Can your inspector also serve as a mechanic? That is a difficult question to answer, yet it happens often.
As a stucco restoration professional, I’ve always considered moisture assessments and stucco inspections to be a conflict of interest. The line between teaching a homeowner about stucco hazards and informing the homeowner about the cost of correcting the damage is thin.
Here’s the Scenario
Let me tell you about a recent occurrence recently. A well-known general home inspector who also does moisture assessments and stucco inspections had examined a new home for a luxury builder who was also a personal acquaintance.
This inspector was well-known for not only doing the inspection but also providing bids to remedy any issues he detected. He would then assign project management to a member of his family. Because we were aware of this, the builder/friend asked if I could accompany him to the reinspection because the prior inspection seemed “off.”
What We Did
I first had a close friend call the inspector and set up an hour after the reinspection. The meeting was set to get a repair quote for stucco repair.
The inspector began his tests when all parties came on-site for the stucco reinspection. The fact that he was using a wet wall meter to test the walls from the inside of the home piqued my interest right away.
This experiment was carried out in the summer when it was hot and humid. The home temperature was a comfortable 72 degrees. The property had over 7500 square feet of living space, magnificent marble flooring, and 14-foot ceilings.
This is significant because stucco should NEVER be examined from the inside. Because of the humidity within, the moisture level will be distorted, resulting in false positives. As previously stated, moisture must be measured from the outside so that the meter’s prongs penetrate the plywood under the stucco.
Our inspector denied this, pointing up many locations he believed were soaked with water. We had him evaluate over 20 places, and he always obtained high results. 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, a significant question had to be posed. Please put together a plan to fix all of the damage.
The inspector said no, but I inquired about his next appointment. He noted that it was almost time for him to go to his work. That’s when he discovered he had a stucco repair quotation appointment.
Conflict of Interest
This is crucial because when we opened the wall from the outside, we discovered dry conditions in a sampling of locations that this inspector had assessed as damaged. The inspector needed to be corrected.
This begs the question: did the inspector report correct findings? Was it an honest mistake? Did he give false results on purpose to get a repair contract?
There is a conflict of interest here. Your inspector should never be allowed to tell you what’s wrong with your home and then charge you to repair it.
Would you be informed if the inspection was flawed? Is there any recourse against the inspector, and is there a return from the inspection or repair to ensure you’re not paying for something unnecessary?
These are why you should use an independent, third-party inspector and an independent stucco repair contractor for your job. Honesty and integrity are unquestionable. You can always rely on your inspector to ensure the stucco project is done correctly. If the report missed something or produced a false positive, you will always have your stucco contractor as a backup.
You Can Trust CMB Edison Stucco & EIFS Repair
We prevent conflicts of interest at CMB Edison Stucco & EIFS Repair. Never would CMB Edison 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 about further what we provide CMB Edison Stucco & EIFS Repair can do for you!