There has to be a wealth of embarrassing and fun to read inspection stories here. To lighten things up and entertain, how about some stories? I’m going to start with one:
I was inspecting a home well over an hour from town, clients and agent did not attend the inspection. Needless to say no cell service was present. They did have wifi, and I had the code and was logged in. It had a steep pitched metal roof with exposed screws, somewhat worse for wear due to amateur installation and snow slides. Eyes on the roof was important for this roof inspection. Fortunately, there was a second floor balcony, and I could access a low pitch porch roof area off the balcony. That gave me easy access to the rest of the roof and a safe climb up to the low pitch shed dormer located above the balcony. Much safer and easier option than using my long ladder. I accessed a good view of the whole roof and was able to perform a good roof inspection.
Finishing the roof inspection, I climbed down, only to see the door to the balcony was closed and that it was now locked! From experience I know the importance of checking that the lock is released before entering a balcony like this. It was released when I entered the balcony, and I left it wide open. Apparently it slammed shut due to wind and house pressures, and then somehow locked. There was absolutely no other way off this balcony or roof without serious injury. What to do?
I carry a satellite emergency communication device, but that was in my truck. I had my cell phone with wifi calling connected. Hopefully it will work at my location on the balcony. If I call my wife for rescue, I’ll be here well over an hour. There was a contractor friend working near by, and if they had wifi calling set up, I could call them. I did not have their cell number, so some calling to others would be in order. Besides, it was after 4PM on a Friday, and very likely they were already gone. There had to be better options. I could break a window and pay for the repair – not good for my credibility with anyone involved in this property sale. Slipping the lock was an option, but with what? Tear off a small piece of poorly installed flashing? How about the brim of my hat?
In the end, I was lucky the door striker and frame were installed loose enough to allow me to get my hat in there, and that the anti-slip function of the door latch could be disengaged by pulling on the door. I have had this same locked door scenario happen to me and to others during my construction career, but someone was present for the rescue and ridicule. Not this time. Lesson; don’t depend on the lock when solo. In the future I’ll put something in the door opening to prevent it from slamming shut.