Reston Home Inspection - IR To the Rescue!

I did an inspection as a follow-up favor for a realtor client. It seems her listing had an inspection which revealed moisture in the corner of a basement wall.

It is a 30 year old house and the seller is an older, single woman without much money. She needed to sell the house for financial reasons. I said I would look at the wall with my IR camera, no charge. The realtor is a long-time client and has sent me lots of business. The whole visit took not much time at all. The buyers were demanding that a "dry basement" company work up a solution to this "huge" problem.

Boy, did they work up a "solution!" They diagnosed a cracked block foundation. After suggesting much ditch diggage, French drainage, foundation wall sealage, indoor slab breakage, and new sump pumpage, they offered different prices for different "solutions." The prices ranged from $6K to +$20K.

You know the drill, kill an ant with a sledge hammer.

My IR camera revealed moisture from what later proved to be a very slow, slight drip from a previously stubbed-out hose connection, no longer visible on the outside and apparently hidden when the house was re-sided. The foundation wall was not insulated and the drip was going straight to the sill plate.

I do not know if the "dry basement" company used an IR camera to diagnose the problem. I wonder what they would have done if they discovered the real cause of this moisture. Maybe they did! However, theirs was no solution at all and certainly very expensive. The true problem is easily corrected. There was no foundation crack.

My analysis was objective - I had no financial gain in providing a diagnosis/solution to this problem. The seller is happy. The buyers are happy. Both agents are happy. I have picked up a new client and further solidified an old one. You can give a happy-ending sigh now. A lot of business capital was purchased with very little effort.

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Steven Turetsky (not verified) | Sun, 05/10/2009 - 02:54

Hi Jay,

How are you doing? Your website is really nice. It gave me a few ideas. I noticed that you work all over Northern Virginia. The areas you have listed are Bristow, Arlington, Herndon, Springfield, Ashburn, and Woodbridge. I'm not too familiar with these areas, but for a number of years, my brother lived in Fairfax. I enjoyed visiting him. Virginia is beautiful. I can see a good home inspector being busy. Are you anywhere near Fairfax?

I found your blog about Infrared Thermal Imaging very interesting and formative. I can tell that you are an expert Thermographer. I'm thinking about purchasing an IR Cam. Infrared thermal imaging is a great tool. Beside incorporating it into my home inspections, I have a particular intrest in adding thermal imaging to my EIFS inspections ( I am also an EDI Certified EIFS Inspector).

By the way, I live in New York. The areas that I do home inspections and certified EIFS inspections in are Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Bronx, and Long Island. Have you ever been to Staten Island?

Well, goodnight for now, check out my websites:

Steven Turetsky

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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!