Found bad inspection...what to do

Recently some guests of mine had asked me if I would look at a leak in a house they bought 6 months ago that some college students are renting. Based on the info I had, I suspected a bad flashing in the roof since the only time water would drip through the bath vent was during heavy rain. I put my head in the attic and found a tremendous amount of moisture on the sheathing, as well as gray areas (“mildew” like appearance)and “black organic matter” in several places. They told me there had been no mention of any of these conditions in the report (I showed the owner the condition and had him take pictures).
I do not know who did the inspection, except that it was the buyers agent that referred the inspector. I discovered a few other things in the 30 minutes I was there that were not mentioned in the report. What recourse does the buyer have regarding this? Thanks for your input.

I don’t want to burn an inspector, but I don’t want a bad inspector to burn our industry’s reputation.

It can be difficult to determine roof drainage problems if it’s not raining at the time of the inspection.

It might also depend on conditions at the time of the inspection. For example, a few months ago I had an attic that was so crammed full of things that I couldn’t even poke my head inside, much less actually get up there. My Clients didn’t take my recommendation to inspect the attic once the storage had been removed, and when the first rain came, they had a leak. The leak certainly explained the fresh paint on the dining room ceiling, which I had noted, and which they also neglected to ask the sellers about.

It might also depend on the home inspection agreement and special notes within the report.

It might also depend on how long it’s been between the date of the inspection and now. Remember that the inspection is just a snapshot in time, not a warranty, and that problems can occur at any time–that’s the nature of real estate and why we, as home inspectors, hate to see people pass around our reports willy nilly.

So there are still too many unknowns based on what you have provided at this point.

I agree with Russel…especially the "willy nilly part:D , and it’s tough to say what it was like 6 months ago.

Six months is a long time ,many things can happen to a roof.It only takes 24 to 48 hours for “mildew” to show up in a wet or moist area.Who knows ,maybe one or more students were out roof walking. Causing unknown damage.Like others say hard to tell. Matt Berman:neutral:

Actually, I did a very poor job of reading the very first sentence in the very first post:

There are two key phrases in there: “bought 6 months ago” and “that some college students are renting.” Being a long-distance landlord for about 50 college students at the present time, I know what they can do during the first weekend, so after 6 months, all bets are off. And moisture damage and mold/mildew/rot can definitely take much less than 6 months to reveal themselves, sometimes in as little as 24 hours, so if I owned the property, I would chalk it up to the cost of owning rental income property. That’s the nature of being a landlord.

Thank you for your input. I do know an inspection is a moment in time, but I was not sure how long it took mildew/mold to grow.

Something else that might give an indication - what’s the wood like, that the mold/mildew/yuck is growing on? If it looks solid, better chance it’s new damage. If the sheathing and truss are eaten away, maybe it is old. It’s not a sure indication, but a little more info…

FYI Mildew does not grow inside a home, and if you are going to write it up get it tested to keep your but covered. 6-months is a long time, you did not mention other items you found. I would think they are SOL.

Huh? It grows inside my home. Explain, please.

That’s news to me too. Maybe we don’t live inside of a home…

One of our newer members thinks I live outside under a rock, but that’s neither here nor there, really, since Ms Margarita and Dr Cuervo are out there with me. :margarit:

Well, mildew does grow under rocks. Oh, hold on. I don’t know that for sure. Last I checked it grew inside homes.

If it doesn’t grow inside homes, then I’m going to quit buying all those mildew prevention chemicals for the bathrooms. Seems like I got pulled in hook, line, and sinker by some company’s great marketing, huh?

Good reason to not be around mold/mildew…


That picture is of a disease, described in the next link, caused by mold spores.

I couldn’t find where the disease was caused by “mold spores.”

There are several molds, such as Stachybotrys, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Trichoderma, and Penicillium that produce mycotoxins that can affect health.

As your link tells us, “Coccidioidomycosis is an infection caused by breathing in spores of Coccidioides immitis, a fungus found in the soil in certain parts of the southwestern U.S., Mexico, and Central and South America.”

While Coccidioides immitis and the various molds are, indeed, fungi, comparing them in the manner you have done is like saying apples and oranges are the same simply because they both are fruits.

Mold grows inside mildew does not grows outside only.

Hmmmmmmmmm. I can’t agree with that.

Mildew is a grey, mold-like growth caused by one of two different types of micro-organisms. In unaired places, such as a basement, it can have a strong musty odor.
Mildew growing on a leaf. The ladybird is a Psyllobora species which feeds on the mildew.

What most horticulturalists and gardeners call mildew is actually powdery mildew, caused by various Ascomycota fungi. There are several species, all pests of flowering plants, which are obligate parasites. The species that affects roses is Sphaerotheca pannosa var. rosa.
The other main form of mildew is downy mildew, which is a member of the Oomycota phylum in the Protista kingdom. In commercial agriculture, downy mildew is a particular problem for growers of potatoes, grapes and vine-type vegetables.
Mildew can thrive on any organic matter, not just living tissue, and can appear on clothing, leather, paper, and the ceilings, walls and floors of many homes. It often lives on shower walls.

[OK–so it’s from Wikipedia, but it sure does seem to be authoritative.]

How to Prevent and Remove Mildew in Relation to the House and Household Furnishings from Virginia Tech and Virginia State University

A couple of universities in Va don’t agree, either.