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I had a client recently inform me that during renovations he had found that cat urine had rusted out some of the electric baseboard heating units in a couple of small localized areas.

Of course, they expect me to pick-up the cost. I sited "not visible" and "not readily accessible", which I feel is true (fully furnished home).

Anyone handled one like this before.

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Just like Mike Holmes you can find all kind of things during "renovations."

Renovation means something was disassembled, knocked down, torn apart or accessed in some other way that is not possible during a visual only non-invasive home inspection. Your contract should indicate the extent of your liability.

Stick to your guns or you will end up caving every time someone wants you to finance their "renovations."

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I had a client recently inform me that during renovations he had found that cat urine had rusted out some of the electric baseboard heating units in a couple of small localized areas.

Of course, they expect me to pick-up the cost. I sited "not visible" and "not readily accessible", which I feel is true (fully furnished home).

Anyone handled one like this before.

Depends.

If the units were damaged to the point where they didn't work and you didn't test them, then I'd think you had performed a substandard inspection. Unless the heaters were buried in mounds of stuff, you can always turn them on for a few seconds, reach a hand out and feel whether or not they're warming up. In my playbook, it's not enough to use a short phrase like "not accessible" when disclaiming operation of an important system. That calls for a sentence or two explaining why and advising further action.

If, on the other hand, they're complaining about rust or some other cosmetic damage that you couldn't see because it was covered by a piece of furniture, then tell them to sit & spin.

Also, the word, in this context, is "cited," not "sited."

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Good points.

I always turn them on and reach in or use IR to see if they're working. (I also look to see if there's outlets located above them.)

If they work, they work. If they don't, we should know what to do.

Simply disclaiming without further explanation begets problems.

Thankfully, I rarely see electric baseboards.

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Yes, everything working as intended. I always make certain I have several photos of the units (example from todays inspection included below).

I think I learned to take these photos from a post on this forum several years ago and consider them priceless when someone calls six months after their inspection and says the heat isn't working.

I always include one for the heating and one for AC in all reports.

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif JouHeat.jpg

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Yes, everything working as intended. I always make certain I have several photos of the units (example from todays inspection included below).

I always include one for the heating and one for AC in all reports.

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif JouHeat.jpg

58.63?KB

Good idea! Think I'll begin doing that.

Marc

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I had a client recently inform me that during renovations he had found that cat urine had rusted out some of the electric baseboard heating units in a couple of small localized areas.

Of course, they expect me to pick-up the cost. I sited "not visible" and "not readily accessible", which I feel is true (fully furnished home).

Anyone handled one like this before.

Good eye Jim.

I used the quotes as shorthand referring to the detailed definitions defined in the N.J Standards of Practice and my pre-inspection agreement.

This had me thinking. Technically some of the internal baseboard components are visible (I sure a attorney would say), but is any inspector really going to inspect every inch of baseboard in an entire house?

Depends.

If the units were damaged to the point where they didn't work and you didn't test them, then I'd think you had performed a substandard inspection. Unless the heaters were buried in mounds of stuff, you can always turn them on for a few seconds, reach a hand out and feel whether or not they're warming up. In my playbook, it's not enough to use a short phrase like "not accessible" when disclaiming operation of an important system. That calls for a sentence or two explaining why and advising further action.

If, on the other hand, they're complaining about rust or some other cosmetic damage that you couldn't see because it was covered by a piece of furniture, then tell them to sit & spin.

Also, the word, in this context, is "cited," not "sited."

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The only way you could have known that the convectors were corroded is by removing the covers from each unit so that you could see all of them. I don't know of anyone that's going to do that; they are often stuck in place with paint or there's so much hair and stuff behind them that if you take the covers off you'll be vacuuming all night. Remind them that you told them before the inspection that they should not expect you to have X-ray vision. (You did tell them that didn't you?).

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Remind them that you told them before the inspection that they should not expect you to have X-ray vision. (You did tell them that didn't you?).

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

And that is why I have in my inspection agreement "I'm not Superman", I then explain that I can not see through walls, underground or predict the future. Everyone seems to under the Superman statement in the agreement.

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It comes down to did you have a contract with the client to find those kinds of problems?; and if you did, did you miss it?; and if you did miss it, did the client suffer an economic loss as a result?

Some inspectors are advertising a $5000 home inspection that tests every switch, door, window etc, removes every cover removable, and documents every visible thing in the house. They never sell one, but the client reliazes that what they are getting isn't that!

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Speaking of pee on a heater, sometimes, I just turn up the thermostat and wait for my olfactory detector to pick up the scent of cooking hair and sweat socks. "Yep, there's a working baseboard heater behind the bed". [:)]

I save pics of the junk, too, just in case someone thinks I must have been blind to miss that vomit stain on the wall.

On Thursday, I pushed some stuff from the washer to the dryer so I could have a clear workspace. If they have a porch, I set up out there sometimes on my step ladder/desk. Animals.

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Remind them that you told them before the inspection that they should not expect you to have X-ray vision. (You did tell them that didn't you?).

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

And that is why I have in my inspection agreement "I'm not Superman", I then explain that I can not see through walls, underground or predict the future. Everyone seems to under the Superman statement in the agreement.

And I called you to check out my daughters house in TN???

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