Jay is demonstrating how important it is that a buyer gets a professional home inspection done before settlement. His blog clearly validates why. The cost of one is marginal when it comes to what an inspection can reveal and what the discovered defects, like in this example, could cost later on. I even do an inspection when buying a new house from a builder.
I got a response back from a recent home inspection - "But they're really small holes."
For sure, I am not going to say if this comment was from a seller or listing agent disagreeing with me. It was, but I am not going to identify from whom. For sure, it was a very out-of-place, even stupid, comment.
Those are the small holes.
They are located where a boiler exhaust vent attaches to the main exhaust stack which proceeds from there through the roof.
Certainly those holes represent a carbon monoxide danger to the house.
Has CARBON MONOXIDE been a problem to date? I don't know. The house is vacant. The sellers aren't forthcoming in that regard.
Notice other things -
1. There is rusty corrosion there and elsewhere. That can say a variety of things, but certainly condensation is one of them, probably acidic condensation.
2. There are drips coming from above. Over this location the vent extends inside a 2'x3' chase, and all the way to the attic. Where this enters the attic the underside of insulation is visible. It's touching the vent. These drips begin at the roof sheathing.
3. That large gap extending to the attic represents a fire hazard. A fire beginning in this boiler room, which doubles as the laundry and workshop, and is beside the basement family room, would spread quickly upward and into the house. This chase passes between the master bedroom and upstairs hall bath.
To say "but they're really small holes" may be true. They are small. But they are still dangerous and they are not the only problem.
My recommendation: inspectors observe and report. They may report a lot of things about a single problem because that problem can do or cause other things to happen. But arguing with, or discounting, or berating an inspector's report is not a smart thing to do. GETTING ANOTHER PROFESSIONAL TO LOOK AT, EVALUATE AND RECTIFY A PROBLEM, ESPECIALLY A SERIOUS PROBLEM, IDENTIFIED BY A HOME INSPECTOR IS A SMART THING TO DO. TAKING A HOME INSPECTOR SERIOUSLY IS DEFINITELY A BEST PRACTICE!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia