In one case, a ten year old home with an original hot water heater bursts...and unfortunately this is not an uncommon occurrence. Water floods the basement, ruins much of the furniture, kids' toys, the TV and game system, and all of the items in the storage area including holiday decorations and irreplaceable family pictures. In addition, the rugs and the padding are soaked through. A water mark has climbed the walls, so even the drywall will need to be replaced to avoid secondary damage and possible dangers from mold growth. Even the odor is awful - already a musty smell is creeping throughout the home. Can anything be salvaged, or should everything simply be thrown out? Will this be covered by insurance? What is the deductible? Can all of the moisture be removed to avoid toxic mold growth? This is going to cost a homeowner thousands and thousands of dollars, not to mention the hassle it has caused.
In another ten year old home, newly purchased, a family enjoys their new home uneventfully with all of the major systems running smoothly, thanks to their home inspector who recommended they have a professional replace their system when they 1st purchased the home a couple months prior. The home inspector visually examined the water line connections and the condition of the water heater, and noticed some corrosion on the unit. Also taking into consideration the age of the hot water heater, being the original unit in the decade-old home, he highly recommended its replacement as soon as possible before the sale of the home took place. Disaster avoided...no expense, no aggravation for the new owners. Home inspectors are trained professionals with businesses they must protect with errors and omissions insurance.
Water damage can be a homeowners worse nightmare. Ask any homeowner who has been through it. Being proactive can save a home from extensive damage which will cost thousands to fix, and prevent an enormous hassle for the homeowner. Millions of dollars are paid out every year by insurance companies because of water damage from a hot water heater leaking or bursting. Hot water heater failures are one of the top five causes of home water damage.
A home inspector can observe leaking water around the unit or water lines, or rust on the tank and recommend a repair or replacement. Taking also into consideration the age of the unit, which is typically 10-15 years, a home inspector may also encourage replacement, saving future headaches and expenditures for the homeowner. Home inspectors provide a valuable service for their customers, and they also need to protect themselves and their business with errors and omissions insurance.