Is Stailess Steel Really Stainless?

Is Stainless Steel Really Stainless?

Well, no.  It would be better to call it stain less, with two words.

It can be stained!

This is a stainless steel kitchen sink in BRAND NEW CONSTRUCTION.

We were doing the final walk through inspection.

The kitchen sink had small brown stains all over it.  They would not come out.  Running water and trying a rag did not remove the stains.  I have to think the cleaners tried also.

So, what stains stainless steel?  The list includes many things, and this is not exhaustive:

  • Sulfuric acid
  • Muriatic acid
  • Chlorine (pure bleach or a stronger bleach product)
  • Glue products that contain cadmium
  • Wood polish and cleaners
  • Paint strippers that contain benzene
  • Household cleaners containing methanol

Obviously these stains were caused during construction.  I expect the only solution (no pun intended) was to replace the sink.  I'm sure the builder loved that.

People often ask me if this or that is a good builder.  My answer?  It depends on the supervisor on site EVERY DAY (if he's not beware) and the subs they use (again, beware!).  If the builder employs a lot of what I call "7-11 Construction" then the work is even less professional or careful.  People who don't understand what they are doing or anything about the chemicals and products they are told to use then damage can and will be done.

My recommendation:  hire a home inspector for a pre-drywall and final walk through on new construction!  This is an old song, and you will hear from the builder that these inspections are "unnecessary."  After all, the builders say, there have already been hundreds of inspections!  Even the local jurisdiction does inspections!  Don't count on that.  And in Northern Virginia I suggest that you insist on Jay Markanich!


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Jay performs inspections Monday through Saturday, throughout Northern Virginia, from his office in Bristow to Leesburg and Centreville, to Great Falls and Vienna and everywhere in between!