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Home Inspection Nightmares XXV

Icicles in the basement, bats in the drain, and vines up the chimney—more wacky discoveries made by house inspectors, courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Hedging On the Chimney

"A team of landscapers was sent in to try to locate this 'alleged' chimney."

Paul Staron

Valley Building Inspections, Inc.

Scottsdale, Ariz.

Courtesy of The ASHI Reporter

Leak, What Leak?

"No leak on this pipe! The homeowner just needed a place to store two miles of tape, a few clamps and a Zip tie."

David Grudzinski

Advantage Home Inspections

Cranston, R.I.

Courtesy of The ASHI Reporter


"The owner wasn't letting anything get in the way of moving the condensate from his HVAC unit away from his foundation. The gutter downspout makes a great holder for the long drain hose, and now the condensation goes a whole 6 inches away!"

Frank Fondren

Home Inspection Service

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Courtesy of The ASHI Reporter

Anti-Theft Columns

"'The Club' is keeping these two columns in place. Who ever thought it was just for cars?"

Lawrence Transue

Integrity Inspection Service

Easton, Pa.

Courtesy of The ASHI Reporter

Emergency Egress?

"This is a single-hung window with a fully operating bottom sash installed at floor level on the 15th floor of a condo. Talk about a way to make a quick exit! Just watch out for that first step—it's a doozy."

Tim Hamilton

Assoc. Bldg. Insp. of Fla.

Miami, Fla.

Courtesy of The ASHI Reporter

Asleep On the Job

"Seems a kitchen sink drain is perfectly sized for a bat."

Scott Julian

Full Service Property Inspections, LLC

Clinton, Ohio

Courtesy of

Energy-Efficient Mouse House

"This is an electrical panel that looks like it's being prepared by the resident mice for a cold winter. The weatherization is in progress."

Glen Fisher

National Property Inspections

Oaklyn, N.J.

Courtesy of The ASHI Reporter

The Shower Is a Real Gas!

"This homeowner connected the bathroom fan vent duct to the gas water heater flue pipe, which is how the gases from the combustion of the water heater are supposed to get out of the house safely. Well, nothing like a little carbon monoxide with your morning shower."

Michael V. (Mike) Parkman, P.E.

Parkman Home Inspections, LLC

Sugar Hill, Ga.

Courtesy of The ASHI Reporter

Bright Light, Big Mess

"Someone went to all the trouble to retrofit an old fluorescent fixture to take incandescent bulbs. Why not just install a new fixture?"

David Grudzinski

Advantage Home Inspections

Cranston, R.I.

Courtesy of The ASHI Reporter

The Workaround

"If the shelf used to store paints and other combustibles is too close to the water heater flue vent pipe, no problem—just move the flue pipe! (Nevermind that everything is still too close.)"

Doug Ramsthaler

Precision Inspection Services, Inc.

Brick, N.J.

Courtesy of The ASHI Reporter

Ironic Asbestos

"At a recent inspection, I found some traces of vermiculite, which can contain asbestos, in the basement in what looked like an area that one would use as a potting shed. So I was alert, but not alarmed. The attic revealed what I was afraid of: bags and bags of Zonolite (vermiculite). I calmly explained the history and concerns to the buyer, then began to look around. That's when I discovered that there were actually books about asbestos containment and control sitting right on the bags. Oh, the irony."

David Grudzinski

Advantage Home Inspections

Cranston, R.I.

Courtesy of The ASHI Reporter

Just a Little Leak

"If the buckets aren't sign enough that there's a leakage problem in this basement, perhaps the half foot of standing water and the 5-foot-long icicles will clue you in."

Randy Sipe

Family Home Inspection Services, Inc.

Spring Hill, Kan.

Courtesy of The ASHI Reporter

Inappropriate Use of Wood

"This shower features black wood trim (not grout—leaky, rot-prone wood) in the corners of the shower. Good job, Mr. Contractor. Will you build my house?"

Brandon Dyles

Picture Perfect Inspections

Bartlett, Tenn.

Courtesy of The ASHI Reporter

But It's a Very Clean Bat

"Hey, honey, if you go to take a shower, watch out for the bat."

Paul King

Inspector Paul, Inc.

Fort Mill, S.C.

Courtesy of The ASHI Reporter

Flue Faux Pas

"The gas wall-mounted space heater flue—and all its hot exhaust—terminated right above the gas meter on the exterior. It must be okay; it hasn't blown up yet."

Guy Manwaring

Certified Home Inspection & Appraisal Service

Tecumseh, Mich.

Courtesy of The ASHI Reporter

Poor Planning

"I found a most unusual water heater installation today. It was half in the kitchen sink cabinet and half in the crawl space. Why they did this, I haven't a clue."

David G. Jones

Expert Inspection Service, Inc.

Chapel Hill, N.C.

Courtesy of The ASHI Reporter

MacGyver Strikes Again and Again

"The first photo shows a leaking drain line from a boiler pipe. Someone cut out a plastic bottle, attached an old garden hose to the bottle and had it drain to the laundry tub. In the other photo, someone used an old coffee can for a junction box in an attic. Good to the last drop, so to speak."

Charlie Rice

Awareness Home Inspection Services, LLC

Sykesville, Md.

Courtesy of The ASHI Reporter

High Water Mark

"Does this house flood? When the meter panel is 10 feet above the ground, you can count on it."

Paul Luczyk

“A” TEAM Inspection, Inc.

Mukilteo, Wash.

Courtesy of The ASHI Reporter


"I've seen a lot of chimneys, but never one like this. It looked like the top third was dry-stacked, as there wasn't a speck of mortar to be seen. It was completely loose. You could just lift all the bricks. There also was a tidy stack of about 10 of the same bricks on the ground!! Ouch!!"

Bob Margiotti

Century Home Inspections

Cleveland, Ohio

Courtesy of The ASHI Reporter

Another Reason Smoking Is Dangerous

"The second-floor tenants use the top-floor porch for a smoking area. Given the precarious nature of the columns supporting the upper porch, I think its time to empty the ashtray—clearly the columns can't take it.

David Grudzinski

Advantage Home Inspections

Cranston, R.I.

Courtesy of The ASHI Reporter