Has A Stately Tree Suddenly Become Firewood? Has Sandy Rubbed You The Wrong Way?

Has A Stately Tree Suddenly Become Firewood?  Has Sandy Rubbed You The Wrong Way? If you have storm damage what can you do?  Is your car under a tree or in some water?  What now? damaged Tree Many people may find themselves in this situation today. You need your car and you need the tree parts or other debris removed so you can get on with things. But your insurance agent or his appraisers may not be available, or won’t be available for days. And they will be over worked, it not overwhelmed. You may be stuck can’t contact your agent or if your agent does not give you the all clear to move things or he may ask you to document the damage or conditions prior to doing anything first. This is when a certified home and property inspector like me can be a big help to you.

  • We can photo document the damage or the risk conditions.
  • Our photography is of the quality and resolution to capture all details.
  • We are forensically trained photographers and provide sequenced series that locate and detail what happened or is occuring.
  • We provide accurate photo (and video) documentaion that is deliverable electronically.
  • In many instances the documentation is suffucent so the appraisers don’t have to make an immediate site visit.

So when you find yourself or others in this position, cretified professional home and property inspectors like me are able to provide this service. We do recommend that you contact your insurance agent or provider for their advice and approval befor taking any action. And please be mindfull that any time branches, trees or other objects have been damaged or displaced, there is always the risk that live downed wires are present.     Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post

Believe It Or Not, It’s Just “Hanging In There”.

 Believe It Or Not, It’s Just “Hanging In There”. Yes believe it or not this is rot. Ordinary wood rot is the process of decay due to the breakdown of the wood fiber components as they are exposed to mold, micro-organisms, insects and water. This is a complete ecology with the mold eating the wood and other things feeding on the mold and weakened wood and others feeding on them, etcetera, etcetera. rotten veranda post. It can occur right before your eyes, as in this case, as well as in hidden locations. Primarily all that is required is the relatively frequent recurrence or constant presence of water. Other than that it’s the right temperature range and the ubiquitous presence of mold spores and the rest of the micro-biology team. (They’re always waiting in the wings.) Here this is outdoors on a secluded corner of the veranda, and the caulk that was used to ‘seal’ where the wood and concrete touched is still there.  Caulk only works between some materials, in drained conditions and is the back-up to proper flashing or other separation controls. Caulking instead of the classic separation and flashing details will only work for a short time. Here’s the shocker (for some);Believe it or not –  Just like copper is a conductor for electricity, concrete (and cement and masonry) conducts water.  It does not have to be cracked or broken to transmit water to wood in contact with it. Just being in touch, in contact is sufficient. That’s why framing sills (mud sills) and basement wall shoe plates have to be gasketed between the wood and the concrete. Old school material was tar paper. Now there are rolls of foam plastic/vinyl gasketing available in widths to match the dimensions of the wood. So in this case the caulking sealed out nothing. It actually prevented drying of the wood here which would have preserved it longer. The concrete conducted water to the face end of this 4×4 column and the end grain would draw in the water by capliarry action, similar to a straw but driven by chemical affinity rather than suction forces. This is how water moves in the living tree. So evert time this concrete surface got wet from weather or garden watering it delivered water to the wood. The paint and caulking kept the water in place so the wood rotted. Believe it or not, this was pressure treated wood. The rest of the column is dry and has no rot.  The guaranty or warranty instruction for this product promises that it will last for 20 years outdoors provided it is not in contact with water or water retaining materials. It can even be in ground contact as long as it rests in a drained gravel bed. Fortunately for this homeowner this column is not structural. It’s just “hanging in there”.   Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post

The Double Header…Raining On You, Times Two!

The Double Header: Concentrates the rain to get BOTH shoulders as you walk up the stairs!  (This is #2 in a series on a single flipped house.)

 

flippers incomplete system

Yes that’s right.

The original owner of this flipped property installed the gutter system to keep you dry, from the roof runoff at least, when you walk up the steps to the side door. (The everyday entry for the family).

The flipper replaced the old wood steps and landing, removing the downspouts in the process. And then he left things ‘up in the air’, literally!  It probably wasn’t raining on the day that he finished or hoped it wouldn’t be when the house was being viewed.  It wasn’t raining when I inspected but I did not miss it.

Now look at this configuration.  This is the bottom edge of a flat low slpoe roof surface with a wider overhang where the side door is The trough or guttering is continuous. It’s all a the same height. OK

So why are there two downspout drops here in the same area?  Why is it like that?

The answer it the gutter troughs are basically level.  There is no grading, no slope to cause the water to drain to a lower point where the downspout is positioned. This incorrect.  The minimum is a 1″ drop in 12 feet.  I recommend more as such a minimal flow is easily disrupted or blocked.

So the gutters ‘pond’ (fill up with water) till it reaches the downspout drain, but some water always stays there. Its like having a bath tub that tilts away from the drain.  There will always be a puddle of water in it.

That ‘ponding’ causes side effects.   Leaves collect there.  They compost to a mud.  This raises the water levels and causes furthur blockages.  Water can be held against wood facia boards causing them to rot.  Metal clad facias still have wood behind and the metal cladding has overlapping joints, but they are not sealed.  Water will get in.

What does this show us?   stain detail

It routinely overflows and drips, so that means the downspouts are often blocked. We also see facia details that tell us it is made of wood, covered in the red toned metal and the joints are overlapped but not sealed.

 

As an experienced professional inspector I will understand that the original guttering was not correctly installed.

The gutters remain unsloped, prone to ponding and overflowing and will need more than normal maintenance to keep clean and operational.

There are conditions conducive to the rot and decay of the roof facias. The metal flashing will keep any such condition hidden for a long time, but I will be advising my client of this risk.

And of couse the downspout system remains incomplete, ‘up in the air’ where the flipper left it.

 

This is #2 of a series on the same flipped house.

1.     Skippy will’ve skipped, before the water starts to drip.

2.     Double Header…Raining On You, Times Two!

3.     A Case Of New Not Being Better … A Stair Story 

4.     Posting soon: A Case Of More Not Being Stronger…..A Stair Story. 

5.     Posting soon:  The LANDING Looked Good But Is There A CRASH In The Future?

6.     To come – landing/deck

7.     To come – electrical

8.     To come – exterior & landscaping

Please remember to have an inspection during the real estate process to help eliminate any of these concerns! Put our experience to work for you.

 

Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post