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Home Inspection Nightmares IV

The latest in our series of horrors sleuthed out by the inspectors of the ASHI Reporter


Photo by Charles G. Nai

This ain't Iowa! Here's a corn stalk growing from the "corn"er of a porch roof, in the rain gutter, at a property in Connecticut. Probably from bird droppings. In my 23 years as a general contractor and eight years as an inspector, I've seen a lot of things growing in rain gutters in Connecticut, but this one is a first for me.

Charles G. Nai

Quali-Tech Northeast, LLC

Enfield, Conn.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Don't Blame California

Photo by Emil B. Monge

Recently, I was called in to remediate a water intrusion problem. According to the homeowner, the contractor installed the siding bottom-side up. He called this installation the "California style." So far, the homeowner has replaced one set of French doors and the dining & living room hardwood floors. The contractor recaulked (shown in photo), but water still comes in!

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Emil B. Monge

API Services, Inc.

Pekin, Ill.

S is for Silly

Photo by Ted Greenberg

This is a true "s" trap. Don't use the right side sink! He had all the parts, just lost the assembly instructions.

Ted Greenberg


Media, Pa.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter


Photo by Thomas R. Battoe

A horizontal drain trap. What's wrong with that, you say? Not only won't this drain properly, but the slug of water that would sit at the bottom of the pipe, if it were installed vertically as it should be, would keep sewer gases from coming up through the drain. And the crud that will collect in that accordion pipe? Eeeww...

Thomas R. Battoe

Performance Home Inspections

DeBary, Fla.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Jacked up

Photo by Brandon Dyles

I found a tire jack being used for structural support in a crawlspace.

Brandon Dyles

Picture Perfect Inspections

Bartlett, Tenn.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Green Roof

Photo by Timothy Hemm

This is what can happen in the southern California desert when the rooftop drains are not cleaned regularly.

Timothy Hemm

Eagle Home Inspections

Yucaipa, Calif.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Door Jam

Photo by Natalie DiMauro and Rich Madore

If you use this door, PLEASE do not open it all the way and do not raise your arms, lest you get tangled in electrical wires. (And don't be shocked when you find out that aluminum is a conductor.)

Natalie DiMauro and Rich Madore

Pillar to Post

Newington, Conn.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

More Duct Trouble

Photo by Larry Park

This photo illustrates yet another innovative use for plumbing vents! Why terminate a bathroom vent at the exterior when a plumbing vent is nearby and so handy? Can you guess where rain water was diverted?

Larry Park

Home Inspection Professionals, Inc.

Cumming, Ga.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

No Tricks

Photo by Chuck Gabriels

Yes, the sign does read "Main Breaker" and yes, that is a 3"x3" post blocking the panel-door access. Those pesky kids won't be shutting off the po

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Through the Chimney

Photo by Bill Camosci

This photo shows a main exterior 100-amp electrical cable passing through a chimney in a 1968 colonial in Connecticut. The shortest distance between two points is through a chimney!

Bill Camosci

National Property Inspections of Central CT

Cromwell, Conn.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Out the Door

Photo by Cheryl Pomeroy

When the owner replaced the window, he forgot about venting the dryer. "No problem," he thought. "I have some tie wire, coat hangers, a hole saw and 25 feet of plastic vent. It's okay if it's trapped by the screen door, isn't it?"

Cheryl Pomeroy

Spotlight Home and Property Inspection, Inc

Oak Park, Ill.


Photo by Timothy Hemm

Yes, that is a utility pole in the street!

Timothy Hemm

Eagle Home Inspections

Yucaipa, Calif.


Photo by Jim Jost

This duct line carries more than air. The homeowner used the current duct line to run his plumbing and electrical over to another part of the house. Here are photos of both ends.

Jim Jost

Jost Home Inspections

Watertown, S.D.

Nice Shot!

Photo by Rick Michalicek

Normally, I tell clients to trim back the overhanging trees to protect the roof. In this case, one loose branch never made it that far! What are the odds on that? It looked like about 9-11 inches of the branch had traveled straight down the drain waste vent.

Rick Michalicek

Moore Home Inspection Services

St. Louis, Mo.

Bee Careful

Photo by John Cranor

This is a yellow jacket nest in a crawl space. I stumbled on it and was so glad it was a cold morning.

John Cranor

Cranor Inspection Services, LLC

Glen Allen, Va.

The Latest Hybrid

Photo by Jack Feldmann

I ran across this last week. Someone had taken an old gas furnace shell and installed electric heat strips for the "new heat pump" system they advertised. The shell was 1990, the outside unit was 2004 and the inside coil was 1999. There were enough things wrong with this setup that I got writer's cramp.

Jack Feldmann

Clayton Inspection Service, Inc.

Knoxville, Tenn.

Very Professional

Photo by Hartley Moore

When I reported a leak in the roof that needed repair, this is not the fix I was expecting on reinspection. Needless to say, the roof still was leaking.

Hartley Moore

The BrickKicker

Auburn, Wash.


Photo by Bill Barnes

How's this for bathroom exhaust fan venting? A schedule-20 pipe assembly that penetrates the roof with a cap on the bottom to trap all the condensate that flows "down" into the pipe from the multiple exhaust fans.

Bill Barnes

Seagate Inspections, Inc.

Toledo, Ohio

Location, Location, Location

Photo by Seth Hurlbert

I searched all over the basement trying to find the main electrical panel. I finally found it behind the mirror that is over the bath sink. Electrical panels are never to be in a bathroom, as per ICC code. It could be a shocking situation.

Seth Hurlbert

Hurlbert Home Inspection, LLC

Centreville, Va.

Pole Outlet

Photo by Bob Bowling

This receptacle was mounted to a steel support post in the basement of the home I inspected. We have a saying we like to use: "Everyone in Michigan is an electrician; they're just not all licensed electricians."

Bob Bowling

LandAmerica Property Iinspections

Plymouth, Mich.

Grin and Bear It

Photo by Alden E. Gibson

This is not a dog, but a black bear. It is best to give him space. He was down the block in about 10 minutes.

Alden E. Gibson

R.H.I., Inspections by Gibson Inc.

Breslau, Ontario