Home Inspector Missed Wall of Dry Rot

Hello There,

We closed escrow on our new home approximately 3 weeks ago. 2 days ago we discovered much of the lower part of the west exterior wall has dry rotted due to excess moisture. This was not included in the inspection report (though some of the dry rot is visible), nor was it included in the TDS. We fear we are looking at a 10K plus repair bill. Had we been aware of the dry rot, we would have required a repair before sale or deducted the cost from the price of the home.

Do we have any recourse to assist us in paying for the repair? What is the recommended next step for us to take?

Any advice is greatly appreciated,


I would need to see the report first. Then some pictures of the area in question.
Did you get a wdo or wdi inspection done? What State are you located in?
How did you come up with a 10K repair estimate?
In order to answer your questions, I will need more information than what you have provided.

In the mean time, contact your inspector and ask him about your concerns.

CALL the inspector ASAP…Do NOT call anyone else until the inspector can see what happened. Give them the professional courtesy to evalaute the situation, deterimine a course of action and to consult back with you on the findings and determine if an acceptable means can be met between the two of you.

People are human and mistakes are made. Allow the person to do the right thing.

I would be curious to know: was the home vacant during the inspection and did you conduct a walk through prior to closing? Much more information is needed before anyone can comment on this. Like Russell said, first contact your inspector and see what he says.

Your first step is to Do Exactly what Russell recommended.

Bear, did you and your home inspector enter into a written agreement prior to the inspection? If so, you should observe the steps that you and he agreed to to resolve any issues you may have.

If you have no written agreement with your inspector or he fails to fulfill his obligations under it, you may wish to consider consulting with your attorney while taking whatever action you must to preserve your property from additional damage, should there be an ongoing moisture intrusion issue.

Good luck.

I would be very guarded on what you say .
It is obvious we are only getting one side of the story and it is not complete .
Example NEW homes usually do not have rot .
We have no idea what is in the report .
Too much missing information .
I have enough difficulty seeing what is wrong with a home I am looking at .
trying to see what was missed when all information is second hand is not some thing I would like to comment on .
… Roy Cooke

I’m curious Bear. Was this an inspector you sought out personally and hired, or was it your agents “favorite” recommended inspector?

I agree…with the following exceptions.

As you and I know (but many consumers do not) “dry rot” is a result of moisture. If our reader continues to wonder about “the proper action” to take while the moisture that caused the problem continues to rot his home, his problems will only get bigger.

Secondly, none of us know the condition of the property (was there a pile of firewood or brush blocking the view, or access, to this section…was it covered with snow or ice…etc) at the time of the inspection and whether we review the report or not — our opinions will be as varied as there are inspectors reviewing it.

Every inspection done in accordance with the ASHI or NACHI code of ethics has a pre-written contract and most of them spell out what the consumer should do should he have a complaint about his inspection. This is the advice he should follow…not ours.

In the absence of a contract…the reader has no obligation to anyone other than to himself and his family to protect his property and his investment. His lawyer will give him the best advice, in that regard.

Disagree James, step one is to call the inspector. Come on, maybe the inspector is on the up and up. Why make the first call a lawyer? Call the inspector then see where it goes. Is my opinion and I stick with it.

Wood rot will not get MUCH worse in a week or two. Heck it took him 3 weeks of living in the house to see it. Give the inspector his fair chance.

The first step is to review your contract and do what it requires.

Like I said, it normally will require contacting the inspector…but the lack of a contract is a red flag all by itself, IMO.

This writer is contacting us in good faith, presumably, to seek a means to resolve his issue. While the “knee jerk” reaction is to first protect the inspector, we all have to admit that there are folks out there doing home inspections (and being referred by real estate salesmen) who have no business holding a flashlight. I would venture that most of them avoid contracts.

So…the client should review his contract and act accordingly. If he does not have one, he should act to protect his investment in the best way that he can. This is not always a law suit…but a letter from an attorney to an inspector who does not put his services and obligations in writing would probably get his attention quicker than a complaint, in my opinion.

Well then I guess we can agree to disagree. Contract, no contract, hand shake, email. I really don’t care what it is. I do not know of a court that would even see a case that the person did not get a chance to see the problem. It has to be the problem BEFORE work is administered so the inspector has a chance to see it as it is. Its not protecting the inspector its doing what is right.

If you take your car to get new tires and drive it for a week and it makes a weird noise do you call a lawyer, read your contract or get the tire repaired or do you call the initial contractor to evalaute the situation and if a problem exists to make it right.

We just see it differently. If its not an emergency and other people get called in to repair/alter the situation before I can see it, then I do not even care and claim no liability according to my contract. I must have the right to see it as it is, and be given the opportunity to repair the situation using licensed tradesmen with proper permitting pulled. This guy thinks its gonna cost $10K. You can probably get it done for $2k if you know the right people.

I agree to disagree.

Follow the contract. If there is none, protect yourself and property, first.

Call your Realtor, your Home Inspector, and the Termite Inspector.

Let us know what happens.