Seattle Home Inspector's Blog

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More venting about vents in Seattle.

     Take a look at this picture.

     What is this capped pipe that is sticking out of this really nice roof?

Old vent through the roof

     I may never know what the “original purpose” of this capped pipe was----and it really doesn’t matter.  What it is today, is what matters.  It is complicated because, what it is today is not even what it is. 

     Confused?

     Me too----but I am used to it. 

     This capped pipe is “trying” to be a plumbing vent-----and doing a very lousy job of it.  That is the problem with “trying.”  Trying is a total waste of time, because trying never got any job done.  Doing” is always necessary to get any job done.

     On the attic side, this is what it looks like.

Plumbing vent that doesn't quite make it out of the attic

     This abandoned vent (of unknown original purpose) is not an appropriate termination for the plumbing vent.  It neither insures that sewer gases won’t find their way into the attic space, nor does it prevent vermin entry to the attic.  This is not a very difficult fix and can be done when the roof is replaced-----since the roof is obviously past its expected life.

 

 

Charles Buell

 

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Comment balloon 25 commentsCharles Buell • March 30 2009 09:05AM

Comments

what a lovely non-fix.  and in it's original form, shouldn't it have been taller?

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Coldwell Banker Residential) over 9 years ago

Got to give them credit for recycling.

Posted by Eric Reid (Renaissance Realty Group of Keller Williams Atlanta Partners) over 9 years ago

I give them credit for at least finding a hole in the roof. Not!

Posted by Tad Petersen / Home Inspector, Mpls (Safeguard Home Inspections, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Credit due. You guys do things very diffeent than we do here...

Posted by Luke Constantino, Residential/Commercial Real Estate Brooklyn NY (Brooklyn/Manhattan Real Estate) over 9 years ago

I'm thinking they need a new roof.  :)  And, is that a solar panel or a skylight?

Posted by Stephanie Edwards-Musa, knitwit at thred UP (thredUP.com) over 9 years ago

Looks like a good candidate for that rolled roofing material!!

Posted by Dan Callahan (Callahan's Home Inspections) over 9 years ago

Charles, just when you think you've seen it all it starts all over again. I think that's why they pay us the big bucks :)

Posted by Suesan Jenifer Therriault, "Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own". (JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team) over 9 years ago

Alan, that is part of what is confusing about what it used to be----must have been some sort of attic vent or exhaust fan vent.

Eric----or being lazy

Tad----that is about right

Luke, for sure

Stephanie----the roof has been shot for at least 10 years and yes---one of 7 skylights.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Dan----actually in the back ground is a flat roof over the back porch that is rolled roofing so old most of the granular coating is gone.

Really bad roll roofing

Suesan----too true:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Charles - I look forward to these photos ever day.  Makes me feel like my own house is not in such bad shape.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) over 9 years ago

Matt, you are in luck---I am likely to make you feel good every day:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Charles - You can pretty much guarantee that.  My house could use some help, but it won't match most of what you put on here.  Its really great (all these photos and stories), because it gives people an idea of the things that could go wrong, but you're also great at teaching them why its wrong and what could be done to prevent it or fix it.  I may just start using your blog as an informational tool for clients even though we're talking about different states.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) over 9 years ago

Thanks Matt----it is good to know that I am able to help.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Charles, I thought houses like this were only found in Arkansas!  WRONG!  nice blog

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) over 9 years ago

Barbara, it is an International issue:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Charlie - So, this is probably how the vermin got into my attic! Nice!

Posted by Carol Culkin, Overland Park (Reece & Nichols) over 9 years ago

That roof looks like it has a few more years left in it...lol

Posted by Jim Albano, Team - Jean-Marie Vantuno / Realtors North Jersey Real Estate (Prudential Damiano Realty ) over 9 years ago

Carol----well this is just one of many possibilities----mostly insects at this location---rodents usually leave signs

Jim---I would imagine you could get it real cheap if you wanted:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Mr Charles,

Had they taped across and plugged the bottom with duct tape, would that have improved this in your view.

Nutsy, just hanging with his super cool buds,

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Nutsy, what would it feel like to clean the fleas out of your tail with duct tape?

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Charlie - some duct tape and a little Rustoleum spray paint (I recommend burgundy and gold) and that baby will be as good a new!

When it was new it was the bathroom exhaust vent for old Uncle Joe's bathroom...  long story, but since you ran out of gas on the Meme I won't go into it now.  And since the convenient spot was already there, sometime in the 70's or early 80's they found some extra ABS and plumbed her up!

Say, now that I think of it, maybe it's a roof ABS Exerciser Stovepipe Spitter!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Jay wouldn't that be an Abscess or an Absess?

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Charlie, It's good of you to vent about what confuses you. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 9 years ago

James, that keeps me venting most of the time:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

you definately can not fix stupid....

Posted by WHamilton about 9 years ago

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