Seattle Home Inspector's Blog

head_left_image

Can a bathroom exhaust fan actually hold up the ceiling?

Bathroom exhaust fans must draw air and expel it outdoors to be functional.  What could be more obvious?

I have posted many times about how the simple test that an inspector can employ to verify at least “some” amount of function, without using complicated equipment.  Generally I prefer to use an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper for such a test, and I keep a sheet folded up in my pocket for just that purpose.

In the following picture you can see that sheet of paper doing its thing and showing that the fan is doing its thing.

 

There were two exhaust fans in this master bathroom.  The one in the previous picture was in the shower/tub area, while another one served the isolated toilet area—and we all know what those fans are for .

I didn’t have to test that one with a piece of paper because it was busy holding up the sheetrock ceiling.

 

Not really, a fan doesn’t have that much suction, but it certainly would be a good idea to actually cut away the drywall so that a proper cover could be installed and the fan could then be tested for proper function—and so that it could do what we are all grateful that it does.

 

Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Seattle Home Inspector

 

The Human Rights Campaign   QR code for Charles Buell Inspections Inc  ASHI.org

 

WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board

Comment balloon 11 commentsCharles Buell • January 29 2014 07:22AM
Can a bathroom exhaust fan actually hold up the ceiling?
share
Bathroom exhaust fans must draw air and expel it outdoors to be functional. What could be more obvious? I have posted many times about how the simple test that an inspector can employ to verify at least “some” amount of function, without… more
How much water can a paint balloon hold?
share
There are lots of ways that moisture can get into house walls. When it does get inside the walls, pressure and temperature differentials and evaporation/condensation principles take over and the moisture will attempt to move. Bulk water can… more
You will get your kicks out of this flashing detail!
share
I have been accused of “talking through my hat” on occasion, and while not exactly in those words as relates to this discussion—it amounted to the same thing. We are talking about “kick-out” flashings—and how important they can be. Whenever… more
How to make nothing out of something.
share
When I was a kid, I remember the foundation of the first greenhouse that my dad built. It was made of “cinder blocks. ” Now lots of people call all manner of masonry units “cinder blocks” when they more accurately should be called “concrete blocks… more
Hidden in plain sight!
share
I suppose it comes with the territory that, as a home inspector, there are only so many guesses I can come up with, as to why someone did something the way they did. In many cases it just doesn’t matter and other cases it is prudent to just not try… more
Who doesn’t like being naked at 80 degrees!
share
I have posted in the past about the importance of using the bathroom exhaust fan while showering. Being the coldest time of the year, when condensation problems in bathrooms are exacerbated, I thought it would be worth revisiting the issue. … more
So you think you want an On-Demand water heater?
share
Anyone that knows me, I mean really knows me, knows that I have been involved with the green movement since way before there was a green movement--since the late 60’s to be more precise. Back in the early days it was actually about seeking… more
The “comb-in-the-hair-brush” approach to deck construction.
share
If this post seems overly “technical, ” let me apologize in advance. The picture below is such a good example of what I want to talk about, that I think even a reader with absolutely no construction background will likely be able to… more
Bathroom Exhaust Fan Vent Caps--—should not mean “capped off”
share
Modern requirements for vent terminations at the exterior of the home are that they terminate at a cap with a back-draft damper. This is any type of exhaust fan—but today I am just talking about bathroom exhaust fans. To help control moisture… more
When the inspector does not do what they were hired to do.
share
When home inspectors are discussing defects, “just plain wrong” might be accurate, and even enough of an explanation. However, it is best practice for home inspectors to convey in writing what the defect is, what will or can happen if nothing is… more