A hose hangs from a wire in an attic where it vents exhaust from a bathroom, instead of venting through the roof as it should. (Brad Campbell photo)

From mouldy attics to giant wasp nests, Shuswap home inspector shares surprising finds

Salmon Arm’s Brad Campbell assembling photo gallery of disturbing discoveries

Eyebrow-raising finds are a constant for Shuswap home inspector Brad Campbell – in old homes and new.

Born and raised in Salmon Arm, the certified master home inspector and owner of Where the Heart Is Home Inspection has been rooting through crawlspaces and scrutinizing attics since 2010. Over that time, he’s come across a variety of things that have puzzled or perturbed himself and homeowners.

“There’s a lot of things that are found, and when I point it out we scratch our heads. We can’t figure out why somebody did something,” said Campbell, who has been gathering photos of these finds that he’ll be assembling for a gallery on his Facebook page. Among them are numerous images of improper venting, wood rot due to leaks, insects and other causes, dangerous wiring and more.

One of the photos, taken in the attic of a 20-year-old home, shows a dark, mouldy roof, caused by 20 years of improperly vented septic gas.

“The attic was full of black and white mould and rot,” said Campbell.

With the inspection of 1960s home, recent renovations of the living space didn’t address more serious concerns along the home’s foundation.

“I drove up and I saw this garden built in along the outside wall on the side of the house… It was one of these red brick gardens up against a red brick wall, and I thought OK, I’m going to have to have a look at this when I go under the house…,” said Campbell who, once in the crawlspace, discovered alarming dry rot.

Read more: Building inspector urges renovators to get permits

Read more: Despite COVID-19, construction of single family homes in Salmon Arm outdoing 2019 numbers

“The structure underneath the floor holding the walls up on the foundation was all dry rot,” said Campbell. “And I know the homeowners knew this because they had pulled up the old rotten plywood in the kitchen and dining room and put in new plywood…”

New homes can also come with their share of surprises.

Campbell said he inspected a new double-wide modular home on a permanent foundation and found numerous head-scratchers. Among them: an installed but not yet assembled furnace, windows in need of wells beneath a deck that wasn’t where it should have been, an unprotected gas meter on a wall in the driveway (a safety concern for the whole neighbourhood, said Campbell), and bathroom, dryer and kitchen exhaust being vented into the garage.

These finds had Campbell concerned for the neighbouring homes of similar build.

“I learned that none of the 30 homes except for this one had a home inspection on it before people moved in,” said Campbell, noting people often buy new homes and assume they’ll be just fine.

Dead animals and living insects are also common finds during home inspections.

“Squirrels, birds – I’ve found a wasp nest the size of like an exercise ball in an attic,” said Campbell, who has also come across his share of dead cats in crawlspaces.

“When people advertise they’ve lost their cat, they don’t know where their cat has gone, the first thing that comes to mind for me to recommend to people is check your crawl space and ask your neighbours to check their crawl space, especially if it’s a mobile home park,” said Campbell.

B.C. and Alberta are the only provinces in Canada in which home inspection is regulated. In B.C., home inspectors are licensed by Consumer Protection BC.

Still, when choosing a home inspector, Campbell said it’s important to do some research. He advised checking an home inspector’s online reviews.

“Like hiring a tradesman, there are some good ones and some not so good ones,” said Campbell. You kind of have to do your due diligence.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

homeSalmon Arm council

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Single lane traffic for Bella Vista in Vernon next week

Work planned for Monday, Wednesday to complete utility installation

Lake Country traffic bottleneck solution still lacks funding

No money committed yet but province will unveil solution options for Highway 97- Beaver Lake Road-Glenmore Road intersection this fall

COVID-19: Vernon Towne Cinema back in action!

Movie lovers rejoice, the historic theatre has reopened with safety protocols in place

Former Vernon Viper recognized for ALS fundraising

Coldstream’s Aaron Volpatti raised more than $27,000 competing in an Ironman triathlon last summer

Vernon shutterbugs capture rainbow

A rain event July 9 made way for a glorious sight

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Summerland Blossom Youth Ambassador Program to hold coronation

Event will be held by video as a result of COVID-19 precautions

Pooch abandoned at Penticton doggy daycare suffered from oral disease

A fundraiser for Okie held by the BC SPCA surpassed its goal of $1,700

Couple shaken up after homophobic encounter at Kelowna mall

‘We’re not in the States; we’re not in some little hick town; we’re in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. And it still happens’

Summerland to allow in-person attendance at July 13 council meetings

Two meetings will be held at Summerland Arena Banquet Room to accommodate public

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

Most Read