RE: Willis Inspection Service
About the middle of April, when my wife and I were becoming desperate with the plumbing situation and the extensive damages we were finding, and the decline in our health and our physical habitation, I called the inspection agency and spoke to Mr. Willis who had done the inspection. I did know who to blame for our circumstances, but it seemed in a large part that he was at least partly responsible for it. I wanted to get his side of the story because I do not believe that you should blame somebody being devoid of the facts. I also reviewed the inspection report before I made the call. On the telephone he assured me of the following claims:
1. Mr. Willis said he turned on every faucet and fixture in the entire house and checked for leaks, in the house. He said he left all the fixtures and faucets running, after his initial up-side in-house check, he said he then proceeded under the house and checked all connections for leaks and possible drainage problems. He then stated that the faucets and fixtures were still running (he had not turned them off) and he did another above-in-house inspection of the areas. I was then told, by Mr. Willis, that if there were any leaks now, in April when I called, it was probably attributed to the freeze in early March. In fact he mentioned in his own home that some pipes had burst due to the freeze. Most probably the sellers had moved out and forgot to turn on the heat.
However, I was told at the closing that the Smarrs had just that morning moved out, March 27, 2003, which by the way was past the freeze date. They had been living at the home until the day of closing, and in fact they had come directly from the house to the closing. Also when we arrived at the house after closing approximately 16:30 hrs. the thermostat had been set at 70 degrees and the house was warm. Mr. Willis mentioned on the telephone if there was anything he could do to help he would. I never discussed what we were finding because I felt he would not extend himself enough to fix the seriously extensive damages. Also at the time I did not realize how extensive the damages were. Each succeeding day brought more damages to light and the list has became overwhelming.
2. Mr. Willis never told us about the polybutylene plumbing, which was leaking like a sieve under the house and in the house, nor any of the other problems we discovered. He noted "plastic pipe" in his report but never denoted polybutylene piping, the leaks we were encountering, the mold and water damage from years of neglect, nor the hazard of the condition that the house was in that contributes to health problems.
3. I was told by Mr. Willis three copies of the report were made, one for the seller, one for the realty, one for the buyer. I never signed off on the inspection report which we paid $195 for. Bauman called me a couple of weeks (it might have been three weeks) after she had received the report (she was one of the realty agents handling this for Bob Weber who was the contact realty agent for this in Landmasters Realty in Llano) and went over the report with me. Nothing was mentioned about the polybutylene plumbing, nothing was mentioned about plastic pipe, and nothing was discussed about the problems we were finding. The items she mentioned, which were on the report did not seem life threatening or overly expensive to fix or would be a problem to live with. In other words, basing our decision on the appraisal amount of the property and the inspection report we felt that it would be a sound home to purchase.
4. Smarr never cleaned up the debris under the house. I have absolutely no idea how Mr. Willis did his inspection under the house with all the dead animals and debris. There literally was no room to move under there. Also it was impossible for him not to have seen the tremendous bubbles of the vapor barriers that were literally almost touching the ground, (the floor to the house is two feet above the ground and these bubbles were inches from the ground and five feet in diameter). These bubbles were formed because they were holding so much water and raw sewage (where by the barrier had stretched due to the weight of the captive water). I also must mention that there was such an infestation of fleas, chiggers, and ticks that when I stuck my arm under the house within seconds my arm was completely covered with fleas. I mean to the point whereby I was loosing sight of the color of my arm. When I started raking to clean out the debris and I was able to fit under the house to continue the raking, I became infested with chiggers under my skin. All over my body. This infestation of chiggers, fleas, and ticks were from decaying animals that were left under the house. The house had to be exterminated twice and it needs a third extermination. Our cat, who does not go out except on the raised deck has been plagued with fleas. We also have had a running battle in the house with the infestation. No mention of this in the report. I also mentioned in the problems discovered document about how much debris there was. I also mentioned that the ground was soaked from leakage. None of these items were mentioned to me on the telephone or in the report.
5. The master bathroom is infested with mold. Not only was the carpeting mold-infested but the strip tack, pieces of vinyl from the gypsum board, and the flooring was inundated with mold (active and growing). It would be impossible for an inspector to walk into that room and not pick up on the smell, even if he did not find the specific leaks. He is supposed to be the expert in detecting this type of problem.
