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Old 03-18-2013, 09:26 PM   #1
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Soft bubble on ceiling


Hello I am new here but getting ready to buy a house. Found one we really like and were doing a second walk through today. We noticed in the middle of the kitchen there was a spot on the ceiling like a bubble, maybe about 1/2 - an inch out, softball size. It was soft but there was no water spots or discoloring. Could this we water damage or is there something else that could cause this? Thanks to anyone who can help!

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Old 03-18-2013, 09:49 PM   #2
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Soft bubble on ceiling


Cut it open and find out.
Get in the attic and look at the back side if the sheetrock.

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Old 03-18-2013, 10:25 PM   #3
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Soft bubble on ceiling


We haven't bought it yet so we can't cut it and we aren't allowed in the attic.. Its on the side of the house that has cathedral ceilings so I don't think it has any attic right there?
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:28 PM   #4
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Soft bubble on ceiling


Keep in mind that you are the buyer and they are just the seller and if they do not want you to know what is there and causing the irregularity. - Are they tying to hide something?

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Old 03-18-2013, 10:42 PM   #5
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Soft bubble on ceiling


No they don't appear to be trying to hide it. They didn't list any problems at all so if we do have our offer accepted we will see what the inspector says. Whatever it is they will have to get it fixed or we can back out..
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:58 PM   #6
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Soft bubble on ceiling


Get a ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) Inspector that has a Flir camera. They can tell you in a heartbeat what is wrong with that ceiling, without even cutting a hole, in there. If it is soft and spongy, there is a leaky. If the buyers are not stating or disclosing anything, then they are hiding a lot, and I would say walk away very quickly, do not look back.

Now if they are forthcoming, and start spilling the beans, or the neighbors, which are really good resources, when it comes to finding out about a place, or even people that know that neighborhood, can tell you a lot.

Before my niece got her & her husband's place in a sleeper community down the road from us, all I had to do, was mention the address of the place to a good friend that lives in the same town that the home is in, and he told me more about it, than my niece knew, from the Realtor & seller.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:32 AM   #7
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Soft bubble on ceiling


Be careful they might agree to fix it so they go ahead break the bubble Spackle and paint but the real problem don't show up until after closing.

Like a roof leak. You need to have a through roof inspection by a qualified person hired by you.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:36 AM   #8
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Soft bubble on ceiling


+1

Good recommendation greg.

An IR camera will tell you where and how bad the leak is without any investigation. They are useful tools in these type of situations.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:34 AM   #9
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Soft bubble on ceiling


Yes the inspector will be hired by me and I will be present during the inspection. I like the IR camera idea, I'll have to look into one of those, thanks!!
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:42 AM   #10
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Soft bubble on ceiling


I think you guys are asking more of an Infrared camera than it can actually deliver. They are not a magic wonder tool, they just read differences in surface temperature. In the hands of an experienced professional they are a very useful tool. In the hands of an idiot that has the money to buy one, they are useless, and can be very misleading.

As far as this post goes, if somebody told me I was "Not Allowed" to go into the attic of a house I was looking at, I would have simply asked them what they are trying to hide, and insisted that I have access to the entire house. I would also insist that the owners not be there when I look at the house. They should not be there anyway. If the realtor is keeping you out of the attic, I would call the agency they are from and ask them what the story was and insist.

Something smells about this one.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagans
I think you guys are asking more of an Infrared camera than it can actually deliver. They are not a magic wonder tool, they just read differences in surface temperature. In the hands of an experienced professional they are a very useful tool. In the hands of an idiot that has the money to buy one, they are useless, and can be very misleading.

As far as this post goes, if somebody told me I was "Not Allowed" to go into the attic of a house I was looking at, I would have simply asked them what they are trying to hide, and insisted that I have access to the entire house. I would also insist that the owners not be there when I look at the house. They should not be there anyway. If the realtor is keeping you out of the attic, I would call the agency they are from and ask them what the story was and insist.

