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Thread: Chemical odor

  1. #1
    Jeff Eastman's Avatar
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    Default Chemical odor

    Last edited by Jeff Eastman; 12-19-2007 at 05:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Chemical odor

    I would just make note that a unknown odor was present at garage location.

    Don't get into how to get rid of the odor or how to clean it up.


  3. #3
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chemical odor

    Agreed. Identify and report.

    Rich


  4. #4
    Charles Sessums's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chemical odor

    And recommend!


  5. #5
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chemical odor

    Charles, normally I would agree that recommending a course of action would be appropriate.

    However, in this case where you cannot positively identify what you/we are dealing with, I just don't think it would be prudent to recommend a course of action without knowing what I/you/we are talking about.

    Rich


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Chemical odor

    Jeff, listen to what the others have said.

    You can not have the answer to everything. You know that you are a good home inspector when you are comfortable is telling your clients the following; " Gee, I really don't have an answer to that. But I will go back to my office and do some research to see if I can find out. But for right now I just don't know".

    The next step in the growth of a professional inspector is knowing when to walk away from an inspection or client.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Chemical odor

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Eastman View Post
    It seems odd not to make a recommendation, like:

    "Have appropriate contractor identify the source and then make a recommendation for appropriate course of action or repairs" ???
    And what did you just say in that statement? It's a bunch of Gobbly Gook!

    Just tell your client that you do not know the source, cause or solution and that they might want to consult the owner and their agent for more information. You are doing them a disservice by telling them anything else, IMO.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Chemical odor

    Lets just say the odor is a dead rat.

    I can't find any dead rat contractors in the phone book. How do you repair a dead rat?

    Do we call out a Haz-Mat team at a 10K cost or do we call an exterminator or Willie the handyman?

    I personally don't want the responsibility of making that call or telling the client what to do. I would tell them, Yes I can smell something but I don't know what it is.

    Leave it at that.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Chemical odor

    Jeff,

    We're just giving advice. Just trying to keep your sphere's out trouble you might say.

    You can always do as you wish or as what you think is appropriate.

    Keep in mind we weren't there so the judgment call is yours.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Chemical odor

    I think what Charles was saying was that you don't just say: "The garage stunk like $hit.", but that you go on and recommend something, such as "The garage stunk like $hit, find out what the cause is, and remove/clean and air out as necessary and as required."

    That way, *you* (the HI) is not saying "how to do it", but rather *you* (the HI) is saying "do SOMETHING about it".

    If the HI just mentions that it stunk like $hit, without making any recommendation, the seller can say to *your client* "even your inspector did not say anything had to be done, I'm not paying for anything".

    Whether the seller pays or not, we, as HIs, should not care, however, we, as HIs, should not take from our client any tool they may have for recourse with the seller. Not making a recommendation takes away tools regarding the issue(s) where remediation action was 'not recommended'.

    How you word the remediation action, that's up to use. I am sure that I used to use stronger language than most, but it is important to *make* a "recommendation" 'for something'.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chemical odor

    quote from JP: "The garage stunk like $hit.",

    Well... as I know it, defication has a distinct smell and that is not the same as a chemical smell. Feces has a distinct smell and it is not the same as a chemical smell. Poo has a distinct smell and it is not the same as a chemical smell. Caca has a distinct smell and it is not the same as a chemical smell. Being inspectors, we could all take the utilization of the word $hit in it's many faceted uses...

