A Building Code Failure? A Home Inspection Trap?

Conversations with Charles Buell Regarding Seasonal Condensation Issues

  • In this podcast, we discuss finding and reporting on signs of seasonal condensation in an attic.
  • This is a common home inspector trap and a subject which, in many climate zones, we are still struggling to get our heads around as a building industry.
  • The building code has really not addressed this problem adequately in some climate zones, which is leaving consumers with new houses that are built to code and have seasonal moisture problems.
  • We look at why seasonal condensation happens and see a diagram that explains air movement through a building and the stack effect.
  • We discuss radiant night sky cooling and how this contributes to condensation problems.
  • We address the myth that the solution to attic condensation problems is always more ventilation and we see photos of why this can make this problem worse.
  • We look at a case study of a home inspection I performed in the winter of 2019 and see how tricky it is to provide sound advice when there are so many possible inputs regarding possible causes.
  • We look at why seasonal condensation a home inspector trap. We are definitely looking at something that has to be reported on. Any issues that are causing the house to get wet, even if just seasonally, would have to be reported on based on our standards of practice. Yet, the reality is, we are often unable to give accurate advice regarding the scope and urgency for repair when we are just out to the house for a one-time inspection.
  • On the other hand, I think many home inspectors know too much to punt and just say, oh, let a mold remediation person look at it. That may be the safe play, but you might end up with a client spending money on something that is not even much of a problem.
  • We provide some sample language used in a home inspection report to detail our findings and recommendations.

Here is a link to the report we discussed in this podcast as well as a screenshot of the observation in question below.

http://reports.getscribeware.com/[email protected]/2019/05/12/gj4p19t

 

 

 

Dylan Chalk

Author: Dylan Chalk

Dylan Chalk is the author of The Confident House Hunter – a book to teach home buyers how to look at and understand houses: Cedar Fort Press www.dylanchalk.com. In June of 2017, Dylan's book The Confident House Hunter won the Silver Award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors. He is also the founder of ScribeWare inspection report software offering innovative and simple report-writing solutions - www.getscribeware.com and he is the owner of Seattle-based Orca Inspection Services LLC. In early 2017 Dylan became the Vice-President of Western Washington chapter of (ASHI) American Society of Home Inspectors. www.orcainspect.com.