Seattle Home Inspector's Blog


Got my UNDEROOS all in a bunch!

     One of the great things about being a home inspector is that there is an endless supplyof things to get ones Underoos all in a bunch about! (Those of you that had kids growing up in the 70's will remember Underoos---maybe they are still around?).  This pet peeve is another roofing issue.  On almost every roof pipes have to go through the roof, whether it is the electrical mast or the plumbing venting.

     Sometime I will blog about some "crazy and/or funky" ways people have flashed these pipe penetrations, but today my peeve involves the use of "approved" types of flashings----but with no consideration for the type of roof they are being used on.  There are, for example, rubber boot type flashings that typically have a life of about 15-20 years (if you are lucky and hold your breath just right).  Why would anyone consider using these types of flashings on a roof designed to last 20-40 years?  I see this ALLthe time .  Here are a couple of pictures of the cheapo rubber boot flashings:cheapo flashinganother cheapo flashing








      The one on the left is installed on a 20-30 year roof, the one on the right is most likely consistent with the expected life of wood shingles---but is installed just plain funky (remember when wood shakes used to be considered a 50 year roof?----well neither do I, but I have been told that they could last that long---in the good ole days).    

     The flashings I like to see are lead---and they are a "beautiful thing!"  Not only do they provide a very long lived solution to the problem but even have nice counter flashings to finish off the top.  Sometimes roofers will merely fold the flashing inside the pipe, but the counter-flashings look really cool and are necessary if the pipe sticks past the flashing.  The two pictures on the left show nice versions of this.  The picture on the right shows one where the counter-flashing is missing.lead flashinganother lead flashingMissing cap





 Charles Buell

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Comment balloon 10 commentsCharles Buell • January 30 2008 11:51PM
Got my UNDEROOS all in a bunch!
One of the great things about being a home inspector is that there is an endless supply of things to get ones Underoos all in a bunch about! (Those of you that had kids growing up in the 70's will remember Underoos---maybe they are still around… more
What do you mean I have ALLIGATORS on my roof?
I am sure most of you have heard of the term "Alligatoring" as applied to roofing----particularly related to flat roofs. This is a condition of the roof that indicates that the roof is near the end of its life (maybe… more
Don't need no stinkin support post!
How often have you been in basements with your buyers discussing all the possible ways it could be divided into rooms, only to be thwarted by the unfortunate location of some of the support posts? The beam you see in this picture is… more
Cigarette Anyone?
I think this is the worst example of excessive smoking/deferred maintenance I have ever seen. This discoloration may represent hundreds, if not thousands, of packs of cigarettes and one has to wonder how much nicotine might actually be… more
More Favorite Plumbing Repairs
To continue with yesterday's theme of inventive repairs, the QUINTESSENTIAL do-it-your-selfer is another plumbing repair. It seems that many people are willing to take on plumbing repairs. (One would think that given the inherent dangers of… more
the QUINTESSENTIAL do-it-your-selfer!
One of the perplexing things about defects found while inspecting is that often times it had to have taken way more time to create these issues, than it would to have done it right in the first place. Take this dishwasher drain connection… more
Oh NO----a "finished" garage!
On first glance this is a "normal" enough looking house. Even the door where the garage door used to be is not all that unusual-----lots of garages get finished off into living space. I think the first thing that seemed unusual… more
More Pyrolysis
I don't mean to hijack Steve's blog on Pyrolysis but it is an issue that I wanted to address anyway. I know Steve is desperate to stay ahead of me in points so he can have these:) The following pictures are of perhaps the best example of… more
OUCH that could hurt!
While it is still cold over much of the country, I though it would be a good reminder to folks to take care of their sidewalks. In many areas the homeowners adjacent to the public sidewalks are responsible for safety hazards related to the… more
Frustrated Home Inspector!
One of the things that frustrate home inspectors is comments like: "That is the way everyone is doing it, " or "It has been like that for years----what is the problem? " Unfortunately, as home inspectors, we don't usually… more