Can your inspector double as a repairman? That is a tough issue to answer, yet it occurs often.
As a stucco repair specialist, I’ve always thought that doing a moisture assessment/stucco inspection would be a conflict of interest. There is a fine line between educating a homeowner about stucco issues and notifying the homeowner about the expense of repairing the damage.
Here’s the Scenario
Let me tell you about something recent that occurred. A well-known general home inspector who also does moisture assessments and stucco inspections had inspected a new house for a luxury builder who was also a personal friend.
This inspector was well-known for doing the inspection and submitting estimates to fix any problems he found. He would then delegate project management to a family member. Because we knew this, the builder/friend requested that I join him in the reinspection because the previous inspection seemed “off.”
What We Did
The first thing I did was phone another close friend and schedule an hour following the re-inspection. The event was planned to include a repair estimate for the stucco repair.
The inspector started testing when all parties were on site for the stucco reinspection. The initial thing that caught my attention was testing the walls from the house’s interior using a wet wall meter.
This experiment was conducted during the summer when the weather was hot and humid. The temperature inside was a pleasant 72 degrees. The residence was around 7500 square feet, with beautiful marble floors and 14-foot ceilings.
This is critical because stucco should NEVER be examined from the inside out. The moisture value will be altered due to the interior humidity, resulting in false positives. As previously stated, a moisture measurement must be obtained from the exterior, with the meter’s prongs entering the plywood under the stucco.
Our inspector disagreed and showed us many water-soaked areas. We had him evaluate over 20 sites; his conclusions were consistently exorbitant. Remember, this was a recently built house. These readings, although possible, were very unlikely to be correct.
As the inspection progressed, the builder and inspector’s relationship deteriorated. As a result, the big question had to be posed. Can you provide a plan for fixing all of the damage?
When I asked the inspector about his next appointment, he said no. He noted that it was time to act him to attend the meeting. That’s when he learned he’d been scheduled for a stucco repair estimate.
Conflict of Interest
This is critical since we opened the wall from the outside and discovered arid conditions in a sample of locations inspected and pronounced damaged by this inspector. The inspector needed to be corrected.
This begs the issue of whether the inspector accurately reported his observations. Was that a genuine blunder? Did he present erroneous results on purpose to get a repair contract?
There is a problem with this already. You shouldn’t be able to learn from a home inspection what is wrong with your house and its estimated cost. Would you be notified if the inspection turned out to be incorrect? Is there any recourse against the inspector, and is there a return from the inspection or repair to guarantee you’re not paying for something unnecessary?
These are the reasons why hiring an independent third-party evaluation, and a stucco restoration contractor is critical to the success of your project. The importance of honesty and integrity cannot be overstated. Your inspector will always check that the stucco work is done correctly. You may always rely on your stucco contractor if the report misses something or causes a false positive.
You Can Trust CMB Wayne Stucco & EIFS
We prevent conflicts of interest at CMB Wayne Stucco & EIFS. Never would CMB Wayne Stucco & EIFS Repair offer to assess your stucco property. We can connect you with a few competent inspectors. We are experts in stucco house repair.
Contact us to learn what CMB Wayne Stucco & EIFS can do for you!