Lately my job stinks.
I am not talking about the economy (however that may that is part of it) I am not talking about my boss (I’m self employed) I am talking about odors. The kind of smells that make your nose hair curl.
I am a contractor and Phoenix area Home inspector.
I have been called out on several cases lately that have to do with odor, here are some examples.
1. Moisture causes mold and mildew in a custom home and it stinks. They hired someone to remove the damaged material and perform repairs but they forgot to stop the moisture. Now the smell is back (so is the mold)
2. Office space that has moisture coming up through the slab, they have plastic chair mats at the desks that prevent the carpet from drying and the mildew smell will turn your stomach, for some reason people don’t want to work in this environment.
3. A preschool that has sewer odor entering the building to the point that the City actually closed the place one day this year due to hydrogen sulfide levels. The owner of the building keeps applying band-aids to the problem instead of identifying and fixing the issues.
4. A Arizona Home Inspection where the 4 year old water heater has been sitting and the sulfur smell (rotten eggs) is so bad that when I turned on the hot water the agent ran out the door and refused to come back in.
What do all four of these places have in common? (No I don’t mean the fact that they stink)
All of these issues could have been addressed with proper planning, all can be repaired easily with a simple process, Identify the source , (Mold, bacteria, etc) Identify the cause, (Moisture, sewer vents, anode rod in a water heater) plan repairs that address the cause and the source.
This is where most people fail, they treat the symptom and not the cause of the problem, then the problems come back. Honestly, many times the reason they take this short cut is to save a few dollars. I need to tell you that doesn’t work. Not when you figure that the problem will return, you will be paying to fix it again, these issues tend to get worse with time and you lose valuable time dealing with the issue over and over.
Many time the problem comes down to building science, how do the different building components work with each other. For more information on that see our blog on Building science.
Over the years I have learned lots about building science as well as home and building construction and inspections but this is the first time I can remember where I can honestly say my job stinks.