Inspection disaster or expecting too much?

I will start by saying that I am a homeowner. I am not an inspector. I am here to educate myself. I have a question for anyone interested in providing some insight.

Here’s the situation:

We purchased a bank-owned home a little over 2 years ago. It had been vacant for a year and a half to two years, per the neighbors, prior to our purchasing it. The bank had done a nice job of replacing the flooring and painting the home. It looked good on the surface. We screened multiple home inspectors as we realized the importance of a good home inspection, especially considering the fact that the home had been vacant and winterized for several seasons.

We hired who we thought was a very reputable and experienced inspector. He inspected the home, and provided us with a beautiful report, complete with many photographs and explanations of numerous “non-vital” concerns. He found no structural concerns or red flags.

Fast forward to 5 weeks ago. We were replacing carpeting and linoleum in the main floor with new wood flooring. When we removed all 3 layers of old linoleum and luan in the kitchen bay window area, we found water damage, rot and black mold. We immediately hired an environmental specialist as well as a contractor, and called our insurance company. To make a long story short, we continued to investigate and found that there was no window flashing, as in ZERO, on any window. The siding was installed improperly, and there was literally no weatherproof barrier anywhere. The wood trim on the exterior of the house and around the windows, albeit freshly painted, shows signs of being completely rotten in areas. To make matters worse, there WAS a vapor barrier between the insulation and the drywall. So water came in, and stayed. Testing has proven that there are multiple types of toxic mold, as well as pathogenic bacteria throughout the entire house and crawl space. It is uninhabitable, and insurance is not covering much of the needed repairs. We have been advised by a Certified Industrial Hygienist to hire a HazMat company to perform demo and remediation.

This is truly a condensed version of our reality, but hopefully detailed enough for this question to be answered: SHOULD OUR HOME INSPECTOR HAVE FOUND ANY OF THESE ISSUES?

I realize no one has x-ray vision, but I do believe that many of the issues should have been rather obvious to someone who has the title “:home inspector”… Our contractors have certainly found these issues with little more than the naked eye or simply lifting a piece of siding to reveal the lack of flashing.

In your opinion, were we expecting too much of our inspector, or are these issues he should have seen?

Thank you in advance for any and all input.


It sounds like drama to me. Without anyone seeing it first hand, no one could answer your question as to if the inspector should have seen it.
If the home you bought was older, depending on where you live, many windows will not be flashed. The window went in, got trimmed out and caulked or sealed to keep out water. Unless there were actual signs of water entry or visible wood decay at the time of the inspection then you cant point fingers. Was access to under the bay window obtainable? Inspecting under this area would have given an answer perhaps.
Honestly after two years, it may be just as much your fault for not maintaining the windows as anyone else.
Its odd that you had no clues or signs or smells of mold, then find some wood rot and all of a sudden you have multiple types of toxic mold and bacteria issues. Yeah, right. If you have issues throughout the home, then this was caused by the demolition. there are only going to be so many options for “toxic” molds on wood products.
FYI, all crawlspaces have mold. If you have a true problem in there, then you have other issues creating the mold.

I am guessing with 3 layers of flooring, it must be an aged home. At this point even if the inspector missed it, too much time has passed to point fingers. Most old houses are not goint to have any type of flashing. Be careful you dont get taken advantage of by greedy contractors.