Creativity Is The Mother Of Invention

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Some jurisdictions go to great lengths to preserve the original architecture and appearances in older homes.  Alexandria, Virginia and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania are two towns that come to mind based on my experience.  Manassas, Virginia is one as well.  For years they fought the idea of replacing older wooden siding with a newer product like aluminum, vinyl or fiber cement.  Since I have seen all of those recently on so many homes, apparently the city fathers have relented on that proscription.

It could be that on stone foundations, repairs with the original material or appearance is no longer an issue either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The repair on the left was done some time ago.  Yes, that is Poly-foam.  It was apparently so successful that they used the same product on the repair on the right.  It is not the preferred repair.

Poly-foam is a good gap sealer and reacts well against moisture, but the UV rays of the sun cause it to deteriorate. It will turn a darker and darker brown, and begin to disintegrate.  Stone foundations are usually very old structures. The mortar between the stones will dry more and more as it ages. As it dries it will crack, fall out or completely release its bond and sit there loosely. Such old foundations should be inspected regularly and repaired, but by an experienced mason with stone foundation experience. Mortar, properly placed, is the preferred repair, for lots of reasons.  For all I know Poly-foam is the best repair!  That's doubtful though.  But for sure, while it isn't the prettiest it may be the most creative!

My recommendation:  One of the reasons for buying a historic structure is that it is historic.  It is nice to know when people have taken the time or spent the money to preserve that which you intend to buy!

 

 

 

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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Show All Comments
Ambassador
1,554,208
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M

We don't have much by way of historic homes here in Southern California though I would expect those who did would realize they were taking on a lot of ongoing upkeep.

January 11, 2010 11:19 PM #35
Rainer
247,026
Frank Castaldini
Coldwell Banker - San Francisco, CA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in San Francisco

San Francisco has its share of great old homes.  Some have been amazingly built and maintained.  Here the desire for the older homes is greater than for new homes.

January 11, 2010 11:29 PM #36
Rainmaker
1,180,237
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Jay,

Sometimes the creativity of homeowners can make the rest of us go a little bit crazy.

January 11, 2010 11:31 PM #37
Ambassador
600,324
Roland Woodworth
Keller Williams Realty - Clarksville, TN
Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource- SFR - Clarksv

What ever happened to if you are gonna do something, doing it right the first time.

January 11, 2010 11:34 PM #38
Rainmaker
515,325
Todd & Devona - Garrigus Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Kivett-Teeters - Beaumont, CA
Southern California REALTORS®

"Historical" would not be my first choice when buying, but even out here in Southern California there are those buyers, eager to deal with one of these "gems".

BTW, Poly-foam doesn't say "historical repair" to me in any shape or form!

January 11, 2010 11:40 PM #39
Rainer
166,315
Andy Chaudoir
Professional Inspection Services - Georgetown, Texas - Georgetown, TX
Your Home Inspection Connection in Central Texas

Hello jay - I hate to say it but I see people using Poly-foam all the time down her to "hold stuff together".  Sometimes it's not the homeowner that does it either!

January 11, 2010 11:50 PM #40
Rainmaker
259,468
Tere Rottink
CoastalVa Realty Inc - Virginia Beach, VA

I have owned a historic home in the past.  I called it the money pit and was very glad to sell it.  Beautiful to look at, very expensive to maintain

January 12, 2010 04:09 AM #41
Rainmaker
1,228,952
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

But Sherry, do they use Poly-foam to fix stuff?

J. Philip - for sure!  I am a MacGregor in my family tree and I usually recommend Scotch tape because it is strong and clear.  You hardly know it's there...

Rob - you will never fix it up.  It will be a never-ending story.

Christine - that would be the deal no matter where one buys a historic property!

Frank - I have heard that.  Is foam popular?

January 12, 2010 05:10 AM #42
Rainmaker
1,228,952
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Steve - wait til you see the next post on this same foundation!

Roland - it got on the same bus as "do unto others as you would have them do unto you..."

Todd & Devona - doesn't that depend on the age of the can?

Andy - and sometimes it doesn't hold.  Wait til you see today's post...

Tere - you were never done with it were you?

January 12, 2010 05:13 AM #43
Rainmaker
123,362
Karen Pannell
Real Living / Home Realty - Owensboro, KY
Owensboro KY Real Estate -270-903-2167 Homes, Cond

Jay,

I love historical homes and lived in one for about 10 years.  I found the foam very effective in sealing tiny holes on the interior of the basement walls, but yes, I agree, mortar should be repaired with mortar!

January 12, 2010 08:53 AM #44
Rainmaker
1,228,952
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Karen - I have to imagine that if Poly-foam is the preferred material it would be used everywhere for masonry applications!

January 12, 2010 09:27 AM #45
Rainer
99,376
Dianne Bartlett
Keller Williams - Lakeway, TX

Poly foam... is it the new duct tape??  Ha, ha - great post.

January 12, 2010 10:03 AM #46
Rainer
2,748
Ed Gutknecht
CPH Inspectors - Woodstock, GA
CPH Inspectors

the expanding polyfoam is not the way to repair a masonry structure.  You wouldn't put it in your fireplace would you?  The only way to reapir a masonry foundation/fireplace is with masonry.

January 12, 2010 10:11 AM #47
Rainmaker
1,228,952
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Dianne - it is becoming so more and more every day.

Ed - hence the word "masonry!"  AND using the proper mix for the proper application.

January 12, 2010 12:05 PM #48
Rainmaker
68,576
Vince Santos
StepByStep Home Services LC - Canton, MI
Southeast Michigan Home Inspector

IMO homeowner creativity is the mother of disaster.

January 13, 2010 06:27 AM #49
Rainmaker
1,228,952
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Often it is Vince!  The homeowner or Uncle Bob...

January 13, 2010 03:53 PM #50
Rainmaker
632,250
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Spray foam is great stuff...When used in the right way and correct places. I've seen this same repair way too many times.

January 14, 2010 05:53 AM #51
Rainmaker
1,228,952
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Almost as universal as duct tape, James!  See the next post for a proper repair suggestion...

January 14, 2010 05:59 AM #52
Rainer
36,008
Joseph Welusz
QuoteMatcher.com - Evesham Township, NJ

Hi Jay,

It's always important to use the right product for the job.  It like using Gojo(hand cleaner for mechanics to get grease off there hands) to wash you hands before eating.  Sure it gets you hands clean but then they stink and who want to eat with stinky hands. If anyone is looking for a contractor have them get multiple Construction Quotes this way they can compare construction quotes.

January 21, 2010 10:31 AM #53
Rainmaker
1,228,952
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Joseph - common sense is often in short supply.

January 21, 2010 10:41 AM #54
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Rainmaker
1,228,952

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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