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When the inspector foams at the mouth…..

 

Welcome to the, “Twilight Zone”……..

     It is a great feeling when we as home inspectors call for repairs by qualified repair persons, that we can go to sleep that night Foam repairs to damaged concrete block wallafter we send out the report, knowing that the repairs will be in good hands----to sleep well knowing that our buyers will continue to be as well taken care of by the repair person as they have been by their agent and their inspector. 

     It is great to know that when we are called back for the re-inspection of the repaired items, that the best part will be sharing a cup of coffee with the agent and the buyer and being able to sign off on what was done.

    

Welcome to the real world……..

     A world where all too often repairs are done like the one in the picture to the left.

     Spray foam insulation is a poor patching and exterior wall covering material for these damaged concrete blocks around the overhead door.  And while it may keep out drafts and vermin (temporarily) it is no substitute for epoxy and concrete----as would be called for in this repair.

     One could argue that this "repair" was worse than doing nothing at all since all that spray foam will all have to be removed in order to make "proper" repairs.

     I have a hard time understanding what the person making repairs like this can possibly be thinking when they read the report and it calls for, “professional repairs by a qualified repair person.”  These repairs are not “professional” and the person doing them was clearly “not qualified.”

     Why would anyone conclude that a knowledgeable buyer, being advised by someone committed to taking care of them, would think that this kind of repair would fly?  Add to this that someone is going to have to pay for another re-inspection fee.  Wouldn’t it have just been cheaper to have done it right in the first place?  It is not a pleasant sight to see me foaming at the mouth.

 

     I wish I lived in the Twilight Zone.

 

 

 

 

Charles Buell

 

 

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Comment balloon 31 commentsCharles Buell • February 24 2009 06:37AM

Comments

Charles, thanks for the post.  It's pretty amazing what people are trying to get away with these days.  Simply incredible.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 9 years ago

Gabe, unfortunately I live in the real world and poor repairs is the norm:)

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

I'd like to say that I find it amazing that "professionals" do repairs like that, but I too live in the real world. 

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) over 9 years ago

I have used spay foam mostly around sewer lines. Settling in a wall then pushes into the foam and not the pipe. But you picture was a bit extreme. Thanks for the post

Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros (AllMountainRealty.com) over 9 years ago

Charles well I am sure that is not the first time you have seen such a repair nor will it be the last.  Foam is the do-it-yourself fix-all.

Posted by Larry Story, Total Care Realty, LLC, Greensboro, NC Real Estate (Total Care Realty) over 9 years ago

Jared, I would say a couple of things about a "repair" like this.  It isn't a "repair" and it isn't "professional":)

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

Charles, This professional must have been the one we bought our last investment from! He didn't bother to shave down the great stuff he sprayed on the exterior walls either. Ours was an easy fix, we had the home sided.

Posted by Debbie Malone, From Lynchburg To The Lake (434) 546-0369 (Londeree's Real Estate & Property Management) over 9 years ago

Charles... what do you have against a nice can of spray foam? ... it's the duct-tape of today's generation!!

a little foam here, a little foam there... (oops... a little too much... is the drywall bulging now??)

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

Charlie---there are lots of good uses for the stuff----but this ain't one of them.

Larry, I have seen it sprayed all along the edges of the roof/gutter connection to keep critters out of the attic:)  I love the way it looks after it starts to deteriorate from UV.

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

Debbie, this stuff seems to be taking over some of the territory formerly reserved for duct tape:)

Alan, I responded to Debbie before I read your comment----it is the new duct tape.

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

Charles, No, you are not in good hands with Bubba and his band of misfits... H-m-m-m-m, might make a catch name for a new country band - LOL

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 9 years ago

I wish the Bubbas of the world would all retire----of course we can all be Bubba from time to time:)

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

Charles - your report was too demanding and required too much specificity.  If one has no expectations, one is never disappointed.  Such judgment requires moral authority - what right do you have to render that!!??

Charles - I am always intrigued by the quality of work I see about me.  To wit, the foundation wall I posted about not long ago, done apparently by the same guy who did your repair above.  Maybe a requirement that should be made for work to be accomplished is that if it is not done correctly, the repair persondoes not get paid until he pays for the re-inspection!  And then the one after that...

How's that for yin and yang?

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

Jay what you propose sounds good to me---assuming the guy can be found:)

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

Wow Charles, I guess we are still behind in today's hi tech of foam in a can here. We are still using duct tape, but with a little twist, they match / paint it with its surrouding colors,

Posted by Roy A. Peterson, P.R.E.I. (Domicile Analysis of Texas) over 9 years ago

Don't worry Roy----we are already seeing the foam painted to match:)

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

Charlie,

Obviously this was done for the "look". It might not be functional but it sure is "purty"

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

I see that stuff a lot. Did it take the place of duct tape?

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

Steve, you know I hate it when things "look" at me this way.

Carol----duct tape might have been better:)

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

Unpleasant things happen when buyer requests repairs and the seller does them in a way that looks like your picture.  I prefer, if possible, to let the seller give the buyer a payment for the buyer to fix it himself.

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

Barbara, I totally agree with you----way better for everyone all the way around.  I think that sellers think they can fix it for nothing and then do it wrong or worse and it ends up costing them more money and everyone else involved time and money as well.

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

Charles, I think we see this much too often. I'm always amazed by what some consider a professional repair.

Posted by Michael Therriault, The name to remember when you want it done right. (Michael Therriault Contracting - M.T. Contracting) over 9 years ago

Michael, probably not a hard choice when it is between 15 minutes with a $15.00 can of spray foam and a $800.00 fix by a licensed masonry contractor:)

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

yeah...but it sure is fun spraying that stuff in and watching it expand!

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

Jim, too true, too true:)

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

I want to make a house out of foam.  ;)

Posted by Jeff Remas, Inspector Jeff (Advanced Code Group) over 9 years ago

First it was duct tape, now it's foam. Wonder what will come next. Never mind, I probably don't really want to know.

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

Jeff, as I am sure you know----you can have one if you want one:)

Suesan----actually before duct tape there was chewing gum:)

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

Ahh, yes the old chewing gum, but when did the paperclip come in. Was that before or after the chewing gum.

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

I really like the two different pieces of wood in the frame and the "handle" which looks like a towel rack or should be on a boat. Looks like the job of Bubba.......Hey, they could hire raven to "peck" out the foam.

Sean Allen

Posted by Sean Allen, International Financing Solutions (International Financing Solutions ) over 9 years ago

Raven DeCroe

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

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