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  1. #1
    JCreel's Avatar
    JCreel Guest

    Default Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    Hi,

    I recently paid for an inspection on a property that my wife and I are purchasing blind from about 900 miles away. We got the report and are outside of our objection period for the house. My dad went by the house today and saw a very large crack in (and through) the brick veneer on the northwest side of the house that has obviously been there for some time. The seller has not disclosed any structural issues, the realtor did not mention it, and the inspector did not mention this crack in his report. I have attached the inspection report and the images that my dad took today. I feel like we paid for an inspection that wasn't properly completed. I tried to call the guy, but he's out of town until Thursday. What recourse do we have?

    Inspection report link:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/oh1lrgd3xm...eport.pdf?dl=0

    20150810_151835.jpg20150810_152317.jpg20150810_152414.jpg

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    Well that is definitely a condition the inspector should have been seen and reported on. That type of crack separation doesn't happen from one day to the next typically.
    Obviously I don't know anything about access to the property, if there was a dog, time restrictions of some sort etc.
    Very common situation with brick window sill like that. Rain isn't the big issue. Sitting snow/ice and freeze thaw cycles generally create that crack. Snow sits on top of the brick sill, causes erosion between the bricks, opens up a joint and over time acts as a funnel for water to run down slowly and create a crack.
    A easy repair would be to tuck point it all properly. A better repair would be to cap the sill or install a limestone sill.

    www.aic-chicago.com
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    That it something that should not be missed, but it is not surprising to me that it was missed. I think too many inspectors spend more time on-site writing the report than inspecting the house.

    The crack is significant. Without seeing the bigger picture I can't determine how serious this is. If the inspector has access to a phone or email he should get back to you.

    Talk to your agent about having this looked at again. If the seller does not agree, then I would mention that it was not disclosed. Better for them to deal with it now than to deal with a lawyer later.


  4. #4
    JCreel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    Well that is definitely a condition the inspector should have been seen and reported on. That type of crack separation doesn't happen from one day to the next typically.
    Obviously I don't know anything about access to the property, if there was a dog, time restrictions of some sort etc.
    Very common situation with brick window sill like that. Rain isn't the big issue. Sitting snow/ice and freeze thaw cycles generally create that crack. Snow sits on top of the brick sill, causes erosion between the bricks, opens up a joint and over time acts as a funnel for water to run down slowly and create a crack.
    A easy repair would be to tuck point it all properly. A better repair would be to cap the sill or install a limestone sill.
    Thank you both for your replies. Sitting ice and snow would make sense in this situation, as the damage is on the north side of the house at 7200 feet above sea level in Wyoming. I'll talk to my seller and agent to see what they want to do.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    I agree, that crack should have made the report… Heck he/she reported on the microwave sitting on the counter! Also you might want to look up the history of the Zinsco electrical panel that is in the home!

    I would say that this inspector needs a little more schooling or is under the wing of the real estate agent…

    Also, the owners must have known about the crack(s)…If you look closely you can see where they caulked the cracks with some type of flexible sealant. If they did not disclose this then I would say that they lied and this is a No No on real estate disclosure forms… But, I'm also not an attorney so you need to get with one quickly….. We have one that visits this site from time to time, maybe he will chime in…

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 08-10-2015 at 07:33 PM.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    It may not be a "deal killer" but you should have been informed of the situation.

    If you couple the cracks in your photos together with other things in the report, I think you have some foundation movement, not just water getting into the brick. You might want to ask for an extension of your option period and get a better inspector or an engineer to look at the entire structure.

    I think you inspector paid at little too much attention to the details and not enough time looking at the big picture of the structure of the house.

    I can't see enough of the structure to form an informed opinion but my guess is the negative lawn/lot grading your inspector mentioned is causing seasonal movement of your foundation.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    I'm curious if the issue in comment/photo 27 correlates with the outside brick issue?


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    1. There could be hidden framing damage (rot and or mold) due to the length of time this crack has existed due to water infiltration. Further there are no implications of any of the findings.

    2. As Scott pointed out it definitely has been patched which indicates vendors must have known about it since its been repaired.

    3. Its safe to assume it's an active crack.

    4. Its significant to have been reported.

    5. As far as recourse, there is in my opinion nor excuse for you not receiving the report immediately post inspection. If Realtor new you were out of town the conditions for waiving the inspection should have been extended so that you could see first hand the findings and arrange for further assessment and costs to correct.

