspection in Nashville Tennessee and saw something frightening, yet all too familiar.  See the picture below.  I wondered how the seller could leave this for a potential buyer to see, easily, and I wondered what caused this damage to begin with.  Then I also thought, how far does this go?  Where does the damage stop?  What is the ripple effect?  So if you see this type of damage, what do you think caused it and where does the damage stop?

HINT:  Water follows the path of least resistance.  What could be the water source of the damage in this pic?

ANSWER:  A possible source of this damage is in the background of the pic above.  Note the gutter and downspout behind the damaged eave.  To see how this all got started you have to go up on the roof.  Look at the pic below.  This is the view looking down from the roof on this same corner of the house.  Notice the loose and lifted shingle.  You can see debris has a path into the gutter from here.  What you cannot see is how clogged the gutter is.  A lot!  Sometimes people think that once they install gutter guards they are done cleaning gutters.  NOT SO!  Even in a well maintained gutter system with gutter guards a lot of little stuff gets by gutter guards and can eventually clog the gutter/downspout.  Not sure why the shingle broke loose, but it is consistent with all else that is going on in this corner.  Was the shingle the victim of the ripple effect or ground zero for the start of the ripple?  You can see that by color this shingle looks newer than those around it so this may be a poor attempt at a roof repair that also failed.

So, back to the ripple effect.  Hard to know what came first in the pic above, the loose/damaged shingle or a failed/clogged gutter/downspout system.  Regardless, the water management system failed at this point and the ripple effect was to damage the eave below as the gutter/downspout clogged and water followed the path of least resistance to the eave.  So do you think the ripple effect is done?  Think again. 

Let’s take a walk inside the attic to this same area of the home.  Remember, the roof, eaves and attic are all connected and rather closely.  Look at the pic below.  This is the area of the attic opposite the corner of the failed gutter and the damaged eave.  Look how much water intruded and all the damage it did inside the attic.  All because of a failed gutter.  The only question remaining is how long was this allowed to go on.  I suspect a long time.

 

Fortunately this did not show up inside the home, yet.  But it is only a matter of time before it does, because of the ripple effect.

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 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!