6. If Mr. Willis did what he said and had tried all the fixtures and checked for leaks how did he miss the massive leakage in the toilet in the master bathroom. He denoted in his report that there was some floor damage around the toilet. If he checked the fixtures like he said he did, by the way, the toilet is set into the floor from damage from the floor caving in. If he saw some damage shouldn't he have flushed the toilet to see what was happening. He said he checked all the fixtures and if that is the case he would have had seen 1.6 gallons going onto the floor, saturating the carpet. The toilet when flushed put 1.6 gallons of water and raw sewage onto the floor because the wax gasket was non-existent.
7. How did Mr. Willis check the garden tub faucets and drain when the garden tub was so stopped up that water would not drain out of it (in the master bathroom). An eight ounce glass of water took five hours to drain out.
8. How did Mr. Willis check the shower faucets when the shower basin drain in the master bathroom was so stopped up that water would not drain out of it. We tried to punch out the stoppage with a hammer and screw driver and we could not dislodge the stoppage. There was so much water being placed on the floor, from the shower, that Smarr had siliconed the bottom of the door to keep it in. The silicone was over two inches thick and 24" long and the inspector missed this? The shower lines were leaking so badly, even while they were not being used, that the water ate through the carpeting and padding, around the tack strips, ate through the floor, destroyed the shower walls (gypsum board) and into the fiberglass insulation and was also draining into the insulation and vapor barrier, then onto the ground under the house. Needless to say the mold in that room is rampant.
9. How did Mr. Willis check all the faucets which were barely functioning due to the build up of sediment, scale, and dirt. It wasn't just the strainers that were clogged, the entire faucets were corroded and there was such a build-up they couldn't even be scraped. The majority of the water lines going to the faucets and toilets were leaking. The water when turned on barely came out of the faucets and fixtures.
10. If he saw the leaks and checked (visually) the shut-off valves he would have seen that they were broken, leaking or both.
11. How did Mr. Willis check the toilet bowls and water lines to the bowls. The lines were leaking so badly, that it destroyed the flooring, the water had become trapped in the insulation. The flappers was so encrusted with deposits that they were not seating properly, therefore, both toilets were running non-stop.
12. How did Mr. Willis miss the rotting floor under the tub to the point where the floor was non-existent from looking at the vapor barrier on the ground side. The floor is gone! I put this in because Mr. Willis said he was not responsible for removing walls, etc. but if he did his inspection under the house like he said he did all he had to do was look up at the master bathroom tub and he could see no floor and look directly inside the bathroom, from the ground up. I do not believe that Mr. Willis did his under house inspection and if he did he missed this major flaw knowing there was a water damage problem in the master bathroom.
13. Alvie Alcorn, journeyman plumber, stated specifically there was absolutely no way no one could not known about these problems within the house or under the house. The magnitude of the leaking water, over years, was to great not to notice.
14. I am not a mold expert but the window frames have to have black mold on them. The widow frames are white inside and outside the house whereby it is easy to spot mold.
15. How did Mr. Willis miss the hook up to the drainpipe of the bathroom which was never hooked up. The water from the sink was pouring straight onto the ground. If he tested the faucets and fixtures and had gone under the house how did he miss this?
16. How did Mr. Willis miss the non-functioning toilet in the guest bathroom? How did Mr. Willis miss the toilet in the guest bathroom which only allows half the water to drain into the bowl due to clogging of the openings inside the toilet. Also when the toilet is flushed the same is true, only half the bowel is flushed. The Smarrs must have used some type of corrosive cleaner for the clogs, because half the toilet, where the water doesn't run in, has eaten through the toilet itself and has black corroded streaks in it. Since only half the toilet is working the toilet does not fully flush and fecal matter and urine remains and it smells way beyond the parameters of the bathroom.
17. Let us assume for a minute that Mr. Willis did turn on all the fixtures and faucets and then went under the house to do a thorough check. It would have taken him at least 10 minutes from the time he started to remove the skirting and navigate through the debris and then come out and come back into the house. So assuming this span of time is correct when he finally got into the guest bathroom to turn off the shower fixtures he would have seen at least 3" to 5" of water in the tub enclosure. He also would have seen that the water was not draining through. How did he miss this? The drain in the guest bathroom is barely working. If he had done what he said the water in the shower basin in the shower enclosure in the master bathroom would have made a flood due to the clog in the drain. Also he would have seen the master bathroom garden tub filled with water and not draining. How did he miss this? He missed this because he did not do his inspection as he said he did.
