"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience." George Bernard Shaw
It is not uncommon for a home inspector to inspect the same property twice. Last year I inspected a house that I had looked at six or seven years previous. Interestingly I could have handed the new buyer my old report, it would have been just as accurate now as it was all those years ago, with very few exceptions. This disregard for defects identified in the home inspection report seems to be itself quite common.
Take for example this gas fired water heater. The ring of rust and corrosion below the vent hood signify the unit is back drafting. The combustion gases are hot, moist and slightly corrosive.
They also contain carbon monoxide.
This problem was found and identified for the homeowner during an energy audit I performed on the property about four years ago. They had been living in the house about a year at the time. And yes they did have a home inspection before purchasing the property.
Fast forward to 2013. The same homeowners are now looking to list their house this spring. I was contacted to perform a pre-sale inspection. One of the issues I discovered was back drafting on the new water heater. The unit has been installed now for about three months. The plastic rings around the water inlets and anode rod are melted from the heat of the misdirected exhaust gases spewing forth into the basement.
The fact that the new unit back vents like the old unit means that for one, the homeowners never had the issue addressed when made aware four years ago. And two, the plumber(?) didn't recognize the issue during replacement, nor checked that the unit was properly drafting during the installation.
The video shows the unit back venting while operating. Note the camera lens briefly fogs when brought in too close to the draft hood.
This brings to mind another well known quote by George Santayana ;
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."