Inspector missed entire crawl space and big seal leaks

We bought our first home and had an inspection. Thanks to the appraiser, one spot of mold was found in an attic and will be remediated.

Shortly after moving in, I discovered an entire large crawl space for the added-on area of the house that was never inspected. I mean a huge cement door opening right on the side of the house.

What’s more, I got on the roof and discovered the seal on the single plumbing vent had rotted away, leaving 1/2" gaps all around the pipe, allowing water and snow in. This is obviously what caused the mold damage in that attic, but the inspector said everything on the roof checked out.

Now as I hook up the washer/dryer I can see spongy damp tile against the wall near the water pipes, with streaks of black mold. It smells rancid there. These pipes go down into the uninspected crawl space.

Meanwhile, I’m snaking out backed up plumbing almost every morning. I assumed running all the faucets and showers was part of an inspection? Because the first time we did it things started backing up.

Do I have any recourse at this point with the inspector?

There are a lot of variables that come into play, but of course you do. Why wouldn’t you? Did you contact the inspector?
Did you read the report and/or none of this stuff was mentioned in the report at all?

Morning Marbled. Hope you are well and in good health today.
Good luck with your new home.

To say mould/mold without the correct identification is a disservice. As for remediating small areas, it should not be that much of an issue.

I am not here to dispute your claims, but there could have been a reason the door was not discovered or able to operate the time/day of the inspection.
Read the report under limitations.

I am not familiar with plumbing vent seals. Plumbing Flanges and how the are installed, yes. Happy you are able to correct the issue.

Truthfully, behind washers and dryers is a limitation for an home inspector to observe and thoroughly, Marbled. Inspectors do not move washers and dryers.
That issue you can address with the homeowner.

Yes faucets are operated, but for a short period of time. Typically to test water flow. Toilets are flushed as well.

First let me say, Marbled, sorry you are having minor problems.

1: Read your contact.
2: Then call the inspector.
Typically there is “a discovery period” where he/she/the inspector must be included in the discovery process prior any repairs being completed or they could be held harmless if it turns out they are responsible.
Once again, call the inspector and have them drop by the/your home.
Remember though, there are limits as to what an inspector can inspect and identify.

Read you contact.
It should spell out what he/she is liable to/for.
Review the report again and check off what have been discovered. Under plumbing, see if he addressed if water was slow to drain, and where.
Roofing. Did the inspector mentions rotted/corroded/missing flashing.

Marbled, may I ask. How did you acquire the home inspector? Was he/she referred? If so, by whom?

How much did you pay for the inspection? Did you look up the inspector before hiring him?

It’s not about how much was paid, Jaun.
Inspectors have a SoP to follow no matter the inspection charge.

Fact be known. You can not sustain your business charging low fees. The tax man will make you aware of that the following year.

Low fees typically means, a low return on your investment.

Home purchasing consumers do not realize, nor understand at that moment, a good home inspection report will save them thousands, if not tens of, in the long run.

Pay me now, or pay me later.

I am the OP and I thank you for your replies.

We got the inspector based on recommendations from our realtor. We are a fairly small town here so not a lot of choices, and almost no local business has online reviews.

I regret not hiring two inspectors, but at least we pushed for the mold test.

When I contact the inspector, do I simply send photos and ask whether he inspected these areas?

Isn’t it in an inspector’s best interest to identify as many issues as possible? I can see how it may take some extra work to look at the piping behind a washer, but it’s literally a few seconds of leaning over and shining a light on an area that in many houses would have leaks and possibly water damage worth noting.

Like many first-time buyers, we spent every penny on this purchase. We believed the house was fully inspected. If I discover major mold issues, for example, in the uninspected crawl space, remediation from our pocket is not an option.

This is pretty common if the house sat vacant for any sort of time. Roots can penetrate a drain line. When I inspect a home, I send a considerable amount of water down all the lines, but it is just water. Water can work its way through a cluster of roots pretty quickly so there is no sign of an issue at the time of the inspection.
Then a new occupant moves in and starts flushing toilet paper down the toilet. The paper quickly gets caught and builds up on the roots causing a complete blockage.
Again, this is pretty common. Some buyers will pay extra to have the drain line inspected with a sewer camera just for this purpose.

As for the rest of the issues, without reading the report and seeing the home on the day the inspection occurred, it is difficult to know if the inspector performed to the minimum standards of practice.

Was this inspector a Certified Member of InterNACHI?

How many inspection companies did you call before you found one that was cheap enough for you?

Unless there was a foot or more of snow on the roof or the roof was otherwise inaccessible and this area not visible (which if that was the case should be stated in the report), I can think of no excuse for not finding this bad roof jack. It should be readily visible both from the rooftop and the attic. Similarly, any other areas which were not / could not be inspected should have been listed in the report.

I suggest that you carefully read the report for any such disclaimers (specific identifying areas which could not/were not inspected, not generic) and contact the inspector with the issues that you are having. Based on what you describe and the photo of the vent jack, It certainly sounds as though you may have received a substandard inspection. Check to see if inspectors are licensed in your state, what standard of practice applies and if there is a process for filing complaints.

Good luck. I hope you do not encounter any other unwanted surprises.

We don’t know jack about how long the house sat vacant and/or the conditions. Regardless, a few points: A good, seasoned inspector should have noted older piping if present and/or recommended a sewer scope. They should have stressed this “common” issue, as you put it, is prevalent with this type of piping, with this age of house, etc. From what this guy is dealing with, I seriously doubt any of it was “stressed.” Additionally, why wasn’t the issue noted in the disclosure? I’m sure the sellers knew about it.
If it were me, and being in a small town, I’d be inquiring to the local plumbers about the property address and any sewer augering/cleaning/servicing.