Agent

Wet ceilings evidence of hidden surprise

Homeowner discovers buried air ducts

The real estate event of the summer
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Dear Barry, I bought my house over three years ago, and have had seasonal problems with wet ceilings ever since. After replacing the roof and gutter system, I learned that the problem was condensation caused by ground water seepage into the heating ducts below the slab floor. Shouldn't my home inspector have known this would be a problem, and shouldn't the seller have disclosed the issue of ceiling moisture? -- Mark Dear Mark, In homes built during the 1950s and 60s, forced-air heating ducts were sometimes installed beneath concrete slab floors. This practice, however, was abandoned when moisture-related problems became apparent. Experienced home inspectors are aware of such concerns and know that forced air ducts under a slab are exposed to ground moisture, water intrusion, and resultant damage. Although home inspectors cannot fully determine the conditions that exist within a duct system, disclosure of common problems involving a buried duct system should be expected. The consequence...