Life...Fun and Kentucky Real Estate


Think of your house as a sponge.

I know you only think your mind might be a sponge...but have you ever thought that your home is one too? Take a good look around your house after you read this post by Charles Buell. Water can get in anywhere and set up shop.

Water follows the easiest path.

Sometimes the “easiest path” can be overcome by other forces---but usually water does run down hill.

“Wicking” is just such a force that can literally make water go up hill---or horizontal.  We all know about sponges and their ability to “lift” water.

In the picture below, one can see a fungus growing out from behind the trim board at the exterior of the home. 

Fungal growth

Somehow water was getting into the wall structure---feeding the fungus.  The culprit is that little white pipe at the top right hand corner of the picture.  This pipe is the condensate drain from the high efficiency furnace.  Because the pipe does not stick through the trim far enough, and because there is no elbow on the pipe, the condensate (water) does not drip off the end entirely and some of the water wraps around the bottom of the pipe and wicks into the wall structure.

This is a condition that is conducive to wood decay rot as well as an open invitation to wood destroying insects. Over time, decay within the wall will result---as is already indicated by the fungal growth at the exterior---and reinforced by mold growth on the drywall surface at the interior---drywall is a great sponge.

mold on drywall

Extensive hidden damage would not be anticipated in this instance, given what we can see, but the wall will have to be opened up and all the damaged materials will need to be properly repaired and/or replaced as necessary---including replacement of the moldy drywall.

Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector


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Comment balloon 7 commentsLizette Fitzpatrick • January 22 2011 11:10AM


Hi Lizette, thanks for the reblog :)  Hope you are doing well---we just had my wife's sister and her husband from Berea here visiting.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 7 years ago

Ugghh! It looks like the homeowner tried to repair it, with duc tape? I was hoping this was about the house soaking up sunshine:) Thanks for the good info Lizette and Charles.

Posted by Steve Baklaich, Treating Buyers & Sellers to Full Service Always. (RE/MAX Results St Cloud Mn real estate) almost 7 years ago

Lizette - Great reblog!  I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Posted by Michelle Gibson, REALTOR (Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. ) almost 7 years ago

Ugh, fungus amung us.  We get to see quite a bit of that lately.

Posted by Erby Crofutt, The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY (B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing ( almost 7 years ago

Good re-blog. I subscribe to his blogs and post them on my Facebook business page almost every day.  Charles provides very good information.

 The colors of winter in Maryland. Life is good!

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) almost 7 years ago

I am always amazed at the posts Charles does! And the photos! Another great reblog! thanks!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 7 years ago

Hey Liz,

o my, that fungi is creepy looking.  Had no idea about this, I know with water in can develop issues inside...never thinking for the exterior like what is illustrated in the photo..iww :)

Great re-blog Liz :)

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) almost 7 years ago

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