    6. When did you sign the inspection agreement before inspection, did you sign a contract, what limitations where stated in same?

    7. There was no opportunity for you to negotiate with vendor to have the crack further investigated, nor opportunity to seek a price reduction/repair costs in the purchase price.

    8. You must first give the inspector the opportunity to respond. In this regard I suggest you send a 'registered' letter to him outlining your findings and what if anything he is willing to do.

    9. Even if the inspector responds, you have a case for 'negligent misrepresentation' by the inspector and Realtor (You will have to seek response from Realtor as well since it appears there has been a lapse in their fiduciary responsibilities as well as ethics violation(s).

    10. If the inspector is a member of an association 'registered letter' should be sent to the association.

    11. Keep records as to exactly has transpired to date, any correspondence, phone calls and pictures. Get a three ring binder with index and file the information chronologically.

    12. Contact an lawyer who has experience in tort law.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    Yes he definitely missed some big issues. This is just one of the reasons you should never by a house site unseen.

    He also missed calling out the "Zinsco" brand electrical panel. Zinsco panels and breakers are known to have a variety of problems and do not offer the level of overcurrent and fire protection provided by most other electrical panels and circuit breakers. At minimum he should of said something about it and/or recommended an electrician look at it.

    He mentions the loose deck railings but fails to mention the large gaps and openings that are over 4 inches.
    And talking about a portable microwave that's not part of the home is just plain stupid.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    From the information ... I recommend you hire another inspector and have him/her inspect the entire house - then compare what the second inspector finds to the first inspector's findings (I know of a case where that is being done as we speak) ... ask the fist inspector for a refund.

    If the first inspector refuses (refunding the fee will be their cheapest way out) then let that inspector know that you will let a judge decide what that inspector owes you ... like I said, returning the fee will be the cheapest way out for the first inspector, but some inspectors just don't get even that.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 08-12-2015 at 03:48 PM. Reason: speelin' now that I am on my computer instead of my phone
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    Would like to know what the contract contained and whether the contract was signed pre inspection or post inspection?


  12. #12
    Suzanne Clark's Avatar
    Suzanne Clark Guest

    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by JCreel View Post
    Hi,

    I recently paid for an inspection on a property that my wife and I are purchasing blind from about 900 miles away. We got the report and are outside of our objection period for the house. My dad went by the house today and saw a very large crack in (and through) the brick veneer on the northwest side of the house that has obviously been there for some time. The seller has not disclosed any structural issues, the realtor did not mention it, and the inspector did not mention this crack in his report. I have attached the inspection report and the images that my dad took today. I feel like we paid for an inspection that wasn't properly completed. I tried to call the guy, but he's out of town until Thursday. What recourse do we have?

    Inspection report link:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/oh1lrgd3xm...eport.pdf?dl=0


    20150810_151835.jpg20150810_152317.jpg20150810_152414.jpg

    It appears the cracks are above and below the windows. Perhaps the window header and brick lintels are absent. In any case, this requires repair to avoid any further damage from possible moisture intrusion.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by JCreel View Post
    Hi,

    I recently paid for an inspection on a property that my wife and I are purchasing blind from about 900 miles away. We got the report and are outside of our objection period for the house. My dad went by the house today and saw a very large crack in (and through) the brick veneer on the northwest side of the house that has obviously been there for some time. The seller has not disclosed any structural issues, the realtor did not mention it, and the inspector did not mention this crack in his report. I have attached the inspection report and the images that my dad took today. I feel like we paid for an inspection that wasn't properly completed. I tried to call the guy, but he's out of town until Thursday. What recourse do we have?

    Inspection report link:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/oh1lrgd3xm...eport.pdf?dl=0


    20150810_151835.jpg20150810_152317.jpg20150810_152414.jpg

    It appears the cracks are above and below the windows. Perhaps the window header and brick lintels are absent. In any case, this requires repair to avoid any further damage from possible moisture intrusion.

    - - - Updated - - -

    [QUOTE=JCreel;259649]Hi,

    I recently paid for an inspection on a property that my wife and I are purchasing blind from about 900 miles away. We got the report and are outside of our objection period for the house. My dad went by the house today and saw a very large crack in (and through) the brick veneer on the northwest side of the house that has obviously been there for some time. The seller has not disclosed any structural issues, the realtor did not mention it, and the inspector did not mention this crack in his report. I have attached the inspection report and the images that my dad took today. I feel like we paid for an inspection that wasn't properly completed. I tried to call the guy, but he's out of town until Thursday. What recourse do we have?

