3-4 story roof inspections

I have a general question for everyone. How many of you would try to do an inspection on a 3 to 4 story roof that has no roof access. The only way up to the roof would be to climb an extension ladder. A lot of the row homes here in Philly have no way up to inspect them.

My thinking is it is against OSHA’s ladder safety regulations to try to climb a ladder that high without it being tied off and additional safety personal. Besides, you would need a tractor and trailer to carry an extention ladder big enough to get up to some of the roofs around here.

I would like to hear what you guys think.

You are not bound by OSHA, unless you’re an employee or employer.

In any event, if it can’t be safely accessed, simply disclaim it. . .


It is just money - I would rent a cherry picker with an operator

If a rig like this could not get safe access – Then a fly over with a chopper would be in order – It is all a question of money

Safety is always the first issue


Hi to all,

Scott, I have done many commercial inspections where the roofs are high and not accessable, in the past I have used a roofing contractor to set up ladders for me, this has worked well and can be very economical.



I concur. I’ve used this procedure several times.

Gerry, I wish you’d purchase a damn razor.

Don’t forget the Right Gaurd, man:D

I have actually considered a cherry picker but would not need the operator as that was part of my past life in a oil refinery.

I have a long extension ladder that sticks over the end of a 16 foot trailer that I take on the commercials that gets me most every where I need to be.
I prefer to have at least 2 feet of ladder above the top of a flat roof. I have only had one ocassion where my extension would not clear the top. Kind of gives a tight pucker factor to make that final reach.

Scott, whatever you decide to do, be careful . . . don’t want to hear about another inspector falling.
Agree with Jeff, safety first, disclaim it if inaccessable.

i would not climb it. Safety before death

The only time I get up on roofs is for my TECH inspection, and even then I don’t get up on the roof. Rather, my subcontractor, the licensed roofing contractor, gets up on the roof. More technical, hence the name of the inspection.