Jump to content

Tarp used as flashing?


Brandon Whitmore
 Share

Recommended Posts

Inspected a new construction house today. The house is a daylight basement style, but has a crawlspace beneath the lower level. The top of the foundation sits at a lower grade than the street. The foundation has been damp- proofed (tar type substance) due to the living space installed below grade. The majority of the foundation is not visible along the front (street side) of the home- the foundation is covered with housewrap with a standard tarp under the housewrap (tarp such as is used for camping). The Realtor cut back the tarp to see what was behind it and that is when I noticed that the foundation does not appear to extend above grade, and in some areas the OSB wall sheathing is actually damp- proofed behind the tarp. I will try to post pictures of this concern (one of many) and would appreciate any comments on this installation.

Download Attachment: .jpg"]icon_photo.gif 100_0597[2].jpg

53.76 KB

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif newconstruction.jpg

192.91 KB

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif newconstruction2.jpg

149.79 KB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My recommmendations for repair on the front of the home are to re- grade/ slope where needed, install a proper housewrap where needed and install siding once there is an adequate clearance of 6-8" between the top of the foundation and ground level-- would anyone recommend anything further?

Also, regarding their interesting use of a tarp. I am wondering if this is an attempt at water proofing the foundation since the basement I joist framing is sitting on a pressure treated sill bolted to the foundation footing-- my concern with this installation is moisture wicking up off the sill plate onto the I joists-- I have pictures if interested.

Slight thread drift-- in the crawlspace of this home there is zero ventilation with 2 mechanical vents blowing air around in the crawlspace (nowhere for air to go). There is some moisture in the crawlspace and heavy dampness on knee wall sheathing and framing throughout with about 3 colors of mold/ mildew type growth. The exposed fasteners throughout (subfloor down) are pretty heavily rusted and have moisture droplets hanging on the fasteners. The insulation is damp/ moist throughout and was actually dripping in some areas on one wall (toward front of home).

My recommendations are to remove all subfloor insulation, install a proper ventilation system and dry things out. I also recommended consulting with a mold expert for evaluation/ testing. Am I missing anything? I am pretty worried about liability on this home and want to get as specific as possible for the submitted report.

THANKS.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Brandon Whitmore

My recommmendations for repair on the front of the home are to re- grade/ slope where needed, install a proper housewrap where needed and install siding once there is an adequate clearance of 6-8" between the top of the foundation and ground level-- would anyone recommend anything further?

I'd tell them to expose every square inch of OSB that had been below grade and call me back to look at it and make further recommendations at that time.

Also, regarding their interesting use of a tarp. I am wondering if this is an attempt at water proofing the foundation since the basement I joist framing is sitting on a pressure treated sill bolted to the foundation footing-- my concern with this installation is moisture wicking up off the sill plate onto the I joists-- I have pictures if interested.

There's supposed to be a moisture break between the sill & the concrete. In our area, that's usually polyethylene foam sill seal or something similar. If the I-joists have been below grade, I'd be concerned about them too.

Slight thread drift-- in the crawlspace of this home there is zero ventilation with 2 mechanical vents blowing air around in the crawlspace (nowhere for air to go). There is some moisture in the crawlspace and heavy dampness on knee wall sheathing and framing throughout with about 3 colors of mold/ mildew type growth. The exposed fasteners throughout (subfloor down) are pretty heavily rusted and have moisture droplets hanging on the fasteners. The insulation is damp/ moist throughout and was actually dripping in some areas on one wall (toward front of home).

My recommendations are to remove all subfloor insulation, install a proper ventilation system and dry things out. I also recommended consulting with a mold expert for evaluation/ testing. Am I missing anything?

I like all of your recommendations except the part about the mold expert. Invariably and without a sliver of a doubt, the "expert" they call will be a complete idiot.

I am pretty worried about liability on this home and want to get as specific as possible for the submitted report.

THANKS.

If you're worried about liability, just write your report in a clear, conversational tone. Don't be afraid to say that the house is a mess and don't be afraid to use scary words. This isn't the time to worry about offending someone.

As your write the report, think about how you're actually doing this builder a favor. He might feel a sting from your report now, but if this stuff weren't discovered for several months and someone got sick because of it, he could very well be bankrupted by it.

So where is this house? Who's the builder?

If it's in Washington or Yamhill counties, I *know* that the building department is going to want to know about it.

-Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jim,

Home is located in SE Portland (N. of Foster Rd. on 141st (Multnomah or Clackamas County- will have to get a map). Since I am not allowed to disclose anyhing to anyone but my client-- shouldn't I get written permission from the client prior to notifying the building department?

As far as the mold guy being a complete idiot, I would not argue that point. Shouldn't the growth be at least evaluated further?

I am not sure who the builder is on this home, but would prefer not to inspect his houses in the future. (getting a headache on this one -- you should see their house next door)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Brandon Whitmore

Jim,

Home is located in SE Portland (N. of Foster Rd. on 141st (Multnomah or Clackamas County- will have to get a map). Since I am not allowed to disclose anyhing to anyone but my client-- shouldn't I get written permission from the client prior to notifying the building department?

I didn't mean to suggest that you call the building department. I'd tell my client to do it.

As far as the mold guy being a complete idiot, I would not argue that point. Shouldn't the growth be at least evaluated further?

Nope. I'd skip that step and go right to treatment. They should expose every inch of OSB that had been below grade and hire you to come back to identify which sheets need to be replaced. Then have a PCO treat both sides of the rest with Timbor or Boracare.

I am not sure who the builder is on this home, but would prefer not to inspect his houses in the future. (getting a headache on this one -- you should see their house next door)

He's incompetent. Is that a finished concrete walkway in one of those photos? Woof!

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jim,

Walkway steps were written up as a trip hazard (but entire development is like this).

Also, there is a driveway that leads to this home (back left of main photo not quite visible). Driveway is 7' 10" wide all the way down to the garage and to the house behind it (can not figure out how the fire dept. will get a fire truck down there-- gonna have to lay a lot of hose. I thought that driveways were typically supposed to be 10-12' wide (someone correct me if I am wrong). I can not figure out how the driveway/ road to rear home was ever approved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Brandon Whitmore

Jim,

Walkway steps were written up as a trip hazard (but entire development is like this).

Also, there is a driveway that leads to this home (back left of main photo not quite visible). Driveway is 7' 10" wide all the way down to the garage and to the house behind it (can not figure out how the fire dept. will get a fire truck down there-- gonna have to lay a lot of hose. I thought that driveways were typically supposed to be 10-12' wide (someone correct me if I am wrong). I can not figure out how the driveway/ road to rear home was ever approved.

Oftentimes, the developer will negotiate with the city on stuff like that. "You can have narrow driveways if you put fire supression systems in the houses." "No, how about we use 5/8 rock inside instead." "Well, ok, but then we also want to see two extra hydrants in the neighborhood" Etc, etc, etc.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...