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John Dirks Jr

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Sometimes we see bad flashings or gaps in cladding and the other things that will obviously allow water to get to the building materials underneath. We become suspicious that there might be damage to wood underneath but can't see it to prove it.

How do you word such suspicions in your reports? Might be, could be...? Do you say anything alerting to the possibility of water damaged components even though you can't verify it?

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Well ya know it all depends. But, if you have a suspicion chances are that it is spot on. Go with that gut feeling and just say what you are thinking. What's the worst that could happen if you tell someone that the flashing just does not look right and it is possible that water is seeping in?

I do it all the time. Just last week I had a home with really screwy roof lines and I reported that based on my knowledge, experience and from what I have seen on similar structure I'm betting that water is leaking down that wall during a heavy rain.

Yes, it really ticked off the agent and the homeowner but they did open a wall and found mulch filling it up. The mulch was the OSB substrate!

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This is a variation on a Walter-ism.....

"The installation standards for (siding, brick, vinyl, etc.) are very succinctly described in the building codes. When modern (siding, brick, vinyl, etc.) isn’t installed per code requirements, the result can be water in the wall/XYZ/whatever.

I can't predict what problems -- if any -- will develop over time. When builders and tradespeople deviate from well-accepted practices such as those described in the building code -- and develop their own way of doing things -- results are unpredictable.

Unless the wall is opened up, there's no way for me to know if there are problems -- such as trapped water, rot, mold etc. -- inside the wall. Also, in the absence of visual clues to developing problems, there's no good way for us to know what part(s) of the wall(s) should be opened up for further inspection.

At this point, I'd have to open the wall to determine XYZ......"id="blue">

Or, something like that.

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Here's something I use when siding is in contact with the ground

"The only real way to determine if rot or wood destroying insects are present is by opening the walls (removing the exterior siding or the interior drywall). This is not part of our 'non-invasive' inspection."

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We HI's like to complicate things. It's one of our worst faults.

Report Writing Basics:

1) Tell 'em exactly what you saw.

2) Tell 'em what that means.

3) Tell 'em what to do next.

Use the active voice, the fewest words possible, spellcheck it, and make sure it passes "the smell test".

That formula fits whether you KNOW there is a problem, or simply suspect one.

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