    Consider this and tell me who to call if the garage smells like $hit:

    You can be $hit faced,
    $hit out of luck,
    Or have $hit for brains.
    With a little effort, you can get your $hit together,
    Find a place for your $hit
    Or decide to $hit or get off the pot.
    You can smoke $hit,
    Buy $hit, sell $hit,
    Lose $hit, find $hit,
    Forget $hit,
    And tell others to eat $hit and die.
    Some people know their $hit,
    While others can't tell the difference between $hit and shineola.
    There are lucky $hits,
    Dumb $hits,
    Crazy $hits,
    And sweet $hit.
    There is bull $hit,
    Horse $hit
    And chicken $hit.
    You can throw $hit,
    Sling $hit,
    Catch $hit,
    Shoot the $hit,
    Or duck when $hit hits the fan.
    You can give a $hit, not give a $hit-- who cares
    Or, serve $hit on a shingle.
    The wife sometimes cooks like $hit
    Then gives me $hit afterwards...
    You can find yourself in deep $hit
    Or be happier than a pig in $hit.
    Some days are colder than $hit,
    Some days are hotter than $hit,
    And some days are just plain $hitty.
    Some music sounds like $hit,
    Garages can smell like $hit,
    Things can look like $hit,
    And there are times when you feel like $hit and smell like it too.
    You can have too much $hit,
    Not enough $hit,
    The right $hit,
    The wrong $hit
    Or a lot of weird $hit.
    You can carry $hit
    Have a mountain of $hit,
    Be in a world of ****...
    Or find yourself up $hit creek without a paddle.
    Sometimes everything you touch turns to $hit,
    And other times you fall in a bucket of $hit and come out smelling
    like a rose.

    But sometimes, you just don't give a $hitwhich friggin contractor is called.

    Hell, I just like saying $hit. $HIT!... $HIT!... $HIT!!!

    o.k.... what the $hit did I just write???

    Chad Fabry wrote this.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Chemical odor

    Chad, if you are here, that's great.

    But ...

    Do you know Jack $hit (Sometimes spelled as Jack Schitt.)

    Click here: Who is Jack $hit?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Chemical odor

    That's Bull$hit!

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Chemical odor

    Richard,

    Slow day too I see.

    Rick


  15. #15
    Charles Sessums's Avatar
    Charles Sessums Guest

    Default Re: Chemical odor

    If the HI just mentions that it stunk like $hit, without making any recommendation, the seller can say to *your client* "even your inspector did not say anything had to be done, I'm not paying for anything".

    Whether the seller pays or not, we, as HIs, should not care, however, we, as HIs, should not take from our client any tool they may have for recourse with the seller. Not making a recommendation takes away tools regarding the issue(s) where remediation action was 'not recommended'.

    What I mean is close to Jerry’s comments. We are paid to act as a consultat. If you have no idea what it is say so. Research the smell, punt but give them direction. Put the course of action into perspective. What do you think about what you see and smell? If you’re clueless, direct them to find someone who has a clue. I’d do a little hunting for them, in your shoes. You look smarter and you were a help. What you got paid to be.

    If you see rotted wood on a soffit do you report “fix the wood” or “Moisture damage was found in the over hangs of the house. The main areas included XXX. A qualified carpenter should further investigate the over hangs of the house for other areas of damage. While repairing this material, the source of the water should be investigated and corrected. A possible source to check is damaged shingles.”


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Chemical odor

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Sessums View Post
    The greatest ideas are often met with violent opposition from mediocre minds. Albert Einstein
    Your tag line brought to mind one individual who tends to meet everything with violent opposition ... licensing, etc.

    Sorry, could not help but make that connection.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  17. #17
    Bob Murphy's Avatar
    Bob Murphy Guest

    Talking Re: Chemical odor

    Author unknown

    For some time many of us have wondered just who is Jack Schitt?

    We find ourselves at a loss when someone says, 'You don't know Jack Schitt!'

    Well,thanks to my genealogy efforts, you can now respond in an intellectual way.

    Jack Schitt is the only son of Awe Schitt. Awe Schitt, the fertilizer magnate, married O. Schitt, the owner of Needeep N. Schitt, Inc. They had one son, Jack. In turn, Jack Schitt married Noe Schitt.

    The deeply religious couple produced six children: Holie Schitt, Giva Schitt, Fulla Schitt, Bull Schitt, and the twins Deep Schitt and Dip Schitt. Against her parents' objections, Deep Schitt married Dumb Schitt, a high school dropout.

    After being married 15 years, Jack and Noe Schitt divorced.

