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TOPIC: Cause And Effect

Cause And Effect 13 years 9 months ago #34656

Sometimes when I pull up to the front of a house I can see problems from the car!  This particular house, a short sale, showed a lot of deferred maintenance.  But what maintenance that had been done was done incorrectly.

It is important that when repairs are made to a home they are done properly.  If not, what was done can lead to more problems and exacerbate the original problem.

Take for instance this "repair."

Look closely and you can see six rusty nail heads.  These nails were not made for outdoor* applications.  They are interior nails.

But as the nails rust, they cause any  wood nearby to rot.  If they are 2" nails, or 3" nails, the associated problem will go further inside the house, and do more damage.  That damage may be unseen, but still be present.

Additionally, wood has six sides.  When used to patch rotten wood, especially if it touches concrete, all six sides of the wood simply must be primed.  If not, it will rot more quickly.  Like in this photo.

What started out a simple project to fix a bad piece of wood has caused more problems in more places.

And all because of ignorance.  When homeowners do their own repairs and don't know what they are doing, they really can cause more problems in the long run.

My recommendation:  When you approach the outside of a house, look for any repairs.  Were they done properly?  Did they actually fix the problem?  When unprofessional repairs are done outside, oftentimes, like with the house in this photograph, there will be unprofessional repairs done inside!

* There are various types of outdoor nails.  Read the box!  It will tell you!  These nails can include galvanized, dipped (usually in zinc), stainless steel, aluminum, etc.  Certain nail types should ONLY be used in certain applications.  For example, when nailing back aluminum fascia that has blown loose, aluminum nails must be used or a corrosive, galvanic interaction between two metals can be the very ugly result.

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Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia
Northern Virginia Home Inspector
Festina Lente - Make Haste Slowly
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