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CREIA Conference - Moisture Intrusion, Absorb the Knowledge

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Moisture Intrusion Absorb the Knowledge

By David Pace

It was a house which had been originally constructed in Sweden by master craftsmen.  With its use of large beams, the house had an amazing appeal.  It was not to remain in Sweden.  An American saw the house while on vacation and purchased it and decided to make a new home for it in an upscale community in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Each component was carefully inventoried and numbered.  Board by board and window by window the home was disassembled, carefully packaged and shipped to its new home.  The house was reassembled with the same care it was accustomed to.  It was a show place.  Over the years the house had been sold a couple of times.  With each passing owner, the house became more neglected.  I was asked to do a home inspection on the house prior to it being placed on the market.  “It needs a little work”, the seller indicated.  That was certainly an understatement.  Entering the front door I was able to step down into the crawl space by way of a rotted out hole in the subfloor and floor framing.  There were corresponding holes in the ceiling and roofing creating a “moisture induced skylight”.  The walls and ceilings were “decorated” in various shades of black and green “substances”.  It was an easy inspection.  The deficiencies and damage were obvious and extensive.

I have thought about that house many times through the years.  Moisture had destroyed the house.  (Did I mention the “Guppy pond” in the crawl space?)  That was not a typical home that you or I would inspect everyday.  In most of our homes the deficiencies and damage are not as readily obvious.  That is why a client hires a professional home inspector.  A professional home inspector must have a broad understanding of how systems and components are put together in order to identify deficiencies and items which may be prone to deficiencies.

A number of years ago reports of moisture damage were made to a local building department.  The building department began an informal “from the street” investigation of “stucco” problems within their local jurisdiction.  They found that 26 percent of the 670 homes they “observed” had visible signs of moisture damage.  After a few years the homes began to show signs of leaks and major structural damage.  They concluded that it was not sufficient to have knowledge of the problem.  It was critical to understand the causes of the failures.  After a more in depth investigation it was discovered that window leaks, a lack of kickout flashing, improper deck flashing, and grade above the wood framing were the primary causes that accounted for the majority of the damage.  The city also found similar statistics of failure in aluminum, vinyl, cedar, hardboard, plywood and other types of cladding.  The homes required extensive repairs.  Some needed repair several times.  If the local building department was able to spot problems from the street, I wonder how many home inspectors may have been drawn into lawsuits as a result of the moisture related deficiencies.  Moisture can bring unique challenges to a home inspection.

Jesse Rusmisel the Chairman of the CREIA Education Committee has well said “The education of professional inspectors is the most important thing we do.  It is our primary mission.”  CREIA is pleased to offer a unique education opportunity at its Spring Conference 2011.  The conference is called “MOISTURE INTRUSION ABSORB THE KNOWLEDGE.  The conference will be held Saturday April 30 and May 1 at the Doubletree Hotel Onterio Airport. (223 North Vineyard Ave., Ontario, CA)  There will be a special pre-conference day on April 29.  We will have more about that a little later.

CREIA has assembled a unique group of professionals with impeccable credentials to discuss everything moisture.  They will bring their in-depth knowledge of building components and systems and discuss them from the perspective of moisture intrusion.  The lineup includes:

  • · Decks and Waterproofing with Rick Mosco
  • · Roofing with Chad Parra and Gary Weaver
  • · Stucco and Other Wall Claddings with Karl Kardel
  • · Attic Condensation with John Shepard
  • · Mold and Remediation with Michelle Rosales
  • · Flashings with Bill Koltoff
  • · Bedroom Egress and Retrofit Windows with Lonnie Haughton
  • · Grading and Drainage with Gary Sniffin
  • · Building Code Changes with Richard Tash

You’ve never experienced a conference like this before.  This education opportunity is sure to separate you from the ordinary home inspector.  This conference is designed to help you sharpen your inspection skills and avoid callbacks.  Understanding how systems and components should be installed, will help you understand how a failure can occur if an improper installation occurs.  Don’t miss this opportunity.

CREIA is also please to bring together a wide variety of exhibitors who will bring the latest in inspector support products.  Exhibitors are also an invaluable source for ideas and trends in the inspection world.  Be sure to visit these industry professionals and “absorb” their knowledge.  A special exhibitor raffle will be held at the end of the conference (May 1 at 3 PM).  Join us for a chance win outstanding prizes.

On April 29 there wall be a special pre-conference day.  CREIA has several exciting offerings.  CREIA is pleased to  introduce “Inspector Basics”.  Most all of us have attended some kind of inspector training school.  Did you learn the essential basic inspector skills needed to be successful?  Me neither.  CREIA has assembled three of the giants in the inspection business to reveal the essentials of the home inspection business.  This is not a theory fest.  This is a practical “where the rubber meets the road” seminar which is sure to help jump start your business.  Experienced inspectors will enjoy the overview and pick up important tips to improve their skills.  There is too much training, too much information to fit into a conference time slot.  The Inspectors Basics is a full day pre-conference seminar.  A separate fee is required and lunch will be provided.  Many months have gone into the planning of this pre-conference special seminar.  This is a rare opportunity, don’t miss out.

If you need help with getting people to your website then the pre-conference “Website Optimization”, also held on April 29, is for you.  Domonic Maricic CREIA’S webmaster, is an expert on website development and website optimization.  Since becoming the CREIA webmaster the number of hits to our website has skyrocketed.  Optimization means to make key changes, or optimize, a website to rank well in the search engines.  Potential clients are not likely to look through pages of home inspector sites on the internet to find yours.  You need to be on the first page.  Dominic will give valuable insight on how to boost your “internet ranking”.  Your site needs to be seen if you hope to book the inspection.  If you have a website, you need to attend this seminar.  A separate fee is required for this seminar and lunch will be provided.

No conference would be complete without the CREIA Invitational Golf Tournament.  This tournament is scheduled before the conference on April 29.  This tournament is held every few years.  It usually takes that long to recover from the last one.  CREIA is an educational organization and the tournament is certainly an educational opportunity.  Have you ever seen George hit a golf ball?  What an education.  If you run out of golf tees, learn how to use a receptacle tester instead.  Learn the essential skills to keep your score below 80 (on the front 9).  Of course there are also some advanced skills to be learned.  Successful course management with only a putter and 5 iron.  And of course the ever popular mini course on why colored golf balls are better than white ones.  Bring your clubs and be prepared for a great time.  This is a fun tournament for golfers and duffers of all skill levels.  It’s a great time to share inspection “war stories”.  The tournament will be held on April 29, the day before the CREIA Spring Conference begins.  Call George Harper at 562-852-5206 for details.

Log onto the CREIA website today (www.CREIA.ORG) and register for this special education opportunity.  Special Conference Hotel room pricing of $89 per night is available until April 11.  Call the hotel directly at 800-222-8733 for room reservations and be sure to mention CREIA to receive the discounted rate.

About the author:

David Pace is a member of the Golden Gate chapter and has preformed over 7,000 paid inspections since becoming an inspector in 1993.  Dave is a past chapter president and vice-president of the Golden Gate Chapter.  He is currently a State Director and Chairman of the Ethics Committee.


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