Ask the Inspector: Going the extra mile for a concerned client


While up in Revelstoke recently for a scheduled warranty check, Glenn was asked his opinion on an unusual condition just noticed by the client and staff.  The exterior wall cladding (siding) was under stress and breaking due to it being cement-composite material with little flexibility.  This had never before occurred and the worry was that it may be a sign of structural failure.  The caulked joints were being forced open and some signs of breakage were noticed – highly unusual and worrisome.

Glenn’s analytical mind began to operate, wondering why such an unusual condition could happen in this single area.  There were no notable foundation cracks in the immediate area of this end-wall, nor any obvious signs of distress to the interior wall/ceiling finishes.  After standing back just a bit more, he then began to notice some moisture running down that wall surface (highly-unusual to be sure, so it really stood out).  This was pointed out to the general manager of this mountain-ski resort, who responded that it had not been obvious to them previously.  Then that ‘Aha!’ moment kicked in once again.  Exterior fire-sprinkler heads were suddenly noticed at the top of this four-storey wall.  This was in the afternoon and he had already done his daily walk-abouts, since they were almost always completed in the morning (COLD).

It was now mid-afternoon and much closer to above-freezing temperatures.  The only logical reason, when all the pieces of the puzzle were assembled, was a leaking sprinkler pipe in that upper wall. The water was mostly running on the back side of the cladding, but constantly freezing, not being warm enough, to form a growing ice-mass inside. The force of this expanding mass was the cause of the broken siding and what Glenn was first shown.  The surface water, now visible, was a ‘gift’ and a lucky find.  It was re-checked the following morning and all was found to be dry, as had been the norm.  The general manager then speed-dialed the resort’s sprinkler contractor for a quick repair, at Glenn’s suggestion.

Phew!  Worry-lines turned into a big SMILE once again, especially as this was essentially a ‘freebie’ due to Glenn being right there at the right time for other professional services they had wanted.

If you experience any similar issues or have any home-inspection needs, contact Glenn at Duxbury & Associates to put your mind at ease!

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Glenn Duxbury

About Glenn Duxbury

Duxbury & Associates Building Inspection and Consulting Ltd. has received the 2004 Douglas College Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the ‘Consulting’ category for persistence and pursuit of excellent service delivery to clients by providing very thorough and professional Inspection Reports and dedication to those involved in buying / selling / building / renovating and maintaining uncompromised customer focus.