How many time do Clients have to be told?

Did an inspection a couple of month ago and noted in my report the the HVAC need cleaning and servicing due excessive amount of construction debris noted in system.

Went back for a final walk through 30 day later, told them again it still wasn’t cleaned and that they need to get it cleaned and serviced.

They finally called an HVAC guy out after buying the house and now want me to pay for repairs.

I told them NO and that I told them 2 or 3 times before the purchase to make sure it get serviced/cleaned. How much clearer can I be?


All in writing, hopefully?

It amazes me that people seem to think that somehow it is our responsibility as inspectors to make things right when they have shirked their responsibilities.

I don’t think you can be any clearer. Misconceptions of what home inspectors are and aren’t run rampant.

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It happens, there is nothing you can do about it.

What was the EXACT verbiage used in the report, because obviously, they didn’t understand something!
As the saying goes… “It’s not always what you say, but HOW you say it”.

Due to presence of construction debris in unit, a professional cleaning and service review by a licensed HVAC contractor is highly advised to ensure proper and safe operation of this unit. Inspection for holes and/or cracks in heat exchanger is not within the scope of this inspection and should be performed by a HVAC contractor.

Personally, I would not have taken action on that report verbiage either. :neutral:

Would have carried more weight if it said something like
observed construction debris in unit that may restrict proper air flow/cooling. Recommend service by a licensed contractor to determine scope of repairs & associated costs.

Every time I get one of these incidents, I try to use it as a learning experience.

Did I say it clear enough? Was I too technical and not “every-day” language about it?

I’ve re-written many narratives over time as I may be right the 1st time, but it wasn’t clear enough to the average person.

I had to stop using the term “register” in my HVAC section because while it’s technically the correct term, I got so many phone calls and emails about what is a register and how come I didn’t point out there was a non-working or no existent vent, even though I clearly pointed out the non-working or no existent register issue in the report.

Yea, one of our members explained it to me years ago as “write your report as that a 5th grader can understand it”.

All you can do is mske tem aware of the problems. What they decide to do is up to them.

Both comments are good. You documented it, thats the important thing.

I’m curious, what were the repairs? and what was the outcome?

After about 10 years in the inspection industry and more that 3,000 inspections I have figured out that the biggest problem, when issues like this come up, is the inspector DID NOT properly explain the limitations of the inspection, nor properly manage their client’s expectations.

One statement I made to virtually all of my clients was " There are some people that are of the opinion that if they have a home inspection, nothing will break down, require to be maintained or repaired/replaced. If that happens the inspector will pay for the repair /replacement. That is not the case."

A home inspection is not a lifetime warranty!

Take the time to ensure the client knows the limitations and manage their expectations.

Just wondering……. Do you get paid for the return walk through? What is that about?

Hope this helps

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Zig Ziegler used to say" I speak at the 7th grade 6th month level so even the engineers and college professors can understand what i said".