Black Stains On Vinyl Siding (And Other Weird Finds)

In the wake of the Fort McMurray wildfires, I have inspected hundreds of homes for various insurance companies, looking for wildfire damages of all types. I came across this a few times, and I really didn’t have an answer for it. Often I would see these black streaks, pull apart the siding and whatever it was was slimy or completely black and it really stunk.

I came across something similar and when I pulled the siding apart, it looked like there was croutons behind the siding, which incidentally was 10 feet in the air.

I got lucky here and it all made sense after talking to the home owner. He told me he saw a crow pecking above his front door one day at the siding.

So I tell the home owner, I bet there is some type of food behind your siding and he looks at me funny, as I grab my ladder. I pull apart the siding above his garage door opening, and out comes dog food, jelly beans and a piece of a tootsie roll.

Weird things you find, which reminds me of another inspection I did. They were complaining of an intermittent smoke smell in their living room, which has a gas insert fireplace. I opened up the cleanout on the outside and found some pipes. The homeowner assured me they weren’t his and figured it was one of his kids…lol.