She Said, "I Don't Think This Handyman Was Helpful, Or Handy."

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

A young lady called me a couple of weeks ago to complain that she had a large, well-known and local contracting company, with a handyman "division," come by TWICE to solve a problem and it was still not solved.

She said, "I don't think this handyman was helpful, or handy."

The two visits had been expensive!
The two visits had not solved the problem!

What was the problem?  A leak was coming in the top of a basement window under a deck.  There was deck flashing already present.  So that was not the issue.  But the water was getting in, dripping onto the window sill, and making its way to the bottom of the wall inside.

She works for a living and was not home either time they were by.  The first time they told her they did many things and were not sure but thought they had found and solved the problem.

They had not.

The second time they did this.

That's right!  They caulked over and under the window!

They even caulked where the brick wall meets the patio!  Well, that will go a long way toward stopping water from getting in over the window!

Look carefully.  They also caulked under the bricks on the shelf of the left photo, and under the window sill on the lower photo.  The masonry weep hole was filled with caulk too!  Wrong, wrong, wrong!

As you can imagine, it did not work. 

I asked if they had ever done a test with a hose to see WHERE the water was getting in.

She said they could not have as her hose was not out either day they were there.

So we did that!

Then it came time to see where water was getting in.

Obviously the deck flashing is working!

There was only one place the water is getting in.

Looking at the window above, which I suspected all along, I noticed a difference that did not exist on any other window.

When the windows were installed the small drain holes underneath were to remain open so water could drain out from the window framing and NOT into the house.

Only one of the eight drains in the four windows in the area was clogged.  It had been caulked by the builder's window installer.

Water was getting into the window, behind the siding, coming down the wall, and entering the house behind the brick and manifesting through the window in the thermal image.

Taking the vinyl siding off under the upper window it revealed rotting sheathing, so my diagnosis was correct.

Looking at things, this had been happening for some time.

WATER NEEDS TO BE DIRECTED TO WHERE IT IS SUPPOSED TO GO, OR IT WILL DIRECT ITSELF TO WHERE IT IS ALLOWED TO GO!

My recommendation:  a friend of this homeowner in another state recommended that she call a home inspector.  A neighbor suggested that she call me!  While home inspectors don't do repairs, they can often diagnose where repairs need to be made.  And in this case the home inspector charged less than either of the two previous visits by the handyman!

 

 

 

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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  1. Gabe Sanders 09/03/2012 05:02 AM
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Comments 17 New Comment

Show All Comments
Rainmaker
266,587
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA

Sounds like she is entitled to a refund from that " Handyman". She should also hire someone to remove all of that caulk. I think I would call that " handyman" company ask ask them to send someone back out to remove all of that caulk for free, and also have them bring my refund check with them. That way they can see they didn't do anything corrctly, and have no right to request payment.

September 01, 2012 05:00 AM
Rainmaker
1,217,835
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

It is hideous and unnecessary Jeff, I agree!  I might suggest your answer to her and see what that company does!

September 01, 2012 05:08 AM
Rainmaker
626,489
James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

I see we have a similar theme today, again! 

That handy man used the favorite "repair" of of so many like him, caulk. Yep, that'll fix it. 

NOT!

September 01, 2012 05:09 AM
Rainmaker
1,564,390
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring
Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT

I completely agree with Jeff.  Wow, what stupidity is out there.  Glad they came across you and you were able to help.

September 01, 2012 05:26 AM
Rainmaker
808,064
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg Homes
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg IL Real Estate - Northwest Suburbs of Chicago

As usual, great through job. Now they can actually 'fix' the problem. It doesn't help the homeowner who is already out $$ from the 'supposed' handy-less man.

September 01, 2012 05:31 AM
Rainer
44,238
Casey Patten
Root River Inspections

Caulk:  The Handyman's Best Friend...More is BETTER!!!!  Ha ha ha ha!

September 01, 2012 05:50 AM
Rainmaker
1,217,835
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Can you believe that Jim!?  And this company is one of the most advertised on TV locally.

Debbie - I think I solved the problem!  We'll know next rain!

Lyn - to pay someone for that second visit is robbery.  I don't know what they did on the first visit.

Look at that Casey!  Great stuff.  Be sure to caulk at the patio, UNDER the problem!

September 01, 2012 06:01 AM
Rainmaker
1,370,801
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg WV Real Estate, Greenbrier County
Coldwell Banker Stuart & Watts Real Estate

Hi Jay, this lady was lucky to find you and get the problem solved.  Hope she does get a refund.  Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend.

September 01, 2012 06:53 AM
Ambassador
1,068,214
Charles Buell
Seattle Home Inspector
Charles Buell Inspections Inc.

Just another reminder of why I hate decks so much.  I love when I have a house to inspect and I find there are no decks :)

September 01, 2012 06:54 AM
Rainmaker
1,217,835
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Thanks Rebecca.  I don't think she's holding her breath.

Tall Shadow - the deck wasn't an issue.  There was flashing and it was working.  But man, what a problem!

September 01, 2012 07:24 AM
Rainer
405,885
Randy Ostrander
Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI
Lake and Lodge Realty LLC

Good morning and good job Jay. Love the thermal imaging to find water issues. Too bad they are so pricey. Would make a great toy.

September 01, 2012 09:31 AM
Rainmaker
1,217,835
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

It is a pricey tool Randy, but the sharpest arrow in my quiver.

September 01, 2012 02:33 PM
Rainmaker
1,775,119
Gabe Sanders
Stuart Florida Real Estate
the BlueWater Realty team specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales

Well done Jay.  Maybe you should rename your business to Sherlock Home Inspections.  You sure solve all the mysteries.

September 02, 2012 04:14 AM
Rainmaker
946,149
James Dray
AR., MO., or OK. I can find the home for you.
Wise Custom Realty

Morning Jay the handyman's name didn't happen to be Bob was it?  What a rip off is she going to seek some type of legal action?  Just wondering

September 02, 2012 04:17 AM
Rainmaker
1,217,835
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Thank you Gabe.  I think there is someone out there by that name, by the way!

James - I don't know!  And I also don't know about any legal action.  I'd doubt it.

September 02, 2012 09:56 AM
Rainer
277,079
Steven Cook
- Pierce, King, Kitsap, Thurston, Mason Counties
No Longer Processing Mortgages.

Jay -- once again, an outstanding explanation of how to properly find the problem, so one can get to a solution.

September 04, 2012 01:24 PM
Rainmaker
1,217,835
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Thanks Steven.  Let's hope it works!

September 04, 2012 01:48 PM
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Rainmaker
1,217,835

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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