Thursday, April 28, 2011

clean up your act

I was contacted by an executive relocation company for an inspection on a home before the owners get transferred to another state. This is common with relocation companies. I made the appointment and went out to the home. The inspection of the home went well, then we do the septic system inspection.

For those of you who have not seen a septic inspection, the tank covers have to be opened and the test run to see if the tank and leach field can handle the loading of a set amount of water based on the number of bedrooms. Obviously the sight is not pretty, and the smells are less appealing, but the test is an important one. Part of the inspection process is to make visual observations of the contents of the tank, and water level to determine how the system is operating. For those of you who don't have a septic, it is not advised to flush anything that can be disposed of in another manner. It is not advised to flush feminine products, birth control materials, paper towels, baby wipes, etc. you get the point.

Part of the checklist for the inspection is to determine if the tank needs to be pumped, and the sellers get the bill for this charge in addition to the cost of the inspection. While I was conducting the inspection I placed my clip board on the railing of the adjacent deck, and the homeowner came out to see how it was going. She was leaning right next to the clip board and saw the notes on the clip board where I indicated that the tank will need to be pumped to remove foreign materials from the tank, and that I recommend a further evaluation into the "Distribution box" to see if the foreign materials got washed into there and potentially cause a blockage.

The woman was pissed and asked what the hell I meant by foreign materials, and I showed her the condoms and condom wrappers in the tank, and explained that they can go out int he leach field and block the ability of water to drain in the ground, thus resulting in a failure. You could have seen the steam coming out of her ears. She got red faced, and I thought she was going to slap me for embarrassing her.....she ran inside and came marching back out with the cordless phone in her hand, screaming at someone....named "Mother F&%$#@" . She was asking him how the hell all those condoms got in the septic tank, and screaming that she was going to kill him. It appears that she is on a pill form of Birth control and they don't use condoms.

At that point I figured I had all I needed for my report and wanted to get the hell out of there. I covered the tank lids, and grabbed my Report to leave. She disappeared into the house.

The next sound I heard was the garage door opening and then smashing glass. I thought something fell so I ran over to see if she was ok.......The sound was a golf club smashing the windshield and head lights out of a cool gray Porche parked in the garage. She did not stop there, but I got the heck out of there and left.

I don't know what ever happened to the guy, but I bet when he came home, dinner was not ready.

Lesson? - there are things that don't belong in a septic.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

illegal repairs to your home.

How do you know if the work in your home was done legally and with permits and inspections? Hopefully you had a home inspection, and hopefully the home inspector recognized the signs. But you as the home buyer have the right to go to the local town building inspectors office and ask what work has been done according to their records. Now it is not always possible for the inspector for the town, and your home inspector to know what was done and when. Some things are concealed, But if the city inspector tells you that the last registered and permitted item was a roof in 1978 and the roof is new, or the furnace is new, then you have uncovered a problem. The reason for the town inspector to come and inspect the work, is to endure that repairs have been done according to code, and standards. I recently inspected a home for first time buyers, and I discovered a new furnace, that was not inspected, not permitted, and not done well at all. How do I know? Well my first indication was the fresh patch of cement on the foundation where the oil fill pipes used to be, and then the PVC pipe at the foundation, which indicated a high efficiency furnace with direct exhaust. The problem here is that there was only one pipe, and it was the wrong size, and not sealed, thats just for starters. Once inside, there was no Emergency shut off switch at the top of the stairs as required, and then when I got to the basement, there was no "firematic" thermal switch, no switch cover plate, exposed wires, and no external air supply pipe. There was no filter assembly, and whats more, no sticker from the town inspector. After further inspection, the gas line was installed with no drip leg, and there was sloppy duct work and seeping seams. It seems that the only part o f this job that was correct, was that the heating was in the right house. The home buyer had no idea, and the Real estate agent had no idea, and it was up to the home inspector to catch this. After getting the details, it turned out that the installer was the sellers girlfriends father, and this was before they broke up...He decided to stop and not complete the job since his daughter was no longer there. Its going to be a project to repair this heating to "Proper condition" and its going to cost money. the inspection saved them $1500.00 just there alone. all told this inspection will have resulted in $20,000.00 worth of defects found for the Buyers. Not too shabby for a $350.00 inspection.