Something smells about this one.
The owners have not been at the house when we looked at it. The realtor told us your not allowed to go through the attics, not the owner. Something about damaging it but its not his rule it's a general rule I guess. I am sure the inspector will be going up there. This is a good realtor I would not suspect him of trying to screw us over.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:19 AM   #12
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Soft bubble on ceiling


Real estate market has been down for a long time take my advise and trust no one especially when making what is considered to be the largest purchase people make in their life.

You need more than an inspector in that attic , you need people that really know what they are looking at.

Not trusting has saved me thousands over the years. jagans is right.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COLDIRON
Real estate market has been down for a long time take my advise and trust no one especially when making what is considered to be the largest purchase people make in their life.

You need more than an inspector in that attic , you need people that really know what they are looking at.

Not trusting has saved me thousands over the years. jagans is right.
So what do you suggest I do? I am trying to be as thorough about this as possible because I definitely dont want to miss anything or do something wrong.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:58 AM   #14
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Soft bubble on ceiling


Quote:
Originally Posted by jagans View Post
I think you guys are asking more of an Infrared camera than it can actually deliver. They are not a magic wonder tool, they just read differences in surface temperature. In the hands of an experienced professional they are a very useful tool. In the hands of an idiot that has the money to buy one, they are useless, and can be very misleading.

As far as this post goes, if somebody told me I was "Not Allowed" to go into the attic of a house I was looking at, I would have simply asked them what they are trying to hide, and insisted that I have access to the entire house. I would also insist that the owners not be there when I look at the house. They should not be there anyway. If the realtor is keeping you out of the attic, I would call the agency they are from and ask them what the story was and insist.

Something smells about this one.
You might want to look up info on FLIR cameras. They can tell you more than temperature differences. You would be surprised at how far they have come from 1987, when the Navy started to use them for fire control. They were black & white, the software on them was not very good, and they were also very bulky back then. Unlike today, they have gotten real good and will disclose a lot of secrets.

Here Jagans, maybe this will help you http://www.flir.com/cs/apac/en/view/?id=41608

Thermal Imaging for Moisture & Restoration


"Whether you need to restore property from moisture, mold, or fire damage, you know the value of having comprehensive and accurate information at your fingertips. Insurance companies need information fast to start claims work. Your customers need information so they can get their property restored. And you need information so you can make estimation and reporting trouble free."
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Last edited by gregzoll; 03-19-2013 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:00 AM   #15
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Soft bubble on ceiling


When you go along with the inspector, take your digital camera with you, and take pictures of everything. The problem that I have generally found with whole house inspectors is that they know just enough to get you in trouble, and they have no liability for anything. Im not sure how they can do that, and frankly, it flies in the face of reason. If challenged in a court of law, I am pretty sure they would lose. You cannot on one hand claim to be an authority on a subject, charge a fee for your advice, and then relinquish responsibility for that advice. Only Lawyers can do that. That's why they call their businesses practices. "Hey, I was only practicing"

Were I you, I would have the things that would cost the most to repair looked at by an expert in that field. For instance:

Hire a structural engineer to look at how the house was built.
Hire an RCI registered roof consultant to look at the roof. Now I am sure people are going to scream self serve here but a new roof costs some serious dinero, and if the roof is bad, you can have some serious damage throughout the home. Most RRC's are well versed in the entire building envelope, including siding, windows, waterproofing etc. because it goes with the program. The problem with hiring a roofer, and I apologize to the fine, honest roofing contractors that post here, is that there are a lot of them that never saw a roof that did not need to be replaced.

Hire a good HVAC contractor to survey the heating/cooling system. They could probably also give you their general impression of the plumbing and electrical system.

The less you know, the more you need to do this to protect yourself.

In closing I would like to add that vaulted ceilings are particularly prone to having problems with below deck ventilation which can result in ice damming and the formation of mold. If they are built correctly, fine, if they are not, you have on-going problems.

I am not trying to scare you away from buying your dream home, I am just trying to prevent it from becoming a nightmare.

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