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willlong

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About willlong

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  • Location
    USA
  • Occupation
    Home Inspector
  1. Since this program began we have some 172 condo buildings and 31 single family houses that have been inspected, some with repairs, and certified. Some were, wonder of wonders, built properly to begin with and had no problems. No complaints about the certification so it seems to be working. I am sorry if all you old guys don't like what I am doing with the certification, but it works. Ad hominem arguments are meaningless. I saw a problem and came up with a solution that seems to be working. Want to join in or just sit on the sidelines and complain? It is much easier to just write reports defecting these buildings than it is to try to help the people who have bought into them. Hope this helps;
  2. Sorry I have not responded earlier, but I was not aware that all this back stabbing was going on. If you give me a chance, maybe I can answer all the "cool kids" here. 1) Links: I have written a number of articles, as well as presented a number of classes and papers at conventions, about split faced block and water intrusion in general. They can all be seen here: https://www.deckerhomeservices.com/blog/ 2) I think we can all agree that the root cause of this problem is that you simply do not build a single wythe masonry wall in the Chicago area. Nuff said on that. 3) Given that #2 has happened, what do we do. Of course improper flashing is the3 secondary cause. This goes along with the substitution of Renaissance Stone for limestone coping. Limestone does stop water if it is thick enough. Stone, not so much. 4) The single most important flashing detail to the wall is at the parapet. My proof for this is that I have yet to see a water intrusion problem in a split faced block building that was covered with a pitched roof. Not parapet wall, no problem. This is NOT to say that there were not problems with water intrusion, in general, but these were caused by bad flashing around above windows and the like, not specifically because of the block. 5) I have found that flashing the parapet wall, even if it is just re-installing clay coping tiles and properly keeping the air vents on the side of the tiles open, works very well. The so called "wind driven rains" are not that big an issue. Sure, you have to do regular maintenance on the block, the single wythe structure pretty much ensures that there will be continuing cracking, but a regular maintenance schedule works well. Also, sealing these cracks with a good caulk, like Vulcum, works well and I rarely see the cracks re-open if they have been properly sealed and caulked. 6) The ventilated coping solution, like that from Wick Right, is also very good. I have recommended this many times and have never had a bad call back. 7) As to the Split Block Certified program, yes that is mine. I have certified about 200 such properties so far (some condos, some SFHs) and have never had a complaint (knock on wood?). All I do is inspect, recommend repairs by a contractor I know to be good (there are several) and re-inspect to verify the proper repairs. You guys may not agree with this, but is works and I make money doing it. More importantly, the clients now have documentation that the buildings were fixed. 8) Finally, the big discussion, sealing. I agree that sealing the exterior block, provided it is done by a reputable company, with a good quality product and the product manufacturer's instructions are followed is better than not have it sealed. BUT... Sealing alone is NOT the solution. My experience and tests I have done show that only about 8 - 12% of the total water intrusion (not counting cracks, which sealing does not stop anyway) comes THROUGH the block. The overwhelming majority of the water comes from an improperly flashed parapet wall. I know that all the young people who bought these places really want an easy (and inexpensive) "silver bullet" solution, but sealing just ain't it. In fact, the plugger paint sealants actually work to retain moisture. Completely relying on sealing, with warranties, is what has lead to multiple sealing companies going out of business. In my experience, sealing the block is very little payback for a large cost (if the work is done right, it is expensive). 9) I am sure that you will all agree that new products and materials often lead to new problems and no one is really 100% sure of the fix because the problem is so new and solutions have to stand the test of time. We now know that EIFS has to have a drainage plane and that Tyvek housewrap is not a drainage plane. We also now know that drywall, be it gray or green, is made from paper and that paper is mold food. And, as we go along, we find new problems and try to come up with solutions. Mr. Lamb insists that adding an exterior layer of vinyl siding to the block is the solution. I would pretty much agree, but hardly anyone will do it because it is expensive and also REALLY ugly. But time marches on and the City will never take any responsibility (or liability) and builders will always go the cheapest route (with a few exceptions) and find ways to legally get out of any warranties. But that is, at least in part, why we have our jobs. We get paid to represent people who are buying houses (and condos, etc). If the place is built like crap, we tell the client and do so professionally. If an existing property has problems and the owners want advice on how to fix it, some of us do that too. That is what I am doing with the program and, so far, it appears to be working. If you have other questions, feel free to call. You know my number. Hope this helps;
  3. Here is the latest news on this problem. http://deckerhomservices.com/split_bloc ... oblems.htm Hope this helps;
  4. I would add that the main structural problem is that the grout the trusses to the block. Pardon me if I am misinformed, but I was taught that wooden joists and trusses should never be in direct contact with masonry. I fear structural failures with pancake collapses this winter, when the snow load occurs. One other point. Who is the idiot who insists that there should be plastic sheeting behind the drywall? That just serves to create an aquafer. Hope this helps;
  5. Well, it's started. Did and inspection (maintenance) yesterday. Was called in by a contractor, but the owner and architect was there. 20 year old SFH with 3 stories and a penthouse in the middle of the roof with roof decks at front and back.The owner had bought the place 3 months ago (the poor guy). Owner complained of possible water intrusion. Crown moulding was deformed. Did thermal and the roof joists were not normal. Protometer pegged out at the trusses. The contractor open the ceiling and the trusses and roof deck were rotted (black, mold, sopping fiberglass insulation, no vapor barrier, the usual crap. The only fix is to gut the top floor, replace the roof, trusses, etc. Click to Enlarge 39.57 KB Click to Enlarge 45.68 KB
  6. The current solution seems to be a polyurethane based paing, sprayed on. Arrow masonry, which has been dealing with split block problems for 6 years, switched from silicone sealers to this, and it seem to work. The only problem is that the building has to be dry to apply of you seal in the water. I also recommend that the owners run a de-humidifier, full tilt boogie, for months. Spray foam insulation is also preferred. Hope this helps;
  7. The camera will find things that you would not be able to find with just your eyes. IR can also help you substantiate and give you further insight into conditions that you would (maybe) find with just your eyes, but you can see them better. In the case of water leaks, maybe you would see it, bare eyed and maybe you wouldn't. But, if you find it, you can also, easier, find the cause and not have to defer so much. The clients like that. Less running around.id="blue"> Yes, in my experience. Besides, you can back up your strictly visual findings with proof. You are not gonna take your moisture meter and teste every single square inch of interior wall, are you? With the Camera you can find the questionable spots and test them with the meter. You miss less.id="blue"> Depends on how much time you want to spend. How good an inspection do you want to do?id="blue"> Educating the client and writing it in your report. Sure, the first 10 inspections or so, you will find you have to write and explain more, but then you get into the groove.id="blue"> You have one more tool to back up what you already know. And, you will see problems that you never even suspected and then have to back them up with other tools. The camera is only as good as the brain it is attached to.id="blue"> What did you do, about gas leaks before you had a combustable gas detector? What about CO. What about moisture? The camera is just another tool. The important thing is having BOTH the theoretical understanding AND the field experience. Takes time. Hope this helps;
  8. And members of the other 2 major associations would not even be required to do the two inspections.
  9. willlong

    3 layers?

    Most shingle manufacturers will void any warranty if their product is installed on a preexisting shingle layer.
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