    Noe Schitt later married Ted Sherlock, and because her kids were living with them, she wanted to keep her previous name. She was then known as Noe Schitt Sherlock.

    Meanwhile, Dip Schitt married Loda Schitt, and they produced a son with a rather nervous disposition named Chicken Schitt.

    Two of the other six children, Fulla Schitt and Giva Schitt, were inseparable throughout childhood and subsequently married the Happens brothers in a dual ceremony. The wedding announcement in the newspaper announced the Schitt-Happens nuptials. The Schitt-Happens children were Dawg, Byrd,and Horse.

    Bull Schitt, the prodigal son, left home to tour the world. He recently returned from Italy with his new Italian bride, Pisa Schitt.

    Now when someone says, 'You don't know Jack Schitt,' you can correct them.

    Sincerely,
    Crock O. Schitt


  18. #18
    Michael Sierra's Avatar
    Michael Sierra Guest

    Default Re: Chemical odor

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Eastman View Post
    In the garage of the house I inspected yesterday, there was a very powerful odor of chemicals. I couldn't be in there until I opened the doors and aired the place out. Clients were there as well and were concerned.

    I suspect the odors were from all the gasoline, fertilizers, etc. The clients didn't ask my opinion while onsite what to do about the odor, but what do /how should I make my comments in the report? Or should I not say anything as the odor will probably go away after the seller moves?
    Jeff
    You should acknowledge the odor in the report but make no judgement as to the source, what to do or how long the odor may last. Let the client make a judgement on an action. You are there to work on you clients behalf having there best interest in mind. It would be worse if they come back later and say that you never mentioned it on your report, although, from the sounds of it, I can't belive that they haven't at least mentioned it to the realtor.

    MAS


  19. #19
    Charles Sessums's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Chemical odor

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Your tag line brought to mind one individual who tends to meet everything with violent opposition ... licensing, etc.

    Sorry, could not help but make that connection.
    I recently was in a short debate with one individual. My questions were also left unanswered.

    I equate the quote with the willingness to change. Now that you mention it one individual does tend to resemble that remark.

    If a building is already on fire, what is to be gained by yelling fire is bad?

    Somewhat like burying one's head in the sand. What part is left showing?


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Chemical odor

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Sessums View Post
    If a building is already on fire, what is to be gained by yelling fire is bad?
    Charles,

    I guess the eternal optimist would ask "Anyone have any hot dogs or marshmallows?"

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  21. #21
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    Cool Re: Chemical odor

    I would not be too quick to make referrals. If the contractor gets in trouble, YOU could be in trouble for making a "negligent referral". Realtors are getting in trouble when they stick their noses in and refer someone who isn't really qualified and makes a mess of things. Learn from their mistakes. While a "recommendation" is not a referral, your recommendation for consulting the wrong company could come back to bite you. Just be carefull with recommendations and referrals. Unless you know just what sort of specialist to contact, I recommend you recommend in vague terms.

    In the case with the odors, it might be resolved by simply housekeeping. I had an issue once where I thought someone's pet bird was making odors in a house. Turns out there was a huge leak in the return ducts in the crawl space. A few feet away was the closet where yard tools were kept. It reeked of old insecticides, garden chemicals, etc. A real Love Canal. The chemical dump was cleaned up, the ducts sealed and the home smelled just fine. The Fire Dept. removed the chemicals and I sealed the ducts so the total cost was $0. I was almost ready to recommend professionals clean the entire house. Don't jump to conclusions as I did.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  22. #22
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    Thumbs up Re: Chemical odor

    Your tag line brought to mind one individual who tends to meet everything with violent opposition ... licensing, etc.

    Hmmmmmmmmm I wonder whoooooo......

    Your to funny sometimes!

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Chemical odor

    I would recommend an action to be taken.
    " Recommend source of odor be located and removed."
    Now if the source can not be found you are stuck with this odor and if the source is found but the odor can not be remove your stuck with this odor. If you do not recommend an action be taken it may be your hide that be odorous.

    Captain


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