Seeking help on inspection items missed

I would appreciate any advice from professionals concerning my situation. I recently purchased a home which was inspected. Approximately 2 weeks after moving in I began having water issues in both the basement and the roof. I have had professionals out for both problems. The roofing professional stated that the inspector should have reported that my roof is only 1":12" slope and therefore unsuitable for the asphalt shingles that were used when the roof was redone by the previous owner. The professional stated that this may be the direct cause of my roof leaking now. Furthermore, this voids any warranty on the shingles.

The second issue is the bowing of the foundation in my basement due to water weight. Two different professionals that I brought in to quote waterproofing projects stated that the home inspector should have noted this and it is likely related to the water intrusion issues I am now facing in the same spot.

My question is whether these are issues that an inspector is expected and/or required to report. I am considering seeking legal action since it has cost me over $7,000 in repairs (on top of the normal costs of buying a new home). I only want to go this route if it really was a lack of an inspector failing their responsibilities. If it is something that would have been nice to know, but not required by the inspector, I don’t want to start a complaint.

Thanks for any advice, I appreciate the help!


Shingles can be installed on roofs with slopes between 2 and 4 in 12, but 2 layers of felt paper are required. The building code in use where I live prohibits the use of shingles on roofs less than 2 in 12 under any circumstances.

Can’t comment on the basement without pictures. It’s possible that the area was obstructed by material storage.

Did you call the inspector and ask him these questions?

Hi, thanks for the reply. There was nothing in the basement during the inspection, so the inspector had clear access to the walls. As for Ohio code, it says asphalt shingles can’t be used on roofs less than 2" by 12" slope. So my 1" by 12" slope is definitely below that.

I wanted some advice before I asked the inspector. Just to make sure I wasn’t just being annoying and actually had legitimate concerns.


It seems like you are approaching this with an inquisitive and open mind, which is the exception for folks in your situation. Good on you for that.

Based on the information given, I would agree that the inspector should have made some mention regarding the shingles. Although a general inspection is not a code inspection, I think it is safe to say that a standard shingle roof on a 1:12 slope is not commonly accepted “best practice”. Special measures (such as the one you mentioned) should be taken to protect against leaks. If the inspector could not or did not want to bother to determine if such steps were taken, he should have recommended further examination by a licensed roofer.

It’s tempting for a specialist to say “the inspector should have noted” something. Whether they truly think so or not, it establishes rapport with their potential client. A more informed version of that statement might be “If condition X, Y, or Z was present at the time of the inspection, the inspector should have noted it”. X, Y, or Z being something that was apparent and observable without using specialized equipment at the time of the inspection.

I doubt any inspector who has been in business for more than a few years has not gotten a phone call from someone complaining about an item that failed shortly (or even years in some instances) after the inspection. Although we try, we are often not able to predict that a particular problem is about to make an appearance.

Since Ohio does not require home inspectors to be licensed, it would be useful to know what standards (if any) the inspector adheres to; AHSI, InterNACHI, or some other trade group.

Terms like “may” and “likely” are not very strong terms. I’m not a lawyer, but I would expect you would need a professional’s report stating that conditions that had to have been observable at the time of of the inspection led directly to the damage you have having to have repaired before you would be considered to have a cause of action.

You definitely have our sympathy, and I’m sure I can speak for everyone at the forum in saying that I hope you are able to resolve these issues with as little rancor and pain as possible. I applaud you for not going off half-cocked.