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TOPIC: Roof Plumbing Vent to Short

Roof Plumbing Vent to Short 13 years 2 months ago #3381

  • Scott Widick
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Dont know how to word this defect. The vent does not terminate above the 2nd story roof. I feel it should at least have a screened cap of some sort. It services the washer below.
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SPACE EXPLORATIONS, LLC
www.sehomeinspection.com
Monument, Castle Rock, Lone Tree, Pueblo,Clorado Springs

Re: Roof Plumbing Vent to Short 13 years 2 months ago #3382

Wow, talk about back flow! Not a good thing with all the rain you get, and snow, and ice.

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Dominic Maricic
Home Inspector Pro Home Inspection Software - CEO

Re: Roof Plumbing Vent to Short 13 years 2 months ago #3383

Scott - looks like a homeowner installation!  To my clients I call those "Uncle Bob" jobs.  Looks like the sellers always wanted a laundry room near the bedrooms and this is that dream come true.

The vent should definitely terminate above the highest roof because even though it is for the washing machine sewer gases can still expel there.  Is there a window nearby?  Yummie...  It is too short -your area gets ice and snow right?

On very old Virginia houses I see galvanized vents on the first floor servicing a bathroom or kitchen (plumbing installed long after the house was built) which run outside along the siding all the way to the roof.  Your house looks a bit newer and there are likely codes there for prohibiting sort of installation.

Another thing I see is the lack o' proper counter flashing (looks like glued bricks), or at least the apparent silicone seal-'em-up job for that roof nearby.  See the leaky areas?  None of that is long lasting.  Also, there is no rubber-sleeve flashing for the pipe, like a normal plumbing vent through the roof.  They may have actually removed the roof to make this thing happen, rebuilding it in the fashion you see there.

The plumbing vent may be black iron, similar to the gas line, but it looks like cast iron.  But here in Virginia nothing is allowed to touch a gas line like that.  And, if it is a dissimilar metal, it will cause galvanic oxidation.  NOT good on a gas line...  The bricks appear chinked out, indicating that the gas line was another subsequent installation.  Permitted?  Servicing a furnace in a closet, or the dryer?

I just identified a bunch of problems with that installation.

I would say something about it being an apparently amateur installation, perhaps without a permit.  That gives you wiggle room if in fact it was permitted (sooo unlikely).  If there is no drip pan, which also needs to drain to the outside or the floor drain in the basement, you could mention that as another sign there was no permit obtained.  You should recommend that the buyer request a copy of the permit from the seller. 

In my area, if an installation like that is not permitted and there is a problem, insurance will not cover any damage created.  That is something else you could bring up to your buyers.  Your area may be different than mine, but I bet not...  I would say to the buyers, "No tickie, no laundry..."

Whoohoo Boo Boo!

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Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia
www.jaymarinspect.com
Northern Virginia Home Inspector
Festina Lente - Make Haste Slowly
Last Edit: by Jay Markanich.

Re: Roof Plumbing Vent to Short 13 years 2 months ago #3384

Damn your good Jay!  I looked at the pic and saw the prob Scott pointed out.  You look at it and dang near inspected the whole house.  Then I went back and looked at it again and see everything you pointed out.  One day. One day, I'll get there!  ;)

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Re: Roof Plumbing Vent to Short 13 years 2 months ago #3386

  • Scott Widick
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Hey Jay,
Thanx for the reply. The house was built in the late 1800's. The vent most likely was not permitted. I wrote it up last night as we both described. All the flashing are as you described. During the walk-thru with the buyer, I mentioned to him about periodic maintenance at the flashings and the built in gutter systems. The defect list goes on and on with this one but for the age its in decent shape.

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SPACE EXPLORATIONS, LLC
www.sehomeinspection.com
Monument, Castle Rock, Lone Tree, Pueblo,Clorado Springs

Re: Roof Plumbing Vent to Short 13 years 2 months ago #3387

Adriaaan!  Did I mention that they drilled the gas line hole from inside the house...?

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Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia
www.jaymarinspect.com
Northern Virginia Home Inspector
Festina Lente - Make Haste Slowly
Last Edit: by Jay Markanich.
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