18. How did Mr. Willis miss the water lines going to the shower fixtures, in the guest bathroom, that were leaking, going through the floor, into the adjoining rooms carpeting, into the insulation and vapor barrier. All the shower fixtures were loose and were coming out of the wall. In fact when trying to turn them on they literally came through the wall. The dry wall was so rotted it had to be ripped out. The water from the toilet and shower became trapped in the insulation below the house. This was never reported by Mr. Willis.
19. In the guest bathroom the faucet were not functioning (had to be replaced) due to the build up of sediment, scale, and dirt). Like the other faucets in the house there was hardly any water pressure and the fixtures were barely functioning. No mention of this in Mr. Willis' inspection report.
20. How did Mr. Willis miss the old vent pipe which had to be removed because water was leaking around the pipe, into the attic, and in between the walls, onto the floor carpeting, and into the insulation and the vapor barrier? He said he walked the roof and checked below the house. The vapor barrier was collecting the water from the vent pipe seepage. It was ballooned with the same balloon as the toilet and the shower lines in the master bathroom.
21. How did Mr. Willis miss the water heater that was leaking so badly, not only from the fittings but also from the heater itself that the floor rotted and the heater was literally falling through the floor? How did Mr. Willis miss the vapor barrier and the insulation were the only items holding the water heater up from falling onto the ground? How did Mr. Willis miss the wood part of the floor that was destroyed from water damage? How did Mr. Willis miss the wood floor and the vinyl flooring mold smell that had been saturated with water? How did Mr. Willis miss the leak that was so bad that the fiberglass insulation was soaked and the insulation had to be ripped out with the vapor barrier? There is mold smell in the closet that the water heater is in that goes beyond comprehension. The wood surrounding the water heater was rotted so badly that when you touched the wood it fell apart, 2x4's were totally rotted. How did Mr. Willis miss the gypsum board that was so stained, moldy, and rotted? When I did my walk-through I never went into that closet, the door was closed and I just assumed it was a closet, no big deal.
22. He said he was under the house checking for leaks. How did Mr. Willis miss the water lines under the house that were leaking to the point that the ground and the vapor barrier in each section of the house was ballooned because they were saturated with water?
23. He never disclosed anything about having septic leaks or problems near the house which caused a 25 foot diameter of wet ground which is only 5 feet from the house. If he had flushed the toilets he would have heard and seen the trouble that the water was having leaving the bowel denoting a septic or clog problem.
24. How did Mr. Willis miss the caulking around the windows which was either missing, has holes in it, or is dried out whereby it provides no insulation? There are so many holes in the caulking that insects nest in them.
25. How did Mr. Willis miss in the guest bathroom, the shower wall joints, have no caulking and the enclosure area and the room smells of mold? The water mist has gone behind the shower walls and has created a mold condition. He cannot take down walls in his inspection process but does that mean he cannot see the caulking missing or has is nose also stopped working?
26. How did Mr. Willis miss the closing cylinders for both storm doors that were missing?
27. How did Mr. Willis miss the rear storm door does not open all the way? A repair in front of the rear storm door, which is a 3'x2' section in front of the rear door, is lower than the deck itself which makes it a serious walking hazard in and out of the house, board are loose in that area which also makes it dangerous, and the deck prevents the door from opening.
28. How did Mr. Willis miss the front steps that were rotted and falling apart so badly that when you touched them with your foot that fell apart? No way to get in through the front door because the steps were unsafe and fell apart.
29. How did Mr. Willis miss fact that the front and back door were not functioning and there were no keys for them. How did he get into the house?
30. How did Mr. Willis miss in the kitchen a 4" diameter hole was cut in the floor and went directly to the ground outside under the house (NO INSULATION). How did Mr. Willis miss A 4" diameter hole was cut in the wall and went to the vinyl siding outside (NO INSULATION).
31. The condenser filter was so clogged that when I had taken it out and it landed in the garbage chunks of hard debris (inside the filter ) broke off. The condenser was clogged beyond belief. The ac man said it was never cleaned. Mr. Willis never reported it, nor did he report the mold problem in the condenser area. Nor did he report the rust and dilapidation of the unit because of no care and not working properly. He also never reported the AC unit having a knock in it.
32. Mr. Willis never denoted a problem of the inner doors of the house not working.
33. Mr. Willis never reported that the window in our office (3rd bedroom) does not open more than 5". All the windows are hard to open but this particular window cannot be opened more than the 5".
34. Mr. Willis never denoted wet spots in the ceilings that were doctored to look like there wasn't a leakage: kitchen (2-doctored both still wet), guest bathroom (2-doctored both still wet), master bedroom (1-indicates water damage doesn't look doctored).