Jul 2, 2019
WATER DAMAGE - Key Takeaways
In an effort to make more money, it’s not uncommon for sellers to attempt to take care of existing defects prior to posting their properties for sale. And if those sellers are on a budget—which they often are—poor do-it-yourself repairs may occur.
While, as a home inspector, it is not your job to diagnose repairs’ proficiency, it is important for you to draw attention to repairs. Your clients need to know that just because the seller repaired a defect does not guarantee they repaired it well. Including clauses that identify repairs and your clients’ duty to monitor those repairs, as the home inspector in this example did, is a good way to deter and combat claims.
In addition, it’s common for third parties, like the construction contractor in this example, to cast doubt or blame on home inspectors. Therefore, it’s important for home inspectors to be particularly cautious and vigilant.
One way to prevent future contractors’ condemnation is to work with them from the beginning. Since receiving this claim, our inspector home inspector has a contractor verify all repairs at the time of the inspection. While such a practice goes beyond the SOP and does require extra work, our inspector feels more at ease being able to report on repair work more thoroughly.
Lastly, in this particular example, whether or not the water damage existed on inspection day is still largely up for debate. Be sure to emphasize that you can only diagnose the property’s systems and components on the day of the inspection and cannot predict what may occur in the future. In so doing, you protect your business from defects that reveal themselves after weather, use, or time alter conditions.
To learn more about water damage claims, read our stand-alone article on the subject here.