Aside from being an inspector, I am also a contractor who does home repairs. The home I’m working on is a mid '50s modern classic–4800 square feet. The owners bought it and took possession last April. There are five bathrooms, three of them have only showers, one has a tub and one is a guest bathroom. They all have that great tile work you can find from this era.
The basement shower is directly below an upstairs shower. When I was in the lower bathroom I noticed some movement from the the ceiling of the shower and it turned out to be water dripping through a crack in the tile, which I guessed was coming from the shower above it. I notified the owners and they had a plumber come and open up the tiles on the ceiling. Turns out the upstairs shower pan was leaking. There also appeared to be dry rot and structural damage to the supporting wood members.
I asked the owners if they had an inspection done before they bought the home and they showed me the report. There was no mention of filling the shower pans to test for leaks. There was also no mention of the defective shower valves and the fact that the hot and cold was reversed on one. It turned out the second main floor shower pan also leaks into the garage.
As you might guess, repairing all of this is expensive. I feel the inspector dropped the ball on his inspection because he didn’t fill the shower pans to test for leaks. Consequently, the owner didn’t have the opportunity to negotiate the home purchase based on this information.
Is this inspector liable?