Most Memorable Defects of 2013

Being a home inspector in Richmond is great. Here are some of my most memorable moments of 2013 in no particular order. Some are funny, but others are dangerous.

1.This is the dryer vent. The contraption attached to it is installed when terminating the kit indoors. Since this dryer vent is outside, its ridiculous to have the indoor kit attached.

2.This where the roof meets a vertical wall. Notice the moisture staining and rot? No flashing was installed at all!

3. Do you see the new shingles around the chimney? There was a prior leak there. Chimneys over 30 inches wide need a chimney cricket installed behind them to help divert water, leaves, or other debris away. Replacing the shingles was a waste of money. Without the cricket, another leak will develop there.

4. I am not a pest guy, but I am fairly certain this a starling nest. It is also the largest starling nest I have ever seen.  Yes I poked it to see if any starlings would fly out.

5.Here is another pest issue. A Great Battle Took Place Here between a hungry snake, and a mouse that had constructed his humble abode out of the insulation in the crawlspace. Sadly, I don’t think Mickey came out of this one alive.

6. Check out this chimney. There is a plant growing out of it. Any use of the fire place below would be dangerous.

7. Here is a defect we would have never found without taking off the air handler cover. The arrow is pointing to a cracked condensate line inside the air handler. You can also see all of the rust at the bottom of the return duct. The leak had gone undetected until the home inspection.

8. This one is kind of scary. Dryer vent safety is not something to take lightly. Notice the white plastic dryer duct inside of the wall. Plastic dryer vents should never be used, and that goes double for being used inside of a wall. Dryer fires are not uncommon. If there is a plastic duct being used, the fire will melt it quickly, and the fire can easily spread inside the wall.

9. See all of the water drop stains on this attic floor? That is caused by a insulation and ventilation deficiency. Condensation is forming on the nails protruding through the roof decking. Over a long period of time, this can cause mold and other problems.

10. This one pretty much speaks for itself. Moss should not be on your roof. Don’t let it get this bad.

11. Here is another scary one. The plastic PVC pipe is the exhaust vent for this furnace. Unfortunately, it is disconnected and distributing exhaust gasses such as CO into the home. This is a dangerous, and possibly lethal defect.

12. Here is some live knob and tube covered in insulation. This is prohibited by the NEC and in most jurisdictions since it is a fire hazard.

13. Home owners can get very creative sometimes. This kitchen sink tail pipe was broken, and the owners supported it with some items they found in their kitchen. I have no idea what is in that bottom jar, but it is not approved for pipe support.

14. This your basic double tapped breaker. Double tapped breakers can cause loose connections, arcing, and potentially a fire.  It needs to be corrected.