The Home Inspector’s Responsibility
The home inspector is not an expert but a generalist. The home inspector can inspect a home and report upon its condition as it was at the time of the inspection. That is the main responsibility of the home inspector.
A home inspection does not include predictions of future events, house warranties, or guarantees that nothing will ever go wrong. Future events (such as roof leaks, water intrusion, plumbing leaks, and heating failures) are not within the scope of a home inspection and are not the responsibility of the home inspector. Who’s responsible? The homeowner.
The most important thing for a homeowner to understand is that things will break. As time goes on, parts of the house will wear out, break down, deteriorate, leak, or simply stop working.
The inspection image shows watermarks in the corner of the ceiling. The watermarks indicate that the water leak has been taking place for some time. One could assume that the homeowner would likely know of this water leak problem since it has been an issue for some time.
In a real estate transaction, the inspection report is only supplementary to the seller’s disclosure (what the seller knows about the home), and the report provides additional information to the home buyer.
The inspection image of the roof shows a shingle tab that lifted up in the wind and cracked in half. This is a roof defect that happened after a home inspection was performed. This problem is not the responsibility of the home inspector, but of the homeowner. And it's likely that the homeowner wasn't aware of the problem.
Future conditions are not the responsibility of the home inspector.