Don’t Always Rely on a Home Inspector

bugs It is almost always a guarantee when someone buys a house, they will have a home inspector look the house over to see if any problems exist. However, you do not always want to rely on the home inspector to find everything. Certain areas like pest or environmental should be inspected by a company specializing in pest or environmental situations. There are too many areas of a home to look over to get everything right. Specialized companies are more likely to catch what you want found.

I was in a home doing a mold inspection and testing in a basement for a buyer in Syracuse. While running the air sample in the basement, I looked around to see if there was anything visible. In the process of looking around, I found what looked like carpenter ant debris (frass). I grabbed a stool and pulled the insulation down and found six carpenter ants on the rim joist at an area with water damaged wood. The inspector had already been thru the basement and had not noticed any problem.

Measuring where the water damaged wood was in the basement, I went outside to try to find the cause. The water damaged wood was directly under the sliding glass door. The lower portion of the sliding glass door was damaged to the extent I could see the framing piece. This was also missed by the inspector. This could have been a cost the buyer would have had to incur, which could have been costly depending on how quick he noticed the problem after he bought the property.

I did another inspection for a property in Rochester where the buyer was concerned about the basement. While inspecting the basement, I saw a water stain in the floor. He said the inspector mentioned the stain, but said it did not look recent so was probably an old problem. I went upstairs to see if there was a problem. At the distance from the basement wall to the water stain was directly under the glass door of the shower. I looked under the door on the inside of the shower to find no tile. Someone had forgotten to finish the tile job so the framing was exposed allowing me to see into the basement. The owner “fixed” the issue by not using the shower. Luckily for the buyer, the fix was correctly tiling the shower and repairing a little bit of rot.

It is difficult for inspectors to look at all areas of a house for environmental or pest concerns when they are also trying to make sure the building components are not deteriorated and are functioning properly. The fee it would cost to have an environmental and pest inspector take a look after the home inspector can save you thousands in the long run.