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Old 09-09-2010, 06:20 AM   #16
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Asking the questions you have tells me you should walk away from this one.

The water you see may be from the porch or the roof or both.

This can be a huge undertaking and I'm talking dollars. DIY or not it's not something I'd want to get into without a through understanding of the structure, who the builder was and what the history of the property is.

My guess is this is probably not a cheap fix. If it was that good of a buy then the Flip folks would be all over it.

Just my 2˘
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:14 AM   #17
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I'm a licensed engineer and licensed home inspector. What you need is called an enhanced structural inspection with a focus on water intrusion. It's typically a team effort. I come out there with an EIFS/Stucco expert and/or roofing professional, and we have permission to penetrate walls and shoot video with a borescope. Nine times out of ten the Vulcan mind meld (visual inspection) method won't tell you anything other than a guess of what might be going on.

Typical client is someone that owns a mid range to high end home, and wants to know what's going on behind the walls or under the slab. Also, condo associations and high rise property managers are a big part of the business, plus people buying commercial property. In fact, almost every commercial RE transaction has some sort of due diligence engineering associated with it. Same thing with relocation companies. If you get relocated, I guarantee you that the relo company hired a professional engineer to look at the slightest wisp of a concern. I do a couple relo structural inspections a month. Banks, too, for foreclosures. But for whatever reason, the average home buyer hasn't figured out the value of that resource yet.

Let me know what county and state you're in and I can point you in the right direction if you want to look into it.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:25 AM   #18
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I also do this type of inspection work, and strongly second Aggie67's observation that it's usually just not possible to evaluate such structures without invasive testing; an experienced observer can usually predict on the basis of visual and infrared observations and surface moisture measurements where there are likely to be problems, but it's generally necessary to use remote viewing devices and direct moisture measurement via probes - and often to open walls and ceilings - to verify the cause(s) and extent of water intrusion and damage under this type of cladding.
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Last edited by Michael Thomas; 09-09-2010 at 09:31 AM.
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