Saturday, July 11, 2015
You have so many things on your mind when buying a house that you don't have time to check every little detail. That's my job. And far too often, the devil is in the details. Viewed from the attic access, things looked normal in this particular attic.
You see the furnace flue pipe at the upper right as it vents to the outside above the roof. What you don't see is the other side of the pipe. When I climbed through the very hot attic to look at the entire flue pipe, this is what I found -
The side hidden from view from the attic access had a big hole in it. This tear in the pipe could be deadly for you and your family. The furnace and water heater exhaust fumes that escaped through this gash would settle back down into the house as they cooled. You could be breathing carbon monoxide. Plus, the moisture in those escaping fumes would cause the roof to rot and could lead to mold in the attic. Finally, the gash in the flue pipe keeps the exhaust system from being pressurized so it won't vent the furnace and the water heater properly, which causes exhaust gases to back draft into the living space. That leads to inefficient operation of both of those appliances and causes them to wear out faster.
All of this results from something that can't be seen by just popping your head up into the attic and saying, "Yeah, everything looks normal." I can't always walk through attics. But, finding a major problem like this, I'm glad I did this time. And this is certainly something you wouldn't have seen for yourself when you were looking at the house.
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