    Inspection report link:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/oh1lrgd3xm...eport.pdf?dl=0


    20150810_151835.jpg20150810_152317.jpg20150810_152414.jpg[/QUOTe

    - - - Updated - - -

    Last edited by Suzanne Clark; 08-25-2015 at 04:47 AM.

  13. #13
    Suzanne Clark's Avatar
    Suzanne Clark Guest

    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    It appears the crack is above the basement window (stress crack). Perhaps a proper window header and/or brick lintels are absent. In any case, this requires repair to avoid any further damage.


    Suzanne Clark


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    What is the problem with multiple posts and pictures?
    Multiple emails notifications as well.

    Why not remove the multiple posts?


  15. #15
    Suzanne Clark's Avatar
    Suzanne Clark Guest

    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    Note: A window sill is absent from window above. This can also be problematic with snow & ice and water seepage through bricks.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    Around here in the DFW area, buyers can't walk away fast enough from 30-year old homes with a couple of hairline cracks. Corner pops are another deal breaker for a lot of very nervous buyers. I always mention and explain hairliners, no matter how insignificant, in my reports. I can't imagine how that inspector failed to mention that huge crack.


  17. #17

    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    I dont think I saw any comments about possible foundation damage.

    I didn't see an expanding /rusting lintel that would explain the crack. The crack is larger at the top than the bottom indicating dropping of the right/left of the foundation. ( or a slight chance of lifting the foundation under the window).
    chris brown


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    JCreel,
    C J Johnson has posted in this forum and seems to be a person that would take the time to provide you some assistance. Granted he is in MT but that is somewhat in the region, better than FL. He may be able to recommend someone closer.

    As for the return of the fee paid, be careful that you don't have any appearance that you are settling any claim against the inspector for what appears to be a grouse oversight.

    I must say that your experience is why, especially at the distance and buying sight unseen, there must be more time allotted in the contract to inspect and make evaluations before the inspection contingency has been met.
    Here is the contact info for C J Johnson: Best of success

    Kalkstein, Johnson & Dye, P.C.

    (406) 721-9800
    225 N Adams St, Missoula, MT 59802


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    I would contact the inspector send him the picture and request a structural engineer be employed at the inspectors expense. The inspector should be insured for this oversight. Unless the area was inaccessible, he should be held liable.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    The inspector may be using Spectacular and have a photo of that area in the report, set as "hide", so that he can "show" the photo and go "GOTCHA - I saw that and there was nothing wrong with it at the time of the inspection, so I included this photo and 'hid' it from view."

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

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by chris brown View Post
    I dont think I saw any comments about possible foundation damage.

    I didn't see an expanding /rusting lintel that would explain the crack. The crack is larger at the top than the bottom indicating dropping of the right/left of the foundation. ( or a slight chance of lifting the foundation under the window).
    chris brown
    I believe your observation is spot on. Coupled with the multiple references of negative drainage in the inspectors report, I would advise you to act on this diligently, if you expect to hold anyone other than yourself accountable.


  22. #22

    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The inspector may be using Spectacular and have a photo of that area in the report, set as "hide", so that he can "show" the photo and go "GOTCHA - I saw that and there was nothing wrong with it at the time of the inspection, so I included this photo and 'hid' it from view."
    Actually, the inspector used Tap Inspect and I don't believe you can hide photos from the report with it. Other apps besides Spectacular can hide photos. It's actually very common with modern software and thousands of inspectors do it with their software of choice.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Inspector did not note significant crack in brick veneer. What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The inspector may be using Spectacular and have a photo of that area in the report, set as "hide", so that he can "show" the photo and go "GOTCHA - I saw that and there was nothing wrong with it at the time of the inspection, so I included this photo and 'hid' it from view."
    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Johnson View Post
    Actually, the inspector used Tap Inspect and I don't believe you can hide photos from the report with it. Other apps besides Spectacular can hide photos. It's actually very common with modern software and thousands of inspectors do it with their software of choice.
    My point was that the thread and discussion was a good example of WHY NOT TO hide photos.

    If the inspector thinks a photo is 'good enough to get them out of trouble' then that photo should be included in the report and be clearly visible to all.

    And, if it is not worth putting in the report and being visible to all ... leave the photo out of the report.

    Just because something is "done all the time" does not mean that it is good or acceptable - just look at many of the things find on inspections which are "done all the time".

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

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