During Tropical Storm Edouard yesterday, I went to perform a home inspection in the 77086 zip code area. This was an area where I had been trapped by flooding during past storms, so I was a bit apprehensive. The storm was not so bad, and it did prove to be to my advantage. One of the few times a home inspector can find a leak is during a heavy rain.
One item which I point out on my reports is the caulking of exterior wall joints. I tell my clients that this is a great place for water to enter the home, but usually I get the feeling that I am not believed. It was a different matter yesterday though. Where the brick wall met the Hardie plant siding, the caulking had cracked open. I could see wet spots on the interior sheetrock forming corresponding to those joints. It was not so bad, but over the years this could lead to further damage. When my client came in, I had direct evidence to the importance of having these joints caulked.
The rain also helped me back up one of my conclusions. Stains on ceilings lead to roof concerns, but these stains can come from various causes. Since no water was dripping from the roof, I was able to show my client that there had been a problem with the safety pan for the air conditioning system. Since we had no power on in the house, I could not check it out, but we could see that the pan had been the cause.
Conducting a home inspection in the rain is not always the most pleasant experience, but it does help the inspector find moisture penetration points. During your next heavy rain, you may want to look into your own attic, or at your interior walls where there is a joint.