Famous Last Words - "But I Caulked It!"

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Within a couple of months of moving into a house, a couple started having water leaking from the light fixture on the edge of the sitting room off the kitchen. 

The builder came out and there was no issue in the roof near or over the area or light fixture.  They were puzzled.

Mighty Mo was called to the scene and saw residual moisture.

But the builder was right, there was no evidence above that the roof, or gutter, had an issue.

What nobody knew was that the water was also making its way into the floor below.

This was going to be fun!

HERE IS THE DIFFICULTY WITH WATER LEAKS.  THE SOURCE OF THE LEAK CAN BE FAR AWAY FROM WHERE IT FINALLY MANIFESTS.

So, if a leak isn't where you are looking, it must originate where you aren't looking!

That demands a tour!

Looking around inside I noticed a cathedral ceiling on the upper level.

With no evidence of moisture or staining.

But, it's a new house.  There might not be staining yet.  And the underside of the roof sheathing cannot be seen at that point, obviously.

Mighty Mo then detected residual moisture inside the ceiling, corner and going down the wall in that cathedral ceiling, far, far away!

That had to be the spot.

I think water flows downhill and given the configuration of the house it woulda, coulda AND shoulda have made its way from here two floors below and into that eating area.

What was outside right around that area?

A SATELLITE DISH!

Calling the dish company, they sent someone out to investigate and they did determine that the installation was not well done and could have caused a leak.

When they called the original installer, his response when they told him the dish was leaking into the house was, was, wait for it ...

"BUT I CAULKED IT!"

My recommendation:  those might just be the most famous last words in history!!  But I caulked it!




 

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
Rainmaker
255,868
Tim Bradley
Contour Investment Properties - Jackson Hole, WY
Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY

And that's why I never allowed my tenants to mount their satellite dishes on the roof. Don't punch holes in a perfectly good roof!

Mar 22, 2012 09:15 PM #55
Ambassador
1,511,896
Tammy Lankford
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA
Your Lake Sinclair Expert (706-485-9668)

reason number 492 that I'll just stick with cable.   You gotta hate sorry workmanship on the part of the installer.

Mar 22, 2012 09:58 PM #56
Rainer
237,553
Janet Jones
Just Your Style Interiors, LLC - Kihei, HI
Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

Hi Jay--my compliments to the master.  I don't see many professionals finding the source of the leak like you did in this instance. 

Mar 23, 2012 12:24 AM #57
Rainmaker
1,231,123
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Joy - you would love this post of mine!

http://activerain.com/blogsview/2284563/gumming-up-the-works

It was great seeing you today Pat!  That house was normal.  I really like unknown sparks and leaks to investigate, but clients aren't so cool on that!  I met the seller beforehand and he is of the opinion that the house is perfect, so have fun with that!

Ed - you mean if there is a disaster?  I am sure that dish will last a couple of days, but all things weaken!  Leaks like this only get worse.  Right now I don't know if he would want to go for insurance repairs - that just dings people these days.

Tim - I often see them on posts or deck columns now.

Mar 23, 2012 02:46 AM #58
Rainmaker
1,231,123
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Tammy - I see a few dishes in my neighborhood, but not many.

Thanks Janet.  I find this kind of thing fun!

Mar 23, 2012 02:47 AM #59
Rainmaker
971,428
James Dray
Wise Custom Realty - Bentonville, AR
AR., MO., or OK. I can find the home for you.

Morning Jay not wonder it didn't work they should have used duct tape.  That stuff really works.  Tired it on a tire puncture and away I went. :~)

Mar 23, 2012 03:15 AM #60
Ambassador
1,678,512
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty - Baltimore, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

What a neat tool for detecting water. Tell us more about it.

More famous last words: '' It comes with a 100% waterproof guarantee." (as you are standing on squishy wet carpet)

Nicely done!

Margaret

Mar 23, 2012 03:37 AM #61
Rainmaker
1,231,123
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

And with all the designer colors James, they might have found one to match the roof!

Mar 23, 2012 04:02 AM #62
Rainmaker
1,231,123
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Margaret - I have posted many blogs about it!  Look up "thermal imaging inspections."

Mar 23, 2012 04:03 AM #63
Rainmaker
338,859
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley R since 1976;408-565-8177

Jay,

Same phenomena with dead flat tar and gravel roofs--can't tell where the hole is.  So Mightly Mo is a thermograpic camera?  Very handy!!

Mar 23, 2012 05:48 PM #64
Rainmaker
1,231,123
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Lloyd.  Yes, that camera is the sharpest arrow in my quiver!

Mar 23, 2012 06:08 PM #65
Rainmaker
826,661
Marc Swartz
Toronto, ON
CPA, CA - Toronto, Durham & York Regions, Ontario

Hi Jay - I never authorize the installation of satellite dishes on the roof.  I am not interested in roof leaks.

Mar 23, 2012 10:16 PM #66
Rainmaker
1,231,123
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

That would be a good policy Marc.  I think these installations can be rife with disaster, and certainly over time.

Mar 24, 2012 02:32 AM #67
Rainmaker
78,050
Eric Middleton
Closer Look Property Inspections Inc. - Uniondale, NY
Professional Property Inspector

Jay- I love infrared cameras. I can't understand why other professionals don't use them.

Mar 24, 2012 08:03 PM #68
Rainmaker
567,215
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Jay, these type of situations cause the most grief by far.  Most people put a band-aid on and move on, not bothering to ensure they have found and addressed the root cause

Mar 24, 2012 08:44 PM #69
Rainmaker
1,231,123
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

There are many trades that could benefit from them, and some inspectors are becoming equine experts with them Eric.

Chris - the manual says to caulk so they do.  And regardless of the job done, they think they have satisfied the requirements!

Mar 25, 2012 03:17 AM #70
Rainmaker
632,750
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

I really dislike those dishes. So many are installed poorly. Many times I have been in an attic and see the long screws the installers use sticking through the sheathing. Not one has been sunk into a rafter. How long before that creates a big hole when the wind rips that dish from the roof. 

Mar 25, 2012 06:19 AM #71
Rainmaker
1,231,123
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Driving through neighborhoods I have seen those holes too Jim.  They should at least try to get two of the lags into a rafter.

Mar 25, 2012 04:43 PM #72
Rainmaker
615,029
Sussie Sutton
UTR Texas Realtors - Pearland, TX
UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers.

Sounds like duct tape too! Good post. I found this one going through all my groups to see if I should eliminate any or not.

Jun 15, 2013 05:23 PM #73
Rainmaker
1,231,123
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

This is an oldie but a goodie Sussie.  What groups would you eliminate that brought you here?

Jun 16, 2013 03:51 AM #74
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,231,123

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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