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Home Inspector Nightmares: Volume 22

In this volume of Crazy Repairs That Don’t Work we see the return of duct tape as a critical component. But don’t worry if you’re out of tape. You’ll also find fixes that don’t require it.

1 / 10
More downspout follies

More downspout follies

Well, there are better ways to route downspouts instead of the middle of the roof after all. But check out the plumbing vent. If that flashing nail near the valley doesn’t leak, I’ll eat my hat.

Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

2 / 10
Belt and suspenders

Belt and suspenders

Actually this stair system is framed very nicely. The jacks are notched in around a 2x6 ledger which offers fine support. Don’t get why the heck the straps were thought necessary.

Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

3 / 10
Buckets, tape, twine and coffee can lid

Buckets, tape, twine and coffee can lid

When it’s time to clean the old drum trap, you just tie the bucket to electrical cable to catch the gunk. Then slice the duct tape to remove the coffee can lid. It might have been easier to clean the drain if they had simply replaced the trap.

Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

4 / 10
Up periscope!

Up periscope!

Looks like this dryer vent was bored through a concrete slab and then sealed around with mortar. Bound to be some cracks that leak. These slabs were often poured as the roof over a crawlspace in the basement that contained the shallow wells on older homes. There are much easier ways to route dryer vents.

Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

5 / 10
Nice legs!

Nice legs!

Panty hose might do some lint filtering, but this is not safe. Thousands of dryer fires occur every single year in the U.S. One reason why dryers must be vented outside-and those dryer vents must be cleaned regularly. Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

6 / 10
Hmmm. What happened here?

Hmmm. What happened here?

Here’s a theory. All of the thick plaster was ripped out and replaced with much thinner drywall. Making the window thinner was a whole other challenge that wasn’t part of the remodelers skill set. That is a tough job. Might be time for replacement windows. Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

7 / 10
Needs more caulk!

Needs more caulk!

After adding 1x3s, aluminum and two or three kinds of caulk, this chase cap is still leaking. Stopping this chimney leak is going to take more than a few tubes of caulk.

Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

8 / 10
5-gallons of combustion air should be plenty right?

5-gallons of combustion air should be plenty right?

New furnaces generally no longer use interior combustion air. They have PVC pipes that draw air from outside. When this home owner shops for a new furnace there won’t be need for this kind of arrangement which won’t work anyway BTW. And might even be dangerous.

Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

9 / 10
Beam me up Scotty!

Beam me up Scotty!

Sure duct tape is strong, but we don't recommend using it in structural situations. Installing garage door openers properly is not always a no brainer.

Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

10 / 10
When duct tape isn’t enough

When duct tape isn’t enough

When the duct tape didn’t stop the leak, this clever homeowner added some sort of epoxy goop. But from the looks of it, that didn’t quite stop the leak either.

Photo: Courtesy of Structure Tech

Want more home inspector nightmares? Check out volume 23!