You may not have had reason to know this, but when we receive a claim, we ask for all paperwork related to that incident.
In the case of a termite claim, one of the documents we review is the inspection report.
Almost every time, someone says, "Why didn't they make a recommendation?"
Many report formats have a section in them which is designed to assist the inspector in this regard. Here, I stress the word 'assist'.
When making a recommendation, it is unlikely that the 'standard wording' of the report will relate directly to that situation. In fact, one report recently reviewed noted dampness in a wall which was detected with a moisture meter. That report directed the reader to standard wording contained in the report which was entitled 'moisture'. However, when we read the section, it was discussing moisture in the subfloor and didn't even mention high moisture in the walls.
When you detect something during your inspection and you are completing your check sheet, you should always make your own clear and appropriate recommendation specific to that situation. You should never rely solely on standard wording from the report.
"Why not?" you may ask.
Standard wording is just that, standard. It has been put together using the experience of the person or people constructing the report. It can be very helpful for the reader to have a general overview of a situation or a 'normal' reason for a recommendation. The idea of standard wording is to give basic or background information to the reader of the document to assist them when they have to make decisions. This in turn can be of assistance to you, the inspector, in that your client may take up your recommendation.
For instance, you may consider that a more invasive inspection is required because you detected high moisture meter readings outside the bath room. Your report should tell them that you found high moisture and where you found it. If you just say "A more invasive inspection of this area is considered essential to determine the cause of the high moisture", that is good. It is simple and specific and does not rely on any other section of the report.
Equally, if there is insulation in the roof void impeding the inspection, a recommendation of "An invasive inspection is not within the Scope of this inspection; however a more invasive inspection of the top plates around the wet areas is strongly recommended. See section 9".
If you are using Report Writer or a Rapid Solutions document from our website, the reference to Section 9 gives reasons why an invasive inspection may be necessary, where it may occur and warns that there may be damage or disruption caused during that inspection.
If you choose to refer the reader to standard wording in the report, it is essential that you understand exactly what that wording says. Be sure it is relevant to the situation.
Always report clearly and completely at the point of comment in the report and only refer to standard wording as a backup. In this way, you better fulfil your duty of care and reduce the risk of a successful claim being made against you.
Please contact the Rapid Solutions Technical Department on 1300 309 169 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.